Christianity Today’s 50 Women To Watch

The cover story of the October issue of Christianity Today is a list of “50 Women You Should Know.” Sarah Pulliam Bailey writes that these are women who are “profoundly shaping the evangelical church and North American society.” It’s an interesting list that includes both evangelicals (like Beth Moore) and non-evangelicals (like Rachel Held Evans). The list also includes women who you wouldn’t normally find on the Christian speaking circuit—women like Bethany Hamilton (surfer), Condoleeza Rice (former Sec. of State), and Michelle Bachmann (politician).

The article doesn’t include much of a discussion about differences among evangelicals about gender roles. Even though there are both complementarians and egalitarians on the list, the article seems to assume an egalitarian framework. In general, it regards high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields as something to be celebrated. Make no mistake, everyone celebrates women excelling in roles that the scripture commends, but egalitarians continue to disagree with complementarians about what those roles are. In short, the report highlights the influencers without trying to sort out the differences that complementarians and egalitarians have over these issues.

Already, folks have begun discussing who should and should not have been included in this list. That is to be expected. It would be impossible to make a list that everyone agrees with. This article is not yet available online, so you’ll have to wait before you can read the profiles of these women (or you can subscribe here). In the meantime, here’s the list without the profiles. These are in no particular order.

1. Jennifer Wiseman

2. Nancy Sleeth

3. Katharine Hayhoe

4. Bonnie Wurzbacher

5. Dorothy Chappell

6. Tracey Bianchi

7. Roberta Green Ahmanson

8. Sara Groves

9. Roma Downey

10. Jordin Sparks

11. Mavis Staples

12. Bethany Hamilton

13. Marilynne Robinson

14. Elisabeth Elliot

15. Lauren Winner

16. Luci Shaw

17. Ann Voskamp

18. Margaret Feinberg

19. Rachel Held Evans

20. Brenda Salter McNeil

21. Christine Caine

22. Bethany Hoang

23. Lynne Hybels

24. Amy Sherman

25. Jenny Yang

26. Joni Eareckson Tada

27. Kay Coles James

28. Condoleezza Rice

29. Sarah Palin

30. Jean Bethke Elshtain

31. Michele Bachmann

32. Priscilla Shirer

33. Carolyn Custis James

34. Anne Graham Lotz

35. Joyce Meyer

36. Kay Warren

37. Beth Moore

38. Jo Anne Lyon

39. Amy Julia Becker

40. Elisa Morgan

41. Juli Slattery

42. Leslie Parrott

43. Jen Hatmaker

44. Katherine Leary Alsdorf

45. Esther Fleece

46. Elaine Howard Ecklund

47. Nicole Baker Fulgham

48. Kara Powell

49. Kim Phipps

50. Shirley Mullen

(HT: Margaret Feinberg for the list)

320 Responses to Christianity Today’s 50 Women To Watch

  1. BruceSymons October 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Rachel Held Evans — what do you mean, “non-evangelical”?

    • Denny Burk October 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      The article identifies her a “post-evangelical.” Did you think she was an evangelical? She’s very clearly established herself as a theological liberal on a whole range of issues.

      • BDW October 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        As far as I’m concerned, she’s an evangelical. She comes from an evangelical background and it is evangelicals who have made her popular.

        I don’t read her much except when a post of hers blows up my Facebook feed. She frustrates folks like my wife and myself who are very much POST-egal vs. complemen. debate and want to see more churches call women to serve in senior pastor positions.

        Some of what I’ve read hints that perhaps she doesn’t attend church? Do you know where she attends? Can a person really be a Christian leader without being an active churchman or churchwoman?

        • Denny Burk October 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

          I hear you. I would just argue that evangelical ought to denote a convictional position. Bebbington’s approach is still useful here. And on that framework, Evans is not convictionally an evangelical, despite her past associations with the movement. I would be very surprised if she self-identifies as an evangelical. I don’t think she does, even though she pitches her writings to evangelicals.

          • Aaron Meares October 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

            I agree with Denny. I, too, would be surprised if Evans identifies herself as evangelical. It is very doubtful she meets even half of Bebbington’s criteria.

            • Don Johnson October 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

              There is an easy way to find out that does not involve speculation. Just ask her.

              Bebbington quadrilateral

              He is widely known for his definition of evangelicalism, referred to as the Bebbington quadrilateral, which was first provided in his 1989 classic study Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s. Bebbington identifies four main qualities which are to be used in defining evangelical convictions and attitudes:[1]
              biblicism, a particular regard for the Bible (e.g. all essential spiritual truth is to be found in its pages)
              crucicentrism, a focus on the atoning work of Christ on the cross
              conversionism, the belief that human beings need to be converted
              activism, the belief that the gospel needs to be expressed in effort
              From wiki.

          • Andrew Caldwell October 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

            Is this really going to become a conversation about who is a “true” evangelical, and who isn’t? Using their particular stance on the egalitarian/complementarian divide as a indicator of such? If so, this is deeply saddening. I’m curious, with what authority do you determine that “Evans is not convictionally an evangelical”?

          • Yevgeniy October 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

            What about these constant inquisitions about whether someone is truly Evangelical or not? I am wondering whether it is better to allow the conservatives to continue hijacking this term and pushing everyone who does not fit their narrow definition out (anyways, we already managed to burden it with so much negativity lately – see “unChristian” by Kinnaman and Lyons), or to try and re-claim its more broad meaning. With the first choice, in 10 years Evangelical will mean exactly what Fundamentalist used to mean, and I am not sure you guys would like it. With the second, we will continue having these sometimes nasty debates and at the same time hopefully moving along the better understanding of what the Gospel means for today.

        • Laura Johnson October 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

          I think someone can be a Christian leader without being a church goer. She has a widely read blog that has at least as much influence as the pastor of a large church… albeit a different type of influence. Evans reaches people who wouldn’t set foot in a church. She challenges people within the church.That’s leading if you ask me.

          Now I’m not saying it’s ideal to not have a home church, and I’m pretty sure Evans would agree with me. Sometimes, however, finding a church where you feel you fit can be hard. Especially if you find yourself in that tough spot where you are too evangelical for the liberals and too liberal for the evangelicals. ;)

      • Rachel H. Evans October 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

        I identify as evangelical – like it or not. :-)

        Committed to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
        High view of Scripture.
        Always reforming.
        Faith is very personal to me, but also has implications for the world.
        Visiting churches currently – Methodist, Episcopal, Bible

        Also, I don’t think there is anything wrong with celebrating high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields. And it makes me sad that you do.

        • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

          In some cases I would and in other cases I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t celebrate those that I believe are serving in roles that scripture forbids. I would celebrate with those excelling in roles that scripture commends. I know that you as an egalitarian don’t acknowledge such distinctions, but for those of us who do, it’s pretty important.

          • Lynn A. Highley October 4, 2012 at 12:34 am #

            Lynn Highley

            Denny, as usual, it comes down to the vastly different interpretations of the bible and YOUR belief there are roles the scripture “forbids” women to serve and fulfill.

            The age-old battle of one “sect’s” belief that their interpretation is the only “correct” and “biblical”. While I have no interest in evangelical christianity, I adore, value, and have learned a great deal from Rachel Held Evans. I wonder if you might be trying to raise your visibility by using Rachel and her blog…..

          • Margaret Mowczko October 5, 2012 at 2:43 am #

            Denny, by “scripture forbids” do you mean 1 Timothy 2:12?

            If so, is it wise to use one Bible verse to forbid all women from teaching any man for all time in certain situations? This seems unjustified especially as we can only guess at the original context, reason, intent and parameters for this prohibition.

            • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 7:12 am #

              While 1 Tim. 2:12 is a key text, its not the lone text defining the complementarian position. It’s a position derived from the Bible’s total teaching Gen-Rev. Having said that, how many times does a teaching need to appear in God’s word before you will believe it?

              In the history of interpretation, there really hasn’t been a lot of guessing about what this verse meant. It’s only been in the last forty years or so that all of a sudden it has become unclear to interpreters. It is curious that the uncertainty just happens to coincide with the rise of feminist perspectives in our society and churches.

              • Margaret Mowczko October 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

                I suggest that a teaching that is used with great impact on half of the Church needs to be reiterated and stated plainly in scripture. We don’t go around baptizing for the dead, even though that practice is mentioned once in the Bible.

                1 Tim 2:12 is not plain and raises several questions.
                E.g. Since the Greek word for man and woman is singular, does the text refer to a wife and husband? Can an educated woman, who has learned (as commanded in v11) teach? What setting is in mind with this prohibition?

                Moreover, the Bible does shows that godly women taught men important lessons: Lemuel’s mother, whose words still teach and have the authority of scripture, and Priscilla who taught the doctrine of Christian baptism to Apollos. Perhaps Anna and others can be added to this list.

                • Denny Burk October 6, 2012 at 1:48 am #

                  I would invite you to investigate the history of interpretation of this verse. The church’s 2,000 year-old testimony has been almost unanimous until the middle of the 20th century when feminist challenges began to emerge. It was clear until external, secular forces began to encroach. The argument that the text isn’t clear is not compelling to me.

                  I’ve done a lot of writing on 1 Timothy 2:12 over the years. If you want to read some of it, just do a search on my site for 1 Timothy 2:12. Here’s a good one to start with: http://www.dennyburk.com/biblical-patriarchy-and-1-timothy-212/.

                  Thank you for reading and taking time to comment.

                  • Suzanne McCarthy October 6, 2012 at 4:08 am #

                    First, Jerome translated authenteo as dominari which he also used in Gen. 3:16 and 1 Peter 5:3. Dominari was something harsh and unpleasant.

                    Then the KJV used “usurp authority” and Calvin “assume authority.” So actually it has only been about 40 years or so that “to have authority” has become popular.

                    But everyone knows this – why pretend otherwise?

                  • Margaret Mowczko October 7, 2012 at 1:05 am #

                    Thanks Denny. I have done a lot of research into 1 Tim 2:12 myself, and read many books and papers by scholars of all persuasions which included information about how this verse was interpreted in the past. I have also read your article and the discussion on the possibility of a hendiadys in 1 Tim 2:12.

                    I am currently looking at how the church has historically interpreted 1 Peter 3:19ff, and, for several reasons, I believe the modern interpreters and not the classical ones are closer to the mark.

                    I have also read about how the church has historically viewed and treated women (and people of certain races) and, I’m sure you would agree, it is appalling. I have no doubt that the traditional view of women, and the fact that there were practically no women Bible scholars, has influenced the interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12 in the past. (By the way, Chrysostom believed that Euodia and Syntyche were chief leaders in the Philippian church. Hom 13 on Php.)

                    I truly believe that the Holy Spirit gives ministry gifts, including leadership and teaching gifts, to women as well as men. The Bible does not show that men, as a whole, are exclusively capable of, and called to, leadership. The Bible contains too many examples of courageous, capable women who exercised leadership for that to be true.

                    God tolerated patriarchy in the past, and he still does, but I do not believe that it is his ideal. I believe a Church, and world, without castes is his ideal.

                    Sincerest, best wishes.

                  • Laurie Davidson October 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

                    Denny, dear friend, “history of interpretation” MEANS NOTHING :) think slavery…think pharisees…sigh…someday you are going to have to answer for all your writing you’ve (quoting you again here) “done a lot of”…what Jesus said was enough, and the world can’t tell that hardly any people are His disciples because they are not unified…

                  • Anthea Bisgrove November 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

                    Anthea Bisgrove

                    You asserted: “The church’s 2,000 year-old testimony has been almost unanimous until the middle of the 20th century when feminist challenges began to emerge.”

                    You seem to be unaware of the existence of the Salvation Army, the Methodist church, the Baptists or the modern Pentecostal movement. All of these arose before the mid-20th century.

                • Kamilla Ludwig October 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

                  Marge,

                  You’ve given us an object lesson in the tactics of the religious feminists. Ever fond of accusing Complementarians of prooftexting, you resort to a sort of reverse prooftexting as easily as you draw breath by pretending the case against feminism rests on one verse. You know very well that is not the case.

                  The case rests on the entire story of Scripture – from the first wedding to the last, from Creation to Redemption. I’ve briefly visited that metanarrative several times myself, most recently here:

                  http://bravelass.blogspot.com/2012/09/is-christianity-sexist.html

                  • Laurie Davidson October 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

                    Kamilla, do you not understand what “one flesh” means? The entire story of Scripture does NOT say what you are alleging…

              • patricklmitchell October 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

                Doesn’t Genesis communicate that patriarchy is a curse? If the “curses” will be undone in God’s kingdom, shouldn’t we try to to make that a reality now, you know, bringing heaven to earth? If that’s the case, wouldn’t we encourage women to exercise their gifts even if they’re what patriarchal frameworks reserve for me? Including teaching the Bible–which many women can do better than men by the way.

                The complementarian argument doesn’t stand by its own standards if you want to take the view you do and operate by the hermeneutic you choose. By your standards women should be covering their heads for fear of the lustful angels. I’m sorry, you really only have one, maybe two verses to suggest the patriarchy you mask as complementarianism. But hey, it took a long time to move away from slavery too, and that’s something Southern Baptists held dear as well.

                • Denny Burk October 20, 2012 at 12:30 am #

                  No, it’s rooted in the order of creation in Genesis 2 before there is any sin in the world.

                  • wggrace October 20, 2012 at 5:05 am #

                    The argument from Genesis 2 is not the knock down argument that you seem to think it is. Broadly speaking there seem to be two ways of uderstanding the passage and the reference to naming. The first is to see Adam as naming both the animals (thereby implying a hierarchical relationship over them) and the woman (also thereby implying a hierarchical relationship). The second is to note the different language for the ‘naming’ of the woman and to see this as implying something different from that implied by the naming of the animals.
                    In support of the latter reading I would cite the JPS Torah commentary on Genesis, a reputable Jewish commentary that was not attempting to solve this particular debate. But even stronger to me is the clear thrust of the passage that what is being emphasised is oneness of man and woman. This does not imply sameness and does not close the argument about hierarchy but it does cast doubt on the use of Gen 2 as a knock down argument.

                    • Margaret Mowczko October 20, 2012 at 5:20 am #

                      Hagar (the Egyptian slave of Abraham and Sarah) gave God a name, a name that has been recorded in Scripture. Yet no one can rightly suggest that Hagar had authority over God just because she named him (Gen 16:13-14).

                      Denny, where exactly is patriarchy mentioned in Genesis 2?

                      Statements which express the mutuality and equality between the first man and women are found in Genesis 2:20-25, but I can’t see anything which states or suggests either male authority and primacy or female subordination.

                    • Denny Burk October 20, 2012 at 5:31 am #

                      For me, Paul’s use of Genesis 2 is determinative. In both 1 Cor. 11:3ff and 1 Tim. 2:13, Paul alludes to Genesis 2 for his understanding of gender roles in the church and the home. In particular, he appeals to the order of creation to establish male headship. In other words, it’s an argument from primogeniture. The point is that he makes his case from Genesis 2, not from Genesis 3.

                  • patricklmitchell October 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

                    What exactly is rooted in the order of creation? Eve is called ezer kenegdo. Isn’t it interesting that Yahweh is also called ezer? I suppose God was just Eliezer’s “help-meet” and not his equal ally. I guess you’d explain away the “us” in Genesis 1 and 2 as the trinity since the ancients had a well developed theology of the trinity. No way it was the notion of a divine counsel, right?

                    • Denny Burk October 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

                      The apostle Paul appeals to primogeniture in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2:13, not the “helper” terminology.

                    • wggrace October 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

                      This is really a reply to Denny.
                      You rely on 1 Cor 11. Now the literature on this passage is daunting as I am sure you are aware. One of the peculiar aspects of this passage in these debates is that the passage is dealing with how male headship can be properly expressed when women are speaking the word of God authoratively in the congregational setting. Yet somehow the passage is used by people to deny that women can so speak. So whatever the passage means, it does not peam that wmone are not supposed to preach.
                      So what does the passage mean? What arguments are being used (and arguments, plural is appropriate as Paul seems to be using about 4 arguments in these few verses)? The most noted comentaries in this letter are by Thisleton and Fee and neither would support you.
                      And 1 Tim 2 is equally precarious as support for your view. Patrick Mitchel in his blog Faith in Ireland (or some such title) has a series devoted to this passage. I think it makes it quite clear that it is possible to disagree with you interpretation.

                    • Denny Burk October 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

                      In 1 Cor 11, there is no mention of the women “preaching.” These instructions relate to women who “pray” and “prophesy” in public worship. Many complementarians like myself, Tom Schreiner, and others freely acknowledge that Paul allows the women to pray and prophesy.

          • Pam B. October 6, 2012 at 1:05 am #

            Wow. I’m not familiar with much about you, Denny, but I’m horrified at the implications of this comment. You are saying you do not think that any achievement of a woman outside of ‘scriptural roles’ should be celebrated. So should women be forbidden from working completely? Forbidden from voting? Could you explain how celebrating achievements is a bad thing? I suggest you go and meet and talk to some real, high-achieving women. Learn about the reality of the world outside your bubble. Maybe then you’ll understand how such arguments of yours are both ignorant and offensive.

