Did the first man give woman her self-understanding?

Did the first man give woman her self-understanding?

Was the first man needed to give woman her self-understanding?  According to Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, the answer is yes.

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Ortlund has written chapter three of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood CBMW’s book. In this chapter,  Ortlund says:

In designating her “Woman” the man interprets her identity in relation to himself.  Out of his own intuitive comprehension of who she is, he interprets her as feminine, unlike himself, and yet as his counterpart and equal.  Indeed, he sees in her his very own flesh.  And he interprets the woman not only for his own understanding of her, but also for her self-understanding.  God did not explain to the woman who she was in relation to the man, although He could have done so.  He allowed Adam to define the woman, in keeping with Adam’s headship.  (emphasis mine)

Let me ask a couple of questions.  Who explained to the man who he himself was for his own self-understanding? Apparently either God explained that to Adam or Adam didn’t need anyone to explain himself to himself.  He just knew who he was just as he knew how to talk and knew how to eat without having a tutor to look after him.  Is it not a wee bit biased to read into the text that Eve was in need of Adam to explain herself to herself?  After all she started her existence awake while he slept.  When he awoke, there was no sign of a confused woman who didn’t know who she was being dragged towards a man whom she also didn’t know who he was.  It seems highly unlikely and without biblical support that she needed the man to tell her about her own existence so that she could understand herself.

I also ask, how does Mr. Ortlund know that God did not speak to Eve at all before he brought her to Adam?  How does Mr. Ortlund know that God allowed Adam to define her for her own self- understanding?  Who explained to Adam that a piece of his own body would be used to make his mate? Does the fact that the bible is silent on the answers to these questions with no words quoted from God to Adam directly, prove that God did not speak to Adam personally about these issues?  Is it not reasonable to understand that not everything that God spoke to Adam and Eve is  quoted in the scripture?  We do not need to know everything that Godspoke except what God inspired for our edification and for our understanding.  We are not free to “fill in the blanks” with ideas that are foreign to the text.

When Adam welcomed his wife by exclaiming that at last he found his mate, Adam’s identifying her as his own flesh and blood was not an act of taking his “royal prerogative” over her as Ortlund says.  There is nothing in the text that has Adam’s clear acceptance of his wife as the mate coming from his own flesh to be interpreted as a sign of a  “royal prerogative” dominion or rule.   After all, who gave Adam this rule over the woman?  Did God tell Adam that he was giving him someone to rule?  Did Adam state that she would be called woman for she would be ruled over by man?  If we have nothing in the text that gave Adam rule over Eve, why do some so eagerly add a foreign meaning to the text?

Ortlund goes on to the one thing that he says was made clear to Eve:

Adam’s sovereign act not only arose out of his own sense of headship, it also made his headship clear to Eve.  She found her own identity in relation to the man as his equal and helper by the man’s definition. (emphasis is mine)

So the woman’s being and identify came not by God’s creative act and his divine plan, but by man’s definition?  If this is true, then woman is truly the inferior of man.  She then becomes subject to whatever he wants her to be and it is no longer God who defines the woman, but man.  Ortlund’s error here seems to come from his misunderstanding what it means for Eve to be “made for him”.  His misunderstanding appears to be two-fold.  First he sees “made for him” to be a position of her need. She then needs him to define her.  She needs him to make decisions for her and tell her what to do.  There is also an apparent misunderstanding that “made for him” means that he alone gets ultimate rule and that rule includes the “royal prerogative” to have charge over the woman just as he had charge of the animals.

But when we let the bible speak for itself, we can allow God to define his own terms.  The woman is indeed made for man, but she is made for man because God declared that man alone is “not good”.

Genesis 2:18  Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Since Adam alone was “not good” and the woman was made “for the man’s sake” (1 Cor. 11:9) then Eve was made to provide what Adam was lacking.  Adam was not lacking having things to rule over.  Adam was lacking someone to complete him.   He needed her.  The woman was made for the man.  She brought strength not weakness.

