S. M. Hutchens on Evangelicalism and Feminism

On Monday, I highlighted an article to which I contributed for Touchstone magazine, “Evangelicalism Today.” On Tuesday, one of the editors of Touchstone, S. M. Hutchens, responded to our article and had this to say about what feminism has done to the evangelical movement.

“In essence Evangelicalism was a liberalizing or opening movement, but this has been its own downfall–the antifundamentalist solvent it concocted for itself created a movement that had no confessional boundaries or identity with Christian tradition with sufficient depth or fiber to resist the egalitarian virus, an anti-Christian influence that neatly penetrated a defense system unequipped to handle it, so that the majority of Evangelicalism’s most prominent institutions are now thoroughly egalitarian. Evangelicalism finds itself reliving in our generation, under the influence of feminism, what Evangelical Protestantism of the nineteenth century found itself undergoing under the corrosive influence of biblical criticism–and it fell far more quickly completely.”

This is an interesting observation from Hutchens. He’s drawing a parallel between the “biblical criticism” of a former generation and the “feminism” of the current one. Just as biblical criticism undermined mainline Evangelical Protestantism by neutralizing its confessional commitment to sola scriptura, so also Feminism is doing the same thing to Evangelicalism today through a hermeneutic that effectively neutralizes the authority of scripture.

This is precisely why so many of us in the Complementarian wing of evangelicalism perceive fundamental issues to be at stake in the evangelical gender debates. It is not misplaced priorities that stir such forceful responses to the trajectory hermeneutics of William Webb (and now, unfortunately, many others). At the end of the day, the authority of the Bible itself is at stake. And where the Bible’s authority is neutralized, you can be sure that the evangel itself is close behind.

132 Responses to S. M. Hutchens on Evangelicalism and Feminism

  1. jeremy z October 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm #

    Okay I two things.
    1. When you refer to feminism you are making a general sweep of this movement. Within the feminism movement there are essentially three movements. When using the language of feminism it is difficult to understand what type of feminism you and the author are talking about. It is like saying war, without being specific to what world war you are talking about. Different feminist movement embody a different ideology.

    2. Denny you stated: “At the end of the day, the authority of the Bible itself is at stake.” No, not true. What is at stake is your interpretation of the text. See the Bible always is and will be the authority. We start with the text and then apply our tools of exegesis and hermeneutics. In way the fundamental issues that are “at stake” for the fundamentalists, is more about control, then really asking God what is happening within the movement of God’s spirit and evangelicalism.
    The fundamentalists think if my view of God’s words is being threaten, then evangelicalism will be corrupted. My question would be to the fundamentalists is why is your view being questioned?

  2. Bryan L October 31, 2007 at 3:40 pm #

    You’re right Denny, the evangel is at stake in the evangelical gender debates. The Gospel which breaks down walls between God and us and between us and each other; that says there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female because we are all one in Christ Jesus. That is at stake

    Complementarianism is just like the slavery issue from the past (using the same arguments from the Bible that slave owners did) and should be fought vigorously by the church. And the good thing is that in the end egalitarianism will win out and a generation from now the church will look back on the evangelical patriarchy of today the same way we look back on slavery.

  3. Denny Burk October 31, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    Bryan,

    Complementarians do not use the same arguments that pro-slavery people did in ante-bellum south. They argued that black people were inferior creatures and therefore should be slaves. Complementarians do not argue that women are inferior creatures nor do we argue that they should be slaves.

    It’s a clever rhetorical strategy on your part to compare Complementarianism to slavery, but the analogy really doesn’t work. Nor does it help this discussion to move forward.

    Denny

  4. jeremy z October 31, 2007 at 4:08 pm #

    Bryan L that is really funny. I almost decided to use slavery as an illustration.

    In the early and mid 1900s, Southern conservative churches whole heartily believed Blacks belonged in slavery.

  5. Bryan L October 31, 2007 at 5:13 pm #

    That’s the thing Denny, y’all aren’t interested in having a discussion. When y’all call egalitarianism a virus and say that it is anit-Christian it’s obvious that there is no discussion to be had. When you say the authority of the Bible and ultimately the evangel is at stake here it’s obvious how much you want to actually talk. When the only time you even respond to me in this “discussion” is when I resort to the same type of rhetoric you use (or you link to), then any talk of real discussion or dialog is a facade.

    When you link to articles like this from Hutchens who has made it clear in the past (on your blog) that he HATES egalitarianism and sees it as the enemy which is trying to destroy the church and he isn’t really interested in what we have to say then the only thing left to do is to respond in the same manner because apparently that’s the only way this “discussion” will take place.

    Bryan L

  6. jeremy z October 31, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    Bryan I feel ya bro. However take a deep breathe…….everything is going to be okay. : )

    So Denny if women are not inferior creatures, does this imply they are superior creatures?
    Seemingly telling and teaching a women she cannot teach or preach limits her freedom. However Blacks did not have any freedom.

    Remember Denny, during the civil right movement a lot of the anti-black rhetoric was coming straight from White Southern Baptist preachers. Why do you think there is such a polarity between black and white churches in the South? There is a big difference between Potter’s House (TD Jakes) and Dallas First Baptist.

    Denny let me ask you a question. At your college how many black professors are there?

    My point: Even though they (Southern Fundy’s) did not argue blacks were inferior, rather the preachers argued that blacks had their place in society. This line of argument is very similar to how fundamentalists argue that women have their place in the church.

  7. Jon November 1, 2007 at 7:35 am #

    Bryan and Jeremy:

    You guys have already removed yourselves from any possibility of a reasonable discussion via your comparison between slavery and feminism. If it wasn’t such a serious threat to Christianity, your absurdities would be little more than laughable.

    Are you really trying to equate racial prejudice and gender equality as Scriptural issues?! Nowhere does the Bible say that it is acceptable for Christians to single out color of skin as a basis for involuntary servitude. There are, on the other hand, plenty of places that speak of the differing roles of men and women in the world.

    And by the way, I defy you guys to give me a reasonable answer as to what is so unreasonable and degrading about expecting different responsibilities of men and women.

    Respectfully,
    Jon

  8. mike November 1, 2007 at 8:32 am #

    denny have you seen this?
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/31/funeral.protest/index.html?iref=newssearch#cnnSTCVideo

  9. Benjamin A. November 1, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    Bryan said-
    “The Gospel which breaks down walls between God and us and between us and each other; that says there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female because we are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    Bryan, In Galatians 3:28, Paul is speaking of a unity in the body of Christ that make differences of race, status and gender lose their significance. In Christ our spiritual position is the same, regarldess of race, status or gender. But that does not mean, nor does scripture anywhere teach that unique distinctions cease to exist, nor that all have the same functions within the body of Christ.

    Blessings,

    Benjamin A.

  10. jeremy z November 1, 2007 at 9:56 am #

    Jon thanks for the scolding.

    Jon here is an article straight from a Newspaper:
    Several fundamentalist (during the civil rights movement) leaders recognized, and sometimes deplored, violence against blacks. They noted, however, that when blacks broke laws and incited riots, violence would inevitably occur. Rice warned that “the continuous stirring up of anger will cause somebody to lose control and burn a Negro church or throw a brick through a window, or shoot somebody in the dark.” (58)

    In addition, the fundamentalists also commented the civil rights movement is unbiblical. “Many fundamentalists characterized the methods of the civil rights movement as unbiblical and beyond the realm of proper Christian conduct.”

    My point: In the mid 60’s fundamentalists churches were against the civil rights movement. In the 21st century fundamentalists are against the gender equality.
    Just for laughs, (even though I deeply disagree with Hilary) I would love if Hilary Clinton won the Presidency. You would probably poop your pants scared!!!

    Thanks for playing : )
    Blessings,
    Jeremy

  11. jeremy z November 1, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Yes Mike I did in fact read that article.
    Thanks Westboro Baptist Church for not only making Christians look like complete idiots, but also allowing the media to have another opportunity to convince the public why they should not follow Christ!!!!

    And you guys wonder why I argue so hard for a difficult methodology in how we handle non-believers. It is not the message, but it how the message is being delivered.

    Put down the bull horn and love on some people and when God gives you the window of opportunity give them the gospel message.

    Can I at least get an amen?

  12. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 10:32 am #

    Jon if we have removed ourselves from the possibility of a reasonable discussion then why are you trying to have a discussion with us still? Jon, why is it ok to call Egalitarianism a virus, anti-Christian, a threat to the authority of the Bible and ultimately the evangel? Help me understand why the rhetoric can only flow one way and when we respond we are unreasonable, absurd and almost laughable?

    What you don’t seem to get Jon is that Denny and Hutchens (and other comps) are framing this debate as an authority of the Bible debate. They believe that the principles and exegetical methods that Egalitarians utilize only help to erode the authority of the Bible. After all it is plain to see that the Bible says women are to be subject to men (so they say). Do you realize that pro-slavery proponents utilized the same hermeneutical strategies that complementarians do. They were arguing from the letter of the law. Anti-slavery proponents were arguing from the spirit of the law in a redemptive trajectory such as outlined by William Webb in his books Slaves, Women and Homosexuals (which Denny noted they forcefully oppose) and others like John Stackhouse and I.H. Marshall.

    For a look at the hermeneutical strategies employed by both sides in the slavery debate leading up to the civil war read the chapter called “The Crisis over the Bible” in Mark Noll’s book “The Civil War as a Theological Crisis”. The rhetoric used by the pro-slavery side about the authority of the Bible is eerily familiar.

    Thanks

  13. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 11:02 am #

    Ben that is a convenient reading of Galatians. It sounds nice and spiritual but it doesn’t really look any different in the church when put into practice.

    If you told me there were no rich or poor in Christ and I went into your church and you had nothing but rich people leading and teaching and all of the poor people were subject to them and allowed only to do the manual labor and cleaning in the church I would wonder how you could say there is no rich or poor in Christ because according to your church Christ saw fit to make only rich people leaders and teachers.

    Do you see the analogy. You’re reading of Galatians doesn’t really break down any walls in the church. They still remain. And apparently our spiritual use is still predicated on those distinctions that Christ did away with.

