"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Semi-Arianism Masquerading as Orthodoxy: A Baptist Scholar on the Trinity Weighs in On "Eternal Subordination"

Contrary to the views of a handful of Baptist Identity bloggers, Southern Baptist blogs can be a source of beneficial debate within the Southern Baptist Convention. Evidence is in the the following email, sent to me after the writer read Growing Semi-Arianism in the SBC The email is from Dr. Curtis Freeman, Director of the Baptist House of Studies, Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. His words, profound and direct, need no commentary from me.

October 8, 2008

Dear Wade:


Thank you for taking up this issue of the Trinity. Getting a Trinitarian conversation going among Baptists is more important than one might first expect given that most Baptists these days are, and for some time have been, functionally Unitarians. For example, in The Baptist Hymnal (1991) out of 666 hymns only 20 are Trinitarian (a ratio of 1:33), but 268 of these 666 hymns are Christological (a ratio of 1:2.5). Baptist worship in the South clearly tilts toward Unitarianism of the Second Person (i.e., a faith in Jesus alone to the near exclusion of the Father and the Spirit), just as on occasions in the past it has leaned in the direction of Unitarianism of the First Person (i.e. a faith in the Father alone with a subordinate role for the Son and the Spirit). To put the matter pointedly, most Baptists are Unitarians that simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity. Non-Trinitarian faith is not necessarily anti-Trinitarian, yet it is reason for concern nonetheless.

All this may seem counter intuitive, but it's true. I often tell incoming students at Duke that they will hear the Trinity invoked more in the first week than in their entire life in Baptist churches. They later surprisingly tell me that they thought I was exaggerating at first, but after a week they came to see that I may have underplayed the way in which our community draws from the life of the Trinity in prayer, worship, study, and living. It has thus become one of my life goals to help the wider Baptist family retrieve a faith and practice grounded in the life of the Triune God in whom we live, and move, and have our very being. To the end that your conversation has served to raise that awareness I am grateful.

However, like you, I am concerned about embracing a Trinitarian doctrine that is not well grounded or tested. For several years now this new doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son (ESS) has been surfacing among Baptists and other evangelicals. As I've read some of the replies on your blog and other blogs criticizing you, I've encountered the very odd claim that ESS is the historic doctrine of orthodoxy. A simple fact check of the history of the doctrine of the Trinity will reveal that ESS is not a historic doctrine at all, but a very new one. Nor is it part of the received wisdom of the Christian tradition, but in fact is a matter of contemporary speculation. Doctrines do change, and sometimes innovations are received as wisdom. But ESS has yet to be tested and proved by any but a very small and unrepresentative group. The doctrine of the Trinity doesn’t belong to Baptists or Evangelicals. It is the faith shared by all Christians. And until ESS has been tested by the whole Church, it seems prudent to wait.

One of the major concerns about ESS is the supposed distinction between functional and ontological subordination. While it is true that the incarnate Son in his earthly life was submissive to the Father, the suggestion that this subordination extends to his eternal exalted state is worrisome. As Kevin Giles has argued, very persuasively I think, this appears to be a new iteration of Arianism. To be fair to the proponents of ESS, they are not Arians in one important respect: they believe in the Son’s eternal generation (the aspect or Origen’s thought appropriated in the Creed of the Council of Nicaea, “eternally begotten of the Father”), but they also believe in his eternal subordination (the aspect of Origen’s thought not appropriated by the Nicene defenders of homoousios). I suppose that makes them only semi-Arians. [Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Harmon for this qualification.] The burden of proof, however, is on those proposing this new doctrine of ESS to show that it is not a new form of an old heresy. I’ve yet to be convinced. Until this is worked out it seems wise to wait until this new doctrine of ESS has been thoroughly examined and tested.

Beyond the question of the orthodoxy of ESS, which is still very much in question, I am suspicious of the not so subtle political agenda of ESS which is attracted to Trinitarian theology, not as an account of the life in which we live and move and have our being, but as an argument that underwrites complementarian views. I am just as suspicious of those who use Trinitarian doctrine to support the complementarian social agenda as those who engage in social Trinitarian speculations to underwrite feminist convictions. Miroslav Volf, one of our best Free Church theologians on the Trinity, has called for caution in the use of such speculative Trinitarian theology which can easily be co-opted by ideologies of the right and the left. His cautionary word seems wise regarding ESS. I am suspicious that the real energy behind this new ESS doctrine is really a thinly veiled attempt to elevate complementarianism to de fide orthodoxy, so that complementarian gender relations are set forth as the only acceptable model for Christians and that egalitarianism is heresy equivalent to denying the Trinity. This utilitarian use of Trinitarian doctrine is (in my opinion) based on dubious scholarship and bad theology.

I share the goal of helping our wider Baptist family retrieve the wisdom of the vast storehouse of orthodoxy. As bad as functional Unitarianism is, however, the possible embrace of a semi-Arianism masquerading as orthodoxy used for political ends may be even worse.

Yours in a common faith,


Curtis


Curtis W. Freeman
Research Professor of Theology
Director of the Baptist House of Studies
Duke Divinity School
Box 90966
Durham, NC 27708-0966

The one sentence from Dr. Curtis Freeman's email that succinctly states the point I am making about the rise of eternal subordination in the Southern Baptist Convention is this one:

I am suspicious that the real energy behind this new ESS doctrine is really a thinly veiled attempt to elevate complementarianism to de fide orthodoxy, so that complementarian gender relations are set forth as the only acceptable model for Christians and that egalitarianism is heresy equivalent to denying the Trinity.

I shall allow Dr. Al Mohler's own words to frame Dr. Freeman's sentence above:
"The misjudgment of true Fundamentalism is the belief that all disagreements concern first-order doctrines. Thus, third-order issues are raised to a first-order importance, and Christians are wrongly and harmfully divided."
Amen, Dr. Mohler. When the "role" of women vs. men is set on an equal plane with the doctrine of the Trinity, then we Christians are wrongly and harmfully divided. May we resist any and all attempts to manipulate our understanding of the Trinity to justify our Biblical understanding of gender.

For further study on the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, read Dr. Freeman's God in Three Persons: Baptist Unitarianism and the Trinity

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

255 comments:

1 – 200 of 255   Newer›   Newest»
Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

I believe it was Edmund Burke that said something about evil triumphing where enough good men do nothing. Using twisted scriptural interpretation to advance personal bents, i.e. women must always be subordinate to men, qualifies as evil, to me.

Thanks for not doing nothing.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

These people (BI) and others want to justify their views of women by twisting scriptures and name calling. Those tactics worked well before the days of blogging, but they will not work this time.

BTW it appears Peter is the BI spokesperson. wink-wink

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wade for your blog and dedication to justice.

I am not a baptist, southern or otherwise. But I respect baptists and fellowship with baptists who live near me.

AND I understand that when one part of the body suffers, every part suffers. So I know that what goes on in your denomination WILL have influence on the rest of the body of Christ.

Mara Reid

Cindy said...

God bless Dr. Curtis Freeman! Thank You.

God bless Wade Burleson!

God bless the SBC!

(And God bless he BI folks, though they might not like the blessings in the short term...)

How sweet this is to my soul.

Anonymous said...

"AND I understand that when one part of the body suffers, every part suffers. So I know that what goes on in your denomination WILL have influence on the rest of the body of Christ. Mara Reid"


AMEN !

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Dr. Freeman seems 'very different' from Dr. Mohler. Wade, you compare their two statements. What jumps out is that Mohler has shot a hole in his own argument about subordination being a primary issue.

Dr. Freeman seems erudite and has an integrity in his argument that is much more trustworthy. He sees that the Trinity is basic doctrine: perhaps the most basic. Little room in Christian tradition for argument about the nature of the Trinity.

Complimentarianism is strong enough on its own that it does not need to rip up the doctrine of the Trinity for support.

Submission advocates know they don't have that strong of a case and the Trinity is fair game for them: the ends justify the means.

Is there any record of Mohler and Freeman ever debating?

J.

Thy Peace said...

Some commentators have mentioned about BI people twisting scripture to fit their agendas. Is it not sin to do that? Or does God look the other way, for twisting interpretations of scriptures?

Can someone clarify this for me, please?

Revelation 22:18-19 (New International Version)

Wade Burleson said...

J.

Next time I visit with Dr. Freeman, he suggested that Duke possibly hold a Conference on the subject of "Eternal Subordination" and convene people from across the spectrum of the issue to debate the subject.

I would hope that Dr. Freeman follows up on his idea and Dr. Mohler is one of the guests - with a Freeman/Mohler debate on the agenda.

Or, maybe a Burleson/Patterson debate.

:)

Anonymous said...

Wade:

I would love to see BOTH debates!

And, I would put money on who wins both.

We appreciate all you are doing, Wade. Keep up the good work. You are beginning to be noticed by some very prominent and trustworthy people in the Church.
God Bless,
J.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I believe the text is clear. Baptists better be very careful about adding anything, whether it be traditions or convictions, on par with the Word of God. To imply God's Word says something that it does not say a very serious offense.

Wade

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
How about a Freeman/Sproul debate.
or Freeman/White. I see will be at Duke
November 20th.
http://www.aomin.org/

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Warning: comment written by a woman: Those who think women are lower forms of life may ignore.

I suppose for many males the question of whether the female half of the human race is fully human can be considered secondary, teritary, or even further down the line. Maybe it only becomes an issue for them if their wife has a mind of her own or if they think a woman might get a job they want.

But how can one's own humanity, status before God, or ability to serve God as they feel called be such for a female? Such issues may "sink below the surface" during much of daily living, but sooner or later something causes it to bounce up and hit her in the face.

Why is it so often Christian men who do the "hitting in the face" about this issue, and justifying it by the Bible? Could it be the same kind of attitude that in previous times justified slavery by the Bible?

I could say more, but it's late and anyway I doubt anything I say could convince some who believe women have nothing to say to men, with the possible exception of "Whatever you say, boss."

Susie

Tami Martin said...

Wade, I've been watching this growing debate on the "place of women" for several years now. There have been times that it's made my blood pressure rise dangerously! My father has suggested I just quit following it.

But I'm glad I have. Perhaps it is peculiar to Baptists that they have only male pastors and teachers. As such, that can just be seen as the "Baptist difference." I attend a Nazarene church so I'm pretty familiar with the idea of distinctiveness and the importance some folks place on it.

But this subtle trend to change the foundational Trinitarian doctrine that underpins Christianity as I know it should be very alarming to all who claim to be a part of the Body of Christ. This isn't just a problem the SBC is facing. This is a problem for us all.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty bad when people mess with who Jesus is just to "put women in their place."

There are doctrines of God (that obviously includes Jesus) and there are doctrines of humanity. Different. Jesus brought the two together.

Could some of this be related to why Jesus was "taken out of" the BF&M 2000?

Susie

ezekiel said...

thy peace,

Twisting scripture is nothing new. Now we witness an attack on the Trinity Himself to justify the twisting. Stay strong and guard yourselves.

2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

NativeVermonter said...

Dr. Freeman states: "It has thus become one of my life goals to help the wider Baptist family retrieve a faith and practice grounded in the life of the Triune God in whom we live, and move, and have our very being." I like that. It reminds me of what Adrian Rodgers once said about the Trinity: "If you try to define the Trinity, you'll lose your mind, deny it, and you'll lose your soul."

Again Dr. Freeman states: "While it is true that the incarnate Son in his earthly life was submissive to the Father, the suggestion that this subordination extends to his eternal exalted state is worrisome."

Very much indeed! An understatement if I may add.

John in the STL

Joe Blackmon said...

Duke Divinity School. Yeah, that figures.

By the way, good luck this weekend with the Red River Shootout. Go Sooners.

Anonymous said...

Christians ought to hold the Trinity's view on the Trinty and not go either to the left or to the right of it.

The Person of the Trinity most ignored by Southern Baptists, it seems, is the Third Person--but, if I understand the New Testament correctly, He points people directly to the Second Person in keeping with the work/plan of the First Person.

As for ESS: I think the movement maby be driven by ill-informed folk who live near the edge/fringe of many things typically viewed "orthodox" anyway (e.g., ESS; long skirts and no make up or stylish hairdo and no work outside the home for the wife; husband/dad the unquestioned authority in the home--but with a smile maybe; lots of confused children; home-schooling; KJV Bible only; seek/sit on CLC boards in state conventions and considered fairly wonderful people--and their "oddness" ignored for their apparent holiness, which turns out to be plastic spirituality. Note: This is NOT intended as a general slam of all home-school families, so no one bother--just personal observations, from time serving in Missouri--whose MBC CLC leaders you should see for possible examples).


David

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear...It is KEVIN Giles. Not Peter Giles.

I highly recommend his books on this subject.

"Duke Divinity School. Yeah, that figures."

Joe, What does this mean? Should we discount the Professor soley because he is at Duke?

I had ONE very conservative Political Science prof at Univeristy, who was excellent. Should his views be dismissed because he taught at a typically liberal University?

Lydia

Joe Blackmon said...

Lydia

Duke is a liberal theological school. I assume, therefore, that this guy is also liberal. Perhaps that is "guilty by association" but I'm comfortable with that. Others may have a different opinion. I think I see the point you're trying to make about your poli-sci professor but it's still to early for me to apply critical thinking skills. That doesn't happen until AFTER lunch. I'll try again later.

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Thanks. God that corrected.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Come on. Please.

Before you flame somebody, do a little research.

That is all I'll say right now, trusting you will correct your erroneous ways.

wade

Anonymous said...

Wade, Read your next to the last comment. #21? typos can get weird.

Susie

Anonymous said...

http://www.divinity.duke.edu/publications/2006.05/features/third/index.htm

Wade do you agree with the view that Freeman espouses, especially about Isaiah 53?

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

You mean the Red River Shootout isn't this weekend? Did I misread my calendar? Or are you a Texas fan? I just figured living in the state you were a sooners fan. It honestly wasn't meant as an attempt to flame. How's this---Go Wade's team. Better?

Anonymous said...

Tami said,
"But this subtle trend to change the foundational Trinitarian doctrine that underpins Christianity as I know it should be very alarming to all who claim to be a part of the Body of Christ. This isn't just a problem the SBC is facing. This is a problem for us all"

COMMENT:

AMEN, Tami.
The good news is that tha 'subtle' part is not so subtle as the perpetrators thought:

these 'idiots' must have had a sign in their offices that read:

THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS LEFT
THE BUILDING

Well, HE didn't. When the attack of the Arrogant Ones on the Trinity began, red lights of discernment went off throughout Christianity.

Who are these arrogant people who treat Southern Baptists with such contempt?

These arrogant ones beat up on Dr. Klouda, the missionaries, trustees, and others in the membership. They must have thought they got away with it.

Next target: whip ALL those women into whining submission.

I can just hear them saying: "let's manipulate the doctrine of the Trinity to accomplish this end."

But now, the Arrogant Ones have taken on the WRONG ADVERSARY.

The Holy Spirit is alive and well, and is indwelling and inspiring and protecting Christians from these wolves.

The warning of the Holy Spirit has spread throughout all the Church. The Arrogant Ones may soon find NO fortress left within the SBC from which to attack the Trinity.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

SThere are doctrines of God (that obviously includes Jesus) and there are doctrines of humanity. Different. Jesus brought the two together.

Could some of this be related to why Jesus was "taken out of" the BF&M 200)

Susie said:

"There are doctrines of God (that obviously includes Jesus) and there are doctrines of humanity. Different. Jesus brought the two together.

Could some of this be related to why Jesus was "taken out of" the BF&M 2000? "

COMMENT: Susie, you got it in one.

L's Gran

Thy Peace said...

Anon 11am: Thanks for the link.
A Third Way
Curtis Freeman’s journey as an ‘Other Baptist’


Here are some interesting excerpts:
So began Freeman’s quest to find another way; a “third way” that is neither liberal nor conservative, neither left nor right. The journey lasted more than 15 years and involved intense research, reflection and intellectual struggle. Eventually, it led him from Texas to Duke, where he now guides others, particularly students involved with Baptist House, through similar issues.

“I find myself happy with neither lukewarm liberalism nor hyper-fundamentalism,” Freeman says of the Other Baptist perspective. “I am committed to following the teachings of the Bible that I understand, but I am also open to receive more light and truth that I don’t yet understand.”

“You read the text as part of the ongoing life of the church across centuries,” Hauerwas said. “The meaning is always to be tested by other readers.”


I could not find in that article, how he reconciled his views or interpretation of Isaiah 53:7.

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

You said--"Duke is a liberal theological school. I assume, therefore, that this guy is also liberal. Perhaps that is "guilty by association" but I'm comfortable with that." Say it aint so, Joe. Gulity by association and you are ok with that. Shame on you. You can do better than that. You use the word liberal in your comment to flame are you a fundy as I flame?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

That is better!

Anonymous said...

Joe B. said:

"Duke Divinity School. Yeah, that figures"

Yeah, it does! Wade is receiving some real support out there. Are you worried yet? Your contempt says that you just might be. :)

Thy Peace said...

To my understanding (being a new Christian) Isaiah 53:7 points to Jesus very clearly. I would like to know, where and how Freeman resolved it to his satisfaction.

Here are some more excerpts from that article:
The conservative theology he had embraced in his youth oversimplified connections between Jesus Christ and the Old Testament. Yet the critical model he later adopted seemed unable to read this text as a witness to Jesus.

