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Bruce Ware and A Complementarian Vision of Creation

August 24, 2009

Sunday at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, Dr. Bruce Ware, one of our elders, preached a sermon from Genesis 1-3 entitled “A Complementarian Vision of Creation.”

The contents of his sermon gave 10 reasons for affirming male-headship in the created order as seen in Genesis 1-3.  Here are the ten reasons:

  1. The order of creation, with the man created first, indicates God’s design of male headship in the male/female relationship.  See Paul’s interpretation in 1 Timothy 2:13.
  2. The means of the woman’s creation as “out of” or “from” the man bears testimony also to the headship of the the male in the relationship.  See Paul’s interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:8.
  3. While both man and woman are fully the image of God, yet the woman’s humanity as “image of God’ is established as she comes from the man.  See Paul’s interpretation of I Cor. 11:7.
  4. The woman was created for the man’s sake or to be Adam’s helper (Gen. 2:18, 20).  See Paul’s interpretation of I Cor. 11:9-11.
  5. Man (not woman) was given God’s moral commandment in the garden; and the woman learned God’s moral command from the man.
  6. Man named the woman both before and after the entrance of sin.
  7. Satan approached the woman (not the man) in the temptation, usurping God’s design of male-headship.  See Paul’s interpretation of I Tim. 2:14).
  8. Although the woman sinned first, God comes to the man first, holding him (not her) primarily responsible for their sin.  Interesting implications for Paul’s interpretation of Romans 5:12-19 & I Cor. 15:22.
  9. The curse on the man and woman indicate the fundamental purposes for which each were created, respectively (Gen. 3:16-19).
  10. The Trinity’s equality and distinction of Persons is mirrored in male-female equality and distinction.

A full outline and audio will be put up at CBMW’s Gender Blog.  The content of the sermon was helpful to see Paul’s understanding and interpretation of Genesis 1-3 in the Church and home.

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57 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 6:54 pm

    Many of these are simply statements of opinion.

    However, some can be discussed.

    #3 Is the woman who operates outside of male headship structures, not in the image of God? What about the single woman missionary, Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward and so on? Are these women less in the image of God than Mrs. Calvin?

    #4 Is nullified in that Christ died for our sake, and God is our helper. There is not much more to be said about that. “Created to be his help meet” means created to do what God also does for us.

    #5 Is there any way at all that men are more moral than women?

    #9 Men should then be working only to put food on the table. They should sweat and toil on the land. If men have arranged that this be done by machinery, or designated to only certain men, so that they can actually pursue personal fulfillment in the their occupation, then they should not deny to their partner equal personal fulfillment.

    If men have sequestered to themselves a privilege that they do not share with their partner, then the way in which humans reflect the image of God is fundamentally fractured.

    #10 This is an oddity of 20th century theology, that two was created to be the image of three. It reflects the way in which post modernism has crept into the church.

  2. jbstarke permalink*
    August 24, 2009 6:58 pm

    I am going to post his full handout online with the audio soon. The arguments are good, though I am sure you will not like them. His use of Paul and Genesis 1-3 is very good.

  3. August 24, 2009 7:44 pm

    John,

    The arguments have been posted in similar form for several years. This represents one interpretation, and a fairly weak one at that. I can see why some people find this paradigm good, but it is not unquestionably good or moral, in and of itself.

    Therefore, why chose this paradigm and not another paradigm, one in which ezer is not a subordinate and primogeniture does not mean rulership. Why not chose a paradigm in which both women and men are relieved of the worst that Gen. 3:16 predicts.

    I think most people would admit that this does not “prove” anything, but only provides one possible interpretation. What I want to know is how one can support chosing an interpretation which overrides the commands to love your neighbour as yourself, to defer to one another, to esteem the other better than oneself, etc.

    All of these verses – which command that a Christian treat another as he or she would be treated oneself – all of these repeated presentations of the law of Christ, have to be set aside. In effect, the gospel is set aside, since the gospel is surely not male headship.

  4. Lydia permalink
    August 31, 2009 1:59 pm

    John, Besides different interpretations of the texts(As in God is also described as an Ezer), another reason this looks self serving is because of the constant focus on this suject as if it is a salvic doctrine but in reality it only elevates yourselves above another. Of course you deny this but the more you protest and insist on these interpretations, the worse it looks.

    The New Covenant is about being a lowly servant. It is not about authority over others or even leadership.

  5. August 31, 2009 5:14 pm

    ” 1. The order of creation, with the man created first, indicates God’s design of male headship in the male/female relationship. See Paul’s interpretation in 1 Timothy 2:13.”

