25.7.08

A while ago I reacted to pressure that I felt I was under to appreciate the views of Wayne Grudem ...

You see Wayne Grudem is scaaaary!!!
Look!

Where's Mom

Where's Mom: The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2003.

An adaptation from an article in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, this booklet addresses the special calling of a woman to be a wife and mother. In a world that lacks respect for these two positions, several vital questions are answered. This questions include, "Is Homemaking My Job?," "Is Homemaking a Challenging Career?," "Is Being a Mother a Worthy Service?," and "Is Being a Wife a Fulfilling Function?" All the answers affirm the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's Danvers statement that men and women are created equally in God's image but are designed to perform different functions. With this statement, women are exposed to the Biblical roles and duties assigned to women -- including being a wife and a mother.



When I first started to research Reform thinking (Reform was started in 1993, partly in reaction to the ordination of women) and I came across the existence of a doctrinal stance of subordinationism in the trinity, I was surprised and it provoked some study of my own. I looked into Athanasius but I am not going to pretend that I am as yet a proficient theologian. Peter Kirk has voiced opinion on this topic on his blog 'Gentle Wisdom' and the comments below help to reinforce my feelings about Wayne Grudem:

there are some modern writers on the Trinity who are utterly preoccupied with the gender debate, such as Grudem

the doctrine of functional subordination as taught by Grudem and others, the version summarised as “The Father commands, and the Son obeys”, is not consistent with “the orthodox and catholic Christian faith”.

Asymmetry in a relationship does not necessarily imply subordination in that relationship. It certainly does not imply that one party is obliged to submit to and obey the other. It doesn’t even imply that one is at a higher level than another, for it is possible for two entities or persons to be different and complementary without there being any ranking order between them. I cannot see any meaningful sense of “subordination” which is implied by Athanasius’ teaching that the relationship between the Father and the Son is asymmetric.

Sue contributes to this post with:
This distinction is, that to the Father is attributed the beginning of action, the fountain and source of all things; to the Son, wisdom, counsel, and arrangement in action, while the energy and efficacy of action is assigned to the Spirit.
I do not think that this equals “authority and submission.”

Brian posts - It is also really sad that Grudem would resort to attempting to redefine Trinitarian theology to fit his opinions on women in ministry.

Peter Kirk writes: if some complementarians are simply saying that there is an asymmetry between men and women, I don’t have too many problems with that. It is when they teach that men “call the shots” and women have to obey, i.e. the classic relationship of subordination, that alarm bells ring in my mind. That includes when men “call the shots” about what ministries women are allowed to exercise.

I agree with you that there is a difference between power and authority, in modern English. But I do not accept that there is a distinction in either power or authority between the divine Father and the divine Son. Note the risen Jesus’ words “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me …”, Matthew 28:18.

I think that as we mature as Christians we focus more on the 'triune God', and less the Almighty Father God (which I think many of us understood as children) and I think therefore you can't help but be drawn by the beauty of this community - three 'persons' equal but different and glorious. I think that if non-believers were introduced to the triune God rather than the Almighty father God, spiritual journeys might be more enlightened. With the Almighty Father God, human beings can often bring their own baggage born out of their experiences of our predominantly patriarchal world. I think theologians like Grudem et al are missing out on the very specific nature of this perfect unity within the trinity; by insisting on subordinationism at its heart, and as a consequence, they are pumping a less oxygen-enriched blood through its veins. (Excuse the analogy - I find it hard to find appropriate shades of meaning for describing the trinity which is so exquisite).

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.