Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Women in pastoral ministry is one issue in my belief system that I struggle the hardest with.

It was a complete shock to me moving from Capital Bible Seminary, where women were just allowed into the M.Div. program recently and are not permitted to take homiletics courses, to Denver Seminary, where quite a few of my professors clearly encouraged women to be senior pastors.

Needless to say, before coming to Denver, I never gave this issue much thought. I just assumed that from my interpretation of some of the biblical passages, and from my understanding of conservative evangelical thought, that women were not eligible for senior pastoral leadership.

This assumption has undergone some serious investigation by me during the last two years. I don't find Denver Seminary to be a liberal school (although gender inclusive language that is used here frustrates me) but rather one of the better evangelical seminaries in the US. The faculty here are brilliant and caring. But they are challenging me in my perceptions of the roles of men and women in the church.

Here are two evangelical sites that take differents sides of the issue of women in ministry. Although, this is still an issue I struggle with, I would never say that we need to make some sort of denominational statement on this issue. According to our SDB polity, the decision to choose who pastors a church is left to the congregation that is choosing the pastor and they may choose whomever they wish.

Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Christians for Biblical Equality

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:30 PM

    I wrote an article on this topic, and posted it in my blog. :)

    What Is Our Role?

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  2. A good treatment of the issue, John. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I really think it's a shame when Baptists get up in arms about this in someone else's church--our polity gives churches (and individuals) the opportunity to consult the texts and prayerfully come to their own convictions.

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  3. But, even though it is up to the individual church, that doesn't preclude our trying to persuade each other.

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  4. Also true. The sharing of our own convictions is certainly part of our prerogative as Baptists. (And one we like to exercise, if my limited experience is any indication.)

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  5. Would that it were more true - we are often so afraid of starting a fight that we don't share our views until we are so frustrated that a fight is inevitable.

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  6. sorry my first post on this blog was stunted! My own stance has to do with my exegesis of the most debated text on the issue (1Timothy 2:8-15, esp 8:11). I believe Paul was addressing a particular issue within the church in Ephesus that had to do with women acting improperly which Paul had to address head on. Does that mean he meant for all women at all times to adhere to this very particular situation? I doubt it, based on other statements he makes in his letters (especially Galatians 3:28), and the fact he includes women who were called Apostles in the church at Rome (see what text criticism shows about this issue in Romans 16!)

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