Do the genders have different functions?

Do the genders have different functions?

I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country.  The original discussion is on this post http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.

291 thoughts on “Do the genders have different functions?

  1. I will be the first comment here. I want to especially thank Mark for his gracious attitude and willingness to dialog with egalitarians. I have sincerely enjoyed responding to his comments and I have created this new post so that we can carry on with the discussion.

    I would suggest that those who read the comments under this post would also be greatly benefited to read the original post and comments to get a good understanding of what has already been said. If you are unable to do so, please feel free to comment here on whether male and female have different functions in the body of Christ. I am away for a few more days on a conference trip, but will be back in the office (overwhelmed as usual, I am sure 🙂 ) by Wednesday.

  2. What’s interesting is that God’s image (equality of essence, humanity) to the comp is not considered proof of equality of function and that the reason why is because inequality of function is based on sex which was not made in God’s image. I just think that that’s very interesting.

  3. But now we are going to talk about functions in the body of Christ. Is their giving and using based on equality of essence (God’s image), sex (not God’s image), or the “new man/creation”?

  4. “What’s interesting is that God’s image (equality of essence, humanity) to the comp is not considered proof of equality of function and that the reason why is because inequality of function is based on sex which was not made in God’s image. I just think that that’s very interesting.”

    I’m serial posting again lol! ;P

    K, still thinking about what I put above.

    So what does one’s sex have to do with the functions of protecting, being a help, teaching or leading? Are they human (God’s image) functions or gender functions? Are they of the essence of our humanity or our sex? Like what’s behind the essence of these functions? Humanity or sex? Am trying to wrap my mind around this issue by thinking out loud and asking questions.

  5. Mark wrote: “Do you agree that there are different roles/functions for Adam and Eve?”

    List for me what the role is for Adam and Eve, and I will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
    List for me what the role is for Eve, and I will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.
    List for me what the function is for Adam, and I will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
    List for me what the function is for Eve, and I will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

    Mark wrote: “But again like i said to Kay, before we get to hypothetical on how these functions play out, let’s investigate”

  6. Mark has said his “view is this- men and women are equal in essence, in the image fo God, but not in function.”

    To which I asked:

    Mark,

    Are you saying that a male’s authority is not in his essence, but by being born with male reproductive organs?

    However, Mark has never answered my question.

    I also gave him a concrete (nothing hypothetical here) example in scripture that I believe discounts ‘function’ based on reproductive organs.

    “There are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” according to Jesus in Matthew 19

  7. I see Cheryl is re-focusing the discussion on ministry (“…functions within the body of Christ…”) which is her perogative and is appropriate given the main theme of her blog. I greatly enjoyed the discussion focused on marriage and know we will have similar ones in the future. Since marriage is my main interest, I will fade back some at this point on this particular thread (I also am way behind blogging myself plus way behind on several projects at home.) I will still be lurking around, but probably will be mostly silent (ha!). Suffice it to say that I don’t believe you can establish equality in the church until you have established equality in the home. An acceptance of male leadership at home prompts, and in some sense, even requires male leadership outside of the home. That reality is why complimentarians can make no compromise in their doctrine of the home, because it would invlaidate their doctrine of the church (or at the very least significantly weaken it). The two are linked not only in realtiy but also in Paul’s “head” and “body” metaphors. So, I suspect and expect a continuing lively discussion. Carry on…

  8. Wow, I am late to this discussion. But a few things after skimming over the last thread.

    Mark made a comment about egalitarianism sliding into homosexuality. This is a huge strawman. For one reason, historical fact teaches different. It was the partriarchal cultures that were so accepting of homosexuality. It was normal in patriarchal cultures! Women were viewed as property and for child bearing reasons. They had almost no education and were homebound. It was quite normal for men to take on male partners. Reading about Roman and Greek cultures is a wake up call when folks use this strawman.

    I just wanted to mention that the definition of teshuqua in Gen 3:16 is really a problem for most modern translations. And most comps translate Gen 3:16 as Eve being punished for ‘usurping Adams leadership’. That is not true and a horrible disservice to the Body of Christ to teach such a Blasphemy.

    I know some egals have differed here but if we look at modern word meanings ‘desire’ is not the best interpretation. Too many see it as sexual desire.

    We know that the early church would have most likely been reading the Sept. and would have understood Gen 3:16 to mean that Eve was ‘turning’ from God and toward her husband. That is what God was saying would happen as a result of sin.

    But comps teach women to ‘turn’ toward their husbands for leadership. They teach this as a Christian virtue. But the truth is that we should turn to God for leadership.

    My view is that if we cannot get Gen 1-3 right, we cannot understand the rest at all.

    One more thing, Mark mentioned that Adam was NOT with Eve when she ate. I have found this view interesting. Comp preachers differ on this. Piper says he was there. McArthur says he was not there.

    I believe scripture teaches that Adam was there.

  9. “Do you agree that there are different roles/functions for Adam and Eve?”

    The only obvious functions are biological. Child bearing and nursing. Other than that we have Gen 1 which says they are to have dominion TOGETHER.

    And since God is described as an ezer and several men in the OT have names that are derived from Ezer, we cannot make that into a junior assistant position. It is a ‘help comparable’.

    Unfortuantly, ‘scholars’ like Grudem are so inclined to male preeminance that he teache in his book on feminism that God is subordinate to us when HE helps us. Grudem teaches this in order to get around the Ezer problem. It really is Blasphemous. And I pray that more people will wake up to this.

    I would like to see a list of pre fall NON biological attributes of men and women. Where does God say, women will think like this and men will think like that. Where does God say women will be more emotional and men will be stoic? How much of how we view the genders in terms of non biological attributes comes from post fall behavior and is cultural from centuries of nurturing?

  10. “That reality is why complimentarians can make no compromise in their doctrine of the home, because it would invlaidate their doctrine of the church (or at the very least significantly weaken it). The two are linked not only in realtiy but also in Paul’s “head” and “body” metaphors. So, I suspect and expect a continuing lively discussion. Carry on…”

    gengwell, this conumdrum for comps was brought home during the last presidential election. While they supported Sarah Palin (me too!) they said her secular work had nothing to do with male leaderhip in the home or church.

    But the question was brought up would she be in sin if she lead a bible study with her staff which included males. The answer was yes. That is just one example of the Talmudic bent of the comp position. We need a Talmud to keep up with the rules!

    But Piper was even more confusing. As he teaches that women in leadership over men in secular venues must not appear to be giving them orders. They can suggest but not direct. Hmm. A woman president that can only make ‘suggestions’ to her direct male reports.

    The Patriarches like Voddie Baucham were more honest as they said her being a VP was a sin. Because she would be in a leadership position over her own husband and that would be a sin even in a secular venue.

    The bottomline in this whole discussion is the sin trap this thinking is for men. Christianity is all about giving up preeminance. being a servant not a leader. Comp teaching takes the focus off Christ and being a servant to ruler/ subordinate thinking. It really is sad.

  11. Lin wrote: “The only obvious functions are biological. Child bearing and nursing. Other than that we have Gen 1 which says they are to have dominion TOGETHER.”

    And this is why I brought up the situation of eunuchs – they, (along with people who are born with both male and female organs), can’t be easily pigeon-holed into either of the two functions and roles groups that comps have set up. So, we would need a third set of functions and roles set up for them.

  12. In my last post, I was in no way referring to homosexuals or endorsing homosexual activity – just for the record.

  13. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
    Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Matthew 22:24-30

    I had to throw this out here for discussion – don’t these Sadducees seem just a little too focused on who has authority over “the woman?”

  14. “this conumdrum for comps was brought home during the last presidential election. While they supported Sarah Palin (me too!) they said her secular work had nothing to do with male leaderhip in the home or church.”

    It was fun to watch them try to squirm out of that one (quite unsuccessfully I might add).

  15. “I would like to see a list of pre fall NON biological attributes of men and women. Where does God say, women will think like this and men will think like that. Where does God say women will be more emotional and men will be stoic? How much of how we view the genders in terms of non biological attributes comes from post fall behavior and is cultural from centuries of nurturing?”

    I agree with Kay and Lin. I think this kind of thing is very important to consider.

  16. I went back to reference the last post and noticed that the comments for it post arn’t showing up. They stop at like #21. Hum…

  17. “I would like to see a list of pre fall NON biological attributes of men and women. Where does God say, women will think like this and men will think like that. Where does God say women will be more emotional and men will be stoic?”

    Actually, such considerations as how a person thinks and acts are just as biological as they are “nurtured”. I see no reason to believe that ALL the physiological differences between men and women including not only gross anatomy but hormonal levels and brain structure didn’t exist pre-fall just as they do post-fall. Nowhere does the bible say that our fundimental physiological design changed with the fall. All of that as well as culture and nurturing contribute to how we perceive and process stimuli and interact with our world (and of course, each other). There is no issue with being fundimentally different in design when neither design paradigm is “better”.

  18. ”Therefore i come to the conclusion that we are indeed equal in essence but there is nothing in Gen 1-3 to show or explain total equality. But there is evidence to show that Adam and Eve do indeed have different functions which i have shown already. Whether the significance of these roles indicates any type of authority is another question.”

    For the purpose of our communication, I am assuming also that you would understand total equality to mean “same as”. That really should be thrown out the window though because no on believes men and women are identical.

    I also do not believe that people are born to “functions”. IMO that is like bringing in the old class distinctions. People were born into a class and could never rise above it to improve their status in life. Even Japan and China have it to some degree with their school system. One must get certain grades in school in order to get work in the better corporations. Didn’t matter if they could do something better, they simply were never given the opportunity. We used to believe that blacks were born to be slaves. Rather than all that controlling of people, I believe that each individual should be given opportunity and encouraged to use all the gifts, skills, and ingenuity they have.

    “I would also like to re-state that i do not see any text explicitly in Gen 1-3 to state hierarchy or authority. I understand from other texts which we will further discuss as to why i can ‘read into’ Gen 1-3 that Adam was indeed the leader.”

    I don’t see how you can claim that God restricts women from being leaders simply because you assume that things the first man did were leadership like. Even if things Adam did were leadership like, that really has nil to do with all men for all time. It only had to do with Adam’s situation.

    ”So i ask this question to egalitarians. Do you agree that there are different roles/functions for Adam and Eve? Can we agree that your view of total equality and my view of authority are both read into this text from our greater understanding of the bible.”

    The total equality may need to be defined from our perspective, because I am not sure that we are on the same page there. I agree that all humans are equal in essence regardless of our many differences.

    No, I do not believe in roles and functions restricting and limiting only one gender. I do not believe in limiting people from doing what they are capable from doing unless it is a matter of sin.

    ”because as we understand it in relation to God being our ‘help’ He is most definately not ‘equal’ with us.”

    True, God is not equal with us in any way. He is Creator. But the word ezer is not the one that is about being equal. Kenegdo, from neged is the word that shows us equality between the man and woman. And I think you will have a very difficult time trying to deny the meaning of that word.

    May I ask why is it important to you for women to not be equal in stations in life and abilities. Why is it important to you for women to be restricted and limited in what ‘functions’ they perform in the marriage relationship. And why is it important to you for women to be restricted from teaching and leading men in the church (I assume you may think it acceptable in other areas) in Scriptural and spiritual matters. Do you really truly think that only males can understand truth and only males are capable of teaching truth and leading other men toward the truth and toward God?

    Mark, I also want you to know that I am not interested in “winning” this discussion. It isn’t about winning and losing to me. It’s about understanding what is real and truthful. Women are hurt from the outcomes of these discussions.

    It’s not simply about men being abusive although that is an important element. It’s about the loss of life, living life to the fullest for women. Growing up in the Catholic traditions and their demeaning restrictions on women destroyed my life until God set me free. These beliefs of womanly restrictions and manly privileges harm both men and women, but most often women. They set some women up in negative bondages. They choke the life out of women so that far fewer women will grow into the full person of God they were meant to be.

  19. “The Patriarches like Voddie Baucham were more honest as they said her being a VP was a sin. Because she would be in a leadership position over her own husband and that would be a sin even in a secular venue.”

    And when Deborah was judging Israel (Judges 4) do they think her husband, Lappidoth, was excluded. It does not say, “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging everyone in Israel *except her husband*, at that time.” It appears that Israel, meant Israel.

  20. “There is no issue with being fundimentally different in design when neither design paradigm is “better”.”

    Exactly, gengwall! And there is so much variation among human beings, some just plain won’t fit neatly into choice ‘A’ or ‘B’.

  21. “And when Deborah was judging Israel (Judges 4) do they think her husband, Lappidoth, was excluded. It does not say, “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging everyone in Israel *except her husband*, at that time.” It appears that Israel, meant Israel.”

    You know that’s always lingered in the back of my mind. I’m glad you brought it up.

  22. I would imagine that today if a judge found a relative on his court list that he would transfer it over to another judge as a case of conflict of interest. Such things may present a pickle from time to time, but not so much as to deny a person to exercise their skills and callings in life.

  23. “Grudem are so inclined to male preeminance that he teaches in his book on feminism that God is subordinate to us when HE helps us.”

    Lin,
    OMe, seriously? Are there any portions of this book (?) online? – As in would I have to buy it in order to quote him in full?

  24. “Actually, such considerations as how a person thinks and acts are just as biological as they are “nurtured”.”

    So what are pink and blue prefall thinking patterns? Women think like this and men think like that. Where do we see such a thing addressed so we know for sure?

    ” I see no reason to believe that ALL the physiological differences between men and women including not only gross anatomy but hormonal levels and brain structure didn’t exist pre-fall just as they do post-fall. Nowhere does the bible say that our fundimental physiological design changed with the fall. All of that as well as culture and nurturing contribute to how we perceive and process stimuli and interact with our world (and of course, each other). There is no issue with being fundimentally different in design when neither design paradigm is “better”.”

    This is exactly what comps teach and why they are so comfortable assigning roles. Women are like this and men are like that. Such as: Men are natural leaders and women are natural followers.

    But unfortuantly, that makes me a freak of nature. :o) And why I quit making celebrity comps richer by buying their books and attending their conferences. I could not relate to how they said women thought.

  25. He touches on this in two books.

    I don’t have the reference in this book…but just look at the contents page on this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/reader/1581347340?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader

    In this book, look at pages 31 and 32. See how deftly he slips it in there about God when talking about Ezer and authority. If I remember correctly, he goes into more detail on this in the other book. He says here that the person doing the helping puts themself in a subordinate role. He uses some examples about parents and then deftly slips it in about God. I can see where people really buy into this stuff unless they really analyze it biblically and rationally.

    If you read this book it will make you nuts. But it will also help you see where almost all comps are coming from. You can recognize they are parroting Grudem because most pastors teach Grudem and most seminary students have a Grudem book at their side at all times.

  26. Ok, that did not work. Google: Biblical Foundations for for Manhood and Womanhood by Wayne Grudem. The book is online.

    (I always feel like a shower after reading his stuff to wash off the legalism and biblical gymnastics for him to maintain his preeminance)

  27. “Grudem are so inclined to male preeminance that he teaches in his book on feminism that God is subordinate to us when HE helps us.”

    Once again he has swapped “submission” for “subordination” – but this time in relation to God with us! He will stop at nothing!

    Due to the influence of culture, and the fall, and biology etc, how can we establish in a concrete way what “difference” there is between male and female other than differing roles in reproduction? I only feel safe talking about biblical distinctions, which to me does not work along gender lines as much as individual lines. We are each, as believers, individuals – dealt with personally by our Father who gives his Holy Spirit to us to work in each of us as He desires, so that we are all a part of one body, though different parts.

    Why would this be outlined to us in scripture, but not male/female distinctions, if indeed they are of such importance?

    Hey Mark, I am in Australia (Sydney). Where are you from in Oz?

  28. Cheryl,
    Thanks for the special treatment :), i agree the other blog was beginning to get a bit hard to follow.

    Kay i apologise for not directly answering your question. I hope you can see from my position that it is difficult to answer every question when i am so outnumbered. I would like to point out that i do see differences in males and females besides just their sexual organs. As such your comments about eunuchs really does nothing to distort my view. If a man looses his manhood, it doesn’t make him any less a man, or unable to fulfill his roles.

    I’m glad that you are disagreeing between yourselves as to whether there are physiological differences. It is helpful to see where everyone is coming from. It is hard in my opinion to deny that there are such differences. Women and men most definately are not the same.

    Dave, i’m from Narellan out south-west sydney. I saw your blog on the PTC website and thus found the link here to Cheryl’s Blog. I am currently a student at PTC and so am aware that you are a dear Presbyterian brother although i am a congregationalist. Hence why i seem to have alot of time to write- students don’t really do much else :). I saw your church was looking for a FES student. If i was required to do FES, which im not since im not a candidate, i would have loved to come visit you, as im sure we would have many great discussions :). Again i say… AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE, OI OI OI !!!!!!! What is clear i think is that Australians are by far the greater of God’s creations- in fact i think it has been re-named the ‘Land of Canaan’. Sorry for the bad joke. One last point Dave, i agree with what you said in your blog conference, that Mark Driscoll would find PTC the least blokey place- you made me laugh.

  29. Now concerning Corinthians…
    I think it would be helpful to state first before looking deeply at the passage what we all understand head ‘kephale’ to mean. As such i have come across 3 options.
    1. It has an authority linked with it as understood by the Hebrews and the use of it in the LXX- the greek translation of the OT.
    2. It is used as ‘source’ as understood in the greek context/culture.
    3. It is literally referring to the head on top of our shoulders.

    Do people disagree or would like to add anything?

  30. “I’m glad that you are disagreeing between yourselves as to whether there are physiological differences. It is helpful to see where everyone is coming from. It is hard in my opinion to deny that there are such differences. Women and men most definately are not the same.”

    Disagreement if fine. However, I didn’t notice that we did. Everyone has always agreed that men and women are not the same. Basically, because we relate to the world with different bodies (including slightly different wiring between brain hemispheres) we will approach the world and life from different angles. The one place we should all agree upon is that all men and not alike and all women are not alike.

    But I would be interested to hear in what ways you think men and women are different.

  31. “Once again he has swapped ”submission” for ”subordination” – but this time in relation to God with us! He will stop at nothing!”

    Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! ;P

  32. Mark wrote: “If a man looses his manhood, it doesn’t make him any less a man, or unable to fulfill his roles.”

    Mark,
    Not what I’m referring to. The scripture says some people are born that way.

    “There are eunuchs who have been so from birth…” Matt. 19:12

    There are people who are born with BOTH male and female organs.

  33. Hey guys! Just popping in for a minute tonight. I didn’t sleep much last night and I have a big day tomorrow so early to bed.

    gengwall,
    I have no issues with allowing the conversation to be about marriage. My brain just thinks ministry first and foremost and I have to concentrate to make it think anything else. Does that qualify as a calling into ministry for me 😉

    Mark,

    Again i say… AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE, OI OI OI !!!!!!! What is clear i think is that Australians are by far the greater of God’s creations- in fact i think it has been re-named the ‘Land of Canaan’.

    Oh boy! (As she rolls her eyes!) I think I am being taken over by the Aussies. Wonderful, actually. Just as long as you allow me to have a word in edgewise once in a while 🙂

    That’s all I can contribute for tonight. Go Mark, go gengwall, go pinklight, Kay, Dave, TL, Lin and anyone else my tired brain missed.

    Good night from Pennsylvania.

  34. Brother Mark – we will have to have coffee some time. That way I can remind you about how we don’t do the “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi” thing around foreigners!

  35. “okay now I am curious. What does “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi” mean? Sounds like a “you go girl” kind of anthem??”

    If you look at any footage from the 2000 Sydney Olympics you will probably hear it in the crowd.

    Or, you should be able to go here and see/hear it happening live!!

  36. TL,

    Thanks for the link. Just a few thoughts…
    1. Im not Wayne Grudem, nor can i speak on his behalf.
    2. The links were not well researched at all, it was just a rebuttle about a very small thing Grudem has said. It was all about dis-proving Grudem, and had very little ‘research’ to show any other use of the word.
    3. I’m more intereseted in discussions these issues with each other, rather than just giving links to other people’s opinions.
    4. I’m very concerned how egalitarians use Cyril of Alexandria to prove ‘source’, ‘beginning’ as the meaning of Kephale by his exegesis of these passages- Gordon Fee does the same. Admittedly Cyril was one of the ‘good’ guys in the early church in terms of doctrine. However he is mid 5th century, which is quite a ditance away from when Paul wrote the text, so it is hardly a concrete use of linking the greek literature. Secondly, as far as i know, that means for 450years the church understood kephale to not mean ‘source’-this is significant. Thirdly, Alexandria was well known for it’s metaphorical/allegorical interpretation of scripture. Augustine is a prime example in his interpretation of the good samaritan- far from what is considered orthodox. All in all, Cyril is far from concrete proof to show this to be true, as Suzanne may have been implying.

    Im unsure whether you are disputing the 3 uses of kephale in greek literature that i listed or agreeing? The three i listed were as far as i know, the excepted known uses by well known scholars on both sides of the debate. I was trying to represent the overall use of the word. The context of how it is used in the NT is another question. If you wish to dispute or add im more than happy to discuss that.

  37. Kay,

    Im still abit unsure of what your trying to say.

    Let me try to be clear in what i mean. I DO NOT link maleness with the need for the male reproductive organ, whether born that way or otherwise.

  38. Kay,

    refering to your link #13, where you claimed that the sadducees seemed very interested in authority, and im assuming you are applying that to complementarians. Just a few points.

    1. The text you sighted actually has nothing to do with authority and thus your conclusion of authority is a bad one.
    2. The sadducees did not believe in resurrection, which funny enough is what the text is about.
    3. The sadducee’s asked this of Jesus to use as proof of the ridiculous notion of the resurrection. After all who’s wife will she be if she had 7 earthly husbands. Jesus answer is simple, there is no marriage in the resurrection, therefore the sadduccee’s argument fails.
    4. This text has nothing to do with authority and everything to do with the resurrection. It is a bad ‘proof’ text to support your view.

  39. Sorry one last point for Kay,

    I in no way am intereseted in keeping my authority and i find it hard to see this in anything Piper has said. We hold to this view because we believe in the authority of the bible, and believe this is what the bible teaches. It has nothing to do with wanting authority.

  40. “as far as i know, that means for 450years the church understood kephale to not mean ’source’-this is significant.”

    Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Kephale when there are quite a few very clear Greek words for authority if God had wanted to clearly communicate that a wife has a chain of authority between her and Jesus Christ?

    “I in no way am intereseted in keeping my authority and i find it hard to see this in anything Piper has said. We hold to this view because we believe in the authority of the bible, and believe this is what the bible teaches. It has nothing to do with wanting authority.”

    I am not going to spend time looking for Piper quotes but male preeminance/authority is all over his speaking and writing. He does use a lot of adjectives when describing it, that does try to mask what it is.

    However, I also believe in the authority of the Bible. I believe you have to read into scripture to get preeminance for men in the NC. In the OC, it is a result of the fall/sin that God works through. Patriarchy is more of a sin trap for men than anything.

    The NC teaches being a servant. Giving up our rights (for all believers) and that we are not to lord it over like the Gentiles. It is teaches mutual submission for all believers. It teaches spiritual gifts. An elder, whether male or female would look more than Matthew 5 than a Pharisee.

  41. “2. The links were not well researched at all, it was just a rebuttle about a very small thing Grudem has said. It was all about dis-proving Grudem, and had very little ‘research’ to show any other use of the word.”

    That is not true at all. Sue has brought up instances in Greek lit that other scholars like Grudem refuse to acknowledge. You cannot come to the conclusion that it means authority unless you want to ignore all her research.

    There are quite a few links to Kepahle on her blog.

  42. “refering to your link #13, where you claimed that the sadducees seemed very interested in authority, and im assuming you are applying that to complementarians. Just a few points.

    1. The text you sighted actually has nothing to do with authority and thus your conclusion of authority is a bad one.”

    I agree with you on what that passage was about. But keep in mind that women were nothing unless they could produce sons. God regulated this in the law because of sinful man and a woman’s worth being about producing male heirs. “Widow” in Hebrew means no voice. Widows were cast outs in that patriarchal society so God made provisions for them to be taken care of in the law

  43. Regarding Matt. 22:23-30

    Mark wrote: ”4. This text has nothing to do with authority and everything to do with the resurrection. It is a bad ‘proof’ text to support your view.”

    I’m not so sure. Christ gave 2 answers, first saying they did not know the Scriptures or the power of God for in the resurrection there is no marriage, but are like the angels. Then Jesus says:” But concerning the resurrection of the dead…..” So, Christ’s first answer was not only about the resurrection. I suspect He knew what was in their hearts and answered that as well, because their wording was who would “have” her, meaning whose possession would she be, which is indirectly about authority.

    Regarding the McCarthy research on kephale,
    Mark wrote: ”2. The links were not well researched at all, it was just a rebuttle about a very small thing Grudem has said. It was all about dis-proving Grudem, and had very little ‘research’ to show any other use of the word.”

    This appears to be a very revealing answer as one who is not interested in real research. But I’m going to assume that perhaps you don’t really know the extent of what Grudem says regarding both authority of men and how he improperly uses the word kephale. As well, to say that McCarthy did not research well must mean you didn’t really read her research. McCarthy’s research is pretty much within the top 10% of research on the subject. And while Grudem is popular, his research is appallingly second rate, leaving info off, assuming claims that cannot be actually supported, and so forth.

    ”Im unsure whether you are disputing the 3 uses of kephale in greek literature that i listed or agreeing?”

    If you don’t mind, would you please give them again and I’ll respond after church.

  44. If kephale is about authority then why isn’t it chronological in 1 Corin 11? It cannot be that the Holy Spirit is talking about chains of command or it would be chronological.

  45. Mark wrote: “Let me try to be clear in what i mean. I DO NOT link maleness with the need for the male reproductive organ, whether born that way or otherwise.”

    Mark,
    Really? So, what is ‘maleness’ then and how can a person determine if they possesses it?

  46. Mark wrote: “I hold that none can demand or exercise their authority.”
    “I in no way am intereseted in keeping my authority”
    “I DO NOT link maleness with the need for the male reproductive organ, whether born that way or otherwise.”

    Mark,

    O.k., you say that you have some type of ‘authority’ that:
    1. you can’t exercise
    2. you are not interested in keeping
    3. is not determined by possessing male reproductive organs

  47. Mark,

    Would you please give me the definition for the word ‘authority’ that you are using?

    That would help clear up a lot of confusion.

  48. “O.k., you say that you have some type of ‘authority’ that:
    1. you can’t exercise
    2. you are not interested in keeping
    3. is not determined by possessing male reproductive organs”

    Interesting summary Kay! We have talked before about comps who live like egals, such is the confusion between what they are told the bible means and what the Bible does say.

    It is also interesting that Mark does not think there is any connection with hierarchy and abuse, but then if you cannot exercise or even want to keep you authority, then you are hardly being hierarchical enough to see the link with abuse.

    I personally believe that Grudem is manipulative with regard to his research/writing and I am happy to refer you to examples of this Mark, if it is helpful. His own reasearch with regard to kephlae backs up the egal position, not the comp…he has just distorted it, but if anyone cares to look at what he has written the lies are easily seen for what they are. He appears to be a man who wants to keep and exercise what he sees as his right to have authority, even to the extent of distorting the Gospel. Perhaps we should have that coffee?

  49. Mark wrote: “Secondly, as far as i know, that means for 450years the church understood kephale to not mean ’source’-this is significant.”

    The church has misunderstand many things for hundreds of years before. Church history is littered with examples, both before and after the Reformation.
    I think that about 700 years worth of Inquisitorial trials was more than sufficient. What about the Geneva Council with John Calvin burning “heretics” at the stake? How would we like that out on the church lawn after Sunday services this week? For hundreds of years the followers of the church of England and other Protestants regarded slavery as an old established and necessary institution which supplied Europe with the necessary workforce.

  50. Dave,
    Don’t tell me you all have quit drinking tea “down” there – is the whole world hooked on coffee now??
    Yes, since this “authority” is not determined by virtue of possessing male reproductive organs, but instead by possessing “maleness” – I’m very interested for Mark to define how one knows one does possess it. Hey, who knows, I might have it too! Afterall, I don’t want to keep or demand authority over anyone.

  51. Wow, we are up to comment 55 and still haven’t begun looking at the text!
    You are correct in assuming that i haven’t read or know alot of what Wayne Grudem has written. In fact i have a book on the way which will help me understand his position. Piper on the other hand i have read much of, heard much of, and find an extroardinary man who seems humble and who’s first priority is glorifying God. You can criticise someones exegesis but i dont think it appropriate to criticise the man, or suggest his motives are bad.

    That said i respect Suzanne for her work. I dont see her as a radical feminist but as an evangelical sister in Christ. The link i was given did in fact have very little research of hers. Im not disputing her research, just the link that i was given.