            • Denny Burk October 6, 2012 at 1:32 am #

              Pam, I didn’t say any of things that you accused me of. That is a most uncharitable reading of what I said.

              I said in the post that we should celebrate the achievements of women serving in roles that scripture commends. I celebrate with many of the women in this piece! My point was that complementarians and egalitarians disagree over which roles are appropriate and which ones are not. The CT article doesn’t try to resolve that debate. It just celebrates all of them, even though complementarians obviously disagree with some of them.

              In any case, I think it would improve the level of our conversation if we could leave out pejoratives like “ignorant and offensive.”

              Thank you for taking time to read and comment.

              • scottie October 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

                Denny,

                You are most correct that you did not say any of the things Pam B. accused you of. But you are most incorrect not to realize that you have communicated by implication exactly what she brings up.

                When you said in the post “that we should celebrate the achievements of women serving in roles that scripture commends”, the clear and obvious implication is that you think that any achievement of a woman outside of ‘scriptural roles’ should expressly NOT be celebrated.

                Saying that making this point is “something a jerk would do” is pejorative. Describing it as “offensive” is objective and non-provocative.

              • scottie truman October 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

                Denny,

                You are most correct that you did not say any of the things Pam B. accused you of. But you are most incorrect not to realize that you have communicated by implication exactly what she brings up.

                When you said in the post “that we should celebrate the achievements of women serving in roles that scripture commends”, the clear and obvious implication is that you think that any achievement of a woman outside of ‘scriptural roles’ should expressly NOT be celebrated.

                Saying that making this point is “something a jerk would do” is pejorative. Describing it as “offensive” is objective and non-provocative.

                • Pam B October 7, 2012 at 1:16 am #

                  Thank you, scottie, you are correct.
                  Denny, in your article and in your comments, you’ve failed to elaborate on what exactly you mean in dividing women’s achievements into those that should be celebrated and those that shouldn’t. A number of commenters have asked, and your responses are always vague. I simply want you to explain what achievements are deemed acceptable, and what aren’t. As I say, I am not very familiar with you. Hence I don’t know your position on those things I asked about, but I’ve had a hardcore patriarchalist complementarian tell me I was sinful because I vote, infer I’m probably a loose horrible woman because I’m single, and say I’m extra sinful because I’m getting a postgraduate degree (according to this person, education is the first step in the poisoning and deception of women). So my hackles tend to be raised very quickly at the scent of limiting women.
                  And when Christianity Today’s article seems to be about celebrating women who are pushing the gospel forth in their various spheres, I think that’s something that we should all be celebrating, even if we don’t agree with every position each person holds – let’s face it, nobody agrees with every position of all the women listed. So when you write an article criticising your fellow sisters in Christ – in direct spite of the fact that they’re preaching and teaching many – it seems you’re letting your own narrow views get in the way of the true point of the piece, which is God’s name being spoken by many and various women.

                  • Denny Burk October 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

                    Pam B, I thought I was specific, but let me try again. Any woman whose ministry involves teaching Christian doctrine to or exercising authority over men is doing something that we should not celebrate.

                    • Pam B October 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

                      Ok. So it applies specifically and only in Christian contexts. Outside of Christian contexts women can lead men.

                    • Tim October 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

                      What happens when a woman teaches Christian doctrine through her writings for women, and a man reads it and learns something spiritually edifying? Has either the woman (the teacher) or the man (the reader) contravened Scripture? If so, how? If not, why not?

                      Thanks,
                      Tim Fall

                    • Tim October 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

                      P.S. That is a question I have wrestled with for a long time and am really hoping to read what you have to say on the matter.

                      Thanks,
                      TIm Fall

                    • Tim October 17, 2012 at 9:09 am #

                      Still nothing? Oh well.

                      Tim Fall

        • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

          I stand corrected. I speculated that you would not self-identify as an evangelical. Obviously, you do. Having said that, I think you and I have really different views about what an evangelical is.

      • wggrace October 9, 2012 at 8:18 am #

        I think there is a problem with terminology here.
        Denny seems to be equating post evangelical with liberal and contrasting it with evangelical. I don’t think either equation is accurate. So leaving aside what Mrs Evans is or is not, I think we ought to clarify these terms.
        1. The evangelical/liberal polarity had most useful use in the 20C up until about 1970. Here in the UK it was never a very good polarity as we find that we had so many conservative scholars who were not at all liberal but neither were they evangelical. Cranfield is a good example but CS Lewis is a more popular one. So the polarity needed even then to be treated with some care. But let us accept the polarity for the time being.
        Both wings of the polarity were modernist, partly because that was the intellectual tradition of the West at that time. And here comes the rub. Modernism came under attack from postmodernism. From this change liberals were at least as vulnerable as the evangelicals but both needed to rethink their ideas to meet the challenge of postmodernism. Thus were born post liberalism and post evangelicalism.
        2. Post liberalism met the challenges of postmodernism in ways that drew the tradition back much closer to the biblical tradition than liberalism was used to. Thus postliberalism is far more congenial to evangelicals than liberalism was and is. Evangelicals may still feel uncomfortable with aspects of it but they should all agree that it is an improvement on liberalism.
        3. Evangelicalism had different problems with modernism and postmodernism than liberalism and thus the response such as in postevangelicalism was somewhat different. Postmodernism has a peculiar relationship to truth. For some, truth is purely instrumental; it is whatever works. For others it is true but not absolutely true not because there is no absolute truth but because we only have a partial and flawed appreciation of it. Postevangelicalism tends to take the latter position but in most respects is otherwise very similar to modernist evangelicalism.
        4. The claim to be postevangelical may only be a claim to be critical realist (e.g. Paul Hiebert; NT Wright; Mike Bird) rather than naive realist or it might be the more radical claim to be instrumentalist in which case everything is rather up for grabs. If Mrs Evans is claiming the former, she might reasonably also claim to be evangelical; if the latter then such a claim is harder to maintain.

        Denny seems to have a checklist of views, e.g. complemetarianism/egalitarian
        which actually seems to be the real criteria for deciding the position of Mrs Evans but that is something that a consistent evangelical who prioritises the Bible as authoritive should not really do. To check someone against a set of doctrinal views undermines the authority of scripture

    • Lynda Gravier October 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      This is code for non Southern Baptist.

      • Tommy Dale October 4, 2012 at 10:12 am #

        That’s not a very fair assumption, is it? Unless you are accusing Denny of actually believing that. I might point out the irony of condemning him of narrow-mindedness with such a narrow-minded comment.

  2. Ronnie October 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    The first name that came to mind when I pulled it out of my mailbox was Nancy Leigh DeMoss… I consider her to have far more influence on women in the evangelical church than many of these women.. I don’t think any of these we at the recent TGC conference for women either..

  3. Freddy October 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I thought she was evangelical as well, just egalitarian. Didn’t know she’d identified herself as a liberal on many points. Good to know.

    • Sarah Flashing October 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      The assumption that Rachel Evans is evangelical is what motivated me to write this post on Sunday. And I’m taking quite a bit of heat for it (not surprised). http://www.womenfaithculture.com/index.php/2012/09/30/influence-unorthodox/

      • Kate Fields October 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

        Hi Sarah,

        Though I confess I have not read much of your writing, I’m happy that you are using your voice, as a woman, to lead others to the gospel. I think I can safely assume that you do have a large reader base and that your readers probably value your voice and opinions on various issues; therefore, I’d like to ask you to take caution in questioning someone’s salvation. That is a very serious and potentially damaging accusation.

        I have met Rachel and I was immediately drawn to her powerful voice for the gospel. She holds the gospel dearly and I believe it is the central driving force of everything that she does. She has a beautiful heart and spirit because she understands (in a very literal way) that Biblical womanhood isn’t a to-do list of Proverbs 31, it’s loving God and loving one’s neighbors.

        In light of George Barna and David Kinnaman’s recent scientific and solid generational research about why millions (8) of 20 somethings have left the church, I can only thank God for voices like Rachel’s. As a twenty-something, she was influential in keeping me in the church as I foresee she will be for many.

        I understand disagreeing, but your very public words were as inappropriate as they were inaccurate. Peace to you.

        • Sarah Flashing October 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

          Kate, thanks so much for leaving the comment. I’m happy you opened up this conversation. Could you tell me which words I used that were inaccurate? If I have misread Rachel Evans, I’d like to know how. And by the way, I know she’s a very nice person – I’ve interacted with her numerous times on Twitter and find her to have a very inviting personality.

          Thanks!

          • Kate Fields October 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

            Hi Sarah– and thanks for your comment as well. I am a believer in good dialog, but I just can’t respond to your question. Because I believe our discussion of it would be totally inappropriate, especially in such a public forum as this comment section or a blog.

            As my sister in Christ, I wish you grace and peace, as I wish Rachel, another sister in Christ, the very same.

            • Sarah Flashing October 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

              Kate, I appreciate you want to keep peace, but I’d encourage you to boldly stand for what is true. If I have said something inaccurate or erroneous – as you claim – I really ought to be permitted to rectify the situation or clear my name.

              Thanks again and blessings to you :)

  4. Sarah Flashing October 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Evans fails Bebbington’s critia of conversionism:

    “I realized in that moment that everything I had been taught growing up, uh, assured me that that woman would spend eternity in hell and I just couldn’t accept that. I just couldn’t anymore and at that moment I just started deconstructing and rethinking everything I had been taught growing up about my faith, about heaven and hell, about Christ, and it was a difficult time of doubt, a dark time of doubt for me. But it started a process of evolution that’s made me the Christian I am today, the follower of Christ I am today which is a little less certain about everything but a lot more faith filled.” This is from an interview, a link is found on my site.

    • Don Johnson October 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      I sent her an email and asked her and referenced this thread. No need to speculate or try to interpret, we can go directly to her.

    • Laura Ortberg Turner October 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      If you check her Twitter feed, you’ll see that Rachel Held Evans does, indeed, self-identify as an Evangelical. It is a term that has become widespread enough that it cannot be held up against one person’s formula and negated if she doesn’t fit all four categories.

      • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

        Yes, I stand corrected. My speculation that she would not self-identify as an evangelical was incorrect. That being said, it is very apparent that we have different opinions about what an evangelical is, and I still don’t think she is one.

    • Suzanne McCarthy October 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Who is Bebbington?

  5. Jimmy Parks October 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    I’m interested to know why the article would need to mention any of the debate about complementarian vs. egalitarian views. What does the debate have to do with the work of these 50 women?

    • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      Some of them are serving in roles that contradict a complementarian understanding of gender roles, yet the article is pitched as if all of them are to be celebrated equally for their achievements. That’s a debatable point and still is debated among evangelicals.

      • elizabeth October 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

        Ok, I’m confused. If women “offends complementarian sensibilities” they are not to be “celebrated equally for their achievements”? Why?

      • Jimmy Parks October 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

        I think your looking at this the wrong way. Whether you agree with their view of gender roles or not, the point is that these people are proclaiming the Gospel. That is one of the things the article is celebrating. If Paul can rejoice over the Gospel being proclaimed out of envy and rivalry (Phil. 1) I sure hope that you can rejoice that it is proclaimed by people you disagree with theologically.

      • Henry Michael Imler (@henryimler) October 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

        Man, Burk, patriarchy is ugly.

        • Kathy Hickey October 6, 2012 at 9:27 am #

          I’ve read 135 comments now, and this is still my favorite! Ugly indeed!

        • Sara May October 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

          I wish I could “like” this comment!

    • Lynda October 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Jimmy, I applaud your question. Who decided that the list should celebrate women only in “approved” roles? I think what Boyce may find so difficult about the list is that women who do not concur with his interpretations of scripture regarding women’s roles are actually making a major impact on the world for Christ. This must be difficult for him to swallow.

    • Gail Wallace October 11, 2012 at 1:14 am #

      Jimmy, that was my reaction as well. It was very strange to see that debate show up in this post. If it had been a list of 50 men to watch, would the discussion have been about their complementarian vs. egalitarian views? I was quite disappointed to see this be the focus, rather than celebrating the amazing things these sisters in Christ are doing around the world. Most than disappointed – deeply disturbed.What a shame!

  6. suzer October 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    From @rachelheldevans: “oh yes, I usually identify as evangelical!” To the author, before you call someone non evangelical, perhaps you should ask her directly. Or maybe get a clearer definition of the word, as it has both political and theological definitions.

  7. JD October 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Yay Don for his maturity!

    Anyone read Evolving in Monkey Town? She makes it pretty clear she’s all about sharing the Gospel… which is the textbook definition of evangelical, right? Evangelizing the Good News?

    Or are we confusing political views with religious views? And is it all that important what camp or label someone claims? If so, are those who don’t identify as complementarians considered evangelicals? Are those who claim the name of post-evangelical or progressive or whatever still valid opinions to consider and worthy of recognition? Are they legitimate Christians.

    While theological discussions are important and doctrine has a place, we must be cautious never to let someone’s tribe or camp or label distract us from our true purpose. There’s nothing that Satan desires more for the church than to rip us apart based on our differences. Let’s drop the name games, celebrate what these women of God get right and provide encouraging, loving alternate views on where we disagree.

    • Sarah Flashing October 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      I’ve read and reviewed Monkey Town and it is in this book she begins to reveal her inclusivist views. The quote I shared above is not found in the book (in a recent interview) but the story she shares about the execution of this woman is described in detail in Monkey Town. On the Muslim woman’s salvation, she stated, “I realized in that moment that everything I had been taught growing up, uh, assured me that that woman would spend eternity in hell and I just couldn’t accept that.”

      From Evolving in Monkey Town:
      I don’t know the degree to which God is present in the world’s many religious systems. I don’t know how God will judge the living and the dead. I don’t know if hell is eternal or if God will destroy evil for good. I don’t know what the new heaven and new earth will be like. I don’t know if I’m an inclusivist or a universalist or a particularist….All I know is that if the God of the Bible is true, he loves his creation and will do whatever it takes to restore it. (133)

      This leaves me in an awkward position when it comes to always being ready with an answer. Gone are the black-and-white categories of “saved” and “unsaved,” “heaven-bound” and “hell-bound.” Gone are the old ways of determining who’s in and who’s out. Gone are the security of absolutism and the comfort of certainty. Gone is the confidence that comes with knowing that when Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,” he of course couldn’t possibly mean me. (133)

  8. Rachael Starke October 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Brother – this sentence sort of raised my (complementarian) eyebrows a bit:

    “In general, it regards high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields as something to be celebrated.”

    It could be inferred that you believe the reverse – that these women should in fact not be celebrated. I’m hoping that’s not the case.

    • Kristin Nicole October 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      I inferred this very same thing.

    • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      There are some women on the list whose work we would all celebrate. There are others on the list whose influence and success I would not celebrate. Joyce Meyer is on the list. In her case, she’s not only flouting 1Tim. 2:12, she’s also a false teacher. Yet she appears here without reference to her egalitarian philosophy of ministry or her errant teachings. I do not celebrate her success.

      All the same, I added a sentence to the original post so as to clarify the point. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment!

      • Jimmy Parks October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

        I agree that she is a false teacher, but yet again you are bringing up “her egalitarian philosophy.” Your picking on something that has nothing to do with her being a false teacher. Why continue to bring it up?
        We get that your complimentarian, but when you bring up the issue time after time even though it is irrelevant to the topic it seems like your trying to throw gas on a fire. If that is what you are doing then you are distracting people from finding joy in the Gospel and praising the Savior. Stop it.

        • Jimmy Parks October 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

          The she that I am referring to is Joyce Meyers, just to be clear.

        • lauraterasaki October 4, 2012 at 10:30 am #

          Jimmy, even though I consider myself Egalitarian, I appreciate you point about throwing “gas on the fire” and I agree that the discussion of gender roles is bit irrelevant in regards to the topic. Both sides have been guilty of “distracting people from finding joy in the Gospel and praising the Savior.” I have often felt that the complimentarian voice is oppressive but your comment shows a more balanced approach.

      • Katherine Z October 4, 2012 at 9:54 am #

        Since you hold to the interpretation that Paul’s command in 1 Tim. 2:12 is for women in every culture for all time, can I also assume that you also teach today’s Christian men to “lift up holy hands in every place men pray” (1 Tim. 2:8) as well as “greet each other with a holy kiss” (1 Cor. 16:20)? And perhaps you’re warning women who have not/cannot bear children that they may not “be saved”? (1 Tim. 2:15). I’m sure you were also calling for John Piper to step down from his pastoral position since his son strayed from the faith for so many years (Titus 1:6), correct?

        Please, I beg of you, don’t compare the untrained, morally loose, fertility god-worshiping women of Paul’s time with the highly trained, Spirit-filled godly women who are striving to serve the Kingdom of God and spread His Gospel today!

        • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 10:12 am #

          Katherine, Great questions. Complementarians have been giving theologically and biblically cogent answers to those questions for many years. It’s all very well established in the literature. I’ve written about these things as well on this blog. To get you started, I recommend Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Wayne Grudem and John Piper. Pay particular attention to the exegetical discussions in the first section. Doug Moo’s chapter on 1 Timothy 2:8-15 may be particularly helpful to you. Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

          • Katherine Z October 4, 2012 at 10:56 am #

            Denny, I have read the whole tome by Wayne Grudem in researching this subject. Thanks for recommending Doug Moo. I will check him out as well. My former pastor holds very firmly to his complementarian views and when I asked him if he’d ever read any opinions on the “other side of the isle” he said, “no”. I’m interested if you, a firm complementarian, have read other views such as, “How I Changed My Mind About Women In Leadership”?

            • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 11:43 am #

              Yes. But that particular book is comprised of testimonials more than biblical argument.

              • lauraterasaki October 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

                Denny,

                Have you read Man and Woman: One in Christ by Philip B. Payne? I though his exegesis was sound.

              • Lynda Gravier October 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

                I am in the middle of said book right now, and although they are “testimonials,” each account I have read so far thoroughly explains how the author came to that understanding through a study of scripture and/or conviction of the Holy Spirit. I am finding the book to be very helpful in thinking through gender roles in the kingdom of God.

              • Katherine Z October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am #

                Hi Denny,

                The book I mentioned was actually fully of scriptural references and the men and women’s explanation of their interpretations and honest struggles with them. I mentioned it because I appreciated their candor, honesty and real life experiences.

                I checked out Doug Moo. He actually agrees with N.T. Wright and countless other scholars that the Apostle Junia was indeed a woman. I believe it takes a lot of hermeneutical gymnastics to explain that one away.

                I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m not a Biblical scholar, though I try my best to be a woman “in the Word”. I and my husband have learned so much from godly women’s teachings over the years and as I’ve studied the arguments for complementarianism, I see a lot of downplaying of women’s roles in the Bible, very little cultural understanding, and the outright ignoring of verses showing the gifts of the Spirit given to people regardless of gender. I’m not an “angry feminist”. I’m a stay-at-home, previously homeschooling, conservative mom who has witnessed first hand women AND men coming to faith in our Lord and Savior through the strong and biblical teaching of women. I don’t feel anger at those who try to pull those gifted women from their roles because of their gender. No, I just feel sad. Sad for the women trying their best to use their gifts for God’s glory and sad for those who are trying to tell God who to give His gifts to.

            • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 10:00 am #

              My comments policy requires commenter to use first and last names. Thanks!

              • Katherine Z October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

                If this is directed at me, my last name is Zylstra. :)

          • Suzanne McCarthy October 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

            The problem is that ,”to exercise authority” is an as yet I attested meaning for authentio. There is no lexical evidence, according to Kostenberger. So the entire claim that it means “to exercise authority” in a positive way, rests on context. In this case the context is that it is something that women shouldn’t do, so it must mean “to exercise authority.” This is how some people do theology.

            • Suzanne McCarthy October 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

              Can’t get used to the spell check. “To exercise authority” is an as yet unattested meaning for authenteo and this is the clear conclusion of Dr. Kostenberger. Let’s just start with a few facts. I can’t stand the lack of relation to facts. Please, please, use a few facts.

      • Rachael Starke October 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks Denny. I do agree with you that a list that includes both Joyce Meyer and Elisabeth Elliott is, well, um, “broad” is about as charitable a term as I can think of. :) IMHO, “influencer” lists always seem to be problematic at best, and antithetical to how Jesus lived. They do sell magazines and cause stirs, though, so there’s that. :)

        Now the lack of clarity for me comes in your attempt at qualifying or clarifying your statement – an attempt I do appreciate, BTW. If the success that you cannot commend simply relates to women in direct pastoral ministry roles – leading congregations, preaching to mixed audiences, etc. – in contradiction to a complementarian interpretation of 1 Timothy 2, well and good. Most complementarians won’t object, and most egalitarians, particularly Rachel and her loyal readers, will show up in droves to protest, and you’ll likely wish you’d never said anything. :)

        But this list includes working in a host of other roles – politicians, humanitarians, fiction writers. Your statement doesn’t make clear if those, too, in your opinion, are roles forbidden for Christian women, and those also not worthy of commendation.

        • scottie truman October 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

          I will be interested to see if Denny responds.

          My observation is the CBMW types often stay in the realm of the non-specific, because to spell it all out would truly categorize them in a spot of polarized narrow parameters — they do not desire this in the court of public opinion. Better to keep it sketchy and all about “the glory of God”, so people have good feelings about it.

          • Nathan Mladin October 31, 2012 at 10:40 am #

            There is a subtle but significant inconsistency (intential or not) in first grounding subordination and gender roles in creation but then restricting subordination to family and church-teaching context. If they were theologically consistent, I suggest, complementarians like Dr. Burke would have to argue for female subordination outside the family also. They don’t seem to make this move for several reasons. Let me try to put forward two closely related reasons. To be charitable, I’ll start with the exegetical reason. The key texts which are interpreted as teaching female subordination/gender roles key texts have to do specifically with the family and church contexts. Therefore these texts prompt them to argue for subordination strictly in the home and the church. But I argue that the ‘creational grounding’ element in their case reduces the force of the argument that subordination is restricted to family and church. I say this because the Genesis account can be read as referring not narrowly to family relations and functions but to the rapport between male and female human beings in God’s creation and their creative-administrative tasks within it. It can be argued that it has, therefore, a much more wide scope. Therefore, a more theologically consistent position would be to argue for universal subordination of (at least) Christian women to men, in their work, family and church contexts. In other words, full blown patriarchy! The second reason, closely related to the exegetical reason is pragmatic-tactical. Imagine the backlash complementarians such as Dr. Burke would experience if the case that I’ve just suggested indirectly is actually made. Complementarianism is already losing ground by the second. Just scan the comments to this post. They are undoubtedly indicative of an ever growing anti-complementarianism/patriarchalism trend. If the intentional or unintentional inconsistency I indicated were remedied, complementarians would infnitely more culturally isolated than they already are either completely ignored if not, moree likely, aggressively dismissed and branded in a number of ‘exotic’ ways. In other words they would completely lose their opportunity to witness to what they believe is God’s blueprint for male-female relations. Inconsistency seems in this case to be a survival-strategy on the market of theological discussions of gender.

            • Zhou Ya October 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

              I agree, complementarianism is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is also evidenced by the non-response to the hard question: should women preach the gospel to men if there are no men to do so? To say “yes” is to undermine the paradigm. To say “no” is to sound really bad.

              Even if comps are unwilling to throw out an entire paradigm on just one sticky question, I would appreciate some intellectual honesty. Admit it’s a hard question and that there’s no clear answer right now. Be willing to tweak your explanation of how it all fits together. We’re not talking authority of scripture here. We agree on that. It’s all about interpretation.

        • Henry Bish October 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

          Rachel Starke,

          To confirm your worst fears, I should inform you that Mr Burk thinks that scripture teaching on gender roles is not strictly limited to church and home – I think you’ll find he would not approve of a woman president, for instance. Read his editors pieces in a recent JBMW edition. And he would not be alone – other TGC guys like Piper and Voddie Baucham would be of a similar mind.

          What vexes me is that you seem to have a bit of a bee in your bonnet about trying to keep complementarians ‘in line’ by trying to subtly exert pressure on them to disavow any application of biblical sexuality beyond church and home. Whether or not you consciously intend this, it feels like manipulation.

          I’d ask that you rather state frankly from scripture why a creation ordinance does not apply in the rest of God’s creation that exists outside the church and home.

          Cordially,

          • scottie truman October 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

            Henry,

            seems to me she is just asking Denny to be more specific, instead of leaving the audience to speculate. that is all.

          • Eric Boersma October 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

            There should be no shame in holding your beliefs to the light and letting them be judged for what they are. Vagueness is a cowardly position to hold. If you’re afraid that people are going to be upset with you for the opinions you hold and you’re unwilling to face that criticism, you recognize that your beliefs have fundamental flaws you don’t want exposed, or they’re not beliefs that are particularly dear.

            I’m not very familiar with Denny’s writings or his works, but he’s avoided specificity in this conversation thread several times. Taking him to task for obscuring his opinions is right and proper. Let them be seen and let them be evaluated for what they truly are.

            • Denny Burk October 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

              Eric,

              What do you want to know? I don’t know where I’ve failed to be specific.

              Denny

              • scottie truman October 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

                Denny,

                If I can interject…

                I believe Eric’s comment was in response to the observation of how comps tend toward vagueness. This, however, derives from Rachel’s initial question:

                “But this list includes working in a host of other roles – politicians, humanitarians, fiction writers. Your statement doesn’t make clear if those, too, in your opinion, are roles forbidden for Christian women, and those also not worthy of commendation.”

                Your clearest statement thus far in this post, I believe, is this (from a ways up):

                “Any woman whose ministry involves teaching Christian doctrine to or exercising authority over men is doing something that we should not celebrate.”

                Is your view, therefore, that we should freely celebrate women’s achievements outside of ministry, regardless of how they may be teaching men or possessing and exercising authority of men?

                It seems a ridiculously pedantic question, but it is necessary to sort out the contradictory information coming from various complementarian / patriarchal spokepeople. Which makes it clear that your view will be yours, not necessarily that of others. I & others would l like to understand it, all the same.

                • Denny Burk October 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

                  Complementarians have different opinions about how the principle of headship ought to be observed (or whether it should be observed!) outside of the church and the home. I tend to agree with Piper’s article on this issue in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Wonanhood. In short, he thinks that Christians ought to try and uphold the biblical ideal when and where it’s possible in secular sphere. That doesn’t mean that Christian women have no role in the secular workplace. Piper creates a nice grid for trying to discern which roles are appropriate and which ones may not me? Piper argues that not all “leadership” roles over men are the same, and I agree with him.

                  • scottie truman October 9, 2012 at 10:36 am #

                    Denny,

                    Thank you for the honest answer. From what you’ve writtten, i assume that when a person doesn’t seek to uphold what you deem the biblical ideal when and where it’s possible in secular sphere (which roles are appropriate and which ones may not be), then that person is in sin.

                    It just seems so nebulous. Arbitrary. So anxiety-producing for the question of “what is sin” to be answered as a matter of opinion & in terms of uncertainty (“which roles MAY/MAY NOT be appropriate.”). Comp/patriarchal spokespeople tend to use words lke “plain reading of scripture” and other expressions that make it sound as if i t is so obvious to evveryman and everywoman. And yet when getting to the nitty gritty, it seems to be opinion and “may / may not be” appropriate.

                    Surely God wouldn’t make something as plain and obvious and “by design”.this mysterious to figure oiut. Especially when the stakes are “sin”.

                    I would very much apprreciate your response.

                    • Denny Burk October 9, 2012 at 10:53 am #

                      It’s not nebulous and arbitrary if headship is taught in scripture and rooted in God’s original created order. Complementarians believe that both are.

                    • scottie truman October 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

                      Denny,

                      (this is meant to show after your 10:53 am comment)

                      Exactly how to live headship out is nebulous and arbitrary.

                      It wouldn’t be so much of an issue if headship was considered “an advisable method” (such as a productive way to organize church government). But the fact that it is considered “a sin” issue combined with all the contradictory views on how to live it out makes many people crazy.

                      It’s like trying to function in a religion articulated by schizophrenia. This is as honest as i can get. (no, i could get honester….)

    • Lynda October 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      Rachel Starke —

      “In general, it regards high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields as something to be celebrated.”

      This is the statement that most bothered me in Boyce’s article as well. If a woman hold sa more egalitarian view than he does, this means that her achievements are not to be celebrated? Regardless of what she may have accomplished for the kingdom? Intriguing.

      • Lynda October 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

        Sorry. Got the author’s name wrong. Clearly it is not Boyce, but Burk. My apologies.

  9. Eyvonne Sharp (@EyvonneESharp) October 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I don’t believe this sentence, “In general, it regards high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields as something to be celebrated.” necessarily indicates that you think excellent women should not be celebrated.

    I can, however, see where people who want to read that into what you’ve written would draw that conclusion.

    As a conservative, complimentarian, evangelical, I hope that you have been misunderstood. Please clarify.

    • Denny Burk October 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      I don’t think I’m making any news here. Complementarians and egalitarians disagree about what the Bible teaches about gender roles. Some of these 50 are doing work that we would all celebrate. Some of them are in ministry positions that complementarians would disagree with.

      • kimberly majeski October 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

        So, because you disagree you discount their contributions to the kingdom??

        • Shannon Montgomery, M.Div., Th.M. October 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

          Well, yes, that’s his point. As a complementarian, he believes that there are roles for men and roles for women, and women will not be called to roles that are reserved for men. Hence his example of Joyce Meyer. He argues that if they were truly of God, they wouldn’t be trying to fulfill roles to which they weren’t called. So he argues, in essence, that they aren’t contributing to the kingdom.

          I personally find that sad, but I left “evangelical” a long time ago (and went to Jesus, but that’s another story).

        • Lynda October 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

          Yes, the box is very small. Their contributions do not fit in Mr. Burk’s box. Do they fit in God’s box? I think so.

      • Eyvonne Sharp (@EyvonneESharp) October 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

        The lack of nuance and care in your original post and this reply makes it incredibly difficult to argue a complimentarian position. You have discounted women as a group instead of individual women who share a false gospel.

        If there were a list of 50 influential men in Christianity, I doubt you would say that men ought not be acknowledged for their accomplishments. You would likely argue how a particular man should not have been on the list due to a lack of orthodoxy.

        If you want to have that conversation, I’m all for it. But lets not discount the contributions of women wholesale because there are some who ought not be on the list.

        I have no desire to continue an argument and I usually stay far away from this debate because I believe it takes energy away from more primary issues. But as a women, mother, complementarian, Southern Baptist, and pastor’s wife, I’m deeply disappointed.

  10. April Fiet October 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    The only comment I can make in response to this is that it saddens me to see the gospel reduced one issue: the place of women in God’s world.

  11. Erin DuBroc October 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I find it incredibly disheartening that the lack of debate is being called to attention here. Or, perhaps more precisely, the fact that a complementarian viewpoint is not being championed.

    Instead of celebrating the diverse giftings of these women and their broad, positive impact for the Kingdom, it’s as though we’re back on the playground — lines drawn in the sand — and despite the value these women bring, they’re reduced to which side of a neverending debate they fall and immediately criticized/devalued based on it. (Let’s be honest — that’s what’s insinuated here.) Disappointing. Unforunate. Completely missing the point.

    The point is, in fact, to celebrate the good. To champion the good. To take a breath from the infighting and embrace enough grace and humility to consider the reasons why an eclectic body of Christ is a great thing. Depite differences on what’s likely a host of theological issues, these women are truly women of valor. Brave, passionate, following a shared call of the Spirit to live lives that make an impact for God’s kingdom in various facets of life (home and the marketplace). Lives are being changed, enriched, sparked for Jesus.

    But no, let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about how this article took a hiatus from the drama of debate.

    It’s such a shame that what’s being missed in this article is what really matters, and what I would dare to say God really cares about.

  12. Rebecca Walter October 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Kimberly, welcome to the complmentarian mindset. That is the crux of the complementarian belief: if a woman is acting outside of what they believe she should be “allowed” by a fellow flawed, fallen human to do, her contributions to the kingdom should not be considered positive.

  13. Alan Molineaux October 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I have to say Denny that I am all for you having your views but I think you confused freedom of expression with your own narrow interpretation of both ‘evangelical’ and the notion of ‘worth celebrating.

    The egalitarian position is a well established evangelical option for those wishing to have a high view of scripture.

    I for one am getting a bit fed up of the retoric suggesting that egalitarians don’t approach the scriptures with care and devotion.

    Complementarians and Calvinists need to start realising that they are not the keepers of evangelicalism.

    • lauraterasaki October 4, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      I completely agree. However, I see that both complimentarians and egalitarians need to stop assuming that the other is approaching “the Scriptures with care and devotion”.

  14. thejaigner October 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Denny, Denny, Denny…

    Borrowing a line from one of my favorite movies, Anchorman, “Ladies can do stuff now.” And that’s a good thing. The Bible holds women like this up as an example, so why do you continue to marginalize? The Bible doesn’t ever use the word “role” in discussion of gender, so why do you? You and your patriarchal friends have been saying for years that we evangelical egalitarians play fast and loose with Scripture, so why are you good folks continuing to contextualize more than anyone? The gospel you preach says that Christ has come to redeem the cosmos as far as the curse is found, so why do you also continue to preach a gender hierarchy that excludes women from the full benefits of that gospel promise?

    Your comments are embarrassing.

    Oh, and RHE is an evangelical. Unless you believe Martin Luther wouldn’t be an evangelical, either.

