Tommy Nelson on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

On Sunday, Pastor Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church kicked-off a three part series on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The issue has become somewhat of a hot-button in the Dallas area as a result of a high-profile Bible church that recently embraced egalitarianism (read about it here). Pastor Nelson did a great job of confronting the error of egalitarianism and of setting forth a biblical overview of the complementarian position. If you are interested, you can listen to the sermon below.

[audio:http://dbcmedia.org/podcasts/1307-061508.mp3]

The sermon had four main points:

1. Facts – In this section of the sermon, Pastor Nelson did an overview of the Old and New Testaments showing that male headship is taught throughout the canon of scripture. He argued that the biblical “facts” are clear on this point and that nearly 2,000 years of church history confirm male headship as the correct interpretation of the relevant biblical texts.

2. Dignity – In this section, he argues that the dignity of women is also taught throughout the canon of scripture. Women are equal with men in “creation” and in “redemption.” Women are created in the “image of God” just as men are, and women are “co-heirs of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

3. Theology – Pastor Nelson focuses on two texts in this section: 1 Timothy 2:12-15 and 1 Corinthians 11:3. He argues that male headship is grounded in the “order of creation” (1 Timothy 2:13) and in the Trinity (1 Corinthians 11:3). In his comments on 1 Timothy 2:13, Pastor Nelson explains in his inimitable way why the “order of creation” is important: “If God had created Adam and Even at the same time, then it would have been a jump-ball. But he didn’t. He created the man first.”

4. Problem – Pastor Nelson notes that a generation ago the only “Christians” embracing egalitarianism were the liberals and the Pentecostals. He warns that the egalitarian error is now gaining ground among evangelicals and that “trajectory hermeneutics” is in large part to blame. Citing Wayne Grudem’s book, Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible. He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

Like I said, this sermon is part one of a three-part series. Dr. Bruce Ware will deliver part two next week, and Dr. Russell Moore will deliver part three in two weeks. Stay tuned.

228 Responses to Tommy Nelson on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

  1. AJ June 17, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    I heard a sermon where the controversy over the role of women in ministry was compared to the events that transpired in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2, God’s generosity is emphasized as much as his prohibition. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” In Genesis 3, Satan deviously turns the focus away from God’s generosity and exaggerates God’s prohibition. “And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The result is that the woman is drawn into the conversation and is eventually deceived by the serpent in violation God’s prohibition along with her husband. The preacher drew an analogy to the modern controversy over the role of women in ministry. God is generous in the ministries that He has made available to women in the church. There is one prohibition, i.e. eldership. The question is, whether radical feminists, or for that matter over zealous complementarians are playing into the devil’s hands by turning the attention away from God’s generosity to an over emphasis of God’s prohibition? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. In other words, why is it that we have events such as this one at Denton Bible Church but we hardly ever hear of a sermon series with several experts who celebrate the various venues of ministry that are indeed open to women?

  2. Quixote June 17, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    Wow.

    Cancer?

    Satan?

  3. jb June 17, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    A number of evangelicals are hoping to bring out version 2.0 of Scripture where women are elders, homosexuality is fine and patriarchy is relegated to the rock-pile of history.

    Me, I’m sticking with Scripture Version 1.0.
    Haven’t got the official memo that we’ve gone to version 2.0. and the apostle Paul is “ancient history” so to speak.

    I have a problem with thinking that God would actually need to correct version 1.0. Seems less than God like to me.

  4. Adam Omelianchuk June 17, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    After all of Tommy Nelson’s arguments from primogeniture rights, tribal origins, and “the maleness of God” it is impossible to see how on earth women are equal with men in any significant way. Since maleness is an eternal attribute of God it stands to reason that men are made in the image of God MORE than women. You can assert all you want that this is not the case, but you have absolutely no logic to underpin it. Let be known that his position does not honor any kind of equality; women are inferior to men plain and simple. And THAT is the so-called “historic” view of the church.

  5. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 17, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    jb,

    Maybe some would suggest that Pastor Nelson’s interpretation with regard to these issues is not Scripture Version 1.0 but is Scripture Version 0.5 or Scripture Version 1.0 beta (all the bugs have not been worked out yet in certain areas).

    Also the inclusion of “homosexuality is fine” as a corollary of those who beg to differ from pure complementarians is a bit histrionic. There is such a thing as nuanced interpretations which do not go down that path.

  6. MatthewS June 17, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Something I believe is important in such a biblical-historical survey is to make clear that there have been errors, too. Some church leaders in history said things that can easily make women feel inferior. A number of heroes in the Bible treated their wives in ways that we would consider unacceptable today. It seems to me that a fair historical survey should take the historical anti-examples into account as well.

  7. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 17, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    [Disclaimer: The following comment is not directed toward anyone in particular. I do not personally know Bro. Nelson or Denny Burk or the upcoming speakers for this series of sermons. It is merely a speculation offered for the stirring of the pot of this discussion.]

    Much interpretive conclusions about biblical matters are received by most Christians through the preaching and teaching of pastors. Before the individuals have the skills and knowledge to work with the biblical text on their own, they absorb the teachings of others, and these teachings, these conclusions, become ingrained, presupposed and “obvious” conclusions about certain issues. Subsequent approach to an issue does not question this foundation. Those conclusions are psychologically and emotionally embedded into the vision of the Bible readers. They see what they have been told. This is true for both complementarians and egalitarians.

    When someone raises a question about these “foundational” conclusions, one can react in several ways. One can ignore the question. One can insult the questioner and ascribe nefarious motivations to them. One can abandon the previously held conclusions because one is trending toward rebellion anyway. One can firmly hold on to these “conclusions” and ascribe to them the character of God’s revelation itself. And/or one can consider that maybe, just maybe, the issue could be approached again. One could ask whether the persons who are teaching what one has assumed truly paid attention to all the details and implications of the conclusions drawn. One could see himself or herself in the place of reading the Scriptures with concentrated focus rather than merely hearing the echoes of the teachings of the teacher. One may discover that the teacher is confirmed. One may discover the teacher is flat wrong on this issue. One may conclude the teacher was correct in some areas and naive in others and sloppy in yet others and arrogant in yet still others.

    Re-examining an issue is not a mark of liberalism, it is a mark of being a good Berean. The biggest problems in Evangelicalism are laziness and arrogance.

    Liberals are too lazy to question the “assured” results of modern and postmodern secularists. “We know that God is love, why would he not accept all deconstruction of the traditions?” And they are arrogant in their denunciations of all those “fundies.”

    Conservatives are too lazy to question the “assured” conclusions of the traditions. “We know what God has said, why would anyone re-question it?” And they are arrogant in their denunciations of all those “liberals.”

    Are these the only options? Can one hold to “inerrancy” and question whether pure complementarianism actually conveys the biblical teachings on this issue?

    I consider myself an “inerrantist” and have changed my position from a pure complementarian to a “complegalatarian.” And this comes from specific questioning of the traditional exegesis of passages such as 1 Tim. 2:8-15 in concert with other biblical passages. I think that this passage has been sloppily translated and sloppily exposited and this has led to sloppy conclusions about “women” in ministry.

    Now I will go prepare for a day of VBS and will check back later tonight. Maybe we can get this post to have as many comments as the previous post on this matter.

    Blessings and peace,

    Bro. David Rogers
    FBC Biscoe, Arkansas
    (a little farming community one hour east of Little Rock on I-40 going toward Memphis)

  8. mike June 17, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    What does “complegalatarian” look like in practice? And how would you translate and exposit 1Tim 2.8-15?

  9. mike June 17, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    BTW, it was good too see you there Dr. Burk!

  10. Ferg June 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    jb – your arrogance and accusations are not nice to read.

    David, your post was great!

  11. Scott June 17, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    I’d like to echo post #3! Wow! I can’t believe those are the words he chose. Listen, I understand that this is a serious issue, and I understand it’s an issue many, if not most, evangelicals hold dearly. However, to call egalitarianism a cancer and a tool of Satan is nothing more than misguided rhetorical propaganda. These kinds of statements scare me. It’s interesting how conservative scholars and pastors throw out the “liberal” catch phrase. If you want to prove a point or make a stand on an issue, blame the liberals. If you don’t have enough evidence to stand on, berate the “liberal” position. I think it’s lazy and poor scholarship. The church deserves better.

  12. Darius June 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    “Also the inclusion of “homosexuality is fine” as a corollary of those who beg to differ from pure complementarians is a bit histrionic. There is such a thing as nuanced interpretations which do not go down that path.”

    David, could you provide examples of this in church history? I mean, are there any denominations that, after going the route of egalitarianism, paused for long before they also began accepting homosexuals into the ministry?

  13. MatthewS June 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Darius,

    The question was not to me but I appreciate the irenec tone of it.

    I am wondering if the Quakers are an example? I believe they were egalitarian from centuries back. Even if they currently allow gay clergy, and I don’t know that they do, then it would represent a pause of at least a century or more, I would think. I could be wrong but that is the first example that came to my mind.

  14. Darius June 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    I admit that it is dangerous to condemn a view on the basis of a slippery slope or guilt by association argument, but at the same time, if one judges the theological fruit of most egalitarian denominations, it has not been very pretty. That doesn’t make egalitarianism wrong (just as Stalin’s government doesn’t in and of itself make communism wrong), but it does make one pause.

  15. Sue June 17, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    As someone who had to leave a complementarian church, I thing we should just put down the mud. The Quakers were the main force behind the abolition of slavery. How shall we live? Think of those who were slaves, think of them knowing that their own freedom from slavery is put on the table. Do we not want freedom for slaves if it means struggling with other things that we don’t like.

    Where is the pity?

    I am surprised to find that the main verses quoted are 1 Cor. 11:3 and 1 Tim. 2:12.

    One could preach against justification by faith on the basis of James 2:24,

    You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

    I hope that there was a careful discussion of the fact that authentein in 1 Tim. 2:12 was considered for 15 centuries of church history to be a synonym of mashal in Gen. 3:16. Should a man rule a woman harshly, no, and a woman rule a man harshly, no. Chrysostom, forgive me for boring you, gave instructions for a man to never authentein his wife.

    If anyone has found even one example of authentein referring to church leadership, I would be ever so grateful to see it.

    The same with kephale, about which Chrysostom wrote that it means perfect unity and “like feelings” and Cyril wrote that it means “kinship.”

    Why has evidence been misrepresented for these words? The Philodemus fragment does not exist and all evidence for “have authority” has disappeared. Philadelphus, the major evidence for kephale, puts the king Philadelphus as “head over” Ptolemy I Soter, his father, and founder of the Ptolomaic dynasty. I think not. Back to the drawing table. Can the case be proved without this non-existant evidence?

  16. Sue June 17, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    He argued that the biblical “facts” are clear on this point and that nearly 2,000 years of church history confirm male headship as the correct interpretation of the relevant biblical texts.

    If 2,000 years of correct interpretation was presented then I hope that the preaching was from the Greek and Latin Bibles. Was Gen. 3:16 presented as,

    “To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee.”

    This is the text that the church fathers preached from. Women were subordinated as a consequence of sin.

    Do you remember last year, on Tim Challies site, that he found that all the women he discussed subordination with, would have preferred that subordination of women was a consequence of the fall, rather than built into creation. This is a harsh teaching.

  17. jb June 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    Ferg said, “jb – your arrogance and accusations are not nice to read.”

    I guess I could take my keyboard and go home Ferg. Wouldya be happier?

    Despite your unhappiness, I still hold with Version 1.0. After all, we’re talking about GOD who appears to be awesomely perfect never having to go back and make corrections.

    I’m so retro I still think “words have meaning.”

  18. Sue June 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    jb,

    I’m so retro I still think “words have meaning.”

    I am with you on this.

  19. Truth Unites... and Divides June 18, 2008 at 12:51 am #

    Sue: “Do you remember last year, on Tim Challies site, that he found that all the women he discussed subordination with, would have preferred that subordination of women was a consequence of the fall, rather than built into creation. This is a harsh teaching.”

    I would prefer a “harsh” truth which I actually think is loving than a “loving” lie which I actually think is hateful.

    FWIW, Scripture shows that role distinction was God’s design at creation.

  20. Sue June 18, 2008 at 2:01 am #

    TUAD,

    If women are designed to function under male headship (if defined as leadership or command), how do they function so well without it. Every single woman missionary, mother abbess, widow, single mother, and wife of a disabled husband functions as provider. Women function in the workplace as leaders. Why has God created the function of leadership and provision in women if he has created women distinct from the male in this aspect, and supposedly can function only under the leadership and provision of a male? What is this created characteristic, this elusive trait of non-leadership, which sometimes is, and sometimes is not, the created character of woman?

    Do you, TUAD, consider it a lie that a woman can provide for her family? But if she can provide, then how can we prove that by God’s design woman cannot provide?

    And if woman was created to participate in the provision of the family needs, then consider how harsh it is to only function as one who cannot provide.

    FWIW, many women did provide, women such as Lydia, Chloe, and Nympha. The woman in Proverbs 31 strengthened her manly arms and provided for her family. Ruth also was called manly, and Clement writes of the many manly deeds accomplished by women. Were these women functioning against their God-given design, or according to it?

  21. D.J. Williams June 18, 2008 at 7:27 am #

    Sue,

    It’s quite a fallacy to say that since women can do something that they should do it. I’m enjoying reading the discussion so far, but to argue against designed male headship by saying that women “function so well without it” really hurts your credibility. Homosexuals would tell you that their relationships function just fine – does that mean that they are OK?

  22. Scott June 18, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    Sue,

    I totally agree with you, but I’m afraid you’re fighting an uphill battle over here. The very fact that a respected pastor of a large congregation can call egalitarianism a cancerous tool of Satan and then be lauded for it – well, I think that tells you all you need to know. There’s no amount of lexical work, trajectory hermeneutics (apparently also a tool of Satan), or careful reading of the socio-cultural context that can sway some people. It’s all about proof-texting, and very shabby proof-texting at that. But, apparently that’s what an unbelieving world needs. Why defend Christology to the world when you can put the woman of your house in her place, right?

  23. Darius June 18, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    The very fact that so many professing Christians can actually believe it wrong to laud someone for a Biblical view… well, I think that tells you all you need to know about the state of the church today and how far liberalism has perverted it.

  24. Darius June 18, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    On a side note… Paul, if you’re reading this, this is a prime example of how theological liberalism and political liberalism are kissing cousins or two sides to the same coin: look at how most commenters consistently take the liberal position on both theology and politics… in other words, you’re a rare exception, Paul.

  25. Sue June 18, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    DJ

    It’s quite a fallacy to say that since women can do something that they should do it.

    It is no fallacy to say that if women can do something, then they were created with that function. If women can provide for a family, then they were created with the design of family providership. There is no cancer in that.

    Men are fathers and women are mothers. But there is no shame and cancer in the widow providing in every way for her family. Therefore women were created with the worthy function family leadership. They have this. Is there a moral law that says that a woman should not provide> There is no physical limitation. A woman can do this.

    Why argue that a woman is a follower by design, if she is not.

  26. Adam Omelianchuk June 18, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    Sue is correct. The idea that women were “designed” to be subordinate and men to be in authority belies the notion of equality in being. Hierarchy follows from the woman’s being; it is NOT merely a structure built upon divine decree. Tommy Nelson illustrated this complementarian fallacy well by trying to say on one hand authority and submission are intrinsic to the design of male and female, and saying on the other that authority and submission are merely roles God ordained by divine decree. All the proof-texting does is set up an incoherent system that is indefensible.

    I’ve written about his extensively at http://equalitypress.wordpress.com/ and have never seen a good response to it.

  27. Barry June 18, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    FWIW, DJ is right. Ability does not demand oughtness.

    Sue, you are clearly quite smart, so how can you say

    “It is no fallacy to say that if women can do something, then they were created with that function”?

    In that regard, since women can kill and maim, (i.e. “do something”), then “they they were created with that function” to kill and maim. This sounds like a preposterous example, but it serves to show how wrong your “if/then” statement is.

    Another example that shows the danger in your reasoning: Two men have the ability to perform homosexual acts. According to your reasoning, since they are able to do this, then “they were created with that function.” Let none of us be so naive to think that if this line of reasoning is accepted on this issue that the same line of reasoning won’t be used to support aberrant sexual behavior or whatever else.

    Fact is, we all have limits. Ability does not in any way demand oughtness, and such a line of reasoning is a dangerous slippery slope.

    Finally, just because a widow or a single mom can provide doesn’t mean that she should My wife and I work with such women in our church, and not one of them delights in taking on the provider’s role, and all pray that their situation were different.

    Barry

  28. Darius June 18, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Barry beat me to it. Sue, your reasoning is nonsensical. As Barry said, you are indeed smart, but this appears to be a case of spiritual blindness. I was created with the function to have sex with women, but that does NOT mean that I can use that function to rape them.

    I want to get back to a statement you made earlier, and to which Barry alluded in his comment… “If women are designed to function under male headship (if defined as leadership or command), how do they function so well without it. Every single woman missionary, mother abbess, widow, single mother, and wife of a disabled husband functions as provider.”

    Single mothers are functioning well? In what world?

  29. D.J. Williams June 18, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    Well put, Barry.

  30. mike June 18, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    If I had no experience in the scriptures and I was a complete athiest, I would still side with complimentarians. Why? Because every complimentarian upholds their view as biblical, they sometimes differ on how it should look like or work in modern times but they all say it’s biblical.
    However not every egalitarian views their position as biblical. In fact many egalitarians will assume the position that their view is NOT scriptural but that scritpure is wrong and must be updated, then others within the group will argue that it is scritpural and attempt nuanced interpretations. They do however, generally agree on what this should look like in practice.
    Even the opponents of Christianity see men as dominant in scripture, sometimes they are kind and give it a view like that of a compimentarian, other times they turn it into a polemical argument saying that scripture promotes the domination and subjectation of women.
    It seems that the bulk of the readers of the Bible (on either side of the compli/egalit debate, and the Atheistic/Theistic debate) can agree that complimentarianism is the most biblical view even if they disagree with it. That is complelling evidence for me even outside of the scripture.

  31. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 18, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    I’m sorry mike, but no, I do not see pure complementarianism as expressed here as “the most biblical view.”

    Pure complementarians can “claim” that their view is biblical, just as some egalitarians can “claim” their view as biblical, and there are indeed some that firmly and rigorously attempt to demonstrate this from the scriptures.

    The issue here is whether people are willing to start the lexical, grammatical, syntactical, genre-analytical, situational, canonical, theological, historical, ecclesiastical, liturgical, ministerial re-examinations of the issues involved.

    Sue has made numerous attempts in her comments to make lexical and historical arguments. I do not notice much equivalent response to her on these particular points.

    In the previous posting on this issue from several days ago, I tried to get responses from pure complementarians regarding the implications of their conclusions about the pure complementarian position on the issue being based in a “Creation ordinance” and to whom exactly “headship” applies.

    Some people seem to be commenting only from the position of their conclusion and claiming it to be obviously “biblical” rather than proceeding from re-examination of the data that supposedly is the foundation of their conclusion.

    In comment # 8 I was asked for a translation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15, so here it is.

    Therefore I wish the husbands to pray in every place raising holy hands without wrath and arguments. Likewise [also] [I wish] wives to adorn themselves with proper clothing with modesty and moderation, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive garments, but through good works [to adorn themselves with] what is fitting for a wife professing reverence-for-God. Let a wife learn with a quiet-demeanor with all submission. But for a wife to teach, I am not permitting, neither to domineer a husband but to have a quiet-demeanor. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but when the wife was deceived she came to be in transgression. But she will be saved through the childbearing, if they abide in faith and love and sensibleness.

    (By the way, I am aware of the arguments against the translation of “aner” and “gune” as “husband” and “wife”, but I do have a defense of my choice. It will take some time to show it here, and my schedule is tight this week due to VBS and an upcoming presentation I’m preparing for in July in Kansas City.)

    Blessings and Peace,

    David

  32. quixote June 18, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    I’d like to read a female scholar’s defense of complimentarianism. Are there any? So far, all I’ve heard are old(er) white men bullying the pulpit. Which leads me to think it’s just a matter of keeping women in their place…under men.

