Is Patriarchy the Best Term?

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I am grateful for Rick Phillips's latest post on feminism.  There are errors on both sides of a biblical view of godly male leadership in the home and in the church.  Authoritarian, domineering men who stifle the gifts of women -- or worse, who use their stength or their position to legitimate verbal, physical, or other forms of abuse -- are a reproach to the church and stand in opposition to the ministry of Christ. 

Indeed, this is one of the reasons I am in strong support of the Danbury Statement produced by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: it is zealous to protect men and women from ungodly patriarchy.

I say "patriarchy" because the connotations of the word make me reticent to use it as the first-choice term to describe the biblical view of male leadership.

Typically I use terms like "servant leadership" or "spiritual authority," but never "patriarchy."  To me the term would always need careful qualification because for many people today it already suggests the kind of overreaching use of authority that the biblical position opposes. 

However, I notice Rick Phillips using the term more positively in his post and wonder if anyone wants to speak in its defense. 

Posted January 29, 2007 @ 8:38 AM by Phil Ryken
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