Forgiving Pete

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197 Responses

  1. Bob Sweat says:

    Google Ty Cobb, then compare Pete’s wrong with Cobb’s.

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    Fascinating analogy…

    Here is another

    American Christianity is a free market phenomenon in a civil liberty country

    If Baseball were the same he would be restored

    If American Christianity were hierarchical like you preach against then preachers would remain in preacher purgatory until death.

    Restore Pete, Ban Steroiders Dread

  3. DavidM says:

    He should be voted in to the HoF on the basis of his PLAY ON THE FIELD. Ban him from baseball but put him into the Hall of Fame. There are steroid users on the ballot but no Pete Rose?

  4. Babylon's Dread says:


    I agree, to my knowledge there is no real evidence that Pete manipulated the game, there is nothing but evidence that steroid users manipulated the game. What they really did was cause us to lose interest in the legendary status of Baseball.

    Every fan knew the treasured numbers that captured our imagination in baseball. No those numbers have been exaggerated and hardly anyone can cite them.

    I still think the 60/61 debate on HR in a season is the real standard. Those other guys are thieves robbers and liars. They got their money. They have their reward. Forget them.

    Pete’s ban is more because Pete is incurably unsavory. He is a bum, but a hall of fame bum.

    But wait, isn’t this about preachers?

  5. Michael says:

    You folks are basically making my point for me and I appreciate that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would put him in the Hall with an asterisk…and I would judge the worthiness of a Barry Bonds based on the years before his head was the size of a beach ball…

    There are many things that can damage the integrity of an institution…

  6. Andrew says:

    I think Pete will eventually be put in the Hall of Fame but not while he is living. Comparing this to the church, I don’t think we should have living legends or heroes of the faith still alive. My opinion is we should let a few years pass after the death of a famous pastor, missionary or christian before we write the history of their life. Too often a hagiography is written by the fanatical followers.

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    Pete is still betting on baseball. Admitted it to the new commissioner. When trying to be reinstated to a game from which you were banned for gambling, the only acceptable answer to the question, “are you still betting on baseball?”, would be “No.”
    Pete said yes, and sealed his fate rather quickly.

    The MLB is the only villain to blame in the steroid scandals. They invited it. They turned their heads. They didn’t even have rules against it. Then, when it gets out of hand, they want to point the finger at the very players they encouraged to use. I stopped paying attention then, about 10 years ago.

    No one is, or should be, banned from ministry in the Church. All ministers, every congregation, and ever member should use the good sense that God has given them to decide who should or should not be a pastor. Not a list of rules or qualifications, though those should inform each conscious.

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Too often a hagiography is written by the fanatical followers.”

    True, my favorite author, John Phillips, wrote the biography of his mentor Steven F. Olford. To say it is embarrassingly complimentary would be an understatement.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes !!!!
    Mark D
    Ted H
    Todd B
    etc etc

    They are all marked.
    So is the church.

    Asterisk Dread

  10. Michael says:

    Todd B is a steaming pile of bull stuff and that’s the only field he should be found in.

    Driscoll is an abusive creep.

    Once again, “success” cannot be the measure.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:


    To be clear … I would not restore …
    Driscoll because he has not repented
    Bentley because he has not repented

    I did advocate restoration for…
    Ted because he repented, cleaned up his mess as much as he could, maintained his family and revealed rather than covered the extent of his sin.

    So as you know I advocate restoration but not unilaterally
    I simply acknowledge that no apparatus exists to manage this
    We continue to live as orphans in a church with no lasting authority apparatus.

    The legacy of reformation is deformation …

    Still, the article was a masterful approach.

  12. Kevin H says:

    The very first baseball game I went to was in 1983 as a seven year old. The Phillies were playing the Expos. The game went into extra innings and in the eleventh inning it started raining. As the rain picked up, the game had reached the bottom of the eleventh and the Phillies had two men on base with two outs and one Peter Edward Rose at the plate with a 1-2 count. One more pitch and one of my already childhood heroes could deliver the game winning hit. Instead, the umpires decided to call the game at that point. It never stopped raining and the game was postponed and it never counted. (Unlike today where they would pick up the game from that point at a later date, the rules back then dictated that the entire game be replayed.)

    I was deprived of the potential great joy it would have brought to experience Pete Rose getting the game winning hit at my very first baseball game. I still find it hard to forgive those umpires for not having the patience to at least let Pete finish his at bat. Even if I ever truly forgive (which I should be able to do over something that really is a trivial thing), I will still never forget what happened that day.

    There is no problem in forgiving Pete Rose. That does not mean we forget what he did and/or continues to do – posing as a significant danger to the integrity of the game, apologizing and admitting to wrongdoing only when it seemingly benefitted himself to do so, still refusing to come completely clean, still continuing in behavior that could be a harbinger of things to come (still gambling including on baseball). I think baseball should find ways to let him back in the community of the game – allowing him to be voted on the Hall of Fame, attending ceremonies and celebrations, etc. But he should not be allowed back in the pulpit, err, I mean the employ of baseball.

    That baseball game I attended never counted. But what Pete did in his life counted. Add in his continued behavior which has never been fully repentant or reformed and these things should not allow Pete back in the pulpit. Darn, I did it again. I mean, a position of influence in baseball.

  13. Michael says:

    Kevin H should do a regular column here…that was gold.

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think steroids are that big of a deal. It may help you heal a little faster, but for Barry Bonds to hit homers, ya still gotta hit da ball first.

    I could take steroids all day long, expand my head, shrink my you know whats and still never hit a home run.

    I read Henry Aaron’s biography – greenies were a lot more prevelant than steroids. They used to leave them out in the clubhouse like M&Ms. Anyone for banning Hammerin’ Hank?

  15. Michael says:


    The thing we have to get our arms around is that the scriptural qualifications for ministry are nebulous…as Truman said they boil down to “basic decency”.
    There are no scriptures that address disqualification…

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why does a pastor need to be ‘disqualified’? Why not just fired?
    If he owns the church and can’t be fired, well, he propbably isn’t a pastor in the first place.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    Once you wake up and realize that the problem is us, things look much simpler.

    I wouldn’t attend a church with Ted Haggard as pastor.
    I wouldn’t vote to hire Ted Haggard as pastor of a church where I was a member.
    If I were Ted Haggard, I would not seek to be a pastor.

    If any one of those three methods is enacted, there is absolutely no problem.
    If not, we can only blame ourselves.

  18. Hey!

    Forgive Pete? Sure. Easy to do. Greatest hitter the game ever saw. Charlie Hustle and all that.The problem with him getting into the Hall is this; gambling is the ONLY thing that will really get you banned for life (drug offenders get multiple chances to clean up their act) and EVERY player knows this. He chose to KNOWINGLY do it anyway and now should suffer the consequences of his actions.

  19. Kevin H says:


    Thanks for the compliment but I have always resisted even the thought of a regular column because these things only come to me sporadically. For every “good” column I’d have, there’d be many more filled with over-explained drivel. Once the thoughts dried up, instead of writing about the banning of Pete Rose, I’d end up droning on about things like banning the Mets or Dodgers just because I don’t like them. Oh, sorry Phil and MLD. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Kevin H – the way the Dodger’s have handled the free agent market, I am ready to ban them. Do you want Rollins and Utley back? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Andrew says:

    Michael, I don’t think the scriptural qualifications for an elder are that nebulous to be called just basic decency. For instance I don’t think women should be elders although most women in my church are very decent. So if Bruce Jenner were an elder in my church, in my opinion he would have disqualified himself when he became Caitlyn.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    So if a woman tells you she is called to ministry, do you tell her “No you aren’t.”, or do you tell her, “Great, go to another denomination.”

