Plain and Simple -- By: Tim Bayly
Plain and Simple
An Interview With Elisabeth Elliot
JBMW: We are delighted to be able to speak with you. Why do you think you’ve been a lightning rod in the evangelical world on this particular issue?
EE: I didn’t know I was! I have just proceeded the way I’ve tried all my life to proceed—by studying what the Bible says and living by it. If I’m asked to talk about it, of course I have a responsibility to talk about it. It is from this that I have learned that I’m not wanted in many circles. I’ve certainly never thought about being a lighting rod or anything like that. It seems to me that it is just a very obvious decision that if this is what God says, then this is what I want to do, plain and simple. Not only that, I want to help other women to do it.
JBMW: You were for a period of time persona non grata at the seminary near your home. Why?
EE: I know that I was voted out by the faculty—I’ve never been able to get anyone to tell me exactly why. But I couldn’t help assuming that it was because there were a good many women coming to the seminary who were feminists, and the seminary was very glad to embrace them. I was a thorn in the flesh.
JBMW: Have you received invitations since then?
EE: Nothing that would be dangerous. What they ask me to do is speak maybe once every two years as one of the visiting speakers. So the man who’s in charge of all that likes me. But I will be speaking this weekend for the Ockenga Institute.
JBMW: What do you think of the notion of putting women forward to defend the faith at places where culture says that a specific issue is a “woman’s issue;” do you think it’s right for the Church to push women forward as warriors against, for instance, abortion and feminism?
EE: Goodness, that’s a hard question! I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that. I hadn’t thought about the fact that women are being “pushed forward.” I just think of myself as a little, old lady.
JBMW: The case could be made that you have a higher visibility than anyone else in the evangelical world, speaking in defense of the biblical teaching concerning manhood and womanhood. You take hits all the time on this issue don’t you?
EE: No, I don’t know that; in fact it’s been a long time since I’ve heard anybody say anything about the feminist issue. It seems to me that it’s been a couple of years since that was in the forefront.
JBMW: You have spanned a number of generations of evangelical leaders. Billy Graham says his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, is “the best preacher in the famil...
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