Friday, October 26, 2007

Utopianism and relationships

I posted this on Complegalitarian. It seems to be part of my series here as well.
    Equally as Christians, sin in our lives is also a serious business. We are never merely to explain it away in ourselves, in our group, or in our family.

    On the other hand, knowing that all men are sinners frees us from the cruelty of utopianism. Utopianism is cruel, for it expects of men and women what they are not and will not be until Christ comes. Such utopianism, forgetting what the Bible says about human sinfulness, is hard-hearted; it is as monstrous a thing as one can imagine.
    The Christian understanding of men is not just theoretical. Christians should also be able to show more understanding to men than can either the cynic or romantic. We should not be surprised when a man demonstrates he is a sinner because, after all, we know that all men are sinners. When someone sits down to talk with me, I should convey to him (even if I do not express it in words) the attitude that he and I are both sinners.

    And immediately, when I communicate this perception, a door swings open for dialogue. Nothing will help you as much in meeting people, no matter how far out they are or how caught up they are in the modern awfulness, than for them to perceive in you the attitude "we are both sinners."
    Utopianism is terribly cruel because it expects the impossible from people. These expectations are not based on reality. They stand in opposition to the genuine human possibilities afforded by the realism of the Scripture.

    Utopianism can cause harm. In the home, in the man-woman relationship, nothing is more cruel than for the wife or husband to build up a false image in his or her mind and then demand that the husband or wife measure up to this false romanticism. Nothing smashes homes more than this. Such behaviour is totally contrary to the Bible's doctrine of sin. Even after redemption, we are not perfect in this present life. It is not that we avoid saying sin is sin, but we must have compassion for each other, too. Francis Schaeffer. No Little People. 2003.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Martin Bucer on Divorce cont.

I have taken a long break from posting on Bucer. This came about because I realized that the Latin text that Bucer used for his scripture quotes differs from the English. Once again, I was up against a difference of interpretation. However, this is an interesting document which I perused carefully noting how he read the scriptures. I hope others interested in this time period will enjoy reading it.

Here is a section in which one finds many of his conclusions about divorce.

    To this first institution did Christ recall his own;
    when answering the Pharisees, he condemn'd the
    licence of unlawful Divorce. He taught therfore by
    his example, that we, according to this first
    institution, and what God hath spoken therof, ought
    to determine what kind of Covenant Marriage is, how
    to be kept, and how far; and lastly, for what causes
    to be dissolv'd. To which Decrees of God these also
    are to be join'd, which the Holy Ghost hath taught
    by his Apostle, that neither the Husband nor the
    Wife hath power of their own body, but mutually
    each of either's. That the Husband shall love the
    Wife as his own body, yea as Christ loves his Church;
    and that the Wife ought to be subject to her
    Husband, as the Church is to Christ.

    By these things the nature of holy Wedloc is
    certainly known; wherof if only one be wanting in
    both or either party, and that either by obstinate
    malevolence or too deep inbred weakness of mind, or
    lastly, through incurable impotence of Body, it
    cannot then be said that the covenant of Matrimony
    holds good between such; if we mean that covenant
    which God instituted and call'd Marriage, and that
    wherof only it must be understood that our Saviour
    said, Those whom God hath join'd, let no Man

    And hence is concluded, that Matrimony requires
    continual cohabitation and living together, unless
    the calling of God be otherwise evident; which union
    if the parties themselves disjoin either by mutual
    consent, or one against the other's will depart, the
    Marriage is then broken. Wherin the Papists, as in
    other things, oppose themselves against God; while
    they separate for many causes from bed and board,
    and yet will have the bond of Matrimony remain, as
    if this covenant could be other than the conjunction
    and communion not only of bed and board, but of all
    other living and helpful duties. This we may see in
    these words; I will make him a help-meet for him;
    bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh: for this cause
    shall he leave Father and Mother, and cleave to his
    Wife, and they twain shall be one flesh. By which
    words who discerns not, that God requries of them
    both so to live together, and to be united not only in
    body but in mind also, with such an affection as none
    may be dearer and more ardent among all the
    relations of Mankind, nor of more efficacy to the
    mutual offices of love and loyalty. They must
    communicate and consent in all things both divine
    and human, which have any moment to well and
    happy living. The Wife must honour and obey her
    Husband, as the Church honours and obeys Christ
    her head. The Husband must love and cherish his
    Wife, as Christ his Church. Thus they must be to
    each other, if they will be true Man and Wife in the
    sight of God, whom certainly the Churches ought to
    follow in their judgment. Now the proper and
    ultimate end of Marriage is not copulation, or
    children, for then there was not true Matrimony
    between Joseph and Mary the Mother of Christ, nor
    between many holy persons more; but the full and
    proper and main end of Marriage, is the
    communicating of all duties, both divine and human,
    each to other with utmost benevolence and affection.
Tender words, that the proper end of marriage is benevolence and affection.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Martin Bucer on Divorce

I will be posting from a document called,

    WRITTEN To EDWARD the Sixth, in his Second Book
    of the Kingdom of CHRIST.
    And now English'd.

    Wherein a late Book, restoring the
    Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, is
    here confirm'd and justify'd by the
    Authority of MARTIN BUCER.

    To the Parlament of England.
I will be taking excerpts just to give an idea of what is in the document.


Of lawful Divorce, what the ancient Churches have

Now we shall speak about that dissolving of
Matrimony which may be approv'd in the sight of
God, if any grievous necessity require. In which
thing the Roman Antichrists have knit many a
pernicious entanglement to distressed Consciences:
for that they might here also exalt themselves above
God, as if they would be wiser and chaster than God
himself, is, for no cause, honest or necessary, will
they permit a final Divorce; in the mean while,
Whoredoms and Adulteries, and worse things than
these, not only tolerating in themselves and others,
but cherishing and throwing Men headlong into
these evils. For although they also disjoin married
persons from Board and Bed, that is, from all
conjugal Society and Communion, and this not only
for Adultery, but for ill Usage, and matrimonial
Duties deny'd; yet they forbid those thus parted, to
join in Wedloc with others, but, as I said before, any
dishonest associating they permit. And they
pronouce the Bond of Marriage to remain between
those whom they have thus separated. As if the
Bond of Marriage, God so teaching and pronouncing,
were not such a league as binds the married couple
to all society of life, and communion in divine and
human things; and so associated keeps them.
Something indeed out of the later Fathers they may
pretend for this their Tyranny, especially out of
Austin and some others, who were much taken with
a preposterous admiration of single life; yet though
these Fathers, from the words of Christ not rightly
understood, taught that it was unlawful to marry
again, while the former Wife liv'd, whatever cause
there had bind either of Desertion or Divorce; yet if
we mark the custom of the Church, and the common
judgment which both in this time and afterward
prevail'd, we shall perceive that neither these
Fathers did ever cast out of the Church any one for
marrying after a Divorce, approv'd by the Imperial

Nor only the first Christian Emperors, but the
latter also, even to Justinian, and after him, did
grant for certain causes approv'd by Judges, to make
a true Divorce; which made and confirm'd by Law, it
might be lawful to marry again: which if it could not
have bin done without displeasing Christ and his
Church, surely it would not have bin granted by
Christian Emperors, nor had the Fathers then wink'd
at those doings in the Emperors. Hence ye may see
that Jerom also, though zealous of single life more
than enough, and such a condemner of second
Marriage, though after the death of either party, yet
forc'd by plain equity, defended Fabiola, a noble
Matron of Rome, who having refus'd her Husband for
just Causes, was married to another. For that the
sending of a Divorce to her Husband was not blame-
worthy, he affirms, because the Man was heinously
vitious; and that if an adulterous Wife may be
discarded, an adulterous Husband is not to be kept.
But that she married again, while yet her Husband
was alive; he defends in that the Apostle hath said,
It is better to marry than to burn; and that young
widows should marry, for such was Fabiola, and
could not remain in Widow-hood.

