On Boxing Day, Zondervan released 3 new e-books on women in ministry: Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry by Michael Bird, Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons by John Dickson, and Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry by Kathy Keller. They’re part of the new ‘Fresh Perspectives on Women in Ministry’ series. It’s great to see two Australian voices here, not least because the gender in ministry discussion tends to be more nuanced in Australia than in the US.
These three books exist on a spectrum. Mike Bird and John Dickson are both uncomfortable identifying either as complementarian or egalitarian. Though Kathy Keller identifies herself as complementarian, she distances herself from others of that camp as well. All recognise that egalitarianism is not the same as feminism. At the very least, these little books fill out the stereotypes of those categories and provide alternatives to them. Read more
I was waiting for this day. The day when my favourite feminist blog Jezebel discovered CBMW.
Hugo Schwyzer’s a thoughtful writer but I confess I did feel a little sorry for CBMW — they just have such a PR problem! Take Schwyzer’s quote about their fight against ‘feminist egalitarianism’. That’s an in-house Christian term, referring to a particular Christian position. It’s not, as I suspect many modern feminists would hear it, an attack on equality or basic human rights! But while ever CBMW continues to interact with a mere caricature of feminism, Schwyzer’s criticism holds. And it’s particularly poignant in this article where it seems marriage is elevated over singleness.
But it’s worth taking a step back and being a little self-critical at this point, because I count myself both a feminist and a complementarian. How does that work? As Schwyzer points out, the former seems to encourage women’s independence from men and the latter seems to discourage it. Read more
Her.meneutics has just done a series on ‘the gender debate’ in evangelical Christianity. Here’s the intro:
Submissive wife and president of the United States — an oxymoron, if you ask many journalists analyzing the faith of 2012 hopeful Michele Bachmann. …. Journalists have spent days analyzing her response, seemingly baffled that a modern woman could take the words of an ancient text so seriously. Read more
New Calvinism is a phenomenon in American Christianity. Now its proponents want to take it offshore, claiming inroads in the UK, Australia and South Africa. Can it become a truly international movement, a movement that is cross-cultural and culture-portable? Read more
There were several issues arising from the conference. This is less about the conference or its speakers than questions that we’re left with.
We were at the Equal and Complementary conference yesterday. Fiona McLean was addressing what a complementarian viewpoint might mean for a woman, and we found her the most helpful of the speakers: her presentation was quite warm and engaging, her content was pretty thorough and nuanced, her tone was reasonably irenic, and she began to get practical. Here’s what she had to say.