The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘femininity

Women in combat

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female soldierAl Mohler addresses the creeping normalization of women in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, contrary to Pentagon doctrine and – worse – contrary to every moral norm that ought to dictate such practice.  I do not know what is the situation in the British and European armed forces, but – as Dr Mohler points out – the whole thing reeks of moral and military folly.  It is not about courage, but a matter of right and wrong, of role and calling, of design and capacity, of God-ordained identity and purpose.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 20 August 2009 at 10:19

Calvinism and complementarianism

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Kevin DeYoung has an interesting post (generated by one from another blogger, I should add) about why so many New Calvinists are also complementarians, and rigorously so.  He suggests at least four reasons (summarised below) why they are so closely linked:

  1. Historically, opening the door to egalitarianism in one generation leads to bigger errors in the next.  It is a distinctly and definitely slippery slope.
  2. The role of men and women is a huge issue for our day. Gender issues are among the most significant in our day.
  3. Complementarianism tends to signify a number of other important convictions (he suggests that it usually ‘goes with’ inerrancy, penal substitution, and eternal punishment, for example).  In DeYoung’s opinion, a Calvinist complementarian is a pretty safe pair of theological hands.
  4. Practically, it is very difficult for groups and organizations and movements to make both complementarians and egalitarians happy.

These are interesting reasons, not least because we are accustomed to hearing the so-called New Calvinists banging on about the importance of distinguishing between doctrines held in the open hand and doctrines held in the closed fist (i.e. negotiable and non-negotiable matters).

Quite apart from the fact that not all “New Calvinists” are actually Calvinists (some are Amyraldians), I am left wondering who gets to determine the open hand – closed fist classification of any doctrinal matter.  Is it the loudest shouter, the most famous name, or the bloke with the biggest congregation (do downloads count)?  I find it vaguely amusing that we all like to think that we can determine what are the open and closed hand issues, and vaguely worrying that complementarianism is now identified as one of the latter, when so many important matters are – relatively speaking – dismissed as the former.

I am not suggesting that the roles of men and women are unimportant issues, but there are many doctrinal matters which are, historically considered, far more slippery in a slopewise fashion than complementarianism (one might mention antinomianism or unbalanced perspectives on the person and work of the Spirit, both of which seem to be moot points among “New Calvinists”).  Who decides that other issues are relatively unimportant?  I can think of a whole raft of theological positions which do and do not imply faithfulness in other areas, some much more and others much less.  Finally, it can be fairly tricky to keep any ‘organisation’ (one might mention the local church, for example) happy that has people in it at opposite ends of the spectrum on more significant issues.

So, a stimulating and useful post by Kevin, but one which raises more questions than it answers, and certainly demands that the same magnifying glass be employed on other equally-if-not-more-important issues.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 6 July 2009 at 15:29

Becoming and being a Christian

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Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 11 June 2009 at 15:30

Dullness and slowness

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I had a full day yesterday, and discovered myself a little under the weather in the course of it.  A dull brain that refused to accept the notion that I had made any preparation, a weary and slightly fevered body, and one or two other niggles made for a long day (and that’s just how I felt it to be).

We began with Sunday School, continuing our look at the roots of godly discipline of our children by putting the nature of liberty alongside the nature of a child.  Reasonably straightforward stuff, you might have thought.

The morning service kicked off badly when I discovered that my watch had finally packed up.  I discovered this when I realised that the minute hand was not moving, and that I was a couple of minutes late in starting.

These, I think, are the days when we are reminded of our own dispensability, and rejoice that the kingdom is not in our hands.  It never does depend on us, but how often those days come along when we are forcibly reminded of what a blessing that is.

