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    Wednesday, July 19, 2006


    Shopping a Story To Make Frank Page Look Bad
    The Phantom Menace Looms Large

    It is no great secret that there are those in the SBC who are not happy with Frank Page's election as president. The day his candidacy was announced, whisper campaigns were started by those who supported other candidates. They claimed that Dr. Page was not an inerrantist and by extension was a closet liberal. All this was said leading up to the convention.


    We incorrectly viewed Dr. Page's election as a chance for Southern Baptists to come together. It seems those who like to do business in the shadows of dark rooms had a different idea. The whisper campaign against our elected president never stopped.

    We have heard stories for weeks that a certain high-profile individual was shopping a negative story about Dr. Page's decade's old dissertation, which was written while he was a student at Southwestern.

    The person peddling the story visited with a few friendly editors of state Baptist presses in an attempt to get the negative story into the public domain.
    The dissertation supposedly provided evidence of liberal theology. Well it appears this person found a willing accomplice in his campaign to undercut Dr. Frank Page.

    Today, Ethicsdaily.com posted "SBC President Once Endorsed Women's Ordination." The piece was written by Ethics Daily's managing editor Bob Allen. His work wasn't very imaginative or journalistic. He might have made an attempt to contact Frank Page about the decades old dissertation and ask him his view on the matter today. He might have talked to any number of people who might be able to talk about how one's view could change on theological matters over a period of years -- Dr. Al Mohler would have been a good one to call.

    He might have written about how he came into possession of the 190 page document. He might have discussed the motivations of the person who sent to him, but he didn't. No, this "managing editor" served it up to his readers the same way it was served up to him.

    It appears Bob is simply a (willing) pawn in larger war being waged by a phantom menace, a menace whose ultimate goal is to keep Dr. Frank Page playing defense and focused things other than moving the convention forward.


    At some point enough is enough.

    Here's the e-mail we sent Bob Allen today:

    Bob,
    How are you? I was just wondering who shared the information about Frank Page's dissertation with you? We have been hearing for a few weeks now that a certain individual has been shopping the story around the state Baptist presses. We wondered who would bite first. In fact, we know of one person in particular who received a phone call from a certain SBC agency head about the matter.

    Thanks,

    The Arkansas Razorbaptist

    We know the answer to our question, but we are awaiting his response.

    posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 7/19/2006 05:07:00 PM

    34 Comments:

    Blogger Batgirl said...

    "To absolutize the biblical culture would mean to assume that all the standards of ancient Israel or first century rabbinic Judaism represent God's ultimate will for the human race. Instead of making such an assumption, one must make careful distinctions between what is 'for an age' and what is 'for all time.'"
    I whole-heartedly agree. That excites me. I hope he still feels that way. Its about time... actually, it's way past time. But we were way off on our opinions about slaves too, so its no wonder we're off about women as well.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:46:00 PM  
    Blogger CB Scott said...

    This is the same old game being played by the same old people.

    cb

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:53:00 PM  
    Blogger Jared Keizer said...

    The Apostle Peter encouraged Christians to grow and mature in the sanctification. In II Peter 1 we see the natural outgrowths of a Christian life. I was particularly struck by the words, brotherly kindness. This is the family love of protecting and supporting one’s family. As Christians under persecution these believers would need one another to, in some cases to be sure, make it through another day. The church was to be a family – a self-supporting living organism which had the Lord Jesus as its head.

    Reading this information about Dr. Page makes me realize the dangers of denominationalism. For when the focus becomes power rather than love, there is never an end to what someone will do – even Christians – to make sure that others are harmed while our own hearts are self-assured before God. The goal of the church is truth – right? Wrong. The goal of the church is love. A reading of Peter’s ingredients of Christian maturation show forth a crescendo ever growing toward the resounding effort and action of love.

    I hope no one reads my papers in seminary. I certainly hope no one delves too far into why Paige Patterson left Criswell College or what a laughing stock Richard Land is in the nation’s capitol or how a once self-proclaimed moderate who best could be described as a Bartian can become President of Southern Seminary. Yes, let us hope that no one reads our dissertations too closely. For from a distance we all look good. Let us hope that no one looks at our enrollment statistics at our seminaries too closely. For they might reveal a liar at the helm, but then again, if we can’t even pass a resolution regarding regenerate church membership I’m not sure the Southern Baptist Convention deserves a future.

    What would make someone do opposition research in the church? Perhaps ALL Southern Baptists know how to do is fight. THAT is our ministry to the world. Congratulations Paige and Richard! You have done a wonderful job!!