  14. Benjamin A. November 1, 2007 at 11:10 am #

    Bryan you said-
    “They believe that the principles and exegetical methods that Egalitarians utilize only help to erode the authority of the Bible. After all it is plain to see that the Bible says women are to be subject to men (so they say).”

    Bryan, would you agree that someone is eroding the authority of the Bible? Either the egal. camp or the comp. camp? If your hermeneutics (or mine) lead to an interpretation and application of scripture that was never the intended meaning or intent of that scripture, can’t you agree that would be very harmful to Christ’s body and dishonoring to His name?

    Heaven help us all! One of us is dishonoring Christ’s body. This is why hermeneutics is no small issue.

    Also, the Bible doesn’t teach nor do comps. say women in general need to be subject to men. The Bible teaches that a wife is to be subject to her husband as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22).

    Grace and peace,

    Benjamin A.

  15. F.A. November 1, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    Benjamin,
    Can two people who disagree on an issue disagree without one of them ‘eroding the authority of the bible?’

    It seems to me that it is an effective, though misleading, rhetorical tactic to change the debate from the issue (egal vs. comp in this case) to a referendum on one’s opponent’s bibliology.

  16. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 12:14 pm #

    Benjamin I wouldn’t say that one side is eroding the authority of the Bible. That is a complementarian rhetorical ploy used against Egalitarians to say they are chipping away at things from the Bible until there is nothing less. It’s a slippery slope arument meant to scare people into what egalitarianism will lead to.

    I believe complementarians are instead resisting the move of God and trying to box him in according to their reading of the Bible which they hold up to him as a law and contract that he is bound to. This is similar to the pharisees who were unable to see what God was doing in Jesus Christ but kept holding up the law to him saying you can’t do that and God doesn’t work that way. I’m not calling you (or complementarians) pharisees just as I’m not calling you slave owners. I just see a similar trend.

    You are right hermeneutics is an extremely important issue in this discussion. But also being open the the Holy Spirit and discerning what God is doing is also equally important and that is ultimately I think what lead people like Peter and Paul to accept Gentiles into the church based on their reception of the Holy Spirit and the obvious things he was doing among them. It wasn’t obvious to them through reading the Old Testament or even the words of Christ that the Gentiles were to be accepted in the covenant on equal terms as the Jews without having to submit to Torah.

    As far a the women subject to men thing I would disagree with you. Comps do in general say that women are to be subject to men not just husband and wife. Of course the type and degree of subjection depends on the relationship of the man to the woman (women don’t have to be subject to any random man) but I doubt you would ever say a man can be subject to a woman in any relationship.

    Thanks

  17. mlm November 1, 2007 at 12:40 pm #

    Bryan L:

    I want to clearly understand something you said: Are you saying that homosexuality and the Bible’s stand against it is akin to the gender/race issues we’ve come to rethink in modern times?

  18. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    Bryan,

    The Webb’s hermeneutic has serious flaws. It implies that there is a “better ethic” than the one outlined in the New Testament. It relativizes what should be construed as normative.

    Do you agree with Webb that there is a “better ethic” than the one Paul articulates in 1 Timothy 2:12? Was Paul mistaken in giving the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12?

    Denny

  19. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 12:54 pm #

    No I’m not saying that MLM. Not unless you think being a woman is sinful ; )

    BTW what did I say that you want to understand or were you just referring to my comments in general?

    Thanks

  20. mlm November 1, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Bryan L:

    It was this statement you made: “They were arguing from the letter of the law. Anti-slavery proponents were arguing from the spirit of the law in a redemptive trajectory such as outlined by William Webb in his books Slaves, Women and Homosexuals (which Denny noted they forcefully oppose) and others like John Stackhouse and I.H. Marshall.”

    You weren’t specific, but I’ve read other people who lump homosexuality and our treatment of it in with gender and race. I just wanted to clarify what you were trying to say.

    Thanks!

  21. mlm November 1, 2007 at 1:01 pm #

    As a pastor’s wife, I have to say that this issue has been something I’ve had to deal with personally as it plays out in everyday life. Without getting into details, it seems TO ME that this issue of gender roles within the home and in the church is much easier to define and discuss from the position of seminary or lecture or printed page. It is much more nuanced and difficult to deal with pastorally as it affects members of the church. That said, as a pastor’s wife, I’ve noticed that this issue isn’t as prominent in lay people’s minds as it is in professors’ or authors’. There seems to be much bigger fish to fry. Why do clergy insist on answering questions that people aren’t asking?

  22. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 1:04 pm #

    Oh. no prob MLM. Just so you know the reason why Webb’s book is is titled “Slaves, Women and Homosexuals” is because Webb is laying out a hermeneutic of cultural analysis. He is trying to develop a system for being able to say what is cultural in the Bible (and not binding) and what transcends culture. He uses the slavery issue as the test case to see how we moved from an endorsement of it in the Bible and allowing it even in the church to eventually seeing it contrary to the will of God and to the Gospel. He then uses that methodology to analyze the issues of gender and of homosexuality to see if either of them fit on that same trajectory. He finds that the gender issue does and the homosexual issue doesn’t.

    Hope that helps.

  23. mlm November 1, 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    Bryan L:

    Very helpful; thanks. Maybe that’s ANOTHER book I need to add to my ever-burgeoning list. 🙂

    As far as slaves go…maybe I need to do more study into the biblical history of it. I’ve always thought that there were good slaves and bad slaves. By that I mean, when Israel was enslaved to Egypt—one people group to another (similar to blacks and whites)—that was wrong. But throughout the Bible there were “slaves” who were treated more like paid help if that makes sense. And had provision and care and a way out too…I’m not articulating this very well, but several passages in the Bible compares sonship to servants/slaves and they’re both pretty similar in many aspects. (Of course, they’re different in key aspects as well, but if slavery was so bad in those instances, why would a son be treated the same as a slave until he comes of age??)

    Does any of what I’m saying make sense?

  24. D.J. Williams November 1, 2007 at 1:35 pm #

    “Why do clergy insist on answering questions that people aren’t asking?”

    Because by and large, in American Christianity, people are asking the wrong questions.

  25. mlm November 1, 2007 at 1:44 pm #

    DJ Williams:

    I think you may have missed my point. I don’t believe the fact that Christians by and large aren’t beating down the pastor’s door to ask him about complementarianism is an indication that Christians are asking the wrong questions.

    A pastor locates people by the questions they ask. If all a pastor does is preach his pet teachings or something he learned in seminary, then suddenly the sermon becomes more important than the people.

    A true teacher values the student above the subject. A true pastor values the people above the pulpit. If all I’m interested in and skilled at is talking about a particular subject or subjets regardless of their import for and impact on the listener, then I’m neither a teacher or a pastor but a public speaker.

  26. Ken November 1, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    “A true pastor values the people above the pulpit.”

    Which is undoubtedly why Paul exhorted Timothy to preach the word, to be ready to do so in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. He warned Timothy that the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but with itching ears will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into many myths.

  27. Ken November 1, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    A true shepherd looks out for the best interests of the sheep. He watches, warns against, and fights off predators and thieves, and he does not allow the sheep to wander off or do just what they want to do. Sheep are often poor judges of what is best because they lack the perspective (and the charge) of the shepherd.

  28. rf2r2 November 1, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    Oh, Lord, I give thanks to you that I was not created a heathen, a slave, or a woman.

    -Orthodox Jewish prayer

    I just couldn’t resist.

    Carry on.

  29. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 2:31 pm #

    Denny, do you think slavery should be normal? It is part of the ethic outlined in scripture? You keep dodging the question of slavery. Why? Some of the gender verses also speak of slaves and masters.

    But your appeal to 1 Tim 2:12 is very revealing. In the end this is what it always comes down to for y’all – 1 Tim 2:12. It is the verse which you view and interpret every other verse through. It takes precedence over every other passage. Why?
    If someone appeals to Junia as an apostle comps will say:
    “Maybe but she didn’t teach men.”
    “Well how do we know?”
    “1 Tim 2:12”
    “Well Priscilla taught Apollos.”
    “No she didn’t, she helped her husband or was just present when he taught her.”
    “Well how do we know?”
    “1 Tim 2:12.”
    “Well women were prophets and had churches in their homes”
    “Yeah but they didn’t teach men”
    “Well how do we know?”
    “1 Tim 2:12.”

    This is the verse y’all use to dismiss any evidence in favor of Egalitarianism.

    We don’t even know what one of the main verbs in 1 Tim 2:12 means and every time Suzanne tried to discuss that word you dodged her or just referred to Kostenberger’s book. Every time she wanted to discuss the actual uses of that verb in antiquity in their actual contexts no one would even respond, and it is the key word in that passage that says what Paul does not permit.

    On top of that no one reads to the end of that section to 1 Tim 2:15 about women being saved by having children and believes women will actually be saved by having children (or not saved if they don’t have children). Paul’s apparent command that women not teach is somehow a timeless principle built on the order of creation (according to comps) while the whole women will be saved through child bearing thing must be read and discerned in context and doesn’t mean what it clearly sounds like.

    1 Timothy 2:12 has way to many issues to be the foundation that you build your whole case on, yet every time we have this discussion it is clear that it is your foundational verse. Without it your whole argument crumbles.

    Even if I were to grant that it said what it did and that Paul was forbidding women to teach all I would need to do is pose a similar verse to you that causes great difficulty and ask if it means what it does or if Paul or Jesus or God were mistaken in giving a particular prohibition. How would you answer? Do you think women should remain silent in churches (1 Cor 14:34)? Do you think people who are unmarried should not seek to be married (1 Cor 7:27)? Do you forbid speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14:39)? That’s just a few from 1 Corinthians. I could go on and on.

    Thanks

  30. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 3:00 pm #

    Bryan,

    Am I understanding you correctly? You are saying that we don’t know how to interpret 1 Timothy 2:12, so we cannot make it normative. But even if the proper interpretation did involve a prohibition on women in ministry, it still should not be considered normative for the life of the church today.

    Is that what you are saying?

