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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back When Southern Baptists Were Still Baptists....

Those are the words of the highly esteemed historian Dr. Martin E Marty.

Check out his latest column at Christian Century entitled Baptists in the Kitchen
In 1958, during a trifaith "Religious Emphasis Week" at the University of Arkansas, I hung out at the Sigma Nu house. One morning some Baptist Sigma Nu brothers were walking with me as I went by the Lutheran campus chapel. I stopped. "You want to go in there?" they asked. Yes, I wanted to see a majestic figure of Christ on the cross sculpted by Harriet Youngman Reinhardt. Once these friendly iconoclasts got over the shock of dealing with an iconodule who favored a carved corpus, one said: "You wouldn't want to go there. That's Lutheran!" "So am I," I responded, and he said: "You know, I never met one of them before!"

Back when Southern Baptists were still Baptist, I was invited to Southwestern Seminary, the "largest seminary in the world," and was impressed by its worship, classes and faculty. Since then, I've been a guest on many southern college and university campuses and have stayed at Baptist-dominated sororities and in faculty homes. While the southern style of hospitality and cuisine may not be to everyone's taste, this Midwesterner ate it up. The "sisters" and spouses in these places had manners that shamed mine; their grooming and garb reflected a culture that produces Miss Americas. A few of these women were pastors, some were destined to become pastors, and still others would marry pastors. They lacked neither grace nor graces, and the last thing they needed were "home economics" courses.

But their superiors have decided otherwise, at least at Southwestern. Pop culture, pagan pluralism or the presence of non-"cradle Baptist" converts must have led to some loss of the good old manners, mores and recipes. Maybe some of the new women are married to male seminarians who have grown slovenly. Worst of all, in the eyes of new Southern Baptist leadership, many of the women have been called to ordained ministry, which is a no-no. The need for women's submission to their husbands must have been what prompted Southwestern leaders to introduce a "new, women-only academic program in homemaking" (emphasis mine), a 23-hour concentration that counts toward a B.A. in humanities and a life as a pastor's wife.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the program is aimed at helping establish what Southwestern's president calls "biblical family and gender roles." He adds: "We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God's word."

Because this is a "women-only" curricular track, one is tempted to shout "discrimination" and call in the feds. Yet the separation-of-church-and-state ethos would protect the seminary from legal enforcement. Only God's inspired word in the Bible should count. And precisely here is where one worries about the Bible sources and these Baptists. The seminary courses are on clothing construction, textile design and meal preparation. In the Bible these tasks were as much part of the family and gender roles of men as of women.

Bible-believing Baptists have to ask: How do we square Matthew 6:25-26 with a 23-hour course on "taking thought for what you should wear" or "eat and drink"? What about the resurrected male Jesus cooking fish and baking bread for the disciples on the beach at the sea of Tiberias (John 21: 9-14)? How about the apostle Paul, who made a living as a tentmaker? From what I know about (us) male ministers today, I'd say that if we cannot cook like Jesus, if we cannot sew like Paul, then it's we who need homemaking lessons. How about men-only or mixed gender courses? They'd be inspired, even biblical.

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28 Comments:

Blogger D.R. said...

BDW,

You continue to post articles on this. I am beginning to wonder if you are becoming obsessed. But once again you have posted an article that clearly misses the point of the program. Here, Marty, really seems to ramble about some odd experiences in college which really have nothing to do with the point of his post (has he been in a sorority house in years and seen the type of behavior that goes on there now?). But once he gets to his point, he drops the ball and says, "In the Bible these tasks were as much part of the family and gender roles of men as of women."

I am not sure what Bible Martin has read or what culture he has studied, but if the scant support he offers is any tell, then apparently not the same one I have (or historic Baptist have, for that matter). Martin's allusion to passages on tent-making and Jesus cooking have absolutely nothing to do with his point. Both men were single and their tasks were singular in nature and do not reflect the point he is trying to make about male and female roles in the overall culture. Come on, does this distinguished doctor really think that these passages are a thorough-going example of the entirety of the Jewish culture? And tent-making has much less to do with sewing for the purposes of home-ec than he seems to get.

And sure men cooked on occasion, but meal preparation took hours on end in the Jewish culture. Surely the good doctor knows that cooking from scratch isn't as simple as catching a fish and grilling it over coals (btw, has he ever eaten St. Peter fish - not much preparation goes into that). With men out working, women stayed home and took on this task. In that same way, even today, if the female stays home, she generally cooks the more elaborate and time consuming meals, and most males do the grilling. Unfortunately women's roles have changed so much that more and more girls have no clue how to do tasks like sewing and cooking. And often don't have skills (just as men don't) in raising children (just watch any episode of any daytime show today to see that). We live in a culture where skills are no longer passed on from generation to generation, like in the past. Yet, many women (including my wife and many of her friends) have a natural desire to learn such skills (have you seen the explosion among women with stuff like sewing and scrapbooking? It's becoming a multi-billion dollar business!).