    To use words like cancer and Satan’s ploy in reference to a woman’s place in the church is IMO not helpful at best and reprehensible at worst, especially since there are so many other battles to fight. His choice of words is something I can’t seem to wrap my brain around. Can someone please defend Pastor Nelson’s choice of words?

  33. MatthewS June 18, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    About Scripture 1.0:

    Give a tenth of your produce to the Levites 1.0. (Deut 26:12)

    If a man is caught raping a girl he has to pay her father the dowry and can never divorce her (Deut 22:28-29)

    Greet your Christian brothers and sisters with a kiss (1 Cor 16:20)

    Would it be fair to say that anyone who does not explicitly obey these commands has rejected Scripture 1.0, is liberal, and is on the slippery slope to homosexuality?

  34. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Quixote: “I’d like to read a female scholar’s defense of complimentarianism.”

    Dr. Dorothy Patterson

    Professor Mary Kassian

  35. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

    “He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.””

    Affirm Pastor Nelson’s spiritual diagnosis and affirm his word choices and his rhetoric with which to combat the ecclesiastical disease.

  36. Sue June 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    Shall we continue.

    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

    Do you also preach that a widow shall not provide for her family? Is this a cancer? Do the children of a woman who provides call their mother cursed?

    That single mothers as a class do not do well is understood. And other classes of people have difficulties also.

    The single mothers who are my collegues, delight in their ability to provide, and that is because they can do so, they are trained professionals and this is their happiness. They are not in the church demanding aid. You cannot take the unsuccessful woman as model any more than the unsuccessful man, of whom there are a few.

    I am talking about the woman who, through no ill decision of her own, becomes the provider for her family. Her husband is absent, for any number of reasons.

    The women in the Bible who did provide and protect must be removed also as a cancer.

  37. Sue June 18, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    I forgot to simply remark that to provide is a “good” and to preach that a woman doing something makes it a cancer is wrong. She is morally responsible to do the good, just as a man is.

  38. Denny Burk June 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    To all,

    To be fair to Tommy, we should recognize what motivated the strong language that he used (i.e., “cancer” and “satan’s ploy”). I think the dangerous element that he was trying to confront is the trajectory hermeneutic that is the basis for recent egalitarian thought.

    The trajectory hermeneutic prescribed by William Webb effectively undermines the authority of the scripture because it defines an “ultimate ethic” that is outside the Bible. It argues that even some of Paul’s “ethics” revealed in the Bible fall short of God’s extra-biblical “ultimate ethic.” This kind of hermeneutic is a “cancer” because it opens the way for the Bible’s teaching to be set aside on any number of issues, not just the gender issue.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  39. Michael Metts June 18, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    “Sue has made numerous attempts in her comments to make lexical and historical arguments. I do not notice much equivalent response to her on these particular points.”

    Sue has the burden of proof.

  40. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    “Sue has made numerous attempts in her comments to make lexical and historical arguments. I do not notice much equivalent response to her on these particular points.”

    Sue, Adam O, David Rogers, Quixote, Scott, and all other egalitarians, just goto cbmw.org if you want to read lexical and historical arguments in overwhelming support of complementarianism and overwhelmingly against egalitarianism.

    Incidentally, Machen once said something like: “I cannot conceive of preaching truth without also preaching against error.”

    And isn’t this also demonstrated repeatedly in Scripture as well? Truth is proclaimed AND error is refuted.

    Therefore, Pastor Nelson is eminently and objectively correct for affirming the truth of complementarianism and denouncing the error of egalitarianism.

  41. Sue June 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Sue, Adam O, David Rogers, Quixote, Scott, and all other egalitarians, just goto cbmw.org if you want to read lexical and historical arguments in overwhelming support of complementarianism and overwhelmingly against egalitarianism.

    I have corresponded regularly with the CBMW site administrators, they have corrected some items, withdrawn some, and asked me to review other pages.

    Ultimately, when I said that the king of Egypt is nowhere in ancient literature called “the head of the nation” nor is David anywhere called the “head of the people” then CBMW stopped corresponding with me. These items remain uncorrected.

    I have been deeply disturbed by this matter since my minister used this very information from this page to correct my so called incorrect understanding of kephale. I have since had to leave that fellowship as I could not accept something which is not true as true.

    It would be a real step toward peace if CBMW indexed this information to the evidence, so such awkward disagreements did not arise between well-meaning pastors and well read members of the congregation.

    I would appeal to Denny to see that this page could be reviewed and information that is not backed up with evidence could be adjusted to reflect the evidence.

    I think more dialogue between scholars would be very helpful.

  42. Scott June 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Sue,

    Dialogue would help both sides toward negotiating a more constructive & less hostile stance on the issue. However, when one side thinks you’re not even allowed to sit at the table, then it’s an entirely mute point!

  43. Scott June 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Sue,

    Dialogue would help both sides toward negotiating a more constructive & less hostile stance on the issue. However, when one side thinks you’re not even allowed to sit at the table, then it’s an entirely mute point!

  44. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    Michael Metts said

    “Sue has the burden of proof.”

    She has attempted to provide the proof.

    But why assume that she has the burden of proof? Why don’t pure complementarians have to “prove” their assertions of lexical definitions? Is it because pure complementarians have presupposed the traditions of men?

    This is much like the Medieval Roman Catholic criticism of the Protestant Reformation. The “traditions” have already been proved as “true”, therefore any questioning of them must automatically be labelled suspicious.

    Why not instead start from square one as an exercise and listen to the argumentation that proceeds from the Scripture. That is what Sue has attempted to do.

    Respond to her points lexically.

    If you are not able to, then cite those who are able to deal with the lexical materials. If you do not have that training or research yet, then admit that argumentation from English translations is a secondary resource. The issues must be settled from primary sources.

    It is okay to hold on to a current position, but unless one has investigated the primary resources then criticism of someone who has begun the work does not carry as much persuasive weight.

    See my comment # 7.

    I am not criticizing anyone that doesn’t have the current ability or research time to interact with the primary resources in the original languages, I am only noting that primary dependence on English translations and asserting traditional interpretations because they are “traditional” is argumentation from a weaker position.

    Since Denny is a scholar, then I assume that argumentation for positions would proceed based on the first foundations of research, i.e. from primary resources to secondary resources outward. People participate in accordance to their own abilities while recognizing that the weightiest persuasion occurs in the argumentation that is based in the primary resources. Those that show awareness of comprehensiveness, cohesion, and continuity bring more weight to their assertions.

    My prayer is that I would practice such discipline and I hope that others would strive for the same.

    I perceive that some of Sue’s points are from the most foundational matters in looking at the issue: translation of certain terms that have been appealed to by pure complementarians for their positions, namely “kephale” and “authenteo”. She is asserting that they have been mis-translated and mis-exposited thus conclusions from them are not persuasive to her. I am paying attention to her claims to see if they hold up.

    Blessing and peace, I’m gone till this evening or later.

    David Rogers

  45. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Two more comments

    TUAD, I’ve read CBMW research and still find them unpersuasive at some points. They are yet to be “overwhelming”.

    As Linda Richman would say (aka Mike Myers) I’m getting verklempt, talk among yourselves, I’ll give you a topic:

    Allowing twenty-first Christian women to wear gold, pearls, fancy dresses and designed hairstyles is a small example
    of trajectory hermeneutics.

  46. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Correction: “Allowing twenty-first century Christian women to wear . . . “

  47. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    “He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

    Consider the following as support for Pastor Nelson’s diagnosis:

    “Ligon Duncan provides an excellent followup to Mark Dever’s post about complementarianism at the Together for the Gospel Blog.

    The gymnastics required to get from “I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man,” in the Bible, to “I do allow a woman to teach and to exercise authority over a man” in the actual practice of the local church, are devastating to the functional authority of the Scripture in the life of the people of God.

    By the way, this is one reason why I think we just don’t see many strongly inerrantist-egalitarians (meaning: those who hold unwaveringly to inerrancy and also to egalitarianism) in the younger generation of evangelicalism. Many if not most evangelical egalitarians today have significant qualms about inerrancy, and are embracing things like trajectory hermeneutics, etc. to justify their positions. Inerrancy or egalitarianism, one or the other, eventually wins out.

    I recently had a discussion about this very connection. It isn’t ironic at all that problems with inerrancy and egalitarianism go hand in hand. It’ll be very interesting to see if egalitarian churches in America go the way of the Church of Scotland. The following is from a Q&A with Ligon Duncan:

    Q: Wayne Grudem has said that feminism is the entry point into the church for wholesale liberalism. Is he right?

    A: That is so far beyond being an intriguing theory that it is to the point of being an incontrovertible fact. You can chart every denomination that has placed women in leadership in the last 120 years and you can chart their numerical decline in the western world and their theological decline. When our evangelical egalitarian friends whine that we are using an illegitimate slippery slope argument, this is not some sort of wild-haired spin theory that we are coming up with. It is a fact.

    Just go look at the denominational statistics, look at the denominational histories of the last 120 years and you cannot find an exception to this trend. In the Church of Scotland in 1960 when they began hammering for women elders-the argument was “we don’t have enough elders in our churches, this will revitalize our churches to get women elders”-the Church of Scotland is on chart to cease to exist in 2034. Somewhere between 1964 and 1968 was when they brought in women elders and women ministers were not far following that. I can show you that trend everywhere this issue has been compromised. So as far as I am concerned, Wayne is irrefutably correct on that particular point.”

    P.S. However, I would observe that the Assemblies of God and Willow Creek have experienced numerical growth despite having women pastors.

  48. Darius June 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    David, regarding women and gold, pearls, etc.: One has to acknowledge the spirit of this injunction against jewelry, not necessarily the letter of the law. The spirt of the text (especially when compared with other Scripture) was that women should not be showy in their outward appearance, not that a woman couldn’t wear any gold. At the time of the NT, wearing gold jewelry or having designed hair was a rarity and a sign of wealth and class. What the author (and God) wanted was an inward beauty combined with outward plainness. I do believe that the church has fallen short of even the spirit of that text, as many Christian women get wrapped up in the fashion culture of today and worry about outward appearances. The church has done a poor job of combating this problem.

  49. quixote June 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    TUAD,

    I am not an egalitarian. I am just looking for answers. And yours seem so arrogant and chauvanist, that I’m inclined to think you’re simply sexist and reading Scripture through your personal lens.

  50. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    David (not Adrian’s son) Rogers: TUAD, I’ve read CBMW research and still find them unpersuasive at some points. They are yet to be “overwhelming”.

    I understand David. You must’ve been reading Denny Burk’s stuff over at CBMW.

    Oh well.

    Big 😉

  51. quixote June 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    TUAD #48,

    One reason for the decline in members may be because many men don’t like to be told what to do ESPECIALLY by a woman. (The retort, “You’re not my mother!” comes to mind.)

    So, as women are placed in leadership, the male membership jumps ship…to avoid having to hear a woman tell them what to do each week at service (albeit she’s just telling them what the Bible says to do).

  52. Benjamin A June 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    David Rogers,

    I’m guessing you pastor a church? If so, when was the last time you had a woman fill the pulpit for you? All your lengthy dialogue means little if you don’t practice what you preach.
    If you’re not a pastor, does your church welcome women preachers?

    Sue,

    Seeing that DTS is not egalitarian, do you find it difficult to teach that position at the seminary?

  53. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Quixote: “So, as women are placed in leadership, the male membership jumps ship…to avoid having to hear a woman tell them what to do each week at service (albeit she’s just telling them what the Bible says to do).

    LOL! The irony of this remark is just hysterical: “She [a woman pastor in church service] is just telling them what the Bible says to do.”

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    A woman pastor’s blatant hypocrisy undercuts and undermines her own integrity when she is telling men what the Bible says to do… because she herself is clearly disobeying God’s Word!

  54. Sue June 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    Regarding authenteo and kephale, the lexical evidecne that is often quoted is somewhat defective. So, on a lexical basis, one cannot argue that authenteo means “to have authority” because there is no lexical evidence prior to or in the first century AD to support this.

    Likewise, one cannot argue from lexical evidence that kephale means “to have authority over” in the epsistles, because there is no occurrence of kephale, preceding Paul’s epistles, in which kephale means “to have authority over one’s own people.”

    Therefore, the appropriate thing to do is leave the translation of these words to exegesis, with the understanding that there is more than one possible way to interpret the passages. That way, both complementarians and egalitarians would openly admit that there position is based on one possible interpretation of the scriptures.

  55. Sue June 18, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    The thing is, TUAD, authenteo was translated for 1500 years as “dominari” the exact same as mashal or rule over in Gen. 3:16.

  56. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    Professor Wayne Grudem does his usual outstanding job in explaining The Meaning of Kephale (Head).

    Professor Andreas Kostenberger provides a convincing and utterly persuasive rebuttal in his paper: “Teaching and
    Usurping Authority:
    I Timothy 2:11-15” (Ch 12)
    by Linda L. Belleville .

  57. Sue June 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Tuad,

    If you can find lexical evidence for authenteo as “to have authority” before the epistle, or for kephale as “an authority over one’s own people,” could you cite that. These examples have escaped my notice.

  58. Benjamin A June 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    In 1 Tim. 2:12 there are two issues.
    1. Teaching… over a man.
    2. Exercise Authority (authenteo)… over a man.

    Paul says “… teaching OR authenteo…”.
    Two separate things all together. Some seem to want to make the two into one; to make them equivalents so as to blur the meaning of the entire text over one word (authenteo).
    The word for teaching is not in dispute. So clearly, Paul doesn’t want a woman to teach… over a man (undisputable meaning) in the “church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15). “I do not allow a woman to teach or [authenteo] over a man, but to remain quiet.”
    The word authenteo is the only disputable word here. And whatever it actually does mean in this context, Paul clearly didn’t want a woman doing that over a man either.
    So it’s not difficult to defend Paul’s prohibition of women teaching men from 1 Tim. 2:12 regardless of one’s interpretation of authenteo.

  59. Sue June 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Curiously, most complementarians let a woman teach, just not teach “with authority.” If a woman could not teach a man, she could not teach English lit and humanities, cooking or anything else. Therefore, the phrase “teaching authority” has been crafted, and not by egalitarians.

    It is the complementarians who have suggested that the two can be melded, as in “Go and teach the gospel” means to go “with the goal of teaching the gospel.”

    But, this is a step by step procedure. Can the exegesis be started over with the omission of “to have authority.” It should be “to teach or dominate.”

    I simply took “to have authority” from other comments in this thread.

    My immediate concern is that the conclusions of the various studies be brought in line with the evidence. That is of the first order.

  60. Sue June 18, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    I’m curious about the reference to DTS.

  61. MatthewS June 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Darius #49,

    I agree with you about the spirit of the text. But if I did not, I could accuse you of ignoring the plain meaning. I could say: The gymnastics required to get from “Do not wear gold” to “it is OK to wear gold” are devastating to the authosrity of God’s Word. Every denomination that allows gays first allowed jewelry. You believe that you can divine a higher ethic than what was plainly stated in the text…
    [end fake quote]

    Is it not a form of trajectory to move from “don’t wear gold” to “wear gold but don’t show off?”

  62. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Matthew S. has made my point that an all out rejection of all “trajectory hermeneutics” is going to run into problems in dealing with those portions of Scripture that some say are culturally conditioned in their outer form. One must become more concise in differentiating “trajectory hermeneutics” from a hermeneutic that deals with these so-called culturally and situationally conditioned injunctions.

    Now regard to Benjamin A (Comment # 53)

    Yes, I am a pastor. At this congregation for seven and a half years. And I also believe in leadership which does not “lord it over” the congregation but instead brings them alongside the Scriptures and submission to the Scriptures through careful exposition. They in past years have assumed that women could have little instruction opportunities with men. Rather than imposing my view instantaneously through pastoral fiat, I have instead taken them through years of exposition noting what I believe the Scriptures to teach and attempting to explain why I arrive at positions that may be contrary to what they have assumed.

    So far, here is what has happened. I invite women to lead in prayers, read Scripture, lead music, share devotionally (which I still cannot biblically differentiate from “teaching”). I encourage them to share with the congregation when the Lord places something on their heart and so far, they have done it in decency and order.
    I have had missionary women speak from behind the pulpit or from the floor (which I consider the same thing) and instruct us on missions. They have read Scripture and told us how it has impacted them and their ministry (and I cannot see how that does not meet a biblical definition of teaching). I have gone on mission trips where the missionary wife has intructed three pastors and one director of missions on how to do cross-cultural missions and sharing Scripture with us for motivation and instruction in the mission work (and I do not see how that is not teaching).
    I have not deliberately called a woman to fill the pulpit in my absence; I don’t currently know any in my area. I don’t know what this congregation would do, however, later this year we may have a ladies conference and one of the speakers may have opportunity to share in the main services. I don’t know whether the congregation is ready or not for a full blown non-missionary woman preaching. I’ll have to wait and see.

    And I will again assert, I have arrived at my position on Spirit-gifted women being able to instruct men because I am an inerrantist. I genuinely believe that to interpret 1 Tim. 2:8-15 as teaching an absolute at all times prohibition of all women teaching all men at any time logically creates contradiction in Scripture, and thus I have been led to discover a way to interpret that text in a way that will resolve the contradiction. I have come to way to resolve it, but I am still studying the issue and thus am still reading opposing viewpoints. They have so far been unpersuasive in dissuading me. (And I have read Grudem and Kostenberger and Schreiner and Baldwin, etc.)

    I’m not sure if I should read Dorothy Patterson since she is a women 😉

  63. Darius June 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    MatthewS, it’s no major gymnastics, just basic hermeneutics that leads one to see the spirit of the law in the text. This is part of why Jesus came, to get at the spirit behind the laws and show the hypocritical Jews that the letter of the law means nothing without the heart change.

    Let’s look at 1 Peter 3:3, which I think was what David was referring to (though he badly misrepresents it, which is surprising for a pastor). “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” The obvious point here was not the particulars, but that one should not get their value or their beauty from outward appearances. At the time Peter was writing these words, gold and braided hair were the “fad.” Nowadays, I would say that diamonds and colored hair would be the equivalent “vices” of fashion. However, notice that Peter didn’t say that you can’t braid your hair or wear gold (which is where David misrepresents this text so badly) but that one should not do so with the motive that it brings attention to her or makes her prideful of her outward looks.

  64. Sue June 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    David (nas) Rogers,

    Your comment has been a real encouragement to me. For me, I was in a congregation which allowed women the freedoms you describe, but the head pastor was male. Women participated for years in leading in an informal way and on occasion women stood in the pulpit. Later I realized that although there were women in the congregation who taught in seminary and preached elsewhere, they no longer spoke in our church.

    Finally I asked the minister. It soon became clear that the egalitarian atmosphere was due to the much loved former pastor, under whose leadership the church had grown.

    The current minister quoted several studied such as the authenteo study by Baldwin and the Kephale study by Grudem as the basis for his belief. Naturally I read these studies as was actually astonished. I wrote to CBMW thinking that they would be glad to dialogue over these misunderstandings. But there were not.

    These are a few of the items I expressed concern about.

    1. Grudem: “But we have never been able to find any text in ancient Greek literature where hypotassō (passive) refers to a person or persons being “subject to” another person, and where the idea of submission to that person’s authority is absent.”

    1 Clement 38.1:

    So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject (ὑποτασσέσθω) to his neighbor, to the degree determined by his spiritual gift,

    2 Macc 13.23,

    [King Antiochus Eupator] got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded (ὑπετάγη) and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and showed generosity to the holy place.

    2. Grudem: “Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.'”

    BGU 1208 (first century B.C.): I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Catalytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour.

    This is the ONLY example of authenteo preceding the epistle. Baldwin classified the meaning under “compel.”

    3. Grudem – “I once looked up over 2,300 examples of the word “head” (kephal¯e) in ancient Greek. In these texts the word kephal¯e is applied to many people in authority, but to none without governing authority:

    o the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation”

    I am only supplying Grudem’s premiere example, not the lesser ones. You would think that this example at least would show a person in authority over the persons over whom he was the kephale.