The last thing that we can talk about regarding the woman being made for the man, is how she was made.  This issue is not one that Ortlund addresses, but many people have varying ideas of the woman’s creation so it is good to discuss.  Some say that God originally made Adam as male and female and when God made the woman he separated her from the man to make woman independent of man as a separate person.  Is this really what happened?  I see nothing in the text that suggests there were male and female together in one body or that God took out the female part of Adam and from the female part of him, created a female person.

Let’s reason this one through. Genesis 2:22 says:

Gen 2:22  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

The word “rib” literally means  side, rib, beam.  So God took what belonged to the man and from that building material he “fashioned” it into a woman.  We can note that it doesn’t say that God took the woman out of Adam and fashioned her into a separate person.  It also doesn’t say that God split Adam by dividing his “male” parts and his “female” parts.  It only says that he took an inner piece of Adam that was likened to a plank and he caused that “bone of Adam’s bone” and “flesh of Adam’s flesh” to be built up into a DNA directly related woman.

If I am wrong about this, as some think Adam was both male and female in one person in the beginning, then scripture must be appealed to that says this.  Those who want to prove me wrong will also need to answer some questions.  If Adam was both male and female in the beginning, did he talk to his female part as a companion?  Was he “not good” because he was an unnatural male with female parts?

I believe that we need to keep away from fables and romantic myths and just stick to scripture.  If scripture says it, I believe it.  If it must be shoe horned into the text, let’s just let it go.  If we don’t want complementarians to add to the text, then we shouldn’t either.

Thoughts?  Please let me know what you see in the scriptures.  Did God create Eve to be a living appendage to Adam – to be subject to his wims (like an attached arm) and to have no will of her own to have the ability to make her own choices, or did God create Eve to be one who has free will like Adam and who also has the gifts and abilities to give Adam what he was lacking so that what was “not good” is now “good”?

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48 thoughts on “Did the first man give woman her self-understanding?

  1. ‘And he interprets the woman not only for his own understanding of her, but also for her self-understanding.’
    ‘He allowed Adam to define the woman, in keeping with Adam’s headship.’

    Obviously he believes that men are given the task to define what it means to be a woman, hence they are the ones alone who are to teach doctrine, even the doctrine of man. (Grudem set out on that task in one of his books) And walla, the title ‘Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’, says it all. So women do not have the human right to define themselves since they are under male headship. This is a teaching worse than spiritual slavery. This is beyond, beyond.

  2. What he is saying in his message above is very cruel.

    I’m thinkin of children who terrorize other children…

    This stuff is just so bad.

  3. There are a few pieces of the puzzle from Gen 1-5.

    1. The God-given name of both the man and the woman was Adam, which means human.
    2. God nowhere tells the man to have dominion over the woman.
    3. The woman is formed from a side of Adam, this is the same term as used for a side of the tabernacle, it does not need to be a tiny rib.
    4. The term ish/man is not used for Adam until the word ishah is also used.

    We are so used to reading the story of Adam being the man and Eve the woman but this is not what the story actually says.

    Because of English use of exclusive man and inclusive man in many translations in a mishmosh in Gen 1-5, it can be challenging to see what is going on. So I translate Adam as human, ish as man and ishah as woman.

    Gen 2 is a story of 2 lacks and how God solved them. The first lack is the land does not have a human to tend it. God solves that by forming the human from dirt. The second lack is that the human by itself is not good, which I understand to mean, not functioning (yet) in the way God intends. God solves this second lack by forming the woman/ishah from the human/Adam, what was left was the man/ish.

    There is also a play on words going on. A suffix of “ah” is a normal Hebrew way of making a word feminine.

    Adam is formed from adamah. The human is formed from (mother) earth.

    Ishah is formed from Adam, leaving ish. Ishah is a female form of ish.

    The origins stories in Gen 1 are about God separating things, this idea continues in Gen 2 with 2 more separations, but the last 2 also allows joining. When married, the 2 become 1; when dead, the human becomes dirt.

  4. I’ve always believed that the first three chapters of Genesis are poetry – not in a literal sense, of course, but in the sense of being a beautiful, dramatic account of the Creation. Comps turned them into some kind of a legal document enumerating male perks and privileges. And the list keeps getting longer and longer.