“That really threw me,” says Freeman, who remembers that day as a turning point in his life. “I didn’t know how to preach this text as a Christian sermon. It really pushed me to reevaluate the theological trajectory I was on. Suddenly, neither of the ways I had learned to interpret Scripture was satisfying.”

On that day, says Freeman—now research professor of theology and director of Duke Divinity School ’s Baptist House of Studies—he managed to plow through the sermon. To be honest, he says, he’s no longer even sure of what he said to that congregation. What he remembers clearly, though, is that he knew he had to find a way to resolve these questions.

Anonymous said...

"How about a Freeman/Sproul debate.
or Freeman/White. I see will be at Duke
November 20th.
http://www.aomin.org/

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters"

Mr. Masters, I am curious about something because I see Sproul lauded in many SBC circles. Sproul baptizes babies. Has that now become acceptable teaching to some SBC'ers?

Lydia

NativeVermonter said...

Brother Joe,

Guilt by association is a risky dance partner. (Oh man, I sound like Peter :) You might think that me being from Vermont makes me a granola eating, long-haired, civil union supporting, not showering too often liberal. Although I do have a penchant for flannel and maple syrup.

We might as well impugn the professor for the lacrosse scandal.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

You mentioned:

"As for ESS: I think the movement maybe be driven by ill-informed folk who live near the edge/fringe of many things typically viewed "orthodox" anyway (e.g., ESS; long skirts and no make up or stylish hairdo and no work outside the home for the wife; husband/dad the unquestioned authority in the home--but with a smile maybe; lots of confused children; home-schooling; KJV Bible only; seek/sit on CLC boards in state conventions and considered fairly wonderful people--and their "oddness" ignored for their apparent holiness, which turns out to be plastic spirituality. "


Although I try to be as respectful of these fringe people as I can, some of what you describe here is way far, far outside of Christian Orthodox Tradition. Some of these teachings of this 'fringe' group seem to be ultimately destructive to the human spirit and to children and to families. I'm sure that is not what Christ ever intended for us. I believe that some of these people are trapped in that which they do not understand. They need our compassion, I think. Even though they sometimes have much contempt for the rest of us . L's Gran

Susie: sorry I messed up your quote previous. oops. L's G.

Mark Richardson said...

Wade,

Quick question.

I've followed you and fought with you on some of the IMB garbage.

However, though I'm in agreement with the doctrinal caution of the ESS methodology, I'm wondering do you hold that the functional headship of the husband is inherently linked to the headship of Jesus to His bride as defined in Eph. 5?

"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:23, 24).

In other words, there's a very clear definition of the headship of the husband here and it isn't functional equality. This position is based on what the passage says, not ethereal postulations on the Trinity's ontology.

Of course the husband's responsibility to love, nourish and cherish his bride is also defined by Christ and when husbands love there wives like Christ did/does His there would not be as much heartache.

Yet there is no qualification for compliance (i.e. "as long as he is doing his part, or "as long as she is doing her part) though this sure does help in a marriage (15 yrs and 4 boys)! In fact the gracious gift of submission is furthered define by the passage "in everything" which, again, is inherently linked to what His bride (the church)should be doing.

If we cannot or do not understand the headship of Christ with his bride, how can we speak biblically about the headship of the husband with his bride?

Eager for your take,
Mark

Byroniac said...

Lydia, you did not direct your question to me but I still wanted to respond to it. Yes, Sproul believes and has taught favorably concerning paedobaptism. But the majority of his time teaching is spent on apologetics and fundamental Christian issues. These are the teachings that people in the SBC such as myself focus on, while respectfully disagreeing with his non-Baptist views. Sproul is a Christian though not a Baptist. And in my personal opinion, he would be better off as a Baptist, but I suppose only God can convince you of that.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, you did not direct your question to me but I still wanted to respond to it. Yes, Sproul believes and has taught favorably concerning paedobaptism. But the majority of his time teaching is spent on apologetics and fundamental Christian issues. These are the teachings that people in the SBC such as myself focus on, while respectfully disagreeing with his non-Baptist views. Sproul is a Christian though not a Baptist. And in my personal opinion, he would be better off as a Baptist, but I suppose only God can convince you of that.

Fri Oct 10, 12:01:00 PM 2008

Thanks for the response. So, the point is, he has views that are not compatable with scripture and we are willing to over look it because he has other views which are liked.

Does he believe that these babies are saved because they were baptized as infants? Does he teach that they are they somehow part of a 'covenant family' because of baptism?

Lydia

Wanda said...

Wade,

This is an excellent post! I would like to investigate this matter further by meeting with Dr. Freeman to discuss the issue.

I will confess that I earned my undergraduate degree at Duke. Even though it's extremely liberal, the campus is beautiful! It's definitely worth a visit sometime. My husband and I were married in Duke Chapel 20 years ago. That has got to be the longest church aisle in North Carolina!

God used that liberal education to draw me closer to Him, and I am a stronger Christian because of my college experience. I am also less judgmental than I find many Baptists to be. May I remind everyone that even though we are Christians saved by the blood of Jesus Christ we are still SINNERS!!!

Duke University is about a half hour's drive from my home, and my best friend is a fellow blogger here, so she and I may schedule a lunch appointment with Dr. Freeman soon. If we are able to do so, we will give you a full report.

Wade, you are doing such a great service for Jesus Christ through this blog.

May God continue to bless you and your family!

Blessings,

Wanda

Byroniac said...

Lydia:

I honestly do not know. And for the record, I do not entirely agree with any teacher or fellow Christian I have heard. I have also changed my mind on several issues, so I realize I can be wrong. :)

Anonymous said...

"In other words, there's a very clear definition of the headship of the husband here and it isn't functional equality. This position is based on what the passage says, not ethereal postulations on the Trinity's ontology."

There is no 'headship' in this passage. You are taking a metaphor way too far and making a husband an earthly priest by doing so.

A wife does not have 2 'heads' or 2'authorities' as you are defining Kephale.

But this seems to be what you are teaching with this interpretation. If you say, no, she does NOT have 2 heads, then your interpretation means that she DOES have an earthly priest in her husband. He is before Christ. That cannot be true in light of the entire pericope.

This passage cannot negate the many other passages that teach the opposite for true adult believers within the Body.

If the Holy Spirit had meant to teach 'authority over', then He would have used a clear authority word. There are plenty in the Greek for Him to have chosen that are very clear.

"In other words, there's a very clear definition of the headship of the husband here and it isn't functional equality. "

Again...your starting premise is wrong.

This passage is NOT about authority even though many want it to be and conveniently leave out verse 21 which is for EVERYONE including husbands within the Body.

Even though Christ does have authority over the church, this passage is focused on something else. This passage is about love and mutual submission. Christ willingly 'gave Himself up' to the Cross for us. We willingly give of ourselves to each other and Paul is describing ways we are to do that.

Anything else is teaching earthly priests for married women and that is an abomination and a negation of the work on the Cross by our Savior for all true believers.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Byroniac:

So now God is a 'Baptist'.

I thought God was a 'Republican'.

What other labels do you attempt to force God to wear?

Some fundamentalists serve a very small god.

G.

Anonymous said...

Wanda,

You said to Wade:

"Duke University is about a half hour's drive from my home, and my best friend is a fellow blogger here, so she and I may schedule a lunch appointment with Dr. Freeman soon. If we are able to do so, we will give you a full report."

Can you share with all of us here? What a wonderful opportunity for you. Hopeful to learn, if you can share. L's Gran

Byroniac said...

G: OK, the grass is orange and the sky is purple in your world. What else do I need to know? Or are you really interested in a meaningful conversation? I'm sorry, but please understand why I do not take comments such as yours seriously, when offered in the spirit you offer them.

Alan Paul said...

The battle cry of "He's liberal!" is a sign of weakness in either (or both) intellect or integrity. The accusation may make you feel good, but it never takes the place of good, sound reasoning and logic and it never satisfies the soul.

Byroniac said...

G: I'm sorry for being rude and arrogant. But your comment is not fair, which is why I responded with an equally unfair comment. In many ways, yes, I'm a strict Fundamentalist (but not in all things). I could be wrong about almost everything, except, I think, that Christianity is actually true.

Dr. Yarnell's response to Dr. Freeman is available on Peter Lumpkin's blog. I personally agree with Dr. Yarnell over Dr. Freeman, but I cannot pretend to be anywhere near the theologians these gentlemen are. I am reading the arguments here with interest and trying to learn. I admire and respect Wade Burleson, but I believe I will have to disagree with him here, unless his argument eventually convinces me (which I doubt).

Wade Burleson, thank you very much for being a gentleman and a scholar even in your strongest disagreements. That really means something to people like myself, even if we are the "opposition" so to speak. God bless you and your family, and may all of us that name the name of Christ find peace and rest in Him.

Anonymous said...

Byron:

The point I was making is this:

Man is made in the image of God.
When we start casting God in our own image, then we insult Him.

He is not 'Baptist' or 'Republican' or any man-made label. That is why the Hebrews used the special term 'Yahweh' out of reverence for 'He Who Is'.

I was not insulted at all. I just caution that when we try to 'label' God, we fail Him and ourselves. G.

Anonymous said...

Is it known what Dr. Freeman's take on 'salvation' is?
I am looking to see how it fits in the spectrum that ranges from all-out fundamentalism all the way to orthodox Christianity.
Is anyone familiar with his writings enough to help me find out or can someone refer me to a resource for this purpose?
Thanks muchly, L's Gran

Mark Richardson said...

Lydia,

Thanks for your response; I was asking Wade but I'll gladly dialogue with you too.

You said, "There is no 'headship' in this passage. You are taking a metaphor way too far and making a husband an earthly priest by doing so. A wife does not have 2 'heads' or 2'authorities' as you are defining Kephale."

Lydia, we have multiple authorities in our lives delegated by God for our good: husbands, parents, employers, civil leaders, church leaders, and God Himself.

Actually, we should let Paul define headship in the passage not ourselves. It may be hard to hear, especially if there's been past wounds, but there is no better counsel on what a marriage should look like than God's.

I should have included the previous verse because it makes it even clearer:

"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

In the original this means the wife is to be submissive to her husband as if the Lord were present in him; which He is. The same goes for the other coverings of authority in our lives (i.e., parents, employers, civil leaders, and church leaders).

By the way, authority is not a bad word. The root of the word means to give life.

Paul Burleson said...

Lydia,

Your understanding of the " other meaning of Kephale" is right on in my understanding of the Greek language. That Ephesians 5 is teaching something other than "authority" [thus two heads--meaning ultimate authority-- for every married woman] is obvious to me.

Besides that, the careful examination of the text will show that the word "submit" is in v21 but not in v22.

Also examination will show that the word "submit" as used here is the one used of Jesus and the Father and is reflective of an inner choice which is to be the heart of both HUSBAND and WIFE. [v21]

Here is where the Trinity argument for eternal submission of Jesus comes into play so critically. That word was used of AN EQUAL CHOOSING TO SERVE when used of Jesus and the Father. It was also used for husbands and wives. In fact, all believers are seen in Ephesians 5:21. No serving [submitting] here is to be seen because of authority or superior position [The head/body concept was totally different then] but because of a heart's desire on an equal basis.

By the way..that word for submit isn't used of christians serving God but of each other. Only Jesus is equal with the Father though He chose to lay aside the excercising of that equality as He served as the "last Adam" and the "second man."

Oh the mystery of the Trinity and the beauty of human marriage. May they never be mistaken for each other since eternity will truly reflect their differences. [No marriage in heaven]

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

I suppose since you honored my site by linking it to the "handful of Baptist Identity bloggers," I should be grateful. Quite honestly, more and more I enjoy you doing so, if for no other reason than, by such a line of demarcation, it keeps me out of the sphere of ever being confused as an agreeable participant in this particular community. Thank you.

I must point out, though, that your specific wording suggests I desire or even hold to the dubious position of hindering "beneficial debate."

Where in Wonderland you ever come to a conclusion such as that, given the fact that I am one of your few dissenters here, is impossible to figure. Perhaps the Mad Hatter has whispered it in your ear.

Let me be clear: to suggest I desire no debate on any issue is, to say it kindly, unmitigated drivel. That does not mean I do not believe there is a time to END debate. But that is not even a distant cousin to the desire to stifle "beneficial debate."

I will say clearly what is dead wrong: accusing one's brothers of "heretical teaching" and then blowing spitwads in their face by suggesting "I do believe that we should accept our brothers (and a few sisters) in Christ who are arguing for "eternal subordination,".

Please, Wade. Make up your mind. If these guys are teaching heresy, these guys need to go. Period. There is room for diversity; there is no room for heresy.

As for the email, I'm glad you got someone, at least with some Baptist ties, not to mention an academic, to finally climb aboard your boat. I'm wondering if it's been planned precisely where it's sailing, I have to confess.

The only thing I really know of our esteemed Professor Freeman is your post, which, of course, is insignificant. But pardon me if I make a couple of statements about his email.

First, with all respect due our Dr. Freeman, I do not think I have read a broader-brush job in speaking generalities about such a massive block of people--ever! Twice he mysteriously asserts: "most Baptists these days are..., and for some time have been, functionally *Unitarians*...most Baptists are *Unitarians* that simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity" (asterisks mine).

Aside from the virtual impossibility of even calculating such an irrational charge, I have grown to love the scholarly community for their usually very careful and cautious analysis. Nonetheless, this is so blatant, it borders the absurd.

Does anyone here not stop to think the implications of such a wild unchecked accusation? Half the Baptists in your state, Wade, are Unitarians! Could it be half your church members are Unitarians?

Over-generalization is a mistake freshmen in college so often make. Why does Dr. Freeman use such an unguarded assertion? I trust his first year students do not follow his example in the email.

Worse still, why is not one lone soul on this thread outraged that he's charged, without the least bit of evidence, that most of us are dogged heretics? Unitarians deny the Persons of the Triune God, hence, though they believe Jesus was a prophet, they deny Him divinity.

Incidentally, citing a rarely used Baptist Hymnal and a few green college students--presumably the majority of which are more probable than not, neither Baptist nor evangelical--gets his assertion no where that "most Baptists are Unitarians."

I wish this were all, but it is not. Professor Freeman says most Baptists "simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity." For me, this is just shy of mean, presumptuous and inflammatory.

I, for one--I'd like the good Professor to know--am not a sub-Christian, spineless cocoon, awaiting to spread my wings and fly off in my denial of the deity of Jesus Christ and devious abandonment of the glorious Triune God as Three in Person but One in Being as the alleged "Unitarian."

I had intentions for a few other comments. Yet, I have presumed on your graces on this thread long enough. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

With that, I am...

Peter

Tom Parker said...

I am:

Would you please summarize what you just said to Wade?

Just trying to understand the BI position on this current blog item.

debbiekaufman said...

Byroniac: "but I cannot pretend to be anywhere near the theologians these gentlemen are."

But you could be. With all the books available on the original language, history and a deep study, you could be. Don't elevate a man higher than he should be because he has "credentials" that is what the RCC does. Listen, learn, but be discerning. The Holy Spirit is given to each born again Christian for a reason.

It's interesting to me that Dr. Freeman is liberal by association yet how many Christians are in or teach in public school. Are they liberal too?

Chris said...

Peter:

I believe the key word here is "functional." While Dr. Freeman was hyperbolic (I hope, I'm giving a charitable reading) in his final few sentences of that paragraph, I don't think he's too far off the mark in saying that many Baptists have tended towards preferring talking about one member of the trinity at the expense of the others. Some Pentecostals do just the same by emphasis on the Holy Spirit.

The key is that Baptists function heretically (even if they don't believe heretically). We are not charged with heresy, per se, we are charged with indifference.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

I am not sure why you have posted this email. I am not sure why you have said... "His words, profound and direct, need no commentary from me" and then you commented. I am not sure why you have misframed Dr. Mohler's words into this conversation. I am not sure where this argument is going. Other than that, this was another transparent post. :)

Also, Dr. Freeman is not liberal by association, he is liberal by volition. In 1997, Freeman and a group of like-minded Baptist theologians came together to draft a document encapsulating their vision of Baptist identity. It would come to be called “Baptist Manifesto” or "Baptifesto". Among the manifesto’s theses are:

-We affirm Bible study in reading communities rather than relying on private interpretation or supposed “scientific” objectivity.

-We affirm following Jesus as a call to shared discipleship rather than invoking a theory of soul competency.

-We affirm baptism, preaching and the Lord’s table as powerful signs that seal God’s faithfulness in Christ and express our response of awed gratitude rather than as mechanical rituals or mere symbols.

-We affirm and renounce coercion as a distinct people under God rather than relying on political theories, powers, or authorities."

Wade, is this really the path you would take Southern Baptists down? I think Peter's comment here, and Dr. Varnell's comment on Peter's blog are both excellent. Tom Parker, you might try to concentrate more or ignore Peter's comments; either way it is not neccessary for you to state that you cannot understand him after every single one of his posts. Just saying. :)

Kathy said...

'He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory...'

John 7:18a

Wade Burleson said...

Joe White,

When a man says he is not liberal, nor does he wish to identify with liberalism, as Dr. Freeman has said, are you then saying he is a liar?

Or, could it be that the far right - or Fundamentalism - would consider anyone who does not believe like them as liberal?

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Kathy quoted:
'He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory...'

John 7:18a

A certain blogger who entered on Friday below Mr. P. Burleson, used the word "I" twenty-five times.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wade - I don't won't to pretend to understand this issue well. What I do like is that it is causing me to study more. I always want to learn.