    Here is the quote about the king of Egypt,

    the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings. Moses 2:30

    The father of Philadelphus was Ptolemy 1 Soter, the founder of the dynasty. He was not under Philadelphus authority, although Philadelphus was the kephale, the most illustrious of the herd. Nowhere is Philadelphus called the “head of the nation.” Nowhere!

    4. Grudem: “I could add a note here on the Greek word aner: Greek scholars for hundreds of years have known that aner means “man” not “person.” Recently, with no new evidence, but under cultural pressure, some have discovered a new meaning, “person.”

    … in which a member of our community–
    be he of the male or female sex, young or old,– may become a good citizen (aner), possessed of the excellence of soul which belongs to man (anthropos).
    Plato’s Laws 6. 770d.

    Since I was asked to believe in Grudem I had to leave that church.

  65. Truth Unites... and Divides June 19, 2008 at 12:35 am #

    [Pastor Nelson] said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

    There is merit to Pastor Nelson’s arguments. Feminist Professor Naomi Goldenberg argues in her 1979 book, Changing of the Gods, that if women succeeded in changing the Christian tradition with regard to the roles of men and women, this major departure would radically alter Christianity by virtue of a complete revision of God. Her contention is that if and when feminists change the understanding of the roles women, Christianity will “be shaken at its roots.” She says that in time, “sizable numbers of women ministers will graduate from Protestant seminaries and will take charge of parishes throughout the Western world. Liberal Catholics will eventually win their fight to have women ordained as priests” and that “there will be the recognition of large numbers of women as spiritual leaders.” “Yet” she says, “very few of the women and men now working for sexual equality within Christianity and Judaism realize the extent of their heresy.” But in her estimation, the truth remains that “The feminist movement in Western culture is engaged in the slow execution of Christ and Yahweh.”

    However, I do appreciate the honesty and candor of religious feminist professor Naomi Goldenberg, if not her intent.

  66. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 19, 2008 at 12:54 am #

    Darius,

    Actually, I was thinking of 1 Tim. 2:9, since I translated it above in comment # 32.

    New American Standard:

    “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,”

    Note the “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments”

    I agree with you that Paul’s intention is about the spirit behind the literal injunction. I am just saying that taking that interpretation is of a sub-species of “trajectory hermeneutics.”

    If you reject all “trajectory hermeneutics” then you should take a direct application of all literal commands, thus absolutely forbidding the wearing of gold, pearls, and costly garments at all times in all places.

    Maybe “trajectory hermeneutics” needs some more investigation for weeding out cultural and situational conditionings of literal statements.

    Oh, and don’t be surprised that a pastor may “misrepresent” passages of Scripture. They do it many times, including myself. (I hope I will be teachable and will become aware of it.) I just don’t see how I’ve done it here 🙂

  67. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 19, 2008 at 1:06 am #

    Sue,

    I’m glad that you are encouraged.

    I am encouraged by all who examine the primary sources. We need more scholarship with regard to all biblical matters, and you have provided much food for thought. My hope and prayer is that those who read the comments here will see the need to investigate the primary source foundations for the interpretations that the scholars advocate.

    Even the most esteemed scholar misses the boat sometimes. One can trot out one scholar and then I can trot out another with another perspective. I try to examine as many as I can and then examine the materials myself and then come to some kind of conclusion. (being dogmatic where the results are more definitely sure and being tentative where there is some flexibility in conclusion, admitting where things are merely plausible or likely more probable).

  68. Sue June 19, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    Here is one of my posts on authentein.

    I think maybe it requires a good knowledge of Greek to understand these arguments. I don’t know. I learned Greek quite young.

  69. Darius June 19, 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Thanks for the clarification, David. My bad. You did not misrepresent that passage very badly at all. But my point still remains that the spirit is more important than the particulars.

  70. MatthewS June 19, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    Darius,

    I agree with you that the spirit is more important than the particulars. With the braided hair and gold, you are contextualizing the message and I agree with you. In your treatment of the braided hair and wearing gold, you are looking beyond the exact words to the intended effect in that day on that audience. Also, you seem to believe that there is a heart issue, not just outward rules.

    The irony of this is that essentially the same arguments that complementarians use against egals can be used against you here. I could say that you are doing a dance around the “plain meaning” of the text because you are liberal and are undercutting the authority of God’s word.

    As David said, this does represent some form of trajectory. You are moving from the intended effect in that day to intended effect in this day. The correct application of these Timothy and Peter passages will look outwardly different in the Amazon than in London or Denver or Chicago or Moscow. The correct application might look different in Chicago in 1900 than in 2000. But there is a heart issue involved and there is a correct application.

    The folks at Irving Bible Church claim that they are doing their best to apply the heart of various other passages in their situation. They, too, believe that the spirit is more important than the particulars. Most of us do.

    I could be wrong, but here is what I think: it is intellectually dishonest to throw grenades at Irving Bible Church for “trajectory hermeneutics” and pretend that we don’t do any form of trajectory ourselves.

  71. Adam Omelianchuk June 19, 2008 at 8:21 am #

    William Webb does not deny the moral authority of the New Testament. He does not posit a “better ethic” from outside the Bible (rooted in culture) to make his case. Rather he finds it within the teachings of the Bible, observes movement towards it within the cannon of the Bible, and argues that we should move with it.

    On the issue of biblical authority Webb agrees that the NT is the final and definitive revelation that speaks to every practical issue. The finality of the revelation in the NT is not in dispute; rather, the real issue he is how one RELATES the NT as “final revelation” with a REALIZATION of its social ethics. Thus, for Webb, the so-called “better ethic” is found WITHIN Scripture (not from without), yet is not fully realized. Slavery is a paradigm example of this dilemma, and he argues that the within the canon we see a “movement” towards the ideal ethic of liberation between the Testaments.

    Interestingly enough, the hermeneutic he uses has some merit who hold to traditional gender roles. They see how it functions in the slavery texts, but would not apply it to the women texts. If Webb would have left the women issue alone, I’m sure he would have been left alone.

  72. Darius June 19, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    Matthew, I don’t see it as trajectory hermeneutics or theological liberalism to understand the spirit of the law is more important than the cultural particulars. But let’s look at the gender roles as laid out in the NT and consider the spirit of those rules. What I take from them is that the spirit and the particulars are not easily divided, as the spirit is that women are to respect and be lovingly subordinate to men, while the particulars are in regards to how that spirit applies to church leadership. How does one apply that same spirit to today’s church without getting pretty similar particulars as existed in the early church?

  73. Sue June 19, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    And what about the law of Christ, that we love each other as ourselves. For a husband to treat his wife as a subordinate is not commiserate with the spirit of that law.

    We cannot escape the tension. The NT teaches reciprocal relations between fellow believers. But if marriage is a hierarchical relationship, then “brotherly love,” that is the love between those who love as equals, is not demonstrated in marriage. Who is to bear witness to philadelphia, if a marriage cannot.

  74. Darius June 19, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    The Bible does not tell husbands to treat their wives as subordinates, but to serve them as Christ did the Church. It’s wholly different to stand up for right theology and teaching and possible to do so without lording it over one’s wife in private.

  75. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Sue,
    In 1 Tim. 2:12 there are two issues.
    1. Teaching… over a man.
    2. (authenteo)… over a man. You seem to feel that authenteo should be translated “dominate”.

    So, in the church of the living God (1 Tim 3:15) and it’s important to keep this in context, for you seem to imply that comps. Want to extend this prohibition to every sphere of life. You should know that’s not true. This prohibition applies to the church gathered.

    Paul is prohibiting women from doing two things over a man. They are not to teach over a man in the gathered church context. They are not to dominate over men in the gathered church context.

    It’s pretty clear that God’s desire is for men to lead in the gathered church context. This is why 1 Tim. 3:1-7 requires that male leadership meet some requirements. These men are called “overseer” (episkopos); which clearly indicates that they are the ones ‘exercising authority’ as the “overseer” within the ‘church of the living God’.

    Paul was so bold as to write, “I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15).

    I fail to understand how you continually allow one word (authenteo) to blur the clear meaning of these passages. Even if you are right and authenteo means ‘dominate’, it doesn’t change the clear meaning of these passages. Men are “overseers” in the church of the living God.

    Overseer (episkopos= supervisor, manager, guardian, superintendent, manager, controller, inspector, ruler: The LXX used ‘overseer’ (episkopos) as: 1)superintendents responsible for temple repair (2 Chronicles 24:12,17); 2)army officers (Numbers 31:14); 3)temple guardians (2 Kings 11:18); 4) leaders supervising the people (Nehemiah 11:9); 5) tabernacle overseers (Numbers 4:16).

    I can surmise that an overseer is one who exercises authority. And this is something spiritually qualified men (not women) are to do in the gathered church context. And for some reason, Paul felt the need (inspired need) to specifically prohibit women from teaching and dominating men in the gather church.

    This is not difficult to see… Is there room for discussion on what things women can do in the church? Yes! The current discussion (tension) is not about women teaching women; women teaching children; women leading/serving in various ministries; women earning income; women wearing braided hair and costly garments; women teaching English literature; women running for President; women missionaries sharing what God has done in their life/ministry; women leading in worship. The issue is clearly about women preaching (teaching) when the church gathers.

  76. Sue June 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Benjamin,

    Thank you for your careful response. First, authority should be based on truth. Women have equal access to truth as men. If women were to teach a different meaning for words than the men did in a church, it would cause a problem. So, the only way that this can be resolved is if there is a format for men and women to come together with equal function. That is, men should not be able to trump women in discussing the meaning of a Bible text, or vice versa. It should be open to cooperative investigation such as I would like to see.

    Second, you mention episkopos in the LXX. You might also want to look at the meaning of the prostatês. How does it compare?

    We also see the prohibition against women dominating as a corollary to the prohibition against men fighting. Clearly both men and women were out of line, and not behaving properly in church.

    In addition, it might be useful to examine the texts which directly use the word exousia (authority) and see how it is used in the Bible. Surely, the most signigicant is that the teaching of Christ was with authority because he knew the text.

  77. Quixote June 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    Does anyone on here know how Pastor Nelson deals with the Timothy verses that follow…the ones about clothing and hair and jewelry? Does he enforce those as well? Do these same leaders also enforce Paul’s strict teachings on marriage and divorce? How do they decide which verses still stand for today and which were merely cultural? I’m truly confused. Anyone?

  78. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Sue,
    Authority is not based on truth. Authority is granted. We would all hope those granted authority would also desire truthfulness. God determined that men would be ‘overseers’ in His church. Men ONLY have authority in the church because God granted it to them, not because they are more truthful.

    I will agree with you that an understanding of language (meaning of words) is open territory for all who wish to drink deeply from the fountain of various languages. Understanding the meaning of words is considered, in my opinion, an “equal opportunity” for both men and women. I agree that “men should not be able to trump women in discussing the meaning of a Bible text” simply due to maleness.

    However, there is an appropriate place in which that discussion should take place. If you disagree with your ‘male’ pastor on the meaning of a word, let’s say ‘authenteo’, standing up in the middle of his message, after he pronounces that authenteo means ‘exercise authority’, clearly would not be the appropriate place. Speaking with him afterwards, sending an e-mail or scheduling a meeting at the office would all be more appropriate.

    I don’t know of one complementarian who would say “cooperative investigation” into the meaning of words is off limit. Paul’s prohibition deals with women teaching/dominating over men in the gathered church assembly; not the proper lexical meaning of words.

  79. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    David Rogers,

    You said, “And I also believe in leadership which does not “lord it over” the congregation but instead brings them alongside the Scriptures and submission to the Scriptures through careful exposition.”

    Having 7+ years of preaching the Scriptures to your congregation, can you point me to just one sermon of yours, where you brought them alongside the scriptures through careful exposition, and instructed them carefully that women really should be allowed to preach from the pulpit Sunday mornings?

    Would that sermon be in the archives? Available on-line? I would like to hear how you did that.

  80. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Benjamin A,

    I have only recently begun recording my sermons, so the one that most dealt with that issue expositionally was not recorded. However, on Sunday evenings I usually do a verse by verse exposition and a few years ago I went through 1 Timothy. I make PowerPoint slides of each sentence of the text and I comment on them. I think I recall that I made a few special slides on the interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 and may be able to scare them up. Do you have the ability to see PowerPoint slides? I could also transfer the info to MS Word (although I consider it to be the Devil’s word processor; I prefer WordPerfect). I don’t know if you want to provide your e-mail on a public forum. Maybe we can work something out.

  81. Scott June 19, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    David,

    Seven years of deliberate and painstaking preaching doesn’t need defense (cf. post #80), let alone to one so dripping in sarcasm and condescension.

    In regards to post #79,

    I would hope that authority is rooted in truth. Otherwise, I don’t know how you can correctly determine whether or not it is granted in the first place. Benjamin, your tone is most perplexing and your argument is weak. I wouldn’t want anyone, male or female, to stand up and openly disagree with a pastor. That’s just inappropriate. You make an argument that begs for socio-cultural interpretation, i.e. reading 1 Tim. in its appropriate context. Otherwise, and not to bang our collective heads into the wall, it makes no sense to allow women leadership in some matters but not in others (within the church walls). How do you draw that line? What constitutes teaching? Seems to me that lexical discussions are very much teaching. The line seems entirely arbitrary. Let’s let women teach and explain, just not behind the pulpit, or presumably, in a sunday school class where men are sitting.

    I’ll lay my cards on the table. I think, in the end, the comp position is rooted in a rather recent tradition that lacks biblical support and belittles the God-given intelligence and capabilities of women. If you would rather have a lackadaisical and ineffective male deliver a sunday message than a well prepared women (should the situation present itself) than I think you’re missing out on what/how God communicates to the church today. It’s a matter of shutting down the clear trajectory of God’s Word (yes, I said it), and embracing a proof-texting hermeneutic that fails on a number of counts (historically, lexically, and canonically).

  82. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 19, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    I will now be off to VBS tonight but Linda Richman is getting verklempt again.

    Talk among yourselves. I’ll give you a topic.

    Is systematic theology an example of trajectory hermeneutics?

    Discuss.

  83. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Scott,

    Does your trajectory hermeneutic apply to 1 Tim. 3:1-7?? Cards on the table? If you’re right, then overseer shouldn’t be exclusively male either. In that culture… sure. But today??? No way. Talk about arbitrary… When do you turn it on and then all of a sudden turn it off??

  84. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    “…Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible. He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

    Truth and Light and Clarity are inter-related concepts.

    I deeply appreciate both Pastor Nelson and Scott in #82 speaking clearly about what they believe.

    I have utterly no problem whatsoever for an intellectually honest egalitarian to say something like this, “Complementarian theology and practice has been a deadly and historic cancer within the Church ever since inception of the NT Church. Satan’s ploy from the very beginning was to get into the Church and he was craftily effective in doing so from the onset by misleading and deceiving folks in their interpretation of the differing roles between men and women in the spheres of home and church.

    Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has seen fit to redeem this long-time historical travesty with the inception and rise of the theological doctrine of evangelical feminism or egalitarianism.

    Complementarianism is a long-time aberrant doctrine or heresy, and as such, it is the moral obligation and duty of egalitarians to uproot bad doctrine and bad practice that are plaguing Christians and churches who hold to the doctrine of complementarianism.”

    If egalitarians would be intellectually honest and have the moral integrity to clearly state their convictions (even though they’re wrong), I would respect them more.

    For a particular church this doctrinal issue is not a both/and issue. It’s either/or.

    Light. Clarity. Truth.

    P.S. Excellent posts Benjamin A. in #76 and #79.

    Your sentence “I fail to understand how you continually allow one word (authenteo) to blur the clear meaning of these passages” reminds me of the passage in Genesis whereby the serpent asks Eve, “Did God really say…?”

  85. Adam Omelianchuk June 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Authority is not based on truth.

    Yes, but truth is authoritative. Authority that is based on falsehood is hallow.

    Ben, I do have a question about your citations of 1 Tim 3:1-7: Does the “overseer” have to be married? You use the text to prove that they must be men (since men are husbands), but do you push it so far to say they must be married? If not, why? If so, would you defrock a pastor whose wife has died?

  86. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    Scott,

    You said, “I would hope that authority is rooted in truth. Otherwise, I don’t know how you can correctly determine whether or not it is granted in the first place. Benjamin, your tone is most perplexing and your argument is weak.”

    1. God’s word is truth. God’s word says men are to serve as ‘overseers’. Overseers have God granted authority. How is that a weak argument?

    2. Trying to discern one’s “tone” is much like trying to discern a proper trajectory hermeneutic interpretation; it’s all guess work. Subjective to one’s desire.

    You also said, “(within the church walls). How do you draw that line? What constitutes teaching? Seems to me that lexical discussions are very much teaching. The line seems entirely arbitrary. Let’s let women teach and explain, just not behind the pulpit, or presumably, in a sunday school class where men are sitting.”

    1. The church doesn’t have walls. It has people.

    2. As I said, the issue is one of preaching to the gathered church. A woman is not to stand before the gathered church, and exposit scripture. Now that churches have classes/Sunday school’s/etc.,; in those context, women shouldn’t exposit scripture to men. Those lines are not fuzzy.

    3. Lexical discussions as part of a sermon/teaching to the church gathered is teaching and would be prohibited. My interaction with Sue over this blog site regarding the meaning of words is not prohibited by 1 Tim. 2:12. My reading books/articles written by women is not prohibited by 1 Tim. 2:12.

  87. Benjamin A June 19, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    Adam O,

    You said, “You use the text to prove that they must be men (since men are husbands)”

    NO. I didn’t do that. In 1 Tim. 3:1 Paul says, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any MAN aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”

    I didn’t use v.2 as a text to prove overseers are men “(since men are husbands)”. Verse one clearly states that overseers are men. Then in v.2 Paul lays out some qualifications. One is that he must be a “one-woman man”. As you know, there are interpretative challenges to what constitutes a “one-woman man”. But I really don’t think that interpretative challenge is why we are here at this hour.

  88. Sue June 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Speaking with him afterwards, sending an e-mail or scheduling a meeting at the office would all be more appropriate.

    No, I don’t speak in church. I scheduled a meeting through the secretary. We ran through the TNIV situation, which is completely deplorable, the studies of authenteo, and the kephale debate. The time ran out, but clearly I was not being heard.

    It appeared to me that maleness trumped accuracy. Authority does not rest on truth. My sense is that truth is just too difficult to research. I have provided primary documents on my blog but I do not see any response to them. I have mentioned prostatês as a good study point but once again, no response.

  89. Sue June 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    Benjamin,

    You write,

    NO. I didn’t do that. In 1 Tim. 3:1 Paul says, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any MAN aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”

    In Greek this verse says,

    πιστὸς ὁ λόγος εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ

    The word which you translated as MAN, is actually τις tis meaning “anyone,” and has no gender, either semantic or grammatical. There is no reference to “man” in this verse. There is no “he” either. This is one example of why some publishers have provided gender accurate Bibles. Just so this kind of thing would not happen.

    It may not be a serious error in this verse, but I am sure that there are places where misunderstanding the use of “man” would cause a significant theological misrepresentation concerning the eternal salvation of women.

    Denny,

    I would like to appeal to you to see if you could have the censure against the TNIV removed from your website. Clearly there is a class of people who are not aware that when “man” is used in the Bible, it does not actually mean “men” but only “men” inasmuch as they represent the human race.

  90. Sue June 19, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Denny,

    Excuse my error. I meant to ask if there was any way that you could approach CBMW about having the material against the TNIV removed from the CBMW website. My sense is that the younger generation need a gender accurate Bible.

  91. a preacher's wife June 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    Sue,

    I follow your comments here avidly. Also on your BBB and Complegalitarian. I’m in a quandary. I’m married, and throughout my ministry “career,” I’ve been Youth Pastor wife, Associate Pastor wife, and now Senior Pastor wife. The first was under a male senior pastor, the second under a female senior pastor, and the third has my male husband as senior pastor. I’ve seen some sights and heard some tales. I’m still struggling with both sides of this debate…primarily how it plays out in real life.

