Special guest Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewell, associate professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, joins Mark and Rex to discuss her recent book on the current status of the conversation on women in ministry and marriage. Dr. Lee-Barnewell pushes the listener to move beyond old ways of thinking about it to a new Kingdom approach.
Welcome to Jessup bank. I’m your host Mark Moore and your co host, Rex Gurney. And Rex today on the show. I’m so excited that we have our eighth annual Faculty of theology spring lecture on the show. It’s Dr. Michelle Lee Barnewell. She’s an associate professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology Biola University. her recent book is entitled Neither Complementarian Nor Egalatarian: A Kingdom Corrected to the Evangelical Debate. And she just did an excellent job at the lecture, right. And we’re excited to have her on the show. And we know that you, as a listener are really going to benefit from, from understanding this conversation in this debate in a new way.
Michelle, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for the lecture you gave last night to at our eighth annual Faculty of theology spring lecture.
Well, thank you. It’s great to be great to be here with you. And it’s great to be with everyone last night. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Yeah, it was so wonderful. We got such good response to so well attended, actually. I mean, yeah, I feel proud of the fact it was Yes, it was like, our last one. Exactly. That’s encouraging.
I think it speaks to just how important the subject matter is and how interested people are in it. And they see that.
Yeah, that’s exactly the truth that there’s that this kind of conversation around gender roles, and, and women in ministry and marriage is is a hot topic in the church. And it has been for, you know, at least, we can at least say the last couple 100 years. We’re gonna least go back that far. And that’s why I think, yeah, that the the lecture was so well attended. And because people have real questions on Hey, how do we and especially in the 21st century, how do we understand this? And one of the things that you do in your book that I really enjoyed, and I know Rex enjoys, because he’s a history guy. Is that you? You do a little bit of like a historical survey of Okay, how did the conversation end up here? So I was, I would love and this was something you weren’t able to kind of get into in the lecture. But you gave a shout out to the podcast. So yeah, that was
a good promo.
So I’d love to kind of hear a little bit of those. What do you think are some of those kind of major or significant historical factors that have kind of led to the current evangelical gender debate?
Well, what I did in my book is I looked at three time periods and even telco history that I thought were very informative. And I started out with the turn of the century, around the late 1800s, early 1900s, and took a look at what was happening there. Then I took a look at the 1950s. And then the 1970s. And there are several things that I found out one was just looking at some of the trajectories that were there, but just also the contours of each period. So for example, the first period that I looked at in terms of the turn of the century, one of the things that I I found so interesting is I had this assume that when you look at history, it’s going to be this trajectory of just increasing freedom for a woman in terms of what is a move towards a more progressive, but one of the things that really surprised me was that there was actually a lot of freedom for women to, to do public ministry. In fact, not only was there a lot of freedom, there was a they were actually compelled to go out there is actually they were acting out of a sense of duty, and obligation that the whole society was kind of expecting them to do
historically, even in the 1920s and 30s. If you sort of look at two of the most famous preachers in America, you have Harry Emerson fosdick, but you also have aimee semple mcpherson. And yeah, her role was just sort of accepted as one of the mouthpieces for Christianity,
right, because one of the things is that the expectations for gender are different. And one of the things that I found out during that time period is that, well, one of the implications were the impact of Victorian ideology. Now, when you think of Victorian ideology, we usually think of the really fragile delicate woman right here and delicate that she’s going to faint a side of a mouse. And I don’t know if you, you know, watch the TV show Victoria, about Queen Victoria. But one of the early in the one of the early episodes, there’s a scene where it’s her birthday, and she’s sort of deathly afraid of rats and someone’s went to one of the servants are kind of, you know, being a bit mischievous or whatever. And then they hit a lot of these rats, like run all over her birthday cake, and she’s, she screams and she faints, and then her male advisors do sat there use that as like a reason to try to dethrone her because they’re saying like, Look, she’s not fit for this role. And so that’s kind of the stereotypical image I think of the Victorian woman. But what’s interesting is, there’s a flip side to this idea that the woman were just, you know, really pure and delicate. And the idea is that women were very pure because They were in a sense sort of, there was so much emphasis upon their domestic aspect. But what happened is because they were domestic, they were considered to still be more pure and a sense more spiritually pure in that regard, and the men were the ones who were corrupted, because by the world out there exactly where the men were contaminated. They’re the ones who are out in business and industry, this is part of the industrial age, that’s here. But what happens is you get these women who are considered to be so spiritually pure, that it’s their obligation to exert their spiritual influence upon society. And so some of these other, you know, tendencies about, Hey, what about, you know, the public and the private that we have, are really big considerations there. Because the whole point is that if women are more spiritually pure, they’re the spiritual, there’s a spiritual, more leaders. And actually, they really need to go out and exert their influence. And what you see during this period, is women taking the lead in a lot of social reform, like the temperance movement. Exactly, exactly. And one things I’ve found so fascinating is it’s not just that they were allowed to do it, they were supposed to do it. Right. And there’s so many things that happened in this era, just in terms of it’s a very pragmatic age, there’s a lot of emphasis upon doing, you have American expansionism the sense that it’s America’s destiny to go out and impact the world. So you have the golden age of mission, and all that kind of combines. And the other thing I found so interesting about this period is that, you know, women were considered to be the home, they’re the domestic realm is theirs, but because of this more expansionist mentality, their home doesn’t just end with their individual home, the world is considered their home, and therefore they’re supposed to impact the world in terms of the whole world, because the whole world is our home. That’s interesting.