    1. God did not say that the reason He created the male first and then the woman was to establish an order of male headship. God set it up, so that the man realized he had need of a partner, an ‘other’. Aloneness was not good. That was the reason.
    2. Paul also did not indicate that the reason he was bringing up that Adam was created first was to indicate male headship. Rather, he was pointing out that the man being created first had something to do with the fact that he was not deceived, but the woman was. Grudem misinterprets Paul in 1 Tim.

  6. jbstarke permalink*
    August 31, 2009 5:32 pm

    I know there is some sort of discussion board on this blog post on equality central. Just so you, I’m probably not going to spend a whole lot of time defending this sermon. It wasn’t my sermon, so I am not going to speak for Dr. Ware. My responses would probably be pretty standard, coming from the resource below:

    Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, edited by Andreas Kstenberger, Thomas Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin

  7. August 31, 2009 6:17 pm

    “It wasn’t my sermon, so I am not going to speak for Dr. Ware.”

    However, you posted it on your blog and agree wholeheartedly with it. Are you not able to speak for your own beliefs? I don’t understand this trepidation to discuss why you believe as you do.

    As for the discussion of this post on Equality Central forums, someone considered it worthy enough for dialogue, as do I. Good to know that you are watching the discussion. 🙂

    • jbstarke permalink*
      August 31, 2009 6:29 pm

      TL,
      I can speak to my beliefs just fine. However, I don’t have much to add to what has already been in print on 1 tim 2. I don’t mind answering questions, but I’m don’t know how much I can add that has not already been said.

      As far as following equality central, I just followed the links that have led to my site.

  8. August 31, 2009 6:47 pm

    Fair enough. I’d like to ask you a few questions then that I’ve not seen Grudem address.

    You and Grudem say that you believe the reason God created Adam first was to establish male headship. I find this questionable for several reasons.

    1. It does not state that anywhere in Genesis that I can tell. Do you know of another Scripture in Genesis regarding the creation story that outlines that reason for the way God created man and woman?
    2. You say that Paul interprets it that way and cite his statement of “13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. “ But the subject is not about male authority or ‘headship’ anywhere in that chapter. So, where do you get the idea that statement is referring to male authority. Also, using it that way divorces it’s relationship from vs. 14 and 15 to which it is joined.
    3. If I understand yours and Grudems usage correctly, you also link your concept of women not teaching men to men being created first. As well, there is nothing in Genesis about women not teaching men. And frankly I don’t know of any Scripture in the OT that states either that women cannot teach men or exercise authority over men, because Adam was created first. So, you have Paul stating a NEW commandment by stating that creation established it. As well, we then have God not stating a rather powerful requirement, to which He went against many times. (Miriam, Huldah, Deborah and more). How do you explain this? Or am I misunderstanding you?

  9. September 1, 2009 3:23 am

    Are you able to give a response to the above 3 questions?

  10. September 1, 2009 12:28 pm

    John,

    Dr. Ware’s ten reasons are not original with him, and he would never say they were. Your blog and Ware’s sermon caught my eye because “Ten Reasons for the Pre-Fall Headship of Man” has appeared in every edition of the curricula Five Aspects of Man and Five Aspects of Woman for the past 18 years. Comparing those lists I find that they are the same for seven of the ten reasons Ware lists, and those he puts within his list that are not included in the Five Aspects list are expounded in the latter’s exposition in the relevant lesson.

    The point: these ten reasons have been cited countless times by Biblical traditionalists over the past 50 years as religious feminism has infected evangelicalism.

    Dr. Ware’s sermon rehearses these reasons yet again; and he is right to do so for pastoral reasons. He deems his flock to need such rehearsal, and he is a faithful under-shepherd of Christ to lay them out once more, that his flock may be strengthened against the chorus of naysayers who continually parrot Satan’s question: “Has God REALLY said … ?”

    Lydia — male headship is, in fact, salvific doctrine. Paul points to male headship as the reason that all in Adam are damned (cf. Romans 5). And, male headship is the reason that all who are in the Second Adam are redeemed (again, Romans 5). Deny male headship and you deny the way the gospel works its redeeming effect on any individual, whether they understand this or not.

  11. Lydia permalink
    September 1, 2009 1:14 pm

    Fr Bill, Then I guess that means I cannot be Christlike since Christ was a male.

    I did not realize it was Christ’s ‘maleness’ that saved us.

    • September 1, 2009 4:06 pm

      well, Lydia, you cannot be Christ-like as far as your sex is concerned. But, where does anything in the NT indicate that Christ-likeness requires that? Your complaint doesn’t make it so!

