The purpose of this workshop is to explore the Methodist defense of women in ministry and how this legacy can inform our advocacy for women today. The quest for biblical equality within Methodism was not effortless or painless. Ultimately, the Methodist defense of women in ministry reveals the centrality of liberation—spiritual, cultural, and communal—to the gospel vision recaptured by the Wesleys.
We in the West live in a world of radical individualism, even narcissistic, self-centered individualism. People tout books by Ayn Rand on "The Virtues of Selfishness." The biblical world prioritized collective or group identity. Group identity was primary; individual identity was secondary. Many misread the New Testament through the lens of late Western individualism, and one of the groups that has most suffered from this sort of misreading is women. This workshop considers the real nature of Greco-Roman and early Jewish culture, and asks and answers how this should change the way we read various passages in the New Testament related to women and their roles.
A common criticism is that gender-accurate Bible translation tactics, such as using "brothers and sisters" instead of "brothers," moves English Bibles away from the teaching, intent, and tone of the biblical authors. This workshop demonstrates that the opposite is true.
Throughout history, the apostle Paul has been the most frequently cited authority for restricting women from shared leadership not only in ministry but also in marriage and the world. Sadly, those who cite Paul as an opponent of women's equality overlook the many examples of women leaders building the church beside the apostle, in addition to his theological emphasis on newness of life in Christ. This workshop will show how 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are eddies off the stream of Paul’s egalitarian teachings and practices.
Confucians believe that all virtue begins with adhering to filial piety because practicing filial piety teaches a person how to relate properly to those who are different from them. The patriarchal hierarchy imbedded in Confucianism, however, breaks the original design of harmony through filial piety and results in male dominance. This oppressive tendency is in dire need of the healing power of the gospel seen in women’s role in New Testament household codes.
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:4 constitute Scripture’s only mention of the common Greek word for “authority” (exousia) in clear reference to husbands and wives in marriage. This radical denouncement of either spouse insisting on personal “authority” over her or his own body in marital intimacy is a stunning reversal of the cultural norm of Paul’s day—as well as throughout the majority of church history. What does his bold statement mean in its biblical context, and what does it say about Christian mutuality in both marriage and singleness today?
The only “oops” in the creation narrative has become a way of life as Christian communities are structured with gender-based limitations. This seminar rehearses the narratives of Christian Scripture with its theological impact for challenging the practices of gender bias that have subverted the Christian imagination.
This lecture examines all the major passages that address women and their roles in the church and in society. Attention is given to the social and rhetorical context of each passage, the exegetical particulars, and the implications for ministry today.
How does gender breed violence, and what can we do to cange this? The gender caste system and men's violence have kept us in captivity for too long. Jesus re-reveals God's original intention for male-female partnership and demonstrates what it means to be fully human and truly free in the kingdom of God.