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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hen Scratches 05-07-07

The new rage is to have either a mini-blog or short posts called brief notes, in order to interact with other blogs in a less formal way.

I have decided to start posting 'hen scratches'. You can take it how you like. I have terrible hand writing, I would enjoy a hen party, I hen peck, I am as fussy as a hen with one chick, as mad as a wet hen, I simply want to gather the brood, or maybe I just want to be an adult 'chick'.

1. Today I note that Tim at Sansblogue has posted on women in ministry here and here, while Jim Hamilton mixes it up with Craig Blomberg, (and me, incidentally) on women teachers. Jim writes,

    To my thinking, the emasculation of the church has not happened as a result of a mighty influx of female pastors. The statistics show that, proportionally speaking, there are not many women who pastor churches. The church has conformed to the culture on the issue of gender roles not through the influence of women pastors, but through the female Sunday School teachers, female Bible study leaders, and prominent female preachers who are on billboards and television screens whether they pastor a church or not.
Now Jim is very dependent on 1 Timothy for his response to Craig. What I am surprised at is that Timothy himself is not characterized in this post as a complete wuss for being trained by not only his mother but his grandmother.

2. Drew Kaplan links to my series on Proverbs 31 and I will respond soon.

3. The best reason for the hen scratch posts is that response posting is considered better than commenting by Lingalinga.


At Thu Jul 05, 06:55:00 PM, Blogger Drew_Kaplan said...

Thanks for the [reciprocal] link!

At Fri Jul 06, 06:30:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Where does Jim say that someone is a wuss for being taught by women? I don't see any necessary connection between the view that it's wrong for women to teach men and the view that men being taught by women makes men wusses, and since he doesn't bring in such a view isn't it a bit unfair to bring it up as if he had?

At Fri Jul 06, 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Obviously there is a clearcut difference between the quote and my editorializing.

However, I read his statement that emasculation comes from having female Sunday School teachers, and wondered what he would think of the idea that Timothy was taught by his mother and grandmother. I thought "wuss" was a sort of endearing and gentle way to say "emasculated". That would be pretty strong language for me, although I admit that he says the church is emasculated.

Do you really think, Jeremy, that allowing any woman any time to teach a man emasculates the church? Would you like to see all female scholarship repressed?

The real problem as I see it is that the mission field is not a wide open job market as much as it used to be and therefore women can't so easily make themselves scarce. They used to be able to just get on a horse and find an area of BC that didn't have a church yet and was open to women building up a congregation.

It would only be after they got a church going that they would have to get back on the horse and move along.

Our next door neighbour, and old farmer, finally had it with the way he saw women treated in the church - sent packing every time a viable congregation could support a minister and he vowed never to enter a church again. That is one male who won't attend church because of the exclusion of women from ministry - and a old fashioned farmer at that.

At Fri Jul 06, 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Well, I also don't see any statement that the church is emasculated from one instance of a woman teaching a man. He does observe that Sunday School is overwhelmingly taught by women, and he thinks that might explain what he's calling the emasculation of the church. But that's not the same thing as saying that an individual is emasculated from being taught by a woman. He doesn't say that.

I don't know what he means by the church being emasculated, but my first guess is that he's at least talking about the fact that men are very underrepresented in evangelical churches and particularly in active ministry in evangelical churches. That's the most obvious way the contemporary church is emasculated, anyway. But it has nothing to do with complementarianism or egalitarianism, because the reverse could be true, and you could say that the church is missing too much femininity. If this is what he means, however, I can't figure out how his explanation would cause it. I would expect rather than his explanation would be more an effect and less a cause.

It's possible he means more. Maybe he has in mind certain masculine traits that are less present in the church than he thinks ought to be. I don't think I could sign on to anything like that, since you're asking what I happen to think myself.

Again, he might have in mind certain traits of leadership that are lacking in most men in the church. That I could sign on to, but I'm not sure why more women as Sunday School teachers would cause it, and I can imagine the lack of male Sunday School teachers occurring as an effect of the problem.

So ultimately I don't know what he means, and I wouldn't necessarily agree with what he's saying anyway, but I don't see him necessarily saying that one man being taught by a woman is emasculated. It doesn't follow from what he says, anyway. Perhaps he believes it, but I wouldn't want to attribute it to him without being sure.

At Fri Jul 06, 05:11:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Okay Jeremy, I think you and I are on the same page here. Jim hasn't proven causality.

I have just borrowed a book manuscript from a friend on 19th century philosemiticism and Shaftsbury so I think I'll let this gender topic drop for a few minutes.


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