Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Complementarian Caricature
Another fun one was the Bruce Ware page:

but I think the # of comments (or Dr. Burk) killed the comments section.

BTW, does it seem odd that the piece cited as a caricature is addressed with a caricature (again)?

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Sue (#56):

I consider being a neighbor to my pastor and elders, my police officers, my supervisor, my mayor, my church elders, etc., I would hope you do as well. Yet to each of those I submit. Again, I think that (submission = subjection) is a poor caricature.

Just for fun, I searched Dr. Burk’s site for "love one another":

This is not to say that Dr. Burk’s blog isn’t proportionally given to a subject, mind you, I just thought it was interesting. And, in fairness, this is only one aspect of Dr. Burk’s writing/thinking. See also his book (the best book about Greek infinitives upon which I've ever taken a nap. OK, I don't own the book, but once I did try to buy it and the shop clerk said I wasn't smart enough. Or something like that.).

And, I think the central teaching of scripture is not love one another. That is part of the summation of the law. The central teaching of scripture is God-centered, not me or us-centered. Perhaps that splitting hairs or looking too far into what you wrote, though. I just wanted to point it out because too often we see Christianity as a liberation mechanism (liberation from poverty, law, rules, rough lives, etc.) or an empowering mechanism (you can be happy, healthy, your own boss, rich, etc.) rather than a worship of our Creator. Again, perhaps I misread there.

Also, an interesting read about the 2000 Κεφαλή(s) by (have a seat, Sue ;-)) Dr. Grudem:

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I added a comment, but it's likely on hold. I mentioned that this blog is only one aspect of Dr. Burk's thinking. I also mentioned his book but meant to also include the Boyce College Blog and his sermons as well (I think there's a link to his podcasts up at the top). I'm sure that there is a wide cross section of topics there.

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Don's right that the commands are subordinate (to verse 21), but I don't think parents are called to submit to their children (not offspring, mind you, children) or masters to slaves. It's submitting one to another, not submitting to each other. You are right that Christ is our example, that we should serve (to quote from that portion of scripture, He came to serve, not be served), but I would stay far away from saying Christ submits to me.

Also, 1 Peter 3 does not direct the text to be about non-believing husbands, but is saying that wives should submit. Believers or not. Actually, I believe the "so that" text points more towards being disobedient to the word in all manners (believers or not, and perhaps this is what you meant also). Even taking that narrow of a view, it does not merely mean to be submissive to an unbelieving husband. Verse 7 wouldn't go back to the beginning of 3 but goes back to the start of the "reasoning" which is stated at the end of chapter 2, which is about being called for a purpose. So, just as Christ may have (in flesh) wanted to revile or call out, He didn't. I see that as following Christ's example of not wanting to do what the flesh wants to do, but to be sinless (obedience to the Father). That's not a great explanation, but I am more interested in brevity here.

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When Dr. Grudem visited our church, I had the (very short) opportunity to interact with him. I commented on his book Evangelical Feminism and the resistance to the meaning of "head" by many. He nodded and quickly said how daunting the command to love our wives as Christ loved the church was and that considering that passage is such a heavy passage for him. Am I loving my wife as Christ loved His bride?

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First, just wanted to say that as much as I disagree with your exegesis, I definitely appreciate your tone. As difficult as that is in comment format.

I think that the chiastic breakdown rips only a portion of it away and disturbs the natural flow. Here is a look at that passage that I thought was well done by a wonderful erudite of the scriptures (I’m paraphrasing to conserve space).

Be careful how you walk:

  • making the most of your time

  • understanding the will of the Lord

  • being filled with the spirit (truly, not getting drunk ;-))

  • speaking psalms

  • singing to the Lord

  • giving thanks

  • submitting one to another

    • Wives to your own husbands (as opposed to all women to all men)

      • But husbands, sacrifice for your wives

    • Children to parents

      • But do not discourage/provoke your children

    • Slaves to masters

      • But masters, be gentle with your slaves, knowing you both have a common master

There are other minor variations on that, I know, and I may be misplacing some of the subordinates, but I do believe that is a structure supported by the verb tenses and writing.

I don’t doubt anyone’s conviction and don’t think that anyone makes whimsical decisions (well, about this). Based on the 400+ comments, though, to reason out what the text says appears to first have a frame of what it should mean, then read the biblical text and interpret.

Teachers may expound and parse out the passage, explaining what it means, but should also be quick to say be concerned with what you are commanded. As Thomas pointed out (and Grudem and Ware point out), that is to love my wife as Christ loved the church.

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