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    And that’s a legit question. Not being funny.

  24. Ulysses says:

    โ€œand in the church, success covers a multitude of sins. It has yet to produce integrity.โ€
    On the money. Literally.

  25. Steve Wright says:

    MLD is very wrong about steroids not being helpful and not giving a huge advantage to the players who cheated versus those who don’t. The idea that some mortgage broker couldn’t hit home runs on steroids is not relevant.

    However, the thing people forget is the pitchers used them too. Eric Gagne for example a classic example of total dominance due to the juice. There were others…and that is the thing. There is a steroids era in baseball that affects stats.

    There is also a dead ball era…there is a no “colored” players era…there is a bandbox stadium era…there is a high mound era…

    Good player evaluation look at a player’s stats in comparison to the league at the time. I used to laugh at books that would talk about pitchers from 1910 who had below 2.00 ERAs or hitter from the late 1930s who had 150 RBIs…same is true with the steroid era and since the juiced batters were facing juiced pitchers just deal with it that way.

    And let Pete in the HOF before he dies. My first act as commissioner.

  26. Andrew says:

    And let Pete in the HOF before he dies. My first act as commissioner


    Even the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 didn’t put alive Saints in the list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Andrew says:

    So if a woman tells you she is called to ministry, do you tell her โ€œNo you arenโ€™t.โ€, or do you tell her, โ€œGreat, go to another denomination.โ€


    Josh, I stated my opinion on the matter. Honestly I am not sure exactly what my church’s stance is. But it is a membership church so I am sure there would need to be a vote for any woman to be a pastor or elder. Second, being called to ministry is not the same as being a pastor or elder. Last, We have a highly educated woman in our church that no man could compete were her intellect. She is trained in apologetic and she is brilliant. She preached the other day and it was amazing. But she is not a pastor and I am perfectly fine with this occasional appearance. It was a real treat.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    As comish, you’d only have the power to let him on the ballot.
    After that, there would have to be a vote.

    Congregational polity at work ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Josh the Baptist says:

    It was a genuine question. Listen, I am devout SBC, and we don’t allow women pastors. However, if my daughter grows up, exhibits the fruit of the spirit, and tells me she is led to pastor…I’ll help her find a great school from a different denomination.

  30. Nonnie says:

    Andrew , your comment about comparing Jenner with a woman is very insulting to me. Seriously!? Because he is a woman he is disqualified ? THAT would be the reason ? That is an insult to godly women serving the Lord.

  31. Andrew says:

    I’m becoming a believer in congregational polity. I personally believe women shouldn’t be pastors or elders but if one got voted in I would probably ask a bunch of questions to see how she handles 1 Timothy 3. I doubt this women would become a pastor but she is trained in apologetics with a PhD and I have to defer to her intellect over my own to some degree.

  32. Michael says:

    Josh @ 29… I’m with you.

  33. UnCCed says:

    Yea, but baseball has never had the Caesar-model of governance, at least at the manger-level, that is to say Pete wasn’t the owner of a franchise, or a Senior (ironically almost Spanish for Lord) Pastor.
    When you’re allowed, and even unofficially prompted to setup yourself so as to willfully disregard clear nuances both from the NT and laws of the state where you incorporate, I don’t know why I ever expected anything different.
    Both sources have clear indications you’re not to be king/Caesar.
    Had Pete owned the team while gambling, etc., handpicked his board from outside the org-even when they never attended a game, then portended he was accountable, then it would’ve been different. He might have even been invited to CCSPC!
    : )
    This all just stupefies me again how I could belong to an organization which disregards so many based on reasons NEVER illustrated by our Lord, whom even chose his betrayer-A LOT worse of a choice than someone who might affect your numbers.

  34. Andrew says:

    Nonnie, I am not being insulting to godly women serving the Lord. I am all for women going to seminary and in full time ministry, etc.. I just believe the Bible when it talks about the qualifications for an elder found in 1Tim 3. Why is it insulting to trust what the Bible says is a trustworthy saying?

  35. Nonnie says:

    Josh, I have a good friend who did just what you described. She is now an Anglican priest.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s cool, Nonnie. It is something I have though about more and more as my 12 year old daughter grows up. I would never tell her she is not called by God.

  37. Nonnie says:

    Andrew it is insulting because you put Jenner on the same level as a woman and say THAT is the reason he would be disqualified to serve. Geez

  38. Nonnie says:

    So Andrew, if Jenner keeps his penis,
    he is fit to serve as an elder or pastor, but if he’s a woman he is not fit .

    What about his character, mental stability, etc.

    Dies it really boil down to what is between his legs?

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, my point is still the same – no one banned anyone from the greenies era.
    Did Hank Aaron break Ruth’s record because he consumed greenies? The thought never even arises.

    To your point about steroids being helpful to make a difference – how many lifer minor leaguers are juiced and don’t make it to the show? Steroids did not create a 100 MPH fast ball in Roger Clemens – it may have allowed him to throw it for longer, but he already knew how to throw 100 MPH.

  40. Andrew says:

    Josh, If she asked for your blessings to marry another women would you say anything? Would you say, let me go find a church that approves of homosexual marriages because I could never tell you that you don’t belong together? I honestly don’t get this concept of “basic decency”. There are plenty of decent homosexual out there. But in my opinion this disqualifies as a pastor.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    What was the picture I saw on Facebook the other day? A picture of Jenner as Caitlyn and the caption. “Another reason men are so much better than women … we even won Woman of the Year!” ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Andrew, do you really think the sin of homosexuality is equal to the “sin” of being born female? That was a weird question.

  43. Andrew says:


    Bruce Jenner was NEVER qualified to be an elder in my opinion. For one reason he doesn’t respect how God made him. This goes to my point though that God did make man and women different. People that want to purposely blur the lines of the sexes are disrespecting God as well.

  44. Andrew says:

    Josh, I am not equating different sins but merely pointing out that MANY churches today have no problem ordaining homosexuals. I believe it was even the Anglican church that was previously mentioned here. How is this not related when it comes to Bible interpretation?

  45. Josh the Baptist says:


  46. Michael says:


    I wrestle with the issue of womens ordination.

    I wrestle because the bible speaks to the subject in places other than 1 Tim 3.

    I understand if someone wants to make that passage the end all, but I’m not so sure…

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    I wrestle with it too. That was my point. I am firm SBC, but if a woman, who I knew was following the Lord, came to me and said she was called, what would I do?

    I don’t see how that equates to anything to do with homosexuality.

  48. Nonnie says:

    Andrew, you are the one who used Jenner as an example of being fit to be and elder UNTIL he identified as a woman. Being a woman disqualified him. That is what got me upset. That is an insult to me as a woman. You put stable, normal women on the same level as a man who dresses like a woman and take hormones, and say being a woman disqualifies him. Do you not see how insulting that us to women?

  49. Andrew says:

    Michael, I agree there are other places that talk about elders and pastors in the Bible. My point is that its clear from the Bible that their are guidelines for qualifications of elders other than “basic decency”. This argument of “basic decency” is the same argument that folks make for homosexual marriages. They even interpret the Bible in a way that emphasizes the love and commitment between two individuals at the same time under emphasizes their sex or gender.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Clemens isn’t your best example MLD because he was the poster boy on this as to a guy who is a certain HOFer with his roid stats included, but was on the way downhill fast before he started juicing

  51. Babylon's Dread says:

    Nice! Josh and Michael

    Both endorsed my ordination of women

    Egalidreadian All

  52. Em says:

    this is one thread that has my head spinning … the only thing that makes sense to me is admitting Pete Rose to the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously with an asterisk …

    i don’t think women should pastor churches… i’m not even sure churches were meant to have pastors as we define them today… but, like everything else in society today, we are far from what the world was in 100 AD … so, who knows? birth control and education may make women ready to take on the Church, too

  53. Babylon's Dread says:

    @22 Josh you just described the actual path of many women.

