"There are three persons in this one divine essence, equal in power and alike eternal ."
Augsburg Confession (1530)
The Evangelical Theological Society convened in San Antonio this week (November 15-17) for its 68th annual meeting. What made this gathering noteworthy was its theme – The Trinity. Even though this topic had been decided upon some years ago, we believe it is a clear demonstration of divine providence that this would be the year for theologians to discuss such a hot button issue.
Denny Burk, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, provided the following information about the speakers and the topics to be discussed (see below).
- Millard J. Erickson, “Language, Logic, and Trinity: An Analysis of Recent Subordination Arguments”
- Bruce A Ware, “The Nature of the Priority of the Father within the Trinity: Biblical Basis and Importance”
- Wayne Grudem, “Why a Denial of the Son’s Eternal Submission Threatens both the Trinity and the Bible”
- Kevin Giles, “The Book, One God in Three Persons, a Critical Review”
The Plenary addresses will feature:
- Fred Sanders, “Evangelical Trinitarianism and the Unity of the Theological Disciplines”
- Gerald R. McDermott, “How the Trinity Should Govern Our Approach to World Religions”
- Scott R. Swain, “The Bible and the Trinity in Recent Thought: Review, Analysis, and Constructive Proposal”
Wayne Grudem's topic – "Why a Denial of the Son's Eternal Submission Threatens both the Trinity and the Bible" – definitely caught our attention. You may recall that back in early June there were a couple of guest posts by Dr. Liam Goligher featured on the Mortification of Spin website that caused some fireworks across the blogosphere. Here are those posts in case you missed them:
Is It O.K. to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Submission? (link)
Reinventing God (link)
Here at TWW, we did our best to get this information out to our readers with these posts:
A Reformed Theologian and a Reformed Blogger Take on the Eternal Subordination of the Son as It Relates to Complementarianism (link)
Unorthodox Views on the Trinity – Round Two (link)
The Battle for the Eternal Subordination of Women Disguised as a Disagreement on the Functional Roles of the Trinity (link)
Wayne Grudem quickly responded to Goligher with this article posted on the CBMW website: Whose Position on the Trinity is Really New?
Al Mohler responded toward the end of June with this article: Heresy and Humility Lessons from a Current Controversy.
Last month the Biblical Recorder (the official news journal for North Carolina Baptists), featured an article highlighting the Trinity debate. It begins as follows:
A theological debate concerning the Trinity that crescendoed this summer has continued in the latest edition of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society and likely will garner “a tremendous amount of additional discussion” at the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) national meeting next month, says the journal’s editor.
Then the BR article states:
Though the debate seems to have subsided, “the Trinity” is slated as the theme of ETS’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 15-17, with three plenary addresses and at least 19 sessions devoted to various facets of the doctrine.
The internet discussions regarding the ESS controversy have been extensive, and we were anxious to see how it would be addressed at the ETS meeting, which ended yesterday. I (Deb) have done countless searches trying to discover what occurred and have basically come up with nothing. Perhaps next week those who have in years past reported on ETS gatherings will provide a summary of what occurred, and we will be sure to share that information with you.
FYI, the recordings should be available by December 1, according to this website.
I have been able to listen to a panel discussion on the Trinity and Gender, sponsored by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Participants were (pictured left to right): Bruce Ware, Matthew Emerson. Malcolm Yarnell, Wayne Grudem, Fred Sanders, Paige Patterson, and Evan Lenow.
This is the only part of the three-day event that I (Deb) have been able to hear, and I will attempt to summarize what was discussed by these panelists in our upcoming post.
Where are the women at these conferences and on these panels?
These folks sure do love to redefine words, like Trinity and Gospel and Biblical. Sometimes it feels like I’m reading one of those of Mad Libs fill-in-the-blanks that are meant to be funny and nonsensical. Except I’m not laughing.
There were only a few women in the audience at the panel discussion.
Thanks for the info, Deb.
I am so weary of women being non-represented at these things. There are plenty of women theologians to address these subjects.
Too bad they didn’t invite the Christian leaders who wrote on this subject, oh, 1,500 years ago. So much of what these current theologizers posit was called heresy a very long time ago. And explicated in volumes of work that have stood the test of time and faith.
What a disaster.
And now: Sport.
(Which probably relates quite well to the activities of the ETS, come to think of it.)
India are building an unassailable lead over England in the second Test and look certain to win it.
The ATP World Tour Finals concludes this weekend; new world number 1 Andy Murray plays Milos Raonic and equally new world number 2 Novak Djokovic plays Kei Nishikori. Should Djokovic win more matches than Murray this weekend, he will regain the top ranking at least for the noo (though he has a lot of points to defend at the beginning of next year). If both win their respective semi-finals, Sunday’s final will be a direct contest, not just for the tournament, but for the right to finish the year as World Number 1.
Spurs host Dr Fundystan’s Hammers today; Evilchester United host Arsenal and I’m hoping for a draw there so that two of our rivals drop points. Liverpool visit Southampton – a tough game for us, given that Man City have a banker win at Crystal Palace.
As many Wartburgers will know, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen completed the free ascend of El Capitan’s fearsome Dawn Wall in January of this year. This was the culmination of around seven years’ work by Caldwell. It was hailed at the time as the hardest big-wall free climb in the world, and it still is, by a long way. (There are single-pitch routes and boulder-problems that are technically harder but nothing comparable to the challenge presented by the Dawn Wall’s 32 pitches).
Leading sport-climber Adam Ondra is currently well on the way to successfully repeating Dawn Wall. He’s now completed the two crux pitches, 13 and 14, and although there’s no shortage of hard climbing still to do, he’s every chance of pulling it off.
Couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing for them to debate.
For a parachurch sub-culture that quacks so loudly against the idea of “new revelation”, these Evangelicals seem remarkably determined to re-found the historic Christian faith, and remarkably covetous of the seats of the original Twelve Apostles.
One more comment before Lesley and I head off up Ben Cleuch for our Saturday constitutional. (Cold, low fog, could be fantastic on top today with crunchy snow and a cloud inversion.)
So, this great big debate the ETS are having.
Who’s in charge?
There’s been rumors for some time that the hyper-Calvinists have been trying to stack ETS leadership with their people, to control both the organization and the discussion. It’s their same old methodology-take over at the top and work by force. The purpose of the ETS is to open discussion, though, and not close it. From what I’ve heard, there has been some pushback, unlike in the SBC.
I often ask myself why people do the things they do. Why is this theology so important to them? The only answer I keep coming back to is that it makes them big fish in small ponds. Their absolute insistence that complementarianism is equal to the gospel is only because it serves their own sinful desires to lead and own other people. They created a whole theological heresy just to put themselves in charge! What kind of people do that?
Mark Jones had some interesting commentary on Grudem and Ware’s panels on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mark_Jones_PCA
Perhaps in preparation for this ETS meeting, Founders published this in August: http://founders.org/2016/08/13/god-and-the-holy-trinity/.
You might need to find a dictionary to make it through this article. Here is a sample:
Fancy words and long sentences don’t make it right. This is semi-Arianism.
Very interesting commentary. He had one statement which was not quite right: “It is a new heresy.” It’s actually part of a very old heresy. Arianism is from the 4th century. ESS is one of the Arian beliefs, but not the only Arian belief. That is why this current emphasis is deemed by many to be semi-Arianism.
We don’t know exactly what Arius taught other than by what his opponents wrote about it. He defended his view at the first council of Nicea. Here’s an interesting summary of how St Nicholas punched Arius in the face at that council: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2011/12/on-the-st-nick-punch.html.
The fact that Grudem dug in deeper speaks volumes about his theology. About a month ago I found Grudem’s systematic theology book and looked up his view on the Trinity. In his affirmation of ESS, he compares God to the husband, Jesus to the wife, and the Holy Spirit to the children.
I’m not a fan of John MacArthur, but he wrote this about ESS back in 2001: http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A235/reexamining-the-eternal-sonship-of-christ?Term=eternal%20submission. I’ve been wondering if he will weigh in on this because strongly disagrees with ESS and yet he is associated with the YRR movement.
We know ETS is a sham, because already we have people like Grudem demanding that brilliant scholars like Michael Licona be “dis-fellowshipped” for daring to suggest that the gospel of Matthew includes apocalyptic language. Al Mohler, king of pseudo-intellectual hyperbole, agreed.
Now, years of people like Ware and Grudem (and to a lesser extent Burk and other enablers) re-making the Trinity in their image has come home to roost. But instead of ETS sticking by the creeds and historic orthodoxy, they give platform Grudem’s wild-eyed freudian manifesto. Frankly, his talk should have been barred just for its title. Can you imagine? The hyper-emotional propaganda is just laughable. It isn’t intellectual or educational at all, regardless of whether one agrees with his position.
I don’t mind so much – much like my approach to a racist, I’d rather just know where these men stand so I can avoid them like the plague. On the other hand, it shows just how political evangelicalism really is. They don’t care about things as central to the Christian faith as, well, God. What they care about is if their members carry water for a socio-religious indoctrination complex that happens to be pretty good making money by fostering xenophobia.
@ Ken F:
Fancy words and long sentences? You mean the enemy of true intellectualism? That snippet you posted fails to grapple with the philosophical core that determined the outcome of the Arian controversy: an eternally subordinate Son is by definition ontologically subordinate. That is what “eternal” means. There are other logical inconsistencies and implications that we could look at, but let me summarize: this isn’t semi-Arianism, it is just Arianism. The accident is different, but the substance is the same.
@ Ken F:
That’s what parts of the Trinity and Gender panel discussion sounded like. They believe that by using this kind of theological jargon we will be awed by their brilliance. Sorry, not buying it.
I find it funny that “prosopologically consistent” is grammatical nonsense. Prosopological is a fairly recent theological term referring to the idea that there is one voice behind all of Scripture, but many faces (“prosopon” in Greek, hence the jargon). Now, it is already a faux pa to adverbialize jargon, but in this case it also just becomes nonsense sounds. The only way to interpret this little bit of theological cosplay is to understand it to mean that ESS is another “face” to trinitarian theology that holds equal weight with the great historic creeds. It also implies that trinitarian theology is evolving, or at least being revealed over time. Now, I sincerely doubt the author had the ability to conceive of these kinds of first-level abstractions, so I tend to believe that he felt that stringing together syllables was a grand substitute for critical thinking. This is the kind of writing that would earn me an F with an exclamation point in seminary, and I went to SBTS!
The practical application of ESS places men in the place of God on Earth.
There’s a quote I’ve always liked: “There is a God, and you’re not Him.”
While Grudem’s title got a lot of attention, I found myself more interested in Ware’s topic, “The Nature of the Priority of the Father within the Trinity: Biblical Basis and Importance”.
