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Tuesday
Mar302010

Theological Term of the Week

Disclaimer: As those of you who read here regularly probably know, I’m a firm complementarian, not an egalitarian. In this post I’ve linked and quoted some things supporting egalitarianism even though I may disagree with the points made. The scripture quoted is scripture used by egalitarians to support egalitarianism. Of course, I don’t think it does or I’d wouldn’t be a complementarian, would I?

egalitarianism
The view that men and women are equal before God and “all the functions and roles in the church are open to men and women alike.”1

  • From scripture:

    Then God said, “Let us make man  in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    27 So God created man in his own image,
     in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 ESV)

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 ESV)

  • From Christians for Biblical Equality, “Men, Women and Biblical Equality”. (This is a site promoting egalitarianism):

    The Bible teaches that, in the New Testament economy, women as well as men exercise the prophetic, priestly and royal functions (Acts 2:17-18, 21:9; 1 Cor 11:5; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Rev 1:6, 5:10). Therefore, the few isolated texts that appear to restrict the full redemptive freedom of women must not be interpreted simplistically and in contradiction to the rest of Scripture, but their interpretation must take into account their relation to the broader teaching of Scripture and their total context (1 Cor 11:2-16, 14:33-36; 1 Tim 2:9-15).

  • From The Bible and Gender Equality by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (supporting egalitarianism): 

    Evangelical egalitarianism, or biblical equality, refers to the biblically-based belief that gender, in and of itself, neither privileges nor curtails a believer’s gifting or calling to any ministry in the church or home. In particular, the exercise of spiritual authority, as biblically defined, is deemed as much a female believer’s privilege and responsibility as it is a male believer’s.

    Biblical equality does not mean women and men are identical or undifferentiated. Biblical egalitarians recognize average differences (both learned and intrinsic) between women and men, and affirm that God designed men and women to complement and benefit one another.

    Although it shares with feminism the belief that unjust treatment of women should be remediated, biblical equality is not grounded in feminist ideology, which is derived from cultural factors and philosophies. Rather, biblical equality is grounded simply and solely in the properly consistent interpretation of God’s written word. On this basis, biblical egalitarians (a) affirm that the gifts and callings of the Spirit are distributed without regard to gender, and that all believers in Christ stand on equal ground before God, and (b) repudiate the notion that the Bible grants to men spiritual authority and other religious privileges that it denies to women.

Learn more:

  1. Rebecca Merrill Groothuis: The Basics of Biblical Equality: Belief and Practice (supporting egalitariansim)
  2. N. T Wright: Women’s Service in the Church: The Biblical Basis (supporting egalitarianism)
  3. Daniel Wallace: Women in Leadership - Part 1, Part 2 (supporting complementarian, but examining the complementarian/egalitarian debate.)

Related term:

 

 

1Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

Filed under Ecclesiology.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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Reader Comments (3)

Too funny! I skipped right down to the definition and began reading and was surprised (and rather alarmed!) so I skipped right back up to the top and read your disclaimer.

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkim from hiraeth

I've added the word "disclaimer" in bold before the disclaimer in hopes that it'll stand out a little more than it did. Plus I've labeled each link as to whether it supports egalitarianism or complementarianism.

I went back and forth in my mind about how to do this term and then finally settled on doing it like this. Otherwise, the post would end up being just a repeat of last week's on complementarianism.

I did link it under the "Defective Theology" section of the glossary and found a certain comfort in that. :)

March 31, 2010 | Registered Commenterrebecca

Good job posting this. I think the way you did it was excellent. It directs people to the arguments for and against. You have a faithful following, so God-willing it will influence those who do not have a firm stance to see the beauty behind complementarianism. Some of the people listed who are egalitarians will also hopefully be exposed for their "defective theology" on this and other issues.

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

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