A Reformed Theologian and a Reformed Blogger Take on the Eternal Subordination of the Son as It Relates to Complementarianism

"Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God." – John Wesley link

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Twinkle Toes

Understanding the Trinity

Let me be perfectly frank. I have struggled with trying to understand the Trinity for most of my Christian life. I believe in the Trinity and it is clear to me that Scripture points towards the Triune God. After all, Genesis 1 clearly sets the beginning of our history with these verses. 1-2; 26 a (NIV, Bible Gateway)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

…Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, 

There was God, there was the Spirit of God, and God refers to Himself as "us." In other words, God is an *us.* The predestined mission of Jesus makes an early appearance in Genesis 3:15 as God promises Satan that his destruction is coming via the offspring of a woman.

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

The best descriptor that I have heard of this three in one God is *One What and Three Whos.* (Hank Hanegraaff.) Each of the Whos are fully God but they are also different. The Father is not the Son nor is the Son the Holy Spirit. For example, when Christ was baptized we see all three of these Whos making their presence known. Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV-Gateway) 

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Easy? Yeah, right!

In fact, I believe that a full understanding of the Trinity is way beyond the understanding of mere mortals. Humans are not a Trinity. We relate to the members of the Trinity by praying to the Father, through Jesus, in the Spirit. Yet, we are made in the image of God, not in the image of one of the three Whos. However, we are not God. Confusing? You bet.

I cannot, for a minute, imagine a Being who could created this universe along with multiple dimensions. I think it was Hank Hanegraaff who said something to the effect of: 

Explaining God to us is like explaining us to a mollusk.

Our God knew this problem. Jesus came to earth to save us but He also came so we could touch and see Him in human form. In so doing, we understood a little more. He also came into our lives as the Holy Spirit so we could sense Him as well as to be given strength to face the struggles we all share. Yet, in my mere mortal state, I believe it yet I don't fully get it.

The danger of extrapolating gender roles from the Trinity.

When I began to see people using the Trinity to set rules for gender roles, I wondered if they really knew what they are talking about. How in the world does one take the concept of the Trinity, which does not exist in our experience as human beings, and claim that it should represent a differentiation of gender roles in humanity?  As for gender, it appears the Godhead prefers to use the pronoun "He" so how does that break down into two genders-male and female- in humans? It is terribly confusing to me.

The folks over at Mortification of Spin  have decided to take on the issue of gender and the Trinity in Is it Okay to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Subordination? This was written by Dr. Liam Goligher, who considers himself a complementarian. But he limits that belief to the following:

The original use of that word took its cue from the biblical teaching about the differences yet complementarity of human beings made in the image of God while not running away from the challenges of applying biblical exhortations for wives to submit to their own husbands in the Lord or the prohibition on ordination for women in the church. With only those two caveats, as Calvin told John Knox, women may be princes in the state, but not pastors in the church.

It seems to be clear from his presentation that he believes that a number of well-known complementarians are running wild with the doctrine of God (meaning the Trinity) in order to set up a descriptive set of limitations on the functions of women and men. He seems to claim that those messing with this doctrine are, in essence, making Christianity seem more like Islam. (Uh oh! The gauntlet has been thrown down.)

 (they are) more concerned with control and governance than with understanding the nuances of the relationship of the Son with His Father in eternity on the one hand and how that differs from the roles they adopt in the economy of redemption on the other. 

What is the push behind the current day, Calvinista infatuation with the doctrine of The Eternal Subordination of the Son? (ESS)

In an excellent post at A Daughter of the Reformation, by Rachel MIller (add 6/4/16)  CONTINUING DOWN THIS PATH, COMPLEMENTARIANS LOSE, the author who is Reformed,  looks at Jared Moore's review of a book by Bruce Ware. Ware is one of the *inventors*, along with Wayne Grudem, of the modern day term, the Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS.) It is also worth noting that Owen Strachan, the President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, proud supporters of ESS, is the son in law of Bruce Ware.

She quotes Moore directly.

Complementarians believe that God has created men and woman as equal image-bearers of God, yet with differing roles in the church and home. Many, however, balk at this notion arguing that a hierarchy in the church or home necessarily means that one gender is less valuable than the other. But if complementarians can prove that there is a hierarchy in the immanent (ontological) Trinity, then they win, for if a hierarchy exists among the Three Persons of God, and these Three Persons are equally God, then surely God can create men and women equal yet with differing roles in the church and home.

If God the Father leads the Son and Spirit infinitely, and if the Son submits infinitely to his Father, and these Three remain fully and equally God, then the hierarchy in the home and church, and the submission of women to men in the church and home does not necessarily mean that women are less valuable than men. Just as the Son and Spirit are not less valuable than the Father, women are not less valuable than men, though a hierarchy has been given by God based on gender in the home and church. In the new book, One God in Three Persons, the complementarians win. They have argued persuasively that there is a hierarchy in the immanent Trinity. (emphasis mine)

Ontological versus Economic Trinity (This will make you sound smart.)