  5. “And he interprets the woman not only for his own understanding of her, but also for her self-understanding. God did not explain to the woman who she was in relation to the man, although He could have done so. He allowed Adam to define the woman, in keeping with Adam’s headship.”

    The arrogance of this thinking is breathtaking. Hard to believe it exists but it is so ingrained in Christendom and taught by so many celebrity pastors that it is scary. They actually believe this.

    Where does this teaching put a man in relation to his wife in the NC? The result is obvious. And it is not good.

  6. pinklight,

    So women do not have the human right to define themselves since they are under male headship. This is a teaching worse than spiritual slavery.

    I find it very odd to see men who think it is up to them to define what “womanhood” is. And this is being done even while most men say they don’t understand women. However now because the male was created first they have the “royal prerogative” to define womanhood and to give women rules in order to stay within the “roles” that men have defined for them? It seems to me that these men have usurped a “role” that doesn’t belong to them. I think this is very unwise.

  7. Don,

    You said:

    3. The woman is formed from a side of Adam, this is the same term as used for a side of the tabernacle, it does not need to be a tiny rib.

    The Hebrew term can also mean the side of the tabernacle. We do know for sure what it means in Genesis because Adam said she was “bone” and “flesh” of his. So what was taken out was bone (side bone is the rib) and flesh attached to that bone. How much flesh, we are not told.

    4. The term ish/man is not used for Adam until the word ishah is also used.

    Good point. It is also good to remind us that Adam is the name for human. “The Adam” is Adam specifically, but Adam is the name that is generic for either the man or the woman.

    The second lack is that the human by itself is not good, which I understand to mean, not functioning (yet) in the way God intends.

    I agree with you that man could not “function” the way the animals could with their mates, but I believe that “not good” means more than just function. The reason I believe this is because women bring more to the “table” than just sexuality and child bearing. We bring insight and a relational quality that is generally lacking in males. We think differently and I believe that when we stifle women and hold women back and not allow them to contribute in teaching and training, we lose an important aspect to our ability to “help”. A “helper” is not an underling that only helps as a “go-for” but is an essential partner who brings balance.

    The origins stories in Gen 1 are about God separating things, this idea continues in Gen 2 with 2 more separations, but the last 2 also allows joining. When married, the 2 become 1; when dead, the human becomes dirt.

    The problem that I have with this statement is that if God is “separating” the two, then Eve must have existed before she was created or else what was separated? Also was their “intimate” relationship with two in one before the separation? If two intimately together is “not good” and must be separated, then what is the purpose for bringing them back together again as a “one-flesh” union.

    In my opinion this is reading into the text. If I am wrong, I welcome anyone to correct me. But I want to see if from the text. Where does the text say there are “two” in “one”. Where is the plural in unity and then plural in separation? I don’t see it from the Hebrew.

  8. Yalo,

    I’ve always believed that the first three chapters of Genesis are poetry – not in a literal sense, of course, but in the sense of being a beautiful, dramatic account of the Creation.

    It is indeed a beautiful, dramatic account of the Creation, but I don’t see any reason not to accept the details given as history. If some facts are true and others are merely poetry and thus not true, then we are having to rely on our own wisdom to separate the truth from the metaphor. The fact is that the biblical writers took the Genesis account as truth and so did Jesus. Jesus quoted from the scripture as if it was historically correct and I don’t think we can go wrong in accepting Jesus’ word as he is the one who was there in the beginning and saw it all.

  9. Cheryl,

    I’ve been reading over your blog for a while now and so many posts have been extremely helpful for me in my understanding of the hard passages of the Scriptures. Thank you.

    Actually, my comment doesn’t show the extent of gratefulness to God that your insights have helped me in understand my value as a member of Christ’s Body. I’ve had tears in my eyes off and on all day because of what God’s Holy Spirit has been teaching me lately.