    Thanks,
    Denny

  31. Benjamin A. November 1, 2007 at 3:06 pm #

    F.A. you said-
    “Can two people who disagree on an issue disagree without one of them ‘eroding the authority of the bible?’”

    One never ultimately erodes the authority of the Bible. Their teaching simply causes people to live in error, thus missing the authorial intent of Scripture. So the eroding that actually happens is on an applicational level.

    Can the Comps. and the Egal. positions both be right? If not, hasn’t that position led to the erosion of Biblical authority (though not in their own mind- they believe they are right), with regard to application? And wouldn’t that be dishonoring to Christ’s body?

    F. A. also said-
    “misleading, rhetorical tactic to change the debate from the issue (egal vs. comp”,

    You give me far too much credit!

    Grace and peace,

    Benjamin A.

  32. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 3:14 pm #

    Come on Denny you have to start answering some of my question and addressing some of the issues I raise before going on to ask me more questions. You can’t dodge them forever. After a while it just seems like you are trying to duck and avoid them and change the subject. Give a little before asking for more.

    Thanks

  33. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    Bryan,

    I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll answer your questions if you answer mine. For every one of my questions that you answer, I’ll answer one of yours. Let me restate my previous question to you again. Then I’ll answer one of your queries.

    Am I understanding you correctly? You are saying that we don’t know how to interpret 1 Timothy 2:12, so we cannot make it normative. But even if the proper interpretation did involve a prohibition on women in ministry, it still should not be considered normative for the life of the church today. Do I understand you correctly?

    You asked: “Do you think slavery should be normal? Is it part of the ethic outlined in scripture?”

    No, I do not think that the Bible sets forth slavery as a normative institution. The institution itself is a product of post-fall realities. Thus, slavery is very different from the issue at hand. Male headship is rooted in God’s good creation (see Genesis 1-2 and 1 Timothy 2:13), a creation that He intends to redeem. Slavery is not a creation ordinance.

    I hope that’s helpful. I’m looking forward to reading your answer to my question.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  34. Lucas Knisely November 1, 2007 at 4:43 pm #

    Good form, Denny.

  35. Benjamin A. November 1, 2007 at 4:51 pm #

    Bryan,

    In 1 Timothy 2:11 (obviously precedes 2:12), Paul states that “a woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” or more literally ‘a woman in silence let learn in all subjection.’

    The verb receive (‘let learn’) is not in dispute. To learn something, one must first receive that which should be learned.

    Then, in v.12, the first thing Paul wrote was this, “to teach [a]woman I do not allow”; or NRSV “I permit no woman to teach”. And in it’s context this would prohibit women from teaching men (see the end of v.12).

    The verb ‘to teach’ is not in dispute. Nor is his prohibitive statement ‘I do not allow’.

    Then the next section of v.12 is where we reach the verb in dispute ‘authentein’ or ‘to have authority’. Paul wrote, “or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”

    Denny referred to Kostenberger’s book for support in understanding that verb and you leaned on Suzanne’s blog.

    You wrote-“We don’t even know what one of the main verbs in 1 Tim 2:12 means and every time Suzanne tried to discuss that word you dodged her or just referred to Kostenberger’s book.”

    Well, even if we took this disputed section out of v.12, “to have authority”, we are still left with a prohibitive statement from Paul. “I permit no woman to teach. . . a man; she is to keep silent”.

    So, back to Denny’s question to you that you dodged-
    “Do you agree with Webb that there is a “better ethic” than the one Paul articulates in 1 Timothy 2:12? Was Paul mistaken in giving the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12?”

    Grace and peace,

    Benjamin A.

  36. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    Thanks for answering that one question Denny. There’s a bunch more that I’ve asked that I’m looking forward to seeing you address.

    Before I answer your question I want to address what you said, “Male headship is rooted in God’s good creation (see Genesis 1-2 and 1 Timothy 2:13)” The problem with this is that it’s circular.
    “How do we know Gen 1-2 is setting forth male authority based on created order? It doesn’t say that?”
    “1 Tim 2:13 tells us.”
    “How do we know 1 Tim 2:13 is about the created order”?
    “Because Gen 1-2 tells us”

    Again for you, 1 Tim 2:12-15 is the verse which you view every other verse.

    Besides I don’t think it makes much sense to see Paul appealing to Genesis to support a prohibition against women teaching men because man was created first. Instead as I’ve argued here in the past it makes more sense to see Paul appealing to Gen 1-2 and using it as an analogy because of the similarities to what is going on in Ephesus and why he is even writing this letter to Timothy in the first place. Paul often had a lot more going on when he quoted scripture than just using them as proof texts. He was a careful exegete of scripture and careful in how he appeals to it. And often the narrative of a passage was laying in the background of his usage of certain passages.

    Notice how he doesn’t say man was created first then woman? He says Adam was formed first and then Eve. Significant? Why does he draw attention to their names? He’s appealing to the narrative not just the fact that man was created before woman. Notice how he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say she was deceived not Adam (and she became a sinner where as elsewhere in Paul it’s Adam who sinned.) What does that have to do with anything? Couldn’t he have just stopped with “Adam first then Eve” and made his point? What’s going on?

    Paul’s appeal to the Genesis text in 1 Tim 2:13-14 seems to be brought up for reasons that have to do with the situation going on in Ephesus and how it’s related to the events that led to the fall. The issue in 1 Tim is false teaching and that’s why Paul is writing Timothy, to urge him to correct the false teachers (1:3) who are involved in “things taught by demons” (4:1). He then goes on to say that some young widows have “already turned away to follow Satan” (5:15). Before that he talks about these young widows going house to house speaking foolish talk and saying things they shouldn’t (5:13). He then counsels the young widows to “marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander” (5:14). He wants them to have children (in 2:15 women will be saved through child bearing). He wants them to emulate the widows not by staying unmarried but by getting married and having children (elsewhere he wants those who are widows to remain widows 1 Cor 7:8, but here he wants women to marry again).

    Taking into account the fact that Eve through her deception by Satan (she says to God “the serpent deceived me”) causes Adam to be deceived and fall also. As well as the fact that elsewhere in Paul’s letters Eve’s sin is irrelevant because it was Adam who sinned and who we fell with (except when he wants to point out to the Corinthians that they have been deceived by false prophets like Eve was by Satan – 2 Cor 11:3), and then the fact that Eves seed will crush the serpents head (salvation) there just seems to be too many links with the actual story of the fall in Gen 2-3 to believe that Paul is just referring to the order of creation as support for his argument of why women shouldn’t teach (again he could have just said man was formed first then woman.) The whole Adam Eve thing is completely context driven and used as an illustration by Paul because of it’s similarities to the situation in Ephesus.

    Now to your questions.
    You stated, “You are saying that we don’t know how to interpret 1 Timothy 2:12, so we cannot make it normative.”

    I am saying that there are to many issues with it, too many disagreements (I gave an interpretation of a small part but doubtless you will disagree with it), too many unanswered questions with this passage and so much of this passage seems so completely context specific that it would be foolish to make it the foundation with which to build our theology of gender on and to be used as the verse with which we read and interpret every other verse in the Bible that has to do with gender and roles. If you think that means I’m saying we can’t make it normative then I guess that’s what I’m saying.

    You then asked “But even if the proper interpretation did involve a prohibition on women in ministry, it still should not be considered normative for the life of the church today.”

    I mentioned that it does seem Paul is prohibiting these women in Ephesus from doing some sort of teaching (it could be just a negative heretical type of teaching). Some people won’t even concede that. I’m saying that if we could still agree that Paul is prohibiting some kind of teaching by women in this context then there are still far too many other questions and issues involved to make it completely binding and normative for the life of the church. And on top of that even if we were to grant that it is saying something similar to what you think it’s saying, this is still the only verse of it’s kind We can’t base our theology on single verses that seem to be very different or unique compared to the rest of scripture. For instance I brought up Paul saying women aren’t to speak in the church but remain silent. Is this normative? He mentions people being baptized for the dead. Is this normative? No. Those passages have far too many question and issues behind them and they are so different and unique that it would be unwise to use them as the foundation with which to build our theology on.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks

  37. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 6:52 pm #

    Bryan,

    For those who are following this thread, let me make sure that I have your answers correct before we move on to the next round of questions. I asked you if anyone knows the correct interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12, and you answered “no.” I also asked you whether the verse would be normative even if we could know that Paul prohibited women from teaching men, and you answered “no.”

    Denny

  38. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 7:29 pm #

    Denny,

    I hope you are going to move on to a next round of answering more of my questions and the issues I already raised before we move on to quizzing me more.

    I agree with your first question. I don’t think anyone “knows” the correct interpretation. I think there is far to much disagreement between everyone to confidently say that one of us has the correct interpretation. Although that being said I do think yours is wrong and mine, if not right, is still closer to the truth than yours ; )

    To your 2nd question. Would the verse be normative even if we could know that Paul prohibited women from teaching? When you ask whether we could know that paul prohibited women from teaching do you mean we could know 1.) Paul prohibiting women from teaching just in this passage or 2.) whether we could know that in general Paul taught everywhere that women could not teach men. I’m not to clear on what you are asking.

    If #1 then no it wouldn’t be normative (unless you want to make 1 Corinthians 14:34 normative). If # 2 then maybe. It all depends. After all we know Paul spoke in tongues and prohibited Christians from forbidding Christians from speaking in tongues yet that still doesn’t stop you from holding to a cessationist position and thinking IMB missionaries shouldn’t be allowed to speak or pray in tongues. At the same time Paul was still a product of his time and culture and we don’t find him forbidding slavery. So it would depend. I think we would have to take the whole of scripture into account as well as the trajectory that is was headed. But being that we couldn’t know either I think your hypothetical questions are pointless. If we knew Paul was a racist do you think racism would be ok? If we knew Paul was a misogynist would that be ok?

    So take those answers however you want. Sorry I’m making it difficult for you to fit me into a black and white, yes and no framework.

    I’ll be back later. I have to watch last weeks Office before the new episode comes on.

    Thanks.

  39. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 8:31 pm #

    Dear Bryan,

    You wrote: “Your appeal to 1 Tim 2:12 is very revealing. In the end this is what it always comes down to for y’all – 1 Tim 2:12. It is the verse which you view and interpret every other verse through. It takes precedence over every other passage. Why?”

