Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a towering prophet of the twentieth century and, whether recognized or not, the world today owes him a great debt of gratitude for his (at times) almost-singlehanded work documenting and exposing the murderous tyranny of communism in the Soviet Union. Without his voice and pen, it's hard to imagine President Reagan giving the June 8, 1982 "Evil Empire" speech to the House of Commons.
From the time Solzhenitsyn set foot on American soil, the reception our nation granted him was somewhere between diffidence and hostility.
On June 8, 1978 Solzhenitsyn gave the commencement address at Harvard University. Titled, A World Split Apart, Solzhenitsyn had the chutzpah to bite the hand that fed him.
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31,32
It's no accident the move to legitimate sodomy has experienced its greatest success precisely during the past decade when AIDS has decimated the homosexualist community. From Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, to legislators in Washington D. C., to the National Institutes of Health, there has (quite properly) been a surge of compassion for the sick and dying, but this compassion has provided perfect cover for the entry of same-sex intimacy into the mainstream of public approval.
Why kick a man when he's down? Sensing the political advantage victims possess in our culture, the sodomy lobby's rhetoric has been successful, and wrongheaded compassion has trumped God's Moral Law.
Similarly, compassion for victims of domestic abuse has been a potent weapon in the hands of those opposing God's universal law of father-rule or male headship. Consider this from a 1998 release by Baker Books:
by David and Tim Bayly on August 19, 2004 - 6:05pm
In connection with my daughter, Heather's, blog entry titled, Are You a DINKWAD?, check out these excerpts from a The New Yorker piece on the changes caused within the practice of veterinary medicine by women replacing men as vets. When I read the piece, I filed it for future use, but having had it sit dormant for a year, now, it seems time to let others find a use for it.
There are so many lessons here, including lessons on the nature of womanhood and the foolishness of a decadent society that places greater value on animals than unborn and newborn children. By the way, it was the same at the time of the Early Church when, in the midst of the decadence of the Roman Empire, church fathers exhorted believers to give more attention and money to the care of little children exposed on the slopes behind their homes than they gave to their lapdogs.
In 1962, when the (Animal Medical Clinic of New York City) moved to the Upper East Side, veterinarians were still a utilitarian breed and more than ninety percent of them were men.... Then, gradually, women began to enter vet schools. By 1975, they represented half of all students; by 2000, nearly three-quarters--and most of them wanted to treat pets.... And, as the birth rate dropped, pets came to take the place of children in some families.
Between 1980 and 2001 alone, the number of dogs and cats in the United States grew from ninety-eight million to a hundred and thirty million. Two generations ago, fathers still gave their sons sacks of kittens to drown in the river. Today, according to a recent survey by the American Animal Hospital Association, sixty-three per cent of pet owners say "I love you" to their pets every day. Eighty-three per cent refer to themselves as their pet's mom or dad.
The current director of the A.M.C., Guy Pidgeon, has lived through both halves of this history. He was born on a farm in Western Nebraska... and went to the Colorado State University veterinary school, intent on becoming a country vet.
"Then, at some point, I began to see an incredible dichotomy between agricultural and veterinary medicine," he told me. "One was driven by economics, the other by emotion."
* * *
Before I visited the A.M.C., ...I thought of the German countess Carlotta Liebenstein, who in 1991 bequeathed her eighty-million-dollar estate to her dog Gunther. Of J. Paul Getty, who refused to return from Europe when his twelve-year-old son died of a brain tumor but had a vet flown in when his dog developed cancer. When the disease proved fatal, he spent three days weeping in the dog's room.
-Burkhard Bilger, "Annals of Veterinary Medicine: The Last Meow (Organ transplants, chemotherapy, root canal-how far would you go for a pet?)," The New Yorker, September 8, 2003, pp. 47,48.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 24, 2004 - 6:55pm
Over the years I've heard many Christians confidently declare that, though Scripture is clear on the role of women in the Church and home, it's silent concerning their role in secular society. But those making such statements mean by "silent" only that there's no silver bullet text forbidding a woman to serve as a queen, president, CEO, general, or judge.
Many doctrines central to our Faith are not laid out in Scripture explicitly, but implicitly, and both methods are a legitimate path for God's Truth to come to us. There are times when God is pleased to reveal His Truth with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer: "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12).
Other times it pleases God to speak in parables. In fact, on more than one occasion the People of God were rebuked for approaching God's Word with a wooden literalism when the truth being communicated was meant to be understood on a different level. Consider this exchange between Jesus and His disciples:
And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread."
But Jesus, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:5-12)
Yes, as Protestants we hold to the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture, and therefore oppose the notion that a believer must have a college or graduate degree in order to understand God's Word. Rather we confess that:
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (Westminster Confession of Faith I:7)
Yet again, this is not to say that the meaning of Scripture must always be what occurs to us at first blush (or most immediately). Many of the doctrines of our Faith are inferences and deductions from the study of God's Word; they're the product of coming to understand types and anti-types, of "getting" the point of the story. In fact, it may even be said that much of Scripture is intentionally hidden so that some people won't "get it." How else are we to understand the answer Jesus gave to this question posed by His disciples:
So now Slate runs a piece informing us that professional women who are hesitant to derail their high-octane careers for the sake of motherhood will be able to pay to have good eggs from their young ovaries set aside in the freezer, to be used later when they decide it's safe to take a break for (sort of) motherhood.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 28, 2004 - 2:01pm
My mother-in-law studied for her degree in Home Economics during the late '30s and early '40s, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University. After marrying her childhood sweetheart, she gave birth to 10 children in 14 years. Her husband, engaged for most of the years when the family was young as editorial director of a religious publishing house, brought home low wages, so frugality was a necessity and the degree served this young mother and her family well.
Food preservation, hygiene, cooking, sewing, and home budgeting were part of the home ec curriculum and, along with the liberal arts training which came with every bachelor's degree at the time, these young women graduated with specialized training for their profession of choice--motherhood. Other women took similarly helpful majors in Elementary Education, Bible, Christian Education (my own mother's major), and Nursing.
Then came the frontal assault on housewifery and motherhood carried out largely by a new and powerful aristocracy, the "Information Class." (Footnote 1) During the late '60s and early '70s this assault reached fever pitch and the academy was ground zero. College and university students were assigned propagandistic tracts such as Ibsen's, A Doll's House, and joined the ranks of those determined to liberate the "Noras" of the world. (Footnote 2) Oxford historian Paul Johnson provides interesting historical details on A Doll's House, noting that both Karl Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor, and George Bernard Shaw took part in its first private reading in London, Eleanor playing the title role of Nora. Johnson writes, the "clear message" of A Doll's House was that "marriage is not sacrosanct, the husband's authority is open to challenge, [and] self-discovery matters more than anything else." Johnson concludes, "[Ibsen] really started the women's movement." (Footnote 3)
The discipline of home economics (also known as "household arts") was an early casualty. Traditionally, home ec had enjoyed a comfortably apolitical niche in the world of higher education, and the guardians of this discipline had every reason to trust their academic peers would continue to be favorably disposed toward a curriculum so integrally tied to domestic tranquility. It was taken for granted that a dignified and competent wife and mother, devoted to her home and family, was a highly desirable constant in American culture.
