The Subordination of Women in the Church: Where things went wrong, and what we can now do to stand for love and equality

A man named Origen attended a school in Alexandria, Egypt in the 3rd Century A.D..  What was he studying?  Something called neo-Platonic philosophy.  He was being taught by a man named Ammonius Saccas.

Believe it or not, this seemingly abstract bit of historical information is one of the main reasons so many theologians have believed and taught that women may not share authority with men in the church or in the home.

How is this possible?  Alongside Origen was a classmate named Plotinus.  The works of these two men were discovered and embraced by an influential church leader in the 4th Century A.D. named Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan.  He in turn passed this philosophy on to St. Augustine, the influential theologian and Bishop of Hippo.  Hoping to provide a theological foundation for badly needed reform in the church, John Calvin encouraged the readers of his work entitled “the Institutes of the Christian Religion” to make sense of the Bible through the interpretive lenses of St. Augustine’s philosophy.

I wish the rest was “history,” as they say; but sadly, this philosophical framework–neo-Platonism–continues to dominate much of today’s preaching on what is wrongly called the “biblical” roles of men and women.

What did the neo-Platonists teach? They taught that the universe is best explained by a philosophy of dualism.  In other words, they broke reality down into various sets of two opposing principles: spirit versus body, mind versus emotion, man versus woman.  They also taught that the “natural order” of the universe was best understood in terms of hierarchy.  In other words, they said that the universe is functioning as it should when spirit “rules” body, mind “rules” emotion, and men “rule” women.  They also taught that the “best born” free men should rule over slaves.

How did neo-Platonists define evil?  They said that evil exists where one principle usurps the authority of another.  Sound familiar? Any “mingling of the classes” was described as “injustice.”

St. Augustine used this interpretive framework to make sense of the creation account found in the book of Genesis.  For example, when he saw Adam refer to Eve as “flesh of my flesh,” he automatically assumed that Adam must represent the spirit.  Just as spirit must rule over flesh, he concluded, so too must men rule over women.  This passage of the Bible (Genesis 2:22-23), however, says nothing about a hierarchy of authority–unless you force it into a neo-Platonic context; and that is exactly what St. Augustine did.

When John Calvin wrote his commentary on Genesis, he came to the same conclusions as St. Augustine.  That should come as no surprise, since in his commentary work, Calvin cites both St. Augustine and Plato as his influential sources.

Augustine and Calvin’s view of Genesis then impacted their understanding of all of the apostle Paul’s references to the creation account found throughout his epistles.  Both theologians automatically assumed that Paul was reinforcing the dualistic hierarchy they wrongly perceived in Genesis.

To complicate matters further, two notable Bible translators were also strongly influenced by neo-Platonic philosophy: St. Jerome of the 4th century A.D. and Erasmus of the 16th century.  Jerome’s Bible became the authorized Latin translation for the Roman Catholic Church.  Erasmus’ Bible became the basis for our first English translations, which then went on to influence popular English versions from the King James to today’s English Standard Version.

In all of these Bibles, there is mounting evidence that texts have been modified to fit into a neo-Platonic framework.  Commands are added regarding women that do not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts (e.g. Wives submit to your husbands).  The leadership of women is maligned as sinful (c.f. Isaiah 3:12 and 1 Timothy 2:12).  Words translated as “leader” “ruler” “minister” for men are translated as “servant” or “helper” for women.  Headings are added that do not appear in the manuscripts, and that change the meaning of various passages.  Punctuation is added (or not added where it is probably necessary) to obscure or change the meaning of various texts.  Neutral, or in some cases female, pronouns in the Greek manuscripts are all rendered as male.

Due to the overwhelming influence of neo-Platonic philosophy, the Christian faith has suffered immensely.  In some instances, it no longer shares the message that was taught and lived by Jesus and the apostles.  Perhaps most notably, the Bible teaches that sin (evil) is the opposite of love, not the inversion of a neo-Platonic hierarchy.  Instead of following Jesus’ example of love, many churches now focus on the importance of power, control and exclusively male authority.  This is a travesty.

When I attended Bible College, many years ago, I first became aware that my understanding of the Bible was not shared by scholars referred to as “egalitarians.”  At the time, I wasn’t aware that my own theology had been influenced by a neo-Platonic framework.  It was then that I embarked upon a journey of many decades to try to understand why some Christians did not understand the Bible as I did.