Not to intentionally disregard the rest of his email, but this sentence really bothers me.

"To put the matter pointedly, most Baptists are Unitarians that simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity."

What are your thoughts here? Am I missing something?

SL1M

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for your response; I was asking Wade but I'll gladly dialogue with you too."

Sorry. It is a public blog and not a private e-mail to Wade. I thought blogs were known for dialogue with whomever comments unless moderated.

"Lydia, we have multiple authorities in our lives delegated by God for our good: husbands, parents, employers, civil leaders, church leaders, and God Himself."

Please be specific because scripture is. There are authority relationships with civil government, master to slave, parent to child, etc.

However, the Body has "servants" with 'functions'. One function is to 'oversee' as in having spiriual maturity. One who has spiritual maturity would be embarassed to be called an 'authority' over others in the Body because their only authority is the Holy Spirit through the Word. There are no 'offices'. That was an invention of the translators and carnal men.

"Actually, we should let Paul define headship in the passage not ourselves. It may be hard to hear, especially if there's been past wounds, but there is no better counsel on what a marriage should look like than God's."

Yes we should which is why translators should not have added a word to the passage in verse 22to try and separate it from 21. They have also done this with chapter breaks. Let us read it like the real letter that it was as Holy and Inspired.

If Paul/Holy Spirit was showing us authority relationships in this passage and not an example of mutual submission and love, he would never have used Kephale. It is that simple.

BTW: Do you think you are exempt from verse 21? If your wife is a believer in the Body then you are not exempt from verse 21 which starts the premise of this entire passage.

"By the way, authority is not a bad word. The root of the word means to give life."

Unless it is misused for personal gain and power over others within Christian marriage and within the Body of Christ. And you seem to be misunderstanding what Jesus Christ is teaching in this passage. And you are not the first nor will be the last. :o(

Understanding it as it really is would be the most beautiful thing there is in marriage because a husband is not setting himself up as the Holy Spirit or priest to his wife.

You cannot love your wife as is taught in this passage without submitting to her. Paul is giving you an example of what that looks like brought down from verse 21.

Unless, of course, you are exempt from verse 21 for some reason. Are you? Perhaps, you just cannot see it because you have 'authority' blinders on instead of servant glasses. :o)

Blessings,

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Dr. Freeman shows an integrity in explaining that he is uncomfortable with manipulation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to shore up subserviance OR complimentarianism.

If, in this instance, his integrity is a 'liberal' trait, then I'm all for being liberal.

I would as soon define Dr. Freeman's integrity as a sign of an ethical Christian scholar: one who is unwilling to bend truth to fit opinion.

Dr. Freeman's argument has more weight than the words of Dr. Mohler, because Dr. Mohler has so supported the concept of subserviance, and not always as a secondary or tertiary teaching.

Does anyone else see the irony in the discrepancy between Dr. Mohler's statement below and Dr. Mohler's leadership?


To aid in comparing quotes, here are excepts from Wade's article below:

DR. FREEMAN'S QUOTE:
"I am suspicious that the real energy behind this new ESS doctrine is really a thinly veiled attempt to elevate complementarianism to de fide orthodoxy, so that complementarian gender relations are set forth as the only acceptable model for Christians and that egalitarianism is heresy equivalent to denying the Trinity."



DR. MOHLER'S QUOTE:
"I shall allow Dr. Al Mohler's own words to frame Dr. Freeman's sentence above: "The misjudgment of true Fundamentalism is the belief that all disagreements concern first-order doctrines. Thus, third-order issues are raised to a first-order importance, and Christians are wrongly and harmfully divided."



L's Gran

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Thanks for the advice. I will try and take it.

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Are you a fundy? You throw out the word liberal so often, please define who you are. Do you think there will be no liberals in heaven?

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

An interesting question to Joe. So interesting, I think it bears asking again:

Mr. Burleson,

When a man says he is not Semi-Arian, nor does he wish to identify with Semi-Arianism, as those whom you've charged with heresy have said, are you then saying they are liars?

Or, could it be that the far left - or Liberalism - would consider anyone who does not believe like them as Fundamentalists?

For some odd reason, Wade, I suspect you'd sorta refuse that question.

With that, I am...

Peter

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Jonathan Goldstein writes in a 2006article titled, "A Third Way -
Curtis Freeman’s journey as an ‘Other Baptist’... "W.A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and an influential voice among Southern Baptists, preached at a pre-convention pastor’s conference on “the curse of liberalism” in America and among Baptists. “Because of the opprobrious epithet ‘liberal,’ today they call themselves ‘moderates,’ ” Criswell said to the gathering of thousands of Baptists. “A skunk by any other name still stinks.”

“I was horrified,” says Freeman, who attended the conference with a small group from a church in Eagle Lake, Texas." ... ..."Realizing that neither his theology nor his politics would be welcomed in the Southern Baptist Convention, Freeman took to calling himself an “Other Baptist” as he continued to explore his beliefs."

We can call Freeman a Moderate or an "Ohter Baptist" if you like... but his theology still stinks.

Concerning Isaiah 53 the same article notes... "Although he had spent a lifetime studying Scripture, Freeman was lost. Isaiah 53, the passage he had chosen for that day’s sermon, filled him with doubt.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

Questions that had simmered in his mind for some time finally demanded answers. How could he preach on this Old Testament passage in a way that would deliver the Gospel?"

Wade, has Dr. Freeman found Christ in Isaiah 53 yet? Has he reclaimed the Baptist Distinctive and Bible Doctrine of soul compentency? Has he renounced his community reading and interpretation view of Scripture?

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

You love to attack the character of people like Dr. Curtis Freeman don't you? Find anything that seems far out and attack, attack, attack. Why not sit down with him and question him personally about his salvation experience and then draw your conclusions about his savedness or lostness.

Do you still want to help Dr. Klouda?

Anonymous said...

I remember remarking in 1978 when reading editorials calling the Consultation on Women in Church Related Vocations (can you imagine such a conference being held today by SBC agencies?) liberal that attendees and sponsors weren't liberal - the liberals had already left the SBC. Now this was just as the whole "let's get rid of the liberals" movement got started!

The term liberal seems to be used as a buzzword to label anything the person speaking opposes. It's thrown around in religious circles and in political ads. As far as I can tell it has become so meaningless that I automatically discount the other words of the person saying it. I figure they're just saying that to get the hearers to immediately agree with them without further thought. The trouble is there are still too many who are thus misled.

However many of those whom the leaders of the change opposed and maligned were more liberal than them in one way. In general their churches gave more liberally to the Cooperative Program than those who were trying to - and ultimately did - gain control.

Susie

Joe White... said...

Tom Parker,

I have not attacked Dr. Freeman, nor his character, nor his salvation. I have attacked his theology.

Do you not find it odd that Dr. Freeman could not preach Jesus from Isaiah 53. Philip had no such problem with the eunuch in Acts 8.

"And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.The place of the Scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."

And yes, Tom. I affirm all the fundamentals of the faith.

peter lumpkins said...

Chris,

I am more than willing to give others the benefit of doubt. But to wash his blantant insult down the drain with "I don't think he's too far off the mark in saying that many Baptists have tended towards preferring talking about one member of the trinity at the expense of the others" is unacceptable in my view

Chris, he said no such words as you've just described. Period. He did NOT say "many Baptists" he said "most Baptists." And he did not only say most Baptists are "functionally Unitarians" he also said "most Baptists *are* Unitarians."

Nor did He say most Baptists "tended to towards preferring talking about one member of the trinity at the expense of the others." Rather, he said "Baptist worship in the South clearly tilts toward Unitarianism of the Second Person...in Jesus alone to the near exclusion of the Father and the Spirit..." This is heresy about which he speaks.

Finally, Chris, you appear to think the key is "that Baptists function heretically." I'd honestly like to know how that strange little animal gets around.

So, a Baptist acts like a heretic but is not a heretic? In acting like a heretic, does he/she act like he/she believes in heresy? After all, heresy is based in ideas, false propositions.

This makes just about as much sense as suggesting a person is a functional idiot. Is one any less an idiot if one only functions as an idiot?

The ridiculous positions with which we find ourselves facing when we attempt to defend the indefensible stand asttounding.

With that, I am...

Peter

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Would you be willing to say that Dr. Freeman is a Christian. When you question his theology, what exactly do you mean?

Anonymous said...

Peter,

You wrote these words:

"This makes just about as much sense as suggesting a person is a functional idiot. Is one any less an idiot if one only functions as an idiot?"

Sometimes so-called 'idiots' show more compassion to those less fortunate than many very intelligent Christians.

There is room in the Kingdom for all kinds of people. :)

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

I'll answer your questions. I wasn't around much today. Groceries have to be bought and such.

I have no idea he is a Christian. I'm not saying he's not. If he says he's a Christian and he's not Mormon or JW then I'll take his word that he's a Christian. Just like I'll assume you are or Paige Patterson is or anyone else I don't know personally. That's reasonable, right?

I live, oh, better than 10 hours or so away and I work for a living. I am in the middle of the biggest audit our office does. I'm not getting a vacation anytime soon and I'm just as like to spend it visiting family as I would this gentleman.

Finally, I would love to help Dr. Klouda out. Do you know if anyone is taking donations? I'd like to let our Sunday School class know as well. If you find out please feel free to email me. My email is in my blogger profile. Have a good weekend.

Joe Blackmon said...

BTW Tom

I'm sure you noticed but there are two Joe's in the comment thread. Can you help an old boy out and use a last intial too. 'preciate it.

Oh, and aren't you from TX? Are you a Longhorn's fan?

Anonymous said...

Criswell said to the gathering of thousands of Baptists. “A skunk by any other name still stinks.”

It takes one to know one.

Anonymous said...

Please, people. We've had arguments over political candidates and whether you can be a Christian and vote one way or another. Let's don't start on which football team God favors. Please notice that all their colors can be found in the sunset and rainbow - that should tell you something. It is possible to be a Christian and root for either team in any given game. I have my favorites but I will accept you as a fellow Christian even if you are for the other team. I hope others will do likewise. (I do plan to watch the game.)

Susie

Bob Cleveland said...

I don't watch football. I always lose interest after two or three innings.

Thy Peace said...

Some comments about skunks from wikipedia:

"The notorious feature of skunks is their anal scent glands, which they can use as a defensive weapon."

"Skunks are reluctant to use their smelly weapon, as they carry just enough of the chemical for five or six uses—about 15 cc—and require some ten days to produce another supply."

Joe Blackmon said...

Susie

I honestly wasn't trying to start anything about arguements about football. I was just making conversation. No harm intended.

Anonymous said...

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
Liberal

Lib"er*al\ (l[i^]b"[~e]r*al), a. [F. lib['e]ral, L. liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf. Deliver.]

1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies. " Liberal education." --Macaulay. " A liberal tongue." --Shak.

2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver. " Liberal of praise." --Bacon.

Infinitely good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite. --Milton.

3. Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.

His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower. --Shak.

4. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.

5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.

6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious. " Most like a liberal villain." --Shak.

7. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party."

If we are going to throw the word 'liberal' around; we may as well know all of its meanings.

Anonymous said...

Joe Blackmon,
I wasn't particularly serious in my comments about football games. Just trying to lighten things up a little. I think most people realize God doesn't favor one sports team over another. God is bigger than our petty differences. I wish they realized the same about politics, or even nations. (guess I'll get slammed about that last)

Susie

Joe White... said...

Tom,

I believe Dr. Freeman is a Christian, he says he is.

What I am questioning is his ecclesiology, and his theological understanding of soul compentency. Soul compentency is the Bible Doctrine of the accountability of each person before God. Dr. Freeman has called soul compentency a myth. He believes that it is a "sort of community and spiritual formation that are necessary to INITIATE and SUSTAIN converted souls in the Christian life." (emphasis mine, words his)

I was also questioning his theological understanding of Isaiah 53.

Whether we call Dr. Freeman a liberal or a communitarian moderate, he is wrong to say that "most Baptists are Unitarians that simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity." Most Baptists are NOT heretics. It amazes me that people on this blog take more offense to the word Liberal than they do the word Heretic.

Tom, go to google and type in "Baptifesto" or "The Baptist Manifesto" or "Re-inventing the Baptist Identity" and you can decide for yourself where he stands. I don't think his endorsement helps Wade's "Semi-Arian" argument.

Anonymous said...

May as well give 'conservative' equal time:

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary -
Conservative

Con*serv"a*tive\, a. [Cf. F. conservatif.]

1. Having power to preserve in a safe of entire state, or from loss, waste, or injury; preservative.

2. Tending or disposed to maintain existing institutions; opposed to change or innovation.

3. Of or pertaining to a political party which favors the conservation of existing institutions and forms of government, as the Conservative party in England; -- contradistinguished from Liberal and Radical.

We have always been conscientiously attached to what is called the Tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative, party. --Quart. Rev. (1830).

Conservative system (Mech.), a material system of such a nature that after the system has undergone any series of changes, and been brought back in any manner to its original state, the whole work done by external agents on the system is equal to the whole work done by the system overcoming external forces. --Clerk Maxwell.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
CITE THIS SOURCE|PRINT
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
Conservative

Con*serv"a*tive\, n. 1. One who, or that which, preserves from ruin, injury, innovation, or radical change; a preserver; a conserver.

2. One who desires to maintain existing institutions and customs; also, one who holds moderate opinions in politics; -- opposed to revolutionary or radical.

3. (Eng. Hist.) A member of the Conservative party.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Allow me to point out the shortfall in your logic. You write:

Mr. Burleson,

When a man says he is not Semi-Arian, nor does he wish to identify with Semi-Arianism, as those whom you've charged with heresy have said, are you then saying they are liars?

Or, could it be that the far left - or Liberalism - would consider anyone who does not believe like them as Fundamentalists?

For some odd reason, Wade, I suspect you'd sorta refuse that question.

With that, I am...

Peter


On the contrary Peter, I accept your question.

Since leaders in the SBC have been successful for decades in labeling anyone who does not agree with them as liberal, I am now turning the tables on SBC leaders who are demanding conformity.

Your logic with Joe, however, fails. He believes everyone who disagrees with him is a liberal. Thus, those who say they are not are considered liars.

All righty, then. The way to deal with people like Joe - and you - is to point out that we believe you are Fundamentalists, whether you say you are or not.

Now, just like during the Conservative Resurgence, the people of the SBC will have to choose who to believe - those who say they are pointing out the Fundamentalist dangers in our Convention, or those who are constantly saying they are not Fundamentalists.

In the 1980's, those who kept saying "We are NOT liberal" lost. I've got a feeling that in the near future those in the SBC who keep saying "We are NOT Fundamentalists" will lose.

If, in this current battle against Fundamentalism, people who believe in cooperation win, you and Joe better pray the treatment you receive by those who are ultimately in charge is better than the record of those of us who participated in the Conservative Resurgence in terms of how we treated those on the losing side.

Blessings,

Wade

Mark Richardson said...

Bro. Paul,

We've never met but I know who you are and greatly respect you.

You said that the word "submit" is in v21 but not in v22. That's true; it's an ellipsis and it is common for a biblical writer to do this in order for the reader to supply the verb from the previous sentence. Often it is done for emphasis. Egalitarians often use v. 21 which speaks of mutual submission among Christians and pull it into the subsequent passage on marriage.

But this method fails to hear Paul (often because of presuppositions) and denies him his own definition of headship. For he states, "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:24). That's seems pretty clear in both the original and English.

Lydia,

You said, "Do you think you are exempt from verse 21?"

Are you serious? My wife wouldn't let me! But please do not picture me as a dominating husband who twists Scripture in order to keep my wife subservient.

I'm seeking to listen to what Paul actually says instead of allowing current cultural predispositions (both personal and corporate) to taint and drive an interpretation of the text, even by using Scripture (dragging v. 21 to define v. 22, and 23).

We may not come to an agreement but I love you both in Christ and appreciate your comments and boldness.

(I've got to go serve my wife. The benefits are out of this world!)

Mark

Cindy said...

Wade Burleson wrote in response to Joe White: Or, could it be that the far right - or Fundamentalism - would consider anyone who does not believe like them as liberal?

Is that anything like when those who do not agree with CBMW's interpretation of this so called doctrine of womahood in the Bible, they are called feminists (connoting Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem), rebellious and in some cases depending who you talk to, harlots ????

Or when people don't follow the homeschooling preferences of Vision Forum, they are called Canaanites?

Someone's going to have to come up for some nasty pejorative or moniker for those who reject ESS.

Or is there one and I have not yet heard it?

Byroniac said...

G, I have to agree with you. My point, however, is simply this. If I am convinced that, say, Baptist Theology is right, and I am therefore a Baptist, there should be no alarm if I say, I believe God agrees more with Baptist Theology than other kinds of theology, or even, God is Baptist. Of course, God is infinite, and beyond any label, and no one disputes this. But someone who has right motives and determination to agree with whatever he or she believes God has revealed, is going to adopt theological positions which have man-made labels and classifications (there is no avoiding such, and over time, scholars and others generally if imperfectly learn to classify and label with greater accuracy than even before). Avoiding labels and theological positions out of supposed reverence for God's transcendence and ineffable character only hinders understanding and communication.

Notice, I never labeled God a "Baptist." It would not be wrong if I did. That does not mean I am right; only that it reflects my personal opinion and theological belief. If I believe X, and someone comes along who proposes non-X and even that God is non-X, great. But if he or she wants me to agree with them (whether or not they are actually right), they will have to convince me of the validity of his or her argument. That is only fair.

