Last month, Wendy Alsup blogged about a new wave of complementarians and so ensued a great deal of discussion on the internet. (Catch up here.) People asked, who are the ‘old’ complementarians?; is it divisive to call this wave ‘new’, as if you’re setting yourself against others (maybe Mark Driscoll?); is there anything that’s actually new about this new wave? Read more
Posts from the ‘Woman’ Category
Each Good Friday we pause to consider the son of God hanging on a cross, humiliated, broken and weak. And for many of us, I suspect that this is deeply guilt inducing. We know we should feel thankful but we secretly formulate this year’s list of sins: gossip, nagging, making-good-things-ultimate, lies, lust, jealousy, bitterness, anxiety, losing-my-temper-AGAIN, unforgiveness, the list goes on.
My experience suggests this is a particular issue for women. Whether we’re conditioned by our society’s constant commentary on what a good woman is, or whether we just naturally have more sensitive consciences, or whether it comes from a certain power dynamic within churches, or a combination of all these things, most Christian women I’ve met are well acquainted with guilt. Read more
Cathy Ross’ lecture on women’s perspectives on contextual missiology offers a fascinating discussion of the role of women in missions and how we are to view this from both a Christian and feminist perspective.
First, the situation.
Historically we know that women have been deeply engaged in the work of mission, but because women were seen as adjuncts to men, they were systematically written out of historical and anthropological records… In fact, missionary was a male noun… The early CMS records sometimes did not even note the name of the wife – merely according her a little ‘m’ to denote that the male missionary was married.
In the latter part of the lecture, she goes on to suggestion what a missiology that has been influenced by women might look like. However, here I want to focus on her discussion of the worth of ‘women’s work’ in missions and the reasons for acknowledging it. She argues that the invisibility of women’s work may be either a way of being like Christ or a vehicle for nurturing societal sin. It depends on the context.
The following questions are mine and the answers taken from her lecture. Read more
Today we were introduced to vocab around marriage. In Swahili, there are different words for ‘to marry’ depending on whether you’re talking about a man or a woman. To simplify, you talk about a man being married in the active voice – he marries someone – but about a woman in the passive voice – she is married to someone. On one level it’s semantics and etymology, on the other, language is tied up with culture. Read more
Walking through the market, two men called out to me ‘mvivu’. It sounds a lot like ‘mbivu’ which means ‘ripe’ (often overripe), a common word in such a setting. But we couldn’t work out why it was directed at me. Arthur wondered if it had some sort of sexual innuendo.
Our language tutor helped us to figure it out. Mvivu means ‘lazy’. Arthur was carrying most of our shopping while I just had Elliot. The traditional thing is for women to shoulder all the burdens and for men to go free. So they were calling me a lazy wife. What should we do next time we go to the market? Read more
I recently reviewed The Gospel-Centered Woman. Much of its content was developed on Wendy Alsup’s blog Practical Theology of Women. In this post I want to zoom in on one discussion I’ve been following pretty closely. It’s about Genesis 3:16 ‘Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.’
I’ve mainly heard this interpreted as ‘your desire will be to rule over your husband but he will rule over you’. Wendy argues against such an interpretation and in favour of simply reading ‘desire’ as ‘desire’, as in ‘to want’. So the ‘curse’ is not about women seeking to dominate men, but women placing their desire in men, looking to them to fulfil what only God can.