    Chuch history is indeed full of ‘bad’ or mislead truth. BUt my point is simple, it is equally misleading to quote Cyril as ‘proof’ of the early church holding to kephale as source. It is simply not true, and history should be reflected accurately. If anyone knows of another church father who understood kephale this way, i would be more than happy to look into that.

    I am still hesitant to read into the passage Kay quoted-‘authority’- it is simply poor exegesis to do this in my opinion. The passage has nothing to do with the sadducees wanting authority, they are simply trying to trick Jesus to refute the idea of a resurrection.

    Kay, your summary of me made me laugh, but again has pulled me out of context. I dont have a right to demand my authority from my wife, that was point one. I’m not arguing for comp view to keep my authority point 2. Male authority is not linked to his manhood point 3.

    Dave, i do think that their is a connection witht the misuse of biblical authority and abuse. I was simply trying to steer the conversation from such accusations as it is not reflective of true comp teaching. IF we are going to be far to both positions is should be based around their understanding of the scriptures. As far as im aware, i have never heard a comp encourage his congregation to beat up his wife. Thus why i am not interested in taking the slippery slope arguments any further.

    Finally again i wil assert my three uses of kephale. Lin has said that i am claiming it means authority. This i haven’t said yet nor it is what i beleve it is always implying. These 3 meanings of the word are as far as i know, the accepted use of it.
    1. That it does denote auhtority- partly seen in the LXX and other greek literature
    2. That it is used as source in other greek literature
    3. That it literally means the head on our shouders.
    I have not stated which of these i think it means in 1 Cor 11 yet! I was just posting the known uses so we can all be on the same page before we begin.

  52. Mark, here are the links from the page I gave you…..
    Response to Johm M. Reynolds
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/response-to-john-mark-reynolds.html

    Grudem and kephale
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/grudem-and-ptolemy.html

    Grudem and Glare
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/grudem-and-glare.html

    Omitted Citations
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/omitted-citations.html

    kephale in Literature
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/kephale-in-literature.html

    McCarthy’s note on the page I sent was…..

    “The foremost example which Grudem uses to prove that kephale means “authority over” is,

    “the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation”

    Grudem used this quote on Jan. 19, 2008, on the Gender Blog. However, in Appendix 1A of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, he wrote,

    19) Philo, Moses 2.30: As the head is the ruling place in the living body, so Ptolemy [Ptolemy Philadelphos] became among kings.
    Cervin does not think that head means ruler here because Philo says that Philadelphos is the head of kings, not in the sense of ruling them, but as the preeminent king among the rest. Philadelphos is the top of the kings just as the head is the top of an animal’s body. . . . This example is therefore to be rejected (p. 100).”

    Grudem continues in RBMW Appendix 1B to discuss this example. However, he fails to show that it means “authority over.” This is Grudem’s best piece of evidence and proves the opposite of his thesis, which is that kephale means authority. It obviously doesn’t. The rest of Grudem’s examples are similar. However, what is the point of quoting them if Grudem just recycles rejected evidence?

    That should help!

  53. Can you point out where anyone has been disrespectful of Piper? Or questioned his motives?

    I am the only one who has referred to him and that is only to present what I have read from him or heard him speak from a stage.

    “I was simply trying to steer the conversation from such accusations as it is not reflective of true comp teaching.”

    This might be a good place to start. What IS true comp teaching. While they might not teach a husband to abuse his wife there are many well known celebrity comp teachers affiliated with CBMW that seem to give abusers a pass or they are not really sure what is abuse.

    Since you are familiar with Piper, I will give you one example of his seemingly misunderstanding of abuse:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/49/4154_What_should_a_wifes_submission_to_her_husband_look_like_if_hes_an_abuser/

    The problem is that so many think Piper knows what he is talking about here. But he does not understand that all abuse escalates. When you cowtow to a bully it gets worse. So, his advice here is quite dangerous:

    “Now that’s one kind of situation. Just a word on the other kind. If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church.”

    But her church will tell her to pray more and submit more.

    I have a question for Piper and all who give this sort of inane advice. As a Christian brother in Christ, why not go and take the beatings and verbal abuse in her place. That would say volumes to the abuser and send a true Christian message.

  54. Mark, you said, “2. That it is used as source in other greek literature.”

    Does this mean that you do not see it used as “source” in the NT? I assume not. Personally I like to see it as meaning “origin”, even though this is essentially the same as “source”. What about Colossians 1:18, especially in the context…surely it means origin not authority?

    From verses 15-18, Jesus is the origin of all creation (as the firstborn) as all things were created by him (including rulers or authorities). He is before all things (he is primary…things have their origin in him). He is the head (origin) of the body the church – as he is the beginning and the firstborn (from where others find their origin) from amongst the dead.

    I just think it you want kephale to be either a physical head or authority in this passage you are introducing something foreign to the text. The only mention of authorities in the passage is where they find their origin…in Jesus!

    Kay – coffee is good, tea is bad. Coffee good. Tea bad. Good coffee. Bad tea.

    Not sure if I can say it more clearly than that…coffee makes the world go round…

  55. “I just think it you want kephale to be either a physical head or authority in this passage you are introducing something foreign to the text. The only mention of authorities in the passage is where they find their origin…in Jesus!”

    I think this is an important point – how does the context define the term?! Since the term is disputed it should be the context that we should look to for the PROOF of what it means. 🙂 And if it cannot be proven that it means “authority” from the context then we must ask what that is??

  56. Mark wrote: “I dont have a right to demand my authority from my wife, that was point one. I’m not arguing for comp view to keep my authority point 2. Male authority is not linked to his manhood point 3.”

    Mark,
    Then to what is it linked?

  57. “I just think it you want kephale to be either a physical head or authority in this passage you are introducing something foreign to the text. The only mention of authorities in the passage is where they find their origin…in Jesus!”

    Absolutely, Dave. We need to be careful not to change the main subject of the passage – that would make a bad ‘proof’ text to support your view.

  58. Lin, you said, “Can you point out where anyone has been disrespectful of Piper? Or questioned his motives?”

    I am not sure, but I think Mark was referring to my comments about Grudem, not anyones comments about Piper (I agree with everything you said about Piper by the way!).

    I did question Grudem’s motives. He has proven he is a very clever man, and so what he has written at times must either be seen as manipulative and sly, or dumb…and I just think he has proven he is not dumb! At the same time, I guess I do not know his motives for certain…so I will try and play more nicely in the future.

  59. Dave,
    Thanks for yout imput on kephale. I deliberately didn’t mention NT in either of my descriptions as this is what we are about to discuss.

    Kay, maybe my aussie slang is confusing you. When i refer to ‘manhood’ i literally mean his reproductive organ. This is part of the male anatomy but is not the determining factor in making someone masculine. Does this help or am i confusing you more!

    Do people want to dispute that kephale as translated in the LXX does not denote some sort of authority? This might be helpful as it is a significant primary document in understanding this word.

    It seems like people are skirting around the issue that kephale is understood to mean authority both in biblical and other ancient greek literature. Is this a fair presumption?

    I have no drama in recognising that it has also been understood as ‘source’, ‘origin’ in ancient lit aswell. If we are going to be honest we need to recognise that kephale was used in various ways and seems to have several meanings. Once we can all agree on that, then we can see which meaning best fits each passage of scripture.

  60. Tl, thanks for the links again. But im abit unsure what you are trying to say by directing me to this.
    1. In the first link it actually supports the notion that kephale was understood as authority by Plato if you read the whole article and the commetss below. Suzanne actually say this “I personally believe that kephale may mean one of many things” and again “I see absolutely no reason to say that kephale must mean “authority,” or that it must mean “source.”. So this is evidence to show that it was understood as authority at least by Plato in this particular work. And this actually supports my own opinion which shows it had many meanings.
    2. The other 4, like i said are just re-buttles of different grudem articles. In several of them Suzanne even fails to faithfully represent what Grudem is saying if you follow the links to Grudem’s actual articles. But again there is very little of Suzannes own research in any of these articles.

  61. I would like to be pointed to an actual egalitarian paper which is not about debating anothers paper, and which shows there evidence for why they understand ‘kephale’ to mean source always in the New Testament. I would like to see evidence which actually shows that when a person is called the ‘head’ it means non authoratative source.
    Thanks for any following links

  62. Mark wrote: “Kay, maybe my aussie slang is confusing you. When i refer to ‘manhood’ i literally mean his reproductive organ. This is part of the male anatomy but is not the determining factor in making someone masculine. Does this help or am i confusing you more!”

    Mark,
    **What** then IS the determining factor in making someone masculine?

    Males have more than the ‘one’ reproductive organ – don’t forget the gonads.

  63. Mark wrote: “I would like to be pointed to an actual egalitarian paper which is not about debating anothers paper, and which shows there evidence for why they understand ‘kephale’ to mean source always in the New Testament. I would like to see evidence which actually shows that when a person is called the ‘head’ it means non authoratative source.”

    “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    Matthew 20:25-27

    “Not so with you”

    I find Jesus to be the Ultimate evidence.

  64. “I did question Grudem’s motives. He has proven he is a very clever man, and so what he has written at times must either be seen as manipulative and sly, or dumb…and I just think he has proven he is not dumb! At the same time, I guess I do not know his motives for certain…so I will try and play more nicely in the future.”

    Dave,
    I don’t like assigning motive either, but I have also wrestled with the question of him being manipulative. Especially, troubling is the way he continually interchanges ”submission” and ”subordination” as though they are the same word.

    “Kay – coffee is good, tea is bad. Coffee good. Tea bad. Good coffee. Bad tea. Not sure if I can say it more clearly than that…coffee makes the world go round…”

    Say it ain’t so, Dave. You’ve just spoiled all my fond childhood memories of tea and crumpets!

  65. ”Do people want to dispute that kephale as translated in the LXX does not denote some sort of authority? This might be helpful as it is a significant primary document in understanding this word.”

    The LXX is not the only source of understanding the use of kephale. And also you appear to be using it backwards. The point of the LXX is that when rosh was used in ways NOT about authority, that is when they used kephale in the LXX. And kephale has not been found to be used in the sense of authority.

    ”It seems like people are skirting around the issue that kephale is understood to mean authority both in biblical and other ancient greek literature. Is this a fair presumption?”

    This is actually not correct at all. If you would read the links and the extensive research of McCarthy you would see that in fact the opposite is true. Kephale is NOT used to mean authority in metaphors. The primary meaning of kephale is the head on our shoulders. It may mean primary, preeminent, foremost, source, origin and other similar in metaphors. All those things are relative to what an actual head on a body could be considered. But people do not consider their physical heads, their authority. We are our own authority, our very person and we live in a body.

    With all of the lengthy discussion in Christiandom about this, Grudem ended up with only one example in history to support his theory of head meaning authority. That was : ”the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation”. But it has easily been pointed out that statement did not mean that the king of Egypt ruled, controlled, directed, etc. the other kings. What it meant was that the King of Egypt was prominent, he stood out among them as a physical head stands on top of the body.

  66. Mark wrote:”In the first link it actually supports the notion that kephale was understood as authority by Plato if you read the whole article and the commetss below. Suzanne actually say this “I personally believe that kephale may mean one of many things” and again “I see absolutely no reason to say that kephale must mean “authority,” or that it must mean “source.”. So this is evidence to show that it was understood as authority at least by Plato in this particular work. And this actually supports my own opinion which shows it had many meanings.”

    In the first link Sue McCarthy wrote this regarding Plato:
    ”I personally believe that kephale may mean one of many things, all pointing to the fact that there ought to be unity between men and women, and mutual respect for real differences, (not imaginary ones) and essential and functional equality between the sexes.

    I see absolutely no reason to say that kephale must mean “authority,” or that it must mean “source.” If people do not see the meaning of “authority over” in the relationship of husband and wife, they should still be respected as Bible believing Christians.

    We should move on to deal with the harm that is done in the Christian community. If people are damaged by one person in the marriage controlling or commanding the other, then we should deal with that. If people are hurt by abandonment and adultery, then we should deal with that.”

    We agree that kephale may mean many things. Where we disagree is that it may primarily mean authority. Making ‘head’ mean authority is an aberration and exceedingly unusual, although possible. We just haven’t found an absolute place to ground that claim in history. My best guess is that it was used to mean in front, topmost, preeminent more often than anything else in the OT.

    McCarthy writes in another link:

    ”Would it surprise you to know that not even once is kephal? used in connection to any of the authority relationships which we believe God has ordained in the Hebrew scriptures?

    Not once is the word kephal? used in the Septuagint or in ancient Greek literature preceding the Bible in the following expressions,
    head of the nation
    head of the people
    head of the tribe
    head of the family
    head of the army

    Instead, we find that the king of Egypt is head of the kings in his own family line, those who precede and follow him. Zeus is the beginning of all things, David is called the head of the Gentiles, the leaders of the tribes are called “heads” of staffs, and the kephal? is a raiding party in Job 1:17.

  67. One of many things that are being missed here is that it isn’t just about the word kephale, but also about the word somatos. They are used in metaphor together in the discussion we are having about genders having different functions. So whatever metaphorical meaning we come up with for kephale, we must then come up with a relative meaning for somatos, one that fits together with kephale. And to my knowledge there is no such metaphorical usage in the OT. We do have head and tail used at least once, maybe more. But it isn’t frequent. But we have no ‘head of’ and ‘body of’ at all.

    For those who believe that ‘head of’ in marital and church relationships means authority, what do you believe the corresponding meaning is for ‘body of’ and why? What do you have to compare it to?

  68. Mark wrote: “Sorry one last point for Kay,
    I in no way am intereseted in keeping my authority and i find it hard to see this in anything Piper has said. We hold to this view because we believe in the authority of the bible, and believe this is what the bible teaches. It has nothing to do with wanting authority.”

    Mark,
    I am mainly interested in how we, as individual believers and the Church as a whole, determines who has this ‘authority”?

    How do we tell who is relegated this ‘authority’?

    There are people with both ovarian and testicular tissue and others with ambiguous outer organs.

    What is the Church supposed to do with a true hermaphrodite, or a woman born with testes?

    Is the Church to begin medically testing everyone who teaches Sunday School or preaches like they do in International Athletics?

    Cheryl, et. al,
    Has anyone else, besides me, wondered about this? I felt so sad for Caster Semenya, the South African runner. I certainly wouldn’t want my reproductive organs photographed and talked about on the national news.

  69. good point Kay!

    Another thought on my part about metaphors. One of the first things we learn about metaphors, is that in different metaphors, the same word can be used differently. For instance, water in Scripture is used metaphorically to mean several different things. Water can refer to life, knowledge, healing and more. It all depends upon context. Metaphorically the word ‘fire’ in one place refers to judgment and in another place refers to the Holy Spirit.

    Thus, the idea that ‘head’ (regardless of ‘head of’ or ‘head over’) is supposed to always mean one thing in all metaphors, is absolutely in error. It is really important if one wants to know truth and the real intent of the author, to read the full context. This often means reading paragraphs before and after.

  70. Mark wrote: “I would like to be pointed to an actual egalitarian paper which is not about debating anothers paper, and which shows there evidence for why they understand ‘kephale’ to mean source always in the New Testament. I would like to see evidence which actually shows that when a person is called the ‘head’ it means non authoratative source.”

    I like your suggestion Kay…but I have another which I discovered and looks pretty good to me… http://searchingtogether.org/kephale.htm
    I would love to know what others think of it as a resource. The primary purpose of the essay is not to rebut anyones else’s work.

    Kay…crumpets…hmmmm…now your talking…coffee and crumpets…
    😉

  71. TL,
    Thanks. Andy also had a good comment on that earlier today – I hope you saw it.
    You’ve probably noticed that this entire discussion has boiled down to one thing for me – if (and I say if) there was any “authority” relegated to males over females (or by necessity over hermaphrodites & those with ambiguous outer organs) short of sending every church member for a medical exam and genetic testing we could never be 100% sure that everyone was in their assigned ‘function’ or ‘role.’
    Not only that, but by necessity
    we would have to figure out what the ‘function’ and ‘role’ was for those not fitting neatly into either catagory.

  72. Mark said, “It seems like people are skirting around the issue that kephale is understood to mean authority both in biblical and other ancient greek literature. Is this a fair presumption?”

    No, I don’t think so. I believe that most people in this conversation have very much grappled with this issue. I think people have been very clear about this. I am a bit confused about where this conversation is (not) going! If I can make some observations…

    1 – Mark has claimed more than once that we have not understood comp arguments, and yet many of us here are recovering comps! We understand very well what “true” comps believe and can point to examples, and have done. Saying we have not understood where they are coming from is not good enough. Please show us exactly where and how we have not understood Piper and Grudem etc.
    2 – Why are we waiting to have everybody agree on the different uses of kephale when the important thing is how Paul is using it in the texts in question? Do we want to have a conversation about kephale in the specific texts or not? The essay I linked above talks about how the Bible uses words such as water and fire with essentially different meanings. Fire, for example, can be a metaphor for judgement, trials or the Holy Spirit! The context is the key, not what was happening 500 years later in extra-biblical writing.
    3 – Kay has raised a very good question that has gone un-answered. How is “manhood” defined? I understand the way you were using the term Mark, but how do you define it in the context of this discussion so that Kay can have an answer to her question. I get the feeling she is not going to let go of this one!

    It seems to me that we are not actually moving forward into having a meaningful discussion, but rather playing around the edges. Perhaps this is a test of my patience? In which case I have failed 🙁

  73. Dave, I have found Jon Zens to be a great resource. He gets it when it comes to the false teaching on human authority in the Body that is everywhere. Seems we have thrown the Holy Priesthood out the window these days! And people are suffering spiritual immaturity for it, too!

    Mark, it is really up to the comps to prove Kephale means authority over. Even if it has been translated that way for thousand years. We have found many things to be tradition and not good exegesis such as transubstantiation, slavery, church/state, magistrates, infant baptism, etc.

    The question is this: Why wasn’t a clear Greek word for ‘authority over’used? There are several to choose from used in plenty of other passages.

    And in that vein, why are we ignoring the head/body metaphors all through the NT when we look at kephale?

  74. “Kay has raised a very good question that has gone un-answered. How is “manhood” defined?”

    Comps say there is equality of essense. So manhood would have to be defined physically, right?

  75. “It seems to me that we are not actually moving forward into having a meaningful discussion, but rather playing around the edges.”

    Me, too, Dave!

  76. Ok, here are what i know in regards to facts about kephale.
    1. IT has different meaning depending on contexts.
    2. It was never used in relation between PEOPLE without the notion of authority. If Paul uses is to mean non-authority when talking between people, it is the first time in all of greek literature as far as i know. So this might be true, but seems highly unlikely from what we know about the use of the word.
    3. Paul caould have used a stronger auhtority word-true, but he didn’t. He did use this word, that when used in the context of people DOES denote authority. The argument trying to say ‘why didnt he use a different word’ has no merit at all. Kephale is used in certain contexts to denote authority.

    Now about Corinthins because we are skirting abit. I wanted to simply be on the same page, thats all.
    1. 1 Cor 11, doesn’t infact use the head/body metaphor as in other passages like Eph 4:15 which is unusual. So the argument for the head/body metaphor cannot apply to this passage. Gordon Fee, an egalitarian rightly recognises this.
    2. Paul draws back to the created order in his argument.
    3. Paul uses interchangebly the literal ‘head’ with the ‘head’ of auhtority in verses 4-7
    4. The use of kephale in verse 3 is in the context of people, which according to how we know the word was used in this context, must denote authority.
    5. Paul concluded from the creation order that a women ought to have a sign of auhtority on her head. The reference to angels here is unusal and also heavily debated.
    6. Some egalitarians think verse 11 somehow cancels out the proceeding verses. This is not true. Although the man is in authority over the women, niether should be independent of the other. This is precisely what we saw in Gen 1-3 and which Paul confirms with the creation order. Hypothetically even if it did cancel out the proceeding verses, it must be recognised by egalitarians that you are admitting that there is a creation order with authority.Paul is listing a creation order of authority which you are so against. So there is a contradiction in your view.
    7. Do i think the head covering is a mandate for all time, no. It is cultural, but the use of kephale to denote authority to the husband is. Paul draws right back to Gen to support his argument for mans authority, which he applies the the cultural context of head coverings.

    Here head connot mean ‘source’, because source is the translated word for heads(plural). The singular is translated ‘mouth’. So should we say the man is the mouth of the wife? The context of how kephale is used clearly indicates a husbands authority. This passage is about propriety in worship- especially realting to head coverings. This is cultural, the headship of the husband is not. So to dismis this passage as purely cultural is wrong.

    I look forward to all your interpretations. It will better help me understand your views.

  77. “Here head connot mean ’source’, because source is the translated word for heads(plural). The singular is translated ‘mouth’. So should we say the man is the mouth of the wife?”

    Not mouth as in what one speaks with, but like mouth of a stream as in origin. 🙂 And the first man was indeed used to become the origin of the first woman, the material out of which she was taken.

    And FWIW, you have not by any means proved that ‘head’ always meant authority when used between people. Metaphors are not like that. One can make a metaphor out of anything from many different angles. As was noted, fire and water both have been used in a multitude of different metaphors with different meanings.

  78. Thanks for that Mark! I am happy to throw my 5 cents worth in…
    The second and third of your first three points I do not agree with, but it is good to know what we are not agreeing on. But I think I agree with your first point!!
    With regards to 1 Cor 11…
    1 – No body part of the metaphor mentioned…very true!
    2 – Paul draws back to the created order…in which case he got the order wrong in 1 Cor 11:4! I am not seeing a created order. Could you elaborate?
    3 – Where is the head of authority in verses 4-7. I see no evidence of authority here. Please point me to the words used to show this?
    4 – “The use of kephale in verse 3 is in the context of people, which according to how we know the word was used in this context, must denote authority.” Perhaps this is how you see it, but you have failed to establish this. Your first point was that kephale had different uses depending on context, but this does not mean you can lock in the formula kephale + people = authority. This is not an adequate look at the context to determine what the context is saying.
    5 – Yes…angels etc, unusual and weird!
    6 – “Some egalitarians think verse 11 somehow cancels out the proceeding verses. This is not true. Although the man is in authority over the women, niether should be independent of the other.”
    But what of verse 12? It appears, contextually, to be talking about the origin of man and woman. Does this not relate somehow to what has followed created order and make it relevant? That being that everything comes from God (through Christ)…like he is the head? I do not believe that egals think verse 11 simply dismisses the preceding verses, but how do you dismiss what it brings to the passage…including verse 12?
    7 – “Do i think the head covering is a mandate for all time, no. It is cultural, but the use of kephale to denote authority to the husband is. Paul draws right back to Gen to support his argument for mans authority, which he applies the the cultural context of head coverings.”
    As mentioned earlier, I do not see where Paul is appealing to Genesis, nor how you can make the statement that kephale here denotes authority to the husband. It is not there. Please show me the exact words that indicate this!

    Finally, you said, “Here head connot mean ’source’, because source is the translated word for heads(plural). The singular is translated ‘mouth’. So should we say the man is the mouth of the wife?”
    I believe I read pretty much this argument from Grudem. It is typical of Grudem. TL has responded correctly and said that it is not referring to the mouth we speak out of. Why would Grudem suggest it does? I am not sure of their motives! BUT, the singular very much relates to the plural meaning. The mouth of a container, such as a jug, is the source of where what is in the container comes from, and it is the “mouth”, the opening. Grudem does make much of the “mouth” being the wrong end of a river to be the “source”, but egals never said that kephale only referred to rivers, they said it referred to source, “like the head of a river”.
    Sorry for the rant but I get very tired of word games.

  79. Something I always thought was worth noting in regards to creation order, Adam first then Eve, is that when Paul does write about it in 1 Tim 2, he doesn’t write about “head”. If we want to look at Paul writing on “head”, (Eph 5, 1 Co 11) we can’t find creation order, and when we want to look at Paul writing on creation order (1 Tim 2) we can’t find “head”. In 1 Co 11 Paul write on “origin” and at the end of the Eph 5 passage he points to “origin” also. Thought this was interesting when I noticed awhile back.

  80. Good points pinklight.

    In first Cor. 11 in the beginning Paul cites origins: first of humanity, then of woman, then of the Messiah. IMO the point of doing this was to show honor. We honor God who is our Creator. There is an honor women give men since we have our form from them; and drawing from that wives can honor husbands who support, protect, and provide for them. And we all honor Christ, our Messiah, who gave His life for us. He then proceeds in a discussion of women’s attire while prophesying (preaching) and praying publicly, and their responsibility to honor their husbands. As well, there is a hint to honor God and the body of Christ from the last verses in chapt. 10. Women are to exercise their own authority in choosing how to honor the local customs. This is a subject that we all must judge for ourselves, because God isn’t about legalities of this sort. God judges the heart.

  81. Does anyone else besides me see the irony (or the obvious) in the fact that Not Once does Paul expound on the proper “role” or “function” of eunachs or hermaphrodites?

  82. “2. It was never used in relation between PEOPLE without the notion of authority.”

    Wrong!

    1 Corinthians 12:21. Head is used metaphorically to represent one person in the body relating to other persons in the body and the context of the verse is specifically the equal standing of all parts of the body from head to foot.

    I really don’t know how you can make such a statement Mark. Others have shown over and over how authority is not in view with kephale in either the bible or the contemporary Greek literature. You have yet to coutner any of their claims with any evidence. Instead, you dogmatically insist it implies authority without ever showing an example where it does. To quote one of my favorite lines from Tom Sawyer – “your sayin’ so doesn’t make it so”.

    The reality is that you are assuming authority based on a biased cultural paradigm and, as Lin correctly states, the burden of proof is on you. We can’t prove something that isn’t there doesn’t exist. You need to prove that the something that is isn’t there is actually really there. The proof would be within the extended text but Paul never, ever, EVER, says “husbands are in authority over their wives.” Nor does Jesus. Nor does God. Nor does Moses. Nor does Peter. I know you believe that is what they are implying. But you can’t deny they never say it directly. I can’t fathom how it doesn’t make you wonder whay they didn’t say this directly when there are plenty of ways both in Hebrew and Greek to say it directly – ways that are used abundently even by the same authors in other writings within the bible.

    This all amounts to circular reasoning. It goes like this.

    Comp: “Husbands are in authority!”
    Egal: “How do you know that?”
    Comp: “Because husbands are ‘head’.”
    Egal: “So what?”
    Comp: “Well ‘head’ means authority.”
    Egal: “How do you know THAT?”
    Comp: “Because husbands, who are the head, are in authority – therefore, ‘head’ means authority.”

    The same is true for every argument. Here it is regarding created order.

    Comp: “Adam was in authority over Eve!”
    Egal: “How do you know that?”
    Comp: “Because Adam was created first.”
    Egal: “So what?”
    Comp: “Well first in order has authority.”
    Egal: “How do you know THAT?”
    Comp: “Because Adam, who was created first, was in authority over Eve – therefore, first in order means authority.”

    All we are asking is that you show just one place anywhere in the bible where it says unequivicably (or even marginally) that either first in order is in authority over second or the head is in authority over the body. As Dave is imploring – show us the words.

    You, of course, won’t find it. But here is one little glimpse of what you will find. We have mentioned this passage many times before but you ignore it. That won’t make it go away.

    Ephesians 1:18 {I pray that} the eyes of our heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (19) and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. {These are} in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (20) which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly {places,} (21) far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (22) And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, (23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (2:1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places} in Christ Jesus, (7) so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    This comes from the same letter that contains Ephesians 5. The head and body metaphor is used both here and in chapter 4. Several questions/challenges for you Mark.

    1. Do you believe Paul uses the head/body metaphor inconsistently in Ephesians, or is Paul consistent in his view of how head and body inter-relate?
    2. Show me in the above passage where Christ has authority over the body.
    3. Conversely, rebute the plain reading of this text that shows Christ’s authority is over “all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name…”, not over the body, and that this authority is for the benefit of the body, and that the body will be place along side of Christ in the seat of authority and share in His dominion “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name…”

  83. “I can’t fathom how it doesn’t make you wonder why they didn’t say this directly when there are plenty of ways both in Hebrew and Greek to say it directly – ways that are used abundently even by the same authors in other writings within the bible.”

    And I can’t fathom how the church could be 100% sure who has this ‘authority’ unless we started medically and genetically testing every member.

  84. I simply can’t hold back any more. Sorry for the length but this simply must be resolved. Below is a breakdown I did some time ago on the use of kephale in the NT. I present this as textual proof that this Greek word is not used to convey authority, let alone authority of the head over the body. Mark – the challenge to you is to prove the opposite from the same texts. I have shown the absence of authority in these texts. Moreover, I have shown the presence of equality. It is no longer sufficient for you to baselessly claim that kephale “was never used in relation between PEOPLE without the notion of authority”, you must prove it. No more circular reasoning, arguments from silence, and simply “sayin’ it’s so”.

