Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Aimee Byrd)

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Reformed Covenanter, Jan 16, 2020.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    It is not mocking. Neither is it a tactic which fails if her teaching on manhood/womanhood is simply bad/flawed.
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    To be fair, I read right through Grudem's Systematic Theology, including the ESS parts and simply thought, "hmm" and moved along and didn't catch the error, either (I think I was just trying to get through it, since I don't read much, Stephen says).

    If Byrd is the one who first caught this, then hats off to her.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  3. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm only going to respond to this because it's funny to me.

    Why would Trueman read and interact with Grudem? I don't know, maybe because he's a scholar and Grudem's work is only the most influential/widely used conservative theology text in this entire country... and since MANY if not MOST who come to Reformed seminaries first grew up in Calvinistic evangelical churches. I don't know, maybe that's why.
  4. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    I have no idea if you are right that he read it, saw ESS, recognized it as error, and kept mum. But he would have known Grudem's ST is Baptist and Charismatic and just not been interested. I would prefer to think the best at this point.

    I don't bother to read some of the most influential books (DVDs, youtube videos, etc) out there. People have tried to get me to know the wondrous blessing of "Jesus Calling". Several people have tried to shove Joel Rosenberg down my throat, and Jonathan Cahn's the Harbinger. I've been sent Lance Wallnau and his prophetic revelations. "Oh watch this Beth Moore DVD" ...I could gag.

    Maybe Trueman feels the way I do- thanks but no thanks. Not that I put Grudem in that category, but I don't apologize for my pickiness when it comes to what is popular.

    Cynical people as a rule tend to be discerning instead of I can't dismiss your thinking. I just hope it is wrong : )
  5. wcf_linux

    wcf_linux Puritan Board Freshman

    Applied thought, especially in theology, is actually more advanced than a generalized understanding of theory. Don’t get me wrong, one can write at length on “practical” matters without saying much of use. But to apply theory, you have to know theory as well as whatever you’re applying theory to.

    I can talk about being a better server jockey as a Christian, but my insight will be limited by how well I get, inter alia, the concept of vocation.* And vocation is rooted in creation, providence, and Christian liberty. That brings in doctrine of God, doctrine of man, and Christology (which brings in everything else). I can’t be a “Linux server jockey theologian” of any usefulness without being a “theologian” first, to the limit of my practical capacity. Christian theology is just too interconnected.

    I think a similar notion applies to being a housewife theologian.

    * And I thought I understood vocation before I dropped the doctoral program and my presbytery intern status, but oh boy I didn’t!
  6. RWD

    RWD Puritan Board Freshman

    Mocking the "housewife theologian" is a tactic that backfires.​

    I didn’t take the gentleman as knocking the title. I do agree that the title doesn’t imply that she must theologize on being a wife. Whether she’s a theologian of any note I need not comment about, but the observation that we’re all theologians seems to sidestep any legitimate question regarding the assumed title let alone her ability to write or speak on theological matters.

    Is the list of older women's" teaching topics exhaustive?

    No, but perhaps it’d be a good place to start.

    As I asked Doug Wilson for years, why is Reformed not enough? Same sort of thing here. If she’s not rediscovering some lost Christian doctrine or practice, then she’s breaking new ground. Obviously she’s not rediscovering anything old. So, at best she’s breaking new ground. I sincerely doubt that. I sincerely doubt she’s aiding the church in her (AB’s) efforts to help us recover from (our misconceptions) of biblical manhood and womanhood. At the very least, her foils like John Piper are highly selective. I can only imagine why that would be the case.
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    This is the exact quote that I had in mind when I penned the first (not the one above) comment,
    "If she WERE a "Housewife Theologian" wouldn't she be writing more about how to be a better housewife?"​

    If I had the habit of connecting some other piece of my identity (past) with my present pursuits, I might call myself: Foot-Soldier Pastor. So, if I REALLY was such a thing, I better be writing lots of articles for servicemen? Not necessarily, because the reference is to some aspect of who I am, as formed by Providence.

    My emphasis would be on the "pastor" part; and in the case of AB, her emphasis appears to be on the "theologian" part. So, a comment about her better off focusing on something suitable to "housewifery" reads like a "stay in your lane!" statement.

