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Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry

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In this original digital short, author and co-founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Kathy Keller recounts her experience growing up in “gender-neutral” home. “My first encounter with the ideas of [male] headship and [female] submission,” she writes, “was both intellectually and morally traumatic.” Yet Keller came to adopt the view that men and women have different roles in In this original digital short, author and co-founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Kathy Keller recounts her experience growing up in “gender-neutral” home. “My first encounter with the ideas of [male] headship and [female] submission,” she writes, “was both intellectually and morally traumatic.” Yet Keller came to adopt the view that men and women have different roles in marriage and ministry, and that fulfilling such roles pleases God and leads to greater personal fulfillment. In this unapologetic but nuanced piece, Keller presents a caring and careful case for biblical gender differences and the complementarian view of women in ministry. At the same time, she encourages women to teach and lead in the church in ways that may startle some complementarians. Readers on both sides of this hot-button topic will be challenged by her ministry-tested and thoroughly Scriptural perspective.


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In this original digital short, author and co-founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Kathy Keller recounts her experience growing up in “gender-neutral” home. “My first encounter with the ideas of [male] headship and [female] submission,” she writes, “was both intellectually and morally traumatic.” Yet Keller came to adopt the view that men and women have different roles in In this original digital short, author and co-founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Kathy Keller recounts her experience growing up in “gender-neutral” home. “My first encounter with the ideas of [male] headship and [female] submission,” she writes, “was both intellectually and morally traumatic.” Yet Keller came to adopt the view that men and women have different roles in marriage and ministry, and that fulfilling such roles pleases God and leads to greater personal fulfillment. In this unapologetic but nuanced piece, Keller presents a caring and careful case for biblical gender differences and the complementarian view of women in ministry. At the same time, she encourages women to teach and lead in the church in ways that may startle some complementarians. Readers on both sides of this hot-button topic will be challenged by her ministry-tested and thoroughly Scriptural perspective.