And I am thankful you were not insulted. Perhaps you can explain to me better what your position is. Because right now, I'm appealing to the First Amendment. :) (a constitutional right I admit I have suppressed or ignored for others in the past in my dialog).

Byroniac said...

debbiekaufman: point taken.

Cindy said...

Mark Richardson wrote: If we cannot or do not understand the headship of Christ with his bride, how can we speak biblically about the headship of the husband with his bride?

What of the analogy of being and sound hermeneutics as applied to the comparison of man/wife to and Christ/Church?

1. Analogy of Being

If an artist sits down to create something, his creation cannot exceed the sum-total of the artist. It is only a reflection of that artist. One cannot create something that exceeds himself. It must always be lesser. (It's only true in science fiction, and even then, they borrow from spiritual themes of possession with evil or evil by way of amorality which is immoral by definition anyway.)

Given the analogy of being, it is wrong and the height of human hubris to presume to look at human relationships to determine how heavenly relationships operate. These things are mysteries, and we are told that, though we are given a glorious and deeply powerful example of how these heavenly relationships work. We are given a small bit of understanding about how Christ loves the Church, but we cannot dictate or assume that we do not see it through a glass darkly. We learn something important, but while we remain in the flesh, we cannot fully comprehend our Maker, just like a work of art can never be on the same footing with his human creator. Christ and His relationship to the Church can be learned about but it remains a mystery. As I heard in a sermon last night, He remains inscrutable. We only see in part.

2. Grammatico-Historical Method of Hermeneutics

The other reason that we cannot project our ideas about the Trinity or more than what Scripture clearly tells us about Christ and the Church comes from good hermeneutics.

You cannot learn more about a relationship from a passage of Scripture that speaks peripherally about a topic than you can from Scripture that speaks directly to a topic. We are to use Scriptures that are more clear on a particular topic to interpret Scriptures that are less clear. We are never to reverse these. We never take obscure passages to interpret doctrine about something when there are Scriptures available to tell us about the topic more clearly and directly. You should never twist what is clear and straight by developing speculations about more obscure and less clear meanings in order to form doctrine.

We know plenty about how husbands and wives should relate to one another, and we have many passages that discuss these issues. Add to that what we know about how we should treat one another, such as the Second Greatest Commandment/Golden Rule. We also have Scriptures that tell us plainly and clearly about Christ and His relationship to the believer.

It's wrong to intermingle these doctrines together when they are not clearly related in ways that are not perfectly clear, venturing beyond what is clearly stated. Federal headship pertains to human depravity and should not be intermingled with male headship. Mix in there the disputed meaning of kephale and submission and how submission is used interchangably with obedience. What a fine mess we create, when all this can be avoided if we are not sloppy in our exegesis.

Speaking of the Trinity, an excellent example of how these general ideas produce errors, consider how modalism has been promoted from the analogy of God manifesting in three ways as likened to ice, liquid and steam. It helps us break out of particular way of thinking, but it is not a straight and faithful analogy for the Trinity. Yet as Dr. Freeman notes, I think this little analogy has been a great detriment to the whole Unitarianism of the Second Person that predominates in Evangelical Christianity in the US.

We need to be very careful that we are not adding or taking away from the text. (Here! Here! "thy peace" for your earlier comment that makes this point.)

Here is where complementarianism goes veering off the track. I believe that it is wrong from a philosophical standpoint based on the analogy of being and I also believe that sound hermeneutics also make these matters clear as well.

We only know clearly what we've been told clearly. That's how we can know about husbands loving wives without knowing more about the greater mysteries of how Christ loves the Church which is a wonderful metaphor. There are far more Scriptures that speak directly to this relationship and relationships between flesh and blood people than there are metaphorical ones. We need to discern those first, then add the mystery.

Anonymous said...

Byron,

Of course, you believe the Baptist theology. You were born in a place and at a time where you were given opportunity to learn of it.

In my view, because God is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Infinitely Merciful, and Infinitely Just: what of His provision for the rest of His creatures?

Personally, I think the net He spreads to gather up His children will be a bit larger than you think it will be. Actually, I believe in this BECAUSE He is the Author of all life, and, if He cares for the little sparrows, why would He not care for the rest of us?

Somewhere, somehow, BECAUSE of His infinite justice and mercy; He will give each of His creatures loving care. Whether or not He is rejected, He will offer it to all. Don't forget, we are ALL made in His image. We are His creation, and His Children.

'Salvation' for too many has become some kind of private, elite club, rather smug and judgmental of others. It was never offered to us in that spirit. It was never meant for us to feel superior. With the gift of faith, we are commisioned to serve Him and others in His name. God saves us. We are lost without His care. I don't believe in any magic 'words' or 'ceremonies' or 'declarations'. Salvation is more than that. So much more. G.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Your last response to Peter is right on.

I didn't know that I am a theological-liberal until the current editor of the MBC's Pathway newspaper and/or his staff said so several years ago. Until then, I thought I was a God-fearing, theologically-conservative, life-long Southern Baptist born-again at the age of eight and serving in vocational ministry for about 15 years. Overnight though, because the editor and/or his staff said so, I became a theological-moderate--and later a theological-liberal along with every other follower of Jesus Christ who voted his/her conscience before the Lord--but in opposition to MBLA/Moran/Fundamentalists/Fundamentalism--during an executive session of the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2001. Fortunately, that day there were enough of us theologically-moderates/liberals in the room to almost give away the Baptist Building if we had decided to do so and the Fundamentalists present were defeated (only to split the convention later).

Stay the current course, Wade!


David

Thy Peace said...

I am re-listing these comments in this thread.

I could not find PP's comments online on the official Southwestern News website. They have not updated their site with Fall 2008 edition yet.

Paige Patterson comments in Southwestern News, Fall 2008 edition in the President's letter:

"As this issue of the Southwestern News will indicate, Bible-believing Christians have never believed that women are inferior to men."

"Those who rail against womanhood as taught at Southwestern, including the God-assigned roles for men, women, and children, not only usually misrepresent our position but also reveal their own hearts and unfortunately the status of the world that their views have produced."

"You will find no wimps at Southwestern."


Please note that the above quotes were pulled from a comment in this blog article of Christa Brown in Stop Baptist Predators:

Comments of RM:Baptists should follow Episcopal example

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote... "All righty, then. The way to deal with people like Joe - and you - is to point out that we believe you are Fundamentalists, whether you say you are or not."

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines "Fundamentalist Christianity, also known as Christian Fundamentalism or Fundamentalist Evangelicalism, as a movement that arose mainly within British and American Protestantism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among conservative evangelical Christians, who, in a reaction to modernism, actively affirmed a fundamental set of Christian beliefs: the inerrancy of the Bible, Sola Scriptura, the virgin birth of Christ, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the imminent personal return of Jesus Christ. Some who hold these beliefs reject the label of "fundamentalism," seeing it as a pejorative term for historic Christian doctrine[1] while to others it has become a banner of pride."

Fundamentalist by this definition? Guilty as charged. Fundamentalist like W.A. Criswell? Guilty. Fundamentalist like Adrian Rogers? Guilty.

Wade, I am not sure why you feel the need to "deal" with me, but you can call me whatever you like. None of that changes the fact that Dr. Freeman is a communitarian moderate who has serious theological issues involving soul compentency, communal Biblical revelation, and a wrong opinion of us Baptist heretics. Christocentric Trinitarianism is not the same as functional Unitarianism.

Byroniac said...

G, I never said that only Baptists go to heaven. I hope you do not think I believe that. I respectfully submit to you that you do not exactly know how many people I think are saved, or who they are. To be fair, you do not even know me, so please do not make assumptions.

I do not know exactly who will be saved and who will not be. I look to what Scripture says as my final and ultimate authority on salvation (as well as any other theological issue). I will probably be more surprised by who I do not find in Heaven than who I actually do find. And that is with me hoping that I am a genuine believer in Christ.

As for some of the other things you believe, I will just have to disagree. For example, we are all God's creations, surely, but we are not all His children. I could cite Scriptures such as in John 1 and John 3 to back my point. To say that all people are automatically the children of God is theologically dangerous and untrue.

I do not know exactly what you mean by infinitely merciful and we are all God's children, unless it is Universalism. I only wish that were true. We would have no need or fear of Hell. But that is not what He has revealed to us.

Anonymous said...

Byron,

Sorry for any assumptions. My bad.

You said, "For example, we are all God's creations, surely, but we are not all His children".

I meant that God is the origen of our souls and spirits as well as our physical beings. He is the ultimate progenitor. I also believe that no living thing would exist one second further alive without His care. The concept of God as a Father is important in my heritage. The Hebrew people have spoken of God as an 'Abba' or gentle father. If God is not Father to all mankind, then ,for me, the existence of the soul and spirit of man comes into question.
The imagery of the eternal Father is very important to me. My son sails the oceans in service to his country. I believe that the Eternal Father is with him and ALL who sail with him.

You said "I do not know exactly what you mean by infinitely merciful " .
I did not know that Baptists did NOT believe in the infinite mercy of God. Wow. That IS different from what I believe. The image of a merciful God is definitely mainline Christian teaching. The concept of God only makes sense to me if His justice is tempered by His mercy.

Of course, I believe in Hell. There are some sins, particularly against children, which deserve hell. We are also assured that we will be judged as we judged others: by the exact same measure. But I put no limits on God's mercy, as some do.

Byron, we see now as through a glass darkly. None of us has all the answers. I do believe that I approach Scriptures with a reverence that keeps me from using them to judge others. I am a woman of faith, hope, and charity. And I know which one is most important. G

Anonymous said...

"But this method fails to hear Paul (often because of presuppositions) and denies him his own definition of headship. For he states, "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:24). That's seems pretty clear in both the original and English."

Why is it that you guys always stop reading there?

BTW: Do you believe that service is NOT submission?

Again, read this:

"But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:24). That's seems pretty clear in both the original and English. "

What exactly does this mean to YOU?

A few things to notice is that Paul completely ignores the household codes which are that wives are to OBEY their husbands. They had little choice. Paul is elevating them to equality within marriage and the Body (Body-head...remember) by telling all believers to submit to one another and teaching wives to submit instead of OBEY. There is a huge difference.

Now, take a look at verse 33. Paul is telling husbands to 'so love their wives even as themself'. This was unheard of in that culture where she was property.

But the second part of that verse is very interesting. The word 'respect' is actually phobeo which is where we get 'phobia'...a fear of something.

But there are other Greek words for 'respect' or 'reverence' that are used elsewhere but not here. Why? Example, in Luke 20:13 where it is translated as respect or reverence the Greek word is entrepo. The same in Hebrews 12:9, for example. I could give many more.

The interlinear for verse 33 says 'that she may be 'fearing' the husband.

Why phobeo (fear) in verse 33? After all, Paul does not tell them to 'obey' their husbands as the civil law required.

Interesting stuff.

Lydia

Wanda said...

Joe White,

Thank you for sharing the definition of Fundamentalism. I looked up this word myself in a Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, and it has a similar meaning.

However, another meaning of Fundamentalism in my dictionary is as follows:

"Strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles: the fundamentalism of extreme conservatives."

I believe the definition I have cited is the one that Wade intends when he uses the word fundamentalism. I'm sure you know that, but good try.

As far as I'm concerned, the Baptist Identity crowd can no longer claim Sola Scriptura. For them it's God's Word PLUS their own narrow application of various texts. They are adding to Scripture what God did not intend, and that results in LEGALISM, not Christianity. I believe they are modern-day Pharisees.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

If you cannot see that the question I posed was not "my" question but the failed logic of your question, I have not the strength this evening to point it out to you.

Finally, Wade:

a) I do not give a knat's behind what you call me, be it Fundamentalist, Baptist Identity, or even heretic for that matter. Do as you wish...

b) I am perfectly willing to allow grass-roots Baptists to decide. I hold no fear whatsoever. Outside the very supportive but tiny community here--given the full scope of things, Mr. Burleson--there is little hope, from my view, your crusade will ever gain strength.

Alas, in the meantime, so long as I am allowed, each time brothers are viciously and wrongfully slandered as heretics, apart from credible evidence and sober, sound reason, I shall do my best, under God, to set the record straight.

And, should that door here and to other comment threads be closed, I will not cease, of course. The great thing about the net is the practically impossible enforcement of censorship. One always can do main posts on one's own site.

I trust your evening well.

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris said...

Peter:

There is a large gap between functional heresy and actual heresy. The functional heretic will be unaware of their error and upon realization will see it and turn from it. As many Baptists have forsaken doctrinal preaching for a purely evangelistic message, they may have tended towards speaking only of the Son. I know that I have gotten out of several Baptist churches with very little idea of who the Holy Spirit actually is or what He does. That does not mean that if asked, those Baptists would deny the trinity. Rather, they would affirm it and hopefully have learned to speak to the other members more often.

The actual unitarian heretic would speak only of one member and would knowingly deny the trinity. Again, indifference yields a functional heretic whereas willing opposition yields a committed heretic.

Yes, Dr. Freeman's language could have been less inflamatory. But there are lots of brilliant people that act like idiots, and there are lots of orthodox preachers who act like heretics. That doesn't necessarily make them so.

But on the topic of idiots, just rembember that God uses the foolish to shame the wise.

Joe White... said...

Wanda,

Do you believe the doctrine of soul compentency is scriptural or a fundamentalist addition?

Do you believe a person can read and understand the Bible on their own with the help of the Holy Spirit? Or is this a legalist addition?

Do you believe that Isaiah 53 has for its subject the Lord Jesus Christ, or is that some far right opinion?

Do you believe that "most Baptists" are closet Unitarian heretics, or is it just the BI crowd?

This post was about "Semi-Arianism Masquerading as Othodoxy: A Baptist Scholar on the Trinity Weighs in On "Eternal Subordination"". My comments are directed toward this subject and the believes of the author of it. Feel free to label me anything you wish, using any dictionary or definition you wish... but I would like for you and Wade to actually address my questions rather than answering along the party lines.

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

Can you not see you serve no useful purpose on this blog and it is because of your arrogance.

Byroniac said...

I'm still not sure what you mean by infinitely merciful, sorry. Do you mean that His mercy is without scope or limits? Then why do you believe in Hell? Is not Hell a place where the mercy of God is not? I would think that anyone who believes God exists and is not a Universalist in belief would also deny belief in infinite mercy. How are you defining "infinite" and "mercy"?

debbiekaufman said...

Peter: It may not be this year or even the next year, but as churches experience their people being fired from SBC positions, missionaries they have recommended and supported through CP being sent home because of theological differences, people will start catching on to what is happening, and I don't think you will be able to say that this is not going to have steam.

peter lumpkins said...

Chris,

You may think as you so wish...

Tom,

Some feel Wade serves no useful purpose in dissenting as he does from SBC leadership. Would your question apply to him as well?

Furthermore, I find it fantastic--and have so for over two years I've logged on here--that, given the high level of rhetoric which electrifies this blogging community by insisting the SBC leadership is "narrow" and won't "allow dissent" and "fires folks" for "disagreeing" for "tertiary" issues, nevertheless attempts, as do you so often, my brother Tom, to tell brothers & sisters who dare dissent from the message of this community, to get lost. How stellar of you, my friend. I think that's just great. Go for it...

Unfortunately, Tom, the larger part of your comments lack concern on the issue at hand. For some reason, you appear satisfied with simply poking people in the eye, focusing on character, not content. Sorta like the why-don't-you-just-get-lost-comment to me.

All aside, I've said before and I publicly record again: with a few unmentionable exceptions I could name which I found personally a bit unfair, disagree with Wade Burleson all you wish, but your comments will most likely, at the end of the day, remain. In that sense, Wade is arguably one of the fairest bloghosts around.

I must confess that, given the record you've produced thus far, I doubt I'd be posting here, Tom. You would already have flagged me.

Even so, I trust your weekend well.

With that, I am...

Peter

Tom Parker said...

Debbie Kaufman:

Maybe Peter will figure it out someday, that what has been going on in the SBC has been and is wrong. Change is coming.

Anonymous said...

Byron,

You wrote, "I'm still not sure what you mean by infinitely merciful, sorry. Do you mean that His mercy is without scope or limits? Then why do you believe in Hell? Is not Hell a place where the mercy of God is not? I would think that anyone who believes God exists and is not a Universalist in belief would also deny belief in infinite mercy. How are you defining "infinite" and "mercy"?

Mercy: God takes pity on us and helps us up when we fall if we hold our arms up to Him and ask for help. God is good. He gives grace to the humble. He strengthens those who serve Him. He delivers us from evil.

Yes, I believe that we walk in God's mercy and, when we fall, if we ask forgiveness, He will hear and forgive us because God holds no grudges against us.

Hell is where God is not. We can choose to shove God aside and walk away from Him. We were given that choice. If we choose to walk away and do not turn back, it is of our doing.

Fortunately, God arranges interventions in our lives to help us to see that we need Him. Is that not a sign of His great mercy?
How many times in your own life has this happened? So many times in my own life. Merciful gifts of blessing and peace have been poured out, though I didn't deserve it.

The 'infinite' part means that God is eternal, outside of our 'time' limits. His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.

He is faithful to us. We are not always faithful to Him. He forgives when we ask. One of the ladies on this blog quoted a verse, maybe you know it, something about if we asked for bread, would God give us a stone.
He takes care of his children. It has been said that Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of God's mercy to us.

G

Byroniac said...