Yeah, that is, and then we kind of get to maybe mid 20th century, and that starts to shift.
Right, right. And one of the, there various factors, but one of the factors that, of course, comes later is the world wars, right. And particularly after the Second World War, you know, everyone just is tired of fighting and right, there’s really not this desire to go out into the world anymore, everyone pretty much just wants to come and stay home. And there’s a real longing for peace and stability. And you also, at the same time, have the specter of the Cold War and nuclear war hanging over America. So there’s a lot of instability that’s going on. And the ordered home provides a sense of refuge for people. So what happens is, you have this sort of contraction of concerns. And the women are still, in a sense, considered the idea of of domestic and the home as being the center. But now it’s not the world as being their home. Now, it’s pretty much the individual home. And so you have, rather than the sense of being compelled to go on to the world, their ministry focus upon the individual, hopefully
the nuclear family that they pick into, right and use those use those words. Yeah,
exactly. And so it’s a whole idea. It’s like, it’s the, you know, the the wife and the husband, and then the house and the white picket fence, and then kids and
social things, and actually government policy that actually helped that along the whole GI bill actually sort of changed the dynamic with breadwinners, and, and stuff like that, too. So yeah, other things going on, a lot of things go
exactly, because even during the war, the women were doing a lot of the jobs that the men were doing when they were overseas fighting, but now the men come home, and they have to have jobs. And so the government provides some jobs, and now it’s the woman’s turn to go back into the home and sort of keep up the home. And what you also have is a sense of there’s a innocence of weakening, I think of the corporate responsibility that’s there. Because earlier, it was a sense that, you know, women had the obligation to go impact the world, but now there’s a focus upon individual fulfillment. And there’s a sense in which women will find their fulfillment by staying at home.
Right. And it’s interesting in Sacramento is really a military town. I mean, it’s not as much anymore because a lot of the Air Force bases have shut down but there was a ring of Air Force Base. Yeah, even when we Yeah. And and, and it’s interesting at the church where I work, the there’s It was built in 54. So it kind of postwar and talking to some are the original, like the gentlemen who are here when they were building it, like literally building it with their bare hands. He said after the war, they kind of all came back. And they wanted to focus on like three things, building churches, building schools, and building homes. And and that and so they kind of built those but yeah, then that focus became your house. And that house I currently live in was right around from the church and it was built and now Same time period as. And it was really just that postwar focus on getting your individual piece of land, getting your family. And and yeah, and it seems like that also seems to be where that hierarchy started to maybe to be seen even more even though it’s been present right before then. But it was Yeah, then culture of conformity also, there and yeah, to have a smoothly flows, nannies go out and we’re right women take care of the home, take care of the children and and then that really kind of lays the foundation for the 50s and early 60s. And then the late 60s happen and just totally explode all of all of American culture. And so yeah, well, how was that? So then that third time period you looked at was the 70s. kind of move? What are some of the shifts that happened in the 70s, that that also add to this conversation?