    I’ve always had little theological problem with a wife submitting in the home to her husband (which is not to say that I haven’t struggled with the actual doing of it). But I’ve not always held the belief that women can’t be pastors. I admit these posts have confused me even more, since there seem to be varying degrees of restriction and liberty even among complementarians.

    I want to thank you for your patience and your willingness to share your knowledge. Thankfully, we’re not in a church setting so perhaps some are listening who wouldn’t otherwise. :o)

    But I would like to ask you something:

    1. Are you married?

    2. If yes, how does your decision-making process practically play out in your home? Surely, SOMEONE has to make the final call.

    3. If you’re not, did a prior marriage go awry, and did that shape your thoughts in any way. Or have you never been married? (Then I would need to look elsewhere for practical application of theories.)

    Thanks again for all your help. I hope to find answers to my confusion soon.

    (Pardon typos; it’s late.)

  92. Sue June 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    If you follow my link to the BBB then you can find my email in my profile and email me. I would be quite happy to share with you privately.

    From personal experience, I think most major decisions can normally be made jointly. Would a Christian husband really buy a house that his wife was not happy with? My sense is that sometimes – and only sometimes – the “final call” clause is something that a man wants to be able to call on when something is really important to him.

    On the other hand, most men married to financially astute women are only to happy to let them handle the money. I do not really think that joint decision-making over shared concerns is that difficult. People usually work it out.

    The real concern is that possibly the teaching that women should “be submissive” eventually undermines the ability of some women to set boundaries. They are then vulnerable to various negative outcomes.

    I also believe that the restriction on women doing only those things that are helpful to their husbands deprives the church of the gifts of some Christian women. Not me. I do not want to be a pastor. That may be because I have never allowed myself to contemplate that, but even that is unlikely. I am rather more at home in books, although I am in the daytime a special needs teacher of the hearing impaired, Down’s syndrome, etc. I fit very well the profile of biblical womanhood. 😉 But, that does not change the fact that I was trained in the Biblical languages. My great aunt, married to a Brethren preacher, was one of the first women to teach Greek at a university. She had to do that to support her husband, as he was much older than her, and unwell. I was brought up to believe that women needed an equal education and profession because they must be prepared to be providers in their turn.

  93. Michael Metts June 20, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Hello all,

    I just wanted to mention a few things in light of the recent discussion and it’s downward turn. The discussions on this topic in the previous Tommy Nelson post was much more spiritual and many readers commented just for the sake of complimenting the discussion, the manners, and doubtless, all of your expertise.

    It’s my conviction we would do better to continue in that endeavor and only argue the debate (the Complimentarian/Egalitarian debate that is) in the context of scripture. Our desires should be to discern what God’s Word tells us. This discussion is getting personal which does nothing to improve our understanding of God’s Word.

  94. a preacher's wife June 20, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Mr. Metts,

    Are you talking to me? I hope not. I wrote my comment with a heart toward understanding. It was not an easy comment to write, and to be reprimanded for it would be a shame. Yes, I want to understand God’s Word. But if God’s Word isn’t meant to be “personal,” I don’t know what is. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve spent years watching my husband struggle to make the Word understandable to those who aren’t theologians or seminary graduates…people who are just trying to honor God in their daily life. Practical and personal goes a long way in the actual DOING of God’s Word.

  95. Michael Metts June 20, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Oh no Ma’am, not you, I was addressing those who are engaged in the debate. Further, the way the opponents of Complimentarianism are portaying men is unqualified and very shallow, and this seems to be the underlying thrust of the argument too often. I applaud the expertise of the Complimentarian opponents, but this other stuff is, I feel, unfruitful.

    But Pastor’s Wife, I applaud your heartfelt comment.

  96. a preacher's wife June 20, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense now. I’m just looking for scriptural understanding that can be practically applied in my personal life. I’ll stay tuned…

  97. Michael Metts June 20, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    It always makes better sense in my head 🙂

    When I write is different…

  98. Sue June 20, 2008 at 10:45 am #

    Michael,

    I regret if I have portrayed men, in general, as unqualified and shallow. This would never be my intent. After all, the TNIV, just for example, was translated by men, for example, Dr. Waltke and Dr. Fee. I would hope to promote such a translation as something that would make clearer to the average reader when the scriptures say “men” or “human being” or nothing at all but English demands a pronoun of some kind. I was trying to be helpful. Sorry.

  99. Sue June 20, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Michael,

    I guess I am still not sure what you mean. Sorry.

  100. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 20, 2008 at 11:05 am #

    I hope the bitter fruits of secular feminism do not penetrate into “evangelical feminism” which then seek to penetrate into a biblical church. From Rebecca Walker, daughter of feminist author Alice Walker:

    “You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale. … As a little girl, I wasn’t even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery.”

    But ….

    “In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from ‘enslaving’ me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late — I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck.”

    “The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother – thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman.”

    “Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating. But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them — as I have learned to my cost. I don’t want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.”

    Read it all at How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart

  101. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 20, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    The primary issues for us to discuss here should not be secular feminism or secular patriarchy.

    It should not be primarily whether denominations which have embraced “egalitarianism” (whatever that means) have slid into “liberalism” (whatever that means).

    The primary issue is what does the Bible intend to teach. It has to do with exegesis and application and that has everything to do with hermeneutical theory. It has to do with the meaning of words, grammar, sytax, genre, socio-rhetorical understandings, theological declarations and theological implications, canonical contexts, historical applications, ministerial outworkings, liturgical practices.

    Will this discussion address these issues specifically or will it only be each side declaring its final conclusion and saying to the other side, “You’re wrong!” Will we reply to specific points raised or will we just repeat ourselves.

    If that is all we are going to do, then we have reached that status, and we should move on, nothing new here to see.

  102. Sue June 20, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Tuad,

    Thanks for sharing that. I was not aware of those extreme views. We are fighting a battle against polygamy too, but also irrelevant, I think. Nonetheless, you quote does help me understand what some people think of when they hear the term feminism.

  103. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 20, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Tuad,

    Thanks for sharing that.

    You’re welcome Sue.

  104. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    I will now attempt to explain what I meant with my comment # 102.

    I wanted to communicate that the abuses of secular feminism and secular patriarchy are not trump cards for defeating the respective arguments against biblical egalitarianism or biblical complementarianism.

    I would hope that people would not think the other side is “slam-dunked” and “defeated” and the means to do such is mere citation of examples of egregious acts of secular feminists or secular patriarchialists.

    Instead, I am suggesting that the discussion/argumentation proceed in the direction of discussion of what the Bible actually teaches and how would one arrive at a conclusion about that.

    Surely we here can all agree that there are extreme abuses of any position.

    What evidence is actually relevant for coming to a biblical conclusion? The abuses or the contextual information?

  105. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    “Wayne Grudem and John Piper have demonstrated that egalitarians are unable to support their case using biblical exegesis. Consequently, their egalitarian model must be built upon something else. In the following paper I will trace the roots of evangelical feminism to reveal its actual foundation, namely, feminist philosophy.”

    Read it all at UNCOVERING THE FOUNDATIONS OF EVANGELICAL FEMINISM/ EGALITARIANISM

  106. Scott June 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    One can also argue that faulty Cartesian epistemology is the foundation of inerrancy. Of course Grudem and Piper can “trace” back egalitarianism to feminist philosophy. My point is that you can make a lot of connections when you want to see them. What I would like to see is a response from “scholars” not named Piper or Grudem.

  107. Sue June 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Tuad,

    I have read all of Grudem’s books since I perceived that I was told “believe in Grudem” from my pastor. I have not found anything to believe in. If I read the relevant Greek document, I do not find that it contains what Grudem says it contains.

    I really don’t know what else to say. See my comment #65. Complementarians need to understand for themselves, not simply quote a name. What does the Bible really say? Was woman subordinated in creation or later? Is woman the neighbour of man?

  108. Benjamin A June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    Sue,

    From your #65 post:

    “2. Grudem: “Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.’”
    BGU 1208 (first century B.C.): I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Catalytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour.
    This is the ONLY example of authenteo preceding the epistle. Baldwin classified the meaning under “compel.”

    Are you saying the only way authenteo can [must was Grudems word] be understood here is to “domineer” or “misuse authority”?

    “I had my way with him (authenteo)” could easily be understood as “I [exercised my authority] over him and …”.

    Again Grudem said, ““Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō MUST mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.’”

    MUST being the key word.

    Am I missing something?

    Tell me again why authenteo changes the entire thrust of Paul’s instruction to Timothy from your understanding. As I have posted before,[POST #76] it doesn’t seem to change much at all with regard to Paul’s instruction to Timothy. Since 1 Timothy 3:1-7 establishes male leadership (overseers) within the church of the living God (1 Tim 3:15), I just don’t see that it matters much if authenteo is translated “domineer” or “exercise authority”.
    Either way, it’s something Paul was prohibiting women to do as the church gathered.

    What am I missing?

  109. Truth Unites... and Divides June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    Sue: “I really don’t know what else to say.

    Lay your cards on the table like both Pastor Nelson and Scott did, and honestly say something along the lines of:

    “Complementarian theology and practice has been a deadly and historic cancer within the Church ever since inception of the NT Church. Satan’s ploy from the very beginning was to get into the Church and he was craftily effective in doing so from the onset by misleading and deceiving folks in their interpretation of the differing roles between men and women in the spheres of home and church.

    Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has seen fit to redeem this long-time historical travesty with the inception and rise of the theological doctrine of evangelical feminism or egalitarianism.

    Complementarianism is a long-time aberrant doctrine or heresy, and as such, it is the moral obligation and duty of egalitarians to uproot bad doctrine and bad practice that are plaguing Christians and churches who hold to the doctrine of complementarianism.”

    If that is your position, have the courage of your convictions to honestly state it.

    “What does the Bible really say?”

    Ans. Men and women are both equal and different. Equal in value and personhood, but different in roles in marriage and church.

    “Was woman subordinated in creation or later?”

    Define subordinated. Nevertheless, role distinction was and remains God’s Divine Design pre-fall and at creation.

    “Is woman the neighbour of man?”

    Is a neighbour a helpmate?

    Scott: “What I would like to see is a response from “scholars” not named Piper or Grudem.”

    Slightly ad hominem. Focus on the arguments they present, not on who is presenting the argument.

  110. Sue June 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Is a neighbour a helpmate?

    I am not too sure what this question asks. The word for neighbour is the one who is next to you. In German there are two distinct words, nachste (next one) and nachbar (neighbour).

    This is the fundamental question. Does the notion of neighbour extend for Jew to Gentile, from master to slave and from man to woman. And if it extends to woman then what does that mean. How will men interact with this throughout history and seek to treat woman as a neighour, as a fellow human being, with like feelings.

    The reference to “like feelings” comes from Chrysostom, and refers to the feeling of being human in our nature.

    If we are to discuss “help meet” then we must ask what a “help” was and who does it refer to. It usually refers to God in his assistance to humans when humans are in distress. It is a calla for succour from a human to God, and is found throughout the Psalms with that meaning. But God also gives man this “help” meet for him, on man’s own level, a fellow human being. And cannot man treat woman as a fellow human being with like intellectual and deliberative function?

    I will have to respond to the other issues later as I would need to quote from one of Grudem’s books to do so.

    Tuad,

    I also need to find a quote to respond to your question. But I will most certainly do so. Thanks for asking such a question!

  111. Sue June 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    I was a little vague in my reference to “neighbour.” In the scriptures the “neighbour” is your “nachste” the “one who is next to you.” Yes, I think that Jesus would have said that your wife is the one who is next to you, your co-heir in Christ.

  112. Benjamin A June 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    Sue,

    Back to your evidence from post 65-

    1. Grudem: “I could add a note here on the Greek word aner: Greek scholars for hundreds of years have known that aner means “man” not “person.” Recently, with no new evidence, but under cultural pressure, some have discovered a new meaning, “person.”
    … in which a member of our community–
    be he of the male or female sex, young or old,– may become a good citizen (aner), possessed of the excellence of soul which belongs to man (anthropos). Plato’s Laws 6. 770d.
    Question: Does finding an exception to the rule automatically break the rule? Do you really not believe the statement, “Greek scholars know … aner means ‘man’ and not ‘person’ as a result of finding an example where aner was used to mean citizen? NOTE: Grudem didn’t say aner was never used to mean “citizen”; he said it doesn’t mean “person”.
    Question: Have you researched how many times aner actually does mean man? Don’t you think the weight of evidence lies in Grudem’s favor?

    Can you provide an example where aner actually does mean ‘person’ (generically)? Obviously citizens [as Plato used the word aner] are male/female, young/old.

    This citation does not disprove Grudem’s point.

    In the New Testament text, Vine’s says this: aner: is never used of the female sex; it stands (a) in distinction from a woman….

    Again, what have I missed?

  113. Scott June 20, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    TUAD,

    I appreciate your honoring my “laying it on the table.” But please understand, I never have and never will call it an evil! I lost my mother to cancer, so please understand my frustration when a rather insignificant theological dispute is compared to a devastating and life-taking disease. This is my frustration with Nelson’s comments – not so much his position as the ferocity with which he attacks it and the polemical rhetoric he employs in the process. I don’t think it should be an issue that divides, and I’m slightly annoyed when those on the other side are called on the carpet in terms that opaquely question their salvation and faithfulness. To be clear, I’m not making an evaluation of your comments specifically, but the general tone and demeanor of those who ultimately deplore egalitarianism. I fail to see how egal is such the evil and danger it’s made out to be. And, I DO NOT think comp is bad. I think it can be fruitful if applied properly. However, I don’t think it’s a biblical mandate and I’m skeptical (as my posts above should amply illustrate.) But please, don’t compare what I have said to Nelson. In light of his comments, it’s entirely unflattering and inappropriate.

  114. Scott June 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    I’m asking for other authorities because I’m continually reminded to read Grudem and/or his website. It’s played as a trump card in the debate.

  115. Sue June 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    Tuad,

    Here is a quote from Denny that I appreciate. What do you think?

    If my complementarian understanding of the Bible is wrong, then I am doing damage to myself and to others whom I influence with my views, and I need to be corrected no matter how loudly I profess inerrancy.

    If the egalitarians are wrong, then they are doing damage to themselves and to those whom they influence, and they need to be lovingly corrected no matter how vociferously they may profess allegiance to the text.

    Burleson says that egalitarians “believe their views to be completely biblical.” I’m sure that they do. But that is quite beside the point. The question is whether their views are biblical, and I believe that the weight of the evidence shows that they are not. How are we going to resolve this impasse? It’s not going to be by glossing over the differences or by affirming everybody’s views as equally valid evangelical options. They are not. Somebody’s right; and somebody’s wrong. Love requires us to be honest about that (Proverbs 27:6).

    I am going to return to the lexical questions for the moment. Your challenge is valid but we should defer to Denny’s view on this rather than the using the kind of language you suggest.

  116. Sue June 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    Benjamin A,

    Scholars have translated the word aner with “person/people” “mankind” “individual” “friend” “everyone” “they” and so on. Some of these English translations are a hundred years old. These are just a few examples. This is not exhaustive. I don’t have access to the search engines and support staff that academics have.

    It is in any basic Greek lexicon that aner means “man – generic” that is “person.” I cannot account for Vine’s.

    I also cannot account for why this is not fundamental knowledge to any Greek scholar. In fact, I think this is basic knowledge that anyone who has studied Greek would know. I can’t account for the fact that Grudem is not familiar with these examples. I sent some of them to him. He admitted not being familiar with them but he would also not admit that they were gender neutral.

    The point is that scholars have always known that one of the meanings of aner is “person” or “individual.” This does not prove anything accept that one should not quote Grudem in order to resolve a scholarly disagreement.

    Examples of aner in the plural being translated in a gender neutral fashion.

    a) ανδρες as ‘people’

    αὐτὸς δ’, ἀργυρότοξε, ἄναξ ἑκατηβόλ’ Ἄπολλον,
    ἄλλοτε μέν Ï„’ ἐπὶ Κύνθου ἐβήσαο παιπαλόεντος,
    ἄλλοτε δ’ ἂν νήσους τε καὶ ἀνέρας ἠλάσκαζες.

    And you, O lord Apollo, god of the silver bow, shooting afar, now walked on craggy Cynthus, and now kept wandering about the islands and the people in them. Homeric Hymns 3.142

    b) ανδρες as ‘race of men’, which I note refers to human beings of both sex.

    καὶ ἡμιθέων* γένος ἀνδρῶν

    … and the race of men half-divine. Iliad 12:23

    c) ανδρες as ‘mankind’

    ἐξ οὗ Κενταύροισι καὶ ἀνδράσι νεῖκος ἐτύχθη

    From hence the feud arose between the centaurs and mankind. Odyssey 21:303

    d) ανδρες as ‘men’ generic

    τὴν δ’ ἠμείβετ’ ἔπειτα πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε:

    In answer to her spoke the father of men and gods: Iliad 1.544

    e) ανδρες as ‘men’ with the same referent as ‘people’

    ἀκίνδυνοι δ’ ἀρεταὶ
    οὔτε παρ’ ἀνδράσιν* οὔτ’ ἐν ναυσὶ κοίλαιςτίμιαι:
    πολλοὶ δὲ μέμνανται, καλὸν εἴ τι ποναθῇ*.

    But excellence without danger is honored
    neither among men nor in hollow ships.
    But many people remember,
    if a fine thing is done with toil. Pindar Odes 6.9-12

    a) ἀνήρ(singular) as ‘person’

    i) εὐφήμει: οὐ μεντἂν καλῶς ποιοίην
    οὐ πειθόμενος ἀνδρὶ ἀγαθῷ καὶ σοφῷ.

    Hush, hush! Why, surely it would be wrong of me
    not to obey a good and wise person. Plato. Hipparchus. 228b

    ii) ἀλλ’ ἴσως, ὦ βέλτιστε, φαίη ἄν τις ἀνήρ,
    ὃς ἐμοῦ τε καὶ σοῦ σοφώτερος ὢν τυγχάνοι,
    οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἡμᾶς, λέγειν, οὕτως εἰκῇ ψέγοντας ἄγνοιαν,

    But perhaps, my excellent friend, some person who is wiser
    than either you or I may say we are wrong to be so free
    with our abuse of ignorance. Plato. Alcibiades 2. 143b

    b)ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘everyone’

    πᾶς ἀνήρ, κἂν δοῦλος ᾖ τις, ἥδεται τὸ φῶς ὁρῶν

    Slave or free, every one is glad to gaze upon the light. Euripides. Orestes. 1523.

    c) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘they’

    ὅταν ἀγασθῶσι σφόδρα του, σεῖος ἀνήρ φασιν,
    οὕτω καὶ ὁ θηριώδης ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις σπάνιος:

    ‘Yon mon’s divine, ’they say–, so a bestial character
    is rare among human beings; Aristotle. Nic. Ethics. 1145a 25.

    d) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘citizen’, either male or female

    ποτὲ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίγνοιτ’ ἄν,
    τὴν ἀνθρώπῳ προσήκουσαν ἀρετὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἔχων …. ,
    εἴτε ἄρρην τις των συνοικούντων
    οὖσα ἡ φύσις εἴτε θήλεια, νέων ἢ γερόντων

    … in which a member of our community–
    be he of the male or female sex, young or old,–
    may become a good citizen, possessed of the excellence of soul
    which belongs to man. Plato’s Laws 6. 770d.

    (In this sentence, the Greek word ανθρωπος is translated as “man” generic, “the excellence of soul which belongs to man”, that is, the human, either male or female; and the word ανηρ is translated as citizen, either male or female.)

    e) ἀνήρ as ‘individual’

    ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν τοῦ χρυσοῦ τε καὶ ἀργύρου
    ἀπληστίαν πᾶσαν μὲν τέχνην καὶ μηχανήν …
    ἐθέλειν ὑπομένειν πάντα ἄνδρα, εἰ μέλλει πλούσιος ἔσεσθαι

    every individual, because of his greed for silver and gold,
    is willing to toil at every art and device, noble or ignoble,
    if he is likely to get rich by it, Plato’s Laws. 8.831d.