She then goes on to explain things in her own words.

Proponents of ESS have been accused of teaching a hierarchy in the immanent Trinity, but they used to deny this. This book is the first time I’ve seen it clearly stated that they believe that the Son’s submission to the Father is ontological and not merely a function of the economic Trinity. At one point, the book claims that it is promoting functional subordination and equality of nature/essence. However, it goes on the make arguments for authority/submission as inherent in the nature of God as Father and Son.

Immanent or ontological Trinity refers to the nature, being, or essence of God.

Economic Trinity refers to the way in which the persons of the Godhead relate to each other,  for example in the work of creation and salvation. Basically the discussion is over who God is versus what God does and how He does it. (emphasis by Dee)

The possible damage that ESS can cause to gender relationships.

The Daughter of the Reformation, Rachel Miller, (update 6/4/16) makes this thoughtful observation.

Third, there is considerable damage done both to our understanding of the Trinity and also to our understanding of men and women and how we relate to each other. ESS has a trickle down effect on doctrine in many areas. Despite it’s claims to the contrary, it makes the Son inferior to the Father and misinterprets aspects of the work of redemption.

There are also a number of current theologians that propose that women will be subordinate to men in eternity just like the Son is subordinate to the Father in eternity! Can you imagine?

Contemporary and historical quotes on the Trinity

Back at the Mortification of Spin post, Goligher.points out contemporary theologians of the Calvinista variety who support ESS.

“The Father is the authority of Christ, and always has been…There is no Holy Trinity without the order of authority and submission” (Strachan and Peacock, The Grand Design).

“I hold to the eternal submission of the Son to the Father” (Wayne Grudem, www.waynegrudem.com). 

Goligher goes on to review the historical record of certain creeds and statements of belief which he believes are in conflict with the contemporary and novel definition of ESS. Here are three.

“In this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater or less than another” (Athanasian Creed).

Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist “in an inseparable equality of one substance” (Augustine).

"In deeds of grace none the Persons of the Trinity act by themselves. They are as united in their deeds as in their essence. In their love towards the chosen they are one, and in the actions which flow from that great central source they are still undivided" (C. H. Spurgeon). 

Are the proponents of ESS creating a new sort of deity?

Goligher then makes another statement that will probably set off fireworks.

Remember, he has named Owen Strachan, Wayne Grudem, and Gavin Peacock-all leading complementarians-as supporters of ESS. Goligher is Reformed and a complementarian. He is in their camp and yet he is distancing herself from them. Why?

It’s not hard to see who has moved! These quotes highlight what is at stake in the teaching of some contemporary evangelical scholars and pastors: they are presenting a novel view of God; a different God than that affirmed by the church through the ages and taught in Scripture. This is serious. It comes down to this; if they are right we have been worshipping an idol since the beginning of the church; and if they are wrong they are constructing a new deity – a deity in whom there are degrees of power, differences of will, and diversity of thought. Because, mark this, to have an eternally subordinate Son intrinsic to the Godhead creates the potential of three minds, wills and powers. What they have done is to take the passages referring to the economic Trinity and collapse them into the ontological Trinity. 

He believes that such a belief lessens the role of Christ.

They are in turn doing great dishonor to Christ. They collapse the intra-Trinitarian life of God into the roles adopted by the persons to accomplish our redemption. If they are right, then Paul is wrong when he writes that Christ "took the form of a servant" and became man in order that He might become "obedient to death," because for these new teachers, his obedience in his humanity is simply an extension of his eternal obedience.

It means the writer to the Hebrews is wrong because Jesus did not "learn obedience" since He had spent eternity "obeying" His Father. Jesus is wrong because, when He says, "I and the Father are one," He means so only in a modified sense. And John is wrong when He says that “the Word is God,” for, by definition, if He is a servant bound to obey, then He must not have as much Godness as God the Father has in His Himself.

It is clear from Scripture that the Godhead has one will.

Think about it. Why would Jesus have to obey the Father when he is of the same will as the Father? Does that make any sense? Here is a stupid human example that helped me to think about this. When my kids were young, they wanted to go to Disney World as did we. So, we arranged a spectacular week, complete with character breakfast reservations and on site housing. Do you think that I had to say "Now, kids, you must obey us. We are going to Disney World?" At that moment, their will and ours was completely in synch and harmony reigned.

So, God in Himself (in se) is Trinity, but what about the works of God? From eternity God the Trinity, the One who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, of His own good pleasure, without any external pressure or internal need on His part, willed one will and chose to become our Father, through the Son, in the Spirit to the praise of His glorious grace 

Did God set up the Trinity in order to bring God down to our level?

Of course not! He is what He is and we are what we are.