    Why are we not broken by the fact that we are denomination born out of slavery who has not elected an African American President of the denomination? Why are we not a bit more humble? Why aren’t we spending our time learning the Bible and theology rather than looking through dissertations? Why are there so many denominational bureaucrats in the first place?

    I find it hard to believe that Bob Allen personally researched this column. I personally think it was handed to him and he printed it. We’ll see what the Arkansas Razor Baptist can un-cover.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 7:30:00 PM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    It is more than politics. It is just plain wrong!

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 8:01:00 PM  
    Blogger Jeff Richard Young said...

    Dear ARB,

    Okay, I think I understand what you're saying. So who dunnit?

    Love in Christ,

    Jeff

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:43:00 PM  
    Anonymous Alan Cross said...

    Good words, Jared. You've hit on some major truth. When will we grow tired of the war? Honestly, I just want to see the 2 new policies at the IMB changed. I have no interest in tearing anyone down or seeing harm come to anyone, even the so called "old guard." May God's kindness lead us all to repentance and may our legacy be the love and grace of God.

    But, I do think that attacks against individuals on either side are wrong. We need to treat others the way we want to be treated. I think I read that somewhere.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006 11:28:00 PM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    I love it how people come out of the woodwork to bash the SBC any time there is a controversy. And I especially love how people paint the members of the SBC as intellectual idiots who want to turn the clock back 200 years. The SBC will emerge from all this controversy stronger and more Biblically educated. Controversy over doctrine causes exegesis to occur and when that happens folks like Batgirl won't be able to use red herrings like slavery to toss out 2000 years of Church doctrine on issues like Male Headship.

    And Jared, you have been reading too much from the CBF press releases. Go read up about Mohler's release from Bartianism via Carl F.H. Henry, possibly the greatest SBC theologian since Boyce and study up on Fred Luter and Voddie Bachaum, two legitimate contenders to be the first African-Americans to serve as SBC presidents. Taking pot shots at the SBC isn't the cool thing all the kids are doing this season, so give it a rest already. I for one am sick of it.

    To AR Bapts,
    thanks for letting us know about this. It's funny how Ethics Daily and the moderate/liberal "Christian" blogosphere is trying to spin this story. I believe that just as Al Mohler and others were able to pull away from liberalism in the 1980's through the Holy Spirit and wise men like Carl F.H. Henry and Ernie Reisinger, so too did Frank Page. We have all held beliefs in our past that we no longer do today. I would hate for someone to hear my first sermons. They were horrendous. So I take from this story that it is just one more example of God using bad situations and misguided and sinful people, and yet still being able to bring people back to the Bible and eventually to the forefront of a denomination in need of more repair. I am with Al Mohler on this one...thank God that He still changes people's hearts and minds.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 3:12:00 AM  
    Blogger Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

    JRY,

    I'll give you three guesses (it should only take one).

    ARB

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 6:44:00 AM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    DR- convenient to use "church doctrine" as your back up. I prefer scripture... and I believe you have to consider the time in which it was written to decipher what it means today.
    But I'm just a woman, what do I know? I should be cooking red herring for supper rather than using it to "toss out" 2000 years of church doctrine. Who cares if it might be wrong... its church doctrine... and by golly... to some that's as good as the Bible.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:47:00 AM  
    Blogger OKpreacher said...

    Ark.

    We need to make sure that we continue to pray for Frank Page and that we don't go looking for dirt on other people. There will always be dirt, but we must learn to show grace. Grace cleans up the dirt.

    OKpreacher

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:29:00 AM  
    Blogger John Fariss said...

    Please people. This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot! And do you notice the things which are being equated without ever being articulated, much less being Biblically proven?

    Women in the pastorate=God's call & giftedness to serve=ordination=women in the deaconate

    Maybe there is a divine equation here and maybe there isn't; maybe Dr. Page still believes what he wrote way back when, and maybe he doesn't; maybe he meant to say he supported women in the pastorate and maybe he didn't; maybe the BF&M 2000 is right and maybe it isn't. Frankly, I suggest the difference is whether it is understood as a confession or a creed. This is the presupposition which remains unarticulated and unexamined. A confession is by definition is a consensus of belief (i.e., things all Southern Baptists can live with, even if we do not all embrace every article), while a creed is by definition exhaustive and binding in every detail on us all. The 1925 & '63 confessions were very explicit that they were consensus documents. The 2000 version is an mixture of the two. It uses consensus language in places, but also introduces the phrase "instrument of doctrinal accountability," which certainly leans toward the creedal side.

