A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Review

A-year-of-biblical-womanhood-bookJust over a year ago, popular blogger and speaker, Rachel Held Evans, released her second book to date, A Year of Biblical Womanhood.  Here blog can be found at www.rachelheldevans.com.

I know I’m a little late to the game with both reading and reviewing the book. This was mainly due to the fact that I’m already well convinced that God’s kingdom rule functions from the perspective of mutuality between men and women (what most call egalitarianism). However, I did read many of the early book reviews and comments (from both “sides” of the fence), and I just recently found a good time to purchase the book, as it was available for $2.99 in the Kindle format a few weeks back.

Thus, I’ll share some reflections after reading the book. Continue reading

Junia Is Not Alone

Not too long ago, I finished a new little ebook written by Scot McKnight and published by Patheos Press. It is entitled Junia Is Not Alone.

First off, the book is about 25-30 pages in normal length and it is only available electronically for the Kindle or Kindle app for a mere $2.99. I think this is an interesting pointer of where publishing is going – electronic and short. Not all books will be of this flavour. There will still remain the theological treatises that most of us don’t want to engage with or the lengthier books that we do still want to read. But these short ebooks are becoming a trend in a technological world today.

So here is Scot McKnight’s first compact ebook along the lines of something he has briefly addressed before in his book about understanding the Bible, The Blue Parakeet. In this newer title, McKnight starts out by asking why the overall church is quite silent on the reality of women in the Bible. Who has heard many teachings and sermons on Huldah or Phoebe or Priscilla or Mary (the mother of Jesus) or Anna or the enigmatic Junia? We have occasionally heard teachings on Ruth or Esther, but that is because a specific book of the Bible is dedicated to them. But what of these other gifted women? Continue reading

Martha & Mary: Not Primarily About Quiet Times

Martha and MaryThere’s a well-known passage found in Luke’s gospel. It’s the short account of Jesus and the disciples’ visit to the town of Martha and Mary. The account is found in Luke 10:38-42:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

When this text is usually taught and preached, there is one point that takes prominence: We need not get caught up in doing so many things for Jesus, but rather we are personally called to sit at his feet so that we might listen and learn from him. So let’s take time to schedule in some kind of personal devotional time of reading Scripture and prayer.

Something of that nature.

And this is not terribly off-base, knowing our call to listen to and seek the Lord. But I’m not so sure this is the primary message of this little portion found in Luke’s gospel.

Rather, here is what I think we should consider as the central point. Continue reading

Challenges to Complementarianism

Screen-Shot-2013-05-07-at-7.25.09-PMOver at the Jesus Creed blog, Scot McKnight has highlighted a paper by David Cramer entitled Assessing Hierarchist Logic: Is Egalitarianism Really on a Slippery Slope? The paper challenges some of Wayne Grudem’s thoughts found in his work Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?

Many will know that Grudem is a complementarian, connected to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The concept of complementarianism teaches that men and women were created equally before God in person, but distinct in roles. Complementarians believe that one of the main ways we see a contrast in roles is through God’s appointing of men into leadership, both in the home and in the church.

Before briefly mentioning some of David Cramer’s thoughts, I want to point out something that Scot McKnight notes in his own post. He states: Continue reading

The Promised Follow-up Response to Complementarians (Part 2 of 2)

imagesLo and behold, this is the final post in my brief series on the role of women with regards to leadership in the church. It started with my interaction with the recent ruling of the Church of England with Tom Wright’s follow-up article to this ruling and has now moved into a 2-part series in which I am interacting with some of the major challenges that I have read from complementarians (those who believe women should not be appointed as pastors/elders/bishops).

In part 1, I looked at two important points:

1) Paradigm-shaping passages: This is where I discussed how and why I believe Bible passages such as Gal 3:26-29, Gal 6:15 and 2 Cor 5:16-17 become very significant in understanding not only the roles of women but the whole social order. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the subsequent in-breaking of the new creation order has re-oriented absolutely everything in regards to the world’s social constructs.

2) Dealing with clear passages: I addressed some of the passages that complementarians identify as clear markers as to why women cannot serve as pastors/elders/bishops. Those Bible texts are ones like 1 Tim 2:8-15; 1 Tim 3:2; and Tit 1:6.

But now it’s time to move on to my final 3 points: Continue reading