Yeah, well, what you have is, in some sense, some of it is I think, response or backlash to what happened in the 50s. Because in the 50s, it began to have more of these, you know, structured gender roles, whereas in the 20th century, it’s a little bit more fluid, they’re still, you know, do you see these distinctions between men and women, but you don’t have it quite as rigid as you’d have in the 50s. And so, in this, you know, in the 60s and 70s, the second feminist movement is often seen as being started with the publication of Betty for dance, the feminine mystique. And what she wrote about in her book was, you know, in the 50s, there was this idea that, you know, women are going to find their fulfillment, by staying at home and focusing upon, you know, raising the kids. And one of the things that she found in her book was that as she interviewed these women, including some of her classmates, is that a lot of them were actually quite unhappy with being at home, and quite unfulfilled. Right, exactly. You know, you know, in that and, and so part of what you do, she calls it the problem that has no name. And what you try to do in this as she kind of considers it in terms of like freeing women from the constraints of the thing, necessarily having to be homebound. You know, in that, and there’s a lot of talk about letting a woman have a choice in terms of, you know, whether want to stay home, or this idea that you have to find fulfillment by being in the home. So that kind of sets the stage for a lot of that. And one of the things that’s so interesting in terms of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s, is the distinction between that and what happens in the turn of the century, after the turn of the century is often called the first feminist movement. But one of the things that’s different is that in the 60s and 70s, you have a lot of arguments about women’s rights, the idea that just women have these natural rights by simply by virtue of fence being human. But what’s really interesting is at the turn of the century, the argument for let’s say, women’s right to vote did not really come from the idea that women had the right to vote. There were some arguments early on, that women should have the women should have the right to vote simply by virtue of having the right in that regard. But that argument was actually was not very successful, because in that corporate other centered era, it was seen as being selfish, and to focus on the individual person. So what happened is, the argument was changed to one that fit the era more, the more corporate era, and this idea that if women do have this superior moral and spiritual nature, well, then we better give them the vote, because they’re the ones who are going to be able to vote and make the country better, you know, in this regard, that all these things are necessary for women to have the influence to make the society better. So actually, it’s not that there weren’t arguments for women’s rights in that time period, it just, it didn’t take, you know, in that it was pretty much rejected. But in the 1960s, and 70s, things begin to change, we do have to we do tend to focus a little bit more on individual aspects and rights. And you have the civil rights movements, which really paved the way for the argument for rights for the second feminist movement. And so what you do have is, you know, in some sense, the movements are a little bit similar, because they’re talking about, like what women can do. But their motivations, and some of the assumptions behind it are quite different. And one of the things I found so interesting, and that is that, you know, they said, I thought that the director was going to be one of just increasing freedom for woman. But to me, the most interesting trajectory that I found was an increasing individualistic emphasis from the corporate, you need to go out and impact the world to focus upon the home, you need to take care of your home to now by the time we get to the 60s and 70s, that a lot of it is about the individual shrinks this fear every time. Exactly. And that itself I mean, as much as we have the debates like hey, you know, is that complementarian or gala? terian? And, you know, what can women do or and in this, but to me, one of the main concerns is, are we really focusing upon the fact That our concerns are becoming in some maybe intense for both, okay, becoming more focused on the individual, and how is that going to impact us?
Right? That was really fascinating to kind of see that, that, that transition to this focus on individual rights, and then even how we use that to reframe what happened in history, because, because I think up until now, I’ve always read, I’ve always framed the the women’s suffrage movement as the right to vote, right, like this individual individual, right, that they have as human beings. And, and yeah, the sense of within that culture of our culture at that time of saying, No, we are a corporate right, or a unity, and women do have this place and role and they should be revolt, but it’s not, it’s different than an individual right. And grasping that. And that does seem, for me, kind of all of these kind of historical factors, do kind of lead up to a point in your book, where you kind of stress that, that those factors are also what has gone into shaping the current evangelical kind of gender role debate. And and we have to be mindful of that, that they didn’t just that the general debate within the church didn’t happen, unconnected from what was happening in history. And it seems to me a really strong connection, that the current debate is kind of guided by themes of individual rights, authority, power, status, and even equality, as as kind of, you know, a theme from the later transition right later 20th century. And you seem to I think you make a great point, that perhaps those themes aren’t the best place to start this conversation.
