Opinions on faith and life

Be-Ware of Assertions!


Recently I came across a list of “ten reasons God designed there to be male headship” by “complementarian” Bruce Ware. I will list and comment, because it’s a good study in how people eisegete (read into) the scriptures their preconceived agenda.

  1. The order of creation, with the man created first, indicates God’s design of male headship in the male/female relationship (Gen 2; 1 Tim 2:13).
  2. There is no such stated or implied “headship” anywhere in Gen. 2 or 1 Tim. 2:13. These are the passages being debated, not undisputed ones. So this is an example of presuming the conclusion in the premises, or circular reasoning. The facts about the order of creation are just that: order, chronology. There is no hint of authority or rule between humans in the creation account at all. Instead, in Gen. 1:28 God explicitly gives both male and female rule over creation.

  3. The means of the woman’s creation as “out of” or “from” the man bears testimony also to the headship of the male in the relationship (Gen 2:23; 1 Cor 11:8).
  4. Gen. 2:23 simply says Eve was made for Adam, nothing more. Verse 18 has God stating the first thing that is “not good”: that the man should be alone. So the man needed help, and Eve was it. The Hebrew indicates one who stands facing another, an equal or comrade-in-arms, a partner. And the Hebrew word for “help”, ezer, is used often of God Himself, proving that the helper is equal to or greater than the one in need. And the fact that Eve was made from Adam proves her equality to him, being of exactly the same “flesh and bone”.

  5. While both man and woman are fully the image of God (Gen 1:26-28), yet the woman’s humanity as “image of God” is established as she comes from the man. Adam names her “isha” (woman) because she was “taken out of ish (man)” (Gen 2:23; cf. 5:3).
  6. Both male and female were made in the image of God directly (1:27) and there is no fine print or disclaimer to state any difference between them in this regard. Ware’s reference to 5:3 is to the terminology of children being made in the likeness of their parents-- NOT their spouses! Eve came from Adam but she was not his child, so the reference is meaningless to prove Ware’s point. There is simply no way to squirm out of the plainly stated fact that Eve was made directly in the image of God exactly as Adam. His naming of her as “woman” is never, anywhere in the Bible, called an act of authority. Not once. In fact, Abraham’s slave Hagar named God (Gen. 16:13), but who would take that as an act of authority?

  7. The woman was created for the man’s sake or to be Adam’s helper (Gen 2:18, 20).
  8. Yes-- because Adam needed help, and Eve could provide whatever he lacked. This in no way indicates inferiority of position or of being a mere assistant. No scripture ever portrays Eve as being inferior to Adam. The assertion being imposed here onto scripture is that helper must always mean assistant, and some complementarians have gone so far as to make God inferior to man when He helps him! (see This Article)

  9. Man (not woman) was given God’s moral commandment in the garden; and woman learned God’s moral command from the man (Gen 2:16-17).
  10. This is pure fiction. No place in scripture ever says Eve lied or was mistaken when she said that GOD told her the command (Gen. 3:2). Eve never attributes the command to Adam or as coming through Adam.

  11. Man named the woman both before and after the entrance of sin (Gen 2:19-20, 23, 3:20).
  12. So? Does scripture say this was an act of authority? No, it does not.

  13. Satan approached the woman (not the man) in the temptation, usurping God’s design of male-headship (Gen 3; 1 Tim 2:14).
  14. Scripture never states why the serpent approached the woman, but it does say Adam was standing right there next to her (Gen. 3:6) during the entire temptation. He said nothing; he did nothing; he showed no authority or backbone at all. There is no hint of “male headship” in the passage whatsoever; Ware simply made this up.

  15. Although the woman sinned first, God comes to the man first, holding him (not her) primarily responsible for their sin (Gen 3:8-9; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Cor 15:22).
  16. Both Adam and Eve were directly held responsible for only their own sin; Adam was never held to account for Eve’s sin. But if Ware is right, then he just shot down his own assertion that Eve didn’t get the command from God but from Adam! She could not have SINNED against anyone but God (Psalm 51:4), so she can only be charged with sinning first if she had gotten the command from God. And was Adam not sinning as he failed to exercise his alleged responsibility for / authority over Eve, who never tempted Adam but simply handed him the fruit, which he ate without hesitation?

  17. The curses on the man and woman indicate the fundamental purposes for which each was created, respectively (Gen 3:16-19).
  18. No, they indicate the difference in their sins and responses to God. Adam sinned with his eyes wide open and blamed both Eve and God for it (Gen. 3:12), and never tried to complain that Eve had usurped his alleged authority. God never said anything to Adam about failing in his responsibilities to lead and protect. But Eve stated the truth: that the serpent had beguiled her and so she ate (Gen. 3:13). She never tried to complain that Adam had failed to instruct her properly about the command, or that he failed to protect her. There is not one shred of support from scripture for Ware’s assertion.

