The Trinity and Women’s Issues

It has been argued by many orthodox theologians that the Trinity provides a model for certain male-female relations. The way it goes is something like this: The Father and the Son are coeternal, coequal, and the same in essence. There is absolutely no inferiority of essence when it comes to the Son. The Son is not one whit less God than the Father. Yet there is a taxis (Greek word for “order,” not American word for slaves (tyrants?) of the road) in the Trinity. There is an eternal order. The Son is eternally begotten from the Father, who is the eternal Begettor. They are of one will, and so their actions always coincide. But there was a fitness in the Son coming to earth. Since He was eternally begotten from the Father, He would also be temporally begotten in time of Mary.

The analogy then goes like this: women are not one whit inferior to men in any way (although it is usually acknowledged that the average man is physically stronger than the average woman). In essence, they are not less human than men. They are not mentally, spiritually, logically, or emotionally inferior to men. Furthermore, there is no taxis in general between men and women except in two cases: marriage and the church. There, the Bible says that man is the head of the wife, with regard to marriage. In the church, men are to lead. This is what the Bible says, culture notwithstanding. Is it possible that there can be a situation in which two people are completely equal in essence, but differ in taxis? That it happens in the Trinity is proof that a difference in taxis does not in any way imply inferiority in essence. Feminists insist so strongly on the opposite of what I have here asserted that it bears repeating: taxis in the Trinity implies that there can be taxis among humans without implying anything about inferiority in essence. This is one reason why feminists have reinterpreted the church’s doctrine of the Trinity so as to erase any and all differences between the Son and the Father. This is evident in the work of feminist theologians Catherine Mowry LaCugna, Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, Jurgen Moltmann, and his wife Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel. I would argue strongly that the Trinity as properly interpreted gives us an avenue forward in this debate. Women, would it be a dishonor to you to be placed in this analogy (only) in the place of Jesus Christ? I would hope not, just as placing a husband in the place of the Father in the analogy (only) does not give husbands any leave whatsoever to abuse this position.                                                                          

Difficult Passages in Scripture, part 3.2- Genesis 1 and the Creation Days

We continue our discussion of the creation days in Genesis by looking at the Day-Age view. This view, briefly stated, asserts that the word “yom” (“day”) in Hebrew can mean more things than a 24-hour period of time. They point to such expressions as “Day of the Lord.” Furthermore, they base their argument heavily on the purported old age of the earth. Since the earth is obviously much older than 6,000-12,000 years old, then we must interpret the Bible in such a way that harmony can exist between natural revelation and special revelation.

It must be admitted at once that the word “yom” can indeed mean more things than a 24-hour period of time. However, that is not really the question. The question is, “What meaning of ‘yom’ does Genesis 1 evince?” Day-Age advocates often seem to think that their job is done when they prove that “yom” can mean something other than a 24-hour period of time. However, proving that it is possible, and proving that it is are two different things. TWOT is the only lexicon that argues for a meaning other than 24-hour day here. That leaves NIDOTTE, KB, BDB, and TDOT, who say otherwise, as does ISBE I, pg 877, IDB, and most commentators (except for Waltke, Young, Collins, Augustine, and a few others) to say that “yom” means 24 hours in Genesis 1:5.

The main criticism that I have with the Day-Age view is that they cannot seem to avoid using science to trump interpretation of the text. This was utterly obvious in the book The Genesis Debate, where Archer and Ross did almost zero exegesis, and wrote almost entirely about science. But science cannot prove anything. At most, it can theorize. Furthermore, as I indicated in one of my comments on the Hubble entry, scientific evidence is also ambiguous. There is no proof that the world is old, since there are no eye-witnesses except God, and He seems to think in the other direction, in my opinion.