    The word kephale occurs 75 times in the NT. It is used literally in all the occurrences in the gospels EXCEPT for the synoptic references to Psalm 118 where it is used as “cornerstone”. This is also its use in Acts 4:11 and 1 Peter 2:7. All the other non-Pauline uses in Acts and Revelation are essentially literal (referring to a person’s or things anatomical head).

    That leaves us with the Pauline uses, which are predominantly metaphorical.

    Only in two of those uses – Ephesians 1:22 and Colossians 2:10, is there an implication of authority, rule, or “Lordship” associated with kephale.

    In Ephesians, the church, as body, is mentioned in the very same verse. But it is not as the object of Christ’s lordship, but as the benefactor of it. The object of Christly “rule” is every “rule and authority and power and dominion and name” (vs. 21). This authority is given to Christ “for the church, (23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Later, in Ephesians 2:6, we are told that God “raised us up with Him (Christ), and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places}…” So, we are seated with Christ “at His (the Father’s) right hand in the heavenly {places,}” (Eph 1:20) and SHARE his authority over the powers, etc. In summary, the authority Christ has as head in Ephesians 1 is not OVER the church but for the benefit of and shared with the church.

    Colossians 2:10 expresses a similar vision for Christ’s authority as Head: “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority”. Although the church/body side of the metaphor is not fleshed out in the text of this passage, it is clear that “you” is the church which is still in view AND “you”, the church, are not the object of the authority which dwells in Christ but are instead the benefactor of it. (this passage has more to do with worldly rules and whether or not we are free in Christ. It is hard to make any marriage parallel here.)

    Those are the only two times that authority is referenced in the Pauline metaphorical uses of Christ as “head”. But, of course, Paul uses the metaphor more than that.

    The only major passage which uses the head/body metaphor referring strictly to the marriage relationship is Ephesians 5. Complimentarians read authority into that passage but it is not even remotely implied by Paul. In fact, the only thing that headship relates to in Ephesians 5 is love. Complimentarians apparently believe authority and agapeo love can coexist. To me they seem mutually exclusive.

    The other major passage which uses kephale and has any semblance of a marriage context (although no corresponding “body” reference) is 1 Corinthians 11. This is, of course, an infamous passage in the comp/egal debate. Cheryl does a great job, IMO, of making the case that head in this passage means source. Anyone can read her verse by verse commentary by looking under her 1 Corinthians 11 section of the blog. What seems to me very clear in this passage is that head does NOT mean “authority”, unless one dogmatically assumes that head universally means authority. Never-the-less, authority is not implied in the passage. Because the passage is more about the conduct of worship and far less about marriage, and is focused on how one shows the glory that is inherent in Christ, it is a very big leap to even assume husbandly authority over the wife is the topic here.

    The head/body metaphor is used again in Colossians 1:18. Here, that relationship is simply given amongst a list of the attributes of Christ. In essence, it is stated as a matter of fact. There is no teaching about the head/body relationship involved. Again, no authority can be derived from this brief citation.

    The final two references to Christ as “head” are in Ephesians 4:15 and Colossians 2:19. These are kind of a mixed metaphor in that it is using the literal head and body arrangement but referring to Christ and the church. Both passages are very similar. Here is the Colossians (starting with vs. 18):

    “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on {visions} he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (19) and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”

    These verses have nothing to do with authority but echo much of what Ephesians 5 says about the “head” and support the argument that “head” in Pauline metaphor means something much more closely related to “source”. The church/body “grows out of” Christ/head; Eve was “fashioned” from Adam’s rib; Christ “proceeded forth” from the Father. None of these references imply a hierarchy of authority; one has to read that in based on presumptions about the English word for kephale.

    The final instance of head and body being used in metaphor by Paul is in 1 Corinthians 12:21. Here, Christ is not involved. Instead, the “head” refers to any member of the body in relation to other members of the body. The teaching here is that no member of the body, including the head, has more preeminance than any other. In fact, the lesser members of the body are to be elevated “in honor” above the greater. Not only is authority not granted or even in view here, but the passage suggests exactly the opposite relational paradigm – equality.

    That’s it – just two direct applications of Christ’s authority as “head”, both of which explicitly remove the “body” as an object of that authority and one that directly imparts that authority equally onto the body. All the other references with head/body as a metaphor lack any authority component. In order for one to believe it, they have to read it into the text (and presume it as a universal truth). That isn’t to say that all those other references don’t teach a lot about headship. On the contrary. But what they teach is that the head, rather than taking authority over the body, is to sacrifice for, serve, nurture, build up, and love the body. Again, if one believes that authority has a place in that list, it has to be read in. The bible surely doesn’t say it.

  85. Thats ok gengwall…let it out buddy…

    Seriously, thanks for that it is very helpful to have that all together like that.

    In regards to circular reasoning, these arguments are of course often combined…
    Comp: “Husbands are in authority!”
    Egal: “How do you know that?”
    Comp: “Because husbands are ‘head’.”
    Egal: “So what?”
    Comp: “Well ‘head’ means authority.”
    Egal: “How do you know THAT?”
    Comp: “Because husbands, who are the head, are in authority because God created them first – therefore, ‘head’ means authority.”
    Egal: “What has created order got to do with it?”
    Comp: “Well first in order has authority.”
    Egal: “How do you know THAT?”
    Comp: “Because Adam, who was created first, was in authority over Eve and was the head – therefore, first in order means authority – that is head!”

  86. Kay, you said, “And I can’t fathom how the church could be 100% sure who has this ‘authority’ unless we started medically and genetically testing every member.”

    I know this is childish, but do you really want to test every “member”? 😉
    Sorry…

  87. Dave,

    Nope. And I don’t think any of us would, could or should!
    And that, my brother, is my point.
    🙂

  88. “Comp: “Because Adam, who was created first, was in authority over Eve and was the head – therefore, first in order means authority – that is head!”

    This reminds me of a website I visited yesterday that stated “God’s Plan” for marriage was to be fruitful and multiply and that children are your fruit. Well that leaves off several couples I know personally and thousands of others as well, who can’t have children. So, to this group my friends are just destined to be outside “God’s Plan for Marriage”

    Dave, You are up way too early! or maybe waaaay too late.

  89. gengwal,
    You did a masterful job on that post. Not only is kephale not used the way comps try to use it, there is no realistic way to enforce their use of it.

  90. “It is no longer sufficient for you to baselessly claim that kephale “was never used in relation between PEOPLE without the notion of authority”, you must prove it. No more circular reasoning, arguments from silence, and simply “sayin’ it’s so”.”

    Now that’s what we need for any comp to be held to! It comes down to PROOF and that’s well, the end all. ;P

  91. Much has already been pointed out but I want to add a few cents:

    “2. Paul draws back to the created order in his argument.”

    But it is not in order! Besides, created order means nothing. I could easily argue that Eve was more important because she was created last and called an Ezer like God is called. Created order means nothing because God many times did not use the FIRST born son. Created order means nothing because it implies that creation materials are important. From where do YOU, as a male get the IMage of God? From dirt?

    “5. Paul concluded from the creation order that a women ought to have a sign of auhtority on her head.”

    No, he did not. “Symbol of” was added by translators. Paul was actually saying that women had authority over their own heads (they could decide whether to cover or not in the Body).

    ” The reference to angels here is unusal and also heavily debated.”

    It is not a big mystery. Paul mentions this first in 1 Corin 6 (keep in mind: same letter, same audience) and says that ALL believers will judge the angels. He is simply referring back to this. Women will judge the angels, too. What else could it be since he mentions this once already about judging the angels? This is actually serious proof from Paul that he views women as total equals in the Body.

  92. Well, it seems the discussion with Mark has gone to quite some length. And I’m sorry got to it much later than Lin did; I wish I could have commented on some of these points myself. But I think everyone–Dave, Kay, Gengwall, Pinklight, etc.–gave some good responses and challenges to his assumptions about roles being rooted in and determined by one’s maleness or femaleness, and his unwarranted insistance that kephale could only mean “authority over” in 1 Cor 11 and Eph 5. So the observations and comments I now make will be brief.
    1. Lin, in comment #8, you mentioned a dispute among comp scholars as to whether or not Adam was with Eve though whole temptation or not. Well, I checked the NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English OT, the NIV, the NAB, and the NLT. All confirmed that Adam was there the whole time, allowed Satan to convince her that eating the fruit would make them both wise, and then took the fruit ate it, without ever rebuking, or even questioning, either Eve or Satan.
    2. The insistence that kephale in 1 Cor 11:3 must mean “authority over” and not “source” so as to weigh an argument in one’s favor against his opponent’s is not something new. For it was used by the Arians to argue that since the man was in “authority over” the woman, because he was superior in being and function; therefore, since the Father was in “authority over” the Son, he was superior and the Son was inferior. And of course, Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Cyril , and others argued against this heretical understanding of the Father-Son and man-woman relationships. A destable heresy, I might add, that Wayne Grudem promotes in order to have a theological ground for the permanent subordination of women, while gutting the heart of the Gospel in the process. And so Dave, I have a far lower opinion of Prof. Grudem than you do for this very reason.

    Well, I think that is all I wish to say on this posting. As I have already said, I think you all did a fine job in both responding to and challenging Mark.

  93. I couldn’t quite read the entire thread however … a few points.

    First, there is not such word as “buttle” or “rebuttle.” If this is just a little more Aussie humour then, forgive me, mate.

    Kephale does not actually mean “authority” or “origin” but has been interpreted as metaphorically representing one or the other.

    There is only one example of a person who is the kephale of his people in the LXX and that is Jephthah. I don’t find it a realistic example of how the word would normally be used in Greek literature. Why was no other leader called the kephale of his family, tribe or nation? There isn’t one.

    Perhaps, Mark, if you provided some examples of kephale used to mean “leader” or “authority” that would help to start the conversation.

    Well, I haven’t much more to say, except that Paul mingled with quite a few woman who appear to be free agents. I don’t know why God would want women to live contrary to their created nature, which is, with respect to personal authority, identical to that of the male.

  94. “For it was used by the Arians to argue that since the man was in “authority over” the woman, because he was superior in being and function; therefore, since the Father was in “authority over” the Son, he was superior and the Son was inferior.”

    I did not know this Frank!!?? I didn’t know that the same line of reasoning was used basing their view of the Father and Son on how they viewed Adam and Eve!!?? Wow.

  95. “Kephale does not actually mean “authority” or “origin” but has been interpreted as metaphorically representing one or the other.”

    Interesting! It is also interesting that with Grudem’s research he is the one who decides what Kephale should be interpreted as metaphorically representing. He then tells us that this is what it “means”, and people accept what he says without looking into it themselves. One bloke I was reading said this about Grudem, “Grudem lays waste the egalitarian word games that seek to muddy the waters concerning the meaning of kephale, hypotasso, authenteo.” http://www.pressiechurch.org/Issues.html

    Can I call him a “Rude, Crude, Grude Machine”, if I don’t question his motives? 🙂

  96. Yes, pinklight. I think this is why Grudem & associates must “soft peddle” it a bit by saying that men and women are “the same in essence” (but males still have authority over females in “function.”) It’s quite a web.

  97. Dear Egalitarian friends,

    i apologise for the slow respose to your questions/statemants/interpretations. Its been a bit busy atm, and looks like it will be this way for the next few weeks. I will try my hardest to find time to continue the discussion, but forgive me if i am unable to continue a day to day discussion at present.

    Let me first comment back to Dave. I guess i will just response according to your dot points.
    1. I am glad we agree
    2. The creation order I am referring to is verses 7-10
    3. 1Co 11:4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head,
    1Co 11:5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.
    I understand that the kephale that is being dishonoured is the head in authority above the person i.e Christ for the man, the man for the wife. How do you understand this Dave?
    4. The context most definitely does support this view of ‘head’. In terms of evidence I will right up a small paper when I get a chance to wade through it all and post it soon, as I think TL and/or gengwell also asked the same thing.
    5. We agree again! As far as Lin’s comments regarding this being ‘simple’ as relating to chapter 6, my only comment can be- it is most definitely not simple. Scholars on both sides recognise this, I suggest Lin for you to have a better look at the so called simplicity of this issue.
    6. You seem to be agreeing that there is a creation order addressed before verse 10, therefore I am confused why you asked me to point you to where the creation order is in point 2? Dave I don’t dismiss what verse 11 and 12 bring. I didn’t think I did that, maybe I wasn’t clear. This is consistent with what we saw in Gen, namely its not good to be alone, we need each other, God created us for each other. But this doesn’t negate the creation order of 7-10, it supports it. How do you reconcile the creation order with your view?
    7. I think I answered this above for you.

    Finally Dave, I’m abit unsure of how you translate kephale. Do you understand it to be mouth, source, pre-eminate, origin…???? These meanings draw from different contexts in which the word is used. It seems like egalitarians are claiming almost any known meaning of the word which is not authority. How we translate it relates to its literary context of which im sure we agree. Therefore the context of mouth is different to the context of source, to the context of pre-eminence to the context of authority to the context of origin. However many people are using them interchangeably. Which do you hold to?

    Also Lin you made this comment
    “But it is not in order! Besides, created order means nothing. I could easily argue that Eve was more important because she was created last and called an Ezer like God is called. Created order means nothing because God many times did not use the FIRST born son. Created order means nothing because it implies that creation materials are important. From where do YOU, as a male get the IMage of God? From dirt?”

    This is precisely the issue I have. Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen, then when we look at this passage in Corinthians the answer changes from’ no creation order’ to ‘so what’, it ‘means nothing’ using your own words. It is inconsistent, do you believe there is a creation order but it means nothing, or do you believe there is no creation order?

  98. Mark,

    I am interested in how we, as individual believers and the Church as a whole, determines who possesses this ‘authority”?

    Is the Church to begin medically testing everyone who teaches Sunday School or preaches like they do in International Athletics?

    What is the Church supposed to do with a true hermaphrodite, or a woman born with testes or Caster Semenya, the South African runner?

    I cannot understand why you are refusing to answer my questions.

  99. Mark,
    My questions are not tough – there is not even Greek usage to haggle over in my questions.

    What does creation order matter, when to enforce that paradigm we would have to ask every fellow believer to disrobe?

  100. Great to have you back Mark…I assume assignments at PTC are not helping your time shortage!

    I do not see any created order in these verses. What I see is information regarding image and glory of God and purpose of creation, as well as origin of creation (funny that…v. 8!) but nothing about “order”.
    Regarding point 6, I was not saying there was created order…I actually referred to origin, but was asking a question about whether this is related to your understanding of created order. Sorry that was not clear!

    Regarding: “Dave I don’t dismiss what verse 11 and 12 bring. I didn’t think I did that, maybe I wasn’t clear. This is consistent with what we saw in Gen, namely its not good to be alone, we need each other, God created us for each other. But this doesn’t negate the creation order of 7-10, it supports it. How do you reconcile the creation order with your view?”

    But verse 12 is describing what happens NOW…and how it is fundamentally different to the Genesis account (not created order – but origin). Paul is introducing new info, is he not? “…for as woman was made from man, so man is NOW born of woman.”

    How do I reconcile the created order with my view? Not sure what I need to reconcile…perhaps I am missing something obvious, or perhaps what I have explained answers this?

    With regards to how I translate kephale…I think we agree…I translate it depending on the context I find it, however I recognise that it has been used metaphorically in the sence of source/origin/pre-eminate/mouth. I believe that these are very closely related and often interchangeable.

    I agree with gangwell with regards to the NT usage of kephale in regards to authority. I believe that Col 1:18 shows an example of kephale to NOT mean authority…I believe it is very clear. Perhaps you could give us an example of where it is clear that it means authority?

  101. Mark,
    Why would the order in which God created or His words to Adam and Eve be a mandate for all marriages?
    That leaves an awful lot of couples in a terrible spot – either “multiply” or you are outside “the plan.”
    It cannot be, or else God has purposely made it impossible for every infertile couple to be part of His plans!

  102. Frank,
    You make this claim:
    2. The insistence that kephale in 1 Cor 11:3 must mean “authority over” and not “source” so as to weigh an argument in one’s favor against his opponent’s is not something new. For it was used by the Arians to argue that since the man was in “authority over” the woman, because he was superior in being and function; therefore, since the Father was in “authority over” the Son, he was superior and the Son was inferior. And of course, Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Cyril , and others argued against this heretical understanding of the Father-Son and man-woman relationships. A destable heresy, I might add, that Wayne Grudem promotes in order to have a theological ground for the permanent subordination of women, while gutting the heart of the Gospel in the process. And so Dave, I have a far lower opinion of Prof. Grudem than you do for this very reason.

    A few points need to be mentioned as I fell you are equally guilty of half truths.
    1. I am not arguing that man is superior in being or function. I am saying we are equal in being (essence) and have different functions. I am not saying a mans role is more superior than the womens. Obviously you haven’t read me properly.
    2. The Athanasian- Arian debates were indeed over the subordination of the son in both function AND essence. This is not what Grudem is saying as far as I have seen, so you are wrong in linking the two. Grudem and Piper do use the term subordination but only in relation to function NOT ESSENCE which was what the Arian heresy was. Therefore you are being misleading by claiming that Grudem is a heretic holding to a condemned heresy. This clearly shows me your poor understanding of either topic.
    3. I would also like to dispute that the Arain heresy stemed primarily from the roles of men and women- where do you see the evidence for this claim? It was clearly over the issue of the divine essence in the son(or lack of in their opinion). You are misrepresenting history to further your view and thus leading others on this blog to false conclusions.
    4. What the great theologians of the past showed us as true orthodoxy was one God, in three distinct persons, all equally divine, although all uniquely their own ‘homoousios’- person/function. I think I translated that into English properly, forgive me if I didn’t.

  103. “But verse 12 is describing what happens NOW…and how it is fundamentally different to the Genesis account (not created order – but origin). Paul is introducing new info, is he not? “…for as woman was made from man, so man is NOW born of woman.”

    Precisely, Dave. No one gets into this life from Adam’s side anymore, we are ALL now are “born of woman.”

    or Maybe we’re just all getting here “out of order.” ???

  104. Dave,
    I have written a small paper to show where i get my opinions from i.e evidence. Not sure though if it is too big to post simply as a comment. I’m not totally up on this blog stuff.

    Kay,
    You are obviously trying to use ridiculous senarious to disprove my point of view. Men and women are simply different. Why is it that men are generally more muscular? Why is it that physiology is different in the sexes. This is medical proof. We are not the same. Some things both physical and practical are more masculine, and vice versa for women. You can argue all you like about hermaphrodites but it doesn’t help your egalitarian view nor distort mine. I dont know how else to respond to you regarding this.

    Dave, one more last point before signing off for the night. THis is more of a personal opinion of yours. Do you think this issue is likely to split the Pressie Church? I sure hope it doesn’t and that people can attempt to work out these issues while still loving each other within the denomination. What is your opinion? Also why is that we live about 60 km apart, yet we talk via a blog in Canada…seems strange?

  105. “1. I am not arguing that man is superior in being or function. I am saying we are equal in being (essence) and have different functions. I am not saying a mans role is more superior than the womens. Obviously you haven’t read me properly.”

    Mark,

    I’m not saying that you are arguing that man is superior in being or function. I am not saying that you are saying a man’s role is more superior than the woman’s.

    I just want to know how the church could ever be 100% certain who is and who is not “functioning” in that proper “role.”

    Wouldn’t it be a matter of church discipline to make certain that only those “qualified” to preach and teach were doing so?

  106. “Kay,
    You are obviously trying to use ridiculous senarious to disprove my point of view. Men and women are simply different. Why is it that men are generally more muscular? Why is it that physiology is different in the sexes. This is medical proof. We are not the same. Some things both physical and practical are more masculine, and vice versa for women. You can argue all you like about hermaphrodites but it doesn’t help your egalitarian view nor distort mine. I dont know how else to respond to you regarding this.”

    Mark,

    No, I am not. And this is why you must make statements like: “Why is it that men are generally more muscular?”
    Precisely because gender has such a wide range that one can only say “generally” men are more muscular.

    No one has been able to put exact size and variation limits on reproductive organs or muscular structure. Their are simply too many variations and those people who wind up in the middle as hermaphrodites.

    I am not the one speaking in generalities here. I am speaking to specifics. Wouldn’t it be a matter of church discipline to make certain that only those “qualified” to preach and teach were doing so?

  107. Mark,

    Since you wish to start assigning motive to me – I think turn about is fair play.
    “Obviously” you are not answering my questions because your stance is untenable.

    If one of your children was born with ambigous organs, I find it highly doubtful that you would find mine to be “ridiculous senarious.”

  108. ”Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen, then when we look at this passage in Corinthians the answer changes from’ no creation order’ to ‘so what’, it ‘means nothing’ using your own words. It is inconsistent, do you believe there is a creation order but it means nothing, or do you believe there is no creation order?”

    The problem with the “creation order” doctrine is that humans made it up. God said nothing about a creation order. The fact that one was born before the other is noting a “birthing” order but without legal meaning to it. It was later that humans began to give preference to the firstborn. Part of that may have been in looking for the Messiah that was promised. This was acceptable until someone decided to go backwards and assign preference to the birth order of humanity. They put words in God’s mouth so to speak.

    What Paul did in 1 Cor. 11 was tackle the ‘birth order’ subject and redirect it. He starts out by noting the birth order of humanity, woman and the Messiah. It was a clever move since the order of those significant births put’s Christ last. I suspect that in the original letter to Paul from the Corinthians there must have been something said about birth order in trying to make men more significant than women. Paul continues, by pointing out in verses 11-12 that in the end the order of the birth of the first man and woman doesn’t really matter because now all humans come from woman.

    11. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

    In addition, the discussion on head coverings is also something humans made up. God is not concerned about head coverings of either men or women. Yes, Paul discusses the Hebrew theory behind it, but what he does not do is make it a church doctrine or requirement. Paul says that a woman has authority on her own head, that she is to decide. Historically, in that era there were laws in different areas requiring different types of coverings for women. In order to do what Paul recommended in the previous chapter, a woman had to consider not only her husband but the laws of the place she was speaking in. Women still need to do that today.

    ”31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

  109. “1. I am not arguing that man is superior in being or function. I am saying we are equal in being (essence) and have different functions. I am not saying a mans role is more superior than the womens. Obviously you haven’t read me properly.”

    It is my understanding that you are saying that men are superior in functions because they are men. This detracts from equal in essence although I do understand your thinking that as humans men and women are equal. But when you assign superior ‘roles and functions’ to one half of humanity by reason of their sex, then you erase some of the equality of being equally human.

    The superiority of functions is clear in the functions you deny women. Leadership, positional authority, and teaching authority are denied women in your distribution of ‘functions’. Thus in your system of thought, men retain the privileges of ministering in the more important and life influencing aspects. It is because they are denied others, when others are just as capable, that tags them as reserved for those your system considers better equipped, and adds the elements of superior and inferior. The problem is that basic logic shows that one cannot be superior and preferred because of one’s sex (part of essence) and be considered equal to the one who is not only not preferred but not allowed because of their sex (essence). He is more than equal, he is the privileged and it is his sex, his essence that grants him this superior privilege. This is where Grudem’s and your claim to equal in essence breaks down.

    ”I have written a small paper to show where i get my opinions from i.e evidence. Not sure though if it is too big to post simply as a comment. I’m not totally up on this blog stuff.”

    I would love to see it, but likely not as a comment here. Why not post it on your blog and give us the link.

  110. “I am not the one speaking in generalities here. I am speaking to specifics. Wouldn’t it be a matter of church discipline to make certain that only those “qualified” to preach and teach were doing so?”

    And I think that’s the point with any of this. The answers are in the details, not the ignoring of them…Adam didn’t eat an apple.

  111. I’m still fascinated at how we managed to turn “the man” into plural??!! It’s like, (now that I see it) what in the world??

  112. “As far as Lin’s comments regarding this being ‘simple’ as relating to chapter 6, my only comment can be- it is most definitely not simple. Scholars on both sides recognise this, I suggest Lin for you to have a better look at the so called simplicity of this issue.”

    Mark, that is how scholars make their living. It needs to be complicated so they can keep writing books and papers.

    Scripture tells us that the BEST teacher is the Holy Spirit. I believe that with all my heart. There is room for scholars but they are not the last or best word on the “Word”. I do not think it is confusing at all unless I am trying to read authority into something that is not there. Then it becomes confusing. Paul is simply referring back to what he wrote earlier in the same exact letter to the same audience…he says that women will be judging the angels, too. But because you are reading authority into this whole passage, that would not make sense. The authority over another paradigm keeps you from the true message of this passage.

    It would help to read all of Cheryl’s teaching on 1 Corin 11 on the sidebar. She goes into depth and no sense in repeating it here. But if you do read it all or watch or DVD, it will explain what Paul was referring to. And remember, in verse 10, “symbol of” was added by the translators. Women have authority over their own ‘head’.

  113. “The authority over another paradigm keeps you from the true message of this passage.”

    I agree. But why the paradigm? Simply, because of the meaning of the English word “head”.

  114. “This is precisely the issue I have. Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen, then when we look at this passage in Corinthians the answer changes from’ no creation order’ to ‘so what’, it ‘means nothing’ using your own words. It is inconsistent, do you believe there is a creation order but it means nothing, or do you believe there is no creation order?”

    The only significance of creation order is DECEPTION. Since Eve was created last, she did NOT see God creating the Garden or even perhaps the animals. She was a perfect target for Satan. Adam DID see these things. He KNEW. The difference is that Adam sinned willfully with his eyes wide open. Eve was deceived. Both are SIN. But read what Paul says to Timothy about this in 1 Tim 1. Paul says he sinned out of ignorance. And he has compassion for those who do. But not for Hy and Al who willfully deceive on purpose.

    That is the ONLY significance of creation order. There is not one place you can show me in Gen 1-2 that God says that Adam is in charge of Eve. That he is her authority. You have to read that into the text. You have to make inferences.

    And comps do. They claim that Ezer is a junior assistant. they claim that creation order automatically means heirarchy. And so on. All of that is reading into the text. I mean, think of the facts that could be misrepresented: Cows are more important than Adam because they are created first. Eve is more important because she is created lastand is God’s crowning creation and called an Ezer like God is called an Ezer.

    These statements are just as ridiculous as comps saying Adam is over Eve because he was created first.

    Bruce Ware teaches that Eve was made in the ‘indirect image’ of God and is a derivative. As if creation materials are where we receive the Image of God.

    It is so obvious what is happening in Genesis when we take our patriarchy blinders off. God wants Adam to see that he is alone and needs someone comparible to himself. So he has him name a bunch of ugly animals. So when Eve is presented, he is like WOW! Flesh of my flesh….she is LIKE HIM! God says a One Flesh Union. Where in that description do you see authority/subordinate relationship?

    What comps are doing is teaching the sin of the fall as virtue. I heard someone else call it sanctified sin. That is all it is. One human, because of male genitals, is to have authority over another human without those genitals. For some reason, the genitals make them in charge of the woman. (Sorry but that is really what you are saying)

    But if we are really going to be honest, we have to say that Adam sinned willfully with his eyes wide open. So why would Adam or his descendents be more qualified to lead women as Eve was deceived and admitted it! It makes no sense. I mean, if all women are more easily deceived because of Eve then we surly do not want them teaching kids or even other easily deceived woman. This is another place the comp position breaks down badly.

    What does make sense is the real rendering of Teshuqua in Gen 3:16 where it is rendered as Eve turned away from God and toward her husband. And because of that he would rule her. We see it lived out in sinful man right after the fall. So teaching women to follow their husbands lead instead of Jesus Christ, is quite insidious. She cannot serve two masters or 2 ‘heads’ if it means authority.

  115. “Grudem and Piper do use the term subordination but only in relation to function NOT ESSENCE which was what the Arian heresy was.”

    This is a stawman. It is the essence that decides the functions for comps. You cannot separate them.

    It is like saying, you are equal to me but you cannot do this or that like I can. So how is that equal? A lot of older African Americans can relate to that illogic.

  116. “You are obviously trying to use ridiculous senarious to disprove my point of view. Men and women are simply different. Why is it that men are generally more muscular? Why is it that physiology is different in the sexes. This is medical proof. We are not the same. Some things both physical and practical are more masculine, and vice versa for women”

    First of all, I tower over many well known male comp teachers at 5’10. Secondly, what does this physiology have to do with intellect? And if it doesn’t, you do realize that our economy is now driven by intellectual captial.

    If you look at the worldly ways, a big muscular guy is more likely to be the brawn not the brains in most enterprises.

    So what are the NON BIOLOGICAL differences between Adam and Eve before the fall? Can you list them?

