Modes of Communication III
- Areas of greater teaching responsibility and influence on the beliefs of the church to areas of lesser teaching responsibility and lesser influence on the beliefs of the church.
1. Teaching Bible or theology in a theological seminary
2. Teaching Bible or theology in a Christian college
3. Preaching (teaching the Bible) at a nationwide denominational
4. Preaching (teaching the Bible) at a regional meeting of
5. Preaching (teaching the Bible) regularly to the whole church
on Sunday mornings
6. Occasional preaching (teaching the Bible) to the whole
church on Sunday mornings
7. Occasional Bible teaching at less formal meetings of the
whole church (such as Sunday evening or at a mid-week service)
8. Bible teaching to an adult Sunday school class (both men
and women members)
9. Bible teaching at a home Bible study (both men and women
10. Bible teaching to a college age Sunday school class
11. Bible teaching to a high school Sunday school class
12. Writing a book on Bible doctrines (Explanation: I have put
four examples of writing activities here on the list because
the author of a book has some kind of teaching authority,
but it is different from the teaching authority over the
assembled congregation that Paul prohibits in 1 Tim. 2. The
teaching relationship of an author to a reader is much more
like the one-to-one kind of teaching that Priscilla and Aquila
did when they explained the way of God more accurately to
Apollos in Acts 18:26. In fact, with a book the element of
direct personal interaction is almost entirely absent.
Moreover, the book comes not only from the author but also
with input from the editors and publisher.)
13. Writing or editing a study Bible
14. Writing a commentary on a book of the Bible
15. Writing notes in a study Bible
16. Writing or editing a study Bible intended primarily for
17. Bible teaching to a women’s Sunday school class
18. Bible teaching to a women’s Bible study group during the
19. Bible teaching to a junior high Sunday school class
20. Teaching as a Bible professor on a secular university campus.
(Explanation: I have put this here on the list because I see
this task as essentially a combination of evangelism and
teaching about the Bible as literature, mainly to non-
Christians. Even though there may be Christians in some
classes, the professor has no church-authorized authority or
doctrinal endorsement, as there would be with a Bible
teacher in a church or a professor in a Christian college or
21. Evangelistic speaking to large groups of non-Christians (for
example, an evangelistic rally on a college campus)
22. Working as an evangelistic missionary in other cultures
23. Moderating a discussion in a small group Bible study (men
and women members)
24. Reading Scripture aloud on Sunday morning
- I do not think it would be wrong for a woman to be a Bible teacher in a high school Sunday School class. However, many churches may well think it preferable for a man to teach a high school Sunday School class, because of the modeling of male leadership in the church that these young adults will grow to appreciate and in fact to imitate.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately on whether the spoken or written word of God is more authoritative. God spoke the ten commandments to Moses, and they were written down. The sermon on the mount was first spoken and then written. But is this division between the two modes of communication part of the way God views a message? Is it different in his perspective? Is the written less authoritative?
My personal feelings are this. I am probably able to express myself in writing better and to more people than if I were speaking. However, if I knew a woman who was well equipped to teach in a seminary, I would never say to her, you must not teach an adult male Christian truth, but I may write as I like on the internet.
And yet, woman do this. They write theology and they know men are reading it, and then they say, "but a woman may not teach." What assumptions they make! Do they not know that in the traditional role a woman may not write, she may only translate a work written by a man?
How quickly they forget George Elliot. When she translated Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity from German into English, she signed her own name, Mary Ann Evans; but when she wrote original novels, she signed a pen name, a man's name. Complementarian women today sign their own names, they write their own theology, and they claim that they owe little to the feminists of the 18th century. They do most certainly forget George Elliot and what she gained for women!
At the end of his article, Grudem writes,
- I know I speak for the entire membership of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood when I say that it is our sincere desire to “open the doors wide” to all the areas of ministry in the church that God intends for women to have.
And I, too, as a woman would like to reach out and open a door wide for other Christian women, to teach where I write, to speak where I type, to lead and influence and encourage and serve. Isn't freedom given to us to serve others? Isn't strength given to protect liberty?
Note: The article found in this journal (pdf format) is a chapter from Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. The material used in this post was taken from this article.