Monday, May 07, 2018

Queen bee

Beth Moore's open letter is getting a fair amount of buzz:

For me, Beth Moore is just a name. I certainly don't read her stuff. But apparently she has a huge female following. A few observations:

i) The tone of her letter is like the high school diva in teen dramas. Very presumptuous. Very self-important. No fewer than three times she crowns herself "a woman leader in the conservative Evangelical world", and implies that a fourth time. Even if she is a leader, I'm not impressed by folks who go around telling other folks that they are leaders. If you really are a leader, you don't need to remind everyone of your status.

She's certainly not my leader. I didn't vote for her. No one tells me who my leaders are. I pick my own leaders-they don't pick me.

ii) On a related note, she acts like she's some sort of pioneer, but she's preceded by women who've done what she's done, or done greater things, viz. Jill Briscoe (b. 1935, Cambridge grad), Elizabeth Elliot (b. 1926), Helen Roseveare (b. 1925, Cambridge grad), Elizabeth Anscombe (b. 1919, Oxford grad), Catherine Marshall (b. 1914), Dorothy Sayers (b. 1893, Oxford grad), Christina Rossetti (b. 1830).

Moore is 60. Karen Jobes is 66, with a far more impressive resume:

NT prof. Margaret Thrall, who got her doctorate at Cambridge under CFD Moule, was born around 1930–while OT prof. Joyce Baldwin was born in 1921. I had an aunt (b. 1913) who was an African missionary with a doctorate in linguistics from the University of London.

It would behoove Beth Moore to drop the queen bee hauteur and come down to our level.

iii) Apparently, she writes Bible studies for women. But good Bible commentators don't write with men or women in mind. They just exegete the text.

iv) She complains about some men who patronize her. It's quite possible that she's been exposed to sexism. However, she seems to think she's entitled to carte blanche deference just because she's "a woman leader in the conservative Evangelical world". What about...qualifications?

Naturally you have evangelical elites falling over themselves to affirm her and apologize on behalf of all the male chauvinist pigs of the world. Yet another transparent exercise in cost-free virtue-signaling.

v) Are the standards the same for misogyny and misandry? If a man compliments her appearance, is that misogyny-but if a woman compliments a man's appearance, that's misandry? Would she be as popular if she looked and sounded like Rosie O'Donnell or Roseanne Barr? Good looks are advantageous to male and female social climbers alike. Is it only sexist when we make that observation about a woman but not a man? Is anyone offended when men are "objectified"? Mae West said it's better to be looked over than overlooked.

Perhaps Moore wouldn't be so touchy if she had an academic resume. But if your career is based on charisma, don't be surprised if you're judged by externals. There are gifted autodidacts. I have no problem with that. But her pique seems to reflect an insecurity that someone like Anscombe or Sayers would be immune to.

BTW, was she a stay-at-home mom when her kids were growing?


  1. "She's certainly not my leader. I didn't vote for her."

  2. Want to add another name ...

    I have Garrett's academic monographs on diabology in Luke/Acts and Mark, both of which I found helpful.

    Since you mentioned Jobes, if memory serves Driscoll mentioned Jobes as a scholar whose work he relied on for his Esther series. I haven't read any Moore books so I don't know that she's good or bad, but since you mentioned Jobes that jogged my memory a bit.