Discuss Theology



Justification, Piper and Wright

February 14th, 2008

John Piper on NT Wright and justification. This is worthwhilehttp://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/825/

Complementarian Watch-[Now a word from Mars]

February 8th, 2007

Does Father God Have Too Much Testosterone? Open Theism, Evangelical Feminism and the Doctrine of God
by Russell D. Moore
The growing alliance between open theists and evangelical feminists is pressing with increasing volume a new argument against classical theism: It is just “too male.”

Most recent blog posts on complementarian issues

January 23rd, 2007

[from Suzanne McCarthy] Sunday, January 21, 2007

Junia, the apostle: part 17

I did not previously write at any length about why it was thought that Junia might have been Junias, a man. I had understood, perhaps wrongly, that Junias, the male apostle, had been laid to rest some time ago. Evidently not! Let me do that, by quoting Epp on this subject.However, Eldon Jay Epp, in Junia, the First Woman Apostle, discusses not so much whether Junia could have been Junias, a man; no scholar is attracted to that possiblity at the moment, that I am aware of. No, Epp is fascinated by how it came about that something which is evidently not so, could have been considered so. How on earth did this happen, how did a non-existant name Junias, enter the text and the lexicon (BADG) and why has Junias now been removed without an all-out confession of male bias?! That is what fascinates Epp. Are the men responsible simply going to sweep the male Junias under the carpet? So it seems.

If you dislike my rhetoric, here is Epp’s take on this,

    Moreover, in the 1998 Jubilee N-A and the 1998 printing of UBS, where Ἰουνίαν properly but inexplicably appeared in the text, the clearly masculine form Ὶουνιᾶν is not even in the apparatus, quite the contrary of what normally happens when a critical edition undergoes a change in its text: one reading moves up to the text as another moves down to the apparatus. In this case, however, suddenly the emperor has no clothes!
    Apparently this masculine form Ὶουνιᾶν, disappears altogether from the textual scene! Of course, it should disappear, even though, as we shall discover in a moment, the clearly masculine form had been a Nestle fixture for three-quarters of a century and a UBS constant since the first edition in 1966. Yet in a flash it is gone, and neither the Jubilee Edition nor the 1998 volumes of N-A and UBS contains a list of changes made in its text as it moved through several printings between the 1993 and the 1998 volumes of N-A and UBS, nor is the reason for the change otherwise transparent.One astounding fact (and disturbing, if one thinks about its implications) requires emphasis again about the UBS and the Nestle-Aland editions: to the best of my knowledge, never was the definitely masculine form of Ὶουνιαν (namely Ὶουνιᾶν), either when it was designated as the text or after it had been replaced in the text by the Ἰουνίαν reading, accompanied by any supporting manuscript or other evidence (except when UBS listed the support of eight early unaccented majuscules, which of course were impotent for determining accentuation.)
    In fact, for the greater part of four centuries, as far as I can determine, no apparatus in a Greek New Testament cited Ὶουνιᾶν as a variant reading to the Ἰουνίαν in the text – not until Weymouth in 1892 (who cites Alford’s text – though neither in Alford nor Weymouth is any munuscript attestation provided) – and never again after that. The reason is simple enough: no such accented form was to be found in any manuscript or anywhere else. Moreover, when Ὶουνιᾶν was interpolated into the New Testament text and became a regular feature of the post-1927 Nestle and Nestle-Aland editions and all of the UBS editions until 1998, no viable manuscript support could be garnered for there was none. (page 47)

So let me state that there never has been textual evidence for a male Junias. This is an invention of the imagination, pure and simple.

Men need to realize that they will not be trusted to seek out the best interests of women unless they create a strong track record first. For a biblical scholar, part of this track record is recognizing Junia, paying a simple courtesy to this woman in the scriptures. I recommend to you Eldon Jay Epp’s Junia, the First Woman Apostle.

On this one simple item, I find that the complementarian ethic demonstrates itself to be a house of cards. Left to themselves, many men will not seek woman’s best interests, they will edit woman out.

Note: I am aware that at the beginning of the second paragraph I have written a sentence which contains ‘so much’ but no following and corresponding ‘that’. I am assured by Jespersen that it is the custom of women to use ‘so’ in this fashion, as in “I love you so much!” Apparently a man would not use ‘so’ as an intensive but only to introduce another clause, as in “I love you so much that … ” Very awkward being a man, I should think.

The use of ‘so’ as an intensive is due, according to Jespersen, to women breaking off without finishing their sentences. (page 250) Jespersen gives me much latitude in my writing. I am so grateful! I shall take greater liberities, now that I have Jespersen’s backing, in writing as a woman. I am no fan of hypotaxis in any case.

posted by Suzanne McCarthy at 11:46 AM

More precious than Jewels

August 4th, 2006
Kirsten tours with a theatrical production of Don Richardson’s Peace Child. In her down time, she greets people as a receptionist for our missions ministry here in Montana. As a 20 year old, she heard me teach on the value of daily Bible reading. This morning, four years later, I noticed that she was writing out the gospel of John longhand. I asked her about it. She told me that four years ago, after she heard me teach about Bible study, she decided to starting writing the Bible out longhand. Since 2002, she has written out during her daily devotional time the following Bible books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Johsua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timonthy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation. She is presently writing out the gospel of John and Ezekiel. She told me, “I have filled up notebook after notebook.”

