Recently, I ran across this list, reprinted from Wayne Grudem’s* 2006 book about gender roles in the church. Others are far more able than I to debate just how “Biblical” the content of lists like this really are. Suffice it to say that there are many other wise and faithful scholars and practitioners I respect who would debate the both the structure and the content of this list. Their debate may itself be the truly Biblical response to excruciatingly hair-splitty lists like Grudem’s. I am troubled that someone can extrapolate this sort of specificity out of both prescriptive Bible passages and the many examples in Scripture of women who served and ministered in ways that wouldn’t have fit tidily on a list like this.
I am even more troubled that many church leaders rely on resources created by “experts” as a shortcut so they don’t have to do the hard work of ministry, which includes seeking God, thinking for themselves and working out their convictions in their own community. [Read more]