    Cindy Jacobs was a pastor’s daughter who had visions and dreams. I doubt she would be approved but she is an actual example.

  54. Andrew says:

    Nonnie, I apologize if I insulted you. I hope it makes you feel better that I would never go to a church where Bruce Jenner were an elder. And I never said he was fit to be an elder as you are interpreting my words. It was only a hypothetical example and probably not a good one. But my point is whether some like it or not is the Bible says the qualifications of what and elder is. Sorry but being a women is not one of them. And just because someone is disqualified for an office doesn’t equate to sin as Josh says. That is ludicrous. I would say that a 5 year old boy is not qualified either for the office. This reminds me of Trueman’s article where a 50 year old man thinks he was a young girl. Its ridiculous. But gosh, isn’t it just as ridiculous to say a woman is a pastor when the Bible actually defines what that one of the qualifications of a pastor are being is a man. But than again some people interpret the Bible differently but I’m not one of them.

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    Presumably you all have read the Bible enough to know that God breaks our perception of the rules quite often. He even violates what we perceive as his own rules. Such as women who are prophets.

    More directly I think of John the Baptist having a prenatal infilling of the Holy Spirit … I would have preferred that myself.

    As for women in ministry the clear reality is that elders (pastors) are normally male but I would wonder why anyone would doubt that God can make a woman an elder if he desires and it seems to me that even Josh the Devout agrees. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  56. Michael says:

    “He even violates what we perceive as his own rules.”
    That is a book in itself…very true.

  57. Andrew says:

    God can make women very influential and leaders and presidents and doctors and lawyers but why does every one now days want to make women into elders. This is like making a women into a father when in reality she is a mother.. Just where in the Bible do you find this non sense?

  58. Michael says:

    Well, the nonsense is in a lot of places.
    I’d start with the apostle Junia…

  59. Andrew says:

    Its actually much more appropriate to ask how come there are no women in the men’s baseball hall of faith. Get for real guys.

  60. brian says:

    Forgiveness is a very strange thing, I dont think we get it right and forgiveness is real messy. It must be for God because, if I understand it, He sees / knows all the possible outcomes and prompts / leads us to forgive but not just forgive folks, but don’t be a doormat. Also, some “sins” have much clearer consequences than others IE trust but verify. I mean if you are a bank robber it would not be really easy to get a job guarding a bank or working for a financial institution.

    I guess from a positional view we are forgiven constantly and forever if we are in Christ, well actually some of us but that is another post. Then there is the application of that how is one to forgive how is an organization to forgive does that keep you from being used in the same capacity etc. Personally I keep very short accounts with people in forgiving and more so asking for forgiveness. I dont expect that from God though, I sort of consider it rude to even ask but that to is another post.

  61. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Pete Rose, Lenny Dykstra and George Brett were my favorite players. They all hustled and every play gave full effort

  62. Soldier of Jah says:

    Who can forget this?

  63. Erunner says:

    I grew up in the 60’s and baseball ruled. Pete is out and that’s that. Baseball has decided and the decision may be changed somehow in the future.

    Jim Bouton wrote of Mickey Mantel homering while hung over. Many ballplayers have children scattered around the country. The game itself was racist while forbidding blacks to participate.

    Yet these and other things won’t get you banned from the game. Players typically never come forward. They lie through their teeth and when the evidence is presented they have someone write something that passes for an apology.

    Homosexuality is celebrated and the sports world will condemn you if you don’t stay in lock step with their PC ways.

    None of this surprises me because we are all sinners with some of us saved by grace through faith.

    The church is another matter. We are called to a different standard than those who are slaves to their sin natures.

    We walk circumspectly because we know we were once just like the unregenerate. We hold to absolute truth and to a God who does not change with the culture.

    Sadly we could do better in modeling Jesus to a watching world.

    If we sin we don’t wait until our lies are discovered before we say sorry. We confess our sins, admit our weakness and seek to allow God’s grace and mercy to lead us.

    What good is it if Pete Rose enters the Hall but loses his soul??

    Matthew16:26 For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

  64. Steve Wright says:

    Jim Bouton wrote of Mickey Mantel homering while hung over.
    Mickey himself wrote about it too…I think it happened at least twice. Once I recall he thought he was still on the DL and was asked to pinch hit so he said he wanted to take three cuts and sit down so he did not have to run – he literally said all he could make out was which arm the guy threw with so he would know which batters box to get into (as a switch hitter). He got all of it with one cut and hit one of the farthest homers ever – and then said he had trouble running the bases and making sure he touched each of them.

  65. Andrew says:

    Erunner, you nailed it. The church is different than the world with different standards. Baseball was racist for awhile. What a shame on its legacy. Some could also make the case that it still is a bigoted and sexist institution by not allowing women players in their major league. To me its just a matter of time before they do so. After all, our military has just opened to flood gates to all women to serve in all aspects of combat along with men. I’m not expressing any opinion on this at all other than this is where we are at in our culture. Now, when it comes to the church you are absolutely right, it is a different set of rules, standards and the mission is different. But some use the worlds standards and try to apply them to the church. For instance I don’t get it where the Bible is clear about women elders. Now Michael is kind enough to show me a reference to somebody called Junia but this is obscure at best. Intriguing yes, but one fundamental aspect of Bible interpretation is that clearer passages should interpret less clear ones. I just don’t see how you get around this without completely throwing out common sense. Anyway, this idea of sexuality and gender and the like has big ramifications on how you understand homosexuality. The feminists will throw out at you Galatians 3:28 and say see I told you there is neither male nor female in the church. Yet its the same verse that folks use to say see there is really nothing wrong with homosexual marriages since there isn’t sex anymore anyway. When I start to read the Bible the way Josh and other folks are telling me to, I’m starting to open my eyes up to the possibility that homosexual marriages may be fine. I haven’t come to this conclusion yet, but this is where this line of thinking is leading me to. But than common sense kicks in and when Trueman says it is just “basic decency” that is the requirement for elders, I realize he is sadly mistaken and there is much more to it than that subjective qualification. Maybe my Bible interpretation is too wooden but I hear some complaining the Bible is just too nebulous to make conclusions. So there you have it. Its either too wooden or too nebulous. And this is all based on how you read the Word.

  66. Andrew says:

    Yep, women were in ministry and should be in ministry. There are numerous examples in the Bible of this all the way from judges in Israel to prophets in the New Testament. You will never get an argument from me here on that EVER. That is not the question. The question concerns the office of elder. The only example that Michael was kind enough to show me was a very obscure reference to Junia that people know very little about. Even this, she or he or who ever Junia was was referred to as an apostle. Is this even the same as an elder?

  67. Andrew says:

    I even believe women can and should be ordained in the church. However, this is not the same as being an elder.

  68. Josh the Baptist says:

    “When I start to read the Bible the way Josh and other folks are telling me to, Iโ€™m starting to open my eyes up to the possibility that homosexual marriages may be fine.”

    What? Where have I told you any way to read the Bible? Much less in a way that would advocate something that I am strangly against?

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew, baseball would allow women to play – once there is one who is good enough. It is a different situation than the color barrier where there were dozens and dozens of players as good and in many cases (Josh Gibson) much better than the white players on rosters who were denied a chance to play.