As we spoke, I noticed an engagement ring on her finger. I told her that I hope her fiance knows what a treasure he is getting in her. In fact, the writer of the Proverbs wrote that “her worth is far more precious than jewels.”

You can access Kirsten’s ministry at Sidewalk Productions.

A Thought on Women, Education and The Ministry

July 10th, 2006

[I originally posted this on the Christians for Biblical Equality Blog]

In the first century, women lacked the education available to men. This was true for both Jews and Gentiles. No matter where one presently lands in the discussion about women in the ministry; this fact, everyone agrees upon. Craig Keener stated this in Discovering Biblical Equality, “Learning in the Assemblies” [p. 169]. He writes, “More reasonably, women on average were less educated than men, an assertion that no one genuinely conversant with ancient literature would doubt.” Complementarians have used this as a reason to further their arguments forbidding women to preach, teach and exercise authority over men. In the first century, less education equaled less fitness for the ministry. On July 9, 2006, Tamar Lewin wrote an article in the New York Times titled, “At Colleges, Women are leaving Men in the Dust.” Lewin states that women make up 58 per cent of students in both 2 year and 4 year colleges and universities. The most striking statement in the article reads, “Small wonder, then, that at elite institutions like Harvard, small liberal arts colleges like Dickinson, huge public universities like the University of Wisconsin and U.C.L.A. and smaller ones like Florida Atlantic University, women are walking off with a disproportionate share of the honors degrees.” The word “disproportionate” is the important one here. So, in the United States, at least, women are better educated than men. For complementarians, women remain less qualified [or unqualified altogether] for the ministry. Lack of learning is given as a complementarian reason for disqualification from ministry among women in the first century. Oddly for complementarians now, learning has nothing to do with 21st century ministry in the United States. If women are better educated than men, should they be labelled as unqualified for full leadership positions in the church?

What does a complementarian theologian do right?

June 24th, 2006

I have been thinking a lot about this recently.  I appreciate the desire of complementarian theologians to be Biblical first and everything else second.  I think they are really serious about this. What does a complementarian theologian do right?

How will Church Historians Evaluate our Generation, Complementarian

June 18th, 2006

Let’s look at our generation from the view of church historians. I think they will simultaneously wince and praise us. I think they will wince as they consider evangelical theologians like Wayne grudem holding to a subordinationist view of the Trinity and receiving a broad complementarian audience. I think they will further wince as they think of process theologians, like Clark Pinnock, Greg Boyd and others, in the name of evangelicalism, telling us that God does not absolutely know the future. I think they will wince as they consider our waffling on life issues such as abortion, on sexual moral/ethical issues such as homosexual ordination. I actually believe there will be more wincing than this.
With all of the wincing, I also think there will be at least two places where they will praise our generation. I think that church historians will rejoice over the emphasis on missions in our era. There are more people becoming Christians in Africa and in mainland China than there are people physically being born in those areas. I think the historians will look back and rejoice over this wonderful circumstance. I also believe that they will look back and rejoice over the progress that the evangelical church made relative to the rights of women in the church-the right to preach, the right to pastor and the right to lead in even broader capacities. I think historians will write that the majority of evangelicalism began to take Galatians 3:28 seriously, “In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female”. The church historians will probably contrast the positive strides made on male/female issues in the evangelical church at large with what the evangelical radio and television media usually espouses-namely Victorian leadership ethics. Historians will simultaneously wince and praise.

Bio. for Wayne Grudem, Godfather of Complementarian theology

June 18th, 2006

Wayne Grudem is a Protestant theologian and author.

Grudem holds a BA from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, Grudem became Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he was also the chairman of the Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology. Grudem is currently on the staff at Phoenix Seminary as Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Arizona.

Grudem served on the committee overseeing the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and in 1999 he was the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of, among other books, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the bodysoul dichotomy in the nature of man, and the complementarian (rather than egalitarian) view of gender equality.

Grudem holds Charismatic beliefs and is a supporter of the Vineyard Movement and one of its main apologists and spokespeople.

Non Complementarian thought for the day

June 13th, 2006

Richard and Catherine Kroeger write in the introduction to I Suffer not a Woman, [p.17] that, “It is essential that we face honestly the difficulties inherent in a traditional understanding of 1 Timothy 2:12.  Traditional interpretation has held that this verse forbids women to teach or make decisions.  The fact is that women did indeed teach men, that women served as leaders, and that in doing so they enjoyed God’s blessing and won the praise of other believers.” Non Complementarian thought for the day

Harvard President, Derek Bok not a complementarian

June 13th, 2006

Bok published, Our Underachieving Colleges in December of 2005.  He wrote, approvingly,  about Oberlin College accepting women in 1837.  He also mentioned that, “College presidents initially disagreed on whether women should go to college at all.”[p.212] Harvard President, Derek Bok not a complementarian

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