Can Warhorn publish “Good order in the church”?

This book has been immensely helpful to us.

It was never officially published but it is chock full of research from a Hebrew scholar. I’ve been paying 40 bucks a pop to have them printed.

If the author is dead, the work unpublished, the copyright goes with his estate to presumably his wife or children.

I’m guessing this bootleg digital version is the best that you can hope for, unless the family wants to see it published.

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Good to know, though I guess it’s up to someone to repackage the core ideas and quote heavily.

I’ve talked to his daughter and only heir, and she is agreeable to it being published. She has all of his additional notes as well. If interested, DM me. If you guys aren’t, all good, I’ll search elsewhere.

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I’ve emailed you. I’m interested in what I’ve seen thus far. Love,


Wow. This book is huge. I mean, LONG! No wonder it costs $40 a pop to print it.

I think there are a couple of ways forward. Regardless of whether we get directly involved or not, I’ll be happy to give some advice.


From private exchanges here, I write:

Partridge better be careful about this. You do know McFall denies that woman is made in the image of God, right? Only man. That’s where Joseph and I came to a Full Stop. Yes, there’s much truth well stated and many good insights in the book, but all at the cost of woman not being made in God’s image and likeness. Love,

A brother responds here, privately:

I’m not at all familiar with him making that claim (though I’ll take your word for it). I’m also not at all familiar if this is a well-debated topic in church history, or if Mcfall is simply out to lunch on it. I.e. have good men from both sides thought on opposite sides of the issue or is Mcfall inventing something new out of cloth.

To which I respond:

McFall writes:

It is generally assumed that men and women are both made in “the image and likeness of God.” This is never said of Woman in Genesis or elsewhere. She is made in the moral image of God because she was derived from Man’s body. Only Man was made in the “image and likeness” of God. [emphasis in original]

McFall’s argument is labyrinthine, but in the end, his constant statement that women is only the moral image of God is inescapable.

As to what the church fathers wrote as well as what is our “faith once delivered” and what “heresy,” I leave to another day. But in my judgement, orthodoxy is male and female both possessing God’s image and likeness. Love,


Thought readers might be interested in Joshua Congrove’s response. He’s an elder at my former church with his PhD in classics:

I’d emailed this question to him: “…can you please give me your judgment about Augustine and the image of God in woman?”

He responded:

Dear Tim,

That’s a big topic! But, stated briefly, I think he’s basically on solid ground, but I would want to refine his statements a bit. I think his Platonic bent led him to prioritize the image of God too much as dwelling in the mind or rational sphere, where I think later writers were forced to be a bit more careful to discuss its applicability to both the body and soul. (Not to say Augustine doesn’t accept the image as pertaining to the body also, but I think he deemphasizes it a bit too much.)

I think that because of this tendency, it leads Augustine to dwell overly on the metaphorical usage here. His point is to not speak of man and woman biologically, but more in terms of what man and woman, respectively, represents. So when he says the woman doesn’t share in the image of God unless she’s together with the man, he’s speaking in terms of her in her existence as woman, rather than as a member of man generically. Elsewhere (and even nearby in On the Trinity, I think), Augustine does speak of woman having the image of God within her, even without being joined to or regarded in conjunction with man. But in the Trinity passage he’s working heavily on the metaphorical plane (which he does throughout that work), and that helps explain his point here.

It does seem to me there’s no escaping making some distinction here between the man and woman as regards the image of God. Off the cuff, what I would say is that both man and woman possess the image of God with respect to their essence, to their both being homo, i.e., a part of the race of man. But if we consider their function, man is the image of God in a way that woman is not—inasmuch as his is the more the leading, creating, initiating, building, generating force as opposed to the supporting, nurturing, responding force. I think this may help explain why overall the greatest creative expressions we’ve seen in history (which would be one manifestation of the image of God), whether in literature, art, philosophy, invention, and so on, have been from men—while also the greatest expressions of decline from that image have also affected men more (whether physical deformities, mental handicaps, or whatever—corruptions to God’s image caused by sin).

One way of saying this would be that woman has the image of God because she is a member of mankind as a race, yet “man” as a category expresses God’s image in a way that “woman” as a category does not. This also goes to what Augustine is saying about woman “as helpmeet” not being an expression of the image of God. And, if Augustine goes a bit far here, I would also grant that there’s some truth in his being the more intellectual as opposed to the more practical principle.

But I’m not terribly sure on some of this. Hard to be. But those are my brief thoughts. Probably could explain them better if I got into the text some more and gave it some more thought.


So it appears there is some discussion of a difference between the sexes in this regard in Christian thought. Perhaps this is what McFall is referring to, though he doesn’t appear to go into great detail on it. I’ve not heard of there being a difference until now, though it makes sense that there is some difference, even if it’s just out of who/what the sexes were created.

@tesseract my dad and I spent a couple of hours on the phone talking about this book, and I wanted to add another element to explain our decision. Maybe he already said this to you privately, but I wanted to say this publicly anyway.

McFall’s teaching on the Trinity is not good, to put it very mildly.