G, thank you for your response. We'll have to agree to disagree. Our conversation is pretty much off-topic I guess. But I would recommend to you the following link:

Who Do You Think I Am?

I am available by email, but I am not sure how to continue our conversation. But if you want, I will try. I have half a mind to fire up my blog again, just to discuss this. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

You wrote THIS to Wade?

"Finally, Wade:

a) I do not give a knat's behind what you call me"

Peter, Peter, are you being bad again. Wade's blog is here to help people. Please don't talk to him this way. Please.

Anonymous said...

Byron,

Thank you. I think we emphasize different things, each in our own way. That is very natural when people come from different backgrounds. A matter of emphasis
is not, in all cases, the same as a disagreement. I may share some of your faith, but I do not share your fears and worries. Trust in Him. He can deliver you from fear and give you Peace beyond all understanding.

G

Rex Ray said...

Bob Cleveland,
I think there’s something strange going on. You made the first comment on this post on Friday October 10 at 12:1200, and I made a comment at exactly the same time.

That would be impossible except I was on topic of another post. Now here’s the strange part, was my comment, printed in the Baptist Standard 5 years ago, on the same topic as yours? You be the judge on my comment:

“Malcolm Yarnell's speech to a seminary audience, praising the BFM 2000 for adding ‘TRIUNE GOD is like bragging about a Band-Aid on a scratch of a severed arm”

I’ll reference Freeman’s words: “It has thus become one of my life goals to help the wider Baptist family retrieve a faith and practice grounded in the life of the TRIUNE GOD…”

Since the BFM 2000 makes women submit and prevents them from being pastors; the adding of “Triune God” in order to make women first class Christians is a laugh.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon

If you would have read carefully the comment to which my 'knat's behind' referred, you would have noted that our Brother insisted on dubbing me a Fundamentalist, which, of course, is utterly laughable to those who actually know me. Yet you reference the image as if it I was crucifying Wade with vulgarity. Please.

I will tell you what is slanderously vulgar--making good men out to be heretics when they definitively are not...Making an outrageous charge that millions of godly, grassroots Baptists are demented Unitarian, Triune God-denying unbelievers when there is not one shred of proof to substantiate the assertion.

From my part of town, that is much closer to vulgarity, my friend. Employing a "knat's behind" metaphor hardly makes the cut.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Hi Gran,

If I may point out two things and ask one question.

You said, "Personally, I think the net He spreads to gather up His children will be a bit larger than you think it will be."

We differ here. I actually think that net is going to be a lot smaller than any of us realize. The proof is evidenced by your next quote:

"Of course, I believe in Hell. There are some sins, particularly against children, which deserve hell."

May I ask you which sins do not deserve hell?

Thanks.

ps This topic clearly deserves a blogspot. Set it up Byron. I will be there so we don't trample on someone else's blog off topic. Sorry Wade. :)

SL1M

Rex Ray said...

To All,
Lincoln said, “I care not for a man’s religion if his dog is not the better for it.” I believe the same about women. That’s one reason the old conventions of Texas and Virginia will not accept the BFM 2000.

CASE CLOSED

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

Is it known specifically, WHO authored the 'changes' (additions and deletions) in the BF&M 2000?

G.

P.S. Great Lincoln quote. :)
(Very sound, theologically speaking)

Anna A said...

To Rex Ray,

Preach on, brother.

To L'Gran,

Part of the challenge with Slim, and his comments about all sins being equally repugnant to God is fairly common in certain areas. There is no distinction between the sins that break our relations with God (mortal sins) and those which just damage it (venial sins).

This was another of the ideas that helped ease me away, before I ran across Catholicism.

I believe that is is just human instinct (possibly part of natural law) to recognize such differences. Most people would cry foul, if a person who just ran a red light, on an empty street, with no one around were given the same penalty as a person, drunk, fleeing the police and running into a full school bus.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Slim,

It's me, L's Gran.

Were you addressing me when you wrote this:

"Of course, I believe in Hell. There are some sins, particularly against children, which deserve hell."

May I ask you which sins do not deserve hell?"

Slim, in my religion, the sins that do NOT deserve hell are the sins that God has forgiven. That is what even a little child in my faith would know.

What do you believe about sin? I was told that if we are 'covered by the Blood of the Lamb', when the Angel of Death passes over, we shall live. Christ has given us the power to stand beside Him before God's throne and to be received. Because of Jesus, our sins can be washed as white as snow.

What sins do not deserve Hell?
ANSWER: the one's He has forgiven.

Be peaceful,
L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Anna

It's me, L's Gran

I'm afraid that Slim is too much in fear and dread in his faith. It may not be my place to counsel him as another believer, but I feel led to try to comfort him.

He does not seem to realize the power of God's love and mercy and forgiveness. How does one light a candle for someone who is suffering like this? I see a lot of pain in his comments to me and to others. He needs to find peace, I think.

Yes, I was aware of the contrast of 'venial' and 'mortal'; I don't think that Slim was addressing me, but I know he is not familiar with our faith. I'm certainly not here to proselytize (sp?) my own religion but, certainly Wade and some of the other Baptists here can reach out to Slim and comfort him. They are, as you can see, very aware of God's love and mercy and forgiveness.

L's Gran

Wanda said...

Joe White,

Thank you for the challenging questions you posed. Semi-Arianism is a new concept to me, and I am processing what I am learning about it. I plan to conduct my own research.

I would like to respond to all of your questions after my investigation is complete.

I am prepared to respond to two of your questions at this time.

You asked:

"Do you believe a person can read and understand the Bible on their own with the help of the Holy Spirit? Or is this a legalist addition?"

I believe it is absolutely impossible for someone to understand the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:26-35 clearly demonstrates this truth. Philip was led by God to an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from Isaiah 53. Then Philip, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, interpreted the passage in Isaiah for the eunuch, who immediately responded to God's call and was baptized.

In response to your question:

"Do you believe that Isaiah 53 has for its sublect the Lord Jesus Christ, or is that some far right opinion?"

I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that Isaiah is ONLY about Jesus Christ. I have learned from my pastor, who happens to be a professor at SEBTS, that the entire Old Testament is about Jesus Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this to a true believer.

In the meantime, I will be pondering your remaining questions. I hope you will agree with me that these kinds of discussions are extremely vital not only to our own faith, but to the spiritual health of the body of Christ.

Blessings,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Peter, I think you meant "gnat" not "knat," or is that another animal that I don't know about.

Florence in KY

Byroniac said...

Wade:

Apologies for mass consumption of electrons and computing cycles on your blog. ;)

SL1M, G, and anyone else interested:

I have set up my blog again (sort of), and it should allow anonymous comments. If you want to continue the conversation, or invite a friend, you can go to my blog so we can talk there.

My Blog

Anonymous said...

Dear Wanda,

You wrote: "I believe it is absolutely impossible for someone to understand the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit."

and you wrote: " I have learned from my pastor, who happens to be a professor at SEBTS, that the entire Old Testament is about Jesus Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this to a true believer."

Wanda, your pastor sounds like he is the kind of Baptist that my grandmother was. She was very reverent of the Scriptures.

With your training, have you worked in the ministry of your church in some capacity? L's Gran

D.R. said...

Wade,

I haven't read all the comments here (or all on the last posting about this), but it seems to me, as for what I have read, that there is no discussion of whether "Semi-Arian" is a legitimate labeling for the postions of Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Tom Schreiner, etc. (all of whom, may I point out are world-class Evangelical scholars).

So here is a post by Phil Gons which challenges your criticism (as well as that of Freeman and Giles) concerning whether Arianism has anything to do at all with the concept of submission in the Trinity.

Does Eternal Subordination Entail a Denial of Homoousian?

I think you honestly must interact with Gons (and Ware and Grudem, who recently debated on this) BEFORE you can argue "Semi-Arianism", otherwise you are simply arguing from a preconceived position, which would be a logical fallacy. So far, I have not seen you (or anyone else) set forth a legitimate argument that deals with Gons' criticism (or really any of Grudem's and Ware's).

And what of the debate I posted a link to Wade? Did you listen to it? Would you accept a challenge to debate Ware, Grudem, or anyone else on this?

Wanda said...

L's Gran,

I have led a ladies' Sunday School class, which was extremely rewarding! We did a Bible study by Jennifer Kennedy Dean entitled Live a Praying Life. I have worked through this study twice now in a group setting, and I'd love to do it again!

I learned so much about the power of the Holy Spirit from Jennifer. I highly recommend this study to anyone who wants to develop a deeper prayer life. Your spiritual life will never be the same . . .

I enjoy your comments in this forum.

Blessings,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

On a lighter note:

I propose a debate between Xena (The Warrior Princess) and PP.

Xena

If you support Xena, please sign the petition for the Xena Movie:

Xena : Warrior Princess Motion Picture

Anonymous said...

An interesting letter and topic.

Based on what Dr. Freeman says, I suppose that many Baptist students going to the Duke divinity school may have warped views of the Trinity when they arrive. I don't know.

I don't know Dr. Freeman, but appreciate his letter being published, and the other background about him provided by the people commenting.

My reaction to this topic at this time is confirmed by what Dr. Freeman says, "But ESS has yet to be tested and proved by any but a very small and unrepresentative group." And while he did not use the word "esoteric", which I previously used to describe this topic, his contextualization and the term "speculative" are also helpful.

So, I am not worked up about this. But it would be neat to see this issue addressed at a theological confab similar to the one on Calvinism a year or so ago.

Finally, I am not impressed when anyone tries to divine the "true" motives of people when advancing an issue or argument. I am not into reading "true" motives in other people and am not impressed when people claim to do that.

Louis

Rex Ray said...

L’ Gran,
In a comedy team, there’s always the straight guy. I sometimes wonder with your questions, if you already know the answer.
But that’s OK, and I love your question of “WHO authored the ‘changes’ (additions and deletions) in the BF&M 2000?”

Before I attempt to answer, I want to reply to Anna’s “Preach on, brother.”

I feel like the visiting preacher saying, “Well, here we are; you all wondering if I can preach, and me wondering if you can recognize a sermon when you hear one.”

There are many on Wade’s blog more educated than I on this subject, and I wonder why it seems they don’t want to answer; but here goes:

As background, the BFM 1963 was ‘authored’ by a large committee made up of all the State Convention Presidents in the SBC. Their meetings were open to the public and welcomed suggestions. This was done in 1962 and well publicized so churches could inform their messengers how they wished to vote.

The 1963 wrote: “In no case has it sought to delete from or add to the basic contents of the 1925 Statement.”
“Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying mandatory authority.”

But L’ Gran, that wasn’t your question was it? So, I won’t go into the many differences between the two.

The BFM 2000 was authored by a small (15 people) handpicked (friends?) committee by the President of the SBC, Paige Patterson. (Ut, Oh…him again)

They met in secret behind closed doors. (Wonder if anything was changed that didn’t have Patterson’s OK?)
The only publication was “We can’t tell you what we’ve done, but you’re going to like it” or words to that effect.
Messengers went to the SBC not knowing the changes, and you know the old saying…”You can fool all the people some of the time…”

I believe a lawyer could make a case the 2000 was illegal based on our churches were excluded.

L’ Gram, thanks again for the question.

Bob Cleveland said...

Florence in KY,

I noticed that about the spelling, too, but I didn't want to gnock a typo or two.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rex Ray,

You wrote: "They met in secret behind closed doors. (Wonder if anything was changed that didn’t have Patterson’s OK?)
The only publication was “We can’t tell you what we’ve done, but you’re going to like it” or words to that effect.

Messengers went to the SBC not knowing the changes, and you know the old saying…”You can fool all the people some of the time…”

COMMENT:
Oh, my goodness. I'm glad you gave me the history of how the BF&M was written previously.

What a difference in 2000: WHO WERE THEY TRYING TO FOOL??????

Right away, alarms needed to go off. Right away, people needed to put away their worries about labels, hired positions, and salaries, and STAND UP FOR THEIR CHURCH!

I can understand people trusting authority, if before they never had a reason to mis-trust them. Now, with the evidence of harm done, the character of the perpetrators can be called to account and the Christian community of the SBC can correct the situation.

You started the quote :
" You can fool all of the people some of the time; . . . . "

I like how that quote ends, better than how it begins.

There is hope for an internal healing in the SBC, I think.

The Holy Spirit will need to bring courage and place it into the hearts of His apostles, once more.

Because of the harm that has been done; because of the great injustice and lack of mercy;
I have to believe that the Holy Spirit is already at work to heal the church. Change is coming. God will NOT be mocked.

Lucy's Grand-daughter
(L's Gran, for short) :)

Anonymous said...

Type in 'Sheri Klouda' in Google:
number of sites for her:

ELEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED

This woman did not 'resign', she was MARTYRED. Someone needs to tell Mr. Rogers how the rest of the world sees this. HER STORY IS OUT and no one can keep it hidden any more.

Tom Parker said...

Mr. Rogers is living in denial and since this only happened to a woman I really do not believe he cares. Sadly too many others share his view.

If she did not get fired--what did she get?

Anonymous said...

Gran and Anna,

Anna, you don't have to insult me and talk about me in the third person. If you want to butt in on a question I asked Gran, then do it. No problem. But don't insult the questioner by pretending he / she won't see what you are writing. Very childish.

Having said that, I'll withdraw the question for two reasons. One is to move on to Byron's site. If you want to discuss (not argue, but discuss) then please join us.

Secondly because of this. Gran, We are a million miles away from each other theologically, 'tis true. For even your answer is not consistent with scripture.

You said, "What sins do not deserve Hell?
ANSWER: the one's He has forgiven."

This is not accurate either Gran. For you see, you deserve hell for any sin...yes, even one!

Here is where you miss it. Because God will extend His mercy and grace to you for your sin, doesn't mean you still don't deserve hell. We don't get what we really deserve because of the work of Christ. Get it?

A little "white lie" (or a "not so bad sin" like Anna refers to) God will NOT overlook. Let me ask you, if you lie five times a day, will He over look that also? What if you lie every other sentence? That's pretty bad so He must punish that, right?

With your theology, who knows?

Let me state again, if you think you are going to heaven because your just a little bit better than someone else you know, or because you lie less often than most people do, I'm afraid your position is not consistent with scripture.

This is not Baptist doctrine, this is Evangelical Christianity and frankly I'm not sure why other non-Catholics on this blog do not address this with you.

Maybe they are just more polite than you and I and they refuse to take the comments off topic. Everyone meet at Byron's!

SL1M

Gran - I just read my reply and it reads harsh in tone in a spot or two. Please forgive that. The content is harsh because it is what it is, but please know that the spirit I'm writing is not with a harsh tone. The insult from Anna notwithstanding. You made a comment and I wanted to sincerly ask you what sins were acceptable to God. I asked and you answered. Thank you.

I sincerely hope to see you over at Byron's.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, I am not impressed when anyone tries to divine the "true" motives of people when advancing an issue or argument. I am not into reading "true" motives in other people and am not impressed when people claim to do that."

Louis, Cindy showed us on the last thread how you did that very thing. You can argue you were not doing that... but you were. It was obvious. Perhaps it is ok when you do it.

"I haven't read all the comments here (or all on the last posting about this), but it seems to me, as for what I have read, that there is no discussion of whether "Semi-Arian" is a legitimate labeling for the postions of Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Tom Schreiner, etc. (all of whom, may I point out are world-class Evangelical scholars)."

DR is back! Welcome great SBTS apologist. I love the way that you say that only they should be able to 'name' their semi heresy. :o) We are not allowed. Only them. Anything else we are not allowed to do that only the great ones are?

Just like the way they named 'complimentarian'? But now mean 'Patriarchy'?

No one expects you to ever disagree with any teaching that comes from those men. You are the one that told us that Ware did not teach that women were made in the indirect image of God. When you found out he did, you apologized and then went on to tell us that Ware did not really mean what he said. We just do not understand Ware! All his followers say this. It is starting to be an industry...explaining Ware's teaching.

Ware always seems to need lots of interpreters.

Keep in mind that some of us realize it is not always what they say but what they don't say...or my favorite is when they teach this they always make an orthodox statement..then spend the rest of the time teaching against that statement but not admitting it.

But if you call them out, they will point to the fact they made the orthodox statement. It is quite Clintonesque.

They are very clever and slick. Why not? It worked with CBMW saying that women are 'equal' but not equal in 'role'. (whatever acting has to do with it) People bought into this and believe it. Why not believe it about the eternal Jesus Christ, too?

So, lessening Jesus Christ into eternity, elevates mere mortal men on earth. They should fear.


Lydia

Anonymous said...

"I haven't read all the comments here (or all on the last posting about this), but it seems to me, as for what I have read, that there is no discussion of whether "Semi-Arian" is a legitimate labeling for the postions of Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Tom Schreiner, etc. (all of whom, may I point out are world-class Evangelical scholars)."

Check out this exchange with Ware before you believe DR (who always says this as if we should NEVER question their scholarship and should let them be the who define the debate and their any labels. :o) The arrogance of that astounds me.

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/12/21/jesus-unequal-in-prayer/

Here is an exchange with Bruce Ware where he says it is a waste of time to pray to Jesus. Not a sin, of course, but a waste of time.

They really don't think much of Jesus, do they? They are constantly trying to paint Him as less in some way.

Lydia

kehrsam said...

Wade: This is the one game all year in which I root for the Sooners against Mac "What do you mean honor my contract" Brown and Texas. My condolences.

