It is not biblical theology, it is a false doctrine of male rights built upon an extrabiblical and deductive presuppositional foundation

The Intolerable Goal of Role Theology

by Del Birkey | April 30, 2001
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Editor’s note: In part I of this three-part study (“Gender Authority,” Winter issue, Vol 15, No. 1, p. 16), the author addressed complementarians’ circuitous idea of gender authority. Here, in part II, he looks at their concept of authority as set forth in a “theology of roles.”

In recent decades, traditionalists have dug for deeper roots in search of a viable biblical theology on which to support their superstructure of hierarchy. What has emerged instead in contemporary complementarianism is a sociocultural and extrabiblical “theology of roles.” It is this to which we will direct our critique.

In part I of this study we observed coauthor John Piper’s “clear biblical vision of the nature of femininity and masculinity” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. But that vision is fogged as he fails to establish a biblical “doctrine of masculinity and femininity” from Scripture. In fact, the Bible does not address femininity and masculinity as independent realities, because they are constructed and reconstructed in learned relational behavior in the world’s cultures. It is no surprise, then, that Piper’s “vision of biblical complementarity” musters but a few texts to bolster his gender presumptions.

In our quest to understand “role theology,” we are grateful to Piper for granting us his telling illustration of why complementarian men are so passionate about gender-role authority. He writes:

It is simply impossible that from time to time a woman not be put in a position of influencing or guiding men. For example, a housewife in her backyard may be asked by a man how to get to the freeway. At that point she is giving a kind of leadership. She has superior knowledge that the man needs and he submits himself to her guidance. But we all know that there is a way for that housewife to direct the man that neither of them feels their mature femininity or masculinity compromised.1

An illustration is supposed to clarify. But if this one clarifies how roles function between male and female, then male persons’ masculine gender is surprisingly fragile—even a pathological burden to bear—and reveals traits in need of therapeutic healing. This embarrassing tale of Mars men and Venus women tells more about commonly observed and sinfully fallen male chauvinism than it does about so-called biblical roles.

Wayne Grudem is an influential architect of a “theology based on roles.” His Systematic Theology exhibits a role theology that freely weds “roles” and “authority,” a collusion for creating startling deductions. For example, Grudem thinks hierarchical gender patterns have been elevated by God to become a blueprint for both now and eternity. So sure is he of a “masculine gender theology” in the Bible that he makes this astounding declaration: “There will be no eternal modeling of equal roles for men and women at all levels of authority in the church. Rather, there is a pattern of male leadership in the highest governing roles of the church, a pattern that will be evident to all believers for all eternity.”2 How gloomy—men still vying for preeminence in heaven!

A Subordinate Role For Jesus

But how does Grudem assume to know such things? By combining the ancient and shadowy doctrine of an “eternal subordination of the Son” with speculations about roles within the Trinity. In a curious manner, he even maintains that the role word clarifies his orthodoxy in his theological defense of Jesus’ “eternal subordination.” Grudem gets specific, asserting that “there is a distinction in role” within the Trinity, a development that assigns Jesus a “subordination in role” for all eternity.3 Furthermore, from this redefinition of “Trinitarian roles,” Grudem claims support for an alleged relationship between the Father’s role in authority and the Son’s role in subordination.

Nevertheless, in the Bible the Father is never said to “exercise authority” over the Son, and neither is the Son “subordinated” into a “role” in biblical terminology. More discerning theologians make clear that all ideas of “subordination of the Son” (with “roles”) signify the temporary “functional/economical” redemptive work of Jesus in “submitting himself to the humiliation of incarnation.”4 Of course, the incarnational and salvific doctrine of his willing but temporary “self-humiliation” unto death is entirely biblical and wondrously composed in Philippians 2:5-11. The text climaxes in his exalted reunion of fellowship within the coequal and coeternal Godhead. Jesus’ exaltation is witnessed in John’s apocalypse as standing in the center of the throne, not eternally “subordinate” beside the throne as Grudem would have it.5 Evangelically, “The Lord our God is one,” and one cannot be subjugated to another in disparate “God-roles.”

