"The matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God's will for women."
Our previous post – Jason Duesing on ‘Gentlemen Theologians’ Who Would Have Handled the ESS Debate with ‘Civility and Kindness’ (link) – garnered quite a few comments. One of the early comments really caught my attention. See screen shot below.
Oh the irony that the 'gentleman theologian' Jason Duesing held up as one to be emulated — Dr. Robert Nicole — was an EGALITARIAN!!! How much do you know about Dr. Nicole? I have to admit that my knowledge of this 'gentleman theologian' is limited, so I thought it might be beneficial to learn more about him.
According to a Wiki article, Robert Nicole was born in Germany in 1915 to Swiss parents. The Nicole family returned to Switzerland during Roger's childhood, and he remained there until 1935. Dr. Nicole was a Bible scholar with the following degrees:
He earned his M.A. from Sorbonne, France, and then emigrated to the United States to continue his studies. He received a B.D. (1939), S.T.M. (1940), and Th.D. (1943) from Gordon Divinity School, his Ph.D. (1967) from Harvard University, and his D.D. (1978) from Wheaton College.
Nicole began his theological career at Gordon Divinity School [now Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary] in 1944 as a faculty member. Two years later he married Annette Cyr. He was appointed professor of theology in 1949 and spent most of his career there, retiring in 1986. He continued teaching theology during his retirement at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.
The Theopedia article on Roger Nicole identifies him as a Baptist and states:
Dr. Nicole is regarded as one of the preeminent theologians in America. He was an associate editor for the New Geneva Study Bible and assisted in the translation of the NIV Bible. He is a past president and founding member of the Evangelical Theological Society, and a founding member of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. He has written over one hundred articles and contributed to more than fifty books and reference works.
Dr. Nicole was "an acknowledged expert in the thought of Reformation leader John Calvin", according to David Bailey who wrote Speaking the Truth in Love: The Life and Legacy of Roger Nicole. He passed away on December 11, 2010 (two years after the death of his beloved wife Annette). You can access his obituary here. J.I. Packer's tribute to Nicole was as follows:
"Awesome for brain power, learning and wisdom, endlessly patient and courteous in his gentle geniality, and beloved by a multitude as pastor, mentor and friend."
What a shame that this 'gentleman theologian' didn't have more of an influence on those who would go on to coin the term "complementarianism" just a year after his retirement from Gordon-Conwell. And they would do it secretly in Danvers, Massachusetts, which is in close proximity to the institution where Dr. Nicole taught for 42 years!
I wanted to learn more about Dr. Nicole's theological beliefs and came across an article he wrote entitled: "Biblical Egalitarianism and Inerrancy of Scripture", which is published on the Christians for Biblical Equality website. Dr. Nicole's article begins with this:
Since biblical egalitarianism is still viewed by many as inconsistent with biblical inerrancy, it is desirable to state in a very brief manner my position on this subject. The matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God's will for women.
Dr. Nicole goes on to state:
The oppression of women as “the weaker sex” has been over the ages a notable feature of human history, thus fulfilling and amplifying the divine prophecy of Genesis 3:16.
What in the world would Roger Nicole have thought of the recent reinterpretation of Genesis 3:16 by the ESV 'scholars'?
Please take the time to read through Nicole's entire article, which ends with this profound conclusion:
Inasmuch as the view outlined here has not achieved an almost universal recognition among evangelicals, as the inappropriateness of slavery has achieved since the nineteenth century, it is paramount that all evangelicals should strive to provide, particularly in the church, opportunities for our sisters to exercise the gifts of the Spirit that they have received, even where it is not thought permissible by Scripture for the office of pastor or teacher. Thus, the church would not lose the benefits that God's gifts were intended to provide, nor would our sisters be compelled to hide their light under a bowl. (Matt. 5:15)
Given Dr. Nicole's position on women being free to exercise their spiritual gifts, it was quite shocking that Jason Duesing would have so much admiration for Roger Nicole and conclude his post with this question:
"Where are the Gentlemen Theologians who will lead us with care, civility, and kindness amid the chaos?"
As we approach the 30th anniversary of the crafting of the Danvers Statement, we can't help but wonder how differently the conservative corner of Christendom would be if the theological interpretations of Dr. Nicole had been implemented instead of those of Wayne Grudem, John PIper, et al. Thoughts?
Excellent article, Deb!
Thanks! Wish I could have known Dr. Nicole.
@ Juulie Downs:
You missed it by just 2 minutes. 😉
This is kind of related to the original post. I am not posting this to start any political argumentation. I do not have an ulterior political motive for posting this, so I hope nobody takes it that way.
Powerful Evangelical Women Split From Male Church Leaders to Slam Trump
I am posting this because of the complementarian angle.
I find it interesting that a lot of Christian women (some who may be complementarian, some not), are speaking out forcefully on a topic, and doing so against famous male complementarian Christians.
Just imagine if more Christian women did this more often on a range of issues. It might eventually do away with complementarianisn once for all.
How would all the male complementarians handle it if the women refuse to play by their “sit down and be quiet” rules?
I just think this has all sorts of interesting implications for complementarianism, or it can.
Maybe, for one thing, the women who buy into the complementarian “equal in worth but not in role” motto will get their first clue that the motto is meaningless – it exists to keep women in their place, not that most complementarians actually believe that women are equal in worth.
I had just started to write an article about him yesterday for my blog. I hadn’t published it yet. You beat me to it.
Juulie Downs wrote:
Just a guess here, likely no instance of Dr. Nicole being a spokesman for bullies and then inconsistently asking his opponents to be gentlemen.
He has a kind face.
I want to learn more about this man and the things he taught.
Thank you WBW- if not for you I’d probably never have known of him.
“The matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God’s will for women.”–Roger Nicole
i imagine CBMW folk are saying “We don’t think that subordination represents God’s will for women. It’s submission. Joyful, intelligent submission — see, even they like it! We’re just agreeing with you, God, about women submitting & all (as is fitting for derivatives of your image).”
how would a gentleman theologian respond to that?
What a lovely conclusion! It is encouraging & uplifting just to read this.
“we can’t help but wonder how differently the conservative corner of Christendom would be if the theological interpretations of Dr. Nicole had been implemented instead of those of Wayne Grudem, John PIper, et al. Thoughts?”
blimey… where to begin??
sane, intellectually sound, spiritually productive, respectable, healthier male egos, cutting edge on what makes for successful communities,…. it’s what the rest of the world is realizing. the conservative corner of christendom could have been true respectable leaders in the world instead of building their male supremacist bunkers to hide in.
ROGER NICOLE IS MY HOMIE
i want the T-shirt.
” it is paramount that all evangelicals should strive to provide, particularly in the church, opportunities for our sisters to exercise the gifts of the Spirit that they have received, even where it is not thought permissible by Scripture for the office of pastor or teacher. Thus, the church would not lose the benefits that God’s gifts were intended to provide, nor would our sisters be compelled to hide their light under a bowl.” — Roger Nicole
what an awesome human being!
i mean, i could just kiss him!
THIS (what he said, not what I said) needs to be put on billboards, on blimps, on banners fluttering behind airplanes, on bumper stickers,…
where have these incredible words been hiding?!?
would someone take the mic away from john piper and wayne grudem, please.
it’s high time for a new message.
”it is paramount that all evangelicals should strive to provide, particularly in the church, opportunities for our sisters to exercise the gifts of the Spirit that they have received, even where it is not thought permissible by Scripture for the office of pastor or teacher. Thus, the church would not lose the benefits that God’s gifts were intended to provide, nor would our sisters be compelled to hide their light under a bowl.” — Roger Nicole
Complementarian women, don’t you think it’s finally time to shed those false restraints? Aimee Byrd, what do you think?
i’ll pipe down now.
We should start a Teespring or Zazzle campaign.
Yet Nicole was a Calvinist. normally this drives TWW readers nuts…
We Wartburgers generally make a distinction between old school, mild-mannered, civil Calvinists (such as Presbyterians and others) and the uncivil, intractable, authoritarian, Complementarian/Patriarchy-promoting *Frozen Chosen* NeoCalvinists constantly bragging about being among “God’s Elect” and everyone else is destined for The Fire.
My first thought was at least we are equal worms! :o)
Not nice–I hope you realize how offensive the last word was in your comment.
Bill M wrote:
Maybe he is an egalitarian because he was truly kind. What a wonderful find! I watched part of his video on the worth of women yesterday.
It could be that many ‘gentlemen’ reside on the egalitarian side, unheard.
I also wonder what Dr. Roger Nicole would make of the neo-Cal ESS doctrine, seeing that Dr. Nicole once wrote THIS:
“Appeal to History and Tradition.
The course of history is a remarkable laboratory that permits us to observe the probable developments that issue from the holding of certain tenets. The decisions of councils or the pronouncements of confessions of faith are often geared to guard against erroneous opinions that God’s people recognized as dangerous or even fatal to the faith. To neglect this avenue of knowledge is to risk repeating some mistakes of the past that an acquaintance with history might well have enabled us to avoid. The Christological debates of the fourth and fifth centuries should protect us from the twin errors of Arianism and Apollinarianism, of Nestorianism and Monophysitism without our passing through the convolutions that the church of those days experienced.”
I agree! I wish he were alive so I could send him and note and cookies or something! Sometimes it is so hard to read all the awful things being taught about women. So oppressive. This is like a breath of fresh air.
Can we send this to Aimee?
Proof, as I’ve been saying, that there are kind Calvinists! I don’t know how to fix the means ones though.
found this interesting commentary from Tim Bayly:
“Back in the late nineties, my work as Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood required my holding membership in the Evangelical Theological Society, so I saw Dr. Nicole regularly and we talked. I was horrified to hear him say he no longer believed the husband was the head of the wife.
I had deep affection for Dr. Nicole, so the last time we were together I asked Dr. Nicole about a statement I’d heard he’d made–that the economic subordination of the Son to the Father was “heresy.” Did he really believe our Lord did not submit to His Father? Nicole answered that Jesus only submitted to His Father “in His incarnate state.”
Well, when you believe that complementarianism is equal to the gospel, you’ve probably would be horrified with anyone who believes the gospel is the most important thing.
Though, I doubt most of the CBMW claims that complementarianism is equal or almost equal to the gospel. They clearly place it higher.
From what I have read this morning, Dr. Nicole appears to have been a very learned man who is credited on all sides with being irenic in the best sense.
He was a Calvinist, but it appears he did not follow a lot of the neo-Cal faith vis a vis ESS doctrine and the treatment of women as a ‘submissive’ group of humans to other humans who are ‘male’. I have learned from experience that not all who are ‘reformed’ are male-idolators (my son with Downs Syndrome is at Eastern Christian Childrens Retreat in Wyckoff NJ which is under the merciful auspices of the Dutch Reformed Church, beautiful Christian people),
so perhaps the ‘reformation’ thinking of Dr. Nicole was more of the ‘good’ and blessed kind that brings health and strength back to the whole Church. I will read more about his beliefs, but I suspect he is about as far from neo-Cal-ism as I am. 🙂
He was old school Calvinist, not a YRR/neo-cal ……. big difference there.
Good morning, Ishy
If you read the ending of that link, you will see just how vicious was Bayly’s turn on Dr. Nicole’s memory. I guess when these neo-Cal folk agree with one another, that is THE ‘bond’ they share; and otherwise, there seems so little unity among them ‘in Christ’ that is real in their minds, which I find sad.
Warning: the ending of this link is horrible to read:
Snort. The salvation of men hinges on convincing women to submit to them, not to Christ. The salvation of women hinges on their willingness to obey men, not Christ.
That’s what I got from the ending of the Bayly link. Dear God, these men are so very sick.
I believe Dr. Nicole was a classical Calvinist, and not a neo-Cal. They don’t have a problem eviscerating classical Calvinists when it suits them.
