Thursday, February 16, 2017

Super Short: Implications of NOT Learning from Christian Women

Adult Christian men are not to be in submission to the spiritual authority of women.
Generally, teaching the Word to someone is an exercise of spiritual authority.

But does it follow that a man may not read or listen to the words of a female writer or speaker on the subject of God's Word and gain some benefit through doing so?

No.

Here's how I thought about it today:


Is a woman unable to offer an insight into Scripture that a man doesn't already know? Can she not teach any better than her husband? What are the implications? If he is always going to be better at teaching than she, such that she has no unique insights to offer that he does not surpass with his own, isn't it reasonable to conclude that if the goal of raising the children is to give them the best instruction, that the husband should be the primary child-rearer of the two? In addition to working, phew, what a practical challenge! No, there is no assumption that women have nothing to offer to the benefit of men, nor that they cannot teach better than men, in some qualified way, implicit in the instruction that men are to be the spiritual authority in the spheres of the church and the home. The husband can benefit from spiritual advice and insight from his wife. And if that doesn't make him a bad leader, neither would it make him one if he solicited wisdom from other women.


Here is what Tim Challies wrote on the subject, in I'm Complementarian And I Read Books By Women.
"For his own purposes, God has determined that men will take the leadership role in the church, including the public teaching of the gathered congregation. There is no indication that he has made this determination on the basis of gifting, ability, or wisdom."
And he concludes,
I believe this a valid expression of the teaching gift whether those women write exclusively for women or whether they write for men and women. Why? Because this writing ministry does not usurp the authority of husbands or elders. Their books pose no threat to a husband’s or church’s leadership. They do not challenge a complementarian understanding of the Bible.....[I] encourage Christian men to gladly, humbly, confidently read books by women. I encourage pastors to gladly, humbly, confidently read books by women. Don’t read them with fear or suspicion, don’t read them to simply screen them for your wife or your congregation, but read them to learn, to grow, to know God better. Trust that God dispenses gifting, ability, and wisdom to men and women alike.
-W