On the other hand, to say, suggest, or speculate that God’s life in heaven sets a social agenda for humans is to bring God down to our level. The eternal life of God as He is in Himself is incomprehensible to us and impossible to reproduce except by analogy. The life of the Three-in-One cannot be replicated by creatures. To use the intra-Trinitarian relations as a social model is neither biblical nor orthodox. God is not a collection of people, but we are. He is the Creator and we are His creatures. 

In the end, God's Trinitarian nature is vastly different than our nature. ESS tries to make God more like us and fails.

 The life of God in Himself is utterly distinct from ours, which is graciously why He has created all things, and in Christ has taken on our flesh, in order to display to His elect people something of His life, relations and roles with respect of us. 


It ain't just the egalitarians who define the Trinity as a divine dance and I have proof.

One quick aside to the post at the Mortification of Spin. The author claims that: 

Some, whose instinct is to defend the differences between men and women, are following the egalitarians in redefining the Triune nature of God to defend their position. Egalitarians typically describe the Trinitarian as a divine dance. They use this as an argument for an undifferentiated humanity made in this God's image

Who can ever forget our post on Twinkle Toes Thabiti called Salsa Dancing Our Way to Complementarianism


CBMW website needs work

Something odd is going on over at the CBMW website. We critiqued an article at the site called Soap Bubble Submission. However the link has gone dead. Now, I am sure the transparent folks over at CBMW would never remove an article unless they explained why. This must be an accident and I hope it goes back up soon since it give us insight into their views on gender relationships.

Also, In preparation for this post, I went over to the CBMW website in order to correctly understand their definitions of the ESS doctrine since Owen Strachan is running the show over there. But, it appears that their multi-part ESS posts all repeat the same thing as Part 1. That is Mary Kassian describing how, each day she sits on the couch with her husband and talks. Apparently, this is an example of ESS as it is taught at SBTS. I wish I had more from CBMW to share with our readers.

Comments

A Reformed Theologian and a Reformed Blogger Take on the Eternal Subordination of the Son as It Relates to Complementarianism — 661 Comments

  1. Patriciamc wrote:

    One woman once did a parody of a Quiverfull website, and people took her seriously. That’s a problem with parodying fundamentalism: it’s already a parody!

    Hence Poe’s Law (wiki article here)…

  2. @ Ken F:
    Lots of good thought & discussion here about the early church & the Orthodox church’s views on the atonement & on PSA: http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/?s=Penal+Substitution

    Some of it boils down to the whole question of whether it’s really believable that God would forget to tell the church central & important stuff about the atonement for a thousand years, in a similar way with what is believed about the scope of God’s salvation & man’s given ability to resist it. Those who walked with Jesus & the Apostles & passed on these teachings, including eventually recording stuff & forming the canon, is it really credible they got such fundamental stuff (according to Piper et al) so wrong? If we tried that argument the other way round – oh the church taught PSA right from the start but now a 1000 years in we’ve come up with Christus Victor – we’d get laughed out of court.
    The Orthodox seem to look at the atonement in a variety of ways, with any imagery regarding payment of debt (which isn’t much) being subservient to the overall flow of the whole texts. Overall it seems much more relationship oriented – sin cuts us off from God, & Jesus brings us back.

  3. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Several people (including one Catholic) weighed in with variations on “She asked for it” because she was drunk.

    This is such a frustrating thing. There is a difference between fault and risk. It is risky to get drunk to the point of passing out. That does not make it her fault.

    The fathers response to his sons sentencing was gross.

  4. @ Ken F:

    Thanks for the info Ken. Now I have a better handle on the particulars and how they evolved over the centuries.

  5. Beakerj wrote:

    The Orthodox seem to look at the atonement in a variety of ways, with any imagery regarding payment of debt (which isn’t much) being subservient to the overall flow of the whole texts. Overall it seems much more relationship oriented – sin cuts us off from God, & Jesus brings us back.

    Payment of debt? As if all the human suffering and misery down through the centuries is not enough, now there has to be a further debt-penalty-punishment scheme levied?
    Voltaire was right:
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

  6. Lydia wrote:

    I am not seeing an innate desire to control ‘one another’ in the account. The effect listed for Eve is her turning from God to Adam.
    Not trying to control him but actually giving him what should have been reserved for God. That is why Adam rules her. She sinfully desired it.

    Which leads to making the man an idol.
    Which is, you see, what these (heretical) “teachers” want……

  7. roebuck wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    there is something sick about Calvinism.

    Yes there is, and it’s called ‘John Calvin’. The man was a tortured lost soul, as far as I can tell. And what a legacy he left behind

    Yes, he was exactly that. I think he was so miserable, & he determined that he was going to make everybody else miserable right along with him.

  8. @ Muff Potter:
    Muff, the Orthodox would be right there with you. Their understanding revolves around God’s compassion & desire for all his children to be back in a healing relationship with him. The whole legal transaction thing is very alien to them, reconciliation is relational, not forensic.

  9. Beakerj wrote:

    The whole legal transaction thing is very alien to them, reconciliation is relational, not forensic.

