Americans are We live in a revolutionary age. We are in the midst of a third modern sexual revolution. In April I sketched this history briefly in another article. One aspect of that revolution is what is known as “Third Wave” Feminism. Those waves have not only changed the way that men and women relate but also the way that those who have been born after the onset of the third wave read Scripture. Thus, we are having again today some of the discussions that we were having in the 80s and 90s. Among those questions is generally the role of women in the church and specifically the propriety of the ordination of females to presbyterial (ruling), ministerial (or episcopal or the preaching) office, and the Diaconal office.
Janet Mefferd and I discussed it this week on her program. One of the key texts is: 1 Timothy 2:8–15, which says:
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Whatever difficulties there may be in the text, its main thrust is clear enough. Are we dealing squarely with 1 Timothy or we evading it? Are we seeking to leverage it (control) it with dubious or hypothetical historical reconstructions? E.g., consider Steve Baugh’s critique of the theory that the Apostle Paul wrote as he did contra a sort of Amazonian feminism. See also his marvelous commentary on Ephesians for background on Ephesus.
Here is the interview.