What is Really Being Taught?

It has been interesting to see all the batting around over the Mark Driscoll blog and Rose Swetman’s open letter response. Here are two concerns.

First, in an attempt to understand Rose’s letter, some bloggers exegete it while at the same time breaking the basic rules of exegesis in doing so and by doing so draw conclusions that are not correct. Exegesis is not bad, mind you, we all do it when we read or listen becasue we are trying to discover what the writer or speaker is saying. The question is not: shall we exegete? The question is: are we good or poor exegetes? In my opinion, the following two blogs serve as an illustration and are more of a rough form of eisegesis trying to wear the skirt/pants of exegesis.

Rhoblogy and

Second, in the rush to exegete they have, in my opinion, missed what Rose was saying. The Reader’s Digest version is: Mark has a right to think and teach what he wishes, but his choice of demeaning words in doing so offends me. These folks seem to want Rose to enter into some kind of an “exegetical duel” with Mark. Her point is that “she was offended.” It’s really pretty simple, the feeling of being offended is neither right or wrong, it just is.

I have a bigger concern about what Mark did and has seemingly done in the past. It is true that he fancies himself as a mentor to young pastors, either just beginning their ministry or church planting. That’s great. Where I find myself in conflict is not only what he teaches in the area of women in ministry and their place in the church, but in “what” he is teaching these young ministers about how to teach. (BTW: I would describe myself with the label: Complementarity without Hierarchy). So when Mark is teaching live or via his blog and he uses demeaning language to speak of the opposite sex, he is teaching those who are reading and hearing that it is okay to speak in public about women in such a fashion.

What if Rose was teaching a group of young women pastors and church planters and said something like the following about men? “Why would anyone want a castrated, hen-pecked, #$@%&-whipped, tugged along by a ring in his nose, gravy suckin’ pig to be in leadership?” BTW: she has not said this. (Before I go any further here, let me say in advance that I apologize for using such coarse language in this illustration. I did so with the intent of producing a somewhat equally degrading set of prose as is sometimes used from others when teaching about women.) She would have crossed the line and in that saying or writing would have herself become vitriolic. And, maybe even worse, what she would be teaching those young women with such coarse language is not only what she may think, but in essence as their mentor, she would be teaching that it is okay to rail on men in such a fashion.

In my opinion, Driscoll seems to think that coarse language is hip. And he gets reinforced on its hipness by the comments on his blog by “only those” who have been to one of his conferences, a kind of “yes” man approach to garnering support.

For good presentations on both sides of the “women in ministry” argument, see the following.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism

Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy

Finally, here are some musings about the egalitarian point of view on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog.

Well, that’s just my two cents worth!

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