    That makes sense to me. I like that view.

  10. Beakerj wrote:

    Lots of good thought & discussion here about the early church & the Orthodox church’s views on the atonement & on PSA: http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/?s=Penal+Substitution

    Thank you for posting this link (and for the rest of your interesting post).
    I have relatives who are Eastern Orthodox Christians and they have lovely and fine traditions that I respect. I disagreed with those at my former NeoCalvinist church who disparaged other denominations, including Orthodox, as “not being real Christians” and of somehow being “Satanic”.

    I thought, “Those traditions were around long before your Protestant traditions.”

  11. Beakerj wrote:

    The Orthodox seem to look at the atonement in a variety of ways, with any imagery regarding payment of debt (which isn’t much) being subservient to the overall flow of the whole texts. Overall it seems much more relationship oriented – sin cuts us off from God, & Jesus brings us back.

    Thanks for the link. Your comments very much agree with what I found. The Orthodox theology is beautiful. But their church practice does not excite me.

  12. @ Beakerj:
    Siteseer introduced me to Ed Fudge. He has a very interesting illustration about Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice and high priest. The high priest began his duties at age 30. He retired at 50. His job all day except Sabbath was to accept the offered sacrifices and perform the ritual for each person in line day after day, week after week and so on. There wasn’t even a place for him to sit. And of course the flow of customers never stopped. This goes on century after century.

    Now comes Jesus as the one and only needed ultimate sacrifice.

    He also makes the point the sacrifice was like a band aid. God preferred obedience the whole time.

    I believe God made himself the sacrifice. That is how much He loved us and believes we can be different. We can change.

  13.  __

    Da ‘Rock’ N’ His Diamonds  (tm) : “501(c)3 Religion Preach’d So Blue, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Me and you are subject to the calvinesta blues now and again?

    But that is when you take dat calvinesta  blues and make up a new song! Shortly, youze singing da eternal Son shine out again!

    Yep!

    God’s Word preached blue, ranting at da pulpit? God’s Word made blue, making stuff up wit da bible?

    Funny thing, but you can preach it with a stern voice, and before the congregation knows it dem calvinesta types  start makin’ da people feel real bad. Deze pastorial guys simply give da people no other choice…

    ‘Jesus’ religion’ preached blue?

    could b.

    Calvinesta types seem ta ‘stealth tamper’ (R) wit it every time our backs are turned…

    (sadface)

    With alternate thinking and slay of hand, it becomes possible for the calvinestas to define ESS doctrine, to re-define the Trinity. 

    huh?

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…”   “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made…” (John 1:1,3)

    Skreeeeeeeeeetch !

    The Scriptures are ‘profitable’ for alternate doctrine?

    What?

    Kick these ingenious and artful calvinestas to da proverbial curb, Lord Jesus!

    hahahahahaha 

    Heaven and earth are filled with your glory, not calvinesta nonsense. 

    Amen!

    Sopy

  14. Bridget wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:

    The whole legal transaction thing is very alien to them, reconciliation is relational, not forensic.

    That makes sense to me. I like that view.

    Me too! I never been able to buy into the whole law/grace dichotomy as if there was no opportunity for grace in the OT.

  15. Lydia wrote:

    I believe God made himself the sacrifice. That is how much He loved us and believes we can be different. We can change.

    The thing that screwed up Christian theology was taking analogies too far. Jesus said he came as a “ransom” for many. Origen tried to explain the details of the payment plan for that ransom instead of just letting the imagery stand on its own. That got the ball rolling. Anselm rejected that and came up with the theory that ultimately resulted in penal substitution. But it has the same issue of who gets the payment. If we could get back to the original imagery, without having to explain all the rabbit-trail details, we might be able to recover the Christian faith.

  16. __

    “Who Moved Da Orthodoxy?”

    hmmm…

      “God has revealed Himself as Trinity. To speculate, suggest, or say that there is a real primacy of the Father or subordination of the Son within the eternal Trinity is to have moved out of Christian orthodoxy and to have moved or be moving towards idolatry…” -Aimee Byrd; ‘Mortification Of Spin’

  17. @ Ken F:

    Agreed. It gets further exacerbated by present day ideologues (authors of the Chicago Statement for example) who claim that hyperbole is not a valid literary device in Scripture.

  18.   __

    “Wrong House?”

    hmmm…

      The church of Jesus Christ is made up of those who have received Christ’s sacrificial attonement offering for sin. God was in Christ redeeming Man unto Himself as He said He would. Subordination effectively plays no part, but serving one another in the love of Christ Jesus does. The professional pastorial Calvinist 501(c)3 officials just made the ESS and church female subordination stuff up apparently for selfish religious ambition. Jesus wants us to serve one another as He did us. Anyone who tells you otherwise has picked the wrong house, as Jesus lives with those who serve one another.

