Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Aimee Byrd)

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I said the plumber was teaching S.S. (not astronomy); but on the same rubric used to stifle some lady, perhaps he should stick to his knitting? Mocking the "housewife theologian" is a tactic that backfires.

Is the list of "older women's" teaching topics exhaustive? Is that Paul's intent? Of course not; yet these ought to be taught, and no sidestepping them to get into other topics is proper. But supposing they are being faithfully taught, can anything else be covered? Why not? Women's Bible studies cover books of the Bible, doctrine, all sorts of topics.

Does not the pastor (Titus) have the duty to cover these topics himself, if there are no suitable "older women" to teach them? Definitely, and he must also teach the rest of the whole counsel of God according to his station. This is only a fraction of his "list." These "Eight vital subjects" are of special concern for the wise, older women to teach the impressionable younger women who look up to them. But they are by no means the last word on spiritual instruction, woman-to-woman.

And frankly, I'm going to be listening to the older woman teaching the younger, in order to be taught how to do my job better, when there aren't women of that kind around. Who better to learn from?

It is not mocking. Neither is it a tactic which fails if her teaching on manhood/womanhood is simply bad/flawed.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I honestly don't know, and I am generally on the cynical side myself. But to openly question the motives of her co hosts without proof is something that makes me cringe. My personal guess is that Trueman was a pastor, husband, on staff at WTS, and writer (his blog, First Things, etc) and never bothered to read Grudem's ST. Why would he read that ST, with all the other books he has to read? I am not sure anybody caught the problem for a long time.

And rather than calling it finding a chink in the armor of loathsome complementarians, let's call it what it was- finding a serious erroneous/heretical repudiation of the classic creeds and confessions about the trinity with regard to power, authority, rule. I had no idea Aimee was the one to catch it and blow that open, in which case I say thank God for her astute and perceptive insight in bringing it out into the open. I can see why she might struggle with some cynicism herself about men, if all the Reformed Big Dogs missed it and she was the first one to catch it. Interesting, and speaks well of her mind and thinking. But again, I don't know anything about all the inner workings of the people involved; you could be correct. I saw initially with Pete Enns how his dearest friends at WTS defended him, until it was obvious he had gone off the rails.

To be fair, I read right through Grudem's Systematic Theology, including the ESS parts and simply thought, "hmm" and moved along and didn't catch the error, either (I think I was just trying to get through it, since I don't read much, Stephen says).

If Byrd is the one who first caught this, then hats off to her.
 
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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
My personal guess is that Trueman was a pastor, husband, on staff at WTS, and writer (his blog, First Things, etc) and never bothered to read Grudem's ST. Why would he read that ST, with all the other books he has to read?

I'm only going to respond to this because it's funny to me.

Why would Trueman read and interact with Grudem? I don't know, maybe because he's a scholar and Grudem's work is only the most influential/widely used conservative theology text in this entire country... and since MANY if not MOST who come to Reformed seminaries first grew up in Calvinistic evangelical churches. I don't know, maybe that's why.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm only going to respond to this because it's funny to me.

Why would Trueman read and interact with Grudem? I don't know, maybe because he's a scholar and Grudem's work is only the most influential/widely used conservative theology text in this entire country... and since MANY if not MOST who come to Reformed seminaries first grew up in Calvinistic evangelical churches. I don't know, maybe that's why.
I have no idea if you are right that he read it, saw ESS, recognized it as error, and kept mum. But he would have known Grudem's ST is Baptist and Charismatic and just not been interested. I would prefer to think the best at this point.

I don't bother to read some of the most influential books (DVDs, youtube videos, etc) out there. People have tried to get me to know the wondrous blessing of "Jesus Calling". Several people have tried to shove Joel Rosenberg down my throat, and Jonathan Cahn's the Harbinger. I've been sent Lance Wallnau and his prophetic revelations. "Oh watch this Beth Moore DVD" ...I could gag.

Maybe Trueman feels the way I do- thanks but no thanks. Not that I put Grudem in that category, but I don't apologize for my pickiness when it comes to what is popular.

