Posted by: berencamlost | 2007 November 29

Wingnuts Ahoy!

Bob Hyatt's blog screenshot

I got into a little discussion over on someone else’s blog here. The author of that blog posted some pretty offensive advertisements from the 50’s, but the issue I have with the author is that he states that a complementarian view of women in the bible leads to demeaning women, as is portrayed in those ads. He used a standard smear campaign of guilt by association, even though technically his words were “complementarians especially need to be careful”. I took offense, as I firmly believe the bible teaches a complementarian view, and not an egalitarian view, which has it’s roots in feminism.

This little blog discussion began when a friend emailed me his response to Bob’s blog. Here is what he said:

Assuming you will allow a dissenting comment on your blog, Lane Keister offers the most succinct argument against your feminism.

[Your] interpretation of Galatians 3:28 as erasing role distinctions between men and women is completely unwarranted, since this reading of the verse has been completely divorced from its context. Galatians 3 is about many things. Among those things are the question of sanctification (verse 3), justification by faith alone (verses 10-14), covenant theology (verses 15-22), and our position in regard to the law and in regard to faith. Verse 26 is crucial to our understanding of verse 28. Only sons inherited estates in the days in which Paul was writing. Certainly, we can say that Paul was thus dignifying women in an amazing way by saying that “you are all sons.” In other words, all Christians inherit. This happens by faith (verse 26). But as is completely clear, the idea here is all about our standing before God with regard to our sin, and what Jesus Christ has accomplished.
It has nothing to do with proper roles for husbands and wives, or men in general and women in general. In other words, if Paul’s context had been one of delineating the roles of men and women in the church and in the home, egalitarians would have a fair argument. However, that is plainly not the case here. Everything has to do with our standing before God.
Therefore, this passage cannot be used to “trump” the other passages, where the context clearly is the role of men and women in the church and in the home (cf. Eph. 5; 1 Tim. 2; 1 Cor. 11; etc.)

But, I suppose this argument highlights the difference in presuppositions. Keister is committed to the material authority of the text (quoad res). Whereas, and this is demonstrated in your dynamic approach to translation and your problem with the ultimate authority of Scripture, you have no such commitment. A dynamic approach leads to dynamic interpretations. And, dynamic interpretations lead a person away from and undermine the material authority.

Well, it was no surprise that Bob deleted this comment. Not only did he delete the comment, he then posted the following:

I allow dissenting comments on my blog, Chris… with the exception of those who participated in our community under false pretenses, lied to me and others about their views and reasons for their presence, and now use that time spent with us to launch ridiculous tirades daily on their unread blog, based mostly on odd hallucinations about what I think or what evergreen teaches.
Take your crazy somewhere else, man…. we’re not buying.

I was a bit miffed, as not only did Chris properly summarize the proper biblical view with that quote from Keister, but then Bob turned to name calling. Crazy? False Pretenses? Hallucinations on what he thinks? Can he not engage the issue and stop with the ad hominem attacks?
So, what did I do? I jumped in. Why? I don’t know. Maybe an overwhelming desire to defend the bible against this misinterpretation. I started mildly. Here was my first post.

My wife would take great offense at your “non-complimentarian” interpretation of Galatians. And, just so there is no mistake, she is not the mousy type who is naturally submissive. She just has a proper understanding of the biblical view of husbands and wives (unlike yourself).

Those of you who know my wife know she is one of the strongest women around. She is vocal and does not get pushed around, and she firmly believes in the biblical view of women (we left one church at her request because of women in leadership roles there.)

Well, Bob was quick to respond. Here is his response:

Ahh.. There’s that one reader of Chris’ blog now.
Good times, good times.
Actually, what’s offensive is saying that by posting THESE ads, I am making the “biblical view” seem quaint or oppressive (as our crazy friend has accused me of doing here)
I’d love to know which of these ads best captures the “biblical” view???

