Monday, June 30, 2008

Emotional Abuse

You may wonder why I am linking to all the pages on abuse. I want to pick and choose a few responses. Here is an insightful response,
    As long as you remember that he's stating that he prefers emotional abuse to physical abuse, it all makes perfect sense - it just isn't actually very nice.

    He's not saying that women should be beaten just for the fun of it. He's saving that if a woman gets beaten, its her own fault because either she was disobedient and gave her husband no choice or she chose to marry a non-believer, and neither option is an acceptable choice for a woman.
That's it. The emotional abuse added on to the physical.

Gen. 3:16: Deep seated Misogyny

I don't know how else to describe this. Men and women who are taught these things are deeply scarred.

Ken Sande

    From the context of Genesis 3:1-13, where God is pronouncing curses rather than blessings, we can see that the desire mentioned here is not benevolent and healthy; rather it is a compelling urge to control, to dominate, and to master. That is the effect the Fall has had on wives -- the joy and blessing they would have derived from submission within the authority structure of marriage (established by God before the Fall; Gen. 2:18) has been replaced by an innate desire to control and dominate their husbands.

    This is why wives so easily chafe under authority, even when husbands exercise it in a legitimate way -- as a result of the Fall, submission has become distasteful, not just in marriage, but in all authority structures (just ask your children!). This is why Scripture repeatedly reminds and exhorts those under authority (citizens, members of churches, wives, and children) to overcome their tendency to rebel against it.

    Genesis 3:16 also teaches that the Fall has tarnished the husband's use of authority and the blessing he was meant to derive from it. Instead of the loving leadership contemplated in the creation design (see Gen. 2:18- 25), the husband would be inclined to shirk his responsibilities and abuse his authority.
Dennis Rainey
    Paul says the same to everyone. God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Your wife may be resisting you, fighting you, and spurning your attempts to lead, but it makes no difference. I believe our wives want us and need us to lead. You are not demanding this position; on the contrary, God placed you there. You will not lead her perfectly, but you must care for you wife and family by serving them with perseverance.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A complementarian Gen. 3:16

The theologians on teshuqa

Kostenberger, page 53-54, explains this word,
    Subsequent to the Fall the judgment pronounced on the woman included that her desire (t'shuqa) would be for her husband (Gen. 3:16), which in all likelihood conveys the woman's sinful desire to manipulate and control her husband rather than to lovingly submit to him. This is suggested by the close parallel in the following chapter, where it is said that sin's desire is for Cain, clearly in the sense of desire or mastery (gen. 4:7.)
Grudem writes,
    Susan Foh has effectively argued that the word translated "desire" (Heb. teshûqah) means "desire to conquer," and that it indicates Eve would have a wrongful desire to usurp authority over her husband. (Systematic Theology. page 464)
    The consequences of the fall affect us today. Women experience pain and sorrow n childbearing. Historically, they have sought to usurp male authority and leadership, only to be crushed and oppressed. Men in turn, have abused their God-given role and have been oppressive, domineering, unfair, and unloving. They have often wrongly pronounced women inferior. The modern feminist movement has risen in the past few decades to combat male chauvinism and domination. However, the principle of men ruling over women and women fighting back to overcome this rule cannot be broken by our own efforts. This is not something that has evolved historically and culturally. It is a principle deeply engraved into our sin nature. It is a direct result of the Fall and the judgment of God. Women, Creation and the Fall 28-30
Bruce Ware
    Sin introduced into God's created design many manifestations of disruption, among them a disruption in the proper role-relations between man and woman. As most complementarians understand it, Gen. 3:15-16 informs us that the male/female relationship would now, because of sin, be affected by mutual enmity. In particular, the woman would have a desire to usurp the authority given to man in creation, leading to man, for his part, ruling over woman in what can be either rightfully-corrective or wrongfully-abusive ways.

Touching Testimony

The storm of response to Bruce Ware's sermon has had some positive results. Here is a touching response.


