This letter comes from a reader:
For a long time, I’ve been a reader of Christian Apologetics websites. Since more recently, I’ve been a (male) reader of Christian anti-Fundamentalist and anti-Neopatriarchy websites like Recovering Grace. I used to read some websites that promoted these ideas, but my knowledge of Apologetics made me just uneasy enough about those sites to never fully commit, and my discovery of the active Christian web community that opposed these ideas helped me fully realize what a cesspool the Neopatriarchal movement is.
A little while ago, I was reading an apologetics blog, Deeper Waters. I sometimes read this blog because the writer, Nick Peters, is affiliated with the greatest (and most underrated) apologetics website in the entire world, Tektonics. James Patrick Holding, webmaster of Tektonics, laid the intellectual foundation that led me to question Biblical Manhood teachings of all stripes.
Anyway, Nick Peters had done a topical post on the Duggar family scandal. Admittedly, I only skimmed the post, but from what I saw, he had really dropped the ball because he didn’t realize the context of the whole package of ATI-type teachings that the family promoted. Then, I saw a comment by a person I recognized from the Recovering Grace comments section, which was you. You responded to Nick Peters’s post by providing context. I don’t think he’s responded yet. This is the first real contact point I’ve ever seen between cutting-edge Web apologetics and fighting false teaching against women’s dignity, though I’m sure there’s more.
This is what the message is really about. For a while, I’ve become convinced that in order to truly gain traction against the fear and hatred of women that is taught in the USA’s Christian culture (I don’t know what it’s like in South Africa as a whole), what Recovering Grace and their allies need is to partner with apologists and scholars. People who can point to a specific passage and say, “This is what it means. If you say it means this other thing, then you are ignoring the evidence and context” and therefore take away the biggest gun in the woman-haters’ arsenal–the claim that their way is Biblical and anyone who believes that women deserve respect is an Unbiblical Compromiser.
If you have the time, I would like to start a dialogue with you about this. What do you think about what I wrote? If it’s a good idea, do you have any ideas for making this happen?
Your post made my day. I was also into apologetics before getting into Biblical Egalitarianism.
You may want to check out Christians for Biblical Equality. CBE Scholars give out an academic journal, the Priscilla Papers.
They have many published resources for both scholars and lay members, you may want to check it out:
Perhaps the first name to mention among their resources is Douglas and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis – they are well-respected in apologetics. One of their books is named “Discovering Biblical Equality.” This book is very much appreciated in Christian egalitarian circles.
This page, on a site probably known to you, has some links you may want to look into. (It also has, at the bottom, a chapter-by-chapter linking of the flagship book of the opposite view, the one Christian egalitarians reject.) Not all scholars on this page would agree with CBE on everything.
What else does my readers think of Ethan’s letter? Is there anything you want to recommend? Do you think that it will be good if someone in apologetics partner with the opposition of neopatriarchy/ Christian™ Patriarchy/ Biblical™ Patriarchy? Or is it the work that apologetics people like Doug and Rebecca Groothuis and The Christian Think Tank do good enough – even if it isn’t specifically against that particular strand of sexist beliefs, it argues for Christian equality from an apologetics viewpoint?