FEMINISM IN THE REFORMED CHURCHES: 3. The Tactics, In Books
By Michael Spangler - Posted at The Daily Genevan:
This series seeks to expose the threat of feminism against the Reformed churches, and to call on the godly to wage war against it. We first met the leaders of the movement, then we considered the ungodly tactics they employ online. Now we will consider the tactics they use in books, specifically in two books, which we now summon as star witnesses in our case against the feminists: Rachel Miller’s Beyond Authority and Submission and Aimee Byrd’s freshly published Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. These books have already been ably reviewed at length by careful scholars (Miller’s here and here; Byrd’s here and here). In this article I underscore a few things those men have already said, with commentary of my own.
These two books sin against four great basic principles.
1. Against Honesty
The first sin is against the principle of honesty. This is committed, first, by misrepresenting history. Rachel Miller’s constant naming of the “Greeks, Romans, and Victorians” (47–75, and many other places) as enemies of biblical teaching on men and women is not only tiresome, but deceitful, in two respects. One, Christians should be, and have been, happy to find broad agreement with the consensus of the best pagan thought on many topics. Paul quotes Greek theological poetry in Acts 17:28, and appeals to common sense even in such a small matter as hair length in 1 Corinthians 11:14–15. That Greeks and Romans said something is no proof that it is wrong. The Bible does correct natural men where they err, and it alone reveals supernatural and saving mysteries, but it does not demean God’s image by suggesting that anything it says apart from Scripture is false (as Miller does, by constantly coupling “extrabiblical” and “unbiblical,” 14, 49, etc.). Two, her history leaves out the entire sweep of Christian history before the Victorians arose, conveniently ignoring the fact that Christian doctrine on these matters during that whole time was solidly and consistently patriarchal (e.g. read Chrysostom, then Aquinas, then Luther and Calvin, then Gouge), that the best Christians in the Victorian era stood for the same patriarchy of their fathers (e.g. Palmer and Warfield), and indeed that the Victorian era, insofar as it gave birth to modern feminism, actually departed from the consensus of classical and Christian antiquity. Is it not therefore the irony of ironies that Carl Trueman, who wrote the book against such biased history, nonetheless said of Miller’s book, “This is a refreshingly sane read”?