    I’ve struggled with finding my giftings valued within the organized church, and have battled shame and puzzlement with my insatiable desire to understand the Scriptures and apply them with the giftings and passions God has apparently given me. The church I most recently have dealt with is becoming increasingly patriarchal (however that’s defined) and the resources promoted there all revolve around some of these same theologians and Vision Forum/CBMW/Mahaney, etc., teachings. Top-down, authoritarian teachings are really becoming prevalent in the homeschool arena (of which that church is in the center of).

    I am in a healthy place now, but the past teachings and restricting of women into very specific roles (wife, mother, mother’s helper, full-quiver, homeschool) had a very detrimental effect on my physical health and my soul. I literally became ill (stressed out to the point of anemia and fainting 3 times and ambulanced to the E.R.) after realizing the full scope of the manipulations of the Word that were going on with the teachers there. The teachings were getting so bad from the PULPIT that the main elder was advocating “The Return of the Daughters” as a resource to consider for raising our daughters.

    I also wanted to say, “Hey, Lin!” 🙂 You’ve been one that’s helped me see so many things in the Word that I had never seen before, and I thank God for you.

    This blog is such a blessing, thank you.

  10. Rib is a KJV-ism.

    I see “bone of bone and flesh of flesh” as a poetic way for the man to say he is made of the same stuff as woman.

    The Adam/human is formed from dirt and returns to dirt in death.

    The woman is formed from a portion/side of the human, leaving the man as what remains and returns to the man to become one flesh which can form new humans and does in Gen 4.

  11. Rib is of course taken for granted as the correct meaning, but after about an hour of searching both the ancient and modern Greek and Hebrew, the meaning is never given as rib but as side. The Hebrew word is never translated rib anywhere but Genesis 2.

    But most people aren’t aware that the KJV is still given tremendous weight in most translation efforts, even though translators are well aware of its shortcomings. Given the wealth of ancient documents in original languages we enjoy compared to the 1600s, this is both curious and unfortunate.

  12. Kathleen,

    I am SO glad that I and the people on this community place (blog) have been helpful to you!! The very best reward of service is to know that I have been of service.

    I can relate to your story and the stress that you have felt. I too have been in a place of stress that has affected my body. I welcome you here and hope that we can be a valuable resource to you and that we can continue to encourage and lift you up as you find opportunity for your gifts that the Lord Jesus has given you.

    A big hug for that compelling story!

  13. Don and Paula,

    I have lots more to say but it is late this evening. I will have to get to my response another day. Thanks as always for participating as being stretched by the scriptures is a valuable exercise.

  14. One way to see the point I am making is that many translations and interpreters simply assume Adam is male from the get go, but the Bible does not say that Adam, it simply says Adam is human.

  15. Hey Kathleen! (That is a Southern greeting)

    So glad you are here. The thing I love about this community of bloggers is that we can disagree but all here want the scripture to be the standard of truth. And we may even disagree on an interpretation here and there and still love one another. It is a great place to learn.

    Your experience is becoming very common. The notion of earthly authority over others in the Body is becoming quite prevelant and ‘in your face’. We are hearing less and less about being a servant and more about ‘who’ is in authority over whom. That is just not the focus of or what the NT scriptures teach. I believe this thinking has become a huge snare for folks (both leaders and followers of those leaders) and since so much of Christianity has become a business or career ladder, it is getting even worse because incomes depend upon it.

    So welcome, my friend.

  16. “One way to see the point I am making is that many translations and interpreters simply assume Adam is male from the get go, but the Bible does not say that Adam, it simply says Adam is human.”

    This is something that keeps sticking out for me when reading Gen 1 and 2. In Gen 1, they are ‘created’ male and female.

    In Gen 2, we see Adam ‘formed’ from the dust of the ground and then Eve formed or fashioned from Adam’s side.

    So, are they ‘created’ then ‘formed’? I know that some have said that Gen 1 and 2 are not necessarily chronological. I would like to make better sense of the difference in created and formed.

    (Yikes, what happened to spell check?)

  17. Matthew 19
    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
    Genesis 2
    23Then the man (Adam not ish) said,
    “This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called Woman, (ishshah)
    because she was taken out of Man (ish).”
    24Therefore a man (ish) shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife (ishshah), and they shall become one flesh.