What I discovered shook me to the core.  I’ve summarized it here today, honestly because I just felt I had to “get it out” so to speak.  It’s painful for me to see the ongoing influence of this philosophy on the church, on the gospel message, on our understanding of God, and on women in particular.

Someone might say that I haven’t supported my conclusions with any references.  Well, as far as this post goes, that’s correct.  This is from the heart.

I do, however, detail all of the reference material from Plato’s original works, to those of Origen, Plotinus, Augustine, Jerome, Erasmus, Calvin and today’s neo-Calvinist leaders in my book entitled, “A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs.”

As much as possible, I reference primary source material from all of these philosophers, theologians, commentators and translators.  I investigate manuscript evidence found in the oldest available copies of the biblical text.  I also draw from the work of historians dating back as far as the 2nd century B.C..

Anyone who wants to read more about this, or investigate the references, or learn what we can do now as a church to restore the message of Jesus and his earliest followers is welcome and encouraged to read it.  I pray that it helps make a difference.  We must remove the lenses of neo-Platonic philosophy from our understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Like-Meet-Separating-Traditional-ebook/dp/B00NP913IG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1426016996

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Plato’s Spectacles: How Greek Philosophy has Distorted our View of Women in the Bible

The following presentation was shared at Emmanuel Bible College on March 3, 2015:

Plato’s Spectacles

To view the presentation, please click on the link above.  You will need Powerpoint (or a compatible program) installed on your computer to view the file.

If you would like Bob to share this or similar information at your church, group or organization, please feel free to send him a message on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bob.edwards.letmypeoplego.

May God use this information to enlighten and encourage!

P.S. For those who do not have Powerpoint, I have added this PDF version of the presentation.  You can view it using Acrobat reader.  Hope that helps!

Plato’s Spectacles

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Is Your Church Teaching You to Follow Jesus Christ or Plato?

Eternal Subordination of the Son, Male Authority, Death of the Self, Predestination: Do these ideas have their origin in the Bible or in human philosophy?  To answer this question, I’d like to begin by looking at the work of a man named “Plato.”

Plato was a philosopher in ancient Greece who attempted to make sense of life, the universe and everything using human reason or logic as his starting point. The worldview that he developed is referred to as “Platonism.”

Platonism was based on the concept of “natural order.” Some things, according to Plato, were naturally superior to others. The spirit was superior to the body; reason was superior to emotion; men were superior to women; the best born and best educated men were superior to men who were slaves etc.

Platonism was hierarchical. In order for justice to prevail in society, according to Plato, the superior must rule over the inferior. The spirit must rule the body, reason must rule emotion, men must rule women, and the “best-born” men must rule over allegedly lesser-born slaves. These two concepts, natural order and hierarchy, formed the foundation of a rigidly class-based society. As long as everyone was in the proper class and fulfilling their proper function, all would be well with the State. If a person attempted to function outside of his or her class, this action was defined as “injustice.” Mingling of the classes was viewed as rebellion against the natural order of things. (Plato’s Republic)

How has Platonism influenced Christianity? One of the earliest Christian theologians studied Platonism in the 3rd century A.D.. His name was Origen. He studied under a man named Ammonius Saccas. When Origen read the Bible, he began to make sense of it through the lenses of Platonism. (Encyclopedia Brittanica)

When he considered the Trinity for example, he saw a hierarchy of classes:

”Origen begins his treatise On First Principles by establishing, in typical Platonic fashion, a divine hierarchical triad; but instead of calling these principles by typical Platonic terms like monad, dyad, and world-soul, he calls them “Father,” “Christ,” and “Holy Spirit,” though he does describe these principles using Platonic language.” (http://www.iep.utm.edu/origen-of-alexandria/#SH3a)

Today, Christian leaders who follow in the theological tradition established by Origen refer to this hierarchical view of the Trinity as “the Eternal Subordination of the Son.” Does the Bible teach that Jesus was and is eternally submissive to God the Father? Explicitly, no. This doctrine has been inferred by theologians following in the philosophical footsteps of Origen.

