Crisscrossing both testaments, gender balance looks at the Bible in a way clearly contained within the text itself. It tempers patriarchy. It offers solace to those wounded by misogyny. It invites study and comparison.
Patriarchal beliefs in American evangelicalism regarding women and men’s roles are pervasive—even in egalitarian churches. This helps explain the exodus that begins when a woman enters a church as pastor.
Before women can be equally represented in church leadership—especially as pastors and especially at egalitarian churches—they need more time, outside affirmation of their calling, and an opportunity to heal.
Amid the patriarchy of the ancient world, early Christianity had a particularly liberating and redemptive place for women, one significant enough to be mentioned by Christianity’s first major critic, the second-century philosopher Celsus.