But some one will object that Jerome there adds,
Neither did she know the vigour of the Gospel,
wherin all cause of marrying is debarr'd from
Women, while their Husbands live; and again, while
she avoided many wounds of Satan, she receiv'd one
ere she was aware. But let the equal Reader mind
also what went before; Because, saith he, soon after
the beginning, there is a rock and storm of
slanderers opposed against her, I will not praise her
converted, unless I first absolve her guilty. For why
does he call them slanderers who accus'd Fabiola of
marrying again, if he did not judge it a matter of
Christian Equity and Charity, to pass by and pardon
that fact, though in his own opinion he held it a
fault? And what can this mean? I will not praise
her, unless I first absolve her. For how could he
absolve her, but by proving that Fabiola, neither in
rejecting her vitious Husband, nor in marrying
another, had committed such a sin, as could be
justly condemned? Nay, he proves both by evident
reason, and clear testimonies of Scripture, that she
avoided Sin.

This also is hence understood, that Jerome by the
vigour of the Gospel, meant that height and
perfection of our Saviour's precept, which might be
remitted to those that burn; for he adds, But if she
be accused in that she remained not unmarried, I
shall confess the fault, so I may relate the necessity.
If then he acknowledg'd a necessity, as he did,
because she was yound, and could not live in
Widowhood, certainly he could not impute her
second Marriage to her much blame: but when he
excuses her out of the Word of God, does he not
openly declare his thoughts, that the second
Marriage of Fabiola was permitted her by the Holy
Ghost himself, for the necessity which he suffer'd,
and to shun the danger of Fornication, though she
went somewhat aside from the vigour of the Gospel?
But if any urge that Fabiola did public penance for
her second Marriage, which was not imposed but for
great faults; 'tis answer'd, she was not enjoin'd to
this penance, but did it of her own accord, and not
till after her second Husband's death. As in the time
of Cyprian, we read that many were wont to do
voluntary penance for small faults, which were not
liable to excommunication.

Manly Dominion by Chanski

Peter expresses incredulity that Chanski was writing about men only in Manly Dominion. Here is another review of the book from 9 Marks.

I confess, I am confused about whether this is about the stewardship of the planet by humans or the dominion of the male over everything and everybody else. I went back and forth on this, but evidently a "nice guy" is a "wimp eunuch" in Chanski's view, and "husbanding" - and this means in marriage, not in creation - is a "crucial endeavor requiring manly dominion."

The reviewer writes,
    We are a generation of wimps raised by mystics.

    Such are many Christian men today. Exaggerated piety, deficient manliness, and outright cowardice have conspired to bring about the current state of affairs.
    I can say that is true from my own life. Many a decision has left me paralyzed. Which girl to pursue? Which job to take? Which pair of socks to wear? So it is for much of my generation. From the great to the small, we confront the decisions of life with a position of weakness, believing that no decision should be made unless

    i) direct revelation has unquestionably led us to it (in which case we may cite divine providence as the reason behind our decision, should said decision prove disastrous)
    ii) every conceivable factor points to it (in which case we can blame each factor, should said decision proves disastrous).

    This is a sad picture indeed.

    How welcome, then, is Mark Chanski’s Manly Dominion. Chanski, a Reformed Baptist pastor from Holland, Michigan, has penned this text to encourage the wimpy-hearted to think, pray, and act like men.

    According to Chanski, contemporary Christian masculinity lacks the will to take dominion of the earth, that mandate which rang first in Adam’s ears as recorded in Genesis 1:28. Chanski summarizes his central argument on page 18 by exhorting the reader to recognize that "Man is to aggressively dominate his environment, instead of allowing his environment to dominate him." He does this only by the grace of God: "Subduing labor achieves its goals only by divine enablement" (47).

    Chanski understands that men will only act out manly dominion through the power of God himself. With that power before them, men are to act. "I have not been assigned to stare out my bedroom, living room, or office window, passively daydreaming about what I might do, if only there weren’t so many obstacles. Rather I am to get out there, so help me God, and plan it, clear it, and do it, with all my might, to the glory of God" (18).

    Chanski’s thesis is itself aggressive, scriptural, and invigorating. He combines biblical study with a vibrant collection of stories, historical examples, and personal testimony to lay out the importance of acting courageously in one’s work, decision-making, spiritual life, and romance. Manly Dominion will be of great help to pastors in their efforts to encourage strong male leadership in local churches, especially in the following areas.

    Living Industriously

    Men have been indoctrinated to believe that work is bad. We have been trained by commercials, music, movies, and television shows to be lazy and passive. Chanski cuts the cultural attitude no quarter. Countering the spirit of disgruntled aimlessness, he writes, "In contrast, we ought to view ourselves as men of destiny, each created by the Lord and placed in this garden, in this world, with a very important task to accomplish" (58).
    Indeed, "Each of us has been endowed with talents and opportunities to accomplish great things in the Lord’s world" (59).

    Chanski gives us the big picture behind all of life here, articulating that God has given us gifts to accomplish meaningful work for him while we are here. This is a helpful point for the pastor trying to figure out how to counter secular gender theory with its emphasis on passive masculinity. Give ‘em Chanski, and watch them come to life.

    Making Decisions

    Chanski is equally helpful on the subject of decision-making, a matter that many men struggle with, as the introduction noted. Many of us are good at analyzing. Fewer of us are good at deciding.

    We can trace this failure rate to laziness, a fear of mistakes, and improper notions of guidance. Chanski tackles this collective attitude in his chapter on providence when he writes,

    In decision-making we must not adopt an unscriptural, mystical model that results in our passively permitting ourselves to be pushed around by our environment—like a four-ball. Instead, in circumstances where we are biblically allowed and authorized to press forward, let us humbly, prayerfully, and aggressively seek to do the pushing around (96).

    These words are helpful for all men today, but they may be particularly helpful for pastors. Chanski reminds all Christian men, pastors included, to make decisions and shoulder the consequences, good or bad, that come. When pastors live out these words, they create a culture of courage in their church and provide a model of leadership that commands respect and promises emulation. This, not passivity or fear, accords with the biblical testimony on this subject: "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Tim 1:7).

