It has become evident in the recent debate over the nature of the Son’s subordination to the Father in the Trinity that important issues are involved. Most recently the claim has been made that this doctrine has implications for how Christians may pray. Dr. Bruce Ware has encouraged us not to pray directly to Jesus, but rather to pray only to the Father, through Jesus, in the Spirit.1 If he is correct, then many of us will need to change how we approach God in the most intimate areas of our devotional life.
After reading the introduction to Aimee Byrd’s Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood,1 I admit I put her book down to go and read The Yellow Wallpaper, a book that sparked Byrd’s thinking and prompted her to write. Only then did I return to reading Byrd’s book.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
The previous issue of Priscilla Papers was themed, “Conference Papers.” My editorial in that issue explained that much of what we publish has already been read—field tested, so to speak—at an academic or professional conference. I described such gatherings as seedbeds for journal articles. While my description was not wrong, conferences are not the only source for our material.
When we think about male-female roles in relationship to Asian American churches, especially those from evangelical and East Asian contexts, there is a sense of a general correlation between the complementarianism in evangelical Christianity and that of the Confucian tradition.2 But what about evangelical egalitarians who are of East Asian descent or those more dialogical (white and other) evangelicals who might think that theological construction in the twenty-first century ought to engage cross-culturally and t