“New” Calvinism is not the same as “Old” Calvinism. Classical Calvinists, like Dr. Nicole, have given female believers more freedom in Christ to exercise their gifts in the Kingdom than their neo-brethren.
Dr. Nicole was kind and (a) gentle(man) along with other Godly characteristics.
Sounds to me like he was a very Christlike person. What a wonderful example he gave to us!
LOL – I’m of the thought that he wasn’t into worm theology either 😉
Too bad Bayly didn’t have ears to hear.
” … inappropriateness of slavery … sisters compelled to hide their light under a bowl …”
In effect, Dr. Nicole is characterizing the complementarian treatment of women in church as a form of spiritual bondage analogous to the physical enslavement of others. The oppression of a race is no different than the oppression of a gender in God’s eyes; they are both wrong. Christ set us free, indeed … ALL of us who call on His Name. As the ETS prepares to meet, I wonder if there are any “gentlemen theologians” left among them with enough sense to realize that? Were he still alive, Dr. Nicole may have led the charge to clobber the clobber verses.
So frustrating . . . we have to be given, allowed, granted, freedom by men . . .
Not pointing at you, Max, but the thingking behind this language that says we don’t have freedom in Christ, equal to men, sends a message to women.
Not everybody treats total depravity as ‘total’. I heard it explained as basically on the level of ‘all have sinned’. You can go a little nuts with that!
Dr. Nicole saw exactly what this comp stuff is. Smart man.
Better to say they don’t actively prevent it, rather than grant it! Although women make up a good chunk of the church. Once they have been persuaded not to ‘hide their light’, I do not believe men could stop it.
I believe this describes Dee and Deb.
I already think men way outnumber women in YRR. A friend of mine said if you are female and really want to be married at her former church, just be active there for six months and you’ll have your pick of a bunch of guys.
They’re not going to keep this momentum for long.
Poor choice of words on my part, Bridget. ‘Men’ don’t give freedom to women – the Cross of Christ gave them that! Co-heirs in the Kingdom, with equal status before God to exercise the spiritual gifts He has given them. Men who restrain those gifts by complementarian doctrine will have to answer to God for their great error affecting half (or more) of the Body of Christ.
When New Calvinists talk about “total depravity”, they are really thinking “total inability.” We are so depraved (they think) that we don’t have the ability to freely choose Christ.
How much of Theology actually comes from the personalities of the Theologians?
New word there!
Justifying Injustice with the Bible: Slavery
I hope everyone saw my post earlier in this thread.
It’s the sixth post.
It had a link to an article about how many Christian women (including some who I think are complementarian) are speaking up very strongly, publicly, against well known complementarian men.
I wish these women would do this more often on a variety of topics and realize once for all that complementarianism is not biblical, and by adhering to it, they are participating in their own mistreatement.
By the way, for anyone who missed it, here is a link to the 6th post I made above, where I linked to the article about how Christian women are speaking up in disagreement with complementarian men:
Thanks for the link, Daisy. Good article.
What some TWW readers may not know, is that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded prior to the Civil War by slave-holding Calvinists! Yep, SBC Founders justified their racial sins with their religion. They hung onto their belief that God was on their side until early victories by the Confederacy turned to defeat. After the Civil War, Southern Baptists started distancing themselves from their Calvinist roots until non-Calvinist whosoever will belief began to prevail for 150+ years as SBC’s default theology. That is, until the New Calvinists came along to take SBC back to its roots. While they certainly would enslave another race with their theology in the 21st century, they appear to have no problem doing that with gender.
“Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female — you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 Phillips)
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
For example, Mark Driscoll!
Max: These new Calvinists are clueless about Jesus and his Gospels.
Plenty on the Bayly blog is horrible to read. My husband and I knew him and Mary Lee back when Tim was at Gordon-Conwell in hte late 70s. We had dinner together. He seemed so normal at the time. ;( Having known Mary Lee back in the day (we went to the same college), I suspect she doesn’t put up with much crap from Tim, despite their extreme views.
What does that even mean?
Does this notion of male “headship” come from anywhere in the Bible other than 1 Corinthians 11? Because if it does not and the women aren’t covering their heads during prayer these people are all a bunch of hypocrites.
At the Bayly church, many women cover their heads during worship. http://baylyblog.com/blog/2013/07/good-resource-christian-headcovering-worship
They mainly claim it comes from Genesis 2 and 3, because Adam was created first. No, they don’t have much ground to stand on.
They have no biblical ground at all to make it a gospel or salvific issue, much less the central issue in their faith.
Patty in Massachusetts wrote:
I feel sorry for these women. Shame on the men for making them do this.
In the most recent PCA church we attended, I’ve noticed several women wearing scarves along with their daughters. They’re in the minority, but in a Protestant context, the headcovering movement has been growing in churches that are in the conservative to patriarchal spectrum. Nobody ever says anything about it, so I’m just kind of keeping an eye on things at this point. If it were an Orthodox or traditionalist Catholic parish, it wouldn’t concern me so much.
Head covering for women is an ancient practice and has at times been pervasive. If I am correct it may still be the official RCC position but only not enforced.
we dropped the chapel veils after Vatican II (I still have my old frayed one from prep school)
The emphasis is not on ‘head’ coverings because now the Church wants people to focus strongly on being baptized INTO Christ where there is no need for separation by head covering among the sexes as, after baptism, all are equal ‘in Christ’.
I look forward to the time, century, millenium, when the Church finally recognizes women clergy. Maybe soon, women deacons. In my lifetime. Maybe. 🙂
Slow small steps in the right direction. Yes.
The first time I read anything by Tim Bayly, I was reminded of this little nugget from “The Simpsons”:
“IT’S IN REVELATIONS, PEOPLE!!”
I honestly don’t know what to make of 1 Corinthians 11. To me it seems like Paul’s argument is a sequence of non sequiturs. There probably is some cultural context that I’m missing. As far as I can tell, the Corinthian church was violating established custom because their women were praying and prophesying with uncovered heads, and Paul told them to cut it out because it was causing a stir. I don’t know how the order of creation enters into it.
Now, it makes sense to me that some would read this and conclude that women should cover their heads while praying. As long as it’s personal conviction I don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s a cultural issue, considering how Paul appeals to notions of propriety and shame rather than righteousness and sin. Making it all the basis for authoritarian teaching is where I have a problem.
One of the major characteristics of love is the ability to listen. The passage “one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” implies his unwillingness to hear others is rooted in a lack of love, not just for them but also God by extension.
Here at one of the catholic churches (I have no information about the other one) a few women still use covering but most do not. So two things I am asking. (1) Are those very few who still do it in violation of official post Vatican II church teaching, or are those who do not do it in violation of official post Vatican II church teaching, or is official post Vatican II church teaching that it is optional either way? (2) You used the expression ‘chapel veil’ but when I was at St.J’s hospital I ‘learned?’ that it did not have to be a veil, hence the handkerchief which could be pinned on could be used if necessary. Was a veil always required in the past, or is the phrase ‘chapel veil’ an inclusive term?
Now before somebody says who cares, let me say why I am asking. I read some catholic sites and I notice right much disagreement on this issue-like is canon abcd still in effect-and like a statement by a now discredited(?) Cardinal Burke on this subject in which he thought it does not have to be done at and ordinary mass but is required at an extraordinary mass, and apparently when meeting the Pope if one is Catholic. Now, I remember when a lot of non-catholics were influenced to some extent by what the catholic church said and did and I am thinking that perhaps this is still true in some protestant circles and perhaps the popularity of head covering in some protestant circles may be influenced by catholic ideas, then or now, traditional or progressive. If that is so, then in discussions of this I would like to know exactly and specifically what the official Church position is, if there is one. because the Church is huge and influential.
Patty in Massachusetts wrote:
From what some of the commenters said on that post, they would do well in Iran.
I wonder why they are using ‘head coverings’ instead of the traditional Church Hat?
Whoops, meant to say ” … would NOT enslave another race …”
Dr. Nicole sounds like a rational sort. But 2 things stand out.
1) for all his accomplishments, his teaching didn’t seem to take. Maybe he was just ahead of his time, but where did his students go?
2) the fact the comments are as ecstatic as they are (and he was relatively unknown) tells me he was always an exception, not a rule.
Even non Calvinist evangelical churches really push the “inerrant scripture” line.
The church my wife attends subscribes to young earth creationism. If this bronze age belief is the prevailing philosophy, then why would anyone expect them to promote modern egalitarian thought?
Don’t laugh. I am from the era when women wore hats-example: Jackie Kennedy’s pill box. I loved little hats as a fashion accessory. And now that my hair in thinning on the top I would love to have hats of some sort back in fashion. But veils and coverings and such-I don’t think so. If people don’t like my scalp, well then…
If you’re into Jesus, you’re generally not very defensive, because you know He can defend Himself very well, thank you.
But if you’re into not into Jesus but rather into the cult of His eternal subordination and authoritarian male rulership and whatever sets your wounded, emotionally eight year boy mind at ease, you will be perpetually defensive, terrified, you will band together with like-minded souls–because your only strength is in numbers–and shout down all opposition and block and generally run scared. There will be no rest for you. People who are into idolatry have none.
I have a friend who adores them. We have parties just for an excuse to wear them! (sidenote: black church ladies still often wear hats) If I really felt I had to cover my head in church, that’s what I would do, instead of throwing a handkerchief up there.
But most Christians are egalitarians nowdays, in my experience. It’s just this odd, warped subset who make so much noise and stir up such trouble who promote such hostility and division. They shout loudly and foolishly, but that doesn’t make them a majority.
But it really wasn’t, even 20 years ago. It’s like church is intent on going backwards.
a ‘chapel veil’ like what we girls used in school was a small circular lace-type thing you put on your head with a bobbi pin (if you had one), or else you had to wear a folded hanki or even a folded tissue (yes, that) pinned on the top of your head …. the nuns insisted on this for going into the school chapel ….. I had scarves or a lace mantilla for Sunday mass, but the little circlet chapel veil for school was black and folded up neatly to be carried in by school blazer pocket. Did I lose them? Yep. Did I sometimes wear a hankie? Yep. And even a tissue? Yep. I can still hear Sister Ruth ‘careless’, ‘careless’, 🙂 (we loved her anyway).
here’s a photo of a ‘chapel veil’ from that time:
yes they do, and my friend Betty says ‘the bigger the better’
I don’t care if he’s a Muslim.
He’s a kind and good man.
Law Prof wrote:
I don’t know about most but I hope so. What bothers me is SBC mega down the road which preaches complementatianism and which also has a large parking lot packed out and also a pre-K through 12 school and a couple of satellite campuses to boot. And what we have noticed and wondered about is the high proportion of seriously expensive cars in the lot. So I keep thinking there is more to this than just religion, like look at me I can afford a stay at home wife who knows how to keep her mouth shut; and like maybe it is to her advantage to keep him happy for the financial benefits? I don’t know. It is just mystifying.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
In my opinion? Quite a bit of it. That and the attempt at strict linearization of the Bible, which again, in my opinion is non-linear
I think the danger is in the abject humiliation of being treated as a sub-person, especially when viewed in that role by one’s children. The husband? Not good for him either to play such a game, although he seems to come out of it ‘on top'(sorry), but there is price to be paid for treating others poorly, and that price is the loss of your own dignity.
There is a Brethren church in North Raleigh where the ladies wear these. I always assumed they were doilies.
I think a lot of people are playacting. Just saying the right things to check the ‘biblical marriage’ box at their churches, and in truth acting the same as any other normal, mutual marriage.
The ones I worry about are the ones who take it seriously, and the children who don’t know to filter out all the nonsense they hear when they are actually dealing with another human being who is their equal.
I guess when the Catholic supply stores stopped selling the circle veils, they sold their stock to the Brethren folk. Or …. the Brethren might be wearing doilies
yes …. it could ruin their lives
I think Permanent Deaconesses are a LOT more likely than full Priestesses.
