Critique of Pastor Keller's promotion of woman deacons, part 2: Pictures at an exhibition...

Timkeller (Tim) Recently, the PCA's institutional public relations voice, byFaith magazine, ran a point/counterpoint on woman deacons. This is the second in a series of posts I'll be doing critiquing Tim Keller's article promoting woman deacons. (Here are installments one, two, three, four, five, and six.) Tim Keller argued the point, Lig Duncan the counterpoint. This only to say I found the pictures of Tim and Lig that ran above their respective articles quite humorous. Here's Tim. Here's Lig. Yes yes, I'm sure it's no invidious plot.

LigduncanLig's scowl reminds me of some of the wording in the paper distributed to members of Ohio Valley Presbtery in our October stated meeting by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. The twenty-one page untitled paper addressed the presbytery as follows...

Fathers & Brothers of the Ohio Valley Presbytery,

In light of the current denomination dialogue regarding women serving in the diaconate and our communion in Christ with our brothers in the Ohio Valley Presbytery, Redeemer's session believes it is important to share the historical path that we have walked and the convictions we have come to as we have wrestled through the issue of women serving as deacons.

Historical Path

From our beginning as a church plant ten years ago, Redeemer's leadership communicated our commitment to have women serve as deaconesses. In the document we take potential members through, "Rediscovering Redeemer," we included a short position paper that explains Redeemer, New York's, practice of women serving as deaconesses. In that document, Dr. Tim Keller articulates Redeemer's position...

Then follows a lengthy justification of woman deacons by Tim Keller, followed a couple pages later by the same errant citation and misquotation of B. B. Warfield that Phil Ryken has put into print and is ubiquitous in this debate. For months, we've been trying to get Phil to retract his errors publicly, but they continue to be circulated across the PCA (see here and here).

But back to the pictures of Tim and Lig. The (completely unintentional) contrast these pictures communicate of these two men brought to mind this text from the paper distributed by Indianapolis' Redeemer Presbyterian Church to our (OVP) presbytery...

Recognizing and Engaging the "Traditional" Idolatry

What we are calling the "Traditional idolatry" prescribes to women an ontological status, roles (in home and church), etc. that are based not in the teaching of the Bible but on traditional cultural perspectives.

The error of the "Traditional Idolatry" is that it defines roles for the woman through "traditional lenses" and not through the Bible. The Bible teaches (1) first, the absolute ontological equality of men and women created in the image of God - the woman is not inferior to the man. The equality of personhood, value and dignity for the entire human race is a brute fact of Christian theology. (2) second, the Bible teaches, that the relationship between men and women was greatly damaged by the fall (so we should expect all cultural perspectives, including the "traditional" perspective, on the relationship of men and women to be distorted).

Those under the power of "Traditional Idolatry" are threatened by feminism and fear the infiltration of egalitarian "liberalism" in the church; their solution is to find safety and comfort in defining concrete "roles" for men and women ("Men work in the office, women work in the home"). They often find a sense of "rightness" through rigid rules of conduct and precise roles, rather than in the freedom and righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ. (While the Bible does teach that the husband is the head of his wife, it never defines this headship as authoritarian rule but only as loving service and sacrifice. Nor does the Bible specify what the husband's headship should look like, but it wisely leaves that open to married couples to work that out in light of their personal gifts and calling and culture.)

So what do you think of that last paragraph? Before seeing it myself, I never would have believed anyone could understand Lig Duncan or the members of Ohio Valley so perfectly.

Now then, which picture is of the guy promoting the "Traditionalist Idolatry?" Which guy is "threatened by feminism," which guy "fears the infiltration of egalitarian 'liberalism' in the church," which guy is seeking "safety and comfort in defining concrete 'roles' for men and women," which guy "finds a sense of 'rightness' through rigid rules of conduct and precise roles, rather than in the freedom and righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ," which guy is pushing for "authoritarian rule" and is opposed to "loving service and sacrifice?"

Take a wild guess. Go ahead--say the first thing that comes to mind even if you're not feeling lucky.

* * *

And while we're at it, anyone else find it humorous how byFaith labelled the two pieces? Large font puts Lig Duncan's face next to the text "Female Deacons" and Tim Keller's face next to "(Not Ordaining) Deaconesses."