  15. Kimberly Alexander October 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I haven’t (yet) read the article, only your post since it was linked by Rachel Held Evans on FB (you should thank her!). Interesting that you are upset because there are women on the list that you believe should not be celebrated when the cover page simply says “women to watch” and “those most shaping the church and culture”. “Watching” is not necessarily “celebrating”. For instance, I cannot believe there are many who would “celebrate” the contributions of both Rachel Held Evans AND Sarah Palin (is she still a mover and shaker? Thought she was playing out. Wishful thinking I guess). Kind of a mixed-up person if they celebrate both! I don’t “celebrate” men like Mark Driscoll but they clearly should be acknowledged as having influence. I think you’ve jumped to conclusions which reveals much more than your sexist, so-called complementarian view.

  16. Loralee Scott October 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    The very idea that a woman who is preaching the gospel and turning hundreds if not thousands towards Scripture and towards a saving knowledge of Christ should not be celebrated simply because she is a woman is not only misogynistic theology it smacks of the same spirit which had the disciples criticizing the woman with the alabaster box. Christ not only rebuked them he let them know that wherever the gospel was preached, her act of worship would be proclaimed. This reformed theology that would relegate women to the back of the ministry bus is such an exegetically irresponsible interpretation of Scripture and a gross misrepresentation of every dealing Christ had with women.

  17. Rita Ledbetter October 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Have any of you read Half the Sky? Do you realize that it is religion that has caused millions of women to suffer ? The outrage is real because the accusations are true. Female genital mutilation is just an extreme arem of the “gospel’ you espouse.
    Denny Burk -you and men like you that believe in traditional “Christian ” gender roles are constantly evolving , changing, using different roles than the roles assigned women 100 years ago. Even 75 years ago – your radical sect did not want women to have the vote – horrors, they may vote without their husbands approval!! God is unchanging, His Word is unchanging. God was at first on earth in a woman’s womb, and a woman was first at the tomb. Be careful .
    As for as Nancy Leigh Demoss- she talks a good talk of submission and complementarian roles but in reality she preaches daily – real doctrine on a radio show. I have no respect for her or women like her who try to imprison their own kind in prisons they themselves do not adhere to. She plays with the boys , and tries to pretend she agrees with them and then she all out preaches .
    As for Joyce Meyer ….I grew up in St Louis , know her and her family personally . She is the real deal . You have no idea of what she preaches becuase you have not spent quality time hearing her -that I guarantee. You have no idea of the practical help she has given millions here in the States and internationally. She respects and loves her husband . Her son is CEO of the ministry. False doctrine? How? Worse than complimentary lies? Please!

    I am a nurse practitioner. Here is a story: Pregnant woman comes in for new OB visit . You can tell she has had a rough life. She shares : history of cocaine abuse ,three kids in foster care,five attempts at rehab, a hooker at one time , and once homeless. Now she is in a committed relationship, off cocaine and has a job. I ask her her how did you finally get clean. She says to me.. “Well there was this woman on TV with a deep voice. I started listening to her everyday. I listened to her and I started reading the BIble . I can’t afford cable anymore so I can’t hear her anymore ” Little did she know that I had access to all sorts of Joyce Meyer material. God lead her to Joyce and then lead her to me to get more of Joyce’s teaching. Two weeks ago 27000 woman gathered for a woman’s convention …and the Spirit of the Living God was there in ways you will NEVER see at a True Woman convention
    I think CT did a great service to women and I wish I could meet each of these life changers personally .

  18. Josh Brown October 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    It’s amazing to stand back and watch how offended (“saddened” and “troubled”) egalitarians become when a complimentarian dares to reveal how his view has practical implications for how we should assess certain people and ministries. News flash: ideas have consequences. To be convinced that the Bible teaches complementarianism means that you must conclude that certain modern day ministries are outside the bounds of the Word of God. To conclude this, will inevitably affect one’s ability to rejoice in and celebrate those ministries. So this is not a case of making everything turn on one issue, but of assessing things in the light of one’s total theology (in this case, including complementarianism).

    • thejaigner October 4, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Besides the biblical evidence, the best argument against patriarchy (complementarianism IS patriarchy, after all) is that ideas have consequences. It’s saddening that this antiquated, tragic perspective is still being harbored in evangelical circles because it hurts the Kingdom’s growth and witness.

      • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 9:38 am #

        How can it hurt the kingdom to follow the path that the Spirit of Christ sets before us?

        • Don Johnson October 4, 2012 at 11:01 am #

          Denny,

          Are you aware that this is EXACTLY one of the arguments of the slaveholders that formed the SBC?

          Do you really not see that there is a heritage from that time that needs to be repented from besides the “slavery endorsing” part? I will spell it out, it is a misunderstanding of authority in the Kingdom. Jesus said it along with other NT authors, the leader is one who SERVES and leads by SERVING, not by “exercising authority over them” per the following verses.

          ESV Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
          Mat 20:26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
          Mat 20:27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,
          Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

        • thejaigner October 4, 2012 at 11:32 am #

          Because we’re not allowing women to follow the Spirit wherever it leads. We’re holding them to “roles” that are nowhere in Scripture set forth to be normative. As I said in my blog yesterday, women can do stuff now. You and your patriarchal friends need to learn to celebrate it instead of keeping them down.

          What a grave offense!

        • Loralee Scott October 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

          “spirit of Christ???” Denny – where in Scripture do you see Christ telling a woman she can not learn, teach and preach (i.e. tell others the good news of the gospel?) Every interaction Christ had with a woman he empowered them, valued them, held them up as examples of worship (alabaster box), examples of giving and models of spirituality (widow and the mite) and commissioned them to share the gospel with women AND MEN (no qualifiers) i.e. the Samaritan woman and Mary who was at the the tomb. He commended Mary when Martha criticized her for not filling her role as a woman by saying that MARY had chosen that which was BETTER. You can not support a complementarian theology by looking at the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ. Complementarianism has made a theology of oppression of women out of exegetically inaccurate interpretations of a couple of verses. Also the Greek word for submit in Ephesians as you well know is “hupotasso” which places an emphasis on a qualifier instructing wives to submit to their OWN husbands – not instructing misogynistic leaders to dictate what every marriage relationship should look like.

          • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

            The Spirit of Christ doesn’t prohibit a woman from learning, but he does prohibit her from teaching and exercising authority over the gathered assembly in 1 Tim. 2:12. Jesus gives us this order for our churches, and I believe Christians ought to follow Jesus’ commands.

            • thejaigner October 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

              I’m not going to debate scholarship of the 1 Timothy text. Many fantastic scholars have already done this better than you or I could. In any case, if it did prohibit women from teaching, it would fly in the face of the rest of Scripture’s witness on this topic.

              Suffice it to say, Denny, and this might be difficult for you to swallow, but you’re the one prohibiting here, not Jesus.

              • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 9:59 am #

                P.S. My comments policy requires commenter to use first and last names. Thanks!

            • Loralee Scott October 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

              Actually, literally speaking Jesus did not give us that command, Timothy did, so while you continue to use the term “the spirit of Christ” I can’t find anything in Christ’s interactions with women and instructions to women to support a prohibition of women called to lead and teach and preach, in fact, just the opposite. Here’s the thing. There are more verses in the Pastoral Epistles endorsing slavery than there are prohibiting women from leading. Titus 2:9, 1 Timothy 6:1, Col. 3:22 to list a few. I am sure that Reformed theology does not (at least currently) endorse the institution of slavery – so obviously a determination was made that these particular scriptures had a cultural interpretation that was not to be literally followed today, and yet the same courtesy and basic human dignity is not afforded to women? For that matter, there are more verses, again in the pastoral epistles prohibiting women from “elaborate hairstyles” wearing gold and pearls and commanding them to cover their heads. Clearly reformed theology has been able to make the determination that these are also cultural injunctions that need to be seen within the cultural context they were given.
              Denny, I don’t see the spirit of Christ at all in this selective literalism of Scriptural interpretation and application and I too, believe Christians ought to follow Jesus’ commands not the least of which was to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

              • Don Johnson October 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

                Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, at least that is the conservative take. Also, I do not see any verses prohibiting women in general from leading, what I do find is some people CHOOSING TO INTERPRET some verses in that way.

                • Akash Charles October 8, 2012 at 7:02 am #

                  Akash Charles sorry

            • Suzanne McCarthy October 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

              A woman might accidentally know something worth sharing in connection with the articular infinitive for example. But you would be forever cut off from that information.

    • krwordgazer October 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Yes, exactly. That’s why egalitarians have so much of a problem with it. Jesus and Paul both said that if someone is preaching Christ, not to be against them.

      • Kristen Rosser October 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

        Sorry, I should have included my first and last name. “krwordgazer” is Kristen Rosser. And what I’m seeing in Josh Brown’s comment is a tree (complementarianism) showing its fruit (exclusionism against fellow followers of Christ).

  19. Mabel October 4, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Denny, what is the difference between your indignation at women doing ministries for God and the Pharisees indignation at Jesus healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath? Jesus broke the law, didn’t He? The Pharisees does not care about the crippled woman, just about keeping the law, and for that law, they made hundreds of rules. You don’t care that people are helped by these women, you only care that your interpretation of the bible must be obeyed. Your entire mindset is what women cannot do, not what they can do. Your good friend Wayne Grudem when asked what women can do, had to come up with a list of 80+ items, ranging from least authoritative to most authoritative. You don’t believe in being complementary at all, you believe in a double standard and a gender caste system. Egalitarians are the true complementarians. They believe men and women complement each other, WITHOUT HIERARCHY. Women can serve and men can serve when gifted by the Holy Spirit. Stop being a Pharisee. Listen to the Holy Spirit.

    • Don Johnson October 4, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      I agree with what Mabel wrote, except that I understand that Jesus did not actually break the Torah/Law, he kept the Torah, but he did break some of the man-made traditions that were added to the Torah by the Pharisees.

    • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      My comments policy requires commenters to use first and last names. Thanks!

      • Mabel October 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

        My full name is Mabel Yin. Sorry I didn’t see the requirement.

      • Joy Felix October 17, 2012 at 6:23 am #

        You could respond to women now and then rather than being snarky. The majority of your responses are directed to men, while the vast majority of commenters for this post have been women. Why would you do that?

      • davewarnock November 1, 2012 at 10:33 am #

        first name: Dave. last name: Warnock…lol when Denny (first name) Burk (last name, doesn’t want to have to respond to a difficult or particularly challenging comment, his response is “my comments policy requires commenters to use first and last names. Thanks!” what an unfortunate, misogynistic view of women. so sad. you live in the wrong century, bro… this is a sad commentary on the state of the church today if we are still talking about this stuff. no wonder we are becoming irrelevant to this generation…nothing else to say.

  20. Alan Molineaux October 4, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    Denny

    How narrow has the term ‘evangelical’ become to you?

    Other than TGC are there any evangelical umbrella groups that make complementarianism a deal breaker.

    • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      In this case, the label non-evangelical has very little to do with egalitarianism. If she were an egalitarian like Millard Erickson, I wouldn’t have said non-evangelical.

      • Andrew Caldwell October 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

        So if an evangelical (in your definition), egalitarian man’s wife started preaching and teaching, you would consider what she was doing as definitively not kingdom-work?

        • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

          I don’t think it’s kingdom work to disobey the Bible. Again, this really all comes down to what the Bible teaches. That’s where our disagreement lies.

          • Andrew Caldwell October 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

            What if the Spirit leads people in ways that contradict your own personal notions of what the Bible says? Or do you not believe that the Spirit of Jesus can or does not lead us in new ways?

          • Andrew Caldwell October 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

            A serious question here: when did “evangelical” become whatever the SBC holds to?

            To me, you seem to be dismissing 100s of years of evangelical history, in addition to the fact that there are many strands of evangelical Christianity who have, for many years, not held the same position as you and the SBC do on this issue.

          • Nell Parker October 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

            Denny

            If I disagree with your interpretation of complementarianism, I do not believe that you are disobeying the Bible.I believe that you are acting in accordance with what you believe to be true. You, however, do not afford the same courtesy to those who disagree with your interpretation. Those who hold to a high view of Scripture and are egalitarian are trying to be faithful to the faith.

            Unless, of course, you believe that this argument is a primary belief and rates up there with the Virgin Birth. Do you?

          • Andrew Caldwell October 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

            Would you then say any church or denomination that supports women in leadership is not doing Kingdom work? Are you trying to redefine what it means to be “Church” around this one topic?

            • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

              No and no. But insofar as they disobey the scripture, they are not doing kingdom work.

              • Don Johnson October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

                Do you claim that your interpretations of Scripture are without any possible flaws?

                I do not, I admit I might make mistakes, but I try my best to learn so I will do this less and less. But I know from past experience that I HAVE made mistakes in the past and therefore believe it is possible I am still making them, altho I hope there are less of them.

                • Denny Burk October 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

                  No, I’m not inerrant. If I knew what my errors were, I would correct them!

                  • Eric Boersma October 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

                    Have you considered that the dozens of people criticizing your viewpoint right here, directly to you, might be a sign that the Spirit is trying to lead to you correct an error?

                    Just curious.

                    • Denny Burk October 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

                      Eric, you accused me of being vague and evasive about my views. I’m asking you to tell where I have been vague. I would like to clarify if need be, but you’ll have to help me out to know where exactly you’re seeing the gaps.

                      As far as listening to the Spirit and changing my views: I am not perfect. If someone can convince me through the Spirit’s word that I am in error, then I would gladly change my view. Unless someone can present a compelling biblical case otherwise, I believe it’s right for me to continue holding fast to what I understand the word of God to be teaching.

              • Andrew Caldwell October 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

                So if a woman preaches and through hearing that message a man comes to faith in Christ, than that is not Kingdom work? Does that nullify the man’s newfound faith in Christ? If not, than how can you describe someone coming to faith in Christ as non-Kingdom work?

                I don’t intend to be overly persistent on these questions, I just find that your stance here on this issue of what constitutes Kingdom-work can easily lead to very troubling and damaging conclusions – even if you would like them not be so.

              • Kristen Rosser October 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

                The issue arises here that there are so many different complementarian positions on what it is that women do that is disobeying scripture, and what is not. Some complementarians say a woman can teach mixed groups of men and women as long as she is authorized to by a man (“under a man’s covering”) — like Beth Moore. Others say no, she can’t teach mixed groups of men under any circumstances. Some say a woman can take the offering and serve communion in church. Others say she can’t. Some churches won’t even sing hymns written by a woman. Others have no problem with this.

                And what about women like Lottie Moon or Amy Carmichael, who essentially acted as apostles and bishops overseas, starting churches, teaching and preaching, raising up leaders, etc? Apparently that was ok as long as they weren’t doing it at home.

                It’s all very inconsistent, and one wonders how all these people could agree on one thing– that women need to be restricted– but be completely unable to agree how and to what extent, in what areas and in what ways she should be restricted. If it’s so very clear in the Bible, why all the disagreement?

          • davewarnock November 1, 2012 at 10:35 am #

            no, it’s what YOU think the Bible teaches…many many scholars disagree

  21. Adrian Osborne October 4, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    How does denny burke explain galatains 6:28 or the fact women worked with paul? O the actual defination of evangical is person who is of the evangical tradition of the christian church. This includes a whole range of churches like it or not not all of evangical churches are tgc apprioved

  22. lauraterasaki October 4, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Honestly, isn’t it a bit shallow to assume that one’s viewpoint on gender roles (whether more complimentarian or egalitarian) is the only thoroughly discerned and Biblically based view. I have read arguments on both sides and see people who are faithfully searching the Scriptures and discerning God’s will on this issue and yet coming to two different interpretations. Many times, people disagree on gender roles (which I view as a minor issue) and yet agree on all major issues (exp. Christology, Theology, Soteriology, etc) and yet let this minor issue divide us in very ugly ways. I call for reconciliation on this issue. Can we not work together and honor each for the sake of the Gospel– putting our minor issues aside and finding common ground on our major, essential beliefs?

    • Andrew Caldwell October 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      I think the main problem here is that those who hold to a complementarian view seem unwilling to acknowledge that those who hold to an egalitarian view derive and come to that position by study of and reflection on the scriptures – they are more interested in characterizing egalitarians as “swayed by the culture”, even when egalitarians explicitly explain how they came to their conclusions scripturally.

      • Denny Burk October 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

        The bottom line is that egalitarians interpret the scripture incorrectly. I don’t pretend to know all of the reasons that they embrace the error. I’m sure the reasons are as diverse as the adherents. Whatever the reason, I do believe that it is an error and needs to be called such.

        • Don Johnson October 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

          And egals like me claim comps like you interpret Scripture incorrectly, taking it out of context in a huge way.

          I do not pretend to know all of the reasons that they embrace the error. I am sure the reasons are as diverse as the adherents. Whatever the reason, I do believe it is an error and neeeds to be called such.

        • Andrew Caldwell October 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

          Okay, so what if egalitarians (generalizing here) believe that complementarians interpret the scripture incorrectly, and choose to embrace that error? Is there any conversation to be had at this point? How would you respond if egalitarians started to question of complementarians were “real Christians”?

