Kevin Giles on The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity

I have been crying out to complementarians for nearly twenty years, 'Go back, you are going the wrong way on the Trinity. What you are teaching in the light of the creeds and confessions is heresy.' ”

Kevin Giles (from his book pictured below)

https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Complementarian-Doctrine-Trinity/dp/1532618662Amazon.com

It's been said, "Give someone an inch and they'll take a mile." It appears that is exactly what happened with those who advocate for ESS — the Eternal Subordination of the Son (Jesus Christ) to God the Father.

Dee and I first learned about ESS nine years ago when we began educating ourselves about what was happening in Christendom. We were shocked to discover that some Reformed theologians were advocating that Jesus Christ was not only subordinate to God the Father while He was on earth but for all of eternity.

One of the first places we read about ESS was on Wade Burleson's blog. In September 2008 he published a post entitled: Growing Semi-Arianism in the SBC and the Consequences for Women If Left Unchallenged. In that post Wade provided the following background information about the Arian Controversy.

Arius was a Christian who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt (250-336 AD). He became the leading proponent of a heretical teaching that would later be identified with his name. Arianism is the belief that God the Father and the Son did not exist together equally and eternally, but that Jesus was created by God the Father and is eternally subordinate to the Father. In plain English, Arianism teaches Jesus is inherently inferior to God the Father.

Wade further explained:

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is composed of many Southern Baptists who are introducing to evangelicalism a novel, if not peculiar, view of Christ which has more in common with Arianism than the historic, orthodox view of Christ’s person. The theologians and teachers who write for the CBMW are teaching what they call “the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father” as a basis for their hierarchal view that the female is to be subordinate to the male. Women’s subordination to man, according to the teachings of CBMW, is not a consequence of sin or a reflection of cultural values, but is built upon the heirachical order God established before the fall as a reflection of the Trinity.

In other words, the man can be equated to God the Father. The woman can be equated to God the Son. Just as the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, so the woman is to be eternally subordinate to the man. For this reason, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood proposes that God’s unchanging ideal is the permanent subordination of women.

While there is no denial that there are differences between men and women, to base the “subordination” of women to men on the alleged eternal subordination of the Son to God the Father borders on an Arian view of the nature of Christ.

Here is how Wade Burleson concluded his post:

Arius lost the debate in 325 AD, and I predict semi-Arianism will eventually be on the losing side of this current debate.

According to Kevin Giles, the debate concerning the hierarchical ordering fo the Trinity reached a fevered pitch over the last year, and it has been summarily rejected by well-respected theologians. Although there has been an ongoing debate regarding ESS over the last two decades, it seems a set of posts by Dr. Liam Goligher that were featured on the Mortification fo Spin blog last summer brought the controversy to a head. Aimee Byrd posted Dr. Goligher's article in two installments (see below).

Is It Okay to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Subordination?

Reinventing God

According to his bio, Dr. Goligher is a native of Scotland who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He has been serving as Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia since 2011.

As the debate heated up, there were a number of related posts on the Mortification of Spin website, which you can access below.

The "Best of" the Trinity Debate

According to the listing of articles above, Rachel Miller appears to have been the one who re-ignited the Trinity Debate with her posts entitled:

Continuing Down this Path, Complementarians Lose

Does the Son Eternally Submit to the Authority of the Father?

*** We hope you will take the time to read some of the above articles because they will help you understand the seriousness of this controversy.

It is certainly noteworthy that Owen Strachan (son-in-law of Dr. Bruce Ware) announced his resignation as president of CBMW on July 12, 2016.

Dr. Bruce Ware, along with Dr. Wayne Grudem, partipated in a debate on this topic with Dr. Thomas McCall and Dr. Keith Yandell and another colleague some years ago at the Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Should you wish to watch the lengthy debate (over 2-1/2 hours!), click this link.

Fast forward to mid-November 2016… It must have been divine providence that the theme of the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meeting was "The Trinity". (see our post below)

Evagelical Theological Society Addresses “The Trinity”

I had planned to write a follow-up post regarding what was discussed at this annual meeting of these Bible scholars. I remember waiting and waiting, but no information seemed to be forthcoming. Does anyone remember reading about what the ETS concluded regarding The Trinity Debate?

Finally, Kevin Giles, an Australian pastor and theologian who has consistently been against ESS, has written a book entitled The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity (pictured above).

The Wikipedia article on Giles provides this important information regarding the Trinity Debate:

In June 2016, Giles found unexpected support when a number of well-respected, confessional Reformed theologians of gender complementarian conviction came out publicly, accusing the leaders of the complementarian movement, notably Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware, of leading the evangelical world into “heresy” with their doctrine of a hierarchically ordered Trinity. “Civil war” then broke out among complementarians and in a very short period of time they capitulated. They agreed the complementarian doctrine of a hierarchically ordered Trinity was not the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity as spelt out in the creeds and confessions of the church, and that no longer would complementarians be bound to this now discredited construal of the Trinity. Giles documents and comments on this debate in his book, The Rise and fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity. More than anyone else, Giles is to be credited with re-establishing evangelical and Reformed commitment to creedal and confessional trinitarian orthodoxy and excluding any appeal to the Trinity in support for the subordination of women.

There is so much more to discuss regarding this controversial topic, so please stay tuned… In our upcoming post we will share some excerpts from Kevin Giles' book and take a look at the Christian news coverage that discusses it.


Comments

Kevin Giles on The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity — 388 Comments

  1. #2 here!
    Thank you for the update on this. That’s an important step and I am pleasantly surprised. “They capitulated” is not a phrase I expected to read regarding this trinity hierarchy doctrine. I guess they will find another way to prove that boys rule, girls drool.

  2. Fourth!

    In trying to compare the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the human relationship between husband and wife these ESS proponents confuse the symbolism. In ESS, the husband become a figure for God the Father, and the wife becomes a figure for Jesus. I guess that leaves the Holy Spirit waiting in the wings. But, Houston, we’ve got a problem. Because these same ESS proponents also say that in marriage the husband is a figure for Christ and the wife is a figure for the Church. So which is it? Is the wife supposed to be a figure for Jesus per ESS, or a figure for the Church per Complementarianism? Hmmmm…..

    You know, lots of trouble can happen when one takes these figures/symbols that are supposed to be mysteries to an absurd extreme. To what extent should a mere man be in a position to have the same authority as Jesus Christ the God Man per Complementarianism? To what extent does a mere man have the authority to act like God the Father per ESS? Where does one draw the line? Well, we can see within Patriarchy that men begin to act like megalomaniacs thinking they actually have full and complete authority over the lesser being, ahem, their wives. She must bend her complete will over to him, losing all of her agency.

    As for me, I prefer to defer to Mystery. It’s much safer and fewer people get hurt.

  3. Not sure what is going on but the last four of my comments are going into moderation – one on this thread and 3 others on the previous thread.

  4. I read The Trinity and Subordination around 2005 the Jesus and the Father around 2007. My point being Giles was pretty much out there by himself for a long long time.

    The ESS guys freaked when Liam Goligher took them on much later and even backed off from what they had previously declared.

    I guess because I was following the teaching trajectory of this very closely, this really bothered me. But there were people taking them on but they were not reformed and one was a woman. Giles was the only one I could find who wrote books.

    I was trying to put a timeframe on it but my guess is ESS is firmly entrenched in minds from seminary and many pulpits. Ex, Grudems ST has been around since 1994 and is still a best seller on Amazon.

  5. It may well be that Mr Grudem is a fine fellow (I’ve never met him), but no-one’s “systematic theology” should be a best seller.

    Point 1 of 2: “One”

    When the early church had to settle major controversy, it was done collectively. People try and take out of context the fact that James stood up and said “In my judgement etc etc” and this was the last statement Luke recorded, and extrapolate thence to the doctrine that James was the “chief apostle”. But there’s no other evidence for this, plenty of evidence against it, and ample reference in Acts 15 to the fact that the final decision was one on which the whole church agreed.

    Point 2 of 2: “Systematic”

    Systematic theologies are conspicuous by their absence from the New Testament. Plenty more I could say, but frankly, more would be less and I need to go for a run now before my post-prandial blood glucose starts to creep up too far. So I repeat: there’s nae systematic theology of everything within the New Testament. That suggests we don’t need one…

  6. Though I knew that eventually ESS would be widely panned by scholars, I have doubts that Grudem and ilk have given it up. Mohler made a comment that “We should allow both views”, but you know how that group works. It’s just propaganda to get more people locked in covenants and I’m certain they will continue to indoctrinate their seminary students in it. They are just thinking if they bide their time long enough, they can get their people in all those key scholar spots, too.

  7. Dee you are correct on this before we left LBC pastor Ramey was and is teaching that Christ is subordinate to the God, and the Holy Spirit is Subordinate to Christ. Then they translate that over to members are subordinate to the pastors/elders and then women and children are subject to their husbands. Basically you fall under their authority no matter what and to go against that is to defy the order of the godhead. It didn’t dawn on me until we left how ungodly this teaching is and gos to show that it’s not just well known pastors teaching this. If pastor Ken ramey is teaching it then I’m certain churches all over the country are doing it! This is so incidious and flat out heresy. There’s my 2 cents worth.

  8. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Point 2 of 2: “Systematic”
    Systematic theologies are conspicuous by their absence from the New Testament. Plenty more I could say, but frankly, more would be less and I need to go for a run now before my post-prandial blood glucose starts to creep up too far. So I repeat: there’s nae systematic theology of everything within the New Testament. That suggests we don’t need one…

    The very first YRR I ever knew would follow me around and try to argue that God wanted the Elect to “understand everything” (implying that if you were not Elect, then you would not agree with them). So I asked him why the Bible wasn’t written as a systematic theology. He never did come up with an answer for that.

  9. Lydia wrote:

    Grudems ST has been around since 1994 and is still a best seller on Amazon.

    In his section on the Trinity, Grudem writes that the Father is analogous to the husband, Jesus to the wife, and the Holy Spirit to the children. So he not only subordinates Jesus to the Father, he goes further by subordinating the Holy Spirit to both the Father and the Son.

  10. Lydia wrote:

    @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    It was the default Bible at SBTS and other seminaries. Think of all the young minds in which that belief is ingrained for 20 years.

    Liberty University, too. The theology professor there was one of the original group who started CBMW.

  11. Shauna wrote:

    Dee you are correct on this before we left LBC pastor Ramey was and is teaching that Christ is subordinate to the God, and the Holy Spirit is Subordinate to Christ. Then they translate that over to members are subordinate to the pastors/elders and then women and children are subject to their husbands. Basically you fall under their authority no matter what and to go against that is to defy the order of the godhead. It didn’t dawn on me until we left how ungodly this teaching is and gos to show that it’s not just well known pastors teaching this. If pastor Ken ramey is teaching it then I’m certain churches all over the country are doing it! This is so incidious and flat out heresy. There’s my 2 cents worth.

    As for other churches: growing up, I was taught that Jesus and God were two separate things (no, not God the Father and Jesus, the One God and Jesus). Took me years to figure out that Jesus was God (in the sense that he was the member of one unified Trinity), instead of being some random extra figure.

  12. ___

    ESS: “Best Game In Christendom?”

    hmmm…

    New-Calvinists: “Christ is Under Our Thumb, Women & Children Too…” Desperation is as Desperation Does. Follow Us or get out of the way…They are all under our Calvinist thumbs Now.

    Ain’t it the truth.

    (grin)

    hahahahahahaha

    Sòpy

  13. Even when I was a believer I never understood the Trinity. Logically it doesn’t make a lot of sense and is quite the brain twister when you read the bible literally (as many fundamentalists tend to do).

    You have 3 “aspects of God” – father, son and holy spirit – all one God but in the bible Jesus (who is God) prays to himself (also God) a few times and God states how pleased he is with Jesus (who is himself) during the baptism, then you have the holy spirit in there who is also spoken of in the third person but is God. By the time all’s said and done you wonder how Christianity can be considered monotheistic.

    I’m not saying this line of thinking is correct but ESS provides an easy to understand hierarchy that literalists can relate to. You have Dad, you have the son. In your own life your kids are subordinate to you. Just like you’re subordinate to God so no problem right?

    It seems these groups can’t understand anything without hierarchy so God -> Son -> Church -> Pastor ->Man -> farm animal -> Woman -> kids

    Strictly reading the bible this seems to be the prevailing way of things.

    However in using ESS to justify the headship of man over woman doesn’t make sense either. Makes sense for a Father to be over the Son but Jesus was a dude. It’s a father-child relationship, not marital. So logically that falls flat. So complementarians see their wives as children – insert the ewww factor.

    For what it’s worth, redefining the Trinity (such as it is), redefines the faith as it as stood for millennia and I’m glad that folks are speaking up about it.

    Complementarianism is an interpretation from a biblical culture that defines men and women roles as they stood in antiquity – many thousands of years ago. It doesn’t have a place in the 21st century.

  14. @ ishy:
    I thought Mohler was in damage control mode with that comment. And I got the distinct impression it was aimed at their reformed comrades. A sort of, let’s agree to disagree and shut up about it.

    Mohler/Ware/Burk/Moore/Piper/Grudem tied ESS to Comp doctrine with a tight knot. Didn’t the other reformed comps know the comp house of cards would fall without it? 🙂

    They have another problem. Not being a comp doesn’t carry the automatic heretic stigma it used to as circles widen. I give the internet credit for this because other serious scholars became easier to find. But its another problem for them. They don’t talk about it as much, I have noticed. At one time Moore proclaimed it the Gospel and declared comps as wimps so more Patriarchy was needed.
    Their go to guru who carried the biggest bucket, Piper, now comes off as a lecherous old man and is an embarrassment. Moore threw it over for SJW. They have problems. They know it so they change the subject.

    Mohler was doing his thing with that comment acting as if he is above it all as the great unifier to protect his legacy.

  15. my apologies – “wholly” spirit should have been “holy” spirit – see how ignorant I am of how the Trinity works? Can’t even spell it right.

  16. @ Sam:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.

  17. @ Jack:
    And the word Trinity is never used in scripture. But it’s “heresy” to even suggest we try not to use the word for a greater understanding.

  18. Jack wrote:

    Complementarianism is an interpretation from a biblical culture that defines men and women roles as they stood in antiquity – many thousands of years ago. It doesn’t have a place in the 21st century.

    Very true. And in the NT it’s a total misunderstanding (or on purpose) of the Greek, Kephale, as was understood by a 1st Century audience.

    It’s rather silly really. Why would NT authors need to shore up Patriarchy? It was a 1st Century cultural given.

  19. Tree wrote:

    I guess they will find another way to prove that boys rule, girls drool.

    Yes.

    It’s sort of telling that this doctrinal debate is the thing that brought out passion and correction, rather than abuse, neglect, subordination of women.

    Dr. Goligher has some fantastic sermons on Esther you can listen to online, btw.

  20. ishy wrote:

    Though I knew that eventually ESS would be widely panned by scholars, I have doubts that Grudem and ilk have given it up.

    It’s still referred too sideways in a bunch of comp/women books and they aren’t exactly going to haul them off the shelves…

  21. Lydia wrote:

    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.

    It’s amazing what does (and doesn’t) get taught in church.

  22. Jack wrote:

    However in using ESS to justify the headship of man over woman doesn’t make sense either. Makes sense for a Father to be over the Son but Jesus was a dude. It’s a father-child relationship, not marital. So logically that falls flat. So complementarians see their wives as children – insert the ewww factor.

    It never made sense to me. I think the ‘logic’ is ‘the bible says the husband should love his wife like christ loved the church and give himself up for her, so obvs she should give up her life entirely for him – See footnote, ees’

    This is what happens when you begin with the end in mind (women as lesser), and fix a theory to fit it.

  23. Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    I thought Mohler was in damage control mode with that comment. And I got the distinct impression it was aimed at their reformed comrades. A sort of, let’s agree to disagree and shut up about it.
    Mohler/Ware/Burk/Moore/Piper/Grudem tied ESS to Comp doctrine with a tight knot. Didn’t the other reformed comps know the comp house of cards would fall without it?
    They have another problem. Not being a comp doesn’t carry the automatic heretic stigma it used to as circles widen. I give the internet credit for this because other serious scholars became easier to find. But its another problem for them. They don’t talk about it as much, I have noticed. At one time Moore proclaimed it the Gospel and declared comps as wimps so more Patriarchy was needed.

    I can agree with that. I do think ESS is still taught at SBTS, though, so I don’t really buy Mohler’s claim that he “doesn’t necessarily believe it”.

    They definitely do have major issues in their camps, but I don’t see them doing that much damage control. I think Mohler tries to be more diplomatic, but I don’t think it follows down to his actions. He definitely has a systematic methodology of indoctrination and it has worked for him so far. I get the impression Moore is pretty much out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him step down and be replaced soon. TGC just gets more and more inflammatory and Lifeway puts out more and more New Cal stuff. But they still promote Piper and Mahaney, even though they are doing more harm to the movement than good (for different reasons).

  24. Sam wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.
    It’s amazing what does (and doesn’t) get taught in church.

    We used to sing the doxology ‘praise god from whom all blessings flow…praise father son and holy ghost’ as a baptist and at my presby church we sing ‘praise triune god whom we adore’.

  25. ishy wrote:

    But they still promote Piper and Mahaney, even though they are doing more harm to the movement than good (for different reasons).

    Bros before…well. you know.

  26. @ Lydia:

    A while back I was listening to a pastor on a Christian radio station (his church is not that far from where I live and is NOT listed in TGC's directory), and he was promoting ESS as the gospel truth! I got very concerned because I know quite a few people who attend that church.

  27. Jack wrote:

    Even when I was a believer I never understood the Trinity. Logically it doesn’t make a lot of sense and is quite the brain twister when you read the bible literally (as many fundamentalists tend to do).

    This seems to be why it is so easy to mess with the concept of Trinity. Your comment reminded me of a great CS Lewis quote:

    “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”

    I am in the middle of a very good book about the Trinity: https://www.amazon.com/Resurrecting-Trinity-Recover-Wonder-Meaning/dp/1941337686/. It provides a good history of how “Trinity” became a foundational orthodox belief.

  28. Lydia wrote:

    @ Sam:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.

    Same here. Was taught Jesus was the visible form of God.

  29. Lea wrote:

    Sam wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.
    It’s amazing what does (and doesn’t) get taught in church.
    We used to sing the doxology ‘praise god from whom all blessings flow…praise father son and holy ghost’ as a baptist and at my presby church we sing ‘praise triune god whom we adore’.

    We still sing the doxology occasionally at the Baptist church I attend.

  30. Hmmmm… A theology that says that not even the Trinity is “created” equal? Sounds like something that could catch on with all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons.

    Disclaimer: I am not accusing anyone holding to ESS of anything, just pointing out some broader implications. Just as some people misapply Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” to justify dog-eat-dog business practices, ESS can be misapplied to social constructs.

