Showing posts from July, 2016

Gender Roles part 5

Women Cannot Teach Men…Well, Except When They Can


Apostles: Junia (right) with Andronicus (left) In this series on gender roles in the church, we’ve finally come to what has been called “the 1 Timothy 2 proof-text bomb.” There is so much to be said about these few verses! They’ve been used as primary justification for the gender-based restraints many churches have placed upon female teachers and for the limitations upon the kinds of leadership roles women may hold. This is serious business; if gifted, anointed, and equipped women are being incorrectly restricted in how they minister, that’s a grave problem, just as women going outside of God’s design for female ministry would be. There are faithful, God-fearing, Bible-believing, eminent theologians on both sides of this debate, so we need to approach our question with the utmost humility and willingness to grow in understanding. That is my prayer for myself, especially. I have skin in the game, obviou…

Gender Roles part 4

On Women Keeping Silent and Not Speaking: Gender Roles in the Church Part 4

Thus far in this series on gender roles in the church, we have examined the biblical evidence for women in ministry and formal discipleship during Jesus’ earthly tenure and for female apostles and deacons during Paul’s post-conversion work. In these next two installments, I will deal with what are, to be sure, the most often cited and (I believe) the most misused passages concerning the Lord’s intention for women in ministry: the prohibitions Paul gives in I Corinthians and I Timothy. *Remember our goals here: to take cultural context into account and to harmonize all of the New Testament passages related to our topic. A TEXT WITHOUT A CONTEXT IS JUST A PRETEXT FOR WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO MEAN (a pithy little adage that I first heard from Dr. Ben Witherington III). I Corinthians is a letter of instruction Paul addressed to the first century church at Corinth. In 11:4-15, he write…

Gender Roles part 3

Women Deacons and Apostles in the Letters of Paul: Gender Roles in the Church Part 3

In my first post in this series, I highlighted what I believe are some of the central issues to be considered when exploring the role of women in the church, and in the second post I examined the place of women in Jesus’ pre-ascension ministry. In this third installment, we’ll take a look at notable women mentioned by Paul, and my upcoming final installment will analyze Paul’s instructions about women (1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy) in light of all the evidence previously examined. The argument I’m attempting to develop in this series is that taking Paul’s statements about restrictions on women in isolation from other Scripture and then applying them to all people, in all churches, in all times, and in all places is a misunderstanding of Paul’s intention. (And just to reiterate before I proceed: this topic is not my personal soapbox; I am simply doing my best to publicly …