- About 7 years ago, when I audited David Scholer's "Women, the Bible, and the Church" class at Fuller Theological Seminary, I was actually somewhat surprised to learn that the debate about whether or not women should be ordained in Christian churches wasn't an entirely 20th century phenomenon. I had always assumed that it arose out of women's rights movements such as the suffrage movement that gave women the right to vote in 1920 (in the United States, that is). In fact, the question of whether or not women had the right to be church leaders (especially in ordained positions) has been going on for many centuries.
Indeed, I suppose that I shouldn't have been so surprised. Why would some of the ancient church "fathers" (and, let's face it, the earliest church leaders were primarily men) have engaged in such aggressive attacks against women as church leaders if there weren't in fact women who were arguing for their rights to such positions?