    I do not regard any one verse as the linchpin of the Complementarian position. I do not, therefore, accept the premise of your question which says that Complementarians “interpret every other verse” through the prism of 1 Timothy 2:12. Rather, we would argue that the complementarity of the sexes is taught throughout the Bible. We have tried to demonstrate in our writings the whole Bible’s teaching on this question, as even a cursory look at the literature will show (see for example Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, which has scholarly essays covering the various sections of both the OT and NT).

    Now my question for you: “Do you regard Paul’s and Peter’s command for wives to be submissive to their husbands as normative? (see Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1).”

    Denny

  40. jb November 1, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    Denny, you’re missing ALL the utopian memes.
    You missed the Gay Utopia meme. You’ve missed the feminist utopia meme. And now your missing the free interpretive meme where utopia will transpire once our freedom to interpret Scripture as WE SEE BEST comes to fruition.

    As soon as the New Testament v.2 arrives jubilation and glad tiding will prevail. UTOPIA!!!

    (Words DON’T have true meaning. You did get that meme didn’t you?)
    Next week I’ll cover the “unlimited Sexual Freedom Utopia.” The trajectory points in that direction.

    You’re a fossil Den! Still thinking words have meaning. snort

    Sola Scriptura (with my personal modifications)

  41. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 9:02 pm #

    Denny,

    If 1 Tim 2:12 was not the linchpin of the complementarian position then it wouldn’t always be the first passage appealed to and battleground which this whole debate is fought over. You know that if y’all were to give up that passage this whole debate would be over. But anyway…

    Do I see those verses (which would support a partial egalitarianism position) as normative? Yea in the time that they were written, in a patriarchal society, I would. In fact in a patriarchal society today I would still see them as normative.

    Do you regard Corinthians 14:34 “women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says” as normative?

    BTW can you go further into how you define “normative”?

    Thanks

  42. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 9:35 pm #

    Bryan,

    I did understand if you were answering yes or no to my question. Please don’t misunderstand, I want to hear your explanation for your answer. But I was also hoping for a yes or no. So once again, do you regard Paul’s and Peter’s command for wives to be submissive to their husbands as normative for believers today? (see Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1).” Yes or no?

    After you respond with yes or no, we can move on to the next round of questions.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  43. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    I answered you Denny. Read it again.

    BTW I would appreciate an explanation of how you define normative that way we can make sure we are on the same page.

    Back to my question “Do you regard Corinthians 14:34 “women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says” as normative?”

    Thanks

  44. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 9:49 pm #

    Bryan,

    I’ve read over your answer again. It’s still not clear to me whether your are saying yes or no. Which is it?

    When I ask if this or that statement is normative, I’m asking if we are ethically bound to live under the “norm” it prescribes. For more on normative, see here.

    I’m eager to get to your 1 Corinthians 14:34 question.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  45. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 9:59 pm #

    Well since Ephesians 5:21 says be subject to one another then yes I see it as normative?

    1 Corinthians 14:34?

    Thanks

  46. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 10:04 pm #

    I am coming to 1 Corinthians 14:34, but I want to make sure that I understand you correctly.

    I asked you: “Do you regard Paul’s and Peter’s command for wives to be submissive to their husbands as normative for believers today? (see Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1).”

    You answered yes, thereby affirming that wives should be submissive to their husbands as taught in Ephesians 5:21-33, Colossians 3:18, and 1 Peter 3:1.

    Is this correct?

  47. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 10:08 pm #

    Actually I counted 15 verses in there. Now if you are willing to give me 15 verses that I can question you on all at once then I will answer you in regards to your 15 verses. As it is since Ephesians 5:21 (“be subject to one another out of reverence to Christ”) was the first one in line that is the first one I answered (which was a yes).

    1 Cor 14:34?

    Thanks

  48. Denny Burk November 1, 2007 at 10:36 pm #

    So you will only give me an answer on Ephesians 5? Do I have to use up two more questions before you give me a yes or no on Colossians 3:18 and 1 Peter 3:1?

  49. Bryan L November 1, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    Actually I gave you an answer on 5:21 (which was yes) not all of 5 (that would be 32 more verses for all of 5). If you want the rest of the verses up to 5:33 that’s 10 more questions. If you want the Colossians verse and the Peter verse that’s 2 more questions.

    1 Cor 14:34?

    BTW please decide soon as it’s getting late and I would like to go to bed in a little bit.

    Thanks

  50. jeff miller November 1, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

    (intermission- you can skip this comment)

    Huthcens does not have to worry about egalitariansim destroying “The Church”

    If he means by “The Church”:

    The one holy catholic church, no worries, the pope and the magisterium are not about to start ordaining women.

    The church spiritually gathered to Jesus, no worries, the gates of hell won’t prevail, not even the monsterous horde.

    The church in the abstract that can be manifest in any local congregation, not a problem, there are so many cells being generated in so many places and cultures, and on top of that if there is one person in a church who will open up to Jesus -then Jesus will come in and fellowship -then many errors can be overcome.

  51. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 12:09 am #

    Bryan,

    You asked: “Do you regard Corinthians 14:34 as normative?”

    Yes, I do. Paul’s command in verse 34 is set in the midst of his instructions about the proper exercise of the gift of prophecy within the church. In verse 29, he says that two or three prophets may speak during worship and that other prophets are there to pass judgment on the prophecies because “the spirits of the prophets are subject to prophets” (v. 32). I think that women were prophesying (1 Cor. 11:5), but they were not allowed to judge prophecies. In order to preserve male headship as taught in 11:3ff, Paul directs the women to be “silent” and to “subject themselves” when it comes to judging prophecies.

    My question for you: “Do you regard Paul’s and Peter’s commands for wives to be submissive to their husbands as normative for believers today? (see Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1).”

    Denny

  52. jeff miller November 2, 2007 at 1:32 am #

    (still intermission but a bit more on topic)

    Denny,
    I would have to admit that I have joined others in taking a passage from an epistle which should have been understood as a portion of of the overall teaching of the epistle and instead treated the passage alone as a normative Bible command that every member must hold to if they would be a true Christian. Even if Bryan is wrong some of his suspicion may be warranted.

    Bryan,
    I think you should reconsider the parallel you made in comment 16. I may not be reading it carefully enough, but it sounds like you are saying Peter and Paul had to make progressive adjustments to what was normative or authoritative. Peter and Paul and the Gospels are on the same (NC) side of Messiah’s arrival. The prophets had proclaimed that Gentiles would be added to the remnant of Israel. Jesus and the Gospels teach that the Israel of God is being defined around Jesus even without the Mosaic law. And so there is no progression of what is normative or authoritative (I think this is important) only a progression of understanding and submission among the disciples.

    I have some comment and questions I would like to submit to you guys on the Galatians passage but I may have to wait till you get there.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  53. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 6:21 am #

    Nice acrobatics Denny. I’m assuming that 13:45 is also normative which says it is shameful for women to speak in the church. That’s not a question though but feel free to correct me on that one if you wish.

    Colossians 3:18? Yes, after all we are to be subject to one another as Ephesians 5:21 said so yes I see it as normative.

    Denny do you see “1 Corinthians 14:39 So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues;” as normative today.

    Thanks

  54. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 7:56 am #

    Thanks Jeff for the question/challenge. I’ll elaborate a bit on what I was saying. Yes the Jews and Jewish Christians expected the gentiles to come in. But they expected them to come in as Jews not as gentiles. Judaism already had a way for gentiles to come into the people of God and that was by ritual washing then circumcision and then obeying the Torah. So sure they accepted Gentiles, but only after they became Jews.

    But for Paul and Peter the evidence of the spirit among the gentiles who had not already submitted to circumcision and Torah observance was evidence that God was doing something different; that God was accepting the gentiles on the same ground as Jews without them having to become Jews. And the Jewish Christians had nothing in the OT (or apparently from Jesus either) that led them to that conclusion apart from the obvious work of the Holy Spirit. They recognized they had no precedence in the Bible. They were completely dependent on their experience of the spirit and what they observed God doing among the gentiles.

    And that’s why it was still such an issue in the early church that constantly had to be fought. Because people still believed they needed to complete their salvation by becoming Jews, and these were even people from Jerusalem. Peter apparently still struggled with this after the fact. But apparently the work and movement of the Holy Spirit was so undeniable that they eventually had to read the OT in a different way and recognize that God was doing something different and that he no longer required gentiles to become Jewish to be accepted into the people of God.

    Hope that helps a bit. Thanks

  55. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    Bryan,

    Yes. Whenever the Spirit inspires these gifts, these regulations apply.

    My question for you: “Do you regard Peter’s command for wives to be submissive to their husbands as normative for believers today? (see 1 Peter 3:1).”

    Denny

  56. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks Denny. So I assume then that you think the IMB thing is a mistake since they forbid missionaries to speak or pray in tongues. I appreciate you putting yourself out there like that. Feel free to correct me though if I’m wrong.

    Do I see 1 Peter 3:1 one as normative? Well let’s see what is says.
    “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”

    Yeah I think that is good advice. A crazy, self centered rebellious wife is a bad witness to an unbelieving husband. Although if he is abusive, neglecting, or a tyrant then I would say so she doesn’t have to submit (of course unless she is a culture where she has no other choice by law but then I would still advise her to seek a way out or separation in that situation.) But I still think it is good for husbands and wives to be subject to one another (see Eph 5:21)

    Question: Earlier we discussed 1 Cor 14:34-35. Paul appeals to the law for support of why women should remain silent. Do you think laws like the following are still God’s will and desire?

    Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    Or

    Exodus 21:20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

    Thanks

  57. jeremy z November 2, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    Bryan I applaud you! You have been in a dog fight with you only flying solo. Impressive…….

    Bryan “you are dangerous. No one likes you because you are unsafe.”

    That is what I like in a theologian!

  58. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    Bryan,

    Yes, I think laws like the one you listed are still God’s will and desire. No, I do not think that the entire TORAH applies to Christians in the same way that it applied to Israel. The NT teaches that Christ has fulfilled the Law, and in some sense replaces the law. This is a huge question, but there’s my summary answer.