The way the hyper-Calvinist bigwigs play out ESS is by putting themselves in charge. There whole theology is based around men placing themselves in the position of God. No doubt they argue that this is just a way to “manage” the church on Earth, but they are lacking any Scriptural basis to do so.
It’s most fascinating to look at where Jesus placed His disciples. Let’s look at this in their precious ESV version in John 14:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;a believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
In this passage, Jesus is telling the disciples where their place is in His kingdom. When a bridegroom was betrothed, he went and spent a year building a house for his bride. Jesus is telling His disciples they are His bride in this passage.
Do you think some of them would have been upset by this? I think so.
Not only does Jesus put the disciples in the position of His bride, he also makes an interesting statement in verse 6, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the final judge of who stays with Him.
Even if you look at this from the view of complementarian/ESS theology, men are the bride. They are in the position of the “women” they so claim to command.
No one usurps the Father’s position on Earth without consequences, and these men will meet those consequences when they meet Jesus face to face.
Read through his tweets on ESS/Grudem etc. Wow. Very helpful points and summations. Thanks for posting that link, @ishy!
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Yes, the effect is the same. The main belief of Arianism is that Jesus was created by God, which is why they believe he is eternally subordinate. I have not seen any of the current proponents of ESS go this far – all seem to affirm that Jesus is eternal and uncreated. That is why ESS is better classified as semi-Arianism. Nevertheless, ESS is non-orthodox, heretical, and leads to the same bad fruit. At one point the proponents of ESS will be “Kris Kringled” in the sense described in this blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2011/12/on-the-st-nick-punch.html. But hopefully not with an actual punch in the face.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Exactly! I don’t know why more people don’t see this. For all their emphasis on sola scriptura, exegesis, and expository preaching, the YRRs should soundly condemn ESS. But they don’t, probably because it supports their other ideological goals.
@ Ken F:
There are various arguments that theologians make against ordination of women, some more Biblically plausible than others, but imagine being so dedicated to defining women as inferior that you’ll create a new (i.e. heretical) doctrine of God to achieve the goal.
I would think that women would be well-represented in the audience simply BECAUSE the issue (ESS) is being used to directly attack the dignity of women in the fundamentalist-evangelical world. I know the conference likely did openly debate the heresy ESS as an attack on the othodox Doctrine of the Holy Trinity as upheld in the Church Councils.
ESS (or whatever acronym it is being called now) is a man-made heresy. And it targets the dignity of Christ as God and the dignity of women as persons made in the image of God.
I thank Dee and Deb for attempting to gather info on the outcome of this conference, and I am hopeful that ALL women of the Church are interested in the workings and the reports of this council.
I can still remember the shock of hearing about ESS and knowing that it was against the teachings of the whole Church. I was not surprised, knowing the names of those who fostered it, that they used their creation to attack the dignity of women.
The dignity of all human persons is tied to the dignity of God, in Whose image they are made. The neo-Cal men are practicing heresy and male idolatry working in tandem in this dreadful attempt to foster ESS as acceptable.
I think it’s even bigger than this. This doctrine puts them (Grudem, Ware, Piper, Mohler) in charge of the entire church. They use the submission of women to keep half the church in line, and to bait men into following them.
But this structure doesn’t just subjugate women, but also men. They offer men this juicy bone that they get to be in charge of women, and that maybe one day they will get to be in charge of their churches and maybe even all churches. It won’t happen.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
translation from the Scots language:
we’re going mountain-climbing!
Enjoy your day, NICK!
Scot McKnight commented awhile ago that there were active movements to remove women from the conference and from the discussion. Some (most notably, Piper) tried to make ETS men only.
Yes. But it has always been true that when people attempted to subjugate their fellow persons, they also dragged themselves down with their victims.
The old slave woman, Sojourner Truth, once spoke saying,
‘the wimmens is coming up, and they bringing the mens with them’
The tragedy of patriarchy is the destructive of human dignity, both the women victims and the male perpetrators. No winners in that world. None.
that says a lot about ESS and its proponents, doesn’t it? These men are vile.
I’m honestly starting to think evangelicalism can’t be salvaged and it’s time to consider coming home to the mainline churches (or for those so inclined, Rome or Constantinople). I don’t see why it still needs to exist as a separate movement, now that’s all about promoting the egos of these “leaders”. The only way to get a message to them might be if their flocks silently walked out, all at once.
One comment not allowed due to political discussion.
I disagree with you and I also place you with the person(s) that blogs here who is for walking away from the institutional Church.
The evangelical world is a part of the whole Church and is the source of Scriptural nourishment for children and also is a lifeline for its elderly members who could not manage without the support of their church families. The evangelical Church is under attack now, and the whole Church must pray for it to find its way towards the light of Christ, if nothing more than for the sake of the very young and the very old who have little or no way to casually walk to a greener pasture.
No, I am Catholic to the backbone, and I pray for the health of the evangelical faith community. And I actively oppose the person(s) that want the demise of the evangelical institutional Church and work toward that end.
Rachel Miller, who blogs at A Daughter of the Reformation and has been one of the leading female voices exposing this issue (along with Aimee Byrd), has started that she would provide an update on what happened as soon as it is available.
However, there was another mini conference this week in Houston that specifically addressed the ESS/EFS/ERAS issue (IMO heresy would be a more fitting word). She summarized it, including her dissatisfaction with Ligon Duncan’s attempt at compromise.
Lastly, I cannot remember where I read it (it may have been on Miller’s site) that Grudem received a lot of push back on his views. Unfortunately, he isn’t interested in admitting his error.
DEE, Denny Burk has just posted a new article on his blog and lists some sites. I haven’t yet read through them. I don’t know if he has presented ‘both’ sides, but I’m going to take a look.
(sorry for comment, I forget myself a lot these days, please forgive … I will get better with time hopefully)
The subordination and second class status of women in church and Christian (ahem, Baptist) marriage is what led me to TWW.
These people insist on ESS and map it on to relationships between women and men. Since ESS is about the relationship between the Son and the Father, why don’t they map it on to relationships between sons and fathers? Hmmmm? Maybe because that would not give all males some feeling of supremacy and superiority over someone, anyone?
I have been a member of 4 different SBC affiliated churches. In varying degrees, they all place women in a second class status. A worship service can be held without a single woman present; yet if there are no men present, there will be no service. A business meeting can be held without single woman present, yet if no men are present, there can be no business meeting. Where does that leave women??? Out in there cold. It give me the distinct impression that God really doesn’t care about women and down’ want anything to do with us. Men are essential to the church while women are merely nonessential accessories. Why don’t other women in these churches see this?
Should say “women and doesn’t”. – auto correct.
Perhaps some of our iPads and phones are possessed by a Rober Morris demon.
Yes, this is what astonishes me the most, especially coming from men who claim to know God and understand God in ways that mere pew peons never will.
the problem with this, their own Holman bible takes issue with that conclusion, as Our Lord Himself is also present among the women who are praying:
“Holman Christian Standard Bible
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
I forget how severely Our Lord was removed from the picture when the BF&M 2K came along. I guess this is one of the worst examples of how bereft the SBC has become of the Presence of Christ in the lengths to which it goes to His Presence from the Word itself.
That loss is felt deeply in such a theology, I’m sure. But the women can take heart: when they pray, Our Lord is in their midst.
I haven’t read the comments yet, but I would note that the picture of the panel illustrates the problem inherent in evangelical theology: it’s being done by white males. No women, no minorities.
A month or two back, I tried to explain ETS to my on-again, off-again boyfriend, who is a Catholic layperson with an extensive knowledge of biblical studies and (to a lesser extent) theology. I explained that he would likely have a problem with the first statement in the ETS doctrinal beliefs, which is: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.” He noted that the statement was simply worthless because we don’t have the original autographs to even have a discussion about. But it makes people feel good because they’re defending “biblical inerrancy.”
should be: to REMOVE His Presence
Ken F wrote:
Is it wrong to point out that the earliest Christians knew nothing of this? That it wasn’t part of their faith? That some of the words hadn’t even been invented yet? I’m going to stick with Paul’s declaration of faith: “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” and “Jesus is Lord.” This stuff…if it gives me a headache, I can only imagine what it does for Joe and Jane Average in the pew.
Ken F wrote:
Oh my, my head is just hurting all over the place. I am no theologian, but this is easily some amazing un-Trinitarian *nonsense*. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve explained ESS to educated former Christians who are now atheists and the general response is, “Wait, that’s a heresy, isn’t it?” And then I tell them this is coming straight out of the heart of Evangelical Protestantism and they are speechless.
I wondered the very same Velour. It doesn’t take a genius to quickly deduce that they’re (women) not welcome at these kinds of events. And when push comes to shove, they’re banned outright.
I know it sounds like a deeply scratched 33 LP record on the turntable back in the day, but I’m convinced that their shtick will not see the 22nd century.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
To me, it sounds similar to common Muslim misunderstandings of the Trinity. Which, you know, these guys are Protestant theologians so they should really have this Trinity thing down.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
See what you just did there? You are making me WANT to check out Licona! :o)
SBTS, Grudem, and all the others just reek of indoctrination. There is no academic inquiry in that world. It is stifling.
As theologically illiterate as I am, I have been amazed at how something like secular archeology in the last 80 years or so has increased our ability to understand historical context.
These guys approach everything with the goal of how they can make it fit their theological agenda. If it doesn’t, it’s heresy.
The fuel they have been running on is the propaganda that they are brilliant. They can’t afford too much intellectual scrutiny so they attempt to take over everything…. including ETS.
It is. It fits determinism and it’s caste system perfectly.
@ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
Thank you for that explanation. That is exactly what the Neo Cal movement represented to me. Using (even making up words) fancy jargon to intimidate pew sitters who would not dare feel intelligent enough to disagree with anything.
And all the time I could sense 80 year old Miss Mildred had more of Jesus Christ in her little finger than they had in their whole body. Miss Mildred was a true “elder”. People sought her wisdom and it was not liked by the new leaders.
“Evangelicalism” is a mess, and has been increasingly so for the last 20 years. But I’m not particularly convinced that any stream/branch in Christianity is going to provide the kind of holistic home I’m longing for. Significant flawas and fal-de-ral and abuse occur in every denomination and theology, as we’ve seen in survivor communities. But we hopefully each find something workable, even if relatively temporary …
For what it’s worth, some of my recent analysis of “evangelicalism” as part of a fragmented modernism paradigm that could be made somewhat better, and how.
I can’t quite figure out the logistics and structure of ETS. There seem to be a lot of presentations and I guess people pick and choose. I know of other women presenting on other things.