    ATB

    Sopy

  19. Daisy wrote:

    The Coming War: Nicene Complementarians vs Homoian Complementarians
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/the-coming-war-nicene-complementarians-vs-homoian-complementarians/

    I predict that there is about to be a miniature civil war among conservative Calvinist Complementarians about Trinity and gender.

    I hope that’s true, because this ESS stuff is ridiculous. Maybe they’ll wise up and throw off ‘comp’ altogether.

    What blows my mind are the comp guys who think it is literally impossible for TWO people to relate without one being the boss! Amazing. Ridiculous. I would have commented at pathos but I hate disqus.

    My boss shows more consideration than some of these husbands…

  20. This paragraph in particular is worth repeating

    “The leaders of the organizations which represent New Calvinism have weathered storm after storm, from Driscollgate onwards, by maintaining a firm grip on the mainstream New Calvinist media, by licensing just enough criticism to reassure concerned onlookers, and by stoic public silence in the face of numerous scandals and controversies. But this one is surely too big and the stakes are too high. It has to be addressed. We are not here dealing with the rogue actions of some boisterous celeb preacher in a Mickey Mouse tee-shirt; this is a specific form of theology which is deeply embedded in the very foundations of one of the movement’s professed central distinctives. The New Calvinist leaders need to speak up, and they need to speak up now.”

  21. @ Lea:

    I don’t think Christians, especially pastors, appreciate that neglecting adult singles, focusing on marriage 99.9% of the time, only to toss us a token mention in a sermon or article makes things okay. It does not.

  22. @ Lea:

    I don’t think Christians, especially pastors, appreciate that neglecting adult singles, focusing on marriage 99.9% of the time, only to toss us a token mention in a sermon or article makes things okay. It does not.Velour wrote:

    Yes, Daisy. A Comp bingo card containing all of their usual sayings.
    *submission
    *obedience
    *deceived
    *final authority=husbands

    And notice, like in real life in complementarian circles, these Bingo cards never mention single, divorced, widowed, childless, or child free, women. 🙂

  23. @ Daisy:

    Well that’s weird. I only meant to address one post there (I think it was by Velour) but it copied another one at top, my earlier reply, to Lea.

  24. Ken F wrote:

    (quote by Burke),
    “If complementarians are to reclaim the debate,

    I think that’s an admission from his side (complementarian) that they are losing ground to egalitarians or other Non-complementarian Christians. Russell Moore also conceded defeat (I think it was Moore) when he was quoted to have said something like,
    “Even people who say they are complementarian are actually living egalitarian marriages.”

    I think at least some of them see that complementarianism is going the way of the dodo bird.

  25. Ken F wrote:

    “disturbingly counter-cultural”
    – How does one define counter-cultural in a multi-cultural environment? “Counter-cultural” is just a buzz word that has almost no meaning.

    It’s meant to sound brave and heroic, but they forget that all the heretics were counter to the normative church culture. “Disturbingly” is a disturbing word to describe a Christian movement. More spin in an effort to sound heroic.

    I also find it an annoying or disingenuous complementarian rhetorical device because it supports their technique of painting the situation as being “either you are a complementarian, which means you are a true conservative who believes in the Bible and takes it literally, or else, you are a man-hating, secular, feminist who hates the Bible and thinks it is filled with error.”

    Saying their view on gender is “counter cultural” (as they do frequently!) is to sort of imply there is no third alternative.

    With complementarians, it’s either be a
    1.) Bible believing Christian, or else, you have to be a
    2.) liberal, secular, bra-burning feminist who doesn’t believe in or respect the Bible or take the Bible seriously or literally.

    This is one technique they use to make people feel as if their only option is to remain a comp because the only other supposed choice is to become a liberal atheist man-hating heathen who thinks the genders are totally identical.

  26. roebuck wrote:

    Do you know of a more-or-less comprehensive list of ways that the ESV has twisted scripture to a more NeoCal interpretation? I’ve heard a couple of things, but am interested to learn more.

    I don’t know if you’ll find any of this helpful. I don’t have a link to a single past, comprehensive list.

    ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: Complementarian Conflict of Colossal Proportions
    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/09/03/esv-gospel-transformation-bible-complementarian-conflict-of-colossal-proportions/

    The ESV Bible’s Men-only Club
    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/the-esv-men-only-club/

    Junia in Romans 16:7 and the ESV
    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/junia-and-the-esv/

    Not about the ESV in particular:

    Will A Truly Honest Bible Translation for Women Ever Be Made? (part 1)
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/arise/will-truly-honest-bible-translation-women-ever-be-made

    7 Places Where Gender-Inclusive Bible Translation Really Matters: Part 1
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/7-places-where-gender-inclusive-bible-translation-really-matters-part-1

  27. Velour wrote:

    *Young Earth Creation. I won’t go to a church again that espouses this. It’s a tip-off that they supposedly take the Bible “literally” (which is ONLY their proof-texting interpretation) and that they will support Comp teachings, women as second class citizens. In the creation story the word “Yom” in Hebrew has 58 different meanings, including meaning “a long time”.