    My question for you: Do you think the command in Hebrews 13:17 is normative for church members today? It says, “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account.

    Denny

  59. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    Wow Denny. I applaud your boldness. I wouldn’t be able to tell a virgin who was raped that now she has to be married to the rapist (after he pays her father of course) but that’s just me.

    Do I see Hebrews 13:17 which says, “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account as normative for church members today?

    Yes I think that is good advice as well, as long as the leaders are fulfilling their part of the deal and not abusing their authority.

    Question: Since both Paul and Peter do not forbid slavery, Paul sends a runaway slave back to his master (see Philemon), and they in fact give slaves instruction to obey their masters in everything as to the Lord (let me know if you want verses), do you think that is fine for Christians to have slaves in places where slavery is legal (such as other countries or during and leading up to the Civil War?)

    Again I appreciate your boldness in stating what you believe. Thanks.

  60. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 9:58 am #

    Bryan,

    FYI: I’m answering the questions that you ask me, and I’m trying to stay on task. I’m not responding to your characterizations of my answers, but please don’t assume from my silence that I agree with your characterizations. I’m just trying to keep the conversation focused.

    For instance, I don’t for a minute accept “I applaud your boldness. I wouldn’t be able to tell a virgin who was raped that now she has to be married to the rapist (after he pays her father of course) but that’s just me.” Nor do I accept, “So I assume then that you think the IMB thing is a mistake since they forbid missionaries to speak or pray in tongues.” If these statements reflect your understanding of what I’m writing, then you aren’t understanding what I’m saying.

    Next round coming up.

    Denny

  61. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    Bryan,

    You asked: “Do you think that is fine for Christians to have slaves in places where slavery is legal (such as other countries or during and leading up to the Civil War?)”

    No. I think that American chattell slavery was predicated on the worst kind of human depravity. It was and is evil.

    Before my question, a summary of your answers thus far. You said that any possible restrictions on female ordination in the Bible are not normative. You also said that the apostles’ commands for wives to submit to their husbands is normative. You also said that the command in Hebrews 13:17 is normative. So in your view, women can be pastors. Wives must submit to their husbands. Church members must submit to their leaders.

    Now my question for you: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s an Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  62. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    Sorry Denny but you started this out wanting to stick to yes and no answers so that you could put me into a corner. I tried qualifying myself and discussing why it’s not so black and white but you obviously didn’t care and just kept pushing for a yes or no (either I did or didn’t think a verse was normative). So when I ask questions as either yes and no you either answer yes or no. If you think we shouldn’t forbid speaking in tongues then it would follow that since IMB does you are not in line with them. If you think the command in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 was God’s will and desire and still normative then it would follow that you you think a virgin that is raped has to be married by the rapist after he pays her father and he can never divorce her, after all that was God’s will and desire and still normative for how he wanted a society run.

    Sorry Denny but I’m just following your lead.

    Can’t wait to hear your answer to my last question. Thanks.

  63. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 10:18 am #

    Denny I asked you about slavery in general not just American slavery, but as I understand it you are saying that in every place and time slavery is evil and so it is not now or ever ok for a Christian (or Israelite) to have a slave or be complicit in slavery and is in fact evil. Let me just make sure that I understand you correctly. I don’t want to characterize your answer. I’ll wait before I move on to answer your question and ask you my next question.

    Thanks

  64. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    Bryan,

    I will answer any question you have about slavery, but you need to be specific about what slavery you are talking about. As you know, the slavery that was regulated in the Pentateuch was nothing like American chattel slavery. Likewise, slavery in the Roman Empire was very different from Hebrew slavery. For instance, many Roman slaves had the opportunity to purchase their own freedom (1 Cor 7:21). In ancient Israel, slaves were able to choose whether or not they wanted to go free after 7 years. So I’m happy to answer your questions, but please be specific. This will probably require many questions on your part.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  65. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 10:34 am #

    Sorry Denny, slavery is slavery. Slaves have no rights, can be abused physically sexually and emotionally (even used as prostitutes), separated from their family, be killed without capital punishment enforced on the slave owner, and are ultimately someones property.

    Sure you will always have those slave owners that are nicer than others (1 Peter refers to all slave masters even the ones that are harsh), but slavery is slavery, don’t try to make one more palatable than the other.

    Thanks.

  66. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    Bryan,

    Are you ready to move to the next round? Here’s my question again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  67. Paul November 2, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Bryan,

    in one of very few instances where I will defend Denny, I need to here. Remember that plenty of poor Hebrews sold their kids into slavery so that they would have a better life than what was available to them as a free person.

    That is a completely different ball of wax than American slavery, which was truly one of the cruelest institutions known to mankind.

    There is a difference, and it needs to be recognized, if for no other reason than apologetics, when the subject of slavery in the Bible comes up. If the Hebrew or Roman systems of slavery were anything like the American version, I am sure that the Biblical discussions on slavery would have looked far different.

  68. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 10:56 am #

    I’m ready Denny when you address the Slavery issue.

    Paul it’s not that nice and neat. Some people sold themselves into slavery by their families some were from defeated enemies. Either way that slave was still property and had no rights. Roman Slavery was pretty bad. In fact those is favor of American slavery leading up to the civil war appealed to the rigid laws of Roman slavery with which Paula and Peter gave their commands as support. (See Mark Nolls book “The Civil War as a Theological Crisis” -pg 38)

  69. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    Bryan,

    You and I have a genuine point of disagreement. You judge all slavery/indentured-servanthood as morally equivalent. I do not judge them all to be morally equivalent. You have a choice at this point. You can persist with a question whose premise I am not willing to grant. Or you can reformulate your question in such a way that acknowledges our disagreement.

    For instance, earlier I tried to ask you one question about three different Bible verses. My question was premised upon the assumption that the verses were teaching the same thing. You were not willing to grant that premise, so you made me break the question into three separate questions so that you could address each verse individually.

    I was hoping that perhaps you might do the same for me since we are disagreeing about the premise of your question.

    Here’s my question again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Thanks,
    Denny

  70. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    Bryan,

    Maybe Noll whould have a chapter titled, ‘God as a Theological Crisis’?

    What do you think of a God who would send His chosen people into a land not their own and tell them to destroy men, women and children, leaving no survivors, and to occupy their land, and to make their positions their own?

    Could you worship and serve a God who ordered such cruel violence?

    Joshua 9:24 “So they answered Joshua and said, ‘Because it was certainly told your servants that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you;”

  71. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 11:50 am #

    Denny, I am not suggesting all slavery is exactly the same. I am suggesting slavery is still slavery no matter where and when it takes place since one person owns another who is their property and that property has no rights.

    You seem to be wanting to say Hebrew slavery was ok, Roman Slavery was ok, but American Slavery was not ok and was evil, when in reality it was not all that different. And in fact those aren’t all the slavery options we have. There is slavery in other parts of the world today and I assume you would want to evaluate each of them to tell us which ones are and aren’t evil.(I find this surprising since you’ve stated that you would never vote for someone who supported slavery. It sounds like it just depends on what kind of slavery they support)

    Denny I’m ready to move on but I want to make sure I understand you correctly, so please feel free to explain your self more in depth if you wish. After all you don’t want me characterizing your answers and beliefs do you?

    Thanks

  72. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    So Ben you are saying that slavery and genocide are both ok and should be normative?

    Hmm. Interesting.

  73. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    Bryan,

    Let’s move forward this way. If you want further clarification, use your questions to get that clarification from me. I’ll be waiting for your next question.

    Here’s my question for you again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Thanks,
    Denny

  74. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 12:09 pm #

    Denny why do you refuse to answer my request for clarification? I just want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly. You answered that you believe slavery is evil but when pressed on that you don’t seem so willing to say that. Maybe you don’t believe slavery is wrong. That’s the impression I’m starting to get.

    So I’ll restate what you seem to be saying. American slavery = bad, Roman slavery = good, Hebrew slaver = good, every other form of slavery = depends.

    Sorry I can’t move forward to my next questions until I know what your actual belief is on slavery and you don’t seem to want to be clear on that.

    I’m really looking forward to your answer.

    Thanks.

  75. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 12:09 pm #

    Bryan,

    You have a smooth way of never giving a direct answer and then of putting words into others mouths.

    Why do you feel compelled to do so?

    Could you worship and serve a God who ordered such cruel violence? Simple question.

    Joshua 9:24 “So they answered Joshua and said, ‘Because it was certainly told your servants that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you;”

  76. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    Sorry Ben I didn’t see your answer. What was it again? Slavery and genocide are good and normative?

  77. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    Bryan,

    You asked: “Do you think that is fine for Christians to have slaves in places where slavery is legal (such as other countries or during and leading up to the Civil War?)”

    Once again, my answer is no. If you want me to give a moral analysis of the various forms of slavery/indentured servanthood that have existed throughout the history of the world, then I’ll need you to tell me specifically which one you are referring to. If you want me to answer in such a way that effectively makes Hebrew indentured servanthood to be the moral equivalent of American chattel slavery, you need to know that I am unwilling to grant that premise.

    Here’s my question for you again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  78. Paul November 2, 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    Benjamin,

    Bryan isn’t answering, so I’ll jump in here as the other token liberal and say…

    yes.

    It wasn’t the first time that God did something that seemed unjust on the surface.

    Let’s face it, putting the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden is in and of itself cruel. After all, I don’t put stuff that I don’t want the dog getting into where the dog can get to it. Same thing. Eventually, it was going to happen, and an all knowing God knew it.

    Nobody mentions the flood in such terms, but wiping out all of mankind save for one family and a bunch of animals doesn’t seem too kind either, does it?

    But, we’re never told that God is a nice guy who wants to sit next to us on the couch and watch the football game. We’re told to fear Him. The wages of disobeying His commands is death. Not being sent into a corner or grounded, but rather, death.

