Welcome to CBE Australia
Christians for Biblical Equality is a non-profit evangelical Christian organisation for men and women that promotes a biblical basis for gift-based, rather than gender-based, service for men and women of all races, ages and economic classes. Our theology and membership is largely evangelical and we cross denominational lines. We are based in a number of Australian cities with active chapters in Melbourne and Sydney.
See About CBE for what we believe.
A Brief History of Gender
A Brief History of Gender and its Significance
(Published in Sept 2016 on the EFAC Australia website)
The topic of gender has recently captured the public’s attention. One reason for this is the radical attempt by some organisations and theorists to “queer” gender. What follows describes, albeit in brief, the historical and theoretical backstory that has lead to the development and use of queer theory to achieve this end. Evangelical responses to this issue will be greatly enriched by better understanding the history that has brought us to this point. This article is not an attempt to engage the debate, but is focussed on the more modest task of explaining the historical and theoretical parameters of the debate.
A Very Brief History
Questioning gender norms in the past has catalysed significant changes to culturally embedded gender norms. Following is a brief recount of how gender has been under question for over 100 years, and how each new wave of questioning of gender norms can be characterised by distinct emphases falling under the broad banner called feminism. The historical questioning of gender norms can be divided broadly into three feminist waves, each offering a depth of social analysis the previous wave did not achieve.
It is not accurate to say that queer theory is feminism or even a kind of feminism, but one is able to identify queer theorisation as having emerged from and in response to perceived inadequacies of a particular formulation of feminism of the 1980s.
Revisiting the Clarity of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12
Below is an article by Jamin Hübner: Revisiting the Clarity of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12
It is used with the permission of the author.
Dr. Jamin Hübner is an American theologian, biblical scholar, philosopher and musician from South Dakota. He is a graduate of Dordt College (BA Theology), Reformed Theological Seminary (MA Religion) and the University of South Africa (ThD Systematic Theology), and a student at Southern New Hampshire University (MS Economics) and currently serves as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and founding Chair of Christian Studies at John Witherspoon College, South Dakota.
Abstract: In the evangelical debate regarding women in ministry, both 1 Timothy 2:12 and
the clarity of scripture have played a critical role. While few theologians and biblical scholars
have brought the “perspicuity of scripture” directly to bear on the text, this article systematically
evaluates how the verse is handled in light of the traditional hermeneutical principle of interpreting
obscure passages in light of the more clear. The article concludes that 1 Timothy 2:12 is
inconsistently interpreted by complementarians as a clear passage—potentially out of an effort
to legitimize the ban on women pastors.
Slavery, Apartheid and Women
You can appeal to the Bible and be dead wrong; you can even justify what is evil and sinful.
(This paper was a talk given orally at a CBE meeting in Melbourne, the slavery part based on what I say in my book, The Trinity and Subordinationism (on the subordination of the Son, women and slaves). The ‘reflections’ section at the end was added in the light of the discussion that followed. It is not a polished work ready for publication.)
Our “complementarian” opponents are absolutely convinced that what they teach on the man-woman relationship is what the Bible teaches. To reject their teaching, they tell us confidently, is to reject the Bible, and because the Bible is literally God’s words, this means it is to disobey God himself. One Sydney theologian told me publicly, after I had given a lecture outlining the CBE position, “You reject what Scripture plainly teaches. Those who disobey God, go to hell”.
We Australian evangelical Anglicans face some weighty opponents: the archbishop of Sydney and his predecessors, the current principal of Moore Theological College and his predecessors, most of the staff of Moore College, and in the United States, Don Carson, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Bruce Ware and almost every lecturer in the five large Southern Baptist seminaries.
When faced with such weighty opposition, it is very helpful to note that we find exactly the same dogmatic, vehement opinion voiced by the best of Reformed theologians in regard to slavery in the 19th century and Apartheid in the 20th century. They too appealed to the Bible with huge confidence, claiming that it unambiguously supported slavery and Apartheid. However today virtually all evangelicals say they were mistaken in their understanding of the Bible, that the Bible condemns slavery and Apartheid, and that these things are not pleasing to God!
Let me now tell this story in a bit more detail.
English Synod Approves Ordination of Women Bishops
[CofE] The General Synod of the Church of England has enacted the measure enabling women to be ordained as Bishops in the Church of England.
The formal enactment of the legislation – Amending Canon 33 - followed the vote on final approval by the Synod at its meeting in July 2014. Since that time the legislation has been approved in Parliament and received Royal Assent.