Catherine Kroeger, the founding president of CBE, stated, “although women had made forays into the field of biblical interpretation, it was to be Katharine Bushnell who would bring out the heavy artillery.”
This article has shown that the Gen 3:15 Edenic covenant began in the Garden with the woman. It was then initially fulfilled with Deborah and Jael in Judg 4 and 5. Indeed, the Jael story actualizes the Gen 3:15 promise.
Promise Keepers has so far embraced a rhetoric of both servanthood and soft patriarchy, a position ambiguous enough to make Christian feminists of both sexes push them for greater clarity. “Promise Keepers will have to walk a narrow line,” writes seminary professor Howard Snyder, “calling for male leadership without putting down the leadership of women.”
Recently my neighbor told me about a widower living in double jeopardy. With no homemaking training in his past and no wife to clean up after him, his house was piled high with junk, dirty dishes, and soiled clothes. In addition, he had to share that house with a virtual stranger: his child.
I have been told on a number of occasions that men who adhere to an egalitarian view of the marital relationship and who see no ministry restrictions for women in the church approach the Bible from some personal bias that keeps them from seeing the truth. What usually follows in the conversation (lecture) is armchair psychologizing as to why such men want or need to hold an egalitarian view. I find armchair psychologizing somewhat specious and boring when it occurs among my professional colleagues, so I am quite intolerant when laypersons enter into such endeavors, particularly when I know they are applying their theories to me! Nevertheless, in violation of my own rules in this regard, I offer some of my ideas as to why men have a psychological investment in holding to a hierarchical view and thus may show little willingness even to entertain the possibility that an egalitarian view could be scriptural.
Change begins with our language, because what we say and what we write reveals our unchallenged assumptions about women. Beyond that, however, we must change our missions commitment to include evangelizing and training the world’s women.