I preached in the morning – with a fair lack of fluency – on Biblical manhood and womanhood, concentrating now on distinctive identity.  I reminded the congregation of the foundation of essential equality: created dignity, native depravity, and redemptive reality.  Upon this foundation we must understand that the man and women – created in God’s image – were nevertheless created male and female, with definite, defined and distinctive roles.  This identity is fundamental; our relationships are determinative; our behaviour flows appropriately from our distinctive identity in terms of a given relationship (e.g. family, church, society).  I highlighted some principles for men and women, deliberately giving the men the hardest time as those who are to be courageous leaders rather than irresponsible victims.  I confess that the absence of manly vigour among many Christian men and churches cuts me deep.  I had to set out these things more broadly than deeply, but sought also to root the recovery of our masculinity and femininity in the grace of Christ.  Only at the cross are those distinctive identities restored, for while sin dehumanises, grace rehumanises.

In the evening, I preached from Hebrews 13.5 on God himself our present help.  We began with the context of the promise, looking both at what lies on and beneath the surface of the exhortation to avoid covetousness and be content.  The assurance of the promise lies in the fact that God himself – the faithful, merciful, powerful, insightful, eternal God – speaks with all the reliability of divinity and the force of five negatives.  The history of the promise – the times and places in which God spoke these words before – reveals a fine pedigree, broad scope, and long proving of God’s faithfulness.  The substance of the promise is simply God’s presence and assistance: it is a covenant affirmation that we will ever be with us to help us.  The sweetness and sufficiency of the promise lie in its being anchored at the cross and meeting every possible circumstance that any child of God individually or all the people of God together might ever meet.  God has it covered!  Finally, there are the effects of the promise: faith, contentment, confidence, courage, and cheerfulness.

This morning I had some errands to run, and was running them at a speed commensurate with my still slightly-ropey condition: I needed replacement tyres (semi-slicks rather than off-road monsters) on my bike, and discovered simultaneously that my brakes had been set up badly, which explained something of my laborious efforts since I bought the thing!  I had been blaming the tyres and the baby-seat (or, more specifically, the growing child in it).  I also discovered that my watch is probably beyond repair, picked up a book from the Post Office that for some reason could not be delivered, and came home to a monster boxful of review copies that I need to start ploughing through.  Where do the days go?

Ah, well.  Onward and upward . . .

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 18 May 2009 at 15:00

“In Eden’s sinless garden”

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St. Alphege  7 6. 7 6

In Eden’s sinless garden
A man and woman stood,
Each crafted in God’s image,
And both entirely good.

The serpent entered Eden,
And entered both their hearts;
And neither did resist him,
Fell to his fiery darts.

So Adam’s abdication
Was punished by the Lord;
Eve’s insubordination
Jehovah much abhorred.

Then came the Second Adam
Into the wilderness.
Where Adam fell, he conquered,
Both to restore and bless.

He raises from the ruins
Of Eden’s shattered bliss,
And by his saving power
Does Satan’s blight dismiss.

True men, pursue with courage
Loving nobility;
True women, with true beauty,
Submissive dignity.

You sons of Adam, glory
That Jesus sets you free.
Eve’s daughters, bow before him,
Embrace your liberty.

©JRW

new-heaven-and-new-earth

See all hymns and psalms.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 27 April 2009 at 08:17

“A Good Start” by Spurgeon

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charles-haddon-spurgeon-4My father, who knows me to be something of a Spurgeon freak, returned from a recent holiday with a gift: a first 1898 printing (half-leather) of Charles Spurgeon’s A Good Start: A Book for Young Men and Women (published, clearly, after his death).  It has a preface by Sir George Williams, founder and president of the YMCA.  More than that, the book plate shows that it was actually presented to someone called Mr Kaufman by Williams himself on New Year’s Day, 1900.  What a pleasant way to begin a century!  What a pleasant way (for me) to get a book!

I had not come across this title before, but now discover that it has been reprinted.  I have read the first chapter so far, and it has warmed my heart.  I hope to reproduce chunks of the first chapter at least over the coming days, to whet the appetite somewhat.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 11 February 2009 at 09:27

“Womanly Dominion” competition and interviews

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To win one of two free copies of Mark Chanski’s book on Womanly Dominion, read to the bottom of the recent interview.  To find out more about the book, Pastor Chanski was recently interviewed by Chris Arnzen, the host of the Iron Sharpens Iron radio programme.   You can download/listen to that interview here.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 25 October 2008 at 11:24

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