We have precedent for Deaconessses in early Church history and the current office of Permanent Deacon. Since Deacons cannot hear Confession or consecrate Eucharist, there would be little conflict with duties of actual Priests.
Law Prof wrote:
True Believers with the loudest throats have a way of defining the public face of a movement. And if they’re dedicated enough (like the Bolsheviki 100 years ago), it doesn’t matter if they’re not a majority.
Freudian Slip, Max.
Who needs Jesus when you have CALVIN?
I was thinking imore generically.
Someone who’s personality is aggressive would come up with an aggressive Theology.
If domineering, a domineering Theology of Sovereignty.
Someone more gentle, a gentler Theology emphasizing that.
I design t-shirts and I have a Zazzle store. Let me see what I can do.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
well, women are already lay priests, as we are all in the lay priesthood so to speak
I don’t think that they will call women ‘priestesses’ some day, Headless …. I think they will be called ‘priests’
I’m very hopeful. But patient. (sigh)
Back to the OP, in my opinion Duesing’s references to Roger Nicole are a symptom of the entire movement’s disconnect from reality, as well as their willingness to co-opt any thought or position to bolster their own, even when that position is actually contrary to theirs.
Dr Nicole’s article is an excellent defense of ontological equality between a man and woman, as well as a woman’s ability to edify believers with her gifts. All would benefit from reading that paper.
I wish he would have addressed the passages of scripture which deal with the office described in 1 Timothy 3.
He ended his article with a unilateral assertion that the sisters were “to exercise the office of pastor or teacher.” To me, it’s the office that is in question, not the essence of one’s humanity, and not the ability to use one’s gifts. His quotations of the bible’s celebration of women and their gifts does not address the office(s).
Also, does anyone know more about Dr Nicole’s view of the trinity with regard to subordination. For example: did he teach that Christ, during His earthly ministry, was subordinated to the Father in function only, not essence. He hints at this in Response #3 of page 8.
Dee, thanks for telling us once before when you were losing sleep, taking care of very ill loved ones, that a positive was that you found a great eye concealer by Becca. I just got mine in the mail. Good stuff. A girl always needs a little jar of good concealer at her disposal.
I agree with that, but I think the invocation of Roger Nicole was very, very intentional. I think that what Duesing was saying is something like, “Roger Nicole was a gentleman in scholarly debates (code for the gender debate), so now everyone who takes the non-ESS position (code for egalitarian position) must behave exactly as Dr. Nicole did.”
They are proposing unilateral disarmament because they know this is a war of ideas and they are out of ideas except shouting “Feminist” or “liberal” and “cultural collaborator.” As you noted, he neutralizes the “liberal” ad hominem because he was an inerrantist. Right now, they are hoping their fanboys do not consider that Roger Nicole was a conservative. They are more interested in shutting up their opposition, and that makes them appear very weak.
Interesting you should mention that, Jack, because in hindsight that’s something I didn’t know about my ex-abusive, authoritarian, NeoCalvinist, Salem Witch Trials II, church: Young Earth Creation. Now I think it’s a question to ask about any church. If they believe it, hit the exits in my opinion because it’s only going to get worse.
My grandmother (who died at 102 years old) and her (women) friends worked on the teams of Nobel Prize-winning researchers at the prestigious university that they graduated from.
My grandmother, a Presbyterian, believed in an Old Earth and in none of this Young Earth Creation nonsense.
My ex-pastor claimed he had a “Ph.D.” and another advanced degree. They’re both from a diploma mill according to the U.S. Department of Education. The “Ph.D.” (Phony Degree?)
costs $299 and is based on some online classes and “life experience”. A real Ph.D.
from an accredited university takes about eight years of hard work to earn.
I’d listen to my smart grandmother any day over the faked degreed, anti-science, not-so-bright NeoCalvinist pastor.
This was also noted by Todd Pruitt and the others at MOS when they were called ‘soft complimentarians’ and even ‘egalitarians’ (*shudder*) by their detractors. I believe this was most acute after Pruitt’s article on Denny Burk, which resulted in vitriol so intense and profane, that he pulled the post.
Old school Calvinists are just as male-oriented when it comes to teaching as neo-cals. I don’t know where you all get your information from.
If they weren’t so desperate to gain numbers to support their growing financial addictions, they’d have better traction if they just shut up and closed ranks. They market like the most desperate corporate structures, and then throw tantrums when their bad logic and standards are put under scrutiny.
This entire post is about an OS Calvinist who was not as ‘male oriented’ as the current crop of Neo-Calvinists are. Though he could have been an exception to the rule, your statement made no room for exceptions and needs a minor adjustment.
Virgil Maro wrote:
Assuming that overseer is an office, ISTM that 1 Timothy 3 must be read in light of 1 Timothy 2. I don’t think any Female Subordinationist would argue with that, but their takeaway from chapter 2 is different from egalitarians. If the instruction in 2 is aimed at silencing false teaching rather than silencing women, and if we take Paul’s imperative that Timothy must allow the women to learn, then we can read his instructions in chapter 3 a little differently. There were no chapter headings or verse divisions in the letter, so it seems reasonable to me to consider the entire letter before deciding what Paul was telling Timothy in chapter 3.
The overseers must be capable of teaching and refuting false doctrine. Well, who in Ephesus or elsewhere was taught the Hebrew scriptures? Not women. So, in the early years of the church (which did not yet have a canon) the only people trained were male. So, males would be the subject of Paul’s description of overseer qualifications. But not *because* they were male, but because they were *taught and therefore able to teach.* Not all males were qualified, and many false teachers were male. It is not a question of gender but of faithfulness and the quality of one’s life.
Deacons are addressed as male, yet we know that Phoebe was a deacon and a trusted partner with Paul in the Gospel ministry, despite all the translational obfuscation of that. So “male” cannot be a universal qualifier and “female” cannot be a universal disqualifier. Character and knowledge (overseer or elder) are the qualifications Paul listed, not gender.
I got my information, and example, from my Presbyterian grandmother who died at 102 years old. The Presbyterians were classical Calvinists and not like this wretched brand of uncivil, intractable NeoCalvinists.
In fact, while I did a ‘tour-of-duty’ of a NeoCalvinist church I remembered all of the classical Calvinists who appointed women and respected them, including my grandmother’s friends who were medical missionaries/doctors, practiced medicine in remote parts of the world, and carried and taught The Gospel. Those women were lauded in the Presbyterian Church and people from miles around came to hear them speak! Standing room only.
So when my ex-NeoCalvinist/Young Restless & Reformed pastor and his elders said that ‘women couldn’t/shouldn’t’ teach, lead, etc. — I remembered, “They sure can! Grandma’s friends did!”
Gentility for thee and whatever I want for me. Oh, and I get to say what is “genteel” enough. Really, I think they want their critics to joyfully and intelligently submit to their demands. Which is pretty much how toddlers and adolescents see human relationships.
They certainly believe that the home and church should be led by males. But until George Knight III, they did not ground that belief in the eternal subordination of females which supposedly reflected ESS. That, IMO, is a huge differentiator between confessionals and the YRR. Unlike the YRR, the confessionals do not make gender a Gospel issue, which is something Carl Trueman has pointed out numerous times in bewilderment at their thinking. The YRR make gender dogma into a litmus test for orthodoxy, for all practical purposes. Those are the main differences I see.
Actually, there was a phase in the late 90s to early 00s when men like Dr. Nichole were not uncommon at RTS Orlando. Much of what I learned there at that time eventually helped me on my way out of TR/YRR thinking. I would guess that I was not the only person that had that happen, because I’ve heard the purge in RTS faculty in the mid-00s pretty much expunged all the moderate Calvinists from the place.
When I was taking classes, Dr. Nichole’s lectures were still available on tape, but he had already departed this life. I wish I had met him – maybe he could have talked some more sense into me even sooner… 😉
Oops – I got the chronology wrong – he was still alive when I was there, burnt active.
so there is going to be a ‘conference’, and the neo-Cals will be there and their guru will speak in defense of his indefensible ESS heresy,
and the neo-Cal folk are pleading for everyone to be ‘gentlemanly’ in response ? (like Tim Bayly was towards the memory of his dead friend???? You don’t see vitriol at that level every day.)
somewhere these neo-Cal men got lost when they stopped having basic respect for human persons and exchanged it for a system where THEY (the menfolk) benefited mightily at the expense of the human dignity of ‘their’ womenfolk
Yes. Perhaps they were thinking more about his irenic manner of disagreement on the comp issue and mapping it to ESS.
His name was used because he is Reformed and affirms inerrancy, perhaps?. But we also must remember Nicole left official academia in 1986. Long before the Neo Cal resurgence and not long after the Danvers statement. He is a safe example to trot out
I am glad Duessing used Nicole as an example of a gentleman and scholar. I ran across his name quite a bit in my research but never dug in. He seems to be well-respected and perhaps more people will look into his teaching on mutualism in the Body. At the very least I would hope that some would take a second look at his teaching on the image of God and women and take note how very wrong Bruce Ware, SBTS and CBMW have been.
As you should, IMO. I agree that Paul is making an argument grounded in honor/shame culture. If you (generic) set aside the *assumption* that 11:3 is describing a hierarchical chain and consider the possibility that he is describing origins, then Paul’s entire argument makes more sense. He tells us his conclusion right in chapter 11, but you have to look for it: Nevertheless, Woman came from Man, man comes from woman, and all come from God.
What Paul says in chapter 11 follows and explicit statement in chapter 7 of the equality of status of the husband and wife. Unless Paul is insane or did not realize he was contradicting himself in the same letter, it is reasonable that chapter 11 is not about a hierarchy between the genders.
The headcovering issue was a cultural signal of honor, not a law or ritual to be observed universally. For example, Americans give no thought to showing the soles of our shoes to someone. Not so in other parts of the world where that is a shame/honor act.
That is a great point, Gram3! It seems that the Weltanschauung of the entire movement is through the lens of submission, which is ironic given that most of the YRR/Neo-Cal adherents pastor, or lead denominations of, congregational churches, where they want to call the shots without the possibility of being called on the carpet by authorities higher than theirs.
Mark Dever was a teaching assistant for Dr. Nicole while at Gordon Conwell. https://9marks.org/article/reflections-on-roger-nicole/
Love to quote myself. This point is the reason that they cannot disavow ESS outright. They *know* that their mantra of “Equal in dignity, value, and worth but Different in Role” cannot be supported without the example of an eternally subordinate Son to point to as our example.
Also note that they will say “not Arian” while their pro-Nicene opponents say “not Nicene.” That is purposeful, too, IMO, but subtle enough to get by people who don’t want to think about what they are actually saying.
I think Mohler and his crew are definitely directing the following toward an authoritarian denomination. Right now, they have a lot of “allies”, but I think Mohler definitely has an eye to bringing them into the fold and under his leadership.
Maybe you need to get out more.
Actually, “thingking” is an excellent term for those who believe in sanctified testosterone. I’m willing to crown Bayly a thingking. 😉
IMO, Danvers resulted from the realization that they were losing the scholarly debate. If anyone takes the time to actually re-state each Danvers point and look up their supposed proof texts, it is evident that there is no textual or logical there there. That is why, IMO, they had to poison the well in the prologue/rationale. Cotton candy in a rainstorm. But they are going to huff and puff and hope they can blow the scholarly house down at ETS. I think they have enough tribal votes to do that, but I also think that will be the end of ETS as a serious, scholarly institution.
I was too young to be following any scholarly theological debates at the time, but it does seem culture was running away from them and possibly church with it. It all seems to come from a place of fear of losing something…whether it be power, control, position.
I should say, though, you don’t need purges when you are winning the debate, right?
The word for “head” in 11:3 is kephale, which is the same word used in the following verses to refer to the head that is or isn’t being covered. In English the word can be used idiomatically to indicate authority. Is the same true in Greek? Is such an idiom used elsewhere in the New Testament, or better yet in Paul’s letters? I have no idea.
In any case, this is clearly a doctrine in search of backup from Scripture, rather than doctrine reasoned from Scripture.