Southwestern's program, for all the controversy, does fill this void for many women. What I am wondering is why no one who seems to like to wax eloquently (or lack thereof) on this subject has thought of going to talk to women at Southwestern about this (or at least those who hold to Complimentarianism, or those who would love to have a program like this at their university). It seems to me that the program was designed for women coming to the Seminary. If there was no demand (or there is none in the future), then it will fail. But for the time being it would be nice to hear all these folks quit talking and let the ladies who might actually benefit from such speak up.

2:35 AM

 
Blogger Christa Brown said...

BDW,
Thanks for sharing this. I got a laugh out of it and liked it a lot. I'm thinking of asking for an honorary degree myself. After all, I grew up threading a Kenmore, I can cook up some fine fish, and I can serve it all up with killer cookies....oops...just noticed the dust on the blinds...guess I don't qualify.

9:44 AM

 
Blogger Tauratinzwe said...

d.r.,
It would be nice if the women would comment, however, those supporting the subordination of women can't speak out, especially to men, without violating that principle.

9:47 AM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Hey D.R.,

How many sorority houses have you been in lately? How would you know what type of behavior goes on in every sorority house? Painting with a mighty BIG brush here....

Does scrapbooking fall under the umbrella of homemaking?

Where are these Southwestern ladies? This story has made national news and yet no peep from them? Where are all of these submissive women? Why aren't they speaking out? No person should have to pull their leg to get them to do so....

I'm a fan of Dr. Marty - what else can I say. His line Back When Southern Baptists Were Still Baptists particularly caught my eye!

10:25 AM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

BDW,

Since Marty wants to be so true to the scripture, it should be pointed out again that Jesus and Paul were unmarried, according to the scripture, rendering his main point limp.

But, thanks for sharing. And, don't forget the environmental sensitivity this degree offering shows--less women commuting to work, less emissions, less global warming.

:)

10:38 AM

 
Blogger Alexis said...

DR-
I was not aware that women were ALLOWED to speak in such programs. Having been raised Southern Baptist, I also experienced that even if it was not explicitly forbidden, it was certainly implicit that the men spoke both for themselves and women, and were domineering enough in conversation to ensure that women did not attempt to do so.

I have several problems with your comments (admittedly I am NOT complementarian but egalitarian).

Firstly, the argument that because it was Jewish culture for women to ‘keep the home’ it was also God-ordained I find flawed. It was also Jewish culture at the time of Christ for the religious leaders to condemn the poor instead of helping them (Mark 3:1-5), to place their cultural religious practices above those of Jews outside of Jerusalem instead of encouraging true worship of God (Mark 11:15-18), and, it seems, to generally miss the message of Christ. So using culture as a proof for what God desires is bothersome.

Women continually in the Gospels understand Jesus as Messiah who came to bring equality to all, when others do not (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 4:38-41). They understood that Jesus was not an earthly king who would continue a patriarchy where women continued to be oppressed and abused, but instead a heavenly Messiah who had come that we might ALL have life, and ALL be used by the Spirit to glorify God and see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven (Luke 8:1-3; Luke 4:14-21).

In a recent letter to the editor of the Baptist Standard in response to the program at Southwestern, Ralph Cooper wrote the following:
“All Christians are to respond to the call of God and to minister to the least of his children Limiting service to one gender is a phenomenon of the fall and not of the redeemed. As the Apostle Paul said, in Christ there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:24-28). So, those who make distinctions contrary to that Scripture need to get into Christ and stop denying God’s ability to call and use any Christian for his purposes.”

I continue to believe this- that Christ desires to use each one of us in this world, and the fact that I don’t have a certain chromosome does not diminish that fact. I find it an incredibly small view of God to think that He also would not speak through women only because of that same genetic issue. Particularly because we can continue to point out passage after passage of women in the Old and New Testament that were used by God in ministry- as leaders (Huldah, Deborah, Priscilla, Phoebe, Lydia, Phillip’s daughters and more).

10:49 AM

 
Anonymous RC said...

I firmly believe that it is most unChristlike to deny women equality in all respects. Those who want to become better educated on these issues should contact Christians for Biblical Equality, which can be found at www.cbeinternational.org. Read their statement of faith before you reject this Christian group.

11:32 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

It's nice to see that many commentators on here have to result to pithy stereotypes instead of actually engaging is logical debate.

Tauratinzwe, your comment fits the bill perfectly. Stereotype so you don't have to actually think through my questions. Classy. Unfortunately, while I admit there are cases within every facet of society where women are suppressed in speaking (which actually is NOT a true facet of Complementarianism and isn't unique to Christianity), you have no proof that is the case here. In fact, having attended three SBC seminaries, let me say that you are dead wrong. I have seen some of the healthiest marriages at Seminary. And at no time did I ever get the impression that any man was suppressing any woman's opinion. Of course, since I am the enemy I must be either stupid or lying about that. But at least I can say I actually have experience in that environment, rather than just playing to a stereotype.


