05 September, 2006

Presbuteras: Summary and Index

Well, some day I am going to want to find these, so I had better index them. Who knows, maybe even some of you will want this. You should be able to find this post by searching for "Presbuteras codepoke summary" on any major engine. That's how I'll find it when the time comes.

As I reread them (skim them) I am disappointed at how long and rambly they are. I'm sure, now that they are written, that I could shorten them. Well - maybe I could add more content to them and keep them the same length. We all know that I cannot really shorten anything. I hope that they were not too very awful to read.

The comments make the difference for me. Without them, these would be half as valuable as they are (which avoids saying how valueless they were without them. :-)

Thank you all for keeping me typing.

In chronological order:

Presbuteras: Before I Start
The subject of women living in submission under men is a very personal one, and one about which feelings always run deep. Before starting, and before emotions have gotten wrapped up in the discussion of theological matters, I address the reality of the abuse of women under the protection of complementarian churches. Complementarianism does not cause this abuse, but it has not demonstrated the ability to address it.

Presbuteras: to Weekend Fisher
Weekend Fisher asked whether addressing an already emotional subject so emotionally might possibly be inappropriate, and added several points on reacting to abuse. I agreed with most of her points, and answered a couple. Find her post linked at the top of this one.

Presbuteras: What difference could it make?
I contend that women should be brought into full leadership in the church. I obviously believe that there is something to be gained by doing so, but what? Feminine insight and perspective directly involved in setting the vision and overseeing the follow-through of the church will strengthen us all.

Presbuteras: The Image of God
Women bear half of the image of God, Who is neither male nor female, and Who has both male and female attributes. The church cannot fully display the image of God when half His image is barred from setting the vision and course of the body. 1 Corinthians 11:7 has been used to suggest that women do not bear the image of God. Comparing scripture to scripture, we see that this interpretation must be wrong, or this verse would stand alone as an island.

Presbuteras: 1 Cor 11:1-16 - Veiling the Daughters of God
The great headcovering passage stands alone in scripture. There is no other passage that suggests that women should be veiled before God, so the interpretation of this passage must be rock solid for the practice to stand. It is another island in scripture. Actually, the traditional interpretation falls apart very quickly. Paul is here attempting both to end the practice of male head covering, as shameful before the Lord Who bought them, and to barely permit women to veil if not doing so would shame their husbands.

Presubuteras: Silencing the Daughters of God - 1 Cor 14:34 & 35
Paul does not tell women to be silent in the churches of God. Jewish legalists wrote a letter to Paul, asking him to confirm a number of their cherished traditions. Paul here quotes from that letter, as he solidly tells the Jewish crowd that the word of God did not come from them, and it will not be silenced. Women are not to be silenced during the meetings of the church.

The Familyhood Church: Presbuteras: Passing Over the Daughters of God
Paul's letters to Titus and Timothy describe the character of elders and deacons. Women are not directly mentioned in these descriptions. Does this mean that women cannot hold these positions? No. Phoebe is proof enough that women can be everything that these passages allow.

Presbuteras: Phebe - "Deacon?" - Demoting the Daughters of God - Rom 16:1&2
Phoebe's role as a true and meaningful deacon defended in detail.

Presbuteras: Subjecting the Daughters of the Lord - 1 Tim 2:11-15
Paul forbids women to take authority, but does he forbid all women to take any authority, or some women to take some authority. In light of the rest of scripture, and of Paul's comfort level working with women, it is hard to imagine that he prohibits all women from taking any leadership here. The work of Dr. Ann Nyland bears this hypothesis out from the Greek. Paul is specifically and directly confronting an Ephesian variation of gnosticism.

Presbuteras: The Early Church?
Is the tenor of the scripture as a whole really set against women taking authority? No. There are numerous examples of women in positions of authority in the church. This post contains links to 3 other posts that give copious details.

Presbuteras: Following the Daughters of God - Gen 21:12
What will it look like if women are not given the authority scripture allows to them?

Complementarianism needs to change to deal with the present and real effects that the recent cultural changes have had on women. It is not enough just to throw out proof texts, and let women figure out how to fit into their mould. Women will force themselves into that mould, but it is wrong to ask them to do so.

And what if they are given true, spiritual authority?

A number things will change, though the changes may not be dramatic from the first day.


The scripture calls us to discover whole truth about God, and we need our sisters to step up to this last plate before we can answer that call. Here's praying that it happens soon.



Milly said...

Grand job!
Thank you bro!

Danny Kaye said...

Right or wrong...agree or disagree...I can only say that I have enjoyed this as thoroughly as any study I have read or participated in.

I only regret that I wasn't able to contribute more to these.

Thank you very much for the education and for boldy (yet graciously) hosting such an incendiary topic. May God reward your efforts!

You da' man, CP!!

Milly said...

You know you got to me and I would stay and listen and so would my friends and my man. ;-}

DugALug said...


I'm just glad to have made it through. I am thinking of pulling out my copy of War and Peace next. Man I ramble!

This was a great collection of posts brother!

God Bless

Sam said...

The last two Presbuteras links go nowhere... ?

codepoke said...

Ah. Thank you, Sam.

I wonder how I make mistakes like that. Thank you for pointing it out. I'll be watching for any thoughts you might have on the subject.

Sam said...

Some good stuff, codepoke, though I haven't read through all of it yet.

However, I don't think this issue (of teaching) can be entirely seperated from the issue of male headship.

There is some clear idea of a male 'headship' in the NT, which parallels that of Christ and the Church. The interpretation of what this headship actually means, and its context, I think is key to such passages as 1 Tim 2.

codepoke said...

Interesting approach, Sam.

You seem to say that first you accept the majority conclusion, then look at 1 Tim 2. I have obviously gone a different way, as the post on 1 Tim 2 will point up.

May the Lord bless. Thanks for the return trip.

Sam said...

Sorry, which majority conclusion? I've read your 1 Tim 2 post.

My point was that *if* (and I don't have a firm view here myself) those arguing for a patriarchal interpretation of the headship passages are correct, then this would change the broader theological context within which 1 Tim 2 should be understood.

In other words, one could exegete 1 Tim 2 without taking the various headship passages into account, but one may need to re-interpret 1 Tim 2 depending on what sort of headship model eventually arises from the other passages.

All IMHO, hope that clarifies.