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Dangerous first step

"Dangerous first step" Continued...

Issue: "Darfur," Nov. 25, 2006

These versions have "muted the masculinity" of many passages of Scripture and, in doing so, have contributed to the feminist goal of denying anything uniquely masculine. The TNIV in particular has changed the translation of many of the key passages regarding women in the church, and I would find it almost impossible to teach a biblical "complementarian" view of the role of women in the church from the TNIV. It has gone further in supporting an evangelical feminist position than any other translation, as far as I know. Of course it is no surprise that the TNIV has been very popular among egalitarian groups such as the Willow Creek Association.

WORLD: In what ways do church critics of feminism sometimes end up helping evangelical feminists?

GRUDEM: We can do so if we become angry or harsh, or fail to remember that these people we differ with are our friends and fellow Christians. Paul reminds us, "The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness" (2 Timothy 2:24-25). I am seeking to follow that in this book, even as I attempt to warn the church that evangelical feminism is taking us down a very dangerous path.

WORLD: What are rightful ways for gifted women-some of whom are business, governmental, or nonprofit leaders-to serve in the church and in society generally?

GRUDEM: The Bible only restricts leadership to men in the home and in the church. It does not make similar restrictions in regard to government or business or other areas of life. The principle here is the sufficiency of Scripture: We need to remain true to everything that the Bible teaches, but not require more than the Bible teaches and not try to become "more conservative" than Scripture itself. We have the principles of male headship in the home and the church, but the Bible also has the principle of equality in the image of God. As men and women we both bear God's image equally (Genesis 1:27), and that means we have equal value and importance and dignity before God and with each other. That principle gives us great freedom to have both men and women lead according to gifts and abilities and callings in areas such as government and business and nonprofit organizations. (As for para-church organizations, that depends on whether they are carrying out the functions that Paul restricts to men in 1 Timothy 2.)

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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