  19. The Trinity’s equality and distinction of Persons is mirrored in male-female equality and distinction (1 Cor 11:3).
  20. Distinction, yes-- hierarchy, no! Ware can make inferences till the cows come home but the fact remains that all members of the Trinity make up one God-- not three, as the ancient Arian heresy being revived today claims.

This all shows the great lengths to which those with power will go to keep it. It is a pathetic display of scripture twisting and pride in the flesh, neither of which are Christian virtues. They should be ashamed of themselves, and will be held to strict account for it (James 3:1). Such low views of women in spite of what the Bible actually says has more in common with Mormonism and Islam than the One True God of the Bible!



He certainly does take some huge leaps! I agree! I had heard some of them before, and others were new ones!

Jesus spoke of being a servant to others, and spent alot of time on that. It seems leadership to Ware is needs to be clearly defined before than message can be heard.

Paula Fether

Hi Hannah, thanks for dropping by!

That’s the big, burning question I have for male supremacism: how does it fit with "not so among you" and "consider others as better than yourself"? Where does the Bible say only women emulate Jesus’ example of humanity and only men emulate Jesus’ example of divinity? Where does it tell males to play God to females? So far I’ve heard no answer.


This is GREAT!

Paula Fether

Tanx Molly! I had fun writing it. :-P



I am glad you put this into its own blogpost, it is really good. I was amazed at the things he considers to be proof for his theory on male authority.



"In fact, Abraham’s slave Hagar named God (Gen. 16:13), but who would take that as an act of authority?"

Great point!

But, stranger things *have* happened.

Grudem asserts that ezer means subordinate, even when God is the one being the ezer.

The only time, it seems, that a person is NOT subordinate is when a husband helps his wife. Grudem states that he is subordinate to a neighbor boy if he helps him fix his bike chain but in other comp teachings, a man can help his wife but this does not make him subordinate in the way it does for her when she helps him.

They also claim that the naming of animals shows authority. I see it as an exercise/lesson God used to teach Adam that he has a need for someone like him.

Paula Fether

Hi Corrie,

Yes, comp theology sure does come up with some doozies, doesn’t it? It must be hard work for them to keep track of what rules they’ve made and then scramble to explain away all the contradictions and unanticipated implications. No wonder there are so many of them! It’s like a government bureaucracy.


Thanks Paula. So much has to be READ INTO the account to come up with their doctrine. It is as if they want us to believe they have had ’special revelation’ like Benny Hinn or Jan Crouch. Sheesh.

But it proves that if you teach something long enough people will believe it because they never check for themselves.

Paula Fether

Tanx Lin!

I’m to the point, as I’ve said, where I think we should all just try to spread the word about interlinears and expose the added words, to as many people as we can. It is a long tradition of poor Christian education that brought about the current situation, and proper education that will restore the Body back to health.


Amen Paula! I couldn’t agree more. I am tired of hearing women flock out to buy a case of the newest book on how to be a patriarchal wife and then talk about how it changed their lives. Where is the Bible? Why isn’t that capable of changing people’s lives any more?

I would much rather buy a case of interlinears and bibles and pass them out.

Paula Fether

Thing is, Corrie, we can’t just pass out the right material, we need faithful teachers to lead them through it. But it’s ironic that the same people who can barely force themselves to read a lite devotional guide will read all that trash about roles and do-nots (get it? rolls and donuts... sorry, lame). It would be like feeding steak to toddlers.

Perhaps we need to collaborate on our own "Systematic Theology"!


Paula, I think you are right about the need for a new systematic theology text from an egalitarian understanding. As we read writings like yours here, and those of others elsewhere, we compile our own ’text’ but it would be wonderful to have one that is well-done in a single volume or two that could be handed to others or taught from in a group setting. Perhaps even a gathering of egals for the purpose of training and sending out would be good as long as it didn’t deteriorate into yet another cumbersome ineffectual organization, as do so many things that begin well and fizzle years later. Yet, something needs to be done. The Holy Spirit can certainly do things in a ’grass roots’ type of way, though, as is the case now. The foolish things of this world being used to confound the wise...

On the Denny Burke blog, you also made a great point about ’Adam now being commanded to rule over Eve (per the comps)’ so what does that say about whether he truly was given that position pre-Fall? In other words, if he already had that injunction from God pre-Fall, there would be no need to command it after the fall. Just a reminder would have been in order.