I have even following the rise of ESS for many years. Cheryl Schatz’ took it on big time. She even produced a DVD on it. The only woman I could see who did so to that extent. But she is not an approved academic in those lofty heights. She has a ministry to those coming out of Mormonism and JW and recognized the ESS promoted in evangelical circles immediately and was appalled.
The disagreement on ESS was largely ignored until some academic Presbyterians disagreed with the Calvinist Baptists. Funny how that works. Grudems book has been out for ages and was the go to ST text in many seminaries. How did they miss it for so long? I have not been able to work that one out.
20 years ago would be pretty close to the height of the “Conservative Resurgence” in the SBC and the development of the BFM 2000!
True, that. I was thinking more of the “emerging” movement and how it actually contained about 5 or 6 significantly different streams, only a few of which turned out moderately healthy IMO — and they weren’t the Driscoll stream/Young-Restless-Reformed or the Emergent stream.
P.S. So the Conservative Resurgence would have been the older generations of “evangelicals” primarily (Builders, Boomers), while the post-emerging shifts would have claimed the (Busters and Millennials).
There is a Muslim sect that believe women do not have souls. IIRC, Syrian president Bashar al- Assad shares those beliefs.
We all have to decide what we can live with but probably best not to defend our choice to strongly. I don’t think the mainlines are immune. I think there is a lot hidden in staid powerful structures. I don’t see such structures as healthy for those with power within them. But that is just me and learning from experience.
For me, it has been about a new home or way of looking at Jesus Christ and his desires for us. Keeping it Very simple. I have been somewhat heartened by those I have met along the way who are similar and want to keep it simple.
They just get crazier with each generation, IMO.
I keep looking at all of this stuff filled with three and four-syllable theological words and my question is: How in the WORLD did people ever become Christians in the first century WITHOUT knowing all of this stuff??
And it is possible to become a Christian without knowing what all of these three and four-syllable words mean? Or without understanding the whole concept of ESS? Or whatever the subject de jour happens to be?
I just don’t see the original 12 apostles making Christianity so complicated.
All the more reason to not give Theology more currency than it deserves.
Plato argued that women have different kind of soul. Which was kinder than other philosophers of that era.
But it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? :o)
Ken F wrote:
if he truly wrote this, it makes me wonder if Grudem was once a member of another religious cult
A quote I’ve noted before on TWW:
More details at link below.
We can help shift the environment now to help create better possibilities for the future.
I think one of those ladies who went there (and who I believe sat in on some of the seminars or speeches) also worked at CBE’s booth at this ETS thing, and she was making various posts about it on a public Christian egalitarian Facebook group.
Her name is Mabel Yin, and she might have more information, if you’d like to know more about the 2016 ETS meeting.
Here are quotes from a few of her posts on the public Facebook group:
Nov 17, 2016 post, by Mabel Yin:
Mabel posted two photos of charts showing the make-up of this ETS get-together, or of ETS itself (the charts show that it’s mostly complementarian in composition, very little egalitarians):
you are not alone:
““I didn’t need to understand the hypostatic unity of the Trinity; I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees.”
Dee Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
Having the autographs are not necessary. Their readings can be constructed using lower textual criticism.
Dee Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
I remain tickled by this site (it can also be depressing in a way):
Congrats, you have an all male panel!
I find that the “thumbs up” photo of The Hoff, looking so serious, makes the sexism on display, (as cataloged on that blog) easier to take.
You and me both.
Yes, very interesting!
I guess his argument will come down to name-calling those who disagree with him. And there is something extremely strange about ‘feminist’ being the worst insult there is, in their minds.
And Grudem wore a Trump tie to this event? Whatever your politics are, is this really the place to display them? It’s mind boggling.
@ Muff Potter:
I could not agree more. It’s a totally different way of looking at it.
Frankly, diving into ESS helped me in this regard. I saw this Force, Yahweh, as all encompassing in Creation, yet not a dictator and very open to being close and personal to His Creation.
We also tend to forget that Trinity is a made up word. I have no problem with it and am not disparaging it as as a proper identifier. (It is scary to bring this up in certain circles as cries of heretic are not far behind)
Yet with the “person” language it seems to have made the caste thinking)teaching a bit easier wirhout the Hebrew understanding of father/son thinking and then the confusing dichotomy of a human God. Western Christianity made a big mistake throwing out Hebrew scholarship, IMO.
I don’t have a better word though. So there ya go. :o)
I am thrilled CBE is taking a stand on ESS.
To give the good Dr. (Grudem) the benefit of the doubt, I’m sincerely hesitant to believe that he was (member of a cult).
Shortly after the turn of the century I read Grudem’s tome:
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth
In it he makes the statement that it’s about obedience to the Bible and goes on to try and dismantle about 100 arguments from the egalitarians at CBE (christians for biblical equality) that the Bible does not teach cast-in-concrete-gender-roles.
“Obedience to the Bible” is key here and not confined to those of the reformed persuasion. Calvary Chapel teaches the same and they are not reformed. It’s simply an attempt to establish an absolute linearization of a document (Bible) which in my opinion is non-linear and cannot be expressed in terms of a set number of straight line segments. There’s too much curvature.
I also think it is a waste of time to try and reform these groups. One of the founders of ETS is disgusted with all of it and they don’t listen to him, either. He communicated the foundational reason for ETS to exist is gone.
As a free country, other more open and independent individuals can come together and show what true scholarship means. It won’t be easy. Everything is about money.
@ Muff Potter:
one of the weaker flaws apparent in the neo-Cal trinitarian heresies is that they take the structure of the Holy Trinity and try to imagine it similar to that of a human situation
Your entire comment is spot on. One of the things we discussed about Grudem on some blogs back in the frontier days was exactly the point you made above. He was the master of “exemptions” for Eph 5:21. Also mapping husbands to Jesus and wives to church in the passage.
But then he also mapped men to God and women to Jesus in ESS. So which is it?
Do their “educated” followers never pick up on these fallacies that are right in front of them?
I could not believe other theologians were not taking this on. It seems a very closed world of inner rings, positions and such even in more liberal seminaries competing for students. But then I found out about Giles and read both his books. He was fighting this heresy in Australia!
I fear it is more ingrained than people might realize.
Who knows. But it happens. Augustine was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the neo-Platonism of Plotinus.
I have posted a new update on the open discussion thread. Thank you all so much.
“I’m honestly starting to think evangelicalism can’t be salvaged and it’s time to consider coming home to the mainline churches (or for those so inclined, Rome or Constantinople). I don’t see why it still needs to exist as a separate movement, now that’s all about promoting the egos of these “leaders”. The only way to get a message to them might be if their flocks silently walked out, all at once.”
dang, that’d be fun!
And the Pelagianism controversy had such an impact on Augustine that many refer to his works before and after almost as if written by different people. The Pelagianism heresy resulted in Augustine falling into error on the other side. It led to him develop ideas that paved the way for Calvinism. His later teachings did not get much traction in the West, and almost no traction in the East. But the reformers discovered his teachings, and the rest is history.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
This is interesting, because I think complementarians deny this sort of thing in other ways.
The ‘Jesus Creed’ blog had a guest post by some guy who addressed this, or something like it:
A Proposed Model for Egalitarians: An Honest Tension
As that page sort of explains, God never intended for there to be a male over female hierarchy within or outside of the church, and the passage of time reveals that makes that plain to most Christians.
Christians once used the Bible to defend American (white) slavery of black people, but most of us now, in 2016, look at the Bible and realize that slavery was never God’s intent, either (outside of a few flakes such as Doug Wilson).
Our understanding of some things in life and the Bible evolve over time.
Some complementarians are willing to grant that slavery was never God’s intent or ideal, even though God does not expressly forbid it in the Bible and God regulates it in the Bible – but complementarians refuse to grant this point or understanding in regards to gender.
Would it be accurate or fair to say that ETS as it is now is basically nothing but a CBMW Version 2?
I don’t know why complementarians feel a crushing need to take over every other Christian group to make it their own – they already have the Council For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Why do they need to take over stuff like ETS?
– – – – – –
Alarms in ETS about a Complementarian Conspiracy
I think they’ve released a new post or two about it. There’s a part 1 and a part 2.
Here is part 2:
Who’s In Charge?: Trinity, Male and Female, and the Current Debate Over Authority
this excerpt is interesting:
” I am trained not only as a theologian but as a church historian; consequently I am inclined to be skeptical of conspiracy theories unless there is compelling evidence. Nevertheless, based on the evidence, some of us are now wondering if there is a conspiracy within ETS to:
ease out biblical egalitarians,
exclude women from the leadership of ETS,
let qualified women scholars know they are not part of “the old boys network,”
shut down discussion of contentious ethical and theological issues,
marginalize those who do not come out on the “right side” of those issues,
“pack” the nominating committee so as to get their compatriots in the positions of leadership,
question the evangelical and inerrantist bona fides of those who ask hard questions and come up with answers that most of us are not persuaded by, and
propose and pass a poorly framed set of four resolutions that makes the Society sound more like the Family Research Council or the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood than the intentionally diverse “medium for the oral and written expressions of thought and research in the general field of the theological disciplines as centered in the Scriptures” as stated in the ETS Purpose statement.”
Because “might makes right.” Since they cannot win in the realm of ideas, they have to resort to brute force. Maybe a well-place St Nicholas punch would not be such a bad thing.
Ken F wrote:
well, it is said Nicholas will be making his rounds very soon 🙂
I have to do some digging to find out where this new infusion of ESS came from. It’s a very old heresy that was dealt with a very long time ago. As far as I can tell, Grudem is at the root of its current revival. It does look like its only reason for existence is to prove complementarianism. But I have to dig harder to be sure.
Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
It’s absolutely right to point this out. This needs to be opposed with the same vigor that the early church opposed it.
He did. I think it is on page 351. I showed it to my wife and she was stunned. That book is not new, which means it has been tolerated for quite a few years.
@ Ken F:
I am not convinced we even know the extent of Pelagius’ beliefs. Most of what is attributed to him was written by his detractors like Augustine and others.
Most of his writings were burned. Some of what was left was only recently translated from a historical perspective and very expensive to purchase like his commentary on Romans.
Here is one former member and past president’s view
Yes, I think you are correct. I’m guessing that Pelagius was not as extreme as described. Still, if it had not been for that controversy, Augustine might not have developed his thoughts on total depravity and predestination that the reformers jumped on, and we might not have had the reformers going down the path they took. Whatever the actual argument was, the impact is still being felt.
@ Ken F:
KEN, you might find this an interesting read:
It may very well be that they don’t believe any of it, and are just using it to control and manipulate (and take the money) of others. I don’t know. I can’t figure out why people are just going along with it, either.
@ Muff Potter:
Obedience to the Bible and obedience to Grudem’s interpretation of the Bible are two different things. He is blind to this.