    But either way, it is a tempest ina teapot. Let me illustrate: we have a person who has been a guest in our services the last couple of months. Last week, she left me a note asking me to call her. When I did, she told me that she had been a Jehovah's Witness for nearly 30 years, but had became disenchanted with their salvation-by-works theology. Consequently, she started coming here. And here, for the first time in her 50+ years, she heard the message that Jesus loves her. THOSE were her words, her exact words. We are to meet this evening, and she wants to learn about uniting with the church. Would I have received her note had I been preaching the articles of the BF&M? I think not; but the real question is, how many more are out there like her, who have never heard the Good News of Jesus' love, and instead of hearing it from us, are hearing us argue about stuff like this?

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:45:00 AM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    So Batgirl,

    Tell me, how much in-depth study have you done on this question? Maybe you have done like Wayne Grudem and studied for over 100 hours just on the word "Kephale" in the Greek to understand that it almost never means "source" and in 1 Cor 11:3 and Eph 5:23 the only legitimate interpretation is "chief" or "authority over."

    But surely you have at least read Grudem's work on the subject like his book he edited with John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, written by over 15 recognized scholars in the fields of NT, OT, and Biblical and Systematic Theologu, as well as a couple of M.D.'s.

    Or maybe you have read some of the resources over at The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website - like the 100+ articles on the site written by again a plethora of Biblical scholars, most of whom present papers every year at ETS and the SBL. These aren't your run of the mill D.Min preachers who are out to get the women back in their place like Egalitarians and feminists would love for you to think they are. They are scholars. So surely you have read their stuff.

    But even if you haven't done both of those, then you certainly have read Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 by Andreas Kostenberger and Thomas Schreiner (two SBC profs who are recognized in the Evangelical community as serious scholars - Schreiner's BECNT Romans commentary may end up being the most exhaustive work done on Romans in the 21st century).

    But maybe, just maybe, (and surely as opinionated as you are on women in ministry to link it with something like slavery, basically saying we Southern Baptists are complete idiots, you wouldn't do this last thing), you are like every other person I have confronted on this subject and you are going to say something silly like, "well I have a Bible and the text is plain to me that Paul was writing ONLY to the people of his day and that stuff don't count no more cause we's all edumacated and all now by the Feminists."

    That's why I said I love it when "people paint the members of the SBC as intellectual idiots who want to turn the clock back 200 years", because often they are so uninformed on an issue that they are actually the ones that come out looking like they don't know what they are talking about rather than the SBC.

    Now, Batgirl, you may buck the trend of trollers I have noticed on the internet who don't have a viable trackback to a real website who come over and use controversy to once again attack the SBC about its doctrine that you have neither studied deeply, nor given a second's thought other than what you heard from some professor or some pastor who probably hasn't studied it either or at least led you to believe that the SBC hasn't, but then again, I guess you can let us know by answering my questions about what type of research you have done on this.

    But regardless of what you have read or studied or done, bashing the SBC like they are intellectual idiots who have never considered a cultural reading of the text, never considered reading the Scriptures on this, and are just out to get women, and suggesting that 2000 years of Church doctrine doesn't mean anything to this debate, is completely unacceptable. If you are going to attack historic doctrine at least come with a reasoned response.

    Now all that may sound mean-spirited, but it sounds pretty mean and opportunistic to me to kick the SBC when it's down -- to attack the men and women who have nothing to do with the politics of the convention -- professors who toil and teach, pastors who pray and prepare, and students who study and seek God's guidance when it comes to tough doctrinal issues like this, all the while suggesting that if they would just read the Bible and "consider" a culturally sensitive reading of the text (as if they have done neither since they apparently are uneducated), they would sure come to a different conclusion than those in the past 2000 years like the Church Fathers, the Reformers, the Early Baptists, and the Evangelicals did. That get's my blood boiling and screams "arrogance" to me. I, for one, am sick of being beaten down by trollers on websites who swoop in, attack, and then never defend their position, as if we are just stupid rednecks (no offense to you Arkansas guys -- I am from TN myself). So Batgirl please excuse me if you are getting the brunt of my anger here, but maybe, just maybe, you'll get mad enough at me to pick up some of the resources I mentioned and stop stereotyping and start studying. I can only hope. Meanwhile, I don't want any current members of SBC churches to think you and others are right about our possible lack of academic scholarship in considering doctrines as important as those of Ecclesiology or the Family.

    So forgive me for being sarcastic, caustic, and over-the-top, but I love being a Southern Baptist and I love my denomination, and politics aside, I am proud of what we do in missions and the stands we take doctrinally (the BF&M). Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope we can be friends after this. Sorry Razorbapts for the long post, and BTW, thanks for adding my blog to your sidebar. I hope you won't remove it after you read this post.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 2:56:00 PM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    DR, the only thing your rant did was make me feel sorry for your wife.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:18:00 PM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    DR, I'll also add that you are assuming an awful lot about me. You have NO CLUE what I think a woman's role is b/c I didn't specify it in my first post, but I'll not enlighten you since you obviously don't care, you are just a man who wants his roar heard.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:21:00 PM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    DR,

    Batgirl is one of the Razorbaptists. Just thought I'd let you know! :)

    She is a real cool woman too!

