Presentation on theme: "Let’s Talk… About Women in Ministry Dr. David Smith VP for Academic Affairs Kingswood University Nov 5, 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Let’s Talk… About Women in Ministry Dr. David Smith VP for Academic Affairs Kingswood University Nov 5, 2013
Question of Approach A “Word Study” that leads to one more dead- end and larger walls being constructed between Complementarians and Egalitarians? or A “Family Conversation” that sets grounds for common agreement…and future talks not arguments Best history of the debate is found in Dr. Alan Johnson, A Meta-Study of the Debate over the Meaning of “Head” in Paul’s Writings Priscilla Papers Vol 20, No 4, Autumn 2006
Let’s Talk… Definition of Terms Complementarian – sometimes called Hierarchical – Traditionalist Approach The biblical passages dealing with men and women teaches a normative order at home and at church. Male leadership (headship) model. One end of spectrum: Male leadership in public ministry More common: Women are eliminated from the office of elder/pastor (i.e., the teaching or ruling positions in the church). Least restrictive: women can be appointed to any position in the church as long as she is ultimately under male leadership.
Let’s Talk… Definition of Terms Egalitarian Approach No distinction between men and women in church ministry; yet there are different camps within the church and their approach to scripture may be radically different More Liberal perspective; all the scriptures which creates a distinction between men and women express a prevailing patriarchal opinion of the writer ’ s day. More Evangelical view; Text is authoritative yet these passages are applicable only to specific times in specific situations. This teaching is not to be applied literally; it is not normative for the church today.
Let’s Talk about… The Trajectory of Scripture Is it fair to say, “The Bible says it! I believe it!” Or Is the Word of God doing more than merely re- creating His people but also re-forming and re- shaping entire societies? And will we become, as a culture, what the Lord wants us to be?
Let’s Talk about… The Trajectory of Scripture Is there a growth and development in Biblical principles? Conversation Partner I. Howard Marshall – Beyond the Bible: Moving From Scripture to Theology
Let’s Talk about… The Trajectory of Scripture Sacrifice – What was once commanded (OT) is now obsolete (NT) Salvation – Gift to Israel alone Inclusion of Gentiles is surprise to Jews and early church Divorce – From simple writ (OT) to sin (NT) Note esp. Mark 10:10-12 Marriage – Many Wives – polygamy seems to be condoned in OT One wife (Creation norm and Re-creation goal) Slavery -
Let’s Talk about… Theology, then and now As society changes (and it constantly will) our delivery of the Gospel must be open to adaptation. The form of the delivery system changes; not the Gospel Message. (e.g.; Sermons in Book of Acts; 1 st century house church vs. 21 st century mega- church. The profound pressure from the 1970’s women’s movement caused all evangelicals to alter their theology of the sexes. (e.g., women in work-force, access to higher education, “the Pill”) Society began to ask different questions and was essentially structured differently – as the Church we must respond to remain relevant.
Let’s Talk about… Theology, then and now Culture has forced us to re-capture and re-create our theology of the sexes. In reality, this is a gift culture has given to the Church. (Divine Providence?) Radical re-interpretations of Scripture have happened many times throughout history. Bible forbade “usury”… and then come Capitalism. Science (esp. Sun “revolving” around earth)… and then comes Kepler and Copernicus. Kings were all the rage…then comes Democracy.
Let’s Talk about… Theology, then and now Conversation Partners Kevin Giles - The Trinity and Subordination: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate John Stackhouse – Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now: Our stated (and often un-stated) presuppositions will (pre)determine our interpretive outcome. Conversation partners: Gordon Fee – Commentary in 1 Timothy William Webb – Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now But, let’s make certain that we recognize a new day and not speak of NOW as THEN In most Complementarian circles, the argument is made, “We are traditional in our reading of Scripture” Meaning, we can trace our argument back to the way the Bible has been traditionally read.
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now Let’s listen to statements which reflect a “traditional” reading of Scripture God has made women as a race or class as inferior to men, excluding them from leadership in the home, the Church, and the world in general. Women should be kept silent in Church and in public. Women are not equally made in the Image of God. Women were made second, and therefore of second rank, inferior to men. Women are more prone to sin and deception.
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now Now, let’s listen to a standard Complementarian view: Men and women are equal. Sadly, the historic teaching of the Church have been just the opposite…from Jesus’ day right to the 20 th Century. Men and women have different roles. Men are given the role to lead, women are given the complementary and supportive role. This thesis is determinative for interpreting texts such as 1 Cor 11:3-16; 14:33-35; Eph 5:22-33, 1 Tim 2:11-14 Women may speak (just only not teach men)
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now Now, let’s listen to a standard Complementarian view: The order of creation, before the Fall In the book, “Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 19 of the 21 authors argue for their position based upon the order of creation, as found in Genesis 2) Piper, “the loving headship of husbands or the godly eldership of me [is] the created order of nature” (pp. 73-74). Men are to lead in ministry not because of women’s moral incompetence but because of God’s created order for manhood and womanhood. In the historic tradition, theologians agreed that the Bible depicted women as a class or race inferior to men because of the chronological order. In no commentary prior to 1960, can I find a claim that the Bible set men over women because of a once-given forever binding social order given in creation.
Let’s Talk about… Hermeneutics, then and now Now, let’s listen to a standard Complementarian view: Does this interpretive decision – Order of Creation make sense. John Calvin doubts it, “Paul’s argument that women is subject to because she was created second does not seem very strong; for John the Baptist went before Jesus in time yet was inferior to Him.” (Calvin Commentary on 1 Timothy, p 217) Nothing is made of the order in Gen 2…only post fall (see Gen 3:16)
Summary of Interpretive Trajectory of Kephalé (Head) Today, we refrain from asking secondary questions such as, “What is the lexical meaning of the word ‘head’ in Paul’s writings?” “In each context, is the word kephalé being used in a literal or metaphorical manner?
Summary of Interpretive Trajectory of Kephalé (Head) Today, we pursue these foundational questions, What is the overarching trajectory of the message of Salvation that Paul is proclaiming? Does Paul’s message place limits to the restorative work of Jesus? Does the hope-filled message of the Resurrection in actuality reverse the curse of Genesis 3? As the Kingdom is being ushered in through the Work of Christ in the Church, what are the visible signs to which the Body of Christ and our society should model a “redeemed- renewed-restored-recreated-reimaged” people, with Christ as the Head? Is not the restoration of gender equality as originally designed in Gen 1-2 one of these signs of a fully redeemed society?