    There already are a couple women in various places scattered through the game…but it is a very difficult sport and until women want to play en masse throughout youth, high school, start their own minor league system etc to develop a large pool of talent, the odds are very low one will somehow show up that is anything more than a sideshow.

    The one exception is throwing a knuckleball. If a woman got very good at that (and I think there was one in Japan) I could see that being the way to a roster.

  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    For the record, I am not convinced Junia was an apostle, and I think the argument that points to her is very weak.

  71. Andrew says:

    Josh, I don’t think you are too consistent. I’ll remind you what you wrote @ 36 to Nonnie when her friend became an Anglican Priest. “Thatโ€™s cool, Nonnie”

    I can’t be sure what type of Anglican Priest this lady became but you may want to ask Nonnie what Anglican communion her friend joined before giving a thumbs up if you are so against homosexuality.

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why does it matter if I thumbs up or thumbs down a friend of a friend whom I will never meet. I’m no pope, or no authority of any kind. I know Nonnie, and have an idea of what she believes, so if she reports something to me as good news, I take her word for it. There are different kinds of Anglicans just like every other denomination, and there was no need for me to get into that.

  73. Andrew says:

    But Josh you come across like you know nothing about any controversies at all regarding homosexuality in the church particularly with the Anglicans with you comment at 45, “Huh”?

  74. Josh the Baptist says:

    What?!?! I was never talking about homosexuality, that is why.

  75. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s bizarre.

  76. Andrew says:

    And I never called being a women a sin. That was ridiculous. My point is that you won’t find the controversy about homosexuality in churches that are conservative regarding elders. You only find this argument with churches that already ordain women. There is definitely some kind of correlation between the two issues.

  77. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok, then first let me reiterate: I am SBC – that means no women pastors, no gay weddings, no gay elders…etc. I agree with this enough that I will likely be SBC for my whole life, and I will never challenge the convention on any of these issues.

    With that being known, my question was – what if a woman, who I know loves the Lord and is following the Lord, tells me that she is called? I only see two response: Tell her she is not called, or tell her to go to another denomination.
    I don’t see it as my place to tell her that God has not called her.

  78. Kevin H says:

    You guys are so far off topic. Let’s get back to what Pete Rose would say about women’s ordination. ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh yeah, that.

    Pete Rose would say women should be put on the ballot, even if they are homosexual.

  80. Michael says:


    The older I get, and the more I study the less dogmatic I’m getting about a whole bunch of things.

    I wrestle with a lot more because I’m noticing that God is more interested in relationship than rules.

    I’ll be reading a book today by a very conservative fellow called “A Conservative Case For Egalitarianism”.

    I want to know what he has to say.
    It won’t bother me if he’s right…or wrong.
    I’ll understand more about the issue either way..

  81. Andrew says:

    Michael, let me know what you find out. I’m less dogmatic too the older I get. I’m basically a complete Egalitarian except when it comes to office of Elder in the church. But I’m still struggling to define what a church is let alone the definition of a pastor. But as Kevin said we way off topic. If God can cause a donkey to speak in the old testament I guess Pete Rose can get into the Hall of Fame. I’ll leave it at that.

  82. Babylon's Dread says:


    The logic does not follow. If you believe the Word is against her preaching and if you have no scriptural warrant to go beyond what is written then you should tell her to stand down. IMO

    And Josh, I get not buying into the argument but you can see in the history that there were enough who thought it was strong that they altered the record in favor of their viewpoint.

    But what I like about you is that you PUT it out there… no hiding or backing down.

    We should have a beer… wait… Ok I will have one and you watch.

  83. Steve Wright says:

    Josh’s logic is sound. He, nor any of us, has any right to tell Another’s servant how they are to serve the Master.

    No different than if someone says they believe in infant baptism and insist on their baby being baptized. The only answer the pastor can give is to say “You will need to find a church that agrees with your view” and you certainly wish them God’s blessings as they do. That’s what Josh is saying here (as I read him)

    Pastors who feel they should tell people to “stand down” in areas that are not sinful (and I assume nobody is arguing it is a sin for the woman to teach – the Bible certainly doesn’t use that argument) are overstepping their bounds.

  84. Michael says:

    I’m neck deep in John Steakhouses book “Partners In Christ: A Conservative Case For Egalitarianism”.

    I’m blown up and away…not just by the discussion of gender issues, but by his methodology.

    He’s answering a lot that’s been on my mind lately…

    This is a GREAT book.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny – the best study in absolute requirement to toss scripture in the toilet to ordain women is found in the history of the ELCA. They justify it by saying God doesn’t speak today as he did in the past and although the scriptures were valid in the past – well not so much today.

    It began in the 60s as the seminary professors began to deny the first 10 chapters in Genesis and then Jonah and all other the other usual suspects – this is how they justified women pastors. Then they used the exact same criteria, saying there was precedent (even though they were the ones who set their own precedent) to allow for homosexuality – first as a standalone, then in the pulpit and now in homosexual marriage.

    I for one have no problem saying that women pastors have usurped the position and are indeed not pastors at all. But hey, this is America and I can say what I want.

  86. Michael says:

    I don’t think it’s a matter of throwing Scripture in the toilet.
    It’s a question about how we interpret all the different Scriptures cogently.

    So far, I’m tracking with him really well.

    Calvin may come back and whack me…

  87. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hermeneutics and the ongoing Free Market Jesus Factory called the church.


  88. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I was speaking about the ELCA in particular, but I don’t think you can name denomination that ordains women that hasn’t given away the faith.denomination

  89. Em says:

    i don’t think that i could even explain the nuances and advantages of gender roles to today’s young people (that’s anyone under 60 ๐Ÿ™‚ ) … i suspect, dunno, that, first and second testaments, the Bible’s placement of women in the social and clerical structure had more to do with biological factors – practicality that i don’t need to detail – and lack of education as i understand it… Now we are educated, earn our own living doing whatever jobs fit our skill sets, but does that extend to new roles in churches? i am a little mixed up as to whether the conversation here is about ordaining pastors or deacons…
    as i watch Fox – and CNN – i see very competent, educated modern women and ask myself, if one of these ladies chose to apply and channel her God given attributes to serving the Lord as a church pastor would this be right? how about Hillary or Carly? Better the late Mother Angelica of EWTN, maybe… i just don’t know – it’s not the same world as 100 AD – we don’t cover our heads anymore and not much of anything else for that matter… i just don’t know
    that said it is a given that in the world women have been marginalized (with rare exceptions) and treated horribly by most of the world through all history and still are today … are men afraid of us? i think so – dunno

  90. EricL says:

    Michael, quit blogging while hungry @86. His name is Stackhouse not Steakhouse ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just started the book myself. Dense material but worth the time and effort. Lots to ponder.

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em – that’s exactly what the ELCA said when using scripture to allow to women in the pulpits. God meant something different in the more ‘primitive’ days that he doesn’t mean now. What you said is almost word for word what they said.

    How do we know that one wife stuff still aplies – people handle ‘different’ relationships much better today than in the 1st century. And what of that drunkeness stuff – today we have AA that they did not have in the 1st century.

    What about, … well you get the drift – what if nothing mattered – so what’s the harm??

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    I understand Dread’s push back, that my stance should be “stand down”, but it shows that I really think female pastors should be a second level issue. While my bets understanding is that women should not be pastors, I accept a respect the fact that other faithful believers have come to different conclusions. I don’t think it should be the test of fellowship that it is in the SBC. If a woman is called, and a congregation wants her to be the pastor, why would that bother me? Even if I disagree, I don’t think it should rise to the level of breaking fellowship. Sin issues (homosexual pastors, etc.) certainly we would break fellowship, but why a faithful, God following woman? I don’t know, but that is how it is, and it is the system that I have chosen to submit myself too. It is my one slight beef with the convention.

