I would like to take just a few quick moments to answer some questions posed for complementarians by Todd Pruitt. Given how these things go, I will likely have to follow up with more comments in the future, but just for the moment I need to point out the vast discrepancy between where I am on these issues and where Todd Pruitt blithely assumes I am.
The questions below are Pruitts, and the answers below in bold are my own.
So, a few questions for my fellow complementarians:
1. Is it a sin for a woman to run for public office?
2. Is it a sin to support Carly Fiorina’s run for the Presidency? If a woman offering directions to a man is possibly problematic then how can it not be a sin to support a woman in public office?
No. It might be a sin depending on how her positions unfold, but it is not a sin simply because of her sex. In short, I would vote for Deborah for president, and would go so far as to put up a yard sign in support of her. That sign would simply say, obviously, Deb!
3. Are adult women who are unmarried obligated to live in their father’s home under his authority?
4. Is it generally advisable for women to not pursue a college degree?
5. Is it a sin for a woman to write a blog? (I include this question because we have heard from some complementarians who believe it is a sin for Aimee to write a blog on the chance that a man may read it. Not kidding).
No. My wife has a blog and writes books. My daughters blog and write books.
6. Are military conquest and colonization apt metaphors for the physical union of husband and wife?
As much as I might want to agree with Pruitt (again), I do differ with him on this one. A passing acquaintance with the Song of Songs would reveal that an erotic glance can be as terrible as an army with banners (Song 6:4), the beloved is compared to Pharaoh’s chariots (Song 1:9), and the phallic imagery of swords is kind of in there also (Song 3:7-8).
7. At what point is it no longer appropriate for a woman to be a teacher? In other words, is it a sin for a woman to teach 18-year-old males? What about 17-year-old? Is it a sin for a woman to be an instructor for male university students?
It is not a sin for a woman to teach 18-year-old males, or 17-year-olds, and it is not a sin for a woman to teach male university students, depending on the subject. NSA has in the past had a woman Latin instructor, and currently has a woman teaching Greek. The Bible does prohibit women from holding a teaching office in the church if the responsibility for that office includes teaching or having authority over men.
Now the reason I needed to answer all these questions is because of this paragraph.
None of these questions are meant to be cheeky. These are serious questions that I think ought to be answered by those who believe that the complementarianism espoused by Carl and Aimee is too thin. Because if “mainstream” complementarianism looks like Douglas Wilson or Jim Bob Duggar or Bill Gothard then we have a problem.
Whatever virtues Pruitt might have as a writer, knowing what I teach on these subjects is plainly not among them. He clearly has no idea. Perhaps — and I merely put this forward as a suggestion — he ought to refrain from writing about such things until he has a better grasp of the material he thinks he is grappling with.
As it is, he is wrestling with ghosts. On the positive side, he does appear to be winning.