  31. What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about New Calvinism? Beyond the aberrations in belief and practice of the new reformation, we think of men (John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Al Mohler, etc.). That’s because New Calvinism is man-centered, not Christ-centered. When man and his doctrine become the center, you have the ingredients of heresy. Any teaching that makes Jesus less than God has declared Him to be is misbelief and delusional and must be rejected, along with any who teach it. The doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son does not place Jesus preeminent in Christian faith, regardless of the occasional drop of His name by New Calvinists to make them appear credible. Grudem, Ware and their supporters knew if they could get you (generic you) to believe their carefully-crafted lie about Jesus being subordinate in the Trinity, they could more easily deceive you into believing that female believers are subordinate to men in the Kingdom (their kingdom).

  32. @ Max:

    How can equal be turned into….but subordinate?
    If I believed Jesus was a perpetual child within the Trinity, it would devastate my faith. He lowered himself willingly to face the cross for my redemption. If he were made to do it, what love is that?

  33. @ ishy:
    Ishy, that is exactly what he has done with reformed theology in the sbc. It is his battle plan, of course they never want to allow dissenting opinions once they have the majority position. It actually an ingeneous plan, evil but geneous. It how you take over then remail in control.

  34. Mae wrote:

    How can equal be turned into….but subordinate?

    Good question, but they manage to do it with the ‘no gentile/jew, male/female, slave/free’ passage too, although we’ve jettisoned all but male/female at this point.
    Mae wrote:

    If I believed Jesus was a perpetual child within the Trinity, it would devastate my faith. He lowered himself willingly to face the cross for my redemption. If he were made to do it, what love is that?

    It’s a completely different type of action on Jesus’s part, isn’t it? Where is the love in any of this?

  35. Lea wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    How can equal be turned into….but subordinate?
    Good question, but they manage to do it with the ‘no gentile/jew, male/female, slave/free’ passage too, although we’ve jettisoned all but male/female at this point.
    Mae wrote:
    If I believed Jesus was a perpetual child within the Trinity, it would devastate my faith. He lowered himself willingly to face the cross for my redemption. If he were made to do it, what love is that?
    It’s a completely different type of action on Jesus’s part, isn’t it? Where is the love in any of this?

    Everything in the Neo Cal world is a power construct. Sadly, it’s almost a game of, who’s on top.
    Of course who ends up on top is men. Wonder who is going to become Pope, so edicts can be sent to all the churches?
    Hopefully, the ESS, patriarchy error, is being exposed for the nonsense it is. Meanwhile, sorry to say, real human beings, specifically women and children, continue to be damaged while living in the Neo Cal community.

  36. Max wrote:

    What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about New Calvinism? Beyond the aberrations in belief and practice of the new reformation, we think of men (John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Al Mohler, etc.). That’s because New Calvinism is man-centered, not Christ-centered. When man and his doctrine become the center, you have the ingredients of heresy. Any teaching that makes Jesus less than God has declared Him to be is misbelief and delusional and must be rejected, along with any who teach it. The doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son does not place Jesus preeminent in Christian faith, regardless of the occasional drop of His name by New Calvinists to make them appear credible. Grudem, Ware and their supporters knew if they could get you (generic you) to believe their carefully-crafted lie about Jesus being subordinate in the Trinity, they could more easily deceive you into believing that female believers are subordinate to men in the Kingdom (their kingdom).

    This. Wholeheartedly agree! This is a fundamental problem in small fundamental Bible churches, in my experience. Man centered systematic theology has shoved Jesus off into a corner and those guy’s religion, a return to bondage, is practiced by all of the manly men christ-shuns.

    Very well put!

  37. Grudem’s Systematic Theology….I certainly hope that God has a copy so He will know what to do! However, my God cannot be put into a box. Jesus never talked about ‘formulas’ or ‘systems’. He only spoke of a Kingdom and a Father and choosing to do His will! He never expected us to follow a rote set of religious rules or traditions of men. That’s what the Pharisees were for! Jesus set the religious world on its ear by dispelling the notion that external adherence to religious rules isn’t the same as knowing and loving His Father! When Christianity abandons these “reformed rock stars” and we realize that our sufficiency is in Christ and His Word and not mere men, then we can once again get back to the task of changing the world and being light in the darkness!

    Sadly, when our former YRR pastor went on a “missions* trip”, Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and Dever’s “Nine Marks of a Healthy Church” were handed out to the local pastors in that country. Hopefully, they used them as doorstops and didn’t read them!
    *Note: No missions were involved in this trip, it was just a guise to hand out reformed propaganda!

    The ESS doctrine is shameful. It is once more a form of control. It makes me wonder though–what kind of theological acrobatics do they have to do to get around Philippians 2:6-8?

  38. Yes, well, this gets complicated because this is not just one issue but rather several issues.

    If one says that the Son and the Father are co-equal in all things, then one has to answer the issue of why one believes that.

    If one believes homoousios because the council of Nicea in 345 adopted that word, though it was not used previously, then one has accepted the authority of that council to make that determination. If one accepts the authority of that council to make that one determination then why not accept everything that this council said, and subsequently why not accept everything that subsequent church councils have said? It boils down as to whether or not the church has the authority to make such a pronouncement.

    If one does not accept the idea based on the authority of church council(s) but rather accepts equality of the Son and the Father based on some earlier statements by early church fathers, then one has accepted tradition as authoritative and therefore why not accept all official tradition as authoritative in other things also?

    If one rejects both the authority of the church in councils and the authority of official tradition, then one needs to determine why one says that the Son and the Father are eternally co-equal in all things, allowing for the short period of the incarnation of course.

    In fact, or so I read, even thought Nicea said what it said and its saying became official not everybody accepted that conclusion, and alternative understands have persisted. This would be rather like the results of a certain American Conflict in which one side clearly won the conflict, and that side clearly has prevailed in the thinking of the majority to this day, but none the less there are still dissenters who seem to not have accepted that outcome and who still want to promote ideas which most of us consider long resolved.

    So, if the Son is eternally equal to the Father, both the idea of the trinity and the understandings of the persons of the trinity, why? Why do many protestants deny the church and the councils and the traditions and still believe that the Son is eternally equal to the Father?

    IMO, the don’t think that; they only say that they do. Their idea of what equality in the godhead means is different from the idea of what equality means among other groups of Christians. Except I don’t think they necessarily want to talk about that. There are however signs and symptoms which I think back up my idea about this.

  39. @ ishy:
    Moore is just getting started. His tentacles are far reaching now. Mohler made his bones being a culture warrior on radio and Larry King. Never once mentioned Calvinism, Reformed or spoke in terms of deterministic beliefs.

    He is that good.

  40. @ Deb:

    If you told them chances are they would have no idea what you are talking about and would defend the pastor. That is why it worked. I used to beat my head against the wall about it. It’s very subtle unless you know what to look for. After all, Jesus uses human relationship terminology the Jews could relate to. I was banned from sgmsurvivirs for daring to suggest Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and equal in all things . (They did not understand the Hebrew mindset that the son representing the father is considered equal to the father in all transactions.. Its the main reason why the Pharisees wanted to kill him! John 5)

  41. Jack wrote:

    It seems these groups can’t understand anything without hierarchy so God -> Son -> Church -> Pastor ->Man -> farm animal -> Woman -> kids

    The Great Chain of Being. Kiss up, Kick down, Boots on Faces all the way down, and God just stomps with the Biggest Boot of all. Very convenient if you’re the one on top holding the whip.

    I first heard of this cosmology in association with the Medieval Church, but later found it originated in pre-Christian Roman society. Kiss up, kick down, Power Struggle Without End, Awe Kaesar.

  42. Mae wrote:

    Everything in the Neo Cal world is a power construct. Sadly, it’s almost a game of, who’s on top.

    Like Hell in the preface to Screwtape Letters, where everyone is perpetually concerned with their own advancement (at the expense of everyone else). Kiss Up, Kick Down, and plot to backstab your Superior and take his place.

  43. Mae wrote:

    @ Max:
    How can equal be turned into….but subordinate?

    My Dear Wormwood,
    I refer you to my previous epistle on Semantics, specifically the Redefinition of Words.
    Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,
    Screwtape

  44. Jack wrote:

    However in using ESS to justify the headship of man over woman doesn’t make sense either. Makes sense for a Father to be over the Son but Jesus was a dude. It’s a father-child relationship, not marital. So logically that falls flat. So complementarians see their wives as children – insert the ewww factor.

    But it does explain why we see so many Pastor Pedos and Pastor’s Pet Pedos…

  45. @ Mae:
    It’s based on the old “separate but equal” thinking. They use fancy words like ontology, essence, economy to take you into the abyss. So equal in essence but not in function, basically. Then you create a hierarchy of functions.

    Bruce Ware has this whole “singing parts from sheet music analogy” he used which drove me nuts. And they mangle Phil 2 and 1 Corinthians 11 beyond recognition as proof texts.

    I knew I should not get started on this thread. Sigh. 🙂 I can take a lot of things but projecting the Trinity as an oligharchical hierarchy is one I won’t take lightly.

  46. Lydia wrote:

    @ Sam:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.

    Didn’t St Nicholas punch out Arius for the same heresy?

    And the Jehovah’s Witnesses build their entire Fundy theology around it?

  47. Mae wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Sam:
    This breaks my heart. I recognized the heresy early on because I was taught Jesus as God in the flesh.

    Same here. Was taught Jesus was the visible form of God.

    And in doing/being so, keeps God on a one-to-one human scale.

  48. Lydia wrote:

    After all, Jesus uses human relationship terminology the Jews could relate to.

    How many problems of this sort are based in the refusal to accept metaphors?

    ‘Men should love their wives as Christ loved the church’ becomes ‘men are Christ’ a hop skip and a jump later when you refuse to see things in anything but literal terms (leaving aside that they only do this with certain topics and not others)

  49. @ okrapod:
    totally agree the concept of equality in the godhead is different. Not sure we can fully fathom the concept of “one mind” to that extent.

    But Wow. What you wrote woukd make for a great discussion!

  50. Lydia wrote:

    Bruce Ware has this whole “singing parts from sheet music analogy” he used which drove me nuts.

    Does that mean sopranos are in charge of the choir??

  51. Lydia wrote:

    I was banned from sgmsurvivirs for daring to suggest Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and equal in all things . (They did not understand the Hebrew mindset that the son representing the father is considered equal to the father in all transactions.. Its the main reason why the Pharisees wanted to kill him! John 5)

    Those two ideas, ‘God in the flesh and equal in all things’ compared with ‘son *representing* the father is considered equal in *all transactions* are two different ideas. Similar but different. They could both be true, but they are not identical.

  52. @ Lea:
    Hee hee. That was my first thought when I heard him. But then, I think we gals are regulated to harmony no matter what.

  53. Ishy,who is the theology professor you referred to at liberty? Their is a retired one that lives in my neighborhood,smug as can be.

  54. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Everything in the Neo Cal world is a power construct. Sadly, it’s almost a game of, who’s on top.
    Like Hell in the preface to Screwtape Letters, where everyone is perpetually concerned with their own advancement (at the expense of everyone else). Kiss Up, Kick Down, and plot to backstab your Superior and take his place.

    You got it right!

  55. Lydia wrote:

    But then, I think we gals are regulated to harmony no matter what.

    Now I’m wondering if he thinks altos are outside the created order?

  56. ishy wrote:

    Liberty University, too. The theology professor there was one of the original group who started CBMW.

    Even the name of the institution (Liberty University) is rich in irony…

  57. @ Lea:
    In my view, alto is harder. And choral conductors are always trying to turn sopranos into altos. Surely there is a correlating metaphor there? 😉

  58. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mae:
    It’s based on the old “separate but equal” thinking. They use fancy words like ontology, essence, economy to take you into the abyss. So equal in essence but not in function, basically. Then you create a hierarchy of functions.
    Bruce Ware has this whole “singing parts from sheet music analogy” he used which drove me nuts. And they mangle Phil 2 and 1 Corinthians 11 beyond recognition as proof texts.
    I knew I should not get started on this thread. Sigh. I can take a lot of things but projecting the Trinity as an oligharchical hierarchy is one I won’t take lightly.

    Slight of hand tricks is what this is. Equal is equal, or else it can’t be true.

    It’s not just women who are subjugated to an unequal status but men as well. Not every man gets to be the, Grand Pooh Bah, in these Neo Cal circles, only certain men. And, those certain men are chosen by men who are self proclaimed, priests, prophets, rulers.

    I don’t even want to read Ward’s singing parts harmony analogy. My question would be, who writes the music for this amazing choir to perform?

  59. Jack wrote:

    It seems these groups can’t understand anything without hierarchy so God -> Son -> Church -> Pastor ->Man -> farm animal -> Woman -> kids

    Although in practical terms it works out more like this:

    Pastor -> God -> Son -> Church -> Man -> farm animal -> Woman -> kids

  60. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    In my view, alto is harder. And choral conductors are always trying to turn sopranos into altos. Surely there is a correlating metaphor there?

    I know when I was in 7th grade choir they told me I was a second soprano but had to sing alto, because its less fun and the older girls had priority I guess?

  61. (part 1)
    In the late 1990s, I read a book called “Good News For Women” by Rebecca Groothius.

    Unfortunately, that book was lost in a move, so I don’t have my copy any longer.

    From what I remember of the book, she did a good job of dismantling complementarian views to the degree (and I hope I can accurately summarize how she put it)-

    She said really the only way complementarians could even slightly hope to justify keeping women subordinate to men, based upon “roles,” was to in turn base that concept as being grounded in women’s very being (i.e., ontological arguments), and the only way to try do that was to turn to E.S.S. (to argue that Jesus was eternally subordinate to the Father).

    Without being able to rationalize keeping women in inferior positions to men by basing it on their very natures (which is what ESS arguments attempt to do), complementarians do not have a leg to stand on.
    (continued in part 2)

  62. (part 2)
    This is one reason I sometimes ask complementarians on this blog or where ever, upon what do they base some of their views?

    Why do they think Paul wrote that he “forbids a woman to teach,” because God created women to be dumber than men? Where upon most comps will say, why, gosh, no, I don’t think women are dumber than men.

    Complementarians can never tell you the “why” behind their roles-rules.

    A sliver of them will try to point to the verse that says “Eve was deceived,” but if you look at Genesis itself, and what it actually says, Genesis does not say that God created women to have more of a tendency to be more easily deceived than men, etc, so that response does not suffice.

    The only thing left for complementarians to argue is that God intentionally designed women, from eternity past, to always be subordinate to men forever, and look, that’s not a “bad” or sexist thing, because, look Jesus himself in his very nature is eternally subordinate to the Father, and nobody thinks that is “sexist” or “wrong.”

    That’s why complementarians are so fond of the ESS stuff. It’s rather warped – they are willing to tinker around with the very Trinity itself in order to defend their awful, sexist gender theology.
    – – – – – –
    As a disclaimer, I’d like to add that I am not a liberal, I’ve never been a liberal, nor do I wear the label of “feminist.”

    I add that in there, because that guy who likes to stalk this blog no doubt will make an inane post over at his stalker “Whiner” blog pointing to this blog post as “evidence” that Deb, Dee, and all the readership here consists of liberal feminists who hate Jesus, hate the Bible, and hate conservative evangelicalism (wrong on all counts for most who post here).

    By the way – being critical of a thing (such as evangelicalism or whatever) is not the same thing as “hating” something.
    (A person can be critical of a topic without hating it. Criticism does not always denote hatred.)

  63. Injun Joe wrote:

    Even the name of the institution (Liberty University) is rich in irony…

    Dr. Falwell, for all his faults, was a big believer in the priesthood of the believer and personal autonomy. That didn’t quite translate all the way down to his views on women in ministry and marriage roles, but one time he told me personally to “Go evangelize Asia”. I don’t think the New Cals would ever tell me, a mere woman, that.

  64. If you have a few hours to get your minds in an ESS twist, check out the Internet disagreement a few years back between Kevin Giles and the still unknown Matt Paulson/Phantaz Sunlyk. Emotions seem to have run very high for a theological dispute, including some threatening language. One can start in the middle here http://www.tektonics.org/gk/giles01.php
    I’m reminded of Jolly Old St Nicholas giving Arius a slap of Mennen Skin Bracer, to which Arius ought to have replied “Thanks! I needed that!”
    Also reminded of an obscure book I recently skimmed online about Servetus. The book makes the case that Servetus had more orthodox beliefs on the trinity than commonly believed. But a certain Systematic Theology author took great exception to Servetus’ critical book review.
    Bottom line, to me, is that only one solitary human being has ever gotten the trinity “right”.

  65. @ Mae:

    Ahhh, but the males CAN be a grand poobah one day. (And they can be one in their little family one day, too) That was part of the underlying message that resonated with so many young men. They could be the next Mohler if they carried enough of their water and praised them enough. Just to be invited to be in the same room with such greatness was enough. Much like middle school girls and Justin Bieber.

  66. Daisy wrote:

    (part 2)
    This is one reason I sometimes ask complementarians on this blog or where ever, upon what do they base some of their views?
    Why do they think Paul wrote that he “forbids a woman to teach,” because God created women to be dumber than men? Where upon most comps will say, why, gosh, no, I don’t think women are dumber than men.

    It’s because they don’t base their views on the actual text. They base their interpretation of the Bible on their views. It’s why so few are really honestly searching for truth.

    And I’ve noticed people like Piper regularly slip up and share their real opinions on places like Twitter and then they try to delete their tweets and cover up the fact that they said stuff like that.

  67. Daisy wrote:

    The only thing left for complementarians to argue is that God intentionally designed women, from eternity past, to always be subordinate to men forever, and look, that’s not a “bad” or sexist thing, because, look Jesus himself in his very nature is eternally subordinate to the Father, and nobody thinks that is “sexist” or “wrong.”

    This just dawned on me:
    This view itself doesn’t really make any sense, even if granting complementarian premises.

    Complementarians argue on one hand that Jesus is this eternally subordinate figure, but, the Bible denotes that Jesus is Lord and ruler over all creation, Jesus will get to sit in judgement of all people at the end of days, and the Father has given Jesus all power and authority.

    So, even given the E.S.S. view that Jesus is “Number 2” guy under the Father, he still gets to rule and reign over other individuals and in other capacities.

    Complementarians, however, do not grant this for women. Comps do not say women can have authority or be in any sort of power or control.

    Complementarians do make diddly stupid concessions to women, like, “allowing” women to serve in a nursery in a church.

    But women are not allowed to rule and reign over anyone or anything under complementarian theology, they exist only to serve men and men’s agendas.

    Even Jesus gets to do more in his supposedly eternally “subordinate” role than the comps are willing to grant women on earth or in the afterlife (some comps believe women will be subordinate to men even in the afterlife).

    Complementarians are not even being fully consistent in their own gender theology or in its application.