Can this guy lay off the name calling for one minute? How about taking the high road and engaging the issue and not in silly name calling? The one reader of Chris’ blog (over 9000 reads on his blog last month)? Crazy friend?

Ok, whatever. He can call Chris names all he wants. Now, he continues with his distortion of the biblical view of women (complementarianism) by falsely associating my defense of that view with the offensive ad’s he posted (his question about which ad captures the “biblical” view, assuming that I must believe one of those ads is biblical since I hold a complementarian view).

I couldn’t let that one go, so I posted this:

Um… none of those ads display the biblical view, and it is foolish to assume they do. The accurate biblical understanding is not quaint or oppressive. The issue that is offensive here is the underlying feminism in your assumption that a complimentarian view is quaint and oppressive, as is demonstrated by your associating these pictures with that view. There is nothing more liberating for a female than properly understanding the role that women have in the church, and nothing more challenging for men than to realize they have to step up to the plate and lead for a change rather than shrink behind the modern secular feminist slogans.

I think most people would say “Amen” to that. Egalitarianism has its roots in modernism and one of it’s many offsprings, feminism, and the proper understanding of how your Creator in heaven has made you is extremely liberating.

However, Bob was not done. Here is his response:

I agree- none of them display the biblical view. Bravo.
Where you and Don Quixote over there err is in thinking that you know what I think on this issue, and accusing me of connecting these pictures with a complementarian view.
My caution was that complementarians especially need to be careful. When they try to be funny about roles, they often cross the line. Full stop. That’s the extent of what I’ve said here.
If you’d like to dissect my post a bit more and tell me specifically where I’ve associated these pictures with complementarianism, I’m happy to listen.
By the way, when someone says “they go out of there (sic) way to make the biblical picture appear quaint and repressive” and link to this post, why should we assume anything but that the author of that comment thinks these pictures somehow encapsulate the “biblical picture”?

Sigh. Again, name calling, false conclusions. With all the spin he is doing on Chris’s post, this guy should be a politician. (Sorry, a bit of ad hominem myself, couldn’t resist.)

So, now I have to spell out how I came to the conclusion that he is an egalitarian and how I drew the logical conclusion that he was associating the complementarian view with those images. Ok, I’ll spell it out for him (after a bit of research.)

First, by using those pictures you’re creating a “guilt by association” here. The same can be done by showing pictures of a sweatshop and putting a corporate logo over that picture, to portray that company in a bad light. Same tactic you did here.
Also, your position is pretty apparent, given that you openly ordain women elders in your church ( Sarah Zollner and Tina Lips are currently serving as elders in your church, so there is no disguising your egalitarian views.
So it is no error, we all know what you think on this issue. And please quit twisting the argument Chris makes on his blog. By doing so you either do not understand what he is saying (doubtful), or you are deliberately being deceitful and need to stop, as that is an issue of sin.
So, you started this blog with a smear campaign, moved into name calling (crazy, Don Quixote), then deceptively twisted someone else’s argument in an attempt to rationalize your view. That’s pretty petty, man.

I was pretty hard hitting here, since intentionally slandering someone and then distorting what they said and believe is bearing false witness, and thus a sin. Period. No getting around that one. I pointed out how his post drew the false conclusion that complementarianism was repressive and equated with the ads he posted, then pointing out that I knew his position and wasn’t drawing a false conclusion (which he accused me of- reading into his post), and thus answered all his objections. Then I took him to task for his slander and his distortion of the facts.

Needless to say, he deleted my post. Then he banned me.

Oh, well, worse things have happened.

At this point I was content to just leave it be, but he then put up the following reply:

Brett- we’re done here. Again, you think you know what I believe, but you don’t.
You and Chris can have fun mocking and scoffing over on his blog, poking fun at your misunderstandings of me and my church- but leave it there.
The only deliberate deceitfulness has been on the part of Chris either in mis-representing himself during his time at Evergreen (when he explicitly told me he agreed with having women in leadership) or now- since it’s doubtful anyone could have undergone so quickly all the changes in beliefs in categories he’s putting on.
Explicitly- you and Chris are not welcome here.I don’t have time to argue with people who won’t even try to understand what I’m saying and troll my blog daily for fodder to cyber-stalk me with. It’s unproductive, it’s unbecoming, and frankly, the DAILY obsession with me is getting creepy.
Please refrain from commenting.

