Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Genesis of Eternal Subordinationism -- Part III of Tim Keller on Sex

Having discussed this issue privately with Shirley Taylor, and as a continuation of this theme and topic, I include it here as part of our dialogue.  In a post that will follow in a close to this theme, I will include Shirley's summary statements concerning this theology and what those who find it problematic can do.  Before hand, I will delve into the connection between holiness and marriage in subsequent post.  It's all so much to take in because it is so convoluted, and the Calvinist learning curve is steep.

The previous posts discussed statements made by Tim Keller in his book, The Meaning of Marriage.  Along with many others who are held in high esteem within the Southern Baptist movement which embraces Covenant Theology and gender hierarchy, Keller professes the Doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) to validate his views on marriage.  Through a very convoluted interpretation of Scripture along with the extension of what I personally find to be the already dubious "Covenant of Redemption" by inserting hierarchy, Keller claims that marriage relationships are patterned after the love relationship between God the Father and God the Son. 
NOTE:  In this post, I refer via links, in particular , a website devoted to the study of the Trinity, though I may or may not agree with the information presented there.  Links used here mean to give the reader some working understanding of the concepts in some depth.  If needed, google the terms if you need a more basic summary of them, as rank and file folks don't often use them in our common language.

The Theological Basis of ESS


Many people ponder how anyone could have ever followed this path of reasoning to support gender, though it is based in a particular way of understanding the Trinity — a tri-personal, monotheistic God as revealed to us through Scripture — but not with great detail.  (I often think of the book Flatland, as though we are trapped in our perspective in this life which makes certain things about life, death, and religion mysteriously hidden.)  Personally, I prefer Moreland and Craig's "Trinity Monotheism" view as defended in their Philosophical Foundations for a Biblical Worldview, though you can read a shorthand summary and a critique HERE

Keep in mind that not one particular approach is necessarily right or wrong but is a function of perspective and personality and how one makes sense of information.  It is only wrong if it denies the basic and essential doctrines of Scripture.  This is a conundrum of difference, and we will always have some tension because we are not identical people and think and understand information in different styles and manners.


Understanding of the Trinity

 It may be helpful to look at the chart that I put together to better understand the two primary and different approaches to the Trinity embraced by Evangelicals.

The Trinity Monotheism view works to avoid the trappings and limitations of the two primary views of the Trinity that are generally followed in Evangelical Christianity today.  Keller's view favors the "Social" view of the Trinity which emphasizes the distinctives of each of the Divine Three — and it is embraced by most people who claim Calvinism, but not necessarily.  It is accepted as the preferred view in many forms of Covenant Theology.  The "Anti-Social" view of the Trinity emphasizes the oneness of God as opposed to the distinct persons.  Both groups profess monotheism and embrace tri-personal aspects of the mystery of the identity of God, though being a mystery, we do take much by faith in ambiguity.  This does not mean that God is unknowable, however, or that He is some "holy other," nor is it a Roman Catholic view.

The pitfalls of the Social view include Tritheism (three Gods that are not one in tri-personal wholeness) and Arianism (Jesus becomes a lesser God which was first advanced by a 3rd Century ascetic Christian named Arius).  Some evangelicals argue that ESS amounts to semi-arianism.   Those who profess Social Trinitarian views often argue that personhood can only be defined and manifested in terms of a relationship, so they focus on the relationship aspects.  The pitfalls for the Anti-Social view include Unitarianism (directly denies that Jesus is fully God in all His fullness) and Modalism (denies personhood to the Divine Three and views each manifestation of God as separate modes — such as water's possible state as ice, liquid, and gaseous forms, depending on conditions). Note that all of these pitfalls, in one way or another, rob Jesus if His deity.

That which the Apostle Paul stated was a mystery which could but demonstrate concepts to us through marriage, this group of modern theologians claim as gender role religion and as a magical guide to understanding God.  But in the end, they remain mysteries.  We run into theological error when we extrapolate beyond that which Scripture solidly supports, no matter how badly we hope to understand, qualify, and even quantify a mystery.  Personally, I believe that this theology attracts those who have difficulty tolerating ambiguity because it attempts to "relieve" Christians of that ambiguity and the tension that it creates.