Cynical people as a rule tend to be discerning instead of gullible....so I can't dismiss your thinking. I just hope it is wrong : )
 

wcf_linux

Puritan Board Freshman
I would say this is true, even in the NAPARC church context unfortunately. A prominent example is the row about the serious error promulgated by the recently published “Beyond Authority and Submission” and raved about, and even blurbed by certain well known folks in NAPARC.

A lot of public pushback was simply explained away with the explanation of “starting a conversation.”




Perg, you’re nailing it here. I think the question needs to be asked, is the admonition of Titus being viewed with a hermeneutic of suspicion, and if so, why and under what influence?

I said the plumber was teaching S.S. (not astronomy); but on the same rubric used to stifle some lady, perhaps he should stick to his knitting? Mocking the "housewife theologian" is a tactic that backfires.

Is the list of "older women's" teaching topics exhaustive? Is that Paul's intent? Of course not; yet these ought to be taught, and no sidestepping them to get into other topics is proper. But supposing they are being faithfully taught, can anything else be covered? Why not? Women's Bible studies cover books of the Bible, doctrine, all sorts of topics.

Does not the pastor (Titus) have the duty to cover these topics himself, if there are no suitable "older women" to teach them? Definitely, and he must also teach the rest of the whole counsel of God according to his station. This is only a fraction of his "list." These "Eight vital subjects" are of special concern for the wise, older women to teach the impressionable younger women who look up to them. But they are by no means the last word on spiritual instruction, woman-to-woman.

And frankly, I'm going to be listening to the older woman teaching the younger, in order to be taught how to do my job better, when there aren't women of that kind around. Who better to learn from?

Applied thought, especially in theology, is actually more advanced than a generalized understanding of theory. Don’t get me wrong, one can write at length on “practical” matters without saying much of use. But to apply theory, you have to know theory as well as whatever you’re applying theory to.

I can talk about being a better server jockey as a Christian, but my insight will be limited by how well I get, inter alia, the concept of vocation.* And vocation is rooted in creation, providence, and Christian liberty. That brings in doctrine of God, doctrine of man, and Christology (which brings in everything else). I can’t be a “Linux server jockey theologian” of any usefulness without being a “theologian” first, to the limit of my practical capacity. Christian theology is just too interconnected.

I think a similar notion applies to being a housewife theologian.

* And I thought I understood vocation before I dropped the doctoral program and my presbytery intern status, but oh boy I didn’t!
 

User20004000

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mocking the "housewife theologian" is a tactic that backfires.​

I didn’t take the gentleman as knocking the title. I do agree that the title doesn’t imply that she must theologize on being a wife. Whether she’s a theologian of any note I need not comment about, but the observation that we’re all theologians seems to sidestep any legitimate question regarding the assumed title let alone her ability to write or speak on theological matters.

Is the list of older women's" teaching topics exhaustive?

No, but perhaps it’d be a good place to start.

As I asked Doug Wilson for years, why is Reformed not enough? Same sort of thing here. If she’s not rediscovering some lost Christian doctrine or practice, then she’s breaking new ground. Obviously she’s not rediscovering anything old. So, at best she’s breaking new ground. I sincerely doubt that. I sincerely doubt she’s aiding the church in her (AB’s) efforts to help us recover from (our misconceptions) of biblical manhood and womanhood. At the very least, her foils like John Piper are highly selective. I can only imagine why that would be the case.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
[ContraMundum:]
Mocking the "housewife theologian" is a tactic that backfires.​

I didn’t take the gentleman as knocking the title. I do agree that the title doesn’t imply that she must theologize on being a wife. Whether she’s a theologian of any note I need not comment about, but the observation that we’re all theologians seems to sidestep any legitimate question regarding the assumed title let alone her ability to write or speak on theological matters.
This is the exact quote that I had in mind when I penned the first (not the one above) comment,
"If she WERE a "Housewife Theologian" wouldn't she be writing more about how to be a better housewife?"​

If I had the habit of connecting some other piece of my identity (past) with my present pursuits, I might call myself: Foot-Soldier Pastor. So, if I REALLY was such a thing, I better be writing lots of articles for servicemen? Not necessarily, because the reference is to some aspect of who I am, as formed by Providence.

My emphasis would be on the "pastor" part; and in the case of AB, her emphasis appears to be on the "theologian" part. So, a comment about her better off focusing on something suitable to "housewifery" reads like a "stay in your lane!" statement.

