AMAZING Interview and Q&A about Women in the Church

haddad-mimi-rhe-egalitarian-womenWell, I think it’s time to restart our on-going series on Women in Ministry, don’t you?

While researching a particular argument for limiting Womens’ role in the Church, I stumbled on this interview and Q&A on Rachel Held Evans’ blog. It is a conversation with Mimi Haddad, President of Christians for Biblical Equality. And it is wonderful.

This whole disagreement about Women in the Church can produce a lot of noise that’s difficult to sift through. Too often, people on both sides end up retreating back to their respective sides and both fulfilling a lot of stereotypes while lobbing that accusation at the other side. This ends up entrenching the conversation even more deeply and intractably. The conservatives end up speaking sort of demeaningly about women (even unintentionally) and accusing egalitarians of not believing the Bible, all while egalitarians end up resorting to radical and simplistic feminist-sounding rants and calling all conservatives misogynists.

Haddad’s interview is wonderful because it moves against this. She is gracious, though firm in her convictions, and maintains the big picture of the discussion rather than getting lost in the rabbit-hole of interpreting individual proof-texts. She speaks in such a conversational, disarming, and winsome way. She brings up common-sense and clear-headed perspectives that are such a breath of fresh air for someone who sits for too long trying to pick apart individual texts. You can tell she loves the Church and the Bible and wants to honor them both well.

It also reinvigorated me to continue this discussion. There is still much more to be said, and as I have the privilege of being part of a church that will be ordaining its first female elder next month (the first church of this kind I’ve been a part of!), these issues are especially pertinent to those around me and the discussions we’re having.

And so, in the weeks to come, see this space fill back up with this discussion. Many of the things I want to write about will be building upon many of the ideas found in this interview and Q&A. So, if you want a big picture preview of what’s come, check it out. Really, I can’t recommend it enough.

Millennials, Media, & Meta-Churching

coffee-client-mugFor those of you out there that keep track of the “Christian blogosphere” (and if you don’t, you’re probably better for it), there’s a very weird discussion happening amongst many different writers and thinkers about “millennials” (those born from the early 80s to early 2000s), and how they relate to the church.

A couple of weeks ago Rachel Held Evans wrote a post for CNN’s religion blog in which she said that millennials are leaving the church because they don’t find substance there; but rather, all they seem to find are hypocritical, judgmental, and bigoted people that want to fight over silly things. She said that this desire for substance is why the millennials that do stay in the church are leaning towards more liturgical traditions. She encouraged church leaders to look at millennials and consider whether their departure might be speaking to systemic issues that are plaguing the American evangelical church.

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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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