@ Ken F:
My guess is Pelagius was making too much headway and was seen as a threat. The basic premise of what we know about beliefs is that humans are capable of choice and wisdom. This undermined leaders who wanted control of people and the church. He was quite the traveler so it could be his message was proceeding him.
Yes, the impact of destroying and punishing independent thought in matters- always has lasting consequences.
Mohler has found himself in a pickle over ESS. He is now advocating tolerance and humility for those who disagree. The irony is thick.
It may very well be those going along don’t much believe in anything, so it makes little difference to them.
Most of them are not Bereans…….. just willing to swallow whatever is fed to them for the free easy-pass ticket to Heaven ……….. no questions asked.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
My thoughts as well…. if this group does not really believe in new revelation, then what is authority by which they state their “new” positions are valid/important. What am I missing here?
Thank you for the link, Lydia.
I’m in the process of reading it over right now.
Tolerance and humility for them, or for us? I’ve seen no humility on their side at all.
In the kitchen making snacks for the men? At the hairdressers ensuring their pretty little heads remain unruffled? Oh, so many choices. I prefer to think of them down the pub, having a pint & feeling relieved that the menfolk are out of the way while they get on with the real business of living.
Tolerance toward them, of course.
I went and read Rachel Miller’s posts summarizing the presentations. One theme stuck out. The ESS defenders warned that the discussion on ESS should be kept in academic circles. So typical. The attempt to censor. Only the smart people should discuss it.
Mohler had a similar message when he was “encouraging” ESS opponents to be more tolerant and humble about disagreement. As if opponents are acting like his YRR!
To them, any disagreement is arrogance and hate. That attitude doesn’t make for any sort of meaningful discussion.
Not sure where it can go from here. The ESS folks like Ware, Grudem and Duncan are dug in and have already trained thousands of YRR in ESS who are preaching weekly all over the place. Grudem’s ST is the go to ST for a huge swath of academic evangelicalism for a long time now.
I can imagine they are concerned about how this controversy might play out in churches. Right now, I am only seeing any on the ground pushback from the Presbyterian wing. If anyone comes across pushback from SBC pastors, I would love to see it. I have seen a bit in the academic arm but not from pastors. Scary.
In my experience, the hyper-Calvinists I know just label anyone who disagrees as “unregenerate” and “unbiblical”. There’s no real discussion, and they don’t listen to or engage reasonable arguments. They can’t handle criticism because there are so many holes, so they try to shut down the discussion before it starts.
I never listen to anyone who only tells the other side to be “tolerant”, but doesn’t hold the same standard for their own side. It’s just a political ploy to get the opposite site to shut up.
I think these men are deeply involved in something called ‘hubris’ where they seek to belittle all opposition in order to elevate their own position by comparison IF they can get others to buy their put-downs of their victims. And then they will ‘shame’ the victims in how they treat these victims.
In referring to the recent conference, Stanley Gundry voiced this concern:
” some of us are now wondering if there is a conspiracy within ETS to
exclude women from the leadership of ETS,”
So the poison of ALLOWING males to belittle qualified women theological scholars is a a concern in what WAS a respected scholarly organization. If these neo-cal males could have their way, their women colleagues would be excluded and therefore silenced:
a ‘victory’ for the male-headship ‘side’ would be perceived even before any conference took place.
Hubris is a strange disease but it does have one outstanding feature: the perpetrator lords it over the victim and shames the victim, and by doing this hopes to elevate himself to a higher position in the eyes of others. Put-down artistry on steroids, yes.
I think the SBC has allowed male hubris to enter, and to drive many good people away (I’m thinking an example was President Carter), and now the SBC is being swamped by the male-headship neo-cals who are attempting to extend their ‘power’ into the entire evangelical theological domain. The attack on women with ‘silencing’ them is a shaming technique: taking away a person’s voice is a denial of their humanity.
“to cause shame to the victim ….. merely for your own gratification…… As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this:
naive men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater” (Aristotle)
I can understand their bad motivation but what is their reasoning? To me, the announced desire to keep the controversy away from the masses exposes an opportune weakness but are the ESS opponents at ETS too gentlemanly to exploit it?
Ah, yes. Ran into this garbage back in the day when I encountered Drisconians. It is a disease of pride and privilege. They are right because their very essence is right. They speak for God because they have special insight and understanding that others do not. And because of all of this, they have the right to completely bully over and trample those who do not agree. Black and white thinking. They are right. That makes you wrong for not agreeing. They being right and you being wrong gives them the right, privilege, or even obligation, for the sake of the cause, to put you in your place.
It is disgusting and the opposite of being Christlike. Or dare I say… it is Anti-Christ behavior. Okay, I’ll show myself out now.
Bill M wrote:
be honest: if you were raised in the Church and had never heard of ESS before, the first time you heard about it, what was YOUR reaction?
I can’t imagine, because I’m Catholic and I was immediately tuned into it being a heretical attack on the traditional Doctrine of the Holy Trinity. I was shocked that someone had tried to pass ESS off as ‘orthodox’, when I knew it wasn’t.
But I don’t know about how it would be perceived by the people in the congregations of a Baptist Church. Would they also say ‘wait a minute, I never heard that before’ or ‘that’s so wrong’??
I don’t know. But ESS jars people who are mainline.
I also think you are right, that if they can keep this quiet, they can get it more entrenched with their male headship heresy.
Theological, I hope they are ashamed of themselves. They should be.
HA! Love the imagery Beaks! Love it! Especially the real business of living.
I am no scholar, but I have always wondered how Grudem gained so much respect among the Neo-Cals. I know Sovereign Grace likes his ST because he aligns with their views on prophecy and tongues, but I don’t think most Reformed folks think much of his ST. My guess is 50 years from now it will be largely forgotten, relegated to only a slightly higher ranking than Charles Finney’s ST.
He does very poorly in debates with fellow “scholars.” I watched one where he debated a presbyterian from the UK on the topic of prophecy. I don’t remember the other gentleman's name, but he absolutely schooled Grudem.
For a beautiful look at the Trinity I highly recommend Richard Rohr’s and Mike Morrell’s latest book The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. You won’t find it in a Crossway Book Store.
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
Crying shame Grudem didn’t write his ST on an Etch-a-Sketch board.
I was raised in Baptist churches. I have been a member of 3 different SBC affiliated churches, beginning in 1978. The first time I heard of ESS, I wasn't that well versed, but common sense (God?) told me it was heresy.
In an earlier comment I mentioned a bizarre statement Wayne Grudem made about the Trinity in his Systematic Theology. The statement is near the top of page 257:
He has about a dozen pages dedicated to the topic of the Trinity, and this is not the only unorthodox statement he makes. He would have been chased out of the room if he had been at at the council of Nicea. Where is St Nicholas when we need him?
Also, isn’t it interesting that he capitalizes “Scripture” in the same way as he capitalizes Father, Son, Spirit, and Trinity?
ha, that’s funny! we could both give it a darn good shaking, with pleasure.
Yes, it is very interesting. When my wife was in school she had to translate portions or Augustine’s writings from Latin into French as part of the six years of Latin she was required to take. So she has read quite a lot of his writings – much more than me. What struck her most was his terrible attitude towards women. He worshiped his mother and virginity, but talked about his concubines (two officially) with contempt.
As for all of the writings cited in that article, I don’t know which ones were from his early years and which were from his later years. He was much more orthodox in his early years.
There are so many different threads one can pull, and so many writings by so many early church fathers. The amount of reading needed to understand them is overwhelming.
@ Ken F:
this link might give some guidance as to time-frame dating of his writings:
@ Todd Wilhelm:
Frankly, I have never understood Grudem’s appeal but he has been a leader in the inner ring for years. It could have been his devotion to aligning comp doctrine to ST. A clear path of affirming Created order using Subordination caste of the Trinity.
I have never understood the propaganda around Mohler as “brilliant” but people gushed over him citing he reads 3 books a day and other mystical feats. He was crowned super anointed.
Yet, His background and subsequent output and behavior screams quite the opposite. He is a political tactician. And a good one– until recently. I give credit to the internet. Now people can track his different stances to different audiences.
For what it’s worth, I went to college with Fred Sanders, number 5 in the photo. Fred wrote 3 comic books on theology, including one on the Trinity. He’s also written real books on the Trinity, but the comic was more my speed. I’ll have to review it when I get home tomorrow and see if I can discern his position on ESS.
Bill M wrote:
I kept coming back to this around 2009 when it seemed only a few around blog circles were talking about it and concerned.
It is subtle. What they are teaching has no name they use but is considered biblical truth or gospel. They don’t want a name put on it. People will start noticing. The same reason they rarely mentioned Calvin from pulpits. The YRR were taught not to. It is even a tenant of Quiet Revolution- they early playbook on takeovers.
Being theologically illiterate, I only noticed what many Neo Cals were “omitting”. This was overtime listening to the big cheeses preach. Probably from about 2004 to 2007 when I was really looking into that movement.
I noticed the ommission because of what I heard when young. Jesus was talked about all the time as God in the flesh. Human/God. It was the focus as was our Holy Spirit.
So I am listening to all the big name Neo Cals or reading their output and I notice very little Holy Spirit or Jesus. I hear mostly about God. Curious.
Then I start wondering about certain words that keep cropping up and how they are used in their context like “ontological”. Why is that word so important when DO they mention Jesus?
On a business trip around 2009, I hooked up with my cousin for dinner. She brought along her husband who it turned out was a seminary trained (Presbyterian) rabid Calvinist. He was the first person I heard say that Jesus Christ was eternally Subordinate to the Father. I was like.. huh? Being the dummy I am on this matter, I sincerely asked if the Holy Spirit was, too. He became visibly annoyed and said i wasn’t taking truth seriously. I changed the subject.
But later on it hit me why the question annoyed him. The question, from an illiterate, really blows the whole thing. If there is Subordination in the Trinity, there IS Subordination. The “persons” have to fit within the caste.
I never heard ESS in church even subtly. I only heard the results if it from Neo Cals I was listening to on the internet or read in their writings. They never use a name for it. It’s just the Gospel.
But then, I was not in a Neo Cal church. My former church was taken over and it’s there now. But I firmly believe the YRR teaching it know nothing else. To them it is scriptural. They don’t even think about it. They are busy swooning over Gods “Sovereignty” never questioning what that means in totality. Or where Jesus and the Holy Spirit fit and how
I find that the scariest aspect of ESS. The YRR know nothing else.
That is why, I think, the inner ring wants to keep the discussion in Academia. Their pastor followers don’t even know that they don’t really know.
Btw, I came to the conclusion that too much focus on Jesus and the Holy Spirit makes them vulnerable to pew sitters thinking independently. It is the perfect systematic theology for tyrants. Everything is mapped in a caste system.