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:02:00 PM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    Aw thanks Kevin.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:15:00 PM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    First, as I said toward the end of my post, it was a rant and again I apologize for the harsh tone and combative nature of my words. It was written out of frustration as I have gone to blog after blog and seen people take the opportunity to bash Southern Baptists on either their stance on Complimentarianism/Egalitarianism or homosexuality. And usually, the statements that are made reflect a belief that Southern Baptists are either anti-intellectual or weak on exegesis.

    And that is what I felt was reflected in Batgirl's first post. I am sorry for the way I stated what I did, but I still believe it is irresponsible to link the issue of Complimentarianism to slavery. No where in Scripture do we have anything resembling an endorsement of slavery. What we have are passages that deal with an institution that was engrossed in the culture.

    That is simply not the case in regards to women as elders. What we have there is a case of Paul speaking directly to the Church and affirming the view already held in Judaism, which was male headship in the church and home. And in 1 Tim 2:12-14 we have Paul making a theological argument, not a cultural one for such a practice. This is a far cry from the horrid prooftexting of the curse of Ham used in defense of slavery. And even in the case of slavery, we do not have anything close to a historical consensus on this issue resembling what we find among the Church Fathers, Reformers, Early Baptists, and Evangelicals on male headship. And that is why I brought up Church History, not to suggest that such was enough to prove Complimentarianism, but to show that slavery is a gross red herring to the argument against Egalitarianism (as well as to point out that when Batgirl says such is long overdue she is direct disagreement not just with Southern Baptists, but with essentially the entirety of the Historical Church).

    Now, as to why I asked the questions which I did about Batgirl's "authority" to speak on such things, I noticed on other sites (SBC Outpost on misused texts for one example) that many of those who post such gross mischaracterizations of the issue of Complimentarianism in the Church do so because they are not informed by either reading solid exegetical commentary by Complimentarians or by a careful study of Church History on the issue, but rather on either the prevaling cultural views or those of people around them (even as Al Mohler did before he was challenged by Carl F.H. Henry to reconsider his viewpoint). I gave Batgirl an opportunity to prove me wrong by asking if she had read any of the better sources of Complimentarian apologetic writings. And so again, I ask Batgirl, Have read any of these resources or studied the Complimentarian issue from the opposing perspective? And if so, why did you place it alongside of slavery and in doing so demean those who by conviction hold to such a position?

    Please forgive me that I made some assumptions about who you were and what you thought, but it seems that when you agree with the chief hermeneutical argument of the Egalitarian position that it naturally follows that you at least identify youself with the Egalitarian position and would likely disagree with the BF&M 2000 on women being disqualified for the senior pastorate. Am I wrong to believe such? And as I noted earlier, linking the endorsement of slavery to Complimentarianism is at the least irresponsible. And doing such seems to suggest you are either uninformed on the issue or beligerantly misleading your readers by propagandizing the issue. I opted for the first one, assuming you would prove me wrong if it was not true by answering my questions about your level of engagement on the subject.

    The fact remains, while I agree with many people like yourselves who are tired of the politics in the SBC, who lament the fact that those in power have often been uncharitable in mischaracterizing moderates and by banishing dissenters, and who desire to express Christlike love towards all men, I do not care to use the same means of mischaracterization, gossip, and propaganda to attack conservatives, especially those of the Refomed stripe (like myself) who are united on the issue of Complimentarianism. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to call people on the carpet, but making statements suggesting that those who hold to such doctrines of Complimentarianism are either bigots (like those who were pro-slavery) or lacking in education or scholarship (by making Complimentarians appear to be either ignorant of Scripture or poor scholars) is simply unacceptable. So while you are calling whoever is responsible for shopping this story on the carpet, I am calling to account those who would take such a story as an opportunity to demean fellow Southern Baptists who through careful study and conviction hold to not only a Biblically defensible position, but a historically grounded one as well. So that is why I responded to Batgirl's comment so harshly.

    So, again I apologize for my harsh tone, but not for my defense of what I consider to be an important doctrine of the Christian faith. I recognize, Batgirl, it is your right to disagree with the BF&M 2000 and Southern Baptists (as well as the historical-grammatical hermeneutical method), but I do not feel it is right to cast fellow Southern Baptists in with racists, bigots, anti-intellectuals, or backwoods pseudo-scholars. And whether you recognize it or not, your rhetoric in the above comments lends itself to that conclusion. If that is not what you meant to say, then I ask you to clarify yourself and set the record straight for your readers.