Trinity tinkering is serious. Grudem believes the Godhead members are “equal in essence but subordinate in role.”6 But either they are eternally one ontologically (in essence/unified function) or they are on a heretical hierarchical ladder of Tritheism (three different gods). Grudem leads the way as spokesman for a truncated biblical role theology with an obscured Christ. Given the seriousness of hierarchicalists’ self-serving claims of authority, role-theology fallacies can only totter steadfastly toward the ancient Arian heresy of a subordinated and secondary Son. Lurking here is the critical danger of a theological crash in propagating a split-level Trinity as scriptural.7

And A Subordinating Role For Women

The intolerable goal of “role theology” is quite obvious: to establish a nexus between the Son’s “subordination” to the Father’s authority as a model for hierarchical role relationships between women’s “subordination” and men’s authority. This is a flagrantly false argument; that is, that the “temporary” redemptive submission of one person in the Godhead somehow provides a basis for a permanent female subordination to men. Regardless, in this vein of “speculative certitude” about gender-role divinity and God’s masculinity, extraordinary assertions abound in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It asserts, for example, that “distinct complementary roles for man and woman were ordained by God’s creative acts.” Thus, roles disqualify women from church leadership. False teachers “denigrated traditional female roles” at church in Ephesus. A wife’s feminine duty is always a “submission in role” to her husband since he has a “unique leadership role.” The husband is to become a Christ figure, “playing that role toward his wife according to Ephesians 5:23,” because his role “always implies a relationship of submission to an authority”8 (emphasis added).

Surprisingly, contributing author Elisabeth Elliot, herself a staunch traditional hierarchicalist in gender distinctions, reacts with tension over role fixation. Near the end of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood she complains, “If we really understood what femininity is all about, perhaps the question of roles would take care of itself.” She laments that listening to many “solemn dialogues on the roles of women on this or that or the other thing . . . convinced me that this civilized business of ‘roles’ is nearly always, to put it bluntly, a power struggle,” and “always something that touched in some way on questions of authority or power or competition or money rather than on the vastly prior issue of the meaning of sexuality.”9 Here is a startling insight from one of complementarians’ revered proponents. She delivers a significant reprimand to fellow hierarchicalists, that the obsessive issue of roles is all about the ultimate issue of masculine authority and power over women!

Complementarian author Susan Foh also is not convinced of the book’s role theology. She directs attention to the fundamental issue of the book according to John Piper, who contends that the question every man and woman should ask is: “What does it mean to be a woman and not a man?” (and vice versa) . . . since “a man’s goal is to be a Christian man and a woman’s is to be a Christian woman.” Perceptively, Foh criticizes Piper’s basic focus of the book as sub-Christian, because (scripturally) both men and women should be striving together to be Christlike.10 She queries:

“Are these definitions or any definitions of manhood and womanhood found in Scripture? Is the emphasis of biblical texts (such as Eph. 4:22-24; Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:9-15) on becoming Christlike in two different modes (blue and pink)? Where are the commands to develop different qualities based on our sex? . . . Men and women may be different in nonanatomical ways, but the question is this: Are these differences . . . goals God has commanded us to pursue? Foh laments that “the book may raise more questions than it answers. . . . However, the real question which remains unanswered . . . is this: Does the Bible teach these ideas?”11

Plainly, the idea of authority vested in gender “roles” said to be typical of “femininity” and “masculinity” is sub-biblical, while elevated to an idolatrous level. The idea behind social and cultural role identities is at odds with fundamental biblical norms. For example, how does the fruit of the Spirit relate to cultural roles, and which fruit belong primarily to males and which to females? How do Jesus’ beatitudes of the kingdom portray masculinity vs. femininity? Are being humble in spirit or a peacemaker spiritual roles that we are to imitate because they are expected behavior patterns associated with our social or spiritual status? Is the Christian wife supposed to “play her role” of behavior related to her feminine status in a life of submission to a masculine “role of expected behavior”? And where does Scripture suggest that the believer’s life is to be fashioned as a “role function” performed as a play actor?