The Extension of the Covenant of Redemption


In short, things happened this way:
  1. Covenant Theology:  A Calvinist interpretive tool of systematic doctrine to better understand Scripture.  It contrasts with the interpretive framework embraced by Dispensationalists in the way that God reached out to mankind.  Covenant Theology identifies the origin of the church (the assembly) with God's covenant with Abraham and sees subsequent events in the Judeo-Christian narrative as the unfolding of God's plan which culminates in Jesus the Messiah's sacrifice.  The Old Testament Law is divided into three categories (moral, ceremonial, and civil), and only the moral law is said to apply today — though many disagree on what rightfully falls into which category.
  2. God reached out to mankind *theologically* through Covenants.  (The Puritan Shop has a chart for sale.)   The first was the Covenant of Redemption when God made the decision to redeem mankind.  The second was the Covenant of Works which concluded when Adam sinned.  The third way that God reached out to man was through the Covenant of Grace.  According to Calvinists, we are still under the Covenant of Grace today.  Both the Old Testament Law and the New Covenant in Christ is seen as an extension of the Covenant of Grace.
  3. The Covenant of Redemption is dependent upon a Social View of the Trinity which emphasizes the distinctive of each personality of each of the Divine Three
  4. Lesser known and questionable Reformation age individuals (hailed as visionaries at the questionable Doug Wilson's New St. Andrews Seminary) claimed that there was a hierarchy among the Persons of the Godhead, but their assertions were never adopted because they tended towards Arianism and Tritheism.
  5. George Knight III (quoted in the previous post) proposed in the late Seventies that there was not only a covenant struck by God for man in the Covenant of Redemption, but there was also something of a division of labor discussed among the Divine Three.  He went on to add that they were each bound to roles as individuals because of hierarchy based on their personalities and identities.  The Son didn't agree to be the Messiah because he was eternally the Son and sat in submission to the authority of the Father.  
  6. This change in understanding of the theology was aided by the change in the use and understanding of language over time as well as the translation of language from not only ancient texts and translations from other languages used to define and qualify those ancient texts.
  7. Knight also asserted that, to prove a statement once made by RC Sproul (Sr) that all doctrine somehow flows from the Doctrine of God.  Gender and gender related conduct thus becomes inextricably bound directly to God and His identity.  Gender not only tells us metaphorically about aspects of what Christ did to redeem mankind, the Trinity stands as a concrete exemplar of relationship between husband and wife.
  8. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and individuals within it who were inclined towards Covenant Theology took this concept and ran with it.  It eventually became known as the Eternal Subordination of the Son Doctrine.
  9. On this basis of the direct connection between gender and the identity of God, those who reject ESS have been said to be heretics who worship a false God, merely by rejecting the concept of gender hierarchy.
  10. ESS demands that a person understand God in terms of a Social Trinitarian view.


Read Moreland and Craig and the works of Kevin Giles concerning the Trinity for more information. I think that Jesus and the Father by Giles gives the best shorthand overview of the genesis of ESS -- which is, of course, a book.

Additional posts supporting my understanding and documentation concerning ESS may be read HERE.


More yet to come on this subject!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Month: All Throughout September (Dashed Spellcheck!)



To launch the Look at Books month, 
I'm happy to announce that Adele Hebert has made her book

All the scriptures pertaining to 
Women and Children in the New Testament

available for free via download
to any and all who would like a copy of it!

Adele who has graciously shared her writings here on this website has written a wonderful book that looks at every Scripture in the Bible that speaks the truth about what the Word really says about women.  (My review of it appears HERE.)  She is a true scholar of the Word who has assisted other writers with research in the preparation of their own works, but her writing brings to mind the joy that I feel about knowing my loving Savior. She puts forth the Word and elevates it above all else. She does address the contemporary problems that have resulted from or have been fostered by complementarian ideology (which postulates that gender role playing is demanded by God), but in so doing, she maintains a central focus on Scripture, God's love for mankind, and the love of Jesus as the central feature of the discussion. Though she encourages the reader by discussing many relevant topics, I also so love the section that notes the content concerning women throughout the whole New Testament, book by book.
http://www.amazon.com/Every-Woman-Child-pertaining-Testament/dp/1468113836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433024858&sr=8-1&keywords=adele+hebert
Read content at Amazon.com

Here is her bio from God's Word to Women, a website that has benefited greatly from Adele's time and volunteer work to make so much of Katharine Bushnell's work available online.
Adele Hebert is "driven to study the word". Asked to describe herself, she recalls the honor of being recognized as an Independent Scholar by author Leonard Swidler for whom she worked as an editor and contributor for the book Jesus Was A Feminist (which includes one of her articles). She has also edited other Christian books and newsletters, including CBE International newsletters and she typed the GWTW book and many of Katharine Bushnell's articles which are centerpieces of the GWTW site. Delighted to have her article included on the GWTW website, Adele is confident that this message will bless many women.
(Read even more about Adele HERE, as I once honored her with the Stylish Blog award!)
 