  68. @ Daisy:
    Asking the “why” is a great point. My experience with that usually came down to: well, created order is the reason . God said so. The Bible says so. (No it doesn’t) You are arguing with God….and so on.

    Created order actually brings up even more problems. Even if one reads the Genesis Creation narrative literally. In my view, They needed ESS as a mapping tool to shut people down.

    Now, all I hear is that I hate authority. Yes, I can agree with that to a certain extent by nuancing it to “human authority for adults”. I can live with shared and equally applied laws as my “authority”. But, even our jobs are contracts for crying out loud. We aren’t serfs although it might feel like it. 🙂

  69. Root 66 wrote:

    what kind of theological acrobatics do they have to do to get around Philippians 2:6-8?

    I can only imagine. God as king, Christ as crown prince – see? He “emptied himself” of his royal status and walked among the peasants.

  70. @ Daisy:

    By the way, I hope it doesn’t look arrogant of me to quote my own posts at times like I did there, LOL.

    I sometimes will re-read a post I made to check for typos, and something in it will trigger another thought about something else I want to comment on.

    (So I’m not quoting myself out of some grandiose notion that I’m this esteemed genius.)

  71. Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Moore is just getting started. His tentacles are far reaching now. Mohler made his bones being a culture warrior on radio and Larry King. Never once mentioned Calvinism, Reformed or spoke in terms of deterministic beliefs.
    He is that good.

    Yes, I heard Mohler on “Meet the Press” (I think it was), and he was the same there. Sounded very reasonable. Did not mention the inferiority of women there.

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Everything in the Neo Cal world is a power construct. Sadly, it’s almost a game of, who’s on top.
    Like Hell in the preface to Screwtape Letters, where everyone is perpetually concerned with their own advancement (at the expense of everyone else). Kiss Up, Kick Down, and plot to backstab your Superior and take his place.

    Sounds like the way Jack Campbell constructed the “corporation” society in his “Lost Fleet” sci-fi series.

  73. ishy wrote:

    It’s because they don’t base their views on the actual text. They base their interpretation of the Bible on their views.

    Yes. Complemenarians practice a lot of Eisgesis, but at the same time, claim that all non-Complementarians are liberal feminists who play fast and loose with the Scriptures.

    Non-comps don’t take the Bible seriously or at face value, supposedly, but complementarians do – but they really do not.

    Complementarians are blind to some of their own biases. They read their biases and assumptions into the text quite often.

  74. I always get antsy when some theologian comes up with a view of the Trinity that supports his view on secondary issues such as gender roles. Seriously, the Trinity is something huge, complex, beyond full understanding by us since we have nothing in this world which exists in such a state.

    I sometimes wonder we will ever fully understand the Triune God-even in the new world. We shall still be His creation and He will still be God.

    I remember some guy stating that the Trinity was like a 3 in 1 shampoo. I got a giggle out of that one. God does not exist like a bottle of shampoo.

  75. @ Lydia:
    Yup. Been there. Done that.

    Appreciate your contribution… Thanks for taking the time. TWW commenters have helped me clarify my understanding, and grasp how I was taken in by erudite-sounding words.

  76. @ Dave A A:
    I wish I could remember which Giles book I read this in but it startled me back then to read Giles outlining how Bruce Ware had actually edited Anthanasius to make him come off as pro ESS.

    I was astonished a “scholar” would do this so cavalierly. But then, I thought of the bubble and Wares position in the bubble. Who would question? I don’t think he counted on how much the internet would changed things.

    And eventually, I found quite a bit of this sort of thing from Grudem and Piper (their “work” on Junia as an example)

    (Personally, I believe Servetus was a man born in the wrong century. So he conned his way into areas of interest: Religion, medicine, law. I have tried to read all I can find on him. He was brilliant, it seems and in a very caste system society could never be accepted)

  77. Lydia wrote:

    Asking the “why” is a great point. My experience with that usually came down to: well, created order is the reason . God said so. The Bible says so. (No it doesn’t) You are arguing with God….and so on.

    Yep. Even those arguments fall apart.

    Like the creation order argument: that is just an assumption complementarians make, and God doesn’t even follow that “rule.”

    As you go through the rest of the Old Testament, God often contradicted that culture’s Law of Primogeniture, that said that families were to choose, or favor, the first-born over the second-born.

    God often chose the youngest (or 2nd, 3rd or Xrd) over the oldest.

  78. Daisy wrote:

    By the way – being critical of a thing (such as evangelicalism or whatever) is not the same thing as “hating” something.
    (A person can be critical of a topic without hating it. Criticism does not always denote hatred.)

    That would be a rational approach, IMO.

    However, many of these guys who use ad hominem attacks (“everybody who disagrees with my take on theologist is a radical Commie feminist”) do not strike me as rational. Or if they are rational, they are evilly, coldly logical in their wicked schemes.

    Inflammatory language, sorry. Does it go so far as “ad hominem”?

  79. dee wrote:

    I always get antsy when some theologian comes up with a view of the Trinity that supports his view on secondary issues such as gender roles. Seriously, the Trinity is something huge, complex, beyond full understanding by us since we have nothing in this world which exists in such a state.

    I also do not see how the complementarian – Trinity stuff is applicable to all women.

    It looks to me as though the majority of complementarian argumentation is in place merely to keep convincing Christian wives that (point 1) God intends for the wives to play “second bananas” to husbands.

    (And, point 2, complementarians are also obsessed with barring women from being preachers.)

    Outside of that, especially point 1, I have no idea how this
    “Trinity = eternal subordination = wives submit”
    stuff applies to never-married ladies, such as myself, or to widowed or divorced women.

  80. @ Root 66:
    You might be able to Google Denny Burk and Phil 2 because he blogged a lot. He mangled it beyond anything. He basically presents it as, ‘see, even Jesus admits He isn’t equal to the Father’.

    My biggest problem with ESS is they would never be specific when they were discussing incarnation or not. I used to listen to these guys pontificate on ESS and this would be playing like a loop in my head:

    “Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2

    So in the NT, we have references to God the Father will raise Him up, the Holy Spirit will raise Him up to Jesus saying He will raise Himself up.

  81. Lydia wrote:

    Moore is just getting started. His tentacles are far reaching now. Mohler made his bones being a culture warrior on radio and Larry King. Never once mentioned Calvinism, Reformed or spoke in terms of deterministic beliefs.
    He is that good.

    Moore upset a big chunk of his own ilk with his statements on politics. They are calling for him to be ousted. I get where he and Mohler were going with that–they thought they could get more millennials and post-millennials on board with New Calvinism if they went moderate in politics. But they forgot that much of the YRR is extremely conservative and active in politics. Of course, a lot of people have been unhappy with just having the ERLC to begin with. Land took it far into political land and that’s what people expect from it now.

  82. @ refugee:
    Thx. ESS really threw me for a loop. I could not believe how mainstream it had become. It’s a different religion, in my view. Right up there with JW’s and Mormonism. If Jesus Christ is not a manifestation of God in the flesh, then we might as well pack it in.

  83. refugee wrote:

    That would be a rational approach, IMO.
    However, many of these guys who use ad hominem attacks (“everybody who disagrees with my take on theologist is a radical Commie feminist”) do not strike me as rational. Or if they are rational, they are evilly, coldly logical in their wicked schemes.
    Inflammatory language, sorry. Does it go so far as “ad hominem”?

    I will say that I do hate gender complementarianism, but my hatred of it is not due to me being a liberal feminist who hates the Bible.

    I have been a life-long conservative and disagree with most feminists too often on too many topics to wear the “feminist” label.

    I wouldn’t say I “hate” the Bible, but as I grow older, I think a lot of conservative (and liberal) Christians misunderstand or misuse the Bible.

    (The conservatives want to use the Bible as a Handbook for Life, and I don’t think that’s the purpose of it.

    Conservative Christians end up taking concepts or rules mentioned in the Bible that were meant for a particular group of people, at a particular time, facing a very specific problem, and want to apply that concept or rule to everyone today with no exceptions ever, for example.

    This doesn’t mean I am a supporter of the Liberal Christian take on the Bible, though.)

  84. Lydia wrote:

    You might be able to Google Denny Burk and Phil 2 because he blogged a lot. He mangled it beyond anything. He basically presents it as, ‘see, even Jesus admits He isn’t equal to the Father’.

    I don’t know about Burk, but if you look at that passage in the NIV and in the NKJV you get a different picture. Was he by his very nature God or was he in the form of God? So-back to the translations again. Either argument can be made depending on how it is translated. So I am thinking that is how they, whoever they are, do it.

  85. ishy wrote:

    It’s because they don’t base their views on the actual text. They base their interpretation of the Bible on their views. It’s why so few are really honestly searching for truth.

    This is where I get so irritated (to put it mildly!) with pastor men who are willing to willy nilly send women home to be abused (and sometimes also children) because ‘the bible says you can’t divorce’. If they read, you know, the REST of the bible they would have to ask themselves if that wasn’t complete and total nonsense. If there was any way possible that Jesus would be so callous! And they would have to honestly answer no, and go back to the drawing board on interpretation.

    But instead they are practically gleeful at sending women back into these situations! And there is no way shape or form that comes honestly from the ‘text’.

  86. @ okrapod:
    Good point. It helps to understand they were trying to sell ESS and there are several passages they rely on and build around. It’s been about 10 years since I was immersed in this so time fogs it about. There are quite a few translations that are very different concerning Phil 2. Look at the Geneva:

    6 Who being in the [f]form of God, [g]thought it no robbery to be [h]equal with God:
    7 But he made himself of [i]no reputation, and took on him the [j]form of a servant, and was made like unto men, and was found in shape as a man.
    8 He humbled himself, and became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross.

    The question for me is why woukd He have to humble Himself? And “He made Himself”…

    OTOH, we are created in His Image and can’t seem to nail that down to specifics, either. Unless I have missed something?

  87. Lydia wrote:

    Now, all I hear is that I hate authority. Yes, I can agree with that to a certain extent by nuancing it to “human authority for adults”. I can live with shared and equally applied laws as my “authority”. But, even our jobs are contracts for crying out loud.

    Right?

    What is that ‘you just hate authority’ thing supposed to even mean? I disagree that any particular person has authority over me, based on biology. That’s not the same thing!

    Also I refuse to shut off my brain just because. I’m so glad I don’t go to a church that believes any of this nonsense anymore!

  88. @ dee:
    Lol!

    3 in 1 shampoo!!! That’s a new one for me.

    There’s the 3 legged stool
    The Egg
    3 in 1 water thing.
    3 peas in a pod

    Any others y’all can think of?

  89. Daisy wrote:

    This doesn’t mean I am a supporter of the Liberal Christian take on the Bible, though.)

    Come on over to the dark side with me lol. We have cake!

  90. @ Lydia:
    The one that I like to use is One What/Three Whos. So far it is the only one that seems to make sense of a rather beyond understanding concept.

  91. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    With icing?

    There is no such thing as cake without icing. I may, on occasion, except a glaze. That is all.

  92. Lydia wrote:

    The question for me is why woukd He have to humble Himself? And “He made Himself”…

    Exactly. And the flip side of that is why would equality with God be considered robbery unless it was something he did not have and would have had to acquire. It is not robbery to hang onto something you already have, but only robbery if it not yours in the first place.

    It sounds like there was a choice to either become equal to God or else become in the form of man.

    But John places the Logos as with God and also as God-whatever that means.

    Personally, I am not hysterically happy with any explanation I have yet heard on this matter.

  93. In Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog, his recent post “The Trinity: Not from the Bible Alone”, Alastair Roberts makes the following comment:

    Alastair J Roberts • 2 days ago

    This debate really isn’t the brave egalitarian orthodox Trinitarians against the heterodox complementarian argument that it might seem to many. Egalitarian critics of eternal subordination like Giles and Erickson have huge problems in their Trinitarian theology.

    Giles writes, for instance: ‘The Trinity is a communion of three persons, three centers of consciousness, who exist and always have existed in union with one another and in dependence on one another.’ This statement is hugely problematic with regard to orthodox Trinitarianism.

    Erickson has denied the eternal generation of the Son because he feels it leads to the subordination of the Son.

    Frankly, both sides need to get their act together here. Neither has moral high ground in this debate.
    ————————

    Who is Alastair and where does he fit in the evangelical, inc. scheme of things?

    He says comps as well as egals need to ‘get their act together’. Anyone know what he’s referring to? Maybe it’s for him to explain.

  94. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mae:
    Ahhh, but the males CAN be a grand poobah one day. (And they can be one in their little family one day, too) That was part of the underlying message that resonated with so many young men. They could be the next Mohler if they carried enough of their water and praised them enough. Just to be invited to be in the same room with such greatness was enough. Much like middle school girls and Justin Bieber.

    This article about a former Mars Hill leader is a great example. Interestingly, the comments the Deebs reprinted have been well-responded to just this month, over 3 years later. http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/07/07/what-we-can-learn-from-mike-andersons-departure-from-mars-hill/

  95. What is ‘orthodox’ and what is ‘heresy’ is defined by whoever gains the upper hand in some argument-or in some political playoff. It is not a thing in itself, it is rather an opinion about something. ‘Traditional’ varies with what tradition one is talking about.

    None of these conclusions are necessarily tied to true vs not true. One hopes that they might be, but reformations and revolutions have stuck fingers in the eyes of traditions just lots.

  96. @ elastigirl:

    Maybe Roberts is saying that Giles’ description sounds too much like tritheism rather than trinity? Giles description would not require ontological oneness perhaps but merely co-operation and dependency, noting that he uses the term communion rather than unity.

    Or maybe not-just a passing thought.

  97. @ Dave A A:
    I must be too old to remember thinking I could change the world, etc. Or perhaps, I wasn’t groomed to think I could. 🙂

    This is an good article. In some way, it’s very sad he spent ten years chasing the neo cal golden goose. How has ego and recognition become so dominant in our society, so much so, that the church exemplifies it?

  98. Lydia wrote:

    Any others y’all can think of?

    The 1966 film: The Bible: In the Beginning…”
    That is what I base my view of the Trinity on. The portrayal of the three “men” who visited Abraham on the way to Sodom & Gomorrah. Played by Peter O’Toole as “The Three Angles” Always that that part was moving.

  99. @ elastigirl:

    He sounds like someone who picked out quotes without reading the books. I live at Ground Zero and can tell you all that many of these guys are scared to death to read other views unless their leaders do. They are scared of being influenced.

    People who have read Giles books more recently can correct me but my impression of his early books is that he was coming from the position of refuting their mapping of the Trinity to hierarchy in human relationships. Not defining for all time the Trinity.

    “Erickson has denied the eternal generation of the Son because he feels it leads to the subordination of the Son.”

    I never believe these accusations because when it came to ESS it was like a big black abyss of them throwing out big theological terms and convoluted Concepts and double dog daring anyone to disagree or heresy!

    Here we go. Eternal generation.

    http://www.theopedia.com/eternal-generation-of-the-son

    You decide. What is it?

  100. Lydia wrote:

    them throwing out big theological terms

    Someone the other day posted that their teeny little church was doing a series on ‘Eschatology’ the other day. I’m not opposed to big words or anything, but their does seem to be this ‘throw theological terms at the wall’ emphasis now that I don’t remember from childhood. It obscures more than anything, or maybe its just a signaling device like all the culture things. One of us/not one of us.

  101. @ okrapod:
    I would need to do some sleuthing on the word translated as robbery. It could refer to the glory that would accompany him on second coming. The first coming is in humbleness, lowliness, etc.

  102. @ dee:
    I am stealing that. I always go back to the Old Testament. One True God. The What.

    And in there we see the Lord of host armies, the Lord said to the Lord, The spirit hovering, Elohim, etc. Too many manifestation to mention.

  103. @ Lea:
    Any good teacher/trainer will not try to impress but will seek the hearers understanding. If the topic is big words, then fine. But if it’s understanding a concept, give the background including various names and seek understanding. Very frustrating. People who feel like they are being insulted or are ignorant are not going to open their minds.

  104. Lydia wrote:

    People who feel like they are being insulted or are ignorant are not going to open their minds.

    You know, I have an education and grew up in church. I read classics as a kid and have a pretty wide vocabulary. But theological terms are like a specialized way of speaking that you have to learn? If I thought it was important I wouldn’t mind learning (and I have picked some up on this blog and others) but it’s so different from how things were taught when I was younger. It feels…showy? In a way that other vocab doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s just me, but it does put me off (unless it is a specific theological discussion at an academic level, like this trinity thing)

  105. Lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    Lol!
    3 in 1 shampoo!!! That’s a new one for me.
    There’s the 3 legged stool
    The Egg
    3 in 1 water thing.
    3 peas in a pod
    Any others y’all can think of?

    Cherry pie.

  106. I understand that a lot of people have been hurt. But you mustn’t be judgemental. I think you’ve all fallen into the trap of looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it, because you’ll spoil it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  107. Lydia wrote:

    It’s rather silly really. Why would NT authors need to shore up Patriarchy? It was a 1st Century cultural given.

    Well, it’s obvious that you don’t believe the Bible or go to a Bible-believing church. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

  108. Lea wrote:

    How many problems of this sort are based in the refusal to accept metaphors?

    Or the refusal to accept hyperbole in Scripture.
    The crafters (all men) of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy were very careful to disavow hyperbole in article 13…

  109. Muff Potter wrote:

    The crafters (all men) of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy were very careful to disavow hyperbole in article 13…

    If they really believed that, there would be a lot of eyeless men walking around…

  110. Lea wrote:

    If they really believed that, there would be a lot of eyeless men walking around…

    au contraire… the no-hyperbolists would immediately lay hands on them and heal them.

  111. Dave A A wrote:

    Bottom line, to me, is that only one solitary human being has ever gotten the trinity “right”.

    I’d rather deal with a Mensch (Yiddish for good person) who gets it wrong than a tyrant who gets it right.

  112. Lea wrote:

    If they really believed that, there would be a lot of eyeless men walking around…

    Like literalism, hyperbole can also be selective.
    How’s that for ‘winsome’?

  113. Just so you know, Dr. Ware’s position is not the final position or the one that’s held by most students coming out of Southern Seminary. Dr. Stephen Wellum opposes Ware’s Trinitarian position on ESS. It’s well known on campus that Wellum is THE theologian at SBTS (not that Ware or Allison are anything to scoff at). I bring this up because sometimes seminaries are connected to a certain prof’s position, which isn’t always correct to do. I’m not saying you did that here. I just wanted to bring it up. Having been taught by Wellum, I think ESS is incorrect.

  114. @ Lea:

    Showy and or a whole lot of meandering around the given topic.
    I am not well educated. I cling to the fact that Jesus spoke plainly to the people. I am sure He being God, could have dazzled us with infinite knowledge and a robust vocabulary.
    If ordinary people can’t understand the language used to express a position,the message, however sublime, is lost.

  115. @ Lea:
    It’s one thing I like about NT Wright. he will use the terms but he always explains them. He often makes fun of them.