30 review for Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry

  1. 5 out of 5

    May

    For a subject that is difficult and sensitive, Kathy Keller brings sound wisdom and personal perspective. Her treatment of key verses and counter-arguments is impressively full despite the brevity of the book. As a woman who is really seeking to understand this issue for myself as well as understand why others stand where they do, I am super thankful for the clarity she brings in this book. I am also thankful for the way she acknowledges how we must trust in the goodness of God when we don’t und For a subject that is difficult and sensitive, Kathy Keller brings sound wisdom and personal perspective. Her treatment of key verses and counter-arguments is impressively full despite the brevity of the book. As a woman who is really seeking to understand this issue for myself as well as understand why others stand where they do, I am super thankful for the clarity she brings in this book. I am also thankful for the way she acknowledges how we must trust in the goodness of God when we don’t understand His motivation behind the design he put into place - we can know, however, that the mystery of gender roles is here to reveal truth about Him and it is in obeying His will that we find our true selves. Highly recommend this booklet to men and women!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    I knew I would disagree with Mrs. Keller before I started. However, I do not automatically give those I disagree with low ratings. If a person makes a concerted effort to address differing viewpoints, etc. I will give a higher rating to them despite my disagreements. I also realize this is a booklet and not a full length treatment of the topic. But this book does more harm than good by running with too many unproven assumptions to make sweeping generalizations about men, women, and the church. T I knew I would disagree with Mrs. Keller before I started. However, I do not automatically give those I disagree with low ratings. If a person makes a concerted effort to address differing viewpoints, etc. I will give a higher rating to them despite my disagreements. I also realize this is a booklet and not a full length treatment of the topic. But this book does more harm than good by running with too many unproven assumptions to make sweeping generalizations about men, women, and the church. This is easy to do in a booklet of this size. But when your position is in a minority in your own tradition you should be more persistent in proving your point and addressing dissenting view points. Perhaps this comes from her own skewed view of her position. She sees herself as a conservative on male/female roles and in some ways she might be in our current context. But overall her position of a woman can do anything an unordained man can do is not conservative when it is placed against the backdrop of God's people in the past. I might write a more lengthy review later interacting with her exegesis of the two passages she primarily looked at. I find it ironic that this book is consider non-egalitarian/complementarian when it is close to being full egalitarian and would not be recognized by most of our fathers in the faith as being true to the Scriptures or to the reality of the way God made the world. My Rating System 1 Star-Terrible book and dangerous. Burn it in the streets. 2 Stars-Really bad book, would not recommend, probably has some dangerous ideas in it or could just be so poorly written/researched that it is not worth reading. Few books I read are 1 or 2 stars because I am careful about what I read. 3 Stars-Either I disagree with it at too many points to recommend it or it is just not a good book on the subject or for the genre. Would not read it again, reference it, or recommend it. But it is not necessarily dangerous except as a time waster. 4 Stars-Solid book on the subject or for the genre. This does not mean I agree with all that is said. I would recommend this book to others and would probably read it again or reference it. Most books fall in this category because I try not to read books I don’t think will be good. There is a quite a variety here. 3.6 is quite different from 4.5. 5 Stars-Excellent book. Classic in the genre or top of the line for the subject. I might also put a book in here that impacted me personally at the time I read it. I would highly recommend this book, even if I do not agree with all that it says. Few books fall in this category. Over time I have put less in this category.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    As a general rule I rarely read religious books, or non-fiction for that matter, but I gave myself a goal of reading 10 nonfiction books this year. This is the first. I found this book surprisingly easy to read, and Keller's intellectual approach appealed to me. I'm personally still wrestling with this issue in some regard, although less so than in the past, but I really liked the second half of this book. I found that many of the truths I hold logically can extend to gender roles in the church As a general rule I rarely read religious books, or non-fiction for that matter, but I gave myself a goal of reading 10 nonfiction books this year. This is the first. I found this book surprisingly easy to read, and Keller's intellectual approach appealed to me. I'm personally still wrestling with this issue in some regard, although less so than in the past, but I really liked the second half of this book. I found that many of the truths I hold logically can extend to gender roles in the church (which as she says has long and continues to be misunderstood). I expect I'll continue wrestling with this issue but this was a nice, compact look at it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Walter Cone