To obtain your copy of the book:

Visit the download site at EveryWomanAndChild.com, and follow the instructions there.  You can also still obtain a hard copy of the paperback edition of the book by linking to the Create Space website HERE.

Thank you Adele, my sweet friend, for your labors of love and your gracious gift of your labor.  This book is truly a love letter to all of us.  You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me!
 






Tim Keller on the Meaning of the Sex Act in Marriage: A Virtual Dialogue with Shirley Taylor Part II




The previous post discussed the Doctine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son in the Trinity which the Southern Baptist Convention falsely contends has been the only orthodox understanding of the Trinity since the original Biblical texts were penned and a belief always held by theologians. 




In Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage, he goes on to quote George Knight III in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in a statement of agreement:
Paul saw that when God designed the original marriage, He already had Christ and the Church in mind. This is one of God’s great purposes in marriage: to picture the relationship between Christ and His redeemed people forever!

Shirley Taylor responds to this statement in her book Dethroning Male Headship in the discussion of the "Sexualization of the Trinity":

Salvation by faith has been replaced

They have made the marriage bed into God’s grand design and demoted salvation by faith into a secondary design. But salvation for the Church Body was God’s grand design, not the marriage bed. Procreation was part of God’s grand design in marriage, and the Bible does not shy away from sex. However, God’s command to be fruitful and multiply does not indicate that the sex act reflects God Himself. Sex is procreational and recreational, but it is not symbolic of the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


In case you're wondering who this Shirley Taylor is, I love how John Pierce describes her in the publication, Baptists Today:
[Quoting Shirley]

“We have sent emails and faxes to Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Lifeway Book Stores, Baptist encampments and Baptist newspapers.  
[Blog host note:  Add to this list the document sent to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood]
“How much does a snowflake weigh? Almost nothing, but one snowflake upon another can cause a tree limb to break. This is my snowflake. I add it to the weight of all those others who have come to realize that women should claim the equality that is already given them by Almighty God.”

Two editorial observations [as noted by John Pierce]:
1. There are other places in Baptist life where women are affirmed and other groups (such as Baptist Women in Ministry) where this concern is addressed.
2. However, I wouldn’t underestimate the impact of one Texas grandmother’s *woman's snowflake.

*Shirley asked that the notation of "grandmother" be noted as "woman" because she is first and foremost a woman, and she doesn't mean to limit any woman's effectiveness or impact based on age.  And she is far more than a grandmother.

~ ~ ~

Read this blog host's response to Keller's statement in the next post.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tim Keller on the Meaning of the Sex Act in Marriage: A Virtual Dialogue with Shirley Taylor Part I


Spiritual Sounding Board (SSB) just cross-posted my weekend commentary on Anna Duggar and the scapegoating that "spread your legs theology" doles out to women.    Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd swiftly proved my thesis on Sunday.

I read that the Dugggars "identify" with Floyd's church where their daughter Jill married, though I understand that they often choose to worship at home as well.  By the time that the church deleted the online podcast of Floyd's sermon, the lion's share of the material had been reproduced by a host of journalists and bloggers, noting the manner in which their religion blames wives for adulterous husbands.  I guarantee that within the Gothard system specifically, the condemnation proves far more scathing.  The SBC as a whole isn't quite as miserable about such matters.

And as an aside, I was happy to learn that Anna Duggar's brother offered to take Anna and her children with Josh in and would support them, should Anna choose to separate.  Or something to that effect.

What turned out to be the middle of the night for me, a person commenting under the SSB reposting inquired about the specifics of statements made by Tim Keller that I found rather salacious, and in light of the drama over the past two years or so in the Duggaresque world, I didn't feel all that hesitant use equally salacious terms to define the gender theology.  With permission, I quoted Shirley Taylor's private comments to me a few years ago, qualifying Keller's belief system little more than a theology of sexism which reduces women to creatures of lesser essence and purpose.  I believe that it is helpful to note that Shirley Taylor reached the status of septuagenarian a year or so ago.  I can imagine that her critics have characterized us both as young, foaming at the mouth man-haters.  She a loving wife, mom, grandmom and still works as a church secretary.  She even does home canning.  (And I turn 50 next year.)


