thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

may 16 podcast

Join me this week for part five of my interview with Dr. Cindy Kunsman on the topic of spiritual abuse. In this segment, Cindy shares the story of her recent experience following a presentation on patriarchy and patriocentricity she made at a seminary.  This podcast is very important for two reasons.  First, it clearly demonstrates many of the tactics of spiritual abuse that Cindy has been showing us during the past month.  But, more importantly, it addresses an issue that ought to be troubling to anyone who is concerned about upholding the integrity of the Scriptures. At the core of this controversy is the doctrine of the trinity and how it is being altered by conservative Christian leaders in order to support their views of patriarchy within the gender debate in the church.  I hope you will be listening to this week’s presentation and again next week as we conclude this important series.

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9 Comments»

  Beatrice wrote @

THANK YOU (both of you)

These have been a huge resource …

  thatmom wrote @

Beatrice, thanks for the kind words. This Friday Cindy will bring us the conclusion to this story, identifying for us the spiritual abuses of her recent situation. In listening to it again over the weekend, mu husband and I kept saying that this is a story that must be told far and wide because conservative Christians need to see how far people are willing to go to change orthodox doctrine to their own ends. Stay tuned….

  Cindy K wrote @

Karen,

Speaking of your husband and your discussion of this business — I can hear him laughing in the background in the podcast!!!

I’m amazed at that podcast, as I felt very uneasy about it — though I stammer around far beyond my level of comfort, I’m amazed that it turned into a useable podcast, and two at that! I really just don’t like talking about it as the experience is very fresh and personal. I was deeply disappointed by someone I have grown to love as a friend and beyond our fellowship in Christ. As a Christian, I also feel betrayed by accomplished brethren whom I do respect for their training and expertise’, but there is no way that I can find to reckon these odd doctrines with the respect that is otherwise due to them. It’s also troubling to recognize how so few people recognize or are willing to examine these inherent and subtle problems in these novel teachings on the Trinity. This gender business has become such a very uncomfortable and messy matter, and it is stressful for me to discuss, especially given that it has become so personal for me.

My abundant thanks to you and Clay for your work in editing, as I know we had some technical problems that we didn’t have the first time through and I added technical problems by stammering around. I’m glad you included that laughter, however. It lightened my heart!

  Cindy K wrote @

Also,

1. Cheryl Schatz posted a recent update about the Trinity video on http://www.strivetoenter.com/wim. She projects that it will be sent for duplication in September, so hopefully by then, her contributions to revealing these deceptions will be readily available.

2. What I wish I had stated a bit better about hermeneutics. As Christians (sola scriptura or not), we believe that the Word of God is inspired and true, so it is it’s own, valid interpreter. As part of the logic in evaluating what certain passages mean, because we know that the truth conveyed cannot be contradictory (though can be paradoxical…), we compare passages with other passages to help us discern that truth with as much clarity as we can. I believe that it is also appropriate to use valid information from our own environment to support and demonstrate the truth that we find in Scripture. One of the cardinal rules that we should follow, according to grammatico-historical hermeneutics, is:
We are to employ passages in Scripture that are more clear on a particular subject to interpret those that are less clear, never vice versa.

I think that I did communicate that well enough, though I like this clearer statement a bit better. This is the concept that I intended to convey and what I alluded to in the podcast.

  Don wrote @

I was under the ministry of Bruce Ware for five years. I was one of his students at SBTS, and I was one of his flock at CBC. Therefore, I know very well what Bruce Ware believes about the doctrine of the Trinity. I have heard him speak about this subject several times. Unfortunately, I believe that your guest misrepresented Dr. Ware’s position on this matter. Dr. Ware believes that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equal in essence. That is, all three Persons of the Godhead are fully and equally God, but they have different roles as they deal with humanity. Therefore, the Father sends the Son to the earth in order to redeem fallen humanity. The Son willingly submits to to the will of Father, and the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son. Dr. Ware appeals to the doctrine of the Trinity in the gender debate, because egalitarians believe that equality in essence must assume sameness in roles. That is, they believe that, since men and women were both made in the image of God (a true statement), then they should have the same roles in the church and in the home (a false statement). Equality in dignity does not mean sameness in roles. Men and women are both made in the image of God, but, according to the rest of the Bible, it is proper and godly that they express their imageness in different roles within the family and the church. This is my understanding of what Bruce Ware believes.

