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Women in Ministry

I was working on my thesis in seminary. Tired of being asked if I was going to seminary to be a pastor's wife, I had decided to write a biblical theology of single women in ministry that would show God's calling for a woman was not dependent on her marital state. I was talking with my thesis advisor, Dr. Joseph Coleson, the professor of Old Testament Studies. He had looked at my outline and thesis proposal and told me that I needed to add a chapter addressing the Creation Story in Genesis 1:1—2:25, particularly the second creation account found in Gen. 2:5-25, where woman is created to be an ezer cenegdo to the man. If the Hebrew phrase simply meant "helper", then could a woman hold a leadership position in the church, let alone a single woman? But if th... Read more
A prominent sociologist on evangelicals, Sally Gallagher, has much to say to egalitarians in her article, The Marginalization of Evangelical Feminism. She questions, when 56% of evangelical women are employed outside the home and when many evangelical marriages are egalitarian in practice, why evangelicals as a whole have still rejected mutuality and partnership between the genders. One important point she makes is that well-known evangelical leaders have effectively linked evangelical feminism with androgyny. I have personally seen this many times from complementarian writing—statements like “evangelical feminists and their efforts to blur the genders that God made so beautifully distinct.” Complementarians have had definite success in convincing many people bo... Read more
Salon has an article on Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Church. I was so sad after reading this article. In short they've taken the post-WW2 culture, and they are trying to make it biblical. Following Driscoll's biblical reading of prescribed gender roles, women quit their jobs and try to have as many babies as possible. And these are no mere women who fear independence, who are looking to live by the simple tenets of fundamentalist credo, enforced by a commanding husband: many of the women of Mars Hill reluctantly abandon successful lives lived on their own terms to serve their husbands and their Lord. So if Deborah went to Mars Hill, she would have had to resign from being a prophet and judge, and who would have led Israelite troops to victory over Sisera? I g... Read more
Two weeks ago, the story of Mary Lambert became major national news. The audacity of firing an older woman from her long held position as Sunday school teacher based on her gender angered many. Since the initial report, the church and the pastor have tried to give a fuller picture of the situation. Conflict between Pastor LaBouf and Ms. Lambert started when he first began serving two years ago. Ms. Lambert was part of a small group of members who challenged the changes he made in the structure and official theology of the church. This disagreement caused a rift in their relationship and, according to church officials, led to her being let go from her position. According to the press release from the church, the reasons for Mary Lambert’s dismissal were “multifaceted and the s... Read more
Today, August 21st, the Associated Press released a tragic story from Watertown, New York (view full story). For Mary Lambert, the decision from her young pastor ended 54 years of service as a Sunday school teacher. The decision was reached after adopting a “literal interpretation” of Scripture. That passage, as you may have guessed, is 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man…” The pastor, however, thinks that women outside of the church are not limited by the biblical command. Rev. LaBouf wrote this on Saturday: "'I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to’ outside of the church.” So if he truly believes that women can “perform any j... Read more
Ever since I was a child, I have loved writing. I love crafting good stories and entertaining people with them. Recently, it occurred to me that it might make a fascinating book if I wrote about my experiences as an American living in Britain. It's certainly been fascinating to compare the two cultures firsthand! I decided to make it a fictional book so that I could protect people's privacy. Since I have never published a story before, I thought it would be wise to do some research about the Christian writing industry . I found a website run by an editor in a Christian publishing house, one which publishes for the mainstream evangelical audience and which comprises the bulk of readers and buyers of Christian fiction. This website also features a discussion board, but in talkin... Read more
My husband lovingly calls me a “glass half empty” person. “Sometimes it’s even three-quarters empty,” he told me the other day. (It must have been a particularly rough day—sorry, honey!) It’s true. I crave order and balance, and a world corrupted by sin doesn’t offer much of either. My reactions to gender issues are often of the strong negative quality. I get angry, frustrated, depressed by the way people, including Christians, willingly oppress one another. The fact is, I’ve seen some things that would disturb the most devoted optimist. I was going to list some of them here, but based on your comments on Brandon’s recent post, you don’t need me to convince you that the church can be a downer! When I’m stari... Read more
"I would have enjoyed seminary so much more if it wasn't for the women." So were the words of a minister I was introduced to one day several years ago. Mindy and I were together, and both of us were introduced, but he looked right past her and ignored her "hello." She was invisible. He heard I was a Ph.D. student at a reformed seminary and wanted to know if I was enjoying it. "It's been challenging," I told him. "But I'm learning from the best and I'm enjoying it. Where did you go to seminary?" He told me, then added those words that have stayed with me for years. Of course my curiosity got the best of me. “What was it about the women that ruined seminary for you?” “The questions,” he replied c... Read more

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