Daniel Wallace requests CBMW rewrite “Never Apologize for God’s Truth”

Daniel Wallace requests CBMW rewrite “Never Apologize for God’s Truth”

Parchment and Pen Women-In-Ministry-blog-by-Cheryl-Schatz

In an interesting development, complementarian Dr. Daniel Wallace, professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary requests a rewrite of a blog article critiquing an article he wrote on the role of women in the church for Bible.org.  He states that the author of the article, a writer for CBMW’s blog, misrepresented him.  Concerning the CBMW blog article called “Never Apologize for God’s Truth“, Dr. Wallace writes that they have “misrepresented my views in some serious ways”.  Dr. Wallace documents on the blog Parchment and Pen that when CBMW wrote the following statement, that it was far more than what he actually said.  The CBMW blog recorded this assessment of Wallace’s article:

Wallace responded by admitting that he could never embrace egalitarianism because it is clearly unbiblical; the text just does not support egalitarian claims…

While CBMW writer Jeff Robinson says that one should “Never Apologize for God’s Truth”, apparently he owes Dr. Wallace an apology for misrepresenting Wallace’s stated opinion of truth.  Instead of the bold statement that the CBMW blog post attributes to Wallace, Dr. Wallace has written a correction to CBMW which has not been posted on their site correcting the false statements concerning his article nor has his note even been responded to by CBMW.  Because CBMW has not made the effort to correct the misrepresentation, Wallace has chosen to make his own correction public by recording his thoughts on Parchment and Pen:

That’s far more than what I actually wrote on two fronts. First, nowhere in the essay did I say that I could never embrace egalitarianism. Not even close. Instead, what I said was that I could not go against my conscience and that, in my view, egalitarians were doing exegetical gymnastics. But even here I couched my statement with a note of personal perspective. Throughout the essay you will see qualifiers such as “For me at least,” “I think,” “probably,” etc. These points were mentioned specifically in relation to my exegetical certainty about the role of women in the church.

Is CBMW really concerned about truth and proper exegetical analysis?  If so wouldn’t this show in their own analysis of a fellow complementarian?  At least in this case they don’t appear to be too concerned about the truth.  Dr. Wallace writes:

I believe that the blogger got wrong his whole premise for the post because he assumed that I was certain in my exegesis and cowardly (or at least wishy-washy) in my behavior.

That is exactly what I thought when I read the CBMW article.  The impression is made that Dr. Wallace is taking a cowardly approach.  The CBMW article says:

I have great respect for Dr. Wallace and even appreciate much about the letter, including his desire to be gracious in debating theological matters. However, I cannot follow him in his halting manner over what he admits to be the very clear teaching of the Word of God…Our hearts and minds are fallen, and because of this reality, there are many issues at which we see through a glass darkly. But when God’s Word is clear to us-as it is in most places-we must rejoice and proclaim it and not shrink back from it because it risks stampeding the sacred cows of contemporary culture…

Dr. Wallace concludes with a gracious warning:

Allow me to clarify my view: Both since my exegesis is not certain and since this is not a central issue to the Christian faith, I cannot be as firm in my position or attitude as I can be on other issues. What is at stake here is one’s doctrinal and pragmatic taxonomy. The way the blogger wrote about my views it sounded as if he had a flatline in doctrinal nuancing. That, in my view, is not the healthiest way to think about scripture.

Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
Executive Director,
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
www.csntm.org

I would like to remind CBMW that although we need not “Apologize for God’s truth”, we do need to make sure we have that truth in the first place.  The CBMW article was not a good representation of adhering to that strict standard.  I recommend you apologize.

15 thoughts on “Daniel Wallace requests CBMW rewrite “Never Apologize for God’s Truth”

  1. There’s that “gymnastics” charge again. 😉

    CBMW has never been interested in honestly examining views they disagree with. Not even their own sympathizers should be surprised by this.

  2. Apparent CBMW modified the original post dinking Wallace.

    We ALWAYS need to separate in our minds the difference between God’s word and OUR INTERPRETATION of God’s word.  The latter is inspired, but we may not be. 

    I am not saying to therefore give up as nothing is knowable, but we need to be humble in our assertions about what the Bible CLEARLY teaches, esp. for example, 1 Tim 2 which has so many exegetical challenges.

  3. “Allow me to clarify my view: Both since my exegesis is not certain and since this is not a central issue to the Christian faith, I cannot be as firm in my position or attitude as I can be on other issues. ”

    This is the key! The difference between Wallace as a comp and CBMW. CBMW is trying to make their doctrine key to salvation. Wallace recognizes it is not. That is the disconnect.

    Praise God for Dr. Wallace and his honesty.

  4. I have the privilege of being in contact with Dr. Wallace.  This man’s humble attitude is truly refreshing and his unwillingness to divide over secondary issues of faith is very commendable.  He wrote on the Parchment and Pen blog that his complementarian view comes from the way that he sees the Trinity.  While he has been unsatisfied with the way that the equality of authority of both the Father and Jesus has been presented in other venues from egalitarians, I am trusting that he will see a fully scriptural approach in our new DVD set which he has graciously agreed to watch.

    From what I have read from Dr. Wallace, I have great respect for him and his attitude towards other Christians who do not agree with him because I believe it fully reflects the biblical mandate to love one another.  I wish others showed this kind of love and respect.

  5. Apparently the post has been modified, but I can’t see where.  I guess I will have to look harder because the charges against Dr. Wallace appear to be the same.

    If someone can figure out what has changed, let me know.

  6. There might be web crawlers that keep history of old pages, as a record of the web.  I do not know much about them, but I have heard they exist.  Other than something like that, web pages are ephemeral.  So if you want to keep a record, you need to copy it yourself when you find it.

