Reflections after the readings for Gender Theology in Life and Ministry at Talbot

Here's my "timeless truth" for Ephesians 5:21, 22-33

Wise, theologically informed, Spirit-filled life (5:15-21) within the unity and mutuality of gender relations requires that women serve Christ by giving their strength for others and men serve Christ by giving their strength with others.
These seem to be the key ideas of the passage:
  • Our behavior toward one another is a direct result of our understanding the will of God and our being filled with the Spirit.
  • In the context of unity and mutuality, women are to be women and men are to be men. The exact nature of gender distinctions may be the biggest issue in the discussion.
  • Whatever our gender, our service is to Christ.
  • Whatever our gender, we are to treat the other as more important than ourselves.

As I've listened and read this term two trends seem to arise. First, the closer you get to the extreme ends of either side (so-called complementarian and so-called egalitarian), the more the perspectives seem to be filtered through assumptions. Of course, this may be my moderate filter speaking. Second, the depth and intensity of the discussion seems out of proportion with the amount of biblical ink dedicated to the topic. There are a handful of passages on women in ministry and 93 instances of the phrase "one another" (in ESV). Maybe we should spend more time on mutuality...just a thought.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped worrying about which particular "roles" were open to each gender and concentrated more on glorifying God by serving others.


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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