Beyond Authority and Submission–answer to critics

I endorsed this book by Rachel Green Miller and would do so again. I am not so sure that anyone cares about that. But it is a great book and it should be engaged slowly and thoughtfully.

Unfortunately. she has received an avalanche of ugly, hasty and unthoughful pushback from those who claim the name of Christ. The hatred shown on social media reminds me of the Heidelberg Catechism QA 5  “…I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor.”

The dogma of Total Depravity is alive and well in Reformed circles when it comes to engaging with intelligent women.

But that really isn’t the point of this post, though I did want to mention it and caution those who claim the name of Christ.

The purpose of this post is as a bookmark and a reference to point you to three brilliant responses to one reviewer, Mark Jones.

I know that many will dismiss these voices because of their sex, but I would caution you not to do that. Remember that the disciples first thought that the women were just joking and were rebuked by Christ for not believing them.

I will not add a “man’s voice” here because these women are perfectly capable and able to slay this dragon.

First, here is Aimee Byrd:

As Mark is perplexed as to why Rachel didn’t get into theological anthropology or doesn’t address certain passages, so too I am perplexed that he doesn’t really even engage with the main thrust of her book, as if it may all be dismissed by her inferiority. In fact, he uses the title of her book as an insult, as if the whole idea of looking at the relationship of men and women beyond the categories of authority and submission is an ontological error that is in opposition to all of church history.

Second, here is Kerry Baldwin:

There is a continual problem in these discussions and unfortunately Jones is not immune from making them either. It’s all too common for Complementarian/Patriarchalist advocates to misapply feminism as a counter argument when feminism isn’t being argued for. Jones’ review illustrates this problem precisely. He opens with two terms: “radical feminism” and “toxic masculinity.” Why?

And finally (in the order that I read them, not in order of priority) here is Dr Valerie Hobbs:

The issue I take with Mark Jones, beyond his (quite frankly) arrogant writing style is that he does not grasp just how thoroughly Biblical Rachel is encouraging us to think. In this sense, his attempt at scholarly engagement is poor.

That’s it. These writers are thoughtful, biblical, confessional, and should be heard. Not because they are women, not in spite of the fact they are women, but because they are right.

Before you dismiss them, prayerfully and humbly consider what they have to say.


Filed under Book Notes

4 responses to “Beyond Authority and Submission–answer to critics

  1. Jennifer Bales

    Well said

  2. IAmMyBeloved’s

    Those comments you share, seem to have been removed. The question I ask is, why is it okay for Jones to use what past ministers have said, which are not Bible passages but their interpretation of them, but it is not okay for Rachel to use historical facts or people to support her position? Jones is showing himself unteachable and just wants to flush an opinion that goes against his opinion. Whatever brings equality, which is what Christ declared, is truth. Is a man not submitting to Christ and his wife when he obeys the command to love her? He submits to Christ and her when he rightly loves her anytime, especially when she may be unlovable. Just as a wife behaves respectfully to a husband who is not respectable at times. She is then submitting to Christ and to her husband. So why do men not see their obedience as submission to God and their wives? But I will bet that if some men understood that principle, they would bristle and have a hard time obeying God.

  3. Bev Sterk

    Sam, I think Mark Jones deleted those 3 comments from the comments of his post… I did not see them either when I went to the link you posted w Mark’s review… so thank you for saving these comments… mind blowing how threatened some are by any woman, challenging the status quo of authority and submission… blessings, peace and protection to you and your family! especially as you are in the middle of an exceptionally difficult season… love & prayers…

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