­
Christians for Biblical Equality

A Brief History of Gender and its Significance

Daniel Patterson

(Published in Sept 2016 on the EFAC Australia website)

Introduction

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.

  Continue reading at www.efac.org.au

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.

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.)
Kevin Giles

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.

Responding to violence against women as a health issue -

Fiona Burgemeister is a health professional with more than 20 years’ experience as a senior public health administrator in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has had responsibility for the development and implementation of policies, guidelines and programs at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria for preventing and responding to violence against women. Fiona and her family attend St Hilary’s Anglican Church in Kew.

Violence against women is often seen as a criminal justice or social issue.  It is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in women aged 15 to 44 years old, and thus is also a major health issue requiring appropriate health sector responses.

This workshop will provide an overview of gender inequity in health and demonstrate the role of women’s health services in addressing these inequities, using specific examples from the Royal Women’s  Hospital.  The workshop will also seek to demonstrate how the health sector’s experiences can inform the development of effective measures by church organisations to respond appropriately to violence against women. 

Here is the PPT from this workshop

The most important text on the relationship of the sexes in the whole Bible, Genesis 1-3.

In discussing what the Bible teaches on men and women no text in the whole Bible is more important than Genesis chapters 1–3. Here God creates man and woman as the apex of his creative work and sets them in an idyllic world where everything is good. Tragically, however, the Devil enters and both the man and the woman fall into sin and as a consequence are banished from the Garden. All Christian theologians see this story as foundational to the whole Bible. It tells us that God made the world ‘good’, but the sin of man and woman destroyed their good relationship with God, each other and with the creation itself. It thus explains why a saviour and a ‘new creation’ are needed. The story is given in two forms. In Genesis chapter one in grand poetic language God creates everything in six days with the apex of his creative work coming in the creation of man and woman who are said to be ‘made in God’s image and likeness’. Chapters 2-3 give a different account of the beginning, this time in picturesque narrative form with a number of scenes. In the so called ‘second creation story’, after the earth is created Adam appears first and then God provides for him water, vegetation, animals and a partner in woman.

­