    Shepherding Wives

    Here’s how Chanski diagnoses the marital temperature of many homes:
    The constant imbibing of feminism, mixing together with man’s native sinfulness, has resulted in an epidemic of passive-purple-fourballism in modern marriages. Men have permitted themselves to be emasculated into a company of wimp eunuchs, who believe it should be their goal to strive toward being passive nice guys in their homes (167).

    That’s spot-on. My generation was raised with men like Steve Martin’s character in Father of the Bride as role models. Martin’s character was more of a clueless baby than a manly man. This model of masculinity, repeated many times over in the culture, has transferred to many Christian homes today.

    To counter this trend, Chanski urges, "We’ve got to reject modern thinking and take up biblical thinking. Without apology, the Scriptures teach that the man is to be the leader in his marriage and in his home. Husbanding is a crucial endeavor requiring manly dominion" (168). How important these words are for the pastor seeking to instill a biblical understanding of marriage amidst a culture where men were taught either to be distant and solemn (as in the 50s and 60s) or silly and weak (as in the 70s onward). Chanski’s words will help pastors to teach the men of their churches to reject laziness and to take action to care spiritually and otherwise for their wives and children.

I have to ask if there isn't some other word besides "dominion" that would serve as the opposite of "laziness."

    Tuesday, October 09, 2007

    How it should be

    It is time to lift the mood here a little so I am going to post the list of "one anothers" in the scripture that we are admonished to fulfill.

    discuss with one another
    say to one another
    ask one another
    love one another
    devoted to one another
    honor one another
    live in harmony with one another
    accept one another
    instruct one another
    greet one another
    agree with one another
    encourage one another
    serve one another
    bear with one another
    be kind and compassionate with one another
    speak to another with psalms, etc.
    submit to one another
    forgive one another
    admonish one another
    spur one another on to love
    do not slander one another
    don't grumble against one another
    offer hospitality to one another
    clothe yourselves with humility toward one another
    have fellowship with one another
    lay down your lives for one another

    This would be worth reading at a wedding. It makes great reading anytime.

    Divorce and Remarriage

    Here is a good article on Divorce and Remarriage by David Instone-Brewer

      Putting all this together gives us a clear and consistent set of rules for divorce and remarriage. Divorce is only allowed for a limited number of grounds that are found in the Old Testament and affirmed in the New Testament:
      • Adultery (in Deuteronomy 24:1, affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19)
      • Emotional and physical neglect (in Exodus 21:10-11, affirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7)
      • Abandonment and abuse (included in neglect, as affirmed in 1 Corinthians 7)

      Jewish couples listed these biblical grounds for divorce in their marriage vows. We reiterate them as love, honor, and keep and be faithful to each other. When these vows were broken, it threatened to break up the marriage. As in any broken contract, the wronged party had the right to say, "I forgive you; let's carry on," or, "I can't go on, because this marriage is broken."

      Therefore, while divorce should never happen, God allows it (and subsequent remarriage) when your partner breaks the marriage vows.

    I always thought of divorce as defeat or giving up until someone once wrote to me,
      I have to say that often I admire those who divorce: it takes a great deal of courage to dissolve something so serious as a marriage, and I can only imagine that those who do it have a very good reason: they must be deeply unhappy or feel threatened.
    I suppose that not everyone who divorces has a very good reason, but some people do have good reason, and it is no virtue to hang on in the face of abuse, abandonment or infidelity. It was important for me to realize that Jews understood divorce differently from some Christians. But the scriptures are clear that there is a time to let a partner go. 1 Cor. 7.

    Aggressive Domination

    I have been arguing that both complementarians and egalitarians would be happy to see authentein translated as "dominate." Egalitarians see this as a negative value and complementarians see it is a positive masculine value, but a negative feminine value. Then the discussion could move from the discourse of marriage to a discussion of whether Christ actually teaches domination.

    The CBMW Gender blog endorsed Manly Dominion by Mark Chanski two years ago.
      "Man is to aggressively dominate his environment, instead of allowing his environment to dominate him," Chanski writes. "I am not to be a passive-purple four-ball! I am rather to be a stick-carrying player! In the spheres of my life, I must subdue and rule, and not permit myself to be subdued and ruled.

      "We have been commissioned by God to go out and aggressively assert ourselves as masters over every realm of our lives. I have not been assigned to stare out my bedroom, living room, or office widow, passively daydreaming about what I might do, if only there weren’t so many obstacles. Rather I am to get out there, so help me God, and plan it, clear it, and do it, with all my might, to the glory of God."


      "In the Lord Jesus Christ, the Christian finds his ultimate model for subduing and ruling over the opposing circumstances of our sin cursed world," he writes.

      "In Him, we find a hand to put over our mouths when we begin to spout rationalizations and blame-shiftings. In Him we find a holy rebuke to our every excuse for not doing our biblical duty in every difficult situation. In Him, we find a sacred reprimand to our cowardly claims of ‘I’m a victim, so I can’t.’"

    In his review Robinson writes,
      Manly Dominion provides biblical insight the Christian man and his calling to action within vocational labor, husbanding, church leadership, child rearing, spiritual living, decision-making, and romance.
    It is clear that Chanski believes that God gives the dominion of the world to men only, and men only imitate Christ. There seems to be a misunderstanding of Gen 1 here. It says,
      26Then God said,(O) "Let us make man[h] in our image,(P) after our likeness. And(Q) let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

      27So God created man in his own image,
      in the image of God he created him;
      (R) male and female he created them.

      28And God blessed them. And God said to them,(S) "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.(T) You shall have them for food. 30And(U) to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31(V) And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    It is clear that "dominion" was given to the man and woman over nature. I think many of us struggle to understand what is meant here by "dominion" but it is clearly something given to man and woman together. I have no idea what kind of Biblical explanation could underly Chanski's thesis.

    Jesus himself talks about domination in Luke 22:25,

      25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

      26But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

      27For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

    "As one who serves", as a servant. This is a reversal of domination. Shall we serve creation? That is one possible interpretation.

    Open Letter to Pastors

    Open Letter to Pastors by Jeannie Babb Taylor
      Christian leaders set the stage for domestic violence by perpetuating pop-culture stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. T. D. Jakes claims in his book Woman, Thou Art Loosed that all women were created to fulfill the vision of some man. Jakes bases his gender theology solely on the physical characteristics of male and female genitalia, insisting that all women are "receivers" and all men are "givers." This false dichotomy breaks down quickly when one considers that female sexuality includes giving birth and giving milk. More importantly, Jakes deviates from Scripture in claiming that women and men must operate like their genitalia in every facet of life.