    Now, does this play into the current discussion? Maybe. But here’s my question to Denny on that…

    when dealing with the epistles of Paul and Peter, we’re dealing with LETTERS. How is it that the early Christians were willing to canonize letters from an Apostle to different churches in the first place? And being that we’re talking LETTERS here, could it possibly have been a situation where Paul wasn’t necessarily talking about what one must do to be a good Christian, but rather, what one must do in the culture of the time as to not arouse the suspicions of the local authorities or what not?

    And why are we so hell-bent on the idea of women preaching in the church, but not the idea of women covering their heads in church, which was also a command given by Paul? Once we ditch one, it becomes easy to ditch ’em all, and that’s a problem, isn’t it?

    And if anyone can answer this one for me, I’d be eternally grateful: has anyone ever seen a woman give a decent sermon? I’ve seen a few female pastors in my day at various mennonite churches, and one downright offensive one at an episcopalian church, and none of them gave sermons that seemed rooted in the Bible at all.

  79. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    Bryan,

    I didn’t give an answer because I asked the question of YOU.

    My question once again is as follows.

    AGAIN- for the third time!

    Could you worship and serve a God who ordered such cruel violence?
    Simple question.

    Joshua 9:24 “So they answered Joshua and said, ‘Because it was certainly told your servants that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you;”

  80. mlm November 2, 2007 at 12:32 pm #

    Denny:

    You don’t have to answer this because it appears you have your hands full with Bryan L. But I don’t quite see the point your trying to make with the question: “Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?”

    I read all the comments leading up to that question and how you “guided” Bryan along to that point…but I don’t see where your hangup is.

    Consider that a Christian husband and wife work for the same secular corporation where the wife’s job is in managment and the husband’s is an “underling” if you will. This happens all the time in the world and no one seems to have a fit about it. If a person understands submission and authority, it’s not hard to understand title and role. In that work environment, the wife tells everyone what to do, not just her husband, but everyone, all men included, because she is the boss. Big deal. When she goes home, does she keep being the boss? Keep telling her husband what to do? No. But neither does she go home with all the other employees and all the other male employees in particular and tell them what to do! Likewise, when the wife goes home, she is submissive to HER husband. She’s not submissive to all men in general.

    So why it it so difficult to imagine this scenario within the church? Where a female pastor manages the church, of which her husband is a member, AND where that same female pastor goes home to be a submissive wife to her husband.

    I don’t get the problem of either/or that you seem to have.

  81. mlm November 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    More questions for Denny–and “yes” or “no” answers are just FINE by me 🙂
    **
    1. Have you ever worked for a female boss?

    2. Have you ever had to answer directly to a woman for anything (other than your mom)? I.e. school, work, military, etc.

    3. Have you ever attended a church with a female pastor?

    4. Have you ever worked at a church with a female pastor?

    5. Do you know any man who likes being told what to do?

    6. Then, if possible, can you please answer questions 1-4 again, but replace all references to “women” with a “black man.”

    I’m just trying to gain a frame of reference on your history so I can better understand all the shaping forces of your theological stand.

  82. Yvette November 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Paul,

    Menlo Park Presbyterian Church has a couple of women who preach. Both women are good and available for free download at mppc.org. This is the church where John Ortberg serves. They have a preaching/teaching team. Look for sermons by Nancy Ortberg and Kim Englemann. I’d be curious to know if you check these out and what you think.

    Billy Graham’s daughter is great, but it is hard to find her sermons for free. Her name is Ann Graham Lotz.

    Grace and peace,
    Yvette

  83. Yvette November 2, 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    Paul…another thing…Menlo Park does a great job of making the sermons available to watch online or read the transcripts for most sermons. They also have a podcast and are pretty timely in putting up the most recent sermons. Hope this helps.

  84. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh I’m sorry Ben I didn’t realize you were controlling this “discussion” and the one who was allowed to ask all the questions. Please forgive me.

    It’s funny but I gave you some “simple questions” that seem to have gone unanswered as well. Am I too assume you don’t have any answer for them? Do you think I don’t have an answer?

    I’m sorry Ben but I’m not your slave who you can just control and lead along however you wish, who will jump at every question you ask. If you want a discussion then you need to give a little and show me that you are actually interested in having a discussion or else I’m going to just assume that you are only interested in taking the path that Denny has with our “discussion”.

  85. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 1:16 pm #

    Denny you are still not willing to clarify your position. It seem simple enough. I’ll restate what I’m assuming you are saying:

    American slavery = bad
    Roman slavery = good
    Hebrew slavery = good
    Every other form of slavery = depends.

    Notice I don’t have you giving one answer in there but in fact show what your response seems to be to the question of different systems of slavery. You view on Roman and Hebrew slavery is important for me to continue on and I’m sorry but I’m not willing to move forward until we establish it.

    Thanks

  86. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 1:19 pm #

    Bryan,

    I wish you would reconsider. You stopped answering my questions right at the point where the inconsistencies of your position were becoming apparent.

    Are you sure that you don’t want to answer my question? Here’s my question for you again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  87. Paul November 2, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    Bryan,

    I bet if you answer Denny’s question that the conversation will move forward.

    Both y’all are so focused on one little hang up that Denny’s not answering any of the other fairly interesting questions here, nor is he answering yours.

    And while others have answered for you, I guess Denny’s awaiting YOUR answer. So, please, give it to him already.

  88. mlm November 2, 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    I don’t think I bought tickets to this gun show.

  89. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 1:59 pm #

    The problem Denny is that you want me to answer in yes and no answers so that you can lead me along and box me in but you want to qualify your answers and tell me how it’s not so simple when the inconsistencies start peeking through from your views. And then you want to act like I’m the one who is holding this up when I can’t even get a straight answer out of you. And then you want to criticize me for characterizing your answers when I’m trying to understand what you are saying since it appears inconsistent.

    I’m just playing according to the rules you set up and the way you wanted to have this discussion. Look back at your responses to me and see if this is not the case. It was your choice to proceed through this discussion this way (and to continue proceeding this way) and now you don’t seem to happy that it’s going along like it is.

    I’m sorry but I can’t be sure that if I answer your question that I’ll get anything else from you since you haven’t shown a willingness yet to answer whether I have accurately described your view. Here it is again:

    American slavery = bad
    Roman slavery = good
    Hebrew slavery = good
    Every other form of slavery = depends.

    Yes or no or feel free to modify it.

    Thanks

  90. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Bryan,

    No. You have not accurately described my view.

    Here’s my question for you again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  91. Paul November 2, 2007 at 2:05 pm #

    Denny,

    why don’t you move onto (slightly) more productive ground and answer my questions from above?

    I honestly would love to see you take on it. especially because no one here would know the original intent of the passages better than you would.

  92. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    Then explain it Denny if it’s not accurate.
    Is it instead –

    American slavery = bad
    Roman slavery = bad
    Hebrew slavery = good
    Every other form of slavery = bad

    Feel free to modify. As I said my next question depends on making sure I know what your view is. I don’t want to assume anymore.

    If you expect black and white answers from me it only seems right that you are willing to provide them as well.

    Thanks

  93. Ken November 2, 2007 at 2:13 pm #

    Honestly, people. Why don’t the rest of us just step back and let Bryan and Denny continue the conversation without kibbutzing or interrupting? Speaking as someone who has tried to engage in these types of exchanges it’s very annoying to have to deal with side commentators and to do so frequently detracts from the main conversation.

  94. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    Bryan,

    I am willing to move forward with the question and answer format. If you would like more information about my views, you’ll have to use your questions to do so. As it stands now, I have answered your “yes” or “no” question with a “no.”

    I am ready to move forward with the next round of questions. I will be ready to respond to you again after you have answered my question. Here it is again: Do you think that female pastors must obey Paul’s and Peter’s commands to submit to their husband’s leadership?

    Denny

  95. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Bryan,

    OK. Your not willing to man up and answer a simple question, fine.

    I understand, it may have compromised your discussion with Denny.

    Thanks to Paul who demonstrated male fortitude in answering the question in place of Bryan.

  96. Paul November 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm #

    “Speaking as someone who has tried to engage in these types of exchanges it’s very annoying to have to deal with side commentators and to do so frequently detracts from the main conversation.”

    What conversation?

    I can sum it all up in one post:

    Denny: original post
    Bryan: I don’t like your post. Here’s a question
    Denny: here’s a question for you
    Bryan: I won’t answer your question until you answer mine
    Denny: oh yeah? Well, I won’t answer your question until you answer MINE!
    Bryan: question about slavery
    Denny: question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Bryan: question about slavery
    Denny: question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Bryan: question about slavery
    Denny: question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Bryan: question about slavery
    Denny: question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    mlm: incredibly incisive thought
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Paul: absolutely brilliant question about the culture in which scripture was written
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission
    Bryan: question about slavery
    Denny: question about submission
    Bryan: same question about slavery
    Denny: same question about submission

    and that about gets us current.

    interjection might actually get us somewhere. Leaving these two to their own devices ain’t doin’ so hot.

  97. Ken November 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm #

    Paul (violating my own exhortation): I beg to differ, unless you’re volunteering to act as referee. Otherwise potshots from the sides ain’t helping.

  98. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    That’s a pretty accurate description Paul. I wish it wasn’t that way but that is how Denny has chosen to have this “discussion”.

    Ben,
    Great move. Try to get me to answer your question by questioning my masculinity. That’s adult. How is it now that I’m not willing to man up but your are? Thanks for proving me right in my hesitance to engage in an actual “discussion” with you.

    I love the double standards.

    Denny, does the last comment win? Is that how this is going to play out. I’m not sure because it’s your rules we’re playing with.

  99. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 2:32 pm #

    Paul,

    Where was the question about God destroying inhabitants of Canan?

    I’m hurt.

  100. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 2:33 pm #

    Bryan,

    If either one of us is trying to “win,” then there’s probably not much that is profitable that can come from this conversation. I don’t want to win. I want to know what God’s word teaches, and I want to obey it.

    Thanks for reading the blog and for being interested enough to comment.

    Denny

  101. Paul November 2, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    sorry Benjamin. my apologies. If it wouldn’t take so long to retype the whole thing, I’d add it in there.

    Denny, you say this: “I want to know what God’s word teaches, and I want to obey it.”

    I say, “me too!”

    so answer my question while you’re here.

    Thanks.

