Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Systematic Theology Chapter 22

Man as male and female.

Grudem summarizes nicely here:
"The creation of man as male and female shows God's image in,
1. Harmonious interpersonal relationships
2. Equality in personhood and importance, and
3. Difference in role and authority."

Marriage is a main example of interpersonal unity , where two persons become one.  You give up control to share it, it is not temporary but lifelong, and a profound picture of Christ and his church.

Secondly, men and women are made equally in God's image...equally important to God, equally valuable to him.  Women and men should not boast over each other but give honor to each other, just as a man does in Proverbs 31.

Both have received spiritual gifts to be shared in the church, and it is pointless to compare, "who can be more spiritual, etc"

In the Old Testament, the sign of membership of God's people was circumcision, and now through baptism, both men and women can be seen as fully and equally members of the people of God.

Just as the trinity is equal in importance yet with differing roles, so is it with men and women.  God the Father has had a leadership role, he speaks and initiates, Jesus carries out the work, and the Holy Spirit sustains it.

In marriage, the man parallels the Father's role, and the women parallels the son's role.   Some people say that a man's leadership over a women is a sinful result of the fall of Adam and Eve, yet even before that they had very distinct roles.  He was created first, she was created as a helper for him, Adam named Eve.

God named the human race man, not woman.  (similar to a woman taking a man's last name when she marries to signify his headship in the family.)

The serpent came to Eve first.  (was he attempting to institute role reversal by tempting her to lead)?

God spoke to Adam first after the fall.  He was ultimately called to account for their sin.

Adam, not Eve, represented the human race.  She sinned first, but history speaks of "because of Adam's sin"

The curse brought a distortion of previous roles, not the introduction of new roles.  Adam is still responsible, but will have pain in raising crops, and Eve would have pain in bearing children.  There was also introduction of conflict into their harmonious relationship; "your desire shall be for your husband and he will reign over you."   It has been translated, that her desire is to rule over her husband, and yet he will dictatorially rule over her.  What a distortion of the harmonious working together that it should have been.

Redemption in Christ brings us to a place where the original harmonious order is encouraged.  Glad submission to their husbands, lovingness and not harshness to wives.

Husbands who act selfishly, domineering, or cruel/abusive, are acting in sin, contrary to God's purposes for them.  They should rather live up to the New Testament commands to honor, love, be considerate of their wives.
When wives feel rebellious, resent their man's leadership, compete, etc, that is also a result of sin and destructive.
The other extreme of this error is laziness, passivity, wimpiness.  A man who forces his wife to make all the decisions doesnt help her.  A wife who is passive, not involved in decisions and the discussion is also unhelpful.

In following a Biblical pattern, husbands and wives will discover true biblical manhood and womanhood in all their noble dignity and joyful complementarity, as God created them to be, and will thus reflect more fully the image of God in their lives. 

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