To the feminists, home ec was anything but apolitical, so they attacked...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 28, 2004 - 8:21pm
Several years ago David and I took part in a battle opposing a number of members of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in their efforts to remove the sex-markings of thousands of texts of Scripture in the New International Version. At the time, the NIV was the Bible translation standard of the Bible-believing, English-speaking world, so it was the efforts to modernize this particular translation that were our focus.
Our opponents' plan was to put out an updated NIV called the NIVI in which Hebrew and Greek words such as adam, adelphoi, and aner would be denuded of their male grammatical component and thereby rendered innocuous to Westerners raised in a feminized society in which it had become gauche to make references to mixed-sex groups using any word with a male marking. 'Man' became 'humankind', 'brothers' became 'Christian friends' (NLT) or 'siblings' (NIVI), 'man' became 'person', and so on--thousands of times across the pages of Scripture.
As you'll see from the above reference to the NLT, the NIV was not the only Bible in wide use across the evangelical world being similarly updated. In an effort to update the Living Bible which was growing long-in-the-teeth, Tyndale House Publishers had hired a long list of ETS academics to produce the New Living Translation which, benefiting from millions of dollars in advertising and purchased product placement in national bookstore chains, was steadily gaining market share.
Partly because of the naturally lower expectations of accuracy the NLT inherited from its predecessor, the Living Bible; partly because the academics who had done the NLT's translation work likely expected it to be more a devotional than a study Bible; and partly because the NLT's publisher responded to expressions of concern over some of the more egregious mistranslations evident in the NLT's text with thoughtful consideration and, eventually, a number of changes to the text of the NLT's subsequent printings; the public battle was focused almost exclusively on the updated NIVI, its publisher Zondervan, and Zondervan's subsidiary (in a manner of speaking), the International Bible Society and her subordinate Bible Translation Committee.
The battle was joined with the publication March 29, 1997 of Susan Olasky's cover article, "The Stealth Bible: the Feminist Seduction of the Evangelical Church," in World magazine. For almost everyone this was the first hint of Zondervan's plans and the response was a good measure of the profound theological divisions present within the vast entrepreneurial business park named "evangelicalism."
Predictably, one side decried Olasky's divisive spirit and focused their attack on World magazine...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 7, 2004 - 1:17pm
The National Organization for Women held an anti-Bush protest in New York's Central Park last Wednesday titled Code Red: Stop the Bush Agenda Rally. Poet Molly Birnhaum read her poetry aloud to the crowd and here's a sampling:
Imagine a way to erase that night four years ago when you (President Bush) savagely raped every pandemic woman over and over with each vote you got, a thrust with each state you stole...
A smack with each bill you passed, a tear with each right you took until you left me disenfranchised with hands shackled and voice restrained.
Thanks for that night, Mr. President, I can barely remember my tomorrows.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 22, 2004 - 8:27am
Let's return to a post I made a few days back, but first a reminder of the details:
Last week the Indiana Daily Student--Indiana University's campus paper, published a piece on a campus competition known as "Big Man on Campus." The piece's author wrote:
Every male on campus wants to be him, and every female on campus wishes she could date him
To which Mr. Evan Rosenberg took offense, and wrote the following letter to the editor:
Article forgets lesbian women
I was very interested in reading Maggie Bozich's front-page story ("Greeks prepare to crown new Big Man on Campus," Oct. 15, Indiana Daily Student) on Zeta Tau Alpha's research benefit event, Big Man on Campus, but she lost me with her first sentence: "Every male on campus wants to be him, and every female on campus wishes she could date him." Although I have enjoyed reading some of Ms. Bozich's other work, she let me down this time. With one innocent slogan, she silenced every lesbian woman on campus by implicitly denying her existence. Too often we remain complacent with narrow-minded interpretations of love, and by denying the existence of perspectives or orientations different from our own we unconsciously make others feel invisible, which denies them the right to express their love.
I believe Ms. Bozich meant no harm, but let this serve as a reminder of why it is so important that we are inclusive in our language. Silence can be deadly.
Evan Rosenberg, Sophomore
In posting Mr. Rosenberg's letter to the editor here, I concluded with this comment:
Surely Evan, with all his multi-cultural feminine sensitivities, will make someone a good wife husband.
In thinking more about this comment, though, I wondered whether some might take it as a cheap shot, a cynical dissing of Mr Rosenberg? In fact, it was an attempt to make a serious point to which I now return.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 27, 2004 - 8:59am
In The New York Times Magazine last Sunday, recent Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek of Austria, author of works such as Women as Lovers and The Piano Teacher, was interviewed:
NYT:(Y)our novels...focus on sexual politics..."
Jelinek: I describe the relationship between man and woman as a Hegelian relationship between master and slave. As long as men are able to increase their sexual value through work, fame or wealth, while women are only powerful through their body, beauty and youth, nothing will change.
NYT: How can you cling to such dated stereotypes when you yourself are acclaimed internationally for your intellect?
Jelinek: A woman who becomes famous through her work reduces her erotic value. A woman is permitted to chat or babble, but speaking in public with authority is still the greatest transgression.
NYT: You're suggesting that your achievements, like winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, detract from your overall appeal.
Jelinek: Certainly! A woman's artistic output makes her monstrous to men if she does not know how to make herself small at the same time and present herself as a commodity. At best people are afraid of her.
The interview seems to have been appropriately titled by the NYT, "A Gloom of Her Own," and yet there are gems found sparkling through Jelinek's morbidity...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 3, 2005 - 1:35pm
(Note from Tim Bayly: This paper was delivered on October 5, 1998 in Riga, Latvia, at a conference titled "Gender Theology: Questions, Problems, Perspectives," held by the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church.)
It is a great joy to be here with you and to think of how impossible this time together would have been just a few years ago. How good it is to be able to cross borders so freely--without even the necessity of a visa--and to be able to join together in fellowship and worship with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ.
But then too, I am particularly pleased to be able to speak to you on the subject of Biblical manhood and womanhood. Here it may be appropriate to insert some biographical information, but first please allow me to clarify my own vocabulary:
'Complement': "something that fills up, completes, or makes perfect; one of two mutually completing parts" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).
'Patriarchy': literally, "father rule."
'Egalitarian': "a belief in human equality" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).
So, when I refer to the different positions taken by Christians today concerning what Scripture has to say about manhood and womanhood, I will use these terms:
First, the words 'complementarian' or 'patriarchal' will be used to indicate the Church's historical position which calls for a distinction in roles between men and women in the government of the Church and home; and particularly to the necessity of men holding positions of authority.
Second, the word 'egalitarian' will be used to indicate the position held by feminists today when they call for women to hold leadership positions of authority equally with men.
Now for some personal history: Although today I myself believe in the Church's historical, patriarchal position, it was not always so. Back in 1976 when my wife and I were first married, both of us were committed egalitarians...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 13, 2005 - 12:21pm
Note: The following essay is the fruit of research I've done on the history of marriage ceremonies, specifically their liturgy. I've asked the question "How can my work as a pastor officiating at marriage ceremonies be used by God to strengthen the commitment within our congregation to God's Truth in the area of the meaning and purpose of sexuality?"
I've been to too many weddings in which the presiding pastor didn't bother "improving" the time, by which I mean that the very areas of biblical doctrine our culture hates were carefully (or maybe even thoughtlessly) excised from the liturgy--the three purposes of marriage, the warning of the seriousness of vows, the word 'obey' in the woman's vow, any mention of the wife's duty to submit to her husband, and so on.