  93. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD has presented the classic “slippery slope” argument, and I get that. But I do think there is more merit pro-woman than just “We don’t like the bible anymore.”

  94. Josh, I am pro woman – heck, I sleep with one, but what does that have to do with allowing women in the pulpit? But as I presented, name a denomination that has women pastors who still believe the Bible?

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course I was using pro-woman as short hand for “affirming women as pastors”.

    As for the denom, many of the Pentecostals allow woman pastors and are conservative in their reading of the bible.

  96. Michael says:

    I’m mostly convinced of the egalitarian argument.
    I don’t base doctrine on it’s potential result, but by biblical fidelity.

    I’m still percolating the book…at the very least I will never say that an egalitarian ‘doesn’t believe the Bible”.

  97. Josh, most of your Pentecostal women are in independent churches.

    Michael – this is why I specified denominations – you have to give and compromise to make a big change.

    LCMS = conservative outlook of the Bible = no women // ELCA = no use for the Bible
    PCA = conservative outlook of the Bible = no women // PCUSA = no use for the Bible

    I have no problem with women running the Church – The president of our congregation before me was a woman who previously was a full bird colonel in the Air Force – when we suspended out pastor for 7 months it was she who confronted him and led the congregation through a bad time..

    If you look closely, in most churches, the women run the show. They just don’t lead from the pulpit.

  98. Michael says:


    I don’t belong to a denomination and don’t much give a hoot for most of the ones out there.
    I’m concerned about what I believe and what I teach and why…

  99. I guess that may be a difference between us. I am not so much swayed by wht I believe as I am what The Church has taught over the centuries about the Bible. I try to adjust what “I believe” accordingly.

    But then I have never been one to be swayed by the latest book that comes out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  100. Michael says:

    Ecclesia semper reformanda.

  101. But not by using ‘culture’ as the standard for that reformation.

  102. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you don’t think it’s possible that anyone could have good scriptural reasoning for hiring a female pastor? It could only be following culture?

  103. Josh – I am sure someone could quote something the devil said and use that for women in the pulpit — that would be biblical.

    Are you open to that? You have read the whole Bible and have the same thought I do on this topic. Is the next new book out going to convince you that it is in the text?

    Culture says women can do and should be able to do whatever a man can do – take on any role and that society is bigoted if it says “not so.”

    Yes, culture is running the agenda here – not scripture.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    So to you this is a first level issue. If you think women can be pastors, you don’t believe the bible…etc. I disagree.

    No book has swayed me, or will sway me. The scant evidence from scripture leans toward your view, but there is not enough there for me to condemn.

  105. Michael says:

    The question before the house should be “has culture ever driven biblical interpretation for the better”.

    I would contend the answer is yes.

    I have old theology text books from great Southern seminaries…that clearly believe the Bible defended slavery.

    They make a good case.

    As there are no verses that prohibit slavery, how did we reach a biblical consensus on abolitionism?

  106. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – note that history never points to the Church Mothers.

    I will bet that you would condemn in the same manner I do. If your local congregation called a woman pastor, would you stay?

    If you would not stay, then you condemn it just as I do.

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,you have it completely backwards. The cultural error there was in using culture to sway the antebellum south that slavery was OK. The exact same cultural sway we see today for women in the pulpit and the now 50 yrs later homosexuals in the pulpit.

    It was actually using scripture properly that pulled our spiritual heads out of our butts to come to a scriptural consensus

  108. Josh the Baptist says:

    I would probably leave, but if an SBC down the street wanted to hire a woman preacher, I would not move to kick them out.

  109. Michael says:


    You are not answering the question.
    The Bible regulates slavery, but never condemns it.
    Why did the church finally do so?

    Perhaps using scripture properly will lead us to pull our spiritual heads out of our butts and affirm female pastors…

  110. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Michael,you have it completely backwards. The cultural error there was in using culture to sway the antebellum south that slavery was OK. ”

    I think MLD has that part right, but slavery does not have to extend to every cultural issue. WE could possibly be wrong on one thing and right on another. They don’t all have to be connected.

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Perhaps using scripture properly will lead us to pull our spiritual heads out of our butts and affirm female pastors”

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s a good point too.

  113. Michael says:

    Let me be clear.

    I’m not on a new crusade here.

    Stackhouse lays out a way of doing theology that I find to be fascinating and applies it to this topic.

    There are excellent and awful arguments on both sides.

    I have brethren on both sides.
    I’m not going to be dogmatic either way.

  114. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But I was specific yesterday about methodology to reach a conclusion. To get to a point where they could discuss women in the pulpit, they first had to deny scriptural passages. Once they could deny the reality of Genesis 1-10, Jonah and Joshua’s long day etc, they were then allowed to deny other passages that would seem to support male only elders.

    Look, once those barriers were removed, once they established precedence (of their own making) they now do the exact same in establishing why the scriptures would seem to have been for straight, married males in the past and why that does not apply today and with all this “new” evidence, well now we have homosexuals in the pulpit.

  115. Josh the Baptist says:

    And that is the slippery slope argument.

    I’m talking about people who reach the conclusion without all the other denial.

  116. Michael says:


    You don’t have to deny anything.
    If you ever read anything outside the Book of Concord you would not make silly statements like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What methodology would you use to support abolitionism in the face of clear passages that say that slaves should joyfully submit to their masters?

  117. Babylon's Dread says:


    You are narrow in your focus. There have always been two approaches to women in ministry by churches that allow it. One is the women’s rights route that says the scriptures are obsolete. The other is the group that says women are also empowered by the Spirit and called by God. The latter group does not discard the scriptures. Do Lutherans require hats or forbid jewelry in obedience to the scripture? Not that I have noticed.

    Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are the fountainhead of women in ministry and preceded the liberal by a long way. The liberals came to the matter from external pressure the charismatics from the rise of empowered women within the ranks.

  118. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Actually Michael, perhaps you cannot make a biblical case – but if you look at the amendments to the constitution you will see that we made a civil decision.

    So, if a Christian living in a country that approved of slavery own slaves, would you say he was a non Christian?

  119. Xenia says:

    In the Orthodox Church the priest is considered to be an icon of Christ and since Christ came to us as a Son and not a daughter, we will always have an all-male priesthood.

  120. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs – I never once spoke against women in the ministry. Look who may be the one with the narrow view if you proclaim ‘ministry’ to be held only in the pulpit. I am for women doing all sorts of things in the church,

    Re read my #99 yesterday at 6:55 – I am for women running the whole show. I do believe there are limits set by scripture.

  121. Michael says:


    That was pretty weak sauce.
    I believe we can make a biblical case for abolitionism.

    If we couldn’t should we obey God or man?

  122. Babylon's Dread says:

    @121 Xenia I do not object to such thinking and am not surprised that a beautiful approach is taken by the Orthodox church

  123. Michael says:


    There are valid arguments from tradition and church history for complementarianism.
    I think there are good ones today for egalitarianism as well.
    I’m not going to throw rocks at believers from either side.

  124. Babylon's Dread says:

    The case for abolition was strongly made by christian voices … despite the compromise of a southern clergy who were slaves to the economic culture of slavery from which they were paid.

  125. Babylon's Dread says:


    In your present understanding would you ordain a woman to Gospel ministry?

  126. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Dread.