    A straight forward discussion of the scripture that identifies a difference in the role God has for women and men. It will Challenge you to reflect on how we should view the difference between our secular Human world and God’s world.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    See here for a related essay by Steven Wedgeworth, who argues that male-only ordination is natural, not some arbitrary rule that we follow for no reason. Introduction 7: moved with Tim to Manhattan in 1989; issues are incendiary in NYC—distinct gender roles are on the same level as child molestation for some people, but they should be seen as a gift; this isn't just academic for Kathy—she's attacked from both sides (some disagree re: roles, and some disagree that women should teach/speak in church See here for a related essay by Steven Wedgeworth, who argues that male-only ordination is natural, not some arbitrary rule that we follow for no reason. Introduction 7: moved with Tim to Manhattan in 1989; issues are incendiary in NYC—distinct gender roles are on the same level as child molestation for some people, but they should be seen as a gift; this isn't just academic for Kathy—she's attacked from both sides (some disagree re: roles, and some disagree that women should teach/speak in church); she was up for ordination at one time (in the PCUSA before it was called that) 8: she'll address the hermeneutical front (Part 1) and the personal front (Part 2) Part 1: Hermeneutical Imperatives 10–11: inerrancy (Jesus believed in the inspiration of the OT) 42–43n6: story of her being booed/hissed because she had changed her mind on women's ordination 11–12: two principles of hermeneutics: the Bible doesn't contradict itself, and biblical passages must be understood in their context; the clear interprets the cloudy 43n8: the Bible is both human and divine 13–15: what 1 Cor. 14:33b–38 can't mean (viz., women can't talk in church at all; Paul is not condemning women's talking, but regulating it) 15–18: what it does mean (for orderly worship, women shouldn't judge prophets; see p. 20) 43–44n13: prohibiting cross-examination of prophecy/husbands 18–20: 1 Tim. 2:11–12 (forbidding women to teach authoritatively); the next chapter (1 Tim. 3) is about elders (see 44n16 on Teaching Elder and Ruling Elders); women are forbidden to participate with elders in "judging personal and corporate faithfulness to the apostolic 'deposit' of truth" (connected to the power of church discipline) 44n17: interesting story on the sacred deposit of truth memorized by the Navajo shaman (errors in type were viewed as more serious than errors in the oral tradition) 20–22: 1 Cor. 14 is cloudy (although something is clearly forbidden), but 1 Tim. 2 is clear (women are not to teach authoritatively); "anything that an unordained man is allowed to do, a woman is also allowed to do"; yes, we have to obey God's prohibition, but Keller doesn't know why God arranged things this way (gender-based division of labor) (see p. 29) [Alastair Roberts gives some rationale here.] 22–23: Keller had to deal with people who argued that Paul didn't say what it sure seems like he said, but other arguments have arisen too 23: one counterargument is that because Paul was a misogynist, we can ignore what he says; but Paul worked with women, had them carry his letters, established churches in their homes, and expected them to participate with Spirit-given gifts—only biblically illiterate people make this charge 23–26: another counterargument is that Paul meant this strict prohibition only for a particular (Ephesian) congregation, because the cult of Diana had inflated women's view of their status; of course Paul's instruction was particular, but that does not mean that it was not universally applicable too (all Scripture is like that—to specific people, but for all God's people); in addition, 1 Timothy could be called a church planting manual (it's supposed to be taken universally, except perhaps for very specific personal instructions to Timothy; see 45n23—Paul's vocabulary/grammar implies a general applications) and is more or less a template for all churches; 1 Cor. 14:33b has global language, and Paul is clear that this is God's command, not his own (elsewhere [1 Cor. 7] Paul distinguishes between God's commands and his); Keller seems to say that "the Lord's command" (1 Cor. 14:37) means that Jesus Himself said this at some point (and we know from John 21:25 that Jesus did many things that were not recorded) 26–28: re: the "outdated" counterargument (we now have "more light" to deal with cultural changes, such as slavery, women's roles, and homosexuality), Keller says that the OT is often descriptive instead of didactic/prescriptive (e.g., don't read accounts of polygamy as approvals of the practice—things often ended poorly)—therefore we cannot read about slavery in the Bible as an endorsement of race-based chattel slavery enabled by kidnapping (the Bible humanizes slaves, which was more like indentured servitude); furthermore, it's prideful to assume that our present culture is the moral yardstick 45–46n26: reference to Noll's book on the American Civil War—it's inaccurate to say that all/most Xns approved of slavery based on biblical reasons [many Xns opposed slavery on biblical grounds, arguing that Xns who supported slavery were twisting Scripture] 28–30: a final counterargument is that since this issue is sooooo complicated, shouldn't we be charitable toward those women who feel called to the ministry (err on the side of love), and just let them go through with it?; but this is "a popular postmodern despair that such a thing as truth exists"; we can be open-minded without being airheads (my summary), so arriving at a conclusion is okay; see 46n28: few people say "why not err on the side of obedience and not ordain women?" Part 2: Personal Journeys 31–32: abuses by complementarians don't justify emotional overcompensating and ignoring the texts (see 46n30–31); it is a justice issue, but it's primarily a theological issue (what has God said?); you may feel called to this, but "your life takes on meaning and matures when you conform to God's will, not when you get to do what you want to do"; this issue is not like equal pay for equal work 32–33: it's not unjust for women not to be ordained, but it is unjust for women to be marginalized (can't even distribute church bulletins); fear arises out of the domino theory [cf. slippery slope]; "a woman's place" is not determined by tradition or culture, but by Scripture 34: "every role legitimately open to unordained men and women [should be] filled with women as well as men" 35: Elisabeth Elliot (Kathy's professor at Gordon-Conwell) distinguished between gifts and roles—she was gifted far beyond most men in ministry (language knowledge, speaking experience, maturity through suffering, etc.), but she used those gifts in unordained roles 35–36: this gifts-roles distinction applies to men too: many men may not feel like being a leader and taking risks, but feelings < God-given roles 36: Christ's ontological equality with the Father, but His economic submission (mystery of the Trinity); see 47n35: Keller rejects the eternal submission theory (she says that she knows of no complementarians who espouse this and warns egalitarians about attributing beliefs to those who do not hold those beliefs; but that was in 2012; in 2016, complementarian Wayne Grudem explicitly promoted the eternal submission of the Son) 36–37: C. S. Lewis's "Priestess in the Church" (in God in the Dock) says that God created two sexes, and we mess with that order to our own harm; God could have give us hermaphroditic bodies [politically correct term is "intersex"], but He didn't; God is teaching us something about Himself (in our relationship to the Son, our bridegroom, we are all female in a way—God chose that metaphor intentionally, and it means something) 37–38: unisex undifferentiation may be helpful in legal, civil, and other situations, but not in the church or at home 38: "Justice, in the end, is whatever God decrees" [I don't think Keller is a nominalist] 38–39: "The justice behind God's creation of male and female and his arrangement of the different roles he chose for them may not always be apparent to us. Why one and not the other? But should we expect our finitude to understand the infinite, omnipotent, wise, good, lovely, gracious justice of God? Perhaps some inkling resides in the dance of the sexes, by which we reveal truth about the inner life of the triune God. The rest is clothed in mystery, to which we yield, with full confidence that it is meant for our good."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jake Wiig