I want to just say bullshit and write this off as another “me Tarzan, You Jane” sermon by a Neanderthal preacher.

But this type of thinking is all to common in Evangelical circles. In the Baptist circles I grew up in this was the predominant view. My wife was taught, as a pastor’s wife, her primary duty in life was to make sure everyone thought well of her husband. She even had a class in how to properly give a tea party. (no I am not kidding)

John R Rice was the predominant family guru and he advocated that women were best served by being at home, married, and pregnant.

My wife and I started married life with the John R Rice philosophy of family. I worked. She stayed at home and had babies. She did work for a time in the Church daycare or Christian School but those types of jobs didn’t count. (and she was paid like they didn’t count. The Church paid men more than women)

I was the head honcho, chief of the tribe, CEO of our family. I ruled the kingdom with a rod of iron. I made all the decisions.

And we had a lousy marriage.

It is a wonder we survived the first five years of marriage. I was (and can still be at times) pretty temperamental during the early years of our marriage. As the boss of the home I would draw a line and say ”this is it”. Inevitably ,my wife would cross that line and then the war would begin.

What was the root problem? Her unwillingness to “submit”?

Or perhaps I was the root problem. I was taught to be the “head of the home” and I was going to be the head no matter what. When my wife refused to comply with my lordship I would react angrily. Fortunately, I never physically beat my wife, but I sure made her pay in other ways.

Such is the fruit of the teaching that Bruce Ware espouses. I am sure I will be rejected as nothing more than an extreme case, but many years of pastoral ministry brought me into contact with hundreds of guys just like me. Poorly taught complementarians (though few would have known that label)who hurt their families and often destroyed their marriages.

Fortunately for my wife and I (and my children) I saw the error of my way. Time and study has brought me to the egalitarian position, and I have watched the liberating effects of it in the life of my wife, and my own life.

We are co-heirs of the mystery of life. We walk together, side by side. Truly equal in the eyes of God and I hope in the eyes of each other.

We still battle the after effects of the earlier years of our marriage. My wife still falls into a default mode that allows me to be the “decision maker.” Sometimes, I have to force her (by not making the decision) to make decisions for herself. Our marriage is still a work in progress. We will celebrate 30 years of marriage in a few weeks.

In his sermon mentioned above, Bruce Ware passes the buck.

  • If a man abuses his wife, often the cause is her unwillingness to submit
  • If the man says “yes dear” he is acquiescing to his wife and forsaking his responsibility to be the head of the home and thus is sinning against God
  • Egalitarians are to blame for this problem and the egalitarians are men pleasers and don’t fear God
  • Blame it on the feminists

Well Bruce, this Bruce thinks:

  • Men abuse their wives because they are sinners
  • Men abuse their wives because they are angry
  • Men abuse their wives because they are authoritarian control freaks
  • Men abuse their wives because they have been taught complentarianism, divorced from the teaching of loving their wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it. They are taught law rather than grace.

Several years ago our family attended a very conservative Reformed Church. Great pastor. The services were some of the best we ever attended. Several hundred people attended the Church.

We were accepted rather readily into the Church. We thought, “maybe this is the place where our journey ends. Maybe this will be our Church home.”

Things went along fairly well until one Sunday, in an after Church discussion, my wife mentioned to a group of Church women that she “worked outside the home.” Immediate silence!

From that moment forward we were treated like we had the plague. My wife was the only woman in the Church that worked outside the home. By her doing so she was sinning against God’s order for the family .Never mind her husband was sick and disabled. Sadly, we left this Church several months later.

In the mid 1990’s I pastored a Sovereign Grace Church that believed that women were to keep silence in the Church. Church business meetings were hilarious. If a woman wanted to ask a question she had to ask her husband who would then ask the question for her. At no time was the woman allowed to speak. Single women had to ask an older man to ask the question for her.