Studying Platonism alongside Origen was a non-Christian philosopher by the name of Plotinus. His views are still available in works referred to as “the Enneads.” In the Enneads, the universe is once again portrayed in terms of natural order and hierarchy. Plotinus also shares a view of God that is deterministic. The divine Source (or “All”) is responsible for everything that takes place in the universe, including evil.

How did Plotinus, a non-Christian, influence Christianity? St. Augustine, an influential theologian from the 4th century A.D. was introduced to the work of Plotinus by a mentor. In his Confessions, Augustine praises “the books of the Platonists,” and explains that they helped him to make sense of the Bible. Like Origen before him, Augustine began to read the Bible through the lenses of Platonism (specifically the neo-Platonic views of Plotinus). What were the results? As far as Augustine was concerned, God is responsible for everything that takes place on earth, including sin. Human choice is subject to God’s decree. The spirit must rule over the body, and men must rule over women:

Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” And the apostle saith, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh.” Flesh, then, is put for woman, in the same manner that spirit is sometimes put for husband. Wherefore? Because the one rules, the other is ruled; the one ought to command, the other to serve. For where the flesh commands and the spirit serves, the house is turned the wrong way. What can be worse than a house where the woman has the mastery over the man? But that house is rightly ordered where the man commands and the woman obeys. In like manner that man is rightly ordered where the spirit commands and the flesh serves. (On John, Tractate 2, § 14, womenpriests.org)

How are Plato, Origen, Plotinus and Augustine relevant to the church today? Influential Protestant Reformer John Calvin made sense of the Bible through the philosophical work of Plato (Commentary on Genesis) and the theological work of St. Augustine (Institutes of the Christian Religion). What did John Calvin conclude? God is in control of everything that takes place on earth, including sin. Human choice is subject to God’s decree. What human beings choose and the results of those choices are predetermined by God. It is not enough for human emotion to be made subject to the mind; it must in fact be annihilated. This is accomplished when believers share in the crucifixion of Christ. God is good; humanity is evil. God must exercise complete control over humanity. (Institutes)  Men must exercise authority over women to safeguard the church from error and destruction (Commentary on Ephesians).

Today many Christian leaders continue to read and teach the Bible through the lenses of a philosophy that has been handed down to them from Plato through to John Calvin.  Some refer to themselves as “the New Calvinists.”  Instead of teaching “the natural order,” they teach “God’s created order.” The language is slightly different, but the ideas and origin are the same. Some teach the “Eternal Subordination of the Son of God” to God the Father. In keeping with a hierarchical view of the universe, they maintain that men must also rule over women. Any attempt to challenge what is essentially a class-based social structure in the church, determined exclusively by a person’s sex at birth, is viewed as rebellion against God’s created order. It is seen as “injustice” or sin.  The “self” is depicted as evil, and must be put to death.  Human choice is ultimately an illusion.

Does your church teach that there is an eternal hierarchy in the Trinity? Does it teach a hierarchy of men over women? Does it teach a form of determinism that says human beings are not actually responsible for their actions? Does it teach that human emotion is somehow bad that that the “self” must be extinguished?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your church may be teaching you to follow Plato rather than Jesus Christ–something to prayerfully consider.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (the apostle Paul, Colossians 2:8, NIV)

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The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Examining the origins of their beliefs, and calling for repentance

Where does the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood get the notion that women must be subject to male authority in the church and in the home?

An examination of the book entitled “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” provides an indication:

“John Calvin…alludes” p. 150

“Calvin comments” p. 151

“In Calvin’s terms” p. 151

“Calvin properly interpreted” p. 260

“Calvin says” p. 260

“Calvin remarks” p. 263

What did John Calvin say about women?

“[A woman] is formed to obey; for gunaikokratia (the government of women) has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing; and, therefore, so to speak, it will be a mingling of heaven and earth, if women usurp the right to teach” (Wilshire, 2010, p. 79).

Where did Calvin get the idea that “the government of women has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing”?

An examination of his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” provides an answer:

”Augustine expresses” p. 45

“Augustine considered” p. 52

“Augustine…says” p. 53

“Augustine therefore” p. 54

“Augustine justly calls” p. 62

“Augustine reminds us” p. 63

“Augustine distinctly declares” p. 71

“Augustine tells us” p. 74 (and so on, for another 900 pages).