    More by Evan Stark

    Violent Crime: Assessing Race and Ethnic Differences By Darnell Felix Hawkins
    Chapter 9 Race, Gender and Woman Battering by Evan Stark

    Sunday, October 07, 2007

    Coercive Control : 5

    Despite these inroads, coercive control remains marginal to mainstream thinking. It is rarely acknowledged in policy circles, has had almost no impact on domestic violence policing or criminal law, and commands no special funding. Although providers and advocates may ask about elements of coercive control, I know of no programs or interventions that address it. Everyone acknowledges that domestic violence is about power and control. But we have yet to incorporate this truism into our understanding of abuse or our response.

    The major source for the model of coercive control are the victims and perpetrators of abuse with whom I and others have worked. The women in my practice have repeatedly made clear that the most serious harms they have suffered involve how their partners have kept them from fulfilling their life projects by appropriating their resources; undermining their social support; subverting their rights to privacy, self-respect, and autonomy; and depriving them of substantive equality. This is the evidence on which I base my claim that coercive control is a liberty crime. Preventing a substantial group of women from freely applying their agency in economic and political life obstructs overall social development .

    The new model is rooted in the same tenets that gave birth to the battered women’s movement—that the abuse of women in personal life is inextricably bound up with their standing in the larger society and therefore that women’s entrapment in their personal lives can be significantly reduced only if sexual discrimination is addressed simultaneously. In the early shelters, the interrelatedness of these tenets was grounded in the practice of empowerment, whereby the suffering of individual victims was mollified by mobilizing their collective power to help one another and change the institutional structures that caused and perpetuated women’s second-class status, an example of women doing for themselves. Our challenge is to resurrect this collective practice and broaden its political focus to the sources of coercive control.

    Coercive Control by Evan Stark [Word Document] HTML

    This paper helps to differentiate between physical violence and coercive control. A relationship can be violent due to alcohol and substance abuse and other reasons without coercive control. A relationship can be coercive without violence. In some relationships, coercion is accompanied by violence.

    Coercive control is typically control by the male partner over the female. Very few men are in a situation where they can only leave the house with the permission of their wives. However, patriarchy puts women in this situation all the time. The wife is there to meet the husbands needs and must submit to his choices for her.

    For example, if she wants to join an exercise program, it must not interfere with his preferred meal time, it must not be in a facility where men attend, it must not be too expensive, it must not promote dance and rock music, and so on. Each activity is controlled by the husband's sense of what is right, although he does not have to actually set up the activity himself. He simply dictates what is appropriate and if nothing meets his requirements the activity is suspended.

    I have a hard time understanding how patriarchy does not contribute to this kind of mess. Patriarchy is not necessarily going to correlate with greater violence, but we do know it does not correlate with less violence. However, it correlates with denial of decision-making power for the woman.

    Stark writes,

    What is taken from the women whose stories I hear almost daily—and what some victims use violence to restore—is the capacity for independent decision making in the areas by which we distinguish adults from children and free citizens from indentured servants. Coercive control entails a malevolent course of conduct that subordinates women to an alien will by violating their physical integrity (domestic violence), denying them respect and autonomy (intimidation), depriving them of social connectedness (isolation), and appropriating or denying them access to the resources required for personhood and citizenship (control). Nothing men experience in the normal course of their everyday lives resembles this conspicuous form of subjugation.

    I don't know if it is possible to ever get someone who has not experienced this to imagine it. Do some think that women have a completely different constitution and will find fulfillment in subordination? Teaching the subordination of women ensures that some women will suffer this total deprivation of human dignity. It will ensure this. When a preacher preaches subordination some will be subordinated.

    I would like to see a law which makes it illegal to put "obey" in the marriage ceremony, and a law which forbids teaching the "subordination of women" in the pulpit. The suffering is vastly greater than having someone steal a concrete physical belonging from you. Having someone rob you of your dignity is a crime more heinous than having your wallet stolen, your home ravaged and your body bruised.

    The subordination of women should be criminalized.

    Coercive Control :4

    What is taken from the women whose stories I hear almost daily—and what some victims use violence to restore—is the capacity for independent decision making in the areas by which we distinguish adults from children and free citizens from indentured servants. Coercive control entails a malevolent course of conduct that subordinates women to an alien will by violating their physical integrity (domestic violence), denying them respect and autonomy (intimidation), depriving them of social connectedness (isolation), and appropriating or denying them access to the resources required for personhood and citizenship (control). Nothing men experience in the normal course of their everyday lives resembles this conspicuous form of subjugation.

    Some of the rights batterers deny to women are already protected in the public sphere, such as the rights to physical integrity and property. In these instances, law is challenged to extend protections to personal life. But most of the harms involved in coercive control are gender-specific infringements of adult autonomy that have no counterpart in public life and are currently invisible to the law. The combination of these big and little indignities best explains why women suffer and respond as they do in abusive relationships, including why so many women become entrapped, why some battered women kill their partners, why they themselves may be killed, or why they are prone to develop a range of psychosocial problems and exhibit behaviors or commit a range of acts that are contrary to their nature or to basic common sense or decency.

    Coercive Control by Evan Stark [Word Document] HTML

    Any Christian community which does not teach personal autonomy of wives is enabling coercive control, the infringement of basic human rights and the subordination of women. It is extremely difficult and humiliating for anyone to describe what it is like to be a victim of coercive control. However, it is evident in the readings of women on the internet that they are experiencing it. One women speaks of how difficult it is for her to kill her attitude of entitlement to make her own decisions about such things as cleaning the house and running errands.

    What is amazing is that her story is posted for everyone to read as if it were a noble thing instead of an infringement of basic human dignity. Could a man imagine submitting every action of his day within his own home to someone else for approval?

    Coercive Control: 3

    My goal in posting from Evan Stark's work is to show that any Christian community which encourages authority of male over female is directly feeding incidents of coercive control. Some may think that domination is a neutral and amoral action. However, Stark shows how domination deprives women of basic human rights through being controlled.

    It is not enough to combat the physical violence that is a concrete indication of control in some cases. It is the control itself that so deeply marks, deprives, and dehumanizes.

    I will post from this paper [HTML] by Evan Stark for a few days.

    Coercive control is a model of abuse that attempts to encompass the range of strategies employed to dominate individual women in personal life. Alternately referred to as coerced persuasion; conjugal, patriarchal or intimate terrorism; emotional or psychological abuse; indirect abuse; or emotional torture, it describes an ongoing pattern of sexual mastery by which abusive partners, almost exclusively males, interweave repeated physical abuse with three equally important tactics: intimidation, isolation, and control.