  116. @ Lydia:
    Having endured two semesters of it over a decade ago, I could NOT agree more. It is like
    dissecting the Word of God as if it were a dead cat instead of the Living Word of God.

  117. It still amazes me how a few guys with an agenda can lead the largest denomination in the US towards an understanding of God’s nature that would have gotten them tossed out of the early church, and/or slapped in the face, without anyone noticing. Giles is a hero.

  118. @ ishy:
    You would be wrong to make that assumption. Alistair Roberts wrote a number of articles in Reformation21 in defence of the the orthodox view of the Trinity. In his final article he said the following:
    “The submission of the incarnate Son to the will of the Father should not be projected back into the eternal being of God. However, even when constrained within the limits of orthodox Trinitarian theology, some important relation remains. No, we cannot posit separate wills or centers of consciousness in God, nor speak as supporters of ESS do of authority and submission in the Trinity. Yet there remains a profound fittingness to the fact that it was the Son who became man, a fittingness that gives us some truthful apprehension of the eternal relation between Father and Son. Although this relation is not one of authority and submission and any notion of eternal obedience is excluded, the manner of the incarnation is revelatory of divine taxis”.

  119. It seems like the purveyors of ESS have done the exact thing that conservative Christian leaders accuse liberal or progressive Christians of doing. They staked out a position – women are always subordinate to men – and then they created a theology to support it. And the fact that they were willing to flout the Bible, the creeds, and every traditional and mainline understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in order to do so shows how very, very determined they were to preserve and extend the power of men and to devalue women.

  120. Lydia wrote:

    It’s based on the old “separate but equal” thinking. They use fancy words like ontology, essence, economy to take you into the abyss. So equal in essence but not in function, basically. Then you create a hierarchy of functions.

    What that line of thinking boils down to is we will be equal after we die, but never while we are alive.

  121. elastigirl wrote:

    Who is Alastair and where does he fit in the evangelical, inc. scheme of things?

    He is a Crossway author and a frequent commenter on various blogs and a blogger himself. I would put him well on the right side of the Reformed.

  122. Adam Embry wrote:

    Dr. Stephen Wellum opposes Ware’s Trinitarian position on ESS.

    That’s good, and it is also true that Erikson’s ST was (is?) used as well. The problem is that the ESS theology is the foundation for Complementarianism which cannot be sustained without it. I imagine that Dr. Wellum affirms Danvers. I also think that before your generation sees the Lord face to face that Complementarianism will be seen as a foolish venture into speculative theology just as ESS is seen now.

  123. @ Adam Embry:

    “Dr. Ware’s position is not the final position or the one that’s held by most students coming out of Southern Seminary. Dr. Stephen Wellum opposes Ware’s Trinitarian position on ESS.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Where would Dr. Wellum (and yourself) stand on Kevin Giles’ position on the trinity?

    Does Wellum (and yourself?) have an alternate view on the trinity that supports male headship? or would he (& you?) ground headship in something else?

    (Denny Burke claims the Danvers Statement alone is his true north for male headship — ESS not required)

  124. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    It still amazes me how a few guys with an agenda can lead the largest denomination in the US towards an understanding of God’s nature

    Well, it happens when people are not Bereans and when men who purport to be teachers of the Bible do not tell the truth about what the Bible says. I hope I am not being too blunt. Danvers is one lie after another. I hope I am not being too blunt. It happens when God’s people are lazy and do not pay attention and ask questions and just go along. I hope I am not being too blunt.

  125. I am complimentarian but not in the ESS camp. I have not read any of their stuff so I have no idea what their lynchpin texts are. I always appreciated Paul’s writing in Col. 1. That sounds pretty equal with God to me. This is not a debate that would bear a lot of fruit in my opinion.

  126. Just to be perfectly clear, I was one of the people who did not pay attention. We knew there were Female Subordinationists in other groups, but we had no idea they were so close to home until we started paying attention. Then we had some decisions to make.

  127. bunny wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Having endured two semesters of it over a decade ago, I could NOT agree more. It is like
    dissecting the Word of God as if it were a dead cat instead of the Living Word of God.

    Turning everything into an Intellectual Abstraction?
    (As in nuclear war –> Only a Three-point-seven Gigadeath situation?)

  128. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    It’s one thing I like about NT Wright. he will use the terms but he always explains them. He often makes fun of them.

    Bishop Wright is not only a thinker, but a master of what the French call “Vulgarization” — the ability to explain complex concepts in easily-understandable terms.

  129. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Totally agree. I am anti ST for many reasons. It’s like living in a mental/spiritual box.

    How about strait jacket?

  130. Max wrote:

    When man and his doctrine become the center, you have the ingredients of heresy.

    Trying to think of when/where else this has taken place.
    Was the Reformation Lutheran?
    Evangelism and Billy Graham?
    Or, is this unique?

  131. Gram3 wrote:

    Well, it happens when people are not Bereans and when men who purport to be teachers of the Bible do not tell the truth about what the Bible says.

    Being a Berean is hard work. Many folks are not up to it and have no desire to dig for themselves. They’d rather be told what to believe and let it go at that. It takes the onus off of them, assures them absolute linearization of Scripture (god said it, i believe it, and that settles it), and they can always come back and say:
    ‘This is what I was taught.’
    Easy peasey.

  132. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Bishop Wright is not only a thinker, but a master of what the French call “Vulgarization” — the ability to explain complex concepts in easily-understandable terms.

    I think the ability to explain things simply shows both 1. intelligence and 2. true understanding of the topic. I am doubtful of people who cannot explain simply. They are either lacking in understanding or they are trying to lie to you.

  133. Muff Potter wrote:

    Being a Berean is hard work.

    Walking the narrow way requires some balance and vigilance, metaphorically. In our case we were paying attention to other matters which were much weightier to us personally because, honestly, Complementarianism does not affect us personally. When we first discovered ESS so many years ago, we were outra”ged that it was being taught and that it was being taught only it was the support for female subordination in the home and male exclusivity in the clergy. How pathetic is that! It is unimaginable to me that “elders” and Ph.D./PhD scholars who claim the name of Christ would be willing to subordinate him in order to lift themselves up.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    A sliver of them will try to point to the verse that says “Eve was deceived,”

    …but using their selective literalism, since Adam was guilty of disobedience (Romans 5) then we can assume all males will disobey God.

  135. Mike Warnke, of all people, talked about cherry pie as an imperfect picture of the trinity. You look at it and see the top crust, and you can cut it into distinct pieces, but the filling all runs together as one under the crust.

    Or something like that.
    Lydia wrote:

    @ refugee:
    Ok. You got me.

  136. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    Your comment reminds me of an article that appeared on CBMW a while back speculating that women would submit to husbands in eternity. It was very speculative but definitely trying to plant that seed. It got so much negative play and incredulous pushback they took it down. It was positively Mormon. I am serious. It was.

    I guess you could say that for me, there isn’t anything these guys could say/teach that I wouldn’t check, double check and triple check. I have seen too much twisting, editing, omitting, etc. And folks, this stuff is nothing to play around with. It would be one thing if they threw stuff out to discuss or debate, openly. But they don’t. They “teach” and pontificate and young skulls full of mush believe it because they have titles and such,

  137. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    It’s based on the old “separate but equal” thinking. They use fancy words like ontology, essence, economy to take you into the abyss. So equal in essence but not in function, basically. Then you create a hierarchy of functions.

    What that line of thinking boils down to is we will be equal after we die, but never while we are alive.

    Oh, no — not even after we die. Some of these guys are teaching that women will be subordinate into eternity.

  138. @ Gram3:

    Your last line communicates my sentiments, exactly about ESS. A desperate need to be on top by de-edifying Jesus Christ.

    Was it Grudem in his book about female subordination (they run together) in trying to sell female subordination wrote that God “submits” to us when He helps us. Parents “submit” to children when they help with homework. And so on. Elevating by Twisting meanings, etc.

  139. Muff Potter wrote:

    Being a Berean is hard work.

    Also, Muff, you know that they really disappointed me on a much deeper level because I trusted them. I’ve been an inerrantist for as long as I’ve known the meaning of the word, and I’ve always gone to the texts. But I learned the very hard lesson that these men do *not* go to the text and will stubbornly resist going to the text even when I have specifically asked. They go to their gurus and “what hath their gurus said. But I–the inerrantist who goes to the text–got labeled the rebellious woman, presumably because Clobber-Verse-in-Genesis-3-Somewhere.

  140. Lydia wrote:

    God “submits” to us when He helps us

    Can I say, the twisting of Eve helping Adam is one that bugs me a lot. As if helping is something only subordinates do. That’s not right at all! even without getting into original languages. So irritating.

  141. Lydia wrote:

    Was it Grudem in his book about female subordination (they run together) in trying to sell female subordination wrote that God “submits” to us when He helps us. Parents “submit” to children when they help with homework.

    I cannot remember either because I have read so many ridiculous “explanations” of this and of “saved through childbearing.” Your quote sounds like Grudem to me. For some reason I hear the sound of an elementary school teacher from the nineteenth century speaking to me when I read Grudem. Probably just me, and I mean that sincerely.

  142. @ Lea:
    Yes. Horrible translation of Ezer which is also used to describe God and others in the OT. It even has warrior connotations. As in warriors standing together to subdue the earth. Carolyn Custis James has the best descriptor: “Blessed Alliance”. The subordinists hate the “mutual” stuff. Which is why I like mutual (as in all 58 one another’s) better than egalitarian which is just too French Revolution for me. 🙂

  143. dee wrote:

    I always get antsy when some theologian comes up with a view of the Trinity that supports his view on secondary issues such as gender roles.

    Maybe they don’t teach TRANSCENDENCE in their Systematics anymore. I don’t know. Nobody tells me anything, and it’s hard for me to keep up. I am but a mere older woman, but I’m doing the best I can…

  144. The one that makes me scratch my head is…
    1. The bible says sin came through adam, so that means that he is the head of all humanity, and therefore men should be in charge.
    2. The bible says that eve was deceived and sinned, which means that women can’t be trusted, so men should be in charge.
    I’ve heard both of them many times.

  145. Here’s my opinion and it’s just that—one person’s opinion, and I could sure be wrong.

    The people who embrace this sort of thing are not usually Christians filled with the Holy Spirit who get some bad teaching from a seminary professor and run off on a wrong track from which they need to be corrected and they’ll have their eyes opened and slap their foreheads and say “What was I thinking?”.

    No, I sincerely believe that people who get off on these wrong tracks, playing heretical games with the very nature of Jesus Himself, typically do not know Jesus at all, only give lip service to this “Christianity thing”, and are fakes, lovers of doctrines, worshippers of men in lust of their power over women and others, and willing to sell even Jesus down the river to grab what they list after. I do not believe they are Christians at all; they’re dangerous fakes and liars—to themselves and others.

  146. @ Riley:
    And the first step in unwinding this mess is to really just start at the beginning and test every statement and ask whether the text actually does say that or whether that is an inference or something else imported into the text. I will assure you that their logic is flawed, but once you see the flaws, you cannot unsee them. Somewhere on TWW is a list of the Ten Reasons for Male Headship. It is a classic Ware/Grudem logical fallacy prooftext bonanzapallooza. Thing is, once you study that, you can take apart Danvers in the same way because it is the same trickery. And once you see how Danvers is done, you can see how Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s essays are done.

  147. Gram3 wrote:

    Well, it happens when people are not Bereans and when men who purport to be teachers of the Bible do not tell the truth about what the Bible says. I hope I am not being too blunt.

    No, you’re not too blunt. Most of the good churchgoers that I know, especially the ones I knew in my Baptist days, were nominal at best. They were caught up in the business of life, work, school, events, TV… And church on Sunday, when the Pastor fed you the Word. The main reason for leaving a church was, “We weren’t being fed.”

    Folks like this barely understand Calvinism, much less something like the Trinity, or the debates in church history. “Mystery” covers a lot of topics.

    The irony is, the same is true of many pastors. I have some friends in that business, the business of professional Christianity, and I’m not sure how many of them would even know what ESS means, much less have an understanding of the controversy or history. Like their sheep, they are too busy with other things.

  148. Victorious wrote:

    …but using their selective literalism, since Adam was guilty of disobedience (Romans 5) then we can assume all males will disobey God.

    And it makes one wonder why complementarians assume being deceived is a disqualifier for (all women, for all time) teaching, preaching, leading (or whatever)-
    But being disobedient is not?

    It’s more warped when you consider that some complementarians use Adam’s failing to argue in favor of male headship!

    Some of them argue that Adam’s failing was not so much disobeying God (!!!)

    …but that he supposedly “allowed” Eve to “usurp” his (assumed, not proven!!) authority over her.

    Complementarians make men out to be the winners no matter what, even if the text shows that the man in question failed miserably.

  149. Lydia wrote:

    Your comment reminds me of an article that appeared on CBMW a while back speculating that women would submit to husbands in eternity. It was very speculative but definitely trying to plant that seed. It got so much negative play and incredulous pushback they took it down. It was positively Mormon. I am serious. It was.

    I remember that page. Julie Anne blogged about it on Spiritual Sounding Board.
    I think you can still access it if you plug it into the Wayback Machine (aka Internet Archive).

    And yes, it was positively Mormon in nature.

    Many Christians like to crow and brag about how their beliefs are so unlike the world religions (which is supposed to serve as a proof that only Christianity is true), but funny how some of their pet doctrines are identical to that of world religions.

    Their gender caste system where men rule women is kind of like Islam and the Hindu caste system. And so on and so forth.

  150. Refugee wrote:

    Oh, no — not even after we die. Some of these guys are teaching that women will be subordinate into eternity.

    I don’t know where this leaves never-married or divorced women.

    The religious guys asked Jesus about this, sort of.

    They asked Jesus, “A woman has been married and divorced X times. When she dies and goes to the afterlife, which of the X number husbands will she be married to?,”

    And Jesus was like (paraphrase by me), “LOL, there is no marriage in the afterlife, you doofus. Your question is moot.”

    I’m a woman who’s so far not been married.

    If I die ten minutes from now, I wouldn’t have a husband in the afterlife to submit to. I guess I get to boss people around too?

    Complementarians just do not come up with responses to all possible scenarios.

    Complementarianism only works for a very small number of people in very specific circumstances (e.g., married, with kids, middle class or higher income, husband in good health, husband not abusive, husband has a steady, good paying job, etc.)

  151. There are numerous systematic texts used in various classes, typically requiring around 3k plus of systematic reading. @ Gram3:

  152. I believe in male headship, but don’t change my Trinitarianism for it. ESS doesn’t seem to line up with historical Christian readings on the Trinity. @ elastigirl:

  153. Riley wrote:

    The one that makes me scratch my head is…
    1. The bible says sin came through adam, so that means that he is the head of all humanity, and therefore men should be in charge.
    2. The bible says that eve was deceived and sinned, which means that women can’t be trusted, so men should be in charge.
    I’ve heard both of them many times.

    That is spot on, but I’d like to add a point 1b to that.

    Complementarians say that God designed men to be visually oriented, all men, even Christian ones are uncontrollable horn dogs, so it’s up to women to control and subdue men by wearing floor-length potato sacks.

    I’ve never understood why, if men allegedly lack self control like this, and comps argue it’s up to women to keep men in line, why men should be entrusted to be in authority over women? Makes no sense at all.

  154. Law Prof wrote:

    No, I sincerely believe that people who get off on these wrong tracks, playing heretical games with the very nature of Jesus Himself, typically do not know Jesus at all, only give lip service to this “Christianity thing”, and are fakes, lovers of doctrines, worshippers of men in lust of their power over women and others, and willing to sell even Jesus down the river to grab what they list after. I do not believe they are Christians at all; they’re dangerous fakes and liars—to themselves and others.

    I can get on board with that.

    I just said something similar in a post I wrote on my Daisy blog.

    There may be some complementarians who are naive and who honestly feel that the Bible teaches female subordination, and they want to be true to God and yada yada – but –

    I sense that most of the ones who teach this stuff and who defend it the most stubbornly – are driven by sexism and/or thirst for power over others.

  155. Gram3 wrote:

    And the first step in unwinding this mess is to really just start at the beginning and test every statement and ask whether the text actually does say that or whether that is an inference or something else imported into the text.

    I agree. I also think this goes to show that the text does not always mean what complementarians think or assume it does.

    For example, in some NT passage, Apostle Paul uses Eve as an example in some letter for something. From this, complementarians make all sorts of assumptions and read stuff back into the book of Genesis.

    If you go back and look at Genesis itself, though, there is nothing there indicating that God intended for there to be male hierarchy, or “male headship” in marriage.

    By mentioning Eve in some letter, Paul was not saying what complementarians think he was saying, since evidence of such is not actually in Genesis itself.

    Complementarians just sort of make this leap and assume that male hierarchy/female subordination must be in Genesis somewhere all because Paul mentioned Eve in some context or another in the New Testament.

    But complementarians still claim they take the Bible seriously, literally, that they don’t add to it, don’t have an agenda, and aren’t prejudiced by their culture in how they interpret the text.

  156. I’d like to know how and where the Holy Spirit fits in to the ivory tower speculation on ESS. A serious red flag, for me at least, is any discussion of “The Trinity” that leaves out one third.

    Considering how often Jesus and the Holy Spirit are shoved off into a corner in most, if not all YRR influenced preaching, writing, philosophizing, I wonder sometimes if these men aren’t applying for one of those two jobs themselves.

    For me, its easier to see what’s missing (love, The Holy Spirit) than it is to wade thru the bloviation.

    A dear friend has rejected God because she has suffered the death of mom, dad, and husband all in a very short time frame. These men who twist and shout their opinions have absolutely nothing to say to her. Maybe they have nothing to say to anyone.

    Maybe they should try getting their hands dirty in the stuff of real life for a change. Oh, but wait. We can’t engage in any “social-gospely” thing now can we?
    Puke.

  157. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I’d like to know how and where the Holy Spirit fits in to the ivory tower speculation on ESS.

    Wayne Grudem subordinates the Spirit to both the Father and the Son in his Systematic Theology. I don’t have the page number, but in his section on the Trinity he compares the Spirit to the children in a family – under the authority of other the two members of the Trinity.

  158. Riley wrote:

    2. The bible says that eve was deceived and sinned, which means that women can’t be trusted, so men should be in charge.

    I’m not sure how sinning because you were deceived could possibly be worse than sinning because you wanted to sin.

  159. Daisy wrote:

    There may be some complementarians who are naive and who honestly feel that the Bible teaches female subordination, and they want to be true to God and yada yada – but –

    I think you can see which kind of person they are when they get to the reality of a wife who is not a child or a relationship in which the problem is clearly the husband. When the rubber meats the road, and their philosophy doesn’t work, what do they do? Here is where you get the ‘functionally egalitarian’ box checking people, I think. And ones who in the face of DV will tell the wife to leave and not submit.

