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

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
Open your mouth,judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:1, 9

An excellent wife who can find?
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Proverbs 31:10a, 20

Looking at the gender distinctions hinted in Proverbs 31, the response to the downtrodden may provide insight. The male is called to defend the downtrodden while the female cares for the downtrodden. In both cases, passion, justice, and strength are present and necessary. The downtrodden are fully helped only when both tasks--defense and care--are exercised. The actions are accomplished side by side. The man and the women function together.

Some provide evidence that such differences are intrinsic and biological. Others claim these differences are produced by nurture and other environmental factors. A combination of biology and environment seems most likely. The specific mix of causal factors may never be known. Some things can be discerned.
  • God created humanity--male and female--in his trinitarian image.
  • God created male and female sequentially, impressing upon them their need for one another.
  • God commanded humanity--male and female--to have dominion over the earth and its creatures.
  • Therefore, humanity can only be true to God's creational intent when male and female work together interdependently to complete what God has commanded.

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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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