Now BDW,

Nice job of avoiding the meat of my comments to try to find a cheap laugh. Unfortunately, your questions don't really help your case. Maybe you didn't have a social life in college, but I was in a fraternity and we travelled across the U.S. to meet our other brothers. And so yeah, I have seen the level of sororities these days, even at Christian Universities and generally it makes me sick (though there obviously some noted exceptions). If you want to understand more about this, you can read Alexandra Robbins' book, Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities. One thing the feminist movement has helped to produce is women hell-bent on destroying their bodies for the sake of hedonism.

As for the scrapbooking comment, you apparently don't understand scrapbooking, so go find a woman and actually talk to her about it. Many women find it a ministry to their families because it preserves memories. My wife uses it as a ministry to other women by making scrapbooks for new babies and other women in her family use it in making cards for all sorts of occasions. It's part of the unique character of women that I believe has been suppressed by women like Linda Hirshman, who claim that women who choose to work in the home and take care of their family full-time are "letting down the team" (a.k.a., the feminist movement). Yet what she doesn't get is that many women (wait for the SHOCKER!) actually enjoy homemaking and want to do it better. And that is what this program is all about. And like I said, if there is no desire for it, then it will fail and all you naysayers will have your day.

Now, where are the Southwestern ladies at? They are probably avoiding people like you who stereotyping them as somehow stupid for wanting to engage in such a program. They probably don't want to talk to folks who malign their husbands and speak ill of their desire to take care of the home. And probably more than that, they probably aren't wasting their time like you and I talking about something that doesn't affect us. They are actually doing what they believe God is calling them to do. Imagine that!

What I can't get is how a supposed bleeding-heart liberal like yourself (oh, sorry moderate) can't understand that you are degrading these women who want to and will take part in this program. You are basically saying that this program is stupid and thus any women who wants to participate must be weak, or oppressed, or needy, or just plain stupid. Have you ever thought that you might actually be insulting hundreds of women with this crap? I mean I know you're not married, but surely you're not that out of touch with women. Or is ok in Waco to insult women who desire to stay at home and learn from others how to better take care of their families? It's no wonder that liberal marriage and birth rates are plummeting.



And RC, I think folks around here would be better served going to the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood site:

www.cbmw.org

Maybe then they would see what Complimentarianism actually looks like. And they could actually read articles by (wait for the GASP!) WOMEN who are complimentarians and aren't being suppressed by their husbands, contrary to folks around here who are deluded. In fact, let me link a few for you:

Able to Teach and Complementarian? by Kim Pennington

Confessions of a Recovering Feminist by Courtney Tarter


Does Christianity Squash Women by Rebecca Jones

My Liberation From Feminism by Carolyn McCulley

But be careful, you might encounter women who aren't stupid and don't fit your stereotypes. And out of 20 article on the first page of their list there were 6 women! Oh, no! Reader Beware!

2:31 PM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

D.R., have you really read Pledged? (This is purely out of curiosity. I've looked at it in the bookstore but concluded that it probably wasn't worth reading.)

I'd be willing to venture a guess that most of the women who read and comment on this blog are familiar with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Speaking only for myself, I'm not going to argue with you that there are intelligent women writing for that site. But Baptist women like me, who believe that God may call whomever God chooses to ministry and other roles in our society, generally reject several of the premises under which CBMW operates. That's not denying their right to exist or do their work, but we're not going to take their arguments terribly seriously, because we're looking at the issue from two totally different perspectives. In their view, a woman can only be God-honoring if she focuses her life around the difficult tasks of homemaking. In the view of many of the rest of us, a woman honors God with her life by doing what God has called her to do with her life - whether that's staying home with children, teaching in a high school, or pastoring a church.

That said, I object to the perception that Hirshman's premise that all feminists think that women who choose to stay home and raise families are somehow betraying women. There are feminists of that stripe, but they're increasingly rare. Most of the self-identified feminists I know believe that the important issue is that women have the opportunity (just as men have) to choose whether or not they stay home with young children or continue in their careers. That choice, when made in conjunction with family, church, and ultimately, through much prayer, is hers, not anyone else's.

I have no problem with any woman who chooses to enter Southwestern's homemaking program, although I will admit that it seems a little silly for a seminary to be teaching homemaking skills. What I do object to is Southwestern's determination that God cannot possibly call women to certain kinds of service in the Kingdom. As Alexis says, that defies several examples in the inerrant Word of God.