      My eldest daughter is obviously and extravagantly “Fr. Bill-like” — not only in how she looks physically, but in a myriad of small details of her immaterial personality, talents, spiritual strengths and weaknesses. These latter likenesses have guided me in rearing her, for in her childhood (as I realized how much like me she is) I was prewarned about how to shepherd her so as to augment her strengths that I understood and to ameliorate (so far as humanly possible) her weaknesses, which I also understood from years of struggling against the same weaknesses.

      If one were to ask “What would a female version of Fr. Bill be like?” she would be the answer. And none of this makes her any less feminine or me any less masculine.

      I know dozens of men who are male versions of their mothers; and just as many women who are female versions of their fathers. This is nothing new; people have seen such things and remarked on them for as far back as men have been writing. The extent of the likenesses across the boundary of sex varies as much as there are instances of it. And it can skip generations too. My second daughter is an amazing likeness — both physically and spiritually — of my mother. But she comes by this through me — her male father.

      And, yes, Christ’s maleness is a requisite for His saving you, just as Adam’s malesness was a requisite in damning you. Eve fell under condemnation — not because she sinned, but because she was in Adam. Death came to Eve, not because she sinned, but because Adam sinned. And, Paul teaches us in Romans 5, you and I will die one day for the same reason Eve died. And, we will rise from the dead because we are in the Second Adam, Christ, who is the head of all the living.

  12. September 1, 2009 3:25 pm

    “I did not realize it was Christ’s ‘maleness’ that saved us.”

    It isn’t. It is the that Christ is the Word of God that was in the beginning, who created all things and upholds us by his very breath. The fact that God choose to clothe himself with male human flesh does not elevate male human flesh to godhood. Men are still fallen humans same as women, no more, no less. (I’m sure you know that) 🙂

    Just because something has been stated for 18 years or a hundred years, does not make it true, correct or righteous. Repetition does not change reality.

    Male headship is not in fact a salvific doctrine. Those who do not believe that males are preferred will not lose the grace of God. Those who say it is must produce Scripture to support that male preference, male leadership of females is intrinsically tied to Christ’s life and death for our salvation. I would certainly be interested is seeing this.

  13. Don Johnson permalink
    September 1, 2009 4:11 pm

    Male headship is highly SUSPECT as salvific doctrine as the word “headship” is not found in the Bible.

    Rather, the word kephale/head is found and is used as a metaphor in some verses dealing with gender. What the metaphor MEANS is subject to discussion among the faithful. Claiming it implies something like “headship” is merely one possibility.

  14. Lydia permalink
    September 1, 2009 5:28 pm

    ” Eve fell under condemnation — not because she sinned, but because she was in Adam. Death came to Eve, not because she sinned, but because Adam sinned.”

    Can you explain what ‘she was in Adam’ means?

  15. Lydia permalink
    September 1, 2009 5:31 pm

    “well, Lydia, you cannot be Christ-like as far as your sex is concerned. But, where does anything in the NT indicate that Christ-likeness requires that?”

    No where. We agree on that point. Christlikeness transcends gender which is why I find it interesting you uphold Ware’s 10 points.

    Even if you believe and uphold Ware’s 10 points, why not give up your supposed preeminance as a servant of Christ in humility? Why cling to an elevated place?

  16. September 1, 2009 7:52 pm

    “Male headship is highly SUSPECT as salvific doctrine as the word ‘headship’ is not found in the Bible.”

    Don, that dog won’t hunt. The Jehovah’s Witnesses try the same thing when they protest that the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. You are Trinitarian, right? Why not reject the Trinity since you have the same reason for doing so that you have for rejecting male headship?

    Sheesh! The word “evangelism” isn’t found in the Bible either! But there’s a humongous evangelical industry built on that word. If I were a wagering man, I’d put a bundle on the fact that you … gulp … practiced evangelisim. Gave money to the enterprise that goes by the name evangelism.

    TL wrote, “The fact that God choose to clothe himself with male human flesh does not elevate male human flesh to godhood.”

    Hmmm. Not sure how to parse this.

    Jesus Christ is a human male. Jesus Christ is God. I think you’ll affirm both of these, right?

    If so, then in the person of Christ we have human male flesh elevated to Godhood. Just curious — do you believe in the incarnation? Do you believe that doctrine is salvific? Just to be sure we’re not talking past one another here — can a person deny the incarnation and still be a bona fide Christian?

    Lydia asks, “Can you explain what ’she [Eve] was in Adam’ means?”

    It means the same thing Paul means when he writes in 1 Cor. 15:22 — For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. For the reasons that this is true, read Paul in Romans 5.

    Lydia further asks, “Even if you believe and uphold Ware’s 10 points, why not give up your supposed preeminance as a servant of Christ in humility? Why cling to an elevated place?”