This is not something which one can believe to be true, in the sense of accurate, today.
Outside of the biblical origins story there is no evidence that humanity came into being by two different creative processes at two different times. In addition, the fact that Jesus said that ‘from the beginning he created them male and female’ (an argument used for YEC) the statement by Jesus would be incorrect of male and female were not made at the same time and ‘from the beginning’. Never mind that the whole thing would make Eve a clone which she was not.
Man does not come from woman but rather he comes from both his parents, male and female, or so we know now. Back then people did not consider that man came from woman except as a temporary incubator.
And it could not be said that all come from God since they just said that woman came from man and since the genesis story says that man came from the ground. Which means, that every time the text says ‘comes from’ the meaning is somewhat different from the last time it used ‘come from’. That would have been true even then since comes from man and comes from God are different uses of the idea.
All of which tells me that some people today are taking things way too literally, as they understand literal, and the problem with that is that an actual literal understanding of the passage is not literally accurate and would not have been so even then. And it may indicate that Paul, if he was the genius that people like to think he was, may have had his argumentative self against the wall and was grabbing for something to say that his audience had any hope of understanding and never mind the specificity or lack of it–I don’t know, just a thought.
That’s the problem. The word “kephale” is the word for someone’s physical head. It is used poetically, but remember, in their own philosophy of inerrancy, there is no metaphorical speech. So using it to mean authority even goes against their own philosophy on Scripture interpretation.
Another place where it is used metaphorically is in Luke 20 when it refers to the “chief cornerstone”. But a cornerstone is at the bottom of the structure, not the top. This goes right along with Mark 9:35 “Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Here is a post I did in response to Fellowship Memphis State of the Church
Are you trolling!
I had a sunday school class where we went through some of the ‘clobber verses’ and the teacher was explaining something about the order of Pauls letters and how they followed a specific format [kind of like we would say ‘greeting and salutations, how’s the fam, here’s whats going on with me, now I’ll address what you wrote me last time] I do not remember enough to explain it perfectly but I found it very helpful to think about the order of the letters? He would address specific things, give one argument and then give the counter! So they sound a little like he’s contradicting himself, if you don’t see that. And then he’ll do a sum up with a broader perspective, almost like he’s reasoning things out in the actual letter. I don’t know if that makes any sense the way I’m presenting it but it makes his letter make more sense to me.
I guess the subject of this article was an exception?
In his review of Kevin Gile’s book “The Trinity & Subordinationism”, Roger Nicole notes:
“To speak of subordination of the Son to the Father in the trinitarian relationship is to repeat the error of Arianism … Those who advocate the hierarchical-complementarian view of womanhood, as well as the supporters of the egalitarian-complementarian view, may well build a case with apparent support of some texts of Scripture, but the main current of Scripture favors the latter, while the former is, unconsciously perhaps, influenced by a dominant presupposition of the inferiority of women, derived from a social context rather than from the Bible … This is a tightly reasoned volume with a true mastery of relevant texts and a solid argument against any subordination in the Trinity and for the biblical egalitarian-complementary view of womanhood.”
It’s clear that Dr. Nicole didn’t think much of messing with the Trinity and the extension of ESS doctrine to subordinate women believers!
Also an exception? My entire denomination.
That is rather a broad generalization. I thought that presbyterians came in a number of denominations ranging from really conservative to more liberal. In fact, a childhood friend of one of my kids is a presby seminary graduate (Union) as well as a preacher’s wife and a former church staffer and now she and he are planning to co-pastor some church. Or so I am told. To me that sounds a lot different from what the neo-cal people do.
Wow!! I just read the Bayly post–what arrogance!! And then the comments, more of the same!!
Another clue they get it wrong using their clobber chapter of 1 Corinthian 11 is the sequence here:
3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[a] and the head of Christ is God.
If Paul were focused on authoritarian caste in the Trinity or humans relationships, he would not have used this sequence. It simply was not his point.
Another clue this is more about dealing with the shame/honor culture and not authority is this:
10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels
People ignore one this all the time. It is referring back to Chp 6:
2Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels?
That includes female saints. :o)
To make 1 Corinthian 11 the clobber chap for ESS and comp takes a lot of nerve and a lot of people refusing to question what they are taught.
I continue to feel sorry for any men or women who tried to point out the Egalitarian viewpoint over the last 3 decades plus who were labeled ‘liberal” and their lives ruined.
What I did was look up every instance of the word kephale in the NT. If you think about it, even in English the word “head” has many different meanings. The head of a boat is not the same as the head of the line. Neither one of those means “authority” but both mean, in a sense, the first part. That is just one example.
Most of the time, “head” means the thing on top of your neck. Which is also the first part, typically, to emerge at birth. Grudem make much of saying that the “head” of a group has authority over that group and therefore, head means authority over. He uses words cleverly like that, and people who are disposed to believe whatever he says will not reason through it or look at the actual texts and whether what he says the texts say is actually what the texts say.
Good one! amazing the stuff that we hear over and over again and the stuff that we never hear, isn’t it? Dr. Nicole quoted a verse talking about how women are full heirs, that the ESS guys sure never touch.
The thing about Paul…his arguments build! You have to read the whole thing. Makes so much more sense when you get that.
I wasn’t there. 🙂
I try to make arguments with conservative presuppositions and methods. That is not everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless of whether Paul’s statement is scientifically, literally true, if that is what the people of the time believed, then he was making a point using their presuppositions, whether that was that people came from the first Man or sprang from Zeus’ head (not making a factual claim about mythology), or whether they believe that Ephesian Artemis started everything (also not making a mythological claim), Paul was using their beliefs to make a point. I have no idea whether all Cretans are actually liars, but that is not necessary to make a point.
Yes, Nicole is decidedly an exception. In fact he is not Presbyterian, he is Baptist, though apparently holding to Calvinistic soteriology. The PCUSA, the mainline denomination, allows women in ministry and eldership. The PCA and OPC do not. Gram3 said on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. that OS Calvinists do not believe in the ESS. That is correct. And if that is the point I agree. But in PCA and OPC women do not teach Sunday School unless to kids or in conjunction with husband. Even that is rare. In some PCAs and OPCs no one but ministers and elders teach anything.Women are not ordained as anything, even as deacons or deaconesses. A woman is allowed to teach a ladies’ Bible study. However, if we are talking about Reformed Theological Seminary, that is aligned with the PCA not the PCUSA. I’ll accept apologies for nasty remarks of various people, thanks.
You made a broad statement that all calvinists are as anti-women as the neo-cals. I don’t think you’ve proven your case.
I have posted a new update on the open discussion rhread. Thank you.
I wondered that too. Every now and again Godith drops by and drops another rock in the pond.
Sorry…the above link is incomplete….
@ Jeannette Altes:
Kripes! That was supposed to link to my comment, not Velour. Sorry.
You really do not know what you are talking about.
I’ve heard very bad things from people who’ve been in Orthodox Presbyterian Churches. They talked about how authoritarian and abusive it was, 1970’s heavy-Shepherding techniques like we’ve seen with 9 Marks.
Yes. It’s a shame what was done to such good and godly men and women, many conservative Christians who were fair-minded, loving souls.
Godith drops by and throws a rock in the pond? What? and “LOL” that Godith ought to get out more. Au contraire.
The New Calvinists are masters at taking text out of context to make it fit their theology. The ESS doctrine was hatched in the minds of ivory-tower academics to control women folk. They have their brains stuck on jots and tittles and miss the whole of Scripture in this regard. If you can successfully use distorted Bible passages to convince the church that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, you can more easily persuade them to believe that women were born to be in eternal submission to men, as unequal heirs in the Kingdom on earth. That way, women won’t get in the way of your patriarchy. All of this, of course, has nothing to do with freedom in Christ for ALL believers.
I think that may change in the PCA in the next generation with female deacons, at least. In fact, it would not surprise me if the PCA study committee used female deacons as a pressure release for the move toward female elders. Maybe the first step will be unordained female deacons. But the problem with that is that it makes more explicit that ordination confers some kind of spiritual significance, and only males would be ordained though females would be performing the same functions. People are going to wonder why.
Thinking out loud, but I don’t see the PCA maintaining that tension much longer, though I think the Duncan-Sproul factions will hang on as long as possible. The OPC is another story, and I think they will always see themselves as the tiny but faithful remnant.
As I’ve said before, George Knight III invented ESS because the infant PCA was under pressure to ordain women way back in the early 70’s because the old presumption of static gender roles was based mainly in tradition and “the way we’ve always done it” and “the church could not possibly be wrong about this for 2,000 years.” And the late 60’s and early 70’s told tradition to take a hike.
You (generic) need a big distraction to persuade people that females are subordinate before the Fall as part of God’s Good and Beautiful Design. Since that particular part of God’s design is nowhere revealed in the actual text, you have to come up with a Big Idea that no one can argue with because it’s such a Big Idea that Really Smart People teach. And that is how they paper over the big textual hole for the idea of eternal Eternal Female Subordination and get professed conservatives to ignore said textual deficit. If the de facto inerrant translation (old ESV) of the inerrant text doesn’t say it, then just substitute the infallible words of the Experts (Provisionally-Permanent ESV fka ESV Permanent Text.)
R.K.Wright has done just that. It can be read here:
or downloaded as a pdf file.
I am still waiting for Southern Baptist women to get feed up with this ESS nonsense.
This is one of the things that turned me off the SBC. Women working at church were labeled ‘directors’ and men ‘ministers’ even if doing the same job. It’s semantics and its stupid.
Didn’t one of the non-PCUSA churches leave women ministers up to individual churches? I’m not familiar with their policies, but I thought someone said it was at least an option?
Thanks for posting that link. I just posted it on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Invaluable.
And suppose he were correct, and suppose that Paul was saying that a husband had authority over the wife. We are just supposing here. Why would we not just discount that as not applicable to us just like we discount his statement about masters and slaves? Or head coverings. Or speaking in tongues. Why would we not simply say that perhaps that was so in that culture and a couple thousand years ago, just like slavery was part of the culture, but none of that has anything to do with us because we do not do that any more and/or we do not believe that any more?
That’s an example of taking my text out of context that I’ve been talking about! ;^)
Godith from ” The Last Dragon Chronicles”:
“It can be argued that Godith is not a real dragon due to the mystery that surrounds her. Feel free to discuss this issue.
Godith is the one true dragon who lived before time started and will be here when time ends. She created the stars and planets with a single breath of fire, along with the dragons themselves. Godith is suspected to be the dragons’ and Fain’s only god. Her name, “Godith”, the way she created everything, and the fact that several times throughout the books characters might say “You are one with the auma of Godith”.
The legend of creation is that Godith in one almighty outgoing breath (white fire) created the universe. Things like the Earth were created when this “white fire” cooled down to a low enough level. All dragons names start with the letter G because they want to tribute Godith.”
Could very well be the Achilles heel of the New Calvinist movement within SBC … when SBC-YRR women rise up en masse and declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”
Excellent research, Nancy2.
So Grudeem would claim the head of the class has authority over the class? So much for teachers!
Count me as one. Raised in SBC churches, been a member since I was 14 (1978). I just hope whatever I have is highly contagious!
Perhaps our Godith is one and the same? ; ^ )
Slight off-topic. Have you seen those funny Pumpkin Pi math t-shirts? I thought of you, Miss Nancy2, the math teacher when I saw it today on Facebook.
You have backbone!
The future fearless leader of Camp Backbone.
I may be missing your point, but a conservative approach asks the question “What did this mean to the original audience and why and so what?” It is possible to extract a principle which would have different applications in different cultures. Headcovering was a sign of honor and respectability in the first century. Now headcovering is not that in the Western world. But I think the universal principle to be extracted is that we should not bring dishonor on the name of Christ by our behavior and attitudes. I’m not one to say “It’s not for today” simplistically. Some of the questions I would ask are “What was the point of the admonition?” “What would that look like today?” “What would that look like for me in this situation?”
