Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do Egalitarians Really Think Women Are Special?

A poll was taken by Dane Ortlund who writes the blog, Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology, among several prominent theologians and posted the results on his blog. Most of the comments in the meta have been helpful. (Many have been anti-Christian trolls, and sometimes particularly vulgar. I haven’t checked to see how many of these have been deleted.) But one or two comments have been made by egalitarians pointing out that none of the theologians polled were women.

Some are not aware of what egalitarians and complementarians are much less the theological differences between them. I’ll not go into detail here. Dave Miller is writing a series on this where he lays out the arguments of both sides. I’ll only define them quickly and give you my stand on them.

Complementarians believe that God created men and women with equal human value and likewise have equal value under grace. However, God also created them differently to fill different roles, and this distinction is part of His revelation to us.

Egalitarians believe that men and women are created equal in every way and that there are no ministerial distinctions between them mandated or even suggested by scripture. They believe that any place in scripture that seems to indicate a difference is only because the culture at the time either clouded the mind of the writer or made it necessary to assent to aspects of the culture and has nothing to do with cultures that have no such distinction.

I’m a complementarian. Given clear hermeneutical guidelines, there is no other conclusion. To go the route of egalitarianism requires formulating a hermeneutic around a desire to reach that conclusion. Therefore, the conclusion for egalitarians precedes the argument. That’s eisegesis, not exegesis, and the stuff of poor theology at best and heresy at worst.

So egalitarians have commented in the meta of Dane’s blog wondering where the female theologians are. This is part of the issue with communication and argumentation between people of different presuppositions. In short, the tendency is to frame differences in the presuppositions as though they are an incongruence in your opponent’s position by evaluating their position as though they are subject to your sensibilities. Good polemicists with truth on their side know how to avoid this.

That aside, the one thing that is evident if you evaluate an egalitarian as an egalitarian is that if men and women are assumed to be the same, there is no reason to deliberately seek the viewpoints of both as though you would get a usefully diverse answer.

Only the complementarian view assigns women a special place distinct from that of men. In this case, however, theology is the same whether a woman or a man does it.

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home