3:36 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Alexis,

I did want to address your comment directly. First, besides your initial sentence (and paragraph - neither of which was warranted or helpful), I appreciate your willingness to actually engage my points. So let me give you the courtesy of doing the same.

You said, "Firstly, the argument that because it was Jewish culture for women to ‘keep the home’ it was also God-ordained I find flawed." I agree, that's why I didn't try to make that point. My statement was addressing the fact that Martin was trying to say the Bible was clear that the roles of men and women were interchangable using as an example of this Paul's tentmaking and Jesus' cooking. My point is that Jewish culture overwhelmingly reflects the idea that men and women did engage in certain roles. Martin's use of these two instances are invalid, given that they don't really reflect the culture and both men were unmarried. So I wasn't trying to say at all that the normal Jewish culture is an argument for Complimentarianism, per se. And actually by noting the reality of the cultural situation in your comments, you validate my point against Martin's poor use of Scripture in making his.

Further you said, "Women continually in the Gospels understand Jesus as Messiah who came to bring equality to all, when others do not (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 4:38-41)." Now this is where I would disagree and many Biblically-minded Egalitarians would as well. The point of the Gospel is not to bring eqaulity. It is to save dying men and women from eternal damnation through Christ's sacrifice, which has eternal consequences, though we still live in fallen world that will never be restored and where true equality (which reflect much broader than simply gender roles) will never be achieved on earth, until the return of Christ. As for the two passages you cite, they have nothing to do with inequality in any way. The Mt. passage is a prophetic sign which the disciples didn't get because they were busy agreeing with Judas that it was an expensive waste. And the Mark passage is about the disciples not having faith. Neither of which have anything to do with others not getting Jesus supposed message of equality for all.

Then you said,
They understood that Jesus was not an earthly king who would continue a patriarchy where women continued to be oppressed and abused, but instead a heavenly Messiah who had come that we might ALL have life, and ALL be used by the Spirit to glorify God and see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven (Luke 8:1-3; Luke 4:14-21).

First, it is completely wrong to suggest that a patriarchal society by nature is oppressive to women. In fact, Abraham's wife Sarah is a great example of this. Scripture says she called Abram, "Lord" as a sign of respect and submitted to him, yet the book of Hebrews numbers her with those of greatest faith. We don't see her as suppressed at all, but rather as an example of a strong woman. Again, while it is true there are excesses, this is true regardless of patriarchy or not. And then there are even women today who suppress and abuse their husbands. The problem is sin, not gender roles.

And you seem to suggest that the role one has in the Church or home reflects the worth of the person (or their ability to be saved?). Yet that is an insult to many strong women who choose to fulfill what they believe are their God-given roles. Additionally, it is completely unBiblical since Jesus, Himself, pointed out that position didn't matter. In Matthew 19 and 20, Jesus repeats the phrase, "the last shall be first, and the first shall be last" rebuking the foregoing thought that position has anything to do with worth. In fact, over and over again Jesus praises servants and puts down leaders. And never was His goal to elevate servants to seemingly "higher" positions, but rather to call us to Christlikeness in whatever role we fulfill. So a woman who serves her husband in the home and a man who works to provide for that home are never unequal in the eyes of God, nor is their any indication from Scripture that both are not doing exactly what God has called them to do. For, from God's perspective, both are fulfilling the role He has assigned, which is the better way.

And both passages you cite have nothing to do with this idea that Jesus' ministry was in any way meant to bring positional or role-related equality. In fact, numerous times he allows women to serve Him, yet He washes the feet of the men! Now, the point of that is not to say anything about the role of women, but rather that Jesus cared not about position in comparison to one's heart. He did not come to uplift positionally, but to seek and to save that which is lost. That is one of the great lies of Liberation Theology that Feminist Theologians have bought into. Both believe that position breeds happiness and that Jesus wanted us to be happy on earth. That clearly doesn't square with the Bible and passages such as Matthew 5, Luke 6, and 2 Tim 3:12.

As for Ralph Cooper, he doesn't get service. He limits his definition of service to female roles, when the Bible doesn't do that, and neither do Complimentarians. Over and over again, the Bible talks about serving one another (Gal 5:13, 2 Cor. 9:12, etc). And one means of service is through traditional gender roles for both men and women. Complimentarians believe that traditional roles are where women will be most fulfilled, and they believe the Bible relegates men to leadership in the Church and home for the purpose of bringing this joy. We actually believe that true joy comes in serving. Imagine that! We actually read Jesus words about servanthood and apply them in our marriages. And when we look at the picture Paul paints of Christ and the Church as bride and groom, we clearly see that the hardest work in serving should be designated for the man, who must lay down his life for His wife and family. In that way he leads, yet he serves a role that is still inherently servile.

And when Cooper uses Galatians 3:28, he misses the point that equality has anything to do with God-given gender roles. He still thinks that position indicates worth. How unBiblical and unreflective of Christ's words!