It seems to me that he is so obsessed with being right that he ignores what I said and further starts laying charges against me that are unfounded and untrue. I am not nor have I ever been obsessed with him or his church. I have never obsessed over him or his blog, and I am not a cyber stalker. Read my blog and you’ll know this to be true.

If those comments are not directed at me then he needs to apologize. If they are directed at Chris, then actually address them to Chris and not to me! And, yes I do know what you believe, since you have specifically posted a number of your beliefs online and on your blog. There is no disguising that, no obfuscating that, just as there is no obfuscating my stance on the issues I have blogged on.

I have never mocked you, Bob, nor called you named (please provide proof if I have and I will man up and apologize). However, you have, Bob, and you need to repent. You have distorted what I have said, distorted what Chris has said, and engaged in childish name calling. And you seem to be too proud to admit your mistake and repent.

The true test of character of a man is his willingness to humble himself before God and admit his mistakes, then do what is right to correct those. That is a lesson that God has been teaching me for years, and I hope it is one that Bob Hyatt learns before he is called before the judgment seat of Christ.


  1. I totally agree with you, Brett! There is no rationalizing with folks who have gone down this path because the pressure from the current feminist paradigm in our society is too high. So high, in fact, that the need to be right about it trumps the need for truth (or at the very least, civil discourse). If Bob was really the egalitarian he claims to be, he might be more understanding and at least conciliatory to some degree for when people disagree with him.

    Unless a sin has been committed or one’s salvation is in question due to gross morality-related behaviors, there is no need to act out in uncivilized ways; in fact, it is my contention that debate and differing views is good for the family of God!

    We are called to love our brothers and sisters…because we don’t get to choose who is in the kingdom of God! And it always boils down to “would Jesus be pleased with this?”.

    Keep the faith and those great writing skills of yours! Bob, if you’re reading this, I truly hope that the work you do over there is pleasing to the Lord and that you are furthering the kingdom dispite your blog or its comments.

    Your loving brother in Christ,

  2. I agree that we complementarian must be careful not to twist the biblical roles of men and women to an extreme and thus make women “non-entities.” I applaud Bob on that point!

    However, I don’t believe I need to ask for God’s “forgiveness” for not proclaiming (or seeing in the first place) the so-called “truth” Bob extract from Galatians 3:28. I agree that it was taken completely out of context and has nothing to do with gender roles.

  3. Thanks for the reply, Robert. Feminism is definitely an evil seed in our society, along with lots of other “ism’s” prevalent in today’s culture.

  4. Dave, I agree that we can’t twist the biblical role of men and women. And a proper understanding of that should be especially humbling for men, as our model is nothing more than Christ himself.

  5. Alright, so we can gather from Bob’s comments and attitude that he is not interested in a respectful dialogue on this issue (and by inference, probably others). And, I have no problem respecting his wishing and not attempting to post on his blog in the future. But, I do feel that I need to briefly address some of his libel. I apologize for doing so here, but Bob doesn’t want this sort of thing on his blog.

    In order to do so, let me set the stage with a little history. I started attending Evergreen in the early part of this year (approx. late Feb. or early March) and stopped attending it in late August. I had been reading a lot of the emerging authors and I was interested in seeing what was going on for myself. I appreciated their critiques of modern evangelicalism (though I would learn that they were coming from a different place than me). Also, as someone who had worked in church ministry for 13 years, I thought it might be interesting to explore their philosophy of ministry, specifically as it relates to church planting. I do feel, and have always felt, that we need more strong churches.

    Now to his libel:

    (1) “those who participated in our community under false pretenses.”