    The easiest way to understand coercive control is to contrast it to the widespread equation of partner abuse with “domestic violence.” Domestic violence laws and most research in the field take an incident-specific focus and weigh the severity of abuse by the level of force used or injury inflicted what I call a “calculus of harms.” In marked contrast, the coercive control model relies on evidence that most battered women who seek help experience coercion as “ongoing” rather than as merely “repeated” and that the main marker of these assaults is their frequency or even their “routine” nature rather than their severity, a fact that gives abuse a “cumulative” effect found in no other assault crime. Physical harm and psychological trauma remain important in the coercive control model. But its theory of harms replaces the violation of physical integrity with an emphasis on violations of “liberty” that entail the deprivation of rights and resources essential to personhood and citizenship. In this view, the psychological language of victimization and dependence is replaced by the political language of domination, resistance, and subordination. . In the coercive control model, what men do to women is less important than what they prevent women from doing for themselves. In the forensic context where I work, women’s right to use whatever means are available to liberate themselves from coercive control derives from the right afforded to all persons to free themselves from tyranny not from the proximate physical or psychological means used to do this

    The domestic violence model emphasizes the familial, cultural, interpersonal and psychological roots of abusive behavior. The coercive control model views the dynamics in abusive relationships from the vantage of the historical struggle for women’s liberation and men’s efforts to preserve their traditional privileges in personal life in the face of this struggle. The incredible strides women have made towards full equality, particularly since the l960’s, have been widely documented. These gains make it increasingly difficult for men to ensure women’s obedience and dependence through violence alone. In the face of this reality, millions of men have expanded their oppressive repertoire to include a range of constraints on women’s autonomy formerly imposed by law, religion, and women’s exclusion from the economic, cultural and political mainstream, in essence trying to construct a “patriarchy in miniature” in each individual relationship, the course of malevolent conduct known as coercive control. Although the aim of this conspicuous form of subjugation is to quash, offset or coopt women’s social gains (taking the money they earn, for instance), this strategy relies for success on the persistent inequalities based on sex that remain, including the huge gap in job opportunities and earnings that continues to advantage men.

    Coercive Control by Evan Stark

    Coercive Control cont.

    Hugo Schwyzer quotes from Coercive Control,
      Because women have such ready access to rights and resources in liberal democratic societies, it is widely assumed that if abusive relationships endure, it is because women choose to stay, a decision that seems counterintuitive for a reasonable person. The logical explanation is that women who make this choice are deficient psychologically or in some other respect. Yet researchers have failed to discover any psychological or background traits that predispose any substantial group of women to enter or remain in abusive relationships. Battered women do suffer disproportionately from a range of psychological and behavioral problems, including some, like substance abuse and depression, that increase their dependence and vulnerability to abuse and control. As we will see momentarily, however, these problems only become disproportionate in the context of ongoing abuse and so cannot be its cause
    Read the rest of his post. Incredibly a complementarian actually wrote the following to me very recently.

      When women stay in abusive situations, the reason is most likely psychological, not religious. For example, low self-esteem or fear of being alone.
    Stark continues,
      In fact, around 80% of battered women in intact couples leave the abusive man at least once. These separations appear to decrease the frequency of abuse, but not the probability that it will recur. Indeed, the risk of severe or fatal injury increases with separation. Almost half the males on death row for domestic homicide killed in retaliation for a wife or lover leaving them. As we’ve also seen, a majority of partner assaults occur while partners are separated. So common is what legal scholar Martha Mahoney calls “separation assault” that women who are separated are 3 times more likely to be victimized than divorced women and 25 times more likely to be hurt than married women.
    This information needs to be combined with the information from Lundy Bancroft that male entitlement is part of the abuse picture.

    In the comment zone of Schwyzer's post Richard adds quotes from Judith Lewis Herman’s book “Trauma and Recovery” (1992),

      So far, I haven’t read anything about the book that indicates that it’s truly groundbreaking. On another site, in fact, Evan Stark stated, “Others have said some of this before. But I think you’ll find, when you read the book, that it hasn’t been put together in this way before.”

      Indeed, the use of the phrase “coercive control” in the context of domestic violence prevention and intervention goes back at least as far as Judith Lewis Herman’s book “Trauma and Recovery” (1992). In the chapter simply titled “Captivity,” she wrote, “Prolonged, repeated trauma, by contrast, occurs only in circumstances of captivity. When the victim is free to escape, she will not be abused a second time; repeated trauma occurs only when the victim is a prisoner, unable to flee, and under the control of the perpetrator.”

      Herman added, “Political captivity is generally recognized, whereas the domestic captivity of women and children is often unseen.”

      Finally, she noted, “Captivity, which brings the victim into prolonged contact with the perpetrator, creates a special type of relationship, one of coercive control. This is equally true whether the victim is taken captive entirely by force, as in the case of prisoners and hostages, or by a combination of force, intimidation, and enticement, as in the case of religious cult members, battered women, and abused children. The psychological impact of subordination to coercive control may have many common features, whether that subordination occurs within the public sphere of politics or within the private sphere of sexual and domestic relations… In situations of captivity, the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim…”

      Thus, I’m looking into how Stark’s concept of “coercive control” is substantially different from Herman’s? In what way, if any, does his work even rely or build on Herman’s (and “others”)?

      I’m also intrigued by Stark’s suggestion that “coercive control” should be considered a “liberty” crime, since it is “designed to take away women’s freedom, autonomy, and dignity.”

      That is true, of course. But, in most societies, it’s not just a man, one man, that cripples and crushes a woman’s, one woman’s, capacity to make choices and act on them. Instead, an abused woman is also made unfree by “manhood” often as it has been socially constructed within the context of a still-patriarchal society.

      “In other words,” as wrote Nancy J. Hirschmann in a Frontiers article titled “Domestic Violence and the Theoretical Discourse of Freedom” (1996), “the ultimate barrier to women’s freedom is patriarchy, or the social, legal, and economic control that men are accorded over women; all other particular and specific barriers that individual women experience at any given time or place, in any given relationship, in any given experiential moment, can be understood only in this larger repressive context. Accordingly, battered women’s freedom is restricted by men’s violence and the sexist values that underpin and perpetuate it.

      Women’s freedom requires that this violence and its ideological supports be ended. As long as society does not recognize and support that goal, however, it is up to individual women to manage and cope in the best way they can. When looked at from this perspective, what may appear to be complicity, internalization of abuse, or even masochism may in reality be a form of resistance, management, or just plain survival…. But that does not mean she does not feel fear, that she wants or enjoys the beatings, or that she is free.”

      I wonder, of course, whether Stark also indicts patriarchy in his book and, if so, also makes recommendations for finally bringing it to justice.

      It has been widely known and discussed for decades now that batterers “develop an obsession when the victims try to leave” and “intensify physical violence and threats of homicide and suicide” (see, e.g., Subadra Marharja’s brief survey of research online titled “Violence in Marriage: Why Do Women Stay” [ca. 2000]). “Community response,” adds Marharja, “has been a major deterrent for many women to leave abusive relationships,” with the protective and legal systems being “largely responsible.”

      Therefore, what I hope Stark does is offer clear and compelling advice on how DV preventionists and interventionists can put way more of their money and long-term resources where their collective mouth is to further ensure that no abused woman is LEFT behind.

