Featured Rachel Miller’s Beyond Authority and Submission

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by C. M. Sheffield, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    Rachel Miller’s book Beyond Authority and Submission has come out. I have not read the book. I did read Kerry Baldwin's very lengthy and very favorable review. I also listened to her interview with Miller. What stuck out to me was her flat-out rejection of the ideas like...
    • women were created to be submissive, responsive, soft
    • men were created to be leaders, providers, strong
    • women are supposed to be at home and not in the workforce
    She chalks these up entirely to Greco-Roman paganism and Victorian chauvinism. I do not deny that any of these may be (and have been) taken to an unbiblical extreme. But it seems obvious to me that these themes are indeed present in Scripture and in nature. Rejecting them wholesale strikes me as throwing the baby out with the bath water. But I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
     
  2. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    I listened to Theology Gals: Beyond Authority and Submission by Rachel Miller https://strivingforeternity.org/theologygals-128-bas/ half-listening. At that point, she struck me as similar to Aimee Byrd. I listening to about half of it again

    Some thoughts (open to correction)
    1. Her major is history. What is her background that would make her qualified to write a theology book? This goes for men too, why should I put the time for these books that is just some laymen like me.
    2. I agree with your assessment of her rejection of the points you laid out.
    3. She seems to conflate fruits of the spirit (~13min) with the roles ordained by God, & nature. Aka, gentleness listed even though that is commonly a female trait. Not sure how that has to do with the discussion, besides bringing something in that no one is going to object to.
    4. She seems to contrast society roles (e.g. leading) (~18min) with how women are treated by Christians. Since Christians treat women well, it seems to imply that certain roles are kept from women is bad. Hint of intersectionality or maybe I am just misreading?
    5. She is getting into the Danvers statement (~28mins). She doesn't like John Piper's stance on woman not being drill sergeants and policemen (whoops I mean policepersons). Generally speaking, does not John Piper make sense in this sense -- i.e. these jobs make sense that a man would take?
     
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Perhaps the real problem is so much looking for Laws--the irreligious want civil legislation, the religious want ecclesiastical sanctions--that will keep everyone or put everyone in his (her!) place?

    In a world with respect for nature, I suspect there would be a few female drill sergeants and policemen--neither quotas nor social engineering, nor even prohibitions; but high standards--so there would be some of those: women in physically demanding roles normally occupied by men; but where she's the best for the job, better than the male volunteers, why not? Or should we go without in that case? Or settle for a lesser dude... mainly or entirely because he's a dude and not a dame?

    We shouldn't be fundamentalist (in the pejorative sense) about this. I think R.Miller's point is that Reformed folk shouldn't be baited into identifying the whole "role play" business as a matter of faith. It is so pedantic, and it's the enemies of the core of our faith who use Christian social contentment on secondary matters as wedge issues.

    Because many in the church are at peace with certain habits of the world, that portion of the church decided those things are the way they are because there's a tie-in to be found with some Bible passage. Then, having fixed it all very rigidly, they balk at every challenge as if it was a matter of immovable doctrine, so making their enemies case for them: that Christians are just old-fashioned rather than principled.

    Why can't the majority of Christians prompt their daughters to another course--if that's what the majority of Christian parents freely choose--and let the world society around the church promote it's nonsense (if it so be)? Why does anyone outside BethlehemBaptist, or Minneapolis at most, care what JohnPiper thinks about how Americans from coast to coast live their lives? Because he's a Christian celebrity, with "influence" meaning (in the world's parlance) political power.

    Meanwhile, those influenced either don't have pastors they can go to for local counsel, or they are ignoring their local pastor who is providentially positioned to guide them with knowledge. People gravitate to Law-givers like Piper, because they think that the more people are marching to one drummer, the more right they must be. But the answer to those who are hostile to nature and to the law of Christ is not Christians who know their place and the old laws thereof, who oppose the imposition of unnatural laws with contrary legislation of their own.

    I think that's Rachel Miller's position. And btw, she's more Reformed than Piper.
     
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  4. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    She may indeed agree with your statements here. I don't much disagree with you. But it certainly isn't all she is saying. And I do not regard thinking seriously about the scriptures teaching on men and women as being baited into some "role play" trap. Nor am I concerned with how much more "Reformed" she is than Piper. Though I'm no fan of Piper, such a remark is unserious and fails to address the matters I've raised.
     