    Men who cannot drop this philosophy in the face of reality are a different story, because their theories are more important than the people in their lives. And that’s how you know who has a heart in the right place and who does not.

  160. Gram3 wrote:

    And the first step in unwinding this mess is to really just start at the beginning and test every statement and ask whether the text actually does say that or whether that is an inference or something else imported into the text.

    Besides asking if the interpretation is correct, I find that you have to question the translation sometimes too. You know something is hinky when a word has a different definition depending on if it’s used referring to a man or to a woman.

  161. Law Prof wrote:

    Here’s my opinion and it’s just that—one person’s opinion, and I could sure be wrong.

    I agree with you, so now it’s two person’s opinions. Since I am right about this, then you are also right about this, so you are not wrong. If you think you could be wrong, then that is where you are wrong, because you are not wrong about this observation. I trust I got that right.

  162. Adam Embry wrote:

    There are numerous systematic texts used in various classes, typically requiring around 3k plus of systematic reading. @ Gram3:

    Assuming they cover some breadth, that is good. I’m just an old, ultra-conservative cradle roll Southern Baptist who is horrified by what has happened to the SBC. I am an inerrantist, not a feminist, and I’m someone who actually believes that we should get our theology from the text and not put it into the text. So, ergo, I’m not a huge fan of Systematics, where scholars are tempted to do what scholars are tempted to do, as ESS demonstrates so well. Depth and breadth of reading can help with that to some degree. I do not think that Grudem’s capture of the market has served young Evangelicals well.

  163. Adam Embry wrote:

    I believe in male headship

    What do you mean my male headship? Is it prescriptive or descriptive in the text, and does it apply universally or only within the family?

  164. Riley wrote:

    2. The bible says that eve was deceived and sinned, which means that women can’t be trusted, so men should be in charge.
    I’ve heard both of them many times.

    Not only was she deceived but more importantly, she admitted it!

    Adam sinned on purpose then blamed God and Eve.

    If that is a “leadership litmus test” which one do you think passed? 🙂

  165. Gram3 wrote:

    Adam Embry wrote:

    I believe in male headship

    What do you mean my male headship? Is it prescriptive or descriptive in the text, and does it apply universally or only within the family?

    I was going to ask similar. But I can’t get past the “ship” in headship. It’s a black hole of textual gymnastics but is accepted “Christianese” and no one at SBTS will dare question it.

    Is there a corresponding bodyship? Appendageship? It just doesn’t work with Kephale. It’s made up. Added in as meaning. If it is about heirarchy then they have serious textual problems elsewhere. That is why proof texting is convenient.

  166. Gram3 wrote:

    What do you mean my male headship? Is it prescriptive or descriptive in the text, and does it apply universally or only within the family?

    I’ve used Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian’s challenges several times and the response was dead silence…. smile

    Check his 10 challenges about female subordination here:

    https://godswordtowomen.org/bilezikian.htm

  167. There was a huge backlash against Grudem over this. It’s been noted for a while now, that though Grudem has much to contribute in his base systematic text, he offers no explanation of his theological method. This is problematic. Historical theologians such as Lewis Ayers and every Pressbyterian theologians I read are all pro-Nicea. It’d be a mistake to think seminarians just fall in line by reading Grudem. @ Gram3:

  168. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Wayne Grudem subordinates the Spirit to both the Father and the Son in his Systematic Theology. I don’t have the page number, but in his section on the Trinity he compares the Spirit to the children in a family – under the authority of other the two members of the Trinity.

    Now THAT is really whacked! What are they on anyway? The “Cult of Systematic Theology” rolls on…

  169. Adam Embry wrote:

    It’d be a mistake to think seminarians just fall in line by reading Grudem.

    It’s obvious that seminarians don’t need to be reading Grudem! But the big boys now on the SBC throne promote him at their institutions of higher learning … although there’s nothing high about lowering Jesus.

  170. @ Adam Embry:
    But they did. For many years. Even the ones who disagreed kept their mouths shut because it did not go along with the party line Mohler built in the SBC. Mohler contends ESS is an acceptable option.

  171. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m not a huge fan of Systematics, where scholars are tempted to do what scholars are tempted to do … I do not think that Grudem’s capture of the market has served young Evangelicals well.

    Amen! SBC’s New Calvinist who’s-who use Grudem to support their movement. If you want to indoctrinate young minds at seminary, but Grudem in front of them as required reading. He is a strong advocate of Calvinistic soteriology, elder-rule church governance, and the “beauty” of complementarity. He is a master at taking text out of context to fuel the new reformation. Thousands of young reformers can thank him for steering them off course in their ministries.

  172. Lydia wrote:

    But I can’t get past the “ship” in headship.

    Yes. That’s such a silly word (I think I’ve said before, I see a head zooming around in a spaceship when I hear it) and it’s not from the text. Head is not the same thing as ‘headship’.

    I think generally when people talk about what ‘male headship’ actually means in practice I hear this:

    When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  173. Lydia wrote:

    it has been cult of personality in the YRR movement. From Mohler to Piper.

    No doubt about it! New Calvinism is man-centered, not Christ-centered. If you want to test that statement, step into an SBC-YRR church plant in your area next Sunday. Sit in the back with a notepad listing 4 columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, New Calvinist Icon. By the end of the “sermon”, you will have recorded several check-marks for “God”, a few for Jesus (maybe), none for the Holy Spirit … and more mention of Piper, Keller, Mohler, etc. than Jesus! The young reformers are name-droppers who don’t lift the name of Jesus above all names. (at least in my neck of the woods – hope it’s better where you live)

  174. Adam Embry wrote:

    Historical theologians such as Lewis Ayers and every Pressbyterian theologians I read are all pro-Nicea. It’d be a mistake to think seminarians just fall in line by reading Grudem.

    Southern Baptists are not presbyterians. I was SBC for the first 40 years of my life. That ended some 40+ years ago. The math is obvious. While I was SBC I was where Lydia calls ground zero, Louisville. While I was in med school I was at a church formerly known as the seminary church due to the large number of SBTS students there. Never ever did I run into anybody who thought, taught or preached that Baptists were bound by any ancient church councils or creeds much less reformation covenants, but rather quite the contrary. Back then sola scriptura did not mean scripture plus anything-not councils or creeds or covenants.

    This idea of Baptists giving lip service to Nicea is something which was not preached back then. Perhaps we were living in geographic and theological bubble and perhaps the Baptists of much longer ago than that did think differently about councils and traditions and such, but not during my time with SBC.

    We were, however, staunchly anti-catholic and we did eschew anything that remotely smacked of catholicism including councils and creeds. And when BG took a more moderate stance a fair number of us cringed in horror and predicted that no good would come of it.

    Those days came and went, but it would not be accurate to ignore that they existed-and it would not be accurate to fail to recognize that the thinking of one generation impacts the thinking of subsequent generations for better or worse. I still find it bizarre when some Baptist leader assures people that he is on board with Nicea, and I want to say ‘since when?’.

  175. Adam Embry wrote:

    ESS doesn’t seem to line up with historical Christian readings on the Trinity.

    Forget the “readings” of mere men … it doesn’t line up with the whole Scripture! Only cherry-picking select passages would paint an ESS picture. But, it’s a portrait that does not belong in the Kingdom.

  176. okrapod wrote:

    Southern Baptists are not presbyterians.

    They are now! (or at least coming closer to presbyterian belief and practice)

    okrapod wrote:

    I was SBC for the first 40 years of my life … Never ever did I run into anybody who thought, taught or preached that Baptists were bound by any ancient church councils or creeds much less reformation covenants, but rather quite the contrary.

    For good reason! There is a long history of Baptist aversions to creeds! Unfortunately, revision of the Baptist Faith and Message in 2000 launched a trend toward creedalism (Al Mohler was on the BFM2000 revision team).

  177. @ Max:

    The question is how that could happen. Naturally I have an idea or three-a bit of which may be significant or not. During the time I was SBC there were other things to worry about-the great depression, WWII, the cold war, the Korean War, the VietNam War along with the cultural revolution. Sound emphasis on ‘the bible says’ fell by the wayside. People were thinking about other things-hugely important and scary things though they be. A whole generation or two or three were let to grow up unlearned and untaught in many areas. All people wanted from church was ‘fellowship of kindred minds’ usually about political and social issues and ‘love’ too often defined as license.

    I can’t blame people; the times were overwhelming. Still are in some aspects. But none the less people were left in vulnerable positions and fell victim to some twisted ideas and bad theology (if any). So now ‘leadership’ is scrambling over the wreckage and trying to redesign stuff, apparently using secular business concepts, and it is a sad thing to see. I agree with LawProf, some of the leadership appears to be unconverted-literally unconverted-at least in their thinking and methodologies.

    Once when I was a kid I literally slid down the side of a mountain a ways. They had to come rescue me. It was terrifying because there was so much farther to potentially slide and I was basically helpless. I get that feeling again about some of this. Whatever in the first place made us think that down the side of the mountain was a good idea?

  178. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Wayne Grudem subordinates the Spirit to both the Father and the Son in his Systematic Theology. I don’t have the page number, but in his section on the Trinity he compares the Spirit to the children in a family – under the authority of other the two members of the Trinity.

    So in his/their quest to make the family unit the cornerstone of church life (instead of Jesus), he/they have built their theology around the family unit instead of Jesus and His Kingdom.

  179. Lea wrote:

    When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    Been in the rabbit whole too many times in my 17 year Calvinista adventure.

  180. Max wrote:

    Sit in the back with a notepad listing 4 columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, New Calvinist Icon.

    I actually do something similar (when I attend any church service). I put two boxes on my program, one with a “J” and the other with an”H”.
    Quite often, I leave for home with no tick marks.
    I also employ the “Wilken Diagnostic”:
    1) How often is Jesus mentioned?
    2) If Jesus is mentioned, is He the subject of the verbs?
    3) What are those verbs?
    “Any sermon can claim to be Bible–based. But the Bible wasn’t nailed to the Cross to pay for your sins.”

  181. ION: Cricket

    England are struggling with the bat on day 1 of the Second Test; 140-5 when I last looked, and it may be even worse the noo. Aren’t likely to post 250.

    IHTIH

  182. Lydia wrote:

    Bruce Ware had actually edited Anthanasius to make him come off as pro ESS.

    “See, Athanasisus (or Augustine) agrees with us!” But even if they did, which they didn’t, they’d still be uninspired teachers without a corner on the truth market.

  183. Mae wrote:

    How has ego and recognition become so dominant in our society, so much so, that the church exemplifies it?

    Exemplifies it while giving lip service to standing up against the “culture”.

  184. ION:

    Yesterday I attended a day of HR and management training in downtown Raleigh. As I work for the state, the training took place near the heart of downtown as well as near a local, private, formerly all-women, university. During one of the morning breaks I was in desperate need of a cuppa, so I darted across the road (not very safely as there was no crossing/zebra lane close to the building I was in) and went into one of the many trendy coffee bars that have sprouted up around town. True to its nature, the main cafe, as well as many of the outside tables, were full. While I was waiting on my Ethopia pour over to finish, I made a rather startling observation – with the exception of four men wearing ties seated around a single table, the cafe (and outside tables) were occupied almost exclusively by millennial, white, ‘urban’, hip (employed?) Christians. I heard the same conversations that I would have heard 17.5 miles to the north, at SEBTS; conversations about theology and leading worship, etc. If I had not been in a time crunch, I would have tried to listen in to discern if they were 9Marks/TGC-oriented. My guess is that they were so oriented, given the proliferation of church plants in the downtown Raleigh area.

    All this made me realize the great irony in the whole situation – at least, great irony to me. Without a doubt, these millennial Christians moved the center of Raleigh with a desire to live authentic community and reach the local area. As a result, they are the community and have pushed out the locals. Either that, or they are creating their own community, replete with locally sourced micro-brewerys and sustainable coffee bars that cater to people just like themselves. As a result, they are ministering to themselves in the same ways that they criticize in suburban, attraction model churches.

    Would it therefore be a stretch to call them micro-colonialists? In their desire to reach the community, they are recreating the community after themselves, and when the transformation is complete, they say “job well done.”

  185. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Riley:
    And the first step in unwinding this mess is to really just start at the beginning and test every statement and ask whether the text actually does say that or whether that is an inference or something else imported into the text. I will assure you that their logic is flawed, but once you see the flaws, you cannot unsee them. Somewhere on TWW is a list of the Ten Reasons for Male Headship. It is a classic Ware/Grudem logical fallacy prooftext bonanzapallooza. Thing is, once you study that, you can take apart Danvers in the same way because it is the same trickery. And once you see how Danvers is done, you can see how Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s essays are done.

    To quote Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…”

    When Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology first came out, it was reviewed in The Gospel Coalition theological journal Themelios (Volume 22, number 1, October 1996) by Roy Kearsley of the then Glasgow Bible College. As you will see from his remarks, the error of ESS was picked up quite quickly and found to be completely out with the traditional understanding of the Trinity. Grudem’s assertion was shown to lack both substance and evidence. The big question for me is Why did the TGC ignore what was so plainly staring them in the face? Why did they continue to endorse someone who was so far out of the way as to be on the road to heresy?

    Anyway, here is the quote from Roy Kearsley’s review.

    (Grudem’s writes in the introduction the following) “‘[apart from the Bible] the other writers I interact with in this book are mostly within what is today called the larger ‘conservative evangelical’ tradition … I think someone needs to say that it is doubtful that liberal theologians have given us any significant insight to the doctrinal teachings of Scripture that are not already to be found in evangelical writers’.”

    (Kearsley then comments in the review) “But his dismissal of modern insights also impoverishes some parts of the work (for example, ecclesiology) and leaves it at those points without a depth it could have had. It also ensures that applications will often be fairly bland without a radical cutting edge and challenge.

    In addition, it leads him into mistakes. He introduces, for instance, the idea of ‘economic subordinationism’ into the Trinity. This does not seem to resemble either role differentiation (or ‘appropriation’), as in the mainstream Christian tradition, or the Son’s subordination in the ‘State of Humiliation’ (Berkhof’s Reformed approach). It seems rather to endorse the ‘hierarchical’ Trinity which has come under question from theologians of most traditions in recent days, including many with a devout view of Scripture and faith. They may be wrong—but you will not get Grudem to tell you why. True to form, we are led in due time to the statement that ‘Just as God the father has authority over the Son so in a marriage, the husband has authority over the wife’. A glance at such despised ‘liberals’ as Jurgen Moltmann would have delivered a caution against such an unorthodox statement, one that appears nowhere in the NT and is not authorized in the confessions and creeds”

  186. Lydia wrote:

    no one at SBTS will dare question it

    Some have, and I know them. Metaphorical blood was spilled and masks fell and eyes were opened. There are a very few who are willing to question.

  187. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    1) How often is Jesus mentioned?
    2) If Jesus is mentioned, is He the subject of the verbs?
    3) What are those verbs?

    C J Mahaney made a comeback speech to a pastors’ conference Nov 2011. Someone did a word count (which was reposted thanks to Steve240).
    ” In this message, CJ uses:
    I — 301 times
    me — 61 times
    my — 79 times
    God — 6 times
    Jesus — 0 times
    Savior — 3 times”

  188. Adam Embry wrote:

    There was a huge backlash against Grudem over this.

    I don’t remember anyone speaking out against Grudem until very recently about much of anything. I certainly don’t remember anyone speaking out against Ware’s ESS at SBTS or elsewhere in the SBC. One word from Mohler and that would have been the end of it. So that is why no one believes what he says when he says he does not believe it himself. That is why no one believes Denny Burk or Tom Schreiner or Andreas Kostenberger or anyone else at any SBC seminary who says they don’t believe it *now.* Where were they all these years when ESS was being preached in order to subjugate women? They were happy to go along with it as long as it served their purposes. Where is the integrity there?

  189. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I think someone needs to say that it is doubtful that liberal theologians have given us any significant insight to the doctrinal teachings of Scripture that are not already to be found in evangelical writers’.”

    So let’s just not read any of them.

  190. Burwell wrote:

    My grammar be atrocious. My apologies to all.

    I think you meant ‘my grammar done be atrocious’. Sorry to get pedantic 😉

  191. @ Burwell:

    It is my understanding that Salem College is the oldest historically and currently majority female college, but Meredith is the largest historically and currently majority female college. So much for people predicting the downfall of predominately female schools.

    For a while I commuted from work to study with a violinist at Meredith trying to regain some lost skills, and my daughter got her masters at Salem. All of that was really nice but too expensive.

  192. @ Lea:
    Lol. I hoped you realised that. The strange thing is I started reading Barth ( regarded by some as the Bogeyman) when all this blew up last year and I found lots of what he had to say on God, the Trinity, almost inspiring.

  193. @ okrapod:

    I agree…both schools are good schools. My mom is a Salem alumna and one of my sisters is a Meredith alumna (though both my sisters attended M at some point in their respective collegiate careers). I was referring to Peace College, now William Peace University. 🙂

  194. Lowlandseer wrote:

    The big question for me is Why did the TGC ignore what was so plainly staring them in the face? Why did they continue to endorse someone who was so far out of the way as to be on the road to heresy?

    Because he is one of them. Why would they not endorse him? The question for me is why would the men of NAPARC wait so long to rebuke ESS which originated with George Knight III who did that work for the PCA and is now, IIRC, OPC? I am thankful that some good Reformed folks, men and women, stepped forward to rebuke some (mostly) Baptists Behaving Badly.

  195. Burwell wrote:

    … they are ministering to themselves…

    Regular Wartburgers will know enough about how my mind works * to guess exactly what picture this phrase painted therein.

    Esoteric euphemisms aside, that IS the substance of much of modern churchianity.











    *… … … never mind.

  196. Burwell wrote:

    I was referring to Peace College, now William Peace University.

    I may have heard somebody refer to ‘Peace’ back in the day but that is about it. Had to look it up in Wiki. Other than that is was off my radar. Interesting.

  197. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Along that line we used to call phony theology and puny philosophy ‘mental m (instering) ‘ to use the edited form.

    No need to eliminate good imagery where it can be useful.

  198. @ Gram3:
    I wrongly thought that TGC were involved with Themelios journal at the time of the review of Grudem’s book. They weren’t. At the time ICCF were responsible for it which makes my big question less relevant. Apologies.

  199. @ Burwell:

    “…with the exception of four men wearing ties seated around a single table, the cafe (and outside tables) were occupied almost exclusively by millennial, white, ‘urban’, hip (employed?) Christians.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    “employed?” i’m dubious as to the actual ‘work’ factor (requiring an actual work ethic).
    ———————

    “Would it therefore be a stretch to call them micro-colonialists? In their desire to reach the community, they are recreating the community after themselves, and when the transformation is complete, they say “job well done.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    God complex-ians, perhaps?

    goodness, how many times have i observed christians creating truth in their own image and calling it ‘Gospel-‘, saying to themselves ‘behold, it is very good’, basking in their job well-done.