Don Johnson continued to make a great point though received no truly solid response per his point by way of his question asking if a wife chooses/has permission from the comp officials to do her own will in abuse situations to save her life or avoid abuse, or, if a wife simply can’t do something in faith (and thereby sin if she does), then don’t these circumstances-permitted by comps-take all the wind out of the submission sails and make the whole submission thing an ineffectual figurehead of a belief? Or is there such a thing as partial submission? Then who decides the partial part, and so on and on and on. In the dialogue that ensued with one of the comp bloggers, Ellen, (on the Denny Burke blog per Ware), it looked to me like the word ’consideration of’ would have made more sense to substitute for ’submission to’ given the way the word or concept ’submit’ was being used in her comp examples. Consideration or courtesy are behaviors all Christians ought to be showing towards one another, and I doubt that comp officials would disagree. It just seems like such a bunch of huff over much fluff on the part of comps.

Got a kick out of your rolls and donuts word play. :)

Paula Fether

Hi TS,

I know there’s already a lot of good documentation over at CBE and there are many excellent egal scholars quoted there. I wonder if anyone already has such a ST in progress, or who we would ask about starting one. But you’re right, we don’t want to make it into a bureaucracy.

Yeah, they never tried to answer that one about God predicting Adam’s rule. Funny, isn’t it, how nobody ever even tried to answer my first post in the Denny Burke blog, about "not so among you". Even asked it twice.

Don is so calm over there too. I don’t know how he does it. ;-)

And that point you mentioned he keeps making still goes over their heads. If it truly were a case of God demanding that a wife never have her own will but only live to fulfill the will of her husband, then she could never say no to him, for any reason. Even in the case of physical abuse (and having no will of her own is the worst psychological and spiritual abuse!), for her to do anything but smile through her broken teeth would be unsubmissive.

Of course the comps then try to "fine print" their way out of this, even though it’s clearly the logical implication of male rule, because they know in their hearts that such abuse is evil. Yet they cannot escape the fact that their teachings give sanction to it.


Paula, you are so right about ’not so among you’...Jesus never mentions ’servant leader’...just servant. I was waiting to see someone respond to your point, also, and it never happened. It is interesting to see which points just don’t get answered or that the intended answers just sidestep the questions. It has been said that raising teenagers is like trying to nail jello to the wall. The jello metaphor can certainly be applied to some of the things going on in this debate.

Don is very patient. Patience per this issue is still one homework assignment I haven’t aced yet. I want to, though.


correction-that would be jello simile not metaphor.


Paula, you would be great on a team of writers for such a project-go for it! (Systematic theology per egals)

By the way, recently I thought about the verse that says the man is the head of the woman, etc....and the head of Christ is God...We know that this verse is used by comps to show that Christ, too, submitted or was ’under a head’ while on earth therefore women ought to be under the head of man/men. What interests me here is the use of the word ’is’ in ’the head of Christ is God’. If we use this phrase to say that Christ was subbordinate to God while on earth and thus should women be to men and yet we claim, as do comps, that the subordination of Christ was only while He was on earth, are we not overlooking the word ’is’ in the phrase? If my humble grammar serves me correctly, the phrase should say ’the head of Christ WAS the Father (or God)’ to show that it was only the case during the time Christ was on earth and not for all time? I ask this because it would seem that if ’is’ means ongoing, then head has to mean something other than heirarchy or else we have just locked ourselves into saying that there is an ongoing heirarchy in the Trinity (which I realize is an issue in some comp camps now). So it would seem to add yet another case for ’head’ to mean source rather than leadership or authority.

Paula Fether

Paula, you would be great on a team of writers for such a project-go for it! (Systematic theology per egals)
Thanks! :-) But how to get a team together... would the Egal. Summary be a start?

What interests me here is the use of the word ‘is’ in ‘the head of Christ is God’... are we not overlooking the word ‘is’ in the phrase? If my humble grammar serves me correctly, the phrase should say ‘the head of Christ WAS the Father (or God)’ to show that it was only the case during the time Christ was on earth and not for all time?
Excellent point! Yes, it certainly is significant, since Jesus Himself made that same point in refuting the Sadducees ("I am the God of Abraham...", not "I was"). Another significant point is that it is GOD, not the Father, who is the head of Christ. The Greek word is theos, not pater. So that means the entire Trinity is the "head" of the Anointed One.

