Dear Men and Women,
Your blog owner, Deidre Richardson here. I'm writing to share with you a new series I'm about to undergo at the site "Men and Women" as well as my other research site, "The Center for Theological Studies" (CTS). I sent CTS a post regarding the new series. I thought I'd send it to you all as well. May the Lord bless you in the days ahead. Happy New Year!
Happy New Year again to you! About a week ago, I wrote my latest post at CTS. I realize that it has been an entire week since I've written. I wanna take time here to apologize to my readership for the time that I have been away. I am currently registered in a January term class here at Southeastern Seminary, called "Critical Thinking and Argumentation." I've spent the last two weeks going to class everyday from 8am-12:30pm, followed by a nap at home...only to wake up, shower, get dressed, grab dinner, and study with a brother of mine. It's been one heck of a two weeks!! Continue to pray for me; I am doing well, but I've pulled all-nighters everyday for the last two weeks just to make sure I'm up and awake for class at 8am. I don't do very well with morning classes, so I've been sleeping about 5 hours or so doing the day in order to have just enough sleep to stay up and do homework all night. In addition to the chapters of reading and the 150-page book my class has been reading (which I'll talk about in a minute), I've also been given the joy of having computer software (called "LogiCola") that tests your knowledge of the chapters in the book. I recently took my midterm in the Critical Thinking class and was thankful that I played with the software during the week. Many of the questions came from the software...so it was good to see that my efforts did not go unrewarded :-)
On to the book my class has been reading...the title of the book is called "Exegetical Fallacies" by D. A. Carson. Now that I've read the book, I have to write an 8-page sermon (exegetical), using ten of the 56 fallacies Carson mentions in his book. It's a fun assignment...but it's also a hard one. I'm gonna struggle most with committing logical fallacies. I've been taught as an apologetics major here at Southeastern that God is a God of logic, a God of order...as creatures made in God's image and likeness, we too, should strive to think God's thoughts after Him. So committing logical fallacies to get a good grade...it's what I'm required to do, but my fear is that I'll write a sermon thinking I've committed fallacies that may not even be fallacies :-) such is the fear of every seminary student...
Having read Carson's book, I noticed that he tends to critique the views of Arminians and the position I'd like to refer to as "Spirit-gifting" in regards to the issue of women in ministry. I have used the term "egalitarian" at my other site, "Men and Women in the Church," but I do so to distinguish it from the view of complementarianism. There are some things that egalitarians believe that I do not. Among these, some egalitarians, particularly feminists, like to refer to "women's rights" in regards to women in the church. Instead, I focus more on Spirit-gifting because to me, the debate on men and women in the church is not political, but Scriptural. I hold to the headship of men in the home, but I do so because wives are commanded to submit to their husbands in several places in the New Testament. However, I don't see the kind of evidence that complementarianism espouses regarding women in the church in the Scriptures themselves. Rather, I see the presupposition (or assumption) that 1 Timothy 2: 8-15 means that women cannot be in leadership, and then everything else in Scripture regarding women is defined in terms of that one text (others being Titus 2 or 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Corinthians 14, etc.). I think 1 Timothy 2 as it has been interpreted by complementarians cannot stand up to the claims the Scriptures themselves make regarding the gifting of the Spirit. God didn't create roles irrespective of Spirit-gifting; rather, He created roles "in accordance with" Spirit-gifting. As a result, complementarians have to prove that a woman cannot serve in a role because she is not given certain gifts, rather than just "women have certain fixed roles in the church." And I don't think anyone can claim that God can't gift a woman to preach, teach, pastor, etc. To make that claim would amount to heresy, as some would begin to limit God's sovereignty. Calvinists (and even some Arminians) should think twice before making this mistake.
And that brings me to the announcement. This coming week, starting Monday, January 17, 2011, I intend to start a new series here at the Center for Theological Studies titled "Exegetical Fallacies in D.A. Carson's 'Exegetical Fallacies.'" I think that Dr. Carson, as much as I respect him, has fallacies on his own (ironicly) in a book in which he tells believers not to commit exegetical fallacies. What I aim to do in this new series is show that Carson brings his own presuppositions to the biblical evidence, and that he attacks all views that disagree with his and uses both Arminians and egalitarians as part of his "fallacy" attacks. I have to be honest and admit that he does attack some of his Calvinist brethren who smear Calvin's name (and claim that Calvin separated faith and reason), but these examples are few compared to the "overwhelming" (I can use no less of an honest term) attacks he makes against egalitarians and their claims. I for one here at the Center often critique sharply the views of those who disagree with me...but I have my reasons. And I hope that you, the readership, will seriously study my views of theology and the Scriptures and question whether or not I hold to the biblical text. I desire to be faithful to what God says in His Word. I realize that we all have presuppositions, but that is not the issue; rather, the question to ask ourselves is, "Does the Bible support the way I think about this?", or, "Does the Bible support my perspective on this given issue?". These are the kinds of questions we must ask ourselves.
So much for a brief announcement! In any case, I just wanted to let you all know that I am soon to return to CTS. I have much to tell and show in the coming days about the new understanding the course in Critical Thinking has provided. God bless you all...and keep studying the Scriptures for the glory of God.