  5. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    I consider myself neither a comp nor an egal (and honestly I don't care, but on the important things I inevitably fall toward the comp side on submission and elder office) and this is my first and last comment on this thread as I am not interested in prolonged debate as I have done so many times with others, not on here though.
    I have not read her book but followed extensively. I have also read many books on both sides (I bet most here haven't read 250 words from CBE aside from the late great Roger Nicoe) being extremely disillusioned after the whole EFS controversy and the weird behavior that certain mainsteam complementarians were advocating as they came out of the wood work so to speak. I agree with Rachel Miller and plan to see what she can teach me. :p
     
  6. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    By your own admission, you have not read her book. So, your own view of her views suffers as much from the accusation of "unserious" as anything I offered. The OP is essentially commentary on commentary originally given as a bid to get people to read (buy) a book in order to take in an entire argued POV. One might have to actually read her book to find out her exact take on a text like Titus 2:5.

    I've heard some of her views, and read some of her writing. My assessment of her stances is that I would be comfortable giving her a platform. And I think I'm quite a conservative type theologically, also fairly traditional in practical matters as I live out my faith with my family in a church setting where we aren't too different from those around us, besides being a strong advocate for Christian liberty.

    My impression of RGM is that she too would on any other account be regarded as deeply conservative theologically (being Confessionally Reformed, and firmly opposed to women's ordination), and fairly traditional in practical matters; and yet there are some judges who will not grant her conservative theology or weigh her traditional habits because of this challenge of hers and how they perceive it.

    If the three "bullets" in your OP ought (in your view) to be regarded as a baseline truths, then I don't mind admitting that I've moved away from being able to affirm that stance (I think I always was somewhat latitudinarian when I was able). I think "created to be" estimates of the natures of women and men (as opposed to the one human nature) is so stretchable into various practical expressions that are still biblically legitimate--still natural in fact, even when they seem for some cause less than ideal--that absent legislation they cannot be "normed." Such notions imprison or straitjacket people, and infringe on Christian (and natural) liberty.

    In my opinion, based on what I've learned, I don't think married women in general like "being in the workforce," when they would rather be with and raising their offspring unencumbered. There are forces that impose to varying degrees on women in our culture, beyond the preferences of many of them. There are forces "encouraging" them in habits that are not in their best and commonsense interests (as I see them).

    But for all that, a woman "in the workforce" isn't sinning, and to say she "should" implies a strong negative, even hostile regard for her existence there, howbeit she came to be there. Freeing her from demand that she serve there could be a happy result of restoring a truly natural estate for the human family. But it isn't something that ought to be legislated, by the state or by the church.

    Ultimately, it is Christ's mercy that provides in social context what is in the best interest of his people who have to make their living here below while we wait for the Second Coming. His habit for deep-rooted social change seems to take the long road, not the revolutionary (thank God). With this in mind, we should also recognize that social changes experienced in the past 50yrs flow from causes that are much earlier, emanating from the previous 50yrs, and from the previous century. The crashing wave was generated far out in the ocean, well beyond your sight, not right where you see it rising up to crest.
     
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  7. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    That's fair.
     
  8. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    No need to be cross. I said I agreed with most of what you said. But I found a single statement regarding "who is more Reformed" to be unserious and unhelpful.

    The 45 minute interview I listened to made those specific bullet points I listed sufficiently clear that they are fair representations of her views on those matters. So I'm interested in discussing the points listed above which were made abundantly clear in her interview with Kerry Baldwin and which are affirmed as her viewpoint by Baldwin in her uncritical review.

    So this discussion is not about ESS, patriarchy, or John Piper. I'm interested in discussing the specific points above.

    Question: Am I understanding what you said above to mean that if a woman is married with children, there is nothing wrong with her putting them in daycare and working outside of the home?
     
  9. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I’d like to read the book but I don’t know if I’ll get to it. I look forward to reviews from dependable people.

    My wife and I share Bruce’s convictions at the same time our life together looks like what Christopher describes. My strategy is to advocate and encourage the path we’ve taken while respecting others’ decisions.