Finally, you said,
I continue to believe this- that Christ desires to use each one of us in this world, and the fact that I don’t have a certain chromosome does not diminish that fact. I find it an incredibly small view of God to think that He also would not speak through women only because of that same genetic issue.

And I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. Complimentarianism is not about supressing or limiting, it is about showing men and women their roles in the home and Church and allowing them to fulfill them to the best of their ability. Where we differ is that we believe that God designed certain roles to be filled by men and women and thus we should perform those, because it will bring us the most joy in the end and will be the most Glorifying to God for eternity.

Now that is a very radical concept in our culture, but I challenge you to read the articles I posted above, research Complimentarianism and stop buying into the stereotypes. Go find real Bible-believing, God-glorifying, intentional Complimentarian women and talk to them about how they view their worth and equality. It is amazing how vast the divide is between the stereotype and reality.

So thanks again for actually engaging my point, even if you did take a cheap, meaningless shot at the beginning.

3:50 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Texas,

I appreciate you irenic response, but I do disagee that most on here are not really familiar with the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, at least to the extent that they really understand their purpose. In fact, I don't think you understand it either.

You said, "In their view, a woman can only be God-honoring if she focuses her life around the difficult tasks of homemaking." And that's simply not true. And that's why I don't think you get the CBMW. The fact is that Complimentarians have no trouble with the idea of women working outside of the home (generally-speaking). My wife works and most every one of my seminary friends have wives that work. The problem Complimentarians have is not with women not doing the task of homemaking (i.e., washing dishes, doing the laundry, cooking, etc. - which isn't really what homemaking is anyway), but rather it is the idea that men and women have no differences in nature that give way to strengths in certain areas, which should not be supressed due to cultural norms, but rather should be given the freedom to be fully pursued. And part of that freedom involves placing borders around roles. Thus, Paul placed a border around the pastorate, and declared it for men only. And practically, it generally exists, even in so-called mainstream denominations who have low numbers of women pastors.

As for the idea of choice, I agree with you to a certain extent. I believe in freedom. I believe we are free in Christ. But I don't believe that means that all is appropriate. As Paul explained, all might be permitted, but not all is appropriate. And I believe that the Church is called to tow the line established in the Bible, especially by the Apostle Paul in regards Church heirarchy. Therefore, I will not attend, nor will I support Churches that have women senior pastors. However, if a woman in my Church wants to do that, she is free to leave and pursue that, but without the blessing of and support of the congregation. I don't agree with her decision, but I don't believe I should malign her either and in the end I think she will be more joyful fulfilling a role outside that which has been prohibited by the Word of God.

And if freedom is what you want, then I think we need more women to reject this ever-growing (not rare, as you suggest) stereotype that women are somehow not fulfilling themselves if they don't pursue careers rather than the home.

Also, you said you think it is silly for a Seminary to be teaching homemaking skills, but why? After all, as I said before traditional homemaking-style resournces and classes are becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. Have you been to your local sewing center and seen how much those classes cost? Or how huge the Food network has become? Or how popular shows like Dr. Phil and Supernanny are? And have you ever asked what it costs to have a designer come to your home and pick out colors for you? People need help with all these aspects and the task of a school is to give them help. My question is, "Why aren't major universities offering these types of degrees when there is such a demand for those skills?"

Finally you said,
What I do object to is Southwestern's determination that God cannot possibly call women to certain kinds of service in the Kingdom. As Alexis says, that defies several examples in the inerrant Word of God.

Southwestern didn't determine the roles of women. Complimentarians believe it was the design of God. We simply want to free women to do what they are called. If one feels God is calling them to be a senior pastor, then Southwestern isn't the place for them (though plenty of women are there to become other types of ministers). We believe differently. But it is wrong to suggest that a school who is seeking to be consistent with the Word of God is somehow nefariously suppressing the very women who come voluntarily to their school. And I challenge you to get past what you think you know about CBMW and actually read some of their articles that deal with these Biblical passages. I think you will find that the scholarship among those men and women is actually quite impressive.

Oh, and to answer your first question, I have read some of it, but I don't own it. It is trashy at times, but written by an accomplished journalist, so it's a serious piece of literature.

4:27 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

DR,

Who started the stereotyping here? You did.

You suggested that Greek houses are filled with girls behaving badly. Thankfully, you corrected your stereotype and clarified that not all sororities are like that. I went to UGA. I'm familiar with Greek life. Though you should have originally noted that exceptions to your rule do indeed exist. Instead you offered a stereotype.

Maybe scrapbooking is a ministry??? And maybe it does fall under the umbrella of homemaking? My sister scrapbooks instead of watching tv. Definitely not a ministry for her and she's hardly a homemaker.

