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November 30, 2005


Alice Clay

Yeah, I read this article last night. Anyone else getting an image of Russ thumping his chest while gruntin like a caveman?


Reading this kind of literature just gives me the shivers, and I would kindly ask you to not link that kind of article again. Some of you may remember the classic scene in "Billy Madison" where Billy compares the Industrial Revolution to The Puppy Who Lost His Way... Billy finishes by saying, "The difference is that the puppy... well he was just a dog. But industry, well industry my friends, that was a revolution." After stunned silence the principle states, "Billy, nowhere in your senseless ramblings did you ever come close to anything that resembled an intelligent response. Everyone in this room is now dummer having heard you. I award you no points, and my God have mercy on your soul."

Reading articles like that I feel like the principle... we're all dummer just having read it.

I especially like that somehow Open Theism becomes a derivative of the loss of patriarchy. This kind of bizarre, inane... you know its really just easier to call him stupid.


And yes, thats principal.



That is the best comment ever.


I have yet to hear an advocate of patriarchy who claims that egalitarianism makes the man weaker than the woman demonstrate how that is possible. Egalitarianism or complementarianism or some other long word that means the same thing, by definition, can't possibly make the man weaker than the woman.

His explanation of Galatians 3:28 would be amusing if it wasn't so painfully ridiculous. 'In Christ there is neither male nor female,' but since God is Father males are better. Seriously...does he really think this through before speaking?


The frightening thing is I'm sure he actually believes God has a penis. This man is the DEAN of a theology school.


Well, being a former Southern Baptist, I read the article through the lens of a lifetime of teaching, and I will not defend the statements made, especially the one about the process of making decisions, etc. BUT,

It has been my experience, both personal and observational, that for the most part as goes the spiritual life of a dad, so goes the spiritual life of the rest of the family. Again, I have no studies, only personal and observational experiences, but it seems that Dads have a far greater impact in terms of cultural choices than Moms do (this is assuming a stable, two-parent, home).

For instance, my little one loves Rock and Roll, but not because her Mom plays it during it the day, they mainly listen to Norah Jones and children's bible songs. However, the song that jazzes her up, that she knows all the words to, and that she loves to dance to, is "Elevation" and to lesser extent "Vertigo." Now, I spend a good portion of my week feeding the beast of billable hours, so, her exposure to U2 is limited to the few times during the week that I have a few minutes to actually listen to music, and yet, above all those are her favorites, because most likely, they are Daddy's music.

Same goes for church going. Church going is not always indicitative of, well, anything, but if the Dad doesn't go, or quits going, eventually the kids want to stay home with him instead of going with Mom.

So, what does all the above have to do with the SBC article? Probably not much, other than my faith requires me, as a Dad and Husband, to love my wife and kids with the same type of sacrificial love that Christ loved me with, and I guess, at the end of the day, call it whatever fancy name it needs, but that is the bottom line.


Chris: Not to discount or dismiss your experience in any way, but I think it shouldn't be used to overgeneralize. The assumption of a "stable, two-parent home" is a big one. But more than that, think how many personal stories of faith we've heard that begin with "my mother . . ." or "my grandmother . . ." ? I can identify many.


One more thing: former Southern Baptist here, too.


I knew I ran a risk of overgeneralizing, and am married to wonderful former single mother who raised a boy in the way in that he should go. My take away from the article was that there is a perceived crisis regarding the role of fathers, and the SBC is reacting to that, in an inappropriate way, but attempting to address the problem.

Most dads figure this stuff out as they go along, after all parenting is one of the few things in the world for which there is no on the job training, other than the example set by our parents (good or bad). And, most likely, the way we relate to God in a lot of ways is dependent on how our dads (and moms) show (or don't) show love.

Which is probably a whole 'nother discussion.



Good point. My grandmother raised seven children after my dead-beat grandfather left her. All seven of her kids are Christian, as are most of their kids. And so on. I tend to think the male as spiritual leader of the house is bunk, and was propagated by organizations like Promise Keepers to give themselves a platform, reassert male hegemony, and try to lure men into church under false pretenses. Again, people should read Southern Cross by Christine Heyrman. She does a masterful job of tracing the development of Bible Belt Christianity, including the embracing of patriarchy. Most of the values eventually embraced by Bible Belt Christians were those of antebellum Dixie. These folks eventually became fundamentalists, and soon evangelicals, and have now exported their brand of Christianity all over the country.

Dallas Tim

Anyone know what's worse that a male chauvanist?

A woman who won't do what she's told.



