• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 6 comments on Does God Ordain Domestic Violence?

  1. Great article but saddening and frustrating.
    Anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ and adherent to the of New Testament will have a HUGE problem trying to justify domestic violence in light of the recorded words of Jesus in Matthew 5:21,22 which indicate that God’s judgment has escalated from actions to thoughts. Also, the words of the Apostle Paul recorded in Ephesians 5:28,29 “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church..”
    Unfortunately, it appears that Christianity itself has followed the course of the broader post-modern culture and has itself become willfully ignorant of its foundational tenets and teachings, let alone the ultimate purpose of Christ which is a true relationship with Him as individuals.

    1. J Nichols, I agree with your posting above. I pick upon a sly interjection by the use of the term “Social Justice,”without any indication of where the term originated , nor those who are pushing the idea throughout the Church.

  2. Did the author look at Presbyterians? That doesn’t seem like a particularly reactionary denomination. My impression is that the use of Calvinism / predestinarianism to justify the abuse of subordinates is more found among Fundamentalists than among the churches with actual historical links to Calvin.

  3. Thank you so much for adding scientific backing to what many of us in the trenches of ministry to women have known: there is a strong correlation between New Calvinism and an almost pathological lack of empathy.

    I’d love to see another question examined: does NeoCalvinism attract people w/ less empathy, or can it actually erode the empathy of normally compassionate people? (My guess is *both*, but again, I’d love to see it backed by a well-designed study.)

  4. I have spent twenty-two years working in the field of Domestic Violence Prevention, as a part of ministry in the parish. I have been frustrated by the seeming lack of interest among my clergy colleagues, to address the problem in their ministries. When workshops and training are offered, few attend. On one occasion I offered to present on the subject at a local ministerium, and response from the Chair was: “What would you like to do next month “XYZ Program” or “Rhodes and his Wife Beaters.” It was not surprising that that area had one of the highest per capita rates of D.V. in the state.

    It’s a tough issue and thanks for keeping it before us. We need to keep working to better equip ourselves to be more effective professionals in the field.

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