  102. Trish November 2, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    Ok, maybe I missed something, but I just went back to the top and looked through the comment thread and the first question between Bryan and Denny comes at comment 18 with Denny asking Bryan a question. Bryan’s response comes at #29, after he has an exchange with mlm, and his response is to ask Denny not one question but multiple questions in a comment that makes accusations and statements.

  103. Trish November 2, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

    oops – hit submit before I was done, sorry. I was just trying to point out that the questions and answers got off track with Bryan and not Denny.

    Trish

  104. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    Denny my description of winning was in terms of how you decided to frame this discussion which appears to be more of a chess game for you (you move I move, back and forth until we get in a stale mate or a check mate.)

    If you read my early responses (which were long and detailed) it is clear that I was interested in actually discussing the issues where as you only wanted yes or no, black or white answer, tit for tat.

    Obviously that’s not my style (If you doubt that just look at any discussion or debate I’ve been in here in the past) but I decided to go along with it anyway but apparently you didn’t care for how that turned out.

    So if this means you’re out then so be it. Thanks for…whatever we call this. It was interesting

    BTW I’m still wondering what your position is on slavery (like Romans slavery and Hebrew Slavery and other types of slavery in the world today) but I guess we will never know.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  105. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    Paul,

    You asked a ton of questions in #78. You wrote:

    When dealing with the epistles of Paul and Peter, we’re dealing with LETTERS. How is it that the early Christians were willing to canonize letters from an Apostle to different churches in the first place? And being that we’re talking LETTERS here, could it possibly have been a situation where Paul wasn’t necessarily talking about what one must do to be a good Christian, but rather, what one must do in the culture of the time as to not arouse the suspicions of the local authorities or what not?

    And why are we so hell-bent on the idea of women preaching in the church, but not the idea of women covering their heads in church, which was also a command given by Paul? Once we ditch one, it becomes easy to ditch ‘em all, and that’s a problem, isn’t it?

    And if anyone can answer this one for me, I’d be eternally grateful: has anyone ever seen a woman give a decent sermon? I’ve seen a few female pastors in my day at various mennonite churches, and one downright offensive one at an episcopalian church, and none of them gave sermons that seemed rooted in the Bible at all.

    I’ve spent so much time interacting with Bryan today and yesterday that I simply cannot answer all of these queries. But I will attempt to write a little bit if you can focus in on one topic/question at a time. I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be difficult. I just can’t respond to everything.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  106. Benjamin A. November 2, 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Bryan,

    It became apparent many posts back that you were not interested in a “discussion”. I ask one simple question that could have bearing or shed some insight into the conversation, and rather than engaging the simple question, you instead twist the question into something non-profitable.
    You could have said, ‘Don’t want to answer now- I’m busy with Denny’, or something like that.
    Nevertheless, if my masculine comments offend you, please forgive me.

  107. Paul November 2, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    Denny,

    sorry. I didn’t realize that I asked so many questions in that post.

    the big one is…

    “When dealing with the epistles of Paul and Peter, we’re dealing with LETTERS. How is it that the early Christians were willing to canonize letters from an Apostle to different churches in the first place? And being that we’re talking LETTERS here, could it possibly have been a situation where Paul wasn’t necessarily talking about what one must do to be a good Christian, but rather, what one must do in the culture of the time as to not arouse the suspicions of the local authorities or what not?”

    I’ve heard this used many, many, many times, and it does make sense, at least on the surface. Like I said, you, better than anyone else here, would know if cultural taboos came into play here and how much impact they could have on Paul’s letters.

    Thanks!

  108. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 3:24 pm #

    Actually Ben your question would have had no bearing on Denny and my discussion (is that correct grammar?). I think you’re giving yourself too much credit. I wasn’t worried about showing my hand or anything like that. It’s just the way you approached it (which didn’t help by questioning my masculinity). You were posed with an equally simple question that you have yet to answer. Again if your are actually interested in a discussion I’m going have to see a bit more from you since it seems like you want to have the same type of “discussion” that Denny did and we saw where that got us.

  109. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for the “discussion” commentary Trish, but I think your numbers are a bit off. you might want to go back through and read through some of it again.
    But I’m curious of why when Denny is trying to clarify my position it’s not considered getting off track but when I try to clarify Denny’s position it is getting off track?
    Weird.

  110. Denny Burk November 2, 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    Paul,

    I think the answer to this question might illuminate the rest: How is it that the early Christians were willing to canonize letters from an Apostle to different churches in the first place?

    The reason that “other people’s mail” was considered authoritative was because it’s the letter of an apostle. From the very beginning, the early Christians recognized that the Apostles spoke authoritatively on behalf of Christ.

    Jesus said that this would be the case. In John 16:13, Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” Thus the early church believed that Christ had led His apostles into all truth through the Holy Spirit. Thus their testimony was authoritative over all the churches. That is why Paul would say that when he speaks, he speaks as one who is “trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 7:25).

    I should also add that there is evidence that Paul intended for his letters to be read by other congregations. For instance, even though Colossians is address to the “saints” in Colossae (Col 1:2), Paul gives the following directions at the end of the book: “And when this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea” (Col 4:16). This text is fascinating because the book of Colossians is occasional; it addresses some very specific false teachings that were threatening the Colossian church. Nevertheless, even though the address is to the Colossians, Paul wants his letter read to another church in another city. In other words, Paul viewed his words as normative over all the churches.

    Another notable example would be Philemon. The letter to Philemon deals with a very specific situation between a slave owner (Philemon) and his runaway slave (Onesimus). the whole letter is an exhortation to Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to receive him as a brother. Even though the letter is occasioned by the situation of Philemon, Paul nevertheless assumes that the letter will be read to the whole church (see Philemon 2). Once again, Paul’s words have authority weight over the whole church, even though the matter at hand does not really concern them.

    Anyway, that’s why these letters are binding. They are written by apostles or someone put forth by an apostle, and the church is built upon the foundation of their authoritative witness (Ephesians 2:20).

    Thanks,
    Denny

  111. Steve November 2, 2007 at 5:35 pm #

    May I congratulate you Denny on your grace and patience among a people who seem to have Attention Defecit Disorder. I am not talking about ADD in an educational definition, but rather as defining motives.
    It appears that the goal here is to “engage the professor and win!” And thus to prove to all mankind one’s intrinsic worth and value!
    Dear friends, you need to go back to square 1, and learn “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”
    🙂

    I for one, Denny, found your post to be helpful and balanced biblically. But these guys will just howl me down as ignorant and chauvinistic, unworthy of an opinion, much less one that should be published.
    Steve

  112. jeff miller November 2, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    Paul,

    Here is what I think:

    Not everything an apostle wrote was counted among the prophetic scriptures. They did not have that kind of authority. The authoritative nature of the letters we have was contingent upon their subordination and alignment with the teaching of Christ in the Gospels. All the epistles in our canon measure up. Their message is not compromised by changes in culture. To understand those letters correctly takes work in the areas of translation and hermeneutic.

    Subordination and alignment with Christ and his teachings are the mark of the Spirit and this reminds me of the discussion in comments 52 and 54 which I would like take up at some time.

    Jeff

  113. Trish November 2, 2007 at 5:49 pm #

    Bryan – I went back through it and came up with the same #’s. Can you show me the one I am missing where you were the first one to ask Denny a question that he avoided by asking you a question?

    Here’s what I found:
    #2 from you – comments only
    #3 from Denny – comments only
    #5 from you – comments/accusations only
    #12 from you – addressed to Jon
    #13 from you – addressed to Ben
    #16 from you – addressed to Benjamin
    #18 from Denny – addressed to you, asking a question
    #19 from you – addressed to MLM
    #22 from you – addressed to MLM
    #29 from you – addressed to Denny with questions, statements and accusations

    Trish

  114. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 7:32 pm #

    Steve grow up. Nobody here wants to “engage the professor and win”. This is bigger than Denny or I or anyone else on this blog. Get some perspective.

  115. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

    Trish try the 60’s. I asked Denny whether it was ok for Christians to have slaves in places where it is legal. He said no but only in terms of American slavery, but I wasn’t asking about just American slavery. He then tried to sum up my position and to get me to agree to it and move on to his next question.

    Well before I went any further I wanted Denny to clarify his position since he didn’t really address it.

    So I began pressing him for clarification (as he had done with me before) on whether he really did believe slavery was evil but he didn’t want to answer that. We went back and forth for a bit (Denny began to try to differentiate between different types of slavery) and based on what he was saying about slavery I tried to piece it together and sum up his position (as he had done with me) to see if I was understanding him correctly (since he accused me of characterizing his answers when I tried to apply his answers to real world situations believing he really did believe those verses were normative.)

    He never wanted to agree with my summary of his position or clarify where I was mistaken so I never knew where he really stood concerning my question of whether it was ok for Christians to have slaves in places where it is legal. Thus we ended by not being able to move forward.

    Hope that helps.

  116. Bryan L November 2, 2007 at 8:02 pm #

    Jeff,
    You said, “To understand those letters correctly takes work in the areas of translation and hermeneutic.”

    I agree. if you ever decide to take up the issue like you said you wanted to let me know. I would love to be a part of the conversation.

    Thanks again for pressing me earlier on my views.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  117. Suzanne November 3, 2007 at 1:10 am #

    I suppose it really rots Hutchins socks that Catherine Booth, a preacher and evangelist, spoke to Parliament in the 1880’s in order to get the age of consent for young girls raised from 12 to 16, to protect them from sex with men who were violating them.

    Oh no, it is better to have the young girl violated, as long as women are kept in subordination. That is what really honours God.

    Who are men to judge that this women was not obeying God. How dare he?

  118. Suzanne November 3, 2007 at 1:11 am #

    A straight run of vitriol against women this week. Charming.

  119. Benjamin A. November 3, 2007 at 11:29 am #

    Bryan,

    Your post:
    “Actually Ben your question would have had no bearing on Denny and my discussion (is that correct grammar?). I think you’re giving yourself too much credit.”

    Actually you have just given yourself too much credit. To assume you know every angle of a ‘discussion’ is very arrogant. Of course I’m not saying you’re arrogant though, just that assuming to know more than you actually know does come across as arrogant. I’m sure that’s not your intent.