Ken F wrote:
I read somewhere that his run ins with the Donatists made him more determinist in his approach, too. They rebelled against taking communion from corrupt priests and Auggie was ready to wipe them out over it. Just war? :o)
Was thinking about the neo-Cal take on ‘sovereignty’ and I notice they talk about ‘God’ as ‘being sovereign’ HOWEVER,
in the male headship theology of ESS, Christ is an eternal ‘sub’ to ‘the Father’ ….. so I’m wondering how they reconcile the two images:
“the all-powerful Sovereign God’ who is in control
“Jesus, the eternally subordinate Son, Who does as He is told by the Father”
something is not working in the neo-Cal ‘logic’
I wonder if the recent meeting of theologians discussed any of the curious and curiouser elements of the tangle that is ESS/Holy Trinity as described by the neo-Cal folk.
May I issue a word of caution at this point? Second guessing what Pelagius might or might not have “actually” said, implying that our record of the controversy is somewhat flawed due to a “biased source”, or arguing that silencing someone for heresy is nothing more than “squelching independent thought” is all dangerously close to going down the path of historical revisionism.
Here is the link to a “discussion” on prophecy between Wayne Grudem and Ian Hamilton.
Triple mapping, with a twist?
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Adam Ondra has now sent all of the hard pitches in his attempt to repeat the free ascent of the Dawn Wall and, following a rest day today, is well-placed to complete the ascent tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Chelsea won at Middlesborough today, so they go top.
One more fine performance from Andy Murray saw him take the ATP Finals tournament for the first time, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray, who has now won his last 24 matches, is probably actively considering taking tomorrow morning off.
I don’t have that much to revise except what his detractors wrote about him and the trials. So basically, I am “interpreting” from all I have read, which is just my opinion.
“Historical revisionisn” starts when people burn papers of people they disagree with. We are left with nothing but speculation based on defection.
The irony of a few things I gleaned from his detractors is they sounded like exactly like the YRR and what they often said to me when debating on blogs. That I thought I could save myself. Which was a bizarre outcome to glean from our discussion about human volition and choice to do good or evil.
All I am suggesting is take a fresh look outside Seminary. I think the guy was the whipping boy for those in power because he advocated for human volituon in beliefs. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut?
Can you recall the source Lyds? Not that I don’t trust what you’ve brought to the fore, it would just be nice to be able to cite a source in future.
Just war? Maybe it gave Luther a kind of go ahead. After all, the vaunted Auggie said it, right? So then it must have been cool with God to put down the serfs revolt by any and all brutal means possible.
Ken F wrote:
MacArthur has weighed in, or at least his church has. Last summer I was invited to join their women’s group that meets monthly. Here is the website description of the topic being discussed in their meetings through next spring:
This is the text of the invitation I received, which goes into more detail:
“The topic of the Trinity has been THE hot topic in the blogshpere world in the past couple of months. You can go on Cripplegate to read a few overviews that can quickly catch you up, which I highly recommend since we are going to be speaking about this you really should be informed.
There is a controversy between two basic camps; those who believe Jesus’ submission began when He became flesh, at His incarnation and those who believe, as Dr. Bruce Ware does, the author of the book we are reading, that His submission existed in eternity past. The crux of the debate is whether Jesus being submissive to God the Father in eternity past actually makes Him “another God” or a separate God from the Triune God, changing His nature or essence. This is totally an oversimplification of the debate for sure.
The implication here is how it informs our view in using the submission within the Trinity as an example for our Complimentarian view of marriage. Hence, the title of the book Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Relationships, Roles, Relevance.
At the very least I strongly suggest you listen to a podcast between Pastor Will Costello, Masters Seminary grad who pastors a church in New Jersey & Dr. Ware. www.glorybooks.org-bruce-ware-on-the-trinity from July 12, 2016. Let me know what you think.”
IMO, if they’re teaching ESS at GCC, it is with JMac’s blessing.
I was there, and I presented a paper. People can pick and choose which papers to hear. There are not a lot of women presenting, but there are some in their areas of specialty. I also had to make time to visit the Alamo. That was pretty cool.
It seemed to me that there were more women in attendance this year than in years past. I don’t know if attendance numbers are posted by male/female or not, but it seemed as though there were more women registered for the event from my point of view. Maybe not.
ESS was first challenged by Kevin Giles and a number of people at Gordon Conwell several years ago. It’s been a bit of a hot topic at ETS for at least the six or so years I have been attending. It became more public this year, but it has been brewing for a while at ETS.
Both Grudem and Ware came out this year affirming eternal generation of the Son. That is a step in the right direction if anything. I’m hoping they drop their nonsense and return to the right teaching on the Trinity.
@ Muff Potter:
I would love to but I wasn’t writing a paper or preparing a debate so just read up on what I could find. It became an interest because it was the #1 insult of the Neo Cals. Remember, Mohler hinted that many SBC people who signed the Trad statement “were leaning towards semi Pelagian”. After a while I decided to check out the man. Not much there from his quill for such a leading enemy of Christendom. Hmm. How do you revise history? You try to erase it.
I started with links to what might be some of his work from wiki. Some were destroyed and some may have been hidden and attributed later. Who knows! I found that was also the case with some Ana Baptist writings after the Reformation. They were on the run and buried them in casks or hid them between stones on fences or in stone houses. To be caught with them meant torture and possibly death.
Some of what is attributed to Pelagius were not even translated into English until this century.
Pelagius is called a “humanist” or “moralist” by some people. He seems to be accused of believing humans did not inherit Adams sin.
Uh. Oh. I believe that, too. I don’t think sin is transmitted by semen and child birth. Augustine did.
P believed they were born neutral with the ability to do good or evil. All based on ability. The difference after Adam it seems is the example of sin. He thought it was possible for man to choose not to sin. Not that humans don’t sin. Big on free will. Me too. Uh. Oh.
Thus was totally opposite of Augustine. Which thankfully, we are starting to question more freely today. One ironic point. Pelagius, it seems was fluent in Greek.
Augustine and a few other detractors, were not.
Maybe the revisionist history comes from making his name into an insult?
You could spend weeks reading stuff.
Am I promoting or defending Pelagius’ beliefs? No. We don’t have that much to go on. But why would we automatically believe Augustine or even other leaders who had some nefarious teachings?
It seems the more Eastern leaders/church saw no problem with his beliefs, ironically.
It was all a big jumble of seeking information and leaving me with the impression that using his name as an insult is wrong. I kind of feel sorry for the guy. He had no power, just a message that went against the powers to be at the time. It’s not like he was subordinating Jesus eternally! :o)
Frequent lurker here who was at ETS this past week. I avoided most of the ESS/Trinity stuff since that’s not my field of interest, but just wanted to say that you might want to listen to the last 5 min or so of Dan Wallace’s Presidential address if the audio of it becomes available. Most of his talk was basically about NT medieval manuscripts, but he fired a shot across the bow of Grudem & co in his last paragraph. The line was something like “we are not the evangelical complementarian society. We are not the evangelical reformed society. (there was one more I can’t remember).” Interesting to see him pick up on the concerns identified by Gundry in his open letter that was linked to up above.
To say nothing of when the burn the people they disagree with.
I think I first encountered the concept reading a piece by CS Lewis chastising the clergy that their over-use of jargon was a reflection of their own lack of understanding. I’ve since seen some examples where a well placed question stymied someone’s confident array of buzzwords, sometimes it prompted anger instead of a reasoned or informative response. On several occasions I have received a question from a non-technical layman that exposed where I made an invalid jump reasoning through a technological solution. Were I to become angry it I would hope to see it as an indicator that I was even more seriously off track.
The eternal subordination doctrine is illustrative of theological jumps and connections that do not seem to hold up well in defense before outsiders. In my mind ESS is counter intuitive and resorting to jargon and other theological shortcuts are ineffective for those whom the jargon has no meaning. Thus ESS opponents should force the argument out into the open and demand argument clear of theological gibberish.
As a reasonably intelligent believer, if ESS proponents cannot speak in my language, then I can only presume they either do not understand their own theology or they are unwilling to admit it is a sham.
I saw a quote from the closing remarks. I was very pleased. Dan Wallace, and his wife Patty, were friends of mine in Texas. He even came to the Sunday school class I taught to discuss Bible translations. I know that he is more Reformed in his perspective than am I but we agreed on quite a lot. I am so glad to see that he is trying to bring some sense to all of this.
Bill M wrote:
I could not agree more. But they had best eat their Wheaties! Especially if they make a living in ministry.
Did you notice how they responded to MoS guys? Evidently, by their description, it became rather nasty. Usually they call known superiors or mentors/colleagues to tell you to back down. That can be perceived as a career threat. I am assuming that is what they meant by bullying. Saw it many times, myself. Then it becomes ad hominem- you either did not use the right tone or did not have the right attitude, etc when disagreeing. Or they make false assertions about your belief on Sovereignty. This is all a deflection. The Neo Cals are masters of this tactic. You start defending yourself and you are dead. It worked– so you get more. Now all you do is defend yourself. No thanks. I saw this circus on YRR pastor blogs for 10 years.
For Giles, he was an egalitarian. That is all they needed to swat him away. Egalitarian=no credibility.
(I actually think the ESS discussion is helping more people revisit their comp beliefs)
It is obvious the ESS leaders are not budging so it becomes about warning others. Mohler has deemed it within the boundaries of orthodoxy. That means, shut up, in SBC speak. The great one has spoken. And he says we can all live together while your YRR pastor is teaching Jesus as a lesser god.
Public square is the only place. Like here. A peasant revolt. :o)
And, you know, Jesus is more than what they claim. He is the full representation of God. He is all in all. The Alpha and Omega. The ‘everlasting father’.
This is awesome! Thank you, Dan.
Good catch. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion, the ESS proponents have waged a very aggressive and effective campaign to drive a wedge in the complementarian movement- referring to anyone within the complementarian camp who criticizes them as a “liberal”, “egalitarian” or stealth “feminist”. Even when the ESS proponents’ arguments are thoroughly dismantled by conservative theologians, those cultural pejoratives have a powerful effect.
Welcome to TWW! Thanks so much for your commentary.
We will definitely be covering Dan Wallace's remarks in an upcoming post. Before moving to North Carolina, Dee and her husband lived in Plano, and they were friends with Dan Wallace. Small world… Maybe Dee will share more about it.
Around here some say that JMac is drawing the doctrinal line so tightly around what he considers RealTrueChristians™ that pretty soon he’ll be the only one standing in the circle. Ditto for the other comp proponents, it appears.
And John MacArthur has taught his franchisees, i.e. graduates of The Master’s Seminary, the same hateful practices.