Too cute by half.

Comments

Duncan is the crotchety old next door neighbor.

Keller is the friendly gandpa.

Duncan is seated behind a desk, the symbol of authority. He is the hard hearted boss. He is the school principal. He comes home angry and frustrated.

Keller is standing and relaxed. He is dad with open arms welcoming his kids when he gets home from work.

Duncan wants his dinner on the table when he gets home and yells at his wife if it isn’t.

Keller takes his family out to dinner.

Duncan likes the cleansing of the temple.

Keller likes the parable of the good Samaritan.

Duncan wants his son to play hockey

Keller wants his son to be a figure skater

Duncan wears jockey shorts by Jockey.

Keller wears pink boxers by Hanes.

OK, OK, so I’m having a little fun. Truth be told I have no idea if any of those are true. Well, maybe the last one. ;)

Oh -- for not going with the flow of our ignorant and depraved "do your own thing" culture, and for actually believing what the Bible says, we're under the power and delusion of "Traditional Idolatry"?

Those under the power of "Traditional Idolatry" are threatened by feminism and fear the infiltration of egalitarian "liberalism" in the church; their solution is to find safety and comfort in defining concrete "roles" for men and women...

At least they name the source(s) of the problem. I guess we're supposed to embrace feminism and liberalism instead? The Bible doesn't seem to be very crucial in their deciding what they promote.

While the Bible does teach that the husband is the head of his wife, it never defines this headship as authoritarian rule but only as loving service and sacrifice.

Does this Indianapolis church consider itself 'complementarian'? It even explains away male headship in the home immediately after affirming it.

Nor does the Bible specify what the husband's headship should look like, but it wisely leaves that open to married couples to work that out in light of their personal gifts and calling and culture.

Or, stated another way: the wife gets to decide to what extent the husband is "head" of the home, if at all. "Honey, based upon your gifts, you get to be the "Head Garbage Collector!"

> So, which picture is of the guy promoting the "Traditionalist Idolatry?"

The looking-up Keller shot and the looking-down Duncan scowl remind me of some of the pictures (and descriptions) of the inspirational Obama versus the "out of touch" and grumpy McCain.

If the Indianapolis church isn't worried about feminism and liberalism, I wonder how many of them are voting for Obama?

LOL, Mark! As they say, a picture's worth a 1,000 words.

And which one has the drab gray background, and which one the cheery blue sky?

They did goof on the attire, though. Keller is the stuffy, traditional-looking one in the suit and tie, and Duncan more casual in the sweater and open collar.

Wonder what Redeemer Indy would think of that old crotchety practice of Head-of-Household voting in Congregational meetings?

It's always amazing to me how ugliness in the hands of the experts can be made to look so alluring. I think Keller is so dangerous because he is seen as so reasonable.

Mark, you maverick.

It looks absolutely nothing like the Lig Duncan I've known lo these 15 years!!!

Is that a 9th commandment violation: an artistic lie? ;-)

If you've ever heard Ligon belly laugh, you know he can't be the man in that sad picture.

What the outright egalitarians and those fellow travellers not afraid of 'the infiltration of egalitarian "liberalism"' do not take into account with their Traditional Idolatry theory is that the apostle Paul was not one to go with the flow of his culture to win acceptance. He wasn't a slick pragmatist, and wasn't afraid of preaching what was to one culture a stumbling block and to another foolishness. When in Rome, he didn't do as the Romans in matters of the faith. He stood against empty or false cultural prejudices and preferences. [He didn't tell women they needed to cover their heads because that is what they all prefered to do already, for example. If they understood it, why all the timeless, non-cultural explanations and exhortations for why they should?]

I imagine that if Paul was a hired pastor after the contemporary arrangement [with a big church building to maintain] who talked to the church today as he did during his own lifetime, he would be fired. There have been egalitarians everywhere since the Fall, and Paul spoke against that trend in his era. Yet egals want us to accept the notion that he was merely mindlessly parroting what the backward culture then believed, which is a rather insulting and faithless view of the apostle's dedication to expounding the truth of God.

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