Hodge Responds

I wanted to make a seperate post for this, since this would take way too long to post in a comment section. Bryan Hodge has responded to my post. Again, I am simply amazed at how someone who is obviously competent can be so blinded by tradition. I will just have to let you read it for yourself. He begins his response with:

Although your critique of my book was not generous to say the least, and I would like you to back up the claim that I was nasty on Parchment and Pen blog (where I regularly hang out) or withdraw your statement (others were quite nasty to me, I did not return the favor), I would still like to address some issues here as graciously as I can (and that will be a challenge with the unfortunate rhetoric that you have chosen here–I would seriously doubt that my old professors would approve of such rhetoric which comes close to slander within itself).

First of all, I linked to the discussion on Parchment and Pen. The fact of the matter is, the discussion got shut down. That should tell you something right away. I want people to read some of the accusations that he makes:

The reason why issues like this changed in the twentieth century for Christians is because Christians adopted a philosophic naturalism as an assumption when viewing the issue of conception, even though theoretically they adopt the supernatural view of the Scripture that God makes children.

Talk about slander! No one who is a Christian believes that it is man *alone* plays a part in the giving of life to children. Furthermore, calling what we believe “naturalism” when many of us have fought against naturalism with absolutely no argument whatsoever other than “read my book?” Take a look at this next statement:

The exaltation of the self is only one aspect of the issue.

Again, these are serious accusations. Yet, we never get proof; only “read my book.”

It is no coincidence that Christians struggle now with the issue of homosexuality because their view of the primary purpose of the sexual act is the same as the culture’s. The Church is, therefore, following the flow of the culture. This, of course, does not make it wrong. It just needs to be thought through biblically. I think once this is done, and the bad arguments are taken out of the way, a Christian will come to the right on the matter

I love how we are just following the flow of culture, and how this movement is the only one who has the truth. With no proof offered. Whenever someone would present an argument, it was just “Read my book.” And yet, all of this inflammatory language, and all we get is “read my book,” and then, when we actually read sections of the book, we find that there are exegetical problems? Again, I don’t even know where to begin with this. All of the statements above are from one comment [#37].

This is the nastiness I was talking about. I have yet to see someone who argues this position in print who does not bring in the idea that we are just blinded by culture, that we are selfish, etc. Perhaps we just have intellectual disagreements. No one ever considers this. It is simply impugn the motives of people, with an incredibly judgmental attitude. It is not slander to say that this is what is going on; many other people such as Mark Driscoll have noticed this same attitude. It is not right, and, yes, quite nasty to slander someone, and then say, “For proof, go read my book.” It would have been far better to say “I have written a book on this topic. I think it might be helpful if you want to hear some arguments from the other side,” and leave out the accusations.

Ironically, if you read the book (and this is why I could not simply reproduce it in blog comments) I actually utilize the methodology you suggest. The problem is that you are reading appendices and unaware of how I came to those positions. You, of course, may still disagree once you read the book, but at least you will know that methodology is not the issue of our disagreement (hence, the need for dealing with presuppositions that guide our interpretations).

Again, it is disingenuous to say that myself and most exegetes, are “just following the flow of the culture” and we are “exalting ourselves,” and then demand that we purchase his book in order to understand why that is. If you make a public accusation against a brother, you should defend it. Also, is Hodge saying that we can use the same methodology, and come to contradictory interpretations? How is this not making language relative to one’s presuppositions? I don’t know. If someone has faulty presuppositions that they bring to the text, ultimately, they will not be able to fit it into either the immediate context, or into the context of the rest of scripture. And, again, I would like to think that, on any other issue, Hodge would not be saying the things that he is saying. If we were talking about the doctrines of grace, Justification by faith alone, I would assume that Hodge would by very tight in his exegesis.

The idea that Jesus is making two different arguments in Matt is ad hoc on your part. Jesus connects the two passages in His single argument that verifies the male and female relationship of Genesis 1 and 2.

