Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (pt 1)

I have been taking our young marrieds/singles class through a series on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  Because things have been quiet around here i will post these notes here on E.T.

Besides the Word of God, I am going to be using many different resources.  Namely, Wayne Grudem’s “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.”  Grudem’s “Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth.” Srauch’s “Equal-Yet-Different.”  Duncan’s “Women’s Ministry in the Local Church.” MacArthur’s “Different by Design” to name a few. Before we jump into this Bible study we need to ask an important WHY question.  WHY should we invest time on this particular subject?  Why spend one or two quarters going over biblical manhood and womanhood?  Here are a few answers right upfront (in no particular order):

#1. Because this subject is the source of much debate among the Christian community today. 

            An ongoing debate between Biblical complementarians & Evangelical feminists (egalitarians) continues to wage.  Let me briefly define those seminary level descriptions for you.  Complementarians teach that God created men and women as equals yet with different gender-defined roles.  In short they say, men and women are fully equal in personhood, dignity, and worth but that God designed men and women to function in different roles (which in no way negates the later statement).  Egalitarians teach that God created men and women as equals with no distinct role differences.  In short, they believe that true equality requires equal ministry opportunities for both sexes.  Egalitarians can also be referred to as evangelical feminists.  I will refer to them using both titles.

            Our church believes the Bible supports a complementarian view in regards to gender roles in the church and home. Much, much more will be said to support this position in the weeks to come.  All that to say, this is often a hot button topic of discussion in Christian schools, churches, seminaries, and even in some Christian homes.  I believe if you survey the Christian landscape you’ll agree this topic is both relevant and important.

            So why should we invest time on this particular subject?  #1. Because this subject is the source of much debate among the Christian community today and is an important issue for us to understand. 

#2. Because the Bible addresses this subject in a number of different passages.

            True Christians, in all places and in all times, have treasured the Bible because it truly is God’s Word.  As Christians we acknowledge the authority of God over our lives.  One of the ways we submit ourselves to Christ’s Lordship is by humbling ourselves before the Word of God.  God’s revealed will for our lives is preserved for us in One Book and in one Book alone (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible is a lamp onto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119).  God expects that we diligently search out the Scriptures and that we seek to understand and apply it to our own lives (Acts 17:11).  The Bible addresses this topic in both the Old and New Testaments so it’s important we study it and that we seek to apply it’s truths to our lives as well.  Some of the key passages include Genesis 1-3, Ephesians 5, Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 7, Galatians 3:28, and 1 Corinthians 14.

Which leads us to #3:  Because this teaching personally affects all of us in many different ways.  

            To make sense of this point, check out the Wayne Grudem’s attachment at the end of this handout. Much more will be said concerning this subject so please come this summer as often as you can.  If you review the chart you’ll see how this mindset affects one’s behavior in many different ways.  We probably won’t find ourselves on the extreme edges but we may uncover some aspects where we’ve drifted away from the Biblical center.

  #4. Because teaching on this subject is normally full of heat but often very short on light. 

            I will try my best to clearly distinguish for you what the Bible teaches and what my personal opinions are.  I will try and let you know what other people’s opinions are as well.  Let’s be straightforward on this:  Human opinions are normally take or leave it type things (E.G. How to best care for your lawn; Whether its wisest to buy a new car or to buy used cars; whether or not Pete Rose should be admitted into the Hall of Fame; Whether or not you should try and breast feed or use a baby formula; Whether or not one should vote for a Mormon politician, etc, etc).  Some opinions are helpful and wise while others are just opinions.  If we stay close to what the Scriptures teach concerning this topic we’ll be right on track.  

I think it’s important for all of us to:

(A) Know what the key passages of Scripture are regarding this topic.

(B) Understand what the passages say.

(C) Meditate on how that understanding should affect our lives.

(D) By God’s grace, seek to implement change in our lives.      

            After we finish this series you should be able to answer the following questions:  What are the biblical roles and responsibilities for both Christian men and Christian women?  Is it permissible to ordain a female pastor?  Can a woman teach or preach to other men? Other children? ladies? Why or why not?  Were the author’s of Scripture ever sexist?  Did Jesus contradict the prophets or the apostles in regards to this topic?  How can we avoid the unbiblical extremes that often dominate this discussion? What does Biblical manhood really entail?  What does Biblical womanhood mean?  Why does this subject matter so much to God?

    

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Caleb,

    I got to your blog via the Tag Surfer. The tag I usually use is Theology. My daily goal is to read and possibly post to like minded blogs.

    With that said I particularly like your posting. It looks like you will have your hands full with this course. The outline you have put together is very good. I look forward to coming back to see how the subsequent classes go. I have Grudem’s “Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth.” on my list of books to read next. I have heard great things about it from folks at our local church. I believe if you use the resources you have mentioned (including the bible) then the answer to the question “Is it permissible to ordain a female pastor?” would have to be .. um ..NO!

    BTW I do not think Pete Rose should be accepted into the Hall of Fame. He broke the rules, end of debate. And I grew up rooting for “Charlie Hustle” and the Cincinnati Reds.

  2. This looks like a great series, but I am going to wait before I read it.

    I am still awaiting “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” to arrive in the mail which I picked up at the DG sale.

  3. Posted by CalebKolstad on July 21, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Barry,

    Thanks for your note! I agree with your thought here as well, “I do not think Pete Rose should be accepted into the Hall of Fame. He broke the rules, end of debate. And I grew up rooting for “Charlie Hustle” and the Cincinnati Reds.”

    Nath,

    My series will not be nearly as in depth as RBMW. It’s a great book and i hope you enjoy it. I talk a winterim course with Dr. Grudem on this very topic.

    Blessings
    Caleb

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