  200. @ Gram3:

    Tell me the one about when the eyes were opened.

    (& i wouldn’t say ‘stop it at once!’ if you told the one about the spilled blood, and the one about the masks coming off ‘n all…)

  201. That’s very interesting, tickled my curiosity. So is this one of those doctrine defining sort of times like the Councils of Nicea or Luther’s 95 theses? Apologies if my terminology is off. I’m just curious how these sort of changes occur in religions.

  202. Lea wrote:

    I’m not sure how sinning because you were deceived could possibly be worse than sinning because you wanted to sin.

    Good point.

  203. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Apologies.

    No apologies needed. Zondervan carried a lot of weight, and Grudem’s ST is Zondervan. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. If the publishing contracts that these guys have were public, I think a lot of questions we have might be answered, and yours might be among those. Were some men silent about Grudem’s heresy because they had Zondervan contracts? I don’t know. Are Crossway contracts reason that the Gospel Glitterati are so cozy? I don’t know. But they sure do some things which do not pass the smell test, as we say in the real world.

  204. Lea wrote:

    Men who cannot drop this philosophy in the face of reality are a different story, because their theories are more important than the people in their lives. And that’s how you know who has a heart in the right place and who does not.

    I know in my own case, as a long- time complementarian, why I adhered to complementarianism, and it was due to a true desire to be obedient to God, even though for years I felt that comp was sexist, and it made me feel that God didn’t love or value me (God only values boys and men).

    I was a complementarian for many years because I was taught by Christians it was what the Bible taught, and I wanted to be obedient to God, so I stuck with it (in spite of having doubts about it).

    I do think there are Christians out there who are complementarian out of love and loyalty to God, and they truly want to be faithful to what THEY THINK the Bible is saying.

    Part of the problem (at least when I was growing up, this was pre- internet) was people are not exposed to any view that challenges complementarianism.

    All you get from most churches is the complementarian view, and comps poison the well by writiing off any and all divergence from it as being “liberal, ungodly, un-biblical.” And that scares off most Christians from the out-set.

    I sometimes wondered growing up as a teen how “biblical” complementarianism really was, but there was no internet back then. Resources were not easily found.

    Had I gone to a library to research things, I’m not sure what topics I should have looked under to find content that refuted comp.

    I think these days with the internet it’s a billion times easier to research these topics, and there are several online resource that are critical of the comp position and supportive of the egalitarian one, so it’s more difficult for comps to hold a monopoly on things anymore.

    But I do think there is a slice of comps who are comp only because they’ve been taught by their church it’s God’s design, and they don’t want to be disloyal to God by chucking it. I used to be in that category.

  205. Gram3 wrote:

    Adam Embry wrote:
    I believe in male headship
    What do you mean my male headship? Is it prescriptive or descriptive in the text, and does it apply universally or only within the family?

    This page raises one interesting point of what it does Not mean:

    Here is just a snippet from the page:

    Myth #3 Headship as Leadership

    Did you know that the Bible never says that the husband is to “lead” the wife?

    People who teach this are actually giving their own interpretation of scriptures that talk about the “headship” of the husband.

    They are assuming that the Greek word for “head” means “leader”.

    This is a common assumption because in the English language, “head” can be synonymous with “leader”. But not all languages equate “head” with “leadership”.

    Source:
    Five Myths of Male Headship
    http://juniaproject.com/5-myths-of-male-headship/

  206. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    “Any sermon can claim to be Bible–based. But the Bible wasn’t nailed to the Cross to pay for your sins.”

    Amen!! Print this and stick this on your refrigerator folks!

  207. Lydia wrote:

    I was going to ask similar. But I can’t get past the “ship” in headship. It’s a black hole of textual gymnastics but is accepted “Christianese” and no one at SBTS will dare question it.
    Is there a corresponding bodyship? Appendageship? It just doesn’t work with Kephale. It’s made up. Added in as meaning. If it is about heirarchy then they have serious textual problems elsewhere. That is why proof texting is convenient.

    Comps also try to pass Male Hierarchy off under the term “Servant Leadership.”

    What complementarians want is to defend and maintain “leadership” over women, the “servant” part is just there to soften what’s really going on.

    I get tired of the word games played by comps.

    I read a web page or two that said that the word “complementarian” itself was actually not theirs to start with, they stole it from gender egalitarians but took it over to use as their own.

    Even egalitarians believe that the sexes complement one another – but comps don’t stop there, they say that women should be subordinate to men (or at least wives to husbands, depending on the flavor of complementarian you are speaking with).

  208. @ okrapod:
    Thank you okrapod for your perspective. It resembles my SBC journey in many ways. Kids do childish things – like playing on the side of a steep mountain – but when adults do the same thing, it is foolish indeed. Sad to see the church in such a mess.

  209. Daisy wrote:

    there are Christians out there who are complementarian out of love and loyalty to God, and they truly want to be faithful to what THEY THINK the Bible is saying.

    That is so true and it is also true that many people believe that Complementarianism means that men and women are complementary. They have no idea that hierarchy is embedded in the definition of Complementarianism. Why should they? If you look up “complementary” in a dictionary, there is nothing about hierarchy. The fact is, Complementarians have hijacked a word and are using it deceitfully to hide hierarchy within it.

    That is how good people who love God and who love his Word have been deceived by this system. These are not conservatives. They are radicals who love a System.

  210. Gram3 wrote:

    The fact is, Complementarians have hijacked a word and are using it deceitfully to hide hierarchy within it.

    This is true. I don’t think I ever heard this term in real life before reading this blog, but grew up with some sort of basic ‘men are pastors, in marriage, every once in a long while, the man will have to pull rank’ (which as an adult sounds completely stupid). But that’s pretty different from stay at home, no education, men decide if your dishes are clean enough or they take you before the elders. That is a LONG way from telling a woman to just submit harder to her abusive husband or she is in sin, because gender roles. This stuff exists on a continuum and although I have rejected the original basic stuff, I don’t ultimately think it is terribly harmful – particularly in a marriage where a husband is too smart or loving to truly ‘pull rank’.

    [Another issue that deceives with ‘complementary’ is they try to say egalitarians think men and women are exactly the same, and then tie it in with lgbt agenda stuff and then make you check yourself on the proper side of the aisle, and if you dare to say ‘hey, sometimes women actually know stuff and should be making decisions’ they shout you down as a feminist.]

    Where I really, really get irritated though, is in the way the ‘male headship/patriarchy/comp’ folks deal with problems. It’s like ‘oh everything will be happy clappy if we do this right’. Well what about when it isn’t? What to do you do then????? This is what I was trying to express in my comment before. This is where you see whether people or policy is more important. This is where you see if people are willing or able to question what they think.

  211. Lea wrote:

    and if you dare to say ‘hey, sometimes women actually know stuff and should be making decisions’ they shout you down as a feminist

    Depending on the type of complementarian you are talking to-

    Some of them will say that women can make some of the decisions in a marriage, provided they are not “serious” decisions.

    I get into this on a blog post on my Daisy blog. There is a complementarian lady who was essentially saying in her blog post that God designed men to be better decision makers or leaders of families (really? the Bible does not say any of that stuff, but regardless), so, she argued, wives should defer to husbands in all things, especially the big things of life-

    But, if the husband is an understanding kind of guy, she said, he should occasionally cave in to the wife every so often in a disagreement, like (and she used an example like this one, or something similar)-

    If the husband wants to eat at Burger King tonight, but the wife wants Taco Bell, then, she told readers, the husband ought to, shucks diddley darn, be a super duper nice guy and let the little lady determine the menu.

    The complementarian woman who wrote this post was saying “tie breaking votes” is not what complementarianism is really all about (she was sort of responding to a question or criticism by author Ruth Tucker), but she goes on in her post to end up defining comp by….

    ….”man gets tie breaker vote”

    One of the things I found so annoying about her post about all this-

    It’s incredibly demeaning and patronizing to women to say, “well, no, ladies, you really should not be able to make final, big choices in your lives or marriages, allow your husband to have final say, but hey, it’s not so bad, because your husband should at least let you pick whether you eat at Pizza Hut tonight or Burger King!”

    She’s still advocating for husbands to treat their grown wives as though they are five year old children, but the women reading that post are supposed to be okay with this and think it’s honoring to them.

    No, it’s not respectful or honoring. It’s insulting, condescending horse doody.

    The husband gets to make the “big” choices, like if and where to move to a new city, but the wife gets to pick Burger King vs. Taco Bell???

    The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that God granted men with superior family leadership skills or life- decision making abilities, which is one of the things she was using to justify her views.

    She is just reading all that malarky into the “male headship” stuff.

  212. Lea wrote:

    and if you dare to say ‘hey, sometimes women actually know stuff and should be making decisions’ they shout you down as a feminist.]

    And yes, by the way, and sorry to be a broken record, but yes, if you ever disagree with complementarianism and point out how sexist and unfair it is to girls and women, many comps will automatically label you a feminist and/or a liberal.

    I’ve never been a liberal or feminist in my entire life, I just hate sexism and know sexism when and where I see it. That doesn’t make me a “liberal” or a “feminist.”

    I’ve been right wing my entire life. It’s so annoying when complementarians toss the, “you’re must be a feminist” comment at me, (or they just assume it to be so).

  213. Lea wrote:

    Where I really, really get irritated though, is in the way the ‘male headship/patriarchy/comp’ folks deal with problems. It’s like ‘oh everything will be happy clappy if we do this right’. Well what about when it isn’t? What to do you do then????? This is what I was trying to express in my comment before. This is where you see whether people or policy is more important. This is where you see if people are willing or able to question what they think.

    This became even more evident in situations like where complementarians were reviewing Ruth Tucker’s book a year or more ago.

    Tim Challies even said in his blog post on it that he didn’t want anyone to read it – I can’t remember how he put it exactly, but he was discouraging complementarians from even looking at it!

    Defending or propogating the Male Hierarchy view of Complementarianism is more important to 99% of complementarians I’ve come across than actually caring for and about women who may be in abusive marriages or in some other dangerous situation.

  214. okrapod wrote:

    Along that line we used to call phony theology and puny philosophy ‘mental m (instering) ‘ to use the edited form.

    And much that goes by the term “worship” in the UK is, in reality, capable of becoming emotional m…inistry. Certainly the word has increasingly come to refer to a state of emotional arousal.

  215. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve been right wing my entire life. It’s so annoying when complementarians toss the, “you’re must be a feminist” comment at me, (or they just assume it to be so).

    So…. equality is a bad thing?

  216. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    So…. equality is a bad thing?

    Complementarians define equality as being “sameness” (which it’s not), and/or, they define women asking for equality as being liberal or feminist.

    Some complementarians are deceptive and say that women are “already” equal under complementarianism

    -but no, they are not “already” equal.

    Prohibiting women from being preachers or from having equal say in a marriage, based only on their biological sex, is not “equality,” it is a gender-fied Jim Crow theology.

  217. @ Daisy:
    How small does your worldview have to be in order to reduce life and relationships to mere labels? These great “manly-men-o-gawd” can’t see anything beyond their label maker.

  218. @ Gram3:
    I googled Zondervan to see if I could find any financial data. No luck but I did learn that HarperCollins own Zondervan and News Corporation own HarperCollins. And that is a completely different ball game.

  219. Gram3 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    no one at SBTS will dare question it

    Some have, and I know them. Metaphorical blood was spilled and masks fell and eyes were opened. There are a very few who are willing to question.

    They did not lose their jobs like all those people in the 90s? They must have been well connected. I don’t suppose you can name names which is usually how this stuff works.

  220. @ Burwell:
    Look no further than your city government. It’s happening in many cities. In most cases, the churches follow the refurbushing of old buildings into cool condos and trendy restaurants. It’s no different than the YRR and Driscoll looking at high end zip codes to church plant.

  221. @ Lea:
    Someone would have to Define liberal for me. Example. Giles is liberal? NT Wright Liberal? Are we talking doctrinally or socially? Are we talking doctrinally or politically?

    The old labels aren’t working anymore for me.

  222. Lydia wrote:

    The old labels aren’t working anymore for me.

    Funny, there was an article today about Kevin DeYoung (maybe?) and somebody else talking about if they should drop evangelical.

    All these words are constantly being jettisoned as people figure them out, or propagandized as evil and then they become bad PR.

    It would be nice if we could agree on basic language, but orwell called this issue a long time ago.

    War is Peace.
    Freedom is Slavery.
    Equal but Different Roles.
    Servant Leadership.
    Etc.

  223. @ Max:
    Peter Lumpkins does a lot of Baptist History research. The amusing part of reading about his old finds is how much Baptists argued about things like doctrines and Creed’s. Of course they argued using pamphlets like one did back in the day. Churches would split over something like general or limited atonement.

    Frankly, it is my opinion that a lot of these fights became big tent because of the women’s missionary Union. I honestly do not think the SBC would be around today if not for what they accomplished early on.

    I am from the wing that said no King but Jesus and no Creed but scripture. We are all priests in the Holy priesthood and have soul competency.

    I had absolutely no idea that we were really Presbyterians until Al Mohler came along.

  224. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    The old labels aren’t working anymore for me.

    Funny, there was an article today about Kevin DeYoung (maybe?) and somebody else talking about if they should drop evangelical.

    All these words are constantly being jettisoned as people figure them out, or propagandized as evil and then they become bad PR.

    Doesn’t work. Because the crazies latch on to the new word as fast as you can change it. And that’s two words that now have “diabolical meanings”. Then three. Then four….

    Like the George Carlin routine about how “Crippled” became “Handicapped” became “Handi-Capable” became “Differently Abled” etc. Within two seconds the bullies adapted to the new word as a clobber word.

    Several years ago, we had something similar happen in Furry Fandom. Because so many crazies (including “alternative lifestyle” sexual crazies) were glomming onto the fandom and letting their freak flags fly (“I’m FURRY!”), a lot of Furries tried to claim to be “Anthro” in order to distance themselves from the crazies. Guess what happened? The Crazies started calling themselves “Anthro” too and flying their freak flags higher. Except now it was “I’m ANTHRO!” instead of “I’m FURRY!”

  225. @ Lea:
    Ha! We don’t get to agree because someone will plant you in a category of their own choosing. I am big on individual identity not group identity. But it’s an uphill battle on that one.

  226. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    So…. equality is a bad thing?

    It is if you’re the one on top with the special privileges.

    “I GOT MINE,
    I GOT MINE,
    I DON’T WANT A THING TO CHANGE
    NOW THAT I GOT MINE!
    — Glenn Frye, “I Got Mine”

  227. Daisy wrote:

    She’s still advocating for husbands to treat their grown wives as though they are five year old children, but the women reading that post are supposed to be okay with this and think it’s honoring to them.

    “Five year old children” WITH BENEFITS (nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean know what I mean…)

    No wonder so many child sexual abuse cases are surfacing among these dudes.
    Their idea of marriage and relationship is already halfway there.

  228. Lydia wrote:

    @ Refugee:
    Oh boy! That just doesn’t work at all. But then it was Warnke.

    Warnke whom Cornerstone exposed as a total fraud.

  229. Lydia wrote:

    We don’t get to agree because someone will plant you in a category of their own choosing.

    Well, that’s true enough.

    Of course, you can scoff at them. And refuse to label yourself. Really the only way through any of this nonsense is to not care what anybody thinks. Maybe this is the real reason people care less about this when they get older. They realize how stupid it all is. Does that mean I’m official old?

  230. Lydia wrote:

    I am from the wing that said no King but Jesus and no Creed but scripture. We are all priests in the Holy priesthood and have soul competency.

    Amen, Sister! I will see you in that wing in Heaven, if not before then!

    The core distinctive held by Baptists at large and within the pre-Mohler Southern Baptist Convention has been the competency of the individual soul before God in religious expression. Soul competency is a principle that runs throughout the Old and New Testaments if one reads Scripture through a spiritual lens, rather than theological blinders. In matters of faith, we are free to choose and responsible for our choice. It’s as clear as the nose on your face, unless you can’t see your nose through the smoke and mirrors of aberrant theology.

  231. Lydia wrote:

    I had absolutely no idea that we were really Presbyterians until Al Mohler came along.

    See, they’ve made an error here, because at that point…why not just BE Presbyterians? And maybe they’ll wonder into the bad ‘women are not prevented from anything’ kind and find they like it.

    Which cycles back around to this article: https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/it%E2%80%99s-not-about-doctrine-why-people-leave-churches-over-women-teaching?platform=hootsuite

  232. @ Max:

    Interesting that they never articulated that until Mullins came along, IIRC. And interesting that they squeezed it out of the BFM when they got a chance. There is surely some background to all that, but for the life of me I don’t know what.

    Personally I think that both concepts are true only up to a point. We are not free to make up our own religion as we go along with just anything and everything that comes along. In my parish we get reminded of that periodically-the primacy of scripture. Maybe some people were abusing the ideas, particularly soul competency?

  233. refugee wrote:

    A.Tumbleweed wrote:
    and who does not.
    It’s a corollary to the Cult of the Family.

    Weird. That was not the quote I was quoting.

  234. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    Wayne Grudem subordinates the Spirit to both the Father and the Son in his Systematic Theology. I don’t have the page number, but in his section on the Trinity he compares the Spirit to the children in a family – under the authority of other the two members of the Trinity.
    Now THAT is really whacked! What are they on anyway? The “Cult of Systematic Theology” rolls on…

    Oddly, if you quote two things in a row, the system seems to retain the pointer to the first comment quoted, instead of inserting the new pointer.

    I was going to say, in answer to the blockquote that will hopefully appear above, that it is a corollary of the Cult of the Family.

    Part and parcel of the statement I’ve heard from quite a few of the Family Worshippers (not worship in a family, but worship of the family) that says that more christians are being made by being born to believers and raised up in the faith, which seems to be reflected in a statistic someone quoted in a recent comment that more baptisms are being chalked up to children in church families being baptized than to new converts.

  235. Max wrote:

    Adam Embry wrote:
    It’d be a mistake to think seminarians just fall in line by reading Grudem.
    It’s obvious that seminarians don’t need to be reading Grudem! But the big boys now on the SBC throne promote him at their institutions of higher learning … although there’s nothing high about lowering Jesus.

    And it’s not just them. People I know in the NCFCA, a homeschool national speech and debate league, speak very highly of Grudem’s ST as a resource for the students and coaches.

  236. refugee wrote:

    So will future scholars speak of the Grudemian or Mohlerian heresies, do you think?

    Maybe, if they are as sucessful as they want to be, people in the future will just call it “Baptist”… and everyone will nod knowingly.

  237. Lydia wrote:

    The amusing part of reading about his old finds is how much Baptists argued about things like doctrines and Creed’s.

    Respectfully, I’m at a loss on trying to understand what there is to fight about with say The Apostle’s Creed and The Athanasian Creed. Since I’m not a Southerner born and raised in the Baptist tradition but rather the Germanic Lutheran tradition of the upper Great Lakes region, I suppose it would explain a great deal.