I want people to read what I said:

The context here is a polemic challenge as to the validity of a man divorcing his wife. Jesus is merely asserting the fact that God created man into two classes, and he himself joins individuals from those classes together. Hence, the nature of marriage goes back to creation, is done directly by God, and hence, what God has joined together, no man can separate. Nowhere in this text is Jesus trying to connect the referent of the pronoun “them” in 1:27 with the couple of 2:24. He is making two different points from each passage. The first, that God made mankind in two subtypes, male and female, and the second that it is God that joins men together. Again, we see how reading the text through the lens of early American culture and the church fathers can cause you to read things into the text that are not there.

Notice how I am arguing that there is two *points* to this argument, not that there are two arguments. Jesus’ first point: God created mankind into two classes, male and female. Second point: One of each class comes together, and becomes one flesh in marriage. Hence, the standard was, from the beginning, one male and one female. I don’t have any clue how this is “ad hoc.” It fits the context of the discussion and the argument, and it fits the conclusion that Christ is making.

The connection between Gen 1 and 2 is signified by eneka toutou (although originally this is connected to the bone of my bone statement in Gen 2.

Actually, I would argue that it summarizes the entire narrative. This is how the Hebrew phrase imperfect+עַל־כֵּם is used at the end of a narrative [Genesis 10:9, Numbers 21:24, Numbers 21:27, 1 Samuel 19:24, 2 Samuel 5:8]. Also, there is no doubt that there is a connection between the two statement of Christ. [I don’t think that the eneka toutou is the issue, though, as I would say that Jesus is just simply quoting Genesis 2:24] The issue is “what is the nature of that connection?” Hodge wants to argue that the connection is that the subject of “leaving,” “cleaving,” and “becoming one flesh” is the same as the אׇדׇ&ם of Genesis 1:26-27. However, that is not Jesus’ point. His point is to argue that marriage is one man and one woman. Not one man and as many women as you want, as long as you sign a certificate of divorce. Hence, it makes perfect sense to establish that God created two classes of human beings [male and female], and then says that *one* from each class comes together in marriage.

Your interpretation really takes issues with mine because of your plural understanding of ’adam, which I don’t believe to be the case based on the parallel with Gen 2-11 (Of course, if you see P as simply ad hoc then you will not tend to take statements concerning Adam in 2-11 as parallel). However, I fail to see how interpreting this as mankind as negating my position. You may disagree that the couple is the direct recipient of the command, and that this is for mankind in general, but this is essentially what I believe in that the couple represent all couples (which is the way Christians, including Christ, have always viewed the
first couple—hence, Christ applies commands given to them to the divorce argument the Pharisees are making in their own generation, i.e., the command applies for all generations and what was intended by God for all mankind).

Is the command “fill the earth” a command for all couples? Are the Duggars sinning because they don’t have twenty trillion children, and thus, have not “filled the earth?” And how far do we take this representation? Are all couples to be naked [Genesis 2:25]? Is there a tree which all couples are not to eat from [Genesis 2:17]? Are we to work and keep a garden [Genesis 2:15]? Now, I agree that there is a sense in which the first couple represents all couples. But we need to allow the text to tell us where the similarities and differences are. Jesus clearly defines his context: divorce. He is talking about the structure of marriage as one man and one woman joined by God, and hence, a divine institution which no man can change.

Also, I would not say that these two passages are parallel in the sense that they are talking about the same thing; I would say that one is giving the creation of mankind in general, in which commandments are given to the species, while chapter 2 is more specific, dealing with the creation of the first two humans. Again, the assumption is that, when Jesus uses these two passages, he means them to be talking about the couple that is found in Genesis 2. Also, it is assumed that, when Genesis 1:26-28 is talking about the creation of the species, it must be referring to the exact same thing as Genesis 2:7ff. However, what if the relationship were *logical* rather than *identical?*What if you have a progression in Jesus’ statement from classes to individuals, and a progression from mankind in Genesis 1:28 to individuals in Genesis 2:7ff? Not only that, you avoid the problem of “fill the earth,” and being in the precarious position of saying that, when we get married, we are to walk around naked, plant a garden, and refrain from eating a specific tree in that garden.