As to the Trinity, thanks for the discussion. All are worthy of our honor and praise, and we would be lost if any part of the Godhead were to be missing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Slim,

Of course, I forgive any harshness with all my heart. I am worried for you and want you to remain on Wade's blog so that you can benefit from the wisdom of the others. We may be 'far apart' but I know that Wade and the others can help you. You MUST stay in this Christian community among these people.

I am certain Byron means well and he is very generous to invite us to his blog. But I'm here because of Grandmother and because Wade's story of what has happened to the Church truly breaks my heart.

As far as Christian evangelism goes, this Catholic girl has heavily contributed financially to the education and summer evangelical mission to India, of the son of a dear Baptist friend. The boy attends Liberty University.

I also have contributed to the expenses of a young Presbyterian evangelical missionary, a former member of our faculty.

The work of these young men is the work of the Holy Spirit sent forth to transform the face of the Earth. What could be more important than that?

I don't understand how your message can be SO different from theirs and you can still call it Christian evangelism. I just don't understand.

Don't blame Anna. She is Catholic and was trying to help me. You can blame me, instead, and I'm so sorry.

Your friend,
L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

You wrote:

"http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/12/21/jesus-unequal-in-prayer/

Here is an exchange with Bruce Ware where he says it is a waste of time to pray to Jesus. Not a sin, of course, but a waste of time.

They really don't think much of Jesus, do they? They are constantly trying to paint Him as less in some way."

COMMENT: Why am I not surprised?
Is this B. Ware TEACHING in a Baptist seminiary? (?)

WHERE did WARE get his training?
Or did he come up with all this himself?

Wanda said...

SL1M,

I believe you and I reached a truce a few days ago (at least I hope so), but I'm keeping my "eye" on you.

Watch that tone with Anna!!! I'm not pleased by how you are condescending to her. I hope you don't use that tone with your wife and children.

We must be careful in our communication with each other in the blogosphere because we don't know who might be reading these comments. Our interactions with our brothers and sisters in Christ is our testimony to a watching world, which includes many who are lost.

Please think about how you are coming across to not only the person you are addressing, but others who may be reading what you are writing. My comments apply to anyone else who is being unkind in this anonymous forum.

I look forward to more positive exchanges with you in the future.

Your sister in Christ,

Wanda

WTJeff said...

Peter,

What I find even more appalling is that you know very well that this post states that many are "functional" unitarians. A man of your intellect knows people can espouse a certain set of values while actually living another. (stated values v. core values) What I gather from this post is that many aren't considering ESS in light of where it would lead. Dr. Freeman points that out. He in no way calls people who espouse ESS as heretics, but implies that it could eventually lead to that. He even suggests that we withhold judgment until further scholarship is done.

What I find frustrating is YOU KNOW THAT. Yet you continue to question motives, assign blame, and therefore dismiss any relevance of this post........sounds like tactics I've seen used before.

You can continue to feel like the lone dissenter here, but several have stated they don't agree with Wade on everything. However often I don't agree, I go away from here encouraged to dig further into God's word to figure these things out and I feel free to discuss them without questioning motives.

Give it a try sometime, you might find it liberating.

Jeff

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

I feel like we could all learn from Peter, if he would just be patient with us.

Anonymous said...

"Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God."

God Bless you, Wanda!

L's Gran

Wade Burleson said...

Florence and Peter,

Since Peter never admits to any error, ever, I am sure he meant "knat" instead of, as you brilliantly suggested, "gnat.

So, Peter, what is a "knat?"

:)

I do not believe that you, Steve Fibber from Australia, or any of your other BI friends have ever been censored here.

Blessings,

Wade

Cindy said...

Ware, et. al. as world class scholars? That may well be, but I think they miss the mark on the Trinity subject.

This is very true of many disciplines. If you had an intractable headache, you would not go visit a podiatrist or a proctologist for expert care would you? You would see a neurologist, pain specialist or a specialist that had something to do with some aspect of the head or the brain.

I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge the contributions to and expertise in their fields of study in general, but concerning the Trinity, I find their arguments to be far to similar to the Jesus of the Jehovah's Witness. They are very much like Unitarians of the First Person, far too much so that I could never witness to a JW with Bruce Ware's version of Jesus and expect conversion. On other points of theology, they may well be excellent. And as people often say that these men are "such good men," I don't doubt that at all either. But that doesn't magically correct their Trinitarian views.

BTW, the Henry Center put up live blog notes from Ware's ESS debate at TEDS this week. I did not watch it. I haven't located the audio yet if it is available online. I was told that it would be eventually.
http://www.henrycenter.org/blog/?p=36

(I have not had an opportunity to review this yet.)

Robert I Masters said...

Cindy,
Dr Ware was the president of ETS.

Rob Masters

Bob Cleveland said...

I think we all ought to send Peter a gnit shirt for his birthday.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I've already ordered one.

G.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

You said, "They really don't think much of Jesus, do they? They are constantly trying to paint Him as less in some way."

Yes, they are slowly and openly leaving Him.

These men have forgotten one
thing . . .

that they live and move and have their being in Him.

If they abandon Him,
then WHERE can they go?


"Then Jesus said unto the twelve, WILL YE ALSO GO AWAY?

Then Simon Peter answered Him,
LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?
Thou hast the words of eternal life." St. John (6: 67,68)

Pray for these men, Lydia. For them and for the people they also may lead away.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

There is real problems with templating the nature of the Trinity in the context of a marriage. First of all, Paul never makes any comparison of the nature of the Trinity towards the family. Rather the husband and wife is in comparison of Christ toward the church. In reading and studying the Scriptures, I gather that the nature and revelations of the Trinity has something to do Torah. As the Torah convicts there is diliberation and debate upon the believer's conscience, the believer responds to its wisdom but is in need of a paraclete for justification as well as needing atonement.

debbiekaufman said...

Lydia: I went to the link that you gave in your comment and am astounded. I also heard a comment similar this evening and I'm still in disbelief. In fact I am astounded.

In email dialog with Dr. Ware, he has made it clear to me that he does not believe that it is a sin to pray to Jesus; however even though it is not a sin, these types of prayers do not go anywhere because Jesus does not have the role of hearing and answering prayer. On page 152-3 of his book he defines the only way to come to God in prayer. One must go to the Father alone in prayer and come through the authority of Jesus. Without coming to the Father alone and praying “in Jesus name, Amen”, at the end of our prayers, (signifying that we are coming in the authority of Jesus) our prayers will not go to God and our words will be empty, vain words.

Anonymous said...

Cindy,
Dr Ware was the president of ETS.

Rob Masters

Sat Oct 11, 11:34:00 PM 2008

Ted Haggard was President of the National Association of Evangelicals. So what is your point?

Not to mention some from liberal (even secular) institutions are on the Exec committee of ETS. And we know how your people feel about that. ETS cannot be taken seriously. Kind of like anyone from Duke Divinity School cannot be taken seriously as has been mentioned here.

Anonymous said...

In adding to the last entry, the nature of the Trinity though creedal at the Council of Nicea is not really understood well at all by that council. The festivals became Romanized and moved away from celebrating the "types and shadows" in the Torah. Anyone ever read Acts 27:9, The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) was recognized in the early church but not in the sense of the OT ordinances (Paul stated that Christ took this away and made a spectacle of them) but that does not dismiss the relevance of what that day represents in its fulfillment.

Cindy said...

Dr Ware was the president of ETS...

Francis Beckwith was elected president of the ETS, too. He returned to Catholicism.

Does the office guarantee you some Baptist version of papal infallibility or something? I missed that verse.

Cindy said...

(Paul stated that Christ took this away and made a spectacle of them) but that does not dismiss the relevance of what that day represents in its fulfillment.

Lovely way of making that point. Kind of like how the law is our pedagouge, but later gets written on our hearts?

Thy Peace said...

I see the problem clearly of what Dr. Ware stated in his comments.

"In email dialog with Dr. Ware, he has made it clear to me that he does not believe that it is a sin to pray to Jesus; however even though it is not a sin, these types of prayers do not go anywhere because Jesus does not have the role of hearing and answering prayer. On page 152-3 of his book he defines the only way to come to God in prayer. One must go to the Father alone in prayer and come through the authority of Jesus. Without coming to the Father alone and praying “in Jesus name, Amen”, at the end of our prayers, (signifying that we are coming in the authority of Jesus) our prayers will not go to God and our words will be empty, vain words."

This was pulled from Debbie's comments above.

What this tells me, is Dr. Ware and others are not reading the bible daily as others do. That is, they are not reading cover to cover. They are not letting the Word and the Holy Spirit speak to their hearts.

They are picking portions of the bible that fit their thinking, but neglecting the rest.

I would encourage them (all intellectuals, theologians and others) to read the bible daily. A portion at a time, cover to cover. Then the Word and Holy Spirit will guide them and speak to their hearts.

ezekiel said...

Joh 10:30 I and the Father are One.

Rom 8:26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

What these guys really ought to be explaining is how one can pray to the father and not pray to Jesus.

Isa 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. [Isa. 25:1; 40:9-11; Matt. 28:18; Luke 2:11.]

I want my prayers to involve all three persons.....Not really sure right now how I could pray and exclude any one of them.

Mat 16:11 How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Mat 16:12 Then they discerned that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Rex Ray said...

Ezekiel,
Thanks for the Scripture verses on prayer.

I love the meaning expressed in the Living Bible of John 16:23, 26-27:

“…you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will give you what you ask for because you use MY NAME. Ask, using MY NAME, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow. Then you will present your petitions over my SIGNATURE! And I won’t need to ask the Father to grant you these request, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love ME and believe that I came from the Father.”

If anyone believes this Scripture, why would they pray through someone else?

peter lumpkins said...

Jeff,

I am glad that you find "appalling" what you think that I very well know about this post. I am also aware, as you state, that "people can espouse a certain set of values while actually living another."

What I was not aware of nor am I still, is that people who say one thing and do another is especially called "heretics." Rather, the word we inevitably employ for that disparity is "hypoctrite." To convolute the two, it seems to me, would be no help in the least.

Secondly, Jeff, you deny the chief concern I raised about Freeman when I suggested he wrongly broad-brushed by calling Baptists heretics: "He in no way calls people who espouse ESS as heretics, but implies that it could eventually lead to that..."

The problem is, Jeff, I am unsure how you could come to such conclusion when he twice said "Most Baptists are Unitarians." If this is not enough to convince you, believe on as you wish.

Third, Jeff, you assign to me the strategy of "question[ing] motives, assign[ing] blame, and therefore dismiss[ing] any relevance of this post."

If you can show where I have "dismissed the relevance of this post" I'd be glad to address it. If I thought the post had no relevance, why am I even making exchanges on the thread?

More concerning to me is your charge that I continue to question motives and assign blame. I do my best to stick with the issues under consideration so I'd really count myself to have failed miserably if I stooped to questioning another's motives rather than his/her positions. I must insist you produce the goods. If you can, I'll address it. If you can't, I'm wondering why you would make such a charge without the appropriate evidence.

Nor have I once implied I'm the "the lone dissenter here" but have been careful to say I'm one of the "few." Would you think it more accurate I should say I am one of *many* dissenters here? If so, you and I surely have another disagreement about what constitutes the "few" compared to the "many."

I trust that clears things up nicely...With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Engaging whether or not I misspell words possesses some positive things about it, I suppose. At least it *is* engagement.

Nonetheless, if you don't mind, I'd rather stick to more substantive matters like this "new" "novel" and, consequently, "heretical teaching" you've insisted is being peddled by today's deceived SBC professors.

I suppose we could safely conclude that they are among Dr. Freeman's alleged 51% of the Unitarians among us, but maybe not. Perhaps that's a good point to ponder. What do you think?

At any rate, Wade, better still that you explain just why Boyce, Dagg, and Mullins are not also among the "new," "novel" shakers and movers in SBC academia, not to mention how they mysteriously escape the penetrating slice of your surgical knife in embracing "heretical teaching."

To engage that, I'm confident, would go much farther down the pike of understanding than whether or not I know how to spell.

With that, I am...

Peter

Rex Ray said...

To all,
I notice comments can be divided into two major categories.

Category One is written from concern, love, and truth.

Category Two is written to defend or attack egos.

It seems category Two goes on forever.

Rex Ray said...

Yes, I know...I should take my own advice.

Anonymous said...

Ezekiel said:

"What these guys really ought to be explaining is how one can pray to the Father and not pray to Jesus."

Brilliant statement!

Ezekiel said:

"I want my prayers to involve all three persons.....Not really sure right now how I could pray and exclude any one of them"

Ezekial 'gets it': 'THEM' is ONE.

Apparently Ware doesn't
'get it in One'.


Debbie Kaufman quoted Ware:
'On page 152-3 of his book he defines the only way to come to God in prayer. "One must go to the Father alone in prayer . . . . . " '

Ware doesn't 'get it' that there is no "ALONE". The mystery of the unity of the Trinity is beyond this 'great' scholar's understanding: so he dismisses the doctrine of the Trinity.
(This then makes Ware very useful to a certain cynical group in the leadership.)

Arrogance?
You can't understand the great Christian mystery of three Persons united in one God; so the doctrine must not be true?

Dr. Ware: it's OKAY to believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity: when you leave reason behind and enter into that which you cannot understand, it is called the walk of FAITH.

'One' IS 'All'
'All IS 'One"

Arrogance seems to rule the day in the court of the Fundamentalists.

Ware needs to pray the ancient Hebrew prayer:
"Hear, oh Israel:
The Lord our God
The Lord is ONE "

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Do not forget that what Ware teaches is coming out of SBTS with Mohler's complete approval.

I saw Mohler pound the air in his rebuke to the convention (when he was supposed to be giving his report as an employee of the convention) telling the convention that SBTS would maintain their 'strict' guidelines for hiring professors.

Now, we are seeing the fruit.

Another SBTS professor, Russell Moore, is calling for less complimentarianism and more Patriarchy. Ware is calling for less Jesus Christ.

If you have not done it, go to the link that Debbie provided and read the whole of the exchange with Ware. Cheryl asks Ware a very important question that he chose not to answer.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"At any rate, Wade, better still that you explain just why Boyce, Dagg, and Mullins are not also among the "new," "novel" shakers and movers in SBC academia, not to mention how they mysteriously escape the penetrating slice of your surgical knife in embracing "heretical teaching."

Did they teach it is a waste of time to pray to Jesus Christ?

Just Curious

ezekiel said...

Rex Ray,

Sort of makes you wonder what their bible says, huh?

Mine has this in it. Along with the rest of John 14.

Joh 14:13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Joh 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Joh 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Joh 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."
Joh 14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Joh 14:24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
Joh 14:25 "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Following that up with
1 John 2:20ff gets pretty interesting as well.

peter lumpkins said...

L's Gran

Whether or not Professor Ware experimentally practices what could be called a Trinitarian focus in his prayer-life, I cannot tell.

If the quote concerning him is contextually correct and represents his view adequately, for the record, know I am not one who inclines to agree with a view of prayerful address that focuses solely on One Holy Person within the Infinite.

Why you go further and make the following ridiculous charge raises even further concern for me:

"The mystery of the unity of the Trinity is beyond this 'great' scholar's understanding: SO HE DISMISSES THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY" (CAPS mine for emphasis).

Are we not capable of understanding deductive reason? Is it possible to be accurate about a brother's belief without stooping to the horrifying, wrong-headed deduction that the brother denies or dismisses the foundation belief of historic Christianity with which the doctrine of the Holy Trinity stands as core?

If Bruce Ware dismisses the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, not only should he not teach in our seminary, he should immediately be excommunicated from the church, for he dismisses the faith once for all given to the saints.

Moreover, if he does so dismiss the glorious Trinity, as you assert, we should not even give him the time of day as a believer. It's that serious--denying or "dismissing" the Trinity. We rightfully place Ware in theological cohorts with Watchtower.

That, my L'Gran, are the necessary deductions from your ill-conceived,slanderous assertion that Dr. Ware "dismisses the doctrine of the Trinity."

From my view, it's precisely the foolish assertions such as these which are leveled toward Professor Ware, that academics who teach in our seminaries are not more inclined to log on to some of the blogs and engage others concerning what they write.

Why should they waste their time in exchanges of such unmitigated gibberish? Not to mention, in this case, sinful slander.

With that, I am...

Peter

Corrie said...

http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-11-No-1/Relationships-and-Roles-in-the-New-Creation

Has anyone read this article?

Basically, we will still be wives and husbands in Heaven, but perfect ones.

Headship over women is still going to be a reality in Heaven even though "head" only refers to a husband and we are specifically told there is NO marriage, aka husbands/wives, in Heaven.

Why do I need a husband in heaven when I am going specifically to be joined to my Heavenly Bridegroom, my Head?

This is, imho, Mormon Theology, in a Christian wrapping paper.

Uber-loving husband and uber-submissive, bond-slave wives.

Why do we need Jesus if marriage is temporary? Isn't He our Head in Heaven? Aren't we all priests unto God and won't we all judge the angels?

Anonymous said...

Peter said:

"To engage that, I'm confident, would go much farther down the pike of understanding than whether or not I know how to spell."

Knatcherly, Peter, we all understand you very well.
Well, knearly all of the time. :)

Have a knice day. :)

WTJeff said...

Peter,

You know, you're right. As I've looked back at your entries, you haven't question motives or assigned blame, and you did say you are one of a "few" dissenters here, not the lone one. I'm usually more thorough than that, so I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

However, you continue to act as if Dr. Freeman didn't begin the post by saying that many baptist are functional Unitarians. Chris addressed it best and you dismissed it with a simple "you may think as you so wish".