    I’d be careful about using that as a litmus test.

    I lean YEC / Creationism but am staunchly opposed to complementarianism.

    YECs / creationists don’t walk in lock step on every issue, no more than Old Earth Agers / Theistic Evolutionists do.

  28. Daisy wrote:

    I also find it an annoying or disingenuous complementarian rhetorical device because it supports their technique of painting the situation as being “either you are a complementarian

    Complementarianismists vary widely too, so it’s hard to nail them to the wall. And when you do they just say they’re not jerks and think that proves their theory right. My husband is ok. I love my wife. Blahblahblah.

  29. Daisy wrote:

    I lean YEC / Creationism but am staunchly opposed to complementarianism.

    That’s probably rare though. These things do tend to go along together in churches (maybe not always on the individual level).

    Honestly, I grew up in church and didn’t realize people believed in a 6k year earth. That’s not how I read genesis even if I’m reading it literally.

  30. @ lowlandseer:
    As the kids say, BOOM. People who love Complementarianism will become Arians. People who love Nicene Theology will move away from Complementarianism if those two doctrines are not unbundled.

    Trueman calls for the Calvinista leaders to denounce ESS. I do not see that happening. Grudem is god to them. Not that they would admit it…

  31. Lydia wrote:

    I go all the way back to Satan hating women and seeing them as a threat because Messiah would come through woman. This played out all through history in patriarchy and and it even lives today in soft comp.

    There is no nice way to live with separate but equal.

    I agree with everything you said here.
    About this part, which is what I really wanted to address:

    “I go all the way back to Satan hating women and seeing them as a threat because Messiah would come through woman”

    Very interesting. Satan sees women as competent, deadly, and a real foe, but complementarians do not.

    (In a manner of speaking, I think some of them do. I think some comp men may have hang-ups about women, are fearful of them, and view women as being dangerous, in that they are viewed as temptresses that must be controlled.)

    But by and large, the mainstream of complementarianism seems to think women are helpless, meek, weak flowers who need big, strong men to protect them.

    They also seem to think women are dumber than men and more easily deceived.

    So, they initiate all these rules to keep women, half the church, ineffective and declawed.

    So the complementarians are aiding and abetting Satan with his goal to keep women down.

    But I find it interesting, if we go with your comments, that Satan knows exactly what women are capable of – but complementarians do not (or deep down do realize it but want all control for themselves, they don’t want to share rule with women).

    Ironic that Satan gets it but complementarians do not.

  32. @ Gram3:
    Should clarify that I was paraphrasing Trueman’s thoughts about unbundling the doctrines. I agree with him which will not doubt come as a great relief to him. 🙂

  33. Daisy wrote:

    Satan sees women as competent, deadly, and a real foe, but complementarians do not.

    WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
    He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
    But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
    He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
    But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
    They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
    ‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
    For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
    But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
    The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
    Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
    Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
    To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

    Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
    To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
    Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
    Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

    But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
    Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
    And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
    The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

    She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
    May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
    These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
    She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

    She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
    As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
    And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
    Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

    She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
    Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
    He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
    Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

    Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
    Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
    Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
    And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

    So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
    With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
    Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
    To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

    And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
    Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
    And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
    That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

    [Not an endorsement of Kipling :)]

  34. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    *Young Earth Creation. I won’t go to a church again that espouses this. It’s a tip-off that they supposedly take the Bible “literally” (which is ONLY their proof-texting interpretation) and that they will support Comp teachings, women as second class citizens. In the creation story the word “Yom” in Hebrew has 58 different meanings, including meaning “a long time”.
    I’d be careful about using that as a litmus test.
    I lean YEC / Creationism but am staunchly opposed to complementarianism.
    YECs / creationists don’t walk in lock step on every issue, no more than Old Earth Agers / Theistic Evolutionists do.

    While you may be the exception to the rule (conservative, believe in Young Earth, don’t believe in Comp) you are speaking for yourself and not for an entire church. But in these conservative churches – where the leaders espouse Young Earth Creation – all of the ones I’ve seen also espouse Comp doctrine, women obey and submit, women as second-class citizens.

    I grew up with Christians in my family who were scientists (women and men) AND worked on teams of Nobel Prize-winning researchers. I can’t get on board with the conservative churches relentless attacks on science and scientists. It’s poor form. Lacking in scholarship. Weak arguments.

  35. Daisy wrote:

    @ Lea:
    I don’t think Christians, especially pastors, appreciate that neglecting adult singles, focusing on marriage 99.9% of the time, only to toss us a token mention in a sermon or article makes things okay. It does not.

    As long as singles give money and fill pews, these pastors – in most cases – have no reason to change.

  36. Gram3 wrote:

    I suspect that it will take something like their daughters being abused by their Female Subordinationist husbands to wake these guys up. They do not care about other people’s daughters, but…I suspect also that the *wives* of these guys will wake up when the kids have left the nest or when they get a whiff of their daughters being abused. Or their sons being weighed down by the burden of being Jesus to their daughters-in-law.