    I do believe and uphold the 10 points Ware expounds. They’re not his points, after all; they’re as old as the New Testament. As old as Genesis 1-3, which Ware acknowledges in words very plain and simple. Ware is a good and faithful under-shepherd of Jesus Christ to confess, teach, and defend these ten points, and other similar ideas.

    As to my supposed preeminance, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I cannot give up what I do not have. Nor do I possess an elevated place to cling to. If I ever attain an elevated place, I’ll remember to note whether or not I cling to it.

    Get back to me from time to time in case I forget. Age plays that sort of trick on one,you know.

  17. September 1, 2009 10:53 pm

    “Jesus Christ is a human male. Jesus Christ is God. I think you’ll affirm both of these, right?
    If so, then in the person of Christ we have human male flesh elevated to Godhood. Just curious — do you believe in the incarnation? Do you believe that doctrine is salvific? Just to be sure we’re not talking past one another here — can a person deny the incarnation and still be a bona fide Christian?”

    No , human male flesh is the same as human female flesh. Human flesh is still human flesh. It is not changed because Jesus was a male. This is why we acknowledge that the miracle of Christ is that He is 100% human (a perfect human) and 100% Divine. God walked among us clothed in human flesh. He suffered in human flesh in all the ways that we do. Christ suffered in that human flesh all the pains in that sacrifice on the cross. This is why He did not want Mary to touch Him at the tomb. It was that earthly natural human flesh, not divine, that Jesus walked among us in.

    1 Cor. 15:44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    Human flesh, male or female does not get into heaven. When we are raised, both men and women will have a spiritual body, like Jesus.

  18. September 2, 2009 3:28 am

    A lot of strawman name calling, with no truth to it.

  19. September 2, 2009 10:27 am

    Terilyn,

    Puh-leeeze. There is no name calling at all here! Your exposition on the nature of “human flesh” is a thoroughly coherent example of what Hutchens describes as anthropological modalism! That’s why I directed readers’ attention to his note.

    Now, Hutchens offers — additionally — an opinion about the spiritual ramifications of anthropological modalism, an opinion with which I expect you to disagree.

    But, the thing he describes is exactly what you have expounded.

    I was unclear whether or not you agreed or disagreed with this: one may deny the incarnation and still be a bona fide Christian. I *think* you disagreed with this, and that was a hopeful sign.

    But, as you expound the nature of the incarnation, viz. that Jesus’ maleness was, ultimately, irrelevant, on a par with the color of his eyes (this is Krister Stendahl’s opinion), … well, that’s not the orthodox, Biblical concept of the incarnation. Before His incarnation, Jesus *had* to be male before the Incarnation occurred in history, for reasons that Ware lays out in a different article published in CBMW’s journal about a year or so ago.

    Jesus’ incarnation as a “human” is not the same thing as Jesus’ incarnate as a male human. Again, you and I disagree on this point. But, if I am correct here, then you do not, in fact, believe in the Biblical doctrine of the incarnation. Hutchens takes careful pains to point this out.

  20. September 2, 2009 1:30 pm

    “But, if I am correct here, then you do not, in fact, believe in the Biblical doctrine of the incarnation. Hutchens takes careful pains to point this out.”

    No Mr. Mouser, What I said is not at all anthropological modalism. And I did not say that Christ’s maleness was irrelevant. Rather, I am countering your exaltation of maleness. You seem to think that because Jesus was and is male, therefore all males hold a superior place.

    We all understand that your purpose is to paint your opponent in such a light that one could say that they are not really Christian. Hutchin tried to do that in such a way as to claim that Christian egals don’t really believe in Christ’s resurrection, as you are trying to say.

    All I can say to such a lie, is shame on you. I’ve been an active Christian with a deep relationship with our Lord for 40 yrs. I know in whom I believe.

    Instead of trying to malign my and other egals character, why not actually participate in Christian discussion and answer the questions put forth.

    • September 2, 2009 3:03 pm

      “Instead of trying to malign my [sic] and other egals character, why not actually participate in Christian discussion and answer the questions put forth.”

      [sigh]

      Someone somewhere said something that others have called a Golden Rule …

  21. Lydia permalink
    September 2, 2009 5:15 pm

    “Jesus Christ is a human male. Jesus Christ is God. I think you’ll affirm both of these, right?

    If so, then in the person of Christ we have human male flesh elevated to Godhood.”

    P1 – Jesus Christ is a human male
    P2 – Jesus Christ is God
    C – Human male flesh was therefore elevated to Godhood.

    I would say, Mr. Mouser, that what you are teaching on this thread is positively Mormon

    • September 2, 2009 6:01 pm

      And, I would say, Lydia, that you know nothing about Mormonism or Christian doctrine.