One family in the Church took this to the extreme (as if that wasn’t extreme enough) . The wife was converted during our time there.She desired to be baptized. One of our traditions was to have the baptism candidate give a testimony prior to baptism. Her husband refused to allow her to speak in Church so she couldn’t be baptized. This went on for weeks and then one day the wife came into my office crying and wanted to speak with me. She told me she really wanted to be baptized but didn’t know what to do. I told her this “your husband is standing between you and God, You need to disobey him and obediently follow the Lord in baptism.”

Needless to say I started World War lll. The wife was baptized and the husband got over it.

Such is the fruit of complentarianism when it is taken to the extreme. While I do not consider complentarianism sinful I have seen it used as a tool of abuse far too often.

Read the rest of this post . Thanks for writing this.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bruce Ware on Spousal Abuse

Oped News
Adirondack Musing
Internet Infidels
Huffington Post*
Dungeon Diary
Fort Worth Feminism
Writechic Press
Think Progress
Ruminations - Lutte contre l’injustice
Under Much Grace
Adventures in Mercy
Jim West
Very Important Stuff
aibhne's favorites
A wife's submission
Intellectuelle *
Baptists Today Blogs
Texas in Africa
Ministry of Reconciliation
World According to Bruce *
Yahoo Answers
To the ends of the earth
Equality Central *
Because it matters
A dinner at the end of time
Feminist Peace Network

* Recommended Reads (most of these are good, so I'll asterisk more later. Some are not as useful.)

Who is allowed to desire?

There has been some discussion of teshuqa or "desire" in Gen. 3:16 on Denny Burk's blog. I will not enter the fray there on that one. Mainline scholarship still assigns to it the meaning "desire." However, this is the way Kostenberger, page 53-54, explains this word,
    Subsequent to the Fall the judgment pronounced on the woman included that her desire (t'shuqa) would be for her husband (Gen. 3:16), which in all likelihood conveys the woman's sinful desire to manipulate and control her husband rather than to lovingly submit to him. This is suggested by the close parallel in the following chapter, where it is said that sin's desire is for Cain, clearly in the sense of desire or mastery (gen. 4:7.)

    In the third and only other instance of the term translated "desire" in these passages, Song of Solomon 7:10, the woman exclaims, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." Rather than the woman's desire being illegitimately to control her husband, a restoration of the original state is envisioned in which the husband's desire will be for his wife.
Actually, it is hard to make sense of this, but the implication seems to be that for a woman to desire her husband is manipulative control, but for a husband to desire his wife is a return to paradise. Since marriage, in the Eden state, is an authority-submission relationship, desire on the part of the wife is not in view.

This is a major textbook on marriage for complementarians. That's the problem. From other complementarian writing you get the impression that romantic love is quite important and even possibly a mutual affair.

On the next page, 55, Kostenberger contradicts himself, mercifully,
    Liberated from the self-centredness of sin and from the desire to manipulate one's spouse to have one's own needs met, the marriage partners are free to love their spouse in a spirit that is completely self-giving and hence able to love and enjoy the other person without fear of rejection, abuse, or domination.
Here Kostengerger writes in mutual terms of spouses, not the husband vs the wife, etc. He hits the nail on the head. Both spouses, wife and husband, want to be free from a fear of rejection or domination.

Bruce Ware and Kevin Giles

I think some of my readers will be interested in this conversation between Denny Burk and Scot Mcknight about how Ware uses the supposed "eternal subordination of the son" to argue for the "subordination of women." That was almost two years ago. Not much has changed.

Two other women bloggers have jumped in with their opinion on Ware's recent sermon - Molly and Cindy. Several other women that I know have jumped in to comment, but others have emailed that their comments are moderated out.

Here are other blogs which discuss Bruce Ware's sermon on the subordination of women. I also want to make it clear that I think that Ware is only saying out loud what many other complementarians have written.

