Entries Tagged as ''

Does Masculinity Matter in the Pulpit?

Doug Wilson thinks so. Over at the World Magazine blog, Harrison Scott Key quotes an article written by Wilson at Credenda-Agenda. He argues that the lack of masculinity in the pulpit has a lot to do with current church problems such as the the ordination of women. He writes that

 The reason the evangelical church feels the pressure to ordain women (despite clear texts) is that the standards used to evaluate the occupant of the pulpit (for well over a century now) have been the standards of feminine piety. This means that clergymen have been trying to live up to their reputation as the "third sex." Put another way, we have insisted upon effeminacy in the pulpit, and we are now being pressed with the next logical step.

What's the answer? How do we correct this? Well, as we all know, it is easier to detect a problem than it is to correct one. But I think that Wilson does a great job of moving us in the right direction. He continues

 Masculine preachers are not those who demand submission from others; masculine preachers are those who submit themselves. True masculinity is submissive. Right, submissive. Effeminacy in the pulpit is disobedient and rebellious. God tells the preacher to go and speak as the very oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). He might not feel like it. He worries that people will think he is getting above himself. He wonders if he is really called to the ministry. When tackling any lofty scriptural subject, far above him, he is frequently as disappointed with his performance as the farmer's wife was when she asked the sow to fold the linen. But how he feels does not matter. He is told what to do, and he is under authority. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

For Wilson, the issue of masculinity is not optional. It is a matter of obedience or disobedience. God has designed men (and women) to embody certain qualities that are specific to their gender. Unfortunately, Wilson doesn't unpack his understanding masculinity much further than this.

There's no doubt that this type of understanding is controversial both in our culture and, unfortunately, in evangelicalism. But this shouldn't be our greatest concern. Our greatest concern must be about what God has said. And if we are convinced that God has called men to pastor churches with a strong biblical masculinity, then we must double our efforts. And once we re-focus our efforts we are faced with another question. What does a strong biblical masculinity look like? 

What do you think this looks like? Who have you seen who has exemplified this?

Dr. Wellum Interviewed About Baptism

Steve Wellum About a week ago Dr. Steve Wellum, professor of Christian theology at SBTS and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, was interviewed by the king of the bloggers Justin Taylor. The interview contains a helpful introduction and summary of the credobaptist and paedobaptist discussion. You guys have probably already seen this. If you haven't, it is worth a look.

I thought that one of the most important points that Wellum makes in this interview was his perspective on the theological category called the "Covenant of Grace". He says 

In fact, I argued in my chapter that it would be best to place a moratorium on the category, especially if we want to make headway in the baptismal debate. In its place, we should speak of the one plan of God centered in Jesus Christ. And, furthermore, in speaking of the “covenant,” we must think in terms of the plurality of biblical covenants as we carefully unpack the relationships between the covenants across the canon. In short, it is imperative that we do a biblical theology of the covenants which, in truth, is an exercise in inter-textual relations between the covenants which, in the end, preserves a proper balance of continuity and discontinuity across the canon in regard to the biblical covenants. It is only when we do this that I am convinced we will make headway in our debate over the relationship between the biblical covenants without prejudicing the debate in one direction or the other.

Any critiques of this view or anything else he said in the interview?