    Thank you to all the Razorbaptists for allowing me to express my views and again, I am sorry if I wrote in an offensive and combative tone. I hope that you will forgive me for allowing my passion on this subject to override my normally calm disposition.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:18:00 PM  
    Anonymous annie said...

    For the president of the SBC to change a once, but passionate, belief about which he was very public is news-worthy. The Bob Allen piece offers no editorial comment and is very interesting. It may even give encouragement to many who need to acknowledge changes in their own belief system. For anyone to think that people at the top of current SBC politics would approach Bob Allen for help in an attempted "smear" campaign, or believes that Bob would accommodate them, demonstrates a severe lack of understanding on the part of the person who believes that. Be thankful that sources like Ethics Daily and ABP exist so that we don't become simply indoctrinated by opinions of those who tend to rant and and try to force their own mindsets. The best sources are those that tell us the facts and allow us to come to our own conclusions.

    Friday, July 21, 2006 6:30:00 AM  
    Anonymous annie said...

    For the president of the SBC to change a once, but passionate, belief about which he was very public is news-worthy. The Bob Allen piece offers no editorial comment and is very interesting. It may even give encouragement to many who need to acknowledge changes in their own belief system. For anyone to think that people at the top of current SBC politics would approach Bob Allen for help in an attempted "smear" campaign, or believes that Bob would accommodate them, demonstrates a severe lack of understanding. Be thankful that sources like Ethics Daily and ABP exist so that we don't become simply indoctrinated by opinions of those who tend to rant and try to force their own mindsets. The best sources are those that tell us the facts and allow us to come to our own conclusions.

    Friday, July 21, 2006 6:36:00 AM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    DR, I can't say I read all that word for word... I am a busy mom... but, I will say that I DO think our stance on slavery can relate to our stance on women b/c I DO see a relationship b/t what was acceptable in Biblical times on both issues. I DO think the things written about women 2000 years ago have to be read in light of a woman's role at the time. I DON'T think women were meant to stay in the same position they were then.

    Friday, July 21, 2006 8:07:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    This will probably disqualify me for any denomination office but:

    When young ladies tell me they have been called by God to go into vocational ministry--I rejoice! Then they ask me where can they serve. I tell them anywhere God leads them. Who am I to tell someone where God is leading them. I believe we have to take culture into account.

    It is interesting to me how some will take the "women's" issues that are in the Bible dogmatically yet, they take something like alcohol that is not forbidden in the Bible and make it a law. (I don't drink either).

    Let's have consistancy!

    Friday, July 21, 2006 9:12:00 AM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    yeah... it was ok to drink alcohol then b/c their water wasn't purified... but its not ok now b/c it ruins lives... that cultural context is ok... but women?

    Friday, July 21, 2006 5:53:00 PM  
    Anonymous Jamie said...

    Good call Batgirl!

    Friday, July 21, 2006 8:59:00 PM  
    Blogger Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

    Batgirl is right on target here. She is extrememly conservative and very godly. She, like me, takes her scripture very seriously and that is why it is important that we must take the inerrant word and read it and interpret it carefully and correctly.

    Friday, July 21, 2006 10:32:00 PM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    Let me offer a couple of thoughts in small chunks so that you (Batgirl) can respond to them.

    1. I am concerned that no one else seems to see the heremeutical disconnect between slavery and eldership not being available to women, so let me reiterate my position.

    First, there is no passage in the NT that speaks to slavery in remotely any way that Paul speaks to women as elders in 1 Timothy 2. We find no legitimate endorsement of slavery in Scripture. And in fact, those who argued for such recognized this and argued for permissability in owning slaves, thus leading Southern Baptists to pull away because of what they believed was legalism in denying appointment to Southern missionaries. Second, one of the biggest problems with the pro-slavery advocates was that they equated slavery in the 1st century (the type Jesus spoke of and Onesimus likely participated in) and that of the 19th century. One was forced slavery and the other was volunteer slavery (selling oneself into slavery to pay debt or as an alternative to poverty -- this is more like the indentured servanthood system of the middle ages). Third, as I said above, the Church has not testified for 2000 years as to the legitimacy or advocation of forced slavery.

    None of these corresponds to the restriction of eldership to men spoken of in 1 Tim 2. First, we have a direct statement by Paul regarding a denial of teaching or exercising authority by women. Notice Paul's argument for why (signaled by the word "for" in the NASB, "gar" in Greek). He makes a historical-theological argument regarding Adam's priority in creation and the woman being deceived. If this was to be interpreted as strictly cultural, why did Paul make an argument based not on the prevaling culture, but on God's created order and the implications of the Fall? Second, we understand the context well here and it is witnessed througout Scripture where we find other passages teaching male headship (1 Cor. 14:34, Eph. 5:23) and througout Church History. Which leads us to point three, Church history is unanimous on male only eldership. The prevaling culture has changed, but does that mean the Church should?

