Sunday, April 23, 2006

Women in Ministry

As I have been reading around the blogs, the issue of women in ministry has come on Scot McKnight's blog, and Three Hierarchies. The comments have led me to a number of supportive commenters like Makeesha and Danny Zacharias. Here is his comment on Scot McKnights blog, #98.

    I don’t if it was my mention of Larry’s comment being “horribly wrong” that started this torrent, but if it was, my apologies.I do not have time, or really the desire, to go through a thorough reasoning for biblical foundations of women in ministry. I am a little sad that Scot isn’t going to do it, but it sounds like Makeesha will on her blog.

    Let me just say one thing, I think I’ve read every single post, and while Larry keeps harping on 1Tim and saying there is absolutely no biblical basis- he has not discussed Junia the female apostle named in Romans, Phoebe, the mention of deaconnesses in the pastoral epistles (not “deacons wives” as some translations say), the fact that women are assumed to prophesy in 1 Cor, that’s why they are to cover their head (a social convention- not a universal law), as well as other females in Paul (and Jesus’) ministry.

    I get really tired of this conversation honestly. There is too much Kingdom work to be doing, but we are fighting about trying to limit half of the church’s involvment in ministry. I used to be Plymouth Brethren- I can spout of the reason for women to stay out of ministry (and Dispensational eschatology) better than anyone.

    One suggestion. Read John Stackhouse’s “Finally Feminist”. It’s a good hermeneutical understanding of this issue.
Here's the catch for me. I really want to think about what the introduction of the diaeresis tells us about first/second century CE literacy. However, these women's issues keep popping back up. I guess I will have to run over to the Regent bookstore some day to look at this book. Thanks Danny for the recommendation.

I finished listening to the mp3 on women in ministry by Fee, Packer, Peterson and Waltke. No surprises, but a very nicely presented discussion to promote understanding where they are coming from. Not about exegesis, this was a time limited affair, not intended to put people to sleep.

My impressions from what they said about themselves are,

1. Fee always assumed women could preach. He never thought otherwise.
2. Packer is a 'Vive la difference, man" Woman is 'other' and that's all there is to it.
3. Peterson's mother was a preacher and she really struggled with this issue.
4. Waltke is the most thoughtful, expressing the reality that we are all on our way to learning the truth, none of us have arrived.

Here is a piece of the exchange from Three Hierarchies.

    Much more broadly, as I suspect you know, as one moves toward the "rightward" edge of evangelicalism & fundamentalism, one tends to start to pick up women "pastors" again. I guess the old 19th century populist/evangelical coalition continues to live on at the fringes.

    I think it's a difference in the function of the pastor: objections to women as pastors correlate not only with views of male/female role interchangeability, but also with a high view of the pastoral office and also an institutional (regular call by a congregation), rather than charismatic ("I've been annointed by the Spirit"), view of the ministry.
This is a little roundup of some recents thoughts on women in the ministry. I didn't really want to write about it right now but I don't want to lose track of these comments.

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