Under Much Grace
Adventures in Mercy
Jim West
Very Important Stuff
aibhne's favorites
A wife's submission
Baptists Today Blogs

Friday, June 27, 2008

Imitation of Christ

Here are a few quotes that have stuck in my mind the last few months. In this passage, men and women both get to imitate Christ. Men imitate his headship of the church and women imitate his submission to the father.
    The husband is called to be the head of the wife in the same way that Christ is the head of the church. He imitates the headship of Jesus Christ. The wife is called to imitate the submission of Jesus Christ to the Father. Jesus Christ is so great that both a man and woman together are needed to display his glorious leadership and servanthood.
Here is Lig Duncan, as reported by Courtney Tartar, on a similar topic.
    Biblical manhood and womanhood must be rooted in the doctrine of the work and person of Christ. Therefore all women's ministry in the local church must rely on the doctrine of Christ. Jesus is the example of perfect submission. The work and submission of Christ radically reorients Christian service for Christian women because it is following in the footsteps of our Savior.
I know that Denny is moderating out some commenters but I don't know on what basis. You are welcome to comment here. Either way. Please be a kind to each other.


Here is more about Gen. 3:16 from Gender blog,
    In the curse pronounced by God upon the newly guilty Adam and Eve the distinctive nature of each part of the curse implies the need for men to protect women. The facet of the curse spoken to women includes vulnerability to the serpent, risk and pain in child-bearing and the spiritual danger of desiring to master her husband. Distinctively, the curse upon men includes difficulty in all matters of the earth, and in providing for oneself and family.
What think ye?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The cause of abuse

This is the core of complementarian teaching. This is foundational. Bruce Ware said these words,
    The very wise and good plan of God, of male headship, is sought to be overturned as women now, as sinners, want instead to have their way, instead of submitting to their husbands, to do what they would like to do, and seek to work to have their husbands fulfill their will, rather than serving them;

    and their husbands on their part, because they are sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is, of course, one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged, or more commonly by becoming passive, acquiescing and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and churches.
in a sermon at the Denton Bible Church, June 22, 2008. The teaching goes like this. God created marriage as an authority submission relationship. Eve's sin represents her rebellion against male authority. Eve rebels against her husband, and he responds by being abusive.

Marriage failure, for complementarians, is one of the two patterns, the wife rebels against submission and the husband is either abusive or passive in response. Note who sins first, who causes the mess in the first place. Christians should have nothing to do with this teaching. The doctrine of male headship as it is taught by complementarians like Dr. Ware, who summarizes the complementarian position for CBMW, is simply wrong. Why are we so hesitant to say this?

The discussion is continuing on Denny's Blog. Thanks Denny for keeping this open.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Authenteo: to lord it over someone harshly

I have been asked for occurrences of authenteo previous to the fourth century. This is the complete list of all occurrences of authenteo previous to the fourth century AD other than 1 Tim. 2:12.

( 1 cent. BCE) BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.”

This can also be translated as "prevailed on" or "compelled". The context was hostile.

(2nd century) Ptolemy Tetrabiblos "If Saturn alone is ruler of the body and dominates mercury and the moon."

(2nd cent. AD) Moeris, Attic Lexicon "to have independent jurisdiction"

(3 cent. AD) Hippolytus (d. AD 235) On the End of the World. De consummatione mundi, in Hippolyt's kleinere exegetische und homiletische Schrften, ed. H. Achelis in De griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller, 1.2 (Leipzig: Himrichs, 1897), 239-309.

Translation: my own [that is, Baldwin]
    Therefore, everyone will walk according to his won desire, and the children will lay hands upon their parents, a wife will hand over her own husband to death and a man his own wife to judgment as deserving to render account. Inhuman masters will have legal authority over their servants and servants shall put on an unruly disposition toward their masters.
Cited from Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. pages 680-682.

In an online edition of the church fathers this passage is translated as,
    Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters.
So clearly authenteo meant to "lord it over someone." And just in case that does not sound bad enough, the author has added "savagely." One can hardly argue that the connotation is not negative.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Response to the Open Letter

In 1998 Dr. Grudem wrote an Open Letter to Egalitarians. Mike Seaver of Role Calling has copied it onto his blog. I have asked if Mike would consider my response to this letter. Here is a copy of the original letter with responses by Linda Belleville and Dr. Grudem's rebuttal.

