Could it be that the complementarian notion of “biblical womanhood” (especially the claim that women’s distinct personhood makes no room for women as teachers and leaders of men) is a recent, Western perspective?
Cicero said: “Who knows only their own generation remains always a child.”  We gain extraordinary vitality from the stories of Christian women and men who came before us. In fact, our advocacy for women in ministry leans heavily on their stories. Few are better suited to bring this history to life than Dr. Paul Chilcote, author of more than twenty books and publications on the subject. For thirty-five years, he has amplified the history of women’s leadership in the church with his work.
In every corner of the world, religious teachings on gender and power have an enormous impact on human lives, especially those of girls and women. For this reason, Christians have a responsibility to accurately critique biblical teachings on gender.
Throughout history, movements have arisen to challenge the status quo of society and the institutional church. In the history of the United States and into the present, many have spoken out against the way women are perceived and treated. These voices have fought to open to women spaces and leadership positions in the church and society that have traditionally been exclusively for men. These movements, known collectively as feminism, have requested—sometimes demanded—a transformation in the ways evangelicals conceive of women’s roles.
For evangelicals, the Bible is the ultimate, infallible and inerrant authority, which serves as the arbiter of acceptable views, and theological liberalism exists as a looming menace to biblical authority. Unfortunately, evangelicals are often confused over who is challenging their biblical and cultural perceptions. They generally do not understand the critiques of liberal feminists or of their own evangelical sisters and brothers, nor do they recognize that they are dealing with separate movements in important and foundational ways. For many, feminism is a recent phenomenon, a threatening force, liberal in origin, which in the end rejects the authority of Scripture in order to conform to modern culture. Evangelicals commonly known as biblical egalitarians are quickly tied to liberal forms of feminism because it is commonly supposed that “liberalism and the approval of women’s ordination go hand in hand,” and inevitably lead the church down the slippery slope into the abandonment of scriptural authority.2
This paper seeks to begin to correct the equation of biblical egalitarianism with liberal feminism by considering them on a foundational level—looking at where each locates its authority and how each understands the Bible’s authority.
La Bible a-t-elle une double lecture des genres ? Bien des auteurs évangéliques reconnus croient voir dans la Bible, une tension entre l’affirmation de l’égalité des genres et la distribution des rôles entre l’homme et la femme. Peut-on dégager une position biblique raisonnable sans faire violence au texte ? Doit-on sacrifier une bonne exégèse sur l’autel de la théologie systématique ? A l’évidence, une bonne exégèse va de pair avec une théologie systématique. Pendant 41 ans, je me suis débattu, dans la prière, avec les apparentes contradictions relatives aux genres, et je peux dire que les textes bibliques eux-mêmes m’ont amené à les comprendre différemment. Dès la création, et jusqu’à la nouvelle création, le message biblique sur les genres, dans l’église et dans le couple ne varie pas : il affirme le statut égal de l’homme et de la femme.
Maria Woodworth Etter, known both as the Trance Evangelist and the Mother of the Pentecostal movement, lived and preached in an era when women were required to be silent in church and submit to their husbands.
As we walk with Hannah, we see how she encounters and discovers who God says she is. This is a message not just for moms, but for all of us. Every day of our lives, we are asked to fit into a certain shape, but we don’t always fit the mold.
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?