Thursday, June 26, 2008

B. B. Warfield and Woman Deacons: A Correction...

Fellow PCA minister and colleague, Tim Bayly, has posted a very important article concerning Dr. B. B. Warfield's views on women as deacons. A new commentary on I Timothy is in the works and it misses the actual thrust of Warfield's comments understanding him to be an advocate of women deacons when in fact he says the biblical evidence for that practice is scant at best. He has been in touch with the author (another PCA minister) about this matter. You can read the article here

Bayly neither blames the author or the editors for this mistake and offers this charitable advice,

"Now, just a few comments about these errors. First, I'm certain neither Phil nor the P&R editors were intentional in this error, nor in failing to correct it later. But now that the error is known, it's incumbent upon both the author and publishing company not to allow future distribution of this book without an errata or oops sheet inserted in the book at the pages containing the errors. Similarly with what's available on the web: it should be corrected immediately."

"Second, it's clear that this error has received the widest distribution and will be for years to come the most likely place people learn of Warfield's position on woman deacons. So I encourage our readers to read Warfield's complete essay on the subject for themselves, and to give the actual essay the widest possible distribution so the error that's out there will be corrected by people who have read the primary source. Yes, Warfield was supportive of something approximating deaconesses, but how he did and didn't support them is critically important."

"Third, learn the lesson I learned years ago, that you should never depend upon modern authors for your knowledge of primary sources. Don't depend on anyone else to read them for you, and to report to you what they say."

Tim, Great catch!

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