Don't think I got that one wrong.
[ContraMundum:]
Is the list of older women's" teaching topics exhaustive?

No, but perhaps it’d be a good place to start.

As I asked Doug Wilson for years, why is Reformed not enough? Same sort of thing here. If she’s not rediscovering some lost Christian doctrine or practice, then she’s breaking new ground. Obviously she’s not rediscovering anything old. So, at best she’s breaking new ground. I sincerely doubt that. I sincerely doubt she’s aiding the church in her (AB’s) efforts to help us recover from (our misconceptions) of biblical manhood and womanhood. At the very least, her foils like John Piper are highly selective. I can only imagine why that would be the case.
Maybe there are already enough books on that? And who is to say that AB isn't doing all that's expected of her in that department? Anyone here her pastor, who can assure you who are interested: "She's got it covered."

No, in the end it's about wanting to make sure that AB--and all the others--"Know their place."

Maybe, what some women need--who are both frustrated with perceived misogyny, or baptized traditionalism; AND discontented with the BadTheology responses of a number of non-Reformed and quasi-Reformed and even some reputed Reformed types--is a reason to stay Reformed, stay holding on to biblical limits on women's ordination (because God says so), stay the good course while rebutting the stupid stuff.

Maybe AB and a few others will help them do that. But if she has to spend a significant amount of her energy fighting off the accusations that she's walking the well-worn path to Women's Lib, Ecclesiastical Style... that's a sorry distraction in every unsubstantiated claim that she's the one propagating BadTheology.

I think a lot of people just want her/them to shut up and go away.
 

User20004000

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is the exact quote that I had in mind when I penned the first (not the one above) comment,
"If she WERE a "Housewife Theologian" wouldn't she be writing more about how to be a better housewife?"​

If I had the habit of connecting some other piece of my identity (past) with my present pursuits, I might call myself: Foot-Soldier Pastor. So, if I REALLY was such a thing, I better be writing lots of articles for servicemen? Not necessarily, because the reference is to some aspect of who I am, as formed by Providence.

My emphasis would be on the "pastor" part; and in the case of AB, her emphasis appears to be on the "theologian" part. So, a comment about her better off focusing on something suitable to "housewifery" reads like a "stay in your lane!" statement.

Don't think I got that one wrong.
Maybe there are already enough books on that? And who is to say that AB isn't doing all that's expected of her in that department? Anyone here her pastor, who can assure you who are interested: "She's got it covered."

No, in the end it's about wanting to make sure that AB--and all the others--"Know their place."

Maybe, what some women need--who are both frustrated with perceived misogyny, or baptized traditionalism; AND discontented with the BadTheology responses of a number of non-Reformed and quasi-Reformed and even some reputed Reformed types--is a reason to stay Reformed, stay holding on to biblical limits on women's ordination (because God says so), stay the good course while rebutting the stupid stuff.

Maybe AB and a few others will help them do that. But if she has to spend a significant amount of her energy fighting off the accusations that she's walking the well-worn path to Women's Lib, Ecclesiastical Style... that's a sorry distraction in every unsubstantiated claim that she's the one propagating BadTheology.

I think a lot of people just want her/them to shut up and go away.

Bruce,

I assumed the quote you had in mind. I also agreed with you that the label Housewife Theologian doesn’t imply what the other brother implied, that she should only theologize on housewife things. What I’m not prepared to say with you is that he mocked the label.

No, in the end it's about wanting to make sure that AB--and all the others--"Know their place."​

Well, knowing our place is always under good regulation. The question, however, is as I see it two-fold. What is one’s place? And secondly, does one have the theological chops (assuming that he or she is indeed functioning in their place).
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
The variety of feminism which complementarianism is reacting against is a local, American variety. It seems that feminism is a more polarising force in the States than it is elsewhere, and the gender wars there are more fierce and toxic than elsewhere. So then the vision of wholesome marriage and masculinity/femininity which complementarianism holds out owes more to the traditional version which that local feminism despises. In the churches it strikes me that the whole debate is much more fraught in the US. Christian men speak dismissively and disrespectfully about Christian women in a way that I don't think I've encountered in Scotland or England, and that seems to be okay because the only important thing is not to be a feminist.