Questions about Tim Keller

A polite person posted a response, asking for specifics about what Tim Keller had to say about marriage, as I am probably more disappointed in him and in D.A. Carson than all of the rest of those involved with this ideology.  Because the issue that I believe Keller gets very wrong is so central to the central message of Christianity, I will post the quotes and my response in at least two blog posts.  Shirley and I have discussed these matters many times in conversation, but I would also like to highlight her statements about these same matters from her book.  (She's currently revising it and has written two more books since its publication.)  I noted at the SSB blog that I didn't want to give Keller's statements a platform of legitimacy without my own responses to them as well.  To me, it's like handing out cookies laced with rat poison, and I don't feel comfortable doing so.

There are several things in the Sex and Marriage chapter in Tim Keller's marriage book that give me pause, and not because I am prudish.  I've been a nurse for 29 years, and I worked in hospital urology for two years when I first graduated.  I don't agree with many things that Keller postulates in that chapter, but it's a free country and I disagree with plenty of people on the planet, including fellow Christians.  I will limit my comments to those matters with serious doctrinal implications and that which I see as inappropriate in terms of what Scripture actually says.


I'll keep this blog post limited to this series of quotes from the Sex and Marriage chapter in The Meaning of Marriage:
 “Sex leads us to words of adoration—it literally evokes shouts of joy and praise. Through the Bible, we know why this is true. John 17 tells us that from all eternity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been adoring and glorifying each other, living in high devotion to each other, pouring love and joy into one another’s hearts continually (cf. John 1:18; 17:5, 21, 24–25). Sex between a man and a woman points to the love between the Father and the Son (1 Corinthians 11:3). It is a reflection of the joyous self-giving and pleasure of love within the very life of the triune God. Sex is glorious not only because it reflects the joy of the Trinity but also because it points to the eternal delight of soul that we will have in heaven, in our loving relationships with God and one another.”


My Initial Response to Keller's Statement

I don't know about you, but from a reading of these proof texts, prior to ever hearing about the Eternal Subordination of the Son Doctrine (ESS), and thereafter, I can say with all honesty that I never saw anything concerning the actual sex act in them.  Never once did it occur in the midst of physical union with my husband over the past 25 years that I was supposed to be thinking about the analogous relationship between Jesus and the Church.  I thought about love for my husband and his love for me, and about the blessing of pleasure through that experience. 

I would say that the more profound lessons about love and care that introduced me to a whole new, deeper level of being loved more than anyone had ever loved me came not through anything having to do with the sex act.  My husband's patient kindness with me, self sacrifice, and all sorts of other ways in daily life that I never dreamed took me by surprise in the way he honored me in real life.  I remember the first time that he made and brought me a cup of coffee about a month after our honeymoon.  I thought about the profound effect that the way my father treated my mother had on my expectations and how the love my husband lived out for me so far exceeded any other love that anyone had ever expressed for me.  I still feel that way about him today.  And as all marriages, it has not been a rose garden.


A Gospel Coalition Sex Talmud?  (a.k.a,  I've been doing it wrong for 20+ years?)

I thoroughly enjoy sex and would say that it can feel transcendent in its own unique way, but it is such a small element of marriage in comparison to everything else that I can't imagine cheapening the whole of our relationship by claiming that sex was the apex of it in the way that Keller lauds it.  (Keller's associate Mary Kassian uses that description to qualify sex in marriage and writes about discussing the subject with Keller.)  My relationship with my husband is not that static, and life is too complicated to classify sex as an apex.  Maybe it was during the first decade?  I don't know.

Admittedly, this is not not Keller's statement who does make statements about marriage that I don't see supported in Scripture, but Kassian goes on to say that if you're not thinking about God during sex, she almost makes it sound like it's tantamount to adultery.  I have other problems with her analogies and reasoning in this whole series of posts from 2012.  I recall one almost arguing for elder rule in a way that made it sound like an argument could be made that a woman could have sex with an elder if that's what he desired.  I'm not bothering looking it up, but it had more puzzle piece pictures that were just...not right.   She didn't say that you could commit adutery, but the whole line of argument was so bizarre and full of error, that's what her logic (?) could justify.