    Jesus, in Matthew 19 quoted Gen 1 and then coupled it with Gen 2. He combined them. Since the reason why a man leaves his parents and cleaves to his wife is given in Gen 2 which is, “Adam (human) said, ‘this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman (ishshah) for she was taken from man (ish).'”, another way of saying the same thing is as Jesus did, ‘he made them male and female.’ But what I see is that ‘she was taken from ish (male) therefore Adam was already a male as far as I can see.

  18. I had planned another issue for the next post, but I think it is very important to answer the questions and comments on this post. I was going to put answers here but not everyone reads the comments on the post. God-willing early this week I will have the time to give my full reasoning from the scriptures in answer to the issue of whether or not Adam was created as a male-female and was split by God in the creation of Eve. That issue will be next on my agenda.

  19. By the way when I upgraded wordpress and the blog theme I lost all of my buttons on the comment box. Not sure yet how to get them back but will work on it as I have time.

  20. I am not saying Adam was a male-female before the split. All I am saying is that AFTER the split it was a he and a she.

  21. Well, if I believed as you do, then I would say that logically there must be a minimum of man & woman before the split because you can’t get something out of a split that didn’t exist before the split. Make sense? Or we could say that if God didn’t tell us what there was before the split, then maybe there wasn’t a split but the creation of a female that didn’t exist before her creation.

  22. If God didn’t tell us, then we can’t rule anything out. All we know is that Adam was missing some part of his body after Eve was made. And if we can engage in speculation, then we must include the burning question about why men have nipples. 😉

  23. Paula,

    I understand what you mean about speculation. God certainly didn’t tell us that man was man/woman before the fall. The problem comes if we want to see that man was split. If he was “split” and if this is indeed true, then logic comes into play because a splitting is not a creation but splitting between what is already there.

    More later.

  24. It says God formed the woman from the part he took from the human. This is akin to taking some clay and forming a pot. Forming is something God and humans do. They is no need to think a pot exists before it is formed and there is no need to think a woman existed before she was formed.

    Adam/human – part formed into woman = man.
    This is another reason both are named Adam in Gen 5:2.

  25. First God formed a human, call this pot 1 to see the simple analogy of forming.

    God takes a part/side of pot 1 and forms pot 2, there is no need for pot 2 to be already in pot 1 in some sense. It also said he remade pot 1 some.

    And then he calls pot 1 man and pot 2 woman.

    What was pot 1 before the split? Who knows? It does not say besides human. One principle is to not go beyond the text, so I do not.

  26. Well forming doesn’t mean that it isn’t creation because in chapter 1 God said that he created male and female so female was “created”. Where does it say that pot 1 was remade?

  27. My tweak of LITV

    Gen 2:21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on the Adam/human, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath.
    Gen 2:22 And Jehovah God formed the rib which He had taken from the human into a woman, and brought her to the human.
    Gen 2:23 And the human said, This now at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh. For this shall be called woman/ishah, because this has been taken out of man/ish.

    “closed up the flesh underneath” is reforming what was left.

  28. Another important point is that creation as done by God in the Bible need not be in an instant and often is not, it can take time, sometimes lots of time. If someone thinks creation is just by speaking in an instant, then it does not hang together as well as if one sees creation as being over time.

  29. “closed up the flesh underneath” is reforming what was left.

    “Reforming” is forming again. I cannot see how it could possibly apply to sewing up the flesh after an operation.

    Are you possibly alluding to the thought that Adam only became male after the “part” was taken out? Did God add testosterone after the “part” was taken out? If not, then how could we understand that Adam was just as male as he was before the “part” was taken out?

  30. That is why I used the pot analogy, as that is what forming meant in the most basic way to the original readers. Everyone knew what it meant to form a pot.

    God took some dirt/clay and formed a human, this is VERY close to a human forming a pot, it is in simple terms. Then from that 1 pot a human might decide to make 2 pots, this is something everyone can understand in that time. Do not think too technical, it is simple.

    God took one formed pot and made 2 formed pots. Why? Because the one formed pot was “not good” as in not fully functional. It did function to water and till the garden, and solved the first lack, but another lack still needed to be solved. It is a 2 stage solution.