    And now on earth do you deal with Jael? :o) (She was using brains not brawn on that deal but the result was the same)

  117. ” agree. But why the paradigm? Simply, because of the meaning of the English word “head”.”

    The paradigm exists because it has been taught. Our ancestors felt the same way about slavery. It was the norm and anyone who thought different was bombarded with proof texts for why it was God’s plan. It was a few Christians in the North who started the Abolitionist movement. Have you ever read Dabney?

    I wonder if I was told all my life I had preeminance for simply being a woman if I would want to give it up? We can all fall into these traps….but our Lord teaches us service to others, being a bondservant to Him and giving up our rights and positions to not be like the “Genitles”.

  118. Ah, “Mark the complementarian” is sure popular here! What a pleasure to have a complementarian visit my blog and be a part of the conversation. I think this is helpful and it sure does stir up the mix.

    Well, folks, I am back. I haven’t had a chance to read most of the comments yet as I have been suffering from jet lag, trying to keep from getting my husband’s cold and trying hard to catch up with all the ministry emails that I missed. I will comment as I am able.

    I appreciate Lin giving a plug for my DVDs and my work on 1 Cor. 11 (see my side bar). Mark seems to think that 1 Cor. 11 is a slam dunk for the preeminence of the man with the woman having a secondary function, but this is the opposite of what the passage says. I won’t go into the passage at length but here are a few comments.

    1 Cor 11:7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

    What many people miss in this passage is that it is only the man who has a restriction, not the woman. This is because the man has a simple mandate “image and glory of God” while the woman has a more complex mandate with “image and glory of God” AND “image and glory of man”. The bottom line is that “image and glory of…” empowers humans. It is not a term of subordination to limit one’s function.

    This means that “image and glory of God” frees humans to bring glory to God by operating in the authority as an image bearer. As the “image and glory of God” we are to show forth that glory and not hide it. The fact that we have been forgiven of our sins and Jesus has bore the shame of our sin, allows us to shine forth His glory. The covering which was meant to cover the shame of our sin is to be removed. If we keep the covering as if we still bear the shame of our sin, then we shame Jesus who paid a great price to take away our sin and the shame of our sin.

    The woman too was to appear with a covering because Jesus also took away the shame of her sin, but since she bears the glory of two and not just one, (she shines the glory of both God and the man) Paul allows her to choose to keep the covering if it would bring shame to her husband. Her position was greater than the man’s position in that she was allowed to make her own decision, while the men were forbidden from wearing the covering of shame.

    1 Cor 11:10 Therefore the woman ought to have (a symbol of) authority on her head, because of the angels.

    The term “a symbol of” is not in the text and this addition distorts the meaning of the text. The woman, Paul says, must have the right and authority to make her own decision because of her up-coming position as judge of the angels. (1 Cor. 6:2, 3).

    This passage in no way limits women, but connects the dual nature of the woman’s glory to the freedom for her to take her authority to make a godly decision. Here Paul emphasizes the equality of men and women as joint-heirs in the next life where women will stand side by side with the men in judging the world and the angels. In her position as ruler and judge (as an equal image bearer of God) she is not subordinate to men but fully equal in showing forth her place as image bearer as she is both the glory of God and the glory of the man.

    Does this make sense, Mark? Do you have any questions about the importance of the equality of the woman which is highlighted in 1 Cor. 11?

  119. “Mark, that is how scholars make their living. It needs to be complicated so they can keep writing books and papers.”
    “One human, because of male genitals, is to have authority over another human without those genitals. For some reason, the genitals make them in charge of the woman. (Sorry but that is really what you are saying)”

    Lin,

    Apparently, comp theologians have managed to make it so complicated that Mark is unable answer simple straight forward questions about how we determine whose genitals qualify.

  120. “This is precisely the issue I have. Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen, then when we look at this passage in Corinthians the answer changes from’ no creation order’ to ‘so what’, it ‘means nothing’ using your own words. It is inconsistent, do you believe there is a creation order but it means nothing, or do you believe there is no creation order?”

    I would like to be pointed to one word written by Paul in 1 Co 11 about Adam being created first and then Eve – “creation order”. All I can precisley read are words like “from” and “for” specificaly talking about “origin” not “order”. To think that Paul is talking about “order” is reading into the text because the words that would tell us he’s talking about “order” (which he knows how to write about as in 1 Tim 2) do not exist in the passage. I think the exact things and words that Pauls writes are important.

  121. Cheryl,

    So glad you’re back!
    I apologize for spending so much times discussing reproductive organs here, but they are THE determining factor in Mark’s comp position.

  122. pinklight,
    You said:

    I would like to be pointed to one word written by Paul in 1 Co 11 about Adam being created first and then Eve – “creation order”. All I can precisley read are words like “from” and “for” specificaly talking about “origin” not “order”.

    Excellent observation! If Paul is talking about “origin” we should not changing this to “order” as if the man was in charge of the woman. For those who want to let the text speak for itself, verse 10 points to the woman’s right to have authority to make her own decision. If we want to be honest, we cannot twist the word for “authority” here that always gives the person themselves the right to action and never is used to describe a position of the subject “under authority”.

  123. Kay,
    No need to apologize. I think that your questions are worthy of being asked and your point is well taken. And thanks for the welcome back! These posts have been so busy, I didn’t think anyone missed me at all 😉

  124. “Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen,”

    Nonsense. What we argue is this: the fact Adam was created first has no bearing on the marriage relationship and absolutely does not establish any form of hierarchy, either in Genesis, 1 Corinthians, or any other place in the bible. On the contrary, order of “creation” (i.e. birth) was explicitely overturned as a basis for hierarchy in several famous biblical accounts.

    Anyone who believes order universally denotes hierarchy has to explain, at the very least, two glaring exceptions: why do the animals not have authority over humans and why did God choose David as King. Once they tackle those two seemingly incontrovertible rebuttals of the order=hierarchy theory, they must explain why Jesus, on several occasions, completely flipped the order paradigm upside down.

    So, you see, we do not deny the order of creation in Genesis. But as far as its relation to marriage, or gender based authority in general, based on the truth in the bible including both godly decisions and the teaching of Jesus, we are led, and even admonished, to exclaim “so what”!

  125. “Egalitarians argue that there is no creation order in Gen,”

    I will second gengwall’s comment of “nonsense”.

    Egalitarians do not argue that there is no “creation order”. They merely state that there is no hierarchy or authority of one human over another attached to the “creation order”. Those who say that there is indeed an “authority over” or hierarchy taught in this passage are the ones who need to prove their point.

    I think that it is also good to note here that Biblical egalitarians hold tightly to the Scriptures as inspired. We are not the ones who are insisting in a view that adds to the text. I, for one, am most interested in understanding what the text says and what it doesn’t say so that we stay away from proof texts that are ripped from their contexts.

    I also am very interested in how a complementarian thinks about these matters. I am especially interested in how he or she can join with us in holding tight to the inspired text yet be oblivious to the inspired context surrounding the hard verses on women.

    I was just re-reading an email that I got in early 2008 from an old friend who removed his friendship from me because of the women’s issue. It is obvious that his gender-related “authority” to demand obedience to his view and silence my opinion is a trump card that is almost impossible to give up without the grace of God. I am again reminded that the male trump card has harmed many relationships and separated friends. It is a “my way or the highway” attitude that discredits the image of God within God’s female “sons”. The body of Christ is greatly harmed by this mindset. We will all keep in this state of hurt until we come to the full knowledge of God’s Son who brings us together in unity and equality as co-heirs of God’s grace. I long for the day when we are truly united without prejudice.

  126. “So, you see, we do not deny the order of creation in Genesis. But as far as its relation to marriage, or gender based authority in general, based on the truth in the bible including both godly decisions and the teaching of Jesus, we are led, and even admonished, to exclaim “so what”!”

    I believe Paul said “so what” for us in 1 Co 11 v12:

    11 But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. 12 For although the first woman came man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.

    ;P

  127. “I was just re-reading an email that I got in early 2008 from an old friend who removed his friendship from me because of the women’s issue. It is obvious that his gender-related “authority” to demand obedience to his view and silence my opinion is a trump card that is almost impossible to give up without the grace of God. I am again reminded that the male trump card has harmed many relationships and separated friends.”

    Cheryl,

    And I’ll bet he did this without even letting the church check his “male trump card” to see if it really did “qualify.” How sad to judge one’s friendship this way – I’m sure it was very hurtful.

  128. Kay,
    Yes, it was extremely hurtful. It took a few years for the pain to subside because rejection isn’t an easy thing. And being rejected for being female (something I can’t do anything about) and following the Lord’s calling (something I must always obey as a disciple of Christ) was difficult to comprehend. At the time I did not understand how someone could hold to the thought of male privilege and refuse to discuss it and reject me without considering me worthy enough to be heard.

    After he broke fellowship with me, he went on to start his own church. It appears that he enjoys being called “pastor” even though he knows that this is not one of his gifts and he had admitted many times to me in the past that he does not have a pastor’s heart. But then there is that male trump card that gives him the privilege of doing anything he wants without question. And me? I took all the research that I had done but which he didn’t want to read and I put it into my WIM DVD set. What was meant to help him and his wife is being used today to reach not just one couple, but the entire church. How can I be sad about that? Yet I still have some sadness that there is such an ungodly division over the freedom for women to serve with the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them. Apparently some men think that their trump card trumps even the Holy Spirit.

  129. Welcome back – you were missed Cheryl!

    Cheryl, would you be happy to post Marks paper on your blog? We are nearly ready to start again as we are on 135 comments and counting! If not, then if Mark wants to email me his paper I will put it up at our blog for discussion. I think we would all love to learn more about Mark’s view.

    Mark, I reallly do think we need to get together for a coffee – we are not oceans apart! I could meet you one day in at the PTC. Email me at our blog/website and we can have a chat. I would love to know what you are doing at college/ministry etc. Perhaps we could even talk about kephale while we are at it, though that would require two coffees at least!

  130. Great idea, Dave! Yes, I would welcome Mark to email me his paper and I would be happy to post it as a comp view that we can discuss.

    To Mark: If you are willing, I would be happy to post your paper and that way give it a fair hearing. Email me when you have the time and you can be the very first comp guest poster. I guess that would make you a poster boy for the comp position, eh? And an Aussie poster at that! It is always a privilege to dialog this way because there is so much to learn and hearing the opposition challenges us to first understand and then respectfully dialog so that we can help all understand God’s Word better.

  131. “Great idea, Dave! Yes, I would welcome Mark to email me his paper and I would be happy to post it as a comp view that we can discuss.”

    Cheryl,

    Can I second that! Sounds like a much more efficient way to see what Mark believes than question by question.

    Yes, you really were missed – I know it’s difficult to tell they way we’ve carried on and on here. 🙂 I thought about you every time the Weather Channel showed the piles of snow in Pennsylvania – and you there with no boots. 🙁 My feet were sympathizing. Brrrr…

  132. Mark said, “Do you think this issue is likely to split the Pressie Church? I sure hope it doesn’t and that people can attempt to work out these issues while still loving each other within the denomination. What is your opinion?”

    I guess Cheryl has shared something of her own experience. When I decided our church should look at the issue and preached on the topic of women in ministry and the home we had a family leave. Our church was particularly small when I started as the pastor and this was the first family that had come to our church since I had arrived (before which there were no families 🙁 I had become very good friends with the husband, and they made the decision to leave suddenly half way through the sermon series. There was no room for discussion. I might add that they had recently returned from a conference at Mark Driscoll’s church in Seattle where they were told very strongly, by a very influential person (big church = influential) that complementarianism was the only way to go. CBMW and the Resurgence both appear to hold the gender issue as a non-negotiable.

    So yes, I believe that the issue has caused and will continue to cause fracture at the local level. Will it split the Presbyterian Church of Australia? Not yet! I pray that it doesn’t. We really should have that coffee!

  133. “There was no room for discussion. I might add that they had recently returned from a conference at Mark Driscoll’s church in Seattle where they were told very strongly, by a very influential person (big church = influential) that complementarianism was the only way to go. CBMW and the Resurgence both appear to hold the gender issue as a non-negotiable.”

    It is always a red flag when people are not open to discussion. This is a trademark of the CBMW movement. None of their websites allow discussion. And the associated websites and blogs also tend to shut down any discussion where there is disagreements while castigating those who disagree. I do not find this a characteristic that is Scripturally unacceptable.

    Cheryl….. many warm hugs to you. You are always a pleasure to dialogue with.

    🙂 o/o/o/

  134. Thanks TL for the warm hugs!!!

    Do you know that there seems so many comps who are not willing to dialog that it seems to be a pattern. Well, name-calling and accusing isn’t a “dialog” in my books. So it is wonderful to have Mark here. I wish I could glue his feet to this blog floor so he stays for a long time. 😉

  135. “It is always a red flag when people are not open to discussion. This is a trademark of the CBMW movement. None of their websites allow discussion.”

    TL,
    True. It’s also a trademark of abusers, cult leaders and those in fear. I want others to see that egals have nothing to hide – ask me and ask away, “iron sharpening iron.”

  136. BTW….

    There is a great new book out by a friend of mine.

    When Dogmas Die by Susanna Krizo

    http://www.whendogmasdie.com/

    I haven’t finished reading it yet, but when I do, I’ll post a review on her site and the Equality Forum. Her thorough research is awesome. She is posting information from our history that every believer should know something about. It is sad that we don’t. She covers 13 Scriptures relevant to the question of Biblical equality.

    I totally recommend this book. I understand that Amazon will have it but not until January. They show they have it in stock, but I think it is back ordered until Jan.

    Hopefully, this “advertisement” is OK, here. 🙂

  137. “So yes, I believe that the issue has caused and will continue to cause fracture at the local level. Will it split the Presbyterian Church of Australia? Not yet! I pray that it doesn’t. We really should have that coffee!”

    Dave,
    Make sure it’s a nice fresh pot of coffee. 😉

  138. Mara, if you get the book, maybe we can dialogue about it. I started a thread on the Book Recommendations folder on Equality Central Forums.

  139. Mark,
    I have just been reading through some of the past comments and I would like to make one important comment for the benefit of my readers. I think it would be wise to see those who comment here as sincere Christians who have come to their point of view honestly and with integrity in reading the Scriptures. I understand where they differ in their interpretations from what you believe, but I think it wise not to call their position a half-truth as if they are lying about the facts. I do agree that if someone is deliberately altering the facts and lying about it, it is good to expose that, but I don’t think that anyone is doing that here. I believe we should give people the benefit of the doubt about their motives as being honest and sincere and argue our own position from that stand point.

    As far as Grudem goes he appears to know the historical evidence but for one reason or another he has chosen to give the evidence in such a way that his honesty appears in question. That bothers me a great deal.

    It is the same thing with Bruce Ware who teaches on the eternal subordination of the Son, so insistent on putting women in their place that he has lowered Jesus so that He is no longer deserving of the highest praise, the highest honor, or equal authority with the Father so that it is not allowed for us to pray to Him. I have discussed this with Bruce Ware through emails and frankly it didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth. I feel the same way about what Grudem is doing. But Ware and Grudem are not posting on my blog. If they were, I would have to be very frank and tell them that what they are doing is wrong. It is possible to be a complementarian without downgrading Jesus. I embrace my complementarian brothers and sisters in Christ, but I am not so happy with those who deliberately lower Jesus when the Scripture is clear that He is to have equal honor with the Father.

    Mark, I also know what it is like to be especially busy. I hope that you are able to continue to work on answering the questions here as it can be very helpful for us to understand a complementarian mindset.

  140. #124 Lin,

    I wonder if I was told all my life I had preeminance for simply being a woman if I would want to give it up? We can all fall into these traps….but our Lord teaches us service to others, being a bondservant to Him and giving up our rights

    This really hit the nail on the head, Lin. If we have been groomed for a “privileged position” would any of us give it up so easy. I would like to think that I would hold to the Truth rather than a false privilege, but maybe I could be deceived by pride too. I want to be cautious about this because I have made it a vital part of my spiritual life to love truth more than anything. But I can see how this could be very challenging to give up. We do like to feel like we are special people and privilege is certainly “special”.

  141. I posted something written by John Starke from CBMW here http://www.achurchinryde.com/blog/?p=349#comment-681
    Well, John has responded to my post! He has said he might not be able to interract a lot, but if you would like to talk to John feel free!

    Please though, stay here and talk to Mark too! Wow, perhaps the Comps have been drinking too much coffee, they don’t usually want to talk!

    I hope it was ok to do that Cheryl. 🙂

  142. Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity to be the first comp blogger on this sight. However, if i was happy to post it like that, i would have to do alot more work to make it more ‘academic’. I wrote it quickly and about 1 in the morning, so it is most definately not ‘scholarly’ in that sense. I will do some more work on it to tidy it up a bit and send it to you once ready. I should point out that its purpose was to show that ‘authority’ is a possible rendering for kephale in the NT period so as to respond to Dave, TL, gengwell. I didn’t do complete exegesis on texts but maybe i should if that helps. Obvously that will take longer though.

    I’m sorry you might have been offended about my comment regarding Frank. I think you were right, and i apologise to Frank for that. However i think you need to be more consistent on this issue as i have read numerously and in several places on your blogs where people are clearly attacking Grudem and Piper, rather than their views per se. None the less i over-stepped the mark. I appreciate your rebuke 🙂

    Dave,
    sure pop in to PTC whenever you like, i’m there most days. However there is only a few weeks left and im abit unsure whether ill be there again next year, so perhaps it might not work out. I am amazed at the amount of time you have to respond to blogs while running a church, very impressive.

  143. Mark, I apologize for the terseness of my previous comment. It was addressed more to Cheryl, Dave, Lin, and Kay who know me better than you do, and who understand where I am coming from. For on both Cheryl’s site and CBE’s The Scroll, I have previously demonstrated my knowledge of past and present Trinitarian controversies, and why I believe, contrary to what they say, Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware are promoting a novel and dangerous form of Arianism, or Subordinationism. Now you may not agree with me, but on the basis of my own studies of the Trinity over the last two years, that is the conclusion I have come to, and that is why I so fiercely oppose them. However, I recognize that I need to clarifiy what you regard as my “apparent” misrepresentations, so you at least understand why I am taking this stance. So let me make the following points:
    1. Now how, I don’t know how well versed your are in the disputes between the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers with the Arians, but the one of main contentions made by Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom against the Arians was that it was logically inconsistent and incoherent to argue that two persons, divine or otherwise, are essentially equal if, at the same time, one is in permanently and obligatorily in subordination to the other. Kevin Giles sums it up this way:

    From the time of Athanasius, theologians have recognized that if the Son is eternally subordinate in his work, function or operations, it must mean he is eternally subordinated in being, essence, nature, person or subsistence. If the Son or any human being is a personal equal to another, they may choose to subordinate themselves to another; but when subordination is both permanent and obligatory, the personal inferiority of the subordinate is implied. If one party is always and necessarily subordinate to the other, the subordinate person must lack something the superior person possesses (Cf. “The Subordination of Christ and the Subordination of Women”, Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, IVP, 2005, p.348).

    So, if of necessity the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father in all things, and not by choice and for a limited time for a specific purpose, then he is inferior to the Father in being. By the same token, if women are, of necessity, permanently subordinate to men in all things–not by choice and for a limited for a specific purpose–then they are inferior to men in their essence or being. And so both the denials of the Son’s inferiority to the Father, and of women to men, as so often made by complementarian, are meaningless.
    2. You accuse me of misleading people, twisting history to my own ends, because I argue that “the Arian heresy stemmed primarily from the roles of men and women.” If that is what you think I said or meant to say, you are incorrect. Nevertheless, there is evidence that 1 Cor. 11:3 was a text Arians later used to argue their case that the Son was inferior to the Father, using the “lesser to greater” analogy. Perhaps you are unaware that John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407 A.D.), a younger contemporary of Athanasius, Basil, and Gregory, addressed the Arians’ misuse of this text? Here’s what he said in one of his homilies:

    “But the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3). Here the heretics rush upon us with a certain declaration of inferiority, which out of these words they contrive against the Son. But they stumble against themselves. For if “the man be the head of the woman,” and the head be of the same substance with the body, and “the head of Christ is God,” the Son is of the same substance with the Father. “Nay,” say they, “it is not His being of another substance which we intend to show from hence, but that He is under subjection.” What then are we to say to this? In the first place, when any thing lowly is said of him conjoined as He is with the Flesh, there is no disparagement of the Godhead in what is said, the Economy admitting the expression. However, tell me how thou intendest to prove this from the passage? “Why, as the man governs the wife, saith he, “so also the Father, Christ.” Therefore also as Christ governs the man, so likewise the Father, the Son. “For the head of every man,” we read, “is Christ.” And who could ever admit this? For if the superiority of the Son compared with us, be the measure of the Father’s compared with the Son, consider to what meanness thou wilt bring Him. So that we must not try all things by like measure in respect of ourselves and of God, though the language used concerning them be similar; but we must assign to God a certain appropriate excellency, and so great as belongs to God. For should they not grant this, many absurdities will follow. As thus; “the head of Christ is God:” and, “Christ is the head of the man, and he of the woman.” Therefore if we choose to take the term, “head,” in the like sense in all the clauses, the Son will be as far removed from the Father as we are from Him. Nay, and the woman will be as far removed from us as we are from the Word of God. And what the Son is to the Father, this both we are to the Son and the woman again to the man. And who will endure this? (“The Life and Work of St. John Chrysostom,” NPNF, IX, 3-23).

    Now, it seems to me he is refuting a heretical view of Subordinationism that has many parallels to that advocated by Grudem and Ware. So compare what Chrysostom says about this text with what Grudem and Ware teach about it, and then draw your own conclusion.
    3. Subordinationism, in all its forms, was a heresy condemned by both the Eastern and Western Churches. For example, at the Roman Council of 382 A.D., where the Nicene Creed was confirmed as authoritative and binding on all Christians, Bishop Damasus made 24 pronouncements regarding heretical departures from orthodoxy, among which are these: “If anyone denies: That the Son of God is true God, just as the Father is true God, having all power, knowing all things, and equal to the Father, he is a heretic;…that the Father,Son, and Holy Spirit have one divinity, authority, majesty, power, one glory, one dominion, one kingdom and one will and truth, he is a heretic.” And so however you may wish to deny it, the Subordinationism being advocated by Grudem and company is a new form of an old and deadly heresy. Advocated, I will add, for neither just nor good reasons. Here again, Kevin Giles has a pertinent comment:

    In the Trinity, we are told, ontological equality and permanent role or functional subordination coexist without one canceling the other. If this is how the Trinity is ordered, the argument continues, the the Trinity justifies women’s permanent functional subordination. Furthermore, it is claimed that the differences between the sexes and the differences between the divine Persons can be preserved only if role differentiation–understood in both instances as the subordination of one party to another–is upheld. This argument seems to have persuaded many, but at this point two things should be noted. First, prior to the 1980’s no theologian had ever spoken of the Son’s subordination in “role” only. This use of the term, as well, as the idea of the permanent role subordination apart from personal subordination, came from the woman debate, where it appeared for the first time in the mid-1970’s. The language and reasoning that was invented to make an acceptable-sounding case for the permanent subordination of women was introduced into theological discourse about the Trinity and, in turn, the newly devised doctrine of the Son’s role subordination was used to support the doctrine of the role subordination of women. Second, this new doctrine of the Trinity, formulated by evangelicals opposed to the full emancipation of women, undermines the complete unity of person and work in the Godhead so clearly taught in Scripture. On this view, the works of the Son do not indicate that he is fully equal with the Father in divinity, majesty, power and authority. This novel doctrine of the Trinity makes the Son eternally subordinate to the Father in what he does. In his works he is less in power and authority (Cf. “The Subordination of Christ and the Subordination of Women,” Discovering Biblical Equality, pp.338-339).
    4. Here I will only make two additional, but necessary comments on this matter. First, as regards how orthodox Christians are to think properly about the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Spirit. This matter, along with other Trinitarian concerns, was settled long ago by the Nicene Fathers, as T. F. Torrance explains:

    What then does it mean to think of the three divine Persons specifically as ‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit’? This is a question that had been cropping up in the Church since the Arian controversy, when attempts were made to speak of divine Fatherhood and Sonship on the analogy of human fatherhood and sonship. While there is certainly a figurative or metaphorical ingredient in the human terms ‘father’ and ‘son’ as they are used in divine revelation, they are to be understood in ways that point utterly beyond all sexist connotations and implications.Both the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are incomprehensible mysteries which are not explicable through recourse to human modes of thought. Hence, as Athanasius and Gregory Nanianzen insisted, we must set aside all analogies drawn from the visible world in speaking of God, helpful as they may be up to a point, for they are theologically unsatisfactory and even objectionable, and so must of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ when used of God as imageless relations. ‘Father,’ Gregory pointed out, ‘is the name of the relation in which the Father stands to the Son, and the Son to the Father, but such that it is an ineffable relation which exceeds and transcends human powers of imagination and conception,’ so that we may not read the creaturely of our human expressions of ‘father’ and ‘son’ analogically into what God discloses of his own inner divine relations. Hence, Gregory Nanianzen, like Athanasius, insisted that they must be treated as referring imagelessly, that is, in a diaphanous or ‘see through’ way, to the Father and Son without the intrusion of creaturely or sensual images into God. Thus we may not think of God as having gender, nor think of the Father as begetting the Son or of the Son as begotten after the analogy of generation or giving birth, with which we are familiar with among creaturely beings (Cf. “Three Persons, One Being,” The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being, Three Persons, T & T Clark, 1996, pp. 157-158)

    Secondly, not only is this heretical component of hierarchical complementarianism based on a defective theological method, but it also rests on a false analogy that actually contradicts the very view these people are seeking to promote. So I both agree with and endorse the excellent expose’ and critique of this false analogy given by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis:

    Unlike the subordination prescribed for women, there could be no subordination in the eternal Trinity that would involve one divine Person acting against his own preference or best judgment under orders issued from the contrary will of another divine Person. When the Father sent the Son, it was not along the lines of an earthly father who says, “Well, son, here’s what I’m going to have you do,” at which point the son learns what he better do or else. Rather, with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of one mind on how to redeem sinful humans (as they always are on every matter), it was the Son’s will to go as much as it was the Father’s will to send him (Phil. 2:5-11). Moreover, in Christ’s own description of his earthly ministry, he states that the Father has given him all judgment and authority (Mt. 28:18; Jn. 5:21-27; 17:2). Even during his earthly incarnation, when Jesus did only the Father’s will (Jn. 5:30; 8:28-29), the relationship of the Father and Son was not at all like that of a husband and wife in a patriarchal marriage, where the husband holds final decision-making authority and is neither expected nor required to share this authority with his wife. Even if there were an eternal subordination of the Son to the Father, it would fail to model the key elements of the woman’s lifelong subordination to man. What would female subordination to male authority look like if it were truly analogous to the subordination of the Son to the Father? First, the authority of the man and the submission of the woman would not be decided or demanded by their different male and female natures. Second, there would never be an occasion in which the man’s will would or should overrule the woman’s will; the man therefore would “send” the woman to do only what was in accordance with her own will. Third, every husband would willing and consistently share all authority with his wife, acknowledging her full authority to make judgments and decisions on behalf of both of them. In short, the oneness in being of the divine Persons, which results in oneness of will, precludes invoking the Trinity as either illustrating or vindicating the doctrine of woman’s subordination to man (Cf. “Equal in Being, Unequal in Role,” Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, IVP, 2005, pp. 330-331).

    So, Mark I hope I sufficiently clarified what you regarded as “apparent” misrepresentation, or unclear and misleading statements; have given a clearer indication as to what I regard as the true, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity; and why I am a staunch opponent of what I regard as heretical teaching.

  144. Mark wrote: “I am amazed at the amount of time you have to respond to blogs while running a church, very impressive.”

    Mark,
    I’m convinced that Dave and Cheryl never sleep!

  145. “While there is certainly a figurative or metaphorical ingredient in the human terms ‘father’ and ’son’ as they are used in divine revelation, they are to be understood in ways that point utterly beyond all sexist connotations and implications.Both the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are incomprehensible mysteries which are not explicable through recourse to human modes of thought.”

    Beautifully put, Frank. It is not like God has some Eternal use for male reproductive organs. It is not as though He needs to distinguish Himself from female “goddesses.”

    The only member of the Trinity we know for sure had them was Jesus (the Scriptures say He was circumcised), but neither the Holy Spirit nor the Father are ever expressly said to possess them.

    So now, if authority lies in the possessing of male genitals, wouldn’t that put the Son in authority and the Father and the Holy Spirit in subordination?

  146. Mark,
    I am very happy that you are considering cleaning up your article for publication and sending it to you. Good job!

    I’m sorry you might have been offended about my comment regarding Frank. I think you were right, and i apologise to Frank for that.