    Here is another powerful post. Stark's book generated a lot of discussion which I missed until now. Here is the conclusion,
      Of course, ultimately the only way to really eradicate domestic violence is to eradicate inequality between men and women. I firmly believe that oppressive violence is just a manifestation of oppression itself, and just one of many tools that a dominant class uses to keep an oppressed class under the boot. Note, I’m not saying that all intimate violence everywhere will disappear; there’s always going to be control freaks who flip out when they feel that their sexual partners are retaliating against their control. But the majority of male-on-female domestic violence comes from the fact that men have been socially conditioned to feel entitled to control over and subservience from women, and when they don’t get it, many of them flip out. Until that sense of entitlement is eradicated, we’re going to see this problem persist.
    There it is again. Male entitlement must be eradicated. It is time that Christians face this reality.

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    Coercive Control

    Coercive Control by Evan Stark,
      Despite its great achievements, the domestic violence revolution is stalled, Evan Stark argues, a provocative conclusion he documents by showing that interventions have failed to improve womens long-term safety in relationships or to hold perpetrators accountable. Stark traces this failure to a startling paradox, that the singular focus on violence against women masks an even more devastating reality.

      In millions of abusive relationships, men use a largely unidentified form of subjugation that more closely resembles kidnapping or indentured servitude than assault. He calls this pattern coercive control. Drawing on sources that range from FBI statistics and film to dozens of actual cases from his thirty years of experience as an award-winning researcher, advocate, and forensic expert, Stark shows in terrifying detail how men can use coercive control to extend their dominance over time and through social space in ways that subvert womens autonomy, isolate them, and infiltrate the most intimate corners of their lives.

      Against this backdrop, Stark analyzes the cases of three women tried for crimes committed in the context of abuse, showing that their reactions are only intelligible when they are reframed as victims of coercive control rather than as battered wives.

      The story of physical and sexual violence against women has been told often. But this is the first book to show that most abused women who seek help do so because their rights and liberties have been jeopardized, not because they have been injured. The coercive control model Stark develops resolves three of the most perplexing challenges posed by abuse: why these relationships endure, why abused women develop a profile of problems seen among no other group of assault victims, and why the legal system has failed to win them justice.

      Elevating coercive control from a second-class misdemeanor to a human rights violation, Stark explains why law, policy, and advocacy must shift its focus to emphasize how coercive control jeopardizes womens freedom in everyday life.

      Fiercely argued and eminently readable, Starks work is certain to breathe new life into the domestic violence revolution.


      "Evan Stark's brilliant book will transform our understanding of violence against women and place the anti-abuse campaign squarely in the center of the feminist revolution and the movement for universal human rights.

      In Stark's new paradigm, we see that physical violence is only the tip of an iceberg of intimidation, isolation, and deprivation of daily necessities that amounts to a denial to women of personhood and full citizenship. Every human rights theorist, advocate, and jurist needs to read this landmark volume and use it to reinvigorate the movement toward true equality for women. If every law enforcement officer, shelter provider, social worker, and legislator would also read the stories Stark tells about women's everyday struggles in hostage-like relationships, society's approach to the abuse of women would be immeasurably strengthened."-- Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women's Policy Research and the George Washington University

      "Evan Stark has written a momentous work conceptualizing abuse of women by their intimate partners as a major human rights violation. Dr. Stark has explicated the concrete deprivations and structural restraints which are the daily realities of women who have abusive intimate partners. He shows how these abuses create hostage-like living conditions and constrain women's ability to function as fully free citizens in society. Coercive Control is essential reading for everyone in the mental health and legal professions who treat and represent women. It will help us grasp the oppression suffered by women who may not have visible, physical injuries so that we may help them achieve safety and freedom."-- Marjory D. Fields, J.D., family law and human rights lawyer in private practice and retired Justice, New York State Supreme and Family Courts

      "Coercive Control is compelling in the way it frames woman-battering as a web of coercive controls and enforcement. Evan Stark provides a rich history of the refuge/shelter movement and a powerful critique of the criminal legal system. This pathbreaking exploration of the entrapment of women in intimate partnerships, with its important exploration of social context and critical focus on male social and economic privilege, is a must reada crucial addition to the literature."-- Barbara J. Hart, Senior Policy and Legal Advisor, Battered Women's Justice Project

    Anything that eprives women of personal autonomy is against basic human rights for women.

    Authority 7: one another

    In his letter Grudem remarks that "one another" in "submit to one another" means that some submit to others. Grudem writes,
      My argument for Ephesians 5:21 is that "being subject" to someone in the sense intended by Greek hypotassō is a one-directional activity. In that sense it is like the action of "killing one another" - in the nature of the action of killing, one person kills and the other is killed. The dead person does not rise from the dead after a few minutes and kill the other person, nor could every single person kill every single other person. Killing one another rather has the sense "some to others," in that some were killing others.
    I thought I would do a rough search in English for "one another" in the scriptures. I found the following,

    discuss with one another
    say to one another
    ask one another
    trample one another
    accept glory from one another
    stare at one another
    love one another
    degrading their bodies with one another
    inflamed with lust for one another
    devoted to one another
    honor one another
    livein harmony with one another
    pass judgement on one another
    accept one another
    instruct one another
    greet one another
    agree with one another
    encourage one another
    serve one another
    bear with one another
    be kind and compassionate with one another
    speak to another with psalms, etc.
    submit to one another
    in your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had
    forgive one another
    admonish one another
    hate one another
    spur one another on to love
    do not slander one another
    don't grumble against one another
    offer hospitality to one another
    clothe yourselves with humility toward one another
    have fellowship with one another
    lay down our lives for one another

    I do not see one instance in which one class of person is to follow these commands towards another class of person. I do not believe that Christians are broken into two classes, male and female, and female are to submit to male, and male are to have authority over female. That is the implication of the interpretation that some Christians are to submit to other Christians.Quite frankly, I don't see how Christianity would be a revolutionary religion if that were the case.

    The teaching to serve and offer hospitality to one another is surely that one person offers hospitality to another and later in return, the other offers hospitality. Each offers hospitality and service out of their ability to do so.

    Authority 6: returning to the evidence

    This is the evidence on αυθεντεω which Grudem discusses. There really isn't anything else.

    1. Scholia Graeca in Aeschylus, Eumenides 42a (first century B.C.): "The murderer, who had just committed an act of violence [authenteō ]," where authenteō (perfect participle) means "to commit violence" or "to murder."

    2. BGU 1208 (first century B.C.): "I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Calatytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour."

    3. Philodemus, Rhetorica II Fragmenta Libri [V] fr IV line 14 (first century BC): "These orators ... even fight with powerful ( authenteō ) lords." (This is a hypothetical reconstruction of a fragmentary text.)

    4. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos III.13 [#157] (second century A.D.): "Therefore, if Saturn alone takes planetary control of the soul and dominates (authenteō ) Mercury and the moon ..."

    What about this evidence? According to Grudem Linda Belleville quotes this evidence to prove that αυθεντεω means "misuse authority". Of course, it is the same evidence that Grudem and Kostenberger use to prove that αυθεντεω means to "exercise authority". I do not believe that the evidence supports either case.

