(Second try – our apologies for the faulty link in the subscriber email that went out this morning!) Recently I shared my conviction that evangelicals need to develop a deeper theology of women; one that accurately reflects the fact that women and men were created in the image of God and given a mutual mandate to nurture and rule, without restrictions based on gender. There are some promising signs that the conservative church is moving in this direction.
Some frame the debate about women sharing authority in the church and in the home as a “secondary issue”. But it’s a mistake to assume that our theology of women is a minor issue.
I was a complementarian for more than 20 years. I believed that women should not serve as church elders or senior pastors, that the primary vocation of Christian wives was to submit to the leadership of their husbands, and that husbands should lay claim to that leadership. Because I came to faith when I was 19 years old and immediately joined a complementarian church, I thought this was the only approach to gender roles that took the Bible’s authority seriously.
I now believe that Galatians 3:28 applies to more than just our legal status before God; rather, this passage (and others like it) provides the church with a redemptive vision for community life.