    Lydia wrote:

    I am from the wing that said no King but Jesus and no Creed but scripture. We are all priests in the Holy priesthood and have soul competency.

    Again, and said with respect, I am of the notion that people who mind their P(s) and Q(s), and who don’t do the kinds of things to others they wouldn’t want done to themselves, need no king…

  238. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I had absolutely no idea that we were really Presbyterians until Al Mohler came along.

    See, they’ve made an error here, because at that point…why not just BE Presbyterians? And maybe they’ll wonder into the bad ‘women are not prevented from anything’ kind and find they like it.

    Which cycles back around to this article: https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/it%E2%80%99s-not-about-doctrine-why-people-leave-churches-over-women-teaching?platform=hootsuite

    The Presbyterians have many wings. There is a presbyterian Seminary across the street from sbts that is mainline. It’s uncanny. Then you have the very scary OPC guys. You have the Frozen chosen and the social justice wings.

    I walked into an Episcopalian Church several months ago for a recital and there was a life-size poster of Al Mohler.

    I think I’ll just remain a done. 🙂

  239. @ Lydia:

    Episcopalian is a noun. Episcopal is an adjective. And episcopalian worships in an episcopal church.

    If that looks complicated just imagine how complicated the rest of it gets. Just saying.

  240. @ Muff Potter:
    I can kind of sorta explain it. Baptist do not have a shared trajectory of History like Lutheran’s do. They were never a part of State Church tradition in Europe. There are several lines of them coming out of Europe and England to the United States.

    There is no one source that explains it all and historical Scholars are all over the map. And they all want to claim Roger Williams. 🙂

    I find this lack pedigree and eschewing of the state Church traditions refreshing. Doesn’t mean many didn’t try to label and categorize. The founders of the SBC were mainly Princeton men who were more Presbyterian. That didn’t last very long after the war.

    Baptists are all over the map and it’s often embarrassing. 🙂

  241. Gram3 wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    You should ask God.
    Unless you are an open theist, of course.

    If Nick would be a Calvinist, it wouldn’t matter. Decisions are already made for him. 🙂

  242. @ Lydia:

    There are Anglicans who are not Episcopalians here in the US. For example: our parish is an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Church, but many Anglo-Catholic parishes are not affiliated with TEC. TEC is affiliated with the Anglican Communion but that is not the same as being one of the Anglican groups who may or may not be also so affiliated. So it all just depends on how specific you want to be.

    This bunch wrote the book on how complicated it can get.

  243. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I googled Zondervan to see if I could find any financial data.

    What is germane is a non-disparagement clause in the authors’ contracts. That is what would, in effect, buy the silence of any Evangelical or Reformed author under Zondervan contracts. At the time of Grudem’s ST, I imagine there were quite a few.

  244. @ Lydia:

    In the same crowd, but not raised baptist.
    No king but Jesus, and no creed but scripture. Soul competency, and priesthood of believers.
    This was ingrained in my childhood and accepted, confirmed by me in young adulthood.
    Personally, I think steadfast belief in this has kept me from wandering around in the faith.

  245. Lydia wrote:

    They did not lose their jobs

    I had in mind some students I know from SBTS. For various reasons, over the years Gramp3 and I have known many students from several seminaries across a very broad spectrum stretching from conservative Evangelical to conservative Baptist to conservative Presbyterian. We’ve pretty much seen it all. :))

    As a result of their experiences, one of them dropped out of seminary after two years. The other graduated but is a Done, the last we heard. Interestingly, the first one was crushed under the burden of discovering the disconnect with reality while the second was stiffened with resolve against the System. Obviously there are True Believers who arrive on campus and who leave three years later even Truer True Believers.

  246. @ Mae:
    I think it helped me recognize red flags quicker, too. I have watched a lot of young people here leave the YRR movement in a fog. They tend toward atheism upon leaving. Very burned out. Disgusted. When I was their age, we were just backsliders. This is something altogether different. It’s concerning.

  247. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    “So is this one of those doctrine defining sort of times like the Councils of Nicea or Luther’s 95 theses?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i suspect CBMW is still holding out hope for their Council at Danvers of 1987 where they all convened on that historic day, tall funny hats & all.

  248. @ Gram3:
    I know a variety like that, too. I have not met many who confronted the system or Mohler. I have noticed that those who come from a career in the real world who are in their 30s or 40s are the ones who are the most disgusted. It really paid off well for the young restless and reformed to target youth groups and colleges. Get them before their frontal lobe’s are formed.

  249. refugee wrote:

    So will future scholars speak of the Grudemian or Mohlerian heresies, do you think?

    Well, I’m not a scholar – and barely a gentleman – but I’m leaning in that direction already.

  250. Lydia wrote:

    I had absolutely no idea that we were really Presbyterians until Al Mohler came along.

    The 1689ers needed to be Westminsterish in the seventeenth century. So there’s that. I’m going to generalize here a bit about Baptists and Presbyterians because I’ve thought a bit about why Mohler has been so set on this course.

    Presbys have a reputation as being bookish and Baptists don’t. Presbys have numerous Systematic Theologies which Baptists rightly study. Since Baptists have not *historically* needed long training periods and large libraries, Baptists have had a very portable theology, and that is a competitive advantage on the frontiers wherever those frontiers might be, to put it bluntly, which is how I usually end up putting it.

    IMHO, Presbys have numbers envy and are scholarship boasty. Baptists are numbers boasty and have scholarship envy. I think that the Gospel Glitterati movement solves a lot of problems for some men who have number problems or scholarship problems but makes the boasty thing off-the-charts worse.

    So now we have an oversupply of seminary-trained Southern Baptists that the SBC is doing what about? A bubble in more ways than one.

  251. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mae:
    I think it helped me recognize red flags quicker, too. I have watched a lot of young people here leave the YRR movement in a fog. They tend toward atheism upon leaving. Very burned out. Disgusted. When I was their age, we were just backsliders. This is something altogether different. It’s concerning.

    So true. Did my share of backsliding but never felt estranged from God. Just didn’t like rules back then.
    I’ve heard this many times now about Neo Cals abandoning the faith altogether. It’s hard for me to understand fully why they end up giving up on God. It is very troubling.

  252. @ Gram3:
    I found another blogger who said this, agreeing with your hypothesis

    But I wonder if there is something other than a change of heart behind Grudem’s reticence on NIV 2011. This could be related to his book Politics According to the Bible. As this book is published by Zondervan, and promoted on their Koinonia blog, there could be contract conditions preventing Grudem from publicly condemning NIV 2011, another Zondervan product. And Grudem would certainly be wise not to cross the lawyers for News Corporation, owners of Zondervan. Yes, Zondervan is part of Rupert Murdoch’s controversial empire, which goes to show that even the worst egg can be good in parts
    http://gentlewisdom.org/category/individuals/complementarians/wayne-grudem/

  253. Lydia wrote:

    I am big on individual identity not group identity. But it’s an uphill battle on that one.

    Well, yes. It is so much easier to exploit an entire group as a group. Individual-by-individual is costly and risky. Once the group identity is set, each individual becomes stickier, too.

    Groups are fashionable these days. Individualism is out of style, I’m afraid. I’ve heard the “i” word used

  254. @ Gram3:
    Good points when one contemplates who started Harvard, Princeton, etc. Peter Lumpkins does a lot of Baptist history research. One thing that astounds me is how little of the scholarship was passed down. It’s the same in depth arguments they are having today! They had this fight over and over and many churches and associations were splitting over Calvinism (the atonement) long before the civil war. I think that explains the individualism and disdain for top down hierarchy. I read that stuff and am amazed the SBC lasted as long as it did but I credit the WMU for that.

    (I guess not having to lug around all those books and pamphlets made them more mobile. 🙂

  255. @ Mae:
    Because they have been immersed in a controlling fatalistic God. With very little Jesus Christ. And immersed in it before their frontal cortex is fully formed. For some of them it is the legalism and for others it’s the fatalism. It’s exhausting. Are they really saved? How can they really really know if they were chosen? If the course has been set they see no reason to pray. And heaven forbid some tragedy befalls them because it is God orchestrating it for his glory.

    Sheesh. They should be studying for their science exams and riding bikes or something.

    Thankfully, a lot of teens are not really paying that close of attention and it doesn’t affect them like this. But the ones that take it very seriously fall the hardest.

  256. @ Gram3:
    (Me too) . But impossible to explain. I have noticed when in these discussions with people who grew up in other denominations, it sounds like chaos. They find comfort in and prefer structure and an entrenched organizational hierarchy. Something I cannot stand, myself. Of course the SBC has adopted that now. Everything is scripted right down to the votes at convention.

  257. @ Lydia:
    What they need/needed is, just give me Jesus.

    All the theology books, lectures, disciplines, will do no good if knowing Jesus isn’t the quest.

    Jesus saves and He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow. That’s the only foundation that lasts.

  258. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I found another blogger who said this, agreeing with your hypothesis

    But I wonder if there is something other than a change of heart behind Grudem’s reticence on NIV 2011

    Well, what do you know! When thinking about why someone might do something that seems odd, I pull out Dr. Occam’s razor and what I have learned by observing about human nature. I do know something about a few of the things I ramble about here.

  259. Lydia wrote:

    The Presbyterians have many wings. There is a presbyterian Seminary across the street from sbts that is mainline. It’s uncanny

    I know someone who went there or maybe to the conservative one many years ago…anyways…who said they used to be very friendly between the two schools and after the conservative takeover things got very chilly. Which is sad.

  260. Lydia wrote:

    Peter Lumpkins does a lot of Baptist history research.

    I could name drop one of my 18th century people (who definitely did not have any degrees), but that would be showy. 🙂

  261. Lydia wrote:

    They find comfort in and prefer structure and an entrenched organizational hierarchy. Something I cannot stand, myself. Of course the SBC has adopted that now. Everything is scripted right down to the votes at convention.

    The ideal of a “free church” of Jesus Christ is quickly fading from the SBC conversation. Within the New Calvinist system, a Southern Baptist is free to believe according to the dictates of his conscience only as long as he agrees with the new reformers and their agenda! They alone proclaim the true “gospel” which is Calvinism, so Southern Baptists must get in line or get out – they have captured the SBC throne and are here to stay!

  262. Gram3 wrote:

    So now we have an oversupply of seminary-trained Southern Baptists that the SBC is doing what about?

    Putting them to work as YRR church planters right out of seminary! There’s no place else for them to go … unless they want to take over a traditional church by stealth and deception. That is a tougher row to hoe, but some of them go that route and justify lying about their theological persuasion for the good of the movement.

  263. elastigirl wrote:

    i suspect CBMW is still holding out hope for their Council at Danvers of 1987 where they all convened on that historic day, tall funny hats & all.

    Dunce hats?

  264. Under point 8 in the link Victorious provided I’m not sure I comprehend Bilezikian’s point of why Paul was qualifying leadership in a specific way regarding men to Timothy and Titus. He says:

    Cite a biblical text that exclusively disqualifies women from exercising church leadership ministries.

    The Facts

    The one passage that is ultimately adduced to claim that the New Testament prohibits women to teach or to have authority over men is found in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. However, the same section of Scriptures imposes similarly restrictive leadership and ministry prohibitions on men. According to it, a man’s family status provides the indispensable credential for his ability to lead the church (3:4-5, 12). The only men who may aspire to positions of church leadership, which include the ministries of teaching and managing the affairs of the church, must be married (“husbands of one wife”), and have children who are submissive and respectful, and who are believers (Titus 1:6). According to this text, ability to manage family provides indispensable proof of ability to manage the local church.

    Such requirements disqualify from service not only women, but also all men who are single; all men married but childless; all men married but who have only one child; all men married but who have children too young to profess faith; all men married but who have one unbelieving child or children; all men married and whose children are believers but not submissive; all men married and whose children are believers and submissive but not respectful.

    These exceptionally harsh and restrictive requirements are all the more amazing since the New Testament favors singleness for both men and women as preferred status to do ministry (Matt. 19:11-12, 1 Cor. 7:25-35), and since the New Testament emphatically requires the total utilization of all available spiritual gifts in the ministries of the church, regardless of marital status or gender.

    Of course, the Scriptures provide an explanation for those apparent contradictions. The singularly restrictive structure of ministry prescribed in 1 Timothy and Titus was established as a remedial measure for churches that had fallen into a state of terminal crisis. Its underlying principle of restricting ministry in sick or immature churches to few leaders of proven managerial competency is relevant today to churches that find themselves in similarly extreme situations. However, the prevailing New Testament model of full participation of the total constituency in the ministries of the local church applies to healthy churches (See Bilezikian, Community 101, pp. 82-128).

    Could someone rephrase that last paragraph for me? Not sure I get it. Mind is not engaging well…hard week for my health.

  265. Max wrote:

    Putting them to work as YRR church planters right out of seminary!

    As store-front operations, perhaps, but that is unlikely to support a pastor and his family. But here is what is coming to a planning and zoning commission near you if you are in a sizeable city capable of supporting a number of new church plants in “good” zip codes. Churches are shutting down and merging with other churches and selling their property. It is not like the SBC is just rolling in excess cash to bootstrap and sustain the first five years of new churches while they build their roster of giving units. I do not believe the numbers put out by any entity. Sorry guys. Transparency or no trust.

    Bringing in Harvest and SGM hides the decline in all of them by aggregating the numbers, I suspect, and also gooses enrollment at the seminaries which also hides the decline there. Wild speculation, I know.

  266. @kin Ok I’ve read it enough to see he’s saying Paul’s responding to specific problems in a local body and is steering them in the right direction by putting limits on leadership *for them*. Maybe men who had multiple wives were looked to as leaders, and he only wants men who have one wife. In addressing this specific issue he is not dismissing the idea that a woman cannot be qualified. The over-arching principle is that healthy leadership comes from a unified body of believers made up of men and women.

    Something like that?

  267. @ Mae:

    They aren’t ready to hear it but I always suggest reading the Gospels and only the Gospels when they may want to take another look. What Jesus said, did, didn’t say and didn’t do. Jesus is nothing like what they were taught. Paul has been twisted into a Greek orator teaching dualism to pagan audiences, imo.

  268. kin wrote:

    Mind is not engaging well…hard week for my health.

    Wow. Know how that goes, and I hope you feel better quickly. I don’t know what Dr. Bilezikian means exactly, but maybe someone has that book and can look up the reference.

  269. Lydia wrote:

    You know really old people!

    Well, yes. 🙂 I have all kinds of Baptists in my family tree. I may even have some of those respectable Charleston ones or Philadelphia ones lurking about. Don’t tell Max.

  270. @ Gram3:
    I think you are on target. We have no idea how many church plant fails there are because they don’t report. One way around this was Acts 29 which is not SBC but Namb provided tons of help as a partner. It’s all coming to a big financial crisis like we saw at IMB which is why I think they are changing the focus to bring in a new crop, deflect and train for other things. There is always Guidestone to worry about. Pensions.

    I look at long term patterns. So far they have gotten by with hiding salaries, numbers, financials from inquiring pastors who get the run around. oh and incidentally, the “expert” church planter guru at LifeWay got out. Is now at Wheaton. And that was pretty quiet for a guy who was everywhere. As to jobs to feed the seminary students into, I think they were planning on the ERLC NGO’s globally and all over the US like Catholic Charities sort of. Lots of UN and Federal dollars. They have a very different definition of missions, now.

  271. @ kin:
    I wish I could help but I always found him confusing. I don’t even agree with his take on “husband of one wife” which I think, considering the historical backdrop, concerns polygamy.

    The Greek means ANYONE who desires…so I don’t agree with his limiting interpretation but take into consideration we ARE talking about Ephesus that had the huge cult Temple of Diana. In Acts 19, we get a picture of what it was like there.

    By his interpretation, Timothy was not qualified. Nor Paul.

  272. Lydia wrote:

    I can kind of sorta explain it. Baptist do not have a shared trajectory of History like Lutheran’s do. They were never a part of State Church tradition in Europe. There are several lines of them coming out of Europe and England to the United States.

    Makes sense Lyds. Even the regional trajectories within our own Nation have significant differences. How much more so when the ethnic origins of those who settled the South and those who went to the upper Great Lakes region had disparate cultures from the get go.

  273. That heresy is sufficiently bad as to render you non-Christian. You have to believe the Nicene Creed or you aren’t any denomination of Christian.

  274. elastigirl wrote:

    i suspect CBMW is still holding out hope for their Council at Danvers of 1987 where they all convened on that historic day, tall funny hats & all.

    I am a sucker for tall, funny hats. I want pics.

  275. Gram3 wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I wonder sometimes whether I’m too indecisive; it’s hard to tell, though.

    You should ask God.

    Nick’s classic ADHD. The “indecisiveness” that goes with it is, like a lot of vital things, both a gift and a burden. But one of the things I like about Nick is that I can talk to him about literally anything I want to, and he’ll run with Me on it, for long enough that he’ll get what I’m saying. He’s prone to wild goose chases too, of course; but I can cope with that.

    Best regards,

    God

  276. kin wrote:

    Something like that?

    I found this in Albert Barnes’ Commentary:

    he occasion on which it was written is specified by the apostle himself, with such clearness, that there can be no doubt on that point. Paul had left Titus in Crete, to “set in order the things which were wanting, and to ordain elders in every city” Tit_1:5;

    The principal difficulties which it was apprehended Titus would meet with in the performance of his duties there, and which in fact made his labours there desirable, arose from two sources: (1.) the character of the Cretans themselves; and (2.) the influence of Judaizing teachers.
    (1.) the character of the Cretans themselves was such as to demand the vigilance and care of Titus. They were a people characterized for insincerity, falsehood, and gross living; Tit_1:12. There was great danger, therefore, that their religion would be hollow and insincere, and great need of caution lest they should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity required in the gospel; Tit_1:13.

    (2.) the influence of Judaizing teachers was to be guarded against. It is evident from Act_2:11, that there were Jews residing there;

    From this epistle, also, it is clear that one of the great dangers to piety in the churches of Crete, arose from the efforts of such teachers, and from the plausible arguments which they would use in favour of the Mosaic law; see Tit_1:10, Tit_1:14-16; Tit_3:9. To counteract the effect of their teaching, it was necessary to have ministers of the gospel appointed in every important place, who should be qualified for their work.

    Paul knew that to counter the false teachings of the Judaisers, it would be necessary to have leaders who were familiar with the Mosaic Law. Since women were not taught the Law, it would necessitate male leaders in churches where they were a danger.

    Hope that helps. You can search other commentaries for info as well.

  277. @ Victorious:
    Just to add…that Paul was being informed via mail of the various problems in various churches and directed his responses to those areas that needed to be corrected. For example, he writes to the Corinthians…

    ” For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you…1Cor. 1:11 ”

    He tells Timothy to “remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…” 1 Tim. 1:3 The worship of Diana no doubt had some influence on the necessity to refute some of those teachings there.

