Here is a provocative paper by Tim Keller on women and ministry. I disagree with Keller's overall position. However, he makes a very interesting observation with respect to authority, which, I think deserves everyone's consideration. I have reproduced a section of Keller's paper, omitting a part of the passage from Lewis for brevity, but please read the full paper here,
- 2. Democracy is for society while rule-submission is for our spiritual lives.
Christians are for democracy because we believe in sin. Many folk believe in it for the opposite reason. Rousseau believed in democracy because he thought that people were so wise and good that no one is fit to be a slave. Of course, Christians wish for no one to be a slave, but we believe democracy is good because no one is fit to be a master!
Because of sin, people misuse absolute authority. Thus it is clear that monarchy, wise and good kings, would be a form of government that very much fits the Trinitarian pattern. God is a King, not a President, and our spiritual lives are based on monarchy. So why don’t we have Kings? The answer is that we have to abolish monarchy due to sin. We have to treat all people as equal.
C.S. Lewis explains the Christian view of equality:
- This introduces a view of equality rather different from that in which we have been trained. I do not think that equality is one of those things (like wisdom or joy) which are good simply in themselves and for their own sakes. I think it is in the same class as medicine, which is good because we are ill, or clothes which are good because we are no longer innocent. I don’t think the old authority of kings, priests, husbands, or fathers, and the old obedience of subjects, laymen, wives, and children was in itself a degrading or evil thing at all. I think it was intrinsically good and beautiful as the nakedness of Adam and Eve. It was rightly taken away because men became bad and abused it. To attempt to restore it now would be the same error as that of the Nudists. Legal and economic equality are absolutely necessary remedies for the Fall. and protection against cruelty.
- In summary, the pattern of rule-and-submission is greatly muted in society because of sin. People abuse authority, so politically, all authority must be elected authority—and all individuals must have access to places of authority.
Now let's look at why they advocate democracy as a political form of government. Lewis argues that it is for "protection against cruelty," and Keller says rule must be muted "because of sin." They agree that because of sin, there must be legal and economic equality and democratic rule.
However, Keller, and perhaps Lewis, in some of his writings, deny that the functioning of either the church and marriage require democracy. They either deny that cruelty happens in marriage or they do not feel that the suffering of women is, on balance, as important as upholding male authority.
My question is, if we know that democracy is for protection against cruelty, why will many Christian men advocate for democracy in society but not offer it to women in the home.Note that for Keller, because of abuse, "all individuals must have access to authority" - all individuals, excepting women. Men like Keller, Driscoll, Mahaney and Warren want to live in a democracy themselves, but not offer democracy to their neighbour.