I would also like to make an attempt to put the answer to three of the points in this letter in a fairly simple form, and have people respond to this.

1 Kephale [head]

Dr. Grudem writes,

Specifically, we cannot find any text where person A is called the “head’’ of person or persons B, and is not in a position of authority over that person or persons.

One occurrence of kephale that Dr. Grudem often cites is,
    The King of Egypt is called "head" of the nation in Philo, Moses 2.30, "As the head is the ruling place in the living body, so Ptolemy became among kings."
The full citation for this is,
    the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings. Moses 2:30
Philadelphus is described as the head of all the kings, because he is the most illustrious. The kings, of whom Philadelphus was the "head," are the other kings in the family of the Ptolemies. This reference includes Ptolemy 1 Soter, who was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty and the father of Philadelphus.

Philadephus was, for two years, a co-regent with his father, but he was not the authority over his father. This passage also refers to the descendants of Philadelphus, who were kings and queens after him. The king of Egypt was not the "head of the nation" as Dr. Grudem cites, nor was he the authority over the kings that he was head of.

We can rightly say that,
    Person A, Philadelphus, was called the "head" of person B, Ptolemy Soter, and Philadelphus was not in a position of authority over his father, Ptolemy Soter.
2. Hupotasso - [to submit, yield]

Dr. Grudem writes,

Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where this word for “be subject to’’ (hypotassō, passive) is used to refer to one person in relation to another and does not include the idea of one-directional submission to the other person’s authority?

Here are two clear examples,

1 Clement 38.1:
    “So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject (ὑποτασσέσθω) to his neighbor, to the degree determined by his spiritual gift,”
2 Macc 13.23,
    ”[King Antiochus Eupator] got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded (ὑπετάγη) and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and showed generosity to the holy place.”
In the first case, Christians are to be subject to their neighbour, and in the second, the king is subject to his subjects.

We can rightly say that (hypotassō, passive) is used to refer to a Christian in relation to his or her neighbour and it does not include the idea of one-directional submission to that other person’s authority.

3. Authenteo - 1 Timothy 2:12 "to have authority" or "to dominate"

Dr. Grudem writes,

Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteō must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority." Whenever we have seen this verb occur, it takes a neutral sense, “have authority’’ or “exercise authority,’’ with no negative connotation attaching to the word itself.

It was originally thought that there were two occurrences of authenteo preceding the epistle to Timothy. Here is the first one,
    Philodemus (1st cent. BCE): “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”;
In fact, this is from a reconstructed fragment. The text cited is from a short summary of the reconstructed text. It is not a translation and there is no connection between the reconstructed phrase συν αυθεντ[ου]σιν and "those in authority." συν αυθεντ[ου]σιν occurs near the beginning of the fragment, and "those in authority" is at the end of the summary.

The only other occurrence of authenteo during this period is provided by Grudem as,
    BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.”
In fact, the translation "exercised authority over" is not the usual translation for authenteo in this citation. Other scholars suggest "prevail on" "compel" and "made him." In the footnote of Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, page 680, Dr. Grudem mentions that this letter refers to a "hostile" relationship, and the meaning "compel" seems appropriate. If it is a hostile relationship, then one presumes it has a negative connotation.

Here is a clearly negative use of the word authenteo from the 2nd/3rd century,
    Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters. Hippolytus, On the End of the World 7.
Clearly authenteō has an negative connotation. It is the way a master rules a slave. Is this the proper exercise of authority in the church? In fact, these are the only occurrences of the word authenteo from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century AD apart from its use in an astrology text.