    Don't think I got that one wrong.
    Maybe there are already enough books on that? And who is to say that AB isn't doing all that's expected of her in that department? Anyone here her pastor, who can assure you who are interested: "She's got it covered."

    No, in the end it's about wanting to make sure that AB--and all the others--"Know their place."

    Maybe, what some women need--who are both frustrated with perceived misogyny, or baptized traditionalism; AND discontented with the BadTheology responses of a number of non-Reformed and quasi-Reformed and even some reputed Reformed types--is a reason to stay Reformed, stay holding on to biblical limits on women's ordination (because God says so), stay the good course while rebutting the stupid stuff.

    Maybe AB and a few others will help them do that. But if she has to spend a significant amount of her energy fighting off the accusations that she's walking the well-worn path to Women's Lib, Ecclesiastical Style... that's a sorry distraction in every unsubstantiated claim that she's the one propagating BadTheology.

    I think a lot of people just want her/them to shut up and go away.
  8. RWD

    RWD Puritan Board Freshman


    I assumed the quote you had in mind. I also agreed with you that the label Housewife Theologian doesn’t imply what the other brother implied, that she should only theologize on housewife things. What I’m not prepared to say with you is that he mocked the label.

    No, in the end it's about wanting to make sure that AB--and all the others--"Know their place."​

    Well, knowing our place is always under good regulation. The question, however, is as I see it two-fold. What is one’s place? And secondly, does one have the theological chops (assuming that he or she is indeed functioning in their place).
  9. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    C. S. Lewis actually cites something similar before feminism really took hold -- he got the impression that American men bully and demean women much more than in England. He cited an entitled attitude of 'I have inferiors but no superiors' stemming from a mix of political ideas with gender roles.
  10. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    For what it is worth, I did a bit of google searching. The ESS debate did indeed break on Aimee's blog, although it was a post by Goligher.

    "Alastair Roberts
    June 16, 2016
    The most recent eruption of the eternal subordination of the Son controversy began with a couple of provocative posts by Liam Goligher, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, over on Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian blog."

    Goligher is good guy, Scottish, and no doubt was friendly with Trueman. Folks from CCEF and WTS went down to 10th Pres. For all we know he caught the error first, talked to Carl, and they asked Aimee to post the article. Maybe Aimee saw it first, talked to Carl, he talked to Goligher. At any rate, make no mistake, the leadership in breaking this with precise theological writing is Goligher. And if you question motives, I would say like Paul, that whether from good motives or bad, the gospel ( ie the true Jesus of orthodoxy) is being preached so be glad about that.

    I also saw this, and it is from May 2019 so I think if you read it you get an idea of where she is coming from. For one thing, she really expected retractions from those in error about the trinity, but it didn't happen. I wasn't comfortable when I started reading this but I was more so by the end....I think we have to understand the semantics and how much of her gripe is with ESS.

    I liked this paragraph:

    Rather than reduce God’s word and say woman is created second because she is subordinate, we need to see the whole redemptive story God is telling here. Woman was created second from man’s very side as his glory, meaning, when Adam sees Eve, he sees his telos as the bride of Christ, the church flowing out of Christ’s wounded side.

    I have believed that for years. Adam slept, his side was opened, his wife was created. That is a prophetic picture of the second Adam who slept in death, his side was pierced and blood and water flowed out, and his bride was created.

    To try and reduce men-women just to a hierarchy based on bad doctrine is wrong.

    Strachan spells it out for us, saying that this particular divine design, this vital order, is grounded in theistic ontology itself…the very bedrock of Christian theology. He is not talking about processions here, since he made himself clear that hierarchy is divine order. ESS is “divine order.” Divine order is ESS.