So this essay is my effort to think through this aspect of pastoral ministry biblically, and to record my new commitments concerning how I will preside at the weddings of our congregation. The essay is published in a collection of essays offered by...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 19, 2005 - 6:35am
About a year ago, my cousin John sent me a copy of Dan Brown's best-seller, The Da Vinci Code, with a note acknowledging the book is trash, but encouraging me to read it so that I know what trash a mass of Americans are currently consuming.
When I finished reading it, I thought it would be hard to write a book that more perfectly illustrates the steep slide into gnosticism and paganism that is so obvious across the Western world, and particularly these United States. May I encourage our good readers to borrow a copy and read it? You will be much wiser in calling your friends, neighbors, and family members to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ having spent the time to read this book, looking as through a periscope into the prejudices and delusions of modern man.
What living proof of Chesterton's foresight in pointing out, "When men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything." Surely the millions who have bought and read The Da Vinci Code have not simply been looking for a pleasant diversion, but have sought in this work facts to justify their prejudices.
It would be pleasant to think that any criticism of this work coming from a liberal media outlet might indicate a decline in the work's influence, but I think not. Rather, the very anti-clericalism and hatred of authority at the book's heart...
In our local paper, The Herald-Times, a young woman named Arlyn Keith is a Community Columnist. From her picture Ms. Keith seems to be in her mid-twenties and her piece appearing on yesterday's op-ed page is titled, "Rock'n'roll rejects the Bible."
Keith is responding to what she considers the non-news that Jan Wenner's Rolling Stone magazine has refused to run an ad for Today's New International Version, the new Bible put together under the patronage of Rupert Murdoch's News Corps' subsidiary, Zondervan Publishing Company.
Keith yawns as she wonders why Zondervan ever thought readers of Rolling Stone would be their market segment? Acknowledging that this chic Bible has compromised the original text, the better to reach her generation, Keith writes:
I knew that Christian leaders were concerned about the disinterest my generation and those younger than us seem to have with religion, but I just did not ever expect the mountain to come to Mohammed and plead for attention. This latest edition of the Bible aptly named Today's New International Version even features, according to USA Today, a method of translation which is meant to appeal to the 18-34 age group wherein gender terminology in reference to humans is neutral. The "truth" has been made user-friendly and packaged in a politically-correct manner. I am not an avid church-goer myself and am still struggling with my views, but it does seem that some values have been compromised in the process.
Out of the mouths of babes...
After years of hard work trying to convince my family members (owners of Tyndale House Publishers and its own gender-neutered Bible, The New Living Translation), Zondervan's executives (who are presently issuing this latest gender-neutered version called Today's New International Version), and the corporate leaders of the International Bible Society (holder of the copyright on all versions of The New International Version including Today's New International Version) of the false doctrine that is the heart of this work, I despair over their intransigence. And yes, one does begin to wonder what the application of "the love of money (being) the root of all evil" is to this Bible-selling business; or, for that matter, to Wycliffe Bible Translators, mega-churches, missions agencies, seminaries, and my own church's building program?
How lightly we consider our own motives in the light of Scripture's warning, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives" (Proverbs 16:2 NASB95).
No matter how often we explain to them that the secular feminists are correct in their judgment that the Bible is "hopelessly patriarchal," hope springs eternal and these false prophets try once again to clean up God's Word so a modicum of its offense is removed and evangelism moves apace into the twenty-first century.
Over the past couple of years, Christ the Word's Rev. Dr. Andrew Dionne has created a web site called KepttheFaith exposing the assault upon God and His Word these men are carrying out. Church of the Good Shepherd has funded the site and my brother, David, and I have fought this battle arm-in-arm. Go to the site and read and pray. Secularists and seekers such as Keith can treat this matter lightly, easily seeing the charade. But Tyndale House, Zondervan, the International Bible Society, and all the reverend doctors paid to do the bowdlerizing take this matter very seriously seeing their reputations are on the line.
They're right. Were one of them a member of Church of the Good Shepherd, the elders would declare him to be in violation of his membership vow to honor and obey the inerrant Word of God, and call him to repent.
Chesterton nailed it almost a century ago:
It is remarked, "We need a restatement of religion"; and though it has been said thirty-thousand times, it is quite true.
It is also true that those who say it often mean the very opposite of what they say. As I have remarked elsewhere, they very often intend not to restate anything, but to state something else, introducing as many of the old words as possible.
(G. K. Chesterton, The Thing, p. 190, "Some of Our Errors".)
by David and Tim Bayly on February 1, 2005 - 10:05am
Today the full text of Today's New International Version (TNIV) was released to the public. As Zondervan and the International Bible Society take this book to market, remember this new product represents an intentional breaking of their word by both Zondervan and the International Bible Society. Christians ought to keep their word, especially in matters related to His Word.
Remember, also, that this Bible is intentionally inaccurate, unfaithfully rendering thousands of passages in such a way as to obscure or remove the meaning the Holy Spirit inspired. The two clearest manifestations of this unfaithfulness appear in texts where the essential patriarchy of God's created order and the persecution of Jesus Christ by "the Jews" are, both, explicitly communicated by the original Hebrew and Greek text.
The motives of Zondervan and IBS are clear: they wish to protect God from charges of sexism and anti-Semitism. (Here's material related to the sex markings and here's material related to the persecution of Jesus by "the Jews.")
The cost is also clear: those paid to do this work are shrinking from declaring the whole counsel of God and therefore have blood on their hands:
(The Apostle Paul said) "And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God" (Acts 20:25-27).
by David and Tim Bayly on February 9, 2005 - 8:41am
When I first saw the galleys of the New Living Translation at my in-laws home in Weaton, back in the mid 90s, I was sickened to see that adelphoi (which over the centuries has always been translated "brothers") was changed to "Christian friends" throughout the New Testament Epistles. This was my introduction to Evangelicals neutering the text of Scripture and it came long before I had any association with "World," Focus on the Family, or CBMW in opposing the NIVI--the TNIV's predecessor.
This false translation of 'adelphoi' in the NLT caused serious exchanges with my father-in-law, Ken Taylor, and my brother-in-law, Mark Taylor---respectively Chairman of the Board and CEO of the NLT's copyright holder and publishing company, Tyndale House Publshers. In our discussions, I explained that my opposition to their action went beyond the matter of the loss of the sex marking of adelphoi. Of even greater concern to me was the loss of the family context and identity at the heart of the Church...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 10, 2005 - 6:35am
Experience teaches that a man who denies God's Word in one area can't be trusted elsewhere. Thus, the puzzling affection of many in the Reformed community for N. T. Wright's views on, inter alia, justification, despite his denial of Scripture's fundamental anthropological teaching on manhood and womanhood....
Wright is a feminist not out of egalitarian but superioritarian principle. He just knows more than those who hold to Scripture's plain teaching. Why can't people see what's obvious, he asks? It's the same approach he takes to justification. Just read the text. Do the exegesis. Don't be a bloody-minded American. Do you want to be thought a fundamentalist?
Thanks to Andrew Dionne for this audio link of Wright addressing the Christians for Biblical Equality annual conference the summer of 2004.
Until now I'd never considered Wright kin to Gilbert Bilezikian, but that's what they are--twits separated at birth.