Complementarians’ Illusionary “Authority Thesis”

Where do contemporary hierarchicalists enlist support for their views? Among others, The Inevitability of Patriarchy is a conspicuous source-model. Steven Goldberg’s thesis is explicit: Patriarchy is universal because men are biologically wired for “aggression” to take society’s highest role status. “Male authority” takes command at every level in society, wherein “male dominance” always succeeds as men “take over.” Contrarily, women must be “socialized away from roles that men attain through their aggression,” because “chaos would result if women shared equally in power.” Goldberg’s “syndrome thinking” makes him adamant about an absolute dichotomy in the “biological natures of men and women.” In the final pages he asserts that “many men have been destroyed by women who did not care to understand male fragility”!12 Goldberg ignores the Hebrew text that assigns patriarchy’s “inevitability” to the Fall.

George Gilder13 also invokes a religious patriarchy based on a naturalistic “genital biology,” a society wherein men’s biologically driven hunting role must be tamed—or else! Any attempt to de-stereotype sex roles will bring society to collapse! Women are suited for subordination to men and so become the taming savior to men’s predatory predisposition. Gilder’s pop sociobiology receives penetrating critiques by more knowledgeable evangelical thinkers, who note that the volume’s awfulness is more stark since Gilder professes to speak as a Christian. If so, “he would do well to take his Bible and his other sources on a three-year retreat to the wilderness before he goes to print again.”14

It cannot be overstressed that it is sources such as these that complementarians rely on to make their case. “Role theology” rebaptizes secular sociocultural and radical biologically deterministic theories of gender power into a Christian theology. But “role theology” is unequivocally not biblical theology. Rather, it is a false doctrine of male rights built upon an extrabiblical and deductive presuppositional foundation. In fact, the most fundamental contention underlying the “gender role” question is what David Basinger rightly calls the authority thesis: that God established a preset chain of authority (an a priori gender hierarchy) to which men and women adhere. To support this assertion there follows the inherent traits thesis: the notion that men and women possess inherent (biologically rooted) characteristics that make them best suited for leadership and support roles respectively. Traditionalists, therefore, must affirm inherent traits in order to maintain that the authority thesis is a transcultural truth.15

Two odd exhibits of the complementarians’ authority thesis are provided by Grudem. The first is his presumptuous effort to advise Christ’s church precisely “What Should Women Do in the Church?”16 Only among those steeped in hierarchical rule could such a question arise, since women everywhere who live out their Galatians 3:28 freedom already “do in church” everything the Lord of the church gifts and directs them to do. To believing women following Jesus as Lord, Grudem’s answers are an elaborate masculine exercise in meaninglessness. His three extensive columns of eighty-three items about women (not having) governing authority and women (not having) teaching authority tell more about hierarchicalist men’s passion for protecting their patriarchal authority than what women should “do in church.” Notwithstanding, Grudem’s labyrinthian ruse pales in the face of an extraordinarily uncomplicated biblical fact: There are only two times in the New Testament where the issue of authority (exousia) is explicitly addressed regarding men’s and women’s ministry and relationships.

First, in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, Paul gives the only directive on women’s ministering authority in answer to “what women should do in church.” F. F. Bruce most accurately renders the apostolic declaration regarding women’s covering, that it “is the sign of their authority to exercise their Christian liberty in their way, not the sign of someone else’s authority over them.”17 Paul’s profoundly simple answer, which Grudem disregards, is this: Christian women should by all means minister in church in every way men do, because they have the authoritative right and responsibility to do so.

Second, the only instance in the entire New Testament where authority (exousia) is used regarding husband/wife relations is 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, wherein Paul balances what he says about one gender equally with his directives to the other gender. In startling contrast to Paul’s culture, verse 4 absolutely equalizes the wife’s and husband’s exousia in Christian mutuality: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (NRSV). In Christ, male authority is replaced by mutual authority with the aim of restoring pre-Fall redemptive conditions. These texts univocally teach that exousia is a very specific and mutual reality between Christian women and men both in church and home, and in an astonishing manner these texts put complementarians’ grandiose authority structure in permanent jeopardy.