  127. Michael says:


    Way to corner me… ๐Ÿ™‚


    When I think about this I think about my great and wonderful friend Sarah.
    She’s an excellent, trained theologian with a heart for God like few others.
    She would excel in any ministry if she so chose to follow a call.

    She hasn’t chosen to do so, but I could not deny her if she did.

  128. Babylon's Dread says:


    Sorry friend but action is the deep question. Thanks for being willing to own it.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Slavery was fought against like abortion is fought against – a lot of Christians and a lot of secularists. There is a way to twist the Bible to allow for abortion as Bill Clinton did, and there is a way to allow for slavery..however, no reasonable way of hermeneutics allows for slavery as it was practiced in this country, and given the constitution of this country it was eradicated.

    The women pastor issue is totally an “in house” argument and in point of fact the politics (laws) of this land allow for special freedoms under the law for churches recognizing this “in house” aspect. Same with homosexuals, other religions…churches can (and do) discriminate..rightfully so. God help us when the government says a church has to hire people that go against the convictions of the church

  130. Michael says:

    Let me be clear that Sarah has never indicated that she wanted a pastorate.
    She is wholly invested in her family.

    My point is that here is someone who sat at the feet of my fathers in the faith… Packer, Waltke, Stackhouse, and others…and understood them better than I do.

    She is educated beyond me by miles.
    She is also more decent and holy than I am by miles.
    She has taught me much and enabled me to learn even more.

    There is no way I could dare say she’s unqualified.
    There are many more just like her.

  131. Steve Wright says:

    I know some Sarahs…gifted, insightful, scholarly.

    Like Sarah, they have not and seem to have no desire to pursue a call to pastoral ministry to the church as a whole, quite content in using their gifts among the other women in the church, the children, and in many other areas of service like ushers, board members and so forth…as well as to the Body of Christ as a whole (i.e. blogging) that is not a place of having pastoral spiritual authority over the men.

    There is something to that beyond just coincidence….

  132. Xenia says:

    And *because* Sarah is such an exemplary disciple of Christ she has not fallen for the delusion that she should be a pastor.

  133. Steve Wright says:

    What Xenia said… ๐Ÿ™‚

  134. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve brings upp a good point about slavery in America being nothing like the slavery in the Bible.
    It was probably passed over in my #109 when I referred to the error people made in trying to hold scriptures to the culture of the antebellum south.

  135. Kevin H says:

    Just jumping in for a second to answer a question MLD raised a while back about any denominations that ordain women and still believe the Bible. I am familiar with a smaller denomination called the Brethren in Christ that ordains women and also still believes the Bible to be the fully authoritative Word of God. They come from an Anabaptist background with also some Pietistic and Wesleyan influences.

    Additionally, there are some factions of the Mennonite church that ordain women. Now the Mennonite church ranges from being very conservative to at least somewhat liberal in theology, although most are on the conservative side. Now, I can’t speak to what their view of the Bible is for those who do ordain women. I just know that some do ordain women. So it’s possible some of them may fit into the same category to as the Brethren in Christ.

  136. Michael says:

    Though there are less repressive ways of slavery, slavery is still slavery.
    There is no biblical condemnation for it.

    If the measure of doctrine is the Scriptures, abolitionists had to deal with that fact.

    They did.
    They used a hermeneutic and methodology that made a biblical case for abolition despite the proof texts that could be used to support it.

    It was a damn good thing in my opinion, a valid hermeneutic that led to better doctrine.

    Can that hermeneutic be abused?


    Can all hermeneutics be abused?


  137. Michael says:

    Let me offer another example.

    The early church leaned heavily towards pacifism, based on the “clear” teachings of Jesus in the Scripture.

    That didn’t work when the church became associated with political power…so we developed the “just war” doctrine.

    Culture has driven interpretation from very early…

  138. Steve Wright says:

    There is specific commands for slave owners in the Bible too. And those commands were not remotely followed by those who argued loudly for a Biblical defense of slavery in the USA back in the day.

    There is also direct teaching encouraging the freedom of slaves when possible.

    Slavery is never affirmed in the Bible. Even the less repressive legal definitions of the term. Silence is not affirmation

    And as I have pointed out repeatedly, there is not ONE voice on record in the 1st century calling slavery immoral or suggesting its outlaw. Not a single voice.

    The quickest way for God to stop the worldwide spread of the gospel would have been to inspire Paul to be the first to advocate for such, and apparently God knew that Christianity as taught in the Bible in total would not allow for oppressive slavery in the future.

    Much like forced child labor and other practices similar but not equal to slavery.

  139. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe the early church was simply wrong on pacifism in the context of nations and freedom…but right in the context of persecution for Christ’s sake.

    Hard to read the Bible and see a pacifist God if you ask me.

  140. Michael says:

    “The quickest way for God to stop the worldwide spread of the gospel would have been to inspire Paul to be the first to advocate for such, and apparently God knew that Christianity as taught in the Bible in total would not allow for oppressive slavery in the future.”

    Ironically, that’s part of Stackhouses argument.

    God has accomadated much for the sake of the Gospel…and introducing women as full ministers in a patriarchal culture would have slowed it’s spread.

  141. Michael says:

    I would commend those who are interested in this topic to actually read the book.

    I want nothing more in life than to think and teach biblically with total fidelity to the heart of God in His word.

    I was given much to think about and consider in the pages of the book…and that’s with something all by itself.

  142. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I don’t want to sound snarky in this, but anyone can make a case on anything using the Bible

    We have zero clear passages that leave no doubt that the position of elders is open to women. We see nothing in the early church and as I said in the first couple of centuries we see nothing referring to the Church Mothers.

    Coming up through the historical church, and eventually both east and west we see no indication of this – not even anyone trying to put down the rebellion of the women seeking pastorates … until someone writes a book.

    OK, here is the snark – all the JW wants you to do is read his material and you will see that he has made his case for kingdom hall thinking – I don’t know about you but reading someone’s case making usually doesn’t sway me if I don’t see it acted out in the early church or through church history.

  143. Michael says:


    I think the witness of church history is important.
    Very important.
    So does Stackhouse.

    He addresses the issue in the book.
    I think he makes a decent case.

    Your mileage may vary…

  144. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – does Stackhouse belong to a church body that ordains women as pastors

  145. Xenia says:

    The witness of the Church…

    Every morning my husband and I read from an Orthodox devotional book which includes short bios for the Saints commemorated that day. Half of them are women: martyrs, evangelists, abbesses, miracle workers, etc. But not one of them in the 1900 years this book covers was a priest or pastor.

  146. Michael says:


    I don’t know for sure.

    He was a professor at Regent College…and a biblical conservative.

  147. Michael says:


    I understand that.
    I also understand that they served under patriarchal cultures that may or may not be God’s best for the kingdom.

    I could also be wrong.

  148. Xenia says:

    Abbesses have considerable authority and are greatly respected but even an abbess cannot serve liturgy in her own monastery’s church.

  149. Papias says:

    Michael @ 139.

    One could make the same analogy for culture driving the understanding of Scripture that caused the Reformation.

    Or we could say that our understanding of Scripture can and does change over time.

    I don’t see a correlation between the early church being entirely pacifistic and that changing once Constantine became Caesar.

  150. Michael says:


    It’s a pretty easy historical assumption to make and not one that’s any way unique to me.

    The status of the Christian changed dramatically in the culture and we “the church” responded to that change of status.

    I don’t think it’s a reach to say that culture has often driven biblical interpretation.

  151. Xenia says:

    That’s an advantage of Tradition. I don’t have to worry that my pastor will have read a new book the past week and begin advocating its novel ideas.