Your primary heartburn seems to be caused by the fact Dr. Freeman's conclusion would label many baptists unitarians. If he's right, its a cause for concern. If he's not, are we worse off for the discussion? I personally don't think he's right, however, I've been encouraged to consider my view of the Trinity more seriously and am better for it. Isn't that the point?

Making comments like, "Perhaps the Mad Hatter has whispered it in your ear" or "The ridiculous positions with which we find ourselves facing when we attempt to defend the indefensible stand asttounding" is condescending and creates animosity due to your tone rather than consideration of your argument. A man with your God given intellect and command of the English language can do better.

Just as I have acknowledge my error towards you, I hope you will acknowledge you often hurt your own cause by the tone of your comments.

Grace,

Jeff

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

I agree, tone of the message can really turn people off. All Peter ever seems to do is put people down and that is bad tone. His (I Am) smarter than everybody else is really bad tone. He could really do better if he would just try a little harder.

Anonymous said...

"That, my L'Gran, are the necessary deductions from your ill-conceived,slanderous assertion that Dr. Ware "dismisses the doctrine of the Trinity."

For the record, I don't think Ware dismisses the doctrine of the Trinity... so to speak

I think he is subtly changing it. And, he is not alone.

He is doing this to fit a presupposition of his view of women. It is that simple.

Frankly, Ware needs interpreters and apologists for what he teaches all the time as we have seen quite a bit lately. Which brings me to the point that I trust Cheryl's dialogue with him because it is not the first time and I have been reading/listening to Ware for quite a while now.

The fact that Ware does not feel the need to defend what he teaches when he is 'always' misunderstood by so many (Denton Bible church, etc) says quite a bit about him. As a teacher, I would think he would want to be clear and not so often misunderstood...if, in fact, he IS misunderstood. The onus is on HIM to be clear about what he is teaching where there is misunderstanding. Or, does he believe he is above that?

Is it allowed to critique the teachings of our current seminary professors that are public? Or has that become a sin since the CR cleaned house? Was that only reserved for those in the CR leadership?

You sling the 'slander' word around quite a bit, Peter. It is an empty threat when it concerns publicly available teaching by professors in our seminaries who are paid by our tithe dollars. We have every right to analyze what they teach...publicly.

It is what the CR taught us to do. :o)

However, your 'CR' tactics of insults and name calling are not working anymore.

Lydia

Cindy said...

Peter wrote: Moreover, if he does so dismiss the glorious Trinity, as you assert, we should not even give him the time of day as a believer. It's that serious--denying or "dismissing" the Trinity. We rightfully place Ware in theological cohorts with Watchtower.

That, my L'Gran, are the necessary deductions from your ill-conceived,slanderous assertion that Dr. Ware "dismisses the doctrine of the Trinity."



Peter,

This is a distortion of what was said. We do give him the time of day as a believer and as a scholar, but he is teaching a doctrine of the Trinity that is not sound. I don't agree with him on many aspects of the gender debate, but he believes that these two topics are inextricably bound to one another in ways that I do not believe are supported in Scripture.

He isn't denying or dismissing the Trinity, he is teaching a version of it wherein certain aspects of it -- those concerning authority and will -- are very much like a JW teaching. This does not mean he is a JW but has accepted an aberrant doctrine that bears some similarities to JW doctrine. This does not otherwise negate areas of scholarship where he teaches sound doctrine, nor does it mean that he is not a believer.

None of this is personal, save that he personally teaches this stuff. And he does teach these things very publicly in many venues.

You've grossly distorted what's been said here. If Bruce Ware confesses faith in the risen Christ Jesus in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily according to the teachings of Paul the Apostle, we have fellowship in Christ. He is a fellow believer who has some novel ideas about the Trinity, one that I believe is an anthropomorphized view. Russell Moore, Ware's Dean, has said that people who reject this understanding are rejecting the Father's Lordship over His creation and are worshipping a false God. They say people like me who don't agree with their whole package (one that makes intramural matters essential doctrine) are open theists and in the equivalent of "same sex marriages." I am neither of these things.

Though I think that their view of Christ is skewed in some respects (not all), I am not even willing to say that they worship the wrong God (that which they say of me). I think this is teaching is a very poor one that is aberrant, but I don't think that classifies Ware or Moore as heretics or that they are no longer Christian. But after a fairly lengthy series of long, private emails exchanged between Cheryl Schatz and Bruce Ware (far more than the summary that appears online, some of which I've been privileged to read), he said that he would no longer have any contact with her because of her doctrine and said he would pray for her soul. He's deemed her a false teacher that is basically like a publican or an apostate. Yet, only I think these men have adopted some teachings that are false/aberrant, not that they are no longer believers.

Even Kevin Giles only contests doctrine in his work, though he points out well that elements of Ware's Jesus do correspond to some aspects of Arianism. Giles never called Ware or Grudem heretics but pointed out his issues with the doctrines that they teach (publicly). No one has misrepresented their doctrine which is why Cheryl Schatz opened up and pursued a lengthy series of discussions via email with Dr. Ware in the first place -- to accurately discern exactly what he was teaching and promoting. That is not slander. Presenting an apologetic for your views and critiquing someone else's TEACHING is not slander or libel.

Please understand that it is the fact that we embrace these folks as fellow believers that we bother to address these disturbing things. The reverse of what you assert in your comment is true.

Cindy said...

L's Gran,

If you think that Ware does "dismiss the Trinity," I would have to disagree on your choice of terms. I think that he desperately wants to understand the Trinity, but his presuppositions about relationships affect how he puts the Word into perspective. This is true of any presupposition, because you must make some assumptions to make sense of anything in this life. So it all depends on how you define "dismiss."

"Dismissal" could be considered "anti-trinitarian" which would techinically differ from non-trinitarian, or as Freeman asserts, unitarian.

Some also argue that these views are actually tri-theistic when taken to their logical conclusion. On page 588 of Moreland and Craig's "Philosophical Basis for a Christian Worldview," they state:
"The Father's begetting of the Son amounts to creatio ex nihilo, which as Arius saw, makes the Son a creature... There just happen to exist three divine beings all sharing the same nature... Thus there is no salient difference between functional monotheism and polytheism." This is a pitfall of what is classified as social trinitarianism, where I would classify Ware's views. (This is not to say that an anti-social trinitarian view such as were held by of Augustine and Aquinas did not have their own unique pitfalls that lean toward Unitarianism and Modalism.)

A philosophy professor who happens to be an actual Unitarian classifies Douglas Wilson' subordination within the Trinity as polytheistic:
http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/trinity.htm

I do find it interesting that along with the discussion of the Trinity, somehow Ware seems to always slip gender into the discussion. Some have said that this is evidence that he allowed his gender presuppositions to affect his understanding about the Trinity. With that consideration, "dismissing the Trinity" might be another way of stating that he sold out the Trinity to support his gender views. I don't think that we have enough evidence or have the ability to really know whether that is the case, but we can certainly say that Ware cannot separate gender from the identity of God. Whether one caused the other teaching to develop, we don't know, but we can say that his current understanding of one issue NOW significantly influences his understanding of the other.

However you classify Ware's teaching, I think we who find his views too odd or out of touch can agree that they do not faithfully represent a traditional, pre 1977 understanding of Christian Orthodoxy. (1977 being the first publication cited by Kevin Giles that connected a subordinated view of Christ within the Trinity with the gender debate.)

Cindy said...

That is 1977 being the YEAR of the first publication... Which would be that of George Knight, III.


Lydia, that's not fair that while I'm rambling, you're posting... And we're thinking the same things, so you make me look redundant. It's validating, however. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

I think it is obvious that you are much more well read than I am! (And more eloquent)

I really appreciate your comments and I have learned tons from your blog.

Lydia

Cindy said...

I wrote: A philosophy professor who happens to be an actual Unitarian classifies Douglas Wilson' subordination within the Trinity as polytheistic:
http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/trinity.htm


For those of you who are unfamiliar, Federal Vision, another group that claims Reformed Christianity holds a view of Trinity hierarchy that bears many similarities to Ware's view. Doug Wilson and Doug Jones who articulate Federal Vision's twist on the Trinity do make the same associations between gender and the Trinity "roles," though they also say that the Holy Spirit is like unto a child in marriage. Considering how much plagiarism goes on amongst Federal Vision leaders, I don't doubt that they cribbed from Ware, Grudem and Knight for the basic understanding, adding to it their own, unique distinctions.

Federal Vision Hierarchy:
- Father = Husband/Father
- Jesus = Wife/Mother
- Holy Spirit = Children

I have not read that Ware draws this binding analogy between the Holy Spirit and children within a family, but he does teach that the Holy Spirit is subject to both of the wills of God the Father and Christ the Son, falling third in the hierarchy. Such was also the is the same point that the Federal Visionists were illustrating by drawing this analogy.

Anonymous said...

A most revealing topic!

For some time now, I have been wanting to ask the Southern Baptist powers that be these questions:

Whatever happened to Jesus? Where did He go? Why do we not talk about Him anymore, save for tacking "In Jesus name and for His sake" onto our prayers?

Time was, if you went to Sunday School in an SBC church, you learned of Jesus. If you studied the Old Testament, it was in relation to Jesus and how it foretold and foreshadowed Him.

Or you studied His teaching or His life. If you studied the writings of Paul or Peter or John, etc, you studied what they said about Him.

Now, we study what the Bible says about women, or about gays, or about governments, or about the church, or about money, or other such earthly topics. All of these have their place in ordering our lives as Christians.

Still, when a church purports to be a Christian church, you would expect to hear about Jesus at least some of the time.

My prayer for the SBC is that it return to preaching Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

Linda

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia AND Peter,

It's me, L's Gran.

No, I don't think Dr. Ware has abandoned ALL doctrines of the Trinity, just the Orthodox one.

Dr. Ware's views remind me of the ancient Trinitarian heresy of 'Subordinationism'.
(Yes, it's actually called that!).

In 'Subordinationism', the concept of shared SUBSTANCE is denied. In short, this heresy admits there are three Persons in God, but DENIES that the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of the same SUBSTANCE as the Father. ('co-substantial')

So, a prayer to the Father, in this heresy would not be addressed to the Son. And Ware seems to feel that this is possible.

So, I'm not 'slandering' Dr. Ware. I don't think he has come up with anything new at all. I AM saying that he presents himself to me in his writings as someone who is STRONGLY INFLUENCED by 'subordinationism': an ancient heresy, in my OWN church.

TO PETER:

Hi, Peter, it's me. 'your' L's Gran.:)

I DO defend the concept of the unity of the three persons in one substance, don't I?

Want to know why? Well, I'll tell you, in case you do.

God asks us to do this:
" LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS
THYSELF". Hard for us, isn't it?
How can this be ? : my neighbor and I are not one in being.

But, Peter, what better model to help us understand how this is possible than that of the UNITY of the Holy Trinity?

It is easy for each Member of the Holy Trinity to love the Other BECAUSE THEY SHARE THE SAME SUBSTANCE.
Mysterious? You bet.

That 'co-substantiation' teaching may NOT be part of Southern Baptist teaching; (at least not anymore). I simply do not know if it is. If someone out there can tell me, I would be grateful.

Sorry you were upset.
"Your" L's Gran

Byroniac said...

Linda, I cannot speak for your experience, and truth be told, I cannot even speak for any SBC churches outside of my experience. Thankfully, my experience has not been the same as yours. Some SBC churches have never left Jesus Christ, and they are not all about issues of one stripe or another, either.

Cindy said...

I find myself thinking of the Dorothy Sayers quote that Dr. Freeman sites in his article (follow the link that is posted in Pastor Wade's blog post here, just after his email).

"The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the whole thing incomprehensible."

He also quotes old Weldon Johnson quote about futile attempts to "unscrew the inscrutable."

I really thought of it when L's Gran says "Mysterious? You bet."

Anonymous said...

Ladies, ladies,

I am quite astonished at the fact that we have ALL been posting at the same time.

While I was trying to dig myself out of the valley of 'slander' with Peter; you all have been enlightening me wonderfully.

Have any of you ever heard of the heresy of 'subordinationism'?
Apparently, it is related, but not identical, to Arianism.

The knowledge you all bring here is first-rate. I am honored to learn from you. :)

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,

Off subject, sorry. But, I, too, am a devoted fan of Dorothy Sayers and 'Gaudy Night' is my favorite of her mysteries. I understand that in later life, she was also a theologian? Am I correct?
L's Gran

Corrie said...

Are we not all called to be "world-class scholars" when it comes to the Holy Scriptures? WHO is it that gives us understanding of the contents of the Bible?

A silly housewife from Missouri has as much ability to understand the triune God as a seminary-educated man. Jesus chose His apostles and they were mostly uneducated while the most educated men in the Scriptures were profoundly lost (scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees) and had very little understanding of the meaning of said Scriptures even though they spent most of their time looking through them in.

The blind man from birth in John 9 who Jesus subsequently healed of his blindness knew more about the Scriptures and what they said than the "world-class scholars" of his day.

How do we gain wisdom in order to understand God? Ask without wavering as James tells us to.

Someone stated that the Bible is not getting read cover to cover and I would agree. Certain portions are being picked out of their context in order to shore up preconceived notions and that is dangerous. When we spend all of our time trying to prove our views on one issue we lose grasp of the big picture.

After reading that very disconcerting article on the CBMW website about the eternal subordination of women and the eternal headship of men over women, I have to wonder if this new fiddling around with the Trinity is directly related with the desire to eternally subordinate women.

What I read in that article is more akin to Mormon theology and the premise of that article is NOT founded in Scripture at all even though the author accuses people who think like me as being "reckless" in their theology. Ahem.....

No marriage in Heaven = no husbands= no wives= no headship. The only time a man is said that he is a "head" is in conjunction with a wife and he is only head of that wife in this life since DEATH ends that covenant. Men, in general, are not heads of all women unless I am missing something?

I thought Jesus answered this question of marriage in Heaven quite well. When a woman who has been married to several brothers because of being widowed gets to Heaven, who will be her husband?

Answer: NONE of them.

Christ is our Bridegroom, He is our head and we, both male and female, are His bride. That is why marriage is not in Heaven because it is unnecessary when we are joined to Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And what about single women? Who will be their head in Heaven? Which man/men will they be eternally subordinate to?

I am unsure of how this article got onto the CBMW website when so many world-class scholars are supervising?

Where is it said in orthodox Christian doctrine that men will be heads of their wives and women are eternally married/subordinate to their husbands? I have yet to read such a thing in the writings of the scholars of old.

So, now we mess around with the Trinity and make Jesus eternally subordinate to the Father and.....voila!....you have women who are eternally subordinate to men. That, imho, is not world-class scholarship at all and that is the very definition of "reckless theology".

I went to the True Woman 08 conference this weekend in Chicago and John Piper even stated that marriage is temporary and only for this earth. In fact, he just wrote a book on this very thing.

Am I missing something? Why does there seem to be a type of schizophrenia amongst the complementarians? It could be quite confusing to those who are followers and do not practice being a Berean.

What am I to think? Is the sentiment of the article from CBMW that I just posted part of the True Woman Manifesto that the 6,000 plus women were encouraged to sign or not?

Anonymous said...

Wanda,

That will be the day when everyone follows the advice that you have given of not insulting other commenters.

Including SL1M, you, Gran, Anna, Lydia, Peter, Tom, and just about everyone else commenting here, with rare exception.

I just thumbed back through many of the comments and almost everyone is guilty. They each just have different bickering "partners".

Byron and gang have removed themselves on Gran's biblical salvation issue to Byron's blog out of respect for Wade and this comment stream topic. I think that is commendable. They have stopped commenting but the wisecracks and insults keep flying. Why?

If you want to continue to talk about what P.P., Ware and Mohler think about women and their role in the church, or the trinity issue, keep on keeping on. If you want to interact on what is biblical salvation then move over to Byron and gang. That sounds like a fair proposition to me.

Personally, I can't understand why everyone except SL1M and Byron are ignoring the unbiblical views of sin and salvation portrayed here.

Then again, Baptists have always had a tradition of ignoring the real calling of the church while they go back and forth debating ad nauseum over issues like this.

I'm not saying this is not important, and for the record, I am on the majorities side on this blog regarding the current topic.

Okay, my worthless thoughts. Let the insults begin to prove my first two paragraphs.

Good Day!

Paul H.

Lin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Cindy said,

"But after a fairly lengthy series of long, private emails exchanged between Cheryl Schatz and Bruce Ware (far more than the summary that appears online, some of which I've been privileged to read), he said that he would no longer have any contact with her because of her doctrine and said he would pray for her soul. He's deemed her a false teacher that is basically like a publican or an apostate."

WOW! His treatment of Cheryl tells more about his theology that anything he preaches. Very revealing insight into the mind of a man who 'knows he's right'.



Hi, Corrie

True wisdom brings a humble spirit a one of its gift. God gives grace to the humble. You are right. A world-class education is no replacement for the gift of God's wisdom to us:
where He gives the little child to see, that which He keeps hidden from the Elders.
You are absolutely right. :)L's G.

Lin said...

What am I to think? Is the sentiment of the article from CBMW that I just posted part of the True Woman Manifesto that the 6,000 plus women were encouraged to sign or not?

Sun Oct 12, 05:11:00 PM 2008

Corrie, Are you saying that 6000 women were asked to sign a True Woman manifesto at this conference? Were they given the manifesto ahead of time to pray over alone or did they see it for the first time at the conferenceand asked to sign it there?