One defender of the TNIV writes:"My teenage daughters are especially disturbed by this. The use of masculine pronouns to refer to practically everyone in the Bible grinds on them over time. My 16-year-old has told me that she grew up believing that the Bible was for boys. It bothers me that this trivial language issue is being made a stumbling block for young women who are made to feel like second-class Christians when they read the Bible. And it bothers me that it doesn't bother everybody." To which Michael Marlowe responds:"Now, you say, 'It bothers me that this trivial language issue is being made a stumbling block for young women who are made to feel like second-class Christians when they read the Bible.' But what do you mean by 'second-class Christians'? And have you faced the fact that the Bible does indeed use the kind of 'offensive' language that the feminists hate? It is not just a figment of translations that we are talking about here -- it is a feature of the original text. And who taught your daughters to be offended at language which a generation ago aroused no offense.... What else are your daughters being taught to be offended at? Eventualy, we have to recognize that this idea of making the Bible inoffensive is a rather dangerous idea. It will not end with pronouns. This is only the beginning of endless accommodations to those who are 'offended' by things in the Bible..."
And Tim Bayly responds:When the first efforts were made to stop the neutering of Scripture back in the late nineties, Leighton Ford went public with a statement to the effect that he supported the neutering of Scripture because he wanted his granddaughters to be able to read the Bible and know it included them. My own daughters were quite disgusted by how patronizing of women his statement was and one of them, Michal, actually took the time to write Ford and take him to task for his statement.
Women who want to get it do get it. Women who don't want to get it don't. And mothers and fathers (and grandfathers) have much to do with whether their daughters and granddaughters get it. Really, it's quite easy to teach daughters what God's purpose is in calling them "sons," "brothers," and "adam." And teaching them these things innoculates them against...
A reader asks: "If you, Mary Lee, and your children are opening Christmas presents, and you hand Heather a box which contains three copies of Out of My Mind: the Best of Joe Bayly, and you say to Heather, "Please share the presents in this box with your brothers," who would you be asking Heather to share the presents with?"
To which I answer: Concerning usage in my family, whether or not Heather, Heidi, Michal, Hannah, and our latest addition, Sarah, would understand themselves to be included when I spoke of "brothers" would depend upon the context, wouldn't it? Similarly in Scripture, they would know from the context. And where the context didn't make it clear, I want them left with the question God put into the text. How dare anyone rob them of the question the Holy Spirit desired them to ask! Ambiguity itself is inspired.
Yes, I make a habit of teaching the adopted sons of God living in my household (as well as the members of our church) the priceless treasure they have in that sonship, and I carry out this instruction by calling them "sons of God" and "brothers in Christ." Not always, but often enough for them to learn the Christian truths there embedded.
But remember, it's not my usage under debate, but the usage of the Holy Spirit. The question being asked is whether the Holy Spirit is to be allowed to call the human race 'adam' in Hebrew; whether the Holy Spirit is to be allowed to call the people of God "sons" in Hebrew and "brothers" in Greek; and so on.
You answer that you will not allow the Holy Spirit this usage because it places obstructions in the path of seekers; I answer that I will allow the Holy Spirit this usage because this habit of speech teaches God's sons about the nature of the universe--namely that God our Father has been pleased to order it under father-rule. That in that one man, Adam, we all die. And consequently, that the Holy Spirit calls the race "adam," not "human beings" or "mortals."
It's really so simple.
On the work of translation, Friedrich Schleiermacher wrote, "Either the translator leaves the writer alone as much as possible and moves the reader toward the writer, or he leaves the reader alone as much as possible and moves the writer toward the reader." Is it really necessary for me to say the obvious: that when the book in question is the Word of God I believe in "leaving the Writer alone as much as possible and moving the reader toward the Writer."
How many of us have ever heard the word 'propitiation' used outside of a church context? No, it's as churchey as words come, isn't it?
Yet the logic of those arguing against the generic use of 'man' and 'brother' would demand that we move the Writer of Scripture as far towards the readers as possible, relegating 'propitiation' to the dustheap of history...
Note to the Reader: Commenting on the fact that the Hebrew word 'adam' is used throughout the Old Testment to refer to the human race, one poster of comments who served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for many years writes: "The removal of the male semantic meaning component of ...words like 'adam' is impossible, because there was never a male semantic meaning component in this word in the first place. This is made very clear in Genesis 1:27: from the very beginning 'adam' (humanity, not the individual) was male and female."
I've been waiting a long time for a supporter of neutered Bibles to make such a clear statement denying what I (and I trust the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians) see as self-evident: that the Holy Spirit inspired the human race to be called 'adam' partly in order to make it clear to us that the man-as-man, Adam, was our representative in the Fall.
The Apostle Paul prohibits the exercise of authority over men by women by saying "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, for Adam was created first, then Eve." (1 Timothy 2:12a, NAS95) With this simple statement Paul explicitly affirms what is implicit throughout God's Word, that the order of creation establishes patriarchy as God's pattern for leadership in human relationships. Addressing the matter of propriety in prayer, the Apostle Paul again emphasizes this order: "For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake" (1 Corinthians 11:8,9, NAS95).
Imagine a new believer, thoroughly confused by the sexual anarchy of today's culture, discovering the truth inherent in passages such as 1Corinthians 11:3-16, 14:34-35, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1Timothy 2:9-15, and 1Peter 3:1-7. What a deep sense of relief to discover that the order of creation establishes timeless principles for the relationships between men and women. But while the facts of Eve's creation are instructive for establishing proper roles for men and women, Genesis goes on to reveal another important biographical note about Adam and Eve. Like the facts surrounding God's creation of Eve, the significance of this biographical detail is revealed more fully by the New Testament...
Thursday, Brian Nichols, the fugitive who went on a killing spree in Atlanta, is found with two shivs in his shoes at his rape trial. Friday, a solitary 49-year-old female sheriff's deputy guards him as he changes into civilian clothes for his trial. He overpowers her, takes her gun and shoots her. She's slight. He's over six feet tall and 200 muscled pounds.
Insanity. Feminist theory brought face-to-face with reality.
But heading right back for the hair of the dog that bit them, what do the authorities do when he surrenders today?
No ones fooled, Atlanta law enforcement. Though you show him off in a female FBI agent's grasp, she looks frightened--as well she should be--and he looks in control.
How much would you give for this woman's life if those men weren't there in the background?
Brian Nichols was caught by a woman. Not the female FBI agent in the picture two posts below, but the young mother in whose apartment he spent his last night of freedom.
Ashley Smith, a Christian taken hostage by Nichols, read to him from the Bible and "The Purpose Driven Life" during the night. She talked of her life and suffering. She shared her hope in Christ and told him that he had caused others to suffer and should surrender so that no more would be hurt. The next morning, Nichols let Smith go to her daughter, knowing that she would likely turn him in.
By being compassionate, level-headed, womanly, Smith brought Nichols to surrender. Need we elaborate on the nonsense of feminism trying to turn women into macho, pistol-toting men? There's more strength in a woman being a woman than a woman playing a man.
Fascinating series of video clips in which Smith describes her night as a hostage available here. Gripping video.
The following questions were posted to the comments section of our sister "World" magazine blog, Stealth Bible: TNIV. Here is my own response.