      Also, your selective quotation of me is dishonest. You have me concluding “Human male flesh was therefore elevated to Godhood,” as if any and all male flesh were so elevated.

      However, what I wrote (and, you either could not read or understand OR which you omitted deliberately, is this:

      ” … <iLin the person of Christ we have human male flesh elevated to Godhood.

      Question for Lydia, Don, and/or Terilynn: Is Jesus a human male today?

  22. Don Johnson permalink
    September 2, 2009 5:49 pm

    Human flesh was NOT elevated to Godhead, this gets it exactly backwards.

    God the Word voluntarily reduced Godself in becoming human, and as humans come in 2 basic types, one sex had to be picked. And the choice of male at the incarnation could be an accomodation by God to the patriarchal culture.

    On the concept of trinity, I am one who actually believes the Bible is a sufficient teaching for faith and practise (as guided by the Holy Spirit, of course), so I am non-creedal. The idea of a creed, i.e., something spoken, able to divide souls into believers and heretics, is something foreign to the Bible. Rather, belief is an action in being in relationship with God and NOT mere assent to some words.

  23. Don Johnson permalink
    September 2, 2009 6:45 pm

    Mat 22:29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
    Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

    Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection. In the culture of that time, males married and females were given in marriage. Angels do not have a sex.

  24. Lydia permalink
    September 2, 2009 9:26 pm

    I am not going to play the masculinists game. You talk out of both sides of your mouth. I am quite familiar with Ware and Moore and what they teach. In one sentence they proclaim equality for not only women but within the Trinity and the next 10,000 sentences they use big words that negate the one sentence. It is simply another twist on ‘seperate but equal’ that worked for a season.

    Perhaps someday you can get Ware to explain to us why our Lord is described as Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9 or why Isaiah reacted to the Lord of Hosts in Isaiah 6 as he did.

    What Ware is teaching (and you) is that the consequences of sin for the woman are commands of God. That is insidious. To try and make that fly they use the bizarre notion of creation order (cows before Eve?) and reading into the creation account what is not there. As in Ezer means jr assistant instead of it describing God, too! Poor Grudem wants folks to believe that God is susbordinate to us when He helps us.

    When all that does not fly they have resorted to the very Arian ESS to try and map some sort of Chain of command in the Trinity outside of the Incarnation of our precious Savior. Then, somehow these ‘scholars’ expect us to believe their mapping of Trinity chain of command to human relationships within the Body of Christ.

    One would think the temple veil was not torn in two and we still had earthly priests. Perhaps you do see yourself as an earthly priest…a mediator between your wife and Jesus Christ.

    (Tell me, who does the Holy Spirit report to since there seems to be a divided will within the Trinity?)

    All this is nothing but mere men trying to claim a preeminance and authority within the Body and marriage that is not there. It is a sin trap for you.

    Now that I realize who you are (Five Aspects) I have a better understanding of why you twist and play games with scripture. This is how you make your living. This stuff sells well because folks would rather have a human ‘work’ to follow than the dying to self and constantly Abiding in Christ.

    There are NO roles. A role is something you pretend to be as in a ‘part’ you play. As believers we are to Abide in Christ. Which is much harder than the works of playing a role.

    There is no pink and blue Christianity.

  25. Lydia permalink
    September 3, 2009 12:03 am

    “Also, your selective quotation of me is dishonest. You have me concluding “Human male flesh was therefore elevated to Godhood,” as if any and all male flesh were so elevated.”

    Selective quotation? How about verbatim quotation? It was you who said the words in the context of putting all male flesh over all female flesh, so if you meant something else you should have stated it. Blaming other people for your own poor communication is petty and juvenile.

    “Question for Lydia, Don, and/or Terilynn: Is Jesus a human male today?”

    Question for you: what did Paul say about the kind of flesh that can enter the kingdom of heaven?

  26. September 3, 2009 3:24 pm

    This is amazing! Evidently, both Lydia and Don refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is a human male today. And, Don demurs at confessing a belief in the Trinity.

    No wonder Hutchens calls egalitarianism heretical! In the classical sense of that term, they are — supposing egalitarians do not believe Jesus is human today and that they decline to confess (or, are otherwise embarrassed by) the Trinity.

  27. September 3, 2009 4:36 pm

    You know what they say about ‘assume” don’t you?

    We are all still waiting for you to answer the questions that have been put forth. You’ve answered little if anything. But no one is calling you a heretic because you won’t answer.

  28. jbstarke permalink*
    September 3, 2009 5:50 pm

    OK, I’m going to weigh in on this topic of the humanity of Christ. FR Bill (and others) says male headship is salvific not because we are saved by male headship in the home or in the Church, but because of the headship of Adam being fulfilled in the headship of Jesus. Jesus must have been a male – nothing significant about the male gender, but only because Adam was a male and started the line of “sonship” through Israel-David-Jesus. Through the male headship of Christ (Romans 5 and I Cor 15) he saved mankind.