    I appreciated her hermeneutical approach to the two key passages regarding women in the church. Her stance seems well thought out, and she communicates it in a way that is easy to understand. Kathy Keller falls short when she attempts to briefly describe and explain other perspectives, using a series of strawmen fallacies. Where she had an opportunity to shed light on a complex, nuanced topic, she shortchanges her readers by using these strawmen and her dismissive tone toward egalitarian perspecti I appreciated her hermeneutical approach to the two key passages regarding women in the church. Her stance seems well thought out, and she communicates it in a way that is easy to understand. Kathy Keller falls short when she attempts to briefly describe and explain other perspectives, using a series of strawmen fallacies. Where she had an opportunity to shed light on a complex, nuanced topic, she shortchanges her readers by using these strawmen and her dismissive tone toward egalitarian perspectives.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denham

    Short but helpful intro book to the subject.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Lewis

    This was a decent read. Fairly good intro on the topic of understanding complementarianism.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Stroshine

    A short book by the wife of one of the USA's leading pastors, Kathy Keller offers a complementarian perspective on women's ordination. I appreciate that she comments on some of the main arguments in favour of women's ordination, but the brevity of the book prevents her from really engaging with them (e.g. she mentions William Webb's excellent "Slaves, Women and Homosexuals" but doesn't walk through Webb's careful, if lengthy, argument). One point I found compelling is Keller's statement that we A short book by the wife of one of the USA's leading pastors, Kathy Keller offers a complementarian perspective on women's ordination. I appreciate that she comments on some of the main arguments in favour of women's ordination, but the brevity of the book prevents her from really engaging with them (e.g. she mentions William Webb's excellent "Slaves, Women and Homosexuals" but doesn't walk through Webb's careful, if lengthy, argument). One point I found compelling is Keller's statement that we musn't confuse or collapse gifts and roles; many women are gifted by God with wonderful ministerial qualities but they don't necessarily need a pulpit in order to use them. This is a fair point. Still, I find Keller's case lacking and sometimes rather self-defeating or potentially contradictory. For instance, in refuting charges that St. Paul was misogynist, Keller notes that he used women as carriers of his letters. But egalitarians also note that messengers were often relied upon to explain the sent letter; it could be that an early Christian woman like Phoebe was the first to expound and clarify the epistle to the Romans. I also think there isn't enough of a distinction between "women's ordination" and "gender roles" in this book; not all supporters of women's ordination dismiss the concept of gender roles but Keller seems to imply that. The value of this book is that it gives a brief overview of the complementarian perspective (ironic that its written by a woman whereas the two other books in this series that are egalitarian are written by men).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    A case for gender role ministries can be a topic that is sensitive in most growing churches. Is the word relevant for today? Corinthians 14:34 is addressed where women are to keep quiet in the church. Is this fair? Is this justice? Ms. Keller starts her short book with basic bible study 101. What does the word say? What is the context? and the why. I liked how she brought out the justice of this verse and made it very real for me. Do I believe that God is just. Do I believe in the goodness of Go A case for gender role ministries can be a topic that is sensitive in most growing churches. Is the word relevant for today? Corinthians 14:34 is addressed where women are to keep quiet in the church. Is this fair? Is this justice? Ms. Keller starts her short book with basic bible study 101. What does the word say? What is the context? and the why. I liked how she brought out the justice of this verse and made it very real for me. Do I believe that God is just. Do I believe in the goodness of God in this verse. The justice is the strengthening of the church for the whole body. Is Jesus the authority of the church. Ms. Keller also brings out how the Lord himself valued the women in his life. Can we trust his word any less. Another point that was brought out is our calling verses our roles in ministry. We need to get back to the basic of our God-given roles that male and female compliment each other, not compete with each other. We remain true to God's design for our roles, our callings will be used for His Glory. Is that not what the church is meant for?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I find Kathy Keller's speaking and writing immensely easy to read and clear. I appreciate her handling of scripture and found this book helpful in finding my place within the area of complementarianism. While I am completely convinced of the Biblical truth of complementarianism and am against the ordination of women as pastors, I still struggle with the practical application of locating the "line" women are not to cross. I didn't find this book all that helpful in that regard as my personal beli I find Kathy Keller's speaking and writing immensely easy to read and clear. I appreciate her handling of scripture and found this book helpful in finding my place within the area of complementarianism. While I am completely convinced of the Biblical truth of complementarianism and am against the ordination of women as pastors, I still struggle with the practical application of locating the "line" women are not to cross. I didn't find this book all that helpful in that regard as my personal belief and understanding seems to fall somewhere between my Pastor's line and Kathy Keller's line. At least I am narrowing it down!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Curry