    Grudem writes this about the first quote,
      But the first example should not be considered relevant for this discussion, since the comments on Aeschylus, Eumenides found in the Scholia Graeca are from a 10th century A.D. manuscript.21 Belleville gives the reader no indication of why she claims a date of "first century B.C." for this 10th century A.D. reference.
    The second quote is the one that is listed in the original study by Baldwin under "compel, to influence someone." and Grudem agrees with this assessment. Ev. Fem & Biblical Truth. page 677 - 680. According to Grudem other translators suggest "prevail" and mention that this is a hostile relationship involving insolence. The fact that Baldwin was able to find someone who would provide a translation with "exercise authority over" has no relevance whatsoever to the argument. As Grudem says, page 680, "The translation of this text is disputed."

    The third quote is from the Philodemus fragment. The problems with it are so manifold that I am surprised to find it quoted at all. It no longer exists except as a hand-made facsimile. The word authentein is reconstructed within this fragment. Grudem writes,
      In the third (the fragmentary manuscript), the meaning, "authoritative lords" makes good sense, and it would be impossible to demonstrate the meaning "lords who misuse authority." Baldwin's gives the translation, "those in authority."
    This is not valid information. In fact, there is no evidence that there is any word which can be translated as "lords" in this fragment. Baldwin quotes Hubbell's summary of what might be in this fragment if we knew what the words were. There is no translation and no paraphrase, only a condensed abstract of a general idea. Grudem cannot claim that this fragment has been translated because not enough of it remains.

    About the last reference Grudem writes,
      In the fourth example, Saturn rules or exercises authority over Mercury (the text is talking about the influence of the planets and no sense of "misuse authority" would be appropriate: Saturn does not "misuse its authority" over Mercury). Baldwin gives the translation, "Saturn ... dominates Mercury and the moon,"24 which is an appropriate way to speak of the relative influence of planets, but once again we find no meaning like "misuses its authority."
    While there are many later quotes which supply the meaning of dominate or control in a negative way, there is no actual proof of the meaning of this word apart from its use in astronomy. As far as I can see, one can only prove an amoral use of power such as dominate, for authentein. The truth is that I do not find any command in the Bible for men to behave like this in the church. I do not believe that this is intended to be the benign and appropriate exercise of the teaching gift.

    Clearly, in 1 Tim. 2 Paul instructs men not to fight with each other and women not to dominate. There does not seem to be any reference to men dominating in a positive way and thus exercising their authority. Nothing is said about this. Neither would we assume that because Paul does not instruct women not to fight, that they may fight.

    I do not believe that it is warranted to postulate a meaning of either "misuse authority" or "exercise authority"for authentein. It is time for those who think they know what this word means to acquire humility and admit that there is no evidence other than "use personal power to make something happen." Is that what Christian leaders are supposed to do? Show me the scripture for this.

    It is about time that 1 Tim. 2:12 be translated properly and that people stop talking about a women not "having teaching authority". Teaching is a gift and has authority if it is based on knowledge of the word. There is no other authority.

    Authority 6: trampling or loving one another

    There are two ways to write about reciprocity. If we love one another, then the person who loves can also be loved. If we kill one another, there is a group of people, within which some people kill other people, but no one person kills the same one who kills him or her.

    Two views of submit to one another, in the words of Wayne Grudem,

      Everyone agrees that allēlōn has a "reciprocal" meaning. The question is what specific kind of "reciprocal" meaning the term implies. Of course when a writer says that a group of people "love one another" or "care for one another" or, conversely, that a group of people "were killing one another" or that they "were trampling on one another," the meaning is always in some sense reciprocal, because in every case some in the group do something to others in the group. In that sense the meaning of "one another" is reciprocal - the group acts upon itself, in contrast to saying that the group "loves other people," or that the group "was killing other people."

      What Belleville fails to distinguish, however, is that sometimes everybody in the group does something to everybody else (loving one another, for example), and sometimes some people in the group do the action to others in the group (killing one another, when some are killing and others are being killed). In English we use "one another" for both senses, and we say they were "loving one another" or they were "killing one another." In Greek likewise, the term allēlōn can be used in both cases. The kind of activity involved determines the exact sense of reciprocal allēlōn that is intended.

      My argument for Ephesians 5:21 is that "being subject" to someone in the sense intended by Greek hypotassō is a one-directional activity. In that sense it is like the action of "killing one another" - in the nature of the action of killing, one person kills and the other is killed. The dead person does not rise from the dead after a few minutes and kill the other person, nor could every single person kill every single other person. Killing one another rather has the sense "some to others," in that some were killing others. Trampling on one another is a similar example: some trample on others, so the group can be said to be "trampling on one another." Waiting for one another when some people are late is the same idea: some wait, and some are waited for.

    Submitting to one another should be interpreted in the sense that people trample one another, not in the sense that people love one another.

      Belleville says she is unable to understand this distinction in meaning, and therefore she rejects it as a possibility. She says,

      Wayne Grudem's claim that allēlous ... in Ephesians 5:21 takes the "common" meaning "some to others" ... boggles the lexical imagination.... And how exactly Galatians 6:2 ("Carry each other's burdens"), 1 Corinthians 11:33 ("When you come together to eat, wait for each other"), and Revelation 6:4 ("To make the people [on earth] slay each other") support such a "common meaning" is likewise incomprehensible.14

      But is it really that difficult to understand that Paul in Galatians 6:2 did not want every single person in the churches of Galatia to carry every other person's burden (each person would be carrying hundreds of burdens!), but that he wanted some to help others as they had need? Is it really "incomprehensible" that in 1 Corinthians 11:33, Paul wanted some (who were on time) to wait for others (who were late), not that those who were late should wait for those who were on time? And is Belleville really unable to understand that in Revelation 6:4 some were killing and some were being killed (rather than the impossible idea that every single person was killing every single other person)? These are straightforward understandings of these passages. Belleville's only objection is to say that she finds them "incomprehensible."

      Now with respect to Ephesians 5:21, our conclusion is (1) that allēlōn often takes the sense of "some to others" within a group, when the activity described is by nature a one-directional activity, and (2) that hypotassō always indicates a one-directional submission to an authority. Therefore we do not need to invent a new, unprecedented meaning for hypotasso in Ephesians 5:21. It takes a common, ordinary meaning, "be subject to an authority," and allēlōn takes a common, ordinary meaning, "some (in the group) to others (in the group)."

    No reciprocity here. Apparently there is no situation in which I bear the burden of someone else, who bears my burden with me.

      To return to the original question, it is significant that Belleville has brought forth no counterexamples for this sense of hypotassō as one-directional submission to an authority.

    But Belleville's point is that Christianity introduces this concept of reciprocity. It is significant that there is no command in the Christian scriptures to use or have authority one over the other, except in an reciprocal situation.

