CategoryGender Ethics

52% of the World’s Evangelical Leaders Believe a Wife Must Always Obey Her Husband. The Unfinished Gender Debate


In 2010 the US based Pew Forum surveyed over 2000 Evangelical leaders present at the Lausanne Conference, seeking their views on issues of faith, church and ethics. When asked whether “a wife should always obey her husband” fifty-two percent said “yes”, either fully agreeing or mostly agreeing. Think carefully about that. Not only do half the world’s evangelical...

Learning to Cry


On the flight home from Perth yesterday I found myself choking up while watching the movie The Sapphires. The part that really got to me was the removal of one of the characters, an aboriginal with light skin colour, from her family. I’d like to say it was my finely tuned empathy for victims of injustice that was at play, but I also found tears forming when another of the lead characters...

Gender, Context and 1 Timothy 2


1 Timothy 2:11-15 is probably the most referenced text in Christian discussion of gender roles. There is even a fair consensus about what it says. It asks the women in the church at Ephesus to learn quietly rather than teach in the church. The really critical question is what does it mean for us today? There are a number of commands given in 1 Timothy 2 that we no longer keep – men lifting...

Gender, Translators & 1 Corinthians 11. On the Mistranslation of a Text


What do you do when you’re translating a bible passage into English and the text says the opposite of what you’re expecting it to say? It turns out there are a very small number of occasions where some translators give us what they think the text should say, even when the grammar says the opposite. 1 Corinthians 11:10 is a prime example. It’s a key verse in a widely discussed...

Genesis and Gender. On the Over-reading of a Biblical Text


The creation narratives of Genesis 1 and 2 are the subject of intense discussion regarding gender. Where Genesis 1 demonstrates the commonality between men and women – both are created in God’s image – ¬†Genesis 2 is commonly thought to emphasise the differences, or complementarity, between men and women: the man is created from the dust of the earth where the woman is created...

Deciphering the Gender Debate. What Christians Say About What the Bible Says


The issue of gender roles is squarely on the agenda of many Christians today. To help people get their heads around the debate here is an overview of the major approaches. For my own view see this post [learn_more caption=”Complementarian View”] Complementarianism is the view that men and women have different but complementary roles to play in the church and marriage. God has...

Paul was no feminist but his Gospel is


The Bible contains statements about gender relations that sound harsh to modern ears – wives are called to submit to their husbands and women are told to keep quiet in church. How do we account for this? Are the Sydney Anglicans right that God has given men responsibility for leadership in home and church? And if not, how do we account for the biblical material? Were the biblical authors...

To love and submit?!


This weekend the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sydney Anglican churches have a new marriage liturgy in which the bride promises to ‘submit’ to her husband. This reflects a conviction that the Bible sees leadership in church and home as gendered, and that while bible writers may have applied this in culturally particular ways, the underlying pattern is ordained by God for all...


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