Mary Magdalene's life changed irrevocably. Nothing could be done to change what had happened. After finding the tomb empty in John 20, the other disciples returned to their homes. Mary could not leave.
Is there a way forward beyond the dominant complementarian discourse at this nexus where a predominantly white North American evangelical Christianity has met racial and ethnic others, especially East Asians in the contemporary milieu?
Misreadings of NT passages are undoubtedly due to a combination of assumptions, traditions, and all kinds of post-biblical and sub-biblical attitudes that have crept in to Christianity. We need to change our understanding of what the Bible says about how men and women are to relate to one another within the church.
Paul may not come across as a loving father-figure. But when you look at 2 Corinthians through Deuteronomy 21, it starts to look like Paul treated the Corinthian church like a daughter he cared for deeply.
When translators choose to use “whore” throughout Ezekiel 16, they let readers think it’s okay to use words with inescapably derogatory connotations. And the true focus of the passage—apostasy—gets lost.
Much has been written about “sonship” and being “adopted as sons” as descriptions of being brought into and belonging to God’s family. Focus is often on the privileges of adoption in Paul’s letters, noting the love, honour, and freedom that follow.In light of this masculine language, we should ask whether women and girls experience daughterhood as bringing privileges and rights in the way men and boys experience sonship? More broadly, do we have a theology of daughterhood?
Are the Bible and gender equality so antithetical that one’s only hope to reconcile them is by stripping divine inspiration from the Bible, arguing that it is a book written by humans concerning their perspective of God over time? I believe affirming the divinity of the Bible will prove far more fruitful in incorporating the Mosaic Law within a Christian worldview that embraces equality between men and women.
The God presented by the biblical authors and worshipped in the Church today cannot be regarded as having gender, any more than God can be regarded as having race or color. In recognizing this truth, we will be more free to use inclusive metaphors for God.