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Andrew Bartlett, in his new book Men and Women in Christ (MWiC), asks if Paul affirms or denies hierarchies in Christian marriage?
Good question. He explores these questions with finesse and nuance and even-handedness.
Place - Others - Heart - Christian - Love
Being willing to take the lowest place for the good of others is at the heart of Christian love and living. Jesus taught this and also lived it, both in his ministry and supremely at the cross (Mark 10:42-45;John 13:1-17; 15:12-17; Phil. 2:5-
-8). Because Paul’s view of the world is Christ-centred, this theme is often picked up in his teaching:
This has significant implications.
Fellowship - God - Church - Hierarchies - Love
The fellowship of God’s church is therefore built not on hierarchies but on humble love.
However, this does not mean that Paul is opposed to all hierarchy. He endorses the existence and exercise of authority where appropriate. For example, believers should submit to civil government, because it is God’s provision for the active restraint of evil (Rom. 13:1-7). And he endorses the appropriate exercise of authority by parents over children. We know this because one of the qualifications for eldership is that elders should have their children under proper control (i Tim. 3:4-5 – ‘having children in subjection’). Paul is innocent of today’s Western cultural distaste for hierarchies.
Grudem - Paul - Use - Hupotasso - Implies
Grudem says that Paul’s use of hupotasso implies a hierarchy of husband over wife. He claims that hupotasso is always used of submission to an authority. … Grudem’s reasoning skips over an essential interpretive decision which has to be made when we read the texts concerning wives’ submission. Does Paul mean that wives should submit because their husbands are in authority over them? Or does Paul mean that wives should behave as if their husbands ranked above them, even though in Christ husbands and wives are...
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