By all means, clobber me with it, then. 🙂
Good questions, Gram3.
There’s a mega-biggie here in my town, same thing, lotsa’ high-end rides in a huge-o-rama parking lot (the last of the orange and lemon groves were cut down for it). Which also means there’s mucho high-end tithing units too.
Ha! This is basically a similar example to the one I heard about why EVERYONE interprets through a cultural filter constantly, and so inherency is basically impossible without a cultural/language knowledge.
Consider yourself clobbered. I’m turning in – goodnight Sister.
Egalitarians for JC
No, I haven’t seen the shirts. I neeeeeeeed one! I am going to make a pumpkin pi(e) tomorrow!
Here, Teespring is selling the t-shirts. They’re the same ones who recently had the campaign for Calvinism #SomeLivesMatter has the Pumpkin Pi math t-shirt
Amazon also carries a variety of them, different styles and prices.
And your general internet searches bring up more sellers/styles/prices.
I have to get one!
Muff Potter wrote:
That was just before the turn of the century. As the summer solstice approached, late Spring used to be an ethereal taste of Olam Ha-Ba when the orange and lemon blossoms filled the night air with other worldly delight. It’s all gone now, I miss it so. Give me Olam Ha-Ba any day of the week and six ways to Sunday, I have no desire to go to their ‘heaven’.
“The salvation of men hinges on convincing women to submit to them, not to Christ. The salvation of women hinges on their willingness to obey men, not Christ.”
yes, if you boil down all the male headship commentary (from the explicit to the ambiguous), that is the residue that is left in the petry dish.
Song and movie “Wear your Easter bonnet with all the ribbons on it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade”
I’m old enough to remember when most women (protestant and catholic) wore hats and scarves (not to mention white gloves and patent leather high heels and pretty dresses) to church with out much thought about the man being head of her (unless he was a beast and she was terrified to cross him). I’m 72, does anyone else out there have memories or insight on all that?
Law Prof wrote:
I agree as far as the rank and file Christians are concerned. As I’ve mentioned before, most Christians aren’t looking beyond the Sunday service.
Based on my own experience & what I read here, it appears that there are more than a few churches that are not completely forthcoming with their congregations.
Godith left out the EPC. There are two Evangelical Protestant Churches in my local and I know people that attend them. For what it is worth, both allow ordination of women, there are women on session at both, and the clerk of session at one is a woman. The EPC considers the question of ordination of women as non-essential doctrine.
I think they explain it away with the notion that the husband is the wife’s covering.
Of course, this does not speak to the widows and unmarried women.
It is kind of fun to check out Jonathan Edwards’ gggggg-granddaughter (I dont know how many G’s) Janet Edwards.
And its not like Dever and Mohler greet one another with a Holy Kiss. :o)
A simple template that really helped me is the 3 question approach:
1. Who is speaking
2. Who is the audience
3. What is the occasion (setting, etc)
well, the ‘co-heirs with Christ’ are not an exclusive boyz club, no 🙂
Yes. This is more of a social caste thing. The Christian private schools I am familiar with had many very educated moms who did not stay in their profession and spent a lot of time volunteering at the school. I dont think it had much to do with equality at all. They could afford to be full time moms. Most I knew had met their husbands in their profession.
Just some broad thoughts from my perspective
1. This issue was not really a big deal in some places. It was packaged and marketed as a big deal. I am astonished at the things my grandmother and my mom did in SBC churches long before comp became gospel. If anything, Nicole saw it encroaching in seminaries which is where it started. That was pre social media. You had to do a lot of digging in the early days to find these older scholars. Now, CBE publushes some of them. It’s not like their papers or books were at the public library back then. Now they can’t even teach at many seminaries.
2. He really isn’t. You are missing how successful propaganda can be and how easily people believe what they are told without doing their own homework.
Thanks for bringing this up. I have tried and tried to tell people that ‘back when’ was not the hideously oppressive situation that some young people seem to be thinking that it was, not in the church and not in society as a whole-at least not in Louisville/Jefferson County where I was and when I was. This anti-woman frenzy is more recent.
When I went to Carver School (predominantly female school) to get my required credits to apply for missionary appointment in the early 60s I had the option to go to the associated seminary (SBTS) but I chose Carver School because it had the missions courses that I wanted. This is not persecution; this is options. When I went for a time of discernment to Africa in the late 1950s most of the missionaries were women, both married and single. That is not persecution. The physics prof at U of L who finally got through to me on a couple of concepts was female, and the profs in the English building were almost all female. I am just really weary of having those of us who lived back when mischaracterized as pitiful and persecuted and victimized. Not so; the gender wars had not yet heated up at that time.
But WHY didn’t women fight it when things changed? It wasn’t a subtle change in the beginning. No, President Carter left the SBC over it and Paige Patterson went out of his way to make Dr. Klouda a celebrated ‘example’ of the new thinking.
I know some spoke up, but for goodness sake, why was there not a loud outcry from the women of the Church???
With some of the things I hear, I think about how my grandmother went to school and worked in 1940s Mississippi and nobody blinked…
It probably was at the church level. Who pays attention to seminaries? I never did until I started reading this website.
The demise of a once-great evangelistic denomination (the SBC) is a testament of that. A people of the Word (that’s what Southern Baptists used to be called) stopped reading it, turning from the ‘real’ teacher – the Holy Spirit – in favor of what men’s interpretation of Scripture.
“It is with a single man that error usually commences … And now, as we go to classes, seminars, recital rooms, and lecture halls, may we go with the prayer offered by John Calvin …” (Al Mohler, SBTS convocation address, 1993)
Yep, the power of a single man …
I think that is true. And I think it is because of economics, not theology. The men who owned the pulpits saw *their* pulpits and seminary slots being opened to women, and that would eventually dilute their value. The advantage they had over secular men who might have felt the same way is that the pulpiteers could appeal to a greater authority than social pressure. God’s will. God’s Good and Beautiful Design.
Men who craved power over women or men who saw themselves as sacrificial heroes could be swayed by that appeal. Women who wanted a good man (who was to be like Jesus) or women who did not want to face the marketplace or women who just wanted traditional roles validated could be swayed as well. What the CBMW crew is selling is self-image and social virtue-signaling to conservative evangelicals.
I think it is impossible to ignore the shock of Roe v. Wade to the evangelical mind and the fire it lit in conservative evangelical minds. Abortion on demand and the shrill feminists making demands (which sounded like man-hating) repulsed many conservative evangelicals. That, IMO, is why the ad hominem of “Feminist” has been so effective in selling Female Subordinationism.
The women I grew up around did not know they were oppressed Both My grandmothers went to college before they even recieved the right to vote.)
The men did not know they should be threatened or that they were weak leaders of their wives.
I think a lot of what we have seen culturally has more to do with our society being trained to look to others for security and answers.
There isn’t the “independent with responsibilty” mindset there used to be. Now we want the titles to grant equal outcomes. It just does not work that way.
Not to mention 9 UNELECTED judges legislating for every state.
I was not aware you were up on this at the time. It did not quite work that way from other perspectives. You have mentioned here and other places you thought the SBC was like Westboro Baptist and that is why you sought out Baptist blogs.
I can think of several reasons. For one thing it was subtle and confined to the seminaries and basically who cares what goes on at the seminaries; there had always? been some skepticism about seminaries anyhow. One popular opinion was that if a man had been to seminary and if he had to use notes for his sermon there was a problem right there; better to not go to seminary and rather rely on scripture and the Spirit for your sermon. Max keeps preaching about how attitude changed regarding scripture study and relying on the inner witness of the Spirit; he is precisely correct. So, something goes on at the seminary level and people tend to think ‘this too will pass’ and ‘what did you expect’ and ‘I could have told you so’. In other words they underestimated the power of the seminaries.
For another thing, there was the cultural revolution and women had the pill so everybody thought that everybody was doing everybody and some church folks were appalled at the sexual aspect of the cultural revolution. So rather quite a few were thinking that reining in the women might be a good idea when they looked at ‘what it has come to’.
For another thing, women began to be getting into the higher paying jobs and this leaves several groups of people disgruntled: the guys who lost the promotion to some woman; the wives of the guys who lost the promotion to some woman, and women who were working at traditional women’s professions who now were no longer at the top of the employed female totem pole having been usurped by some female CEO somewhere, and then there are the women (and men) who think that family comes first and that it is the woman who makes family happen and if she abandons that priority for either job or church everybody gets hurt. So, the idea of having the women ‘get back to doing what they do best’ which would be home and family was popular.
Also, and I think this is one element, the southern baptist convention is/was southern. Attitudes about men and women tended to be somewhat different down here than up there. When the larger culture in this nation seemed to launch a full assault of some things regarding attitudes to women some people seemed to rally to defend themselves against that. Some still do. So, if the seminaries were perceived as perhaps being a bit too far in one direction, the at least they were ‘on the right side’ and surely all would be well.
And, nobody can see the future. Who knew that this would turn into what it has?
Most likely the same reason Catholic women looked the other way over decades of priests molesting children and being shuffled about. They didn’t demand answers. They pliantly went along
The same reason that kept abuse hidden in the Catholic church. Hierarchical systems can more easily silence the voices speaking up against injustice.
IOW, a perfect storm on many fronts….
And you are so right about the Seminary aspect. They were not thought of as dictating doctrine to the church but a place to learn Greek and Hebrew, music and missions. SBTS was once thought to be one of the finest music schools around. In this town, if you want a great classical vocal teacher who views it as a craft, you look for an SBTS school of music grad alumni.. before Mohler came.
How sad to hear that he would destroy a music program!
You know, that list of rules for worship team in that random church in Oregon has been going around, and the thing that jumped out at me is how very, very little they care about the whole ‘music’ part of the leading the music. Ugh. By contrast, some churches actually pay good musicians to come and sing in their choir, because they don’t have the talent in house I guess? Which is also kind of strange to me. (but maybe this is not really on topic)
Muff Potter wrote:
Of which my type example is The End Times Checklist — taking EVERY verse in Revelation as a checklist of FACT, FACT, FACT in strict chronological order, all stuffed into Seven Years, check, check, check, check, check…
A MUST READ FROM OKRAPOD!
Check out her comment! She has provided a great perspective on the situations and events which brought the church to its current dilemma regarding the role of women in the Body of Christ. Her words have knitted the varied factors which have contributed to the aberrations we see in belief and practice when it comes to our Sisters in Christ. From changing attitude regarding personal Bible study – relying on the interpretations of men, rather than yielding to the Holy Spirit for Truth … to underestimating the power of the seminaries to wrongly indoctrinate a generation of new leaders … to impacts of the sexual aspect of the cultural revolution … to the view of women in competition for jobs in the marketplace … to lingering geographical views of the role of women in society … Okrapod has nailed it on the head!
To reverse this curse, we need to get back to seeing what God says … rather than blindly trusting what men say God is saying. There’s a lot of talk in the church about being culturally-relevant, but we can’t let culture dictate our Christian journey. Sometimes it’s best to return to the ancient paths, rather than carving out a new direction. Bottom-line: women are co-heirs, granted equal position and privilege, with men in the Kingdom of God on earth.
Music takes time and energy away from The Cause, Comrade.
“He has NO Book Larnin’ and He Is LOUD!”
— highest complement you can say about a rural preacher in Kentucky mountains, according to IMonk.
Ahh yes, the new designation to separate church ages: B.M. and A.M.
Don’t you know the only reason we have a President and Congress is to appoint the Supreme Court Justices who then rule by five-to-four decree?
Actually, some of the Pentecostals make extensive use of this one. Google “holy magic hair” if you want to see some truly bizarre scripture twisting.
Thing is, Paul wasn’t trying to write a treatise on systematic theology. He was writing to a group of people he knew to tell them things he thought they needed to know. Furthermore, it was not the first time he did so in this case, as Paul mentions an earlier letter he wrote them and the Corinthians’ reply to it. In some places he appears to be repeating the Corinthian position so he can refute it, as in “All things are permissible for me, but not all things are profitable.” Unfortunately, we are missing a lot of the context here.