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:03:00 AM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    BTW, I don't support Resolution #5 on alcohol and had my named pulled from consideration for a ministry position by a pastor just this past week because I said so when asked about alcohol on a questionairre. And I am a teetoler as well.

    And though I think the two issues are unrelated, I believe both fall under a proper understanding of Sola Scriptura as defined by the Refomers.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:19:00 AM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    Now, let me address Kevin's comment, offer a couple of closing thought and quit taking up your time in hopes that you use it to read Piper and Grudem's book and/or Kostenberger and Schreiner's.

    Kevin, you might be right that your statement here may in fact disqualify you for denomination office, but not because someone might become worried that you'd ordain women or because you might not be able to sign the BF&M, but because of this statement: "Who am I to tell someone where God is leading them." Kevin, you know fully well that the logic behind this statement is severely flawed and Scripturally indefensible.

    First, logically, you cannot maintain consistency here. Were a person to come to you and say God was leading them to start a ministry helping women get abortions, you would tell them God wasn't leading them there. Were a man to approach you and tell you that God was leading him to start a ministry to stippers that required him to spend time in strip clubs and with strippers one-on-one, you would tell him God wasn't leading him there. Were a person to tell you that God was leading them to get an abortion, engage in a homosexual relationship, commit adultery, physically assault someone, or any number of other things, you would tell them that God wasn't leading them to do that.

    Now, I am not trying to equate these actions (some of them abjectly sinful) with the situation of a woman telling you she is called to be an elder, but I am saying that as Christians, we must logically conclude that we do have a right and an obligations to tell people where God is and isn't leading them according to Scripture.

    Now, as to it being Scripturally indefensible, I would say that you would have to throw out at the least the entirety of the Pastoral Epistles plus some other selected passages from both the OT and NT in order to hold to this statement. First, as Christians we have a clear mandate to judge those within the Church (1 Cor. 5) according to the Word of God. We also are called to hold our brothers and sisters accountable. As men and women who hold to inerrancy, we are to view Scripture in accordance with 2 Tim 3:16. As a pastor, you are exhorted by Paul to guard your flock, to instruct, to teach, and to train. And also to watch your doctrine closely. So you are not only called to weigh in on where those in your flock are "being led by God", but you are required to do so.

    Now, certainly I think you do so. I am not suggesting that you need to get your act together and be a better pastor, nor am I judging your motives, current actions, or ministry. I think you probably often help your congregation discern what is the will of God for their lives. I just think you are being inconsistant in viewing this differently than those other issues. Now, it may be that you are not convinced by Scripture that women are excluded from eldership, which would be understandable as to why you would hedge on this hypothetical woman's calling, but it seems like you are not sure as to what your position is on this as a Southern Baptist. So I challenge you as well to read one of the two books mentioned above if you haven't already done so and peruse some articles over at the CBMW website. And there are plenty of books out there that offer the opposing view so that you can take a balanced approach.


    Now, closing thoughts:
    I am terribly unconvinced by the culture argument and I think some of you would be as well if you read some good Complimentarian commentaries and books like the ones I mentioned above. This looks to be an issue that is either going to unite us or divide us even further as Southern Baptists if honest debate is not taken up. I think it is inappopriate to link this issue with slavery or to suggest that Southern Baptists are misinformed about this issue, as there are numerous scholarly works defending Complimentarianism. I was disturbed at how the issue was handled by Batgirl because of the comparison to slavery and the nature of her post seeming to suggest either an ignorance or mishandling of the text by Southern Baptists (and consequentally other Evangelicals). I did not call into question either her conservatism or Godliness, just her logic, reasoning, and "authority" to speak on the subject in the way she did.

    So I apologize ARB if you thought I was questioning her conservativism or Godliness (though I would say that the cultural argument is a preeminent position among liberals who use the same logic to defend homosexuality, on which I am certain none of you would agree with them), as I assure you that neither crossed my mind. Finally, I agree that we ought to study and interpret the Scriptures carefully and I believe that has been done well. I am disappointed that it doesn't seem that anyone posting on this site has taken the opportunity to examine these arguments and deal with them honestly, instead of making assertions that I believe are unfair and inappropriate.

