Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Sydney Anglican at The Briefing gives Sandy Grant the marriage formula for female submission

Sandy Grant asks of those who express concern about Sydney Anglican headship and submission...If you were to become convinced that the NT teaches headship and submission (properly understood and safeguarded) as part of its overall teaching on marriage more broadly, would you accept that?

And this comment speaks for itself...
David Adams on 19 September, 2012 at 10:33 am said:

Whenever I read the observations of orthodox Protestant teachers on the question of gender, I become downhearted, and wish another communion was available to us—one that was not orthodox, and not liberal either. One of the most harmful problems in which our intellectual culture is involved is the failure to carry out a detailed investigation, through our studies of language, into the nature of sense. Because we have not done this, sometimes we ‘discover’ universal theological propositions in the biblical writings, imagining that they are plainly expressed, and that identifying them is simple, when we are merely imagining.

Sense can be found because it is represented explicitly, because it is available for deduction, or because it can be discovered by the evaluation of probabilities. The traditional Protestant view about gender is universal, that is to say it applies to all members of a class.

Universal sentences which can be true or false are unambiguously universal; they are in documents or passages whose explicitly delineated purpose is to communicate universal positions with respect to the theme dealt with, and they take forms like, ‘All X’s whatsoever are Y’s’. Otherwise sentences which can be true or false are indefinite, particular or singular.

In the biblical writings there is no unambiguously universal expression of the traditional Protestant view with respect to gender; the previously-mentioned conditions are not met anywhere in these writings; there is only language which is indefinite, particular, or singular. That means the traditional position must be inferred.

Inferences are of course either deductive, or probabilistic. In order for an inference to be deductive, a condition as broad as the ultimate conclusion must itself be used and met, as in, ‘All X’s whatsoever are Y’s; those objects over there, of which there are one million, are X’s; so they are all Y’s’. This means in order to deduce the traditional view about gender from the biblical writings, a universal condition must be identified in these writings, from which the conclusion may follow. This is an obvious requirement, because the interpretation is universal. However, there is no condition of that kind available.

Inferences which are probabilistic, and which lead to universal conclusions, are weak. They take the form of for example, ‘Many X’s are Y’s; therefore all X’s whatsoever are probably Y’s’. The method used here to reach the conclusion is justifiably open to the criticism that it simply does not do enough to establish its product, as an absolute. If the traditional Protestant view about gender is to be discovered by a proper language-analysis, this is the kind of analysis and interpretation which is necessary. For neither deduction nor the mere identification of a direct, universal expression of the traditional view is possible. And it will have to be freely admitted that the dogma is only established weakly, because of the vague relation between universal interpretation and the linguistic data from which it is drawn.

I think we will search without any success for a traditional Protestant theologian who accepts the old-fashioned position about women’s responsibilities, and who understands these things well, and takes them properly into account. How often are the considerations mentioned above ever raised intelligently and knowledgably, let alone dealt with adequately in the supposed demonstrations made of the traditional view? Yet we have little difficulty in finding teachers in our communions who despite this failing are quite happy to say that they know the traditional obligations according to which all women are meant to live ought to be met. Scholar after scholar merely takes the traditional dogma to be obvious, and offers exposition that other than with respect to grammar and semantics is almost entirely rhetorical, ie. that in important ways bears no resemblance at all to proper language-analysis.

Every time one of our leaders confidently expresses their views on this subject, the scorching words of Nietzsche, who was a philologist by profession, enter the mind: ‘How little Christianity educates the sense of honesty and justice can easily be seen from the writings of its scholars; they advance their conjectures as blandly as dogmas…the Bible is pricked and pulled apart, and the people formally inculcated in the art of reading badly’. Is it possible we might at some future time consider that a view which was mistakenly broad in the responsibilities allowed to women in families and Christian societies would be a hundred times less damaging to us than is the concrete fact that we are prepared to lay down universal rules with a deep practical effect, even though we do not establish them by proper textual analysis? Personally, I think the situation is hopeless.

What excuse have we for such behaviour? Only that we plainly do not realise our vague chat, where sentence-type is not identified, where the number of each sentence is not systematically established, and where the exact nature of the relation between data and interpretation is never revealed, is not a proper analyis, and thus establishes much less, interpretively speaking, than we believe.

Bill ... will our marriage be X so that it equals Y...or might it be X sometimes and then be Y sometimes.. Dunno Calam ...but I'm hoping our sex life adheres to the  formula Y=mc2
Obviously those Toongabbie women are well schooled in the fact that XX does not equal XY...and Y is greater than XXX....and any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more  interesting than any romance, however passionate.’

Gee Ennis ... does that include marriage rife with alcoholism and DV... I wonder if all them Toongabbie fellas are like Sandy says...and have a proper understanding of headship and submission ... but I've got to say them Toongabbie women are lucky to have David Adams on hand as a safeguard! No wonder same - sex marriage is such a problem for Sydney Anglicans... our chromosomes create an equal equation...and an equal equation is a threat to Sydney Anglican's mathematical social order.

1 comment:

  1. And didn't Sandy spit the dummy? He gets mighty riled up at them smart thinking fellas.

    I wasn't quite sure what he was getting at in his response, but I think it translates as: 'David, you're all hat and no cattle. Stop pickin the fly poop outta pepper. Haze thank he smart but nah...haze ignert. He ain't thanked but a minnit'n 'is laf.'