Don

  Cindy K wrote @

Don,

You’ve completely ignored the main issue: that Bruce Ware argues that Jesus essentially argues that Jesus has less authority than the Father, so much so that Jesus does not have the authority to hear or answer prayer. All Jesus can do is deliver prayer to the Father.

Along with others, I find it illogical for Ware to say that the Father has “ultimate” or “supreme” authority in the Trinity then deny that this means that the Father has more authority or the Son has less authority. That is what he is saying and then wants to play games of semantics to claim this is not what he means. If Jesus cannot hear or answer prayer, then Jesus has less authority than the Father. Period.

I’m not mensa or anything, but I’m not so stupid as to understand that if someone has something that is “ultimate” and that someone or something ranks below that ultimate, then that means that those who do not have ultimate have less. For Bruce Ware to deny this is a deceptive game.

This has nothing to do with, in my mind, whether Jesus was the Eternal Son of the Father. He certainly was the Eternal Son of the Father, but that does not necessitate that this lesser authority that Jesus empties himself of as described in Philippians chapter 2 was eternal. (Why the emptying then?) I strongly oppose Dr. Ware’s interpretation of what the Eternal Sonship means and what it entails, based upon Scripture. I typically use Philippians 2 when witnessing to JWs, and I would not have a leg to stand on with Ware’s Jesus. In terms of Authority only, Ware’s Jesus differs little from a JW Jesus.

I would also like to state that I was quite encouraged to find Kevin Giles book about a month after I read Bruce Ware’s book. Giles elucidates, with all the expertise of the seminary professor that he is, what I could not. So I was quite blessed to find his writings (on an Amazon search) because they explained in depth what I had already discerned myself but with greater clarity and understanding. Giles provided me additional language to be able to articulate the problems with Ware’s Jesus.

In general, the Doctrine of Subordination maintains that Jesus is of lesser essence than God the Father, but specifically Bruce Ware argues that Jesus is of lesser AUTHORITY than the Father. He CLAIMS that this is not an essence issue, and that is a legimate argument. I did not ever say that Bruce Ware denies that Jesus was of lesser essence than the Father. But his games of semantics, whether he denies it or not, effectively teach that Jesus has less authority. It differs only partially from Arius but falls into the same problems as Arius. Ware also has a social trinitarian view, and a problem iwith this view is a predisposition to this type of problem, according to experts on theories of Trinity. Moreland and Craig is particularly good, IMO.

So I have not misprepresented Bruce Ware at all but have voiced what I believe (and others like Giles and Cheryl Schatz and Cary) that Ware is playing dangerous games with Authority.

I would also add that I have discussed this at great length via phone and email with another apologist who has years of experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses who engaged in fairly extensive correspondence directly with Dr. Ware. When she pressed him on these more central issues, he refused contact with her and said condescendingly that he would pray for her soul. (He didn’t agree to disagree or anything but treated her like a publican.) But I ran all my material by her before I presented it and reviewed it all afterward, and based on her extensive clarifications privately with Bruce Ware, I did not misrepresent him in any way.

I recently heard from a member of the Louisville press who said that he discussed this issue with Ware. Apparently, he was more concerned that I so closely aligned him with the neo-Confederates and the stranger views of the patriarchy movement than he was about my summary of his views, though he detests the Subordination assessment and believes it untrue. After reading Giles’ thesis on the subject, I am only more convinced than I already was that Ware is playing word games with good, earnest people.

Prior to being disavowed by the apologetics organization, after reviewing some of the correspondence between the aforementioned apologist and Dr. Ware, it was determined that I had not misrepresented his views. A week after the conference, I was told that it was not necessary for me to contact anyone to clarify or apologize for anything — that I had accurately understood the issue.

Just wanted to clarify that I didn’t research this issue and present it for peer review before making such statements.

  Cindy K wrote @

OOps’

Just wanted to clarify that I didn’t just research this issue on my own and draw my own conclusions without presenting it to many others for peer review.

Karen mentioned on the podcast that I did go above and beyond to ensure that I had been peer reviewed prior to the workshop.

Prior to the presentations, I heard from two experts with doctorates in theology who discerned that my thesis and presentation, specifically concerning Giles and Ware was accurate and sound.

  Cindy K wrote @

Boy, I’m in fine shape this morning. Sorry about messing up that code above…

I have another question about Dr. Ware to offer for consideration.

