The Lotz/Chapell/Keller/James matrix...
Addendum: Wednesday evening, March 8, Bryan Chapell and I met together to discuss this recent series of posts. From our discussion, it became apparent that my concern with Covenant not zealously dealing with believers who reject biblical headship led to my identifying too closely the position held by Bryan Chapell and Covenant Seminary and the very different position held by Anne Graham Lotz. I regret this error. Please read the post keeping this clarification in mind.
Today the Washington Post ran a short piece by Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, that resembles the current doctrine of sexuality held by reformed evangelicals and their institutions such as Bryan Chapell/Covenant Seminary, Tim Keller/Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and Carolyn Custis James/Reformed Seminary (Orlando). Put these leaders in a room, make them talk together, and although they may not agree on every detail, their central thrust would be egalitarian and feminist.
And whereas Ms. Lotz may not agree entirely with the Covenant/Redeemer/Reformed mantra, "A woman may do anything a non-ordained man may do," her only quibble would be with the "non-ordained" bit. I'm guessing she's more straightforward than the men, and would not agree to that final Pharisaical barrier. She's already preaching and teaching; for her, elders meetings are small potatoes.
Here then is Ms. Lotz's brief article titled, "For Billy Graham's Daughter, Bible Crystal Clear on Male-Female Equality." After you've read it, come on back and read the following text--my response to Ms. Lotz.
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Ms. Anne Graham Lotz writes:
The Bible states that in the very beginning of the human race God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." (Genesis 1:27-28) In other words, the Biblical record is clear: God created men and women equal. Period. Dominion over everything was given to the woman as well as to the man. The woman was not created inferior to the man; nor was the man greater than the woman.
However, when sin entered the human race, one of the consequences was that men and women became separated from God. And that basic broken relationship distorted the Divine order in many ways, one of which was that men began to rule over women (Genesis 3:16).
At the beginning of her attack upon Scripture, Ms. Lotz writes as if she's a friend of Scripture, categorically stating, "the Biblical record is clear: ...dominion over everything was given to the woman as well as to the man." Wrong...
While woman does function with man as vice-regent over the rest of creation, God Himself bars Ms. Lotz's sex from exercising dominion over man. Further, this is not the result of the Fall, when sin entered the world, but of the order in which God created man and woman. It was (and still is) man first, then woman. And flowing from His order of creation, God our Creator explicitly prohibits woman from exercising authority over man. Why?
Not because woman bears less of God's Image and is unequal to man, but because God has attached to each sex an order of authority and submission that He forbids us to deny or defy. Thus God's Holy Spirit commands: "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve" (1 Timothy 2:12, 13).
As many have pointed out above, this order of God's creation of the sexes is a central theme of Scripture. It's revealed by God in Jesus Christ taking the flesh of a man, not a woman; it's revealed by Jesus' choice of twelve men as His Twelve Apostles; it's revealed by God's command that wives submit to their husbands "in everything;" it's revealed by Adam naming Eve (again, before the Fall); it's revealed by original sin flowing from Adam, who ate second, not Eve, who ate first; and it's revealed by Jesus commanding Christians to "Pray like this: Our *Father*, Who art in Heaven..."
It's sad to watch the daughter of a prominent Christian evangelist lashing out blindly at the clear teaching of the Word of God, rebelling against the boundaries God has decreed for her sex. No doubt, it's very hard to stand against the rabid egalitarianism and feminist ideology that have wormed their way to the heart of our culture.
But really, if we're going to start picking and choosing which biblical commands we want to obey, there's a much better place to start than the place Ms. Lotz has chosen. I'd nominate the command Jesus placed at the beginning of the straight and narrow path of Christian faith: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."