          • Don Johnson October 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

            As an egalitarian, I think complementarians are “real Christians” just that they are mistaken about gender roles. I think paedobaptists are mistaken about infant baptism, but I still think they are “read Christians”. As a charismatic, I think cessationists are mistaken, but I still think they are “real Christians.”

            I am charged by God thru Paul to try to maintain the unity of the Spirit, despite our differences in the faith.

            • Nell Parker October 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

              Don
              Although I disagree with you on one out of your three points, I loved your comment. I, too, believe that you are a real Christian. Thank you for emphasizing the word “unity.”

        • Steve Dawson October 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

          Denny,
          With all due respect. The major difference between comps and egals is in interpretation. We are all human and BOTH interpretations are open to error. The difference is that egals do not accuse comps of being heretics.

          • Daryl Little October 5, 2012 at 9:02 am #

            Nor do comps accuse egals of being heretics…

            • Kristen Rosser October 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

              I am an egal and I have been accused of heresy by comps. On more than one occasion.

          • Mabel October 6, 2012 at 10:15 am #

            Steve, the major difference is not intellectual interpretation or name calling. The major difference is in how you treat others. Egals do not bar people from ministries on account of gender, insist husbands have authority over wives that wives do not have, and cause pain and suffering for countless women, and sometimes men. It affects 100% of Christians. It sets up a gender caste system. That interpretation of Scriptures is dangerous to the well being of both men and women, and cannot be according to God’s heart. If compism is true, we need to be like the Pharisees, interpret it with many new rules: Wayne Grudem came up with a list of 80+ roles that women definitely can, may, may not,and definitely cannot do, when asked what can women do in church.

        • Suzanne McCarthy October 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

          Complementarians insist that men have a unique role as protectors and providers. But Moses was protected by several women, his mother, sister, foster mother and wife. Paul was protected by many women, and seems to be the protector of no woman. Many women in the Bible are also providers.

          I do believe that those who say that men have the role as protectors and providers have misinterpreted the scripture. I don’t know why they have done this, but they have.

        • Caleb W October 7, 2012 at 3:25 am #

          Dr. Burk,
          You are certain that egalitarianism is an ‘error’. I am curious if you think that egalitarianism is a sin? Are egalitarians sinning by holding the views on gender that they do?

          • Denny Burk October 7, 2012 at 7:35 am #

            Yes. All false teaching/doctrinal error is sin, even if it’s unintentional. And that includes my own too.

            • Caleb W October 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

              Thank you for answering my question. As a follow up: if egalitarianism is sin, would you say that it should be outlawed or (less severely) not recognized by the state? That is, in the same way that I assume you would argue that the state ought not to recognize marriage between two people of the same sex because homosexuality is a sin, should the state or the church not recognize marriages that are philosophically and practically egalitarian? Or would you draw a line between these two forms of ‘sin’?

              • Denny Burk October 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

                Apples and oranges.

                • Eric Boersma October 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

                  Not at all. If we’re working to outlaw one sin, we should be working to outlaw all sin.

            • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

              I hope that you don’t think it is a sin for a wife to protect and provide for her husband! That would make a woman worse than an unbeliever, according to 1 Tim. 5:8 .

    • Kimberly Alexander October 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      The gender issue is not a minor one. It is directly related to the major ones you list. The effects of the Fall are reversed by the Incarnation and Atoning work of Jesus. So, the subordination of one gender is a mark of sin and a denial of the work of Grace.

      • Johnny Mason October 5, 2012 at 10:53 am #

        “The effects of the Fall are reversed by the Incarnation and Atoning work of Jesus.”

        This is true in relation to sin. But if the curses specifically mentioned in Genesis were still in place, then why do I still have that blasted crab grass in my yard every year and why does my wife still experience pain during child birth?

        So you are arguing that only that one curse is removed but all the others are in place. Also, lets not forget that Paul refers to the creation order in 1 Cor 11, which is prior to the fall.

        • Don Johnson October 5, 2012 at 10:59 am #

          Are new covenant believers to work to REVERSE the consequences of the Fall? I think they are, this is part of the already but not yet aspect of being a new creation in Christ.

          • Johnny Mason October 5, 2012 at 11:03 am #

            how exactly do I work to reverse pain in child birth or weeds in my lawn? They will always be there. The only I can do is use drugs for the former and Turf Builder plus Halts for the latter.

            • Don Johnson October 5, 2012 at 11:22 am #

              Yes, and you are working to reverse the effects of the fall.

              Do you know that when anesthesia was first invented, there was a claim by some believers that it should NOT be given to those in childbirth? What a travesty! What a misreading of Scripture.

              Do you use air conditioning? I do, and so I sweat less than otherwise. I sometimes earn money with no sweat, contra a consequence in Gen 3 and I APPRECIATE that I can do this. I PRAISE GOD I can do this.

              • Johnny Mason October 5, 2012 at 11:30 am #

                so part of being a new creation in Christ is using AC and Weed-B-Gon. Who knew??

                • Don Johnson October 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

                  For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery by Rodney Stark

                  I realize you are trying to reduce the argument to absurdity, but what you do not seem to realize is there is a correlation. See the above book. In summary, science happened in the West first and the reason it happened was because monotheistic religions provided a substantial subset of the basic worldview that allowed science to develop. And the reason that mainly Prots and Catholics (and a few Jews and Islamic people) did this was to make things better as a part of their faith.

        • Suzanne McCarthy October 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

          Would men make a vow to maintain crabgrass as a witness to the glory of God? Should women vow to subordinate themselves in order to glorify God?

          • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 8:28 am #

            the statement was that the effects of the fall were reversed by the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and I showed that that clearly was not the case given that crab grass and pain in child-birth are still here to this day. Also, neither you or Don have even addressed 1 Cor 11, which uses creation order in regards to authority.

            So tell me this, should Christ submit to the authority of the Church? If so, where is this in Scripture? If not, then why should a husband submit to his wife’s authority? Marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church, so if you claim that husbands should submit to wives, then you are claiming that Christ should submit to the Church.

            • Mabel October 6, 2012 at 10:22 am #

              Did the husband nail himself on the cross and redeemed the wife’s sins? Is he the Savior of his wife? If he is a womanizer, a liar, a compulsive spender, an emotional or physical abuser, can he claim authority over the wife? can he beat his wife? and wife has to submit to God’s authority and also husband’s authority? metaphor of Christ and Church is all about authority? What kind of message are you giving victims of domestic abuse, that Christ is their answer? that once they become Christians, they can submit to husband’s authority? and what is love? isn’t it about giving up? and one of the things you give up is your authority? no? never crossed your mind?

              • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 11:55 am #

                you bring up straw men arguments here. Where did I say it was ok for a husband to abuse his wife? The husband is to be like Christ and lay down his life for her.

                I am speaking of the ideal and the design that God set in place, because that ideal points to Christ and his Church. Now the Church is to submit to the authority of Christ. It is to do nothing without His leading. Where the pillar of smoke goes, we go. Where it rests we rest.

                That is to be reflected in marriage. Because men have sinned and sinned greatly in marriages, does not mean that the ideal should be thrown out the window, or that Scripture is wrong or no longer relevant. Men who abuse their wives should be thrown in jail or some righteous men in the Church should come by and beat some sense into them, but there is no call for women to just take the abuse. Nor do these Scriptures give men license to be abusive. In fact, it gives them the opposite.

                “and one of the things you give up is your authority?”

                Ok, here is the problem. At some point someone has to make a decision in a marriage relationship. Someone has to say “we are going in this direction”. Someone has to be the head. Leadership is doing what is in the best interests of your family, which may mean sacrificing, or dieing to self, or making a decision to go in that direction.

                When Christ washed the desciples feet, he was not submitting to them, because no disciple asked Him to do it, in fact they protested His doing this. He was actually showing them how to lead and doing what was in their best interests.

                When we say the husband is not the head, we are implicitly saying Christ is not the Head, and that is very dangerous ground to walk on.

                • Mabel Yin October 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

                  So, in the name of love ( I have heard first hand a husband said he hit his wife because he loved her and wanted to do good. John Piper advised wives to take abuse for a season, didn’t say how long), a husband ALWAYS, has the last say? What kind of marriage is that? How many times in a day can the husband play that trump card? He simply said: I am the man, I lead, you follow. If you do not follow me, you do not follow Christ. It is the same. Christ is head of church, I am head of you, which only means one thing: you follow me in everything, because I am a man. That is called headship. Well, head means boss in English, but not in Greek. In Greek, it is that thing that sits on your neck. Head and Body is of one life. It is a unity. Not a Leader and Follower. As Suzanne McCarthey said, you can say you are Boss of your dog, you cannot say you are head of your dog.

                  • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

                    You keep creating straw men.

                    Let’s try an example:
                    You have a believing husband and wife. And one of them feels the Spirit is leading them to do mission work in a foreign country. The spouse does not agree with this and does not want to move, maybe because they didnt have a similar leading or they dont want to leave family or that they are comfortable where they are at, and they both feel strongly in these convictions. What happens in this scenario? In an egalitarian world, who makes the final decision?

                    • Andrew Caldwell October 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

                      In your scenario, from a complementarian perspective, if the wife is the one that hearing the Sprit’s call to go to missions, what really matters is the husband’s authority – which to me seems to suggest that the husband’s authority is above the Spirit’s moving (!!!). In a patriarchal system like you are espousing, the man’s word is the final authority, with no regard to how he may be ignoring the Spirit’s moving.

                      Now certainly, in a egalitarian relationship, there is the possibility that one spouse doesn’t heed the Spirit’s moving – but I would argue that there are no systematic downplaying/oppression of one spouse’s (the wife) voice and ability to hear the Spirit’s call in the relationship.

                      I think, the problem that you present (“who makes the final decision?”) is one that is primarily generated by complementarians as a critique of egalitarian relationships – but also one that is not often grounded in reality. I’m sure there are many people who are in egalitarian marriages who would be more than happy to describe how they make decisions, and, I would suspect, that there would be many accounts (by husbands) of instances where they initially were against a certain perspective/decision that the wife wanted to take, but out of a desire to follow the scriptures (Ephesians 5:21!) submitted to their wife in that particular situation, and later realized that their wife was right and had been following the Spirit’s moving.

                      So to answer your question of “who makes the decision”, I imagine it would look like, “sometimes he does, sometimes she does!”, and that is a faithful outliving of Jesus’ call to live in their lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have relationships of this sort modeled in my life – and I’ve observed that for those people, the relationships were fruitful, lasting, and did wonderful work for the Kingdom.

            • Don Johnson October 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

              No, you are misquoting me. I said BELIEVERS are supposed to work to reverse the effects of the Fall, as an aspect of the “already but not yet” reality of the new creation in Christ. Of course, without Christ’s sacrifice and raising from the dead, there is no final reversal or partial working of reversal in the here and now.

              It is not at all “clear” that 1 Cor 11 has anything to do with authority. An authority reading depends on assuming head implies authority, which is a possible interpretive choice, but is not the only possible meaning.

              Also, your phrase “submit to the authority” is again an assumption you are making. It is true that sometimes submission is to an authority, but it is not necessarily true that this is the case all the time. And in any case, submission is different from obedience, an example of submission can in some cases be obedience, but in other cases there is no assumption of obedience. In other words, you seem to be thinking that things that are true sometimes are true all the time and that is not a good way to understand any text, including Scripture.

              Christ does submit to the church, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples as an example. And if you do not ACCEPT Christ submitting to you, see what Jesus said about that to Peter.

              Marriage is NOT a full fledged picture of Christ and the church, at the MOST it is a partial picture, this is one of the places where non-egals get things very wrong. A husband (as head/kephale) is to sacrificially love his wife as Christ (as head) loves the church, but there is NO leading aspect indicated in ANY NT verses about Christ as head of the church. What you are doing is teleporting the 21st century idiom of “head as leader” back into 1st century texts and seriously misreading them.

              • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

                Christ did not submit to the disciples. Which disciple asked Jesus to wash their feet? Did not Peter demand that Jesus stop?

                Submit means to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. How exactly was Jesus doing this, since no one asked him to wash their feet?

                • Don Johnson October 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

                  What you state is partially true but not the whole truth, in other words you are working with a definition of submission that is lacking some aspects. One aspect of submission is to support and serve another and this is what Jesus did in washing the disciples feet.

                  • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

                    I find it odd that you constantly argue for a 1st century context when it comes to words or culture, but yet refuse a 1st century context for the word submit.

                    • Don Johnson October 7, 2012 at 8:33 am #

                      Scripture gets to refine the meaning of words, the mutual submission principle found in Eph 5:21 can be seen as such a refinement. In any case, in a military context the word “submit” was used in a democratic army to get everyone to line up in their positions, in order to support each other.

              • Johnny Mason October 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

                head is a metaphor for something in these passages. The egals think head is a metaphor for an actual head, while the comps think head is a metaphor for leadership. Now the head is where the brain and decision making lie. The brain controls the body. If it tells an arm to move, it moves. If it tells the body to sit, it sits. The body can do nothing apart from what the head tells it.

                Now if the head tells the body to do things that harm the body, then there is disfunction. And if the body refuses to do what the head says then there is also disfunction.

                • Mabel Yin October 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

                  without the heart beating, the head is brain dead.

                  • Pam B October 7, 2012 at 1:30 am #

                    My exact thought, Mabel. The head does not exist separate to the body, and cannot act without the body.

                    • Johnny Mason October 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

                      so Christ cannot exist without the body???

                    • Pam B October 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

                      Johnny, I was more thinking in lines with 1 Cor 12, many parts of the one body of Christ, and also the basic interconnectedness of a body biologically – the head (brain) and heart are inextricably linked. It isn’t as simple as the brain leads the body.

                • Don Johnson October 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

                  Kephale/head has a normal meaning of a physical head on top of one’s neck. If it is not that, then it must be being used in a metaphorical way, so I think that in 1 Cor 11 some of the uses are metaphorical and some are normal physical head.

                  It is a complex argument and is in the form of a chiasm, where the center of the chiasm is the most important statement by Paul, which is ISV 1 Cor 11:10 This is why a woman should have authority over her own head: because of the angels.

                  This means that a woman can choose whether to do the “head thing” (often translated as head covering, but it might be something else) or not, it is her decision based on what she thinks best. This is to be contrasted with Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 11:7 that a man should NOT do the “head thing”. So there is a puzzle, why is a woman free to choose to do something or not do it, while a man does not have this freedom, he should NOT do the “head thing”. This is one of the pericopes which restricts a man from doing something a woman can do, but is seldom taught by gender restrictionists.

                • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 1:38 am #

                  Two questions. First, provide one citation from Greek literature where kephale meant leadership.

                  Second, who thinks that a husband should think for his wife?

                  • Johnny Mason October 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

                    Grudem has done a good job showing how kephale can be used for leadership.

                    http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/kephale.pdf

                    Now lets look at Ephesians 5:23. If head does not mean authority, but instead it means source, like egals say it does, then 5:23 makes no sense. How can the husband be the source of the wife? Also, notice how submission is used to enforce the point of headship/leadership in the following verses. The wife submits to the husband as the Church submits to Christ.

                    There also seems to be this idea that since one submits to another, that the one submitting is inferior. And this is not the case. Christ is equal in deity to God the Father, but subordinate in role.

                    • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 1:47 am #

                      Johnny, I don’t know of many egalitarians who insist that in every use of the word “kephale,” it is a metaphor for “source.” Often it simply meant “that thing on top of your neck.” Sometimes it meant “the source of provision and growth,” which is certainly how it seems to be being used just a chapter earlier in Ephesians 4:15-16. Sometimes it meant “the prominent one/the one in the supreme position/the one on top.” But this is not the same thing as “the one in authority.” One meaning refers to position, the other to power and right. Often the one in the supreme position was also the one in authority– but only by implication, not by the direct meaning of the word “kephale.” Eph 5:23 says Christ is “kephale” because He is the Savior of the church, not because He is the Lord of the church. In other words, though Christ is the Lord of the church, that’s not what being “kephale” is all about. It is, apparently from the text, about being the One who nourishes and cherishes the church, and also about being the prominent One who lays down His place of prominence in order to raise the church up. This is what the text tells Ephesian husbands to do– to act like Christ in laying down their society-given prominence in order to raise their wives up, and also to be the source of nourishment and care for their wives, who were unable to support themselves apart from a man.

                      To take this beautiful picture of self-sacrifice for the sake of raising up the needy one to glorious oneness, and turn it into a prop for male power, is, I believe, to misunderstand the whole spirit of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

                    • Suzanne McCarthy October 8, 2012 at 3:39 am #

                      Johnny,

                      Here is the problem. Grudem says that kephale is used for the general in the Greek army, or a king of a nation. But in fact, this is false. Kephale is used in the Septuagint in Job for a raiding party. It has diverse meanings, but it is never used as the word for normal leadership.