Again, all of these things are clear from the text. You have to be able to follow the text through consistently, and you cannot arbitrarily ignore the immediate context because you are trying to relate the two passages. You have to relate them in terms of where each individual text allows you to go. If you are going to argue for a relationship of identity, you must prove it from the text, and not make it difficult to follow in the individual context. I would, again, say that, if Hodge were discussing the doctrines of grace, justification, the deity of Christ, etc., he would readily acknowledge this.

Please, Adam, refrain from attributing an imaginary “tone” to what I say. I had no ill will in my comments. I simply pointed out a basic exegetical mistake by someone who is extremely condescending to those who don’t agree with him. I’ve never called James Jordan names, like quack, for believing what he does. He does not share this restrained in dealing with those who disagree with him however. Did you call him out on that btw?

The problem is, Bryan, I have had this language come back to bite me more often than not. You have to be open to the possibility that James Jordan knows something that you don’t. He does have some of the same degrees you have. Again, you can say that you don’t agree with this interpretation, and even that you believe that it is simplistic. However, as I have studied, I learn more and more how much I have to learn when I read folks like Cynthia Miller and Dennis Pardee, or some of these great linguists who write the textbooks I use to study linguistics. I am not saying that this makes you wrong; all I am saying is that one must be open to learning as much as arguing. Just simply say that you think the argument is simplistic, because it doesn’t take into account the usage of articles with abstract nouns. There is no need to say that this is a “basic” mistake in Greek grammar, especially since I believe there are other linguistic factors you are ignoring.

This is what I would call extra-contextual grammaticalization. 1. You’re essentially arguing (using Lyons, which I reject, and Wallace, who is not addressing this issue specifically) that since the lexical referent (whether observable or not) in the form of an abstract noun is distinct from other types of nouns, that somehow means that teknogonia is concrete. The point is that it functions here in a list of abstract nouns, has the morphology of an abstract noun, and hence, the article does not make the noun concrete, whether it is observable or otherwise.

Again, this is grossly simplistic on many levels. “Abstract” and “concrete” is a gross oversimplification. I would totally reject that distinction, as do most linguists. If you are going to reject Lyons, you need to tell us why you do. That is one reason why your argument is simplistic. It also seems to argue that, if you can find anything in the context, you can say a=b, and thus, because there are third order, purely abstract nouns in the context, teknogonia must be taken in the exact same way [by the way, teknogonia is not in any list at all. The list to which you are referring comes at the end of the sentence].

The problem is that, while context is important, it is not the only factor in determining meaning in language. For example, give me a context where this sentence:

Herselfi hit Marthai on the head with the paper.

is intelligible. It’s impossible. Why? Because the syntax itself violates binding theory. Now, consider this sentence also related to binding theory:

The mother of Laurai pushed herselfi to finish the race.

Now, you might say, “This is possible, because Laura is in the context, and it is close to ‘herself.’” However, again, this is a case where this is not possible, since it would, again, violate binding theory. The Noun “Laura” does not c-command “herself,” and hence, it is absolutely impossible for “herself” to be co referential with “Laura” since “Laura” does not therefore bind “herself.” However, are you going to call binding theory, a very well respected principle of syntax, “extra-contextual grammaticalization?”

The point is that one cannot simply find anything in the context, and follow the simplistic a=b approach. Consider the text to which we are referring:

1 Timothy 2:15 But women will be saved through childbearing– if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Notice the distinction in syntax. One is in the in the apodosis, and is describing the means of salvation, and the other is in the protasis describing states in which the women must remain. They are connected to different verbs, have different prepositions, are in different syntactical positions in the sentence, and yet, somehow, because of the fact that there is a list of abstract nouns at the end of the sentence, “childbearing” must be abstract as well???????? If it were in with the list of abstract nouns as something to be “continued,” then I would agree. However, since the parts of the sentence are distinct, I would say that the list of abstracts at the end of the sentence has nothing to do with how we should take teknogonia.

Also, to use “morphology” at this point is also semantically fallacious. First of all, this is not morphology in its purest form. We are dealing with how words formed in history and not how words form in terms of changes in cases, or changes in tenses. The problem is that, when you start using semantics in historical morphology, you are skating on semantic thin ice. For example, the Greek term oikia has the same ending as teknogonia, and yet, it means “house.” Are you trying to say that a house is not a first order noun [i.e. concrete]? What about the Greek term stratia which means “army?” What about the Greek term hudria which means “water jar?”