Great comment; all of it. I want to add something about the shock of Roe v Wade. It was not just that people had to face the reality of abortion. People already knew that. States already had laws in place regarding abortion. Most people would have known somebody who had an abortion, and we saw post-aborts coming into the ER with excessive post procedure blood loss. People were not naive.
Part of what was traumatic was the realization that the government (the court) had the power to render that decision and the extent to which the court could go beyond the actual words of the constitution to do it. From a political aspect it felt like the nation had take a hideous turn toward Big Brother who seemed to be in league with Evil and who could manipulate the very constitution to get it done. It was pretty terrifying, and frankly some stuff we have seen since in a number of government actions not limited to abortion have done nothing to calm people’s concerns about central government power over the people. So, politics writ large.
And what do people do when they feel that threatened? They band together in groups with people who think like they do and form there own subcultures often limited to just a few issues and we have the proverbial nation divided. So, take that and several issues, preach them all from the pulpit and one has mega this and full parking lot that and one gets a pass on a lot of other stuff as long as one addresses the big issues. One of the big issues being that if we all hang together we just might not each hang separately.
I really don’t want to do that lol!
I said something about hair one day and my little niece said ‘it’s your glory!’.
I think this is one of the huge problems we have right now. It’s a very ‘check the boxes’ sort of atmosphere, and if you don’t you check every single box that’s important to whoever you are with, whatever group you are in, you are excluded. And it’s pervasive in our culture. So you end up drawing these lines, Where do you stand on X, Where do you stand on Y. And all the X’s have to be together and all the Y’s have to be together, but if you have a mix of X’s and Y’s you are looked down on by both groups. You don’t fit.
So you lie, or obfuscate, about where you stand on Y when you’re with your X group, and vice versa. I think that’s what’s happened with Egal/Comp, btw, just to keep this on topic. People who think Comp is stupid, but want to be ‘conservative’ and ‘evangelical’ just keep quiet about it and live their lives as they see fit in private. Or you switch over to the ‘liberal’ and ‘egalitarian’ side and keep quiet about your conservative leanings.
Very much what evangelicals dislike about the courts, but what many of their own theologians do with scripture.
Bingo. It was a realization of the power of central government and central planning. And 9 unelected judges could make it happen.
Umm. No thanks. LOL!!!
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Because congress is too cowardly to debate controversial issues that could mean they lose their seat over a vote.
Yes, that is true from my perspective. Fear is a potent tool for those who desire power. I think that 1962-63 laid the groundwork for 1968 which laid the groundwork for 1973 and other cultural milestones leading to where we are now. Paradoxically lawless with an over-abundance of laws.
You have just described why I cringe when people want more laws to make each and every unethical behavior illegal. There is not enough bubble wrap in the world to protect us from the unscrupulous users out there. Besides, justice ends up for sale and for those with protection. We need to be more independent and wise, instead.
When everything is against the law, everyone is breaking the law and anyone can be punished. It is at the whims of the ones in power. Dangerous.
How sad. When I was a kid, church choir is where non musical people had an opportunity to learn how to read music. It seems to me, Church was more focused on developing talents and gifts. Not just spectators being entertained.
The megas had auditions and often brought in paid outsiders for worship team (vocal and instrumental) who then joined the church. The pew sitters had no idea.
I think of the Honeymooners in this regard. Alice Kramden was nobody’s doormat.
I might be breaking the law everytime I do my taxes. How could I know for sure? I get different answers depending when I ask the experts. Sigh.
Yes relavent because ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Yep, if everyone is flocking to that new church down the road, it must be preaching right stuff! And if the preacher is preaching to ‘my’ check-list, he surely must have a direct line to God just like me. This is an avenue for deception to work its way into the church on a mega-scale. And, as Okrapod noted upstream, the preacher’s error most likely began first during seminary indoctrination … which was birthed prior to that in the mind of an ivory-tower theologian or a group with an agenda. New Calvinism is the product of such teaching which has taken the church off-course from the Great Commission – the true call of God on the church is to engage ALL believers in Kingdom work (regardless of race, class or gender). The battle is raging for the souls of men – we can’t afford to put any of God’s children on the sidelines by aberrant teachings of men.
(Okrapod, you are sure frying okra today in your comments! They got me stirred up!)
I did. That’s almost as strange as subordinating Jesus! Does anyone remember the “Holy Laughter” movement? Good Lord, the church is a mess!
Hmmm … I wonder if Calvin had a “holy magic beard”?
Please feel free to use “B.M” and “A.M” at will, dear Lydia. I fear that the 21st century church in America has been Mohlerized more than we would like to think.
In my state (California), appellate court judges/justices are appointed by the governor in accordance with the state constitution. Their terms are 12-years and then they are on the ballot.
Superior court judges are elected, however vacancies are filled by appointment from the governor.
All judicial candidates undergo extensive background checks, including of their character, prior to their appointments. Several branches of government assist in the background checks.
Despite being in a “liberal” state, the California Supreme Court is known for being conservative. They adhere to precedent (prior appellate court decisions) and are loathe to go against those decisions.
They may have to resolve legal issues, define terms of law (who is included and who is excluded), because lower state appellate courts need guidance and have interpreted the law differently. Once the state court “of last resort” (California Supreme Court) rules that is binding on all of the lower courts with cases involving the same type of legal issue.
At the federal level, federal judges (U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, federal trial courts) are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per the U.S. Constitution (Article III).
Article III judges are not elected because it is important to keep an impartial federal judiciary that is not swayed by political winds.
Our system of law – the common law (how judges interpret statutes, the plain meaning of the law(s), looking at judicial history and what legislatures meant in passing a law, etc.) comes from England’s common law system.
In England, it was easier and faster for judges to solve legal issues than to wait for a legislature to solve a matter. That became precedent that was followed by other judges with similar cases.
The common law system has been in practice since the Middle Ages.
Okrapod, here’s an overview/discussion and article regarding the head covering issue which you and others might like. The general theory may have been mentioned here on TWW some time back so you might be familiar with it. I find it fascinating:
Also, Dr. Roger Nicole sounds like a real mensch. God bless and rest his soul.
Please bear in mind I am former SBC of the pre 1979, Herschel Hobbs E Y Mullins type.
Stay with me as I have to ramble a bit to get where I am going. The 1950’s and 60’s were not all that oppressive for women in Baptistdom.
Here goes: yes, there is a verse in Scripture that forbids women, as the KJV more accurately says it, from usurping authority over a man. Key word is usurping. Taking power over a male by virtue of being female, more specifically a specially called female “oracle” who is going to speak for God and rule the men. It is forbidden. Case closed. It does not say a woman cannot be in authority, but forbids usurping that authority.
Yes, there are also verses where women cannot teach or lead men, or must ask their own husbands quietly at home. Those were given in a culture and situation where the women were calling loudly across the room at a service, not really being part of worship, and being nuisances. We still should not do that.
But as I see it, the YRR crowd in general and the ESS crowd in specific are breaking exactly those rules, only now it is men who by virtue of being male and a specially called oracle get to usurp authority not lawful for them to have over the souls of women.
I strongly do not believe the cure for this is for women to flock to seminary, band together, and insist on the ordination of women. (Bear with me a tad for why.) That would and does legitimize the concept of anyone being in spiritual authority over another soul.
Rather, I believe we women must lead the charge to dismantle this whole system of who is above who. Let’s learn from the Old Regular Baptists. If you are called to preach, preach. If the church concurs they will let you. If not they won’t.
But you will not be their pastor, or their leader, or their boss, or their authority, or their confessor, or their counsellor or shrink, or marriage fixer, or any of the other unbiblical roles we currently have an ordained and paid pastorate illegitimately doing. I believe the only ones who should be paid anything for preaching are those who because of travelling to preach cannot support themselves. I’ll kick in for a Paul, or a Billy Graham. Not to support a wet behind the ears man or woman who wants to convince me all about their view of creation or end times or whatever.
I strongly believe the only way out of this maze of fighting to be top chicken in the pecking order is for the laity to simply stop feeding the beast. Close pocket books. Stop writing checks. Stop insisting on a seminary indoctrinated professional clergy class. Learn your Bible. Find someone who preaches accurately what it says. They may have a Ph.D. Or be a waitress.
But truly, we are “victims” of awful leadership if we continue to sit under it and pay for the opportunity to be abused.
We need to grow some spines.
Let us let each church decide for themselves. If church A has a woman in the pulpit and you strongly believe scripture forbids it, attend or start church B. Or vice versa. What church A believes should not be in control of church B.
If you are part of a church that strongly disagrees with you on some point of doctrine, go elsewhere. Don’t let a building or a group of people own your soul.
Formatting went nuts on this computer. Last 5 lines belong right after discussion of Old Regulars. And the “not” was deleted: We are NOT victims if we continue to sit under and pay to sit under these false teachers.
How old is your niece, and what church does she go to?
I think Paul was just saying that long hair was attractive on a woman and not on a man. People make too much of the word “glory”.
Wrong reference. Someone on TWW got it right on first guess a couple of years ago.
Your comment reminds me of conversations with someone with extensive experience living an Islamic countries post WWII. The repression now is more strident and it seems rooted in similar fears of change and feelings of inadequacy or inferiority.
I agree. There seems to have developed a secular narrative, too, that no women were allowed to do anything in previous times and only now is society waking up. I personally wonder if most women did not choose careers in previous times in one part because there was no such thing as reliable birth control, and not as many had the time and energy to pursue a career as well as marriage/children. But many women did pursue careers and a little reading reveals women working in all sorts of vocations. It just wasn’t as common.
Phillip Payne has interesting contextual research on the hair topic in 1 Corinthians 11.
Oh yes. Bingo.
When I was working my first IT job in the late Seventies, for about a year I was the only male in the department. My boss (also female) used to invite me on lunch expeditions with “We’re going to [name of restaurant] and get fat. Want to be our token male?”
The guy looked like a Persian Ayatollah, but I understand that was a tribal identifier during the Reformation Wars — Since Enemy Christians (Catholics & Lutherans) were clean-shaven, TRUE Reformers had to grow Taliban beards. Add a little justification from SCRIPTURE (and The Institutes) and…
This is true. But why is it true? I think it is because human nature defaults to a power structure because resources (all kinds of things) are scarce post-Fall. The powerful get more resources and can control resources. Therefore, it is prudent for people with less power and resources to align with those with more power and resources. The powerful and those who desire to be powerful appeal to the less powerful with fear and/or envy.
The powerful make the rules which do not apply to them. The fear and/or envy of the less powerful who are aligned with the powerful make a rational (if morally inconsistent) decision to overlook or trivialize the misdeeds of their Big Man (or Big Woman) because their interests are served by their BM or BW succeeding. And the powerful know this and exploit it. The powerful have no interest in actually remedying the state of the less powerful because that would eliminate the power differential and remove the leverage of the powerful.
So, it’s not a church thing or a secular thing but a human thing which is based in scarcity in the economic sense. In my opinion, of course, which is one thing which is not scarce. 🙂
Even when Ralph was threatening “TO THE MOON, ALICE!”?
This makes no sense. Should be: The fear and/or envy of the less powerful who are aligned with the powerful causes the less powerful to make a rational (if morally inconsistent) decision…
And don’t forget the first rule of the Zero-Sum Game:
Since there is only so much to go around (on our one little Spaceship Earth), the only way to get more for ME is to take it away from YOU!
Only because THEY’re not the ones Holding the Whip.
“Any nail that sticks up gets hammered down. HARD.”