Was CBMW one of the sponsors of this conference?

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

Wanda, Anna, Lydia, and Tom! I should always be honored to be included in comparison with any of these people. Although, you may be right, that I, personally, have, at times, chosen the wrong words to express my views.

And, yes, I AM a terrible 'bird-walker (a person who gets off topic). Because of full-time work and the care of an aged parent, I never had a chance to blog before my retirement and the loss of my father.

I am a 'blogging novice'. SO I'M STILL LEARNING THE RULES. :)

If I have offended, it was not done consciously.

L's Gran

Cindy said...

I want to make clear how it was that I came to read some of these emails between Cheryl Schatz and Bruce Ware. When I returned from an apologetics conference in March, a member of the apologetics group's advisory board told me that I should repent for misrepresenting Bruce Ware. The conference ended on a Saturday, and I contacted the president of the apologetics group as well as Cheryl Schatz to evaluate whether I had done anything in error. If there were apologies to be made, I was more than willing to make them, but someone for whom I had great respect would have to demonstrate to me with a high degree of credulity that I was actually in error. Benefit of the doubt was awarded to Ware due to the appeal to authority, but the emails were introduced into this private correspondence as additional evidence to "prove" my case.

Cheryl Schatz was kind enough to share her correspondence with Dr. Ware with me (and the president of an apologetics organization) because a member of their board who studied under Ware said that Ware could never have professed subordinationism, nor could he have stated that women were derivative or indirect images of God. I knew that Cheryl had some extensive discussion with Ware, so asked her if she would be willing to share her experience with me to help me decide if I had in any way misrepresented Ware.

It was decided, after both Cheryl and this group's president reviewed what I presented and this correspondence with Ware, I'd actually understated his views.

So I just wanted to QUALIFY exactly how I was privileged to see those emails that clarified for the president of that group at that time that I had not misrepresented Bruce Ware in any way. (I'd been pressured to agree to contact Ware and to be sycophantic in an apology for misrepresenting him by someone who was completely unaware of Ware's book on the Trinity or his gender teachings.) I just wanted to explain why I saw these private emails, though I can also now corroborate Cheryl Schatz and the information that she presents on her website and in her new video on the topic that will be released later this month. They were offered to me and one other in a private and limited setting (which I agreed to keep private) in order to overcome this other apologist's disbelief that Ware would actually believe such odd things.

Cindy said...

http://www.cbmw.org/Conferences/Current-Conferences/True-Woman-08

Anonymous said...

Good attitude Gran and no problem.

We all are guilty.

The worst of the one's on that list will be the one's that cry, "Not Me!"

:O

Good Day!

Paul H.

peter lumpkins said...

Jeff,

First, I accept the apology but please know it is unnecessary from my perspective. If I am offended, responsibility rests, in large part, with me, not you.

Second, why you could not just stop there and let it go astounds me. If you were wrong, you've admitted it and that's that.

Instead, you attempt to scorch my britches a second time, making it appear, at least to me, that I'm gonna get got no matter what.

Nonetheless, your second list of grievances is no better than the first. Let me show you what I mean.

First, you mention my response to Chris: "you continue to act as if Dr. Freeman didn't begin the post by saying that many baptist are functional Unitarians. Chris addressed it best and you dismissed it..." I am unsure how that's supposed to solicit anything other than "So?"

Was it not you, Jeff, who picked Chris' point back up, arguing for a distinction between "functional heresy" and "actual heresy"? I simply do not know how you are desiring me respond.

So I'll state this yet once again: If anything/anyone is being thoroughly dismissed it's a) Wade's insistence that SBC theologians are teaching heresy and b) Dr. Freeman's irresponsible statement that "most Baptists are Unitarians."

Nor is my alleged "primary heartburn" caused by the fact Dr. Freeman's conclusion would label *many* baptists unitarians."

Rather, its his stated insistence that *most*--not *many* toward which both you and Chris continue to soften the term)--*most* Baptists *are* Unitarians, Unitarians that have "not gotten around" to "denying the Trinity." Why this is continued to be defended astounds me.

Nor are we remotely "better off", Jeff, and that for a very simple reason: stating something that is definitively not so, cannot be proven to be so, and links the majority of of a group of professing Christians with a known heresy cannot be exploited for a faint hope that asks "...are we worse off for the discussion?" You're darn right we're worse off, when we associate our brothers' beliefs with heresy, without the sure & certain goods to back it up.

Interestingly, this community saturates itself with blasting the views of Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, and others--The SBC Machine--for "narrowing" the doctrinal parameters in our convention: "The BF&M is the maximum document!"

Then comes the complete about-face, arguing for one specific way of viewing the interpersonal relations of the Trinity--a subject paradoxically the BF&M does not address, which, if consistent with the bloghost here, should therefore be perfectly acceptable!

Nonetheless, boldly proclaimed as "heretical teaching" the professors' view because it does not match the view here. Oh, I almost forgot: it allegedly doesn't match The Nicene Creed either.

We are not worse off, are we? I fear I must continue to dissent.

As for the final few digs about the "Mad Hatter" and the completely general and lame description citing no one in particular, I can only say, if you do not like them, you are much more than free to reject them and, if you choose, judge them condescending, Jeff. Be my guest.

Know, in the very same sense, I could, if I so chose, make out as condescending the allusion to my "primary heartburn" or my lack of desire to read Scripture made earlier or Wade's goading because I cannot spell, etc etc, etc., all of which could carry a scorching sense of arrogance.

The duplicity is, all those images could carry with them none at all--at least intended--but, instead, just clowning around, trying to lighten things up, in an environment that is tense.

Consequently, I simply refuse to go toe to toe with anyone about what I think is in their heart or what they think is in mine. That, my friend, is the devil's bone-yard.

With that, I am...

Peter

Corrie said...

Hi Lin,

The 6,000 plus women were given the Manifesto on Friday. They were asked to sign it on Saturday. You can also read it on the True Woman '08 website and sign it there (where you give all your pertinent information).

If you read it you will see that it is pretty much okay on the first look. I haven't been able to go through all the Scriptures that they used to prove their points. But, knowing that "biblical womanhood" to me is not the same as "biblical womanhood" to so many others is unsettling. I did not sign it nor will I, especially after reading the article on the CBMW website concerning eternal headship of husbands over their eternally subordinate wives for all eternity in Heaven. How am I to know that this article is not also part and parcel with that Manifesto?

Yes, CBMW was a sponsor and they also had a resource table at the conference. Also, when I was at the table a discussion about how some Christians were "attacking" Ware and other great teachers concerning the doctrine of the Trinity was taking place.

I am still processing the whole conference. The messages by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Joni Erickson Tada and a couple of others were very good and inspiring. John Piper also spoke concerning the temporary nature of marriage and how gender distinctions are at the center of the Gospel. Mary Kassian spoke about the radical feminist agenda and how that has infiltrated the Church. I did not get into waving my white hankie that was supplied to me in "surrender and conviction", though. Don't usually go for emotional hype at all. Tim Challies was there live-blogging the whole thing and you can read his thoughts on the conference at his website.

Tom Parker said...

Peter;

Can you not come up with any other blog topics that do not include Wade Burleson? You use the tried and true CR tactics of trying to marginalize a fellow Christian. You can do better. I'm sure he could say lots about you but is a better man. He even lets you dissent on his blog. You've got your few that eat sleep and drink whatever you say but it just aint many.

WTJeff said...

Peter,

At least I can admit when I am wrong. Your condescending tone continues and your arguments, many of which are valid, continue to be disregarded due to your tone.

Why you can't see what most here can; that Dr. Freeman was not making an emphatic statement that baptists are unitarians, but making the point, that in his opinion, many may be functioning as such; is beyond me. Perhaps you feel your intelligence was insulted, I don't know. I don't agree with him and don't see ESS proponents as functionally heretical.

I only know this post caused me to consider more deeply what I practice and what I believe and for that I am better. I'm sorry you can't say the same.

With that....... I'm done.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Tom,

"You've got your few that eat sleep and drink whatever you say but it just aint many."

Your right. The majority here have at least one family member who is an infernal gas-bag. Most of us recognize one when we see one.

Anonymous said...

After 9/11, when the government failed to investigate thoroughly, a valiant group of women went to Congress and demanded a complete investigation. These women were known as the 'Jersey Girls'. They were widows of victims.

Cindy and Cheryl: how is it that you remind me of the Jersey Girls? Thank you for your work and for your courage: you can only make things better for the women of the Church. Keep up the good work. There is a story out there to be told. You two are on the front lines, as are others on this blog. Be of good courage. They have much to hide. We have much to find out. You serve a just and right cause.
God bless.

peter lumpkins said...

Cindy,

Thanks.

First, Cindy, you write I "distorted" what was said: "This is a distortion of what was said. We *do give* him the time of day as a believer and as a scholar..."(asterisks mine). Unfortunately, I most certainly did not deny you "give him the time of day."

Rather, I said "if he does so dismiss the glorious Trinity, as you assert, we *should not* even give him the time of day as a believer..." There is, as you know, a great gap between what *is* and what *ought* to be.

Therefore, as to the first charge of "distortion", I am inclined to plead 'not guilty', Cindy.

Alas, but two charges of distortion remain, with a "grossly" and "reverse of what [I] insert is true" added to the mix.

You, then, proceed to assert "he is teaching a doctrine of the Trinity that is not sound." And you are welcome to make such statements if you so choose. However, what I have consistently argued against is "heretical teaching" (bloghost) and "most Baptists are Unitarians (Freeman). This is what you call "not sound."

For the record, you are welcome, Cindy, to post your thoughts why Professor Ware's understanding of the eternal inter-personal relations is flawed, even "new" and "novel."

While you are at it, please inform us why A. Strong, J. Boyce, J. Dagg, and E.Y. Mullins--great Baptist theologians beginning in the 19th Century--were also guilty of this "not sound" understanding of the Triune God, an understanding somehow that now is "new" and "novel"

In addition, your assessment of Professor Ware as teaching a view of the Trinity similar to JWs is precisely why I said such as I did, even alluding to Watchtower myself: "We rightfully place Ware in theological cohorts with Watchtower."

If Wade is correct, that this is "heretical teaching", and you are correct. Cindy, that Dr. Ware holds to "aberrant doctrine" that is "not sound"--doctrines which are not about tongues, PPL, baptism or how to do missions--rather doctrines that strike at the heart of the NT revelation concerning precisely Who God is and Who He has infallibly revealed Himself to be, we simply cannot, on my nickel, brush that aside with a simple since-we-all-believe-in-Jesus-we-still-have-fellowship approach.

The next part of your comment to me, I have to say, possesses little relevance, my sister. I haven't a clue why it's penned to me. But I am nonetheless disturbed by it.

The simple reason is this: it appears that, by taking occasion of pronouncing my views "grossly distorted", you oddly inserted accusations against Dr. Ware, deduced from private emails, accusations which possess no relevance to the assertions I've made here.

Indeed, if the "fairly lengthy series of long, private emails exchanged between Cheryl Schatz and Bruce Ware" were, in fact "private" why would you reveal the content here?
Are these the same emails apparently posted online?

In addition, are the emails posted online, the identical emails from which you gathered this bit of info about Dr. Ware's alleged accusations against Cheryl?

If not, we have a bit of moral confusion here. Not only did you admit to reading some of the "private emails", counting such as being "privileged to read", but also revealed publicly, from that private email exchange, something that could tarnish Dr. Ware's character, if the context is not known.

Unfortunately, private conversations have a way of making their way into this particular venue. For that, we should be sad.

I will be more than willing to admit I've "grossly distorted" the views about which I write, Cindy. From what you have mentioned thus far, I cannot see that I have.

Grace, sister.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Linda wrote:

"Still, when a church purports to be a Christian church, you would expect to hear about Jesus at least some of the time.

My prayer for the SBC is that it return to preaching Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."


So now churches are more into preaching about the 'place' of women, and about the gays, and other assorted hot topics of choice among the far-far-right? And Jesus is not among them?
That is sad.

I remember watching a crusade by Billy Graham, oh so many years ago. He talked about a man who was lost in a large city and could not find his way home. There was a large cross built in this city, a land-mark.
Someone tried to help the man and give him directions. But the man simply said,
"TAKE ME TO THE CROSS;
I CAN FIND MY WAY HOME FROM
THERE."

Billy's sermon, given so long ago, never mentioned any of the 'hot topics' of today's far-right Christianity.

Just about Jesus.

Only Him.

Maybe today's Baptists need to hear that sermon again, because they have lost their way and are going in so many different directions.

Like the lost man, they need to say:

"TAKE US TO THE CROSS; FROM THEIR, WE CAN FIND OUR WAY HOME AGAIN." L's Gran

peter lumpkins said...

Jeff,

Once again, you simply cannot seem to pen one comment without getting personal: "Your condescending tone continues and your arguments, many of which are valid, continue to be disregarded due to your tone."

Arrogance is flatly condemned in Scripture as sin. Period.
The difficulty in dealing with arrogance is its obvious interior nature. It is even more difficult to pen down in printed material.

In the future, I'd concentrate more, were I you, on content and less on heart, accusing others of sin against God when you cannot know their soul.

Now, for the record, if you think I am here with some grand illusion that my arguments will convince anyone who logs on and comments, I must be clear: I am not.

Rather I am here to challenge the wrongful calling of white black, and that regardless of whether any commenter agrees. For every 10 commenters, there are ten--maybe twenty--times the readers and lookers who never comment. It will be those silent ones to which my hope hangs who will, by and large, see and decide spurious argument when they see it.

And, know: if they judge my argument as spurious, so be it. I am content with such. I can only speak, under God, as my God-given abilities allow.

With that, I am...

Peter

John Fariss said...

I have not commented in this string, but I have been following it. And rather than offer my opinion "for what it's worth," much less weigh in on who has been snarky to whom (same old, same old there), I want to pull back a little and offer something that I think goes to the core of this (and many other) issues.

It seems to me that many in the fundamentalist camp (and maybe others too, but I have noticed it more there) place an overarching value on logical deductions. (It is as if their faith is based on Scripture AND logic, much as "we" accuse the Catholics of basing theirs on Scripture AND tradition). That seems to be where this whole concept of marital submission based on trinitarian submission (if there is such a thing) comes from: since the Holy Spirit is (eternally?) submissive to both the Father and the Son, and since the Son (Jesus) is eternally submissive to God the Father, and since there are some passages that identify the believer's relationship using a marriage analogy (the church as the bridegroom of Christ, etc.), therefore gender relationships must follow the same sort of hierachy. It is really good logic; mind you, I don't buy it, not at any of several levels, but it is good logic.

There is a danger in extrapolating our logic too far, no matter how logical it is. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8) In other words, God is not bound by our logic. Southern preachers (and theologians) did an excellent job, in terms of logic, in proving how Biblical slavery was. But that did not make it right in God's eyes.

I remember a rule-of-thumb given me by a theology professor at the old SEBTS: before you go out on a limb with some new theology, research the old. And if someone hasn't come up with it before, it's suspect and maybe a bit arrogant on your part. And if someone did come up with it before, discover if anyone else came up with a way to refute it, because if they did, maybe that's why it isn't well known today. And several of you have pointed out some history that Dr. Ware and others perhaps should have known.

There is one other area I feel led to suggest, and that is a deeper source for the use of logic for this theology. One part of it is the Enlightenment of course, which put "everything" in the Protestant Reformation on a scientific basis--which actually mean that Science becomes the standard for evaluating theology--and even though my Bachelor's degree was in Physics, I have a problem with that. But another part is that old, very human issue of arrogance. It is as if we cannot dare admit there is something beyond our ability to understand, which means we have virtually written the mysterious out of our Protestant faith. I had a professor in seminary who, it seemed, had a good answer for every question posed to him--until one day he was stumped. I don't even recall the question, but I remember his reply. He said, "Doing theology is a little like doing long division. Occasionally, the answer comes out even; but most of the time, you come out with a remainder left over." Why can't we, and why today's SBC professors and thinkers admit that much?

John Fariss

Tom Parker said...

John Fariss:

Much in the Christian realm can not be logiced out. Faith, inspiration, etc, the working out of our salvation with fear and trembling is all part of being a Christian. Too many times the logical deductions introduces unnecessary arrogance on the part of some. It all becomes the part of being a winner and having someone else be a loser. As Christians we are all on the same team.

peter lumpkins said...

Lydia,

Please note the comments to the others who continue to suggest I "distort" the record here. They may offer a fuller response.

Unfortunately, you write "You sling the 'slander' word around quite a bit, Peter..." and deem it an "empty threat" because the teaching is public.

I am unsure how "slander" is connected to "threat" at all, to be honest. I do know, however, to explicitly say someone peddles "heretical teaching" when it is definitively not "heretical teaching" is not empty at all; it is slander.

Moreover, to suggest I've even remotely implied that we have no right to evaluate our teachers is simply false: "We have every right to analyze what they teach." We not only have a right, we have a duty to so so.

Anyone who has followed my site, is aware of my definitive reservations about the strong Calvinism being taught today, especially on the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary! At the same time, I challenge anyone to find on any post or comment where I have irresponsibly dubbed Calvinism as heresy.

Finally, Lydia, I have no time further to defend against the dubious charge of "CR" tactics of "insults and name-calling". If you've got something specific, I'll address it. If not, consider this my good night to you.

With that, I am...

Peter

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