Audio: Tim Keller and Lig Duncan Discuss the Question of Female Deacons

At Feeding on Christ (HT: Nick Batzig)

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  1. I am not surprised at Tim Keller’s emergence as a supporter of female deacons. His exegesis of Timothy on the wives of deacons, making them to be somehow deaconesses is frankly poor, and arguements that BB Warfield was a Prebyterian advocate of deaconesses is likewise based on reading into his words what people perhaps would want him to say.

    Incidentally, here in the UK I was shocked to see Tim Keller joining with the leadership who started the Alpha evangelistic course at a recent London conference, a course which has clear and warm commendations of Roman Catholic partnership in Alpha. Having heard Tim speak in Lancashire, I gained the impression he is a highly intelligent and sincere man who is rapidly becoming yet another figure head for those para church movements like T4G who want to claim to be Reformed/evangelical but are also partnering with charismatic groups.

    Where they and Tim are going in the medium and long term is highly questionable, with their mix of Biblical truth while embracing ideas which are now well established in many pentecostal/charismatic churches (ie. female leadership) which would have not been found in plain Reformed theology only a few decades ago. And Tim’s influence is one to be reckoned with as folks take away his teaching from conferences and feed it back to their churches.

  2. Isn’t the issue one of whether the diaconate is an office with a separate function or whether it is a ‘commission’ from the Session without teaching/preaching authority?

    I have wondered about vowing to obey the diaconate. If the diaconate receives its authority from the Session and do not teach or preach–and further, if Phoebe was ‘commissioned’ by Paul (telling others to do as she commanded). why could a woman NOT perform these duties and have a limited non-teaching authority (say, head up a project)?

    Just because the men in Acts 6 (and 13–Saul and Barnabus) were elders, evangelists, etc., does that mean those two acts were commissioning (an ordination to an office with authority) or a commissioning to perform a particular function (Acts 13)

    Thank you for your responses. I look forward to hearing your responses.

  3. Kellers points about deacons is actually saying a lot about pastors and teachers. He is making a good point about the PCA’s flexibility – a whole denomination shouldn’t fix the maximum age of adolescents that women can teach, although I personally believe that only should men should teach younger men (1 Timothy 5). Christians can encourage men to be active in teaching and leading by training and encouraging men to fill those positions and to reserve those functions to men.

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