    I read this book wanting to give a fair shot to complementarianism. As Kathy Keller herself says, “I have no investment in being wrong. I do not desire to be deceived or to deceive. So by all means, let us look at the data again.” One of my complementarian friends asked me to hold this belief with open hands, and I try to do so. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that this short book (only 48 pages) really isn’t an in-depth explanation of complementarianism. I wanted Kathy to try to change my mind, I read this book wanting to give a fair shot to complementarianism. As Kathy Keller herself says, “I have no investment in being wrong. I do not desire to be deceived or to deceive. So by all means, let us look at the data again.” One of my complementarian friends asked me to hold this belief with open hands, and I try to do so. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that this short book (only 48 pages) really isn’t an in-depth explanation of complementarianism. I wanted Kathy to try to change my mind, but she really wasn’t able to in 48 pages.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joel Rockey

    I do not claim to be an expert on this controversial topic, and quite honestly this is the first book I've read on the topic of complementarianism vs. egalitarianism in the church ministry. However, I really appreciated this book by Kathy Keller. She defends the complementarianism view very well from Scripture. I also appreciated her gracious and humble tone throughout the book. Keller would probably be on the "liberal" side of complementarians, but I still gained a lot from this book. It defini I do not claim to be an expert on this controversial topic, and quite honestly this is the first book I've read on the topic of complementarianism vs. egalitarianism in the church ministry. However, I really appreciated this book by Kathy Keller. She defends the complementarianism view very well from Scripture. I also appreciated her gracious and humble tone throughout the book. Keller would probably be on the "liberal" side of complementarians, but I still gained a lot from this book. It definitely made me want to continue to study this very important topic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    Good little book on the role of women in the church. Really appreciate Kathy Keller's perspective. Good little book on the role of women in the church. Really appreciate Kathy Keller's perspective.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    I actually appreciate the shortness of this book. Mrs. Keller gets to the point quickly, providing sufficient background in her hermeneutics and experiences to understand her conclusions, see how she arrived at them, and empathize with her narrative. Mrs. Keller's commitment to the Scriptures and long-time wrestling with these issues is to be commended, and she provides a valuable perspective. Her conclusion on women in the church is this: anything an unordained man is allowed to do a woman is al I actually appreciate the shortness of this book. Mrs. Keller gets to the point quickly, providing sufficient background in her hermeneutics and experiences to understand her conclusions, see how she arrived at them, and empathize with her narrative. Mrs. Keller's commitment to the Scriptures and long-time wrestling with these issues is to be commended, and she provides a valuable perspective. Her conclusion on women in the church is this: anything an unordained man is allowed to do a woman is also allowed to do. This is a simple and coherent answer to the question of the role of women in the church. However, this answer isn't satisfactory for at least 3 reasons. 1) Mrs. Keller mentions the importance of the hermenutical principle of interpreting the unclear in light of the clear. It would appear that passages such as 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 are the clear teaching, with which to interpret the historical fact of Priscilla teaching Apollos, for example, rather than the other way around. 2) Mrs. Keller describes herself as having a feminist/egalitarian background, and this is clear in her writings. She accepts that women and men have different roles, but her 'complementarianism' is as neutered as it can get. The answer she arrives at is about as egalitarian as one can be while still acknowledging biblical authority. 3) The larger biblical narrative is what should form our concept of gender roles. Creation and marriage are both very relevant to this discussion yet these larger topics are quite underdeveloped.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy Morgan