The other exhibit of Grudem’s authority thesis is his in-your-face “open letter” on the Web, with his challenge addressed to “Dear Egalitarian Friends” regarding “six questions that [Grudem thinks] have never been answered.”18 Grudem questions how head can mean source rather than authority over women, how mutual submission can overrule a husband’s authority over his wife, and where it says women were teaching false doctrine at Ephesus. He also asks how authente in 1 Timothy 2:12 can mean anything but “authority over men,” and queries about a Greek construction here and in 1 Corinthians 14:38. Of course, these issues have been answered many times over by biblical scholars in books, commentaries, journals, and articles.19 But most astounding is Grudem’s transparent “straw man” argument, a list conspicuously set up in such a way as to attack and seem to gain an easy, showy victory, however fake. Also striking is Grudem’s hermeneutical preunderstanding, self-convinced that his argument is not about interpretation but only factual data. Arrogance abounds in his supercilious “killer line” repeated after each item; that is,” but we have never been able to find any text in ancient Greek literature that gives support to your interpretation. . . . [therefore] we ask you [biblical egalitarians] to stop writing and speaking as if such factual basis existed” (emphasis added). Sadly, uninformed believers rally to this kind of judgmental extremism, assuming that Grudem has egalitarians “between a rock and a hard place.”

Responding to Grudem can be summarized by two certainties. First, Grudem’s challenge is inundated with semantic fallacies. Grant Osborne gives critical attention to hermeneutical fallacies in The Hermeneutical Spiral, asserting that semantics is the heart of the book. In the past it was assumed that the meaning of a word could be found in its historical development. But, Osborne writes,” we now know how much more complex is the true discovery of word meaning . . . [and that] an inordinate amount of time is spent in tracing the term[s] extant Greek literature and too little time spent in . . . recognizing the centrality of the immediate context” (kephale is cited as an example). Closely connected, the lexical fallacy is the belief that the historical development of a term determines its current meaning. And further linked, the root fallacy is the assumption that word studies can settle theological arguments.20

Second, Grudem’s fallacies are flagrant. He is bent on “proving as fact” from ancient Greek literature (eighth century B.C. to fourth century A.D.) that the Scripture’s meaning of head (kephale) is dependent on the word’s usage outside of and apart from its apostolic use in the biblical text. But the hermeneutical fact remains: If support for the biblical use/meaning of a word is supported by extrabiblical Greek literature, it may be relevant. However, if it does not lend direct support to the biblical authors’ use, it is irrelevant, because no inspired text is dependent on word usage outside of how the apostles used and defined such words in their own biblical context. This being the case, I submit that Grudem has weakened whatever theory of biblical inspiration he may assert by his determined plea to rest his interpretive case on extrabiblical data.

Hierarchicalists’ Arbitrary Gender Selectivity

Hierarchicalists convolute the biblical evidence regarding ministry by masculine grammatical selectivity. For example, if Paul intended to exclude women from the pastor-teacher ministry (a lá Southern Baptists and others), why didn’t he plainly say so in 1 Timothy 3:1-13? Often Bible translations are male-gender biased, made particularly obvious in the translator’s choice of masculine personal pronouns. This text begins with “whoever desires to be an elder/overseer,” but most texts insert “man/men” and “he/him/his” pronouns even when there is no precise equivalent in the Greek text. Philip Payne’s research concludes that neither here nor in Titus 1:5-9 does Paul limit the ministry of elder and deacon to men or exclude it from women. Payne asserts, in fact, “The Greek has not even one masculine pronoun or possessive, nor any other grammatical specification that Paul had men and not women in mind.”21

Gender-biased proponents of male headship recently pressured the International Bible Society to suppress the NIV Inclusive Language Edition in America. The shameful wrangling and rhetoric of the men who suppressed this version reflects their panic over the disappearance of certain masculine pronouns. The scenario reflects fear of sharing power with women and, in this instance, the maintenance of masculine authority over women by manipulating English translations of gender-inclusive pronouns. To these men, the gender-inclusive NIVI is unsuitable to the precise extent that their hierarchical patriarchy is threatened.22

Sociological and cultural role rhetoric is randomly imposed on the inspired biblical text throughout the pages of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Even Ephesians 5:21-33 is reread as “roles of husbands and wives.”23 Regardless, the passage is silent on so-called marriage roles. Rather, the issue is reciprocal Christlikeness in Christ’s body and in marriage. Gender is inconsequential to the theme of corporate submissive love.