There is a difference between the way words were conceived when these words first came into the language, and the way they eventually came to be used. All of these nouns could have started as pure third order nouns with no connection to the natural world, and yet, over time, that meaning changed. You have some words that can have both an abstract and a concrete sense with the –ia ending, and you have a purely concrete meaning, and you have some that are, indeed, complete abstractions. You can even find Lyon’s phenomenon in –ia words! Why? Because words change over time, and how words are used in syntax and semantics is going to change with their meaning. While I agree that understanding these historical developments is helpful in memorizing vocabulary, it is difficult to say that it is always semantically reliable.

No, it’s not his point. He backtracks on this argument and tries to buffer himself from the criticism others, such as myself, would make against him (which I mention in the book btw); but the argument is essentially an idea that limits the text to the explicit. In reality, neither Jordan nor anyone else does this. It only becomes an argument, and food for anti-life advocates, such as yourself, when trying to save their right to wipe out their children through contraception.

Wow, talk about nasty! “Anti-life advocates??????” However, according to Hodge, I am just engaging in slander. Also, many people have said that, in order for quiverfull to continue this “pro life” rhetoric, they will have to eventually hold to the Mormon view of preexistence. Note, no one is trying to “wipe out their children,” since the children don’t exist until conception.

Here, you just did what Jordan does. Let me give you my parody: “We understand pedophilia in the Ancient Near East, and nothing in the Bible ever even remotely approaches it, in concept or in vocabulary. That is Adam’s point.”

Let me suggest that you go and listen to this webcast. It is entitled, Islam’s Abused Little Girls, The Nujood Ali Story and then tell me that the concept of pedophilia is found in scripture! I hate to be this explicit, but you need to see what Hodge is comparing to the Biblical evidence for contraception. We know what pedophilia from certain forms of Islam, since many girls are married off at the age of eight and nine. BTW, this is not betrothal. This is a case where these adult 20+ year old men are having sexual relations with nine year old girls. You see, when this happens, the nine year old’s body is not yet prepared for this. Hence, there is a stretching, and most of the time, a tearing of the genitals of the girl, producing so much pain that most of these girls pass out multiple times during the whole sexual act. Their bodies are also not able to handle the physical force of the whole action, and this causes more damage to the genital area. Also, if the girl gets pregnant, her body often cannot handle the pregnancy, and many girls end up dying from this alone.

Now, compare the Biblical evidence against this physical assault to the evidence against keeping a sperm and egg from coming together. It is not even close. That is what I mean. You can find the concept of pedophilia [physical assault] in scripture. You can’t find the concept of contraception in scripture without engaging in exegetical leaps.

Now, this one was a bit unfair (not that your previous statement were fair–I mean, you haven’t even read the book). My point was against Jordan, who slandered the entire Christian Church before him as legalists for saying the practice of contraception was evil. My point was to say that legalists, according to Scripture rather than popular thought, limit the expansion of Scriptural principles (principles I establish in the main part of the book btw) to the letter. That’s Christ’s point about legalism in Matt 5. Is He a slanderer or simply telling the truth? Of course, we would say the latter, but why then attribute to me the former if such an assertion can be spoken in terms of the latter?

Actually, again, this is an oversimplification. Most church historians have pointed out that his position is grossly simplistic. There were actually many complex controversies and extra-Christian philosophies such as Stoicism which, over time, developed into his position. In fact, are we to believe that Christian history was not simply saturated with legalism? Need we forget the Marian dogmas? What about indulgences? The mass? Roman Catholics to this day say that these things are the 2000 year old teaching of the church! This is exactly what you are claiming about contraception. Christians, however, are to follow the example of Christ in Matthew 15, at that example is to test all traditions, no matter how ancient they claim to be, against the text of scripture. I believe if you were consistent, you would do so, and end up rejecting the idea that contraception is wrong.

