What I CAN and CANNOT Live With as a Pastor by Mark Dever

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Herald

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Sorry Bill, but this is one of those threads that moves so fast I can't keep up.

I agree with those who have said they would die on the hill of male headship before the hill of baptism. Male headship is explicit whereas baptism requires a great deal of systematics.

Ken, but that's not the issue. Some Presbyterians in here are taking umbrage with Mark Dever for seemingly going soft on the female elder topic while taking a strong stand on baptism.

I view Dever's article as a collection of thoughts on what he could and could not tolerate if he were to take over a new church. I am going to paraphrase his comments on female elders:

"If I took the pastorate of a church that had female elders, I don't think I could do it for very long unless I was able to convince them to step down. Come to think of it, I probably wouldn't take the position at all. Any church that has had female elders for a lengthy time probably is beyond hope."

There are many different types of sin in the ecclesiastical arena. The Apostle Paul wrote a few letters on that point. He pronounced an anathema on the Judaizers in Galatia. Paul's letters were written partly to correct false teaching and practice. His hope was that these churches would correct those errors. That's the vein in which I'm taking Dever's article. To paraphrase again:

"If I took that position it would be to change their sinful practices. On second thought, who am I kidding? I probably won't take it because it's a lost cause."

If Mark Dever were to write an article on female eldership, I suspect you would not have a problem understanding his disdain for the practice.
 
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