    Thank you, Mark, for your humility. While I try very hard not to do moderate people’s comments to remove things they have said, and usually people don’t say things unless they are hurting themselves, I do want to support those who come here and watch over them in case their integrity might be in question. I especially feel this way towards those who I have come to know by their comments over the past months and even years for some. I can see that they love Jesus like I do and I want my blog to be about unity and not be the cause of further division in the church. I still haven’t finished reading all the comments myself but if someone was calling you a liar or hinting that it was your motive to lie, I would feel compelled to defend you too. I want you to feel as much at home here as the others.

    i have read numerously and in several places on your blogs where people are clearly attacking Grudem and Piper, rather than their views per se.

    Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware have been criticized on my blog for their views and the effects of their views. They are in a class by themselves along with CBMW in dividing the body of Christ. For the most part I don’t think their motives are called into question unless their writing has shown that they know the truth and they are withholding that truth. That appears to be the case for both of them in one point or another. That doesn’t sit well with me. I hope it doesn’t with you either. We don’t want to find ourselves protecting any man who distorts or withholds the truth with knowledge. This is a place where we can discuss these things and I give leeway to those who have been hurt by these things. If there is something especially harsh being said, I appreciate any who speaks up either publicly or privately to me so that I may try to bring our focus back and stay away from unwarranted personal attacks. It is not my intention to be inconsistent. I just may need a little more help as I can be overwhelmed too. This after all is a secondary part of my ministry and not my full focus so it cannot get my full attention as far as time goes.

    I think the thing that I would like to encourage all is that we work hard to make our own comments as an example to all. Our best teaching is what we do ourselves as an example. I try hard to follow that although I have feet of clay too. It is my highest focus to honor the Lord Jesus first and then from there work on respect, patience and encouragement. Where I succeed in that, the honor goes to Jesus.

  147. Regarding the Hebrew rosh and the Greek kephale, for the word ‘head’, I ran across some interesting info in my online Hebrew study.

    First words in the Bible = in beginning. The word is b.rasheth. There is no ‘the’. Ha=the. The word rasheth has it’s root from rosh which is the Hebrew word we translate as head, which also means beginning/first. This is from my new study on learning Hebrew from a Hebrew. Also, Don noted (on Equality Forums) “Rosh Hashanah is the head of the year, literally.”

    Thought you might appreciate that info.

  148. “I think it would be wise to see those who comment here as sincere Christians who have come to their point of view honestly and with integrity in reading the Scriptures. I understand where they differ in their interpretations from what you believe, but I think it wise not to call their position a half-truth as if they are lying about the facts. ”

    This is real important. I sometimes get the feeling comps think we are bra burners who hate men and attend Unitarian churches. I think that is what they have been conditioned to think in a sense. I say this because I was in the comp world for many years and know how the ‘other side’ is presented. I thought the same thing. But the Holy Spirit kept nagging at my heart and the biblical contradictions of the comp position just would not go away. I was also in a position to see how profitable comp theology is in books, seminars, DVD’s, conferences, marriage retreats, etc. It is big business. And there is always the latest thing to attend or read.

    (Overall, the Christian market for products is about 4-6 billion a year)

    I finally realized that the comp position kept me focused on myself and my husband to the detriment of my relationsip with Jesus Christ and my private study of the Word. It was a constant of roles, rules and formulas for life. And so many basic questions went unanswered or were responded to in a Talmudic way. You read enough comp books and attend enough seminars you start realizing most of them are not on the same page with the roles or even the interpretations of the proof texts. (One example: At what age are boys, men and women cannot teach them? Another example is that McArthur teaches that Adam was NOT there when Eve was deceived but Piper teaches Adam WAS there.)

    I also realized this was not the faith of my childhood. The faith of my childhood focused on faith in Jesus Christ. No one ever talked about roles and rules. And the SBC churches I grew up in were smaller and everyone did what had to be done. It wasn’t so pink and blue as it is now.

  149. Frank,
    First I want to thank you for giving the time to respond to me. It may well surprise you and others here on this blog that I too disagree with the terminology of the ESS doctrine. I have a big issue in using the term ‘subordination’ in relation to Jesus and the Father, as you are indeed correct in stating that it was condemned by many in the early church. However, as with most Trinitarian debates it is far more beneficial to look behind the terminology to the actual theology to establish ones position. I therefore have no doubt that some comps may have labelled you as a modalist or unitarian. I do disagree with the terminology of the ESS doctrine, but not the actual doctrine, and so now I will respond to you to show why I hold this, and show why I feel I need to respond to your claims that this is another ‘arianism’ or ‘subordinationism’. To do this I will sketch a quick historical overview. Before I do that I think it is vitally important when understanding history to look at it in its context i.e. the debates raging and again to look beyond terminology to the core doctrine.
    1. Athanasius- was indeed one of the earliest most influential thinkers in the Trinitarian debate. To put him in context is to show how he was responding to Arian claims that Jesus was an intermediate being between the absolute God and mankind, thus he was less God and subordinate. Athanasius strongly rebuked this showing how Jesus was equally divine. Due to Athanasius’ opponents, when one reads him, he could easily mistake that Athanasius put too much importance on the unity of God and not enough on the distinction of person. Justo L Gonzalez puts it like this “The main weak point in Athanasius’ Trinitarian theology is his lack of a fixed terminology that could serve to express the multiplicity as well as the unity in the trinity.” (A History of Christian Thought p. 308). So when one uses Athanasius in the Trinitarian debate they must be careful to remember the context of his theology. None the less, he was monumental in creating orthodox teaching on this subject.
    2. 3 Cappodocian fathers- Basil went beyond Athanasius in affirming and defending the orthodox teaching: one ousia and three hypostases (one essence, 3 pesons) to quote him “If we have no distinct perception of the separate characteristics, namely, fatherhood, sonship, and sanctification, but form our conception of God from the general idea of existence, we cannot possibly give a sound account of our faith.”( Ep 236.6), Gregory of Nazianzus went beyond Basil again showing further the relations between the three persons of the trinity “ For the Godhead is one in three, and the three are one… Excesses and defects we will omit, neither making the unity confusion(sebellianism), nor the division a separation (arianism). His theology that the father is not begotten, the son is begotten and the spirit is the procession was accepted by both the east and west church. Gregory further enhanced, one ousia, three hypostases. Gregory of Nyssa was fundamental in establishing that the distinctions cannot be established on the basis of external relations. Thus he rejected subordination that posits a difference of power or glory (again arianism). Therefore the only grounds for distinction for him was to understood on inner relations. To summarise they were influential in fleshing out the ‘seperateness’ of each member mean while condemning subordination that lead to loss of power or glory( this is vital to understanding the ESS doctrine)
    3. Augustine- was again influential in rounding orthodox theology in the west. He rightly believed in the distinctions of the members of the Godhead, although each is equally divine. Terminology was a big issue with Augustine as he found our words inadequate to show the trinity properly. The main point Augustine gave to Trinitarian theology was the real or ‘subsistent’ relations in the Godhead. He did this to combat the Arians who insisted that division was in the ‘subsistence’ or essence of being i.e. divinity.
    4. John Calvin- was pretty much repetitious of Augustinian theology on this issue “By person I mean, subsistence… Now, I say that each of the three subsistence’s while related to the others is distinguished from it.” (Institutes 1:13:6) Also “On the other hand, the scriptures demonstrate that there is some distinction between the Father and the Word, the Word and the Spirit…” (Institutes 1:13:17) again “Moreover, this distinction is so far from interfering with the most perfect unity of God…In each hypostases the whole nature is understood, the only difference being that each has his own peculiar subsistence.” (Institutes 1:13:19) and finally “But if we hold, what has already been demonstrated from Scripture, that the essence of the one God, pertaining to the Father, Son, and Spirit, is simple and indivisible, and again, that the Father differs in some special property from the Son, and the Son from the Spirit, the door will be shut…” (Institutes 1:13:22)
    What does all this show? True orthodox is one God in three persons. One God equal in essence although distinct in three persons. Now the question is this. Does the ESS doctrine make Jesus subordinate in essence, the answer no. Frank you seem to realise this, therefore I am perplexed at how you claim this is another form of Arianism- could you explain this for me? It is clearly not. Arius taught that Jesus was not equally God. ESS does not do this. They are rightly making the necessary distinction in roles between each member of the Trinity. Frank with your view, where does the distinction lie?
    Frank you also make the bold claim “First, prior to the 1980’s no theologian had ever spoken of the Son’s subordination in “role” only. This use of the term, as well, as the idea of the permanent role subordination apart from personal subordination, came from the woman debate, where it appeared for the first time in the mid-1970’s.” I will show you one simple example to dismiss this ridiculous claim. It is from Louis Berkhof’s systematic theology written in 1939. “There is a certain order in the ontological Trinity. In personal subsistence the Father is first, the Son second, and the Holy Spirit third. It need hardly be said that this order does not pertain to any priority of time or of essential dignity, but only to the logical order of derivation. The Father is neither begotten by, nor proceeds from any other person; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity. Generation and procession take place within the Divine Being, and imply a certain subordination as to the manner of personal subsistence, but no subordination as far as the possession of the divine essence is concerned.” So the claim you make is not only false, but what Berkhof’s is saying sounds remarkably like the ESS doctrine.
    Conclusion- I believe that the doctrine of the ESS is true orthodox teaching regarding the Trinity. However I do disagree with using the term subordination as it has had many uses throughout this historical debate and should be avoided in my opinion. Frank, I pose this to you, that you look beyond the terminology and look at the doctrine. Then you will see who is the orthodox view.
    Finally I want to address the sources you used in your argument. 3 of them were from ‘Discovering Biblical Equality’ so it is hardly surprising that they dispute comp teaching. One was from Bishop Damasus which was condemning Arianism- that Jesus was less God. I have shown and infact I think you know that ESS does not teach this, so I don’t see how this supports your view. T.F.Torrance’s quote again had nothing to do with true orthodoxy nor the condemnation of ESS doctrine but rather that when discussing the trinity, our human analogies are always flawed. I totally agree with this. In fact I said above that this is precisely the problem Augustine had with human words. This reference again does not support your argument at all. Finally I want to discuss Chrysostom-
    1 First it is important to note that what he is debating doesn’t seem to be Arianism. He saids that his opponents don’t dispute the equal essence of the son so this is again not what ESS is teaching.
    2. Lets look what he further saids in this same homily: regarding 1 Cor 11:7 “For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.
    This is again another cause. Not only, so he speaks, because he has Christ to be His Head ought he not to cover the head, but because also he rules over the woman. For the ruler when he comes before the king ought to have the symbol of his rule. As therefore no ruler without military girdle and cloak, would venture to appear before him that has the diadem: so neither do thou without the symbols of your rule, (one of which is the not being covered,) pray before God, lest you insult both yourself and Him that has honored you.
    And the same thing likewise one may say regarding the woman. For to her also is it a reproach, the not having the symbols of her subjection. But the woman is the glory of the man. Therefore the rule of the man is natural.
    Again 1 Cor 11:9 “For neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.
    This is again a second superiority, nay, rather also a third, and a fourth, the first being, that Christ is the head of us, and we of the woman; a second, that we are the glory of God, but the woman of us; a third, that we are not of the woman, but she of us; a fourth, that we are not for her, but she for us.
    Again 1 Cor 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head.
    For this cause: what cause, tell me? For all these which have been mentioned, says he; or rather not for these only, but also because of the angels. For although thou despise your husband, says he, yet reverence the angels.
    It follows that being covered is a mark of subjection and authority. For it induces her to look down and be ashamed and preserve entire her proper virtue. For the virtue and honor of the governed is to abide in his obedience.
    Again: the man is not compelled to do this; for he is the image of his Lord: but the woman is; and that reasonably. Consider then the excess of the transgression when being honored with so high a prerogative, you put yourself to shame, seizing the woman’s dress. And you do the same as if having received a diadem, you should cast the diadem from your head, and instead of it take a slave’s garment.
    Again 1 Cor 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.
    Thus, because he had given great superiority to the man, having said that the woman is of him and for him and under him; that he might neither lift up the men more than was due nor depress the women, see how he brings in the correction, saying, Howbeit neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. Examine not, I pray, says he, the first things only, and that creation. Since if you enquire into what comes after, each one of the two is the cause of the other; or rather not even thus each of the other, but God of all. Wherefore he says, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.
    So Frank I think it is clear, that Chrysostom actually supports my view of this passage not the egalitarian view. Also your references actually hinder your view rather than support it.
    I apologise for the extreme length, but such issues need to be addressed.

  150. “Again 1 Cor 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head.
    For this cause: what cause, tell me? For all these which have been mentioned, says he; or rather not for these only, but also because of the angels. For although thou despise your husband, says he, yet reverence the angels.”

    Mark,
    Do you uphold the practice of Christian women wearing a sign of authority on her head?

  151. The idea of a woman wearing a covering on her head is a human one. It was never instigated in the Torah. Headcoverings were culturally determined and different in different cultures.

    Such things are not things God is concerned with. If He had been concerned, He would have brought Eve to Adam with a proper covering over her head and body. God is concerned with morals, character, integrity, and the things of the spirit and soul. And yes, these things do affect what we wear, but in the sense of modesty and not offending other’s cultures. That’s about it.

  152. It never ceases to amaze me what folks can get out of a passage on headcoverings. Even to the point of lessening Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts for eternity!

  153. “but what Berkhof’s is saying sounds remarkably like the ESS doctrine.”

    I love Berkhof’s chapter on the Trinity. And would have to strongly disagree that his portrayal has any resemblance at all to the CBMW ESS doctrines. I consider the ESS doctrines to be very much within what Athanasius taught against.

  154. Chrysostom lived in an era where men were considered superior to women. It is unfortunate that he interpreted many things within that thinking. However, Chrysostom was able to rise above this thinking when he honored Junia as a female apostle.

    His thinking on veiling was also influenced by the very recent past to his era in which women were commanded by legal human laws to veil under certain conditions. He still thought women were compelled (because of their inferiority) to honor the superiority of men with a veil. One must discern who they want to believe on issues like this. Just because he was a person living a few hundred years after Christ doesn’t give him more understanding.

  155. To me, projection is particularly problematic in at least some theories of the Trinity because what is projected onto God is immediately reflected back onto the world, and this reverse projection is said to be what is in fact important about the doctrine.

    Usually, the theorist’s concept of the Trinity is filled out suggestively with notions borrowed from our own experience of relationships and relatedness. And then is presented as a resource Christian theology has to offer the wider world in its reflections upon relationships and relatedness. Couldn’t very different conclusions be drawn from one and the same understanding of God because of a person’s cultural background and personal relationships?

    I seek to know the Lord, as do my fellow believers, but I struggle to understand why it is not sufficient to simply declare HOW God has revealed Himself without moving into making implications of this revelation to the very inner life of Deity. In my view, God is just too OMNI-Everything to nail down, box up, and categorize so neatly in our finite understanding. It is when that move is made from the revelation of the Trinity to proposed implications on the Divine inner life that I question.
    Do we really think we can know everything that goes on in the inner life of God?
    “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways” declares the Lord” “how unsearchable are His judgments, and unfathomable His ways. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?”

  156. Kay, TL, and Lin,

    I agree that the doctrine of the Trinity is far beyond human understanding/ reasoning. All of the people cited above clearly say this, and discuss it with fear and trembling. Again my point was simple. Let’s see what history actually says on these issues. Frank gave his argument which is great. Cheryl thanked him for all his reaearch in supporting the egalitarian vew. But the thing is, it doesn’t support the view.
    I have shown why i disagree with his view from history, and so i feel perplexed at your statements. One can’t use Chrysostom to support their view if the actual homily of Chrysostom doesn’t support it.
    I have been continually asked to show evidence for my view. I have done this briefly through this historical sketch. Of course it is hardly a thourough Phd or such, but it clearly shows that th ESS doctrine is not a new form of Arianism. The evidence is there in history and so it is up to you all to accept it or not.

  157. Lin,
    can you explain what you mean by this statement

    “It never ceases to amaze me what folks can get out of a passage on headcoverings. Even to the point of lessening Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts for eternity!”

    Is this aimed at my view or Chrysostom’s? IF you think what i have said lessens Jesus, please show me where. I uphold Christ as sovereign Lord of my life.

  158. Perhaps I am too busy pastoring a church, but I have never been one to get too caught up trying to determine what historical figures have said. I was told at Bible College that we stand on the shoulders of giants, but I was always concerned that I was standing on the shoulders of idiots! Therefore I learnt what I could from historical figures but I was primarily concerned about what I believed.

    Mark, I appreciate the fact that you do not like the use of the word “subordination” in the ESS doctrine, but what would you prefer? Can you in a sentence or two outline your understanding of the doctrine as you believe it please?

  159. ” but I have never been one to get too caught up trying to determine what historical figures have said. I was told at Bible College that we stand on the shoulders of giants, but I was always concerned that I was standing on the shoulders of idiots! Therefore I learnt what I could from historical figures but I was primarily concerned about what I believed.”

    Dave, I totally agree!

    One reason why I quote Chrysostom now and then is because he is one source that said a husband should not ‘authenteo’ his wife. Which just goes to show why comps cannot use 1 Tim 2 as a proof text for women teaching men because it ‘usurps their authority’. That is not what authenteo means. And Chrysostom was definitely not into equality for women! But he said a husband should not authenteo his wife!

    “Is this aimed at my view or Chrysostom’s?”

    Mark, Oh no, not at all. It is just that 1 Corin 11 is used as a foundational proof text by many comps for so many things! Some teach that it proves that woman are made in the ‘indirect image of God’ (Ware). Others teach it proves that woman must have an authority (even though symbol of was added to the text and it really says taht women have authority over themselves). Others use it to try and teach ESS. (Ware)

    All this from a passage on headcoverings! And how many churches make women cover these days? Yet, they want us to believe what is taught there is not cultural! (shaking head)

    ” IF you think what i have said lessens Jesus, please show me where. I uphold Christ as sovereign Lord of my life.”

    If Jesus Christ, as Lord of Hosts, in the OT and into eternity is in a lesser chain of command position within the Trinity (outside the Incarnation) then that calls into question what happened on the cross. Did he willlingly make Himself a sacrifice or was He obeying a command? Did He willingly give up His Glory in heaven to come to earth as a baby? If He did, how could HE CHOOSE to do that if He is being commanded by God? Does this mean that the Trinity is composed of 3 persons with 3 different wills?

    ESS has the same problem that comp theology has. They speak of equality in ‘essence’ but then the ‘roles’ are not equal but a chain of command authority structure (outside the Incarnation for the Trinity) which means the ‘essence’ is not really equal at all. Using the word ‘essence’ in equality is a strawman to hide the false teaching.

    BTW: Who does the Holy Spirit report to? For eternity past and future? I am assuming the chain of command within the Trinity means the Holy Spirit is subordinate, too?

    ESS makes it sound like there are 3 different wills because there has to be eternal submission within the Trinity.

    But I believe they are totally unified and during the Incarnation, our Lord WAS willingly subordinate. But not in eternity past or eternity future. I believe Jesus Christ is God. Not some lesser god as ESS teaches even though they say they don’t. They DO. Ware even goes as far as to say that Jesus Christ does not answer prayer and we should not pray to Him.

    I think ESS is the biggest (old) repackaged heresy of our time and it will eventually divide the Body in a big way.

    If Jesus Christ is your Sovereign Lord then He cannot be eternally subordinate to a higher more Sovereign God without being a lesser ‘God’.

    Jesus Christ is God.
    God is God
    Holy Spirit is God.

  160. It is not just that as it happens some theories of the Trinity often project our “ideals” onto God, but rather it is built into that kind of project that many theorists are involved in that they have to be projectionist. Because for the theorists, God is more appropriately modeled on three human beings than on One. But they do not want to be tritheists, so then they must say that although three human persons make three human beings, three divine persons, even if they are separate centers of a will and self-consciousness and so on, make only one God. For me, this just seems circular. I’m not saying that these believers all have bad motives. But why can’t we just let God be God?
    If we follow Augustine and begin from God’s oneness, then the problem of the Trinity is to find a way of accommodating God’s threeness. On the other hand, if we begin with the social theorists from the three persons then the problem is to find a way of making sense of God is One. But again, at some point a finite mind may need to admit that it is just that – finite?

  161. “Chrysostom lived in an era where men were considered superior to women. It is unfortunate that he interpreted many things within that thinking. However, Chrysostom was able to rise above this thinking when he honored Junia as a female apostle.”

    I think this shows that he was an honest man…as misguided as he was on other things.

  162. I personaly do not know what the whole of the historic church supports or doesn’t regarding whatever view of the Trinity, but I do know this, if a passage alone without a doubt cannot support whichever type of of view of the Trinity, then it really doesn’t matter either way what the leaders of the historic church thought or taught as any one’s views are secondary to the written word. Proof positive is what it all comes down to. And I don’t see justification for any doctrine that cannot be proven without a doubt from the scriptures, and to me anything other is just lame.

    We can believe that Adam ate an apple if we want to (except even that can be disproven) but really who cares if we can’t prove our stance? I couldn’t expect anyone to take me seriously if I was like “I believe in this scripturaly but I can’t prove it scripturaly.” How silly.

  163. And I know that others don’t care whether or not they can prove their stance or disprove their opposition, but I have to say, that to me is like worse than the twilight zone. I just don’t get that.

    Thanks for the rant!

  164. “…but I have never been one to get too caught up trying to determine what historical figures have said.”

    Me neither!

    It’s black and white really. Proof please cause without it we are NOT honoring God’s ways.

  165. “We can believe that Adam ate an apple if we want to (except even that can be disproven) “

    Couldn’t have been an apple. Apple’s have seeds, so they were among the allowed fruit. 🙂

  166. Who’s “God” in 1 Co 11? How do we know for a fact whether or not “God” is refering to the Father or to the Godhead? Can anyone here prove which one “God” refers to? If all things come from God (1 Co 11:12) and since Christ is also creator then logicaly “God” refers to the Godhead here according to the context, v12. What other evidence is there in the passage??

  167. Let me fine tune my last comment:

    Who’s “God” in 1 Co 11? How do we know for a fact whether or not “God” is refering to the Father or to the Godhead? Can anyone here prove which one “God” refers to? If all things come from God (1 Co 11:12) and since Christ is also creator/God then logicaly “God” refers to the Godhead here according to the context, v12. What other evidence is there in the passage??

    How fitting spam word is “micro” ;P

  168. “Couldn’t have been an apple. Apple’s have seeds, so they were among the allowed fruit.”

    ;P

  169. Who’s God in 1 Co 11:3 is what I meant to say!

    Who’s the “head” of Christ in v3? Is it the Godhead or the Father? The passage only provides a context (v12) for the Godhead. What else is there? If I’m missing something/fact/evidence then someone please show me?

  170. #162 Mark,

    To put him in context is to show how he was responding to Arian claims that Jesus was an intermediate being between the absolute God and mankind, thus he was less God and subordinate. Athanasius strongly rebuked this showing how Jesus was equally divine.

    This is the essence of the ESS debate – that Jesus as the eternal Word in the Trinity is not less than any of the other members of the Trinity in His Godhood. Power and authority is one of the essentials of the Godhead so saying that Jesus in the Trinity has less than full and complete authority would mean that Jesus is somehow less than fully God in His essence. It is not just a matter of “roles” but of essence since His will is said in ESS to be not equal with the Father’s will so that the will of Jesus is in subordination to the Father’s in the Trinity.

    To test this out all we need to do is to take the current material being written by Bruce Ware in his book Father, Son & Holy Spirit relationship, roles & relevance. Ware takes the essence of God and divides this essence into a higher authority, higher will, higher worship for one member of the Trinity thus a lower authority, subordinate will and lower worship for Jesus. Because of the lowering of the essentials of God in the eternal Word, Jesus is no longer considered as one that we are to pray to since the Father has the complete and only “role” of hearing and answering prayer and the supreme one in the Trinity. When remove Jesus’ full Deity and lower Him to a lower essence no longer capable or hearing and answering prayer and having a will that in opposition to the Father’s will in the Trinity, leaves Jesus to be nothing less than a subordinate being who is not completely equal in will, authority or action (prayer) as the Father. This is a resurrection of an ancient heresy that we should reject.

  171. “theos” is the word translated as ‘God’ there in I Cor. 11:3 – it means the Godhead/the Trinity – according to Strong’s.

  172. Mark,
    You write concerning Louis Berhof’s writing from 1939:

    In personal subsistence the Father is first, the Son second, and the Holy Spirit third. It need hardly be said that this order does not pertain to any priority of time or of essential dignity, but only to the logical order of derivation. The Father is neither begotten by, nor proceeds from any other person; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity. Generation and procession take place within the Divine Being, and imply a certain subordination as to the manner of personal subsistence, but no subordination as far as the possession of the divine essence is concerned.

    Berkhof is clearly talking about procession and clearly removing his comments from being connected to any part of the divine essence or Deity, thus he is not talking about a subordination of will, authority or actions. He isn’t even close to teaching the full ESS doctrine of Bruce Ware.

  173. The very words written down absolutely say nothing about Father and Son. There is absolutely NO support within the passage/context to formulate an idea that it’s talking about the Father/Son relationship NOR Christ’s eternal relationship to the Father. There is nadda, zilch!

  174. Mark,
    You said:

    Conclusion- I believe that the doctrine of the ESS is true orthodox teaching regarding the Trinity. However I do disagree with using the term subordination as it has had many uses throughout this historical debate and should be avoided in my opinion. Frank, I pose this to you, that you look beyond the terminology and look at the doctrine. Then you will see who is the orthodox view.

    Do you really believe that the eternal Word has a different will in opposition to the Father’s will? Do you believe that Jesus as the eternal Word is not to have the highest honor alongside the Father? Is only the highest honor and highest worship to go to the Father? Do you also agree that different “roles” is also a subordination of actions so that Jesus cannot operate in full Deity by having a personal relationship with us through prayer and with our full worship? I am wondering if you really understand the implications of ESS and if you are willing to stand before Jesus in the judgment and tell Him face to face that He was limited in the exercise of His Deity to a lesser position so that His will was never used in the Trinity, that He isn’t worthy of prayer and that He is limited in action in the Trinity? For those who think this way, I wouldn’t want to be standing next to them when they say this before the King of Kings and LORD of lords, our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

  175. “Power and authority is one of the essentials of the Godhead so saying that Jesus in the Trinity has less than full and complete authority would mean that Jesus is somehow less than fully God in His essence.”

    I like the way you said this, Cheryl.

  176. “theos” is the word translated as ‘God’ there in I Cor. 11:3 – it means the Godhead/the Trinity – according to Strong’s.

    I believe that “God” is also used to refer to the Father alone in different scriptures. I’d have to check to make sure though.

  177. Now concerning the head covering of 1 Cor. 11, the quote you gave shows a great misunderstanding regarding the spiritual nature of the head covering. The head covering was worn because they felt that because of their sin they were unworthy to look upon God. It was worn because of the shame of their sin. John Lightfoot brings this out in his commentary and he has issued a challenge for anyone to prove that the head covering meant subjection. It did not. The man had no other cultural mandate to wear the covering except for the shame of his sin. Is this honoring to Jesus who died to take away our sin? We should all shout “Of course not!”

    There were many misunderstandings of Paul and these misunderstandings made Paul hard to understand. We should not take grave misunderstandings from early church fathers and use them as the test for orthodoxy or for the issue of women in ministry. The thing that really gets is puzzling – that those who believe that Paul was fighting for women to have a head covering as a mandate from creation now no longer force women to cover. Is it a Biblical mandate from creation or not?

  178. “God” is the head of Christ. The head and the body are connected. The fact that Jesus came from “God” shows his connection with God and His equality. It does not show His inferiority nor does it show His eternal subordination. Jesus has all the rights and all the authority of God without limit. It is because He is the God-man who came from God as proof of His origin.

  179. Why would Paul confuse using the same word “God” twice (vv. 3 & 12) but with different meanings each time he used it within the same passage?? Why would Paul confuse by writing “God” first to mean the Father in v3 only to turn around and use the same word again, a second time in v12 to mean something else, the Godhead?? There is no way that v12 (“all things come from God”) can be shown to mean “the Father” since the Father alone is not the Creator.

  180. pinklight,

    often with Paul ‘God’ is refering to the father. Generally when Paul cites Jesus he refers to him as ‘Lord'(kurios). Hope that helps a little.

  181. “pinklight,

    often with Paul ‘God’ is refering to the father. Generally when Paul cites Jesus he refers to him as ‘Lord’(kurios). Hope that helps a little.”

    Thanks, Mark. So do you think that Paul is meaning in 1 Co 11:12
    that “all things come from the Father” excluding the other persons of the Trinity?

  182. 7A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

    Who’s “God” in verse 7? Was Adam made in God’s image or the Father’s?

