WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME THIRTY-ONE

In What Sense are Women Saved Through Childbirth?

Words are important. It should be no surprise that when God created the universe, he used words. Nor should it be a surprise that when Jesus came to earth, he was labled, “The Word.” The entire Gospel message breathes through fragile human words. The greatest theological debates often hang on simple words — words like […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME THIRTY

Domination and a Reprise of the Chicken and the Egg

What came first? The Chicken or the egg? Most scientists will answer that at some point in evolutionary history when there were no chickens, two birds that were almost-but-not-quite chickens mated and laid an egg that hatched into the first chicken. If you are prepared to call that egg a chicken’s egg, then the egg […]

the chicken and the egg

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-NINE

The Meaning of Authority in the Letters of the Apostle Paul

I remember quite vividly my Mom giving her testimony on a Sunday morning. It was a moving narration of her journey to Christ with a spattering of Scripture references. My church would never have allowed a woman to preach. However, everyone supported my Mom in “sharing” that morning. My father was in attendance, sitting in […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-EIGHT

Teaching, Authority and the Women of the City of Ephesus

In Seminary, my Ministry 101 professor had the class debate several relevant issues over the course of the semester. One day he announced that the next debate would be on “Women as Pastors.” He asked who would like to be on the “against” side. Twenty hands shot up and he chose four. When he asked […]

women teaching men

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-SEVEN

The Congregation of Women and a Plea to Listen to the Preacher!

My formative experiences in the church (both as a child and minister) were in small Spanish-speaking congregations. The worship began whenever enough family members arrived. Sometimes we had to wait because it was so-and-so’s birthday and we were going to sing happy birthday to them at the “welcome time,” and they were running late. It […]

women in worship

CHOOSING MENTAL HEALTH

Why Simone Biles Will Always Be A Winner

Simone Biles, the most lauded U.S. gymnast in history, unexpectedly pulled out of the women’s team competition at the Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns about her mental health. Good for her. It has been encouraging to watch the Olympic community of athletes rally to support her decision. Good for them. It has been refreshing to read […]

simone biles

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-SIX

The Historic Attempt to Silence the Feminine Voice in the Church

Under an arch in a Roman Basilica is a mosaic portraying four female characters: two female saints, Mary (the mother of Jesus), and a fourth woman. An inscription identifies the fourth woman as Theodora Episcopa. The masculine form for Bishop in Latin is episcopus; the feminine form is episcopa. Both the mosaic’s visual and grammatical […]

bishop theodora

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-FIVE

The Meaning of "Head," Ontological Equality and Functional Inequality

Words change meaning over time. In Old English, “pretty” meant “crafty and cunning.” A century ago, “nice,” meant “naive or ignorant.” And as recent as when I was a kid “gay,” meant “happy and carefree.” So, two thousand years ago, when Paul used the word “head,” what did it mean? It’s quite possible that it […]

husband and wife

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-FOUR

Reading Paul Through Corinthian Sociological-Cultural Eyes

As a professional communicator, I’ve spent decades perfecting my craft and still fall short on a regular basis. It never ceases to amaze me that I can compose my message as clearly as possible and still encounter those who misunderstand. That’s because everyone listens and reads, through unique cultural lenses. Culture impacts every line of […]

husband-wife relationship

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-THREE

Head Coverings, Hairstyles, and the Fight to Understand Paul's Words

There are four Pauline Scripture passages that are most often used in the debate over women in ministry. Three are used to limit the role of women in the life of the church. These are 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34-37; and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. The fourth, Galatians 3:26-29, is used to advocate for the complete freedom […]

women in ministry