We can rightly say that the word authenteo
has a negative connotation attaching to the word itself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

No, woman is not our brother

There may be much to criticize in the life of Simone de Beauvoir. That does not nullify her writings. Here is the Conclusion to her book The Second Sex. I have excerpted the beginning and end of this chapter,

      ‘NO, WOMAN is not our brother; through indolence and deceit we have made of her a being apart, unknown, having no weapon other than her sex, which not only means constant warfare but unfair warfare – adoring or hating, but never a straight friend, a being in a legion with esprit de corps and freemasonry – the defiant gestures of the eternal little slave.’

    Many men would still subscribe to these words of Laforgue; many think that there will always be ‘strife and dispute’, as Montaigne put it, and that fraternity will never be possible. The fact is that today neither men nor women are satisfied with each other. But the question is to know whether there is an original curse that condemns them to rend each other or whether the conflicts in which they are opposed merely mark a transitional moment in human history.


    To begin with, there will always be certain differences between man and woman; her eroticism, and therefore her sexual world, have a special form of their own and therefore cannot fail to engender a sensuality, a sensitivity, of a special nature. This means that her relations to her own body, to that of the male, to the child, will never be identical with those the male bears to his own body, to that of the female, and to the child; those who make much of ‘equality in difference’ could not with good grace refuse to grant me the possible existence of differences in equality.

    Then again, it is institutions that create uniformity. Young and pretty, the slaves of the harem are always the same in the sultan’s embrace; Christianity gave eroticism its savour of sin and legend when it endowed the human female with a soul; if society restores her sovereign individuality to woman, it will not thereby destroy the power of love’s embrace to move the heart.

    Then again, it is institutions that create uniformity. Young and pretty, the slaves of the harem are always the same in the sultan’s embrace; Christianity gave eroticism its savour of sin and legend when it endowed the human female with a soul; if society restores her sovereign individuality to woman, it will not thereby destroy the power of love’s embrace to move the heart.

    It is nonsense to assert that revelry, vice, ecstasy, passion, would become impossible if man and woman were equal in concrete matters; the contradictions that put the flesh in opposition to the spirit, the instant to time, the swoon of immanence to the challenge of transcendence, the absolute of pleasure to the nothingness of forgetting, will never be resolved; in sexuality will always be materialised the tension, the anguish, the joy, the frustration, and the triumph of existence.

    To emancipate woman is to refuse to confine her to the relations she bears to man, not to deny them to her; let her have her independent existence and she will continue none the less to exist for him also: mutually recognising each other as subject, each will yet remain for the other an other.

    The reciprocity of their relations will not do away with the miracles – desire, possession, love, dream, adventure – worked by the division of human beings into two separate categories; and the words that move us – giving, conquering, uniting – will not lose their meaning.

    On the contrary, when we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy that it implies, then the ‘division’ of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form. ‘The direct, natural, necessary relation of human creatures is the relation of man to woman,’ Marx has said. ‘The nature of this relation determines to what point man himself is to be considered as a generic being, as mankind; the relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human being. By it is shown, therefore, to what point the natural behaviour of man has become human or to what point the human being has become his natural being, to what point his human nature has become his nature.’

    The case could not be better stated. It is for man to establish the reign of liberty in the midst of the world of the given. To gain the supreme victory, it is necessary, for one thing, that by and through their natural differentiation men and women unequivocally affirm their brotherhood.

There is nothing in even this feminism of de Beauvoir about men and women being the same. Rather we see that men and women are equal in their relations to each other and that woman have the full rights of all humans. That women not exist within a caste system. If woman were welcomed as brother, then woman would be treated as an equal.

To call a woman a "brother" and to exclude her from the rights of being a "brother" by which I mean an "equal" is to nullify her existence, to make her contigent in every way on the male. Such is the condition of women in some churches.

Just as Christianity has been the friend of slavery and oppression, so has feminism been the friend of communism and many other constructs we now disapprove of. I hope people can read this and learn a little bit about the impact of words. This book is part of our intellectual history and illuminates the meaning of the word "brother" as an equal. Too bad some Christians have squandered their linguistic heritage and emptied the word of the meaning of equality.