    Hope this helps.

  278. Gram3 wrote:

    As store-front operations, perhaps, but that is unlikely to support a pastor and his family.

    SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has been planting such churches (with primarily YRR pastors) at the tune of $70 million per year, which is a sizable chunk of their annual budget. After the NAMB seed money is gone, most of these young guys struggle to make it; they just can’t survive on their own, unless they are able to attract some sugar-daddy members to pay the bills. It’s just a matter of time before the well runs dry to sustain them. As you note, the ones that make it beyond a couple of years are merging with other area churches. SBC seminaries are setting up a no-win situation for their graduates. Traditional churches (non-Calvinist) don’t want them and the competition for church planting jobs is getting more intense. It was a better model for new graduates when they would come out of seminary and serve under a senior pastor for a few years in a traditional church … but, of course, they have been indoctrinated to believe that such churches have not been preaching the true gospel for the last 150 years.

    Gram3 wrote:

    I do not believe the numbers put out by any entity.

    SBC has been putting out funny numbers for years. Who really believes that there are 16 million Southern Baptists? I think the number is more like 8 million and half of those don’t attend church regularly. My wife was a volunteer church secretary for a while at a rural church. When she examined the membership books, she reported to church leaders that there were several people on the rolls who were dead, some who had moved from the area, and others who were just missing and unaccountable for. She was chastised for bringing that up, since decreasing the annual report of numbers for their church would make them look bad in their association and State convention. It’s all about nickels and noses in the SBC and both are declining. The new reformation is helping to run a once-great denomination into the ground.

  279. @ Max:

    A certain youth pastor who went to plant an Acts 29 church in a heavily churched Southern large city, took his former church’s contacts and constantly appealed for money by snail mail and email. That has never been the way it was done in the SBC as far as I knew, until Al Mohler. Churches planted churches and supported them with state and associations.

  280. @ kin:
    Kin, here is my litmus test for every interpreted “no girls allowed” verse in the NT.

    Is there one single clear prohibition from God in the OT for women teaching or even leading both men and women?.

    I have searched. Others have searched and searched. Nothing. And God is always clear about such important things.

  281. okrapod wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I was banned from sgmsurvivirs for daring to suggest Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and equal in all things . (They did not understand the Hebrew mindset that the son representing the father is considered equal to the father in all transactions.. Its the main reason why the Pharisees wanted to kill him! John 5)
    Those two ideas, ‘God in the flesh and equal in all things’ compared with ‘son *representing* the father is considered equal in *all transactions* are two different ideas. Similar but different. They could both be true, but they are not identical.

    I missed this earlier. I am not sure why they would need to be identical to communicate that Jesus was God in the flesh to us 2000 years later. I am not sure where you are coming from. What am I missing?

    I do believe that God communicates to people where they are in understanding. In John 5 it shows the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus “because” He was equating Himself as equal to God as His Son. That was how they thought at the time.

    On another note, we have not even touched on “Caesar as the son of god” and how that played into the whole scenario from another pov.

  282. okrapod wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I was banned from sgmsurvivirs for daring to suggest Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and equal in all things . (They did not understand the Hebrew mindset that the son representing the father is considered equal to the father in all transactions.. Its the main reason why the Pharisees wanted to kill him! John 5)

    Those two ideas, ‘God in the flesh and equal in all things’ compared with ‘son *representing* the father is considered equal in *all transactions* are two different ideas. Similar but different. They could both be true, but they are not identical.

    I am lost. Not sure why they need to be identical to communicate a concept 2000 years ago.

    I believe that God communicates to People based on where they are in their understanding and even cultural beliefs. In John 5, the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus ba himself

  283. okrapod wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I was banned from sgmsurvivirs for daring to suggest Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and equal in all things . (They did not understand the Hebrew mindset that the son representing the father is considered equal to the father in all transactions.. Its the main reason why the Pharisees wanted to kill him! John 5)

    Those two ideas, ‘God in the flesh and equal in all things’ compared with ‘son *representing* the father is considered equal in *all transactions* are two different ideas. Similar but different. They could both be true, but they are not identical.

    I am lost. Not sure why they need to be identical to communicate a concept 2000 years ago. What am I missing from your comment?

    I believe that God communicates to People based on where they are in their understanding and even cultural beliefs. In John 5, the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus based upon him calling himself the Son.

    (Caesar called himself son of god which makes it even more interesting.)

    I am trying to understand it from a pre enlightenment Hebrew mindset.

  284. Is TWW experiencing heavy traffic,? It’s glitchy and I thought a comment was lost because it keeps shutting down and reloading. I don’t doubt that this is a very popular series. Hee hee.

  285. hoodaticus wrote:

    You have to believe the Nicene Creed or you aren’t any denomination of Christian.

    There were devout German Lutherans who ‘believed’ all of that stuff fervently and who still shipped Jews East on the railways.
    ‘Beliefs’ are easy, they don’t cost much at all.

  286. Lydia wrote:

    Is there one single clear prohibition from God in the OT for women teaching or even leading both men and women?.

    I have searched. Others have searched and searched. Nothing. And God is always clear about such important things.

    Which makes more sense (in the Timothy letters), Paul writing to his protege in Ephesus with specific items for specific local questions in an ethical sense, or did he intend for his letters to become a kind of new ‘Torah’ for all Christians in all times and in all spaces?
    I have argued (Cheryl Schatz does it better) here and elsewhere that the latter case is not much older than 40-45 years and almost exclusively American in origin.
    E.W. Bullinger (hardly a ‘liberal’) wrote this almost a century ago as a preface to Paul’s Timothy Epistles:

    To Timothy were given the earliest instructions for orderly arrangement in the church, these instructions being of the simplest nature, and, as Dean Alford well observes with regard to the Pastoral Epistles as a whole, the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind”. These directions afford no warrant whatsoever for the widespread organizations of the “churches” as carried on today.

  287. @ Muff Potter:
    Thanks Muff. I love to hear other positions especially older ones. What Bullinger relates here is exactly what I was taught as a kid about first Timothy.

    On another note I was also taught there was no definitive prescription for the organization of the body of Christ. That was a freedom issue.

  288. Lydia wrote:

    @ kin:
    Kin, here is my litmus test for every interpreted “no girls allowed” verse in the NT.

    Is there one single clear prohibition from God in the OT for women teaching or even leading both men and women?.

    I have searched. Others have searched and searched. Nothing. And God is always clear about such important things.

    That’s worth remembering. Which is probably why the comps have to inject the hierarchy in Gen. 2 – to avoid accusation of having a regressive theology.

    I wish there were more available resources challenging the comps when I was growing up as it would have helped articulate arguments against role constructs so widespread pertaining to dating/marriage. Though our swim against the tide cost my wife and I dearly with life-long consequences, at least our girls are free from false guilt.

  289. Muff Potter wrote:

    Which makes more sense (in the Timothy letters), Paul writing to his protege in Ephesus with specific items for specific local questions in an ethical sense, or did he intend for his letters to become a kind of new ‘Torah’ for all Christians in all times and in all spaces?
    I have argued (Cheryl Schatz does it better) here and elsewhere that the latter case is not much older than 40-45 years and almost exclusively American in origin.
    E.W. Bullinger (hardly a ‘liberal’) wrote this almost a century ago as a preface to Paul’s Timothy Epistles:

    To Timothy were given the earliest instructions for orderly arrangement in the church, these instructions being of the simplest nature, and, as Dean Alford well observes with regard to the Pastoral Epistles as a whole, the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind”. These directions afford no warrant whatsoever for the widespread organizations of the “churches” as carried on today.

    How would it be only fifty yrs. old and primarily American if the English and American Puritans ordered their christian societies in a hierarchical manner regarding male/female roles? Maybe I missed your point.

  290. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    “I am a sucker for tall, funny hats. I want pics.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    from the first time i read Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (good grief, what a title) and John Piper, Mary Kassian, Wayne Grudem & others wax vainglorious over how they were there at the solemn-event signing of this glorious historical document, i could tell saw themselves as something like the Council of Nicaea of the ’80s.

    oh, the gravitas. Head held high, far away look in their eyes… they can see their names etched in history already.

    there’s a fitting ridiculous costume for every ridiculous person:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=council+at+nicea&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisksW87vPVAhVGz1QKHY3GBRoQ_AUIDCgD&biw=1396&bih=668#imgrc=D0aQQMvhDTJY1M:

  291. @ kin:

    Bingo. Creation order. When that wasn’t pulling it’s weight, ESS was resurrected to map the Trinity to human relationships. That is when I found out I was playing the “role” of Jesus and Husbands were playing God. The Holy Spirit children ARE a stretch, though. (Wink),

  292. Lydia wrote:

    A certain youth pastor who went to plant an Acts 29 church in a heavily churched Southern large city, took his former church’s contacts and constantly appealed for money by snail mail and email. That has never been the way it was done in the SBC as far as I knew, until Al Mohler. Churches planted churches and supported them with state and associations.

    SBC’s New Calvinist leaders knew they would have to plant YRR churches by a method other than the usual (more Biblical) approach of churches planting churches. They knew going into this thing that there weren’t too many SBC churches who would plant reformed churches (contrary to mainline SBC belief and practice) at the rate they needed to propel the movement … currently at 1,000 new plants per year. So they propped up Kevin Ezell at NAMB to funnel SBC non-Calvinist funds to the church plants … currently at $70 million per year. A brilliant strategy, non-Calvinists funding Calvinization of their denomination through their sacrificial giving to the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, thinking it is going to preach a whosoever-will Gospel and reach the lost for Christ across North America as in times past! At NAMB these days, it’s more about planting theology.

  293. kin wrote:

    How would it be only fifty yrs. old and primarily American if the English and American Puritans ordered their christian societies in a hierarchical manner regarding male/female roles? Maybe I missed your point.

    Sects will vary in their practices. They always have.
    The point is in a general sense when charting fundagelicalism over the last 40-45 years or so. Almost to a man so to speak, they will view Paul’s Epistles as absolute “how to commands” for all churches, no exceptions, no deviations.
    Ever looked at an XY scatter plot and a line of best fit?
    Same mojo with my original comment.

  294. Max wrote:

    A brilliant strategy, non-Calvinists funding Calvinization of their denomination through their sacrificial giving to the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering…

    Comrade Lenin got a real kick out of making the Capitalists finance The Revolution and their own destruction. (Though the Bolsheviki preferred more direct methods — like bank robbery and/or plain confiscation — than trickery.)

  295. Daisy wrote:

    But I do think there is a slice of comps who are comp only because they’ve been taught by their church it’s God’s design, and they don’t want to be disloyal to God by chucking it. I used to be in that category.

    Same here.

  296. @ Lydia:

    i might try (novice i may be).

    then i’d need a place to put it…. hmmm… i’ll have to ask my IT husband.

    judging by present company, i imagine it would be well-received.

  297. can i use a public figure’s image like this? it would be akin to political cartoons, i guess.

  298. Daisy wrote:

    But I do think there is a slice of comps who are comp only because they’ve been taught by their church it’s God’s design, and they don’t want to be disloyal to God by chucking it.

    The Threat of Eternal Hellfire — with YOU the Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God — is a great motivator to toe the line.

  299. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    And much that goes by the term “worship” in the UK is, in reality, capable of becoming emotional m…inistry. Certainly the word has increasingly come to refer to a state of emotional arousal.

    Like the priests of Baal-Melkart arrayed against Elijah at Mount Carmel?

  300. refugee wrote:

    It’s a corollary to the Cult of the Family.

    Where the Husband/Paterfamilias is the mallet, the Wife is the chisel, and the children are the blocks of stone being hammered/chiseled?

  301. refugee wrote:

    Part and parcel of the statement I’ve heard from quite a few of the Family Worshippers (not worship in a family, but worship of the family) that says that more christians are being made by being born to believers and raised up in the faith, which seems to be reflected in a statistic someone quoted in a recent comment that more baptisms are being chalked up to children in church families being baptized than to new converts.

    Bedroom Evangelism.

    “We evangelize our children.”
    — attr to a Massachusetts Puritan

  302. Lydia wrote:

    It really paid off well for the young restless and reformed to target youth groups and colleges. Get them before their frontal lobe’s are formed.

    The HJ, Komsomol, Chairman Mao’s Red Guard, and Taliban Madrassas would agree.

  303. Gram3 wrote:

    So now we have an oversupply of seminary-trained Southern Baptists that the SBC is doing what about?

    Church Planting.
    (Even if your plant has to hijack an exiating church.)

  304. Mae wrote:

    I’ve heard this many times now about Neo Cals abandoning the faith altogether. It’s hard for me to understand fully why they end up giving up on God. It is very troubling.

    It’s called “the Take Your God And Shove It” reaction.
    Like going over the Berlin Wall to freedom, fleeing that Cosmic Monster who abused you.

  305. Mae wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    What they need/needed is, just give me Jesus.

    The Jesus of the Jack Chick tracts and Late Great Planet Earth? The Turbo-Jesus of Wrath who hates you and me so much He can’t wait to blow up the world and cast as many as he can into Eternal Hell (AFTER startng the seven-year checklist of Global Nuclear War, Antichrist Dystopia, and Armageddon)?

    THAT was the Jesus I first encountered, and those first imressions linger the longest.

  306. Max wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    I do not believe the numbers put out by any entity.

    SBC has been putting out funny numbers for years.

    JUST LIKE SCIENTOLOGY!

  307. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    I’ve heard this many times now about Neo Cals abandoning the faith altogether. It’s hard for me to understand fully why they end up giving up on God. It is very troubling.
    It’s called “the Take Your God And Shove It” reaction.
    Like going over the Berlin Wall to freedom, fleeing that Cosmic Monster who abused you.

    Yes, but then they must not have had any understanding or affection for Jesus. They need to become acquainted, fall in love with, Jesus.

  308. @ Mae:
    Mae, it seems to me elevating the ‘church’ above Jesus or God seems to be a huge problem here. If your church fails you, and you have elevated your church, then what do you do? You reject God. Because God is the church? Whereas if you are strong in faith, but realize men are fallible, you can move away from church for a time with your faith intact.

  309. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    It really paid off well for the young restless and reformed to target youth groups and colleges. Get them before their frontal lobe’s are formed.
    The HJ, Komsomol, Chairman Mao’s Red Guard, and Taliban Madrassas would agree.

    There was a scene in the movie swing kids where the parents are talking normally at the dinner table about the issues with the german government/nazis/etc. And the son, who has been attending the youth program, has been completely indoctrinated to rat then out about this. I think maybe adults don’t always realize how seriously the youth take things, and that they don’t have the experience they do. We see this in some of the gothard type cults, where the parents do not realize their kids haven’t been able to pick and chose. (of course, sometimes the parents go in completely too and cause more problems).

  310. @ Mae:
    I could write for days on this problem. The descendants of the Puritans became, for the most part, Universalists or even Open Theist types. That eventually descended into wacky spiritualism The Puritans left a mess. From what I have read by them, I don’t think they had a clue about Christ. And there is no way, imo, there would have been a Declaration of Independence had the Puritans held power.

    It’s fascinating to read some things John Adams wrote about his childhood religion which was the Puritan Congregationalist. (Nothing Congregational about it but it’s the form for Devers church) He despised it. He despised Calvinism. Makes sense. A Founding “ideal” is self determinism despite having a long way go.

    The Neo Cals tried to operate much like the Puritans but we are a free society (sorta) so they were limited to church discipline and shame censoring in an elite chosen club with power wielding leaders. It was focused on recruiting the very young. It’s been a disaster in many ways. They are desperately trying to change the subject because determinism is exhausting and eventually dark to those who don’t make a living from it. That has happened before in history which eventually morphed into the mainlines.

    This is why I don’t do groups/tribes or any collective. Just Jesus Christ.

  311. @ Lydia:

    Having grown up just outside of Boston, am very aware of what the Puritan fathers left as a legacy…..still gives off a stench, demeans the true faith. There are Congregational Churches in almost every town in New England. Most don’t preach anything remotely emphasizing Christ. There are a few good ones, Park St. Church in Boston is one.

    The history of Salem MA. is atrocious. Basically, the witch women and a few men were murdered for their property.

    Then there is Anne Hutchinson. She was treated so poorly, so cruelly. All because she knew her scripture and challenged the men in authority,on their doctrine.

    Anyway, I hear you. Jesus first and foremost. If the Baptist church I attend looses it’s emphasis on Christ, me and hubby are gone.

  312. @ Lea:

    I remember in the, Sound of Music , the oldest girl’s boyfriend became entrenched in the Nazi youth. The scene where he turned on the Von Trapp family was sad.

  313. Lea wrote:

    @ Mae:
    Mae, it seems to me elevating the ‘church’ above Jesus or God seems to be a huge problem here. If your church fails you, and you have elevated your church, then what do you do? You reject God. Because God is the church? Whereas if you are strong in faith, but realize men are fallible, you can move away from church for a time with your faith intact.

    Yes, following a system or a formula can do that.
    This happens too in the secular world. People buy into an Amway type system (emotionally, financially ) and become totally disillusioned when they are not successful. They become dismayed, bitter, but often fail to comprehend it was believing in a system, a formula, that led to their failure.

  314. Lydia wrote:

    This is why I don’t do groups/tribes or any collective. Just Jesus Christ.

    Would you characterize yourself as a kind of free-thinker then?

  315. @ Muff Potter:
    I don’t know. I fear that communicates no guiding principles. Which isn’t the case.

    I think what it communicates is that I am old enough to see how groups/ tribes/collectivism evolve. It’s scary to me. I don’t really have a problem going in and out of groups for discussions, projects and maybe even some fellowship or social fun but aligning to them? No. Free agent is a more fitting term, I think.

    By the way, did you see where the spokesperson for the Church of Satan came out to say that Satan was not a white supremacist? Oh dear. Is that free thinking? 🙂

  316. Lydia wrote:

    I don’t know. I fear that communicates no guiding principles. Which isn’t the case.

    Fair enough, but I didn’t mean to imply an absence of guiding parameters or scruples, goodness knows I have some of my own which are not on table for discussion.

  317. Mae wrote:

    Yes, but then they must not have had any understanding or affection for Jesus. They need to become acquainted, fall in love with, Jesus.

    But when “Jesus” is the Cosmic Abuser in whose Name they were abused?
    The Name that they will always hear as memories of abuse?

  318. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Yes, but then they must not have had any understanding or affection for Jesus. They need to become acquainted, fall in love with, Jesus.
    But when “Jesus” is the Cosmic Abuser in whose Name they were abused?
    The Name that they will always hear as memories of abuse?

    But did the hear Jesus, or instead, THE Sovereign God, who is so very far away and obtuse?

  319. Mae wrote:

    But did the hear Jesus, or instead, THE Sovereign God, who is so very far away and obtuse?

    With these guys, Is There a Difference?

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