    I would hope that would be the case, and one would think it would be the natural reaction, but-

    Some of these complementarian guys who have daughters might actually be deeply conflicted on the topic, though, like this father mentioned in this blog post:
    “Bible believing” pastors and the enabling of domestic violence
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2015/04/bible-believing-pastors-and-the-enabling-of-domestic-violence/

  37. Velour wrote:

    As long as singles give money and fill pews, these pastors – in most cases – have no reason to change.

    The funny thing is based on several articles I have seen in the last several years, one reason of several preachers ignore the topic of singleness, and the needs of over-age-30 singles, is that they assume that married couples tithe more money than singles and are a more lucrative group to market to.

    The pastors figure they can make more profit selling books with themes like, “Your Awesome Marriage God’s Way” to the married couples in church.

    I used to know a web page of a lady who interviewed a guy who is a nationally known Christian speaker or expert about adult singleness, and she was asking him why so many churches ignore singles, and he explained it has a lot to do with money. (I’d give you the link if I could find it.)

    Anyway, according to this guy, churches perceive marrieds as having more money than singles, so they appeal to them more.

    I’m not sure if these churches realize it or not, but a lot of singles are now ages 30, 40, and older.

    I think maybe these churches, when they think of “single,” what springs to mind with them, are 20 year old kids who are still in college. That is not the case anymore.

  38. Patti wrote:

    Also, whenever the Bible talks about Jesus as the Son of God as our savior, the emphasis is always on the general humanity of Jesus, not on his maleness, which is appropriately emphasized in passages when pertaining simply to something he did as a male human only.

    God and Jesus sometimes referred to themselves in feminine terms, or compare themselves to mother birds or mother bears, or other female types.

    Female Images of God in the Bible
    http://www.womensordination.org/resources/female-images-of-god-in-the-bible/

  39. @ Velour:

    I was trying to find you a link or two about the TNIV when I found out that Wayne Grudem wrote a book about it. He’s a complementarian, so he’s probably not in favor of the TNIV. The title is
    “The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy” by Wayne Grudem

    TNIV debate renewed in critique of new NIV
    http://www.bpnews.net/35458/tniv-debate-renewed-in-critique-of-new-niv

    Six years after the evangelical world debated the merits and appropriateness of making Bible translations more gender inclusive for words dealing with people, the divide is becoming evident once again.

    At issue is the 2011 translation of the New International Version (NIV), which is being released six years after the full version of the 2005 TNIV translation — which never gained wide support — was published. Zondervan later discontinued the TNIV (Today’s New International Version).

  40. bea wrote:

    This article by Gavin Peacock on the “love” that husbands are supposed to give their wives is ummm… kind of making me lose my lunch. So many things about this article are so off. Could write a whole tome on just this one article…
    One tidbit to share: “You are her permanent head, not part-time head. Go towards her and be her main human means of sanctification.”

    So, I guess in their scheme of things, unmarried woman don’t have heads. 🙂

  41. Daisy wrote:

    So, I guess in their scheme of things, unmarried woman don’t have heads.

    In their scheme of things, unmarried women don’t exist. Or are lesbians.

  42. Lea wrote:

    The fathers response to his sons sentencing was gross.

    I know. The father characterized the rape as “20 minutes of action” and said that was not a big deal, and the poor dear (the rapist son) no longer has an appetite for steak or pretzels.

    One wonders what universe this family is living in that they don’t accept any responsibility or realize the gravity of what the son did.

    I have to wonder. If Rapist Dad had a daughter of his own, and she were raped, would this clueless Dad still sit there and characterize the rape of his own daughter as being “20 minutes of action” and bemoan that six months is too long a punishment?

    The family of the rapist is now asking the public for funds. I saw several links today go through my social media about that. I didn’t save any of those.

    Here’s someone else’s dad who seems to grasp it all much better:
    Commentary: What my sons will learn from Brock Turner’s rape case at Stanford
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-stanford-sex-assault-letter-huppke-20160608-story.html

  43. Daisy wrote:

    So, I guess in their scheme of things, unmarried woman don’t have heads.

    And you do not have a prayer of ever being sanctified, either, in Gavin Peacock’s odd little universe.

  44. @ Lea:

    That reminds me.
    Read how Comanche women treated captives here:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396760/How-Comanche-Indians-butchered-babies-roasted-enemies-alive.html

    (If anyone is upset by that link, I’m not picking on Native Americans. There are full blooded Native Americans from two different nations on my maternal and paternal sides of the family (though not Comanche, I will say that much).)

    The Comanche ladies sounded more aggressive than the men, is all I mean by posting that.

    Complementarians tend to think all women are little, dainty flowers.

    If you condition women from the time they are girls to think they are helpless little waifs, don’t be surprised if that is how they act when older.

