The church leadership team I am part of asked me to bring a series of messages on the subject of gender-equality. That’s because one (two actually) of our church’s values is as follows:

We value intergenerationality and gender equality.  God promised, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters … Your old men will dream dreams, your young men see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on … men and women alike.” (Joel 2:28-29) So, we invest in ministry to kids and teens, and build relationships across generational lines. We encourage mutual submission in marriages, and include women behind the pulpit and in the pastoral team.

Anyway, they bent my arm and I agreed. But, having written close on 400 pages and 875 footnotes, I wanted to stand up and tell everyone, “Just read my book.” But obviously, I couldn’t do that—so I homed in on six parts of my book.

(For my critics, I ask for your generosity—I cannot support every point as I do in a book, so please read it, including its footnotes and appendices for that support. I also can’t always get my wording as precise as I would like to—again, my preferred wording is in my book. Get it here)

1) “A partnership made in paradise”

In this one, I explain from Genesis 1–3 why patriarchy—the assumption that men should have predominant power—is an intrusion into God’s good creation, and the moment it fell like scales from my eyes. 

2) “A place at the table” (By Julie)

In this one, Julie my wife tells the story of why she changed her mind about the place of godly women in marriage and ministry, after years of being a vocal defender of soft patriarchy.

3) “Pastor Priscilla”

For over a decade I explained to 1000s of people that it was best not to ordain female pastors because “there were none at all in the early church, and we wouldn’t want to go beyond Scripture.” What a SHOCK when I finally took a more careful look: of course, there IS a female pastor in the New Testament. (And what damaging gobbly gook us Bible teachers sometimes get away with.) I taught on this last Sunday —obviously my book covers this more thoroughly, as does this post:

4) “Some AHA moments in my study of Scripture” (ad lib)

Here’s a noteless, ad lib lecture, thus not so eloquent in places, on some more AHA moments I had as I deeply investigated Scripture and church history on the question of whether churches are REALLY meant to be led by a team of ONLY men.

5) “Wives, submit?”

Does the Bible, properly understood, tell wives everywhere to follow their husband’s authority? Here I run through four views on the Ephesians 5 passage about marriage.

6) “Towards a gender-equal church”

This one I (and some of my favourite people) get really practical—what does this all mean for the way we do church? (And please excuse my tears—I hardly cry, which is not a good thing. But as I spoke I was totally overcome with grief for the way women, especially in less developed parts of the world like in my continent, suffer in a culture with a patriarchal worldview.)  

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