What did Augustine say about women and authority?

The apostle puts flesh for woman; because, when she was made of his rib, Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” And the apostle saith, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh.” Flesh, then, is put for woman, in the same manner that spirit is sometimes put for husband. Wherefore? Because the one rules, the other is ruled; the one ought to command, the other to serve. For where the flesh commands and the spirit serves, the house is turned the wrong way. What can be worse than a house where the woman has the mastery over the man? But that house is rightly ordered where the man commands and the woman obeys. In like manner that man is rightly ordered where the spirit commands and the flesh serves. (On John, Tractate 2, § 14, ed. J. Wijngaards, for womenpriests.org)

Where did Augustine get the notion that men represent “the spirit” and that they must “rule” over women, who represent “the flesh”?

He tells us in his “Confessions”:

“certain books of the Platonists” p. 86

“the books of the Platonists” p. 92

“the study of those [Platonist] books alone” p. 94

“certain books of the Platonists” p. 96

What did “the Platonists” say about women?

Let me further note that the manifold and complex pleasures and desires and pains are generally found in children and women and servants…. Whereas the simple and moderate desires which follow reason, and are under the guidance of the mind and true opinion, are to be found only in a few [all of them men], and those the best born and best educated…

Very true. These two, as you may perceive, have a place in our State; and the meaner desires of the [many] are held down by the virtuous desires and wisdom of the few…

Seeing then, I said, that there are…distinct classes, any meddling of one with another, or the change of one into another, is the greatest harm to the State, and may be most justly termed evil-doing? This then is injustice…

You are quite right, he replied, in maintaining the general inferiority of the female sex….” (Plato’s Republic)

Conclusion

The belief that women must be subject to the authority of men does not have its origin in the Bible. In other words, it is not properly called “biblical” at all. Rather, it has its origin in the human philosophy of Plato. This philosophy was incorporated into Christian theology by St. Augustine, a Roman Catholic Bishop of the 4th Century A.D.. It was carried into the Protestant Reformation by John Calvin, and today it remains alive through the work of the “Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” and other similar organizations.

What does the Bible say about basing our beliefs on human philosophies such as Platonism?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, NASB).

It’s time for the church worldwide, and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in particular, to stop confusing sexist human philosophies with the will of God.

“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions” (The words of our Lord, Mark 7:8, NIV).

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In Theology We Trust: Confusing Human Tradition with the Will of God

The following article is taken from chapter 2 of my new book entitled, “A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs”:

“It is the studied judgment of this writer, and he is by no means alone therein, that doctrinal preaching is the most pressing need of the churches today.”[1] These words were originally written by an Evangelist named Arthur Walkington Pink. They can currently be found on a website for Providence Baptist Ministries.

According to Pink, sound doctrine is specifically derived from a system of theology known as “Calvinism.” Preaching based on this systematic manner of interpreting the Bible was believed to safeguard the church against moral lapse:

There is a solidity and soberness, a stability and godly fear seen in real Calvinists, which are not found among Arminians. There is an uprightness of character in those who espouse the Truth which is lacking in those who imbibe error.[2]

Pink’s emphasis on the importance of Calvinism to establish and maintain “truth” and “uprightness of character” in the church is not unique. It is shared, for example, by contemporary Christian leaders such as John Piper. In his book entitled, “The Pleasures of God,” Piper (2003) explains,

…this truth tends to preserve the church from slipping toward false philosophies of life. History seems to show that this is so. For example, toward the end of the eighteenth century, “Calvinistic convictions waned in North America. In the Progress of a decline which [Jonathan] Edwards had rightly anticipated, those Congregational churches of New England which had embraced Arminianism [another interpretive system of theology] after the Great Awakening, gradually moved into Unitarianism and universalism…. It seems as if there is something about the truth [of Calvinism] that stands guard over the mind and heart of the church and keeps her alert to tendencies and shifts that swing wide from the plumb line of God’s Word.[3]

In the eyes of A.W. Pink and John Piper it seems that the only thing preventing the church from falling away from God into error and immorality is Calvinism.