In the first chapter of “Jesus and the Father” by Giles, he says that those who argue for the supremacy and ultimacy in the Trinity (wherein Christ has lesser authority) refuse to debate the issue in an open forum. Without pulling out the book, I believe that Bruce Ware is mentioned by name in that section (near the end of the first chapter), if memory serves me. I have also, when challenged to a closed door session alone with Dr. Ware wherein I would not be permitted to have any references with me. When I offered to participate in an open forum, round table session instead, this was declined by a third party.

If Dr. Ware’s views are so water-tight and cogent, why does he not want to participate in any open discussions with others who hold opposing views about his novel interpretation of Eternal Sonship? If anyone knows that he has and there are any kind of audio or transcripts, I would love to see them and actually have a duty to review them. Please contact me at UnderMuchGrace@gmail.com with the information, or present it here (an open forum).

  Cindy K wrote @

Alright, I apologize ahead of time for omiting half sentences like I did again in the previous post… My right eye is swollen shut in protest of tree pollen and it’s painful to open my left one! Needless to say, I’m a bit foggy.

Don,

You also mention above that Dr Ware appeals to the Trinity because he or you or whoever believes “egalitarians believe that equality in essence must assume sameness in roles.”

I grew up in a mostly egalitarian denomination. I never heard anything remotely like this. No one argues that men and women have different roles and or that the difference in roles argues that they are not equal before God. Men are clearly men and women are clearly women, but egalitarians do not put restrictions on women as teachers and elders. Plain and simple — they allow women that liberty but it has nothing to do with essence but upon a different interpretation of NT Scripture. And I’ve heard Ware do this in nearly every audio on CBMW. He lumps Gloria Steinem types and supposed Christians who pray to Sophia (like they did at a Methodist gathering years ago) in with every other Christian (who staunchly denies liberal feminism and praying to anyone but YHWH God) who believes that women can teach or be pastors/elders. Actually, many denominations will ordain women but then not give them senior pastoral roles. Anyway, Ware lumps all these together and then says people like those in the Assemblies of God or the Church of God want to make all God references in the Word gender neutral by classifying all these egalitarians improperly in one group with radical feminists. That is WRONG. I know that he teaches this, and most AoG folks would burn at the stake before they’d let anyone alter the KJV or call God gender neutral.

The truth of the matter is that no one talked about “roles” or joined that up with “equality” until the seventies, and it came out of the hard complementarian camps. But then, Bruce Ware can say that woman is the indirect image of God then claim that this means she is equal with man. Then they argue that her roles are different but not lesser, just like her essence. So who is it that first started comparing roles and equality? It didn’t come out of the egalitarian camps but out of the hard complemenarian camps.

Herein lies the problem: Bruce Ware cannot separate his views on gender from his views on the Trinity. So as he says “looking though trinitarian lenses,” everything he sees must fall within his paradigm. He would likely say that the egalitarian, by saying that the egalitarian who does not distinguish authority from role, rejects the Trinity. And they dont. Gender does relate to the identity of God, but the issues arise from how that is interpreted and “fleshed” out.

But what I hear Ware say about the hows and whys and whats about egalitarians don’t apply remotely to the egalitarianism in the Assemblies of God. (And remember, I no longer follow that theology, but I am very well versed in it.)

He makes some of the worst “post hoc ergo propter hoc” errors that I have ever heard. I mean, it’s worse than some of the research errors that I’ve seen in science. He is also very guilty of inappropriate scapegoating and inappropriate steriotyping.

I recently watched an unrelated video on YouTube in which Ware was discussing libertarianism and reformed theology. He did the same lumping together of inappriopriate groups that he does in the gender debate. Again, most of his argument was based on a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. It doesn’t fit his “trinitarian paradigm” so anything that falls outside of his understanding is arminian and wrong?

I believe that he is wrong. What troubles me is how no one is permitted to disagree with him and those who do are cut off like publicans. It also troubles me that he will not venture out beyond the protection of the SBC into forums with other Christians who hold opposing views. If Dr. Ware wants to demonstrate that this is not the case, he could assuage these doubts by participating in some round -table symposiums with men like Giles to show himself accountable to the whole body of Christ on these matters. But from these matters so far, it seems that he chooses either to respond in an authoritarian manner or by declaring his opponents to be publicans. If his primary Christian motivation is love, why not engage in open debate to share the truth with his fellow Christians in a transparent way, defending his postitions in meekness and patience? But that’s not what I know him to do. The SBC attempted to silence me with a heavy hand, and Ware essentially esteemed my apologist friend as subChristian. What does that communicate to the rest of the Body? Or don’t Evangelical Christians outside of the SBC or Reformed Theology deserve any consideration?

And this is not elitist?


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