    Here I am adding two further examples of aner plural to the list.

    f) ανδρες as ‘friends’

    ὦ πάντων ἀνδρῶν ἄριστοι

    Most excellent friends, … Plato’s Laws. 5.741a.

    g) ανδρες as ‘citizens’

    νείμασθαι δὲ δὴ καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας δώδεκα μέρη

    And he must divide the citizens also into twelve parts, … Plato’s Laws. 5.745d.

    Do you really not believe the statement, “Greek scholars know … aner means ‘man’ and not ‘person’ as a result of finding an example where aner was used to mean citizen?

    NOTE: Grudem didn’t say aner was never used to mean “citizen”; he said it doesn’t mean “person”.
    Question: Have you researched how many times aner actually does mean man? Don’t you think the weight of evidence lies in Grudem’s favor?

  117. Sue June 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    Benjamin,

    I posted without finishing. Oops. These examples are taken from texts translated in the early 1900’s. In these examples the “race of men” means “humans,” and “mankind” means “humankind.” At that time “man,” and sometimes “men,” was used to refer to “people.”

    The point is that yes, all Greek scholars knew this and that is why you sometimes see “person” or “individual.”

    If this does not satisfy you, I could start off on a whole other track and demonstrate that Hebrew has four words for “man” and Greek has two anthropos and aner. Anthropos, we know, means a “person” or “human.” But, oddly, there is no strict pattern for how the four Hebrew words are translated into Greek and often anthropos and aner seem to be used synonymously.

    Anyway, Dan Wallace has written a paper on this topic also and he concurs that aner means person. It really does not affect translation much because, if placed in contrast to γυνη, then ανηρ means “man.”

  118. Sue June 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Regarding authenteo.

    Are you saying the only way authenteo can [must was Grudems word] be understood here is to “domineer” or “misuse authority”?

    “I had my way with him (authenteo)” could easily be understood as “I [exercised my authority] over him and …”.

    Again Grudem said, ““Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō MUST mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.’”

    MUST being the key word.

    Am I missing something?

    There is only one occurrence of authenteo previous to its use in 1 Timothy. This is BGU (Berlin Griechische Urkunden)1208 which I posted.

    I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Catalytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour.

    About this occurrence Grudem writes, and I quote,

    However, the meaning of “compel” does seem appropriate. Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. page 680, footnote 7.

    Surely, to “compel” is a kind of “domineer.” But that is only the quote which precedes the epistle. Here is another example from Chrysostom from the homily 10 on Colossians.

    Do not therefore, because your wife is subject to you, act the despot;(αυθεντεω) nor because your husband loves you, be thou puffed up. Let neither the husband’s love elate the wife, nor the wife’s subjection puff up the husband. For this cause has He subjected her to you, that she may be loved the more. For this cause He has made you to be loved, O wife, that you may easily bear your subjection.

    Note that authenteo clearly means “to act the despot.” I would take that to mean to “domineer over.” A husband must not do that. Note also that subjection is not an ideal state that women are created for, but something that women must “bear” because they were subjected by the fall.

    Grudem is aware of these citations as far as I know.

    However, a futher difficulty with Grudem’s overall research on authenteo is that he does not acknowledge the translation of “usurp/assume authority” in the KJV and Calvin’s Bible, 1560.

    Grudem claims,

    in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man” (italics added).

    Funny but that is what the 1560 Calvin Bible said,

    “But I suffer not the woman to teach, nor to assume authority over the man, but to be silent (hesuchia).”

    We know that the word translated “silent” is the same word as in verse 2,

    For kings, and for all who are placed in authority, that we lead a peaceful and quiet(hesuchia) life, with all godliness and decency;

    The thing is that it is not enough to cite the author of a complementarian (probably egalitarian) book. One really has to know. Does the Bible clearly say that Christianity depends on the subordination of women. Was that part of Christ’s gospel?

  119. Sue June 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    Sorry. I forgot to add the italics.

    Grudem claims,

    in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”.

    Funny but that is what the 1560 Calvin Bible said,

    But I suffer not the woman to teach, nor to assume authority over the man, but to be silent (hesuchia).

    It is such a waste of time. Did God create humans as a two caste system, one gender above and one below? Is that what the Bible is about?

  120. Sue June 20, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    I notice that I am making too many typos. I meant to say that “it is not enough to cite the author of a complementarian (OR probably an egalitarian) book.”

    That is, citing the name Grudem, Piper, or whatever is useless. Men really have to ask themselves if Jesus came to teach that men should lead women, or if the gospel has some other purpose.

    I might add that the bulk of Christian scholars are egalitarian – Fee, FF Bruce, Witherington, Wright, well – you know the rest.

  121. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    #114, Scott.

    I’m sorry you lost your mother to cancer. That must have been tough to watch.

    “Insignificant theological dispute”? This topic seems to generate so many comments, articles, books, church meetings, prayers that it hardly seems like people regard it as adiaphora.

    Nelson’s “ferocity” and “polemical rhetoric” is perfectly fine with me. Because not only do I think it is accurate, but it does the exact opposite of what you think it is all about. His rhetoric and word choices are a much-needed jolt so that people are aware that this is NOT an insignificant theological dispute. As you were devastated by your mother’s cancer, Pastor Nelson is devastated to see God’s Word, God’s Church, and God’s Glory devastated by the spiritual cancer of egalitarianism.

    If other complementarians want to rebuke Pastor Tommy Nelson for his rhetoric, let them do it. If Denny Burk wants to admonish and reprove Nelson, let Denny do so. I’m not and I won’t.

    Furthermore, if egalitarians want to call complementarianism a deadly cancer and a satanic ploy, it doesn’t bother me in the least. Not offended at all. No hypocrisy whatsoever.

    I don’t think it should be an issue that divides

    If an issue is adiaphora, I’d agree. This issue is not adiaphora, so it does divide.

    I’m slightly annoyed when those on the other side are called on the carpet in terms that opaquely question their salvation and faithfulness.

    I can’t speak for all comps, but personally, the salvation of egals is God’s sovereign work. As to the other issue, I have no problem stating up front and center that I have no wish to be opaque, and I want to be crystal clear that not only do I question the faithfulness of egals to the clear teaching of Scripture on this subject, but that I assert it.

    I fail to see how egal is such the evil and danger it’s made out to be.

    As an aside, I wonder if Eve had similar thoughts and questions when she contemplated eating the forbidden fruit after being tempted.

    But I’ll leave it to Denny to write a post about the “evils” and “dangers” of egalitarianism. There is much to be said there. Far more than a blog comment can address comprehensively.

    And I don’t think comp is bad.

    That’s fine. But if you said that it was bad whilst maintaining staunch egalitarian convictions, it wouldn’t bother me in the least. I much prefer intellectual honesty as a means to bring more clarity to the discussion.

    I lost my mother to cancer, so please understand my frustration when a rather insignificant theological dispute is compared to a devastating and life-taking disease. This is my frustration with Nelson’s comments – not so much his position as the ferocity with which he attacks it and the polemical rhetoric he employs in the process. I don’t think it should be an issue that divides, and I’m slightly annoyed when those on the other side are called on the carpet in terms that opaquely question their salvation and faithfulness. To be clear, I’m not making an evaluation of your comments specifically, but the general tone and demeanor of those who ultimately deplore egalitarianism. I fail to see how egal is such the evil and danger it’s made out to be. And, I DO NOT think comp is bad.

  122. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    Scott: I’m asking for other authorities because I’m continually reminded to read Grudem and/or his website. It’s played as a trump card in the debate.

    Flawed reasoning. Flawed assertion. Invalid request.

    What matters is the soundness and validity of the reasoning, the logic, the evidence, and the arguments on a variety of topics within the comp/egal debate. If much of it is located at Grudem’s website, so be it. If it happened to be at Joel Osteen’s website or Pat Robertson’s website or John Hagee’s website, so be it. Comps would direct you there.

    I don’t know who the leading egal scholar is, but I would never ask for someone else to read if that’s where the best egal arguments were.

    It’s ridiculous.

  123. Sue June 21, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    Tuad,

    This is my point. Dr. Grudem states that

    “the king of Egypt is called head of the nation”

    There is absolutely no ancient source that supports this – not one. I challenge you to produce the evidence that Dr. Grudem used as a basis for this claim.

    Someone has to establish whether the CBMW website bases claims on evidence or not. In my experience it does not. This is a real problem.

  124. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    #116, Sue,

    Denny’s observation is good. Quite agree with him on: “How are we going to resolve this impasse? It’s not going to be by glossing over the differences or by affirming everybody’s views as equally valid evangelical options. They are not. Somebody’s right; and somebody’s wrong. Love requires us to be honest about that (Proverbs 27:6).”

    Absolutely, utterly, 100% spot-on, and correct. As such and as I have repeated previously, that’s why I affirm Pastor Nelson’s rhetoric and the substance of his rhetoric. Pastor Nelson is not glossing over differences, nor is he making the error that both positions are good and valid. IMHO, Pastor Nelson is being loving, even though his love may and actually has given offense, when he employed the word choices in his rhetoric. This issue is not adiaphora.

    Furthermore, believe it or not, the Gospel is offensive. The Whole Gospel is offensive. Of course, this is not meant to say that one is given license to be obnoxious and more offensive when presenting an already offensive Gospel.

    Analogously, when preaching the whole truth requires preaching against error, then those who hold onto and promote error are going to be offended. Pastor Nelson is being truthful, loving, and honest when he used the word choices of “deadly cancer” and “satanic ploy” which some people used as an excuse for offense-taking.

    Furthermore, Pastor Nelson was careful to distinguish between the teaching and those who do the teaching. (Assuming Denny reported things accurately). Nelson said egalitarianism is a deadly cancer and a ploy by Satan. He DID NOT SAY anything about egalitarians themselves.

    However, what can be safely inferred is this. Egalitarians hold onto, espouse, and promote aberrant doctrinal teaching. Reasonable explanations could be that they are duped, mislead, deceived, fooled, tricked, and lied to by the Father of Lies.

    And to be honest, we all have! So why should any offense be taken? And if an Egal levies the same charge to a Comp, fair enough. Have the moral integrity to be intellectually honest.

    Either Comp or Egal is aberrant teaching and unfaithful to God’s Word in the practice at home and church. Who benefits from the introduction of teaching and practice that departs from God’s Word?

    Let’s not deceive ourselves as to the magnitude of this theological discussion.

  125. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    #55, Sue: “Likewise, one cannot argue from lexical evidence that kephale means “to have authority over” in the epsistles, because there is no occurrence of kephale, preceding Paul’s epistles, in which kephale means “to have authority over one’s own people.”

    Wrong.

    “Why is a lexicon on Plato or Thucydides given more credence than a specialty lexicon in the New Testament period? In his selection of evidence from lexicons, as well as in his admission of examples of kephale as relevant evidence, Cervin places evidence that is most distant chronologically on a much higher level than evidence that is chronologically nearest to the writings of Paul. He thus fails to carry out the careful synchronic analysis necessary to good lexical research.

    It seems fair to conclude that Cervin’s article is fundamentally flawed at the outset in its methodology, a methodology that wrongly excludes the most relevant data for this investigation and thereby leads him to an erroneous conclusion. On this basis alone, we must reject Cervin’s claim that kephale did not mean “authority over” at the time of the New Testament.”

    From the linked source I gave in #57. Try reading them.

  126. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    (Reformatting)

    #55, Sue: “Likewise, one cannot argue from lexical evidence that kephale means “to have authority over” in the epsistles, because there is no occurrence of kephale, preceding Paul’s epistles, in which kephale means “to have authority over one’s own people.”

    Wrong.

    “Why is a lexicon on Plato or Thucydides given more credence than a specialty lexicon in the New Testament period? In his selection of evidence from lexicons, as well as in his admission of examples of kephale as relevant evidence, Cervin places evidence that is most distant chronologically on a much higher level than evidence that is chronologically nearest to the writings of Paul. He thus fails to carry out the careful synchronic analysis necessary to good lexical research.

    …

    It seems fair to conclude that Cervin’s article is fundamentally flawed at the outset in its methodology, a methodology that wrongly excludes the most relevant data for this investigation and thereby leads him to an erroneous conclusion. On this basis alone, we must reject Cervin’s [and Sue’s] claim that kephale did not mean “authority over” at the time of the New Testament.”

    From the linked source I gave in #57. Try reading them.

  127. Nathan Boyette June 21, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    I am definitely no Greek or Hebrew expert so I cannot get into any discussion over specific words. However, I have read many articles on this issue because it is something that concerns me. I want to know the truth.

    I have read some of the articles posted on the CBMW website, many of them dealing with the various words that often come up in this debate. Here is a link to one of Dr. Grudem’s article that deals with headship:

    http://www.cbmw.org/Resources/Articles/An-Open-Letter-to-Egalitarians-Revised-2003

    Grudem specifically states: (about the king of Egypt)

    12. The King of Egypt is called “head” of the nation in Philo, Moses 2.30, “As the head is the ruling place in the living body, so Ptolemy became among kings.”

    He seems to be quoting this from a work by Philo, I have never read it so I cannot guarantee that it actually says what Dr. Grudem says it says… but I cannot imagine that he would be so bold if it did not actually say that.

    While there are one or two other articles on the CBMW website where Dr. Grudem states that “the king of Egypt is called head of the nation” and he does not provide an exact reference right there, he often then explains that all the evidence and references are in a specific book with more explanation. Again, I have not read that book so I do not know if it is actually there.

    Am I missing something? It seems that he is supporting his points with evidence.

  128. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    #55, Sue: “Likewise, one cannot argue from lexical evidence that kephale means “to have authority over” in the epsistles, because there is no occurrence of kephale, preceding Paul’s epistles, in which kephale means “to have authority over one’s own people.”

    Wrong.

    “Why is a lexicon on Plato or Thucydides given more credence than a specialty lexicon in the New Testament period? In his selection of evidence from lexicons, as well as in his admission of examples of kephale as relevant evidence, Cervin places evidence that is most distant chronologically on a much higher level than evidence that is chronologically nearest to the writings of Paul. He thus fails to carry out the careful synchronic analysis necessary to good lexical research.

    …

    It seems fair to conclude that Cervin’s article is fundamentally flawed at the outset in its methodology, a methodology that wrongly excludes the most relevant data for this investigation and thereby leads him to an erroneous conclusion. On this basis alone, we must reject Cervin’s [and Sue’s] claim that kephale did not mean “authority over” at the time of the New Testament.”

    From the linked source I gave in #57. Try reading them.

  129. Benjamin A June 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Sue,

    In your post #119, which was a reply to my post #109, you essentially dodged the issue. Grudem asserts

    2. “Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.’”

    The words CLEAR and MUST are key words to this statement. Your cited example clearly demonstrates Grudem’s point.

    BGU 1208 (first century B.C.): I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Catalytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour.

    This is the ONLY example of authenteo preceding the epistle. Baldwin classified the meaning under “compel.”

    Authenteo could be understood there to mean “exercise authority. “I had my way with him (authenteo)” could easily be understood as “I [exercised my authority] over him and …”.

    This example proves Grudem’s point that “we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’ or “misuse authority.’”

    So why do you continue to allow one word, ‘authenteo’ to blur the clear reading/meaning of Paul’s instruction to Timothy from 1 Tim. 2:9- 1 Tim. 3:15?

    Will you agree that ‘men’ are to be the ‘overseers’ of the church of God based off 1 Tim. 3:1-7?

    Will you agree that women “teaching” men in a gathered church context is prohibited by Paul in these passages (1 Tim. 2:12)?

    Seeing how precise you are with words and how tightly you hold them in context, how do not see what is so clearly written?

  130. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    Sue, #55: “Therefore, the appropriate thing to do is leave the translation of these words to exegesis, with the understanding that there is more than one possible way to interpret the passages. That way, both complementarians and egalitarians would openly admit that there position is based on one possible interpretation of the scriptures.”

    The existence of many possible interpretations does not imply the existence of many credible interpretations. The fact that people disagree about the meaning of a text does not imply the meaning of a text is impossible to sufficiently discern. Words still have meaning – at least in the pre-modern world. They are not malleable servants in the hands of one who seeks to justify himself or herself – who hates the light and seeks to hide in the darkness. Truth is not a context to be deconstructed or blurred.

  131. Scott June 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    TUAD,

    Seriously, tone down the anger and venom. Sue is trying her best to be sympathetic and understanding. She’s presenting her case with evidence and doing so in a humble manner. I tried, and probably failed, to show you that I’m not angry with your position or with you personally. I don’t think the issue is a doctrinal essential, apparently you do. I’d rather wrestle with Christology and defend it with vigor and enthusiasm. That is where I define faithfulness and Christian integrity. You obviously cast a much larger net. That’s your prerogative. Questioning the fidelity of my faith and responding in harsh and bitter tones to Sue is an entirely different issue, and one with which I take an exception. Please settle down. This is an “in-house” debate, not a matter of redefining boundary markers.

  132. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    I posted a version of this in the first posting of this topic by Denny a few weeks ago. I did not get much direct interactive response. I’ll see if anyone will bite now.

    If you hold to a “Creation order of design” interpretation defining male-female roles, then I see the logical implication that by God’s pre-Fall design males are ALWAYS to have authority over females and thus no female can ever teach a male. How can there be exceptions to God’s sovereign intended design and will for the Creation order of male-female relationship? Isn’t anything contrary to God’s intended design to be understood as “sin”? Why would the Spirit of God lead any female at any time to teach a male in this present sinful age since it is contrary to God’s Creation design. [Would God give any exception to the male-female Creation principle of marriage? Can a male marry a male on occasional exception? The homosexual New Hampshire Episcopal bishop might like the idea of exceptions to Creation ordinances.] God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore I re-state no female may teach a male at any time in any place regardless of it is in a gathered church setting or it is in a private setting. The “Creation order of design” does not allow exceptions for individual private teaching of males by females. That is the logical implication if one bases Paul’s injunction in a “Creation order of design”.

    But if we have even one, yes even one, legitimate Spirit-inspired female teacher of males then one must realize that any so-called universal at-all-times “Creation order of design” about females teaching males is much more “flexible” than pure complementarians teach. There are biblical examples. (I have read Grudem’s replies to each of these examples, and his replies do not carry enough persuasive weight. There are holes in his logic.)

    Deborah had on ongoing ministry of teaching/leading males. She was judging Israel at that time. She sat under the palm tree. Everyone knew where to find her. Apparently she was regularly there. And people regularly went to her. From that societal and situational information, it is PUBLIC. Thus, she was in a regular public ministry of judging the “sons of Israel.” There are similarities with Huldah. When Josiah commanded for the LORD to be inquired of, the priests went to her. She apparently had enough of an ongoing reputation of prophecy that these priests (five men) agreed that she was the one to go ask. They did not go to any available male priest or prophet (Jeremiah and Zephaniah were around.) The presence of two “exceptions” (there are other biblical examples) should lead one to question whether there is an absolute “Creation order of design” because God would not violate His intended design, would He?

    But maybe there was too much of a spiritual impoverishment of Israel. This may have created the opportunity for females to be anointed by God. But why wouldn’t God raise up men? And would He violate His absolute order of design for Creation roles? This present 21st century time is pretty perverse, and is it possible that God may choose to raise up some more Spirit-anointed female proclaimers? If He did it then under the Old Covenant, why can’t He do it under the greater New Covenant which speaks in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:16-18 of the Spirit of God being poured on daughters and women who will then prophesy? Surely the New Covenant outpouring of the Spirit on females who prophesy does not contradict God’s design.

    A “Creation order of design” cannot be limited to only institutionally organized local church meetings because the very nature of a “Creation order of design” is to establish the overarching theological principle of what God’s design is for all situations. This is why those who say Paul grounds his restriction of women teaching men being based on a “Creation order of design” and yet say it only applies to the “gathered church” are being inconsistent. A “Creation order of design” is for all situations in which men and women interact not just preaching during an assembly time of a local congregation. Thus, women cannot teach or lead men in ANYTHING or AT ANY TIME because to do so would be contrary to the primogeniture principle appealed to by pure complementarians.