  183. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

    Is Paul asking whether or not it’s proper for a woman to pray to the Father uncovered or to pray to God (Godhead)?

    Is this where Ware gets the idea that we should only pray to the Father??!!

  184. I think that Paul is pretty consistent in 1 Cor. 11 when he uses the term “God” to mean the Godhead. Or should we see that women are in the image of the “Father”? Men and women are in the image of the Triune God.

  185. Ware gets his idea that we are to pray to the Father alone because he has so devalued Jesus as under the superior worship of the Father alone that he has ripped apart the Trinity teaching that only one deserves the highest honor. This is a very serious error.

  186. “I think that Paul is pretty consistent in 1 Cor. 11 when he uses the term “God” to mean the Godhead. Or should we see that women are in the image of the “Father”? Men and women are in the image of the Triune God.”

    I think he’s consistent too. And now that I have looked at it with a careful eye, it’s seems obvious.

    I was just wondering where Ware’s idea originated from.

  187. Just some quick observations some of which I have made before that help me process some of these things…

    By definition “subordination” amd “submission” are not the same.
    For Jesus to be subordinate to the Father then he is “below” the Father in some “order”, be it essence…blah blah blah…!

    Jesus, however, can submit to the will of the Father if He chooses without being “lower” than the Father in some type of hierarchy.

    The head of Jesus is God – I believe meaning the Trinity. Get your head around that (no pun intended). Jesus (having the very fullness of God in him) comes from the Trinity…from the Father, the Spirit and wait for it…the Son! Jesus comes from Jesus (and the Father & the Spirit). Jesus is sent by the Father in some texts, but is sent by God in others. Jesus sends Jesus (as well as the Father & the Spirit).

    I guess it would be safe to say that Jesus does the will of the Father, but that this will is not in conflict to the will of the Spirit or the will of the Son.

    So, is there hierarchy in the Godhead? Not relevant, because the godhead is united in will and purpose, even though they are three distinct persons in will and purpose.

    I believe that we are made in God’s image in a number of possible ways, but one is that Adam and Eve – two persons united as one flesh – looked a lot like the Trinity. The picture of the early church in Acts in believer united in will and purpose. When people are united in will and purpose there is no hierarchy nor any need for it!

    That was my rant! I love thinking about the Trinity, we have an amazing God who models perfect relationships!

  188. Ware’s idea originates in the need to find a precedence for permanent subordination. The devaluing of the will and authority of Jesus and attaching it to the devaluing of the will and authority of the woman was the perfect solution to have a slam-bam case closed solution. The next issue became the problem of what to do with the woman in eternity. Many are now saying that since she was created to be subordinate then she has to keep that subordination for all of eternity just as they believe that Jesus will be eternally subordinate. Those who have accepted the permanent subordination of the woman create a “role” for men that is permanent into eternity so that only men will judge the earth and judge angels. But Paul said in 1 Cor. 6 that it is all of us (the body of Christ) who will judge the world and judge angels.

    The subordination view just seems to grow and grow and take more and more freedom away from women even in eternity.

  189. When people are united in will and purpose there is no hierarchy nor any need for it!

    Amen!!

    The thought that there are two (or three) opposing wills in the Godhead is absent from the Scriptures. Jesus completely has in His essence the same identical will as the Father. He doesn’t need to submit His will and set it aside to follow the Father’s will because His will is not different than the Father’s.

    I too love to talk about the Trinity! It is our precious God.

  190. Thanks, Cheryl.

    Think I’m done processing on 1 Co 11 for the night. No more serial posting for me now! I must say that ultimately I had left alot of 1 Co 11 on the shelf, but now I know the case of who the head of Christ is, in 1 Co 11 is closed. Glad I’m just moving right along…The kephale debate in relation to 1 Co 11 then, I can see now is irrelevant (as I don’t see comps arguing that the Godhead is the head/authority of Christ). Context changes everything!

  191. Jesus is the Christ. In 1 Co 11:3, the title “Jesus” is not used. This title denotes his sonship, while the title “Christ” means Messiah/Savior therefore what I can only see in the passage is that the Godhead is the head of the Messiah. I think there is always reason why different titles are used because they all mean different things.

  192. “The head of Jesus is God – I believe meaning the Trinity. Get your head around that (no pun intended). Jesus (having the very fullness of God in him) comes from the Trinity…from the Father, the Spirit and wait for it…the Son! Jesus comes from Jesus (and the Father & the Spirit). Jesus is sent by the Father in some texts, but is sent by God in others. Jesus sends Jesus (as well as the Father & the Spirit).”

    Very well said Dave. We too often forget the truly miraculousness of Christ Jesus who was prophesied in Gen. 3 as our Messiah, who was planned for in the Beginning (b.reshit), and who was born 100% Divine and 100% Human. Although Jesus is one person, we cannot forget that the Divine cannot be changed (the same yesterday, today and forever) and what is human is created and not Divine. That is the miracle and involves so much our finite minds find difficult if not impossible to fully comprehend.

  193. I’m still trying to figure out the difference in the usage of different titles…but I definately think that in 1 Co 11:3, the title “Christ” being used is no mistake and it means something different from the title “the Son of God” which shows a different kind of relationship. Hope I’m making sense lol!

  194. God is the source or origin of Christ as the Christ had a beginning. As the eternal Word of God He had no beginning so 1 Cor. 11:3 could not say that God is the “head” of the Word of God. It is accurately stated that God (the Trinity) is the “head” of the Messiah (the man). God is His source and He is connected to God in an intimate way through his birth as a man but nevertheless His ultimate source is from God.

    gengwall,
    I am sorry to hear that you were sick. I hope that you are on the mend.

  195. Pardon my ignorance of the local dialect, but, “H1N1?ed” means you were sick gengwall?

    “God is the source or origin of Christ as the Christ had a beginning. As the eternal Word of God He had no beginning so 1 Cor. 11:3 could not say that God is the “head” of the Word of God. It is accurately stated that God (the Trinity) is the “head” of the Messiah (the man). God is His source and He is connected to God in an intimate way through his birth as a man but nevertheless His ultimate source is from God.”

    I like that Cheryl!

  196. I have had the injection so I guess it is safe for me to continue blogging with a possibly infected person…I hope all is well gengwall.

  197. Was it tough going gengwell?
    Was it as bad as they are all saying?
    It’s getting awful close to where I live.
    Were you vaccinated?

  198. I don’t think I’ve ever been vaccinated for anything my whole life. 🙂

    The news stories are scary. A friend of mine had it for 2 weeks. She is fine now. I suspect some depends on your health when you get it.

  199. Thansk for all the concern. I will respond briefly so we can get back to the subject at hand.

    It was awful – worst flu I have ever been through, but not at all life threatening.
    I could not be vaccinated for H1N1 because I am not in a high risk group (children, people with medical complications)
    It lasted for the worst part about 5 days (I am still recovering slowly).
    Dave – you crack me up.

    Now, back to gender wars…er…roles…ah…whatever. My head is still fuzzy. Talk amongst yourselves….

  200. Mark wrote: “I’m glad that you are disagreeing between yourselves as to whether there are physiological differences. It is helpful to see where everyone is coming from. It is hard in my opinion to deny that there are such differences. Women and men most definately are not the same.”

    In Isaiah God is described in both masculine and feminine terms in succession.
    “The LORD will go forth like a warrior,
    He will arouse His zeal like a man of war
    He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry
    He will prevail against His enemies.
    The Blindness of the People
    I have kept silent for a long time,
    I have kept still and restrained Myself.
    Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
    I will both gasp and pant.” Isaiah 42:13-14

    “You shall not make a carved image for yourself.” This commandment warns us against shaping God according to human or any other image. God is God and we must never forget that. While God may display emotions of love, compassion, mercy and truth which we as humans can relate to as a part of our humanity, God is more than we can ever be or understand. This commandment affirms the truth that God is transcendent, beyond human comprehension and any image we may use will only reveal to us a small part of who God is. Human language may begin to gain insight into God through metaphor, but the truth of the matter is that all metaphors we use for God will always fall short of describing ALL there is to know and understand about God.

  201. In much of the comp/patri material and sermons, the feminine metaphors have been relatively ignored. This is unfortunate because these images reveal to us, just as the masculine ones do, very important aspects of God’s nature. For instance: God’s life giving properties, His providential and nurturing nature, creativity, His tender and compassionate love, His protectiveness and defensiveness of the weak.

  202. gengwall,
    I hope you feel better soon. Thank you for letting us know that you were very ill. We would not have wanted to lose you!

    Kay,
    Mark’s comment shows a great misunderstanding of the male/female issue on this blog. The issue here is spiritual equality. Are men and women spiritually equal and able to serve the church in all areas with the gifts that He has given them? I believe that the answer is a resounding yes, yes, yes! The fact is that God has designed the church to not be complete without women. In fact all of us are needed and when any of us are marginalized and our gifts shelved as not needed for body health, then we will all suffer. We have been suffering greatly and the pain won’t end until we are a healthy body without restriction so that the blood may flow through our veins again and bring health, vitality and growth.

  203. “Mark’s comment shows a great misunderstanding of the male/female issue on this blog. The issue here is spiritual equality.”

    Cheryl,

    Exactly – and I think that is why he would not or could not answer my questions for him in regards to proving qualification to teach or lead by checking ones reproductive organs.

    I continue to be baffled that complementarians base the ‘role’ of wives in subordination to the ‘role’ of husbands on the fact that the husband possesses male reproductive organs, while at the same time claiming the doctrine of the eternal subordination (or whatever term Mark may wish to substitute) of the Son, when the only member of the Trinity we know for sure had male reproductive organs was Jesus, because the Scriptures say He was circumcised.

  204. There is quite a disconnect when one does not have the answers to these hard questions on women. What does a complementarian do? If that one wants to remain a complementarian because it is a safe, comfortable place and he/she doesn’t love the truth, they will do nothing. But those who love the truth will be motivated to find the answers.

    In working with the cults I found out that most didn’t care for truth. They seemed to prefer to check their brains at the door and parrot the party line without really thinking. It was actually dangerous for them to reason through the hard questions because it would cause them to make a decision about what they had accepted as their faith. Those who did think for themselves eventually got out of the cult they were in.

    I am working on my book right now as well as research for my next DVD project. My research is on an issue in the Christian church that has divided the church for many years even though it doesn’t define whether one is a Christian or not. In my research I have engaged a half a dozen proponents of the opposing viewpoint who have agreed to answer my questions. But when it comes down to actually getting answers from them, that is another thing. I just got dumped yesterday from another one of these Christians. Even though I am polite, very respectful and don’t give my view because I am just asking questions about the opposing view, I am still getting dumped because people don’t want to have to deal with my questions. So this fellow gave me his view, he gave me his proof text and when I asked a simple, logical question from his view, he had to run away because there is no answer to my question that would allow his view to stand. His own view crumbled by his own proof text. I am simply amazed at those who do not love truth but rather love their own comfort. I am not like that at all.

    So I will continue to ask questions and continue to challenge people to love truth. I trust that there will be many more truth lovers out there who are willing to humble themselves to admit that they could be wrong and accept the truth of God’s Word when it is shown to them. A view that cannot stand the hard questions is a view that isn’t worth much at all in my opinion.

  205. Cheryl, that is really interesting that these men will answer to give their “party line” as you call it. But when you get specific about some of the holes in it, they don’t want to engage any more.

  206. “There is quite a disconnect when one does not have the answers to these hard questions on women. What does a complementarian do? If that one wants to remain a complementarian because it is a safe, comfortable place and he/she doesn’t love the truth, they will do nothing. But those who love the truth will be motivated to find the answers.”

    Yes, “safe, comfortable” has a tremendous pull for people. Let’s face it, it’s just plain scarry to step out of the popular, acceptable mainstream. If William Tyndale was declared a heretic and burnt at the stake for making Bibles so every one including a plough boy would be able to read it, what can we expect? Some of the new words and phrases introduced by Tyndale did not sit well with the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, using words like ‘Overseer’ rather than ‘Bishop’ and ‘Elder’ rather than ‘Priest’, ‘congregation’ rather than ‘Church’ and ‘love’ rather than ‘charity’.

    Not that we should be compared to the likes of Tyndale, but now egals are being called out for wanting ‘source’ instead of ‘head’ and a better translation of ‘authenteo’ than ‘authority.’

  207. “In working with the cults I found out that most didn’t care for truth. They seemed to prefer to check their brains at the door and parrot the party line without really thinking. It was actually dangerous for them to reason through the hard questions because it would cause them to make a decision about what they had accepted as their faith. Those who did think for themselves eventually got out of the cult they were in.”

    Same with other non salvic doctrines like comp, tithing, etc. If you have made a career preaching/teaching such things then it is that much harder to even contemplate there is another interpretation that is biblical. When your income and identity is dependent on something being true, you are not about to be cornered with hard questions.

    That is why I am more leery of paid “professional” Christians and what they teach. I think we all have a duty to test everything and be a Berean.

    Just think about it for a moment what would happen if John McArthur (one of the worst about twisting scripture when it comes to women) would admit he had been wrong about many of his interpretations. Imagine the fallout with not only his followers, but seminary students, professors, his publisher, conference speaking gigs, etc. His income would drop overnight. Maybe even be halved.

  208. Hello, again, my friends. I have been busy and have just now gotten back to this discussion. Sorry to find that gengwall had to suffer through the swine, but I am glad that he has apparently recovered. And I pray no one else will get it; it is a nasty bug!

    Now one of the things that has kept me busy is that, encouraged by Mark’s comments, I have done some review and further inquiry into the Doctrine of the Trinity. And so I may write a third article on this subject. However, though I do not wish to beat a dead horse to death, I will make a final, but brief response to Mark’s critique of my last comments ,#154.

    1. Though we could go back and forth on the various, fine details of how Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Augustine, and Calvin argued that the One True God is eternally both One Being and Three Persons, and Three Persons and One Being, as one who has read their documents in some detail, I would say that all agree to the following statement regarding both God’s Unity and Diversity: “The Son is everything the Father is as God, except he is not the Father; the Father is everything the Son is as God, except he is not the Son; the Holy Spirit is everything the Father and Son are as God, except he is neither the Father nor the Son.” This statement, as it has been understood among orthodox Christians guards against modalism, tritheism, and subordinationism, yet does not confound the persons nor deny their distinctiveness. As Thomas F. Torrance says, “Each divine retains his unique characteristics as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit in a union without confusion, for the individual characteristics of each of the three Persons do not separate them, but constitute their deep mutual belonging together. There is no Son apart from the Father and Holy Spirit; and there is no Father apart from the Son and the Holy Spirit; and there is no Holy Spirit apart from the Father and the Son. Homoousially and hypostatically they interpenetrate each other in such a way that each Person is distinctively who he is in relation to the other two” (“Three Persons, One Being,” THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF GOD: ONE BEING, THREE PERSONS, p. 145). Now, I believe this is shortest and clearest definition of both the Unity and Diversity of the One Triune God, as taught both in Scripture and the Ecumenical Creeds. My first, question to you, Mark, is do you or do you not agree with it?

    2. Secondly, it must be pointed out that in the battle with the Macedonians, who denied the full divinity and equality of the Spirit with the Father, much as the Arians had denied the Son’s full divinity and equality, it was Athanasius and Gregory, not Basil, who had stood firm against any concept of “degrees of Deity” within the Godhead. “It was Gregory Nanianzen, especially in his ‘Five Theological Orations’ and his Presidential Oration delivered at the the Council of Constantinople in 381, who, following his theological hero Athanasius, provided Christian theology with the most influential teaching about the Holy Trinity. Unlike Basil, he had no hesitation in applying the homoousian to the Holy Spirit, and would have nothing to do with his fellow Cappadocians’ description of the divine Persons as ‘modes of Being’ (tropoihupzeos). Moreover, he dissociated himself from the element of subordinationism or ‘degrees of Deity’ implied in the way they related the Son and the Spirit to the Father as the ‘Principle’ (arche) or ‘Cause’ (aitia) of their Deity. Through his alternative conception of the divine Persons as timeless, beginningless, uncaused relations subsisting ineffably in the Blessed and Adorable Trinity, he gave us the most powerful account of the inseparable oneness of the divine Persons, and indeed between the one ever living Being of God and the three coequal divine persons: (Oops! My time is up and I must run an errand. I will complete this later.)

  209. Having completed my errand, and now having the time to do so, I would like to complete my previous comment and add some to it, if I may. Torrance, in the comment above, referred to the orations of Gregory Nazianzen, also known as Gregory the Theologian, that gave the most powerful account of “the inseparable oneness of the divine Persons, and indeed the identity between the one ever living Being of God and the three coequal divine Persons.” He was referring to, of course, Gregory’s ORATIONS ON THE GREAT ATHANASIUS, both a commentary and expansion the Trinitarian teaching of Athanasius, in which he made these statements:

    1. “No sooner do I consider the One than I am enlightened by the radiance of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish them that I am carried back to the One. When I bring any One of the Three before my mind I think of him as a Whole, and my vision is filled, and the most of the Whole escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of the One in such a way as to attribute more greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one Torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided Light,” ORATIONS, 40.41
    2. “To us there is one God, for the Godhead is One, and all that proceeds from him is referred to the One, though we believe in Three Persons. For One is not more and Another less God; nor is One before and Another after; nor are they parted in will or divided in power, nor can you find here any of the features that obtain in divisible things; but the Godhead is, to speak concisely, undivided in being divided; and there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns joined to each other,” ORATIONS, 31.14

    And it was this grand understanding of both the Unity and Diversity of the Divine Persons of the Triune God which led the author(s) of the Athanasian Creed, who I think better understood the teaching of Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, and St. Augustine to write than we moderns, to write, “We are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord…And in this Trinity none is afore or after another, none is greater or less than another, but the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal so that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.”

    Now, in light of this Ecumenical understanding of both the Unity and Diversity of the Three Persons who are the One True God, and the One True God who is the Three Persons, the question to be asked is this: Can anyone then teach that the distinctions between the Three Persons is simply constituted by and reducable to “roles” or “functions,” and not violate this understanding of the Trinity and fall back into heretical Subordinationism? I believe the answer is, “No, they cannot.” Here is why I think so:
    1. Neither the Early Church nor any of the Ecumenical Creeds utilize the idea of “roles” or “functions” to affirm the distinctions or differences between the Divine Persons. In fact, it was the debate over one ousia, three hypostases vs. one substantia, three personae between the Latin and Greek theologians before the creedal ratifications of 381 A.D. and 382 A.D. that made this clear. Prosopon in classical Greek, of which the Latin personae was the equivalent term, primarily stood for the mask worn by actors to distinguish the various characters they played in the Greek drama. The Greek theologians felt prospon was an inadequate term to describe the Trinitarian persons, since it easily led to modalistic thinking. Therefore they promoted the term hypostastis which indicated an objective reality, having certain characteristics that could be perceived in thought, by the intellect. And so after some discussion with their Latin counterparts, it was agreed that hypostatis and personae would be used as equivalent terms, but would be defined by both to mean an objective reality, not a fictious role. And both ousia and substantia would be understood as the common divine essence or being fully and equally shared by each Person of the Triune God. This mutual understanding and agreement on how to understand and expound the Doctrine of the Trinity was necessary. For all agreed with Athanasius and Basil that the Three Persons could not be understood as three different appearances or modes of action in creation and redemption by God. Since God is eternal, God’s Triunity must also be eternal. So the Three Persons, if truly divine, must have real being without and before God’s actions in creation and redemption, since both creation and redemption are not eternal, but temporal in nature. So the various distinguishable temporal actions, operations, or “roles” of God in creation and redemption cannot be essential to the true eternal distinctions or differences between the Persons. If “roles” in creation and redemption were necessary for marking the true distinctions between the Three Persons, then none could be none of them could be said to be eternal, and so there would be a time when there was not a Father, not a Son, not a Spirit. Again, if “roles” or “functions” were necessary for distinguishing the Divine Persons, then there was a time when God was not triune or when the Persons, if they were at all, were not wholly God.
    2. Now, just because the distinctions between the Father, Son and Spirit cannot be identified with or reduced to differing modes of action does not mean that God cannot serve in different roles in creation or redemption, or that certain tasks or operations may not be primarily associated with one or the other of the Divine Persons. However, the Early Church recognized that these distinctions in external action were not to be read back into the persons of the Trinity.
    a. Gregory of Nyssa adamantly ruled out any “ranking” of the Three Persons either within the Trinity itself or in their working toward creation. Such ranking according to distinctive ministry, he argued, called into question the very unity of God: “If the Father is King, and the Only Begotten is King, and the Holy Ghost is the Kingship, one and the same definition of Kingship must prevail through this Trinity” (Cf. “Oration on the Holy Spirit,” Oration 41.9, NPNF, Vol. 5, pp. 320-321).
    b. On this issue of “ranking,” Athanasius himself stated: “Inasmuch as there is in the Holy Trinity oneness of essence and equality in rank, who, then, would dare to separate either the Son from the Father or the Spirit from either the Son or the Father? Or who would be so rash as to say that the Trinity is dissimilar and of diverse nature within itself?” (Cf. Four Letters to Serapion, 1.20)
    c. And in terms of the unity and diversity of their relationship in redemption and sactification, we have these testimonies:
    1. St. Paul himself: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NLT).
    2. Athanasius: “There is a Trinity holy and perfect, acknowledged as God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, having nothing foreign or external mixed with it…It is consistent in Itself, indivisible in nature, and Its activity is one. The Father does all things through the Word in the Holy Spirit; and thus the unity of the Holy Trinity is preserved; and thus there is preached in the Church One God, ‘who is over all, and through all, through the Word; and in all, in the Holy Spirit” (Cf. Four Letters to Seripon, 1.28).
    3. Ambrose: “And as he who is blessed in Christ is blessed in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, because the Name is one and the Power one; so, too, when any divine operation, whether of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Spirit is treated of, it is not referred only to the Holy Spirit, but also to the Father and the Son, and not only to the Father, but also to the Son and the Spirit” (Cf. “On The Spirit,” NFPF, Vol.2, 7:98).
    4. Didymus: “Therefore, whoever shares in the Holy Spirit shares immediately in the Father and the Son. And he who has love from the Father has it from the Son and joined with the Holy Spirit. And he who has a share of the grace of Jesus Christ has that grace given by the Father through the Holy Spirit. For in all these things it is proven that the operation of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the same. But those who have the same operation have the same substance, because those things which are homoousia in the same substance have the same operations and those which are of different substance and not homoousia are different and separate in operation” (Cf. On The Holy Spirit, 24, MC 3:116; PL 23:119).

    Now, there are one or two more comments I would like to make, but I will do so later, for it is very late and I am very tired. But perhaps, Mark, by what I have said so far, you and others may begin to understand why I regard ESS as a destestable subordinationist heresy.

  210. “2. Now, just because the distinctions between the Father, Son and Spirit cannot be identified with or reduced to differing modes of action does not mean that God cannot serve in different roles in creation or redemption, or that certain tasks or operations may not be primarily associated with one or the other of the Divine Persons. However, the Early Church recognized that these distinctions in external action were not to be read back into the persons of the Trinity.”

    Frank,
    I think this point is pivitol. We can see in Scripture examples of God acting in a variety of ways. For instance as a mother would:
    “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
    They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
    It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms;
    but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
    I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;
    I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.”
    Hosea 11:1-4
    “I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant.” Isa. 42:14

  211. Frank this is what I believe about the trinity,

    “That we worship one God in trinity
    and the trinity in unity,
    neither blending their persons
    nor dividing their essence.” (Athanasian Creed)

    I firmly hold to this. Where do you NOT blend their persons?
    Frank your research is no doubt extensive and you continue to pursue the idea that the early church denied distinction in roles somehow- I disagree. The whole battle the early theologians faced was a subordinationism of essence. I think you are wrong to read back into that debate a subordinationism of function. It simply was not an issue in their debates. Their focus was on the divinity of the son, not his role or function. You have constantly said that to say one is subordinate in function must mean subordinate in essence likewise. But you have not provided any evidence to prove such a claim. Any reference to early theologians MUST be understood in relation to their debates which dealt with- subordination of essence. I believe you are wrong to make the bridge that you do about roles.

    If Jesus was raised as a physical human man, and is now seated at the right hand of the father, what now is his ‘role’ in your opinion? If Jesus still has his humanity now and according to egalitarians, that is the ONLY thing that makes him subordinate, how is he not then eternally in that position? Maybe you think his humanity is now insignificant?

    There are obvious flaws in the argument. Perhaps someone can explain for me. My position however is firm. Jesus is God, is equal to the father in essence. His role however is to be subject to the Father demonstrated through his incarnation and resurrection.

  212. Also another quick note,

    I’m a bit tired of hearing how comps are just in their positions for money- what an outragous statement. It is easy to sit and judge people from behind a computer screen, but lets avoid that.

    After all i don’t see anyone here criticising Cheryl for her DVD’s, books she has and will produce. I think it is far better to see this people on both sides as convinced by the Spirit that their view on scripture is correct, and thus publish works for this reason.

    It is no wonder many comps dont want to engage in discussions when things like this are contantly being said.

  213. Cheryl

    you said this

    ““Mark’s comment shows a great misunderstanding of the male/female issue on this blog. The issue here is spiritual equality.”

    I disagree. I dont deny spiritual equality. If this is what you believed your blog was about, then there wouldn’t need to be discussion about roles. No one is denying spiritual equality. What i am disputing is this… your own comment

    “This blog is for dialogue on the issue of women in ministry and the freedom for women to teach the bible in a public setting.”

    Seems like your blog is about ministy and ‘roles’ not spiritual equality.

  214. Mark,
    In Philippians 2:8, a passage known for its description of Jesus’ incarnation and obedience to God, says that Jesus “became obedient to death.”
    There was a point in time when that began, it was not eternally so.

    “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” are not the only names used for the Trinity. There are several typical terms: “God,” “Jesus” or “Christ,” and “Spirit.” If ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ are so important in conveying that relationship, why does Paul prefer the other one?

    In fact, ‘Jesus’ preferred term for Himself was not ‘Son of God’ but ‘Son of Man.’

  215. Hi Mark,
    I am glad to see you back.

    Allow me to clarify something if I may 🙂 You said:

    Seems like your blog is about ministy and ‘roles’ not spiritual equality.

    My friend, ministry is a spiritual part of our lives and the ability to have equal freedom to operate without restriction with the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us is an issue of spiritual equality.

    There are “role” differences in the natural. Only women can be mothers. Only men can be fathers. However when one tries to place a “role” on the spiritual as if some are free to use their gifts without anyone standing in their way and others must deal with human roadblocks in order to fulfill their spiritual calling, there is a spiritual problem.

    Perhaps you can tell me why you think this is not a spiritual issue? Do you consider “spiritual” matters to only be private issues concerning ourselves and God or can you understand that spiritual matters can be our spiritual service to the body of Christ? I would be very interested to understand your viewpoint.

  216. Mark,
    I also believe that many if not most complementarians hold to their belief because they do think that it is the view of Scripture. These kinds of complementarians can be engaged in conversation and we can give them our view to show how we are convinced that God has given women freedom in their gifts without gender, culture or social standing restrictions.

    However there are others who have written about their viewpoint while distorting the facts about the opposition. While we cannot judge their heart and say why they have done this, we should point out the misstatements. When they are aware of what they are doing and still continue, it is a serious issue. It is a godly thing to point out these errors. I do ask for respect for both sides on my blog. I don’t strictly reinforce it because I don’t want to be guilty of holding people back especially in their own pain. But I do very much want respect given to each and every complementarian who comes here and who does not come to attack. I think that comps who can brave any egalitarian “camp” should hold our deep respect.

  217. “There are “role” differences in the natural. Only women can be mothers. Only men can be fathers.”
    And that being so, still not all women become mothers and not all men become fathers.

  218. Mark #233,

    You said:

    Where do you NOT blend their persons?
    Frank your research is no doubt extensive and you continue to pursue the idea that the early church denied distinction in roles somehow- I disagree. The whole battle the early theologians faced was a subordinationism of essence. I think you are wrong to read back into that debate a subordinationism of function.

    “blending their persons” means that one attempts to make them into one person. When one says that they believe in three persons who are in an intimate relationship with each other, that cannot be a “blending of their persons”.

    Also subordination of function necessitates a subordination of essence. If, for example, the Father is said to have more power than the Son, then that function must be tied into the person’s nature for power and authority are part of God’s essence. God is omnipotent. If the Son would have less power and less authority to use His will and power, then He is no longer omnipotent. I understand your desire to hold to the complementarian view of God because it is helpful in your view of women, but I would like to gently encourage you to try to understand the issue of essence. God’s power and authority cannot be divorced from His essence.