    This is a short read and avoids the pitfall of overstated arguments that plague many complementarian books. I appreciated hearing from a woman who ministers in a liberal setting where the idea of some roles in the church being reserved for women is a horrible offense. She takes a frank but compassionate approach to the subject. Keller believes women are forbidden “authoritative teaching” roles in the church, which she seems to practically define as pulpit teaching and exercising church disciplin This is a short read and avoids the pitfall of overstated arguments that plague many complementarian books. I appreciated hearing from a woman who ministers in a liberal setting where the idea of some roles in the church being reserved for women is a horrible offense. She takes a frank but compassionate approach to the subject. Keller believes women are forbidden “authoritative teaching” roles in the church, which she seems to practically define as pulpit teaching and exercising church discipline. She interprets the 1 Tim and 1 Cor passages forbid women from making judgments about what is gospel and what is heresy, though, and I have trouble understanding how that fits under preaching and pastoring. At one point she seems to imply that non-authoritative teaching means that if you think it’s bad, you can just ignore it. I have found that gender roles tend to be presented as “men are leaders; women are submitters” or as “women’s primary place of ministry is the home; men’s primary place is......idk something else.” Keller emphasized men as leaders in the church and though she said that women can and should exercise leadership and teaching in non-authoritative ways, I wish she would have included more examples.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    This is a very interesting book, which presented a line of argument I was not familiar with. In the discussion of gender roles in the church there seems to be two primary camps. Those who hold to a literal reading of their favourite passage, which limits the role of women, and those who claim that God sees all alike, so therefore there cannot be any gender roles. I have (and do) disagree with both approaches. For, the first does not take scripture as a whole (just their favourite verses). The se This is a very interesting book, which presented a line of argument I was not familiar with. In the discussion of gender roles in the church there seems to be two primary camps. Those who hold to a literal reading of their favourite passage, which limits the role of women, and those who claim that God sees all alike, so therefore there cannot be any gender roles. I have (and do) disagree with both approaches. For, the first does not take scripture as a whole (just their favourite verses). The second seems to ignore scripture, relegating uncomfortable passages to another time and place. The biggest problem with the second approach is that everything can then be altered or explained away! As Kathy Keller says, this requires a very low view (if any) of God. In contrast Keller argues for a balanced view of scripture that places limited (very limited) gender roles. Ultimately, her view opens up every type of ministry, or the use of any spiritual gift by both genders. The second half of the book then become more personal and pastoral in dealing with why God might have chosen to have differences between gender, especially as that is so abhorrent in our current culture. I very much liked the book and may finally have found a book on the topic I can embrace.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I didn't love this. I picked it up knowing it was based on a different opinion and scripture interpretation then I have. I found it annoying that she clearly states womens issues within the church as NOT justice issues but then proceeds to talk about the justice of right gender roles etc. I think there are much much better works and exegesis to read about these challenging passages about women in ministry. I would suggest "Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Dispute I didn't love this. I picked it up knowing it was based on a different opinion and scripture interpretation then I have. I found it annoying that she clearly states womens issues within the church as NOT justice issues but then proceeds to talk about the justice of right gender roles etc. I think there are much much better works and exegesis to read about these challenging passages about women in ministry. I would suggest "Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts" by Lucy Peppiatt. It has a much stronger reasoning for women in leadership and ministry and is very thorough. Telling me that as a women who has the gifts and graces of pastoring but cannot fuction in them and that is what makes me more like Jesus and telling a man who does not have the gift and grace for pastoring that he must step into it anyway because that will make him more like Jesus just doesn't work. I think its beneficial to read things we don't agree with and this is a very short quick read but I have found much better texts on the subject.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hurst