C. S. Lewis actually cites something similar before feminism really took hold -- he got the impression that American men bully and demean women much more than in England. He cited an entitled attitude of 'I have inferiors but no superiors' stemming from a mix of political ideas with gender roles.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
For what it is worth, I did a bit of google searching. The ESS debate did indeed break on Aimee's blog, although it was a post by Goligher.

https://www.reformation21.org/blogs/the-eternal-subordination-of-t.php

"Alastair Roberts
June 16, 2016
The most recent eruption of the eternal subordination of the Son controversy began with a couple of provocative posts by Liam Goligher, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, over on Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian blog."

Goligher is good guy, Scottish, and no doubt was friendly with Trueman. Folks from CCEF and WTS went down to 10th Pres. For all we know he caught the error first, talked to Carl, and they asked Aimee to post the article. Maybe Aimee saw it first, talked to Carl, he talked to Goligher. At any rate, make no mistake, the leadership in breaking this with precise theological writing is Goligher. And if you question motives, I would say like Paul, that whether from good motives or bad, the gospel ( ie the true Jesus of orthodoxy) is being preached so be glad about that.

I also saw this, and it is from May 2019 so I think if you read it you get an idea of where she is coming from. For one thing, she really expected retractions from those in error about the trinity, but it didn't happen. I wasn't comfortable when I started reading this but I was more so by the end....I think we have to understand the semantics and how much of her gripe is with ESS.

https://www.reformation21.org/mos/h...ns-rebranding-of-ess-is-not-thunderously-good

I liked this paragraph:

Rather than reduce God’s word and say woman is created second because she is subordinate, we need to see the whole redemptive story God is telling here. Woman was created second from man’s very side as his glory, meaning, when Adam sees Eve, he sees his telos as the bride of Christ, the church flowing out of Christ’s wounded side.

I have believed that for years. Adam slept, his side was opened, his wife was created. That is a prophetic picture of the second Adam who slept in death, his side was pierced and blood and water flowed out, and his bride was created.

To try and reduce men-women just to a hierarchy based on bad doctrine is wrong.

Strachan spells it out for us, saying that this particular divine design, this vital order, is grounded in theistic ontology itself…the very bedrock of Christian theology. He is not talking about processions here, since he made himself clear that hierarchy is divine order. ESS is “divine order.” Divine order is ESS.

I'm pretty conservative myself, I have a great husband, and I have no inner feelings of longing for more ministry or teaching, and this second link does raise a few questions about what path Amy is on long term about when and how women teach. Time will tell. But I think without the context of her pis*ed off reaction to ESS, pardon my Greek, she cannot be understood or critiqued properly. And for that she has my deepest sympathy.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I think we have to understand the semantics and how much of her gripe is with ESS.
Only, that's not what she was writing about in Why Can't We Be Friends? or Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Which makes any discussion about that here little more than a red herring.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
C. S. Lewis actually cites something similar before feminism really took hold -- he got the impression that American men bully and demean women much more than in England. He cited an entitled attitude of 'I have inferiors but no superiors' stemming from a mix of political ideas with gender roles.
I tend to doubt this, but who knows. It's possible he was right. Which would mean Lewis was a better student of American sociology than he was of the Bible.
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
But I think without the context of her pis*ed off reaction to ESS, pardon my Greek, she cannot be understood or critiqued properly.

I mostly agree. While issues of patriarchy and quasi-Arian views on the Trinity stand or fall separately, in America, at least, those promoting ESS used it to also justify their view of complementarianism.

Note what I am saying. I am not saying that complementarianism is wrong because the people promoting it often have bad Trinitarianism. That would be a logical fallacy.

