Manfred T. Brauch on Kaphale (head)

Manfred T. Brauch’s Abusing Scripture: The Consequences of Misreading the Bible has one of the best discussions of the case for reading kaphale (head) as meaning “source” or “origin” over and against “authority.”

This much neglected book deserves a wider reading, not just for its interpretations of gender texts, but for its common sense in reading the Bible as a whole.

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Omelianchuk v. Cowan

Steven Cowan and I go toe to toe in the latest edition of Philosophia Christi over whether complementarianism is incoherent.

In a recent article Cowan defended the claim that female subordination and male authority are merely functional differences. Drawing upon insights from Natural Law, I argue that complementarianism typically speaks of these functions as proper functions of male and female designs, thus making men and women metaphysically unequal in being. Furthermore, I maintain that the function serving as a means to an end is less valuable than the function having authority to direct the end. Hence, Cowan fails to defeat the objection that the claim that women are equal to men in being, but subordinate in role, is incoherent.

In reply, Cowan says that my case misses the point of certain aspects of his argument, that it begs the main question, and that it depends upon an unclear notion of metaphysical inferiority.

Confessions of a Cage Fighter

And perhaps this is the main reason that I bristle when Driscoll begins to opine on MMA, because he is the type of fan that fighters despise. If you go to any live event, you will know why: the fans are there for blood. Well, more accurately, they are there to get drunk, whistle at ring-card girls, and bullshit about why they would fight if some circumstance outside of their control were different. But mainly, they are there to see blood. If you can count on fans yelling anything during a fight, it is the cry, “Elbow him! Elbow him!” An elbow that is delivered properly can be much more destructive than a fist. One well-timed elbow can end a fight—or a career. By their cries, many fans make it clear that they are there for one reason: to see someone get hurt.

Read the whole thing.

Against the New Subordinationists

Against the New Subordinationists:

And we see, moreover, how functional subordinationists read ghosts of subordination into every little thing. The Father gave the Son; therefore the Son is subordinate. The Father sent the Son; therefore the Son is subordinate. The world was made through the Son; therefore the Son is subordinate. But we have seen these claims before; we battled them in the Eunomians sixteen hundred years ago. They were no more plausible then. The Father sent the Son, yes, but ‘to send’ tells us nothing of authority. A child may say to his parent, “Go and see how well I have cleaned my room.” The parent goes; and, behold, in going, the parent is sent. But this tells us nothing of who has the greater authority. My friend and I are in perfect agreement that she should help you on some matter; I say to you, “I am sending you my friend to help you.” Have I arrogated an authority over my friend? Hardly, for my purpose does not rule the agreement. Was I lying? Certainly not, for I am sending my friend. This supposed proof is dubious in our own case; shall we think it conclusive in God’s? It is even less likely to be legitimate there. For if I and my friend are in perfect agreement, it can be nothing in comparison to the agreement of the Father and the Son and the Spirit, who are so united that the work of the Father is through the Son and in the Spirit, so that one and the same action belongs to three persons, whether it pertains to creation or salvation. What human unity of purpose could possibly compare? But in unity of purpose, as such, there is no subordination; if there were subordination there would not be unity, but one purpose subordinating another purpose, however congenially. And so if the Father gives the Son, and this giving is eternally purposed by the Thrice-Holy Trinity, there is no subordination in being given, for there is no subordination of purposes, only a perfect unity of purpose: that the Word be made flesh and come among us a Savior, a gift of life. Thus from the mission of the Son, nothing follows about subordination. And likewise from the making of all things through the Son, nothing follows about subordination; indeed, the reverse: for that all things are made through the Son shows clearly that the Son is one with the Father with a unity that we can scarcely comprehend. But so eagerly do the functional subordinationists grasp after straws that they see elaborate subordinations lurking in every difference of preposition.

Read the whole thing.