Another factor is the "hypostatic union" unique to that "part" of the Trinity we call Christ. That aspect of Jesus will never change. But more importantly, the question is whether it always was before, and egals see no such eternally past condition. Jesus, as God, always was and will be equal to all of the Trinity. As a human being, he will always be our "brother" and the "Son" of God. (Another issue: Son of GOD, not always called the Son of the Father.)

But all of that melts into irrelevance when we consider what Jesus’ humanity modeled for all his followers, male and female. He told ALL to be servants; he showed us ALL how to relate to God. He showed NO ONE how to BE God or play God! And that’s what comp teaches: that males play the part of God all the time and never take the example of Jesus as servant (Jesus was never a "servant-leader" to God). It’s a huge double standard.


Paula, very interesting point about theos vs. pater-it makes more sense that the entire Trinity would be the source of Jesus. And yes, we can’t lose sight of what Jesus taught us about being servants and how we are to relate to God!

Egal summary would be a great place to start-especially with all the links you have embedded within the summary! I wonder, just thinking about how people process things, if there is a way to have a short version and a longer version-two ’books’-since we seem to soak up knowledge in layers. One would be a great place to start and to give to those who are beginning to explore the topic, and the other would have liberty to go into far more detail. DVDs such as Cheryl’s have their place, unquestionably, yet I think there is a real need for a book format, also. Books can be easier to skim, to reference, and to use in a class or group setting. They are also more portable for those who don’t have the technology to view a dvd anywhere. I think it could also be very useful to have a quick overview on how to use interlinears, lexicons, and grammar resources most effectively as well. Knowing how much many of my friends seem to like the workbook format might make that a viable option to go along with a regular book as well. It might make it easier for the whole issue to be applied to a group format, especially if there is no well-informed ’leader’ present. (I almost hate to use that word! I really mean facilitator though teaching has its place, to be sure!) If we are really going to brainstorm, it might even be useful to have occasional gatherings or ’retreats’ that function as training/encouragement/feedback sessions for egal ’missionaries’ to our own churches and settings.

Paula Fether

Good thoughts, TS. We all need to pray and ponder about how best to make this happen.

Out of curiosity, what do you think of the format of my "churchianity" book, Called Out? The lessons are short and broken down into small parts. We could do something like that to start, kind of an Intro to Egal.


Paula, wow, your interlinear expose of Hebrews 13:17 is an eyeopener!!!! I agree with Sue (on Denny’s blog) that we can never really trust any translation. My jaw is still hanging on that one.

I like the format of your Called Out booklet! It is short and to the point, pithy and informative, thought-provoking, and would make a great model for an Intro to Egal. It would give an appropriate overview and whatever detail seemed suitable, leaving the remaining detail for a separate book or study.


"Of course the comps then try to “fine print” their way out of this, even though it’s clearly the logical implication of male rule, because they know in their hearts that such abuse is evil. Yet they cannot escape the fact that their teachings give sanction to it."

Here is what I notice they (CBMW authors) do to divert attention from the obvious. They use tons of verbs and adjectives. I mean, TONS of them!

I have noticed this for a while and it has become quite amusing and annoying to read any of the literature because of it. An example would be:" ...and she has a joyful, intelligent, gentle and loving submission to his godly, compassionate and caring leadership".

All their stuff reads like a dime store novel. It is ridiculous. I have often wondered if they have a CBMW ’style’ book with authorized verbs and adjectives to describe the ’roles’.

I also notice they use the word ’equal’ and ’intelligent’ A LOT when describing women and their ’role’. And they accuse US of being politically correct! ;o) Here they are using words that have meanings but are not taught in their context of their real defintions! They are the masters of changing the definitions of words.

What is even more interesting to note is that these descripters also bring ’plausible’ deniablity to any excesses in practice. "Well, we described his role to be caring...."

A comp commenter on the Burke blog is notorious for this.

It goes back to ’role’. And it is so shallow it makes me want to cry for the ones who are buying into this stuff. Follow Christ. Not man!

Just an observation

Paula Fether

Tanx TS!


You’re absolutely right... there must be a CBMW "talking points" section hidden in some password-protected vault, eh? ;-P

Seriously, typical comps act like typical evolutionists, who go to infidels_dot_org to copy and paste. Stumped with a question? Go to the vault and get a handy non-answer that sounds edjamakated. They are "experts" so the peons have nothing to say.

It would be fun sometime to remove all those extra words and see what’s left, and then quote them and hear them scream "misrepresentation". Yes, it’s designed to be taken any way they choose. They’d make good lawyers or Pharisees.

Good observation.