    Very well-written; I love how concise it was! It’s clear that Kathy is a very effective communicator. I really appreciated her hermeneutical insights into key biblical passages (1 Corinthians 14 especially) that have troubled me since I was a little girl. Honestly, even though it was brief, this has been the best explanation of gender roles in ministry that I have come across. Definitely not an exhaustive study of all sides, but a really good starting place. The only reason I gave it 4/5 is beca Very well-written; I love how concise it was! It’s clear that Kathy is a very effective communicator. I really appreciated her hermeneutical insights into key biblical passages (1 Corinthians 14 especially) that have troubled me since I was a little girl. Honestly, even though it was brief, this has been the best explanation of gender roles in ministry that I have come across. Definitely not an exhaustive study of all sides, but a really good starting place. The only reason I gave it 4/5 is because of a brief, tangential comment she made about biblical-days slavery being akin to indentured servant hood. Further research on the topic of slavery has since complicated that view in ways that I think are important to acknowledge.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Filip Sekkelsten

    Kathy Keller has many good points and writes well from a hermeneutical and councelling perspective. However, I do miss a treatment of Galatians 3:28 ("there is no…male or female…in Christ") and the Paul's argument from creation here. Eve is in Genesis created as a helper equal to Adam. Further, her dealing of the view that the women in Ephesus were "uppity" is more extensive than just relating to the Diana cult, and so this aspect is not treated with full justice. Lastly, there is no mention of Kathy Keller has many good points and writes well from a hermeneutical and councelling perspective. However, I do miss a treatment of Galatians 3:28 ("there is no…male or female…in Christ") and the Paul's argument from creation here. Eve is in Genesis created as a helper equal to Adam. Further, her dealing of the view that the women in Ephesus were "uppity" is more extensive than just relating to the Diana cult, and so this aspect is not treated with full justice. Lastly, there is no mention of Junia (who many argue was an apostle), Phoebe, or Priscilla. Priscilla and Aquila indeed seems to have taught Apollos with a degree of authority.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    I found this to be a helpful discussion on the position of complementarianism in the church. Although I wish there had been more thorough discussion on some points, I appreciate that the book is brief and sticks to main points. I would be interested to read a more detailed discussion on her view of gender roles. As a woman working in a para church organization where many views are represented, it has become very important to clarify my own position as well as understand the position of others. A I found this to be a helpful discussion on the position of complementarianism in the church. Although I wish there had been more thorough discussion on some points, I appreciate that the book is brief and sticks to main points. I would be interested to read a more detailed discussion on her view of gender roles. As a woman working in a para church organization where many views are represented, it has become very important to clarify my own position as well as understand the position of others. A helpful resource to be sure!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel West

    If you struggle with the idea of submission, this is a great read with a thoughtful, intelligent discussion. This booklet left me with more answers than questions, which is hard to find with this topic. I appreciate Kathy’s discussion on where the church can do better with fully allowing women to use their God-given gifts in ministry, in addition to clarifying the servant leadership aspect of each role. I’m still chewing on a lot, and I’m not 100% on Kathy’s side of the fence, but this helped me If you struggle with the idea of submission, this is a great read with a thoughtful, intelligent discussion. This booklet left me with more answers than questions, which is hard to find with this topic. I appreciate Kathy’s discussion on where the church can do better with fully allowing women to use their God-given gifts in ministry, in addition to clarifying the servant leadership aspect of each role. I’m still chewing on a lot, and I’m not 100% on Kathy’s side of the fence, but this helped me see really challenging passages in a new light.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Esther Beard

