Showing posts from March, 2016

Wrestling with Ideas, and Maybe with God

My recent online encounters with Complementarians (God bless them) have brought into sharp relief for me a number of inter-related issues:

1) On what kind of matters in a public space can we unambiguously claim: "this is what Christians believe"?

2) On "disputable matters" among Christians, how do we nuance our language in a public space?

3) What's the difference between a public space and a private space in the new online world? Can I ever give my own opinion on my (Friends only) Facebook page, despite holding a position within Churches of Christ?

4) How can we convey Christian charity and respect to those with whom we disagree, while still engaging in robust dialogue?

And perhaps the most difficult question of all...

5) How do we do theology well? What does that look like?

Perhaps for today question 5 will suffice.

Anyone who believes in God is a working theologian of sorts, trying to make sense of who God is, how God works, and how God and I and other human …

Four Really Lame Reasons to be Complementarian

I have been in a recent online battle with Complementarians, and as such, I'm consoling myself with some blogging therapy. I hope you'll indulge me.

I've discovered some lame reasons to be Complementarian, and am reproducing these for your reading pleasure.


The majority of the "in favour" arguments for Complementarian theology involved quoting single proof texts; eg (I CORINTHIANS 14:37!). That proves it!!!

Sometimes the proof texts were quoted in CAPS LOCK! BECAUSE THAT SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT THIS ONE VERSE IS!!!

And because the art of hermeneutics, and analysing 1st Century Koine Greek, and taking in the grand sweep of Scripture... indeed, the art of Christian theological reflection... is hard work. It's so much easier solidify an existing prejudice around a single verse. END OF DISCUSSION!!!

But this not the only lame reason to be Complementarian. Oh no... there are other reasons:


Yes, there is NO need to engage with the thoughtful ref…

An Encounter with the Tone Police

I usually inhabit a world where men and women are equal: I never feel like I have to fight to be heard.

However, I participated in a a strange online discussion recently about "male headship". There were many online (mostly male) participants who believed men are called to be leaders in marriage, and that the role of wives is to submit. Many did not believe that women can lead churches (or in some cases, say anything in churches) because of "male headship".

I noticed something interesting. It seemed whenever a man voiced strong opinions, even in CAPS LOCK, other men would engage with his line of argument.

However when a woman expressed a strong opinion, her arguments were often ignored, but veiled comments appeared about her "tone".

It's as if the passive-aggressive crowd decided it was time to declare women "bitter", "negative", "defensive" and "hostile" if they disagreed with dominant male opinion. And would a…

Headship Hoo Ha

I've gotten embroiled in discussions with Complementarians again. They are nice people. Most of them, anyway.

But I have a problem with the whole idea of of "male headship". Actually, I think it's a theological house of cards that comes tumbling down under a bit of scrutiny.

So let's look at the most-quoted passage about this in the context of marriage:

Ephesians 5:

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemi…