Questions I have about Galatians 3:28

When it comes to issues of gender roles and the church there are a few texts that you simply cannot avoid. Complementarians throw out 1 Tim 2:12 and sooner or later back comes Galatians 3:28. ‘Proof text’ shouts one side, ‘control text’ shouts the other. So what is Galatians 3:28 about? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) If that’s all you read then you have to hand it…

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Where's the future of the Church of England? Not in Sweden you'd hope

At this moment many of the blogs I read and news sources are clogged up with angst about the Church of England following its failure to approve women bishops. I’ve got no bone in this fight as I’m not an Anglican and wouldn’t have bishops, priests and certainly not a synod. But all players in this fight might start looking at the experience of Sweden and not everyone will like what they see. The Swedish Lutheran Church was up until 2000 a state church like the CofE and several decades…

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Why I love giving through Kiva

One of the things I’m most enjoying about parenting is giving with my son Noah (he’s four and a bit). Working out how to do that can be fun and one of the ways we use the most is giving through Kiva. Kiva is a great example of using the power of technology to harness giving and generosity. Essentially it is a global network of micro-finance groups linked to Kiva who give out loans helping people out of poverty. Here’s how it works. Noah and I can sit at my…

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How do you solve a problem like Deborah?

Every now and then I comment on the debate about the role of women in the church, and the arguments on both sides are well rehearsed and increasingly entrenched. One of the key examples given for the egalitarian case (those who believe that every role or office in the church is open to believers of either gender) is the old testament character of Deborah. It’s often seen that Deborah poses a challenge to the complementarian view (those that think that God differentiates some roles according to gender while loving and…

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What the Bible says women can do: some reflections

I recently compiled a list of positive examples of what the Bible clearly affirms for women, in an attempt to start from a positive rather than more negative question of whether there are any restrictions. Having spent some time reflecting on this list, there are a few observations that stand out to me. See what you think. Firstly, the idea that women should be restricted to home-making and childcare is bunk. This isn’t to underestimate the importance of the role of wife and mother but to argue that’s where it…

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What the Bible says women can do

I always tread carefully before stepping into the muddy waters of writing about the Bible and gender roles. It’s an arena that usually ends up in greater separation not unity and proves to be an exercise in how not to engage charitably with those who don’t see things your way. The first point is to pay attention to the title of this post; it’s a positive one. While that won’t stop any debate from ending up wrestling with the question, ‘is there anything the Bible says a woman can’t do?’…

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Church 

A taste of the kingdom

There are many things to consider when you’re planting a church, but time with new people should always be near the top of the list. It’s important to build relationships of course, it’s important to teach foundational values and principles but if you don’t meet new people and listen to their stories then right from the very start you’re forgetting what you’ve come to do. For us that means thinking of different ways to open our home and invite people we’ve met. So recently we had our first ‘international food…

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