Right. And in the book, I try to emphasize, it’s not that I think that those themes are irrelevant, you know, I mean, are, are wrong in the park, but I do have a concern about what happens if we start from them. And, you know, if you’re just to take an example, like, you know, when we’re talking about the Christian life, you know, we really don’t want to emphasize on, you know, just oh, what are we supposed to do? How often do we pray, how many times we read the Bible were supposed to do? Can I, you know, can I see this movie? Can I listen to the song? Should my hair be? Exactly because we all know what’s going to happen if you do that. And yet, at the same time, when we frame the debate according to authority and equality, it really does lend us questions of what can women do? Can women priests, can women be an elder? Can women teach men? Things like that? And then, for me, the concerns become, how does that shape the way we look at gender? You know, is it’s simply a matter of, you know, this is what people can do. But the New Testament talks about, it’s more about, you know, what is the new life that we have that manifests itself in what we do as embodied human beings. So that’s why what I like to talk about is that, you know, even as we think about things like authority and equality, are there larger things that frame the discussion? Are there as a larger context in which we might understand something, what authority looks like, or what equality might not be? Like? What are more important ways to orient ourselves in terms of how we’re relating as men and women?
Yeah, I think that’s an excellent way to to reframe the conversation to, to just to recognize, like, oh, wow, maybe we’re starting with the wrong questions. Right. And, and we’re starting and, and so it does seem like kind of these historical factors kind of lead into that right and shaped the church. And there also seems to be maybe other factors. And Rex, I know you have kind of a story, you have to confess. So I
grew up in a pretty fundamentalist environment. And then later on married to a very strong woman, very cultured, very successful, and I was very intimidated. And I hit the patriarchy thing pretty hard in the first few years of our marriage, and my wife actually grew up Baptist too. And so she she was familiar with all that stuff. And for some reason, which is sort of inexplicable to me now, she actually went along with it for a couple of years. But in looking back at what I was trying to do, using using that card, it really wasn’t theological or ideological thing. It was actually helping me mask my own anxiety. And so I found that as a very convenient thing to actually mask what was going on with me. And so oftentimes, there’s a lot of streams that flow into these these questions and these and these arguments, and I’ve reflected on that a lot over the years.
Yeah, that that these kind of themes of, of power or authority, that have been influenced by culture can also then be influenced by by our own experiences and our own like you’re saying our own anxieties or insecurities. And so we may use, we may use it. And and again, both sides, right, both sides can use exactly. But I think that was Yeah, when you kind of shared that story of Brexit, it is insightful because yeah, it was not like, no, this is just theological. You know, there was some emotional some, some personal issues happening where I’m going to use this strong sense of authority, strong sense of power. But because I’m really masking my my anxiety or insecurity right now, because of you, and I think that’s helpful. Of
course, I wasn’t aware of that at the time, right post facto reaction, but at least I think it’s a positive thing that I see that now. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And
thanks for sharing that. Because I think that’s a really good story, too. Because I think as we look at this, we really have to think about it in terms of personal sanctification to say, it’s not simply that, oh, I’ve discovered this, okay, men are in charge, or we’re all equal. And then there we have it. But as you as you mentioned, that there could be on both sides, you know, in the sense, how are we approaching this? Why are we approaching this? What way? Are we using this? And I think there can be a tendency, like, as long as I have the answer, things, I have my answer, and then this must be okay. You know, this is my personal sanctification, as opposed to how am I be using this? Yeah, yeah. To hide from other issues that I have going on in my life?
Yeah, if I just have the answer, I’m in charge. And then I can just appeal to that and think, wait, why am I Why am I holding on to this? How am I using this? In my marriage, in my own spiritual life and spiritual formation? I think it really does kind of bring that up. And so you kind of highlighted these themes, like the wrong kind of questions, maybe we’re asking, and then I think you did a great job of providing, the more common and and the more stressed Kingdom themes that we see in Scripture? What are a few of those Kingdom themes that might help us kind of reframe this conversation?
