Friday, November 26, 2010


I've often heard that the Husband is the leader, and he is to "lead" his

I've done a search, of at least the NRSV, for the term "leader" in the
NT and I can't see that it is applied to any Christian. I see the
"leader of the synagogue", the "leader of the Jews" the "leader of the
Pharisees". Once it is applied to Christ (Acts 5:17), but never to a

I don't think we should automatically ascribe the description of the
husband as the "head" to a proscription that every husband should be a

What is the leadership of a husband if it isn't Christ like love and

Should we change the way we talk about a husband having "leadership".
Yes. I think so. I don't think it's a helpful or a Biblical term to use.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's cruel to submit

When I suggested to my mother that we might read Ephesians 5 at our wedding. She reacted very strongly. Totally out of character for her. "You should not read that. You shouldn't submit to your husband! I don't submit to your father!"

However, I can remember plenty of times when she has "submitted" to my father. Her idea of what the word "submit" meant, was obviously different to mine.

Through conversations with other non-Christian friends I've come to realise that to many people to "submit" means, primarily, submit to cruelty. That a wife should not speak up about being beaten. That a wife should just do whatever her husband wants, no matter what he asks or what his motivation. To blindly obey.

The idea of "submitting" to something good, in my opinion, isn't contemporary use of the word. This is especially so in the case when you're commanded to do it (in this case, by Paul).

What did the original, Ephesian audience think of a wife "submitting"? That it wasn't particularly controversial. Of course a good wife will submit to her husband.

If it wasn't anything controversial, why did Paul have to say to do it? That reason is left unsaid in Ephesians, but it is stated in Titus:

"being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited."  Titus 2:5

In the letter to Titus, the behaviour of "submission" is guided by the principle "so that the word of God may not be discredited".

In a society where the thing which most strongly discredits God's word is charges of misogyny - how are we to interpret these verses.

Though submission does have strong negative overtones in our society, respect for your husband remains a very positive thing. Instead of encouraging Christian wives to submit (and thereby derailing they whole purpose by using a confusing term, and by inviting charges of misogyny from others). Let's put our energy in encouraging our wives to respect their husbands. To be devoted to them. To encourage the good in them. To overlook the bad. Under Christ to be devoted to them, and to their wellbeing. Who wouldn't want a wife like that?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why Gay marriage is not marriage

I've been thinking about marriage and in what ways it could possibly
reflect Christ's relationship to the church (see Eph 5).

Here's what I've come up with:

1. Both illustrate what it's like to have a relationship with someone
who will hurt you. What it's like to (try to) remain faithful when the
other person, in big or small ways, will not always be faithful. For
Christ and the church, the relationship is asymmetrical, for us, it's

2. We, falliable humans, learn from a first person perspective what
Jesus' experience of us is like. He loves us dearly, he admires so many
of our qualities, he loves spending time with us, but we continue to
"act stupid" even though we love him too.

3. Because of this, we learn about grace. To give it, and we learn the
humbling experience it is to receive it.

4. All this, we learn, in the context of loving, someone who is
fundamentally different to us. Christ loving his fallen human-only
church, and us loving the fallen other gender. This is why I'm not a
supporter of gay marriage. As humans we tend to love people who are the
same as us. To love someone who is not only different to you, but
designed to be different from you and aiming at being something
fundamentally different to you gives us a glimpse, (it's deep and rich
experience but still just a glimpse) of what God is like.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Check this out!

Here's an interesting article, with fascinating comments. At least they're fascinating for me, being a student of people. You can just see the cogs turning in people's minds as you read through these comments. I want to comment on a few things myself - but don't really feel I can until I've read all the previous comments, and that's going to take me more than one evening.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Greek help!

I've just been re-reading 1 Timothy 3 in Greek, I notice that the word for 'overseer' is "επισκοπης". Now my Greek is not brilliant - there are masses of things I'm still learning. But isn't that the feminine version of "επισκοπος"  which is used in the next verse?

If so, shouldn't the verse read something like:

1 Timothy 3:1 "The word is trustworthy. If anyone aspires to being an overseer, she desires a good task"

I write she, because as we know, verbs don't indicate gender and it seems to be the verb which agrees with the noun overseer...

No? Have I missed something? Or is it just the awkwardness of the English which makes this translation not workable "anyone...she"?

Does anyone know?

(Speaking of awkward... imagine starting a word with awkw...!)

Complementarian at Egalitarian conference? Eeek!

Just kidding (of course).

Here is a thoughtful post by a complementarian guy from Moore College who headed down to Melbourne for the CBE conference. Lots of good thoughts there, and it sounds like the conference was thought provoking, and helpful too.

Wish I could have been there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gender Inclusive language

Been doing some thinking about Bible versions recently, and whether they
include "gender inclusive" or "gender accurate" language (I wonder if
what you call it shows what side of the argument you're on).

Not sure if there's anyone out there reading this blog (since i haven't
posted in months!) but if you want to send me your thoughts I'd be

Planning on blogging more on this soon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An interesting site

Though I haven't posted here for a while, my thoughts have kept chugging away. I recently was referred to an interesting site devoted to this topic: Christians for Biblical Equality  It's not coming from the viewpoint which I've grown up with (basically Sydney Anglican), but I'm interested to hear what they have to say. There are lots of resources on this site, and I joined the mailing list, and as a thank you they sent me an e-copy of the two most recent versions of Pricilla Papers (with an article by N.T. Wright in there) and their magazine.

I've loaded them both onto my Kindle and am looking forward to reading them.