Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jimmy Carter leaves the Southern Baptists

Because of that church's sexism.

13 comments:

Ilíon said...

That must break an awful lot of hearts.

Brandon said...

It actually happened almost a decade ago; Carter left the SBC in 2000.

Ilíon said...

A Baptist friend (though, he's "General Baptist" rather than "Southern Baptist") was rather blasé when I asked him about this yesterday.

Steven said...

Complementarian views are sexist? Is that it? Apostle Paul is sexist?

Victor Reppert said...

The extrapolation of Paul's complementarianism, assuming that's what you exegete out of the relevant passages, into contemporary society might be sexist, even though his views might not have been sexist relative to his time.

Steven said...

Where do you draw the line? How are we to decide which of Paul's teachings still count and don't? All this is a denial of inerrancy, and it seems to me to lead to arbitrariness when deciding what is relevant and what isn't.

Victor Reppert said...

It is a fallacy to say that if it is difficult to draw the line, then there is no line to be drawn, and therefore anything goes. The jury trying the policemen who beat Rodney King actually bought the argument that since there was no point at which the beating of King became excessive, that therefore the beating could not be ruled excessive.

First, of course, you have to get a proper fix on the meaning of Paul's teaching. Male domination is far from an exegetical slam dunk.

Then, you have to recognize that there have to be some context-dependent features of Scripture that might not carry over, even given inerrancy. Do we really want to take what Paul said about long hair as an eternal command to all Christians everywhere? Do we really want to argue that "Slaves, obey your masters" proves that Harriet Tubman ought not to be admired?

Steven said...

(1) I didn't say there wasn't any line; I said that often times it becomes arbitrary what is considered still valid and what isn't, and often times it is chosen simply on the basis of what is convenient for those doing the choosing, or what sounds right to them, etc.

(2) If Paul says a slave rebelling against his master is behaving wrongly, immorally, sinning--add 1750 years, and what is the difference? How have moral truths changed simply because time has gone by? How has God's law changed simply because time has gone by? I am open to the idea that some of God's laws as laid out in scripture are for specifically those contexts in which they were written; I'm not convinced this (women preachers, for example) is one of them, though.

Blip said...

I struggle to think of Paul's teaching on women as somehow limited merely to his cultural context.

Paul expresses what seems like a very blanket policy in 1 Timothy 2:12: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."

Not to mention his appeal to the order of creation (a trans-cultural fact if ever there was one!) in 1 Corinthians, where it justifies the subordination of women: "neither was man created for woman, but woman for man."

As for the head coverings, I think it is important that the woman be seen to defer to her husband, and head coverings are only one of many ways of acheiving that.

To be honest, I think male domination is pretty close to a slam dunk, (along with particularism, anti-homosexuality, etc.,) among evangelicals anyway. I can only really take gender egalitarianism seriously if it is accompanied by the rejection of inerrancy.

Victor Reppert said...

You'll get an argument from the Groothuises on this.

http://www.ivpress.com/groothuis/rebecca/

Trav said...

Scot McKnight's book The Blue Parakeet goes into this issue in some detail- I highly recommend it.

I won't spoil it, but in my view he puts forward a persuasive biblical case against the idea that women shouldn't preach or teach in church.

~K~ said...

I think this whole idea has less to do with scriptural inerrancy or arbitrariness than with our basic assumptions on morality and what the point of the whole biblical story is in the first place, as we the readers see it and as we apply it to our lives.

Deciding whether scriptures are inerrant or not cannot honestly be based on our perceptions of said scriptures.

Our perceptions however have everything to do with why and how we do and believe the things we do.

Mike Darus said...

The issue of "authority" in our current cultural context makes the issue even more interesting. I don't see we recognize a deacon or a pastor or even a chaplain as a someone with authority. They do not tell their congregants what to do. If they did, we would see much better behaved congregants who were engaged in significant ministry. The irony is that once you give the "authority" you find there is none. The pastor of a church may be in charge of the staff but I don't sense the average person listening to a sermon feel like they are "under the authority" of anybody except God.