    What is evermore disturbing are intersectionality and critical theory and the affect they will have on the workplace and church. They are toxic, nihilistic modes of thought. This drive to see equal and now equitable (worse) sex, gender, sexuality, racial and so forth representation and compensation in every job title is going to do more damage to church and society than Christian women working.
     
  10. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I've just listened to the Theology Gals podcast.

    Let's be clear up front: her very writing of this book is in contravention of 1 Timothy 2:12 "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." She breaches all three clauses of this prohibition. Women are explicitly forbidden from teaching. They should not be writing books like this.

    Here are my thoughts on the discussion on the podcast:

    -She begins by talking about the authority that "we", i.e. men and women, were given over Creation. But though we are told that He gave Man dominion, it was to Adam that the authority to name the animals was given. They went to him. And it was from Adam which Eve was created and he named her too. So even in this area where we would say Mankind has dominion over the Earth, there was a specific authority given to the man which was not given to the woman.

    -She then talks about authority and submission being aspects in all our relationships and that we are never completely in authority or submission in these relationships. The Bible says otherwise. The Bible specifically teaches within the church and within marriage authority is given to men and subjection is placed upon women. Women are to remain silent in the church, they are not to teach, they are to comport themselves with modesty and if they have questions they are to ask their husbands at home. They are to submit to their husbands. These are absolute commands. So whatever may be the case out in the world, at least in the church and in the house authority is given to the man and subjection is placed upon the woman (in terms of their relationship to each other. They both have authority over the children, which is also clearly taught in Scripture).

    -She then spoke about how the church had brought in secular attitudes towards men and women and essentially baptised them. She made a pretty clean break between the world's attitudes on the one hand and Scripture's on the other. She certainly implied that in this area of masculine and feminine if it was not explicitly laid down in Scripture then it was de facto secular/worldly and at odds with what the Bible teaches. She had no concept of natural order. She didn't even mention 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul makes an argument from nature and applies it to male/female relations and indeed masuclinity and femininity. Our very natures teach us something about what it is to be male and female and how we are to relate.

    She then said that there were these notions in the Greco-Roman world which sharply divided the sexes (which were also therefore unBiblical). Then Christianity came along and things got a little better and then came the Victorians [poof! just like that] and they adopted these ideas and brought them into the church. No mention of the intervening years. Were these years a period of wonderful equality between the sexes where men and women mixed together in all levels of society and church before the nasty Victorians came along? Or was it a period of pretty much consistent understanding on the nature of men and women and how they relate?

    She said that the ancient world had the idea that women were inferior to men and this was adopted by the Victorians. She did not address 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7, 8, 9; 1 Timothy 2:13, 14. These passages do indeed suggest an inferiority of of the woman to the man in some sense: Adam was formed first; Eve was created for Adam; Eve was deceived, not Adam. Eve was the last formed and the first to fall.

    -We then got a discussion of feminism kicked off with a mention of Galatians 3:28 which one of the hosts said wasn't really connected to the issues being discussed but thought she'd mention it anyway. What does this verse teach us? That there is neither male nor female in Christ. It does not teach a general equality. It does not teach that there is no such thing as "masculinity" or "femininity" other than our being males or females. It teaches that believers are one in Christ: that in salvation it advantages a man not a jot to be a man and disadvantages a woman not a jot to be a woman. But it says nothing about their respective places in society, the church, in nature. There is neither bond nor free in Christ either but there certainly were slaves and freemen and masters in the church.

    The discussion of 20th century history followed a pretty standard feminist interpretation: progress and reaction, progress and reaction. While there was criticism of "second wave" feminism (some of it) there was an agreement with the fundamental emancipatory efforts of the 20th century. No Biblical support was given. Where is the Biblical mandate for the equal franchise? Where is the Biblical mandate for laxer divorce laws? Where is the Biblical mandate that there must be "equality of treatment and access" to work, education? These were just assumed. They might be good things, they might be bad, but no actual exegesis was given.

    -We were then told that any accusations against them as being "feminist" or "egalitarian" was a 9th Commandment violation because they are all "confessional presbyterians" and "members in good standing". But in what denominations? What standards are they held to? I have no idea. They must be judged on their actions and words.