    Jesus is risen and his humanity (even his gender) is still preserved, If he does not have a gender, specifically male, he would not be a proper mediator – he wouldn’t be one of us, which is so important for the incarnation and mediation of Christ. Not because male is better, but that Jesus was/is human and when he was human, he was male.

    He is still the complete God/Man, mediating humanity to the Father. This is historical orthodoxy, not just within the Gender debate.

  29. September 3, 2009 6:21 pm

    Thanks, John, for adding this. You did make me gulp when you said “… when he was human, he was male.” Every egalitarian I’ve ever consulted happily concedes that.

    But, I was delighted to see you follow up with “He is still the complete God/Man, mediating humanity to the Father.” Without Jesus being a human male today He would be without standing to mediate anything to mankind.

    You are correct; this is historic orthodoxy.

    As the discussion above validates, egalitarians (at least the ones in this discussion) seem queasy with the notion that Jesus is still a human male, that He is a human male forever. I have encountered a number of egalitarians without formal theological educations who wish to restrict the incarnation to the period of time between Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb through his burial after His crucifixion.

    After that, these folks suppose, whatever Jesus is, he’s no longer a human male on this side of His resurrection. This is an example of what Hutchens describes when he says that an error in anthropology produces an error in theology proper, because of the union of the incarnation.

  30. September 3, 2009 6:27 pm

    The problem is that you have not proved the “headship” of Adam. Adam being the first does not equal headship (however you define that). Adam is not the head of humanity, Jesus Christ/God is. Most agree that Christ needed to be a male human, but not for the reasons you cite.

    Sentences like this confuse….

    Through the male headship of Christ (Romans 5 and I Cor 15) he saved mankind.”

    Neither Christ’s maleness nor any concept of ‘headship’ is what Christ used as a mode to save humanity. Christ saved us by clothing Himself in human flesh and in that flesh suffering death on the cross for the sins of humanity.

    Equally troubling is when you take such confusing wording and try to transfer Christ’s authority onto male humans. What Christ did and does, and who Christ is to all of humanity both male and female, does not equate to special privileges to anyone, even if they happen to be male also or brown eyed or Jewish.

    • jbstarke permalink*
      September 3, 2009 6:37 pm

      TL – Please understand me. I don’t mean to say that it is the significance of the male gender that saves. Please I’m not saying that. Jesus’ work on the cross is what saves, and we are saved through faith in that work on our behalf.

      What I mean to say about the headship of Christ is what Romans 5 and I Corinthians 15 says. Adam and Jesus are the two “heads” in which God sees the world – one is fallen in unrighteousness and the other is obedient righteousness. Through faith, we are saved through the headship of Christ. Nothing peculiar about that – that is plain covenant or reformed or Augustinian theology.

      Yet, the humanity of Christ is important. One way in which he is human is his gender. The only reason why his gender as male is significant is because Adam was male – he is the second Adam. More than that, the fact that he was a male on earth, means for him to preserve his humanity he had to preserve his gender. Not because he would be less significant, but because he wouldn’t be human. That’s all! I’m not transfering Christ’s authority into male humans. Please don’t think I’m saying. Christ has the authority of God because he’s God and that’s that.

      Ephesians 5 gives an analogical picture of what the home should look like by giving the example of Christ and his Church, but its only analogical, not parallel in the strictest sense.

  31. September 3, 2009 6:37 pm

    “As the discussion above validates, egalitarians (at least the ones in this discussion) seem queasy with the notion that Jesus is still a human male, that He is a human male forever.”

    Have you never heard the trouble one gets into when making unsubstantiated assumptions? 🙂

  32. September 3, 2009 6:50 pm

    “TL – Please understand me. I don’t mean to say that it is the significance of the male gender that saves. Please I’m not saying that. Jesus’ work on the cross is what saves, and we are saved through faith in that work on our behalf.”

    Good to hear. But do you not see that the way you word it says what you apparently don’t want to say?

    “What I mean to say about the headship of Christ is what Romans 5 and I Corinthians 15 says. Adam and Jesus are the two “heads” in which God sees the world – one is fallen in unrighteousness and the other is obedient righteousness. Through faith, we are saved through the headship of Christ. Nothing peculiar about that – that is plain covenant or reformed or Augustinian theology.”

    Again…..
    1. neither of Scriptures says that God sees the world through 2 ‘heads’.
    2. we are not saved through Christ’s ‘headship’ however you define it, but by Christ’s life and death and resurrection, and our acceptance/belief and entering into a personal relationship with Him as Lord and Savior. That is traditional plain covenantal and creedal.