    What were the false pretenses? I stated my interest in your philosophy of ministry and church planting right from the very beginning.

    (2) “lied to me and others about their views and reasons for their presence.”

    What were the lies exactly? What reasons did I give which were untrue? As for the my view on women in the ministry, I have no problem admitting that when I arrived I was unsure of my position. By default, given my experience in typical modern evangelical churches, I suppose I held to a soft-complimentarian or soft-egalitarian viewpoint, depending your point of view. But, what is wrong with changing your viewpoint, especially if a person is doing so to better reflect Scripture and what they have learned from Scripture?

    (3) “to launch ridiculous tirades daily on their unread blog.”

    Which one of my posts, and the specific point in that post, could be describe as absurd? Simply because Bob doesn’t feel the issues I raise are worthy of serious consideration, doesn’t mean that is in fact the case. Further, I fail to find any one of my posts that could be described as angry or highly emotional. Yes, I have some strong things to say. But, we have already heard from Piper and Machen on the importance of strong speech. Did Bob read those posts? Bob, have you given careful thought to what it means to speak truth from a place of love? Would you describe Piper and Machen as ridiculous?

    (4) “mostly on odd hallucinations about what I think or what evergreen teaches” and (5) “Where you and Don Quixote over there err is in thinking that you know what I think on this issue”

    Is it an hallucination to assert that Bob at Evergreen teaches a doctrine that is explicitly stated on their website or that he explicitly states in a post on their forum? Bob has used this tactic before with people who question him and his emerging friends. In those instances, it would work because they often had never visited an emerging church and had personal conversations with emerging folk over lunch. However, I have done this repeatedly. It strains the bounds of reason to imply that after six months that I wouldn’t have any grasp on what Bob taught or what the prevailing perspectives are at Evergreen.

    (6) “fun mocking and scoffing over on his blog, poking fun at your misunderstandings of me and my church- but leave it there.”

    As for misunderstanding, I’d refer you above. But, again, in what post did I show my contempt for Bob or Evergreen with derision, especially when I have no contempt. In fact, there are people who attend Evergreen that I happen to like, quite a bit. Yes, I have some misgivings and some reservations about what Bob is teaching and some of the things that are being practiced but this is far from any sort of contempt. Here, again, we see a popular tactic of Bob.

    (7) “deliberate deceitfulness has been on the part of Chris either in mis-representing himself during his time at Evergreen (when he explicitly told me he agreed with having women in leadership) or now”

    Here again, I would love to see some proof of this. Bob can you please demonstrate how I have been deliberately deceitful? What lie have I told? What deceit have I committed? Is it a crime to study a particular issue further and reach a different conclusion than you previously held? If so, then you are guilty too. You openly admit to being a complimentarian prior to your new found dynamism.

    Any careful readers of my blog, especially the post under question, will see that I’m deeply concerned about many issues that are currently facing the Church. And, it will be clear, also, that I’m open in my desire to see those whom I believe to be wrong — especially as it relates to central issues like the authority of Scripture — turn around. As I have lived my life, I have had to make many of those u-turns. Yes, it is difficult. But, it is also necessary.

    I’m truly disappointed by how this has turned out. I had hoped and expected better.

  6. I’m part of Bob’s congregation, and I’ve been involved in discussions with Bob and Chris. I will say (and have said on Bob’s blog) that I think the accusation of participating under false pretenses is unjustified.

    Having said that, I have a hard time squaring this statement:
    But, again, in what post did I show my contempt for Bob or Evergreen with derision, especially when I have no contempt.
    with remarks like
    this one,
    or the last sentence of the third paragraph of this post (which was clearly directed at Bob — and by the way, my comment on that one didn’t pass moderation), or some others on Chris’s blog. If I won’t let Bob get away unchallenged accusations I believe to be unjustified, neither will I let this pretension of wounded innocence go without comment. Frankly, I think both parties have some repenting to do.

  7. Thanks for the note, Dan. I will let Chris answer your question.

    And I would agree that some repenting needs to be done.

    Please let Bob know that I will keep him in my prayers.

  8. First, you last comment didn’t make through moderation because I felt it was off-topic.

    Second, nothing I have written on my blog or in my posts have stemmed from a motivation centered in a strong dislike for or a feeling that Bob is worthless or vile. Was I alluding to Bob in the post you mention? Sure. But, I was also alluding to more people than just Bob. So, if you want to pull Bob out of the bunch, that’s your choice.

    It is interesting to me how ego-centered this whole thing as become. My post about the emerging church movement have been exactly about that . . . the emergign church movement. However, because Bob appears to think that everything must rotate around himself, every little thing I write about the movement he interprets to be about him. I can’t help that and I don’t need to apologize for it.

    As for my comment about “sparing us the psycho-babble,” I still don’t feel that is out of line. One of Bob’s favorite ploys is to assign an emotion to a person, outline why that emotion is a problem, and then claim that he has solved the argument the person has raised. But, really, he has never even dealt with the argument. He has used that countless times. And, I was tired of it.

    In fact, I believe I have been more than patient with him and this whole situation. The list of names he has chosen to call me (rather creative and impressive by the way) demonstrates a visceral over-reaction that must betray some sort of guilt. But, I’m only guessing here. Regardless, I have attempted to stay focused on the issues, whereas Bob has chosen to focus on me.

    To sum up: I have very little respect for someone who is in a teaching pastor role, in a Christian church, and belittles or ignores or downgrades the authority of Scripture. To do such, the person forfeits their position. If someone teaches a doctrine that is contrary to Scripture or tolerates heresy to be taught within the Body of Christ (e.g. your continued assertion that reason is the superior court to Scripture), then they forfeit their position.

    One thing we all should know by now is that you can’t make a person feel a certain way. They choose to feel and respond the way they wish to do so. So, I will not be held responsible for Bob’s feelings.

    But, I have repented and will continue to repent. You see, in a way, I have truly failed Bob. The Lord has given me gifts to be used for his glory and one of those gifts is teaching and preaching. I have failed to make the Scriptures plain in such a manner that Bob might be edified and exhorted follow after the Lord in orthodoxy. And, I failed him by allowing his tactics and ploys to anger and frustrate me. Which, in turn, soured the conversation and made it the more difficult to speak the clear truth of God.

    Unlike many today, I still believe there is a place for rebuke in the Church. And, a pastor who has forfeited his position stands in need of rebuke and not hugs.

  9. Chris, the particular remarks to which I pointed were about Bob as an individual, not about the emerging church as a whole. If you claim you harbor no contempt now, I’ll take your word for it, but those passages — especially your second sentence in the forum post I linked to — certainly suggest that you did at the time. (By the way, I don’t see where he ascribed any particular emotion to you; it seems to me that he was merely pointing out some consequences of a belief you espoused. Well, that and criticizing your forum etiquette — for which he’s rebuked me in the past as well.)

    Incidentally, I don’t see where Bob “belittles or ignores or downgrades the authority of Scripture.” He told you explicitly: “I’m arguing FOR the authority of Scripture. I’m arguing against the idea that a different view of inerrancy or infallibility automatically makes one a heretic.”

    Honestly, I don’t think Bob cares even a little what you think of him. (The only reason I bothered was so that anyone who reads this blog would know that there is another side to the story.) On the other hand, I can totally understand why he wouldn’t want to give you a platform on his blog for you to attack him.

    Out of respect for the Gorley family, I’m going to make this my last post here, so feel free to have the last word.

  10. […] the past few months, Bob Hyatt has taken to calling me names (cf. for some context, you can read this post). Having learned in elementary school that names can never hurt me, I’ve found them more […]

  11. […] I don’t approve of calling people names (I myself have been called some by Bob), I am glad to see the Spirit of God move people to humility and acknowledge their wrongs. Thanks, […]

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