I witnessed that vicious excommunications and shunnings of dear Christians at my ex-church, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley — run by a JMac thug. The most hateful, unloving, un-Biblical people I have ever met in my entire life.
“un-Biblical people” On the contrary, there are many vile people described in the Bible.
It seems you and I have a lot in common. It took a year in a healthy church for me to fully realize just how unhealthy my old church was, and how disrespectfully I was treated for 18 years. I know it wasn’t personal – they treat everyone who isn’t in leadership the same way – but it still hurt.
Yes, Jenny, and they will get theirs.
When I see you name I think of a sweet Mom with your name who moved out of the area. She and I used to be friends. She was told to never speak to me again, what a horrible person I was. All lies.
Bill M wrote:
Spot on, Bill M.
Since they always called themselves “Biblical” at that ex-church, I assumed — wrongly — it was in a positive manner (i.e. like Jesus telling us to love our neighbor as our self). Wrong.
I know I’ve said this before (and it probably won’t be the last time either), but the manner in which Jesus obeys the Father’s will is not a model for complementarian marriage as set out from within the C”B”MW in particular or the young, rebellious and reformed culture in general.
When do you ever hear a subordinate within a feudal Calvin-following church say something remotely analogous to, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me ? Or, The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands ?
We know why Jesus rebuked the religious leaders, but It’s instructive to see the things for which Jesus rebuked his disciples. In short, he did so not when they got uppity but when they lacked bold faith. In a very real sense, he rebuked them, not for getting above themselves but for getting below themselves. (Unless, of course, one of them wanted to be some kind of “senior pastor” and rule over the others!)
Complementarianism, to one degree or another, is always requiring women to step down or pull back when they are capable of stepping up or pressing forward. The Father does not lord it over the Son like that. Jesus gave his disciples his own authority over unclean spirits, and when they couldn’t cast one out and asked him why, he didn’t say: Because it wasn’t God’s will that time and you were too presumptuous. He said, Because of your little faith.
This odd idea that we refuse to do good things to “glorify God” is at the heart of patriarchy, and of ESS, and is concocted to allow the weak and the covetous to rule.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Spot on, Nick.
And I will add that the Complementarian argument is an insult to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit apparently is fully functioning in men but deficient in functioning in women. Go figure.
UIC [Up in California]
This has never made sense to me at all.
I think they are jumping from the love your wife like Christ loved the church which is a metaphor and used for a specific thing and also makes them the bride…
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I like that one better than the original.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
I know this is an old comment, but I have to disagree here. I think these guys should be allowed to air their real beliefs all they want. Then the orthodox can publicize it far and wide. Time to drain the cESSpool.
It bothers me greatly that these days people look to bullies as strong men. And these strong men surround themselves with loyal toadies.
One thing that IS known about bullies is that they are compensating out of an image problem so that when they put someone else down (or try to), they are doing it to magnify themselves in the eyes of others as ‘powerful’. Sadly, people fall for this in many cases.
Those in leadership in the Church need to remember WHY they are there ….. to serve the servants of God.
People need to stop seeing Christ-like humility as ‘weakness’ …… the truth is that it is so filled with grace that it may be among the most powerful forces in our world in its ability to draw souls to God.
Wayne Grudem, “Why a Denial of the Son’s Eternal Submission Threatens both the Trinity and the Bible”
After listening to Grudem’s defense of this matter in the past, I have concluded that Grudem, himself, threatens both the Trinity and the Bible!
I’m awaiting anxiously to hear the views of other theologians present at The Trinity conference before concluding that we should or should not listen to any of them. Will they “subordinate” Grudem as they should or give him a pass on this?
I have a novel idea – Christians should seek the Holy Spirit for Truth, rather than than interpretations of mere men!
My goodness. I just realized. Evangelicals are looking towards this ‘conference’ to act as did the ancient Councils of the Church:
to DEFEND against heresies attacking the two great Christian teachings of that time:
1. Who Christ was; and
2. The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
So now we see in modern times something of the mind of the Church in those ancient days when there were thousands of proposed ‘writings’ people sought to be put into the New Testament;
and when the Church worked so carefully to clarify to clarify ‘Who Christ was’;
and when on every side there were people like Grudem and Ware coming at the Church with attacks on its carefully clarified definition of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
interesting to see this …. a modern tiny microcosm of the early Church in the past, only with evangelicals looking to the modern day conference to resolve and defend one of the most sacred and basic of Christian doctrines now under attack once more
and so the Church did in the ancient Councils also
cESSpool – brilliant!!!
This is, indeed, the problem of submitting ourselves to the rules and regulations of the institutional church, rather than the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God has already settled The Trinity in eternity past; the institutional church is still debating it in the here and now!
What we see unfolding with the ESS doctrine is the age old battle of religious intellect vs. holy revelation. Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. I have known many Sunday School teachers with more revelation than highly educated theologians! I’m OK with the intellectuals staying in their ivory towers discussing these things among themselves, but don’t come out of it and attempt to reverse what the Holy Spirit has already deposited in my ‘knower’ … what’s in my knower, I can’t unknow!
Another one to print, folks, and stick on your refrigerator!!
But those “ancient Councils of the Church” were ROMISH.
‘si comprendis non est Deus’
In the Zero Sum Game, since there is only so much to go around, the only way to get more for yourself is to take it away from someone else. The only way to elevate yourself is to crush others down.
Thoughtstoppers like a Moonie.
Or the praise-phrase “Al’lah’u Akbar!” in the mouths of the Taliban or Daesh.
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
doublethink, comrade, doublethink.
Ken F wrote:
Isn’t Father-Mother-Son Triad characteristic of the gods of EGYPTIAN mythology?
“Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, and more: published in 1991
“Systematic Theology”, Wayne Grudem: published in 1994
Did anyone else notice the publication dates on these books? First, they come out with the book on female subordination to males, then Grudem’s ST. Hmmmm.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
But why stop with the Trinity? And with ‘Who Christ is’? Why don’t the neo-Cal folk research all the old writings presented to the early Councils and come up with their OWN New Testament?
I mean, they either trust the intent of those earliest councils or not. If ESS proves they don’t trust the ‘Romish’ councils, then it also places their believe in the validity of the canon in jeopardy. (methinks, give them a few years, and they will come up with their own ‘carved in stone’ unchangeable eternally-fixed ‘bible’ …… oh wait …):)
Well, in my humble (but accurate) opinion, Grudem’s ESS position drifts greatly from orthodoxy. Even though my knowledge of God is not exhaustive, I do have enough working knowledge of Him from years of Bible study to raise the spiritual hair on the back of my neck when it comes to the ESS doctrine.
BTW, Denny Burk has put up a second post about the conference on his blog ….. sadly, no comments allowed, though.
Believe Me, they don’t. Nobody owns Me…
From Burk’s article: “Grudem shared that an unpublished paper by Lee Irons persuaded him that the Nicene Fathers were right in their interpretation of MONOGENES—a Johannine term that is a linchpin for the Nicene doctrine of eternal generation”
Note that Grudem’s “persuasion” came through an unpublished article written by another man – not from the Bilble, Biblical studies, or prayer.
But note also that said unpublished article will always have the full weight and authority of Scripture as the author sees it. Whatever he’s derived from the text is what must be. No exceptions, no wiggle room, and certainly no dissent. And as I’ve written before, this is not confined to those of the reformed persuasion. Calvary Chapel pastors have derivation down to an artform.
But much of history is filtered through biased sources. We have to read around it, and know what the biases are and see if we can find any other confirmation for things that were said. Sometimes we discount historical writings as biased and find, through archeology, that they were correct. And sometimes we accept things at face value and find they were incorrect. So it’s dicey.
It is as if they worship hierarchy or something.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
This would be a good one to toss back at husbands who think they are God, maybe?
Muff Potter wrote:
Like Hal Lindsay’s take on the Demon Locusts in Revelation:
“IT ITS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN!”
P.S. I credit Calvary Chapelites with my automatic gag reflex upon hearing the word “SCRIPTURE!”
In fiction, this is called the “Unreliable Narrator”.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Yes, and patriarchy is hugely pagan.
Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses did?
P.S. I had a standard comeback line for those Bible-Believing(TM) Christian types:
“The only reason YOU have that Bible to Believe in is the bishops of MY church prevented the Shirley Mac Laine types from rewriting it in their own image back when years AD were in the low three digits.”
Isn’t that called “Heresy” or “Cultic”?
It’s Arianism with a special side order of “Woman! Do as I say or I beat you!” by Divine Right.
Isn’t that the definition of Gnostic, i.e. “He Who KNOWS Things”?
Secret (“Occult”) Knowledge (“Gnosis”) known only to a Specially-Illuminated Inner Ring?
“Ours is a High and Lonely Destiny, Digory.”
I know! Blows my mind. where have the scholarly ESS opponents been? Grudem’s ST has been a text book at seminaries for 20 years.
Glad they are speaking now because a public debate needs to happen but gee whiz…..we have a generation of pastors in the SBC who know nothing else
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Too bad they did not allow just anybody to read it. (Wink)
Do pubs still serve pints now that you’re Metric?
(Or has the traditional name “pint” been transferred to its nearest equivalent, half a liter?)
Imperial or Metric, I suspect Jesus is more likely having a pint with them than with their Theological hubbies. He tended to snub the God Squadders and hang out with the crowd down at the pub. And Judaism places a lot of importance on “live your life”.
From MacArthur church’s “Women Walking Wisely”-
It seems so clear that the whole purpose of this doctrine is the end goal- the subordinating of women. It is not that an honest seeking to understand the nature of God revealed ESS to them and then they realized that it reflected on the “role” of women. No. This is the purpose that is woven throughout all of their statements. Their go-to insult of anyone who disagrees: “you are a feminist.” For some reason, the subordination of women is more important to these people than any other thing about faith or religion, including honestly assessing the nature of God, himself.
I believe that when a person promotes a doctrine for the end purpose they are hoping to achieve, they have lost respectability and disqualified themselves.
That is pretty much my approach, in general. Read around a subject, lots of sources.
I just could not understand why the guy has been the historical poster boy for heresy pretty much based, for the most part, on the the dogged efforts of Augustine.
That’s what started this whole reformed mess in the first place. Reading.
We were talking yesterday about how ‘we three kings’ weren’t really three necessarily (or kings) and someone mentioned that they had names, where did those come from. Apparently ‘tradition’ named them? Somehow?
Ah, Tarot card Symbology.
An interesting symbology — I remember my old DM explaining some of it.
And Tarot didn’t start out as fortunetelling/divination; it was originally for a late Medieval card game called “Tarock; the “Major Arcana” were originally a series of trump cards in the hand. I think it got used for fortunetelling because the cards were so exotic. (I remember seeing a reconstruction of the original rules for Tarock in a long-ago historical re-enactor publication which included the above summary history.)
Traditions tend to accrete around anything of importance.
Wee, wee men with wee wee winkies who have to push down a woman to feel Manly-Manly.
And what better Cosmic-level justification than By Divine Right?
“Men of Sin” will cite any Cosmic-level Authority — Bible, Koran, Darwin, Freud, Marx, Nature, Science — to justify what they wanted to do anyway.
They brought, as far as Luke records, three kinds of gifts, which is presumably where the number came from. (The carol “We Three Kings” may or may not be historically accurate, incidentally, but taken as a poem, I rather like it. I think it’s haunting and thoughtful.) IIRC, the wise men themselves were dubbed Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Did you sing the ‘We three kings orient are, smoking on a rubber cigar. It was loaded and exploded’ version in Scotland?
Never came across that version, but we did sing an alternative that had them selling disreputable merchandise and “going to Perry Barr” (which makes sense if you grow up… er… near Perry Barr).
Perry Barr is, for clarity, an area of Birmingham. Not to be confused with Perry Noble, who is very much not an area of Birmingham. Though some of his merchandise has indeed garnered a mixed reputation.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Oh no! The scandal! Ha.
I do like that song. I’m really fond of the Holly and the Ivy, too, although it doesn’t seem to be a terribly popular one.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I was surprised when someone mentioned him yesterday at church. I thought he had been raptured in 1988.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
It IS the definition of Gnostic.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
many stories about the Three Kings in oral and written tradition: we read in the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 2:
“7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8And sending them to Bethlehem, he said: “Go, search carefully for the Child, and when you find Him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.”
and after they visited Jesus, we are told that “having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew to their country by another route”
it is said in the Church that all who journey to kneel before Christ will not return home by the same road 🙂
another favorite Church saying about the Magi:
“Christ called the wise men by a star, the fishermen by their art of fishing. ”
And for those who may have a problem with low flying stars hovering over houses, here is another (of many) way to look at that.
Lol! We had a version that included “our feet are sore” but i can’t remember all the words.
Lol! The Reformers punished those with differing interpretations from theirs.
Very interesting. I read a good portion of one of her books which was interesting for the historical context. I thought she pushed a few things too far and got a bit bored with it. I really should finish it.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
You mean like God-Mary-Jesus? IMO we are going to have to develop an apologetic as to why this is not a concept influenced by pagan mythology, and we need to get with it sooner and not later now that Jews and Muslims and Christians are all being urged to talk to each other.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
…which continues to display the lack of understanding, calling it “too Romish.” It was representatives from ALL the Christian Church at the time…not just the patriarch of Rome, but bishops from all corners that came to these councils…and found what “seemed good to (them) and to the Holy Spirit,” as was done in the book of Acts.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Kicked Out for Being a Berean (along with the godly doctor in his 70’s before me and the godly woman in finance before him)
This belongs in a place of honor on a Camp Backbone t-shirt.
where does THIS come from??
So: just back from the climbing wall, on our second visit following a gap of around 6 months. Managed the balancey white 6b+ on the pillar, and was very close to cracking the very balancey white 6c in the corner. With which I was reasonably chuffed, having on paper lost a lot of fitness.
Which is what, incidentally, is so compelling to me about the Nicene Creed. It has the full authority of the Church. Not the trivial authority of “a church” setting out why it’s different from all the other churches, nor of a self-appointed doctrinal offshoot setting out why the Bible (which fell into their laps at others’ expense) agrees with them and nobody else.
Yes, you’re right. They teach these things because it’s the world they WISH existed, where all men are honored leaders, all women are submissive gentle spirits, and all children are cheerful, obedient quiver arrows. They craft a doctrine so they can claim it’s biblical, but it’s actually magical thinking: if they say it and believe it long enough they think it will happen. Yet the things they preach aren’t even observable in their own lives or in the lives of their own families. Seriously, if you can’t prove your hypothesis in your own laboratory with your own equipment, don’t command someone else to prove it for you in theirs.
After several years of living outside that bubble, it’s funny how clear everything is to me now, but when I was in the midst of it my reasoning was so clouded that I couldn’t see the false teachings until it was almost too late. I don’t spend much time pondering that place and time in my life anymore, but when I do I’m still mystified as to how I got conned into believing it all in the first place.
Where does it come from? This and scads of stuff like it comes from among the two thirds of the inhabitants of the planet who are not Christian, and from a subset of those who profess Christianity. I am saying that merely quoting from an early creed will not solve these sorts of issues any more than it has solved the ESS issue. And why? Because most people, that would be statistically most to include unbelievers and also to include many?most? protestants do not accept the creeds in the same way that, for instance, the Catholics do. This is one reason why the ESS guys are not easily jerked back into line by those who cite the creeds.
So, given the world as it is, I think we need to openly rethink these things and be prepared for substantive defense of Christian beliefs, including delving into how much Christianity really has been influenced by other religions and by for example Aristotle as some say, and how much and what we consider a hill on which to die and why. It is not as simple as merely citing creeds and old dead guys.
But can there be a Christian faith without creeds (as in, generally accepted orthodoxies) and old, dead guys?
Without the standards of tradition and reason people can make the Scriptures say almost anything they want – and boy, haven’t they tried!
I once asked on a Southern Baptist blog if the early Creeds were accepted, and I was told that the first four creeds were accepted. I did not know that Southern Baptists did not buy into them. OTOH, there seems to be a lot of diversity about what Southern Baptists believe these days, so I accept your comment as evidence.
What content in the first four creeds do you think are not accepted by most Christians who are not Catholic?
That is true. None the less people try to do it.
“We Kick ESS”
Yes, diversity. Google ‘no creed but Christ’ for one strain of thought that impacted the Baptists when I was one. I had no idea that any baptists accepted any of the creeds as definitive for them. You are telling me something I never heard.
here is a part of what I was told:
August 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm
For an evangelical, Erickson seems to agree with the doctrine of ‘Christ’ stated in the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.)
re: Christ’s two natures in one Person
Jim G. says
August 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm
All evangelicals hold to Chalcedon, Christiane.
August 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm
I did not know that, but I am pleased to hear it . . . ”
Here’s the link:
Okrapod, I will look for the other references.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Why yes they still serve pints. And half pints. After this Brexit cr@p any such move could crush the populace beyond repair. Don't even think about it.
another reference, this:
“Ed B says
March 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm
“Since this is a Baptist blog, there is no question that we do not believe that Catholicism is a proper expression of biblical faith. But the question is whether it falls within the boundaries of Christian faith.”
Dave, I would answer to your question shown above based on the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. While we Baptist are not creedal, creeds can be useful and in my opinion these beliefs fall well within Christian orthodoxy. There are one or two points where we will disagree such as the meaning of one catholic (universal) Church and Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, but there are many non-Catholic Christians who believe in the latter.”
OK, one fellow says Baptists are not creedal (which is what I was taught) but they do agree with some statements in some of the creeds. Of course. Sarcasm: how condescending to say that some creedal statements on the one hand, and Catholicism on the other, have some beliefs which fall within orthodoxy. Sarcasm off.
Now the other guy used the word ‘evangelical’ and this is a hint. Evangelical and Baptist are not synonyms. Evangelicals have tried to lay that claim, but by definition for example the fundamentalist Baptists are not evangelical since evangelical was a term adopted to basically mean not-really-fundamentalist. Back to your statement re diversity; that is so true.
There is a difference in believing something because it is in a creed and has been adopted by the ancient Church, on the one hand, and believing something for whatever reason and then noting that it is the same thing that is in a creed. On the one hand somebody believes in the creed (believes in creedalism) and therefore believes the doctrine, and on the other hand the person believes in the doctrine and therefore agrees with the creed. Big difference here.
Even though I am a member of a Southern Baptist church, tonight is the first time it hit me that Southern Baptists don’t stand on the ancient creeds. I cannot find anything where they have done anything more than give a nod to them insofar as they agree with whatever SBC “confession” is in vogue at the time. That strikes me as pure arrogance.
I did a quick search on the history of SBC and creeds and came across this interesting article, written in 1983 and updated in 1995: http://www.tmatt.net/freelance/why-i-am-no-longer-a-southern-baptist. This was written well before complementariansism and YRR had gotten much traction, and yet it feels like it’s part of today’s discussion. This quote is significant:
Maybe the current SBC “leaders” are trying to carve out a system of traditions and tenets that have the look and feel of historical authority. Have you ever been to Balboa park in San Diego? The buildings look like they are made of stone, even up close. But it’s just stucco over plywood. One cannot tell the difference without knocking on the sides of the buildings. The current SBC needs a good knocking to expose it’s plywood interior.
I believe the early creeds were written when the Church was first attacked by heresy. So each of the early Councils represented an attempt to state the Church’s belief clearly in opposition to the heresy that was threatening it at the time.
Diversity, we celebrate in my Church; but we are united in matters of faith and morals, as a Church.
thanks for the interaction 🙂
The irony is that if it was not for the heretics, we would not have these wonderful creeds today. The rise of heresy prompted the church to clarify what it believed and what it didn’t believe.
Ken F wrote:
Immortalized in a t-shirt.
Ken F wrote:
Yes, I’ve been to Balboa park … we were in San Diego many years ago for my husband to attend a Navy school.
I think as long as Southern Baptists have the bible, they are connected to the very early oral tradition of the Church prior to the canon-formation;
and they are connect to the written tradition of the Church.
I consider Southern Baptists to be in the Body of Christ, so we share the term ‘brethren’, although we speak of ‘separated brethren’. But IF a Southern Baptist travels to the catacombs where the early Christians were buried and where they prayed in hiding from persecution,
the Baptist will feel a sense of belonging to the ancient Church also.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Heh, heh, heh! 🙂
I remember hearing kids sing something like that when I was little. It began with words similar to what Lea quoted, but the last line was (as I dimly recall) “Tune in to CKPR”. (CKPR was a local radio station.)
It does make me wince a bit to hear a lovely carol butchered like that, even if it’s not scripturally accurate. At the same time, I find it strangely nostalgic.
Don’t kids say the darndest things? 🙂
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
The commenters here are amazing. I hope no one minds if I borrow some of these ideas when I’m sparring with Female Subordination defenders in the future. Based on the pushback the ESS proponents have gotten lately, there might be plenty of opportunity for that, too.
I am a member of a SBC church, but I don’t consider myself a Baptist. My wife feels even more so. I visited catacombs in Sicily many years ago. I also got to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and St Peters in Rome. Those visits impacted me deeply.
Maybe it was more about forced adherence to Creeds in the state church days? It’s one thing to agree with what is in a Creed and another to take an oath on one. Just a thought.