    I'm pretty conservative myself, I have a great husband, and I have no inner feelings of longing for more ministry or teaching, and this second link does raise a few questions about what path Amy is on long term about when and how women teach. Time will tell. But I think without the context of her pis*ed off reaction to ESS, pardon my Greek, she cannot be understood or critiqued properly. And for that she has my deepest sympathy.
  11. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    Only, that's not what she was writing about in Why Can't We Be Friends? or Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Which makes any discussion about that here little more than a red herring.
  12. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    I tend to doubt this, but who knows. It's possible he was right. Which would mean Lewis was a better student of American sociology than he was of the Bible.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  13. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    Many have slipped on the slope they insisted was not slippery.
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I mostly agree. While issues of patriarchy and quasi-Arian views on the Trinity stand or fall separately, in America, at least, those promoting ESS used it to also justify their view of complementarianism.

    Note what I am saying. I am not saying that complementarianism is wrong because the people promoting it often have bad Trinitarianism. That would be a logical fallacy.

    Not to say I agree with Amy. As I said earlier, she is overreacting to a previous overreaction (with bad Trinitarianism) to feminism.
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  15. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    I think that is your male brain full of compartments talking. We women have one big room and it is all jumbled together. If we are upset about one thing, everything else is related to it somehow. There are all kinds of studies out there on how men compartmentalize where as women stir everything into one big pot. I don't know, maybe Aimee is less that way than most women, but I bet until CBMW recants the error it is going to color everything she says on the subject. Just my guess based on long experience with plenty of women. I could be wrong.
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Does CBMW still hold to ESS? If so, then Byrd is right to keep pushing.

    Has Grudem ever revised or apologized for his views?

    I think somebody above asked why Trueman and others keep sticking by Byrd's side and endorse her despite some of her bad stances. Perhaps it is because she is right on this topic. The Trinity, after all, is a lot more important than variations in gender roles.
  17. RWD

    RWD Puritan Board Freshman

    I have another take. I’d be interested in your thoughts. The ESS debate was an old one within relatively contemporary times (even before 1990). I’m not persuaded that the debate resurfaced in summer of 2016 strictly over concerns about the Trinity. For various reasons I’m more inclined to think that the equality of women and what that meant to some could have been the driving factor.

    Anyway, what one side missed is that what distinguishes persons of the Trinity is paternity, generation, and procession, not roles of authority and submission. The Father is the Father of the Son because the Father begets the Son.

    The other side wasn’t without their issues either. They didn’t seem to acknowledge that the Son’s submission is fitting precisely because of the filial identity of the Son. I think that oversight gets to the heart of the complementarian discussion.

    What’s often missing in this discussion is that “A and B complement each other” does not address questions of how and why. If the husband assumes a complementary role to his wife, can those roles be switched? “Roles” aren’t typically permanent. Roles can even be arbitrary.

    The point of the matter is, there are congruous personal complements within marriage that “roles” terminology eclipses if not conflates. (This principle applies in some sense to the Trinity too. Could the Father have become man in redemption, or is there something fitting about the begotten-Son becoming man? That would be my only reference to Trinity in this discussion. Equality doesn’t preclude personal differences and ordering of operations).

    If these marital responsibilities flow from creation, we’d expect to see some resemblance of these complements outside church and home. By grace, we still do.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  18. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    While granting these differences between men and women, this statement is lazy and unhelpful. Something is either germane to a discussion or it isn't. If we are discussing what Byrd has said in a book that makes no reference to the ESS controversy, then it isn't germane. Aimee Byrd being right on ESS doesn't give her a pass from being criticized if she takes positions in other areas that are wrong.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  19. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Yes, I was calling him in as a cultural observer not as a Scriptural interpreter. My own biggest desire is not that we should necessarily agree on his take or some of these other points, but that our disagreements should be without double standards (ie, holding one side responsible for accuracy and not throwing out red herrings while supporting inaccuracy and red herrings on the other), and with mutual respect.
  20. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I agree. The Ware-Grudem crowd rightly understood that there is an order in the Trinity. For the Patristics, this functioned as a grammar: To the Father in the Son by the Holy Spirit. The fathers basically left it at that.

    On the other hand, I don't think the ESS crowd was especially clear. I'm reading Ware right now, so I will defer further judgment.
  21. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    He has backed off the more radical claims, if I recall correctly.
  22. EcclesiaDiscens.

    EcclesiaDiscens. Puritan Board Freshman

    There have been many reviews on it and the problems within and I don’t wish to sidetrack this post. But I can provide a link if you need.
  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

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