Women & complementarian churches

What follows is a few thoughts and a tonne of links. It seems to me that in recent months the debate about the role of women in the church has burst into life again (at least judging by the sheer amount of links I’ve saved). This isn’t all that surprising although the reasons have generally shown people like me (complementarian) in a pretty bad light. In what follows I’m going to share some links and resources that I’ve been saving the last while. They work through where I position the…

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Getting comfortable with differences

Complementarianism. It’s not a very elegant word compared to its rival, egalitarian, with its revolutionary pedigree. Complementarian, made up in the 80s, was supposed to be a vehicle to carry the positive picture & dignity of men and women as equal but different. It’s struggled. Even the root word complementary has a dull sheen compared to the lustre of equality. Those who have argued that the two main identifying sexes humanity, male and female, are complementary but not identical, similar but not the same have in recent decades found themselves significantly…

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Woman pulling luggage in airport Gender 

Like luggage

“In our country the women are going on ahead and the men are being dragged along like luggage. The problem is not with the women, the problem is with the men.” So said my new friend while I was quizzing him and his wife about their spiritual journey and church planting adventures. I’m sure his diagnosis has people nodding heads from across both sides of the gender debate. There is nothing particularly new about that insight. He told me how he was introduced ten years or so ago to the preaching…

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Book Review: Equals

Living and church planting in Sweden, as I do, it is impossible to escape the issue of equality, it is everywhere. It’s reasonable, of course, to ask why anyone would want to escape something so obviously beneficial as equality? That largely depends on what you mean by equality as not every definition is, ahem, equal. Secondly, as a father to a daughter, a husband to a wife and church leader of many talented women; in every one of those areas I want to help create environments in which women flourish. I’m convinced…

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The gender conversation 10: some final reflections

Click here for part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 It’s been a really interesting conversation with Hannah and I’ve been reflecting for a while on what I’ve learnt and observed. There is so much we could discuss and perhaps on another day we’ll come back to this and take some of the discussions further, I certainly have a lot more questions. My main goal was to simply listen and try to understand not to drive home my point…

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The gender conversation 9: Complementarian Churches

There’s no doubting that gender continues to occupy a lot of time, space & energy in the church. It regularly raises the emotions and generates a lot of heat and little light. It can also put Christians into camps where the ‘the other side’ can be seen, talked about & treated as a problem or worse ‘the enemy’. In the church this is nothing short of disastrous. So I’ve invited Hannah Mudge to a blog conversation with me about faith and gender. Click here for part 1, part 2, part…

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Gender myths and other stuff

Following my post last week on fighting over Junia, there have been a few more posts worth mentioning on the subject of gender roles. Firstly, in my opinion, Andrew Wilson has written an excellent post busting twenty myths in the gender debate and has been very even-handed busting ten from each side! To demonstrate why this whole debate matters and generates a lot of heat and passion, let me give you a couple of examples that I’ve read recently. Firstly Paul Levy wrote about reaching men in university and then this…

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Fighting over Junia

Every now and then one of the hot topics bursts into life on some of the blogs I read and over the past few weeks that’s happened with the issue of the role of women in the church. This post gives the links to who said what and where. I think it may have started with these posts by Krish Kandiah when he posted on women, men, church and twitter part 1 and part 2 An earlier post by Krish led Mark Heath to ask ‘do complementarian churches hinder women…

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