I just added a new page to this blog: A lexicon for terms that people new to this blog, or new to egalitarianism, may be unfamiliar with. You are welcome to go and take a look!
What is justice? Don’t ask Doug Wilson
HEADSHIP Bible: Genesis 2 and 3
This is a good idea, and I like your sense of humor! I do have a suggestion re: definition for “complementarian”–
I view the coining of the term as a conscious effort to redefine the term “complementary”, as in:
(found here http://www.thefreedictionary.com/complementary)
com·ple·men·ta·ry (kŏm′plə-mĕn′tə-rē, -trē)
1. Forming or serving as a complement; completing: finally acquired the complementary volumes that made a whole set.
2. Offsetting mutual deficiencies or enhancing mutual strengths: “Creatures with complementary skills flourish in each other’s presence” (Richard Dawkins).
3. Of or relating to complementary medicine.
4. Genetics Of or relating to a group of genes that act in concert to produce a specific phenotype.
5. Biochemistry Of or relating to the specific pairing of the purines and pyrimidines between strands of a DNA or an RNA molecule.
6. Physics Of or relating to the hypothesis that underlying properties of entities, especially subatomic particles, may manifest themselves in mutually exclusive forms at different times, depending on the conditions of the observation, and that any physical model that describes entities in terms of one form or the other will be incomplete.
Note that there is no hint of hierarchy or prescribed order in the original term.
There is a definite (though not always rigid) hierarchy introduced into the meaning of the coined word.
I believe it is important to point out this critical difference between the term that was coined and the original, generally accepted use of the word.
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Oh, another thing: I used to discuss apologetics. (Reasoned defences of the Christian faith against those who think it is not fact-based or not logical.) I never thought I’d see the day when Richard Dawkins is quoted on my blog by an Internet friend, and I completely agree with the context of the Dawkins quote. With your comment I did.
Dawkins is an outspoken enemy of what he will call religion in general, but what observers notice is particularly Christianity. On another blog of mine he was usually quoted by those who disliked religion/ Christianity and disagreed with me. Still, he knows the meaning of “complementary.”
Thank you, Michele. I will think of how to improve it. You are right about the difference.
You are welcome! Thank you–I always enjoy your posts and your fresh perspective. Yes, I think it could be confusing otherwise to those who are new to the term “complementarian” but are familiar with “complementary”.
I believe (not that I have anything to back this up: it’s just an opinion) that the word choice was intended to mislead people into being more accepting of the idea; it sounds nice, right? And it is indeed true that husband and wife ideally would be complementary of each other. So complementarian sounds good!
I have even read someplace (I’m sorry I can’t provide a citation–it’s on one of many blogs or fora I’ve read over the years on Christian gender egalitarianism) that someone self-identified as “complementarian”, as they had only heard of the word and associated it with the original meaning of complementary. Once they found out how the word is actually used, they stopped self-identifying as such, and switched to “egalitarian”.
Which actually…those who are familiar with the term “egalitarian” can probably sort it out through context, but the way the term is used in the context of those involved in the gender issue (there are a number of denominations who have less obvious issues with women, so while not entirely egalitarian, are not familiar with the struggle some of the rest of us live with) is specialized when contrasted with the generally accepted meaning of the word:
Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.
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