So what then do you make of (John Doe), one of the most vocal opponents of the TNIV, who taught at (such and such seminary) for years, and only recently moved from there to (another seminary), not out of opposition to (his prior seminary's) handling of these issues, but rather because of (personal reasons)? Did he (and others like him) who teach at schools that permit women to gain "ordination-track" MDiv's demonstrate lack of zeal and sound judgment by continuing on at (his former seminary for so long)?
Should we now shun all schools that allow women to gain ordination-track MDiv's, and those who teach at them, even though they are complementarian? Should complementarians who are looking for teaching positions in the evangelical academy teach only at those schools who won't permit women to earn ordination-track MDivs? I doubt that Dallas Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary can house all of them on their faculties...
Since there are many complementarians who believe it is proper to maintain collegial relations with those who promote the heresy of feminism, let's depersonalize the issue and not limit our discussion to any particular individual. The man you've mentioned is one among many.
The nub of your question is the degree to which I believe there ought to be some separation between those who hold to the biblical doctrine of sexuality and those who reject and attack that doctrine. You raise the question in the context of academic institutions but I think the prior place to consider and resolve this question is the Church of the Living God referred to by the Holy Spirit as "the pillar and support" of God's Truth.
Men who are elders (or whatever they may be called in any given polity) ought to be disciplined for rejecting the plain teaching of Scripture...
David wrote a piece asking where the slippery slope began that led us into our present culture of death. I'd like to add to the suggestions he and others have made.
If I'm remembering correctly, back in the early Seventies the journal of the California Medical Association published an editorial titled something like, "A New Ethic for Medicine." Years after it was published, Dad gave me a copy indicating it was right in what it said--namely, that medicine had turned a corner from love and compassion toward quality of life and utilitarianism. The editorial was brief and ended saying this change had the gravest of implications for the future of our nation.
Here we are, then, twenty to thirty years later wondering what has brought us to the point where unborn babies, defective newborns, the handicapped, the frail, and the elderly are all endangered by utilitarian judgements based on determinations of the person's quality of life. Baby Doe is mentally handicapped so Baby Doe is starved to death.
How did we get here?
Those outside Terri's hospice in Pinellas Park remarked to one another that Terri would not be being starved to death if motherhood were still honored in our nation. If men still worked for a family wage and their wives were able to give their lives serving their children, parents, church, and community, might not love and compassion still be the core of our nation's heart, as well as the heart of her physicians?
But instead, full time housewives have been deemed expendable and the demise of the calling of motherhood has been one of the leading factors contributing to our nation's increasing poverty of spirit. Compassion has become an entitlement doled out by the government's bureaucracy. It no longer comes from the hands and heart of a loving woman who serves others by leave of, and in solidarity with, her husband. Compassion has been professionalized and has died.
But beyond this decline is another deeper one: women no longer give themselves to motherhood and mercy because the weaker sex no longer glories in femininity. Instead, woman competes with man. Beyond Baby Doe and Terri Schiavo, femininity and motherhood have also died and all of us are the poorer for it.
It's not wombs but mothers who give the gift of life.
Dad used to think it marvelously ironic that creationist Wheaton College was the recipient of a magnificently-preserved ice age mastodon dug from the clay pits of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He took glee in pointing out the mastodon in its full, standing-in-a-diorama-in-Wheaton's-science-building splendor to visitors from out of town.
In the same way, this sad tale rises above the level of mundane lesbian jealousy with the recent inclusion of a chapter by the attempted murderess in an anthology on Discovering Biblical Equality published by InterVarsity Press.
Ironically, Judy Brown's Alford plea conviction for the attempted murder of Rev. Ted Smart came nearly a year prior to IVP's late 2004/early 2005 publication of Discovering Biblical Equality containing her contribution titled, "God, Gender and Biblical Metaphor."
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities provides this description of Discovering Biblical Equality,
The full-scale complementarian critique of evangelical feminism, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, has gone unanswered for well over a decade. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothius, with the able assistance of Gordon D. Fee, have worked to redress this lacuna by assembling a team of twenty-six evangelical egalitarians to produce Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy....
While the essays seek to promote the egalitarian point of view and to critique the hierarchical point of view, they do so with charity and respect, and work to promote dialogue, all the while encouraging all to celebrate God-given gender complementarity. Among many contentions, the book's authors hold that the affirmation of egalitarianism need not deny the complementarity of male and female and that affirmation of the complementarity of the sexes need not imply a hierarchical relation between them.
For more on the connection with IVP read here and here.
Salem Commonwealth Attorney Fred King says of the crime: "This is the most unusual case we have ever handled."
IVP has now withdrawnDiscovering Biblical Equality from distribution saying it will release the book without the chapter by Judy Brown later this year.
Apparently, though IVP can see the occasional tree, it's blind to the forest. And to think that Dad was a founder of IVP....
by David and Tim Bayly on April 28, 2005 - 10:11am
(Note from Tim Bayly: Often I get calls from pastors and elders asking if I can give them help working through the issue of what work is and is not appropriate for men and women in their congregation. Five years ago Church of the Good Shepherd adopted such a statement drafted for us by one of our pastors at the time, Rev. David Wegener (a fellow member of Ohio Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America).
Such a call came again this morning from a fellow teaching elder of the PCA, so I'm taking this opportunity to post the statement here for the good of the church at large. If our good readers know of another church statement that would be useful, also, and that honors the unequivocal teaching of Scripture that is patriarchy, please feel free to post that statement, or a link to it, in the comments below. Thank you.)
Church of the Good Shepherd's Understanding of the Biblical Roles of Men and Woman in Congregational Life Adopted by the Session (Board of Elders) of Church of the Good Shepherd November, 1999
1. All men and women are equally created in the image of God and therefore are equally worthy of our honor and respect...
A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. -Deuteronomy 22:5
The craziness started when sex morphed into gender and the distinctions between men and women went from the hard reality of body parts to the soft fiction of social constructs. Back in the old days, a baby was born and the doctor or nurse took a quick look and said either "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"
Now fathers and mothers wait with hearts a-thumping for their child to report back from college. Dutifully submitting him to the twistings and moldings of the academy (and paying twenty-five to forty thousand dollars a year for the privilege), Dad and Mom can never be quite certain where their child will end up. Things aren't clarified until he has had a a few years of polymorphous perversity, has heard all his options, has been hit on by every segment of the gender continuum, and one day shows up back home with his partner of choice.
Sex has been abandoned, and gender is a social construct that maximizes that idol of Western culture--choice. So now we've traded in man and woman for man-loving woman, woman-loving man, man-loving woman locked up in man's body, woman-loving man locked up in woman's body, man-loving man locked up in woman's body, woman-loving woman locked up in man's body; and so on. Far from the simple on-off of the sex switch, the gender switch is never simply on or off; it's bright or dim or somewhere--anywhere--in between.
And so absurdities multiply.
Connnecticut's Wesleyan College is trying out a "gender-blind" dorm policy.
University of California:
The Financial Times reports that the University of California is considering covering drugs and surgery for her students to change their sex...
