"I contend that if we lose the battle over the gender debate, we lose the proper interpretation of God's Word, we lose inerrancy, we lose the authority of the Bible itself, and that is detrimental to the Gospel."
Dr. Thomas White
Did you read the following announcement over at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) website back in July?
"Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host a one-day conference on biblical manhood early this fall. The conference will be held on Sept. 13 at the Riley Center on Southwestern's campus in Fort Worth, Texas. Featured speakers will include Russell D. Moore, Paige Patterson and Randy Stinson." (link)
I check out the CBMW site from time to time and remember reading this announcement when it was first posted. Isn't it telling that this one-day event was billed as a "conference on biblical manhood"? Equal in essence, huh?
Dr. Thomas White was one of the presenters at this conference, and he addressed the topic The Biblical Foundation for Gender Roles. (link)
Bob Allen (Associated Baptist Press) provided a brief summary of White's discussion regarding Adam's sin. Allen explains:
"A Southern Baptist seminary professor said at a recent conference that Adam’s sin was in listening to his wife.
Thomas White, vice president for student services and associate professor of systematic theology at the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said Adam “abandoned his leadership responsibilities and directly disobeyed God" by accepting forbidden fruit offered by Eve in Genesis.
“The beginning of God’s curse on Adam indicated that he fell because he heeded the voice of his wife, which contradicted God’s established order and represented the first biblical example of abandonment of male leadership responsibility,” White said during a Biblical Manhood & Womanhood Conference Sept. 13 on the campus in Fort Worth, Texas.
Defending a theology called complementarianism, which holds that men and women are both created in God’s image but assigned different roles, White rejected the “egalitarian” argument that the subjugation of women came as a result of the Fall and is something that Christ came to redeem.
'Eve was cursed on her God-given role before the fall,' White said. 'She is cursed on her role as a mother and as a helper. She will have pain in childbirth, and her desire will be for her husband.'
White said he doesn’t believe 'there can be a more important debate' than the conference topic.
'I contend that if we lose the battle over the gender debate, we lose a proper interpretation of God’s word,' he said. 'We lose inerrancy. We lose the authority of the Bible, and that is detrimental to the gospel.' "
If Thomas White's name sounds familiar, perhaps you will remember reading about him in the secular press. Here is the Dallas Morning News headline calling attention to his chapel message three years ago: Baptist teacher from Southwestern calls birth control pills 'murder' (link)
We covered this development not long after we began blogging, and you can read our post entitled Selling the Quiverfull Approach to Family Planning here. This post contains quite a bit of information on what White said in chapel along with the adverse reaction from pastors and the press. We encourage you to check it out to understand what is really going on at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Now let's get back to gender roles, as discussed by Dr. Thomas White. He explains that complementarians believe that because God created Adam first (Genesis 2:7), he has headship over Eve. White believes the created order is the foundation for headship.
Then White quotes Adam's first words when he initially saw Eve (Genesis 2:23 NKJV):
And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
White believes the last part of this verse "because she was taken out of Man" supports his position of headship.
Have you ever noticed that the name Eve is not referenced in Genesis 2:23? It is only AFTER the fall that Adam gives his wife the name "Eve". We believe this is significant.
With regard to the fall, have you ever thought of it in this way?
The woman was deceived by a supernatural being named Satan.
The man was deceived by his wife.
We hope you will give that some serious thought.
We disagree with White's contention that Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden was a failure to lead because he listened to his wife. We believe the fall occurred because man and woman chose to disobey. (10/14 correction). When Adam heeded the voice of his wife, he was ignoring the influence of God in his life. That, we contend, was Adam's failure.
We would love for our readers to chime in on this important matter. Was Adam's sin a failure to lead his wife?
Lydia's Corner: 2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17 Romans 6:1-23 Psalm 16:1-11 Proverbs 19:20-21