If you don’t follow the example of Christ, then, this is what James Jordan calls a “legalist.” The definition of legalism that James Jordan and Christ is using is someone who adds things to the word of God, and especially adding traditions like the Corban rule, or the idea that contraception is wrong on the basis of the fact that this has been the way it was for 2000 years. Not only that, but Dr. James White has said that really the only thing the early church fathers really agreed on is the idea of monotheism. There were very complex developments that ended up producing the Christian church as we have it today. That is why scripture is ultimately the standard.

Because she’s also told that she is saved if she perseveres in faith, love and holiness in self control. This isn’t talking about justification. The word “salvation” also refers to sanctification, and that seems to be Paul’s emphasis in the immediate and larger context of 1 Tim.

Well, what is the logical conclusion of all of this? If a person has never had children, then they were never sanctified. Hence, all infertile women must be unbelievers. All women with menstrual problems must be unbelievers. Also, all women who disagree with your position must also be unbelievers. The reason is because you cannot separate justification and sanctification. Thus, if sanctification, for women, comes through childbearing, than any woman who does not have a child must not be being sanctified, and thus, must never have been justified.

Also, the context of 1 Timothy is not about sanctification. The whole context is order within the church of God. He has already discussed what Timothy is to do in worship [lifting up hands, etc.]. Then, after this text, he goes on to give qualifications for the officers of the church. Where is “sanctification” in any of that? Remember, this is a pastoral epistle. We are dealing with issues of the church. While the book of 1 Timothy might, in other places, discuss sanctification, it certainly does not in chapter 2, and the beginning of chapter 3.

Because the argument of the book isn’t that everything the Fathers believed about a particular passage should be followed by the rest of the Church. The argument is that they are guided in their theology and ethics. That’s a massive distinction, since twenty Christians can disagree on the interpretation of one text, but should not disagree on important points of theology and ethics.

So, no one can be an arminian? I would say that is an important point of theology, but I have many arminian friends. Also, there are Christian friends I have who believe that it is ethically wrong to listen to contemporary music. Do they not have a right to disagree? Also, who decides what is important? Why do we go back to the fathers with this? And also, if the fathers were guided, why did they go into Mariolatry? In fact, this is exactly what Roman Catholics argue, namely, that the church is guided by the Holy Spirit. Again, I fail to see any distinction between your approach and the Roman Catholic approach.

Actually, plenty of people try to argue that masturbation isn’t wrong if someone does not lust after another woman (I had a prof at Moody argue this). So the Bible never does condemn masturbation. And taking Ezek 23:14 as a condemnation of pornography is a bit of a stretch. The context condemns the woman for lusting after those men, not the depictions on the wall (not to mention that basar is a bit ambiguous). But this is beside the point.

There are people who don’t agree that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 don’t condemn homosexuality; so what? Also, I would want to know how you can have arousal for masturbation without something to arouse you! It doesn’t make any sense. Also, where is basar in the Hebrew of Ezekiel 23:14? Also, I want everyone to see what is being said here. Ezekiel 23:14 does not explicitly condemn pornography. Let me quote it:

Ezekiel 23:14-16 “So she increased her harlotries. And she saw men portrayed on the wall, images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 15 girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, like the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth. 16 “When she saw them she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

This is all being spoken in a list of the evils of Oholibah, and, again, this simply has nothing to do with pornography and is a “stretch.” She is only condemned because she lusted after the men, not because she lusted after their pictures, even though this whole chapter is a list of her sins! This is what happens when the perspicuity of scripture must be lessened in order to read extrabiblical tradition into the text. Again, I believe that Hodge would not do this on any other issue, yet, when traditions are at stake, anything is possible.

This is where I really think your objectivity has been thrown out the window. You’re critiquing my conclusion as though it was my main argument. That’s really inappropriate. I didn’t just state this, I argued the case for it in the appendix. Can you parody my entire argument? Stoic arguments are made against the Christian argument against homosexuality as well. This has nothing to do with whether the Christian argument IS primarily influenced by Stoicism, which is what I mean by something being Stoic. I wasn’t arguing that Noonan (which btw, have you read Noonan?) was making the argument that the early Christians were Stoics or their position exactly Stoic. He was arguing that their position was primarily Stoic in its influence rather than biblical.