Well, I think a lot of the kingdom themes revolve around a couple of things. And one is that if you look at the way God does things in Scripture, he does a lot of ways that mystify human beings. And the particular one is the idea of the cross, right? The whole idea that God uses a cross something that is shameful, that pitted me a weakness in the Greco Roman world. And ultimately, he uses that as the means by which he saves us. And this idea that, you know, this idea of it’s sometimes called this or cruciform it to your cruciform perspective, the idea that just God does things that may, you know, look one way by the world’s eyes, but looks differently when you look at it in terms of God’s economy. So it becomes a matter of how are we looking at, you know, things in this regard? Do we look at it in terms of our natural human self? Or do we look at it in a way in terms of how is God going to work through things like human being like weak human beings. And so some of the themes I’ve come up with, and also the sense of just the corporate aspect, even from the beginning, as God works through Israel, and then you’re coming back into the New Testament, in terms of the bride of Christ is always this corporate sense. And it’s not simply our individual sense of salvation, but what God is doing as a people who are representing him in this regard. So some of the themes that I bring out and I apply to, you know, each position is for the complementarians, I kind of look at like, what do we mean by servant leadership? Because that’s a key term. Now, a lot of people use servant leadership, but it becomes a really important term for the complementarian
leadership language here. But I’m not the only Christian school. We’re not look at the look at Christianity today. Look at like the end where they have it like the college advertisement. It’s like, wow, I thought we were the only ones that had that slogan, right? Everyone has it.
It is a really popular thing that you have for both. And but if you look at it, too, and one of the things is we tend to look at servant leadership, we often think about it as leadership that’s done in the manner of a servant. In other words, servant becomes a modifier to leadership, but leadership is the main thing. Yeah. But really, when you look at it in terms of you know what Jesus says, he actually doesn’t say to, for the leaders to be like a servant, he actually says to be a servant. And if you’re thinking about it in a Greco Roman hierarchical context, because they were really big on status, and climbing up the hierarchical ladder, you can either in a sense, be a leader on the top, or you can be a servant or slave on the bottom. And so the idea of the leader, being a servant is not really a modifier as much as it’s a paradox. How can you be both? Right? But it’s the same idea with a cross, right? How can the cross be weakness and foolishness and at the same time, the wisdom and power of God, it depends on how you’re looking at it. And so we really, I think we do need to look at it in terms of this sort of paradox in the way and what is being, you know, how are people being called to do this and The other thing I’d like to bring up to is he doesn’t just say that leaders are supposed to be servants. He says leaders are supposed to be slaves. And I think if we did that, it brings out a little bit more the implications a little deeper, because we’ve used servant leadership so much, and I think it’s lost a little bit of its punch in that regard. So I think it’s coming back to what did it really mean, you know, in that context, and a lot of what Paul talks about, he talks about his sufferings. If you look at God’s ways, God’s always working in mystifying ways he chooses the younger over the elder, he uses, you know, 300 people to fight the midianite army rather than, you know, 1000s in that regard. And the reason for doing that is because it shows God’s sovereignty, you know, so it’s not really a matter of power and position for the individual. It’s this idea that God is able to work through weakness, and I think that’s something that we really need to investigate a little bit more, because maybe in our American mentality, too, we think of the leader so much as the upon person, they’re really strong, and they’re powerful, and they are leading us and everyone’s following in that regard, which is certainly has its merits, but at the same time, if we’re really focusing on that, how does someone really learn how to surrender all to God? And and what does it mean for God to lead to work in someone in that way? And I just wonder if we’ve really investigated that very much, because we have these, you know, automatic concepts of leadership, which I think is, you know, as Americans, we’d like to be leaders, right? Kind of what we’re all about, and we’re very good at doing that. I think we’re not as good as understanding what it means to be a follower and what it means to submit. But ultimately, I think what the New Testament is talking about is that these leaders lead in the sense of really knowing how to submit, first of all, to God, but also to each other. And then the other thing I might think about as we’re thinking about unity, and what is the role the corporate is in terms of, you know, gala, terian, stress, equality a lot. And certainly quality would be a noble goal. But equality does tend to focus a little bit more on, you know, what I get? What are my rights? Now, certainly, those are good things to think about, but they do focus on me. And really, what you think about in the New Testament more is this idea that we’ve all been included, in the sense we’ve all been included into the body of Christ. And therefore, if you look at Galatians, 328, sort of the famous passage, which says that you know, about two Greek, slave free male, female, it doesn’t say that we are all equal, it says that we are one. Yeah, and the idea of oneness has different connotations than equality is a sense that we’re all connected in this regard. And Paul, in First Corinthians 1226, right talks about the one body of Christ says, What’s the result of the one body of Christ when one member suffers, all suffer when one member is honored, all rejoice? And so I think if we fought focus on equality, rather than this idea of oneness, we lose the relational implications that are there that really what it’s about is everyone’s been included these ancient pairings that normally would be indications of being separate, do Greek slave free, actually, now they’re one brothers and sisters in Christ, no longer separated, no longer hostile to one another, but being willing even to die for one another.