    Now I'm not saying they are teching egalitarianism formally and nor are they teaching that women should hold ordained office. But let's examine what was said here. We were told that to hold ordained office one must be a "qualified man". We heard this refrain over and over. We were told specifically that authority was not invested in men because they were men, but because they were qualified men. Being a man was merely one of the qualifications along with the rest. However if we turn to Scripture and look at 1 Timothy 3 we read "This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife..." Being a man is not a mere qualification. It is a presupposition. Only men can hold positions of authority because they are men. Then we look at the qualifications which a man must meet.

    Rachel Miller was right to say that a man must meet the qualifications and that a man shouldn't be elevated to office for no other reason than he is a man. But there is clear teaching as to the nature of office and leadership in the church: it is male. Regardless of qualifications or gifts such a position in the church is denied women because they are women.

    And reference was made to Beth Moore and the Presidency of the SBC as an example of a leadership role in the church in which laymen are eligible. Therefore, according to the hosts, that position was open to unqualified men and thus was not regulated by Paul's teaching on elders. And the very strong implication of this point made by one of the hosts- though it went unsaid- was that Beth Moore would be eligible to be elected as President and that there would be no contravention of Scripture if that happened.

    -Now one general point. Throughout reference was made to the "servant leadership" of the husband and the "willing submission" of the wife. These terms are not in Scripture. Nowhere is the husband's authority described as "servant leadership". This is taken from husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. So an aspect of the relationship between husband and wife is that the husband should show sacrificial love. But that is one aspect. To describe it as "servant leadership" is to make his leadership essentially and definitionally servant-like to the exclusion of ruler, lawgiver, priest and patriarch of the family (all Biblical roles given to the husband, the head of the home). And one should also point out that it is the husband's love for his wife which is described in a sacrifical manner, not his authority, his leadership or his rule over his wife and the home.

    Then we have the concept of "willing submission". Now we all agree that a wife should not be brutalised into submission and she must resist any submission which would require her to sin. However what does "willing submission" actually mean? Why is it "willing" submission and not just submission? The submission of the wife is not voluntary. It's not a suggestion or a recommendation. It is a command.

    There is more I could say. As mentioned above she rejected any natural definitions of masculinity or feminity. Deuteronomy 22:5, 1 Corinthians 11:14 would sugest there is a natural element to these. To reduce them to merely being a man or being a woman is absurd on its face. One criticism of the complementarian movement which was given is that by adopting (cultural) notions of masculinity and femininity it was playing into the hands of the progressives today who claim to be able to choose whether they are male or female. This is absolutely backwards. These ideas of femininity and masculinity pre-date the transgender movement and it is the transgenders who themselves illustrate the very real natural definitions of masculinity and femininity. How do men who want to be women dress? They adopt the most feminine style they can. And vice versa. Perhaps this speaks to an ontological reality of maleness and femaleness?

    I intend to get the book to get the details but just from the interview there is a lot which is very worrying here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:52 AM
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  11. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    It's great that there are books like this.

    Alexander, did you learn anything from your mother? Could she still teach you anything today? It's wrong to take a text and apply it beyond its lawful bound.

    RGM isn't taking a church office or rising to lead worship. Those are Paul's concerns, and not whether it was wrong for Priscilla to educate Apollos, Act.18:26--a necessary conclusion, if your interpretation of 1Tim.2:12 stands.

    It is important to be strict and stringent upon the dictates of Scripture. It is also important not to encroach (esp. with threats of divine sanction) on Christian liberty.
     
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  12. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior

    Here's a thoughtful critique of RGM's book:

    "Ladies, God did not create you to be a man. He created you to be a woman. You do not need to be an inferior man. I would have you be a superior woman, fully living out, in Christ, your femininity where God has called you to live. The thesis of books like “Beyond Authority and Submission” undermines your God given nature as woman. For, if the body is ignored, then you are just the same as a man. But your body is a stubborn thing. Do not ignore it. If you do, where will the next generation of God’s people come from? If not you, then who? Without women acting as mothers, the church will die. Look at Europe.

    Gnosticism is an old error; but it seems to be wearing new clothes. "

    https://calvinistruminant.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/beyond-authority-and-submission-review/
     
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  13. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    You haven't given me much of a description of the financial situation of the household, who provides the daycare, or... I can invent details ad infinitum. The "Why?" questions are some of the first and most important inquiries a pastor whose counsel is sought should make.

