Arguing High Theology with the Hot Dog Vendor

One of the testing points of wisdom is the matter of identifying what the real issue is. In ancient rhetoric, this is what stasis theory was about — what is really at issue? What is the hinge upon which all turns? Luther complimented Erasmus at the conclusion of The Bondage of the Will because he at least went to the heart of the matter, and didn’t trouble Luther with all the stuff that fussybutt theologians might think were important.

In another place Luther famously said this: “If I profess, with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle fields besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Putting the point a little more bluntly, missing the point can be an exercise in cowardice.

The principal threat (not the only threat, mind you) confronting the Church in the West today is the egalitarianism of pomosexuality. The thin edge of the wedge, in denominations like the PCA, is the issue of women being ordained as deacons. And if anyone believes that once women deacons are installed, that will be the end of the matter because we now have Phoebe in place and are eminently biblical . . . well, I have some marshy real estate in Florida to sell you.

One of the reasons I love the Bayly brothers is because of their courageous willingness to identify the major issues, and to draw a clear line that enables them to contend for that issue. Egalitarianism has come out of the huddle, and the play that will be run on us is now pretty obvious. Obvious, that is, unless you are a delinquent defensive coach over in the stands arguing with the hot dog vendor over the ordo salutis.

In the PCA, the issue will be, and already is, women deacons. If you want to see how the play is being set up, then you can read what Tim Bayly has written on this . . . here, here, and here.