    Do you need see the confusion of your wording?

  33. jbstarke permalink*
    September 3, 2009 7:09 pm

    Its only confusing if you:
    1. Read everything everybody says through a feministic interpretive grid.

    or

    2. Are not familiar with the Christian orthodox tradition or don’t agree with.

    I also said:
    “Please I’m not saying that. Jesus’ work on the cross is what saves, and we are saved through faith in that work on our behalf.”

    Yet, it is only when Christ is our head (Ephesians 5) that his saving work of his life, death, and resurrection becomes effective for us. All this is through faith.

  34. September 3, 2009 7:31 pm

    “Its only confusing if you:
    1. Read everything everybody says through a feministic interpretive grid.

    No, it is confusing when one takes your statements word for word, using the English language to understand. Your statements are simply not found in Scripture. Show me a Scripture that says that believers are saved “through the headship of Christ”.

    “Yet, it is only when Christ is our head (Ephesians 5) that his saving work of his life, death, and resurrection becomes effective for us. All this is through faith.”

    1. show me a time when Christ is not the source of life for all humanity, and when he is not the authority for life for all creation?
    2. Yes, Christ IS head of the church as our Savior. But what does that mean in that instance. And is that understanding required for someone to become a Christian?
    3. you are mixing metaphors and analogies and adding in things not inherent. And then transferring elements of who Christ is to maleness, and then transferring that to all males. This is the problem.

    Rom. 10:8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

  35. jbstarke permalink*
    September 3, 2009 7:37 pm

    TL
    He is the source of life, but only salvifically when he is by faith, our head. You should read over Romans 5 and I Cor 15. Adam is our federal head or representative – in sin and our condemnation. Through the righteousness of Christ, his headship is applied to us, by faith.
    This isn’t difficult. It making sense of the language of Romans 5 and I Cor. 15. I am not saying anything different than what others have said since Augustine, Anselm, Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, and the evangelical tradition.

  36. September 3, 2009 8:30 pm

    He is the source of life, but only salvifically when he is by faith, our LORD…. Messiah …. Savior.

  37. jbstarke permalink*
    September 3, 2009 8:43 pm

    TL,
    This is simply how people in the Church have understood how the Bible is put together. We are all fallen in Adam but redeemed, through faith, in Christ. We need to be “in” Christ because we are “dead” in Adam.

    The fact that we are in Adam means he represents us – its called original sin. We need to be in Christ so that he may be our Lord, Savior, and Messiah.

  38. September 3, 2009 10:34 pm

    “This is simply how people in the Church have understood how the Bible is put together.”

    No, that is your interpretation. It is a modern view. What I said is the traditional view.

    ‘We are all fallen in Adam but redeemed, through faith, in Christ. We need to be “in” Christ because we are “dead” in Adam.”

    Said well.

    “The fact that we are in Adam means he represents us – its called original sin.”

    Your interpretation again. He does not represent all of humanity. He is simply the first human. Original sin is what he did and what we suffer death because of.

    “We need to be in Christ so that he may be our Lord, Savior, and Messiah.”

    Absolutely….. that’s what I have been saying.

  39. Lydia permalink
    September 3, 2009 11:19 pm

    “This is amazing! Evidently, both Lydia and Don refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is a human male today. And, Don demurs at confessing a belief in the Trinity.”

    Not at all. It is a silly question meant to deflect from the topic. What on earth does the question have to do with YOU being a male?

  40. kathy permalink
    September 4, 2009 6:25 am

    1.The order of creation, with the man created first, indicates God’s design of male headship in the male/female relationship. See Paul’s interpretation in 1 Timothy 2:13.

    How could anyone know for a fact if Adam being created first “indicates” male headship based on v13 when Paul himself does not even speak of kephale once in v13 let alone in the entire passage? There’s not a shred of evidence for the belief that v13 has anything to do with male headship. Do you see the Greek kephale in that verse? Not only that but in v13 Paul is not even giving his interpretation of Genesis because rather he is stating two facts! “13For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” These two facts themselves can hardly be considered interpretation!

    Ware cannot be serious!

  41. Janice permalink
    September 4, 2009 9:09 am

    Jesus is still a human male, … He is a human male forever.

    That’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever read. Are you saying that Jesus, in heaven, is not The Son but is still Jesus, and that he has a human body, complete with male genitalia? Are you saying that he’s there, perhaps cultivating crops, eating bread, going to sleep and doing all the other things necessary for human beings to do? Who is the “help-meet” he has to do the cooking and cleaning for him?

    Without Jesus being a human male today He would be without standing to mediate anything to mankind.

