Evangelical feminism a new path to liberalism, book says

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Evangelical feminism a new path to liberalism, book says
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Evangelical feminism a new path to liberalism, book says

Nov 1, 2006
By Erin Roach
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Evangelical feminism, a movement that disregards unique leadership roles for men in marriage and in the church, is now one of the greatest threats to the survival of true evangelical Christianity, Wayne Grudem writes in a new book, “Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?”

Grudem, author of numerous books and co-founder and former president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, is research professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona. In his new book, he discusses 25 patterns of argument employed by evangelical feminists and shows how each one dismisses the authority of Scripture.

“A work like Evangelical Feminism has been desperately needed, and Grudem’s new book arrives just in time,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in an Oct. 23 commentary on albertmohler.com. “A new generation of younger evangelicals is facing the challenge of evangelical feminism just as the current and the larger culture are moving even more against biblical authority.”

Mohler says Grudem’s goal is to demonstrate that the methods of interpreting the Bible necessary to justify the ordination of women to the pastorate undermine biblical authority and “open the door for a complete reshaping of Christianity.”

One of the most important sections of the book, Mohler noted, is the examination of “trajectory hermeneutics” now gaining popularity among some evangelicals. People who subscribe to such interpretations argue that the church should not limit itself to a first-century understanding of the Bible concerning gender issues but must consider Scripture from a modern-day standpoint.

“This means that the teachings of the New Testament are no longer our final authority,” Grudem writes. “Our authority now becomes our own ideas of the direction the New Testament was heading but never quite reached.”

Mohler raises the question, “If the New Testament is to be superseded by a later reality based in a more modern understanding, how can the church justify relativizing some texts without relativizing others?”

Grudem argues that the hermeneutic, or method of interpreting Scripture, used to advocate evangelical feminism leads to the normalization of homosexuality as well. And the approval of homosexuality, Grudem writes, “is the final step along the path to liberalism.”

Mohler described Evangelical Feminism as “truly a tract for the times — a manifesto that should serve to awaken complacent evangelicals to the true nature of the egalitarian challenge. Furthermore, the book provides an arsenal of arguments to use in revealing the crucial weaknesses of the egalitarian proposal.

“Nothing less than the future of the Christian church in North America is at stake in this controversy,” Mohler added. “Evangelicals no longer have the luxury of believing that this controversy is nothing more than a dispute among scholars. Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? has arrived just in time. Get this book quickly — and read it with care.”

11-06-2006 07:02 AM

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