  31. We should probably leave most of this until my next post when I will focus on this issue. However your analogies do not fit.

    When a human takes clay and forms a pot, they can certain squish the pot together and instead of one large pot they can make two smaller ones. But this is not the way God did it.

    A human can take some clay and make a pot and then choose to remove part of the inner lining of the pot and close up the hole. Then a human can take the part that they took out of pot one and add more clay to that piece and make a new pot.

    However there are problems with this analogy. When a person removes part from the first pot, it doesn’t make the pot something that it wasn’t already in the beginning. It is still that same pot with a missing piece.

    Adam was created male because God only created male and female. God did not “reform” Adam as male.

    I will try to get the next post done soon so that we can carry on our discussion there, okay?

  32. Are you possibly alluding to the thought that Adam only became male after the “part” was taken out? Did God add testosterone after the “part” was taken out? If not, then how could we understand that Adam was just as male as he was before the “part” was taken out?

    I realize y’all have moved on to another post on this topic, but I wanted to suggest the possibility that testosterone was added after the Fall. Not that Adam had none before the Fall, but more was added- which has the side effect of increased aggression. And that the woman- in a “corresponding” or “complementary” way- had her hormones adjusted to increase her fertility and her desire (which was needed, now that death had been introduced).

    Unto the woman HE [God]said,
    I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
    in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
    and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband,
    and he shall rule over thee. Gen 3:16

    Do you see the multiplied conception, fertility, desire for her husband? and the increased aggression?

  33. That is an interesting thought, Charis. I do understand that God did something to the woman’s body to cause her conception to greatly increase. The only problem that I would find with your suggestion, is that if God multiplied Adam’s testosterone, then God would be responsible for Adam’s aggression. While we can understand that God certainly did something to the woman’s body, because that is in the text, there doesn’t appear to be anything in the text where God says he will change Adam’s body. It seems to me that Adam’s aggression was a direct result of his own newly attained sin nature and his ungodly rule over his wife was caused by his own propensity to this sin. I get this from the text because God says “he will…” Not “I will (make him)”. I think that Adam is on his own on this one. But I also think that you thoughts were very creative and good and shows that you are thinking this one through. Good job!

  34. Here is something that many people do not realize: Both sexes have all of the sex hormones. In terms of hormones, men and women only really differ in terms of the levels of hormones that one has. Women have testosterone and men have estrogen in their bodies, but they are maintained at different levels. Some men with low testosterone can seem aggressive and then actually seem to calm down when they receive replacement hormone for the deficit. When their physiologic norm comes back to optimal and therapeutic levels, many men will show less anxiety, anger and such and will have a more balanced temperament. We do tend to reduce hormones down to a “male and female” understanding, but it is not that simple of a process.

    Another consideration — when you speak of testosterone causing aggression — this is based upon a disease model and a study of physiologic disease, thousands of years after the fall. I think if we can assume that if any human being walked in divine health and had the optimal levels of hormone, it would have been Adam. (Again, optimal physiologic levels of testosterone do not induce aggression in healthy male adults.) Adam did not have the exogenous hormones and chemicals and disease altering this optimal balance of divine health either. His optimal level would have facilitated self-control, and I don’t think that it would have predisposed him to unusual aggression. That understanding of testosterone comes to medical science today through the disease model, not through the optimal health that Adam would have enjoyed before generations of the effect of the “wages of sin” (resulting in death and which is preceded by disease). I don’t think it’s fair to view him through a disease model.

    I think the same assumptions are true for Eve, as this suggests to me that this concept assumes the presupposition of a disease model, something that I don’t think would have applied to the two people on earth who were the least affected by sin, aging and disease.

    And do we even know if Adam and Eve were sexually intimate before the fall? They did not procreate, so can we assume that they copulated? We are not told, one way or another, and we do not know how long they dwelled in the garden before the fall. These are things that we are not clearly told but have to make assumptions about. Are we making the right assumptions?

    There is much to consider about what we assume to be true but is not told to us clearly.