From Kassian's post, More Necessities for God-Glorifying Sex:
The final and overarching necessity for God-glorifying sex is “Godwardness.” By that, I mean understanding that your sexuality (and the rest of life) is ultimately not about you, but about reflecting truths about your Creator-Redeemer. [. . .]  When I work at desiring my husband and being desirable for him, I honor the gospel story. Godward sexuality is far more than following a set of rules for moral conduct. Having a Godward mindset informs and transforms me from the inside out, enabling me to embrace the fullness and joy of my God-given sexuality, and to live in a way that honors Jesus.

 WHAT???

There is much rhetoric of this sort in the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and among those well accepted in Keller's Gospel Coalition, and Keller echoes the spirit of it and has never challenged these types of ideas.  I feel safe to assume Keller takes no issue with these concepts.  John Piper is another one who has made provocative statements, and he's definitely never publicly challenged Bruce Ware's writing.)


Dethroning the Bizarre

Shirley discusses these and other statements in her book, Dethroning Male Headship.  As the wife of one husband, the mother of two sons, and a Christian who loves Jesus, and a woman of the Word who sees these glaring Keller's description of marriage this way in her book, I thought her comments here were insightful, especially since I may have left those reading here with the impression that she was little more than a shock jock egalitarian.

In her chapter entitled Sexualization of the Trinity, she comments:
http://www.amazon.com/Dethroning-Male-Headship-Shirley-Taylor/dp/097942934X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440517493&sr=8-1&keywords=dethroning+male+headship

Keller is saying that when husbands and wives have sex, particularly when they climax (when else would there be “shouts of joy?”), they are emulating how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit rejoice in each other. 
[. . .]
The ‘union’ between the Son of God and his bride the Church, according to Piper and Keller, is sex. Just as sex supposedly points to the love between the Father and Son, now the bride (the Church) is involved . . . if you believe what Piper and Keller are saying.



Why is it that a grandmother who has studied the Bible and never went to seminary can see right through these matters, and so many people can't?   Or perhaps they don't want to see any of it.  I really don't want to know.




~~~ 

The next post will examine more problematic statements that branch back to the presupposition of the ESS Doctrine held by Keller, The Gospel Coalition, John Piper (a contributor to some of Piper's works), and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.






Monday, August 24, 2015

Who put Jesus in a dress? The Insane Theology of the Eternal Subordination of the Son Doctrine

http://www.amazon.com/Dethroning-Male-Headship-Shirley-Taylor/dp/097942934X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440239233&sr=8-1&keywords=Dethroning+Male+Headship
Shirley Taylor is revising her first book, but I wanted to revisit it in the event that this portion changes. 

I still can hardly believe that anyone takes this Subordination doctrine seriously at all, especially the alleged ramifications that it holds for gender relationships.  I wandered into a seminary a number of years ago and challenged doctrines that I could barely believe that anyone took seriously and found out in a most unpleasant way that it was one of the hottest topics within the Southern Baptist Convention.

I've heard rumors that many who claim to embrace gender roles and female subordination actually reject the idea that these roles and relationships find their origins in the Trinity -- a mystery of religion in and of itself.  But who knows.  Follow the money, I say.  When it completely stops bringing in the bucks, they'll abandon the concept and come up with some new kind of spin to make their concept try to work.   I'm still in awe that seminaries full of Christians can sit and listen to this, saying nothing.

This excerpt was taken from Taylor's 2013 book, "Dethroning Male Headship."  It's located in the Kindle Version at Locations 1630 through 1651:

Kevin Giles, renowned Anglican priest, theologian, and author of The Trinity and Subordination, counters complementarian teaching with this statement, “To bolster support for this “great cause” (the permanent subordination of women), the doctrine of the Trinity has been redefined and reworded to give evangelical who has written in support of the eternal subordination of the Son is committed to the permanent subordination of women in the church and the home. This agenda is what drives them to advocate the eternal subordination of the Son.” 1

Cindy Kunsman wrote, “It’s not enough to just slam women but complementarians are so motivated by the woman problem, they will put Jesus in a dress and make Him out to be the eternal slave— a special purpose God. The one Divine Person who actually had a physical body that was male is given the “role” that is synonymous with women. In that sense, they put him in a dress. Even on that level, what sense does this teaching make? The one man who was a man is likened by analogy to a woman. The one who is given the pre-eminence in all things is secondary in power. Why?” 2

She was referring to Bruce Ware and his teaching that Jesus is in eternal submission to the Father. This theology is used to explain why women must submit to their husbands. It is the theology that is being taught to young future preachers at Southern Baptist seminaries.

Ware explains a portion of the Eternal Son Subordination theory in The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit the Trinity as theological foundation for family ministry, “In addition, just as the husband’s thoughtful and loving headship should reflect Christ’s relationship to the church (Eph 5: 25– 27, 31– 32), so the wife’s glad-hearted and consistent submission should reflect the church’s privilege of absolute submission before the lordship of the Messiah (Eph 5: 24, 31– 32).

Therefore, the type of submission a wife is called to render to her husband is joyful and glad-hearted.” He goes on to say, “Just as God calls all of us to submit to authority with whole heart and willing spirit, so this special calling and privilege is given to wives as a reflection of the triune relations within the Godhead.”  3

Ware’s explanation reduces our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to that of a slave to the Father (absolute submission), and demotes Christ. Complementarians who teach this theology keep getting confused about the wife’s role. In this particular comment by Ware, the husband represents both Jesus and God, while the wife represents the church. Again, it is a mystery where the Holy Spirit fits into this triune relationship.