    Your post:
    “I wasn’t worried about showing my hand or anything like that.”

    It sure came across that way to me.

    Your post:
    “It’s just the way you approached it (which didn’t help by questioning my masculinity).”

    I’ve just re-read the posts and looked at how I approached asking you the question.
    My question came at post #70. My previous interaction was post #35, which was totally different from #70. Please re-read #70 and tell me why or how the “approach” I took was offensive. It’s just a simple question. That’s all.
    Then in post #72, you twist my question into something of a statement/question, which clearly was intended to cast me into a negative position. Thus your ending comment “Hmm. Interesting.”
    In #75 I restate the question; in #78 Paul answered the question himself; in #79 I restate the same question for a third time. In #95 I acknowledged your unwillingness to answer and thanked Paul for ‘manning up’; in #106 I apologized for the masculinity comment.
    Those are the facts. In re-reading that brief history, it seems clear to me that your ‘approach’ was less than honorable.

    Your post:
    “You were posed with an equally simple question that you have yet to answer.”

    From post #72 this is how you followed up on my question in #70.

    “So Ben you are saying that slavery and genocide are both ok and should be normative?

    Hmm. Interesting. ”

    Let me answer this for you here.
    NO!
    I was not saying any such thing. Please re-read post #70 and that becomes self evident.

    Your post:
    “Again if your are actually interested in a discussion I’m going have to see a bit more from you since it seems like you want to have the same type of “discussion” that Denny did and we saw where that got us.”

    Ok Bryan, I’ll try to give you ‘a bit more’ so that you will feel safe having an open ‘discussion’ in the future. I feel horrible that my ‘approach’ made you feel so reluctant.

    P.S. If you will re-look at #35, I’m still interested in your thoughts on that.

    Thanks-

  120. Yvette November 3, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    Now I’m very confused.

    Where is this thing?

    Are we waiting for Denny to clearly answer his question on slavery so BryanL can answer the question on submission?

    (Trish? Paul? Number sequences? Just kidding.)

  121. Bryan L November 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    Ben,

    Thanks Ben for taking a positive step towards having a real conversation. Please forgive me for being weary about getting into the same type of ‘discussion’ I was having with Denny. It’s not my style as it feels more like a debate or a chess game than actual conversation. My ‘approach’ was not how I usually discuss things on blogs. Again if you doubt that just go back and look. I was only responding in a way that I felt I was being approached. I get cautious about answering questions that are put forth in a yes and no type of way. They remind me of the old “Do you still beat your wife?” types of questions. They are framed in such a way as to trap people. Anyway hopefully we are past all of that.

    The ordering of something like genocide by God is very troubling, but at the same time I do worship that God. It’s not my place to sit in judgment on him for deciding to wipe out a people he considered wicked beyond redemption. He also wiped out almost all of mankind in a flood (if you take that literally and to apply to the whole world) and he also brought judgment on his own people for wickedness and disobedience and a lot of people died there too.

    So I hope that clears up how I feel about that.

    As far as #35 lets see where this goes first before going back to that. I didn’t intentionally dodge that but got sidetracked and didn’t have an opportunity to go back to it.

    Thanks

  122. Suzanne November 3, 2007 at 12:43 pm #

    Catherine Booth, a preacher and evangelist, spoke to Parliament in the 1880’s in order to get the age of consent for young girls raised from 12 to 16, to protect them from sex with men who were violating them.

    Is it better to have the young girl violated, as long as women are kept in subordination. Who are men to judge that this women was not obeying God.

  123. Steve November 3, 2007 at 3:43 pm #

    Bryan, you are bright, but you are not as knowledgeable on these issues as you think you are, and your arrogance demonstrates pretty clearly to me, that you are just out to get a name for yourself. You haven’t actually dealt with the text itself, nor with Denny’s arguments about the text.
    1. You have an inability to just focus on the text, which is the problem to your arguments. By bringing into play extraneous arguments at inappropriate times you display aqn inability to concentrate on the main theme of the post.
    2. You actually display the very nature portrayed in Denny’s original post!! You portray an attitude of blasting away at every perceived fundementalist argument with an arrogance that displays a lack of discernment.

    If I was pro women’s ordination I would say you were that group’s greatest liability!
    Thank you for proving the point of Denny’s Post!

    🙂

    Steve

  124. Yvette November 3, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    Steve,

    You said to BryanL “your arrogance demonstrates pretty clearly to me, that you are just out to get a name for yourself.”

    Seems pretty judgmental and like an unproductive personal attack.

    How do you know BryanL is just out to get a name for himself?

  125. Bryan L November 3, 2007 at 4:17 pm #

    Steve who are you? Have you ever been in a conversation here? I don’t remember you at all. Maybe you can point to a conversation you’ve contributed to because you seem to know a lot about me but I have never heard of you.

    Anybody else here know Steve? Anyone?

    As it is it seems like you are just trying to make a name for yourself by bringing me down yet you choose to do so by insulting me and taking pot shots at me instead of actually having a discussion or conversation with me. Good job. You should be proud of yourself. That takes courage.

  126. Jon November 3, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    Bryan L:

    Your less-than-complementary remarks seem to be the ones that savor so strongly of immaturity, here. Since you are such the insightful fellow, you should realize that Denny answered your question. What are we left to assume, other than that you would rather not answer Denny’s question to you for fear of exposure of the inconsistencies in your interpretive system? Too bad, it was getting so good.

    Don’t mistake me. I’m not trying to badger you into answering Denny’s questions. I’m simply in anguish over the fact that you didn’t. Oh, well.

    Denny:

    Thanks once again. How do you do that so well? Must be the ol’ 90% persperation, 10% inspiration equation.

    Thanks,
    Jon

  127. Suzanne November 3, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    The classic example for examining the difference in hermeneutic of egalitarians and complementarians is the treatment of the creation account.

    Complementarians believe there was the submission of women before the fall. This is based on a series of assumptions, all of which egalitarians believe are interpretations.

    For example, the argument that Adam’s naming of Eve meant that he had dominion over her is regarded as one interpretation. Egalitarians believe that naming someone is a recognition of their nature, as Hagar named God in Gen.16. So it is a difference in interpretation, but not a different view of scripture.

    Another example would be that God named the human race Adam. Egalitarians believe that Adam means “human” since in Numbers 31 Adam is the word used to describe a group of only women. So, egalitarians do not believe that the name Adam means man as in male. There is no priority of maleness, but simply that the first human was male and as such experienced aloneness in a way that woman did not. He experienced his need for a mate and then experienced togetherness.

    Adam himself, as progenitor of all humans, named Eve mother of all humans. Adam did not rule the human race but was the father of the human race as Eve was the mother.

    So egalitarians see Adam as the first human through whom we experience solidarity with other humans, male and female, of all races, but we do not understand a hierarchy of rulership of man over woman, before the fall.

    Egalitarians are deeply concerned with scripture and how it has been interpreted over the centuries. We reread Luther to understand how he deals with the concept of authority as a principle, and we are deeply aware that authority over others has been given to Christians in only one chpater of the Bible, 1 Cor. 7, husband over wife’s body and wife over husband’s body.

    I am not aware of any other giving of authority of one Christian over another in the scriptures, although Paul said he had authority to build up but not to tear down.

    Egalitarians believe that Eph. 5:21 is intended in the reciprocal sense, that Christians should yield each one to the other , each should defer to one another.

    Egalitarians carefully read the whole of scriptures to understand the hesed or kindness nature of covenant.

  128. Bryan L November 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    Jon,

    I’m sorry you feel my remarks are immature. You may be right. Truthfully I’ve been responding in the same manner that I feel I’ve been addressed. And you’re right it is immature and it feels wrong doing it. That’s not my style and just because others use rhetoric that doesn’t make it ok for me to respond the same way.

    As far as Denny answering my question I’m sorry but I didn’t feel he did. Obviously you disagree so maybe you can point me to the post where he stated how he felt about slavery (like Roman slavery or Hebrew slavery or any other type of slavery in the world) other than American slavery which I wasn’t that interested in since it was obvious before our conversation that he thought American slavery was bad. Either way the conversation is over and I’m not really interested in jumping back in one like that so it won’t make much of a difference now, so please don’t get hung up on this.

    Just for kicks since this isn’t going anywhere and the conversation is done my answer was pretty much what MLM said in #80. I think she insightfully identified the issue and why there would be no problem and pretty much summed up what I thought, except I would have been a bit more egalitarian in the home relationship than she was, stressing mutual submission.

    Maybe there are some inconsistencies in my views. I won’t deny that. I’m not perfect and I’m young and still working through all this, and have a long way to go and my views will continue to change beyond this. But I would be shocked to find someone who doesn’t have a few inconsistencies in their theology. If not then I feel sorry for them. I think it would suck to have it all figured out.

    Anyway, have a good one.

    Thanks

  129. Suzanne November 3, 2007 at 9:12 pm #

    It is true that I hadn’t bothered to read the intervening thread. At one point I thought it was all over, but not so.

    There does not seem to be much room made for those who believe in mutual and reciprocal relations basedon 1 Cor. 7. The female pastor goes home to a reciparocal relationship because that is how Christians are taught to related to each other. You may comment on my blog any time you like Denny. We don’t believe in moderating comments.

  130. Steve November 4, 2007 at 12:02 am #

    Bryan, because someone doesn’t blow their own trumpet all the time and prefers to limit their words, doesn’t mean that the person hasn’t read the blog for a long period of time, and read yours too incidently.
    Proverbs 10:19 When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.
    … and his keyboard :).
    Steve

  131. Denny Burk November 4, 2007 at 12:05 am #

    Well, thanks for the spirited discussion on this thread. It has given me much to think and pray about. Maybe this would be a good time to bring this one to an end.

    I’ll be examining my own heart about the way I diologue with others on this blog. The most important thing is to write and debate in such a way that exalts Christ. I guess we could all pray for each other on that one.

    Blessings,
    Denny

  132. Carlito November 4, 2007 at 8:27 am #

    That’s a good word, Denny.

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