I have to chuckle at entry number, oh, about 914 or so on Burke’s blog where the individual uses the argument that since Eve was taken out of the side of Adam, naturally Adam is then her head or authority. The funny thing is, this same author just said that Adam is from dirt and Eve is from Adam so Adam is head of Eve. Well, it gets a little scary if one uses the same thinking to draw a conclusion about who is head of Adam...dirt! And if head means ’over’, the only way Adam can submit is to die since that is the only time dirt is over anyone. I know, this is lame, but it served to humor me a bit. Sorry. :)

Paula Fether

Not lame at all, TS. Just logical.

And when you get logical on a comp, they get defensive and evasive. They don’t want to think about the implications of their teachings.


Paula, I just reread your egalitarian summary-it is quite good and covers so much. I think you must have happened onto the observation about Adam not guarding the garden after you wrote the summary. That might be good to add to it. Also wondered about adding God’s statement that He always has a remnant, per women being used ’when there was no man’ as is often claimed. Is it possibly useful to include the thoughts that God deliberately chose David to be king though David was the youngest, not the firstborn, in his family as one of numerous examples of the fact that the first created doesn’t necessarily imply rank order? Esau and Jacob are another example of this. Also, some have claimed that because Eve was deceived, women are more easily deceived. Yet, we read in the bible a number of accounts of prominent men being deceived (and doing the deceiving): A king (man) was deceived by another man, Abraham, into believing that Sarah was Abraham’s sister. Isaac was deceived by Jacob into giving away the birthright (man deceived and man deceiving). Joseph deceived his brothers for a time while he tried to learn if they were truly his family. Men deceived, man deceiving. His brothers deceived his father with the blood on his coat of many colors. Man deceived and men deceiving. These are only a few more prominent examples. So why hasn’t it been concluded that men are more easily deceived? I continue to be grateful for all the benefit I have derived from ALL the work you have done!


The Burke blog entry I referred to per man from dust was #923. Correction.

Paula Fether

Yes TR, I picked up on Adam’s fail to guard only recently, although I vaguely remember reading it elsewhere (probably by Don or Cheryl). I have to attend to some pressing technical issues for one of the webs I host, so I’ll have to pick up on this later. Hope I remember!

Yes also to the point about who is shown to be more deceivable in the Bible.

Glad to be of service. :-)


"Well, it gets a little scary if one uses the same thinking to draw a conclusion about who is head of Adam…dirt!"

yes, and Ware teaches that women are made in the ’indirect’ image of God. As if the materials God uses is where we get the image of God. I really do think he needs to rethink that one because the creation materials for man was dirt. ;o)

Paula Fether

Well, TS, I weaved the bit about Adam failing to guard the garden into the Egal Summary. Let me know what you think.


Paula, that is great! I continue to be amazed at how many nuggets are found when the interlinears are examined! I had never even thought that Adam had failed to do anything as a ’gardener’! More thanks for all you do!

Lin, that is a good point! How can our image be attributed to what we are made of because even God sometimes appeared as a burning bush, as a cloud by day and a fire by night, etc. Very different ’materials’ yet the same God.

Paula Fether

You’re very welcome, TS.

It really gets absurd, doesn’t it? God is said to have wings, to nurse, etc., and Jesus cried out in public! How un-masculine of both of them!

Here’s another mind-bender for the hierarchy pushers: Isaiah 9:6 says "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". How can the Son be the Father? What happens to the eternal hierarchy then?


Paula, what another gem! That does kind of shoot the hierarchialists in the foot, doesn’t it?! This is all so fascinating and sooooo enlightening! I could spend all my time at this point learning and researching and relearning and unlearning old untruths. Things are making so much more sense, now, per the verses that used to puzzle me. I used to actually dread reading some verses (like the ones comps misteach) because they sounded so unlike the Jesus that the rest of the bible described. If there were a camp or a retreat out there for those of us who are hungry to learn more about all this, I would BE there!!!!

Paula Fether

Being a geek and all, my idea of a camp would be having a sleeping bag by my computer. ;-)


Paula, Wow. How could I have missed Isaiah?

Truthseeker, finding the truth is so freeing that I have no words for it. My depth of gratitude for the Holy spirit leading me to question what I saw that did not make sense. (In addition to many other things that did not make sense about comp/seeker/cheap grace/etc) But this only happened because of a crisis to make me seek deep truths.Praise God for breaking me so HE could mold me.

I really am a co-hier. Fully a child of God. No layers between me and Christ!! Sometimes I just want to dance about it. (And I do)

It is amazing how this deepens the spirituality in a marriage, too. When both are seeking Christ and abiding in Him, they find each other there.