  7. Following Don’s advice I was able to find the cached version of the CBMW blog dated October 28, 2008.  In the new version of this blog article, the only thing that I can find that has been changed is this comment:

    Wallace responded by admitting that he could never embrace egalitarianism because it is clearly unbiblical; the text just does not support egalitarian claims, he told the inquirer.

    I will see if I can paste in the old version.

  8. here is the original:


    Never Apologize for God’s Truth

    Tools: Print E-mailPermalink
    Jeff Robinson
    October 28, 2008

    Jeff RobinsonA few months back, I heard a well-known minister say of the doctrine of predestination, “Sometimes, I wish this doctrine were not in the Bible because it causes so much controversy.” I was taken back a bit by the lack of theological courage in this statement and was immediately reminded of some wise words of advice a retired Southern Baptist pastor gave me several years ago when I first began in ministry: “Never, ever, for any reason, apologize for the Word of God. Preach it-all of it-with tenderness and courage.”

    I was similarly taken aback a couple of weeks back when I read the words of an evangelical minister/scholar whom I admire greatly, words he penned as a response to an inquirer about his commitment to biblical complementarianism. The inquirer asked Dr. Dan Wallace, professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, about some of the pragmatic issues surrounding the roles of women in the church, issues such as female missionaries, female evangelists, female soloists, and the like. Wallace responded by admitting that he could never embrace egalitarianism because it is clearly unbiblical; the text just does not support egalitarian claims, he told the inquirer. To read key passages such as 1 Timothy 2:11-15, he wrote, “…is to do some exegetical gymnastics in which one twists and turns the text to conform it to their views…I am unwilling to twist the scripture into something that it does or does not say.” Wallace continued to affirm the church’s historic position on women in the ministry with a fulsome response. He did, however, make a major-and in my mind regrettable-capitulation in the area of a courageous statement of biblical truth with what he said in parts of the the letter, including this statement in the opening paragraph:

    “I must confess: attitudinally, I am egalitarian. I find what scripture says on these matters very difficult to swallow at times…”

    In the concluding paragraphs, he continues to speak of his uneasiness at the complementarian position:

    “In attitude, I am egalitarian. And I have pushed the boundaries of complementarianism for a long time…I have endorsed women for all sorts of ministries, including ministries that I would be uncomfortable with them doing. But since they are ministering in churches that are egalitarian, I would rather have these women ministering there than some others who may not be as well trained, as godly, as devoted to the scriptures and to Christ…I have problems with the complementarian position. I am sometimes embarrassed to be a complementarian. It would be a whole lot easier if I weren’t! But I can’t go against my conscience. And my conscience tells me that after all the exegetical dust has settled, to deny some sort of normative principle to 1 Timothy 2:12 is probably a misunderstanding of this text.”

    I have great respect for Dr. Wallace and even appreciate much about the letter, including his desire to be gracious in debating theological matters. However, I cannot follow him in his halting manner over what he admits to be the very clear teaching of the Word of God. Should we not delight in all the truths of the Word of God? Should we not see the truth of God’s complementary creation of men and women a thing of inscrutable beauty that causes us to fall on our sinful faces and cry out with the great apostle, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!”

    Our hearts and minds are fallen, and because of this reality, there are many issues at which we see through a glass darkly. But when God’s Word is clear to us-as it is in most places-we must rejoice and proclaim it and not shrink back from it because it risks stampeding the sacred cows of contemporary culture. Paul anticipated that an “open statement of the truth” (2 Corinthians 4:2) would repel many (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:14). Accordingly, let us apply to God’s Word as it relates to gender roles, the admonition which the courageous preacher C.H. Spurgeon employed to speak of the sublimity of the mysterious and often controversial doctrine of election: “Do not be afraid to dwell upon this high doctrine…When your mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a bottle of riches cordial. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace, or who cast them into the shade, miss the richest clusters of Eschol; they lose the wines on the lees well refined, the fat things full of marrow. There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it.” And don’t apologize for the Word of God.

  9. http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=2487  is a paper by Wallace on what he calls Biblical Gynecology which seems a poor choice of terms even if it might be theoretically valid.  He makes a chart of extreme and moderate egals and comps. But the moderate egals are not even egal, so he is simply using words as he chooses.

  10. From the article: “However, I cannot follow him in his halting manner over what he admits to be the very clear teaching of the Word of God. Should we not delight in all the truths of the Word of God?”

    They set up these straw men all the time. If we do not interpret these secondary doctrines (which are not so clear) just like them then… we do NOT delight in the truths of the Word of God. That is the message they are so desperate to get people to believe. It is such an insult. It would never occur to me to say that comps do not delight in the Word of God because they interpret a few proof texts incorrectly! I think what they do on this is very cruel because they are speaking oftheir brothers and sisters in Christ when they make statements like this. 

  11. Don,

    Thanks for the link.  I will read it through.

    In on-going emails with Dr. Wallace I find him one of the most gracious complementarians I have yet met. 

    Lin,

    Amen!  I completely agree.

  12. Cheryl,

    The likelihood of any apology from CBMW for misrepresentation of a scholar’s work is virtually nil.

    They have an agenda to advance, and any vehicle or gas for that agenda will be happily employed.

    They believe with fervor and conviction that they have THE truth and the only truth from scripture as they see it.

    What may be simply an historical narrative in scripture for one Christian, may be absolute and binding law for another.

    When the world sees us divide and fight over things that have little to do with Jesus’ claim of being the way, the truth and the life, they want nothing to do with us.  They become as disillusioned as Gandhi became after his experience with Christian “religion” in South Africa—and this is the real tragedy.

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