Two competing visions—egalitarianism and complementarianism—are embedded within Christian pre-marriage counselling. This article examines how differing interpretations of Scripture shape marriage advice.
In this workshop, Jussi Suutari will discuss some verses (e.g. Eph. 5) that were important to him during over his own personal struggle with the Bible. The conflict grew out of hierarchical teachings he was hearing on some verses in Paul's letters. Since through his own Bible reading he was seeing the egalitarian overall message of the Bible, he was not able to understand the contradiction nor comprehend God's perspective on the issue. Hear Jussi's way out of the conflict.
What do Gen. 2:24-25 and Eph. 5: 21-33 have in common? When rightly understood, they both provide an almost formula-like description for a pleasurable, loving, faithful marriage of oneness. And both passages are built on equality and mutuality. Modern science teaches what the writers of Genesis and Ephesians could not have known.
Many Christians, certainly most egalitarians, are familiar with Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (NIV). But as well-known as this passage is, it’s still common to wonder what mutual submission actually looks like in practice. Here’s my take on it.
Where and how we start in our interpretation of Scripture determines where we will end up. When seeking to understand the relevance of the Bible’s teaching for our lives, interpretive starting points are particularly significant. The method by which we read and derive meaning from Scripture is the fundamental determinant of the nature of the meaning we will derive.
The exclusion of women from church leadership has often been justified by a misinterpretation of the New Testament household codes. Paul actually opposed the cultural relegation of women to a secondary status. In fact, the household codes’ treatment of women conveys the love and grace of the gospel, in contrast to the patriarchal hierarchy that dominated the first-century Greco-Roman world.