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Part 1 of a 3-part series, presented here, focuses on the radical redefinition of authority Jesus taught and set in motion for his church; it considers the complementarians’ circuitous idea of gender authority.

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In recent decades, traditionalists have dug for deeper roots in search of a viable biblical theology on which to support their superstructure of hierarchy. What has emerged instead in contemporary complementarianism is a sociocultural and extrabiblical “theology of roles.” It is this to which we will direct our critique.

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The marriage guidance in Ephesians 5, rather than subjecting wives, is aimed at bringing the freedom of true Christian community into our homes.

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Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came to her for judgment. (Judges 4:4–5, NASB)

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Like many other biblical texts, Gen 17:15–16 invades our worldview and reminds us that God sought out covenant partners—both male and female—to bring blessings to all the nations.

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Complementarianism is nothing more than the old argument of “separate but equal” applied to gender roles and dressed in a type of theological clothing. This is the same argument earlier generations used to justify segregation of the races.

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Kevin Giles is a graduate of Moore Theological College, the largest seminary in Australia, noted for its conservative commitment to the headship of men. This summary is the outcome of his extended debate with the faculty over many years.

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Whatever we might say about headship in Christian marriage, the indisputable teaching and example of Jesus, and the broader context of the teaching of the epistles about the meaning of discipleship, is one of self-giving love

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The primary task when considering Paul's assertion, “the husband is the head of the wife,” should be discovering the meaning of this head-and-body metaphor, not arguing for an extended metaphorical sense of half of the metaphor—the single word, "head."

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Scripture and church history make abundantly clear that women can and do exercise significant influence and power in a variety of contexts, including the church. Yet, most of the books and articles available on Christian leadership are written by and for men. In this paper, I will address some leadership issues with a focus on women as leaders.

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