                      And my reading of the scripture is that the role Christ has is that of being the sacrifice on the cross. I just don’t feel like being in that role in a marriage. If I thought that my husband would do unto me what God did to Christ, I would run for my life, and in fact, I did. I cannot think of anything worse than this.

                    • Johnny Mason October 8, 2012 at 8:12 am #

                      @Suzanne – “I just don’t feel like being in that role in a marriage. If I thought that my husband would do unto me what God did to Christ, I would run for my life, and in fact, I did. I cannot think of anything worse than this.”

                      No where in Scripture are wives given this role. It is the husband who is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.

                    • Suzanne McCarthy October 8, 2012 at 11:16 am #

                      Johnny,

                      You wrote about how the son is equal but subordinate in role. His subordination was his suffering on the cross. Aren’t you comparing the woman to this, equal in essence but subordinate in role. And this is the suffering of the wife. But why must the wife suffer?

                    • Johnny Mason October 8, 2012 at 11:52 am #

                      “Aren’t you comparing the woman to this, equal in essence but subordinate in role.”

                      The will of the Father was for Christ to die on the Cross for our sins. That does not mean the role of the wife is to also die on the cross for the sins of the world. The comparison was just to show that because one is subordinate does not mean they are inferior or less equal.

                      No husband has the right or the license to abuse his wife. He should not physically, emotionally, or psychologically abuse his wife in any way. To do so is sin and for him to claim “headship” for this abuse is an abomination.

                      Does Christ abuse the Church? Does He beat the Church? Does he torture the Church? No, He does none of these things. He loves the Church and washes her with the water of His word so that she is without blemish. Above all He died for the Church. Husbands should model this and if they don’t, then they are worse than a sinner. They are a dog that returns to their own vomit.

                    • Suzanne McCarthy October 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

                      Johnny,

                      You cannot separate the subordination of Christ from the suffering of Christ.

                      And abuse is sometimes just being deprived of the ability to make decisions about who to vote for, about further education, about having personal goals in life. It is abuse for a woman to live with a man who claims freedoms for himself that he does not allow to his wife. This is worse than vomit. To claim decision making control over the one person who has no other roof over her head is sheer cruelty. I don’t know how anyone who practices or teaches this, sleeps at night.

                • Kristen Rosser October 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

                  The problem is that this is not the way the functions of the head and heart were understood by Jesus, Paul or their audiences. The head was considered the source of nourishment and growth for the body (see Eph. 4:15-16). The heart was considered the center of the mind, will and emotions (as Jesus said, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?” (Mark 2:8). To apply modern understanding of the function of the brain and heart to these ancient texts is anachronistic, and thus produces all kinds of misunderstandings.

                  • Don Johnson October 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

                    Yes, Mr. Mason is reading a 1st century text using 21st century understanding. What he needs to do is use a 1st century understanding, or else he takes the text out of its cultural context.

            • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 1:22 am #

              Johnny,

              The slave is powerful metaphor for the suffering of Christ, but we don’t maintain slavery in order to honour the use of that metaphor in scripture. I do not make any claims regarding these metaphors. When you voluntarily become a slave in order to honour the slave metaphor, then you can ask women to subordinate themselves.

              • Johnny Mason October 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

                we are all slaves of Christ, are we not?

                • Don Johnson October 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

                  Php 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
                  Php 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

                  The word servant is doulos, slave.

                  Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
                  Gal 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

                  • Johnny Mason October 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

                    Don, I dont know what point you are trying to make. As the resident forum contrarian, it would seem that you are disagreeing with my statement, but I dont know.

                    • Don Johnson October 8, 2012 at 11:41 am #

                      The point is there are balancing statements in Scripture to what you wrote. Yes, we are to be a slave to Christ and those who are are raised to a position of heir. Christ is our model for being a slave and as we follow Christ and serve others, Christ raises us up as examples to the flock.

                      As I see it, comps put an emphasis on authority that is simply not there in Scripture and this distorts their reading of it. If every comp husband would simply do what Scripture says and serve his wife, I would rejoice, but they add to Scripture by claiming that a head metaphor means more than it does. Check for yourself what Christ as head does for the church, they are all SERVING functions and so a husband is to serve his wife.

                • Mabel Yin October 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

                  voluntary, not ” you are woman/wife, I have the last say, even tho’ I am a slave like you are, and sometimes you make more sense than me, you love God more than me, but my holy spirit trumps your holy spirit, because I am man, and you are not.”

                  • Johnny Mason October 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

                    submission is a voluntary act.

                    • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

                      The way I heard it was ” submit or go to hell for not obeying the bible.”

                • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

                  And likewise women will submit to Christ. But to be the subordinate to a sinful human being who shares ones house and home, means living like a slave in some cases.

                  I ask you to live as a slave to an earthly and human master, to be physically punished, to live a lifetime of violence or potential violence, and then come back from that experience, and tell me then to live a subordinate. Just email me in 30 years, after living all that time in slavery, and offer me advice at that time. In the meantime, treat women as equals.

  23. Alan Molineaux October 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Denny
    I do have to smile at the way you refuse to admit that you contextualize whilst at the same time accuse egals of not obeying scripture.

    You mention Wayne Grudem; I recall him answering the question of women writing books with the following answer.
    ‘I prefer to see reading a book by a woman author as having a chat over coffee rather than her teaching’

    If that is not contextualising I don’t know what is.

    It seems to me that when you do this you are being true to scripture but when we do it we are disobeying scripture.

    Let me say again: many of us egals approach scripture with love and attention.

    I respect that you approach it this way; why can’t you respect that we do.

  24. Alan Molineaux October 5, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Denny

    Re: ‘How many times does a teaching have to occur….,’

    That is a ridiculous point.

    I will just get the circumcision knife ready.

  25. Loralee Scott October 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    As a woman, with an advanced degree and an undergrad. degree in Bible, I want to congratulate you Denny – I will be sure to encourage all of the young women and men I work with and the moms and dads who come to me for advice regarding good Christian colleges, to steer clear of Boyce. Your responses to well articulated challenges have been predictable given your complementarian interpretation of the Bible, however incredibly disappointing in their lack of any genuine scholarship – simply to accuse anyone who does not agree with your misogynistic interpretation as not obeying the commands of Christ is nothing more than intellectually apathetic name calling wrapped in a self-righteous package. How truly disappointing.

  26. A. Amos Love October 6, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Sarah Flashing – Maybe you can help?

    The following comment was left on your blog – October 2, 2012…
    “The ‘Unbelievable’ Influence of the UnOrthodox”

    And is still awaiting moderation. Did I do, or say, something wrong?

    A. Amos Love on October 2, 2012 at 11:30 am said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’m in agreement when you write – at the end of the first paragraph…
    “…to be defenders of the faith, no pertinent issue should be ignored.”

    The comment “awaiting moderation” talks about – Gender roles, Church leadership, Biblical standards. These topics are also mentioned in your article. And I think you’ll agree, these are “pertinent issues” for defenders of the faith.

    Thank you. A. Amos Love

  27. A. Amos Love October 6, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Denny – Sarah – Anyone

    Was wondering…
    Who, or what, determines if someone is Orthodox or Un-Orthodox?

    Sarah seems to imply The Bible is to be our guide, because, in her last line she says – “caution needs to be implemented in engaging those whose views fall below biblical standards.”

    Comps and Egals talk about gender roles and “church leadership” – a lot. And, IMO, both “views fall below biblical standards.” The real debate seems to be about who gets to be the “Leader” with the – Power – Profit – Prestige – Recognition – Reputation, that comes with the ‘Title/Position” “Pastor/Leader.” Of course No Christian, comp or egal, would state it that way. They always say stuff like – We want to be biblical.

    Don’t know if you ever checked or not – but – In the Bible…
    How many of His Disciples – Are “Called” – Pastor/Leader?
    How many of His Disciples – “Call themself” – Pastor/Leader?
    How many of His Disciples – Have the “Title” – Pastor/Leader?
    How many of His Disciples – Are Hired or Fired – as a – Pastor/Leader?

    And – every pastor/leader I’ve met – Had the “Title” – Reverend.

    In the Bible – Does anyone have the “Title – Reverend?

    If these “Titles/Positions” “Pastor/Leader/Reverend” are NOT in the Bible – Doesn’t that mean – If we’re talking to someone who calls themself – “Pastor/Leader/Reverend” – “caution needs to be implemented in engaging those whose views fall below biblical standards.”

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    • Mabel Yin October 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      A. Amos Love, Thanks for the excellent comment. I have always maintained that the patriarchs confuse title with function. In the Evangelical Free Churches in Hong Kong, women can do EVERYTHING, including preaching ” behind the pulpit” (wink, wink). BUT, they are all called Ministers, not Pastors, as distinguished by “ordination” (wink, wink.)
      I see the double standard and the hypocrisy, and that’s what I object to. I am not necessarily objecting to the lack of titles for women. Also, with titles often comes opportunities. Egals are NOT INTO TITLES per se, but into the opportunities denied women who have no access to certain titles associated with those opportunities. Do you understand what I am getting at? In general, I never get the impression that egals are into authority and titles, unlike patriarchs, who are very heavily into titles and authorities.

  28. Nadine Salim October 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    You said: “In general, it regards high-achieving women excelling in their respective fields as something to be celebrated. Make no mistake, everyone celebrates women excelling in roles that the scripture commends, but egalitarians continue to disagree with complementarians about what those roles are.”

    In your opinion what are those roles (specifically)?

  29. Kamilla Ludwig October 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Does Evangelicalism have boundaries or not? If it does, then it doesn’t matter what labels Evans chooses for herself, the boundaries of Evangelicalism determine whether or not she falls within them.

    And, frankly, if those boundaries include someone who can publish publish blasphemous references to “god herself” as Evans has, then they either don’t include me or they are so porous as to be meaningless.

    • Scott Terrell October 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      I’m sure Rachel is sitting around worried about whether or not Kamilla Ludwig thinks she’s blasphemous for referring to the feminine nature of God. Forgetting for one moment that Christ himself was likened to Lady Wisdom or that a careful exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures can’t help but notice the feminine qualities of the Godhead, what’s truly important is that a woman learn her place in the public square.

      • Kamilla Ludwig October 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

        Mr. Terrell,

        My opinion matters not in the least. In the judgment of the church such words are blasphemy, period. That Evangelicals might not recognize this doesn’t change that fact, but it does serve to illustrate their lack of connection with the rest of the Church – historic and contemporary. What you and Mrs. Evans ignore is that in Scripture, God is Father, never mother. and no where in Scripture are we taught to refer to God as mother. To recognize that God reveals himself in illustrations such as the woman with the lost coin does not make him a woman anymore than sheltering us under wings makes him avian.

        I don’t know how worried Mrs. Evans is about what I have to say. I only know I’m not the one with a pouting chair.

        • Scott October 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

          I’m not pouting, and Rachel certainly isn’t either. Not sure where you’re going with that.

          • Kamilla Ludwig October 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

            I’m not going anywhere other than to note that, yes, Rachel has what she calls (at various times) a pouting or crying chair – several references can be found with a quick search of her blog.

            So, perhaps you had better check with Mrs. Evans if you want to be sure she isn’t pouting.

            • Scott Terrell October 7, 2012 at 1:02 am #

              And how exactly does that pertain to the present conversation?

              • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 1:31 am #

                Goodness, Mr. Terrell! It wasn’t me that speculated sarcastically about Mrs. Evans’ state of mind.

                • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 1:42 am #

                  This is very odd. God is mother in Isaiah. And the church did think of the spirit as feminine. In Medieval literature, the spirit was usually described as the dove, since the dove is a feminine word in Latin, but spirit is not. It is very historic to mention the feminine aspects of God.

                • Scott Terrell October 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

                  You’re doing a great job of continuing the conversation without addressing any of the evidence put forth against your claim. Let’s just agree to move past the whole pouting thing…

                  • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

                    I just luurrrv it when folks want to “move past” something they brought up

                    • Scott Terrell October 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

                      Actually, you brought it up! I’m not trying to dodge the issue. I just don’t see what fruit it produces. I thought you were speaking metaphorically, and obviously you were referring to a literal chair. I’d love to talk with you more about how Scripture portrays (or doesn’t) the feminine nature of God. I made my last comment to try to steer the dialogue in that direction.

                    • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

                      No, Mr. Terrell, it was you who speculated about Rachel’s state of mind, I responded with a reference to her pouting chair. Now you want to drop it because it appears you do not care for the direction your tossed off line took things.

                      As for the “feminine nature of God”, I’m not actually interested in discussing that with anyone who has first acknowledged that Father is more than mere metaphor, it is God’s name.

                    • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

                      has *not* first acknowledged, etc.

        • Don Johnson October 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

          God is described in Scripture as Father as a metaphor in a patriarchal culture. It does not mean that God is more masculine than feminine, it does not mean that God has sex organs of any sort as God is spirit and therefore beyond gender. Gender is a part of Creation and was created as a good thing by God. God is beyond Creation.

          This is to be contrasted with pagans who certainly thought of the “gods” as having a gender, having sex organs and using them.

        • Mabel Yin October 7, 2012 at 1:05 am #

          So is God as “Father” means he is a male who had sex with a woman resulting in children? What exactly is your understanding of God? That he is masculine ONLY? What does it mean that both men and women were made in the image of God? If God is only “Father”, women can never be like Him, only men can? If God refers to Himself as a mother, he is not a woman. If God reveals himself as eagle,he is not a bird, but if he reveals himself as a father, He is definitely Male. I see.

    • Andrew Caldwell October 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Who gets to define the boundaries of Evangelicalism, then? The SBC seems to think that they do because they scream the loudest, trying to drown out voices in Evangelicalism that have been there for 100s of years.

    • Pam B October 7, 2012 at 1:35 am #

      I remember that comment of Rachel’s. The point, and I thought it was pretty clear, was that God is so far beyond any narrow human conception of gender, and when we get so obsessed by gender issues we lose sight of that very basic fact.

  30. Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    Mabel,

    Who said God is male?

    • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 1:34 am #

      Oops just read the list. My niece is on it. And yet, another niece is much more influential in another field. I am quite surprised.

    • Mabel Yin October 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, looks like a duck, breeds like a duck, …….. no-one has to say anything.

      • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

        Ah, I see. Following that logic, if one possibly can, you religious feminists have an hermaphrodite for a deity (mother in Isaiah = female, father in New Testament = male).

        And ya’ll wonder why you get accused of heresy?

        • krwordgazer October 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

          Case in point. Another accusation of heresy against those who merely deny that God is male. We deny that God is female either– but that is apparently beside the point.

          • Kamilla Ludwig October 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

            Kristen dear, if you don’t like the logic, you’ll have to take it up with Mabel.

            I’m merely pointing out that if acknowledging God’s Fatherhood means I believe God is male, then by correspondence, pointing to the motherhood of God (per Ms McCarthy) necessarily means thst God is female. That’s just the logic of Mabel’s contention.

            We are then left with two options. Either god is a hermaphrodite or He is neither male or female.

            For the record, and for the last time, I utterly snd completely deny the former while embracing the latter. In this, I stand with all orthodox Christians.

            If I need to explain the again, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask Rachel if I can borrow her pouting chair.

            • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 1:24 am #

              Kamilla, I apologize for misunderstanding you. I, too, believe that God is neither male nor female.

              But you said: ” in Scripture, God is Father, never mother.” Question: What do you do with the verses in the Prophets where God Self-describes as being in labor? As giving birth? What about the place where Paul told the church to “long for the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby”? The way babies invariably got milk back then was from a mother’s breasts. Paul is definitely likening God to a mother and the word to that mother’s milk.

              And where does God say, “My name is Father”? He says, “My name is ‘I am that I am.’”

              • Kamilla Ludwig October 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

                Just as you won’t find God calling himself a Trinity in the Bible, you won’t find the verse that says, “Father is my name”, However, human being is a proper name for you and I, and Father is a proper name for the first person of the Trinity. He is eternally Father to the Son and Paul tells us that human fatherhood derives from God’s Fatherhood and our Lord teaches us to pray to the Father as Father.

                None of this can be said of God as mother. The examples you givve, and the others that could also be given are metaphors, nothing more and nothing less.

                Thank you for apologizing.

                • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

                  So because “Father” is a title, it is more than a metaphor? Sorry, but this does imply that God is in some sense male, and that human males are more in the image of God than human females.

  31. A. Amos Love October 7, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Mabel Lin

    I’m neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian. Seems these options are only available in “The Corrupt Religious System” of today. The 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church.

    Should His Disciples call an IRS Corporation – the church? :-(

    Much agreement when you say…
    “I have always maintained that the patriarchs confuse title with function.”

    In my experience with “The Corrupt Religious System” of today…

    Both Comps and Egals “Ignore” the fact there are – NO – Pastor/Leader/Reverends in the Bible.
    And both desire this position of Power and Prestige.