    I am calling for pure complementarians who adopt the “Creation order of design” basis for the restriction to be consistent in their beliefs and practice. Or, demonstrate how “Creation order of design” can have exceptions or are only restricted to certain times and places; or, show how these implications do not follow.

    Again I say, one cannot say that the “teaching” or “leading” prohibition is only limited to the “gathered church” because the Creation design theory will not allow that limitation. Also, the OT and NT examples demonstrate that God has chosen at times to “contradict” the Creation design of roles. But I do not think they are contradictions. The prohibition in 1 Tim. 2:8-15 is not based on a “Creation design ordering of roles” but in something else. Before I present what that is, I’m interested in hearing the weaknesses in what I have just claimed. Any takers?

  133. Sue June 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    Tuad,

    There is no such thing as a lexicon on Plato or Thucydides. You will have to be more specific.

    Benjamin A,

    Regarding authenteo, omewhere else in that extremely convoluted footnote, page 680, is the statement that the letter BGU 1208 describes a “hostile” situation. Most scholars believe that the use of the word authenteo describes a hostile use of power in BGU 1208. Dr. Grudem is not sure whether it does or not, but he concedes that it is about someone “compelling” someone.

    Certainly you could put almost any word in there, like “to have authority” but the scholarly consensus is that this is not the meaning in this instance. At some point you cannot just shut women out of leadership on such speculative documentation. 1 Tim. 2:12 is highly debated and rightly so. It is truly obscure.

    Clearly Chrysostom, when he said that a husband must not authenteo his wife, was referring to the abuse of power.

    Or do you really think that Chrysostom said that a man may not have authority over his wife?

    I don’t want to move forward on 1 Tim. 2:12 now – time considerations – but answer Nathan first.

    Nathan,

    This is the very example that convinced me that there was a fundamental problem that needed to be addressed. Your quote is correct.

    The King of Egypt is called “head” of the nation in Philo, Moses 2.30, “As the head is the ruling place in the living body, so Ptolemy became among kings.”

    Philadelphus, the king of Egypt, was called the most illustrious of his family, that is the Ptolemies. Therefore, Philadelphus was more illustrious than his father, Ptolemy 1 Soter. He was also more illustrious than the kings that followed him.

    However, as a king, did Philadelphus have authority over his father, or his descendants, as kings in their turn? Was this an authority relationship. No, Philadelphus was more famous.

    Note also that this translation says “the head is the ruling place in the living body.” But other translators say,

    in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings.

    So it says, the head of the other kings in his family, as the leader of the herd, and NOT “as the ruling place in the living body.” That translation is not justified. It says, “as the one who leads the animals (living beings).”

    In this example, “head” means much the same as in English, “the head of the class” that is, Philadephus, is the one who heads the family in fame and reputation. As a teacher, I do not give any authority to the student who is the “head of the class.”

    Elsewhere, Philo says that the “head” is the model of excellence, the virtuous person that others wish to follow as an example. The “head” is the one who is pre-eminent. There is no association of “authority over” associated with this.

    The questions are:

    1. Was Philadelphus called the head of the nation? No.

    2. Who was Philadelphus head of? The other kings in his family.

    3. Was Philadelphus in authority over his father, Ptolemy 1? No.

    4. Does “head of” have any relation to authority? No.

    5. Does “having a famous reputation” have anything to do with authority, for Philo? No. He talks about an ordinary virtuous person being the “head” the example of excellence.

    6. Does this instance of kephale (head) meaning “to have a reputation of excellence above others” relate to the husband and wife. I don’t know, but most people aren’t too sure either. In any case, there is no authority in view.

    This is Grudem’s best quote. The evidence does not back up his conclusions.

    If I, as an egalitarian, reject Grudem’s conclusion, should I be criticized for this?

  134. Sue June 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    Oops. Forgot to close bold.

  135. Sue June 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    David (NAS) R,

    It’s a good article. I don’t want to drown everything else out with evidence, but the dialogue must move beyond “Dr. Grudem has written.” That is not an adequate response. Let’s get to your worthy point.

  136. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    Scott, the tone is appropriate. You need to settle down and stop whining incessantly about “tonal” issues. Your continuous harping is such a distraction.

  137. Sue June 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Tuad,

    I know exactly what you mean. I have a fair amount of frustration at those who don’t produce good research. Did you find out which lexicon Grudem was mentioning?

  138. Scott June 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Sue,

    Sorry to be a distraction. The guy is questioning my faith & I’m standing up against it. I’ll make a point to address the scholarly issues at play.

  139. Sue June 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    It doesn’t matter to me, Scott. I have not been slow to express my feelings and get into other peoples conversations in the past.

    What I have found is that in the past, where my conviction of egalitarian ethic was not so strong, I did feel threatened. But now, not so much.

  140. Scott June 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    David,

    I like your reasoning, and it clearly articulates a “trajectory approach” on the issue. I’m interested to hear your approach to 1 Tim 2:8-15 because I think we’ll come at it from the same angle.

  141. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Sue: “If I, as an egalitarian, reject Grudem’s conclusion, should I be criticized for this?”

    Conversely, if I, as a complementarian, reject your rejection of Grudem’s conclusion, should I be criticized for this?

    Suppose an atheist said something similar:

    “If I, as an atheist, reject a Christian’s conclusion that I should repent of my sins and follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior, knowing that Christian theology holds that the whole counsel in Divine Scripture is to guide me in my walk of obedience, should I be criticized for this?”

  142. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    “The guy is questioning my faith & I’m standing up against it.

    No. Your misreading leads to a failure in comprehension which then leads to misrepresentation. Which results in you attacking your own misrepresentation.

    Enjoy.

  143. Scott June 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    TUAD,

    I’ll let it go if you’ll let it go. Don’t tell me to stop whining & then proceed to egg on responses. I apologized to Sue and I’ll do the same for you. I apologize… Now, let’s focus on the issue at hand. I’ve enjoyed the dialogue and appreciate your interaction, however much I may disagree.

  144. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Sue: “There is no such thing as a lexicon on Plato or Thucydides. You will have to be more specific.”

    Ask Richard Cervin to be more specific.

    “On this basis alone, we must reject Cervin’s [and Sue’s] claim that kephale did not mean “authority over” at the time of the New Testament.”

    From the linked source I gave in #57. Try reading them.

  145. Sue June 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Tuad,

    I will make an honest confession. I have not read Cervin’s article/book. I have cited it at somewhere, I’m sure, because the material that Grudem quotes of Cervin in that same article which you link to is consistent with what I have seen myself. The battle of the lexicons, however, is detailed. You really have to want to know about this. Do you?

    But, in all honesty, the lexicons do not resolve the issue. They are a place to start. From the lexicon, one looks at each occurrence of the word. I cannot see any example, preceding Paul’s epistles, where “head of” means to be a leader of one’s own people.

    The only exception is Jephthah. About 200 times in the Hebrew OT, the leader of a tribe or family is called the r’osh or “head” of the family.

    However, when this is translated into Greek, the word is not kephale but another Greek word like archon, archegos, hegemon, chiliarch and so on. So, you could read that in Hebrew it ways “r’osh” of the family, and translated into Latin “caput familiae” and in English, “head of the family” but in Greek there is not even one occurrence in the LXX of the phrase kephale of the family, or head of the house. Not even one.

    The only case is where Jephthah, who has been expelled is called to come and lead a tribe in a battle and subsequently became a judge. This is the one and only case, out of 200 instances. Would that single story of Jephthah be that influential.

    Remember that there are over 2000 instances of the word kephale. Grudem claims 40 imply authority over.

    My estimate is that of all the occurrences before Paul wrote his epistles, only the use of kephale with refererence to Jephthah being a leader, a war hero of sorts, refers to leadership;

    This is the extent of the evidence. But this one case Dr. Grudem often does not quote.

    He quotes,

    “the king of Egypt is the head of the nation”

    Not so.

    “David is the head of the people”

    Not so.

    And so on. The quotes that Dr; Grudem uses to support his case are not reliable. If someone else wants to use the same evidence and reargue the case, that is another thing. But please do not depend on what Grudem has written.

    Later, if you still want to know what Grudem meant about the lexicons, and I have the energy maybe ….

  146. Truth Unites... and Divides June 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    David: “I did not get much direct interactive response. I’ll see if anyone will bite now.

    Please post a link and the comment #. I should like to see who bit on your bait and how they responded.

    Also, did you read the excellent paper linked in #106?

  147. Nathan Boyette June 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    In regards to comments # 124 and #134 and the issue of “king of Egypt as head of the nation.”

    Sue, thanks for your response. I appreciate your dialogue on the issue. Thank you for engaging with people in an honest and humble manner.

    It seems to me that the issue is not one of having support or evidence but rather of how one interprets or translates specific texts. From your previous comments, I assumed that you were implying Dr. Grudem had basically made up the quote about the king of Egypt and then not referenced something.

    However, what really seems to be the issue is that you (an egalitarian) and he (a complimentarian) disagree on how to translate or understand a specific text. So, while I do not think you should be criticized for disagreeing with Dr. Grudem’s conclusion. You should maybe consider wording your critiques in a way that does not imply that he is making the quotes up – which implies lying.

    As I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar I cannot really engage in the debate on what these specific texts mean but I enjoy reading both sides and trying to understand better. I enjoyed reading your differing conclusions of this Philo text and it has caused me to want to dig deeper. Thank you.

  148. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 21, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    I scanned the paper linked in # 106. I’ve also read Mary Kassian’s The Feminist Gospel (I am a little surprised it was not in the bibliography. It is excellent in its overview.) I don’t deny that secular feminism has come into the church. One reason for this is that a vast majority of Christians are biblically illiterate. However, the maintainance of the opposite view, patriarchy, does not indicate that approach as being biblical either. I said earlier that many Christians adopt interpretive positions not necessarily based on biblical study but in the absorption of what a preacher has said. I’m just not that confident that the preachers are basing their views on the Bible either. In the So. Baptist tradition (of which I am one) many preachers show little desire for rigorous scholarship on any issue. The tendency is to preach the simple Gospel(which is to be applauded) and to merely repeat a position on issues that one’s peers won’t question (since discussion of exegesis takes too much time, it’s easier to take the traditional road; thus my contention that the deeper problems are “laziness” and “arrogance”: see comment # 7 above)

    The primary issue is regarding what does the Bible teach and does it contradict itself?

    I have little to no experience of the feminism noted in the linked paper. I was raised in a complementarian church at home, attended one in college, was a member of one in seminary.

    I also encountered in seminary (SWBTS) commentators who held a high view of Scripture but also questioned the traditional pure complementarian approach. (Note: this wasn’t a major issue for most of the professors I studied under at SWBTS; I discovered this “new” view in my own study: Gordon Fee, Ben Witherington III, Craig Keener, et al.)

    My educational emphasis is in New Testament exegesis and hermeneutical theory. I am especially interested in the implications of exegetical conclusions in shaping larger theological belief. My being an inerrantist compelled me to examine how OT and NT examples of women teaching men could be reconciled with what “appeared” to be a principled prohibition based in the design of Creation. I believe that I have a plausible exegetical analysis of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 which would explain how Paul does “not permit” a female to teach a male in the Ephesian situation while not contradicting the rest of Scriptural examples where a female does teach a male.

    My previous posts are here

    http://www.dennyburk.com/?p=2101#comments

    Note my comments #s 24, 27, 63, 68, 93, 96, 98, 109, 118

    Note Steve’s comments 95 and 117.

  149. Sue June 21, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    Nathan,

    Dr. Grudem has stated that the king of Egypt was called the “head of the nation. ”

    I am very simply claiming that the Philo quote does not contain the phrase “head of the nation” nor is that one possible interpretation. It does not refer to authority, nor is that a possible interpretation.

    I consider that I am being fair and honest if I say that the phrase “head of the nation” using the word kephale for “head” does not occur in ancient Greek literature to indicate the relationship of a king over his own people.

    I would be incredibly grateful if you and others would show me how “head of the nation” is a permissible interpretation of the Philo quote, and respond as to how I have been unfair in my representation of Grudem’s claim.

    I do want to be honest about this and I did supply the entire quote and full discussion of the quote in comment #65. At no time did I intend to say there was no evidence, but that there was no evidence which supported his claim. I feel that is correct. What do others think?

  150. Sue June 22, 2008 at 2:03 am #

    These are statements from Dr. Grudem’s Open Letter to Egalitarians.

    A Specifically, we cannot find any text where person A is called the “head’’ of person or persons B, and is not in a position of authority over that person or persons.

    But we can say,

    Person A, Philadelphus, is called the “head” of person B, Ptolemy Soter, and Philadelphus is not in a position of authority over his father, Ptolemy Soter.

    B Grudem writes,

    Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where this word for “be subject to’’ (hypotassō, passive) is used to refer to one person in relation to another and does not include the idea of one-directional submission to the other person’s authority?

    1 Clement 38.1:

    “So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject (ὑποτασσέσθω) to his neighbor, to the degree determined by his spiritual gift,”

    Clearly there is not one-directional submission to another person’s authoity.

    C Authenteo

    we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority.”

    Homily 10 on Colossians by Chrysostom

    “Do not therefore, because your wife is subject to you, act the despot(αυθεντεω) nor because your husband loves you, be thou puffed up.”

    Clearly egalitarians have research that supports their viewpoint. There needs to be respect for egalitarian research and an acknowledgment for what is really there in the evidence.

  151. Truth Unites... and Divides June 22, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    Sue: “Was woman subordinated in creation or later? Is woman the neighbour of man?”

    Me: “Define subordinated. Nevertheless, role distinction was and remains God’s Divine Design pre-fall and at creation. Is a neighbour a helpmate?”

    Sue: “I am not too sure what this question asks. The word for neighbour is the one who is next to you. In German there are two distinct words, nachste (next one) and nachbar (neighbour).

    This is the fundamental question. Does the notion of neighbour extend for Jew to Gentile, from master to slave and from man to woman. And if it extends to woman then what does that mean. How will men interact with this throughout history and seek to treat woman as a neighour, as a fellow human being, with like feelings.

    The reference to “like feelings” comes from Chrysostom, and refers to the feeling of being human in our nature.

    If we are to discuss “help meet” then we must ask what a “help” was and who does it refer to. It usually refers to God in his assistance to humans when humans are in distress. It is a calla for succour from a human to God, and is found throughout the Psalms with that meaning. But God also gives man this “help” meet for him, on man’s own level, a fellow human being. And cannot man treat woman as a fellow human being with like intellectual and deliberative function?”

    Sue, I thought it was clear what I was referring to.

    I was referring to “helpmate” as used in the early chapters of Genesis whereby Eve was created to be Adam’s helpmate. At creation. Pre-fall. Divine design.

    Also, your response to my comment seems to be a recurring pattern in your arguments against biblical complementarianism.

  152. Truth Unites... and Divides June 22, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Sue: “Was woman subordinated in creation or later? Is woman the neighbour of man?”

    Me: “Define subordinated. Nevertheless, role distinction was and remains God’s Divine Design pre-fall and at creation. Is a neighbour a helpmate?”

    Sue: “I am not too sure what this question asks. The word for neighbour is the one who is next to you. In German there are two distinct words, nachste (next one) and nachbar (neighbour).

    This is the fundamental question. Does the notion of neighbour extend for Jew to Gentile, from master to slave and from man to woman. And if it extends to woman then what does that mean. How will men interact with this throughout history and seek to treat woman as a neighour, as a fellow human being, with like feelings.

    The reference to “like feelings” comes from Chrysostom, and refers to the feeling of being human in our nature.

    If we are to discuss “help meet” then we must ask what a “help” was and who does it refer to. It usually refers to God in his assistance to humans when humans are in distress. It is a calla for succour from a human to God, and is found throughout the Psalms with that meaning. But God also gives man this “help” meet for him, on man’s own level, a fellow human being. And cannot man treat woman as a fellow human being with like intellectual and deliberative function?”

    Sue, I thought it was clear what I was referring to.

    I was referring to “helpmate” as used in the early chapters of Genesis whereby Eve was created to be Adam’s helpmate. At creation. Pre-fall. Divine design.

    Also, your response to my comment seems to be a recurring pattern in your arguments against biblical complementarianism.

  153. Nathan Boyette June 22, 2008 at 8:46 am #

    Sue, thanks for your response. I am sorry about not noticing the quote in full in comment #65, there is a lot in this thread to take in and sometimes I forget some stuff. Sorry.

    I have dug a little deeper after rereading your comment #65 – reading the Philo passage in full. I should have done that before, sorry.

    Thanks, I will have to digest this and think on it more. I do not think you were unfair in your questions or comments. I will need to ask some questions of CBMW since I do not know Greek and cannot determine if the translations are accurate, etc.

    Thanks.

  154. Truth Unites... and Divides June 22, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    Sue: “Clearly egalitarians have research that supports their viewpoint. There needs to be respect for egalitarian research and an acknowledgment for what is really there in the evidence.”

    Transposing.

    Clearly, atheistic secular liberals have research that supports their viewpoint on atheism. There needs to be respect for atheistic secular liberal research and an acknowledgment for what is really there in the evidence they present.

  155. Sue June 22, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Nathan,

    Thanks. I will try to be careful because I see your point. Here is a link to Moses II by Philo. Just search the text for “head.”

    Dr. Grudem has many other quotes to support his thesis but they are similarly problematic. However, it would take a bit of space to go through an explanation for each one. I do this sometimes on my blog but I only go into the details if people ask.

    I think the question really is whether people should cite Grudem without fully understanding his arguments. I think not. But then that applies to anyone.

    The scholars who have been influential for me are Fee, Bauckham, Witherington, F.F. Bruce, N.T. Wright to cite a few.

    Tuad,

    I really don’t know how to interact with you. I will tell you the truth.

    The word “help” and the word “meet” are in the KJV of Gen. but there is no word “helpmate” in any Bible that I am aware of. What is your preferred Bible translation? Maybe then I could find the relevant phrase.

    Eve is called a “help.” This is the word ezer in Hebrew and it is used in the Psalms for God.

    PS. 33;20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

    God is the one who provides “help” or “assistance” to man. This is the word used to describe Eve. There is no sense whatsoever that a “help” is someone subordinate.

    My concern is that men think that women were created to be subordinate but the Bible does not say that.

    On the matter of “neighbour,” are you saying that a wife is not your “neighbour” so when the Bible says “love your neighbour as yourself” that does not apply to a wife?

    I often do not know what Biblical text you are referring to so maybe if you could cite a passage it would help.

  156. Sue June 22, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Nathan,

    Thanks. I will try to be careful because I see your point. Here is a link to Moses II by Philo. Just search the text for “head.”

    Dr. Grudem has many other quotes to support his thesis but they are similarly problematic. However, it would take a bit of space to go through an explanation for each one. I do this sometimes on my blog but I only go into the details if people ask.

    I think the question really is whether people should cite Grudem without fully understanding his arguments. I think not. But then that applies to anyone.

    The scholars who have been influential for me are Fee, Bauckham, Witherington, F.F. Bruce, N.T. Wright to cite a few.

    Tuad,

    I really don’t know how to interact with you. I will tell you the truth.

    The word “help” and the word “meet” are in the KJV of Gen. but there is no word “helpmate” in any Bible that I am aware of. What is your preferred Bible translation? Maybe then I could find the relevant phrase.

    Eve is called a “help.” This is the word ezer in Hebrew and it is used in the Psalms for God.

    PS. 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

    God is the one who provides “help” or “assistance” to man. This is the word used to describe Eve. There is no sense whatsoever that a “help” is someone subordinate.

    My concern is that men think that women were created to be subordinate but the Bible does not say that.

    On the matter of “neighbour,” are you saying that a wife is not your “neighbour” so when the Bible says “love your neighbour as yourself” that does not apply to a wife?

    I often do not know what Biblical text you are referring to so maybe if you could cite a passage it would help.

    On “help” or “helper” this is how it is explained in Grudem’s Systematc Theology,

    “Recently some writers have denied that the creation of Eve as a helper fit for Adam signals any difference in role or authority, because the word helper (Heb., ezer
    H6469) is often used in the Old Testament of someone who is greater or more powerful than the one who is being helped.12 In fact, the word helper is used in the Old Testament of God himself who helps his people.