    If Jesus was raised as a physical human man, and is now seated at the right hand of the father, what now is his ‘role’ in your opinion? If Jesus still has his humanity now and according to egalitarians, that is the ONLY thing that makes him subordinate, how is he not then eternally in that position? Maybe you think his humanity is now insignificant?

    Jesus is a resurrected human and He will be sitting in a place of judgment shortly. All judgment has been given to Him. When He completes His return to earth and earthly reign and the 1,000 years and future judgment are complete, He gives back into the Father’s hands everything that the Father has turned over to Jesus alone.

    I really recommend you to get a copy of The Trinity Eternity Past to Eternity Future for my two sections on the second DVD will fill in all the gaps for you. Email me if you would like a deal on the shipping to Australia.

    As far as Jesus eternal subordination, no that will not continue. The Godhead will be seen as ONE in eternity with no role divisions. Again, I recommend that you get a copy of the DVD because it will make it much easier to dialog on this subject.

    Also, I have received a request to invite you to my post at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/10/31/women-on-trial/ where I have placed three segments of my talk that deals with a trial against two of God’s women. There are many of us who would like to have you interact with the material. I still have another 3 or 4 segments to post, and I will try to get them all up within the next week.

    Again, welcome back Mark. I think I can speak for us all that we really missed you! You are a joy to have on this blog even if we disagree. We love to talk about our disagreements and even in the end if we must agree to disagree, I believe that we can be as iron sharpening iron.

  219. And that being so, still not all women become mothers and not all men become fathers.

    Good point, Kay! I stand corrected. I should say that all mothers are women and all fathers are men. These are not necessary “roles” for everyone but they are accepted “roles” that differ between sexes. It is wonderful now that we can accept women doctors and male nurses. Each person has their own gifts that we should not stifle.

  220. “I think that comps who can brave any egalitarian “camp” should hold our deep respect.”

    Absolutely. And Mark, the longer you’ve stayed with the discussion the more I’ve felt that way. It’s very unusual to find a complementarian who will dialog any length of time. I suppose the unwillingness of most to dialog about the issues, has led many of us to view critically those with opposing beliefs. Sorry, but when it happens over and over again, it’s difficult not to feel that way.

  221. Cheryl,

    Again you have said pretty much the same as Frank and others in ‘Discovering Biblical Equality’.

    “Also subordination of function necessitates a subordination of essence.”

    This is a novel modern understanding, and throwing this back to early trinitarian debates is not correct in my opinion. In all honesty it seems like it is the egal attempt to discredit the distinctions made by some comps on essence/roles. I truly dont see any evidence of this type of understanding/reasoning in early church debates. But perhaps this is one of those areas we will agree to disagree.

  222. Mark,
    I do not hold to parochial views. I have no problem at all disagreeing with egalitarian views if I believe that they violate the scriptures. Those who regularly read my blog will attest to that. I have way too much of a love for the truth to get caught up in an ideology. I just want Biblical truth no matter which direction it leads me.

    My shock at the complementarian view of a subordinate Lord of Hosts in the Trinity (for this is who Jesus is in His preincarnate state) is because of my doctrinal background not because of my egalitarian beliefs. My work with the Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1988 has trained me in the importance of the Trinity and the comp view is much closer to the JW view than it is to the historic position of the Trinity. Remember I used to be a comp myself but I could not teach a subordinate will in the Trinity or a lesser authority for the LORD of hosts. It is against the express teaching of the Scriptures. Some JW’s find themselves in the comp view and they tell me because the comp view is the most like their old JW view. Others who have been set free from the Watchtower are shocked to hear the teaching about the lowering of Jesus. I sat in a lecture by Bruce Ware with a former Jehovah’s Witness on either side of me, one of them having a family history back to the time of the founder of the Watchtower. She literally gasped when she heard the comp teaching of the Trinity. And she was raised to believe that women couldn’t teach men so that wasn’t the issue. The issue is the downgrading of Jesus.

    Bruce Ware has gone so far in his downgrading of Jesus that he has no problem in stating that Jesus has no “role” of hearing or answering prayers. My response to that is what one of my ex-JW friends said about Bruce Ware. He did not want to be standing next to him at the judgment when he gives an account to Jesus. He says that anyone who believes that Christians are wrong to give too much honor to Jesus deserves the lightning bolt that will hit them at the judgment.

    I say that one cannot give too much honor to Jesus. He is the Almighty God and worthy of all honor and praise and glory.

  223. HI again Mark…long time no chat! If i can reiterate what has been said by Cheryl and say we love you…you know…in a blokey type of…you know…way…ahem…(arkwardly shuffling my feet)…

    You said, “If Jesus still has his humanity now and according to egalitarians, that is the ONLY thing that makes him subordinate, how is he not then eternally in that position?”

    I guess this is a good point, and perhaps I am a bit confused but wanted to suggest the following.

    Could we ALL stop using the word “subordinate” if indeed “submit” is what is meant? I do not believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, even during his earthly ministry. To be so would mean he would have changed in essence (c.f. Phil 2:6). But nowhere does scripture say Jesus was subordinate to the Father or the Godhead, to the best of my knowledge. It says he has been raised up…but he had submitted – placed himself below (as well as dying and being raised to life).

    Finally, as I have mentioned before, I really am not interested in church history to the extent that some might be. The issue at hand now is if the Son can be subordinate in function but not in essence. The issue in my mind is not whether or not we can prove if the debate 2000 years ago was about this or not…but rather whether or not it is the truth.

    It is the comps who claim it to be possible, so it should not be hard for them to prove! At the same time, what Cheryl said needs an answer – “If the Son would have less power and less authority to use His will and power, then He is no longer omnipotent.”

  224. Continuing my rant…

    If Jesus is Subordinate to the Father, for any amount of time, then he is essentially less than the Father. If Jesus has submitted to the will of the Father, then there is no comment as to who is “above” or “below” in either essence or role.

    What happened in the Garden of Gethsemane was submission to the Father. If it was subordination then there would not even have been a conversation. If Jesus was subordinate to the Father, then what happened in the Garden was way out of line. How dare Jesus even bring up his will – he is subordinate – he is an underling there to do the will of his superior! But of course he was not subordinate, but he was the fullness of God in human form who chose to submit to his heavenly Father.

    …rant officially ended.

  225. “In all honesty it seems like it is the egal attempt to discredit the distinctions made by some comps on essence/roles.”

    I can see what you are saying, Mark. But, a role (based on sex – “male” or “female”) is different from essence (“womanhood” and “manhood” or “man” and “woman”). The terms “male” and “female” are used for not only humans in Gen 1 but also animals, as in the ones that boarded Noah’s Ark. So “male” and “female” as used in the bible, designate sex (whether human or animal), and so it’s not where it’s at since sex is a different thing from essence or nature. “Man” and “woman” mean humans either male or female, not just “male” and “female”. Femaleness (sex) cannot be seperated from womanhood (essence or nature).

    So when MORE distinctions are made by comps between essence or nature (man or woman) and sex (male and female) then comps could see the egal view. Rather than discrediting the distinctions made by some comps on essence and roles, egals actualy make further distinctions between essence and sex. A role based on sex alone – “femaleness” – might as well be for the birds or a dog.

    What is the essence of a woman? Does a woman have the same human power and authority as a man has? Since she is equal in essence to the man, then she has to. She owns power and authority in her very being as a man does. So if she has the same human power and authority as a man does, then why is a woman created with a different “role” from the man to not use her power and authority? If the woman were created with a different role to not use her human power and authority it would have to be because she is simply “female” (animal perhaps?) and NOT “woman” (human that is female).

    Hope I made sense. ;P

  226. “If Jesus still has his humanity now and according to egalitarians, that is the ONLY thing that makes him subordinate, how is he not then eternally in that position?”

    Since when does the Word putting on the flesh make for an eternal subordinate? Does the nature of humanity bring God down? How can God be brought down, ever? How can human nature make God less in any way – into some hierarchal Trinity? The flesh can’t do that.

  227. “I do not believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, even during his earthly ministry.”

    Me neither. That idea was somewhere in the back of my mind as I was making my last comment.

  228. “I do not believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, even during his earthly ministry. To be so would mean he would have changed in essence”

    Haha! I should have kept on reading before making my last comment. Yes, the nature of humanity cannot change God or lower him down.

  229. “The issue at hand now is if the Son can be subordinate in function but not in essence.”

    The woman is subordinate in function but not in essence based on her femaleness (sex alone) rather than her “womanhood” (essence). The deal is the same here with the Son. There’s somekind of division of “nature” going on (intentional or not). The Son is subordinated in function based on him being human rather than his “God-Manhood or Man-Godhood”.

    I’m trying to wrap my mind around all this…

  230. I think this comes down to Choice and Sin as to whether or not one can be subordinate in function while not in essence.

    God ordains gender roles, then a woman is not a free agent to choose to live outside of them since it would be a matter of sin. But if God has not ordained gender roles, then women can freely live outside of them and not sin in so doing.

    Did Christ have a choice in his subordinate position?
    Do women have a choice to be subordinate or not? Is it sin to operate outside of a subordinate position for either?

  231. If – “God ordains gender roles, then a woman is not a free agent to choose to live outside of them since it would be a matter of sin.”

    Good point, pinklight!
    It may also mean that Eve sinned before the Fall by choosing to act outside of her ‘gender role’ and out from under her ‘spiritual leader.’

  232. “This is a novel modern understanding, and throwing this back to early trinitarian debates is not correct in my opinion. In all honesty it seems like it is the egal attempt to discredit the distinctions made by some comps on essence/roles. I truly dont see any evidence of this type of understanding/reasoning in early church debates. But perhaps this is one of those areas we will agree to disagree.”

    Mark,

    Could you agree with these two statements?
    Complementarians believe gradational authority, the idea that there are grades of authority within the Trinity.
    Egalitarians believe in equivalent authority, the idea that, though the Father, Son and Spirit may opperate in different roles, they are equivalent in their authority.

  233. “In all honesty it seems like it is the egal attempt to discredit the distinctions made by some comps on essence/roles.”

    Mark,
    I don’t think it follows from difference in role that one must be superior in authority. I think that’s the major logical leap in the argument.

  234. Some prayer in the New Testament is directed to Jesus, not the Father. (Acts 7, Stephen prays as he’s being stoned “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” and “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”)
    Why pray to the “subordinate” when one could just go straight to the top ‘ordinate’?

  235. “Also subordination of function necessitates a subordination of essence.”
    This is a novel modern understanding, and throwing this back to early trinitarian debates is not correct in my opinion. In all honesty it seems like it is the egal attempt to discredit the distinctions made by some comps on essence/roles.

    Mark, this is very basic logic. If you say that because of one’s essence (their gender, sex, biology) they must be subordinate for life to another because of their essence (their gender, sex, biology), then you are also saying that their essence is not equal at all. The one who because of their essence must stay subordinate is inferior to the one who naturally, because of their sex, remains leader, prophet, priest, king over the other.

    However, the most important point is that Scripture does not say this anywhere.

  236. “It may also mean that Eve sinned before the Fall by choosing to act outside of her ‘gender role’ and out from under her ’spiritual leader.’”

    Eve was not instructed to follow a leader. Adam was not instructed to be a leader. Adam was instructed to tend the garden – protect it. In that he failed but it was not a matter of sin. He just allowed danger in. Their only sin was in disobeying God’s direct instructions.

  237. “Adam was instructed to tend the garden – protect it. In that he failed but it was not a matter of sin.”

    As a side note, I’m not so sure I agree that Adam’s dereliction of duty was not a sin. God lists two causes for the curse and consequences to Adam – eating from the tree AND listening “to the voice of your wife”. I agree with Cheryl and other’s assessment that this relates to Adam’s failure to act while the serpent was deceiving Eve. I would take that as part and parcle of Adam’s failure to guard the garden, and since said failure is listed along with eating the apple, I would say it constitutes part of Adam’s sin.

  238. “If you say that because of one’s essence (their gender, sex, biology) they must be subordinate for life to another because of their essence (their gender, sex, biology), then you are also saying that their essence is not equal at all.”

    Now why could I say it simple like that? ;P

  239. “It may also mean that Eve sinned before the Fall by choosing to act outside of her ‘gender role’ and out from under her ’spiritual leader.’”
    “Eve was not instructed to follow a leader. Adam was not instructed to be a leader. Adam was instructed to tend the garden – protect it. In that he failed but it was not a matter of sin. He just allowed danger in. Their only sin was in disobeying God’s direct instructions.”
    TL,
    I guess I should have written >tongue in cheek< after that – apparently it didn’t come through as intended.

  240. “Could we ALL stop using the word “subordinate” if indeed “submit” is what is meant?”

    I agree but since “subordinate” is permanent and unchanging, the it is the more precise term. And if submission is a permanent role of then woman, then she’s a subordinate.

  241. “I would take that as part and parcle of Adam’s failure to guard the garden, and since said failure is listed along with eating the apple, I would say it constitutes part of Adam’s sin.”

    Adam’s failure to guard the garden was a part of him not being deceived. He was equipped to guard the garden, he got to name the animals, probably he even understood the nature of the serpent since he named the serpent.

  242. “I would take that as part and parcle of Adam’s failure to guard the garden, and since said failure is listed along with eating the apple, I would say it constitutes part of Adam’s sin.”

    Did you say “apple” gengwall?? ;P

  243. I agree but since “subordinate” is permanent and unchanging, the it is the more precise term. And if submission is a permanent role of then woman, then she’s a subordinate.

    I’m starting to get a clearer picture of complementarianism. If submission is the woman’s permanent unchanging role, then compism offically teaches subordination. I don’t know of any comp who would say that submission doesn’t belong to the woman. Without it, there is no complementarianism anyway. Anyone know of a comp view that doesn’t assign submission to the woman permanently?

  244. What I’m saying is that any person who accepts compism whether they know it or not is supporting a doctrine of subordination. I never saw this before. If submission belongs to a woman in a way that it does not belong to a man, then she is subordinate.

  245. Dave,
    I love everything you write! There is so many times I have read your answers and wish I had said that!

    pinklight,

    Did you say “apple” gengwall??

    Pinklight you caught this one and it made me laugh so hard. I am just getting ready to load the next audio clip for the youtube clips on this post http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/10/31/women-on-trial It will take a few hours to upload but the info in the latest clip will show why our dear old “apple” can never be listed as a possible fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    As always I am very interested to hear Mark’s feedback.

  246. I’m excited and waiting for the new audio clip! I love the things I’ve learned in the past, in Genesis regarding Eve!! 🙂

  247. Hi pinklight!

    I like your thinking with regards to submission and subordination (especially in regards to one being permanent and the other temporary).

    What I was trying to say earlier was that it is not just a matter of subordinate being permanent and submission temporary, but that if you are subordinate you had no say in it. If you are inferior, then that is where God put you – you cannot change that. Submission, though, is something you choose to do. If someone forces you physically to submit you have not submitted at all, but they have enforced subordination through physical superiority.

    Now Paul told us all to be like Christ, and he also told us all to submit. Jesus told us there was to be no hierarchy between us, but to love and serve each other.

    To say Jesus died on the cross because he was inferior (subordinate), and not because he was submitting, goes against scripture (Phil 2) and what he has told us to do (to submit).

    So I agree with you, the comps use the word “subordinate” because it is accurate for their purpose and their theology…but I choose to use the word “submit”! I would love to know Mark’s take on the use of the two words…

    Thanks for the encouragement Cheryl! I love visiting your blog…I learn so much!

  248. gengwall,

    Some time back you stated that scripture reveals Jesus only ever did three things…would you mind re-posting that…my middle-aged brain is unable to retrieve that info and I can’t seem to locate your original comment either. Thanks!

  249. “To say Jesus died on the cross because he was inferior (subordinate), and not because he was submitting, goes against scripture (Phil 2) and what he has told us to do (to submit).”

    Well put, Dave. There is no such thing as a forced sacrifice. To compare the sacrificing of a son against their will, to Jesus willingly laying down His life so that we could have eternal life, is a gross misunderstanding.

  250. Pinklight – apple; schmapple!

    Kay – My “three things” related to Ephesians 5 and what Jesus did as “head”, or more precisely, as husband to his body/bride, the church. In that relationship, I see Jesus sacrificing, interceeding, and serving. To me, that is the essense of agapeo love that Ephesians 5 calls husbands to exhibit. Hope that helps.

  251. “apple; schmapple!” LOL!
    Thanks, gengwall – just what I needed. Now, jotting it down…
    It is unfortunate that in English the word “love” is not as clearly differentiated as the Greek (eros, philia, etc). Husbands are to love (agape) their wives. Wives are to love (philandros, to love as a friend) their husbands. (Titus 2:4)

    And we are all to love (agape) one another as Christ loved us (Jn.13:34-35); We are all to be kindly affectionate (philostorgos, love of family) to one another with brotherly love (philadelphia, fraternal
    affection) – Ro 12:10

  252. “Adam was instructed to tend the garden – protect it. In that he failed but it was not a matter of sin.”

    As a side note, I’m not so sure I agree that Adam’s dereliction of duty was not a sin. God lists two causes for the curse and consequences to Adam – eating from the tree AND listening “to the voice of your wife”. I agree with Cheryl and other’s assessment that this relates to Adam’s failure to act while the serpent was deceiving Eve. I would take that as part and parcle of Adam’s failure to guard the garden, and since said failure is listed along with eating the apple, I would say it constitutes part of Adam’s sin.

    Interesting, gengwall. I would agree that it was less than perfect behavior, which is part of the definition of sin – missing the mark of holiness. How do you interpret God cursing the earth for Adam’s sake?

  253. TL – if you mean in comparison to the lack of curse for Eve, I believe, as Cheryl does, that Adam’s more grievious sin (not being deceived and failure to guard the garden) was the cause of his more serious consequences and outcomes (I would throw banishment from the garden in with those consequences).

  254. I’m sorry it has taken me longer, than I originally intended, to make a response to Mark’s latest comments ( #228) of my critique of the ESS teaching. But as you well know, Cheryl, the responsibilities and demands of everyday life often put restraints on the time you can give to studying and preparing any kind of a presentation for a debate. And I am glad that you and a couple others have made some helpful and insightful comments in the mean time. Nevetheless, I will now try to give a final summing up and conclusion to what I have already said, hopefully giving Mark a sufficiently complete answer that will end on a positive note for all. Anyway, here we go.

    Mark, I am very glad that, at least in principle, you agree with the Trinitarian teaching of the Athanasian Creed. I agree with it fully myself. Though not written by Athanasius himself, it clearly was written by someone who, in understanding the teaching of Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, and Augustine, made a great effort to both clarify and expand on this teaching with the intent that no one would have any doubt as to what the Christian Church, as a whole, regarded to be the orthodox and authoritative Doctrine of the Trinity. However, I think it would be good to quote it in full, and then see what light it really sheds on our differences over the matter of “the Eternal Subordination of the Son.” The Athanasian Creed reads as follows:

    We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty, and the Holy Spirit is Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord. For as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden…to say “There are three Gods, or three Lords.” The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity, none is before, or after, another. None is greater, or less, than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as was said before, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped (Cf. James R. White, “The Trinity and Church History,” The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief, Bethany House Publishers, 1998, pp. 190-191)

    Now I agree with this teaching on the Trinity, not because Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, and Augustine taught it, nor because it was codifed and ratified by both the ancient Greek and Roman Churches in 381 A.D. and 382 A.D. Nor do I believe it because it was later reaffirmed by Reformed theologians, such as John Calvin, John Gill, B.B. Warfield, and Thomas F. Torrance. Not at all. I believe it because I am convinced that it is the only rationally consistent and coherent explanation of what the Scriptures themselves teach about the One God who is Three Persons, and the Three Persons who are the One God. Yet, I would never argue that this explanation places God in such a tight-fitting box that anyone can ever say, “Well, we now know all there is to know about the Triune God, his works and his ways.” What it essentially does is set the boundries within which an orthodox exploration of the Triune God’s nature, works and ways can be conducted without falling back into old heresies abandoned long ago. And so having said that, let me now make the following observations on the Creed itself:

    1. Clearly, the author(s) intent in writing this creedal definition of the Trinity so precisely was in order that the four great heresies, i.e. Modalism, Sabellianism, Arianism, and Subordinationism—which have again and again cropped up within the Church at various times and in various forms–may once and for all be expelled from the Christian’s mind as an acceptable way to understand both the Unity and Diversity of the Triune God. Wouldn’t you agree, Mark?
    2. Note that while the distinction of the Three Persons is maintained throughout, it is never stated that the distinction is ever based on one divine Person possessing some divine attribute, whether in part or full, which is not commonly shared by the Three Persons, who equally and fully share the One Divine Being and all its attributes, such as Glory, Majesty, Infinity, Eternality, Lordship, etc. Therefore, may I ask how anyone can one derive from this Creed the concept of an eternal subordination of the Son to the Father, which is defined by those who teach it as a hierarchical ranking of the Father over the Son rests on the “fact” that the Father’s Lordship contains more power and authority than does that of the Son? Does this not clearly imply that the Father, because his attributes are fuller and greater in some sense to those of the Son, in some sense also possesses more Divine Being than does the Son?
    3. Note also that the distinctions that are recognized to exist among the Three Persons are strictly defined in terms of their eternal, internal relationships: Fatherhood, Sonship, and Procession. The Father is the Father of the Son before all things, yet the Son is all the Father is as God, except he is not the Father. The Son, though “begotten” of the Father, as God is everything the Father is, except he is not the Father who begot him. And the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from both Father and Son, as God is everything that the Father and Son are, yet he is neither the Father nor Son from whom he proceeds. However, if we understand the Father’s begetting of the Son, and the Spirit’s procession from the Father and the Son such that they are in some sense “derived” from the Being of the Father alone and are dependent on him for their “deification,” possessing less glory, majesty, power, and authority than does the Father himself–have we not fallen back into the subordinationist heresy of Arius that this Creed refutes? After all, it was Arius who argued that the divine Father-Son relationship, if we are to truly understand it, must be analogous to the human father-son relationship, which he understood and defined in terms of Superior to Inferior. So how should we think about the “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit”? Here, again, I refer to the statement made by T. F. Torrance on this subject:

    What then does it mean to think of the three divine Persons specifically as ‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit’? This is a question that had been cropping up in the Church since the Arian controversy, when attempts were made to speak of divine Fatherhood and Sonship on the analogy of human fatherhood and sonship. While there is certainly a figurative or metaphorical ingredient in the human terms ‘father’ and ‘son’ as they are used in divine revelation, they are to be understood in ways that point utterly beyond all sexist connotations and implications. Both the generation of the Son and
    the procession of the Spirit are incomprehensible mysteries which are not explicable through recourse to human modes of thought. Hence, as Athanasius and Gregory Nanianzen insisted, we must set aside all analogies drawn from the visible world in speaking of God, helpful as they may be up to a point, for they are theologically unsatisfactory and even objectionable, and so must of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ when used of God as imageless relations. ‘Father,’ Gregory pointed out, ‘is the name of the relation in which the Father stands to the Son, and the Son to the Father, but such that it is an ineffable relation which exceeds and transcends human powers of imagination and conception,’ so that we may not read the creaturely of our human expressions of ‘father’ and ‘son’ analogically into what God discloses of his own inner divine relations. Hence, Gregory Nanianzen, like Athanasius, insisted that they must be treated as referring imagelessly, that is, in a diaphanous or ‘see through’ way, to the Father and Son without the intrusion of creaturely or sensual images into God. Thus we may not think of God as having gender, nor think of the Father as begetting the Son or of the Son as begotten after the analogy of generation or giving birth, with which we are familiar with among creaturely beings (Cf. “Three Persons, One Being,” The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being, Three Persons, T & T Clark, 1996, pp. 157-158)

    Now at this point, as one whose own roots are in the Reformed and Baptist traditon, I want to address the idea, so common among hierarchical complementarians, that John Calvin both agrees with and in his Institutes of the Christian Religion also teaches that the distinctions of the Persons within the Trinity are necessarily to be understood as an eternal, hierarchical ranking due to one Person’s possession of a greater power, authority, or even function, in relation to the other two divine Persons. First of all, it ignores the fact, as B.B. Warfield, Kevin Giles and Thomas F. Torrance demonstrate from a careful study of his biblical and theological works, that not only did Calvin fully agree with the Trinitarian teaching expressed in both the Nicene-Constantinoplean and Anthanasian Creeds, but adamantly opposed every form of anti-trinitarianism and subordinationism of which he was aware, and which he perceived as a threat to orthodox belief. Secondly, in agreement with Athanasius and Gregory the Theologian, whom he quotes several times while discussing the Trinity in the 1559 revision and edition of the Institutes, Calvin argues clearly that both the Son and the Spirit, as well as the Father, are to be considered as autotheos, i.e. as “God in himself,” because each Person coequally and coeternally, both in their unity and in their diversity, fully share the one Being and its attributes that constitute the Triune God as God (Cf. Benjamin B. Warfield. “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Trinity,” Calvin and Augustine, P & R Publishers, 1956, pp. 251-284) Third, when pressed to give a basic definition of the what it is that actually distinguishes the Persons in their relations and activities, seeking to be faithful to both the teaching of Scripture and the Ecumenical creeds, Calvin stated: “The Persons are so distinquished by the Scriptures that they attribute to the Father the beginning of all activity, as fountain and source of all things; to the Son, wisdom, counsel and the actual dispensation of things to be done; and to the Spirit is attributed the power and efficiency of the action” (Cf. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 13.i.62). So, to put it in modern terms Calvin was saying, in effect, that the Scriptures distinguished the Father as Initiator, the Son as the Director, and the Spirit as the Executor of all the divine activities.

    Perhaps it is this one statement in the Institutes, more than any other, that hierarchical complementarians gravitate to appeal for Calvin’s support for their novel doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in authority and function. But does Calvin’s statement above really teach what they asset it teaches? No, for the reasons we have already noted:

    1. Calvin agreed with the teaching of the Early Church that the Triune God was to be understood not only as “One Being, Three Persons” (homoousia, treis hypostates), but also as three distinct divine Persons, but coequal and coeternal in Being, who also ever live within each other or coexist within one another in a self-giving, self-affirming, and self-nurturing communion and union that is necessary for maintaining both their Unity and Diversity as the One Triune God (perichoresis), which is taught in such texts as John 1:1, 18; 17:21-24, etc.
    2. Calvin, on a number of occasions, confronted and opposed anti-trinitarian and subordinationist heresies; therefore, would we not judge him to be rationally inconsistent and incoherent to advocate a heresy he had earlier opposed and refuted?
    3. Calvin was, among the Reformers, the one who argued most vigorously that the Father was autotheos, the Son was autotheos, and the Spirit was autotheos, because they fully and equally shared the One Divine Being and its attributes. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that he intended in this statement to teach or affirm a hierarchical or subordinationist ranking among the Three Persons, within the Godhead itself.

    No, I think this must be understood in a relative sense, denoting how the three Persons relate and correlate with each other in the works of creation and redemption, rather than in their inward relations, which are to be understood primarily as mutual and reciprocal in nature (to be considered further below). I think the descriptive phrases “…the beginning of all activity,” “…the actual dispensation of things to be done,” and of the Spirit as the Agent who “has the power and efficiency of the action (s)” form the clues that clearly support this understanding of Calvin’s definition. For prior to their “new work” of creation and redemption, which had a “beginning” and were “outside” of the Triune God himself, what other “activities” could the three divine Persons have been engaged in, other than that of enjoying their mutual loving, self-giving and self-affirming Communion? And even if the Father were, in some sense, the Initiator in this inner Communion of the Trinity, how does that give him any greater power, authority, or function over the Son and the Spirit? If Son and Spirit are autotheos to the same degree as the Father, as Calvin had argued, would they not also possess the “ability” to initiate and reciprocrate a relationship with the Father? And if not, would they then not be less God, in that sense, than is the Father himself? I may be wrong, and I am willing to be corrected. But shouldn’t those who want to use Calvin to support ESS seriously consider these questions?