    Both Comps and Egals “Ignore” and “Twist” the qualifications for Elder/Overseer in the Bible. In order to obtain this position of Power and Prestige.

    Both Comps and Egals are now in bondage to “Traditions of Men” that “make void” the word of God, that Jesus warned us about. Mk 7:13.

    Didn’t Jesus, as man, humble Himself, make Himself of NO reputation,
    And took on the form of a “Servant?” (A low place?) Phil 2:7-8.

    When you take the “Title” Pastor/Leader/Reverend (A high place?)
    You now have a reputation – Whether you want it or NOT.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall *hear My voice;*
    and there shall be ‘ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  32. A. Amos Love October 7, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Mabel Lin

    In my experience with having been in “Leadership.” And…
    In my experience with the “Title” and “Position” “Pastor/Leader,”

    “Titles” become “Idols” ………………. “Idols” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-11 KJV
    “Pastors” become “Masters” ………. A No, No, Mat 23:10 KJV

    An “Idol,” an addiction, difficult to lay down, hard to walk away from.
    Because, **Today’s** “Titles” come with something “A Little Bit Extra.”
    Power, Profit, Prestige, Honor, Glory, Reputation, Recognition, etc…
    All “Idols” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-7. All those things Jesus spoke against.
    All those things that are highly esteemed among men.
    But, an abomination in the sight of God

    Luke 16:15
    …but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed
    among men is abomination in the sight of God.

    Jesus told His Disciples NOT to “Exercise Authority.” Mark 10:41-42
    Peter, 1 Pet 5:3, said, Neither as being lords over God’s heritage…
    but, be examples…

    In my experience…
    Everyone who assumes the “Title/Position” of Pastor/Leader/Reverend

    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much a servant, eventually…

    Will “exercise authority” and “lord it over” God’s heritage. Both No, No’s.
    That’s always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.” :-(
    Thus dis-qualifying themselves as elder/overseers.
    But, will they remove themselves and be a good example to the flock?

    Pastor/Leader = Exercise Authority = Lord it over = Abuse = Always

    When you assume the “Title”/Position” of **Today’s** “Pastor/Leader,”
    by default, you are “Exercising Authority” and “lording it over” God’s heritage.

    Haven’t you ever wondered why NOT one of His Disciples, in the Bible,
    had the “Title” and “Position” of “Pastor/Leader/Reverend?”

    Jesus… The only Shepherd and Bishop of my soul

    • Don Johnson October 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      I am egal and I also agree that pastor is a ministry not a title in the Bible.

  33. A. Amos Love October 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Don

    I’ve appreciated your comments – Keep it up.

    And – I love this Comp vs Egal debate.
    I get to dis-agree with both sides. ;-)

    Comps are into Higher-Archy, leader-ship, which male is the leader.
    Jesus, asks His Disciples to model Lower-Archy, Servant-ship…
    Jesus tells His disciples NOT to be called Leaders,
    For “ONE” is your Leader – Jesus Christ Mt 23:10 NASB.

    Comps are into “I’m the Pastor/Leader follow me.” Obey me. Pay me.
    Jesus asks His Disciples to “Follow Jesus.” Where ever Jesus goes.
    Jesus never asks His Disciples to follow “A Mere Fallible Human.”
    My Sheep – Hear My Voice – I Know Them – They Follow Me. Jn 10:27

    Egals “say” they desire “Equality” with the two genders…
    And that sounds like a noble cause. But – As I’ve questioned this debate – questioned women – My conclusion is…

    Most who desire the “Title/Postion” of “SeniorPastor/leader/Reverend”
    Are NOT looking for “Equality.”

    They are looking for “Recognition.”

    They are looking for “Recognition” from “The Corrupt Religious System” of today.
    Egals desire the same “Titles/Postions” – Senior Pastor/Leader/Reverend – As the Comps.
    But – Senior Pastor/Leader/Reverend is a “Title/Position” – NOT found in the Bible.

    I’ve known a few ladies that have the “Title” – and they still complain…
    “The male pastors do NOT respect me.”
    “The male pastors do NOT accept me.”
    “I’m NOT invited to the pastors meetings.”
    “I’m NOT part of “the Good Ole Boys Club.”

    Shhhhheeessshh – Look what the Bible calls believers…
    Kings and Priests unto God – The Bride of Christ – Servants of Christ – Sons of God – Disciples of Christ – Ambassadors of Christ…
    Why aren’t these names – Good enough for us dumb sheep?
    Why do we invent “Titles?”

    And – Ambassador – Is – The highet diplomatic representation
    that one sovereign power sends to another.

    If you’re an Ambassador – There is NO one in the Kingdom of God -Higher than you.
    Of Course – There is NO one lower either – We’re ALL just His lowly sheep – Dying to self…

    And there-in lies the problem with us “Mere fallible Humans”

    There is always someone who wants to be the Boss. Male or Female.
    And someone who wants a Boss – a King to follow.
    How’d that work out for Israel?

    Kings don’t look like such a great idea now.

    • Suzanne McCarthy October 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      Amos,

      Perhaps you are ignoring the fact that some women are egalitarian NOT for a position and title, but in order to survive. I lived a life of routine physical assault, and it was only in converting to egalitarianism that I was able to negotiate my departure from a life of routine violence.

      I challenge anyone who questions my egalitarianism to live for one week the life I led for 30 years. The Stanford prison experiment is an example. One week of violence will traumatize, but 30 years?

      I am not making any accusation of violence against complementarians except that they do not equip women to leave lives of violence, only egalitarianism did that.

      Actually I challenge a man to live for 24 hours with bathroom restrictions, no freedom of movement without orders or permission, and no recognition of basic functions. Just check in to spend the day in the cell of a much stronger and violent cellmate, and then tell me that I had no right to escape by becoming egalitarian. Stop the namby pamby in between neither comp or egalitarian! Women have the right to survive violence.

      • A. Amos Love October 8, 2012 at 10:03 am #

        Suzanne McCarthy

        Stunned – Sorrow – Silence… Mercy Lord… Peace…

        I’m so sorry for what you’ve endured. Please forgive me.

        There is NO excuse for abuse.

        • Suzanne McCarthy October 8, 2012 at 11:18 am #

          Thank you. That’s why I am an egalitarian. Not because I want a position or title. I don’t. I want basic human rights, and complementariaism, in my case, took it all away.

    • Kristen Rosser October 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Amos, about this:

      I’ve known a few ladies that have the “Title” – and they still complain…
      “The male pastors do NOT respect me.”
      “The male pastors do NOT accept me.”
      “I’m NOT invited to the pastors meetings.”
      “I’m NOT part of “the Good Ole Boys Club.”

      Surely this is evidence that what these women really want isn’t the title. It’s inclusion, respect, and acknowledgment of God’s gifts in their lives too– rather than exclusion, disrespect, and lack of acknowledgment. There is no reason to accuse women in ministry of power seeking just because they want basic things that men in ministry take for granted. If the men in power would lay down their power and their titles and start including and respecting women– I doubt if the women seeking these titles would still be dissatisfied.

      • A. Amos Love October 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

        Hi Kristen

        Thanks for your comment – October 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm
        Always good to hear from you.

        And – As loud as I can say it.
        I am for women – NOT against them. :-)

        I am for women being – Kings and Priests unto God – The Bride of Christ – Servants of Christ – Sons of God – Disciples of Christ – Ambassadors of Christ.

        I am NOT for women being “Pastor/Leader/Reverends” because, IMO – That “Title/Position” is NOT in the Bible – AKA – NOT Biblical. But – I cudda missed that. If anyone knows of one of His Disciples called pastor – Please, let me know…

        And I certainly consider both you and Suzanne McCarthy as
        Ambassadors, messengers for Christ – Sons of God …
        Led by the Spirit…

        Hey – If I can be a bride – You-all can be Sons of God… ;-)

        I enjoy, appreciate and acknowledge both you ladies, Your wisdom and diligence in writing about and explaining scripture. Your testimonies and your love for our Savior, Jesus.

        I would certainly enjoy sitting down, with either of you, or both, over a cup of coffee, getting to know you, and the Jesus in you. I think the Jesus in me – would recognize, and like, the Jesus in both of you. :-)

        It has been my honor and privilege to meet and read
        both of your comments on various topics and blogs.

        Thank you Jesus.

        Jer 50:6
        *My people* hath been *lost sheep:*
        “their shepherds” have caused them “to go astray”

        1 Pet 2:25
        For ye were as “sheep going astray;” but are now
        returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

        {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

        • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

          Amos, your words are very much appreciated. I think perhaps your comments, appearing in this particular discussion in this particular way, are giving the wrong impression. I explain further down in the comments, just beneath your last. Peace to you.

  34. Sallie Borrink October 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Ten people are out on a boat. A storm comes up and they fear for their lives. The only person on board who knows Christ and can articulate the Gospel is a woman.

    If I’m reading here correctly, it would be wrong for the woman to step out of her “biblical sphere” as defined by Mr. Burk and preach the Gospel to those who are about to perish. It would be better if they perish without hearing the Gospel rather than a woman step out of her “biblical role” and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost.

    Is that really what I’m reading here?

    • Denny Burk October 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      No. I’m afraid you have a misunderstanding of the compelementarian position. I would encourage you to read some good books by complementarians so that you can get a feel for what we are actually saying. I recommend Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Grudem and Piper.

      • Sallie Borrink October 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

        Denny,

        Thank you for your reply. I really don’t think you answered my question. It is a legitimate question based on the comments I’ve seen above. Are women called to proclaim the Gospel or not? If your answer was “No” then why can the woman proclaim/preach the Gospel in the boat but not elsewhere?

        I’m very familiar with the comp/egal debate. I’ve been studying it for years trying to sort out my own beliefs and experiences. I write about it on one of my blogs when I’m able to get the time from the rest of my life. You might be surprised to discover how well versed in these issues many of us commenting on this thread are. But then I suspect that you probably don’t read blogs written by your brothers and sisters in Christ who hold to a different perspective. The fact that you automatically assume that commenters don’t know the topic and should read RBMW tells me a lot.

        So, no, I don’t have a misunderstanding of the complementarian/patriarchal position. I can thoroughly explain it and believed it for many years. But I have to say that your responses here to some of the pointed questions you’ve received have surprised me even after all I’ve read over the years. Your views are much more troubling than most comps that I’ve read.

        And, no, I’m not a flaming liberal feminist. I’m pretty conservative in most of my theology, worship preferences, and general lifestyle. I grew up Baptist and am now of the more Reformed persuasion, mostly because of the women in the church issue. But reading here what you’ve written, I wonder if I would even pass your test of being a true Christian. Your parameters are such that as a longterm comp who now leans heavily toward egalitarianism after spending many years wrestling with these issues from the Scriptures, I don’t even know if you would call me your sister in Christ.

        And, frankly, I find it astounding that you can discern the validity of my walk with Christ, the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life, and God’s amazing works in my life time and again just because I don’t fully embrace complementarianism any longer.

        Warmly,
        Sallie

        • Akash Charles October 8, 2012 at 7:06 am #

          Ever heard of Elizabeth Eliot,she was the only woman who knew the gospel in the are she was ministering too.She taught the men there just like Priscilla.She ensured they became the leaders of the church.
          That is complementarianism.If you get your definition from RHE she has basically tampered with it to promote her wicked agenda.

          • Sallie Borrink October 8, 2012 at 8:08 am #

            Akash Charles,

            That is not complementarianism the way it is currently taught and promoted by many prominent leaders in the movement. The inconsistencies (such as the one you cited with EE teaching men overseas but not being allowed to teach men in America) are what finally forced me to really look at complementarianism and evaluate it. I saw WAY too many inconsistencies and theological gymnastics. EE is held up as an example of comp, but she did many things that young women today are either discouraged from doing or are told flat out they shouldn’t be doing.

            My comp definition does not “come” from RHE. It comes from reading widely on both sides of the debate. I find it so funny how often people try to shut down this discussion by either saying someone needs to read RBMW or else they throw out a controversial name as if that will make it all go away.

            My experience has been that the average lifelong complementarian (by default) in the pew can cite a few verses re: why they believe this way. They cannot accurately articulate the egal view because they have never studied it in any depth. They only parrot that egals are dangerous people who have thrown off the authority of the Scriptures. The average egal who came to that view by conviction can not only articulate the egal view in great depth, but can also explain the comp view better than 90+% of the comps out there.

            Warmly,
            Sallie

          • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

            Wow, nice attack on your sister in Christ. Of course saying she has a “wicked agenda” is mere name-calling and addresses none of the issues raised here.

      • Zhou Ya October 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

        It’s a simple yes or no question.

        The same could be asked about the church in China. If men aren’t taking the initiative, or if there are no men to do so, is it sinful for women to do it?

        Refusal to answer the question suggests you find yourself in a sticky place. You’re not fooling anyone by saying they don’t the complementarian position.

        • Zhou Ya October 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

          insert *understand* in there!

  35. Michael October 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Denny,

    Do you realize that some of us don’t use our last names online because we want to avoid evangelical inquisitors (like yourself) causing trouble for our careers because our understanding of Christianity is in “error” according to you?

    • Denny Burk October 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      Michael, I’m not sure what you are talking about. I don’t know why anyone’s career would be threatened by stating what they believe or don’t believe openly. Unless of course, a person is working within confessional parameters that he knows he is outside of. In that case, I would think the lack of intergrity is with the person who publiclly claims to believe one thing but in private actually believes something else.

      2 Corinthians 4:2 “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

      • Mabel Yin October 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

        Denny, have you heard of the names Sherry Klouda, Ruth Tucker, William Webb, to name just three? Egalitarians are persecuted for their beliefs. Patriachs have no trouble using their enormous resources to stand in the way of people announcing the truth. What did Wayne Grudem do to TNIV? Why would he stop the printing of TNIV? Did he stop the printing of other much much much worse books? What happened to the 77 missionaries who refused to sign the letters SBC sent to them asking them to stop having women preach and stop any speaking in tongues in private prayers? They were fired, have their support yanked from underneath them even when they have faithfully served for many years. You never heard of them? You call them “confessional parameters”. It is a forced confessional and forced parameters. THe missionaries who didn’t want to sign those letters of “confessional parameters” retired from missionary work. Your confessional parameters is a moving thing. Just because you call it Jesus Christ’s spirit does not make it so. Disgraceful, underhanded ways are alive and well.

        • Tom Parker October 8, 2012 at 6:46 am #

          Mabel:

          This is the 125 anniversary of the WMU. I wonder how much celebrating of this the SBC will engage in?

          It often appears from where I sit that the current Southern Baptist leaders would like to forget that there ever was a WMU, but the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong bring in so much money annually.

          I am old enough to be able to say that I do not recognize the current SBC compared to the one that existed in my earlier days.

          • Mabel Yin October 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

            I was baptized in a Baptist Church and its patriarchal teachings until a few years ago after I lost my husband to cancer and have more free time to study. The more I study the more alarmed I am at such toxic theology being preached/pushed/ram down the throat of us, and worst of all, modeled. Church kids never get to hear a woman preach, (they can preach in the parking lot I guess, no pulpit there) and in John Piper’s church, they won’t hear a woman read the bible or pray out loud in worship services. (women, go to the parking lot, it is safe there) I am glad I stumbled into a non-denominational church to which I belong now. To those who say they don’t want to take side since this is controversial, I’ll say, you have already taken the side of the status quo. To those who said there are different opinions, as in the case of eschatology. To that I say: opinions on eschatology does not lead to a gender caste system, which in many cases, cause tremendous pain to real people. This theology has human consequences.
            I used to think taking the name of God in vain means do not swear. Now I know taking the name of God in vain is exactly what Denny and others like him do there: they invoke the name of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to say Godly women doing Godly ministries is not according to the will of God. To ascribe Godly ministries to the work of Satan is also blasphemy.
            Mary Kassian even said in the 2012 Women’s Conference that men are falling, and that’s because women don’t get their act together. Women can “either breathe life into men or kill them”. Now we are even guilty of murder. At least Denny simply won’t celebrate women’s success, Mary would accuse them of being killers.

            • Don Johnson October 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

              Even tho I am egal, I will disagree with 2 points here.

              1) Taking the name of God in vain means swearing (promising/vowing) something using God’s name and then not doing it is the primary meaning. Bringing disrepute to God is an extended secondary meaning, for example overt unrepentant sin by a believer. I do not see comp teachers doing this, rather I think they are simply mistaken, altho their mistakes do have consequences.

              2) I think Kassian was speaking metaphorically, using strong language. It is not wrong to do this, Jesus did similar. Where I think she is mistaken is in her exegesis.

        • Kamilla Ludwig October 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

          Mabel, firing someone for holding views contrary to those they are supposed to be teaching is hardly persecution. In fact, it is to be expected. Institutions have a right to protect their identity and intergrity. If Klouda and other feminists had any intellectual/academic integrity they would resign their tenure of their own accord.

