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 issue, some reading from both sides and some responses to some of the more unhelpful recent discussion. As usual sharing is not necessarily agreeing unless I explicitly say so. This posts are just representative of what I’ve noticed and saved.
Setting the stage
Here’s a short video on working out whether this is a primary or secondary issue. For me it’s a secondary issue.
- What Does the Bible Say About Women? – Katie Orr deals with some misconceptions from a complementarian perspective.
- 10 Reasons Why the Bible Regards Women Higher than All Other Systems – there’s much more to be said but we need to be really clear about the high & equal value of women.
- Was Early Christianity Hostile to Women? – No & the modern version shouldn’t be either.
- The Weaker Sex? – Abigail Dodds reflects
- Men and Women in Christ – on a book about the issue (which as it’s on Scot McKnight’s blog I guess is broadly egalitarian) but this post lays out the problem.
Making the case for complementarity
- The Case for Complementarity – Andrew Wilson & Livy Gibbs (video/audio)
- The Definition of Complementarianism – Rachael Green Miller offers her definition. I broadly agree with her affirmations and denials.
- Contrasting Complementarian Approaches to Headship – Alistair Roberts with some valuable insights (video/audio)
A little egalitarian push-back
I haven’t got lots of links here not because I haven’t read them but just because my focus is on the other side and arguing for them to do a much better job.
- Are Women “Helpers”? – Most of the time I don’t recognise the complementarism that is being argued against but here’s Chesna Hinkley
On women’s contribution to the church
- Women: You(r Gifts and Leadership) Matter in God’s Kingdom – JD Greear here. Amen.
- The Mirrors of the Ministering Women – Jennie Pollock reflecting on a passage I’d not considered
- How to Lead Women’s Ministry in a Complementarian Church
- Women’s Ministry For The Church – it’s an invitation to a past conference but the intro stands.
- Discipling and Investing in Women – An interview with Kandi Gallaty
On women preaching
- Should Women Preach in our Churches? – This by John Dickson is pretty much my position.
- Where Can Women Teach? – I don’t think I’d agree with everything Mark Kassian says here but I appreciate the context of understanding church as family. I think that’s helpful.
- Re-thinking the “Silence” of Women in 1 Cor 14 – an opposing view
On women pastors
I think a big part of the problem here is how people use the word ‘Pastor’ and what that means (especially in an American context). I don’t have a title and I don’t usually let people call me Pastor for very long. Pastor is a gift not an office in my view. Elder & deacons are offices.
- Is it Biblically Permissible for a Woman to be called a “Pastor”? – I’m with Sam.
- Can Women Be Pastors? – Denny Burk responds in the negative.
- A Response to Denny Burk’s Response to my article on Women as Pastors – Sam replies. I’m still with Sam.
It’s worth considering how we understand elders and deacons. My own view is that women can be the latter but not the former. Here’s Sam Storms on deacons: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. Although I think part 2 is a little weak and should cover much more. I’m in agreement.
Responding to John MacArthur
A famous preacher (who I’ve never heard nor read) said some pretty horrible things in my opinion. I’ve no interest in trying to give both sides or defend his view or tone. Here are two responses I’m in agreement with.
- John MacArthur claims to believe in biblical leadership. But he doesn’t speak for me – Jennie Pollock is a friend of mine and she does a good job here.
- Let’s Show Women They Are a Vital Part of Christ’s Body, Not Just Tell Them to “Go Home” – I’m with Randy Alcorn
Here’s a much better way Interacting with Beth Moore’s Remarks about Complementarianism
On male violence to women
This is such a crucial issue that I haven’t really addressed it here (I did here) but just wanted to make sure it wasn’t ignored.
- The Church and Violence Against Women – Russell Moore with an older but still relevant post.
- In her courageous battle for justice against Larry Nassar, my wife became my hero –