  152. Babylon's Dread says:

    Somewhere along the way the church definitely went from dying for our faith to killing for our way of life. Something definitely changed.

  153. Babylon's Dread says:

    Xenia strikes with surgical precision.

  154. Michael says:

    What I’m advocating is the possibility of learning and growing.
    It’s the blessing of being an independent Protestant.
    It’s the blessing of being part of the Reformed tradition that believes the church must be always reforming.
    Yes, it can be fraught with danger and it’s much less secure than an authoritative confession or church.
    It also may mean that God is still showing us things in His authoritative revelation as the coming kingdom is manifested more fully.

    I haven’t ordained any women today or changed Sundays message…I just have more to ponder and a more affirming stance toward some of my brethren.

  155. Papias says:

    When the faith comes into contact with culture, sometimes faith gets integrated into culture, rather than faith transforming culture.

    I don’t say that the faith changed at some point. Its always been changing as each faith group tries to work out what it means to be of the faith.

    We have groups today that are pacifist and those who are not of that mindset, and both have Scriptural reasons for being so, as well as a tradition.

  156. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “It also may mean that God is still showing us things in His authoritative revelation as the coming kingdom is manifested more fully.”

    I was thinking about this earlier when the slavery issue was discussed as “not the right time to bring it up.” What was the tipping point aside from a clear word of the lord stating “Now is the time.”

    The same with being a man centered society, the time was not right for lady pastors – what was the clear word of the lord that said “now is the time.”

    It’s funny, because I am probably the only one here who does not think the canon is necessarily closed and I don’t believe we have heard such a word.

  157. Babylon's Dread says:

    Well Martin,

    Which of your books should be included in the canon?

  158. Michael says:

    I’m waiting for it to hit MLD that some of his arguments are the same ones Rome used against Luther…

  159. Xenia says:

    It seems unlikely to me that in today’s society which is is dominated by a rather godless form of feminism that the Lord would reveal that now is the time to copy the culture.

  160. Em says:

    MLD and Xenia are closer to the truth in my not so humble opinion – so that brings up the question in my mind, does the less pious, less educated – but God-fearing man – present as a better candidate for leadership/pastoring that the better educated, sincere and God-fearing woman on the scene? hmmm…
    it seems that we’re trying to unisex this issue… and it isn’t about plumbing at all… now your mother may be a fighter jet pilot and have a few kills under her belt and daddy may make the morning oatmeal or there may be no daddy and still the kids get fed, bathed and off to school somehow… my point is that what God has modeled in Scripture for His people is an orderly society
    the ideal may have to be compromised, but it is still the ideal and that raises another question in my mind… where does the Church look for our role model – and does it function as rigid and uncompromising or do we have an ideal, but a structure that can *bend* to a situation when necessary? or does the Church *mold* itself to function in the trends of the times?
    i sense that we have an ideal that can bend when necessary, but able to do so without breaking.

  161. Michael says:


    No one I know of here is advocating that the church copy the culture.

  162. Xenia says:

    Then where did the idea of women as pastors come from if not from the current culture?

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Iโ€™m waiting for it to hit MLD that some of his arguments are the same ones Rome used against Lutherโ€ฆ:”

    This is absolutely not true. Luther never claimed a new revelation – in fact I do not think he ever claimed any kind of personal intervention by God.

    Luther never claimed that indulgences were right at one time because the culture couldn’t handle justification by grace through faith alone. I don’t think Luther ever claimed that a Pope had the right to hold on to the occupancy of purgatory etc because the time was right for that in the past but now was the time culture was ready to receive grace.

    Michael – you talk a good history game, without knowing your reformation history at all.

  164. Michael says:


    This will be the last time I mention a book without doing a multi page review.
    Some would argue that the idea of women functioning in all the gifts and offices of the church comes from Scripture.

    The idea that this esteemed scholar simply got up one morning and decided to write a book that would conform the church to today’s culture is both unfair and uncharitable.

    One of the reasons I commend this book so highly is that it is written by a conservative Christian for other conservative Christians.

    It also is the fairest book on any theological dispute I’ve ever read…he gives better arguments for the opposing view than they have given themselves.

    It is a textbook for how to engage in this sort of discussion with grace and thoughtfulness.

    To caricaturize it as an ode to culture or that I am twisting in a doctrinal wind for reading it is simply unfair and untrue.

    It is not a book for confessional Christians…they have already decided that all such issues were resolved long ago and written in stone by the church or denomination.

    For the rest of us, it is quite valuable in my opinion.

  165. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs, isn’t it funny, I don’t advocate for new books – I just know when I read the Bible, the last book does not say The End.

    I don’t expect new books, but I have nothing from the spirit that says that’s it.

    I do find it odd that many who think the canon is close expect a new revelation (now is the time for lady pastors) to come, but not written down.

  166. Em says:

    i could add a post script that i think today’s civilization has underpinnings that are far more broken than is apparent

  167. Michael says:

    “Michael โ€“ you talk a good history game, without knowing your reformation history at all.”

    We’re down to baseless insults now.

    Luther (and Calvin) spent a great deal of time debating Rome over whether these doctrines about justification were novel or found in the writings of the early church.

    Look it up.

    They were called “disputations”.

    I’ll take my leave before I respond in kind.

  168. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “It is not a book for confessional Christiansโ€ฆthey have already decided that all such issues were resolved long ago and written in stone by the church or denomination.”

    How many other things are still “open and undecided” for the non confessional Christian such as yourself?

    Are you and yours still chewing on the trinity, the deity? Are you open to reading the book by the guy who “makes the new case” for the non deity of Jesus? If not, then you too have written some things in stone? Who decides?

    When are we allowed to say Rob Bell has gone off the rails, and not just have to toe the line – ‘he’s non confessional’?

  169. Xenia says:

    No, I don’t think this esteemed scholar got up one morning, etc.

    I think like many people, the culture has gradually worn him down.

    Would he have written such a book 100 years ago?

  170. Michael says:

    “Would he have written such a book 100 years ago?”

    You mean that time when the Pentecostal and Holiness groups were ordaining women all over the country?

  171. Em says:

    every time MLD mentions the possibility of new scripture yet to be written or discovered… it makes me wonder how will he know and what more does the Church need to do its job? … and if we’re not doing it right, why is God waiting so long to fill us in?

  172. Michael says:


    There are a few early creeds that stand as the bedrock for what it means to be a Christian.

    We’ve always questioned everything else.

  173. Michael says:

    When I speak of revelation, I’m using a lower case “r”.

    God has used Spirit filled believers to move the church to greater understanding since the beginning.

    Augustine, Anselm, Luther, Calvin, and men like N.T. Wright today have plumbed the depths for our benefit.

    I have no reason to believe that greater illumination of the holy text ended with Luther.

    I am completely ok with you if you do.

  174. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, I said I have no expectations of new scriptures at all – I say that we have nothing that says no more.

    So my question – on what do you base the idea of a closed canon and also, what would you say if a new “old” letter was found or if God did want to write the Book of Women Pastors?

    God never said done … except from the cross.

  175. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, God has used all of those you mention as teachers – not new revelators. I do not think that a single thing Luther taught was new and never before expressed as truth.

    I am completely ok with you if you think they are new revelators. ๐Ÿ™‚

  176. Michael says:


    I think I’ve made it clear that I do not.
    This is the point where you get nasty in these discussions and there is little point in continuing.

  177. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wait – this was your thesis not mine. Your thesis was stated that slavery was OK before and remained because it was too much to ask Paul to speak against it — but something, still unmentioned has changed that view so later in the 18th century it could now be expressed as wrong and God wanted it changed. But I have no clue as to what that revelation was.

