I added another page to the blog entitled The Logic of Equality, an unpublished paper where I try to address some objections to the “A” And “Not-A” article, particularly those that appeal to eternal subordination within the Trinity. Check it out.
In the comments of the last post a reader asked:
I’d like to pose a question. The ESV and some other “essentially [literal]” bible translations use [exclusively masculine] nouns and pronouns in [passages] that refer to both men and women. I’ve heard proponents for these translations say women should read these passages keeping in mind they’re included in this masculine language. I always find myself mentally editing because that’s not the way we use English anymore.
Here’s the big question. Do men really stop and mentally include their wives, daughters and sisters when they read those passages about men and sons and brothers?
Today a growing body of literature is leveling its sights on the church, suggesting that men are uninvolved in church life because the church doesn’t encourage authentic masculine participation.
For those that follow the ongoing disputes over “dating” and “courtship” within the church and why people have such strong feelings over how singles go about finding a mate, it is important to understand that much of the discussion is rooted in gender role ideas. Complementarian author Scott Croft helps define the two terms:
Let’s begin by defining courtship. Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman’s father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate. Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal.
What then is dating? Dating, a more modern approach, begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more- than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Dating may or may not have marriage as its goal.
The Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference is finishing up where CBMW has a booth and is handing out free literature. Here is an abridged verion of a post I wrote in 2006 protesting the conference’s statement on gender roles.
A while back Jeremy Pierce over at the Parableman blog posted a critique of Rebecca Merrill Groothuis’ argument, though it is apparent he did not read the relevant chapter in Discovering Biblical Equality. Below are my responses in red.
CBMW made an annotated bibliography of gender-related articles of 2006 and included some commentary on my The “Difference” Between “A and Not-A”: An Analyses of Alleged “Word-Tricks” and Obfuscations. Their comments are reproduced below and my responses are in [red].
Omelianchuk, Adam. “The ‘Difference’ Between ‘A and Not-A’: An Analysis of Alleged ‘Word Tricks’ and Obfuscations.” Priscilla Papers 20, no. 1 (2006): 9-12.
Omelianchuk examines “Egalitarian Claim 10:6” in Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth (Multnomah, 2004) by Wayne Grudem. Omelianchuk first defines and examines key terms used in the gender role debate (i.e., authority, leadership, submission, etc.) by using reference books such as a dictionary and thesaurus. He then critiques the “hierarchicalist” position and concludes that they, not egalitarians, use word tricks and obfuscate language to conceal the incoherence of their view. However, Omelianchuk’s fundamental error is the assertion that differences in function necessarily implies inferiority in being, which is a common mistake to make when words and concepts are defined by resources other than the Bible [The “fundamental error” in this review is that it fails to understand that my use of the dictionary and thesaurus was to clarify words that complementarians use in their descriptions of how they think gender hierarchy is compatible with gender equality. I did not use them as substitutes for Scripture as this review misleading implies. I started with Wayne Grudem’s assertions and analyzed the logic of his position. There is nothing wrong with using reference books in clarifying how words are being used in a debate about what the Bible supposedly teaches ]. His logic fails because he, like other egalitarians, cannot grasp the simultaneous biblical concepts of equality in personhood and difference in function [This begs the question. The very point of my article was to show how complementarians construe these ideas is contradictory, and therefore cannot be grasped in the same way a colorless blue car cannot be grasped. Criticizing me for failing to grasp it trivially says that I am wrong because I don’t believe their position is right] He also fails to see that male headship is not harsh headship. As God is the head of Christ and Christ is the head of man (1 Cor 11:3), so men are to lovingly and sacrificially lead like Christ, who did not come “to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) [This is irrelevant. Whether harsh or humble, men are deemed authoritative over women because they are men. The issue of whether they are good or bad at being authoritative is another matter ]. Lastly, he fails to see that male leadership is not due to women being “unfit” to lead. Rather, it is God’s wise design for his creation which points to greater realities, namely, Christ’s leadership of the church and the Triune God himself, who as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are equal in essence yet different in function [If women are designed by God to be in subjection then how are they not unfit to lead? Such greater realities don’t mimic this crucial point in that the Son is uncreated and there is nothing in him or in the Father that requires him to be subordinate, nor is the church equal with Christ in being ].