I saw this over at McCarty first, but I have to say this just raises my ire. As a recovering Southern Baptist, whose mother is in the ministry, in the SBC, I get all hot under the collar about this.

Add the fact that I'm in training to be a psychologist, and you can see why I feel disenfranchised by my SBC heritage. I am no longer SB, I don't quite know what I am, other than some mix of anglican, reformed, evangelical. (Believe me, I see the inherent contradiction in those three terms.)

I really struggled with my own local SBC congregation at the age of 18, when the declaration about women in the ministry was made by the SBC.

Okay, this is getting to long. I'll move my rambling over to my own blog...;)


I thought this subject was discussed when Grand Dragon of the SBC, Al Mohler, wrote about it on his blog? He's the one who said basically that Fathers have been pussies for the last 20 years and it's time they got some balls. Well, he was way off base. I guess he wants every man to be John Wayne. I remember posting that I thought Mohler was simply trying to mask his suppressed homosexuality.


Apropos of nothing, I suppose, but my friends' daughter also loves the song "Elevation." She refers to it as the "Mole Song."


I'm always torn when I read articles like that. Leaders like that help make more atheists and (more relevantly) convince even more people who really need to leave SBC to finally take the plunge, but the downside is that those people will be in a lot of pain when they leave, and things will be worse for those who stay. I can't figure out whether it's worth the tradeoff.

Kyle P.

This article was not only extreme in its views but also incredibly simplistic and/or wrong in its tracing the roots of different views (e.g., feminism is by definition paganism, and feminism somehow leads to open theism). I'd expect to hear this from an SBC pulpit but not from an academic platform like the ETS. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust ETS to be very objective, sympathetic to "wrong" views, or even anywhere close to smart after railroading Sanders and Pinnock for their open theological views, but I thought they still made some sort of nod toward being an academically-based institution. In that regard, is there any way of knowing what kind of response Moore received? There are quite a few egalitarians in the ETS (after all, they "are winning the gender debate"), so one would think that a talk like this could easily have been skewered in a question/answer session.

Tim Sean

The Bible is a puzzle. The Bible is a confusing puzzle. The Bible is a dangerous confusing puzzle. The Bible is often a problem.

To determine standards for life I use:

1. Reason
2. Experience
3. Community consensus (sorta)
4. Church tradition and history (the ones I like best that seem to congeal with the previous three's conclusions).
5. The whole of scripture.

I think most Christians use this formula for arriving at standards of living and practice, maybe in varied configurations. But truth be told, most folks (and I'm including most fundagelicals), don't put the Bible first on their list. They may say they do, but they don't. Not really.

But this guy?! He does, and look what he comes across as! What an ass! At least he's honest, but frighteningly so.

The main parting of ways between moderate to liberal Christians and fundmentalists is an unwillingness on the part of the fundamentalists to integrate theology and scripture with post-enlightenment disciplines like sociology, psycology, anthropology, (medicine being the one exception. When your goiter hurts, forget God, dude). Otherwise, its sola scripture.

This is where I proudly wear my moderate/liberal label. It just seems flat out dangerous to me to ignore the idea of progress and cultural evolution. God intended for us to grow beyond the testimony of scriptures in these damaging areas.

Can't believe I am still a baptist.

Scott in Houston

My upbringing was EXACTLY like this article depicts. I was trained to be the spiritual leader of the family. Though I disagree with his principals in general, I also believe that when there is a traditional 2 that the man is almost expected to be the leader, more for the reason that if we as stable and hopefully thoughtful fathers should want to pass on a love for God and service to the kingdom; NOT to dominate. I've seen what a dominant male can do to a family.

It is an excuse for a dictatorship; a way for small men to control something or someone when in the real world he can controll very little. I see it as taking a degree of truth and creating a doctrinal mess. It's not just a SBC problem. I was raised SBC but it is deep rooted in the charasmatic realm as well.



I have to agree with you. It is an excuse for a dictatorship. What pops into my mind is it's giving permission to a weak man to be a bully.


"was propagated by organizations like Promise Keepers to give themselves a platform, reassert male hegemony, and try to lure men into church under false pretenses"

I went to promise keepers this year in Houston, out of curoisity, and I have to agree with you. All it came across as was a pep rally to encourage men to 'man up'. I will say this, I am sure there were men there you needed to stop being deadbeats and I hope they changed that weekend(afterall it is the week of hope). PK was started with pure intentions but as we have seen overtime good intentions can still lead to bad decisions. I do agree with your statement.

peace out dudes and dudettes.


Natalie is having a great convo about this too, now. Here's the link:


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