    Now, in light of our examination of Calvin’s agreement with the Creeds, we need to further discuss the “coinherence, or coindwelling” (perichoresis) of the Three Persons, who are the One God. As they developed the homoousian formulation of the Trinity (i.e., “One Being, Three Persons”), that came to be enshrined in both the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, Athanasius and Gregory the Theologian also taught, on the basis of such texts as John 10:27-30. 14:8-11, and 17:21-24, the perichoresis, or “the eternal coindwelling, or coinexistence, or coinherence” of the Three Persons. For in their debating with the Arians, they became convinced and then argued that in order to more fully maintain and explain the Unity and Diversity of the Three Persons, then the perichoresis must be recognized and firmly held as both the logical and necessary collary of their sharing the one Being and all its attributes, as required by the homoousian formulation. However, since I don’t want to write what would turn out to be another long essay, I will instead quote Thomas F. Torrance’s “short” explanation of perchoresis, and then follow it with a brief comment or two. Here’s his “short” explanation on this subject:

    It was undoubtedly Athanasius who in his elucidation of the dwelling of the Father and of the Son in one another provided the theological basis for the doctrine of coinherence. He did this by way of elucidating statements of Jesus to the disciples recorded by St. John, particularly, ‘I am in the Father and the Father in me’. He deepened and refined the concept of the homoousion which gave expression to the underlying oneness of in being and activity between the incarnate Son and God the Father upon which everything in the Gospel depended. As he understood it the homoousian pointed both to real distinctions between the three divine Persons and to their coinhering with one another in the one Being of God. For Athanasius this had to do not merely with a linking or intercommunication of the distinctive properties of the three divine Persons, which became known as communicatio idiomatium, but with a completely mutual indwelling in which each Person, while remaining what he is by himself as Father, Son or Holy Spirit, is wholly in the others as the others are wholly in him. Although Athanasius did not give us a specific term for coinherence, mutual containing, or perichoresis–that came later–its basic idea was already conceived in his refutation of the Arian disparagement of the Lord’s words, ‘I in the Father and the Father in me’, through their question, ‘How can the one be contained (xorein) in the other and the other in the one?’ Athanasius pointed out that this would be to think of the relation between the Father and the Son quite inappropriately in accordance with the way material things can empty into and contain one another. He went on to explain that when it is said ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’ we are to understand this reciprocal relation as one in which the whole Being of the Father and the whole Being of the Son mutually indwell, inexist or coexist in one another, which is thinkable only in relation to God himself and of which we learn only in God’s revelation of himself. In his Letters on the Holy Spirit to his friend Serapion, Athanasius showed that we must think of this coinherence as applying equally to the homoousial interrelations between the Spirit and the Son, and the Spirit and the Father, and thus to the whole Trinity, for unless the Being and Activity of the Spirit are identical with the Being and Activity of the Father and Son, we are not saved. For the great Patriarch of Alexandria, the Gospel of salvation as handed down from the Apostles and as expressed in the Nicene Confession depended entirely on the ontological connection between the saving life and activity of the incarnate Son of God and God the Father, which in turn revealed and imported the no less crucial ontological connection between the Holy Spirit and both the Son and the Father. Thus his stress upon the inner coherent relations of the Holy Trinity was particularly significant in upholding the bond between the soteriological and ontological understanding of the Faith inherent in the homoousion that had been central to the Nicene appropriation and interpretation of the Gospel (Cf. “Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity,” The Christian Doctrine of God, pp. 168-169)

    Well, it’s getting late, and I am weary. Wrestingly with what the Scriptures and Creeds really say about the Unity and Diversity of the Three Persons, their unity and harmonious cooperation in the works of creation and redemption, and then seeking to accurately and appropriately link that with the issues connected with women in ministry and leadership that we have been discussing–well, it’s very demanding work, to say the least. And I really wanted to address the Trinitarian issues Mark brought up, maybe add to Cheryl’s comments on Christ’s humilation and exaltation in Phil. 2:5-11, which Mark also brought up, and one last thing about 1 Cor 11:3, which started my discussion on the Trinity. What do you think Cheryl? Should I write another comment for this post, or have I gone on long enough? I don’t want to wear out my welcome here.

  255. Frank, that was quite a tome! You are welcome to write more, especially on 1 Cor. 11. Once we have gone through the video clips that I put up, Mark is going to give him reasoning for why kephale cannot mean source, what its true meaning is, and I have also asked him to defend his view point from the context. I will then post his article so that we can all discuss. If you want to wait until that post shows up or if you prefer to post it on this one, it doesn’t really matter to me.

    And in this Trinity, none is before, or after, another. None is greater, or less, than another.

    The main issue seems to come from whether the Father can have a superiority that the Son does not have in the Trinity. I have not yet seen any passage in the Scripture that shows a superiority of either essence or works defined as belong to the Father alone. To add a superiority to the Father that isn’t explicit seems ill-advised but to add a superiority when this is strictly rejected by the Scripture and the creeds is shocking to me. Perhaps I have missed something. I don’t think so. After teaching former JW’s for 16 years how to understand God, I would think that if the Father is described as superior to the eternal Word of God, then I would have come across it in my study. I have not and it doesn’t seem to fit in the creeds either. So why is the superiority of the Father held on to so strongly? I would like to pick their brains to find out why this is so important to them that these men risk falling outside of orthodoxy in order to create an “office” that is God-like as the Father’s rights, privileges and His office alone belong to the Father alone. I tremble when I think of what this is doing to the Godhead and God’s unity.

  256. Now, I hope the readers of my “little treatise” on the Trinity and the Subordinationist use of 1 Corinthians 11:3, which I began in Comment #280, will carefully note and remember the following: That in speaking of the Triune God’s eternal, interpersonal and communal relations as “self-giving, self-communicating, or self-affirming,” I do so not in a literal creaturely and material sense but rather in a spiritual anthropomorphic and analogical sense. For I agree with Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Augustine and John Calvin that not only do the Scriptures themselves use such language to communicate meaningful and significant truth regarding the transcendant, Triune God that is accessible to the finite human mind, but that in our expositions of these same truths, our language must also be used anthropomorphically and analogically, so that these truths regarding the nature and works of the Triune God can be conveyed to our contemporaries in a meaningful and significant way. Otherwise, we will fall back into the old heresies long ago repudiated by the entire Christian Church.

    For our present discussion, we will use 1 John 4:9-16 both as a bridge from the previous consideration of the vital link between the consubstantiality (homoousia) and coindwelling (perichoresis) of the Three Persons who are the Triune God, as well as a guide in our examination of some important aspects of our both having a relationship with the Triune God through Christ by the Spirit and in our truly knowing God in Christ and by the Spirit. However, I will not be giving any detailed exegesis per se, but only as such as suggested by main themes to be found in this text. Now 1 John 4:9-16, in the New Living Translation, reads as follows:

    9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to [so] love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression through us. 13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him, and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

    Now some things in this text, either as statement or implication, should be obvious to us: God’s love is an out-going love, a sacrifical love, a love for others outside of himself, which moved him, in order to save us who so much needed his redeeming and healing love, sacrificed what was nearest and dearest to his heart, his one and only Son, vv. 9-10. If we truly have been reconciled to God through Christ, and have truly experienced and understood the divine self-giving, sacrificial love that seeks the welfare of others, the proof that we live in God and God in us by the Spirit is manifested by our practicing the same kind of love among one another as those whom God has redeemed and made his own people through his beloved Son, vv. 11-13. And because we have experienced God’s redeeming, sacrifical love in Christ, and because this self-giving, self-sacrificing love is poured out in us and manifested through us by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we in self-giving, sacrifical love declare the good news of redemption and reconciliation through the Son of God, inviting others to join the life-giving fellowship of love that we know and delight in as those now in fellowship with the Triune God and he with us, vv. 14-16.

    But what is the theological presuppostion underlying the exposition of the Gospel given by John in this text? I am convinced it is this: Before the Triune God could enter into a loving, self-communicating, self-giving, communal relationship which focused on the welfare of those outside of himself–if such a relationship with us were to be authentic and meaningful, it first had to be grounded in and flow out from a loving, self-communicating, self-giving of Oneself for the welfare of the Others within the Triune God himself. Thomas F. Torrance explains it this way:

    The Gospel tells us that God does not choose to live for himself alone, for he has become man in order to seek and save the lost, to bring human beings into reconciling relationship with himself and to share his own divine fellowship with them. And so we learn that the one Being of God is the Being of the Father who did not spare his only Son but freely gave him up in atoning sacrifice for us, and is the Being of the Son who loved us and gave himself for us, and is the Being of the Holy Spirit who for our sakes brings us through himself into communion with the Father and the Son. God’s whole Being as three divine Persons is his Being for others beyond himself, but to his Being for others beyond himself, his Being with us in our human existence in time and space, there corresponds his Being for others within himself, for that is the eternal ground in God for what he is and promises in the Gospel to be for others beyond himself. The eternal ground in God from which there flows his communion-seeking love and grace toward us, is the Communion which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have among themselves, and let it be repeated, really are. In the Holy Trinity himself, in the mutual indwelling of the three divine Persons, each Person is who he is as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, in hypostatic and homoousial relation to the Others, and indeed through their one Being, in being who he is for the Others. The Father is not properly the Father apart from the Son and the Spirit, and the Son is not properly the Son apart from the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit is not properly the Spirit apart from the Father and Son, for by their individual characteristics or distinctive properties as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they exist in and through one Another and belong to and ever live for each Other. Each Person is intrinsically who he is for the other two. They coinhere in one Another by virtue of their Being for one Another and by virtue of the dynamic Communion which they constitute in their belonging to one Another. Hence in establishing communion with us through his Son and in the Spirit, God wants us to participate in this living Communion which as Father, Son and Holy Spirit he eternally is…The one triune Being of God is to be thought of, then, as essentially and intrinsically a mutual movement of loving self-communication between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, an intensely personal Communion, an ever-living and ever-loving Being, the Being for Others which the three divine Persons have in common (Cf. “One Being, Three Persons,” The Christian Doctrine of God, pp. 132-133).

    Furthermore, I am convinced this understanding of the homoousion and perichoresis, as regards the Unity and Diversity of the Triune God and which has been championed by Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, John Calvin and Thomas F. Torrance, alone preserves both the Christological and Pneumatic core of the Gospel necessary for our truly knowing and having fellowship with the Triune God as a whole, and for our truly knowing and having fellowship with God the Father in particular. Stanley Grenz comments:

    [That] God can only be known by a divine self-disclosure that occurs fully and ultimately only in Jesus Christ led the patristic thinkers to confess that Christ is consubstantial with the Father and to apply the same term to the Holy Spirit as well. In this manner, the term homoousion provided the Church with the theological key that could unlock and bring to explicit formulation the implicit trinitarianism of the New Testament. Because the incarnate Son and the Holy Spirit are of the very same being and nature as God the Father, Torrance argues, God has become truly knowable. More specifically, the concept of the homoousian means that “Jesus Christ is…not a mere symbol, some representation of God detached from God, but God in his own Being and Act among us, expressing in our human form the Word which he is eternally in himself, so that in our relations with Jesus Christ we have to do directly with the ultimate Reality of God.” (Cf. Stanley Grenz, Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 208)

    Now if I may say so in a guarded way, as suggested earlier above, since the Three Persons of the One Triune God share not only the same divine Being and its attributes, then they must also share a common love-life and mindset, without violating their distinctiveness as the Three Persons. A love-life and mindset which the Holy Spirit himself possesses and participates in, every bit as much as the Father and the Son. And when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell those who confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, and we allow him to reproduce the love-life and mindset of Christ within us, what does he do among us, who form not only the Body of Christ, but also the Living Temple of God himself? He reproduces that mutual loving, that mutual self-communicating, that mutual self-giving for the welfare and full actualization others that marks the inner life of God himself and which he desires to be reproduced in his redeemed people. Moreover, he not only gifts and calls men and women to ministry to one another within the Church (Cf. 1 Jn 4:9-16 with 1 Cor. 12:1-13; Eph. 2:11-22; and Phil. 2:5-11), but because he is of one heart, mind and will with both the Father and the Son, he gifts and calls with their full approval and blessing. That is the truth of God in Christ Jesus.

    And I hope what I have said thus far, not only encourages all my brothers and sisters in Christ, but especially those of my sisters who have been hurt by those who have denied their gifting and calling, charged them with being unfaithful to Christ and his Word, and of dishonoring the will and wishes of our Heavenly Father. Not only is this a diabolical lie, which falsely paints our Father as a stingy and overbearing tyrant towards his own daughters, but also denies our Lord’s own teaching on this very subject. For did not our Lord Jesus himself teach us this about the Father’s free and generous gift of love, the Holy Spirit, for all of us: “You fathers–if your children ask for a fish, do you give then a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:11-13, NLT).

    Cheryl, it looks like I’ll have to do one more “little treatise” to adequately with the past and present Anti-trinitarian and subordinationist use of 1 Cor. 11:3 itself. I hope you will pardon me and grant me a further dispensation to complete this task. But I wanted to give as full and positive exposition of the truly biblical and orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity as I could, before moving on to what will be a necessary, though not enjoyable critique. Thanks

  257. Frank,
    Well done!

    The unselfish nature of God is something that not many have dwelt on, however when we are indwelt by His Spirit it should become our natural expression of our new nature to become like Him in serving others.

    Thanks!

  258. Hi everyone,
    Curious as to whom to believe – egalitarians or complementarists – I begun a research four years ago. I found that despite all the fancy rhetoric and emotional appeals, modern complementarists uphold a reversed theology compared to the one which begun at the end of the second century when Gen 3.16 became the source of the woman’s subjection. By the fourth century the belief in the sole guilt of Eve and female subjection as a punishment for her sin had become a permanent part of traditional theology. Jerome would immortalize it for the generations to come in the Vulgate by his change of Gen 3.16 from “Your turning shall be to the man” into “Under the man’s authority will you be.” During the Millennium of the Vulgate few knew of the change and the Reformers did not do much better with their choice of “desire” which fueled the witch craze and is still used to argue that women desire to rule over men. Jerome, Augustine and Chrysostom all agreed: the woman was created equal to the man and it was only after sin that the woman was subjected to the man. Due to the heavy emphasis on virginity and celibacy, as a replacement for a martyr’s death, Jerome argued that a virgin and continent wife was equal to the man, while the sexually active married woman was subject and inferior to the man. Already Cyprian (middle third century) had argued the same.
    For eleven centuries Gen 2.18-24 was considered to teach equality, but with the rise of Scholasticism and the synthesis of Aristotle’s philosophy and neo-Platonic Augustinianism, the creation account was changed. In the thirteenth century Thomas Aquinas argued in Summa Theologica that the woman is a misbegotten male who lacks the man’s reason, wherefore she must be ruled by the man. He also considered Gen 3.16, which he considered servile in nature, a fitting punishment for the woman’s sin. Thomas’s twofold subjection, based on Aristotle’s philosophy and Jerome’s mistranslation of Gen 3.16, was absorbed by Scholastic theology and although the reformers rejected Scholasticism, their followers quickly reverted to Scholastic logic (Melanchton changed Luther’s theology and Beza Calvin’s) in an effort to support their reformed theology in the face of Catholic opposition. Thus the twofold subjection was not challenged until Aristotle fell from grace at the end of the nineteenth century with the rise of modern biology, sociology and psychology. The inferior woman disappeared from secular thinking and the church dropped the term although they continued to uphold the dogma which was based on the woman’s assumed inferiority. In 1980’s egalitarians successfully challenged the old dogma of Gen 3.16 being God’s commandment which opened the door for the full rejection of the reversed complementarist theology.
    To summarize:
    1. The first 150 years: the church taught the full equality of all humans
    2. 3rd to 13th century: Gen 3.16 becomes the source of the woman’s subjection
    3. 13th- 20th century: Gen 2.18-24 and Gen 3.16 teaches female subjection
    4. 1980- : Gen 2.18-24 is the source of the woman’s subjection, Gen 3.16 is a consequence of sin

    I found that kephale (head), hypotasso (submit), kurios (lord) and hypoakouo (obey) were all Latinized as a result of the era of the Vulgate when theology was thought and written in Latin. Kephale, for example, was given the meaning “ruler” in Thomas Aquinas’s Summa, but I could not find it earlier in Christological writings. The following writers all gave the word the meaning “beginning.”

    Ignatius, disciple of John the Apostle (30-107)
    Irenaues (ca 180)
    Tertullian (145-200)
    Clement of Alexandria (153-217)
    Origen (185-254)
    Cyprian (200-258)
    Novatian (210-280)
    Arnobius (297-303)
    Athanasius (298-373)
    St. Basil (329-379)
    Gregory of Nazianzen (329-389)
    St Ambrose (340-397)
    Rufinus (344-408)
    Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia (359)
    Four discourses against the Arians (356-360)
    Hilary of Potiers (died 367)
    John Chrysostom (347-407)
    Aurelius Augustine (354-430)
    Socrates Scholasticus (born 379)
    Leo the Great (Ca. 390- 461)

    The majority of the writers are from the fourth century because most of what we have left from the early church is from the High Patristic era when the church was safe from persecution. The most enlightening aspect of the usage of kephale was Augustine who used the word frequently (I found about 350 pages worth of quotes from his writings). When writing about men and women, he gave the word the meaning “ruler,” but when he wrote about Christ and the Church, he gave the word the meaning “literal head” or “beginning.” When the factor that Augustine synthesized Neo-Platonism with his theology is taken into consideration, it becomes evident that he used Plato’s soul-body dichotomy to explain the relationship between men and women, but he would not compromise his Christology with such a departure from orthodox Christianity. He was also careful to point out that the man’s rule began after sin and did not belong to original creation.
    Grudem claims in the Appendix found in “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” that the Septuagint proves that kephale meant ruler in the third century BC. I checked every instance in which rosh is translated with kephale and found his claim to be false. The Septuagint uses overwhelmingly words such as archos (“leader”), arche (“beginning,” “ruler”) and hegeoumai (“leader”) when the meaning “ruler” is needed in the text. Kephale is used when the context speaks of a literal head, “a beginning,” “summing up” or the extreme end of an object. His other proof was Hermas, in which kephale tou oikou is found, and although Grudem uses it as an early proof, the term is not found in Greek writings, for the correct Greek term is oikodespoteo. Incidentally Hermas was an Ebionite, a Hebrew Christian, and thus he did not choose the right idiom in his writing, for “head of household” in Hebrew becomes kephale tou oikou when translated literally into Greek. The strongest proof Grudem offers is from Plato, but as I argue in my book, that a fourth-century BC Greek philosopher gave the word the implicit meaning “ruler” does not mean that a first-century theologian would give the word the explicit meaning “ruler.” As already noted, this meaning, when relating to men and women, was popularized by Augustine who used Plato’s arguments in his theology.
    I found that most of the arguments used by Grudem & co in “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” are based on contradictions, paradoxes and false exegesis because they wish to uphold a theology which is based on Thomas Aquinas’s Scholasticism, while trying to, at the same time, reject the foundation. If anyone is interested, the full research is available in book form, “When Dogmas Die,” published by Creation House, Strang Communications. I am also happy to share more with you here.

    Susanna Krizo

  259. Thanks Suzanna! This is very informative!

    Any chance of the bulk of this being posted as a comment at the current discussion on the meaning of kephale Cheryl? It is so relevant!

  260. Here are two excerpts from my book which deal with the question of the subjection of the Son to the Father and how it relates to the assumed subjection of the woman to the man. (I didn’t feel like re-writing the text again, which is why is so great to have the copyright to an already written text!)

    Chapter 8
    Kephale is given the meaning “authority over” in 1 Corinthians 11:3 in order to create a hierarchy in which the man rules over the woman. But although complementarism models the woman’s subjection after the Son’s assumed subjection to the Father, in the early church, as the inferiority of the woman was incorporated into theology, the subjection of the woman became the model for the subjection of the Son in the many heresies that challenged the church. Thus we find that in Arian theology, Christ owes thank to humans for He was believed to have been made for them.

    “First, the Son appears rather to have been for us brought to be, than we for Him; for we were not created for Him, but He is made for us; so that He owes thanks to us, not we to Him, as the woman to the man. ‘For the man,’ says Scripture, ‘was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.’ Therefore, as ‘the man is the image and glory of God, and the woman the glory of the man,’ so we are made God’s image and to His glory; but the Son is our image, and exists for our glory. And we were brought into being that we might be; but God’s Word was made, as you must hold, not that He might be; but as an instrument for our need, so that not we from Him, but He is constituted from our need.”

    The early church theologians of the patristic era refused to make the Son subject to the Father although they subjected the woman to the man. Chrysostom, for example, explicitly refuted the heresy of the Son’s inferiority and subjection, which was modeled after the subjection of the woman.

    “But the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Here the heretics rush upon us with a certain declaration of inferiority, which out of these words they contrive against the Son. But they stumble against themselves. For if “the man be the head of the woman,” and the head be of the same substance with the body, and “the head of Christ is God,” the Son is of the same substance with the Father. “Nay,” say they, “it is not His being of another substance which we intend to show from hence, but that He is under subjection.” What then are we to say to this? In the first place, when any thing lowly is said of him conjoined as He is with the Flesh, there is no disparagement of the Godhead in what is said, the Economy admitting the expression. However, tell me how thou intendest to prove this from the passage? “Why, as the man governs the wife, saith he, “so also the Father, Christ.” Therefore also as Christ governs the man, so likewise the Father, the Son. “For the head of every man,” we read, “is Christ.” And who could ever admit this?”

    Chrysostom argued that it was impossible for kephale to mean “authority over,” for had Paul meant to speak of rule and subjection he would have used the example of a slave and a master instead of marriage. Neither did Chrysostom agree with those who found a similarity between 1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5, for if we were to understand kephale in the same way in both, “extreme absurdity will result.” Therefore he argued that we should reject “these particulars,” and “accept the notion of a perfect union, and the first principle,” and even here recognize that which is “too high for us and suitable to the Godhead, for both the union is surer and the beginning more honorable.”

    Gregory of Nazianzen called the subjection of the Son to the Father “a new theology,” indicating that it was not part of the apostolic tradition.

    “For as these low earthly minds make the Son subject to the Father, so again is the rank of the Spirit made inferior to that of the Son, until both God and created life are insulted by the new Theology. No, my friends, there is nothing servile in the Trinity, nothing created, nothing accidental, as I have heard one of the wise say. ”

    Yet, Thomas R. Schreiner maintains in his essay Head Coverings, Prophecies and the Trinity that there is subordination within the Trinity, because “the Son has a different function or role from the Father,” and because “the Son willingly submits Himself to the Father’s authority.” This subordination to authority is seen in that the “Father commands and sends; the Son obeys and comes into the world to die for our sins.” Schreiner attempts to prove the subordination of the Son from 1 Corinthians 15:28, but by doing so He contradicts himself, “It is clear that this subjection of the Son to the Father is after his earthly ministry, so how anyone can say that there is no hint of a difference or order or role within the Trinity is difficult to see.” But if the subjection of the Son begins after his earthly ministry, how could the Son have been subject to the Father before his incarnation? Because complementarists give kephale the meaning “authority over” in 1 Corinthians 11:3, they create a triple subjection of the Son, which resembles the twofold of the woman found in the Summa, for if the Son was subject to the Father from the beginning, his subjection became less voluntary after His incarnation and will become even less voluntary after He delivers the kingdom to the Father. But such a concept is not only absurd, it is impossible, for how can the Son be forced into subjection? Tertullian rejected the subjection of the Son due to the impossibility of the proposition.

    “Since therefore he [Marcion] is obliged to acknowledge that the God whom he does not deny is the great Supreme, it is inadmissible that he should predicate of the Supreme Being such a diminution as should subject Him to another Supreme Being, for He cases (to be Supreme), if He becomes subject to any. Besides, it is not the characteristic of God to cease from any attribute of His divinity – say, from His supremacy. ”

    Chapter 9
    The twofold subjection of Thomas Aquinas altered the translation and interpretation of 1 Corinthians perhaps more than any other chapter in the Bible; consequently it is considered one of the most difficult chapters to interpret. Thomas R. Schreiner writes in his essay Head Coverings, Prophecies and the Trinity, ”The difficulties with this text could lead one to say that it should not be used to establish any doctrine or teaching on the role relationship of men and women.” Although he is correct in rejecting the proposition that we should not use the chapter, he rejects also the interpretation of the chapter which removes the inherent difficulties.

    As the woman’s subjection as a created order was challenged, 1 Corinthians 11 was re-interpreted to reflect the change, or, rather, the return to the theology of the early church. Instead of rule and submission, the text was viewed as teaching the interdependency of men and women based on their equality as a created order. Because 1 Corinthians 11 is one of the cornerstones of complementarian theology, the re-interpretation has not been accepted largely due to the false interpretation of the word kephale found in verse 3.

    “Another argument used for the translation “source” in 1 Corinthians 11.3 is that Paul says woman came from man in verse 11:8, and this obviously suggests the idea of source. Surely this understanding of verse 8 is correct, but verse 8 does not explicate the meaning of head in verse 3. Instead, Paul uses this argument from source to prove that woman is the glory of man.”

    Schreiner neglects the connection of eikoon (“image”) and kephale (“head”) in verse 7 because he gives kephale the incorrect meaning “authority over.” “A beginning” and “a first principle,” the meanings Chrysostom gave kephale in his homily are synonymous to an archetype of which the other person is an image, “for images are the forms of their archetypes.” According to Origen, “The true God, then, is ‘The God,’ and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God.” Gregory of Nyssa explained, “[T]hen all the Cause beyond, which is God over all, is found through Our Lord, Who is the Cause of all things; nor, indeed, is it possible to gain an exact knowledge of the Archetypal Good, except as it appears in the (visible) image of that invisible.” In other words, the archetype is the source of the image, which possesses the characteristics of its source.

    According to Gregory of Nazianzen, the same attributes that are found in the archetype must also be found in the image. However, the image is not an identical copy of the archetype, as described by Theorodet (d. 458) in a dialogue between Eranistes and Orthodoxus.

    Eran.—The type must have the character of the archetype.
    Orth.—Is man called an image of God?
    Eran.—Man is not an image of God, but was made in the image of God.
    Orth.—Listen then to the Apostle. He says: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.”
    Eran.—Granted, then, that he is an image of God.
    Orth.—According to your argument then he must needs have plainly preserved the characters of the archetype, and have been uncreate, uncompounded, and infinite. He ought in like manner to have been able to create out of the non existent, he ought to have fashioned all things by his word and without labour, in addition to this to have been free from sickness, sorrow, anger, and sin, to have been immortal and incorruptible and to possess all the qualities of the archetype.
    Eran.—Man is not an image of God in every respect.
    Orth.—Though truly an image in the qualities in which you would grant him to be so, you will find that he is separated by a wide interval from the reality.
    Eran.—Agreed.
    Orth.—Consider now too this point. The divine Apostle calls the Son the image of the Father; for he says “Who is the image of the invisible God?”
    Eran.—What then; has not the Son all the qualities of the Father?
    Orth.—He is not Father. He is not uncaused. He is not unbegotten.
    Eran.—If He were He would not be Son.
    Orth.—Then does not what I said hold good; the image has not all the qualities of the archetype?
    Eran.—True

    A copy is called a “shadow” in the New Testament (Heb. 8:5). For example, the Law was a shadow of Christ, whom Paul portrays as the body or true substance (Col. 2:17). A shadow is the opposite of an image (Heb. 10:1) for whereas the copy is temporary and is destroyed when the substance is provided (Heb. 10:9) an image co-exists with the archetype, its source. Thus, as the image of the Father, the Son is similar to the Father in essence and power, but He is not the identical to the Father, for He is not unbegotten. The man is in the image of God in the inner person, but he is enclosed in a body, whereas God is a spirit. The woman is also in the image of God in the inner person for she is a human being, but her body is in the image of the first man, wherefore it is different from his.

  261. Susanna, after reading your comments in 285, 287, and 289, I am so impressed, I am definitely going to get a copy of your book asap! Moreover, I don’t think I can add much more to this discussion on 1 Cor. 11:3 and its parallel in Eph. 5:23, than to quote Dr. John Trull, Prof. of Christian Ethics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

    In the seven passages in the New Testament where Paul uses kephale, the contexts of five of them (Col. 1:18; 2:10; 2:19; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:15) clearly point to this common meaning of “source.” The concept that “head” connotes a hierarchy with men in a role of authority over women rests largely on two passages: 1 Cor. 11:3 and Eph. 5:23. When we recognize the main meaning of kephale is “source,” it becomes clear that Paul is not establishing a chain of command–he is establishing origins. Rather than a “ruler” over the wife, the husband is the “source” or “beginning” of woman (made from the side of Adam), even as God is the “origin” of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3). “If you think ‘head’ means ‘chief’ or ‘boss,'” declared Chrysostom, “you skew the godhead!” (Cf. “Is the Head of the Household Home?” Christian Ethics Today. 1995, p. 44)

    And of course, that was the main thrust of my discussion on the Trinity and 1 Cor. 11:3, although I wanted to tackle the Trinitarian issue first, before dealing with the man-woman relationship, on which I think everyone else has done a fine job.

    However, in my studies, I did find some Greek scholars who argued that in Paul’s time, kephale was a “living metaphor,” and depending how it was used or functioned in certain contexts, might have the sense of “authority over.” But these same scholars firmly argue that in 1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5 kephale cannot bear the meaning of “authority over.” I assume you would know this, Susanna and Cheryl, from your own studies. I only bring it up in case Mark would try to use this information, if he is aware of it, as an “ace in the hole,” as it were, in arguing his viewpoint.

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