    The same thesis you used for women pastors. In days of old it was too patriarchal to stand up for women pastors but now in the 20/21st centuries, something new has been revealed that say “now is the time.”

    I am just waiting for you to identify what that new or change of revelation was / is.

    I don’t think I have been nasty at all – I even identified when I thought you would think I was being snarky. ๐Ÿ™‚

  178. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As an aside, the lady outside my office was just playing the youtube video of this week’s winner of the Voice singing “Mary did you know?”

    I had her crank it up and I told people they had to stop work and listen.

    People have no right to be offended in my office. ๐Ÿ™‚

  179. Michael says:


    This is not “my” thesis, but one I found worthwhile of sharing.
    The notion that God accommodates Himself to culture is a biblical one.

    โ€œHe said to them, โ€œBecause of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adulteryโ€
    (Matthew 19:7โ€“9 ESV)

    God intended for things to be one way…He accommodated their hardness of heart until they would be able to hear the fullness of His truth.

    I am not advocating any “new revelation” or change in revelation…simply deeper revelation revealed.
    Like Jesus did in that passage…

    Why or how God chooses to time things is not my business.

    Why He waited 900 years to reveal substitutionary atonement.
    Why He waited 1517 years to begin to reveal justification by faith.

    Why He waited 1800 years to reveal the Rapture… ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t know.

  180. Steve Wright says:

    Are you guys familiar with Pastor Danny Cortez? Seen his YouTube video which was the recording of his message to his church of his evolution towards homosexuality in committed relationships being OK. This is the Southern Baptist pastor (former) who is now quite the poster boy for this movement because he is totally conservative on every other issue.

    He was raised in Calvary Chapel schools, has his degree from Talbot Seminary (Biola) and was Southern Baptist pastor for I think 20 years before they booted him when he changed on this. He gives a very plausible exegesis that the New Testament passages had a direct cultural relationship to Rome in the 1st century, with specific reference to Caligula.

    Anyway, I think everyone ought to watch his video because he is the future of the American pastor and a classic example of wanting the Bible to say something because of the emotions and the culture. It is quite a powerful watch – even as I disagree and think there are plenty of holes in his arguments.

    As the older generation dies off, this guy is the future for the large American church – the so called “third way” where homosexual marriage is just another area like divorce where different churches have different views.

    But the days of being dismissive and saying only liberals and those who deny the Bible hold to homosexual marriage are gone.

  181. Michael says:

    John Stackhouse gives a very direct apologetic as to why his thesis does NOT apply to gay marriage.

  182. Babylon's Dread says:

    Cortez is exactly what you can expect the market to produce

  183. Steve Wright says:

    There are plenty of holes that could be punched in his argument, but I remember very well listening to a pastor 20 years ago in the heart of Hollywood, one of the few Bible conservative churches in the entire area – and discussing what he does when he has people come to him claiming to be Christian and gay.

    He said he would show them the passages about fornication and remind them that as followers of Christ, sex was to be had within the bonds of marriage. Thus, since gay marriage was not possible, they were to abstain and he said those serious about following Christ would abstain and over time would cease identifying as gay. Others when hearing that advice would just leave to find a more accommodating church to their lifestyle which was also find with this pastor rather than them sticking around and causing problems.

    Those days are over and a large argument is that Christians are forcing gays into a celibacy by opposing gay marriage that God does not want them to have.

    And since we do speak of cultural issues in proper exegesis, hearing the explanation that Paul in Romans One is describing the life and assassination of Caligula to the Romans without calling him by name comes off quite plausibly – especially for those who likewise interpret Revelation historically saying code words are used to describe historical events that the original readers would understand.

    Dread affirms my point – the market will demand these churches and pastor in the future. Cortez makes a strong argument against the So Baptist inconsistency on divorce and remarriage as “optionals” if you ask me….in his attempt to stay in the denomination

  184. Xenia says:

    I see from Amazon that Stackhouse has written a book about rethinking hell and one called “Finally Feminist.” Let’s hope he stops before he writes “Rethinking Homosexuality” because he is on that trjectory.

  185. Steve Wright says:

    The biggest argument against guys like Cortez is when they speak of celibacy as a prison – something you are doomed to. That is not the Bible’s perspective at all.

    However, if the only way you can enjoy sex is in perversion (and I use that in the technical sense of the word) then you must abstain.

    It is very similar to alcohol. The alcoholic is not capable of drinking in moderation. The first drink sets off a bodily response that craves more and leads to drunkenness. Thus, the only advice for the alcoholic is abstinence. So one can read that wine, like sex, is made by God for the pleasure of people, but can accept that in his/her life, wine (like sex) can’t be partaken in.

  186. Michael says:

    No, he is not.
    I have already said there is a chapter on this issue in the book that totally refutes same sex marriage.

  187. Xenia says:

    I hope you are right. Once you start sliding down the slippery slope of rethinking things that have been taught for 2000 years it’s hard to put on the brakes.

  188. Steve Wright says:

    I think the church’s ease with divorce comes from so many people having that experience in their immediate families (i.e. cultural commonness)

    I think women pastors likewise has to do with so many women not just in the workplace but thriving as executives, supervisors over men. A cultural component. (I’m not objecting to that by the way – as long as young children are not neglected in the name of career)

    I think the homosexual issue is the same – like divorce, almost every family has a direct connection and certainly every young person knows several friends who identify as gay.

    I expect Cortez will become more and more accepted as the norm. At least if you want a church with a lot of 20-40 somethings in it…

  189. Jean says:

    Wow, did I miss a contested thread. I could have reduced my billable hours by several this week had I checked in sooner. Too late now that everything’s been mulled over. ๐Ÿ™‚

  190. Em says:

    MLD, “So my question โ€“ on what do you base the idea of a closed canon and also, what would you say if a new โ€œoldโ€ letter was found or if God did want to write the Book of Women Pastors?”
    what i would say wouldn’t carry any weight, but since you asked… for me it is a simple matter – a found letter? does it contradict what we now have? if so, discard it/send it to the museum… if not, enjoy! Book of Women pastors? … does it come from a smoking mountain and is it etched into tablets of stone? wow, let me have a look, otherwise… must’ve been some other god writing ๐Ÿ™‚


    we hand wring over the proliferation of homosexuality (we should), but i think we miss the bigger point (do i sound like Obama?) – this deviant behavior is a reflection of society’s norms, not the cause of it
    IMV – we way underestimate the extent to which a young brain can be programmed in its responses to the world it is exposed to – “i can’t help it; it’s the way i am.” well, yes that’s true and who’s fault is that?
    it is society’s norms and standards programming our young… bring up a child in the way he should go? but there’s no getting out of Sodom or Gomorrah anymore, is there?

  191. Jean says:

    At the risk of destroying Michael’s street cred, I believe he is onto something important here regarding hermeneutics that should not be dismissed out of hand. In my studies, it is referred to as the redemptive movement hermeneutic. This article articulates how it works from the perspective of multiple scholars.

  192. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – I printed it out – will read it over the weekend.

    Let’s see if an old dog can learn new tricks ๐Ÿ˜‰

  193. Jean says:

    MLD, I don’t consider you a crotchety old codger, no matter what anyone says. ๐Ÿ™‚

  194. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I too look forward to reading it. I only got through the first couple of pages but am curious as to the emphasis on the Old Testament at that stage as to slavery issues.

    Maybe this is more of an issue to a non-dispensationalist who does not see the same distinction between Israel and the Church as yours truly. In any event, thank you for posting.

  195. Michael says:

    Very nice work , Jean.

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