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The Whole Gospel for the Whole World

On November 21, 2007

How many of us come from traditions where we have been told that women cannot serve in positions of leadership because Jesus was male? And, as denominations consider where women may hold positions of service, inevitably the gender of Jesus becomes a consideration. Previous generations of Christians have also asked important questions about the gender of Jesus. Here is one example:

Gregory of Nazianzus, who lived at the end of the fourth century stated to gar aprosleptom atherapeuton, which in English means, "What is not assumed is not redeemed." His words remind us that Christ came to represent all of humanity on the Cross. Thus, if we absolutize one aspect of Christ, such as his gender, ethnicity, or class, we run the risk of excluding people without those characteristics from Christ’s atoning work on Calvary.

Because Scripture teaches that Christ is the Savior of the whole world (John 4:42), we diminish Christ’s atoning work when we speak of his gender as paramount. Perhaps that is one reason why Scripture speaks most often of Christ as the "Son of anthropos," or humanity, rather than "Son of aner," or male. He was a sacrifice of humanity, for humanity and merely one of men, for men. Indeed, Christ's sacrifice was for everyone, as the Scriptures note. Because of this, the whole church may take the whole Gospel to the whole world.

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CBE advances the gospel by equipping Christians to use their God-given talents in leadership and service regardless of gender, ethnicity, or class. Together with supporters and ministry partners from 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE works to inspire and mobilize women and men with the Bible’s call to lead and serve as equals.

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