While pursuing the M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I took four courses from Roger Nicole, including his seminar on the Atonement. Dr. Nicole was a feminist even then (1980-1983), and we had our arguments over his dismissal of Scripture's commands. Yet at that point his feminist commitments extended only to the Church, the advocacy of women pastors and elders, and many of us felt this advocacy was more a function of his baptistic polity and almost-denial of ordination than some deep ideological commitment to feminism. At the time he still did not equivocate on the command of God's Word that the husband is to be the head of the wife. But this inconsistency never led us to feel that Dr. Nicole was essentially stable on this doctrine. Which is greater, the Church or the home?
Skip forward seventeen years or so, to the 1998 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. There I was privileged to renew my relationship with Dr. Nicole. Imagine my lack of surprise upon finding out that Dr. Nicole had moved in his commitments--and not towards honoring God and His Word, but rather toward Eleanor Smeal, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, "The New York Times," Gilbert Bilezikian, Simone de Beauvoir, Wheaton College, Hillary Clinton, and "Christianity Today."
Dr. Nicole now denied the authority in marriage of the husband...
Not long after the "Stealth Bible" issue of World went into print, as the conflict over neutered Bible versions grew in intensity across the evangelical world, Don Carson contacted the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and asked that his name be removed from the list of those who endorsed the organization. Having neither met nor corresponded with Dr. Carson, I was uncomfortable hearing of his resignation secondhand and not having a chance to discuss his concerns with him directly. (A couple months earlier in addition to my pastorate here in Bloomington I had agreed to serve as CBMW's first Executive Director.)
I called Dr. Carson, introduced myself, and said I'd heard he wanted to remove his endorsement of CBMW. Would he please reconsider his decision?
My nephew, Chris Taylor, passed along this photo. He comments:
I got a kick out of seeing this billboard every day when I went in to work up in Chicago. It kind of fits with Dennis Rodman's exclamation when prompted for his response to the female referee that threw him out on a personal foul, "She's the man!"
by David and Tim Bayly on August 27, 2005 - 6:07pm
This, from the BBC, on a study soon to be published in the British Journal of Psychology...
Academics in the UK claim their research shows that men are more intelligent than women.
A study to be published later this year...says that men are on average five points ahead on IQ tests.
Paul Irwing and Professor Richard Lynn claim the difference grows when the highest IQ levels are considered.
Their research was based on IQ tests given to 80,000 people and a further study of 20,000 students.
Far from being a revealing study, this is just another nail in the coffin of standardized testing. Believe me, I know a fair bit about scoring on these tests, and I've come over time to believe that nothing in all the world is less meaningful than a high score on an SAT or an ACT or an IQ.
We may believe in patriarchy, but no man of God ever believes he leads because he's smarter or better. Stronger, yes, in certain ways, but not smarter.
But let me tell you, I suspect that if standardized testing was initially developed by women they'd be the ones ahead. This just reveals that IQ tests cater to male strengths and that men and women are, as Scripture has already informed us, different. It says nothing at all about intelligence.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 29, 2005 - 4:41pm
On a certain day in 1983, only months before graduating from seminary, I was browsing the new arrivals shelf of our seminary's library and came across a feminist tract just published under the auspices of the Women in Church and Society Committee of the World Council of Churches. Flipping through its pages, it all seemed the normal feminist claptrap to me. Then I came to the appendices and discovered a gem--correspondence between Henrietta Visser 't Hooft and Karl Barth concerning the Scripture's teaching on the relationship between the sexes.
In all my reading on this subject in the intervening years, I've never run across a single reference to this correspondence. It's time to stop hoarding it and share it with our good readers. So with no further ado, here is an exchange between Karl Barth and Henrietta Visser 't Hooft, wife of the first General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Willem Adolph Visser 't Hooft.
Most fascinating in this exchange is Barth's statement:
For instance, a great many Christians in Germany today object to the fact that Christ was a Jew. Time will show whether their objections are salutary. And women can object to the fact that the Bible says that "man is the woman's head." Time will show whether it is good to reverse this disposition or (as you would like to do) to neutralize it.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 29, 2005 - 7:14pm
Friends, I urge you to read the letter from Barth to Madame Visser 't Hooft that Tim has posted here.
Not only are you unlikely ever to see this letter anywhere else, I can assure you that you will find Barth's response to Mrs. Visser 't Hooft's proto-feminism bracing, remarkably biblical and unbending.
For more background on Henriette Visser 't Hooft's proto-feminism, the difficulties it caused her husband (a leader in the WCC ecumenical movement) and Barth's scathing response, see this fascinating article (though sympathetic to Mrs. Visser t' Hooft) by Jurgen Moltmann.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 7, 2005 - 2:56pm
Only a deaf, dumb, and blind man could be ignorant of the battle today over the meaning and purpose of sexuality, particularly with reference to authority in the Church, home, and society. I decline to say the meaning and purpose of "gender" because gender is a weasel-word used in our culture to indicate that no man is simply a man or woman, but rather an individual whose personality and gifts place him at some point on the continuum of gender-identity. And of course, that continuum is infinitely long and complex. So to exchange the biological determinism of 'sex' for the sociological continuum of 'gender' is to support, if ever so slightly, the sexual anarchy that surrounds us and to give each person the freedom to choose a place to stand, rather than simply to acknowledge where God has placed him and learn to stand there with dignity and purpose.
If others want to make a bow to the new revolution, that's their business. For myself, when I speak of the teaching of Scripture on manhood and womanhood I will use the word 'sex' precisely so that those reading or listening think of specific sexual body parts and intercourse and fertility and reproduction and the blessing of children and so on. I want them to be forced away from sociological thoughts, to biological ones. Happens enough every other moment of our day, doesn't it?
Those squeamish about such points being written on the blog of two PCA pastors aren't likely as squeamish about the endless parade of even more graphic biological markings that flow across their television screen, their magazine pages, and their CNNSI.com web pages, right? I hope you get my point.
Anyhow, speaking of the meaning and purpose of sex (or sexual differentiation, if you prefer), here's a piece I'd buried on my hard drive, but had called to my attention again this week by my nephew, Chris. It's by B. B. Warfield, the late nineteenth/early twentieth century professor of theology at Princeton Seminary.
If you took the time to read our earlier post by Karl Barth, you'll be amazed at how closely these two titans of vastly different positions on the inspiration of Scripture, Warfield (inerrancy) and Barth (neo-orthodoxy), stand on the teachings of Scripture concerning sexuality. Pay particular attention to Warfield's last couple of sentences. They are echoed so closely by several of Barth's statements that one wonders whether Barth isn't quoting Warfield?
One final comment before Warfield's piece. After reading this piece, our good readers may well better understand why David and I are not content with the methods used by many today in defending Scripture's teaching on sexuality. Place Warfield's exegesis and application of the texts next to many books and articles written today and we are reminded of the effeminacy of our day. Note well the manliness of leadership and the complete absence of equivocation when Warfield engaged in contending for the Faith.
May God again restore to the women of His Church...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 21, 2005 - 8:51am
Our good readers will recognize this theme, but one of the most significant challenges to Christian orthodoxy is the tendency for the men who are her pastors to be women. An old French saying has it about right: "There are three genders; men, women, and clergymen." So given the problem of churches led by effeminate (remember that archaism?) men, it's no surprise churches are filled with women.
Christine Rosen has a piece titled, "Church Ladies: Women dominate America's pews. Is that a problem?" in today's Wall Street Journal pointing out the growing proportion of women going into the pastorate and the decline of men in the church pews. Although I don't agree with some of the author's conclusions, the problem she's pointing out is real and we have a duty to consider it and seek ways to reverse it.
