My New Testament theological friend, guru and the one whom I emulated his haircut – Scot McKnight has written a little e-book on the topic of women in leadership in the church. It is called "Junia Is Not Alone". It is available on Amazon Kindle. And if you don't have a Kindle, you can download a Kindle reader on to you laptop or smartphone or iPad. It is a short little book and only $2.99.
This is an important topic and something people should not avoid studying. I have served in a church that was complementarian (women are limited in their roles in the church) and have served in a church that is egalitarian (women serve in any role in the church if they are gifted in the area to serve in). I have friends who are complementarians and friends who are egalitarians. I have friends who are in the middle of it or soft complementarian (as one friend called himself). I think there are wonderful churches and leaders who hold differing beliefs on what the Bible says about this. Yet it is a discussion which weirdly isn't talked about enough (in my opinion).
No matter what your viewpoint is on this issue, this little e-book is worth a read. By the title, you can already know that Scot comes to an egalitarian conclusion. But I'd encourage you if you are egalitarian to look at why you believe what you do. And if you aren't egalitarian, to understand why egalitarians believe what they do. I personally want to be looking at different perspectives of all types of issues to try and understand them. I don't want to ever automatically suppose that my view I first learned in a my first church experience or in a denomination is always the one that has the most biblical backing to it. I have often discovered that some Christians never have looked at other ways evangelical Christians understand some doctrines and only have one opinion as that is all they ever studied in their church. I remember I was initially taught a pre-tribulational rapture was THE way Jesus was going to return. To even look at other beliefs on the return of Jesus (even with evangelical spectrum) was not seen as healthy. But since then I have learned that we need to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and searching the Scriptures and studying them with great diligence with prayer. And it is wise to look at other opinions within evangelicalism about what we believe and why.
We are near the end of a 14 week series on the historical doctrines of the church in our Sunday worship gatherings. We used a systematic theology book by Wayne Grudem as the book we promoted and sold a ton of them to people reading through it as we taught through the series. Wayne is a strong complementarian. But in the book, Wayne expresses a variety of opinions and then his own opinion in the book. So we can learn multiple ways that people may have beliefs on a specific doctrine that differ within evangelicalism. And that is a positive thing as until one day we know the answers, there will be differing opinions on non-core doctrines of faith. But I think it is wise to learn the differing beliefs and understand why people have these differing beliefs. That is why I recommend Scot's little e-book to those who hold differing beliefs on the issue of women in church leadership. As I would recommend reading Wayne Grudem to understand his perspective.
Anyway, just a quick post to say that Scot's e-book is cheaper than a cup of coffee at most places and worth a read even if you have a different viewpoint or if you have the same as what Scot concludes. Let's all continue to strive to be Christian thinkers in our world today, respecting those of differing opinions, but also knowing why we believe what we do. We need to be thinking Christians and I am thankful for what Scot wrote and highly recommend reading it as it is an issue all Christians should be able to understand the varying persectives on this within the evangelical spectrum.