Church History: Where have the female leaders been? {pt1}

sandorfi-quo-vadis[This is a continuation of our on-going series on Women in the Church]

Update: Part 2 is now up.

First off, one of the main limitations of writing is the necessity of producing summary titles for what you write. This post should, more precisely, have the title “Where have all of the ordained, teaching, preaching, and leading female leaders in Church History been?” But I can only put so much in the title before it becomes absurd.

I say that because even complementarians (who don’t think women should be ordained) will freely acknowledge the valuable place women (in general) have had in the Church over the years. They simply think that, in spite of gifting or value, God has placed limits on who should lead his church in ordained, official ways. So…sorry for any confusion.

When it comes to the Bible and the contemporary benefits women in Church leadership could offer, I’m pretty comfortable, confident, and secure in my egalitarianism. I think it is a faithful, consistent, practical, and edifying view to hold, and I see evidence for it written and displayed all over the place.

And yet, I’m in the extreme minority, relative to Church History.
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Two quick questions for all you complementarians out there….

I’m still in the process of writing my first post on a specific text (1 Timothy 2:8-15). It’s not done yet (I chose to have an amazing of night full of wings and really good friends instead of writing it).

Because of the impending holiday weekend and the travel days that it entails, I’ll probably be putting that one up on Monday (sorry to get everyone fired up just to drop you for almost a week), but in the meantime, I wanted to solicit some help from my more conservative friends out there (also usually called “complementarians“) on a couple of questions I’ve had during this on-going series on Women in the Church. First:

Under a complementarian view, what would the traits of a failed husband in this respect look like? In other words, what does a “feminine” husband look like? Does that look anything like the way you think women are supposed to act in the home?

What I’m getting at is this: when I think of these answers (on both extremes), I think of terms like “weak, passive, indecisive, silent, not-present, abusive, exploitative, manipulative, and aggressive”.
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A “vagina” & minor theological disagreement is going to keep a good book off of a Christian bookstore’s shelves

Just look at that smile. Doesn’t seem like the face of someone that wants to destroy Christianity, does it? Well, some would disagree, and one Christian bookstore wants to protect us from her.

One of the best voices in contemporary Evangelicalism today is Rachel Held Evans. She writes about many things, but a major part of her writing–and the topic of her most recent book A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”–is the place of woman in Christian homes and churches.
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