To help us understand what Calvinism is exactly, I think we can turn to no better source than John Calvin himself. In a letter to readers of his work entitled, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion,” Calvin describes the objective of his efforts in the following terms:

In order that my Readers may be the better able to profit by the present work, I am desirous briefly to point out the advantage which they may derive from it. For by so doing I will show them the end at which they ought to aim, and to which they ought to give their attention in reading it.

Although the Holy Scriptures contain a perfect doctrine, to which nothing can be added—our Lord having been pleased therein to unfold the infinite treasures of his wisdom—still every person, not intimately acquainted with them, stands in need of some guidance and direction as to what he ought to look for in them, that he may not wander up and down, but pursue a certain path, and so attain the end to which the Holy Spirit invites him.

Hence it is the duty of those who have received from God more light than others to assist the simple in this matter, and, as it were, lend them their hand to guide and assist them in finding the sum of what God has been pleased to teach us in his word. Now, this cannot be better done in writing than by treating in succession the principal matters which are comprised in Christian philosophy. For he who understands these will be prepared to make more progress in the school of God in one day than any other person in three months, inasmuch as he, in great measure, knows to what he should refer each sentence, and has a rule by which to test whatever is presented to him.[4]

What then is Calvinism? Simply put, it is an interpretive framework that tells people what to look for in the Bible, where to look, and how they should make sense of what they find. This interpretive framework consists of what Calvin referred to as “the principal matters” of “Christian philosophy.”

Given the period of history in which John Calvin completed his work, he was likely unaware that in setting up “the principal matters of Christian philosophy” as an interpretive lens for the Bible, he was facilitating what cognitive psychologists today refer to as “top-down processing.” Cognitive psychologist Robert Solso (1988) helps us understand what this process is and how it works:

Top-down processing is an important perceptual theory in cognitive psychology. The theory establishes the paradigm that sensory information processing in human cognition, such as perception, recognition, memory, and comprehension, are organized and shaped by our previous experience, expectations, as well as meaningful context.[5]

Psychologist David G. Myers further explains,

Our brains do more than merely register information about the world. Perception is not just opening a shutter and letting a picture print itself on the brain. We constantly filter sensory information and infer perceptions in ways that make sense to us.[6]

According to a well-known researcher in the field of cognitive development—Jean Piaget–previous experiences lead to the formation of basic assumptions about the world. These assumptions function like interpretive molds into which new sensory experiences are poured. He called these molds “schemas.” Schemas don’t simply help us organize new information. They actually affect how we see, or perceive, the world around us.[7]  What John Calvin may not have realized is that our previous experience and learning even affect the way we perceive (i.e. make sense of) things we read, including the Bible. Information that does not fit with our pre-existing schemas can be overlooked. Information that is not overlooked may be modified so that our current schemas (basic assumptions about the world) remain intact. When information that does not conform to our pre-existing beliefs and assumptions is overlooked or modified, psychologists refer to this as a “confirmation bias.”[8]

Myers (2007) explains that schemas and confirmation bias contribute to a psychological phenomenon known as “belief perseverance.” Rather than seeing new information objectively, human beings are strongly inclined to perceive and interpret the world around them in ways that confirm what they already believe.[9]

The realities of human perception have great bearing upon our understanding of John Calvin’s interpretation of the Bible. In his own words, he explained that “the principal matters of Christian philosophy” serve to guide readers of the Bible to what they should look for, where they should find it, and how they should interpret what they find. I can think of no better example of top-down processing than this. To understand Calvin’s interpretive schemas, though, we must understand exactly what he means when he refers to the “principal matters of Christian philosophy.” Fortunately, Calvin explains to us the origins of this philosophy in his “Institutes of the Christian Religion”:

It is unnecessary to spend much time in investigating the sentiments of ancient writers. Augustine alone may suffice, as he has collected all their opinions with great care and fidelity. Any reader who is desirous to know the sense of antiquity may obtain it from him.[10]

Calvin’s dependence on the philosophical work of St. Augustine as an interpretive framework for the Bible is discussed at length by Alister E. McGrath, in his book entitled, “A Life of John Calvin: A Study in the Shaping of Western Culture”:

While Calvin’s major concern was the interpretation of scripture, his reading of this text was enriched and informed by the Christian tradition. He had no hesitation in developing the thesis he originally defended at the Lausanne Disputation—that the Reformation represented a recovery of the authentic teaching of the early church, with the distortions and spurious additions of medieval period eliminated. Above all, Calvin regarded his thought as a faithful exposition of the leading ideas of Augustine of Hippo.[11]