But back to Southwestern - I could care less if SWBTS offers classes in homemaking. Seems to be somewhat of a waste of CP dollars. But that's your business. I do find it curious that the classes are only open to women. Don't men need to learn to cook and clean as well? The problem is that you think folks like myself of the egalitarian persuasion are out to demean women who choose to stay at home and raise their children (which is hardly the case). But by only opening the classes up to women, it seems that you are suggesting that men should not be stay-at-home dads? I find that offensive to men who choose to raise their kids at home from 8-5 while the wife works...

The rest of your rant is not worth a response. Liberals and birth rates? LOL.

I guess it's not a laughing matters for those who take "be fruitful and multiply" very very seriously....

6:36 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Weave,

Thanks for not dealing with any of my serious points and focusing on sororities. That was really worthwhile reading.

As for the degree at Southwestern being open to men - I'll tell you what, when you find a man who sincerely wants to go to Southwestern just to engage in that degree, I will concede your point, otherwise, it's all but moot. The degree was DESIGNED specifically for women who are called to be minister's wives. It's not even likely that single women will go there just for the degree. It serves a niche at the Seminary. Lots of seminaries have classes designed for women who are there with their husbands. This just takes it a step beyond. And as I have said now for the third time, if there is no demand for the degree, then it will fail. But please, let the students decide and quit speaking for them. You continue to look at this outside of its context and that is why you continue to miss the point. And your whole agenda here seems to be to bash the Seminary.

And when I bring up the point about degrading women who want to take these classes, you slough it off and try to turn it on me. In reality you have no argument here, just grasping at straws when you are backed into a corner (as always).

So my suggestion? Get over the SBC hatred you have and focus on some issues that might actually do your readers some good. Remember when you protested when I asked if you were a little obsessed with bashing the SBC a few months ago? Well 6 of 8 posts on this page say that I might actually have your number on that one. You and Prescott are two peas in a pod.

9:33 PM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

D.R.,

Bringing up Prescott reminds me to at least give BDW credit for printing and not squelching comments difficult to his positions.

Blogs of the other gentleman are not worth reading, much less commenting on.

10:30 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

This is laughable.

Your tired old response is always:

"Thanks for not dealing with any of my serious points"

Yep. That's me. I'm sorry my responses don't suit. But cry me a river. Do I not deal with your points or not deal with your "serious" points??? I reckon what is and is not "serious" is left to your discretion.

The point about men is not moot. The Southwestern "concentration" was compared to Family & Consumer Science degree programs at other Christian Universities such as Baylor. A major difference between the two? Baylor ain't a Seminary. And the program does not discriminate against those of us with XY chromosomes....

You state that if a man wanted to enroll in the homemaking classes that you would concede my point. That's BULL. Wouldn't that undercut the theology behind the degree program? Can a man actually be a stay-at-home dad in your world of Biblical Manhood? No.

Who is speaking for the students? I'm just here to offer a few thoughts as hundreds and hundreds of others have already done....get over it.

You speak fundamentalese well, though. Hatred? Come on. I know Southern Baptists - used to be one. I can understand fundamentalese too (just can't speak it). And I will continue to translate that fundamentalese to folks throughout the blogosphere. In fact in the near future, I'll be getting $$$ to cover Baptist life via blog.

I also pledge to my readers comprehensive coverage of Dick Land and his man-crush - lingo that even The New Republic found quite cute....

2:02 AM

 
Blogger Alexis said...

DR-
I want to address some of your responses seriously, but will have to do so later. Until then, I have a few brief comments.

1) Many of your comments have been vitriolic and hurtful towards other posters, if not downright insulting. I'm not sure how that is helpful in a larger Kingdom sense, nor towards an edifying conversation. It almost seems that you wish to intimidate future posters through bullying in some of your response.

2) Just because many of us don't agree with complementarianism doesn't mean we don't understand it. I have seen the site to which you refer and the articles, and all the reading in the world is not going to change my mind (or many others) that your particular perspective is not what God desires for men and women.

3)Except for your posts (and Chuck), everyone else commenting was in basic agreement. So I'm not sure that 6 out of 8 posts prove your point. You can attack each commenter in individual posts, but no one besides Chuck is particularly in agreement with you.

4)Egalitarians, from my perspective, do not judge women who choose to serve their families by staying at home. We don't believe those women to be stupid... Of course there are a lot of blessings from this- time with children for one. But we believe that it is equally glorifying to God when men do so. (More on this in my longer response to you).

5) Many women and men have been significantly hurt by the SBC. This is a site that often speaks comfort to those of us who were, and continues to affirm our decision to choose to be the kind of Baptists that Southern Baptists used to be, but are no longer. You may not like it, but it serves an important purpose.

8:24 AM

 
Blogger Christa Brown said...

"I find it an incredibly small view of God..."

Alexis, So many of your words strike a chord, but I thought that summed it all up particularly well.

