Most women in the church don't aspire to "lord it" over men, nor do they want to scramble for position. Instead, they want to be accepted as full participants in God's work, sharing in kingdom tasks in ways that use their gifts appropriately.
In Gender Roles and the People of God, author, radio host, and professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Alice Mathews surveys the roles women have played in the Bible and throughout church history, demonstrating both the inspiring contributions of women and the many hurdles that have been placed in their path. Along the way, she investigates the difficult passages often used to preclude women from certain areas of service, pointing to better and more faithful understandings of those verses.
Encouraging and hopeful, Mathews aims for an "egalitarian complementarity" in which men and women use all of their gifts in the church together, in partnership, for the glory of God.
1. Avoiding a Misreading of the Bible
PART ONE: Outstanding Women in the Bible
3. Leading from the Middle
4. Priests and Prophets
5. Palestinian Patriarchy Meets Jesus
6. Women in the New Testament
PART TWO: Five Biblical Questions to Resolve
7. Were Women’s Roles Restricted in New Testament Churches?
8. What Is “Ministry”?
9. What Does the Word “Head” Mean?
10. Is Jesus Subordinate to the Father? Does It Matter?
11. How Diverse Were New Testament Churches?
PART THREE: Outstanding Women in Church History
12. “Fathers” of the Church
13. Priests, Monks, and Nuns
14. Two Reformations with Good and Bad News for Women
15. Separate Spheres in the 19th Century
16. Where Are We Today?