    Finally, I apologize if I offended anyone here, That was not my intention. I overreacted because I felt some of Batgirl's original comments were inappropriate and offensive to faithful Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals who have toiled over this issue and been consistently maligned by liberals and moderates. Seeing people I love and trust being mischaracterized over and over again for standing up for what they believe is truly the most Biblically defensible position eventually gets to me. I do hope that I have challenged you to reconsider your positions and to study the subject more fully. Thanks for giving me a forum to speak on your blog and for putting up with me even when I wasn't acting Christlike. May God continue to bless you and your ministry as you seek to glorify Him in all you do.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 1:39:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    DR,

    I think men need to lead. However, ordination isn't even mentioned in the Bible. I don't know why we make such a big deal about it. I'm not pushing for women senior pastors. I wouldn't be comfortable with that.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:21:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    Also,

    I support the BMF 2000!

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:40:00 AM  
    Blogger Batgirl said...

    Paul was speaking to problems in the church. Women in the ministry AT THAT TIME was a real problem b/c it confused others. Now that that confusion is gone... I don't think women in the ministry is a problem. What I was comparing was that the Bible says "slaves obey your master." (Eph 6:5 and Col 3:22) No, that wasn't the same "type" of slavery that we had in the 19th century, but neither is the marriage relationship.
    Women were the property of men at that time. But men were called to LOVE their wives... and AT THE TIME women were just the housekeepers and mothers of the man's children. Love wasn't necessarily in the picture, culturally.
    My "problem" with the view of women by some SBCers is more a concern with the marriage relationship and the poor theology that some women are preached and just accept. Sure, there are SOME men who are perfect and wonderful and never take advantage of their "rule." But I know many who do. I know women who so whole-heartedly accept the "obey your husband" that they do his every command no matter how miserable they are or how wrong he is.
    Its not a problem for me.... I just feel sorry for women who are not as blessed as I am when it comes to their marriage partner :) I am SO grateful my husband is consistent in his beliefs and doesn't choose to believe something just b/c he wants total control.
    DR, you sound extremly condescending in your posts. "Let me offer a couple of thoughts in small chunks so that you (Batgirl) can respond to them." I'm not an idiot.
    Did you think that maybe I don't care to respond? I have more to do in my day than read your rants and feel any need whatsoever to pull them apart bit by bit. I don't need to feel justified in my own beliefs by my (self appointed) ability to tear apart someone else's argument. I'm not arguing. That was never my intent. I don't see you being one to change your mind on this. You seem like one of those who thinks anyone who disagrees is ignorant, not looking at things "honestly" or just stupid... and I have no desire to converse with such people. You can just continue to walk along your high and mighty path and I'll just hope ours never cross.... and its not b/c of your belief. There is lots of room in my circle for people who believe differently on the non-essentials, including ones view of women, if they aren't condescending in that view.
    That is NOT why I blog.
    Oh, but I am so glad to learn you equate women in the ministry with homosexuality.
    sheesh

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:47:00 AM  
    Blogger D.R. said...

    Batgirl, I don't have time at the present to answer your post, but I think that you have totally misunderstood me in every way. I have tried to communicate in a way that I felt expressed both my passion for the subject, my irritation in your original post that suggested that this issue was on par with slavery (which I think I have shown it is not - if you don't want to deal with the argument, then that is your prerogative, but ignoring them is not going to make them go away) and making Southern Baptists who accept such look like ignorant rednecks. I believe you were the first on this blog to make statements that were condescending (go back and read your first post).

    And as far as equating this with homosexuality, I never did such a thing. I did, however, point out that liberals do and in doing so use the same reasoning and hermeneutic you have employed. You might not want to discuss this with me, but I am not the one to whom you must answer for your positions. You have shown that your original commments were not written with an eye toward scholarship and they were offensive not only to me, but to people who have poured their lives out in exegesis and study on this issue. This is your blog and I will respect that, but making such claims as you did, I felt you needed to be given a differerent perspective.

    I have tried not to be condescending since my original post. I am not the one who said, "DR, the only thing your rant did was make me feel sorry for your wife." That comment was out of bounds and yet you have not apologized for making such. I have apologized for being harsh at least three times. My comment about writing in small chunks was never meant to be demeaning. I said that out of a desire to point out 1) that I recognize you are busy and can't read everything that I would want to write, 2) It was unfair of me to assume such, and 3) I desire honest interaction with you on this (like you answering my arguments with logic and Scritpure rather than just either rehashing your points or writing the scathing post that you just did questioning my motives and my propriety, which I have tried hard not to do to you). I believe wholeheartedly in honest, reasoned debate. It is apparent that you do not. Thus, this will be my last post. Feel free to blast me if you think this is apprropriate, but I do not think doing so will change the fact that your postion is problematic and your reasoning flawed.