The text calls to husbands to take their cue from Christ the Head and model love with a quality like Christ’s “gave himself up” agape love (v. 25). In this context, head is defined as source of life (Savior), and servanthood (gave himself up), and growth (nourishes it). The husband as head, then, is the first in the marital union called to sacrificial servanthood (head as source or first). He is initially called to loving submission (i.e., he might submit without loving, but he cannot fulfill Christ’s command to love without first submitting). To conclude that wives do not have to love their husbands is as preposterous as to claim that husbands do not have to submit to their wives. The hierarchicalist’s idea that, since Christ is Head over his church, Christian husbands somehow inherit a one-way obedience authority role over their wives is absurd.

More briefly, the text speaks to wives: Take your cue from Christ the Servant and model submission with a quality like the church’s submission “as to the Lord” (v. 24). This is no hierarchical “marriage order”; the text rather presents the norm of marriage, reverberating in a powerful description of mutual submission based on and arising out of the prerequisite trait of all believers (in the pivotal verse, 21). Paul is first writing about submission in the church fellowship (vv. 18-20); then he continues to instruct about that same attitude of submission in marital relations (vv. 22-33). The Greek verb submit (hupotasso; middle voice, v. 21) signifies a voluntary yielding of oneself to another in love. Of great significance is the fact that this main controlling verb is not repeated again regarding the wife’s submission in verse 22 and so cannot be different from the mutual submission of all believers in verse 21. Ultimately it is “respect”(33).

In the same biblical sense, “love” is commanded as the other prerequisite trait of all believers, not just husbands. It should be obvious that Paul is making patently clear that to submit and to love are not merely interrelated, they are one and the same. Many have tried, but it is impossible to distinguish these two active attitudes. Or, has complementarians’ obstinate demand for gender hierarchy blinded them to the profound truth that agape is “giving expressed in action”? Plainly, in this context the fundamental act of agape is submission, demonstrating that headship and submission are merely different emphases of the same process of mutuality. The textual context clearly indicates that Paul intended us to perceive this reality by enjoining husbands and wives to affirm their calling Christologically and then reciprocally.

“Authority” terminology is wholly absent in this text, exousia language that can only be imposed arbitrarily on it, not exegeted inductively from it. Yet even here Grudem carps, claiming Paul means “be subject to others in the church who are in positions of authority over you. . . . But even if Paul means complete reciprocity (wives submit to husbands and husbands submit to wives), this does not mean that husbands and wives should submit to each other in the same way.”24 Although Grudem is a popular hierarchicalist scholar, decisive but hollow contradictions such as these illuminate an irreconcilable complementarian exegesis. Having to sustain the hierarchical weight of gender-role authority laden upon the text, hierarchical exegesis collapses vis-á-vis the gender-neutral love-submission attitude of Jesus our Lord.

By Their Position Statements Ye Shall Know Them

The fundamental difference between complementarians’ constant use of “roles” to explain their theology and egalitarians’ exclusion of the term is well illustrated in the position statements developed by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). It was not possible for the CBMW “Danver’s Statement”25 authors to express their hierarchical interpretations without interpolating role(s) into their theology. The authors’ predilection is transparent in their reiterative use of (male) “authority,” (female) “submission,” and other associated words that are indispensable in building their gender construct of role theology.

In stark contrast, the far more comprehensive CBE statement “Men, Women and Biblical Equality” contains more than twenty paragraphs, with seventy-five Scripture references. It is obvious that “role” was not needed and would be detrimental to the authors’ understanding of biblical egalitarian texts and principles. Moreover, other than a reference to the “authoritative” Scriptures, it is particularly demonstrative that the word authority is used only as a warning against “the improper use of power and authority by spouses . . . [to] protect the home from wife and child abuse that sometimes tragically follows a hierarchical interpretation of the husband’s ‘headship.’ “26

Summarily, gender-role fixation in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has eliminated any serious accountability given to the extensive biblical doctrine of giftedness, wherein gifts are never singled out for men or for women only. In his summary response to the 1984 Evangelical Colloquium on Women and the Bible, Nicholas Wolterstorff put the role issue into sharp focus by asserting that “the male/female distinction is not relevant to the sorting out of roles in the church. What is relevant is the gifts of the Spirit.”27 Indeed, the New Testament is explicit: it is our spiritual giftedness, never our gender, that determines our functioning in Christ’s body. Consequently, an unbiased evangelical affirmation of the New Testament doctrine of gender-free gifts of the Spirit renders invalid and extraneous the complementarians’ defense of a dominant male-driven “role theology” of illusionary power.

