Sunday, June 15, 2008

Women In Ministry

Here's a conversation with my five-year-old daughter. I almost called this post "Out of the Mouth of Babes: Women in Ministry" but thought that people might get confused and think I meant "Babes" as a pun*.

A: What are you reading, Dad?

Me: It's called Two Views on Women In Ministry. It's for one of my classes.

A: What's it about?

Me: Some people disagree about what jobs women are allowed to have at church. In this book different people share about what they think is allowed.

A: Why don't they just ask their pastors?

* As you all know, I hate puns. I suppose if you cut off the entire left side of every pun they would be all right.


  1. how IS that book, may I ask?

  2. It's great, actually. They have two self-described "egalitarians" and two "complementarians" (a man and a woman for each position) share their thoughts and understanding of scripture on the topic.

    I did feel like people occasionally went out of their way to make an uncharitable remark about someone on the other side, but for the most part it's much more balanced than other books out there.

    It's pretty detailed, too. You'll come away knowing pretty much every (reasonable) argument that's on the table right now. And the editors are really interested in exploring the common ground between the two positions, which is different than a lot of the rhetoric out there.

    I will warn you that because of its thoroughness and attention to detail that it can be a little mind-numbing at places.

    Anyway, if it's a topic you're interested, or if you've read books that say "there is only one Biblical position on this question" then you should definitely take a look at this.

  3. What class is that for?

  4. THS 508 with Breshears, Azurdia, Johnson... "Integrating Ministry and Theology"

    Starts Thursday. Want to come?

  5. sounds like a fair review. such a complex topic...much more than most make it out to be. I can't wait to get lost in the mind-numbing details. (I am serious. I am buying a copy presently.)

  6. Matt,

    I agree - good book. All of those 5/4/3/2 Views books are pretty good. They give some great perspective.

    Regarding the topic of the book, there has been some recent controversy at some churches here in the North Texas area. So, DBC has decided to do a 3-week series on the topic.

    Disclaimer: if you're looking for a "2-Views" type of thing, this 3-week series is not the place. Tom (and 2 profs from Southern) are presenting the Complementarian perspective. I blogged on this a couple weeks ago. See:

  7. Thanks, Jason. I see they're specifically addressing the pastor/elder question. Do you know if they're going to talk about things like female deacons and other roles in the church?

  8. Well, I'm sure hoping they do... But we'll see what Ware and Moore say during the coming weeks.

    I think the focus is on male pastors, teachers, and elders. Last week, Tom briefly mentioned a difference between female deacons and deaconesses, but he didn't elaborate much. The audio should be up at very soon if not already. Also, Shea Sumlin's talk from the night service was pretty good as well. See

    It is tough to comment thus far since it is a 3-week deal and I don't know what the other guys will cover.

    From what I've heard thus far, the position seems to be:
    -female pastors - no.
    -female elders - no.
    -female teachers over men (once they reach an age somewhere in their teens - 13? 18?) - no.
    -female deacons - I'm not sure because the female deacon vs. deaconess comment threw me off
    -women doing pretty much anything else - YES.
    -positions outside of the church - ???. (Tom seemed to allow for women conference speakers outside of the "church building" but he didn't elaborate much, so I'm a little hazy on the position there. Regardless, from what I hear of Ware and Moore, they won't draw such solid lines between church and para-church).

    Hope this helps... Still wrestling with much of this myself. Much prayer needed!