    But the point is that whenever someone “helps” someone else, whether in the Hebrew Old Testament or in our modern-day use of the word help in the specific task in view the person who is helping is occupying a subordinate or inferior position with regard to the person being helped. That is true even when I “help” a young boy in my neighborhood to fix his bicycle—it is his responsibility, and his task, and I am only giving some assistance as needed; it is not my responsibility.”

    I have concerns about how Dr. Grudem understands the meaning of the word ezer.

    First, I cannot get a match for the Strong’s number that Grudem has used. However, ezer H5826 which is the word used for Eve, has a lexicon entry of “to help, succour, support”

    And “succour” means “help in a difficult situation.” This word refers to someone who helps someone else who is in danger. It is not related to being an assistant, but being someone who is strong when the other person is weak. A word with a similar meaning is used for Phoebe, a prostatis, and it can mean a patron or benefactor.

    So we can more accurately say that God is the benefactor of humans, and Eve is the benefactor that God gave directly to Adam as someone who was suitable for him.

    When Dr. Grudem says that God becomes subordinate to or inferior to man when he helps them, we have to ask some serious questions. Does the church really want a theology with this kind of belief in God?

    I am concerned that this text is being used as a textbook. Is God ever inferior to man? Is woman inferior to man?

    I quote from the online edition chap. 22 Man as male and female.

  157. Truth Unites... and Divides June 22, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Rebuttal:

    “Recently there has been some emphasis on the part of feminist authors that the Hebrew word used here (ezer) does not necessarily imply subordination of any sort. The word is often used of God as a help for human beings and in such a situation does not by any means imply that God is subordinate to human beings. The word is, in short, similar to the English word “help” which also does not necessarily imply any subordination. The psalms speak of God as our “help” in English as well as in Hebrew. But the observation about the word ezer is only a first step in looking at the phrase in which it occurs. Indeed, to focus on the word by itself, without considering its context in the phrase and in the passage, is not very helpful. The actual phrase says that God created woman to be a help for man; that is, the purpose of her creation was to be a help to the man. Taken in its context, there is clearly some sort of subordination indicated by the phrase as a whole.”

    Such a helpful and clear passage will likely need to be repeated in the future.

  158. Sue June 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Tuad,

    Clearly the word ezer has no sense of subordination in it when it refers to God. How does it mean subordination when it refers to woman. This can only be based on the assumption that woman is already subordinate. For Dr. Grudem, woman is subordinate, this is a presupposition that he brings to the text when he says,

    “Taken in its context, there is clearly some sort of subordination indicated by the phrase as a whole.”

    Christ was sent to earth to die for humankind. Does this make Christ the subordinate of man?

    What is the context that makes subordination explicit when we call woman a “help” but not when we call God a “help.” Dr. Grudem says that God is suboridinate when we call him a “help.” Is that true?

    This is all just a way of interpreting “help” into subordination from the presuppositions about the context. This does NOT mean that ezer means subordinate.

    I would like to address authenteo again. A couple of other people, complementarians, are helping me to check this out.

    Grudem writes,

    we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority.”

    Here is a 3rd century occurrence of authenteo.

    “Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters.” Hippolytus. On the End of the World. 7.

    I find this very upsetting to see the actual ocurrences of authenteo so misrepresented. I would really appreciate someone else seeing what I see, because I walk in a fog sometimes, the fog of what is written by some complementarians, in comparison to what I read when I look up the references.

  159. Sue June 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    “Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters.” Hippolytus. On the End of the World. 7.

    I am very sorry not to get this right the first time. The bolded words are for authenteo.

    Grudem says that authenteo does not have a negative connotation, but here it clearly says “lord it over someone savagely.” How could something be clearer?

    I feel that I have had these things misrepresented to me. I feel sad that I has to leave my church because the pastor asked me to believe Dr. Grudem.

    I am sorry to be emotional but these things are emotional. When I tally up the statements which give readers to believe something contrary to the evidence, I feel sorrow.

  160. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    I was able to hear Dr. Bruce Ware yesterday morning at Denton Bible Church, and I must say, that had I no knowledge of the debate prior to going, one could have hardly thought that there could be a debate on the issue. He does an excellent job demonstrating the wise plan of God of male headship and authority as the original creative purpose in the OT.

    Dr. Ware provided 10 points for the Biblical view of male and female roles, pre-fall, and builds a solid case.

    Please keep an eye on the Denton Bible Church website, http://www.dentonbible.org/, since they will be devoting a large part of the site to this three part series.

    They will offer all of the teaching materials for download for free also. Jono Brooks, who is on staff at Denton Bible, mentioned that the website is getting significant traffic since the beginning of this series.

    Dr. Bruce Ware is also a contributing author to CBMW.

  161. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 8:06 am #

    To add to my previous comment, one admirable teaching of Dr. Ware is that he wisely discerns that most of the controversies that arise today from Biblical interpretation are clear accommodations to culture.

    He also cites the supremacy of Christ, justification by faith alone, and imputed righteousness as being subject to this culture treatment.

    He encouraged the congregation to stand on the Word of God and proclaim the truth of God’s Word, rather than accommodate the culture.

  162. Sue June 23, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Why did some of the church fathers so firmly believe that woman was subjected in the fall?

    For with us indeed the woman is reasonably subjected to the man: since equality of honor causes contention. And not for this cause only, but by reason also of the deceit 1 Timothy 2:14 which happened in the beginning.

    Wherefore you see, she was not subjected as soon as she was made; nor, when He brought her to the man, did either she hear any such thing from God, nor did the man say any such word to her: he said indeed that she was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh: Genesis 2:23 but of rule or subjection he no where made mention unto her.

    And Jerome also translated Gen. 3:16

    sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui

    One can hardly argue that the subjection of woman in creation is obvious.

    In fact, the early church called Christ “our boethos and prostates,” the words applied to Eve and Phoebe. A Greek speaker would with some difficulty realize that these terms were terms of subordination.

  163. JG June 23, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    I too hadn’t heard of this controversy, until just recently, though I’m not surprised it’s coming. If Laodicea means, people rule, I can’t help but to wonder if there is any correlation to this egalitarian movement. How did it work out for that church in Rev 3?

  164. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    “One can hardly argue that the subjection of woman in creation is obvious.”

    I think I understand what you are trying to say in this sentence but even pre-fall there are clear gender roles occuring for the man and the woman.

    Many of these pre-fall defenses arise in Paul when he is giving his case for gender roles also. Nowadays, these kinds of defeneses are denigrated against, but for Paul, on the contrary, they are perfectly legitimate. Paul offers three back to back reasons, all pre-fall, for male headship:

    11:7 For a man should not have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man.

    11:8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man.

    11:9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for man.

    These are all pre-fall, and for Paul, he is not reading into the text by understanding the Order of Creation and other Genesis narratives as rightly a portrayal of male headship.

    Further, at the threshold of the fall the serpent is seemingly seeking to usurp this design, God’s design, through his roundabout tactic to deter – not the man – the woman. Paul will also use this for his gender role argument in 1 Timothy 2:13-14. He offers two more pre-fall observations:

    2:13 For Adam was formed first and then Eve.

    2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression.

    Here are 5 pre-fall male headship conditions that Paul, under inspiration, will use to justify male headship.

    Clearly, Paul does not go to such lengths to demonstrate woman’s pre-fall shared authority. If these reasons are good enough for Paul (and we’ve not nearly addressed the issue or exhausted other pre-fall conditions) then it should be adopted by those who hold to Biblical authority.

    These elaborate word definition scrutinies do not do justice to the thrust of Paul’s reasons for male headship and are a weak argument. The Biblical evidence is clearly, without question, supportive of the Complimentarian position.

  165. Sue June 23, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    More later, but first, you assume that the English word “headship” comes from some scriptural reference. Would you explain what you mean by “headship” in English, since kephale was not used to denote leadership in Greek, but the physical head of the body and likeness of nature.

    If you mean priority by order, then yes, man was created first and woman was created to be the succourer of man. She was created for him, because man cannot live alone. Woman is not independent from man, nor is man independent from woman.

    However, women, in Christ, are appealed to by both Christ and Paul, not to seek fulfillment in childbearing and marriage. That is, not whether they should marry and bear children, but simply this is not the ideal role of woman. Rather, like man, she seeks to please God.

  166. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    Kephale occurs in a body metaphor so it’s strict literal definition would seem to me to be a silent argument.

    If the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, we’d run into many problems taking the literal definition of leaven. If it is to be understood symbolically, there is no contention.

  167. quixote June 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Just at a glance, on the word ezer, it seems that one thing that is clear from the context is that man needed help. It was he who was insufficient for the task, so God made woman. That should count for something!

  168. MatthewS June 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    JG,

    Can you explain further your reasoning for how Rev 3 speaks to egalitarianism?

  169. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    Succorer or helper, regardless. There is no contention. She is still made for the man.

    11:9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for man.

  170. quixote June 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Mr. Metts,

    Doesn’t your line of reasoning hint to neediness and insufficiency on the male’s part?

  171. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Quixote, your #168 does count. It counts heavily for Complementarian values.

  172. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    The question is not about the insufficiency of man. That is given.

    The argument is for the authority of man. The Egalitarian says woman also has authority, and submission is mutual. This position cannot be sustained in light of Paul’s pre-fall gender understanding.

  173. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    JG,

    I agree with Matthew. It is not fruitful for this discussion or for DBC to offer such an easily misunderstood statement.

  174. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    However, women, in Christ, are appealed to by both Christ and Paul, not to seek fulfillment in childbearing and marriage.

    False.

    2:15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.

    Here is a clear Pauline prescription for woman’s role to bear children.

  175. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    “That is, not whether they should marry and bear children, but simply this is not the ideal role of woman. Rather, like man, she seeks to please God.”

    How is woman not ideally meant to marry and bear children? Surely this is a misunderstanding of scripture. Clearly men are not equipped for such a task since they do not have wombs. In light of the creation mandate this would seem greatly incorrect!

  176. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    I’d like to caution against misunderstanding my #176. The point is to indicate how woman is designed to bear children. That is not to denigrate her role, nor to be her only role, because a woman is of much more value than to attribute her existance to a single task – she is the image of God. But to theorize, as the Complementarian opponents are doing, that it is something which she is not ideally designed for is incorrect.

  177. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm #

    Sue: “However, women, in Christ, are appealed to by both Christ and Paul, not to seek fulfillment in childbearing and marriage.”

    Michael Metts: “False.

    2:15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.

    Here is a clear Pauline prescription for woman’s role to bear children.”

    Sue: “That is, not whether they should marry and bear children, but simply this is not the ideal role of woman. Rather, like man, she seeks to please God.”

    Michael Metts: “How is woman not ideally meant to marry and bear children? Surely this is a misunderstanding of scripture. Clearly men are not equipped for such a task since they do not have wombs. In light of the creation mandate this would seem greatly incorrect!”

    Michael Metts, please see comment #101 about Rebecca Walker’s recounting her story as a daughter of militant feminist author Alice Walker. Her story touches upon bearing children.

  178. Sue June 23, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    In the physical sense, woman are created to bear children. But in Christ woman have a spiritual role. Just as men have the earthly role of working to earn a living, and women also, one sees in the scripture, so women have the role of bearing children.

    I fear that I have been misunderstood in a significant way. There is not a grain of dismissal for motherhood in my words.

    But earning a living does not confine men to this. Nor should bearing children confine women. In Luke 11:27 and 1 Cor.7, in the early church and the missionary movement single women do the work of God. If they have leadership skills then the become leaders, and people follow them, as did those of the “house” of Chloe and Nympha.

    On ezer, yes, woman was made for man who is not self sufficient. And Christ came to die for humankind, which is not self-sufficient. As Christ subordinates himself to the needs of humankind, so is woman subordinate, as the succourer of man and the bearer of children, to the needs of man. But this does not make her the subordinate of man, any more than Christ is the subordinate of humankind.

  179. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Thank you Truth. I had read it already. The discussion was probably better served if my 176 and 177 had not been entered for comment. I could not make the words work for me and it remained, in spite of going back over it, too insensitive to the value of a woman.

  180. Sue June 23, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    The fulfillment that women receive in Christ is not to bear biological children. Just as the fulfillment of Paul was not to be a biological father.

    You cannot say that the fulfillment of women in Christ is the bear biological children, but the fulfillment of men in Christ is to serve God in a spiritual sense. You cannot restrict women to fulfillment in the flesh and not fulfillment in the spirit.

  181. Sue June 23, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    Michael,

    Your comment #176 seems quite good. Of course, women are created to bear children. But some don’t. Christ does not place the fulfillment of man or woman on the children they bear.

    Bearing children is an earthly pain and pleasure. Pleasure in the joy of being a parent and pain in the sorrow of being a parent. We all know this well.

  182. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    #179 does not deal with the issues raised in #165.

    Sue, can you offer any satisfactory reasons why Paul, if intending to demonstrate the mutual submission of both men and women to one-another for the sake of gender roles, would offer such a one-sided view of the Genesis narratives?

  183. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Sue: “I fear that I have been misunderstood in a significant way.”

    Sue, ostensibly to Michael Metts: “You cannot restrict women to fulfillment in the flesh and not fulfillment in the spirit.”

    Ahhhhh, ummmmmmmm, might I politely suggest that you have misunderstood and misrepresented Michael Metts’s comments? He, nor any other complementarian, ever said anything like what you’re saying.

    It’s a step towards constructing a strawman fallacy and a stereotyped caricature of the complementarian position.

  184. Sue June 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    We are all good. I don’t think that we disagree at all.

    Having children is a good thing. Women do not have to have children. A woman can serve God as a single person who does something that has no connection to raising children or domesticity. Women can translate the Bible, for example, in a distant and remote country. Women can be doctors, and teachers in another country. Women can be bookkeepers and secretaries here, or musicians. I don’t know of any church that confines women to child-bearing so I don’t quite remember how this came up. Nor do I wish to make it a point of disagreement. I am sorry if I appeared to caricature the complementarian position. It was not my intent.

    #165 time, Michael, time.

    Why does Paul say that man was formed first? Because clearly man is born of woman. That is the physical nature of our being, man from woman. And what is the creation nature of our being? Woman from man.

    That is how the reciprocity of 1 Cor. 7 is established in theory. Woman from man and man from woman.

    Why this is a hierarchy in which men lead is beyong me. Why should men seek to sit at the higher seat at the table? Why don’t men invite women to the table?

    Women are rather in a spot waiting until men learn to imitate Phil. 2. I meekly left my church. I did not stand up and make a fuss or speak in public.

  185. Sue June 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    PS If women are subordinate because Eve was deceived first, then someone should say so. Because I thought that someone said women were created as subordinates.

    I am getting confused. Sorry I’ll take a break.

  186. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    “That is how the reciprocity of 1 Cor. 7 is established in theory. Woman from man and man from woman.

    Why this is a hierarchy in which men lead is beyong me.”

    We are not dealing with theories here. What does the text say? 1 Cor 7 was not in discussion, but 11 and 1 Tim 2.

    This is not leading to reciprocity, Ma’am, this is leading to my defended position of Complementarian gender roles. Paul invokes the order of creation as evidence for male headship – reciprocity is entirely absent.

    “I am getting confused.”

    I believe, perhaps too boldly, this might be in part from not allowing the text to speak for itself, and imposing the position of woman as also being a head onto the text.

    To be the firstborn is to be made the head of the rest. This entails authority. Pre-fall, man is first born, then woman. This order of creation is easily understood in other cultures, but not so well in ours. This order of creation is understood by Paul as evidence for man’s role as functional head – responsible to God for both himself and his wife.

    There are also two accounts in the Genesis narratives when man names woman. Two times. One before the fall, the other after. This entails authority as well.

    Please do not misunderstand the value of women in the Complementarian view, but man’s act of naming the animals as well the rest of creation signified his clear rule over it.

  187. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    “Why does Paul say that man was formed first? Because clearly man is born of woman.”

    Surely, you do not expect me to hold to this. There is confusion present indeed.

    I believe Paul says man was formed first because that is how it occured and it occured this way according to God’s perfect plan to establish man as the head of woman. It is not because Seth later came from Eve, thereby demonstrating order is not important.

    The order of creation can be effectively masked if one adopts dual headship between Adam and Eve, as well as much of Paul on gender roles.

  188. Sue June 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    1 Cor 7 was not in discussion, but 11 and 1 Tim 2.

    I introduced it into the discussion.

    To be the firstborn is to be made the head of the rest. This entails authority.

    What authority does Adam have over the human race?

    There are also two accounts in the Genesis narratives when man names woman. Two times. One before the fall, the other after. This entails authority as well.

    And Hagar named God.

    I do not believe that woman is head. Woman is ezer. It is complementarians that have tried to make that term imply subordination. I am not aware that either kephale or exer means that it is a hierarchical relationship, rather than a relationship of mutuality.

  189. Sue June 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    – ezer –

  190. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    “To be the firstborn is to be made the head of the rest. This entails authority.

    What authority does Adam have over the human race?”

    Quite a bit as representative man.

  191. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    Hagar naming God does not contribute to the discussion since it does not have gender roles in view.

  192. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Subordination came in view when Paul prescribed this role for woman in Ephesians 5.

  193. Sue June 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    Thanks Michael,

    You are deciding which passages may be entered in the discussion and which may not. I concede to your control of the conversation and will not rebutt. You state what you are willing to consider and what you are not. You have that right for yourself.

    No one has responded to my suggestion for Nathan to have a gender accurate Bible so he could know when the Greek or Hebrew saya “man” as a male and when it says “man” as someone or as a human being.

    I think that is of the first order.

  194. Sue June 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm #

    One further thought. It seems that women were better off before Ephesians was written, if that is when subordination came in view.

  195. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm #

    “I am not aware that either kephale or exer means that it is a hierarchical relationship, rather than a relationship of mutuality.”

    The mutuality still entails distinct roles with the man as head. It causes confusion to imply that man has no authority over woman.

  196. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    “No one has responded to my suggestion for Nathan to have a gender accurate Bible so he could know when the Greek or Hebrew saya “man” as a male and when it says “man” as someone or as a human being.”

    These passages are so self-evident, it is uneccessary.

    I also apologize for restricting your response, your point is taken. However, I have proposed several pointed questions that continue to be dodged and taken out of context. It was an effort to keep context and avoid being thwarted with the confusing introduction of non-pertinent passages to the matter.

  197. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    Forgive me Sue. I do not understand how Hagar naming God nullifies the order of creation and Adam naming woman on two occassions.

  198. Sue June 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    I have attempted to respond to every question in this thread but certainly I may have missed some. This seems very likely.

    There is also clearly a disagreement on the term “headship.” Do you use this in the sense of the English word, or is it derived from some biblical passage?

    Some church fathers thought that “head” and “body” denoted perfect union rather than ruler and subject. I would not myself, frin reading Greek, assume that “head” meant “authority over.”

    Paul may have wanted a metaphor to demonstrate that Christ has the same nature as God. So God shares his nature with Christ, Christ in becoming human shares his nature with man, and man shares his nature with woman.

    That is, man and woman share a like human nature. If we say simply that God is the authority over Christ, and Christ is the authority over man, then we might more usefully say that man is the authority over the animals, or possibly over a slave.

    But clearly this is not what the passage is about. One canot put a slave or an animal in this passage.

    It is about sharing a common nature in a mystical sense for Christ and humankind, and for God and Christ.

    And women must wear the stole of status to denote that they are free women. A slave woman could not cover her head. A woman covers her head as a symbol of authority, her own authority that is her liberty as a free woman.

    I believe that it comes down to how one understands the word kephale.

  199. Sue June 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    On Hagar, it seems that sometimes someone names sometone or something as a way to show their recognition of the innate qualities in that person or thing.

  200. Michael Metts June 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    Apologies Sue and all for my barrage of comments. As an undergraduate I’m learning to be better tempered in these discussions as well as reading from the large piles of books ahead.

    I feel as though I’ve offered good input, mostly thanks to Dr. Ware and his excellent teaching yesterday, but it’s probably best I return to my studies.