  35. Ortland’s interpretation is unbelievable… who would buy what he is saying. It is incredible. That a woman needs definition would mean she is truly an empty headed nothing to be filled by whatever a man imposes on her. How can she be fully human without her own identity? Ortland has made himself and all men God.

    I am just amazed that anyone would take their views seriously.

  36. Where does the Bible speak of the Earth turning on it’s axis? I can’t believe people believe this is actually happening – that the Earth is spinning around every day. Why, the winds would be ferocious, birds couldn’t even fly, and everyone would just get thrown off into oblivion. Haven’t you ever played on one of those rotating platforms at a playground? Try it…you will feel the forces increase the faster you go. So, this proves that the Earth is not turning on its axis.

    This is what you are doing! You say “I am a Bible-believing man, and this is what I understand. And anyone who disagrees with me must therefore not be a Bible-believing man.” You are essentially raising your limited understanding to the same level as the sacredness of Scripture itself. You weave and knit passages together to defend a position you already possess, or to reject something that just doesn’t appeal to your intellect. Then when no one wants to take the time to explain how you’re wrong, you take this as further evidence of correctness. The fact is, you don’t have the foggiest idea what you are talking about. You couldn’t even tell me why the same side of the moon always faces the Earth, but you somehow KNOW all these things about God and Creation. You can’t explain the consequences of the fact oxygen is paramagnetic, nor calculate the capillary action of a particular pipette, but you KNOW how and why God does what he does. Perhaps he should have checked with YOU first. Fool!

  37. I had the same question at first. I had to reread all the comments because I was unsure of whether Jack was replying to a commenter or to Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. and his “ability” to know that God created the woman to be defined by the man. I think Jack was expressing exasperation at Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.’s writings where he is adding to the scriptures and thus implying that he knows more about creation that what God revealed in the Bible.

  38. I feel better. I actually agree then, with Jack. I think Ortland does indeed say what has not been said in the Bible itself. His view sounds more platonic than Biblical.

    One of the classes I had in seminary reviewed the way in which during the 2nd, and 3rd century’s of the early church, our theologians integrated Platonic thought into their theologies. While some of it was helpful, some of it was not. I think the church at large adopted the culture’s (at the time) view of women. And the church has held this view for so long that it has come to be thought of as Biblical. That, then, is the lens through which scripture is vieiwed. Plato and ARistotle considered women to be inferior… of the flesh… easily deceived… temptresses. It compares to Ortland’s view of women. It would be fun to lay out the views of CBMW side by side with Plato and Aristotle and see if they match up.

    I think that part of the Spirit’s task is to help us remove those lenses and see better or hear the word better. Ortland’s view is distorted by his lenses.