    And if I'm not asked for my counsel, I think I would have to be careful about presenting my "wisdom" as to how such a family might best order itself. As a matter of study, I might conclude that the mother's decision was along a spectrum from foolish to wise.

    Even if it was foolish, I'm pretty sure I could not determine simply on the basis of that decision if I could or would recommend the church address the matter as sin.

    In a more general approach, I might preach the benefits to children and marriage of the role of a stay-at-home mother from a text like Tit.2:4-5. If there is a single mom and breadwinner in the congregation, I would need to preach in such a way that did not make her feel like a loser. Sometimes the language of Scripture expresses a positive view of an ideally stable condition, without assuming that it is the only godly expression of life, or even that the specific condition must be sought after as of the true goal of happiness.

    Titus 2:4-5 is part of a larger text in which Timothy is told to teach the older women how to give good teaching and advice to the younger. It isn't really about listing the essential and proper duties of younger women, but dealt with subjects many older women had the experience of. Some of those younger women--like young people generally in all ages of the world--were headstrong, overconfident, distractable, and open to temptations from the world; others were probably too timid, fearful, and closeminded. It isn't as if the young men (v6) only needed Titus' guidance in sobermindedness, and all would be well in their case.

    I'm confident you would not find fault in ALL cases of a mother working and using daycare. If just hearing about such a choice in a family was enough for a session to instigate an investigation to determine if church discipline is in order--well, I suppose I'd think that was an unhealthy church environment.
     
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  14. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Well - in this thread we have reviews of a podcast the author participated in and reviews of reviews of the book.

    Is it fair to the author to opine specifically about a book that none of the posters has actually read?

    In that sense, isn't this thread a form of gossip?
     
  15. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Didn’t Mark’s reference read the book?
     
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  16. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I think it is fair to examine what her words presented from the podcast meant. I also believe it is profitable to understand the context as those words should reflect the book.
     
  17. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    It referenced the book but it seems none of the posters of this forum have read the book.
     
  18. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    BTW, I was raised by a single mother in the work place who functioned well in her Church. We do need our Deborah's.
     
  19. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior

    Reviews of books (or of podcast statements) are routinely published and read by folks who have yet to read the book or heard the podcast. A quality review will provide citations to the original work and analysis of it. It's not "gossip" to share or benefit from such.
     
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  20. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, he did.
     
  21. Susan777

    Susan777 Puritan Board Freshman

    I don’t understand what is meant by the “whole role-playing business”. I struggle to have a quiet and gentle spirit, though this is not something I have by nature. Yet I know that this is pleasing to my Lord. Is this just role-playing? I don’t care what the world says a woman should be, I want to be what God designed me to be as a woman. Maybe I’ve misunderstood this comment.
     
  22. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Chris was quoting my post. The problem is not in typical and even natural roles for men and women. My comment originally spoke to the way that "sex roles" have been weaponized by one side against "traditionalists" (including Christians), and the latter have tended to react against this attack by turning sex-roles into sex-rules, by become even more "rigid" than ever they were when these things were simply recognized as ancient, reliable standards.

    In other words, when we react to false-criticism by becoming the caricature, we play into the hands of the enemies of order and common sense. Turning to the Bible, descriptions of what is typical and normal (but not so absolute as to rule out variety) has been cast in terms of law. And to deviate from the Bible--as we know--is sin; so some Christians came to think of a typical or normal family order as LAW (which I cast in terms of "fundamentalism"). The attitude is then seen when folks say: "We're good people, because we follow this rule," rather than: "We're going to keep to what is natural and normal; and you nuts can't make us feel guilty for acknowledging tried and true patterns and habits for humanity."

    We could afford to be not-so-rigid, now as much as then, because it was never about role-rules, but accepting the human condition and learning what works best. And there were always outliers from the normal ways of things, and we bore with those with little trouble. But now the abnormal types have demanded that they be allowed the same acceptance as the normal-but-atypical.

    So the attack on nature has taken two forms. In one form, the very idea of nature is attacked, since it implies constraint on the human will. In the other form, aberrant behavior demands acceptance within the bounds of "normal," extending the trailing edges of the bell-curve of acceptability. Behavior simply "is," absent any value judgments; and this too destroys natural/normal, because if everything is natural/normal then nothing is--the category has evaporated.

