Feminists who claim to be daughters of Calvin, Bullinger, and Knox...

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Check out this post opposing what the author refers to as "Biblical patriarchy." It's written by a complementarian woman who styles herself "a daughter of the Reformation." With respect to the matter of God's Creation Order of sexuality, though, Ms. Miller is no daughter of the Reformation.

Her arguments are a combination of error, straw men, and straightforward repudiation of the Biblical doctrine of sexuality taught by Protestant church fathers through the centuries, starting with Luther, Calvin, and Knox, and continuing unbroken down through the centuries until a very few years ago.

First, the error: the post's author, Rachel Miller, quotes a Phoenix Seminary prof saying Don Bloesch was a complementarian. Don was not.

Don and his wife, Brenda, were good friends. One night my wife and I joined two Roman Catholic sisters...

Don and Brenda's pastor and his wife, and one of Don's fellow profs at Dubuque Seminary for a lovely dinner in the Bloesch's home. After dinner, we discussed the meaning of sexuality and Don stated his support for woman pastors and elders. Even by the extremely loose definitions of 'complementarianism' abroad today, I can think of no definition that would qualify Don Bloesch to be called "complementarian." (And keep in mind I have no dog in the race to protect this precious circumlocution.)

Don was a godly man. Don was a humble man. Don was brilliant. Don was hard-working. Don was wise. Don was prolific. Don was honestly neo-orthodox. But Don was no complementarian. Don was a feminist who rejected God's prohibition of woman teaching and exercising authority over man. Don's wife, Dr. Brenda Bloesch, was the one in the home who submitted to God's Order of Creation. Her husband did not.

Second, lots of straw men with the most obvious being the writer connecting the application of the Creation Order (Adam first, then Eve) to civil society with the denial of male and female equality. Yet the writer claims to hold to God's Creation Order in the home and church. If male responsibility and authority in civil society denies male and female equality, why doesn't male responsibility and authority in the church and home also deny male and female equality?

Ms. Miller is inconsistent. If authority and submission necessarily imply inequality, it's immaterial which sphere authority and submission are exercised in. If the Apostle Paul's statement in Galatians 3 that "in Christ there is neither... male nor female" is a Divine declaration of the end of authority in man's relations to woman, complementarians like Rachel Miller need to wake up to the fact that they're merely fighting a conservative retreat action. The battle is over and they've lost.

Never forget that this sword wielded by Miller and her fellow feminists is two-edged and very sharp. If the premise is true, that the exercise of authority and submission to that authority by two classes of men necessarily means the inequality of the those classes, it's not just true in civil society. It's also true in the home and the church. And it's not just true between men and women. It's also true between the president and his citizens, the king and his subjects, the boss and his employees, the principal and his teachers, the master and his slaves, and mother and her children. Is Ms. Miller going to smear Pastor Ted Tripp with not believing in the equality of children because he teaches that children should obey their parents? When, contrary to her own conviction, the copy editor at Ms. Magazine submits to her managing editor's command that the serial comma not be used, will Ms. Miller declare the hierarchy of Ms. Magazine to be an assault against the equality of all womyn?

Half a minute thinking through the inconsistency of Ms. Miller's application of this principle makes the malice and dishonesty of her attack upon those she calls "patriarchs" (such as Doug Wilson and RC Sproul Jr.) clear. Authority and submission do not establish inequality. Hierarchy does not establish inequality. Distinction does not establish inequality. In the Image of God He created them. Male and female He created them. In Christ there's neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Children, obey your parents. Honor your father and mother. Submit to those in authority over you for they keep watch over your souls as men who must give an account. Honor the king. Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord.

If submission to God's Order of Creation in civil society is a denial of the equality of woman, the Magisterial Reformers uniformly denied the equality of woman and it's so well-documented as to be a heaving of the chest, a sigh, and a yawn. Reformation fathers such as Calvin, Bullinger, and Knox could never have conceived of the coming of a day when women like Rachel Miller would claim to be a daughter of the Reformation while arguing for female government:

"(T)he government of women ...is utterly at variance with the legitimate order of nature" (Letter CCCXLVIII from John Calvin to Heinrich Bullinger;Geneva, 28 April 1554.)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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