9:27 AM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

Dear All but D.R.:

My major gripe with you all griping about the SWBTS degree offering is this:

Unless you believe stay-home wives / mothers to be the victims of some "false biblical model" (Robert Parham's words in the television interview alongside Paige Patterson), in order to criticize-satirize-villify you have to judge Patterson's motives to be different from what he said in that same interview. That's judgmental.

Further, if your gripe isn't against women being in the stay-home role, then it must be against the fact that men aren't offered the degree plan. Even though you don't agree with SWBTS' view on the matter, to slam it is to violate your fiercely-held value of soul competency, and is intolerant.

9:49 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Weave,

Come on man. My complaint is tired because it's true. You do keep ignoring serious points to focus on superfluous comments like the sorority thing. If that comment is the only one you were able to actually deal with then I guess you must be conceding my other points, which is fine - just let me know you are conceding them and grasping at straws to find something to disagree with me on.

As for my more serious points, let me spell them out for you.

1) That Martin provided scant and invalid evidence for his statement, "In the Bible these tasks were as much part of the family and gender roles of men as of women."

2) That indeed there is a need for the types of skills that Southwestern is teaching in the greater population, especially among women whose husbands are ministers (in case you don't remember from your younger days, wives of ministers are expected to have it all together, even in liberal churches, but especially down South). Today that sort of training is being lost and many, many women are looking for something like that. This program wasn't developed in a bubble, despite your perception (and others like Martin).

3) That this program serves a particular niche of the Southwestern community, wives of future ministers. Southern has a program for minister's wives where they are taught theology, etc. from various professors. It's well done and loved by the ladies of Southern. But it's only open to wives and fiances. Why? Because that is who it is intended for. There's no ulterior motive in doing such. You made a point about wasting CP dollars. Well, they would indeed be wasted if the program served those it is not inteded to serve. SWBTS is not making a statement (despite your repeated attempts to assume such, which no evidence to support your position - that's why I offered the challenge that you balked at, though it is quite legitimate and when you find someone, let me know) about men or women staying home. They are clearly trying to fill a VOID they feel is needed. And you keep ignoring that point.

4) That you make these women who may be interested in such a program feel like they are stupid for desiring these types of classes. You have clearly communicated your distain for both the program and those who designed such, yet, you still haven't dealt with the fact that there are actually women out there who WANT this. What about them? Do they not matter? Or are you more worried about your agenda than you are about any conservative's feelings? Do those horrid people just not deserve respect because of what happened 15-20 years ago? Cause that's what Jesus would do - hold a grudge and keep attacking people that have nothing to do with what happened in the 80's and 90's.

5) That you do have a serious problem with the SBC in your heart and have generally created a blog to find ways to bash it, instead of finding ways to be constructive toward your denomination, or toward the Kingdom of God. Sorry man, but attacking your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ isn't Kingdom Building, no matter what pain they have brought to your life in the past. And that is why I come here. I get sick of seeing my brothers and sisters attacked with no one to defend them. Sure, some Baptists need to be corrected, even taken on royally every once and a while. But hitting below the belt and attacking people who have nothing to do with a situation is not appropriate, as is twisting facts and spinning programs like this to fit an agenda. And that is what has happened here.

So deal with those issues, and leave the offhand comments alone. You know that I respect you as a man and as a fellow Baptist (and sometimes I do agree with you), but you get outside the lines every once and a while and that's when I take you on. This is one of those cases.

10:06 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Alexis,

I will deal with your points by number so I don't have to quote you again.

1) If you noticed I treated your comments with a great deal of respect. Yes, I disrespected those who were disrespectful. Making offhanded comments about women not being allowed to speak or being abused by conservatives are inappropriate and they should be called out. BDW and I have been at this for months and both of us can handle each other's jabs. The tone of this blog is quite vitrolic at times. Though he gets on to me for using the word "hateful" he's found ways to accuse conservatives of it at times. Now if you want to see real vitrolic, go read what Michael Westmoreland-White wrote in the previous blog post. He still has responded to that garbage yet. And as for intimidation, crafting hard-hitting responses based on logic might sound like intimidation, but it's merely a matter-of-fact tone. And I think that is due to all the theology papers I have written in the past, which carry the same tone. The problem with the internet is that sentences written with one intent can be read to be much more forceful and brutish than intended. And sarcasm sounds 10x worse than it would in a conversation.

2) Over and over again I have found that people don't understand complimentarianism and Texasinafrica's response is one of the reasons. Her idea about the purpose of the organization is one of the things I hear over and over again. And most people really haven't taken the time to try to understand Complimentarianism. They reject it out of hand and move on. They find it foreign or offensive on its face and then begin making assumptions. So if you do understand it, then you are by far in the minority. One guy even told me he knew a man who he respects as a Complimentarian because he thinks he and his wife really have an Egalitarian marriage. He just can't see the differences. And most can't. But I still think you should go and read more on Complimentarianism. As I showed in my comments, we agree much more than you think we do. Some of the ideas you set forth thinking I was polar opposite from were those I most agreed with you on. And that's a sign that you may not understand my position.