    Kathy Keller cuts through all the crap and delivers a concise, clear and compassionate little book. I recommend this book to any woman or man who is dissatisfied, disillusioned or confused by gender roles in the church; the lack of female leadership and who are to be elders. Her personal journey only engages the leader more but her clear theological understanding would stand alone without it (definitely love when a woman doesn't need a man to understand the hermeneutics of a text!) Kathy Keller cuts through all the crap and delivers a concise, clear and compassionate little book. I recommend this book to any woman or man who is dissatisfied, disillusioned or confused by gender roles in the church; the lack of female leadership and who are to be elders. Her personal journey only engages the leader more but her clear theological understanding would stand alone without it (definitely love when a woman doesn't need a man to understand the hermeneutics of a text!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Philip Bennetch

    The first section of this booklet covers the hermeneutical front (what does the Bible say). The second section covers the personal front (responding to the biblical imperative). I believe Mrs. Keller's biblical study is too short and incorrect. But IF one comes to the same interpretive conclusion as she, I would say she wise in handling the question of how to obey while encouraging women toward full use of their gifts. The first section of this booklet covers the hermeneutical front (what does the Bible say). The second section covers the personal front (responding to the biblical imperative). I believe Mrs. Keller's biblical study is too short and incorrect. But IF one comes to the same interpretive conclusion as she, I would say she wise in handling the question of how to obey while encouraging women toward full use of their gifts.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Kathy Keller defends the fact that the Bible promotes different gender roles for men and women, but then limits her discussion on what defines women's roles to 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2. This is how she (and Redeemer Presbyterian Church) arrives at the conclusion: "Anything that an unordained man is allowed to do, a woman is also allowed to do." This truncated approach results in anemic complementarianism with all sorts of room for Revoice. If masculinity really isn't about leadership (fa Kathy Keller defends the fact that the Bible promotes different gender roles for men and women, but then limits her discussion on what defines women's roles to 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2. This is how she (and Redeemer Presbyterian Church) arrives at the conclusion: "Anything that an unordained man is allowed to do, a woman is also allowed to do." This truncated approach results in anemic complementarianism with all sorts of room for Revoice. If masculinity really isn't about leadership (far beyond the mere office of elder), clergy really are the third sex.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phil Annetts

    Very helpful Helpful, measured and clear. Witty and engaging writing style. A difficult topic and cloudy at times, the writer brings clarity and warmth to it. Excellent blend of personal experience and pastoral experience brings huge integrity. Exegesis of difficult scriptures and emphasis on inerrancy very helpful. Challenging book, many thanks

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This is the clearest description and argument I've heard for this position. I really like how Keller openly states her presuppositions so she can get right to the point. She knows what she is and isn't going to argue about and strikes the right tone in addressing the personal concerns of those who object to her position. This is the clearest description and argument I've heard for this position. I really like how Keller openly states her presuppositions so she can get right to the point. She knows what she is and isn't going to argue about and strikes the right tone in addressing the personal concerns of those who object to her position.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Not Detailed, but good points Not a detailed account and explanation + counter-explanation for the complementarian stance, but a good introduction and points to Gender discussion as from a theological, feminine, personal perspective. At least I can feel the desire to be fair and have conviction and reason.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Phillips

    I loved this quick and powerful read! Kathy Keller does a great job encouraging the reader to challenge his or her apprehensions towards complementarianism and uses biblical backing for why we can ultimately trust in God’s design, not as an oppressor but as a good God who equips and qualifies and leads.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angie Shoemaker

    This was a concise little booklet that addressed the two main passages with which I have struggled the most regarding women and ministry: 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2. I don’t know if I liked this so much because it articulates so well the conclusions I find myself drawing or if I just appreciated the author’s candor and relatable yet intellectual tone.

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