Rachel Held Evans is an egalitarian, and she wants to live according to the Bible for one yearâ€¦ just to see what it’s like. Her aim is to follow all the commands that are directed to women. Among other things, this project will include “submitting” to her husband as Colossians 3:18 teaches. She invites everyone to follow along on her blog to track her progress. Thomas Nelson has agreed to publish a book in 2012 describing her year of living obediently.
There is an irony here. She says that she is going to obey the Bible’s commands as “literally” as possible. She seems to be admitting that the “literal” interpretation of Colossians 3:18 involves following the leadership of her husband. That would seem to be a counterintuitive admission for such a committed egalitarian.
It looks like the real aim here is to discredit complementarianism. The only problem is that she isn’t really trying out complementarianism. She’s conflated Old Testament law with New Testament norms and has labelled it “living biblically.” But no complementarian that I ever heard of would consider that “living biblically.” For that reason, this looks to be an eccentric project that would contribute very little to the evangelical conversation about the Bible’s teaching on gender roles. I’m sure it will make for an interesting book, but I don’t see how this is going to move the debate forward.
(HT: Russell Moore)