He appears to be trying to avoid the charge of teaching the heresy of subordinationism while still being able to teach the subordination of the Son to the Father (and that it exists within the Trinity, not just in his human nature, or in the form of a Servant, as Augustine would say.) This is a laudable goal. We also believe in the subordination of the Son to the Father prior to Him taking on human form.

Unfortunately he tries to accomplish this by distinguishing between the Trinity in eternity and the Trinity after God came up with the plan of salvation, but before the foundations of the world. Although he denies he is positing a time outside of time prior to something else, it is impossible to avoid that understanding, either in his language or in his reasoning. Regardless, however you understand it, he is certainly positing that the ontological (or deepest nature of the) Trinity is one where there is no subordination of the Son to the Father. Not only this, but he goes a step further and says that the Son cannot properly be described as begotten of the Father until this decision to save man is made.

For example, he says,

The term “begotten” has reference to the changed relationship that the “Son” underwent when He voluntarily became the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.

There are a number of major problems with this.

  1. The entire thing is based on speculation. There is no biblical evidence whatsoever for his claim that the plan of salvation within the Trinity resulted in some sort of fundamental change within the persons of the Trinity or their relations to one another. Furthermore, it depends on a time outside of time, which is also entirely speculative. (It’s also hard to say it’s anything other than nonsense. There are things impossible for us to understand, that would seem like nonsense were it not that we find them in the Bible. We must not call them nonsense. The Trinity itself is the best example. Three and yet One? Seemingly impossible, but that’s what the Bible says, so we don’t call it nonsense! But that doesn’t give us the right to make up things that are seemingly impossible and teach them.)
  2. It doesn’t solve the problem of answering the question of the nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son. It only clouds the issue by pushing it up one layer and slightly further into the past.
  3. It requires him to edit all the creeds and confessions to fit his speculations. He is unapologetic in throwing out a number of the church’s historical and hard-fought teachings on the Trinity. For example, concerning the Athanasian Creed he says,

The term “begotten” has reference to the changed relationship that the “Son” underwent when He voluntarily became the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. It has nothing to do with the origin of the Son of God. This Creed has confused the origin of the Son with His subordinate position.

  1. Most terribly, he denies the fundamental reality of God the Father and God the Son. In his view, these are simply constructs that came into being after God determined the plan of salvation.

The familial terms “Father” and “Son” should not be used in the “No subordination” stage. Different terminology should be used when referring to the status of the three Persons of the Trinity. The three Persons of the Trinity will be referred to under the names F-­‐‑th-­‐‑r, S-­‐‑n, and H-­‐‑ly Gh-­‐‑st.

Nowhere does the Bible give us any indication that we can deny that the Father has always been the Father, and the Son the Son. It is damnable presumption to decide that you have better names for the persons of the Trinity than God Himself has revealed to us in His perfect word.

He goes on to say, “The familial terms used about the Persons of the Trinity are taken from the human family not vice versa.”

On the contrary, Ephesians 3:14-15 says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

Not surprisingly, as far as I could tell, he doesn’t even mention these verses in his book.

He has allowed his entirely novel speculation to lead him into denying the creeds and confessions and ignoring and denying the plain teaching of Scripture.


Good to know, thanks! A lot to mull over. But can’t publish it like that, despite nuggets of history I haven’t found elsewhere. Too bad, and thanks.

Someone should extract the good parts into a new book

For Joseph’'s point to make sense, one has to know the English word “family” translates the Greek original, “patria.” The Greek reads: “For this reason I bow my knee before God the Father (pater) from whom all fatherhood (patria) gets its name.”

Thus even the non-inerrantist, F. F. Bruce, writes:

Ephesians 3:14 probably means that God is “the Father [pater] from whom every fatherhood [patria] in heaven and on earth is named”, “every patria is so named after the pater” (G. Schrenk, patria, TDNTV 1017). God is the archetypal Father; all other fatherhood is a more or less imperfect copy of his perfect fatherhood. . . .According to Clement of Alexandria in what seems to be a reference to this passage, “every lineage [or fatherhood] runs back to God the maker” (Strom. 6,7)

(In Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 2, p 655.)

Why our Bible scholars refuse to translate this properly is something to meditate on. In the old days, men understood that the family name “Bayly,” for instance, flowed from the father. Not now. Making the proper translation of this verse much-needed. But regadless of the need, it’s the Greek. Love,


What McFall does is way below orthodoxy. On this, but even more on the Trinity. My Dad used to say all heresy begins with one man alone with a Bible. This was McFall’s life for many years over in Tyndale House.

From Queen’s Uni Belfast obit:

Leslie McFall (died November 2015, aged 71): He then became a Research Fellow at Tyndale House, Cambridge, before dedicating himself to full-time independent research until his death in November 2015."


Thanks for the summary on McFall. I’ve heard his name and this book come up a few times recently in connection with the resurgence of the doctrine of head coverings, but had not checked him out.

Very sad that he felt he had to subject the doctrine of the Trinity to that kind of contortion just to get manhood and womanhood right.


I still think the section of this book on headcoverings is the best around. Someone needs to extract it from the rest of the book and place it in proper context.

It’s too bad it’s mired in muck.

Regardless, thanks to @tbbayly and @jtbayly for taking a closer look, much appreciated.