Of course, this is the whole reason why we cannot look at church history in the exegesis of the text. I would argue that those who have rejected the idea that contraception is wrong are the ones who are drawing their views from the text of scripture. Also, you missed the point of my parody. My point is that you cannot point to the fact that Christian authors quoted scripture since they quoted scripture to try to argue for the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is clearly Gnostic in origin! The issue is not whether they quoted scripture to support these ideas; the issue is whether they actually are consistent with scripture, and, if they were not, where these ideas could have came from.

Yes, this is why I spent an entire book arguing the biblical and theological justification for the Church’s view; but what you will learn is that presuppositions guide our interpretations and this makes the Church a more valuable ally to our theological positions than our Descartian autonomy. Once again, please read the book.

Actually, while I agree that presuppositions will affect our conclusions; the way you decide whose presuppositions are correct is by going to the text, and seeing whose interpretations can be consistently sustained. When you make statements like “Genesis 1 and 2 are talking about the same thing,” and “Jesus’ statements in Matthew 19:4-5 are identical in terms of the ‘male and female’ and ‘man and woman,’” and don’t even consider the other ways in which language can relate two related sections of text, I have to start considering the fact that you have traditions that you must defend. Again, I would bet that your writings on the doctrines of grace, justification, etc. are wonderful, and if I can find them, I would love to read them. The point is that, unless scripture is our standard, and the church and its fathers must be corrected by scripture, we can find virtually *anything* in the text.

Yes, just like all those Roman Catholics like John Calvin, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon et al. Don’t you think it lacks just a bit of humility to argue this way? Everyone else in the Church held an outrageous position but me and my immediate generations?

No, I don’t think it lacks humility. You taught Old Testament. Let me ask you, did we have generative syntax at the time of the reformers? Did we have the branch of linguistics called pragmatics? Did we have advanced studies that relate syntax, semantics, and pragmatics? Not only that, but did we have Ugaritic? Did we have Akkadian? Did we have Sumerian, and could we read Egyptian Hieroglyphics? Did we have most of the Northwest Semitic Inscriptions? No, of course not. It is not arrogance; it is simply recognizing that, as we gain new information, our views are going to change as we become closer and closer to the text of scripture. I want to know exactly what Moses said; I want to know exactly what Solomon said; I want to know exactly what Jeremiah said. I want to be able to understand their arguments in their culture, and not what someone seven hundred to a thousand years later said about what they said. I want to let the text correct my misinterpretations, not a church father or a reformer who likewise has his presuppositions from his background that he is bringing to the text.

Finally,– I really am going to try and say this with as much grace as I can without it being read as derogatory– I would suggest actually getting the book and reading it before you read appendices that are supplemental to the main arguments made in the book. It’s simply disingenuous to give such a scathing critique of a book you have not even read. I know you think I was being “nasty” (I’m not sure where you got this; if anything, people were being nasty to me; I was simply suggesting to them to get the book because I can’t rewrite the entire thing on a blog) by suggesting that people get the book; but this issue needs to be given careful reflection and thought—something those who respond in a knee-jerk fashion are not willing to give it, but I do wish they would, as we’re talking about what God may or may not approve or disapprove of.

The point is, Bryan, you made accusations against Christian brethren, accusations that are very serious, from the foundation of a position that is in the vast minority today amongst exegetes. And then, rather than trying to back up your position with many trained exegetes there ready to deal with your argument, have the audacity to tell people, “Go buy my book.” Not only that, when I get hold of some of the arguments in your book, they are lacking. You claim that, if I just read your book, you would be justified in all of this slander. Also, it is the height of arrogance to assume that no exegete could ever come and blow your position apart, simply because this is what the church has taught. I would argue, that you are basically admitting to an anachronistic reading of the text, and then using all of these accusations to slander us because we do not accept what you say. This sounds to me to be Roman Catholic arguments all over again.