~~~

1 Giles, Kevin. The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate (InterVarsity, 2002) and Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity (Zondervan, 2006)

2  Kunsman, Cynthia, undermuchgrace.com (private communication)

3  Ware, Bruce. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity as Theological Foundation for Family Ministry. Implications for Husbands and Fathers. http:// www.sbts.edu/ family/ blog/ the-father-the-son-and-the-holy-spirit-the-trinity-as-theological-foundation-for-family-ministry/



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Will Anna Duggar be offered as the next live sacrifice to save the Duggar Family Brand? Scapegoating, Spread Your Legs Theology, and the Modern Molech

(Please take note of embedded links 
                 for background information.)

I’ve tried for more than 48 hours to write this, but having watched this scenario play out with other followers of Bill Gothard, it brings up so many disturbing emotions for me, I found myself too caught up in them.  As the media begins to report, Anna Duggar will share in the blame for her husband’s sins and divorce will be strongly discouraged if not demonized.  I’ve watched it happen with other people who follow this belief system, over and over again. 

I don’t know how the family will make her the scapegoat for his behavior prior to their courtship, but they will scapegoat her for his infidelity.  The wife’s exemplary performance allegedly and magically prevents a husband from indulging in sin.  We see elements of this same mindset in the blaming behavior of Tullian Tchividjian.  Such magical thinking rests at the core of all of the beliefs within the Duggars’ cultic excuse for sanitized and superior Christianity.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Jill and Jessa Duggar as Quivering Daughters: Hillary McFarland’s book is available again!

The previous post explains the plight of Second Generation Adults of Patriarchy (SGAs) — those who suffer in the confinement of thought and in the circumstances in life created by Christians who sought to help their families.  The SGA describes adults who grew up in a family that followed high demand religion — a process that has profound effects for those who endure it.  Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland seeks to help those who have lived a “Duggar-like lifestyle” but found that it worked to destroy that which it was meant to create.  Rather than a nurturing environment of safety and love, many of its daughters and sons were met with pain, rejection — and sometimes, with abuse.

I am grieved to see that some of these misfortunes have also touched the Duggar Family.  I feel pity and empathy for all of them, especially for Jill, Jessa, and those unnamed ones who don’t even fully realize that they were abused.  They also do not realize the nature of the system of belief that they follow not only puts them at risk for physical harm, it also packs a punch of emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse.  That is where most of us who were involved with Gothardism find ourselves when we wake up to the reality that formulas for living that eliminate the problems in life simply don’t work.  It takes time and valiant courage to face the tragic consequences as well as the end of the fantasy that promised us “a better way.” 

Available Again!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

The First Step Towards Understanding Jill and Jessa Duggar’s Fox Interview: Second Generation Adults in Cultic/High Demand Religion

A host of resources exist exploring the characteristics of the subculture of the Quiverfull Movement (which is often synonymous with Patriarchy within evangelical Christian homeschooling circles).  As the new generation that this movement produced finds their voice, there appears to be little information about the process of how this group in particular has affected the development of the now adult “arrows” of their parents’ quivers , especially for those who remain within their religious culture of origin.