          I would no more expect an SBC seminary to maintain someone like Klouda on their faculty than I would expect CUA to hire Vickie Gene Robinson as a visiting lecturer. Either scenario is ludicrous. The same goes for a medical school hiring a “psychic surgeon” to teach surgery.

          Regarding the original “inclusive” NIV project, you give Wayne Grudem far too much credit. That is down to a broad effort by theologians, pastors and journalists, not to mention average pew-sitters who expressed dismay that Zondervan/Hodder would silently alter their most popular translation in theologically significant ways. Any one who wanted the “inclusive” NIV was free to order one from Hodder. I have two copies from 1997 myself.

          If you want to see real persecution, try being a Coptic Christian in Egypt (or nearly any other Muslim majority country).

          CUA = Catholic University of America
          Vickie Gene Robinson = retiring Episcopal Bishop, divorced and openly living in a sodomite relationship

          • Tom Parker October 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

            Kamilla:

            You said:” If Klouda and other feminists had any intellectual/academic integrity they would resign their tenure of their own accord.”

            So you refer to Dr. Klouda as a feminist. You’ve got to be kidding me. Way to go and disrespect this wonderful person.

            She is a person of integrity. Do you really know her story?

            Are you jealous of her accomplishments?

          • Mabel Yin October 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

            Kamila, It is very obvious you know absolutely nothing about the Klouda story. Look it up. She was hired to teach Hebrew. She asked them if they have a problem with women teaching there. They said no. Then MANAGEMENT CHANGED!!!!! Kamila, look it up before you speak.

            • Tom Parker October 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

              Mabel:

              I’m confident Kamila does not know the heartbreaking Klouda story., My heart still breaks for how she was treated.

              • Mabel Yin October 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

                Tom Parker: I thought she didn’t know, which makes it excusable. But turns out she knows, which makes her more concerned about legalism than a real human being. Klouda had to sell blood, I heard. Way to treat a respected Hebrew teacher. She was teaching Hebrew. But women must not have anything to say involving the bible to men, unless the men are unsaved. Women missionaries can be sent to convert the ignorant foreigners, but as soon as those natives got saved, better shut up and send a man to be the “senior pastor” of the new church. God forbid a woman should say anything biblical to a saved man in case he learns something. Sure it is God’s will, not. So we really believe God is like that? that cold and calculating? not the God I know.

      • Michael October 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

        Denny, I’m happy for what I teach and believe to be reviewed by my academic peers and superiors at any time, and I would never work at a school where that was not the case. However, I respect their authority because it is earned, by virtue of their education and membership in a tradition that existed before them and will exist long after we are dead.

        What you are implicitly advocating in this blog post is the rule of the mob – random people on the internet calling for people’s heads because they disagree with what they think. This is the kind of behaviour Roger Olson rightly describes as an evangelical inquisition: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/09/evangelical-inquisitions/

        • Alistair Robertson October 10, 2012 at 5:17 am #

          Michael, as an interested reader, I am struggling to see where your assertions are coming from. In fact, your description “random people on the internet calling for people’s heads because they disagree with what they think” is actually more prominent (in my experience) with those who disagree with Denny’s position.

          • Michael October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

            Alistair, you’re absolutely right: the tactic is reprehensible regardless of who uses it. A liberal mob is still a mob, and perhaps in your circles they constitute the majority. But in my personal experience, evangelicals lose their jobs because they refuse to toe the party line on women’s roles, climate change, or evolution. And accusing the other side of the same behaviour, only more so, is no defense.

            • Alistair Robertson October 11, 2012 at 6:00 am #

              I agree, it’s reprehensible regardless who uses it. But I don’t see Denny advocating this – implicitly or otherwise. He’s simply giving his view, which, not suprisingly, he thinks is biblical. If expressing your view is now somehow advocating the “rule of the mob”, then it’s a sad world.

              BTW, I have been been rejected from entering training for ministry in two denominations, in a Baptist one because I didn’t believe baptism has to be full immersion (though I have been baptised by full immersion and am happy to baptise others that way), and in a Presbyterian one because I believe the Bible teaches eldership is a male calling. Is that mob rule too?

  36. A. Amos Love October 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Kristen

    I agree when you write – October 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm…
    “Surely this is evidence that what these women really want isn’t the title. It’s inclusion, respect, and acknowledgment of God’s gifts in their lives too”

    Yes – We’re in agreement.
    That’s why my conclusion is – October 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm…

    *Most* who desire the “Title/Postion” of “Pastor/leader”
    Are NOT looking for “Equality.” They are looking for “Recognition.”

    —————

    What I haven’t explained properly is my dis-agreement with, nay…
    My opposition to – My horror when – My utter frustration with…

    Women…

    Wanting this “Recognition” of God in their lives – From – “The Corrupt Religious System” of today.” – From the -“Pastors who Abuse”- “Pastors addicted to Exercising Authority”- Pastor/Leader/Reverends that control “The Corrupt Religious System” of today.

    “The Corrupt Religious System” that invents “Titles” NOT in the Bible. So they can control and manipulate the people – To Pay, Pray, and Obey.

    It’s NOT the people. NOT even the so-called leaders – It’s “The System”
    “The Traditions of Men” that “Nullify” the word of God – they are in bondage to.

    That’s why my conclusion is – October 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm…
    “They are looking for “Recognition” from
    “The Corrupt Religious System” of today.”

    MY frustration is with women expecting “the Corrupt Religious System”
    To be anything other than “Corrupt.”

    Jesus didn’t re-form “The Corrupt Religious System” of His day. Jesus left it…
    And “Called Out Ones” (ekklsia) who would follow Him, Jesus.

    Come out from among them… 2 Cor 6:17

    MY frustration is with women wanting to be known as Pastor/Leader
    of a 501 (c)3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation…
    That the IRS calls church – Because a mis-informed male is doing that.
    Because a male is in bondage to “Traditions of Men” Mk 7:13

    Why would a women want a “Title” or do something – NOT in the Bible?

    It was after I left “The Corrupt Religious System”
    Left the “Traditions of Men that make Void – the Word of God…
    That Jesus became so much more than rules and regulations – Liberty.

    NOT much liberty in “The Corrupt Religious System.”

    Col 3:17
    Now the Lord is that Spirit:
    and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    My prayer is that ALL God’s kids can experience freedom – in Christ. :-)

    • A. Amos Love October 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      oops – :-)
      2 Cor 3:17

    • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Amos, I disagree. These women are looking for equality. Equality includes recognition when one does something worthy of recognition. Equality also includes inclusion, acknowledgment and respect.

      There are two separate issues here: one is whether women should expect the same things men receive for the same service. I will answer resoundingly “Yes!” and I believe you would too.

      The other issue is whether women who feel called to ministry should be part of the current religious establishment. To that I will answer– it is up to them, as the Spirit leads them. I agree that the current religious establishment seeks titles and offices when they shouldn’t. I agree that neither women nor men should be seeking titles and offices– but God will change all this in His own time, using the people He chooses, in the ways He chooses, and it’s not for us to judge them.

      BUT — and this is a big BUT — to single women out and say they are being overly ambitious, and to fault them for wanting recognition, in a blog post about whether women should be doing certain things in the church– this is muddying the waters and is unfair to women. I know you believe women should be equal with men in ministry and service. So why bring this other issue into it so as to appear to unfairly single out women? We are already quite used to being called ambitious and power-seeking, and all kinds of other names, just for wanting something men want to keep to themselves. Why rub salt in the wounds?

      And also– I don’t believe it’s wrong to want recognition of one’s gifts. Paul said that those who labor in word and doctrine should be worthy of double honor. 1 Tim. 5:17. Recognition is not the same thing as titles and offices, and can be given to those worthy of it, whether male or female, without bringing the issue of titles and offices into it at all.

      • Mabel Yin October 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        well said, Kristen. For current church structure with its titles and what not, I would not throw out the baby with the bath water. My own pastor and his wife are two very self giving, sacrificial people who serve others 24/7. Without title and pay, she shares equally with him in many areas of his ministry, and in his ordination service, he said ” my wife does more than me.” This pastor knows how I feel about the gender issue, and without words, he takes many intentional steps in involving women. e.g. he started to ask sisters to be Sunday service MC’s, and invited a woman to be our ministry intern. We agreed to invite this woman to be our minister starting next year. He is an ex Catholic and used to buy into the comp doctrine. Not any more. What changed his mind is seeing the Holy Spirit work in women’s lives. Can’t deny it. BTW, our church is not egalitarian, but not Piperish either.

  37. Kamilla Ludwig October 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Yes, folks, I am indeed familiar with Klouda’s case. Did most of my reading about it on sites sympathetic to her. Know enough to have recognized in advance that Burleson’s predictions about the outcome of her legal battle were wildly optimistic. In fact, she ended up not only losing her legal battle, but being ordered to pay the defendants legal fees.

    And yes, I stand by my characterization of her as a feminist.

    Yes, I understand that “management changed”. That was the point of my referring to an institution’s right to define their boundaries, etc.

    Yes, I am familiar with the concept of one flesh. Familiar enough to understand that while we are ontologically equal, we retain our teleological distinctions within the marital relationship. In fact, I would argue that marriage enhances them.

    • Kristen Rosser October 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

      Do you have any sympathy for Klouda yourself? Even if you think her employer had the right to treat her like that– does that make it right?

      • Tom Parker October 9, 2012 at 6:32 am #

        Kristen, I get the feeling Kamila thinks that Dr, Klouda got what she deserved in being fired. May we never lose our hearts for others even when we disagree with them.

    • Tom Parker October 9, 2012 at 6:30 am #

      Kamila:

      You can call Dr. Klouda and please do notice her title is Dr., a feminist if you desire to but many of us will disagree with your unfair characterization of her and argue she is not.

      How sad that you would try to hurt this dear Christian lady even more than she has already been hurt.

  38. Dan Lilledahl from Georgia October 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Are we done arguing over RHE’s salvation yet? Geez, what a trainwreck of a comment board. No wonder some run screaming from Christians.

  39. Kamilla Ludwig October 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Kristen,

    I don’t know enough about the other side of the story to say. In what I’ve seen, Klouda has been far more vocal. I will say that, especially given her husband’s health, her severance package should have included financial assistance in paying their premiums under COBRA, etc.

    As to your other response, Father is much more than mere title, as I believe I have indicated above (sorry, can’t see everything easily on the phone). Again, we only have human fathers because of he who is eternally Father to the Son. It only looks like that entails maleness because you have your anthropological cart before your theological horse.

    • Kristen Rosser October 9, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Kamilla– Theological Fatherhood sounds reasonable– but in that case, if it does not entail maleness, then women can be spiritual Fathers too.

  40. Karen Campbell "thatmom" October 9, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Sallie, your life boat scenario is exactly the right one to pose and probably won’t be given an answer with any integrity. The reason is that even the complementarians are not able to agree with any sort of definition or application of the word. Look at Mary Kassian’s recent attempts to define complementarianism. She even went so far as to make it clear that when she helped to coin the word 25 years ago, she and others purposely avoided using the word “patriarchy’ which, of course, is now the word of choice among many complementarians. II, as well as many others, addressed these inconsistencies in more detail on my blog in response to her a while back and we are still waiting for Kassian’s promised explanation, several months later! I, too, once embraced the word but once I saw what it really means and the direction it is heading (face first into full blown patriocentricity) I walked away from it. I am waiting for honesty and transparency among the comps………
    http://www.thatmom.com/2012/07/13/will-the-real-complementarian-please-stand-up-2/

  41. Kamilla Ludwig October 9, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Mr. Parker,

    If you are going to get precious about titles (and since you can’t be bothered to spell my first name correctly), I am going to insist you address me as Miss Ludwig. You might also notice that it is perfectly proper to mention people by last name in discussions of this sort.

    I call Klouda a feminist because that is what she is. Disagree all you like, it won’t change the fact that her insistence on teaching men in spite of the views of the institution makes her very much a feminist. Note that I have said nothing about whether SWBTS was correct in their action to define themselves.

    Finally, what in the world makes you think I desire to “hurt” anyone? I could just as well complain that you desire to disrespect and hurt me by your consistent misspelling of my name. How ludicrous!

  42. Kamilla Ludwig October 9, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Argh!! Edit fail:

    *correct in their action, only that they are right to define themselves.

  43. Kamilla Ludwig October 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    No, God’s Farherhood does not entail maleness. I’ve no idea what you mean by “theological fatherhood”.

    What is it about motherhood (spiritual and/or physical) that you so despise (or fear) that it causes you to try to make women into fathers?

    • Kristen Rosser October 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Kamilla, when I used the term “theological Fatherhood,” I took the term from what you said here:

      “Father is much more than mere title, as I believe I have indicated above (sorry, can’t see everything easily on the phone). Again, we only have human fathers because of he who is eternally Father to the Son. It only looks like that entails maleness because you have your anthropological cart before your theological horse.”

      This is a theological description of Fatherhood, tied to the nature of God and not the nature of humans, and specifically not to maleness. Therefore, women being also made in the image of God, and since you insist that God is not a Mother (and indeed that it is blasphemy to refer to God as Mother) then women, too must be able to be spiritual Fathers.

      As far as fearing or despising motherhood, I don’t understand why you attribute motives to my words that I have not indicated. I am a mother myself. I certainly don’t despise motherhood; I am honored to be a mother! But if you are going to say that Fatherhood is directly derived from God’s nature and motherhood is not, then what you are saying– not me– is that fatherhood is a spiritual, divine thing, while motherhood is a biological, human thing only. Therefore, women must also, being made in the image of God, be able to partake of this spiritual, divine thing called Fatherhood, so women must be able to be spiritual Fathers. “Father” must be a gender-neutral thing when we are talking about spiritual matters.

      To say otherwise is to say women are not as much made in God’s image as men are.

  44. Margaret Mowczko October 20, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Denny, in reply to your comment http://www.dennyburk.com/christianity-todays-50-women-to-watch/#comment-117766

    The only gender role I can see in 1 Corinthians 11:3ff is that women should cover their head (with an appropriate hairstyle?) when praying or prophesying (1 Cor 11:5). And I suggest that 1 Timothy 2:13-14 may be a repudiation of a heresy in Ephesus rather than a rationale for Paul’s prohibition in verse 12. Moreover, I believe the prohibition in 1 Tim 2:12 was local, limited and temporary in force, and not premanent and binding. (I base this belief on a few factors, one of which is the use of the word epitrep? and how it’s used elswhere in the NT.)

    The idea of primogeniture may be found in the Old Testament but I can’t see any evidence whatsoever that primogeniture, or anything remotely similar, is a feature or ideal of New Covenant relationships or ministry.

    Moreover, if we want to get technical, was the first human fully male when he was created?

    In Genesis 2:21, we read that God put the first human into a deep sleep and performed surgery on him. God took something out of him. Traditionally this “something” has been referred to as a rib. However the Hebrew word used here, tsalah, can refer to a “part” and not necessarily a rib. When the first human woke from his deep sleep, something of his was missing. He was not exactly the same person as he was before the operation. Something had been taken out of him and had become an integral part in the making of the first woman.

    Genesis 2:22 says that, “The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man [human].” (NASB) When the first man saw the woman for the first time, he made several statements; one of these was: “she was taken out of man!” (Gen 2:23d) The first woman was in the first human being in some way.
    (I have written about this in an article called “The Complementarian Concept of the ‘Created Order’”.)

  45. Don Johnson October 20, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    What you are doing Denny is bringing an interpretive grid to these texts, one can see this by your use of terms that are not actually found in the texts, such as headship, primogeniture, and roles. One needs to peel back these “comp paradigm” words to examine if the concepts are actually found in the text or if they are just put there by the comp assumptions. One can describe what is going on without using any of these words, for example and many interpreters do this, so then the question becomes why do you CHOOSE to do this?

  46. Don Johnson October 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    On 1st Corinthians 11, if someone can prophesy, they can certaintly teach. There are 2 ways to see this. Praying and prophesying is a summary for everything that happens in a worship service, praying is people speaking to God and prophesying is God speaking to people. Then in 1Co 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

    Paul is rank ordering certain gifts, a prophet is above a teacher, since a prophet can teach also, just like an apostle (missionary) can teach also, but in addition a prophet can give a prophetic word and an apostle (missionary) can be sent out to found a new church and make sure it is done correctly.

    • Margaret Mowczko October 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      “Praying and prophesying is a summary for everything that happens in a worship service, praying is people speaking to God and prophesying is God speaking to people.” Nice! :)

      Prophesying and prophets are mentioned before teaching and teachers in Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:28-30 and Eph 4:11.

  47. Mira8 October 23, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Women of Color still as forgotten as Hagar.

  48. Margaret Mowczko October 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Denny, I wrote an article, partly inspired by the discussion on this page. It asks questions about how we should apply the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12.

    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/questions-about-how-to-implement-1-timothy-212/

  49. Mark Burnett December 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Congratulations to all these wonderful Women. Especially to my beautiful wife Roma Downey. She always tries to make choices that she believes will be pleasing to God.

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