3) This comment was meant for BDW and had nothing to do with this comment section. It had to do with the front page of his blog, in which 6 of the 8 visible posts were derogatory toward the SBC or its leaders. We were well past 8 comments on this thread when I wrote that.

4) Comments like "I was not aware that women were ALLOWED to speak in such programs" suggest otherwise. It's not about how some view any women who stay home, its about how they view women who feel that staying home is their God-given divine call because of their reading of the Bible (those who base their decision on an objective reading of the text and not some subjective feeling they have from God). That may seem like a subtle difference, but it comes out in a judgemental attitude over and over again. Tauratinzwe's comment is another example of this. It appears if you are a woman and you hold to Complimentarianism, then the perception is that you must be deceived by your husband, or weak, or just plain stupid. And I have had Complimentarian women who have told me they have been made to feel like this. Maybe you don't do this, but women like Linda Hirshman, as I said earlier are actually becoming more and more common. The perception seems to be that if one stays home exclusively and because of what she reads in the text, then she is wasting her gifts. Everyone pays lip service to the stay-at-home mom, but there is certainly a growing tone in our society that shows that to be hypocricy at times.

5) I don't doubt that people have been hurt. But I don't think it is healthy to pummel brothers and sisters in Christ in order to feel healing. That is somewhat sadistic. Criticizing people and organizations unfairly and unproportionately is not a way to heal, but only a way to bring out more distain. Healing comes by forgiving, moving on, and seeking Christ. And we must all realize we are sinful and prone to hurting others. I come here (and used to go to Prescott's site) when I think a line has been crossed from legitimate criticism to seeking to malign others. And I always appreciate when people actually desire to talk through issues rather than stereotype and malign, and that is why I have responded to you in this way. But realize that is not always the intent and sites like BDW's are not all that altruistic in their goals (heck I wouldn't say any blog is altrusitic - especially mine - everyone has some agenda), and sometimes that means being criticized back.

10:51 AM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

BDW,

Amazing that you got all this post's hoopla started by referencing the opinions on Baptist and biblical matters of an anti-fundamentalist Lutheran, father of a Democrat senator.

So much for the reliability of Marty's biblical interpretation and unbiased cultural observation.

11:38 AM

 
Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Democratic senator, if you please, Chuck. It's the Democratic Party. Republicans invented the term "Democrat Party" at the 1968 Republican National Convention as a way to claim that Democrats aren't really democratic. It's like fingernails on the blackboard. If you want to start a fight, refer to "Democrat senators" or "Democrat Congressmen" of "The Democrat Party,"--something Bush does ALL the time (including right after he says he wants to work with both parties).
If you are trying to start an argument with BDW, fine. If not, you might want to be more careful. Would the Republicans like it if Democrats constantly referred to "the Republic Party?"

11:50 AM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

Micheal,

I like your sense of humor. Allow me to school you.

The U.S. has two major political parties--the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

If one is a member of the Republican Party, he or she is called a Republican. If you are a member of the Democratic Party, you are called a Democrat. Do you really wish to be called a Democratic?

Kay Bailey Hutchison is a Republican. She is a Republican senator. The younger Marty is a Democrat (or is it a Democratic?) Therefore, he is a Democrat senator.

Having now explained this, I look forward to your simple and humble response, as all you should have to say is what you wanted added in the first place: "I C."

:)

4:42 PM

 
Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Chuck, wrong. The younger Marty is a Democrat, yes. But he is a Democratic Senator, not a Democrat Senator. That would be like Kay Baily Hutchinson being a Republic Senator.

Just ask any Democrat--i.e., any member of the Democratic Party.

8:48 PM

 
Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

BTW, Chuck, my name is Michael, not Micheal. I don't think anyone is named Micheal. What do you think, Chyck?

8:49 PM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

Michael,

I think my many apologies are in order for typo-ing your name.

I didn't rename your party, I merely referred to "Democrat senator" in a parallel manner to "Republican senator."

What I think is you're wanting to make the rules, and your point is not well-taken.

However, if you persist and insist, I will address you as a Democratic rather than a Democrat.

Finally, it's Bailey Hutchison, not Baily Hutchinson. I don't think anyone is named Baily.

8:14 AM

 
Anonymous Rodney Dunning said...

Good grief, Chuck. "Democrat" is not an adjective. It's a *noun*. Look it up at http://www.dictionary.com. The adjectival form is "Democratic."

There's no such thing in standard English as a "Democrat Senator."

11:11 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Thank you. My inner grammar teacher was bristling.

2:19 PM

 

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