    I notice that a lot of complementarians disdain feminine passivity, meekness – they despise those qualities, or blame women for having them, but they’re the ones who convince us, since we are girls, that those are “godly” qualities we should cultivate.

  45. Velour wrote:

    While you may be the exception to the rule (conservative, believe in Young Earth, don’t believe in Comp) you are speaking for yourself and not for an entire church. But in these conservative churches – where the leaders espouse Young Earth Creation – all of the ones I’ve seen also espouse Comp doctrine, women obey and submit, women as second-class citizens.

    Churches are comprised of individuals – ones who may not necessarily agree with every official point of said church.

    Not every YEC supporter is going to be a complementarian, or love eating cherries, or binge watch Sons of Anarchy.

  46. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    In their scheme of things, unmarried women don’t exist. Or are lesbians.

    It’s usually single men over 30 who get the homosexual accusations.

    Older ladies are either ignored or treated like they failed at God’s only purpose and plan for them.

    Complementarians sometimes sound like this guy:
    Turkish president says childless women are ‘deficient, incomplete’
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/06/turkish-president-erdogan-childless-women-deficient-incomplete?CMP=twt_gu

  47. Gram3 wrote:

    And you do not have a prayer of ever being sanctified, either, in Gavin Peacock’s odd little universe.

    If that is so, the Holy Spirit is pretty useless. 🙂

  48. Daisy wrote:

    Churches are comprised of individuals – ones who may not necessarily agree with every official point of said church.
    Not every YEC supporter is going to be a complementarian,

    Of course churches are comprised of individual Christians that differ on these points. But with the authoritarianism sweeping so many churches across the country, thanks to the NeoCalvinists, 9Marks (just another heavy-Shepherding group), Acts 29 (more heavy Shepherding tactics), Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood, differences really aren’t allowed by these leaders. So if someone espouses these beliefs, or if I see it on the church website or links, I learned my lesson: Stay away.

    I didn’t know about any of these groups and their antics before. I didn’t know that I actually had to research the church website, the links of a church, before I stumbled on this website and learned from posters the error of my ways. I just wanted to go to church, head the Word, know other Christians, be known, be kind to one another, and grow as a Christian. Boy, was I naive!

    Instead I and others at my ex-NeoCalvinist church got burned, abused, threatened by pastors/elders, controlled, chastised for any critical thinking, and excommunicated and shunned for any dissent.

  49. Daisy wrote:

    I was trying to find you a link or two about the TNIV when I found out that Wayne Grudem wrote a book about it. He’s a complementarian, so he’s probably not in favor of the TNIV. The title is
    “The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy” by Wayne Grudem

    Thanks Daisy for finding that for me! How fascinating. I’m so glad I was able to get a used copy of the TNIV Bible.

    Wow, if Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood dislikes the TNIV so much then I know it will be for me! What an endorsement.

  50. @ Daisy:
    Back in the day when I organized many a comp conference in the mega world, I came to the conclusion there were 2 types of comp women who are immersed in that world:

    1. Those who were waiting around for their husband to become the spiritual leader God wanted him to be.

    2. Those who were a sort of General Patton running the show behind the scenes.

  51. Daisy wrote:

    So, I guess in their scheme of things, unmarried woman don’t have heads.

    So I guess married women have 2 heads? Or does the husband replace Christ? :o)

  52. Just a note that long-time poster here Jeannette Altes was able to pay her June rent thanks to the donations of people here. She lost her job, is being treated for a tumor, and is looking for work.

    Jeannette did need help with food and gas money for the rest of June.

    “Latest update: Thank you all so much. Because of your help, my June rent and bills are covered. I have food for the next week. So, all I need now for June is gas and food for 2nd half of month. I’m still waiting to hear on jobs I’ve applied for. Helped a friend on Friday and he paid me $60 – which paid for groceries. 🙂 There are no words to adequately express my gratitude for all your help. It is overwhelming and teaching me that love really is more than a word. Thank you so much….” June 6, 2016
    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  53. Ken F wrote:

    WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:
    My Eastern Orthodox friend told me that even in Orthodoxy you still have to actually affirm penal substitutionary atonement in the prayer life of the Orthodox liturgy.
    That’s very interesting. I found a lot of good articles on penal substitution from Orthodox sources and never found one that affirms it. I got the impression that the Orthodox very consistently reject that theory of atonement. Other than that, their approach is pretty much what you wrote. They regard the atonement as a mystery that we will not be able to fully explain.

    Ken: As an Orthodox Christian, I can say that you are correct. The Orthodox Church does not teach Penal Substitution but rather Christus Victor. We would never say that God *punished* His Son on the cross. I recently had a discussion with my priest about this very subject. Wenatchee, your Eastern Orthodox friend is misled in this regard.

  54. Pingback: Wayne Grudem’s Un-Orthodox View of the Trinity and the Question that Must Be Asked: Can the ESV Bible be Trusted? | Wondering Eagle UNITED STATES