    I hope you will pick up those books and read them. Helping Southern Baptists to understand Scripture better is a passion of mine. I care about the authority of Scripture and that is why I wrote passionately about this. I am sorry that I have come across otherwise.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 8:18:00 AM  
    Anonymous JRW said...

    Batgirl is right. Historically, patriarchal societies have always had prohibitions against women in leadership roles. The watershed event in culturally Christian America, was women's suffrage. With the right to vote, women gained entry into the political life of the country that eventually led to women holding political office. Although Scripture was not overtly used to deny women access to high prestige careers, such as Law and Medicine, the deeply ingrained ideas of men's and women's roles in our society meant that only a few women were admitted to professional schools. Today, over fifty percent of students enrolled in professional schools are women. More women than men are enrolled in our colleges and universities. It is only in ultra conservative religious bodies such as the Roman church and the SBC, that the prohibition of women in leadership roles continues unabated. It is a fact that Scripture was misused to perpetuate slavery on the plantations of Southern states, and it is a fact that Scripture is being misused to perpetuate the exclusion of women from leadership roles in Baptist churches. The arc of history is passing over Southern Baptists on this issue, and the SBC's refusal to acknowledge God's call on women's lives, that they so eloquently express, will adversely affect the witness of Southern Baptists in the future.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:39:00 PM  
    Blogger GeneMBridges said...

    Yes, "at that time" there was a particular problem in the church with respect to women, but "at that time" Gnosticism was also a problem in the church. Should we, because Paul was addressing problems "at that time" with respect to the rise of certain heresies like Gnosticism and Judaism assert that what Paul said on those subjects is equally confined to "that time?" So, the appeal to the contemporary situation only goes so far, and it cuts both ways. It does not self-select for a more or less enlightened view on this from a modern perspective.

    What folks discussing this seem to forget most often is the Trinitarian arrangement of the human race / family, marriage, even the world, and Paul grounds his arguments about church polity and the home in both the creation order and the Trinitarian image. Folks discussing this spend time in the NT on male/female roles, etc. all the time, but they miss the bigger picture. The ultimate question the egalitarian must answer is whether or not the egalitarian model best matches a Trintarian arrangement. The complementarian says that the egalitarian model is reflective a modal image, not a Trinitarian image. Now, you can say that this issue is a second or third order doctrine, but at the same time, you cannot forget that each doctrine underwrites the other. Baptist are notoriously ecclectic these days. Would it hurt for them to actually opt for a consistent doctrinal structure. One doctrine underwrites the other. The doctrines of God and Christ underwrites anthropology, soteriology, and ecclesiology, and that includes the Trinity and its expression over each. The question to answer is whether the egalitarian view or the complementarian view has the horsepower to do that consistently without verging into modalism.

    Here's a sample:

    The Trinity: One God of one substances in 3 Persons, not 3 modes, not 3 gods.

    We already know that Paul’s Epistles structure the government of the church around Christ’s relation to the Church with the Father over Christ in a Christocracy. He further indexes the husband-wife (and child) relation to the relation between Christ and the church.

    What’s being missed here, from a complementarian perspective on the egalitarian arrangement, is the connection this has to the Trinity. Egalitarianism blurs the distinctions into a modal arrangement.

    So: Father, Son, Spirit maps onto Father, Christ, church (the Spirit indwells the church).

    Further it maps onto the family / the human race at creation.

    The Father is that Person of the Trinity who possesses all the unique qualities related to “paternity.” The Son possesses those related to “filiation.” The Spirit possesses those related to “spiration.” 3 distinct Persons = One God Notice here the, unlike the Father and Son, the identity of the Spirit is less clearly expressed with gender.

    The family arrangement corresponds: men/husbands (paternity); women/wives (filiation); children (spiration). (notice also here that children can be male or female and the Spirit, though referred to as “he” is less clearly masculine in the expression of identity compared to the Father and Son). 3 distinct persons, 2 distinct genders, corresponding to the 2 Persons that reveal themselves in masculine terms = one human family/ race.

    Now, in the church, this would work out as:

    Elders-male-instruction and administration (paternity)

    Deacons-males or females (filiation).

    Members-males and females-all other work not associated with the functions of elder and deacons and proceeding forth into the world (spiration)

    So, we have a Trinitarian arrangement that recognizes not only the roles but the distinctiveness of the 3 persons. Simply put, the best that an egalitarian model can hope for is a modal arrangement or, at worst, a triad, but not a Trinity. If one wishes to hold to egalitarianism, one must demonstrate how the Trinity is best modeled in the home and in church polity. I have yet to see it done.

    Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:02:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i just dont understand why this seems to suprise folks, its been going on for 25 plus yrs

    Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:38:00 PM  

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