Yeah. And it really, I think, changes the conversation completely, right, when you jump off of these themes of power and control and this strong view of a hierarchy in terms of those things, but rather than shift the conversation to unity to oneness, and I think your distinction between oneness and equality is really important because because it’s easy to to just kind of make that other swing right you’re like well, if I don’t agree with complementarian view, then it’s just a quality but but making us rethink like okay, we what do we mean by a quality and, and is the theme and scripture rather oneness or inclusion? Like you said, I think that’s really important and it has implications for both views. Exactly. Right. Yeah. And that’s and that’s one thing that I really appreciated about your book and partly I think I appreciate it because I am a nine on the enneagram and so so my There we go. 99 I’m sorry, Rex, we don’t have Do we know what you are? I have it on a card but I didn’t memorize it. Carry it in your wallet just in case. You’re like here it is. Check. Number right. This will help you understand who I am. Yeah today but I think as a nine one of our gifts, maybe is is being able to see both sides of an argument. And also, I think with that seeing a middle way that can actually help both sides. And, and it does seem that I think you’ve done a great job of kind of stressing if we’re asking the wrong questions. Even if we answer them, we still aren’t, we haven’t gotten anywhere. Like if we’re starting with just okay, who’s in charge who can lead. Just by answering that doesn’t mean, we actually saw that on one side or the other. Because it’s still, it’s still just a hierarchy based on power and status and authority, rather than this kind of reversal we see in the New Testament. And so I think that’s, that’s important for me to kind of, to shift to Hey, thinking about starting from a new place with these themes. And so I want to push this kind of, kind of as we land the plane gently. I know you made a confession last night, that, that scholars aren’t always the best applicant, you know, appliers, right. Which is kind of the stereotype of us. And, and I can see that too, sometimes, like when I’m preaching like that application points for me are maybe the hardest points to come up with, rather than like maybe the historical background and these unique connections. So I can I can feel your pain on that. But I do think it’s interesting to to maybe Wade out into the waters of application here at the end, because I know that seems to be people maybe finish electrolytes last night or even finished the book, or what do I do now? Yeah. And they’re like, Alright, because you didn’t tell me what to do? Or like, we want to be told what to do. And I know, and I don’t think I really like your approach, because I don’t think it’s helpful to just say, oh, okay, so then this should be the case and be very prescriptive with it. But rather giving people maybe tools of like, Okay, how, if we reframe the conversation to these themes? What does that look like moving forward in, in ministry and in marriage?
Yeah, I think maybe we should also say to that not only am I a scholar, but also being a nine. Like, okay, let me just talk about I hear you, I hear the paralysis
of knowing every way to sing the complications of everything,
right. Yeah, I know, you’re just like, well, this is so interesting. Let me think about a little bit more. Exactly. So well, maybe I can give a couple a couple thoughts here in terms of what what people can actually do with all of this. One of the things I like to say is the purpose of, you know, the book and what I’m trying to do is not necessarily to try to convert anyone, I’m not really saying that complementarian should be egalitarian or Gala. terian should be complementarians. Part of what I’m trying to do is just really open up the discussion so we can broaden it. If we do think that these categories are a little limiting, and then maybe even harmful for us in terms of like, limiting the way we look at gender, perhaps causing some other unintentional problems. I like to think that what I hope what I can do is make complementarians better complementarians and egalitarians, better egalitarians. And then perhaps somewhere in the process, we can move a little bit more towards Okay, what as what are we really, you know, pointing towards? And this because one of my concerns is that is that as we focus upon things like rights and positions and power, it does really focus on us. It sets us against one another. And also, we really, I do think we begin to lose our focus upon God. Paul talks about in First Corinthians three, six, he says, I planted Apollo’s watered, and God gave the growth. And I just get concerned sometimes that we’re really kind of forgetting or not integrating as much what does it mean for God to give the growth as we live according to this cruciform perspective? So just to give you some practical thoughts, in terms of how I might see this applying is that one of the things I think is that I do think there needs to be a balance between both the individual and the corporate focus, I’m not denying that I think it is important to to be aware that we are individuals and then God has individually gifted us that we have, you know, all made, you know, when we make a decision for Christ, that it is as an individual in this regard. But as we think about when Paul says in First Corinthians 12, seven to eat is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good, there is both the to each and common good that is there. And part of my concern is so I might say, for the