Paula Fether

Lin, I think the hierarchy pushers ignore Isaiah because it creates what I call a "whack-a-mole" situation for them: if they acknowledge that the Son is called the Everlasting Father, then doesn’t that teach Modalism? And if Modalism, then there is no Trinity, and no Trinity means no hierarchy, which we simply must have! So we ignore Isaiah.

But of course, one need not adopt Modalism to take Isaiah at face value. One God in Three Persons means exactly that, and we can’t quite wrap our minds around it. This is, after all, God we’re talking about.

Yet the fact remains that the Son is called the Everlasting Father, which if it does nothing else, shoots down eternal hierarchy.

Yes, ladies, we are fully-grown adults and co-heirs in the sight of God, gifted as the Holy Spirit sees fit, and not man. It is misogyny that bows to society (our current one is a very rare exception). See my article Here on how deep that misogyny has run in the church. We are truly free, and we need to free those who are still in bondage to the traditions of men.


Modalism...I am running uphill as fast as I can but I hadn’t bumped into that one yet. There is no end to the ways we can try to make sense of God, I guess, so the safety lies in sticking close to God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit and the bible as it is enlightened to us. I long for the day when my husband and I share what you now have, Lin. We are probably not far, in some ways, yet quite far in others. I know I have to pray, mainly, that the Holy Spirit will open his understanding to all this, and that my example won’t hinder that progress. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly." I long for people to be free from the bondages that exist due to sin and darkened understandings. THAT could make me want to preach!

:) Whack-a-mole...sounds like a dip made out of avocado-I love it! Sorry, I stayed up late last night and I am heading towards punchy.

Paula Fether

Sorry TS, showing my age again.

For the young(er than me) and non-US: Whack-a-mole is an old arcade game. There are several holes on a board and mechanical moles pop out of them randomly. The game is to whack them with a rubber mallet before they go back down. But while you’re whacking at one mole another pops up.

Now I’m not sure if you really didn’t know what this was TS. :-)


Hey Whacker, I did figure out what the concept was but wasn’t aware of the game. thanks, I can use all the help I can get! :)

And, bags by the creek with computers and smores, and at our ages, probably snores, sounds like fun to me, too. :)


Lin, about seekers/cheap grace, etc., I have recently wondered, in light of a friend who is a new Christian, whether it might not be in order to print some kind of survival booklet that warns about the ’Bears in the Woods’ and describes what they look like; seeker bears, contemplative prayer bears, name-it-and-claim-it bears, Toronto blessing bears, funky home church bears (some that are good, to be sure, but some that proclaim the husband as the priest of the home church, etc.), post-modernism bears, not to mention the many more, some of which are more obscure. I guess that is what Paul is doing when he warns of false teachers. The trick is identifying what false teachers and teachings look like today. Again, maintaining solid fellowship with other Bereans and staying close to God and the bible is our best recourse.

Paula Fether

Let me ask you all:

I’ve been pondering the direction to take in order to get these true teachings out, and I keep coming back to a sort of "Egalitarian Handbook". That is, not a big book worthy of a doctoral thesis, but a concise reference, as well as a small lesson book. The Summary I already have could serve as an outline.



Paula, I like your idea-handbook plus lesson book! (I like that you have provided an outline for your current Egal in a nutshell, too!. Absolutely! It’s time has come and is desperately needed!

Paula Fether

Okey dokey!

Now I have to actually start working on it!

(This is where my brother would say, "I thought of the idea, you make it work, and we’ll split the profits 50-50.")


"I’ve been pondering the direction to take in order to get these true teachings out, and I keep coming back to a sort of “Egalitarian Handbook”. That is, not a big book worthy of a doctoral thesis, but a concise reference, as well as a small lesson book. The Summary I already have could serve as an outline."

yes! If it is not easy to understand it won’t work to really teach. You could include the sources for scholarship purposes but it really have to commmunicate truth.

I have not looked at summary 1 before I say this so please excuse me if this is done...but I have seen you ask excellent questions about the creation account that MUST be answered before we buy into the comp teaching. I really think these sorts of things should be included. it really gets people thinking. (I have been reading your comments at the Burke blog and your questions about the creation account are excellent and sum up what is wrong with thier teaaching)


Oh yeah, I meant to add this: We don’t necessarily want to teach people our view. We want people to dig and question what they have presupposed when reading scripture because of tradition. I know-- I did this myself. I can remember reading the creation account and forcing myself to forget everything I had been taught for 40 years.

It was a whole new book! So much had to be read into it to get their view. I was ashamed and astonished I had fallen for it for so long! And that was using regular translations!

