Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Aimee Byrd, and on differences in interacting with men and women

In response to my review of Aimee Byrd's book Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Tim Fall decided to fault me on one particular sentence in my introduction, whereby I clearly state that I am reviewing Byrd's book "as if she were a man." That phrase seems to be riling up some feathers, which was rather surprising since I do not buy into radical egalitarianism. But somehow I guess what used to be common sense and biblical good manners need to be defended in this current age. So here goes.

It is generally assumed in a civilized society that one treats women with more gentleness and kinder words, as compared to how one treats men. Call that treating women as a "weaker vessel" if you will, but a civilized society will want to protect women and children, and this (protect women and children) is NOT up for discussion. Part of such protection as it pertains to words is to not use strong words to a woman. One would rather play down the issue or verbally concede when interacting with women. Such actions may sometimes appear disingenous, and perhaps there are better ways society can mange such interactions. However, the notion that one should not speak strongly with women is a good general principle.

In the case of Aimee Byrd, what she has been doing in her rejection of biblical manhood and wommanhood, and the drama that comes along when she reacts to critics, is extremely off-putting. Her teachings are pernicious, but what makes it even worse is that she takes upon herself authority to publicly rebuke men and even pastors. Her aggression is like that of a man, and this is why I am treating her as if she were one. She is not teacheable, aggressive, uncharitable, and less than honest.

How does doing a review for a male author differ from for a female author? While I am not always consistent, here are some examples:

Typical reviewing of a male author

Typical reviewing of a female author

This reviewer suspects a greater fidelity to this hermeneutic due to Byrd’s unrepentant misrepresentation of her opponents.

This reviewer suggest a tendency towards this hermeneutic due to Byrd’s continual misrepresentation of her opponents.

After all, if the response to a critical review alleging misrepresentation is to double-down on those charges, then either Byrd is dishonest, or she embraces a reader-response hermeneutic wherein she gets to decide what a text really mean.

This suspicion comes about because Byrd fails to perceive her misrepresentations even after they had been pointed out to her. Since the charge of misrepresentation was clear, the only option possible is for her to embrace some version of reader-response hermeneutic where she decides the meaning of any text she reads.

One wonders just how bad is Byrd’s capability at comprehension, that she cannot even understand what Piper is plainly saying

Byrd is therefore misrepresenting Piper in what he is plainly saying.

For a book that claims to be a rejection of biblical manhood and womanhood, and a “recovery” from it, Byrd surprisingly misrepresents biblical manhood and womanhood throughout her entire book

While portraying itself as a biblical rejection and “recovery” away from biblical manhood and womanhood, Byrd sadly misrepresents it throughout her book.

Naselli in his review mentioned that Byrd has misinterpreted ESS, but she refuses to listen. Again, either she is a dishonest woman, or she embraces a reader-response hermeneutic. I leave it up to the readers to judge for themselves.

Naselli in his review mentioned that Byrd has misrepresented ESS, but she has not corrected her mistake. Supposing that she comprehends his word, the most charitable interpretation is that she is embracing a reader-response hermeneutic in her interpretation.

In conclusion, while Byrd does have a few legitimate grievances over some practices in the wider church, her book is soaked through with an unbiblical hermeneutic and unbiblical interpretations of the biblical texts.

In conclusion, while Byrd does have a few legitimate grievances over some practices in the wider church, her book is filled with an unbiblical hermeneutic and unbiblical interpretations of the biblical texts.

She is less than honest about her opponents, constantly misrepresenting them and doubling down on her misrepresentations when confronted about it.

She continues to misrepresent her opponents even after being corrected over it.

When I asked if one should be rough with women the same way one can be rough with men, Tim Fall decided that 2 Timothy 2:24-25 is appropriate here, to which I raised Galatians 5:12. But to flesh out my response, somehow "gentleness" as defined by the modern world is the gold standard. But the same apostle who wrote 2 Timothy 2:24-25 also wrote Galatians 5:12. The same gentle Jesus who would not break a bruised reed pronounced severe woes on the Pharisees. The fact is that biblical gentleness IS compatible with being rough if the occasion demands it. In the apostle Paul's case, it was against the false teachers in Galatia, the Judaizers. Thus, we see that when it comes to error, there is a place for strong words, in order to warn people and turn people away from falsehood. It is surely illuminating that all the "gentleness" in the American churches has allowed borderline heresy to thrive under the banner of Revoice, with very few being "man enough" to rebuke them and file charges against those involved.

When error is promoted by women, in line with the view that women should be generally protected from strong words, the tendency should be to suspect failure of understanding rather than failure of character, even when the evidence is clear it is the latter. Again, this may look disingenous, but this is the best practice so far. Generally, strong words should not be used on women, whereas men should be able to take it. Not being able to take and give strong words in a man is in my opinion a sign of effeminacy.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Book Review: Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Aimee Byrd

The book review that many may dread has arrived. I have finally managed to read and review the book Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Aimee Byrd, and it can be found here. Byrd wants equality as a woman, and thus she is given fair treatment in my review, with no holds barred, as if she were a man. It should be obvious that I am not a fan of her conduct, and most definitely not of her social egalitarianism. But I am fair in my review. An excerpt:

2016 marked the year of the ESS (Eternal submission of the Son) controversy. For various reasons, ESS is somehow linked to CBMW. Certain people within the Reformed camp who were chafing at what they had decided were foreign to the Bible broke away from complementarianism altogether, including Rachel Green Miller and Aimee Byrd. Miller had written a book earlier entitled Beyond Authority and Submission, and Byrd now entitled hers Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The not so subtle dig at CBMW notwithstanding, what the title intends to convey is that Byrd sees the teaching of biblical manhood and womanhood as a false teaching which she has once held and is now “recovering” from it.

In this light, Byrd’s book acts as an attack against the teaching of biblical manhood and womanhood, and the recovery of what she believes to the better approach to the topic of not just gender roles but also church relations. The use of the word “recovery” links her to the ressourcement movement in parts of Evangelicalism, with all the connotation that it has.


Saturday, September 05, 2020

Just thinking podcast on Black Lives Matter

Over at the Just Thinking podcast, hosts Virgil Walker and Darrel Harrison, both black men, have recently addressed the issue of Black Lives Matter here. Please do listen to their highly informative and biblically-minded discussion there.

Book Review: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

The book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo is one of the books that supposed is working towards "racial justice." I have reviewed the book, and the review can be found here. An excerpt:

In this book, DiAngelo sets about describing a phenomenon which she terms “white fragility,” a phenomenon that she claims to have observed in whites, which impedes her work in addressing racism in America. Accordingly, DiAngelo sees white fragility as a big problem, and thus this whole book is written to deal with it. ... [more]

While most books have something interesting to add to the discussion even where I reject what it says, I must say that there is nothing positive in DiAngelo's work. My convictions of the extreme dangers of critical race racism has not abated after reading DiAngelo's book, and I will continue to warn against the dangers of this movement.