Again, I would not even have addressed this if all you had said was, “I have written a book on this topic from the other side. If you would like to read something from a different perspective, here is the information.” However, when you start accusing the brethren, and then telling them that they must pay for your book in order for you to be justified in your accusations, you are simply being nasty, and engaging in slander. I don’t care if it would have taken twenty posts for you to prove your point; given your accusations, it needed to be done. Also, when I then go on see some of your arguments in your appendices, and I keep finding this simplistic a=b idea, one has just wonder why it is you are willing to slander people, all in order to hold to an unbiblical tradition. Also, if you want to argue that your position is the Biblical position, then, again, that is fine. However, argue it [don’t say, “read my book”], and do so, not by taking this idea of divine guidance of the church, but by what should be guiding the church, the consistent exegesis of the text of scripture.

Also, I never claimed that what I wrote was a review of your book. It was a review of your appendicies, and mostly a review of your critique of James Jordan, and it shows [and I am satisfied that I have accomplished my purpose] that you are inconsistent in the way you approach this issue compared to the way you approach other issues.

I’m not sure how it’s arbitrary to take things in their respective contexts. My argument about the audience of the mandate (which I view as couples represented by Adam and Eve, not just Adam and Eve, as though all commands in Scripture are only for their direct recipients); but concerning the passage, Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of this passage, not the direct fulfillment of it. For someone bemoaning people for taking things out of context, you ought to also appreciate someone taking Genesis first for what it says in its linguistic and ancient Near Eastern context. Where is Christ directly referred to in Genesis, as it would be understood to the ancient Israelites? That’s like reading a Psalm and saying this doesn’t apply to David because this is all about Christ (well, ultimately, sure, but not directly in the context).

Again, there is no evidence for couples in Genesis 1:26-28. The context is clearly *all* of mankind, and not even “all couples.” Also, I have no problems with the idea that Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. Since Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of this text, and Paul is living after the time of Christ, here speaking of salvation, in the context of sin, why in the world would you think of anything else when Paul is talking about salvation in the context of childbearing and sin long after the ultimate fulfillment? Yet, when it comes to Matthew 19, and who “male and female” is, as well as “man and wife,” you expect us to make the two equal to one another simply because they are adjacent to each other in the text, and then read that back into Genesis 1 and 2. It doesn’t make any sense. Also, you neglected the other contradiction, namely, that there are plenty of church fathers that held to James Jordan’s view. Why do you accept their view on contraception, and not their view on 1 Timothy 2:15?

Ultimately, it seems like your swinging at anything because you just don’t like the position (hence, the rhetoric and vitriol). I would encourage you to speak well of the position held by those godly men and women who stood before you, as well as speaking well of them, even if you don’t agree with it. But the slander really is beyond the pale, and if you reconsider it, I would suggest rereading this post as though you were commenting on a book you liked. Then maybe you can see how it comes off.

No, I don’t like the position because the position is unbiblical. I have read several books by quiverfull advocates [Mary Pride, Rick and Jan Hess, etc.], and several lectures by folks such as Nancy Campbell and Doug Phillips, as well as reading blogs such as “Ladies against Feminism,” Doug Phillips, Stacy McDonald, and others. All of their exegetical arguments simply do not work. They cannot consistently follow the text through from beginning to end. Also, I would like to submit to you that it is gross disrespect for those who came before us to just simply assume that they were guided by the Holy Spirit, and therefore, we should just accept what they have to say. We need to recognize that they were sinners as well, and part of sin is to simply go with the flow of those that came before us, rather than to test what they have to say against scripture.


2 Responses to “Hodge Responds”

  1. Bryan Hodge Says:

    Are you going to publish my response?

  2. otrmin Says:

    I will probably respond to some of the actual substance later. Right now, consider the fact that your behavior has led people close to me to advise me that I not allow you to post any more of your accusations. If you cannot argue in a fair fashion, then you don’t deserve to post here at all. This shouldn’t be a problem for you, since you have already said that this was the last time you were posting anyway.

    To all other quiverfull advocates who wish to post here,

    I have no problems with people who want to disagree with me. However, please present your case. Do not just simply make accusations, and then say, “read my book.” I do not mind interaction from people, so long as they are respectful. Charges must be backed up by scripture, or, otherwise, you will meet the same fate as Bryan Hodge.

    God Bless,

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