Defining the Term:  Second Generation Adult

Simply defined, children who are raised in a high demand religion whose followers view themselves as special have been described as “Second Generation Adults,” (resulting in the acronym of “SGA”). Their parents, those of the “first generation,” who opted to follow a particular ideology obligated their children to its demands — demands which shape how their children grow into their adulthood.  

Parents’ choices burden their children with concerns and issues that people outside of their religious culture do not share.  Even into adulthood, this burden alters normal growth and development as well as identity in predictable, lasting, and often in profound ways. 

The Duggar daughters who appeared on the June 5, 2015 interview on Fox News represent the SGAs of the duplicitous Bill Gothard’s “Advanced Training Institute” homeschooling program.


A Very Complicated Subculture:  Duggar Children as SGAs

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What Micah Murray and I Want You (and the Duggars) to Know about Joy

My blog post today was birthed by a new article written by a thoughtful young man -- a Second Generation Adult (raised in high demand religion) -- who used to be the equivalent of a Duggar, but sans TV show.  Hopefully sans abject abuse, too.

(As I finish this post, The Kelly File featuring the first interview with the Duggars following the tragic news of sexual abuse in their family just beings to air.

Read my general thoughts here and listen to the Patriarchy Workshop if you're interested in what I think about the top layer of their theology.  And a blog series I did on repentance and forgiveness....)


Congratulations to Micah on his premiere article in Bedlam Magazine.  (I'm probably his mother's age, so I see him as young and nearer than I am to the beginning of his own, hard work of healing.)

My!  Did the article set me thinking -- about things other than the he offers which don't begin to reflect the trenchant and thoughtful posts that he pours out on his blog, Redemption Pictures.

As the First Post Sex Abuse Duggar Interview Airs...


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Leaving the Quiver Behind

For the young adult who emerges from a high demand religious household, there's so much grieving (anger, depression, etc), backtracking and adjusting to do that the reconciliation that parents desire takes longer than they would like. Reconciliation doesn't always happen, either.

 The process takes the survivor of this Patriarchy/Quiverfull mess years to process things after growing up in it, and the parent has to go through their own (very different) grieving as well.  Making sense of the rift takes time and work, and it's often difficult to devote oneself to healing and reuniting with parents while forging ahead with one's own life.  And it basically sucks.  It's well worth doing, but it's painful, and it's work.

Getting Back to Blogging and Photo Hacking



I finally moved out of the 20th Century and bought a Smart phone, but not without some casualties.  I thought I was deleting images from  my phone to save memory...  Ha!  I inadvertently deleted a couple of years worth of images from this blog --  291 of them if I remember correctly.

Basically, I've been overcome by life events....  Though things are looking up.




I plan to replace a couple of the missing images every day, but then... I plan to do many things.  (Sigh.)  I have yet to finish responding to Cynthia Jeub's blog in the hope of helping parents feel more comfortable with their adult children and the independent choices that they make.  (I haven't read there since I last posted about her writing here on this blog.)  But to that task  I will return in the Fall.

I feel so old!
I'm not sure when it happened, either.


In the interim and amidst the latest scandal (which seem to be monthly since I last posted here), keep up with Spiritual Sounding Board, Homeschoolers Anonymous, Recovering Grace, and No Longer Quivering for the homeschooling related drama.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bob Jones University: Hope Before the GRACE Storm



Update 2Jun15:  Follow up with the significance and effects of the GRACE Report for Bob Jones University at Bible Madness.



Original post 10Dec14:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Prerequisite for More Discussion about Cynthia Jeub's Blog Posts

Religious lifestyles that demand a great deal of conformity can create a lot of relationship tension as children venture into adulthood as those adult children begin to make their own choices about life and belief.  If there is too much reliance on the identity of the family of origin or if the family demands the adult to remained defined by this identity, relationship are likely to develop.

But what makes for a person's identity?  Where does it come from?  How does an individual find their worth, value and peace?  It's more complicated than you might think.

How would you rate your own self-esteem?  Your self-efficacy?  What kind of locus of control do you have?  What about your loved ones?  Can you speculate about how these elements affect your relationships with family?

Multigenerational Tragedy?

The Ultimate Tragedy:

Another tragedy... is a problem of multigenerational nature. The serious dysfunction in a founding family will be absorbed by the children’s families and then their children’s families, a ripple of misery extending farther and farther down through the years. The dependency or dysfunction may change... But it’s there. It’s almost always there, wreaking it’s damage.


by Hemfelt, Minirth and Meier