  39. #46 Charis,I feel frustrated at hanvig to keep repeating myself.I am truly sorry for your frustration. I personally do not mean to offend you in any way and I can also sense your frustration. I do admit that I may not fully understand what you are getting at, but I also think that you may be misunderstanding me and reading into my writing more than I am saying. I sense that this is because you are deeply wounded and this is an area that you need to protect from receiving further wounding. Please believe me that I am not trying to hurt you or rub salt into any wound that you may have.Its like you are seeing this in 3D and I see it in 4D. There is another dimension in the Garden that we DON’T HAVE ANYMORE.Okay. I understand that you are trying to tell me that I am not seeing another dimension that you clearly see in Genesis. May I ask some questions to help me understand? If there is another dimension of marriage in the garden that we no longer have access to, how can we relate to that since we do not have access to it? How can we understand from the text that they had something different in marriage than what the best marriage here on earth does not have? Is this a feeling? Or is there something specific in the text that I have missed?The man was NOT frustrated before the Fall.Okay. So if I understand you right, the man had all the sexual desires of a normal male (since his desire was not increased after the fall) and the woman had much less desires than now, but the emotional/friendship/spiritual intimacy was good enough to replace sexuality and somehow made the intimacy they had impacted him enough so that he needed less sex than he needed after the fall. Is this what you mean? If this is so, is there anything in the text that would allow us to see that sexuality was not a healthy physical need in the garden but that friendship and the perfection of the garden were enough to satisfy everything that was needed? Also would it be reasonable to expect that God would not comment about the details about Adam and Eve’s private sexual lives either pre or post-fall? Would it also be reasonable to expect that Adam and Eve had more sexual encounters than the couple of times mentioned in scripture that resulted in a couple of noteworthy births? I think that it would be reasonable that the absence of the number of times per day/week/month/year that they had marital relations would not be expected to be in the biblical account to prove that they were a normal married couple both pre and post-fall.Charis, I am not relating this to your experiences at all. I am not implying that you are not normal or that you are expected to be a one-sided giver and your husband a one-sided taker.The intimacy they had was satisfying FAR BEYOND anything mere sex offered. I happen to think that this quote is exactly what we will experience in heaven because in heaven we will not be married or given in marriage. But I just don’t see where you get this information from in the Genesis account regarding Adam and Eve’s relationship. It seems to me that you may be implying that the closer a couple gets to a perfect intimate relationship on an emotional level, the less they will desire a physical relationship. At least, this is what it seems that you are saying about Adam and Eve. While I can stand firmly with you regarding our new bodies that will be created after the likes of the new resurrected and glorified body of Jesus Christ, I do not see any evidence in the scriptures that the perfect bodies that God originally gave Adam and Eve which had all the plumbing for the experience of a completed physical relationship would have been there if the parts were not needed. Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying that their sexual relationship was the most important. I am just saying that I do not think that this part of their relationship was ignored because this would lessen the need for marriage. If this was so, I would think that God would have waited to marry them until they left the garden since their relationship in the garden would not need marital physical intimacy and could have been completely fulfilling as brother and sister or as two child-like humans exploring emotional relationships alone.I still think you are imposing things on the text that aren’t in there. You make much of that when others do it and don’t seem to be willing to see it when you do it. You are IMPOSING frequent sexuality and your own experience of the centrality of that to marital intimacy. Its not in the text.Charis, I didn’t realize that I did this. Where was it that I imposed frequent sexuality . What I intended to do was to show that the sexual relationship was part of the pre-fall blessing of their marriage in contrast to those who see sexuality as something not so much God-ordained but as a necessary evil . I also intended to reason through the issues of increased desire to show from my viewpoint that an increased desire implied a lesser desire pre-fall and with only one partner hanvig their desire changed, it appears to me that this would make Adam and Eve quite a mismatch pre-fall. Well, either that or they are a mismatch post-fall. Perhaps there are other options that I haven’t thought through yet, but I think my conclusions have merit and logic to them even without my ability to see a fifth dimension in the account.I feel some of the comments are misjudging me.If this is something that I have done, I sincerely apologize. I do not mean to cause you pain nor do I mean to misjudge you.Good and frequent sex does not a good marriage make- I know of what I speak.I agree. I am not trying to put down the other wonderful ways that husband and wife bond with each other.IF they had it (which you have convinced me they did on occasion), it was a nice perk (like chocolate to a child) but was NOT a centerpiece of the Garden experience. That experience was so far beyond sex and chocolate that Adam felt satisfied and so did Eve.I am absolutely delighted that I was able to reason through the issue and convince you of this one thing. Thank you for telling me this because it makes me feel like I have done well in the one area of communication. I like that feeling.As far as what was the centerpiece of the Garden experience, I believe that walking with God in the cool of the evening had to be the absolute centerpiece of their Garden experience. I believe that this was far more fulfilling to them than even their own experiences as husband and wife. Perhaps I am reading into the text from my own love of God, but that is what I believe. I could stand to be corrected though.Your comment about sex and chocolate made me smile. My husband and I joined a Good Sams club here to get to know some of the people and the club members are all much older than we are. Every month there are comments about the things that elderly people do less frequently. I do not think eating chocolate is one of those things that is done less frequently. Charis, if there is anyway that I can communicate in a way that is less offensive, I would be willing to learn. I think that you are a precious contributor here and I do not want you to think that I am trying to paint you into a corner or try to fit you into a one-size-fits-all box. You are certainly one of a kind just like all of us are and together we are brethren in Christ.

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