Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dr. B Yond

 Dr. B is our "libération" hero! Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian's professional life began in his native city of Paris where he taught seven years at the European Bible Institute while serving, for part of that time, as Minister of Christian Education at the American Church in Paris.  He joined the Wheaton College faculty where he taught for twenty years until his retirement. Dr. B interrupted his tenure at Wheaton to assume for three years the presidency of Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Born and raised in France, Dr. B was drafted in the French army where he served as a medic in North Africa during the Algerian liberation conflict. He became Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus in 1992. Having been designated Senior Teacher of the Year in 1981 and again in 1992, he is the only faculty member in the history of Wheaton College to have received this distinction twice within the short span of a decade.

Dr. B was a founding leader of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., one of the fastest-growing and most innovative churches in the nation that has women elders. He has been called the "most forceful advocate of the church as community on the current religious scene."

Dr. B is the author of The Liberated Gospel, Christianity 101 and Community 101, Beyond Sex Roles, and Beyond Beyond Sex Roles all of which have gone into multiple printings and been translated in several languages.

In the 2010, Beyond Beyond Sex Roles, Dr. B offers an accessible examination of the key texts of Scripture pertinent to understanding female roles. Beyond Beyond Sex Roles affirms full equality of the sexes in family and church, advocating an interpretive method that sees God's revelation of himself and his will as progressive. Using a creation-fall-redemption hermeneutical model, this book helps readers develop a coherent method of interpretation for understanding the roles of women in church and family. The 2010 edition comes with a legalism worksheet to help clearly define in black & white how to implement the book in most churches.

Here is a sampling from the new edition:

1. During a sermon from a woman pastor, the laymen of that church are allowed to text on their iPhones during any illustrations about Jane Austen. However if the female pastor uses a college football illustration, the layman must attempt to stay interested.

2. If a female elder follows a layman on twitter, that man has the option to block that female elder. The layman however can continue to follow the female elder on twitter unless he direct messages her more than 2 times in the same day.

3. If the layman is listening to Christian radio and if a Meredith Andrews song is followed by Amy Grant song then the layman has option to change the station to sports radio.

4. Women leaders should not speak in megachurches with audiences larger than 18,000 unless 6,000 of them are watching over closed circuit video, then it's ok. It's also appropriate if the woman is talking on social issues but not socialite issues.

5. If a man is called into mixed elder meeting for disciplinary issues, that man has a right to A. hold the meeting in a public place like iHop or B. refer to the disciplinary issue as "I have a friend... who has this problem"

6. If a layman wants to meet privately with a female pastor then it must be done over skype in the same starbucks. The layman has the option to buy the coffee for the female pastor, but the female pastor can flash a starbucks card and tell the layman that the "church" is picking up the tab. The layman should arrive 5 minutes before and leave 5 minutes after the female pastor so that the issue of who should open the door won't arise.

7. Women elders and female pastors can have facebook pages, but they aren't allowed to comment on other peoples vacation photos where swimsuits or alcohol are involved.

8. Women pastors are no longer required to wear long purple pastoral robes that  are 3 sizes too large with a embroidered rocky-like towel around their necks. A beige pantsuit is suitable.

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