Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wallace on Women in Ministry

One of the more convicting lines I've read is from R.C. Sproul's book, Chosen by God. Sproul said, in effect, that I am required to believe and teach what the Bible says, whether I like it or not! That line alone opened the door to Calvinistic doctrine for me--as my objections were primarily emotional rather than exegetical.

I thought of that line when reading an interesting letter from Dallas Theological Seminary NT professor Dan Wallace. Here's an excerpt
I must confess: attitudinally, I am an egalitarian. I find what scripture says on these matters very difficult to swallow at times. However, I am positionally a complementarian because I can't go against my conscience. For me at least, to read these passages in an egalitarian way is to do some exegetical gymnastics in which one twists and turns the text to conform it to their views. I may not be comfortable with my complementarian position, but I am unwilling to twist scripture into something that it does not say. (I'm not saying that those who take an egalitarian position on this passage are willing to twist the scriptures! But I am saying that I think they are, in effect, probably doing this just the same.)

By the way, I think that Doug Moo's articles on 1 Tim 2:.11-15, posted at bible.org, should be a great summary of the exegetical reasons for a complementarian view of that passage. He has done perhaps the best exegesis of this passage in print.

. . . Again, as I mentioned early on, I have problems with the complementarian position. I am sometimes embarrassed to be a complementarian. It would be a whole lot easier if I weren't! But I can't go against my conscience. And my conscience tells me that after all the exegetical dust has settled, to deny some sort of normative principle to 1 Tim 2:12 is probably a misunderstanding of this text.
Update: To clarify, it is obviously less than ideal to chafe against God's revelation. God wants us to joyfully embrace God's view--what he reveals and requires. But even if we are not yet in that place, then it is better to believe God's Word, struggling to do so, than it is to reject the revelation because we are uncomfortable with it.