    So, I was not denying the concept of sex roles, or the benefit of them.
     
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  23. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    Bruce spoke in this already, but to answer you directly, I was agreeing with Bruce about making it into "a law" is a concern. I either didn't catch Rachel's articulation of that or she didn't articulate it. What is ideal isn't always possible, so while I may advocate for a position (e.g. homeschooling) I don't want put out a position that isn't possible for some (e.g. single parent).

    I affirm your desire conform your life to what you see God is calling you to be. I think my wife would agree with your sentiment that it is not always easy.
     
  24. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    If you bothered reading the OP you would see how you've misunderstood my purpose in starting the discussion. I said I had not read the book but listened to Miller's lengthy interview where she made some specific statements that I wanted to discuss here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 9:03 PM
  25. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    I am happy to admit there are many circumstances when a woman has no choice but to go out of the home and seek employment. Please don't misunderstand my questions as denying that reality. But I would still say that for the believer, there is a need to acknowledge that a mother working outside of the home is not the ideal. It invariably creates real and lasting problems in a family. Where the ideal of a mother being at home is possible, there is a duty for a husband and wife to order their lives accordingly.

    So with that in mind, let me get back to my earlier question. So you wanted to know more about their financial situation. Okay, let's say her husband is a successful engineer making over a 100k per year. Let's say she only works because she wants a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in the work place. Would you be unwilling to say that is unbiblical?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 9:38 PM
  26. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I don't misunderstand, as I wrote, "I'm confident you would not find fault in ALL cases of a mother working and using daycare."

    I would be unwilling, barring strife and discord in the home as a result of her choice. If the husband came to me with a request to help them with the fallout from that choice, it would be appropriate to detect the origin there (if so be) and direct them to a solution grounded in biblical wisdom that helps one see plainly with corrective lenses.

    But to assume that discord was certain to come--as if there was a single blueprint for domestic harmony in Scripture, and a key to the ideal marriage and home life--I could not know that. I can come up with variations on your proposed situation that reveal the wife-and-mother as something akin to the Prv.31 woman. Reality comes to expression on a bell-curve. I can warn people of the dangers of a course of action, and pray for God's will, and then wait for the results. Sometimes, stridently directing people where "most people have success" and against this couple's instincts is a terrible pastoral decision.

    No doubt, there would be a range of potential outcomes, some better, some worse. I don't think it is possible to tell every woman that would fit in the case as described, that under a current set of social "givens," she must surely fail in her principal task of motherhood. Some women have made this work. Her children rise up today, and call her Blessed. Maybe it isn't quite the typical success story, but neither is prior restraint that won't allow people to make potentially bad but not sinful decisions typically a successful disciplinary strategy.

    Simply the desire to have the "sense of accomplishment" and outside "fulfillment in the work place" isn't sinful; it isn't "rebellion against divine order" coming from a woman. Nor is it wrong for her to have the wherewithal to execute a plan to fulfill her desire in a way that does not evidently promote evil. But stubbornness and refusal to face honestly and with a biblical mind problems that could come up--resistance to a needful reevaluation--that is Proverbial, blameworthy folly. But it isn't unique to a woman's constitution. It is a human failing.
     
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  27. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, it's fair to do those two things. But that's still not the same thing as reading and reviewing the actual book. A podcast and a book are two very different things, since an author can go into depth, and at length, about the points he or she is trying to make in a book-length work - something that's hard to do on a podcast.
     
  28. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, but none of the posters in this thread can "provide citations to the original work and an analysis of it" because none of them has read the book, as of yet. Responding to a podcast is not the same thing as responding to a book.
     
  29. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    You are correct. I apologize for misunderstanding you.
     
  30. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    By the way, I'm not trying to either defend or attack Rachel Miller's views. I haven't read the book either and I haven't heard the podcast or read any interviews.

    I'm just concerned that an unread book is being criticized.

    Also, keep in mind that a book represents the author's "official position" regarding it's subject matter (unless and until he or she changes his or her views and publishes a revised edition of the work). Podcasts and interviews are relatively ephemeral, but books are more or less permanent.

    If I were to interact with Miller's views, I would make sure to respond only to the book since, as I noted, that represents the author's "official" published position on the matter.
     

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