Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bruce Ware on wife abuse

Dr. Marie Fortune recently blogged about wife abuse and statements by former CBMW president, Dr. Bruce Ware. Fortune quotes Ware:
"And husbands on their parts, because they're sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged--or, more commonly, to become passive, acquiescent, and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and in churches," Ware said recently from the pulpit of Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas.
Fortune also quotes Ware's conclusion:
Ware's conclusion is quite limited: "He will have to rule, and because he's a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive--and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that--but here's the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to be the leader in the relationship and just say 'OK dear,' 'Whatever you say dear,' 'Fine dear' and become a passive husband, because of sin."
Fortune responds:
Talk about dichotomous thinking. Actually, there is a third option for men and women in heterosexual marriage. What about those thousands of marriages that I know, like my parents' for fifty years, where two adults stand side by side as equal partners, faithful to each other and their children, living out Gospel values everyday?

What we have here is a professor of theology who clearly knows nothing about wife abuse and domestic violence and someone who is willing to expend enormous energy blaming battered women and excusing batterers with a high gloss, labored theological rationalization.

The "sin" is "that he [male humans] will have to rule," i.e. the man's desire to rule over and dominate another human being and his willingness to use force and violence to accomplish this.
What do you think? Is Dr. Fortune taking Dr. Ware's words out of context? Does she have an important insight?