Back in the late 1970’s Ford offered a trim package on its (American-market) Granada compact sedan called “European Sports Sedan” or, ironically, “ESS.” It was supposed to make the car look like the much more expensive Mercedes of the time, but it was obvious to anyone that it may have looked like a Mercedes, but it sure didn’t perform like one.
Ad for the Ford Granada “ESS”: http://www.americangranada.com/gallery/ad-2.jpg
Kinda similar to this form of ESS. Looks “Biblical” on the surface, but dig just a little bit under the surface and the flaws and deficiencies are plainly evident.
And Augustine did just that which is now “tradition”. I don’t agree that passage is focused on tradition but truth.
@ Ken F:
Some Reformed Baptists had catechism. I ran across a few from the 17th and 18th century. That is close enough. :o)
Ken F wrote:
I have been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years. The denomination has had an historical aversion to creeds, but the New Calvinist movement within its ranks has resulted in a trend toward creedalism. As the New Calvinists attempt to shift Baptist identity from its Anabaptist, free church tradition to a reformed evangelical identity, the creeds begin to pop up. For example, professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism) are required to endorse The Abstract of Principles, a reformed creed. The 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith and Message is more creedal than earlier versions; it was never intended to be a creed, but a statement of belief and practice.
Bingo. Some even go as far to interpret Creeds/confessions to suit their view. Didnt Mohler say ESS was in the bounds of Nicene?
my problem with them and Creeds was witnessed by 10 years of reading the Reformed and Neo Cals quote and then argue their pet confessions as the answer to every question or disagreement.
Seems to be they are trying to say “How G_d should be” rather than “suggesting” how G_d would want us (me) to be?
If this is the best they can do in regulating the flow of outside information, how will they maintain their strangle hold over the minds of the pew serfs?
…and, relating to this subject, new study: Promiscuous men and misogynists are more likely to have mental health problems http://www.reuters.com/article/us-rights-sexism-mentalhealth-idUSKBN13G1WN
How about that.
Aimee Byrd and other comp women from the Reformed camp were calling out Ware et al for their ESS heresy all along, but it wasn’t until Goloigher was given a spot at Byrd’s blog that the ESS proponents responded. They wouldn’t deign to respond to the women even though the points raised in criticism of ESS were the same.
As much as Ware and Grudem deny it (mostly by trying to redefine terms) their heresy was rejected at Nicaea centuries ago. Goligher told them that, but they continue to ignore that both Scripture and history is against them.
People separated from the Church of England under King James 1 over disagreements and became mostly what are now Baptists and Presbyterians. The YRRs are trying to set up a church-state, top-down religion similar to what our predecessors risks life and limb to shed.
Grudem and Ware seem to be aiming for an SBC/EFCA dual papacy.
Oh, and Aimee Byrd and other comp women (women in general) ……. well, We.Do.Not.Matter! Everybody already knew that.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
You made it clear as a bell, Dr. Fundy. As soon as I read what you said I thought, how precise! An eternally subordinate Son is *ontologically* subordinate. That would mean in His essence He is not equal to the Father, which is completely opposed to our Christian faith as confessed in the creeds. In my faith (Orthodox), we confess in every Divine Liturgy that the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are *one in essence* and undivided. These innovators, Ware, Grudem, et al – seek to rip apart the doctrine of the Trinity in order to bolster their earthly idol of Complementarianism.
Jesus, of course, stated that:
(This from both Mark 10 and Luke 18, and in Matthew 18 he added that you must first change to become like a child.)
What exactly this means has been debated, I know; but ISTM that at the heart of it is the fact that a little child is learning everything from scratch. Everyone who comes to Christianity as an adult, without exception, must necessarily bring preconceptions with them. We all absorb and/or develop ideas on what the world is like, what it should be like (if different), what is right and what is wrong, etc etc etc etc etc; and all of these colour our idea of who and what God himself ought to be.
If I understand this aright (and it is borne out by 30 years in the Christian scene, but ): No matter what our preconceptions about God were when we first became aware of him and our potential relationship with him, those preconceptions were wrong. So, our first job as believers – probably a never-ending job, TBH – is to unlearn them. A great many heresies and unhealthy or stifling church practices happen when people come to “christian faith” but really just tack it, suitably re-moulded, onto their established core beliefs. So they don’t enter the Kingdom at all, they just take a blurred photocopy of it and post it somewhere on their own kingdom.
The craving for ESS, the perpetual subordination of women, the subordination of the laity and the giving-units, the subordination of non-academics and non-theologians, indeed the subordination of everybody and anybody is almost certainly rooted in the fact that these men have never left behind their need for corporate or political structured hierarchy. IOW, in their world, somebody must be in charge and everyone else must do as their told or it’ll be chaos. And it stands to reason that since only they really know what needs to happen, it should be them in charge.
Jesus said otherwise: no-one is to rule over anyone in the Kingdom. But they’ve never troubled to find out what this means.
@ Jim Gifford:
Hi Jim, I did not see your comment until reading the last post.
I am not one for quotas on gender representation but thought it was interesting you think there seemed to be more women in attendance. Wonder why?
I think these sorts of situations are much more productive and interesting when individuals of either gender are presenting/listening on topics of mutual interest. But there are still some who see it as a sin to be learn from women.
Jim Gifford wrote:
Can you highlight? I am not familiar with the “eternal generation” language. Are they trying to be a “little bit” eternal Subordination of the Son but have an escape clause to be orthodox? The language often trips me up.
Eternal generation and eternal Subordination sound similar to the cognitive dissonant language of “equal but different roles” we hear in comp doctrine.
That thinking is one reason why I think ESS (or whatever) was often overlooked.
Or “Separate but Equal” we heard in Jim Crow.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
“There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
— Lord Voldemort
But the Iron Throne has room for only ONE to sit.
“There Can Be Only One…”
Riddle me this, o Smug Church Ladies with Wagging Fingers:
Are they sleeping around and stomping on wimmen because they already had mental problems, or does all that sleeping around and stomping on wimmen contribute to the mental problems? Or is it both in a synergistic feedback loop?
Muff Potter wrote:
(And the Threat of Shunning followed by Eternal Hell.)
And where unicorns fart rainbows and free ice cream for The Elect.
I haven’t checked in with Aimee’s blog in a while. I feel like she was starting to catch on to that, though, and it was irritating her.
The deal with comp is that if you have a nice husband who just nods to the ‘comp’ thing and nice church members who do the same, maybe you just don’t feel it. So you don’t realize how damaging it starts to be when people are not in those circumstances. Or when someone is single, and they basically don’t fit the mold. Then you realize what a bunch of damaging nonsense it is.
So true. In some churches it’s so subtle that I pretty much ignored it. Then, some certain things happened and I kinda went banshee ballistic.
Yep, that’s the only way the control freaks can be control freaks … the top have to keep the down down to pull it off. Most of these folks would be unemployed if they hadn’t gone into the ministry – they “work” by control, manipulation and intimidation since they have no other skills.
Not on these shores.
Thanks to the old dead white men who founded our Nation.
As for the bit about evangelicals holding to Chalcedon:
My opinion is that they say they do, but don’t necessarily understand the implications or what the definition really was intended to mean. Let alone the historical circumstances of the council. I think if someone like Bruce Ware was transported back in time to the Council of Chalcedon, I doubt he’d get a warm welcome.
So they were!
Fascinating–and deeply disturbing– to see that the heretics are attempting to take over the world all these years later, isn’t it?
Dee and Deb can you please add into your post a link to the video of the panel discussion.
Here is the link:
I’m not debating creedalism pro or con, but frankly the Abstract of Principles was written at the founding of the seminary (1858) and at the time it was required that professors agree to it. So requiring professors to hold to it has historical precedent, and undermines your claim that the SBC is anti-creedal historically. It also is definitely not reformed. I’d say it is a pretty sparse statement of faith to be honest. Also, I’m not sure I understand your distinction between creed and statement of faith. Most of the time I take these terms to basically describe differences in historical context, but both are basically theologically dogmatic. The difference is statements of faith are usually longer! I’d like to mention though, the earlier BF&M (1925) was more calvinistic than the current one.
I really don’t understand the use of the term hyper-calvinist on this blog. I’m a subscriber to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. From my perspective, just about everyone in the YRR isn’t even really calvinist, let alone actually hyper-calvinist (meaning that they don’t believe we should preach to the non-elect). But then again, y’all are using the term reformed to describe people like Grudem triggers me too.
Is anyone invited to this thing actually orthodox on the Trinity? As a Baptist, I know we have always been weak on systematics, but the fact that ESS has secretly existed amongst us so long and even now is ascendant hurts. And where is the repudiation?
First, Grudem, Piper, Mohler, et al call themselves “Calvinist” and “Reformed”. So whether you agree with it or not, that’s how they designate themselves.
The term “hyper-Calvinism” actually has multiple definitions, so your definition is one, but not all the ways it is used. Many use it to mean the denial of the universal call of faith, which is true of this group. They believe that God only calls the elect.
However, this group also is infamous for saying one thing that means another. They will tell you that God commands missions, then they define it as preaching to the church. So, they really don’t believe in preaching to the non-Elect. They just try to make it sound like they do.
Another word they redefined is “gospel”. As with ESS, they minimize the work of Christ, not just as a Person of the Godhood, but for the most part, they avoid talking about Jesus and anything that happened in the Gospels of the Bible. I think the simple reason for this is that the stuff Jesus says totally goes against their authoritarian theology. They really focus on only about 10% of the New Testament, and then a lot of the Old Testament. Everything they use from the Bible supports their framework, and not the other way around.
My personal theory is that people like Piper, Grudem, and Ware created a theology to please themselves and put themselves at the top of a power pyramid. Mohler picked up on it, as he had totally different views before he became President at SBTS. By catching very young men and promising them power in the form of controlling their wives and families, they indoctrinate people into what is essentially a cult. Not only do they have aberrant theology, but they try to force people to remain by use of covenant contracts and only buying the books (and theology) of those at the top.
Where is the repudiation? I left the SBC for that very reason. I saw very little, and most of it came from people who were kicked out of their churches for asking those very questions. I worked at NAMB in 2001 after the BFM update, and they turned NAMB upside-down and hired only Mohler’s people. I was at SEBTS when Akin took over, and he dumped out all the missions programs, and fired half the professors in favor of doctoral students from SBTS without any qualifications. I went to the SBC church of a quite well-known non-Calvinist pastor for a number of years, and not once were these things spoken about.
I now go to a UMC church. I don’t entirely agree with their theology, but the people are kind, generous, and they pray a lot. I didn’t see a lot of prayer warriors at my last SBC church, so maybe that’s why this happened? I don’t know why people aren’t confronting it within the SBC. I wish they were.