    While one cannot prove reciprocity in submission from a direct quote, one can most certainly prove reciprocity in authority. Since the complementarians themselves set up an authority-submission paradigm, I would think that this would satisfy them as proof. 1 Cor. 7:3-5,

      The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5(C) Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again,(D) so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    Is someone going to say that this use of "one another" is not reciprocal? It is distressing to see how the reality of being male and female is warped by the eternal model of authority-submission. But it is doubly distressing to see how the scriptures are also misunderstood and misrepresented.

    If authority can be given mutually to each over other, then likewise submission. That is the mystery of Christianity. How sad to see this message is missed by some.

    Friday, October 05, 2007

    Authority 5: Chrysostom

    Homily 10 on Colossians by Chrysostom
      See how again he has exhorted to reciprocity. As in the other case he enjoins fear and love, so also does he here. For it is possible for one who loves even, to be bitter. What he says then is this. Fight not; for nothing is more bitter than this fighting, when it takes place on the part of the husband toward the wife. For the fightings which happen between beloved persons, these are bitter; and he shows that it arises from great bitterness, when, says he, any one is at variance with his own member. To love therefore is the husband's part, to yield pertains to the other side. If then each one contributes his own part, all stands firm. From being loved, the wife too becomes loving; and from her being submissive, the husband becomes yielding. And see how in nature also it has been so ordered, that the one should love, the other obey. For when the party governing loves the governed, then everything stands fast. Love from the governed is not so requisite, as from the governing towards the governed; for from the other obedience is due. For that the woman has beauty, and the man desire, shows nothing else than that for the sake of love it has been made so. Do not therefore, because your wife is subject to you, act the despot;(αυθεντεω) nor because your husband loves you, be thou puffed up. Let neither the husband's love elate the wife, nor the wife's subjection puff up the husband. For this cause has He subjected her to you, that she may be loved the more. For this cause He has made you to be loved, O wife, that you may easily bear your subjection. Fear not in being a subject; for subjection to one that loves you has no hardship. Fear not in loving, for you have her yielding. In no other way then could a bond have been. You have then thine authority of necessity, proceeding from nature; maintain also the bond that proceeds from love, for this allows the weaker to be endurable.
    I like the way Chrysostom created reciprocity. I would comment on this passage further but I haven't found the Greek text for this yet. Chrysostom carefully balances the power between husband and wife throughout. Its too bad reality isn't like this, but IMO he tried.

    This passage also indicates one example of how authentew can be used to mean "misuse of power." From what I have read the meaning of "use power over" is emerging for authentew. Not always in a negative sense, but still the use of power. I don't think men should use power over women, nor women over men.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Authority 4: The fragment's non-existence

    I was made aware recently that the Philodemus Fragment does not actually exist, although there is a hand-made copy of it. It is hard to see how this fragment could be called evidence for anything.

    However, I find that it is mentioned at least twice on the CBMW website. Wolters mentions it in A Semantic Study of authentes and its Derivatives,
      It is possible, however, that the text should read authent[ai]sin instead of authent[ou]sin, in which case we have a form not of the verb authentew, but of the noun authentes.64 If we do read the verb, then its meaning here, according to standard lexicographical reference works, is ‘rule’ or ‘have authority over’.65

      65 See S. Sudhaus (ed.), Philodemi Volumina Rhetorica (2 vols.; Leipzig: Teubner, 1896), II, p. 133, lines 12-15. The Herculaneum papyrus fragments in question (now known as P.Herc. 220) are no longer extant, although a hand-drawn copy was published in the nineteenth century. For an extensive bibliography on P.Herc. 220, see M. Gigante, Catalogo dei Papiri Ercolanesi (Naples: Bibliopolis, 1979), pp. 107-108. It is usually assigned to Book V of Philodemus’s Rhetorica, which is being prepared for publication by Matilde Ferrario of Milan; see her ‘Per una nuova edizione del quinto libro della “Retorica” di Filodemo’, in Proceedings of the XVIIIth International Congress of Papyrology, Athens, 25–31 May 1986 (2 vols.; Athens: Greek Papyrological Society, 1988), I, pp. 167-84. However, P.Herc. 220 has been tentatively referred to Book VII in T. Dorandi, ‘Per una ricomposizione dello scritto di Filodemo sulla Retorica’, ZPE 82 (1990), pp. 59-87 (85)
    There is no internal evidence which makes the meaning of authent[ai/ou]sin explicit and certainly Hubbell's translation for authent[ou]sin is "powerful" and not "exercise authority." Note that Wolters does not make this clear, but only says "then its meaning here, according to standard lexicographical reference works, is ‘rule’ or ‘have authority over’". This quote does not actually support any particular meaning at all, as far as I know, since too little of the fragment was ever available. This citation simply must be dropped from the debate - it cannot be used by either side.

    However, more has been written about this fragment. In An Open Letter to Egalitarians (Revised 2003): A Consideration of Linda Belleville's 2001 Response Grudem writes,
      In the third (the fragmentary manuscript), the meaning, "authoritative lords" makes good sense, and it would be impossible to demonstrate the meaning "lords who misuse authority." Baldwin's gives the translation, "those in authority."23
    Baldwin may have given the meaning "those in authority" but clearly Grudem has not yet understood that Baldwin misunderstood the translation. Quoting an error is unhelpful, but it seems that readers are willing to take Grudem's word that Baldwin's study has validity. "Authoritative lords" might make sense, if we knew the word was authentew and if we knew the word following was, in fact, "lords." I suspect that the fragment would sound just as good if we translated the word in many other ways. It is irritating to see the flawed study by Baldwin being quoted as evidence for anything. I would like to see something a little more scholarly.

    Grudem has an interesting point here,
      When I referred to the meaning "misuse authority" in my first article, I also used the term, "domineer" to speak of such misuse. This was because the word "domineer" means, "To rule over or control arbitrarily or arrogantly; tyrannize."25 But this English word "domineer" must be distinguished from the word "dominate," which has no connotation of misuse of authority, but just means, "To control, govern, or rule by superior authority or power."26 Because "domineer" (a negative term) and "dominate" (a neutral term) sound so much alike in English, perhaps it is misleading to use "domineer" to indicate a misuse or abuse of authority .
    Part of the difficulty is that there is no clear difference between "power" and "authority" in Greek. Possibly authentew could be translated as "dominate" in English and that would be acceptable to both sides. Complementarians would understand by it that a woman could not "govern by authority" , and egalitarians would understand that a woman could not "govern by power", because no one should "govern by power".

    I don't see any point in lobbying for any particular interpretation at this point, but as a translation "dominate" seems to be a good "neutral" candidate. Maybe I will see it differently later. The way it stands now, complementarians have their interpretation and it restricts women, egalitarians have theirs and it entails equity. If neither one can be proven then we are each responsible for behaving according to our conscience.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    The Doll House

    The dad, on the left, is making muffins and the mom, is eating oranges. Each child can have their own room full of furniture and a family. They pick the animals and decide who is who. They lay out the rooms and engage in activities, describing what the animals are doing. Sometimes we write a book about this. The kids love to make their own rooms.
    Click on the image to enlarge and see what utensils the dad is using to make muffins.