complementarians, if each is given a manifestation of the common good. I do think in Scripture, there is this general sense in which these manifestations are to be used for the entire church. And I think this is compatible compatible with a male leadership perspective, because Paul in Ephesians, four talks about, you know, God has set up in the church, you know, apostles prophets, you know, teacher shepherds, I’m in order to equip the saints, for the work of ministry. So I think within a male leadership perspective, you can still have male leadership. And what they’re doing is they are equipping the saints. because really what it is, is the saints are the ones who are to be doing the work of ministry, right, and maybe not the sense of, it’s only just the, quote unquote, leadership that is doing that. But everyone who has been gifted according to act two, is to contribute. So I think there is a way in which there can be more of a liberal leaf of the giftings for in the church, which I think is, is compatible with what you see in the New Testament. And so just as a practical concern that if you have a male leadership perspective, in this regard, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the church has to be only male voices. That’s her publicly or a predominantly male presence, or what I’ve heard also, too, is this idea of is it does it become a male culture, you know, in that regard, because I do think that church, as you have at San First Corinthians 12, has, you know, it’s a gifting and I don’t necessarily see a big gender difference in terms of the voices that you have in the assembly. And first Corinthians 11, does talk about woman prophesying in the assembly? So there might be maybe a little bit that is compatible, you know, with that, as we’re thinking about that, and then I would perhaps say for the gal terrines, as we think about the idea of it’s more of this oneness, inclusion, rather than mother than a focus on right, we might want to think about how does, how are we thinking about it in terms of a corporate concern? Because right does tend to put the focus upon me. And but the whole idea of inclusion? is, it is incense more, what do I give the whole idea of being in the body of Christ, it’s not just that I have this right to do something. But the point is, now that we’re in the body, I have an obligation, right, okay, to help there. So my focus is, is different. And not only that, Paul talks about demand, and my affections are different, you know, I now see that if someone is hurt, then that hurts me too. I’m called to love one another. And but if we’re focusing more upon the things I’m not getting, and these are the things I want to get, it’s just a different orientation. And I think we really need to be thinking about what does this sort of other centered focus mean? And in light of this,
yeah, and I think for me, as I was kind of reading your book, and listening last night, I was kind of getting this vision of Yeah, if we, if we actually lived in a kingdom, that was guided by these themes of humility, and unity and oneness, and really understood that that reversal theme of the New Testament, then it seems like we would be in a place where, no matter what side you’re on, it would be a place of, of humility, where we could humbly like humble ourselves, to learn from one another right to hear from, from every voice to to be led by one another. And, and then ultimately to serve everyone. Right. Right. And, and, and that, and I think it is important for you to like, I’d like your examples, because it helps on both sides. So even if it’s in a context of male leadership, that would still be this unity and love that would give a proper place for, for everyone’s voice focus
on the kingdom and not on a theory of leadership or theory of rights and rights. Just it’s a different. It’s what we assume Yeah, written in the New Testament were supposed to be about anywhere. Right.
Exactly. And, and like he kind of said, and he ended last night, I think so powerfully. The idea that, if we just, we feel like if we answer and overstate if we answer that question of who can lead or who can do what we think the problem will be solved, and it won’t. And and it’s because those issues of authority and status and power are the wrong issues. And they’re the wrong themes. And as the church is being guided by these greater themes of love, and humility, and oneness, that moves us into a completely different Kingdom than we’re currently in. So thank you so much for for helping us I mean, helping us here, Jessup and helping me kind of broaden this conversation and and bring new language into that conversation.
Thank you so much for inviting me. I really appreciate the chance to meet everyone and to be here and to dialogue.
Great. And I’m also we’ve I’ve said on the show before, but I’m a Talbot grad and wonderful. Yeah, even better. grad. There we go. So we got a good connection, all the connections everywhere. That’s good.
I knew there was something really special about you guys.
Exactly. That’s right. Well, just thanks again, so much for being on the show. Thank you again for having me. Thank you for listening to Jessup thing. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Jessup think we would love to hear your thoughts on the episode and engage with any questions you have. Our aim is to provide a framework for further reflection and deeper exploration of these important topics. You can also help the show by leaving a review on iTunes. These reviews help the podcast reach new listeners. Until next time, I’m Mark Moore and this is Jessup.
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