GENDER THEOLOGY--restoring original intent

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

The teaching of Galatians 3:28 provides theological principles behind and beneath the practices exhorted in the household tables of Paul’s other letters. The use of “male” and “female” in this verse echoes the use of these same terms in the Greek translation of Genesis 1:26-28. This verbal connection points to the restoration of God’s creational intent and the removal of the antagonisms caused by the corruption of sin (Gen 3).

Returning to God’s original intent of equality and mutuality in no way necessitates the removal of gender distinctions. God created humanity as male and female. Male authority and female submission are not part of God’s original intent, but are accommodations put in place to manage the social brokenness that resulted from humanity’s choice to sin. Genesis 1 and 2 reveal God’s original intent for humanity—male and female—to be mutuality and partnership in exercising dominion over non-human creation.

Gender distinctions
(held in varying degrees by individual persons) shape the manner in which males and females fulfill the roles of spouse, parent, leader, and minister, but they do not require or exclude a specific gender from a specific role. Rather, for proper human functioning, persons from both genders must work together in mutuality, each bringing the specific perspective of him or herself and his or her gender.


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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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