I think there’s a place for appointed judges, and I would also note there are hundreds of appointed federal district and appellate court judges here in the USA. There is something to be said for not having to worry about pleasing one crowd or another with your decision so they will vote for you. I would argue that some of the most important social advances of the 20th century were made as a result of these appointed judges. But we will have to differ on this.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Yes, I think that is about right. The trick is to make it seem like I’m doing that for a good purpose.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
True dat. My momma’s from Breathitt County, Kentucky. I still have kinfolk up there – a mixture of Methodists and Penecostals!
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
When you look at some of the pointy beards the YRR are sporting, it still is! Sort of a modification of Scripture: “You will know them by their beards.”
Max, I am 52 years old. I have attended SBC churches my whole life. I believe that you and okrapod are right. The men in the churches that are my age and younger focus much more on “woman submit”, “Jezebels”, women being silent in the churches, women having segregated SS classes, etc. I have seen the gradual change as these men have become pastors and deacons. The older people never made such a big deal about what women can or can’t do.
As I recall that movement also featured “holy barking”.
I’m no cessationist, but there seems to be a fine line between belief in the spiritual gifts and superstition.
Leonardo da Vinci is purported to have said:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Your three points illustrate da Vinci’s principle nicely when dealing with Biblical interpretation. Like three non-colinear points which define a plane in 3-space, they provide the most ‘stable’ platform from which to view Scripture.
Up until 40-45 years ago, that’s the way ‘Bible study’ was done.
The idea that Paul was some kind of New Testament lawgiver much in the same way that Moses was to the children of Israel, is wholly new and novel.
Here’s what E.W. Bullinger had to say in his preface to 1 Timothy (KJV version copyright 1921):
“To Timothy were given the earliest instructions for orderly arrangement in the church, these instructions being of the simplest nature, and, as Dean Alford well observes with regard to the Pastoral Epistles as a whole, the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind”. These directions afford no warrant whatsoever for the widespread organizations of the “churches” as carried on today.”
@ Deana Holmes (fka mirele):
Not speaking for Lydia, but the problem is not appointed or elected (you make a good point about that) but that, IMO, the Supreme Court usurped and preempted the functions of the other branches, specifically the Federal and State legislative branches. My memory is that the evangelical church as a whole was mostly uninterested in political alignments before Roe/Doe which largely created the so-called Christian Right. The possible exception might have been alarm among some (a few?) that JFK had allegiance to the Vatican during the 1960 campaign.
The Usual Suspects have certainly learned their political lessons well. Fear, intimidation, political correctness, using media, etc.
At least it is recognized as a ‘War On Women’ thing. But it may be the newest phases of a very old war on the dignity of women and it is NOT going to be the ‘last battle’ I think.
That is has put roots down in the SBC is worrisome, when many want to include the SBC within the concept of ‘mainline’ Christianity if possible. I suppose it was thought at the time to be a ‘return’ to a more ‘conservative’ way of life, but it is so ugly in how it has played out among the neo-Cal folk that ‘conservative’ is too refined a term for the slaughter of human dignity that has taken place.
It can’t be about ‘home and family’ either, when you think that no one wants to see children exposed to their mother’s being humiliated either in the home or in the Church, unless they don’t ‘get’ child abuse and how it cripples children later in life;
and it’s not about preserving marriage either, when you think about it teaching men that women are ‘set against them’ and must be treated accordingly for that tendency . . . what results in a marriage if a husband abuses his wife emotionally is NOT going to help Christian marriage at all.
It’s ugly, this demeaning of women in the Church. Perhaps if the men can’t see it and the children can’t look away, then it is got to be up to the women to say ‘enough’. Sometimes it’s up to the victim to refuse to be a ‘victim’ and break the cycle of abuse at the one real place where it can be broken.
We have a common law system that comes from England’s judicial system and has been in existence in England since the Middle Ages. The common law system is based on precedent, decisions in earlier cases. Precedent is followed in new, similar cases/fact patterns.
Precedent doesn’t change that often and the common law makes for a stable system of law.
Precedents were reported and collected in books and court records.
Civil law started in Spain and other neighboring countries. It is codified laws.
And I am not talking about Roe v. Wade, although, as a realist, I have no problem with the decision overall. (I would have decided it on different grounds.) I am old enough to remember life before Roe. Women died or damaged themselves in botched abortions. If abortion were banned again, we’d go back to those bad old days. No thanks.
I flatly RESENT this discussion about nonelected judges because the Supreme Court has done a lot to expand civil rights and religious liberty for minority groups in the USA.
* Barnette v West Virginia State Bd of Ed allows Jehovah’s Witness children to decline to salute the flag.
* Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US which upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition of racial discrimination in hotel rentals.
* Santa Fe School District v. Doe which confirmed school districts could not impose prayer on students at school-sponsored events. (I was personally mocked by a teacher for not praying before lunch in 1968 and I never want a kid to experience what I felt.)
I’m on my phone, so I can’t go into huge detail, but again I flatly resent the unelected judge canard. It’s not that I support every decision of the Court, but I see the value of an independent judiciary, particularly with hot-button issues.
Yeah, I see it, even in my very rural area of Kentucky. There is a large number of Pentecostal 20 miles north of where I live, and I have distant kin who are Pentecostals. (FYI- where I live, 20 miles isn’t very far) My granddaddy had an uncle whose family (from Eastern KY) is Pentecostal, except for their rebellious one daughter. (She was a hairstylist and had a short 1970’s “shag” hairstyle, like Twiggy!)
When I was 12, the aunt became gravely ill. Their children and grandchildren lived far away, so my mom milked their cows every evening while I helped the uncle tend to the aunt. All of their children came in shortly before the aunt died. One evening they started rolling around the floor of the old farm house and started speaking in tongues – whew, they were loud! Scares the bejeebers out of me! This aunt and uncle thought that television sets were “works of the devil”.
There was talk of hats and head coverings upthread a bit:
Directly to the south of us (less than 2 miles) in all directions, we have Mennonites. Bicycles, tractors, and horse and buggies are their means of transport. The women all wear bonnets – different styles, depending on the branch of the brethren. Some are more strict than others on women’s fashion and the means of transportation. Some women wear little round doily type bonnets, pinned to their hair buns; some wear small white semi-sheer bonnets, shaped like 1/4 of a cylinder, that tie under the chin; some wear “Little House on the Prairie” type bonnets in various prints; some wear the more severe solid black bonnets and wear only solid color dark dresses with black aprons.
I’m far more worried about an Imperial Presidency than the federal courts doing their jobs. As for political correctness, it goes both ways. I called out a Calvinist apologist last week on Twitter for his attitude on a certain hot topic. He tweeted back at me “Totalitarians stifle dissent” and then he blocked me. I’ve blocked by more than a few people on Twitter, including by a lot of people we discuss here, and I expect it. I am not everyone’s cup of tea. But telling me I’m a totalitarian and then blocking me? Seriously?
With my small-boned, square face, I guess I get a little more “glory” with a super-short Jamie Lee Curtis hairstyle.
@ Deana Holmes (fka mirele):
I am all about process when it comes to the 3 branches. The process is grueling, long, contentious and uncomfortable. It was meant to be. So when I speak of unelected judges legislating, let’s at least expect the Federal elected legislators to legislate laws for ALL states, first. Then challenge it to SCOTUS
I get that the respective sides just want to win. I just try to remind them if we forgo the process it cuts both ways. I know, a pipe dream, now. Encroaching power is a big concern and it cuts both ways.
@ Muff Potter:
Bingo! Bullinger got it right in 1921!
@ Deana Holmes (fka mirele):
Sadly, both sides practice totalitarianism in their various ways.
Nancy2, I suppose there have always been cultural and religious exceptions to that, but it does appear that Generation Xers and Millinneals are giving far less grace to women believers than Baby Boomer Christians.
Well, we do have article 10 about powers reserved to the states and the limitation of the powers of the feds.
There are Mennonites further North of you who drive. They often pick up the Amish who don’t drive and take them places. Cracks me up.
There is much federal money that controls states. That is the power.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
Due to a lack of interest (education?) among our citizenry regarding the workings of the great Checks and Balances system of our country;
many people are now calling for an ‘elected’ judiciary, without realizing that an independent judiciary is one of the backbones of our democracy. It can, it has, and it does protect the weak from the mob from time to time. And that is a priceless gift of wisdom, that our forefathers left us such a system in my opinion.
I think it shows the Mennonites in a REALLY good light.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
The case: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/319us624
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
The case: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1964/515
For the record my point was NOT against any unelected judges but was about process. Sheesh!
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
The case: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1999/99-62
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
Thank you for saying this. If you ever hear the comments made by some men (and women) on certain ‘christian’ blogs about those ‘botched’ abortions and Roe v. Wade,
you will find some of the most vile hatred imaginable condemning those women who sought back-alley abortions as ‘deserving’ of their suffering and deaths.
It is a reality that some day we may repeal R v. W and ‘go back’ to the ‘old ways’, but it won’t happen while women are still able to vote in our land, no. For those of you who are young and didn’t have college friends who were mutilated or came back from the Caribbean in coffins, I don’t know if you could understand what I am writing.
But I don’t want that hell for anyone desperate enough to seek it, and there will always be women desperate to turn to back-alley butchers, yes.
Thank you for having the courage to mention this. I DO remember those days. In university, we lost a friend to that hell. You can’t forget things like that, no.
And adding on to Mirele’s list of cases is one of my favorites that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Gideon. He was an intigent Florida defendant accused of robbing a pool hall. He said he hadn’t done it and wanted counsel appointed to represent him for this felony crime. The judge said that their state, Florida, didn’t permit it. He was convicted and sentenced to prison. From a Florida prison he wrote the U.S. Supreme Court and asked them to hear his case. They agreed. The U.S. Supreme Court held that under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that defendants accused of felony crimes in state courts were entitled to have counsel appointed to defend them.
Henry Fonda starred in the excellent movie about the Gideon case, playing Gideon.
Gideon’s Trumpet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOnsB2S5nJc&list=PL45-uTwP9Vgvmt-eIf88vtBjlC93tOw2V
what comment did you make that you think I referred to in my response to Mirele ?
I have a comment to you waiting to clear customs (and delayed since Dee’s internet is down).
It has links.
In my state (California) appellate court judges (California Supreme Court, California appellate courts) are appointed by the governor for 12-year terms. They undergo extensive background checks. At the end of their 12-year term they are put on the ballot to see if voters think they should serve again.
Superior court judge vacancies are also filled by appointment by the governor. Otherwise they’re on the ballot.
Oops sorry. Going by past patterns.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
Obviously the person was projecting their own issues on to you. They’re a totalitarian.
No problem 🙂
That is interesting. Ours are elected from 7 appellate districts for 8 year terms. Christiane wrote:
Did I communicate the opposite?
Fun, yes but she ain’t an old school Presbyterian. BTW, “old school” “new school” have very specific meanings in Presbyterianism. Here (way more than you’d ever want/need to know):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_School%E2%80%93New_School_Controversy
Do you honestly think people here want botched abortions because we expressed concerns about unelected judges legislating? I would also remind you guys that civil rights was legislated and cases pertaining to interpreting that law most definitely should have gone to SCOTUS.
@ Bill M:
Yup. I agree. The denomination is the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, born out of controversy with the PCUSA. They allow women elders and ministers; no congregation is mandated (or persondated, if you will) to have women in ordained leadership. There are lots of Korean Presbyterian churches. I do not know their stand on women’s ordination.
I think you are making some assumptions that are not correct.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
That’s priceless. 🙂 I agree totally about an imperial Presidency. I’m all for the balance of powers and for each branch taking its responsibilities seriously while respecting the other branches. People draw those lines in different places for different reasons, obviously, and I think we need to listen to each other a lot more and try to understand the concerns of people who disagree with us.
No, Lydia. You communicated just fine.
