CategoryGender Ethics

Cage Fighting Pastors & Expelled Tomboys. What Makes a Real Man and a Real Woman?

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Three stories in the news this week raise the question of what it means to be a real man or woman. First came the story of 8-year-old Sunnie Kahl who would have been described in the past as a “tomboy”, for she enjoys things that are typical of boys her age and not so typical of girls. Her grandparents (and legal guardians) withdrew her from the Timberlake Christian School in...

Why the Washing Machine Has Been More Important than the Internet

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The internet has changed our lives. It’s given us access to a world of information and allows us to communicate with people all over the planet. Thanks to the internet I no longer need to invest in a bookcase full of encyclopedias, carry a couple of hundred novels on my kindle, keep up with hundreds of friends via Facebook, blog my musings for the world to see, catch up on TV shows I...

Rejecting The Resurgent Push for Patriarchy

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The idea that women are to be submissive to male leadership seems to be having something of a renaissance in Australian Evangelicalism, or at least in Sydney/NSW and among those claiming to be “Reformed”. The year began with  new Sydney Anglican marriage rites in which a bride promises to submit to her husband. This was followed by the disinviting of John Dickson to the Katoomba...

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Complementarianism is the view that men and women have different but complementary roles to play in the church and marriage. God has entrusted men with responsibility for leadership in the church...

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