A Maid to Order Bible, by S. M. Hutchens

I found the following interesting review of Stackhouse’s book Finally Feminist:

Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic
Christian Understanding of Gender
by John G. Stackhouse, Jr.
Baker Academic, 2005
(138 pages, $14.99, paperback)

reviewed by S. M. Hutchens

To remain “biblical,” the Evangelical progressive, these days infallibly marked by his profession of being both orthodox and egalitarian, has never been able to deny outright the parts of the Bible he finds damning to his cause. In the early days of Evangelical feminism, attempts at persuasion tended to concentrate on reinterpretation of the patriarchalist seats of doctrine, especially in the writings of the unfortunate St. Paul, who was viewed as having a particularly difficult time saying what he meant.

With time and critical scrutiny, however, it appeared this project would collapse of its own weight for several reasons, first because the scholarly reinterpretations of sub-egalitarian passages, once the shell shuffling in the journals was done and the pea finally reappeared, still looked strained and unnatural, not to mention at odds with the way these passages had been understood from the Church’s beginnings.

Read the rest

Me again (PWD):

I want to call attention to one of Hutchen’s points that I find revealing.  He says that Stackhouse believes that Paul is right when he is right, and well, wrong when he is wrong.  That is an interesting stance for an evangelical to take.  How does that differ from a liberal view of Scripture?

Might one cautiously suggest that no one who treats St. Paul in this way can consider himself “orthodox” in any historically meaningful sense of the term, or that Paul’s authority is such that if someone cannot submit to sharing his “lenses,” he is not a Christian teacher? Obviously, however, it is not required of the incumbent of J. I. Packer’s old chair, or for the asseveration that one is an orthodox Evangelical.

The history of the Church as an institution of divine authority is of no real concern to scholars like Stackhouse, at least where gender matters are concerned—except as something to be brushed aside. The apparent insouciance with which the confessedly “orthodox” egalitarians cut themselves off at the theological root of church practice, confession, and authority—even that of the Reformation—is nothing short of breathtaking, the admonition here that we not succumb to the temptation of private interpretation of Scripture, surreal.

Does anyone want to lend me this book?  Professor Stackhouse, if you are reading this, do you want to send me a copy?  In light of your attack on me, I’d like to review it.  Perhaps it would explain your malicious reaction towards my views on affirmative action.

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