The Inimitable Douglas Wilson on N. T. Wright

The inimitable Douglas Wilson on what evangelical Episcopalians should do in light of their denomination’s decision to ordain homosexuals as bishops:

I am a Presbyterian American, and so it is not really my place to give unsolicited advice to my friends who really like the prayer book. But if they asked, and if I thought I could give input without giving offense, I would encourage them to get their white little Anglican rear-ends into submission to an orthodox African bishop somewhere (source).

Wilson is not the only outsider who has considered offering such unsolicited advice. I felt like doing that very thing in my interview with one such pastor two weeks ago (hear my interview with David Rosenberry). Because many evangelical Episcopal churches are in fact declaring their independence from the Episcopal church U.S.A., I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something like this happening in the very near future.

Wilson’s remarks appear in the midst of a hard-hitting critique of Bishop N. T. Wright’s inaction on the controversy that is roiling the Anglican communion. Like Al Mohler, Douglas Wilson insists that the Episcopal church’s prior decision to ordain women is inextricably linked to the current controversy over ordaining homosexuals. Thus, whether Wright likes it or not, his support of the ordination of women contributed to the schism.

The ordination of women and the ordination of homosexuals are not two separate issues, but rather two manifestations of one issue. What is that issue? We do not want God to define who we are. Because these are not two separate issues, an evangelical support for women’s ordination is actually an ignorant support of homosexual ordination (source).

Go check out the rest of Wilson’s essay here. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.


8 thoughts on “The Inimitable Douglas Wilson on N. T. Wright”

  1. Exactly. Just like the support for ordaining women is also the same as supporting the ordination of child molesters, porn stars, strippers, prostitutes, porn addicts, adulterers and swingers. Because being a woman is the same as being in sexual sin.
    Really though, are you being serious?

  2. Brian,

    Thanks for the comment. I am not making a moral equivalence between women’s ordination and homosexual ordination.

    I am, however, saying that a willingness to ignore biblical authority on the question of women’s ordination will leads naturally to the willingness to ignore biblical authority on homosexual ordination.

    I am not the only one linking these issues. Bishop Gene Robinson and other Episcopalian liberals would link them too.


  3. Denny,

    Are you saying that it is part of the same hermeneutical family? So that Paul’s prohibition of women teaching in 1 Timothy can be oveturned in the same way that his prohibition on homosexual sex can in Romans 1.

  4. Martin,

    If I am understanding your question correctly, the answer is yes.

    If you relativize Paul’s teaching on the women’s issue, then you can relativize it on every other issue that he speaks to.

    That’s why the issues of gender roles, slavery, and homosexuality are frequently linked in literature on this subject. In fact William Webb wrote a whole book trying to defend a hermeneutical approach that would allow us to relativize Paul’s teaching on women while keeping his prohibitions on homosexuality intact.

    See Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J. Webb.


  5. Denny,
    I know your not making a moral equivalence between the two. And I can see where you’re coming from. I just always find it interesting how some people think the 2 issues are closely related and others (like me) can’t see how people would link them together at all. To some the linkage is obvious to others it’s ludicrous. You think women being ordained and people in sexual sin being ordained are really similar while I can’t see how you would come to that conclusion. How is it that some people can link issues together that to others seem so different and unrelated?

    I also with the issue of womens ordination I don’t feel like this is a case of ignoring Biblical Authority. There’s so many questions surrounding this issue and it’s not so cut and dry and black and white as people like you would like it to be.
    If you had a daughter (I don’t know if you do or not) and she was to ask you why women don’t wear a covering over their head in church or widows aren’t required to remarry or women are allowed to speak during church and don’t have to be silent, or people don’t greet with kisses or women don’t wash the saints feet what would you tell her? Would you tell her it’s because y’all are disobeying Biblical authority or would you try to explain why it’s not necessarily the same thing or valid for today? You wouldn’t pretend like it’s just black and white or absolutely clear would you? You wouldn’t just say the bible said and that settles it and everyone who doesn’t do those things is ignoring biblical authority, would you?
    It seems like whenever egalitarians bring up questions like these complementarians just stick their fingers in their ears like they aren’t hearing them and just keep repeating what 1 Tim says. There doesn’t seem to be any real talk or dialogue on this issue.

    I wonder though how many times this issue can be rehashed on blogs. It’s like when blogging gets slow or boring and no one is commenting people like to bring up the womens ordination issue to get things started up again.
    Thanks for the thoughts Denny.

  6. Bryan,

    Thanks for the comment. I think evanglelical egalitarians are wrong in their interpretation of the Bible’s teaching on gender roles. But at least there is an attempt to base their view on scripture. In other words, (until William Webb) evangelical egaliatarians wouldn’t overtly relativize Paul’s teaching.

    This is not the case with the liberal, feminist egalitarians of the Episcopal church U.S.A. They long ago left biblical authority behind. Their view of scripture and of its role in defining what is normative is much different than an evangelical’s view.


  7. Just for the record, it should be said that there are many scholars who hold to Webb’s view of trajectory hermeneutics while rejecting his conclusion on the issue of female ordination/pastors/elders. The two shouldn’t be seen as one issue.

  8. have we moved on from this blog! i’m a few days late, but what the heck…

    In light of Brian and Denny’s interesting exchange, don’t we need to define what Al and Doug mean by ‘inextricably linked’. Vague language such as this is annoying (to say the least) but it seems like they’ve committed the error that Brian has pointed out: we can toss every auntie Charles and pastor Janet under the umbrella of shaking an angry fist at ‘biblical authority’. As Brian pointed out, there IS a biblical argument for the ordination of women, a wrong argument (M.e.), but at least an argument. Now, homosexuals may also say that they have an argument, but come on, do we really have to give honour to every so-called argument? The point, phrases like ‘inextricably linked…’ make me ashamed to be a fundamentalist. Rhetoric like that only preaches to the choir and accomplishes nothing.

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