Why Male Rule is Godly

In Honor Thy Fathers: Recovering the Anti-Feminist Theology of the Reformers, PCA pastor Zachary Garris aims to change this dynamic. In a concise, readable book from New Christendom Press, he takes seriously the Reformers’ distinctly “anti-feminist” teachings on “marriage, the family, and the duties of men and women—for the good of the church and of all mankind.” Marshalling a copious amount of quotes, Garris convincingly argues that the “consensus among the Reformed theologians of the 16th and 17th centuries” affirmed “male rule in the home, the church, and the commonwealth, while recognizing that there was variation in details and expression.” With its publication, Honor Thy Fathers becomes the most accessible introduction to the Reformers’ understanding of men and women that’s currently available. 

We should not follow the Reformers’ tenets on this matter primarily out of filial piety or love of tradition but because, Garris argues, they faithfully interpreted the Bible. The Reformers can especially help us in our time of deep confusion, which has produced a culture that assumes one’s sex is a coat to put on rather than something seared into our very DNA. Though technology and a host of other factors in the intervening centuries have altered how gendered virtue is manifested, the principles of nature on which these teachings are derived have not. 

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