Not to say I agree with Amy. As I said earlier, she is overreacting to a previous overreaction (with bad Trinitarianism) to feminism.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Only, that's not what she was writing about in Why Can't We Be Friends? or Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Which makes any discussion about that here little more than a red herring.
I think that is your male brain full of compartments talking. We women have one big room and it is all jumbled together. If we are upset about one thing, everything else is related to it somehow. There are all kinds of studies out there on how men compartmentalize where as women stir everything into one big pot. I don't know, maybe Aimee is less that way than most women, but I bet until CBMW recants the error it is going to color everything she says on the subject. Just my guess based on long experience with plenty of women. I could be wrong.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I think that is your male brain full of compartments talking. We women have one big room and it is all jumbled together. If we are upset about one thing, everything else is related to it somehow. There are all kinds of studies out there on how men compartmentalize where as women stir everything into one big pot. I don't know, maybe Aimee is less that way than most women, but I bet until CBMW recants the error it is going to color everything she says on the subject. Just my guess based on long experience with plenty of women. I could be wrong.

Does CBMW still hold to ESS? If so, then Byrd is right to keep pushing.

Has Grudem ever revised or apologized for his views?

I think somebody above asked why Trueman and others keep sticking by Byrd's side and endorse her despite some of her bad stances. Perhaps it is because she is right on this topic. The Trinity, after all, is a lot more important than variations in gender roles.
 

User20004000

Puritan Board Sophomore
I mostly agree. While issues of patriarchy and quasi-Arian views on the Trinity stand or fall separately, in America, at least, those promoting ESS used it to also justify their view of complementarianism.

Note what I am saying. I am not saying that complementarianism is wrong because the people promoting it often have bad Trinitarianism. That would be a logical fallacy.

Not to say I agree with Amy. As I said earlier, she is overreacting to a previous overreaction (with bad Trinitarianism) to feminism.

I have another take. I’d be interested in your thoughts. The ESS debate was an old one within relatively contemporary times (even before 1990). I’m not persuaded that the debate resurfaced in summer of 2016 strictly over concerns about the Trinity. For various reasons I’m more inclined to think that the equality of women and what that meant to some could have been the driving factor.

Anyway, what one side missed is that what distinguishes persons of the Trinity is paternity, generation, and procession, not roles of authority and submission. The Father is the Father of the Son because the Father begets the Son.

The other side wasn’t without their issues either. They didn’t seem to acknowledge that the Son’s submission is fitting precisely because of the filial identity of the Son. I think that oversight gets to the heart of the complementarian discussion.

What’s often missing in this discussion is that “A and B complement each other” does not address questions of how and why. If the husband assumes a complementary role to his wife, can those roles be switched? “Roles” aren’t typically permanent. Roles can even be arbitrary.

The point of the matter is, there are congruous personal complements within marriage that “roles” terminology eclipses if not conflates. (This principle applies in some sense to the Trinity too. Could the Father have become man in redemption, or is there something fitting about the begotten-Son becoming man? That would be my only reference to Trinity in this discussion. Equality doesn’t preclude personal differences and ordering of operations).

If these marital responsibilities flow from creation, we’d expect to see some resemblance of these complements outside church and home. By grace, we still do.
 
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C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I think that is your male brain full of compartments talking.
While granting these differences between men and women, this statement is lazy and unhelpful. Something is either germane to a discussion or it isn't. If we are discussing what Byrd has said in a book that makes no reference to the ESS controversy, then it isn't germane. Aimee Byrd being right on ESS doesn't give her a pass from being criticized if she takes positions in other areas that are wrong.
 
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a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I tend to doubt this, but who knows. It's possible he was right. Which would mean Lewis was a better student of American sociology than he was of the Bible.

Yes, I was calling him in as a cultural observer not as a Scriptural interpreter. My own biggest desire is not that we should necessarily agree on his take or some of these other points, but that our disagreements should be without double standards (ie, holding one side responsible for accuracy and not throwing out red herrings while supporting inaccuracy and red herrings on the other), and with mutual respect.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Anyway, what one side missed is that what distinguishes persons of the Trinity is paternity, generation, and procession, not roles of authority and submission. The Father is the Father of the Son because the Father begets the Son.

The other side wasn’t without their issues either. They didn’t seem to acknowledge that the Son’s submission is fitting precisely because of the filial identity of the Son. I think that oversight gets to the heart of the complementarian discussion.

I agree. The Ware-Grudem crowd rightly understood that there is an order in the Trinity. For the Patristics, this functioned as a grammar: To the Father in the Son by the Holy Spirit. The fathers basically left it at that.

On the other hand, I don't think the ESS crowd was especially clear. I'm reading Ware right now, so I will defer further judgment.
 
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