Last week our small group met here in our home, and since several of our newest members are music grad students, we discussed how it came about that in our Lord's Day worship Church of the Good Shepherd moved from the exclusive use of a piano to a combined piano and full band.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 25, 2005 - 8:01am
Apparently men and women are identical until it really counts, then the ground rules change and "Vive la difference!" So when does it really count?
First, the difference continues to matter to the eye. The advertising industry alone proves everyone loves a pretty woman--and if push comes to shove, even an unpretty woman. Forced to make a choice between a plain Jane and a pretty man, most everyone would choose the plain Jane. Woman is pretty and pretty is woman--that's how most of us see it, hence the generalization "the fairer sex."
Second, apparently the difference still matters with money. Here's an article showing the non-profit world keeps close tabs on the difference between men and women in giving habits. Among other things, we learn women now control more than half the wealth in these United States (and that percentage is only growing).
A friend in the UK just wrote:
I heard on the radio this morning that a recently published report says that women in the UK will own 2/3rds of the country's wealth within 20 years. Women are just under 1/2 now, but with better education more women are now employed than men (is that possible!! I think for sure that was what they said!). Also, women tend to live alone more than men (hence they will own more homes) and since they live longer, they tend to inherit the family's wealth.
The article also tells us women now head more than half of all charitable foundations, that they are motivated to give by different things than motivate men, and that they give more generously than men.
The sex God has blessed to carry, give birth to, and nurse little babies gives more than men--not exactly rocket science, is it?
by David and Tim Bayly on November 4, 2005 - 6:29am
Not sure whether Mr. Rogers is the best illustration of masculine fanciness, but here's a cute little song to start your children on the path of loving the beauty God has placed in each sex.
Late addition: my son, Taylor, says Mr. Rogers was quite an excellent manly man and as proof told me he always wore long sleeves because his arms were covered with tattoos from the days of his heroic military service as a Marine sniper. Smiling to learn so, I swept my reservations aside ...until reading this entry on the Urban Legends site.
Now I'm really irritated that I have to disengage son Taylor from such a romantic myth. Some things ought to be true "just because."
by David and Tim Bayly on November 15, 2005 - 8:05am
Cletus Huckleberry just E-mailed a link to his blog where he's posted a rant (his word) on this story about a Croatian football player, Goran Granic, who, after converting to Roman Catholicism, no longer commits intentional fouls. It's agreed that his change in play has hurt the team and Mr. Huckleberry is disgusted that Mr. Granic's faith has unmanned him. Mr. Huckleberry goes on to lament the feminization of the Roman Catholic church, seeing Mr. Granic as a perfect example of all that has caused it.
The rant's main theme is easy listening for me, but I'm not sure I agree with the main point in connection with Mr. Granic's quite practical confession of faith. Here's a comment I posted on the blog:
This is a great story... Problem is, I'm not sure I agree with you.
My son, Taylor, plays soccer, also, and here are a couple things we talk over "in Christ." Since at least half his games are played on the Lord's Day, should we continue to disallow him from participating in those games--you know, Chariots of Fire and all that.
Second, when the occasional team sends young girls along, should he and his teammates treat the girls exactly the way they treat the boys, being just as physical? Inevitably, all the boys on their team naturally go soft on the girls and the coach tells them at half time that they can't do that. But what would you say to your son?
Third, is a foul really only the sportsmanlike choice of a penalty toward the greater good of winning? Somehow, I see a sliding tackle from behind as not being in the same league as grabbing a player and holding on in the last seconds of a basketball game.
(That said), I completely agree with all your sub-points, just maybe not with your main illustration.
So what do y'all think about this and related questions?
by David and Tim Bayly on November 18, 2005 - 12:32pm
Several months ago I wrote critically of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on this site. That post was followed by several private emails between Tim and members of CBMW further articulating our concern with CBMW's accommodationist tendencies.
Yesterday Peter Leithart posted a fascinating piece on his blog summarizing a talk given by Russell Moore at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Moore suggests that egalitarianism is the functional rule of Evangelical family culture despite years of work by Evangelical opponents of feminism:
Moore suggested at least two reasons for this discrepancy between theory and practice. First, he said that few evangelical pastors are willing to preach on biblical texts that speak of male headship out of fear of feminist backlash, and when they do preach on it they are short on specifics. The reigning model is "servant leadership," a leadership that imitates the headship of Christ. But without specific details and instruction, "servant leadership" ends up as "non-leadership." He suggested that behind this is the revolution in pastoral care that has taken place within evangelicalism over the past generation. Because counselors have allowed modern psychological categories - which are decidedly hostile to authority - to shape their understanding of pastoral care, counseling often tends to perpetuate egalitarian agendas.
Tim has said for years that feminism is a principal heresy of our age. Yet "complementarian" responses to this heresy tend toward accommodation because they fail to recognize the danger of egalitarianism's central thrust, an attack not merely on human patriarch, but on the Fatherhood of God.
by David and Tim Bayly on December 2, 2005 - 6:41am
My daughter, Michal Crum, sent along this link of the top twenty questions people take to Scripture at the web site, Bible Answers. She points out that some of the answers are quite good, but others aren't.
Speaking of bad answers, my heart aches for men and women growing up today without seeing or being taught the truth and beauty of sexuality as Scripture reveals it to us. And the church has much to answer for in this regard, having done everything possible to hide this aspect of biblical truth lest it scandalize seekers. But of course, the true reason we hide this light under the bushel is not our love for seekers, but our self-love. The greatest resistance to biblical sexuality, both purity and patriarchy, is not from unbelievers, but those inside the church.
Pastors may be silent partially because of the fear of offending non-Christians, but the main reason for our silence is the punishment we'd take at the hands of our leaders and their wives if we were to teach and preach the commands of God. This page, then, is a perfect example of the unfaithfulness of the church and her leaders in our time. May God lead us to repentance.
by David and Tim Bayly on December 6, 2005 - 5:31am
The latest email update from the PCA's magazine, By Faith...
To: byFaith Readers
From: Dick Doster, Editor
Subject: December issue of byFaith
Subscribers to byFaith will receive the December issue within the next few days. And, in two cover stories we discuss a topic which, in coming months, will become more difficult to ignore: the PCA's stewardship of women's gifts.
We begin with "Women Theologians: A Goldmine for the Church" where Carolyn Custis James calls our attention to the growing number of PCA women who are graduating from Reformed seminaries. "The PCA," James says, "has been remarkably successful in producing an army of solid female theologians." And this, the author believes, is one our great successes, but it also presents a great challenge: What should be our response to the influx of female seminary graduates as they arrive in our churches with their gifts, training, and theological wisdom?
Some, when they hear questions like this, don't understand why--in the 21st century--the PCA doesn't ordain gifted women. As James says, our views on women's ordination are "firm, clear, and defended by Scripture." But many wonder how.
L. Roy Taylor, stated clerk of the PCA's General Assembly, has written an article titled "The Authority of the Word and the Wisdom of the Church: Why the PCA Only Ordains Men to Ecclesiastical Office." Ordination, Taylor explains, is not a human rights issue but a biblical and theological one. The PCA's position is based on biblical and theological principles and solid historical precedent. But the challenge remains: How best may women use their experiences, gifts, and talents within the church for the glory of God?
