Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More Pastor Phil

Pastor Phil's maddening blog post is back:

Q: "How can [a woman] use [theological] instruction for the betterment of the church?
A: The church is bettered and strengthened when her women do not, as we would expect women of the world to do, for the sake of worldly acclaim or domestic ease, cast off their sex and play the man.
Where in Scripture does it say that a woman has to remain in the kitchen and is not allowed to venture forth into the world and if she does, she is playing the man? There is nothing wrong with staying home and no one is pitting me against other godly Christian women who take pride (godly pride) in their domestic skill but I will not have men like this belittle women who desire to pursue where they believe God is leading them (especially if their church and husband supports them).

This really gives Christianity a bad name and furthers the world's misconception of us. Now we appear to be saying that the only job a woman can hold is wife and mother.

The church is strengthened by women and men who study theology and then help others understand it. I have been told by many women over the years that they have been helped by my teaching. If I did as this pastor suggests then I would not have been of any help to them or myself. I would never have understood the freedom that I have in Christ and I would not have been able to help others understand it as well.


  1. Moonshadow said...
    Look, don't let this bother you. You're in, you've started a new semester, do your best and trust God.

    GLORIA Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
    michele said...
    I am not so concerned for myself, Teresa but how this discourages others plus the black-eye that it gives Christianity.
    Moonshadow said...
    Maybe I'm not reading this right, but would you please comment on this rhetoric, third paragraph from the bottom:

    Belezikian, a fellow evangelical? Really? This same Belezikian who denies the ontological superiority of the Father over the Son?

    Is God the Father ontologically superior to God the Son? Is this orthodox trinitarianism because, gosh, I would have never thought in a million years ...

    Sorry to make you read any more of this guy's vitriol, only to answer my rash question. Thank you.

    I guess the man in question is Bilezikian, co-founder of Willow Creek and retired biblical studies professor at Wheaton. I guess he's associated with "Christians for Biblical Equality" and I'm getting in deep water here.
    michele said...
    John 14:28 "You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."
    Moonshadow said...
    No, seriously? We let you guys get away with so much.

    From Wikipedia:

    While orthodox trinitarianism rejects ontological subordination, it affirms that the Father, being the source of all that is, created and uncreated, has a monarchical relation to the Son and the Spirit.

    No, not ontologically subordinate, I cannot accept that.

    I thought we agreed on the Trinity but I seem to be orthodox on this point and, so, can speak of Jesus Christ in the words of the Nicene Creed: God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
    michele said...
    You "let us?" I didn't agree to ontological superiority , I just quoted Scripture, it was all I had time for this morning. I did try to find something in Berkhof but couldn't find anything in the time I had this morning (5 minutes). I'll need more time.
    michele said...
    Berhof has still not been a help and I have been skimming through other books and coming up empty. If I get a chance to ask the professor a question tomorrow, I will ask (I almost got a chance yesterday but someone beat me to it).
    Laura T said...
    Maybe this article will help. I typed in onotologically superior and this was the first article that made any sense.

    michele said...
    Laura, really be careful when searching for articles on the Trinity. The reason I have said very little to Teresa is that I want to make sure the position that I advocate is orthodox. There are so many different views out there that you have to be careful where you get an article from.
    Laura T said...
    Thanks, Michele. I appreciate your insight. :)
    michele said...
    I talked to Dr. Poythress before class today and he helped me understand the concept better and the implications of saying things in certain ways. He believes there is a better term to use than "superior."

    I really want to be careful what I say because I don't want to say something that is heretical on my blog. I am still doing research on this and am closer to saying something more helpful than what I have said already (which is really nothing).
    Moonshadow said...
    I overreacted, I apologize.

    Michele, I took your Scripture citation as a proof-text in support of the position.

    I am well aware of the passages in which Jesus defers to God the Father but traditionally, these passages have not been interpreted as "ontological subordination" of the Son to the Father. "Ontological" was the rub for me; it stuck in my craw.

    Neither is it satisfying to say that it was Jesus' humanity that contributed to his inferiority relative to the Father, despite the "emptying" of Phil. 2:7. Even as man, the Jesus of history was fully God.

    The Wikipedia entry is thorough, but Laura's link on John 14:28 is very outstanding, especially this footnote:

    The common Trinitarian formula in the western Church was: "Una Subtantia (or Essentia), Tres Personae." [...] Ambrose may have used natura in a theological sense, but with Augusine and Aquinas, the term essentia had become the preferred term defining the essential nature of God.

    And, of course, this philosophical language becomes especially important vis a vis transubstantiation and the eucharist.

    I appreciate your care, Michele, given everything: Samantha's birthday party plans (enjoy!).

    Part of the work of theology - if you don't already know - is expressing these classic formulae in language that makes sense today because most of us lack the philosophical categories necessary to understand the classic language. Some Christians reject the use of philosophy altogether - which is what I thought was happening here at first!

    The classic creeds are objectively true, but they become a crutch, a safe way of saying what we don't understand, and if the ordinary Christian cannot grasp their truth, the creeds are useless.

    Let's pray for each other.

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