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Fraternal Fracture: An Historical Perspective On Troubled Gender Relationships With A Solution

Who has not felt the excruciating pain of a gender relationship gone wrong? Marriages and homes break up; children are deeply hurt and some are crushed; churches split and society feuds. The traditional Christian answer to gender related struggle is either male assertiveness with female compliance (complementarian), or female assertiveness to achieve equality (egalitarian). In both, the male is th...

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530491444
ISBN-13: 978-1530491445
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Amazon Rank: 3624279
Format: PDF Text TXT book

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“Reviewed by Sylvia Holtzhausen: Anton Hoffman's words certainly ring true: ".....I had absorbed male superiority from my culture, and I often preached hierarchy...........but the fullness of the Holy Spirit meant that I practised harmony." This book...”

point of departure; the resultant chauvinism and feminism intensify the tension. Fraternal Fracture promotes the Biblical alternative: the way of harmony. Harmony promotes a pleasing and creative synergy in society, church and marriage. Male and female were created as a fraternity to reflect the harmony of the Trinity. The human fraternity was fractured and the male won a self-centered power struggle. Harmony was replaced with a male dominated, egotistical hierarchy that soon became institutionalized. The modern struggle can be framed as “Who’s the boss?” Fraternal Fracture explores the roots and development of this hierarchy. God did not mandate that man should be the boss, he predicted that the fracture would result in men exercising their power in this way. Consequently, strong women leaders, chosen by God himself, do emerge in the Old Testament. Jesus redeemed the situation and taught and practiced harmony to the dismay of religious leaders, who literally crucified him. Scriptures confirm that the early church, and most notably the Apostle Paul, taught and practiced harmony. The Apostle Paul’s use of the metaphor “head”, interpreted through the paradigm of hierarchy, takes on the sense of “headmaster”. This reinforces male leadership. The paradigm of harmony interprets “head” as in “headwaters.” It emphasizes the community that flows from a common source, as a river enriches the communities down its entire length. Eastern culture to this day, emphasizes the community over the individual. Redeemed men and women are in community with The Trinity as the source and the sustainer of their relationships. Three key teachings of the Apostle, interpreted through the lens of harmony, result in a radically different view of women: they are empowered to exercise their gifts. Consequently women are identified as preachers, deacons and apostles in the New Testament. Paradigms are notoriously difficult to change because they become “The Truth” and as such, the operating system of society, operating efficiently and unnoticeably under the surface. Ego is elastic and instinctively snaps back to positions of privilege. Hierarchy was so deeply entrenched that the Church reverted to it. There are mixed signals in the writings of the so-called Fathers, the church leaders that followed the Apostles, indicating the perspective on women was bobbing like a wobbling ice floe caught in a strong current. Constantine, Augustine and Aquinas scoured the landscape of Western Civilization like glaciers, and all three insisted on ferocious hierarchy. Constantine practiced and enforced the Roman practice of Patroni, where a husband had absolute power, even of death, over his wife. Augustine influences theology and philosophy to this day. He shaped the Roman Catholic Church on the model of the Rome he loved, which was disappearing under the Barbarian onslaughts. He had a warped view of women and did not address nor change the practices that were current at the time. Aquinas taught a woman was a deformed man, an aberration of nature. He attempted to synchronize Christianity with Greek Philosophy and in his Summa Theologica he makes some decidedly weird statements about women. It is time to change the paradigm, not fiddle with the details. The conclusion is that harmony promotes the glorious life of the Trinity, produces synergy, promotes the gospel, negates legalism and restores gender relationships to their original and intended and pleasing functionality.