The goal is to get them to become Bereans and check everything they are taught. Before I did all this, I can remember hearing a well known preacher say something on a recorded sermon I thought was wrong. I mulled it over many times and checked scripture. I knew he could NOT be certain of what he taught and it made me trust him less and less. what did he teach? That Adam was NOT with Eve when she ate the fruit. Meaning he was NOT there when the serpent tempted her. It has been a long time ago but I believe it was either McArthur or Piper who said it.

That is why I think you need to ask the hard questions. One of my favorite questions to ask a hard comp is this one:

If women are considered easily deceived becasue of what Eve did, then how come men are qualified to lead since Adam sinned ON PURPOSE? Wouldn’t that make them less trustworthy than someone who was simply decieved and admitted it? Adam blamed both Eve and God. Eve admitted she was decieved.

Another favorite is: If God had wanted to consider ’creation order’ as the reason for Adam to be in authority over Eve, then why did He create animals before Adam. And why did he favor Joseph, David, etc who were not first borns?

Or, If Adam was in authority over Eve before the fall, then why does God say one of the consequences for sin is that Adam will rule over her. Before fall his authority is good but after fall his authority is horrible?

How can there be an authority in a one flesh union

If being a helper means being subordinate to Adam then how come God is called our ’help’ (ezer)

Now, I realize that CBMW has bizarre answers for all this but most people have not really thought many of these and more through very well.

Paula Fether

Good thoughts, Lin. Are you suggesting this approach mainly for the lesson book or the handbook?

I’m thinking the handbook would be a reference organized by Q and A, with pertinent scriptures and short commentary for each. This would be the egal view. Then the lesson book would be the "teach you to fish" approach.

Does that sound like what you’re saying?

Paula Fether

Also, if we want to keep discussing this, I would suggest we do so at my message board. I could set up an area just for this.


Paula, have you moved this discussion elsewhere yet? Lin’s thoughts are very good. I agree, too, that good resource notes or footnotes ought to be included somewhere for people who need or want to move as quickly as they can through the research process or who may need to back certain things to others who are questioning them.

I like the idea of a questioning format, and wonder if somehow there is a place or way for a cohesive whole to be presented as well? Both are needed, I think. I know it seems redundant almost so I will think this through a little more.

I, too, have been following the Burke blog and have noticed both there and on Cheryl’s blog that lots of good supporting tidbits have come out and those are extremely important-both the interlinear/lexicon bits as well as the historical contextual bits. They are usually eye-openers and very critical. One example, that the term husband of one wife was actually used on grave markers in those days to denote faithfulness for both men and women. Some of the background material about headcoverings in terms of what that all meant culturally at that time has also been very helpful. I would need to scan my notes to find others, but I know many have stood out to me.

Paula Fether

I haven’t moved it yet. I need to know if you all would want to join a message board just to talk about this. Or, if you’re both already members of the Equality Central board, we could start something there.

And I could set up a site for it, where you could all see the documents as they form. Maybe "the Egal Project" or something.


oops, I missed comment 39 when I checked back. Wow TS, tht would be a huge book! If you could give a 2-3 page description it might work.


"I’m thinking the handbook would be a reference organized by Q and A, with pertinent scriptures and short commentary for each. This would be the egal view. Then the lesson book would be the “teach you to fish” approach."

Excellent Idea. Very easy to use

"Does that sound like what you’re saying?"

yes-it is more appropriate for the lesson. They have to go and look at scripture

Equality central would be perfect. Now, i need to find the link and get a new password!

Paula Fether

Link to the ECA board: http://equalitycentral.com/forum/index.php

Don Johnson

It is funny to read a blog and see your name referenced before you post. I think some of my flesh has been burned off in other discussions, this makes it easier to ignore insults, etc.

I do not think "woman"/isha is a name, the term shem/name is not used, it is simply acknowledging that she is a female version of man, a wordplay by adding the suffix.

I agree Eve is a name, but after the fall and an example of his rule over her. But God named them both Adam in Gen 5:2 often ignored. And the ESV even translates the name, which is NEVER done.

Paula Fether

More good points, Don.

And I’m sure my name is in lots of places I don’t even want to look at. ;-)


Hi Paula! Nice blog and nice job countering the ten points.

I am not that well acquainted with all the complementarian theology. I just went by what I was told, wives submit (my mom says obey!!!) and husbands love wives as they love their bodies. I read some patriarchal books and always felt very heavy, like someone had placed a ton of bricks on my shoulders.

I only discovered the two camps less than a year ago. Up to then, I had only read what I now know is complementarian material. I think I started considering what submission and head mean shortly after that, and I’m glad that I found there are people who don’t read all that strange stuff into the Scriptures. To someone who hasn’t been taught all the theory and where it is supposed to be implied, it sounds like non-bible!