    I am disappointed with how I’ve handled the discussion for the latter part and will try again after I have grown in understanding.

    Michael

  201. JG June 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    How do I get off this thread, you guys are giving me a headache. The complimentarian view is clearly stated by Dr. Ware. Check out the Denton Bible Church Podcast from yesterday and hear for yourself. The scripture says what it says. All this spiritualization of text when it suits the egalitarian argument is cute, but boring. Take a listen, no one is asking you to agree, just understand the point. Now someone, take me off the replies for this list.

  202. Sue June 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    Michael,

    Please don’t feel bad about it at all. It is good to take on a challenge.

    It is very hard for me too as a woman to be well-tempered about this topic. You have offered good input. But clearly we need to really ask ourselves how best can men and women interact. How can we be blessed together, not one at the expense of the other.

    I wish you well with your studies. I assure you that I have taken no offense.

  203. Sue June 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    My sincere apologies to Nathan. It was Benjamin in #88 who wrote,

    NO. I didn’t do that. In 1 Tim. 3:1 Paul says, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any MAN aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”

    Since there is no “MAN” in this passage in Greek, I think a gender accurate Bible would be extremely helpful.

  204. quixote June 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    JG is somehow connected with DBC, for one of his links will take you to their web site. And Mr. Metts has bowed out of the discussion. Where oh where is David NAS Rogers? Sue, don’t stop now. Some of us are listening.

    Forgive my unacademic questions. I can’t read Greek or Hebrew, and sometimes don’t do so well with my own handwriting!

    No one’s yet mentioned the 2 creation accounts…the one my OT professor used in his dissecting of “conflicting” Bible passages. Is that not important here, I mean, some of the comps. repeatedly appeal to the creation story, but they only cite one. What about the one that claims “male and female” He created them? No order, no headship. God made them both. I’m confused.

    Also, aren’t there times when Paul talks about his opinions versus mandates from the Lord? And in the oft-quoted Timothy passage, Paul says, “*I* do not permit a woman to speak…” not “the Lord saith…” as if he’s writing a letter to his pal Timothy who probably wrote him a letter as his father in the faith, listing all the pastoral problems he was having in his church. And Paul wrote him back saying, “This is what I do…”

    I mean, Paul also encouraged singles to not get married. Paul lived in a time when Christians were being hunted and killed. It was better he said to not be married, not be pregnant…surely we don’t take all his words to Timothy this much to heart?!?

  205. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Sue in #159: “For Dr. Grudem, woman is subordinate, this is a presupposition that he brings to the text when he says,

    “Taken in its context, there is clearly some sort of subordination indicated by the phrase as a whole.””

    Unfortunately, the emotional dislike that you have for Dr. Grudem colors your ability to accurately evaluate the biblical evidence and logical reasoning for role differentiation in the beginning of Scripture.

    In fact, Dr. Grudem did not make the statement that you misattributed to him. Sue, you have made a factual error.

  206. Sue June 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    Tuad,

    Let me make it clear that I am averse to Dr. Grudem’s books because of how he characterizes egalitarian men and women in his charts in Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. page 80 or so. That is fully understandable, I think. No Mystery. It is a healthy reaction on my part. Dr. Grudem makes no effort to endear himself to egalitarians in that book. Not that he should.

    However, in this case there is a much simpler reason.

    Stephen Clark writes,

    “Recently there has been some emphasis on the part of feminist authors that the Hebrew word used here (ezer) does not necessarily imply subordination of any sort.”

    Grudem writes,

    “Recently some writers have denied that the creation of Eve as a helper fit for Adam signals any difference in role or authority, because the word helper (ezer) is often used in the Old Testament of someone who is greater or more powerful than the one who is being helped.”

    I clearly confused the two texts, especially since I neglected to follow your link. I assumed that it was the same paragraph that I had seen in the Systematic Theology.

    However, Clark continues,

    “The word is often used of God as a help for human beings and in such a situation does not by any means imply that God is subordinate to human beings.”

    But Grudem writes,

    “But the point is that whenever someone “helps” someone else, whether in the Hebrew Old Testament or in our modern-day use of the word help in the specific task in view the person who is helping is occupying a subordinate or inferior position with regard to the person being helped.”

    So you are right on, Tuad, clearly Stephen Clark has the best of it here. He has not jeopardized his theology in order to subordinate woman. He has argued that context is king.

    But, I insist that God sent Christ to save mankind. And the early church (CLement) addressed Christ as the boethos of the church, which is the Greek word for the Hebrew ezer. So clearly the context would imply that Christ was subordinate to the church. Is he?

  207. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    Sue: “But, I insist that God sent Christ to save mankind.

    Me too.

    😉

  208. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    Sue: “But, I insist that God sent Christ to save MANkind.”

    Me too.

    😉

  209. Sue June 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    You are a funny guy, Tuad.

  210. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 23, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    Sue asks: “So clearly the context would imply that Christ was subordinate to the church. Is he?”

    Well, since you asked, an Egalitarian argues in ETS paper that Christ submits to the church.

    Excerpts:

    Luther Seminary professor Alan Padgett, argued in a paper at the 57th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) that Christ submits to the church.

    “Alan Padgett’s proposal is not even Christian,” Moore said. “The idea that Christians will, in the eschaton, no longer submit to Christ is more than simply an unbiblical error. It is virtually pagan.

    If this is where Christian egalitarianism is going with “mutual submission,” then it is clearer than ever that evangelical feminism is more feminist than evangelical.”

    “This is just one more example of what lengths egalitarians will go to in order to bolster their otherwise untenable position,” Stinson said. “Unfortunately, there will no doubt be many more theological aberrations such as this coming from the egalitarian camp.”

    P.S. Per Denny: [Pastor Tommy Nelson] said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

  211. Sue June 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    But Tuad, that is just the problem. Grudem’s Systematic Theology seems pagan to me because he subordinates God to humans.

  212. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    quixote,

    Thanks for asking about my presence. I have been busy all day and tomorrow I will be leaving for youth camp until Saturday.

    I hope that all those who are interacting with Sue do realize that she has incredible insight into these languages, far beyond my ability. Her ability to interact not only with the biblical materials but also the classical and patristic are impressive. Her research into the comments of Grudem and her rebuttals in citing the original sources also should impress those reading here. It does not automatically make her correct in all instances (although I find her contributions to be worthy of being reckoned with), but please realize that she is dealing at a primary resource level. She is a first level researcher, whereas many of her respondents seem to resort to quoting somebody else who has done the research.

    Again, that does not automatically make her right, and thus make them wrong. It does make her points formidable. She raises those issues which the people who wrote the lexicons have to deal. She questions the first level researchers at a first level equivalency.

    The reason why she introduces all instances of a word’s usage (e.g. “ezer”) is because she knows that a word’s meaning can only be determined when one has knowledge of what it means in as many contexts as reasonably possible. She doesn’t assume that she knows what it means, she brings up all the instances and especially notes that some instances raise questions about the term. She is raising the question about whether things are so “obvious” or “clear”.

    My frustration with the complementarian commentors here is that they assert the “clarity” and “obviousness” of their complementarian conclusions and yet when Sue or myself or others raise questions which deal with the details of how those conclusions are arrived at, the response seems to be, “it’s so obvious” “complementarianism is obviously the only way of interpreting the passages”.

    Sue, myself and others are raising questions and saying:

    “It’s not so obvious.”
    “It’s not so clear.”
    “Our conclusions are not necessarily because we are liberal, we actually believe we can make a BIBLICAL case for a non-complementarian or altered complementarian position.”

    So the issues is, how do we solve this impasse?

    I’m beginning to wonder if the case can be made here. Have we reached a status of round and round? Can any linear progression of dialogue be made?

    I would hope so, but time will tell. I’ll check back Saturday night or Sunday morning.

    Whatever happens, blessings on all and at least we’ll all meet at the mercy seat.

    David

  213. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 23, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Just thought of one more thing.

    quixote,

    the bulk of what I just posted was not directed at you, but was just a general comment/praise/rant directed at all of us, including myself.

    Blessings,

    David

  214. Sue June 23, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Thanks David,

    I an quite fallible, but for the most part, I am comforted by the many great theologians who have identified themselves as egalitarian also. Fee, Witherington, France, Longenecker, France, Wright, Bauckham, etc.

    I have written recently on the emotional aspects here

    You can find my email in my profile and ask me to blog on a certain topic if you like.

  215. Sue June 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    You can find my email in my profile and ask me to blog on a certain topic if you like.

    That was for you, quixote. But there are many good books on egalitarianism. Once I got the idea that it could be Biblical, then I allowed myself to read up on it. But after a bit, I just went back to see what complementarianism was all about, and how it held people.

    I am grateful to you for being interested in my research.

  216. Truth Unites... and Divides June 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Sue in response to #211: “But Tuad, that is just the problem. Grudem’s Systematic Theology seems pagan to me because he subordinates God to humans.”

    With that utterly blatant and egregious misrepresentation, I shall bid adieu to this thread.

  217. Sue June 24, 2008 at 1:24 am #

    Tuad,

    I wish that I had read that paper you linked to earlier. Did someone really say this?

    Eph. 5 used for “submit” (hypotasso) means one-way submission to authority and not two-way.

    1 Clement 38.1:

    “So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject (ὑποτασσέσθω) to his neighbor, to the degree determined by his spiritual gift,”

    2 Macc 13.23,

    ”[King Antiochus Eupator] got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded (ὑπετάγη) and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and showed generosity to the holy place.”

    A king can most certainly submit to his people. It is most proper that he do so – and a queen too. That is the problem, submission does not mean to be subordinate. Christ did submit to death for our sake. I don’t know about the eschaton but clearly what Stinson said is not true about the Greek word “submit.” Not in a factual sense. Stinson ought to know this stuff. (I mean this sympathetically.)

  218. Lydia June 26, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    “2:15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.

    Here is a clear Pauline prescription for woman’s role to bear children.”

    Interpreted this way makes it a ‘work’ for salvation. No matter how you may try to explain it away…you are saying there is a WORK of salvation for all women in this passage of scripture. With your interpretation, we should be concerned for Mary Magdalene who was not fulfilling her ‘role’ as prescribed by Paul?

    Also: “Childbearing” in this passage is a noun in the Greek denoting an event…The birth of the Messiah. It is not written in the future sense.

    A ‘role’ is something we pretend to be or ‘do’. It is a French word used to describe the scroll used for actors. It also describes a ‘work’.

    I am simply stunned that so many Christians have adopted this word. We are to be human BEINGS who ARE in Christ. Not playing ‘roles’ that are not specified in scripture for all women for all time. This would mean that any single woman on the mission field is in sin.

    How do you guys explain away such passages as in Acts when women were fulfilling the Joel prophecy for the church age by praying and prophesying? How do you explain away the fact that Paul ASSUMED women were praying and prophesying in the Body in 1 Corin 11?

    And WHERE in the OT or NT is that ‘law’ Paul mentions in 1 Corin 14:34?

  219. Michael Metts June 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Interpreted this way makes it a ‘work’ for salvation. No matter how you may try to explain it away…you are saying there is a WORK of salvation for all women in this passage of scripture.

    It was a poor statement and I acknowledge that.

  220. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    (Read this on another blog)

    When I say secondary, I mean secondary. Not unimportant, but secondary. There is primary, and secondary, and tertiary, etc. It is of primary importance that people “love one another” and “love the Lord with all your heart…”. In a liberal wicked culture, this means something **quite** different from the meaning it had in the context the early Church.

    [Set off in Block Paragraph]

    Thus the attitude which says “theology is very much secondary” and means “we can ignore theology as long as we all just get along” (as opposed to meaning “theology is secondary because it is a means to an end… an end which requires that sound theology but is more than just theology”) is, quite frankly, the kind of attitude which is at the heart of the modern apostasy… and the kind of thing you’ll regularly hear from the homosexualists and other heretics.

    [End of Block Paragraph]

    This is absolutely true. And so how did [this denomination] get to this place? It is because Christians have not loved each other. But I’m not talking about tea and crumpets and pasta dinners. I’m talking about love that stands up and confronts. “I opposed Peter to his face” out of love and “shall I come with a stick” out of love and “I am perplexed about you” out of love and “my soul takes no pleasure in cowards” and “remove such a one” out of love and “stop sinning or something worse will happen to you” and “reject a contentious man” out of love. It takes this kind of love to protect the church. This kind of love gains nothing for the one that dispenses it. It divides. It creates tension. It roots out. It is painful. This kind of love is born of only one place – a mystical union with Christ. A pure love of Christ and a powerful life unhindered by a bad conscience. It take the humiliation of confessed sins.

    Theology teaches us skill in how to love, but you have to have the heart right first. A coward with a sword makes a useless soldier.

    When is last time you (a figurative “you”) actually confronted a cantankerous person? When is the last time you stood ground and had others break fellowship with you? When is the last time you confronted a brother about his sins and had a complete mess on your hands as a result? This kind of love is what is missing, not some sappy feeling that says “you’re ok, I’m ok” or “include all at all costs”. I’m talking about the kind of love that excludes when necessary, and longs and burns for Christ, to the point it is willing to confront sin head on and not back down when the wicked threaten with instability.

    Love is offensive, but “the wicked flee when no one persues”. However, the wicked don’t flee when Christians don’t love on the offensive. The wicked have not flown the coop because they are not scared. There has been a failure to love in the power of Christ. This kind of love always will “silence the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8).”

    Pastor Tommy Nelson has this kind of “offensive” Love in preaching biblical complementarianism and against the errors of egalitarianism. God bless him.

  221. Truth Unites... and Divides June 27, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    For anyone who’s interested,

    Please do look at this thread where Sue commits the root fallacy” in her lexical research.

    Here’s are excerpts:

    “Sue’s fantasies of interpretation arise out of the “etymological root fallacy,” an interpretive error common among the amateurs and those with special agendas.”

    For an explanation of the root fallacy, click here . Also on this page is an explanation of an error dubbed “the overload fallacy.” It looks very much like what D. A. Caron has styled “the illegitimate totality transfer fallacy,” and Sue’s comments might well be an example of this interpretive fallacy as well.”

    “Sue,

    There’s no problem with running to a lexicon. The problem arises when one gets there and finds a range of meanings, dependent on context, which the lexicon-user then ignores, resorting first to an interpretive criterion alien to the text in which the word appears. This generates any number of word-meaning fallacies, some of which I referred to in that link I provided. The “root fallacy” is one of the more common of these.”

    From: Egalitarian Flummery No. 2

  222. Truth Unites... and Divides July 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    It may be of interest to some of you to look at this thread (here are some excerpts):

    Green Baggins, #25: “Sue, a couple of thoughts here. Firstly, the range of authenteo is by no means limited to negative “domineering.” That is one possibility, but by no means the only possibility. Even Baldwin, in his monumental, exhaustive study of the word did not conlude that domineer is an impossibility. See pages 49-51 of the second edition of _Women in the Church_. Simple, positively viewed “having authority” is a genuinely attested usage. Add to that Kostenberger’s unshaken (and basically unchallenged) study of the syntax of “neither this nor that” such that both activities are viewed either positively or both negatively (and it is quite apparent that teaching is viewed positively, since negative teaching has another word for it), then authenteo is viewed positively as simply having authority. That is then negatived such that women are not to have authority over men in the church.”

    Sue, #96: “This is the first time I have posted on a site where people don’t read Greek. I am not used to working from commentaries. I really don’t know what else to say. I can’t show you how it works if you don’t read Greek.”

    Green Baggins, #97: “I have had 7 years of Greek, Sue, including 3 years of classical Greek at St. Olaf College, and 4 years of NT Greek at Westminster Theological Seminary. What on earth made you think that I don’t read Greek?”

    Green Baggins, #100: “Fancy that, Sue. Two people who both understand Greek coming to completely opposite conclusions about what the word means. I don’t think it is the first time. …

    You still have not answered the grammatical argument of Kostenberger. His argument does not depend on the meaning of authenteo. In fact, his argument heavily influences how we should read the verb.”

    Green Baggins, #101: “Sue, my confusion over two very similar names should not lead anyone to conclude that I don’t read Greek. This does not give me much confidence in your powers of logic.

    Sue, are you truly teachable? Are you truly humble? I have tried exceedingly hard not only to listen to your arguments, but to all the egalitarian arguments. I have tried to answer your arguments. As sad as your experience with men in the past has been, it in no way constitutes any reason why I should be convinced by your arguments. This is not to downplay what you have experienced. The interpretation of passages of Scripture cannot be based on our experience. Rather, Scripture judges our experience.”

    Green Baggins, #104: “No, Sue, I have not in the least sidestepped Philodemus. I argued that just because we do not have the original any longer does not mean that we don’t have it. So your argument about it not existing is not valid.

    Contrary to your assertion, Sue, I am not side-stepping your arguments. Rather, you are side-stepping mine.”

    From Galatians 3:28 and Feminism

  223. Truth Unites... and Divides July 4, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    Sue, #1197 in Bruce Ware thread (excerpt, but read it all): “When are people going to understand that the greatest danger to women in America and all over the world is their own husband. Ask any emergency ward.

    This is what women need protection from.”

    To see such rancid bitterness manifest itself ….

    Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi. Not good.

  224. Don Johnson July 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    Thanks Mr. Rogers and Sue.

    Some of the supposedly clear passages that are used to restrict women are anything but clear.

    My take is that people make choices in their interpretation and one should only make the non-egal choice if REQUIRED to do so, based on the principles of love and justice. But this is hard to see if you view Scripture thru a non-egal lens.

  225. Truth Unites... and Divides July 8, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    Let’s Get Technical: The Meaning of authenteō

    1 Tim. 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”

    “Christina is American by birth, but a member of our General Synod, and chairwoman of Women and the Church (Watch), which struggles to free the Church of England from patriarchal prejudice.

    “I had scrambled peacock eggs for breakfast,” said Christina, over her shoulder, as she stepped inside. “I need all the primal peacock energy I can get, to do battle with the bishops!”

    And within an hour, turbo-charged by egg power, she’d explained the Anglican Communion to me, unravelled all its competing theologies, and made it appear suddenly quite clear that despite his recent nod in the direction of the conservatives, the Archbishop of Canterbury will eventually have to go with the liberal flow, to follow in the wake of America and embrace not just women bishops, but actively gay clergy as well.

    Christina knew better. She picked up a cat from between her sandals, and said: “You want to know what the headlines will be on July 10?” Yes please. “They’ll all say the same thing: ‘C of E votes for women bishops!’ So hooray! It’ll be a wonderful day and a step towards redressing the great mistakes that were made in the first few centuries of the Christian Church.

    What mistakes? Christina looked surprised. “The suppression of women, of course. The early Christians were so keen to separate themselves from Goddess worship that they began to treat women as inferior. It was something Jesus himself never, ever intended.” So Jesus would have wanted women bishops? “Absolutely.” And actively gay bishops like Gene Robinson, would he have minded them? “No, not if they were in a faithful relationship, of course not.

    For Christina Rees and Bishop Jefferts Schori, perhaps for Rowan Williams, the ordination of women into the episcopacy and the ordination of gay priests are connected in a very basic way. At the heart of the matter is the liberal Anglican idea of who God is and what He wants from us.

    “Come on! God is Spirit! So how do we know how He wants to be worshipped? We don’t.”

    It is true that in my part of London, a nice lady priest and her girlfriend run their parish side by side, and in the next-door church, a gay priest and his partner do the same.”

    Excerpted from: Coming very soon… women bishops

    Egalitarian feminists are joyfully celebrating.

    I, Russell Moore, Denny Burk, and Pastor Tommy Nelson will observe from afar and affirm Tommy when he preached: “the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church and that egalitarianism is Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

  226. Don Johnson July 11, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    You can speak for yourself, but not for me. I am not celebrating.

    And your post had nothing to do with authenteo.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Denny Burk » Bruce Ware’s Complementarian Reading of Genesis - June 24, 2008

    […] address was the second of a Complementarian series of sermons being hosted by Denton Bible Church (the first address is here). The message is deeply biblical and powerfully delivered. The audio is available from DBC’s […]

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes