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Thursday, October 03, 2013


I like words. I like "anthropocentrism" which refers to a view that holds "anthropos" -- Man -- as the center of the universe. You know, the natural (and utterly false) view of sinful humans. I like words like that. So when I came across "patriocentrism", I had to stop and take a look.

The word is hard to define from Internet searches. I can find "patricentrism" which is the view that holds that the father is central to the family. One website apparently dedicated to the concept says that patriocentrism is the belief that "the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church." Of course, if I'm going to properly attribute the quote, it would come first from Paul (Eph 5:23), not some radical or even recent movement. And, of course, folks like Karen Campbell find the idea "extreme", reckless, and certainly outside of Church tradition.

It is interesting when doing a search for the concept that seven of the first eight entries (in Bing) were protests against the concept and all women. When Karen Campbell reviews a book attacking the (biblical) premise of patriarchy, she urges Christian homeschoolers to read the book (which, by the way, is written by a self-professed unbeliever) and concludes that if you do, "it will be a mother who brings sanity and control to what may become an out of control situation." Because, you see, biblical patriarchy is not sane and is out of control. In the links I followed, none of the objections offered were given with biblical support. Instead, they were, on the surface, based on "How can you say it's bad when it's working for me?" and always coupled with Feminism. The idea appears to be that our understanding of Scripture is first accountable to Feminism. If it disagrees with the feminist perspective, it must be wrong. The patriarchy found in the pages of Scripture is not a violation of Scripture; it is a violation of modern culture.

Patriarchy is not a popular view. The idea that "Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ" doesn't score points with our culture. The notion of God as Father over all isn't really cool today. (Indeed, there are not merely a few voices out there that prefer to refer to God as "she" and "Mother".) So in thinking this through, you will need to decide. Do you determine your perspective by the dictates of Feminism and culture or by the pages of Scripture? These do not coincide.

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