Lin, I love your comment #21. I noticed that too. A wife’s intelligent submission.... husband’s godly, caring leadership.

Did you hear the sermon by Russel Moore? It wasn’t that bad, but he kept saying "leadership", "leadership". Paul says Love. Interesting.

Paula Fether

Welcome, Madame! And thanks for the kind remarks.


I would love to see the discussion at Equality Central forums. "Egal Project" is a good name. Or how about "Equality Project".... of "Biblical Equality Project.

You could create a special forum for it.


Where does it tell males to play God to females? So far I’ve heard no answer.

And you never will get a rational answer based on what the Bible actually says.

Paula, you know what is heartbreaking? Legions of gifted, educated young women, my DILs among them, who remain alienated from the peace of Christ by the words and actions of men...can point to Ware’s "list" as proof of their conviction that Christianity is misogynistic and irrational.

So sad.

Paula Fether

Okay, will do.... just not sure when, since today is a national holiday. But here I am on the computer! I’m such a hopeless geek... so more than likely the topic will be there real soon.

Paula Fether

Sorry, ahunt, didn’t see your post in the queue for comment approval till after I posted. My "will do" is a response to tiro3.

Yes, it’s heartbreaking that women have been held in bondage (as Katharine Bushnell put it, "lo, these eighteen hundred years"). We will pronounce freedom for the prisoners as loud as we can!

And welcome to my blog!



ahunt, This is so true. I’ve often lamented this fact as well.

In my small way in my church, I am trying to encourage women to rise up to who they were created to be in Christ, and to encourage men to honor and respect women.


Actually, I’m a poor example to our girls. I’ve simply stopped caring. We were always egal, buuuuut...

...I grew up ELCA, and to keep peace in the family, transfered to the more conservative Missouri Synod upon marriage. (Mercifully, MS rejects the extra-biblical nonsense put forth by Ware, Grudem...) Yet, the emphasis on gender roles and male headship and female subordination and submission was there, and despite what is practiced at home, I simply cannot listen to the theology of male preeminence anymore.

I find the whole doctrine irrational, unloving, unservantlike, unnecessary, infantilizing, disrespectful and self-serving, promoting (unintentionally perhaps)the worst in human nature...and a tragic waste of talent and energy...and most of all, a profound hindrance in my relationship with God. (whew)

Fortunately, I blessed with a terrific husband who has always believed that mutual submission is the true model for marriage. I have no tragic story...just weary, and saddened by the sense that no real growth in fellowship is possible anymore.


"I find the whole doctrine irrational, unloving, unservantlike, unnecessary, infantilizing, disrespectful and self-serving, promoting (unintentionally perhaps)the worst in human nature…and a tragic waste of talent and energy…and most of all, a profound hindrance in my relationship with God. (whew"

Yep.... and dreadfully sad as well.


"Did you hear the sermon by Russel Moore?"

Oh dear. Which one? I share a city with Moore and his influence is in many churches, unfortuantly. His teaching is not really Baptist in that the SBC has always been very focused on ’Priesthood of Beleiver’, soul competency and Jesus as the ONLY way for men and women. The SBC just agreed to ’cooperate’ on missions. Baptists, historically, have eschewed imposed hierarchies. We were the pioneers in congregational polity during the state church centuries.

Russell Moore just does not seem Baptist to me at all. He is completely focused on earthly authorities. Idolatry, in my opinion.

If you have a link to the sermon you are referencing, please post it. Thanks.


Paula, I did try to go onto Equality Central and discovered that I must have done so earlier, and don’t recall my password. Oh dear! Haven’t figured out, yet, how to fix that situation and access that board.

Paula Fether

You should be able to go to the login area and click on the "forgot password" link. Let me know if that doesn’t work.


Paula, thanks for the help-when I click the forgot password link, it reminds me that I left no clue question for my password. That is where I reach a dead end.

Paula Fether

Okay, I’ll put one in for you and email what it is, and then you can go in and change it.


Thanks Eve! And you’re exactly right, he wants to model woman after man instead of God. I think they give him a pass because they care more about his approval than God’s.

Eve Marie Barner Gleason

Thanks, Paula. I’ve wanted to study out and hold Ware accountable for his misinterpretation of the Scripture in this lecture / article since I first read it and here I see you’ve already done a great job of it. Ware’s willingness to re-create woman in the image of man, not of God, is a lie. It’s hard for me to understand how he is such an influential "pastor-to-pastors" and this just gets glossed over.