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

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-TWO

The Female Witnesses to Paul's Radical Inclusionary Practices

In 1888, Annie Armstrong led in the creation of the Woman’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention, helping draft the constitution and serving as its first “executive director.” During her tenure, Armstrong refused a salary and traveled extensively at her own expense as a tireless advocate for missionaries, rallying the churches to support mission […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY-ONE

The Indispensable Female Leadership in the Ministry of Paul

I was elected to serve on the elite crossing guard unit when I was in the 5th grade. Karl Semecki wanted the position, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I got it. Karl didn’t like me much after that. He wanted to fight me on the school playground. I remember being scared (Karl was […]

women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME TWENTY

The Place of Women in Paul's Greco-Roman World

Less than a year into my marriage I was invited to preach at a church in Houston. It was a small Pentecostal congregation in a lower-income neighborhood. The worship experience was like entering a time machine headed for the 1950s. Priscilla and I felt obligated to stay for a church-wide lunch. That’s when the time […]

women in ministry

THE SUMMER READING LIST

Three Months of Reading for Fun and Growth

Summer is here and that can mean only one thing — more time for books! Whether it’s a leisurely day at the beach or an excursion to the mountains or just a beautiful afternoon in the backyard hammock, summer is a great time to catch up on the reading list you haven’t had time for […]

Summer Reading

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME NINETEEN

Interpreting the Complex and Often Misunderstood Paul

Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? Our words can betray us, and don’t always reflect who we are. Based on his own words, the Apostle Paul, at times, has been labeled a misogynist and an antisemite. Two labels he doesn’t deserve, but also a reminder of how easy it is for us […]

paul's letters

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME EIGHTEEN

Jesus, His Most Loyal Disciples, and the Witnesses to the Resurrection

The thing I love about Jesus is that he treated everyone with equal respect and value, and didn’t see any of the limitations society places on certain groups. He came to set us free from the chains that keep us in our assigned boxes. As a father and grandfather to some beautiful and brilliant young […]

Women in ministry

WOMEN IN MINISTRY, VOLUME SEVENTEEN

Jesus and His Egalitarian Interaction with Women

I have shown that Jesus’ teachings elevated women. Jesus also held women in the highest regard in the way he interacted with them. [198] In fact, his treatment of women was so antithetical to the patriarchal culture of his day that he could only be characterized as egalitarian. [199]   There are four specific cases […]

Jesus and Women