Our studies in parts I and II point us to the most consequential but telling issue of authority: What are the New Testament limits of authority, and how does hierarchical masculine power scandalize the Christian ministry? Answers and summaries are forthcoming in part III.

Notes

  1. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton: Cross-way, 1991), 50.
  2. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester: InterVarsity, and Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 940.
  3. Ibid., Piper and Grudem, 540, 457, 128-30.
  4. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983), 336-37; J. O. Buswell, Jr., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1962), Vol. I, 106; Vol. II, 119f. Cf. Buswell’s incisive concern over the other misleading patristic idea of the “eternal generation of the Son.” Similar to “subordinationism,” Buswell notes that “the Bible has nothing whatsoever to say about ‘begetting’ as an eternal relationship between the Father and the Son” (Gr. monogenes is not “begotten/to beget”; rather, it means “unique/one of a kind.” Cf. John 3:16, NIV vs. KJV). Consequently, Buswell asserts that “the ‘eternal generation’ doctrine should be dropped . . . as a non-Scriptural doctrine” since “the Son is not presented as generated, as a subordinate, or as inferior in any sense” (Vol. I, 111-12).
  5. Gilbert Bilezikian, “Hermeneutical Bungee-Jumping: Subordination in the Godhead.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 40, No. 1, March 1997. 63.
  6. Ibid., Piper and Grudem, 457.
  7. Ibid., Bilezikian; see entire penetrating critique of Grudem’s subordinationism.
  8. Piper and Grudem, 178-81, 196-99, 408.
  9. Ibid., 394, 395.
  10. Susan Foh in Christianity Today, April 8, 1991, 49, 50.
  11. Ibid., 50.
  12. Steven Goldberg, The Inevitability of Patriarchy (New York: Morrow, 1974). See chap. 18 in RBMW, with numerous reference to “Stephen” Goldberg’s book.
  13. George Gilder, Men and Marriage (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1986). Cf. chap. 18 in RBMW.
  14. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, “Selective Sociobiology and Other Follies,” The Reformed Journal (Feb. 1988), 24-26; H. Conn, “Why Men Marry,” Eternity, Sept. 1987, 51.
  15. David Basinger, “Gender Roles, Scripture, and Science: Some Clarifications.” Christian Scholar’s Review, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1988), 241-53.
  16. Wayne Grudem, “What Should Women Do in the Church?” CBMW News, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Nov. 1995), 1, 3-7.
  17. F. F. Bruce,” Women in the Church: A Biblical Survey,” The Christian Brethren Review, 33, 1983, 10.
  18. www.CBMW.org. (office@cbmw.org), “An Open Letter: Six Questions that Have Never Been Answered,” 1997, by Wayne Grudem.
  19. Grudem’s “six unanswered questions” have been more than sufficiently answered. Cf. critiques by Gilbert Bilezikian, Catherine Kroeger, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Gordon Fee, D. A. Carson, Craig Keener, Douglas and Rebecca Groothuis, Roger Nicole, S. Grenz, etc.
  20. Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spirit: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1991), 64-67.
  21. Philip B. Payne, “Libertarian Women in Ephesus: A Response to Douglas J. Moo’s Article ‘1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,’ “Trinity Journal, n.s 2 (Fall 1981), 194-95.
  22. See John Piper in “Why Inclusive Language Bible Translations Give Me Pause: A Response to David Leigh,” The Standard, (Jan/Feb. 1998), 29-31. Piper wants so-called Spirit-inspired patriarchalism maintained in masculine pronouns and names . . . so that his view of male priority can be clearly seen in English (p. 30). Cf. Del Birkey, “The Patriarchs Are Coming!” Priscilla Papers, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring 2000),17-20.
  23. Piper and Grudem, 168.
  24. Ibid., 62-63, and Grudem, Systematic Theology, 466.
  25. Ibid., Piper and Grudem, 469-72.
  26. Christians for Biblical Equality, St. Paul, MN. Published statement.
  27. Alvera Mickelsen, ed., Women, Authority and the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1968), 292.