I just wanted to clarify, since there are many readers here and lurkers who may not know, that not all judges are appointed and some who are appointed may later be on a ballot to be elected (or not) regarding serving another term.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
Well, nobody wants bad outcomes from surgical procedures. But I don’t know if you are aware that abortion was not ‘banned’ in the sense you may be thinking, at least not everywhere. Two things: in KY before Roe v Wade abortion was legal and could be done in hospitals but there medical indications which were required. One of the indications could be the mental condition of the mother, and there developed a sort of thing where certain psychiatrists would certify for abortions on emotional reasons, and I was given to understand that it became a rather lucrative side line for them. In Lousiville there was also an ‘illegal’ abortion clinic run by a dentist who had learned to do D & Cs (the procedure at the time) and which met once a week. We knew about it at the hospital and I assume the powers that be knew about it and did nothing. He was said to be good at it with few complications. BTW, I have done a few D & Cs, for dysfunctional uterine bleeding (not for abortion) during school and they are not hard to do but you can perforate a uterus that way even if you are extremely careful. And always there is the possibility of excessive bleeding and infection. This comes under the heading of ‘complications’ not a botched procedure. Now there was no government funding for the poor, and I have every idea that some women did self induced an abortion and almost certainly there were some granny women and probably some nurses who got into this as a side line. That is extremely dangerous mostly due to bleeding and infection, and there may well have been some botching (breach of procedure) going on.
The other thing, when the great push for legalized abortion on demand was going on some elected woman politician whose name I do not recall was pushing the idea in congress, IIRC, and her thing was that she had felt humiliated by having to go to the psychiatrist for a mental health statement to qualify for her own abortion. A lot of the issue at the time was not just the availability of a relatively safe abortion but also the issue of who gets to make the decision.
My point being: times were different, ideas were different, but we were not entirely a mass of barbarians who just let women suffer and ‘serves them right’. That idea has been put forth by some folks from time to time, but the actual story is more complicated than that.
When it comes to human beings, it usually is more complicated. Greys and nuances do not create alliances, though. Black and white thinking and narratives create alliances.
And let me add that the hospital where I was and which knew about all this and which treated the women who would present with excessive post-abortion bleeding by doing another D&C for any placental residuals, if that became necessary, was a Catholic hospital owned and operated by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, a bunch of women who played by the book all the way. I am not in the group who would blame the Catholics for neglect of these women, not based on what I saw.
I think that group has an interest in women’s issues, yes.
Excellent set of questions. My (simplistic) take on Paul’s overall message: To be a Christian, you don’t need to overturn society. You can be a Christian whether you are slave or master or free. You don’t need to follow old laws or observe local holidays or worry about taboo foods. We are all equal before God, regardless of our social or legal status. Just build your church, show love, and be morally upright.
I don’t know; they closed the hospital and I thought they got out of the health care business. But that was long ago and far away.
But you know, interest in women’s issues or not, health care is health care and should be practiced as such. When people look at health care issue through the eyes of politicians or preachers or activists of various sorts there can be problems.
The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV) has excellent introductory material about each book of the Bible. Those scholars were not afraid to admit that the texts were written at different times, under varying circumstances. A great passage called “Letters/Epistles in the New Testament” describes the form of Paul’s writings and explains why some letters or verses might not have been written by Paul.
I’m sure the YRR would be scandalized about all of this, but I think that good scholarship builds faith instead of weakening it.
How about a T shirt that says: Dr. Roger Nicole is a Gentleman Theologian. And then right below it: Unlike the Neo-Cal preacher boys. And compile a list.
etc. etc. etc.
That is how I read him also. I think there is also the idea that one does not just have to endure some situation but one can redeem the situation, so to speak, to the furtherance of the kingdom. By that I mean that circumstance can be turned into opportunity sometimes. (I almost said ‘gospel’ instead of ‘kingdom’ but the usual suspects have ruined that word for me.)
Oh my, how did I forget Owen Strachen and Johathan Leeman? Add them to the list!
Sad that the Neo-Cals have have reinvented the meaning of the word *gospel.* It’s time for non-Neo-Cal Christians to take back that word!
The pastor at the Calvinist church I once attended is also very kind. On his blog directly under his name he states: “I’m a kindly Calvinist, not the mad dog type.” And that certainly does describe him to a tea.
Excellent suggestion, Darlene. To be sold at Camp Backbone.
I have seen serious complications with legal abortions. Also most of the women I have known who got abortions were submissive to the male. He didn’t want the baby, insisted she get an abortion, and when she did was dumped by the boyfriend, married man, husband.
Agreed. So much of it is something like his half of a Q&A. I think people were sincerely worried that they might need to leave or convert a non-Christian spouse, etc.
His belief that people could live a Christian life in all circumstances is valuable. However, in crucial ways I wish he had been less reconciled to social norms; he calls for masters to be good and fair but stops short of saying they should free their slaves.
Kind of like getting a Medical Marijuana Card in California today?
Roe v Wade traded coercion by the state to carry a baby to term with coercion by the boyfriend or family to terminate. I have heard many tales of regret leading me to believe that pressuring a vulnerable young woman to take the life of her unborn child is terribly abusive. Your mention of the torn relationships is yet another casualty.
For any of you who may be interested, here is a link to the “Roger Nicole is my homeboy” t-shirt that I designed in my Zazzle store. It features the egalitarian quote of his on the back of the shirt. Enjoy! http://www.zazzle.com/roger_nicole_is_my_homeboy_t_shirt-235035470944243210
Allison Gray wrote:
I realize I missed a lot of this talk yesterday, but I wanted to point out that we still have issues with complications from poorly done abortions, even with it legal, because many are not done in a hospital setting. There was an awful case in PA I think? Texas tried to pass something to make clinics more regulated (I think they were going to require doctors to have priviledges at hospitals, instead of just dumping patients at the ER when there were issues? I’m not in texas so I don’t know the details) and it may have been slapped down as being anti-abortion or something.
As for the judges thing, the problem is not elected/unelected, but judges job is to interpret the law not to make it. Sometimes people think they go over the line.
This is how I have read him as well. He teaches people how to live in the society as it exists, not to change society.
Catholic hospitals are not thriving in cities where one major medical group establishes itself as a corporation containing a medical school, several major hospitals spread throughout the community, specialty hospitals (Children’s Hospital, Heart Hospital, etc.) . . . .
I think historically Catholic medical services were best seen coming into frontier communities where there was no hospital services, but those days are ending as medical corporations are ‘taking over’ in communities.
One thing I will say is that patient care in Catholic hospitals almost always is massively superior to that found in corporate hospital systems. At least in my neck of the woods, this is the case. Still, it is good to stand by a family member in any hospital twenty-four/seven these days. So important if it can be managed.
better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, yes
And several things in I Tim 2:1-8 are routinely disregarded or explained away. How many churches require the men to lift up their hands in prayer whilst not requiring (or forbidding) this for women? I did a quick search just now and found an article which concludes that literally lifting up hands in prayer in church might make one appear too pentecostal or liberal, and that such a “novel practice” might be a DISTRACTION!
Now, if we could just get the New Calvinists taking over SBC churches to be as honest by posting the following under their name on the sign out front:
“I’m a mad dog Calvinist, not the kindly type.”
I don’t doubt it. I do not favor abortion on demand because I believe that the unborn child is a child, and I also think that pressure by a man who does not want the responsibilities of a child might happen a lot. Impulsive behavior has consequences that are very real, but I do not have the answer for that.
Dave A A wrote:
The explanation which seems most reasonable to me is that Paul is drawing a contrast between men lifting up their hands in unholy acts and men lifting up their hands in praise to God. Their hands should be set apart (holy) to God. We often forget that the normal state of human society throughout history has been violent to one degree or another.
Your point is a very good one which illustrates the inconsistent interpretive methods that Female Subordinationists use.
In tradition, the call to prayer is ‘sursum corda’ (Lift up your hearts) and the response of the WHOLE congregation is ‘We have lifted them up)
I’ve never heard of a male ‘hands’ thing going on in the traditional Church, though. (?)
How does one ‘live’ as Paul’s missives all demand and not effect any ‘change’ in society?
Is the purpose of Christianity only to placate and assuage an angry deity?
This is the case where we are, we’re very thankful for the excellent and compassionate care we get.
I love your whole comment. The mindset in church has become so political, so focused on taking over and remaking the culture, as opposed to a personal walk with God.
Muff Potter wrote:
To the first, I do not mean to say that how we live does not change society, merely that that is not Paul’s focus. I see his focus on more how we, as Christians, should live within the society we are in.
To the second, I do not believe all view said constantly ‘angry’. When we talk about Jesus, it is mostly about love. Paul tells us to love one another, and he tells us what love is.
At which point, how do they differ from classic Communists?
Muff Potter wrote:
“Living as Paul’s missives all demand” creates a counterculture/alternate culture that changes the larger society INDIRECTLY, through osmosis.
“Changing the society” may be one of those things where the result comes about not from aiming straight at the result, but as a side effect of something else.
For a lot of preachers and churches, YES.
It’s like that “Lifeboat Game” at school someone related to me once. They ended up with all Virile Young Men(TM) in the bomb shelter — with NO females at all to repopulate the world. Sanctified Testosterone all the way.
I’ve heard it said that Calvin Islamized the Reformation.
Now the New Calvinists have ISISed the Reformation.
Nor I, in any church– but we logically should, in the churches fond of the “I allow not a woman to teach” stuff.
Here’s I Tim 2, Female Subordinationists and Calvanistas Permanent Text Edition:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for some people, for kings and all who are in church positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God, the authority over our Savior, who desires some people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there are some mediators between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for some, and the men to whom he delegates authority, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
I desire then that in some places the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that a woman should adorn herself in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for a woman who professes godliness—with submissiveness. Let some women learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit any woman to teach or to exercise authority over any man; rather, they are to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve, then the serpent, then the apple; and Adam did not usurp God’s authority, but the woman usurped the man’s, and became a transgressor. Yet women might possibly be saved through childbearing—if they continue in submissiveness and good housekeeping.;(
Earlier on in Romans, I remember Paul talks about the power of God being brought first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. However, Paul goes on to elaborate that this order doesn’t mean anything. There is no advantage in having been born a Gentile or a Jew as we are all unrighteous. Paul also mentions that God shows no favoritism despite the order of having received God’s word.
If we take this into account, we can conclude that when it comes to spiritual status, nobody can be considered above anyone else based on temporal order.
I’m surprised that this has not happened before. I know a lot of Christians, and very few buy into this belief system. I’m not a Christian myself, though I was raised as one. I understand the basic arguments for women as chattel, though in my opinion they make no sense, and are unbiblical.
A wedge issue that divided the sexs was inevitable, and the power of this one may destroy some complementarian churches.
It’s a really interesting situation.
I read this old thread on “the Puritan board” the other day, maybe others have seen this before, on the subject of men instructing their wives who to vote for. How do men not realize how repugnant this reads from the other side?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
And they both make hypocrites out of people.
Dave A A wrote:
There they go again with their mistranslations.
The Greek text uses a noun “the Childbearing” to refer to the salvation through Jesus Christ.
The mistranslators changed it from a noun (Christ) to a verb “childbearing” — which is wrong.
What kind of “translator” can’t tell the difference between a noun and a verb? What kind of “scholar” makes this kind of error?
Well, of course, this one is my own purposely mistranslated “version”. But a look at 26 parallel versions with many and varied differences indicates the difficulties translators must have with this verse. All but 3 just leave the “the” out. Some change “she” singular to “women”. Others change “they” to “she” after the “if”. One even interprets the “they” as “she and her husband”. I do agree with you on the likely reference to Christ– but even that is problematic. I tend to think she” is an individual woman known to Timothy– but who are “they” and how can her salvation through Christ be contingent on their faith, love, holiness, and self-control? Too confusing for me!
@ Dave A A:
Thanks, Dave A A.
There’s a lot of history and context behind those verses, what was going in the church, the community, pagan religion and the like. As I’ve learned more about it, I realize how far the literalists (especially the NeoCalvinists that I was around) have been.
Dave A A wrote:
Hmmmm. Crossway may have more changes in store for the next Provisionally Permanent ESV, and you have provided some excellent suggestions!