    Why? Didn’t he say, “It is finished”? Are you saying that what he accomplished was not enough for every person, in every place and for all time? Having completed his perfect service for us does he have to continue emptying himself until the consummation of all things even though he’s risen? Too weird. It reminds me of the Mormons and their idea that men get to be gods of their own little planet, or something like that.

    • jbstarke permalink*
      September 4, 2009 10:32 am

      Janice,
      Jesus is actually still, both God and man. He is fully God with his resurrected human body. He is our Advocate to the Father, still today. He will always be our Great High Priest. He doesn’t continually pay for our sins, but he always is our representative before God. This actually has nothing, directly, to do with male headship in the home. This has everything to do with the perseverance of the saints. Read Augustine’s “on the Trinity” or Anselm’s “Why God becaume Man”, or Calvin’s commentary on Romans 5, I John, and Hebrews 9, and his Bk 2 in his Institutes. Read John Owen’s vol 1, “The Glory of Christ.” Read Warefield’s “Person of Christ”. Read Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics vol 2. This is the Christian tradition. This is nothing new or modern or Mormon. This is the way God preserves his saints.

      • Janice permalink
        September 6, 2009 8:38 am

        My problem is with use of the word “human”. Christ’s resurrected body had characteristics that simply do not belong to human bodies. 1 Cor 15:51-54 points out that we will, “be changed”, that we will, “put on incorruption [and] immortality”. Incorruption and immortality are not characteristics of human bodies. Philippians 3:21 states that, “our lowly body” (which is human), will be transformed so that, “it may be conformed to His glorious body” (which is something else – superhuman?). At death the human body is “sown” and is raised as something else which, though in continuity, is quite different (1 Cor 15:42-44).

        To describe the risen Christ merely as “a human male” is to ignore, or even trivialise, His glory. Why do that?

  42. September 4, 2009 4:37 pm

    “Jesus is actually still, both God and man. He is fully God with his resurrected human body.”

    Janice, resurrected human body is the key. After Christ rose from the dead, he walked through walls, was not recognizable to some of the disciples, and was different. At the tomb, remember he didn’t want Mary to touch Him for He had not yet ascended to the Father?
    Our spiritual bodies are different than our fleshly bodies.

    Whether our resurrected human bodies will still have genitals, we actually do not know. We do know that there will be no sex. That’s as much as Scripture addresses.

  43. Don Johnson permalink
    September 4, 2009 5:08 pm

    It does not say Jesus walked thru walls, that is a possibile way, but not the only way, to explain what the Bible does say.

    In any case, the resurrected body will be different, it will be glorified.

  44. September 4, 2009 5:46 pm

    Quite true, Don. He could have just materialized or some such. 🙂 That’s one of those myriad questions we can ask, when we are in heaven. 🙂

  45. Lydia permalink
    September 5, 2009 2:08 pm

    “Jesus is actually still, both God and man. He is fully God with his resurrected human body. He is our Advocate to the Father, still today. He will always be our Great High Priest.”

    I agree with this. I do not agree with Ware as he is alluding to males being the high priests for women. Or that men are the spiritual superiors for women.

    ” He doesn’t continually pay for our sins, but he always is our representative before God. This actually has nothing, directly, to do with male headship in the home.”

    Glad you understand this much, at least.

    ” This has everything to do with the perseverance of the saints. Read Augustine’s “on the Trinity” or Anselm’s “Why God becaume Man”, or Calvin’s commentary on Romans 5, I John, and Hebrews 9, and his Bk 2 in his Institutes. Read John Owen’s vol 1, “The Glory of Christ.” Read Warefield’s “Person of Christ”. Read Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics vol 2. This is the Christian tradition. This is nothing new or modern or Mormon. This is the way God preserves his saints.”

    Do you guys ever just read scripture and pray the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth for you instead of mere men?

  46. September 7, 2009 10:48 pm

    “Jesus is actually still, both God and man. He is fully God with his resurrected human body.”

    Absolutely. Jesus is still both God and man since God has given all judgment to the man who died for us. But we need to be careful not to say that Jesus is still male. The Scripture says that we will be like Him when we see Him.

    1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

    Since John admits that it is not yet evident to us what we will be like in the resurrection with our glorified bodies, it would be presumptuous I think to say that we will have male and female body parts because we do not know that. We will be like the angels who do not marry or are given in marriage so what would sexual organs be good for in heaven? What we do know for sure is that Jesus is a resurrected human. We do not know how that body operates or will consist of yet. We also know that those who are male and female now will both be judging the world and judging angels so there is no evidence that men will rule over women in heaven or have any place of authority that is greater than God’s female “sons”.

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