So, the interpretive lens through which John Calvin made sense of the Bible was the commentary work of St. Augustine, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hippo, whose work originated in the 4th Century A.D.. That’s important information for anyone interested in understanding how and why Calvin arrived at certain theological conclusions, but the investigation doesn’t end there. St. Augustine also thought that the Bible should best be understood through the lenses of the principal matters of philosophy. He didn’t call it “Christian philosophy,” however, because the system of thought he relied on to help him interpret the Bible was written long before the advent of Christianity. It can be found in the distinctly non-Christian writings of a renowned Greek philosopher–from the 4th Century B.C.–named Plato.

Augustine discloses his affinity for Platonism in his 8th book of Confessions:

Simplicianus congratulated me that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers, which were full of fallacies and deceit, “after the beggarly elements of this world,” whereas in the Platonists, at every turn, the pathway led to belief in God and his Word. (Augustine’s Confessions, Book VIII, Chapter II)[12]

The importance of Augustine’s introduction to Plato’s worldview is also documented by Michael Mendelson in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

The single most decisive event…in Augustine’s philosophical development has to be his encounter with those unnamed books of the Platonists in Milan in 384. While there are other important influences, it was his encounter with the Platonism ambient in Ambrose’s Milan that provided the major turning point, reorienting his thought along basic themes that would persist until his death forty-six years later. There has been controversy regarding just which books of the Platonists Augustine encountered [O’Connell 1968, pp. 6–10; O’Donnell 1992, vol. II, pp. 421–423; Beatrice, 1989], but we know from his own account that they were translated by Marius Victorinus [Confessions VIII.2.3], and there is widespread agreement that they were texts by Plotinus and Porphyry, although there is again controversy regarding how much influence is to be attributed to each [O’Connell 1968, pp. 20–26; O’Donnell 1992, vol. II, pp. 423–4]. These uncertainties notwithstanding, Augustine himself makes it clear that it was his encounter with the books of the Platonists that made it possible for him to view both the Church and its scriptural tradition as having an intellectually satisfying and, indeed, resourceful content.[13]

To whom do some Christian leaders, pastors and evangelists turn for an understanding of the Bible that they trust to safeguard the church from immorality and error? John Calvin.

Upon whose philosophical principles did John Calvin rely to help him systematically make sense of God’s revelation in the Bible? St. Augustine.

Whose philosophy did St. Augustine use to help him derive “intellectually satisfying” and “resourceful content” from the Bible? Plato of Ancient Greece.

Calvinism, then, is a systematic method of interpreting the Bible through the interpretive lenses, or schemas, of a philosophy that predates Christianity by approximately 400 years. Do these lenses impact the way some Christian leaders today understand, preach and practice Christianity? Yes, they certainly do. In the next chapter we will begin explore exactly how.

[Chapters 3 through 5 explore the doctrines of predestination, dying to self, and the subordination of women to male authority.]

End Notes

1 Arthur W. Pink, “Practical Christianity; Part 2: Progress in the Christian Life; Chapter 7: The Doctrine of Mortification,” Providence Baptist Ministries, 7 January 2014, <http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Practical/prac_07.htm&gt;.

2 Pink, “The Doctrine of Mortification.”

3 John Piper, The Pleasures of God, (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 2003) 144-145.

4 John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge, (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2002) 22.

5 “Top Down Processing in Cognitive Psychology,” 17 March 2014, <http://home.gwu.edu/~droliver/TopDown/&gt;.

6 David G. Myers, Psychology: 8th Edition in Modules, (Holland, MI: Worth Publishers, 2007) 237.

7 Myers, 142.

8 Myers, 400.

9 Myers, 408.

10 Calvin, Institutes, 371.

11 Allister E. McGrath, A Life of John Calvin, (Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990) 131.

12 Augustine, Confessions, trans. Albert C. Outler, 12 January 2013, <http://www.ling.upenn.edu/courses/hum100/augustinconf.pdf&gt;

13 Michael Mendelson, “Saint Augustine,” ed. Edwards N. Zalta, Winter 2012, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 26 November 2013, <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/augustine/&gt;.

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