Thursday, May 22, 2008

Adam, Eve, and Teaching in the Church

Have you ever wondered why The Apostle Paul refers to the sin of Adam and Eve in 1 Timothy 2? If so, please read the clear and compelling essay on this important subject by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis from her blog.


The Scottish Reslers said...

Thanks for the link. Rebecca's essay is a wonderful elucidation of the egalitarian argument as it concerns I tim 2. I would suggest that all read it. Thanks again Doug for all of your work - I am really excited about your text book on apologetics. I know that it will be used by God for His purpose.

Question though: who is the intended audience for the work - Lay, college, or masters level?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

The audience is upper level college or seminary students. It should be long and fairly in depth.

ryan said...

I have to say that you wife is a great writer, far better than I will ever be. It is obvious that she has done her homework on the matter and brings a healthy spirit to the debate. I must say though she seems to lack in her engagement with a number of critical points, areas where I have also seen you fall short as well.

1. God is sovereign. Throughout the development and formation of Israel God providentially guided its development. Thus the patriarchal culture of Israel was hardly something of chance but rather the formation of the Creator. God never rebuked or punished his people for the patriarchal nature of their society. Which leads to our second point.

2. God's Old Testament prophets were always willing and called to speak out against injustices and wrongs; they were anything but traditionalists. The prophets railed against the abuse of power that oppressed women (Mic. 2:9) but never against the family structure of their culture. In fact we see quite the contrary, they saw the rule of women as God's judgment against Israel (Isa.3:12). So when the egalitarian point tries to argue with the example of Deborah we see an anomaly which actually highlights the failure of Barak to lead in that given passage.

3. Paul's appeal to creation norms in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 supersede the cultural happenings of that time. It is intentional that Paul speaks of the one role that is exclusive to women that men could never fulfill, no matter how unjust they believed it to be; childbearing. With the one role that men are intended to fulfill. This does not mean either is inferior it means they together reflect the Biblical mandate to be vice-regents of God's creations, through role cooperation.

Besides if Paul thought the best route to dealing with foolish women in this context was to ban all women from teaching then this is reckless and foolish leadership that does not match up with the rest of the Biblical narrative.

I think these are important points to consider as people continue to wrestle with these issues.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


Please post this on Rebecca's blog and she will try to respond. It takes her some time, but so far she has responded to everyone in detail.