Others, on the other hand, when they hear questions like this don't understand why this settled issue has risen to the forefront in the PCA. Evidently, there are some who wish it were not settled?
It's a classic trick of the "change-agent" trade to harp on the existence of a problem until, like Frankenstein awakened, the problem finally rears its head. Your shirt may be entirely inoffensive, but if I insist all day and night that it is offensive, ultimately I have defined the problem into existence.
So, as an alternative point of discussion and in order to propound the problem a bit more biblically, perhaps we should ask why Reformed seminaries insist on graduating women with degrees that throughout history have been given only to men preparing for leadership in Christ's Church? Why do our Reformed seminaries insist on confounding Reformed theology and polity by their practice in this area?
And, perhaps just as importantly, who sets the editorial agenda for By Faith?
by David and Tim Bayly on December 12, 2005 - 4:55am
Here's my early Christmas present to all those who claim faith in Jesus Christ but deny the plain teaching of Scripture, that God Himself has ordained that man should lead (1Timothy 2:13). When the very Word of God fails to convince, maybe it doesn't matter what we try next. So hey, how about the dance studio? This, then, from a site called Lloydian Dance: Ten Reasons Why Men Lead and Women Follow. Merry Christmas!
by David and Tim Bayly on December 21, 2005 - 11:56am
The good Rev. Sandi Blackwood ought, also, to be suspended from her pulpit for five years for pulling the light bulb out of the lamp in the first place. What do you want to bet the Revs. Blackwood are co-pastors of the same church? Reminds me of the scuttlebutt across the mainline PC(USA) in which I formerly served, that husband/wife co-pastors were notorious for fighting with each other. Duh!
Minister Banned from Pulpit after Headbutting His Wife
Alan Blackwood has been banned from the pulpit for five years by the Church of Scotland after headbutting his wife Sandi, also a minister, causing her to need stitches to her nose after the attack.
The violence occurred when Sandi took the bulb out of a bedside lamp because she wanted to go to sleep.
Blackwood had been suspended since his arrest in April 2004. The civil court sentenced him to probation for 18 months.
-Church of Scotland news item.
Seriously, though, they both should be out of the pulpit until they have repented of their hatred for one another. And the best place to start would be to mandate that they submit to the soul care of a pastor--need I say, a male pastor?--who will counsel and pray with them for the peace of Christ to rule their marriage and home.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 14, 2006 - 4:06pm
Interesting post by Christopher Atwood commenting on what he believes to be the universally more religious nature of women than men.
Honestly, my gut feeling is not that women universally tend to greater religiosity than men, but that wherever religion is deficient, idolatrous or false women will predominate among its observers.
True religion is utterly appealing to men: witness, the masculinity of the Old and New Testaments. Nor is there any indication in Scripture that women were more religious than men in Judaism or New Testament Christianity.
What is interesting to note from Josephus is the accusation that the Pharisees were especially popular with Jewish women. Embarrassing as that passage in 1 Timothy about Adam not being deceived may ring in the ears of modern Evangelicals, perhaps it has something to do with the trend Christopher Atwood notes.
One of the more disappointing moments of my time within the PCA came three years ago when I attended a Covenant College-sponsored luncheon at the 2003 PCA General Assembly hosted by Covenant College's new president and wife, Niel and Kathleen Nielson.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 7, 2006 - 7:21am
Betty Friedan, the author of one of the seminal feminist works of the twentieth century, The Feminine Mystique, has died. She was 85 years old. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Friedan grew up in a home where her father was a jeweler and her mother had given up a gig as a newspaper journalist to become a housewife. Friedan reported that her mother was conflicted about this change and took it out on her husband:
(My mother) cut down my father because she had no place to channel her terrific energies, a typical female disorder that I call impotent rage...
Friedan went on to Smith College where she did quite well, then married and had two children. At work, when she asked for maternity leave to bear her second child, she was fired. A few years later, she wrote The Feminine Mystique.
Later in life, Friedan lamented the fixation on lesbianism which was endemic to the more radical side of the feminist movement, saying:
I wrote a whole book objecting to the definition of women only in sexual relation to men. I would not exchange that for a definition of women only in sexual relation to women...
Friedan defended the family from feminist attacks and was obviously sympathetic to men, as well as to women who loved men as their sons, fathers, and husbands. At times, this angered her sisters-in-arms.
On the negative side, she helped found the National Abortion Rights Action League, the organization largely responsible for creating a climate in these United States in which the Supreme Court could legalize mothers paying doctors to kill their unborn children. Friedan also was the founding president of the National Organization of Women.
Quite endearingly, Friedan recently said, "...women as a special separate interest group are not my concern any more.'' We hope her concern turned to Her Maker and the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 10, 2006 - 5:55am
Phil Henry, a Presbyterian Church in America pastor serving in Tucson, Arizona, has a good post critiquing an article in the latest issue of our denominational magazine, byFaith. Written by Carolyn Custis James, the piece is titled, "A CHALLENGE FACING THE PCA IS HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE GROWING POPULATION OF FEMALE THEOLOGIANS: Women Theologians: A SPIRITUAL GOLDMINE FOR THE CHURCH." And yes, that's a long and loud title, but without the use of small caps, that's about what it looks like.
There's a ton that could be said about this (and other) pieces in this issue of byFaith, but I grow weary. Pastor Henry is a younger man, though, and so you might want to watch him tilt at windmills.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 11, 2006 - 9:23am
The wife of Dr. Frank A. James III, current president of Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando), ordinarily would be known as Mrs. Frank James. Or, if one were on friendly terms with her, some variation of "Carolyn," "Carol," or "Custis" may be used. For some reason, though, Mrs. James is known as "Carolyn Custis James."
Now you may resent my pointing out the obvious, but no one thinks of her husband, Frank, when people say "Carolyn Custis James." Is that a problem?
Well, no. We all know who she is.
Speaking of which, my mother always preferred to receive letters addressed to "Mrs. Joseph T. Bayly." That was the title of honor back in the old days before women became warriors.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 11, 2006 - 11:44am
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. (1Peter 3:1-6)
David and I have mentioned our interest in the proceedings of the "Gender and the Church" conference going on this weekend at our denominational college, Covenant College. Sponsored by Covenant's Kaleo Center, the keynote speakers are Carolyn Custis James and her husband, Frank. The conference web site provides the following credentials for Mrs. James:
Carolyn Custis James is an international conference speaker for churches, colleges, seminaries and other Christian organizations. She is a new voice in Christian publishing with a strong, affirming message for women... Carolyn is President of Whitby Forum, a ministry organization dedicated to helping women go deeper in their relationship with God and to serve Him alongside their brothers in the faith... She is a founder and sponsor (along with Reformed Theological Seminary and Campus Crusade for Christ International) of Synergy conferences--a national gathering of women in seminary and in vocational ministries... During the years between seminary and her present ministries, she had her own business as a computer software developer in Oxford, England. She and her husband Frank (President of Reformed Theological Seminary-- Orlando ) live in Orlando, Florida. They have one college-age daughter.
What "strong, affirming message for women" does Mrs. James provide that is "dedicated to helping women go deeper in their relationship with God... to serve Him alongside their brothers in the faith?" Here's an excerpt from last night's Bible message by Mrs. James...