Something I’ve Never Seen Before – Playing the Sin Card in an Academic Setting

This quarter I am taking a class on the Pastoral Epistles with David Downs. He assigned as a point/counterpoint assignment two articles on the issue of women in 1 Timothy 2:8-15, one of them is by I. Howard Marshall and the other is by Andreas Kostenberger. I was shocked and dismayed to read in Kostenberger’s discussion of the egalitarian interpretation the following:

“And in their rebellion against the Creator, men and women suppress the truth in unrighteousness and pervert God-ordained patterns of relating between genders, leveling distinctions and preferring sameness over complementarity—was that not Paul’s verdict writing to the Roman church in the midst of the excesses of the Roman Empire? Indeed, more than biblical exegesis is at work here. The present issue entails an entire culture’s stance toward its Creator.” Andreas Kostenberger “The Crux of the Matter: Paul’s Pastoral Pronouncements Regarding Women’s Roles in 1 Timothy 2:9-15” in Studies on John and Gender, 253-254.

Kostenberger is discussing the motivations behind the egalitarian approach, and he essentially argues that love of this age, and consequently sin, are the root of any questioning of the complementarian interpretation. How on earth is that appropriate in an academic article? Labeling your opponents as sinners captivated by the evil age is an exercise in polemic, and Kostenberger should be ashamed. Am I overreacting? What do you think?

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