If we want to make the world and the church a better place for women, we have to work institutionally. Whether a woman is a complementarian or an egalitarian, in whatever ways we can, we together call the institution of the church to recognize and empower the great work women are already doing.
The Christian blogosphere is inviting us to return to a doxological view of Christian authority—not one that forsakes traditional structures and the importance of accountability, but one that reminds us that all authority comes from Christ, and sometimes voices of truth are speaking from different sorts of pulpits.
So, essentially, there is the church, where you go to sit with all your children, trying to keep them from wiggling and running away, listening to a man exposit the Scriptures—however competently depends on so many variables—and then, when you wander out, there is not only the blogosphere, but now also the conferences and books and tribal pull of women gathering together to make their way through life.
In the immediate aftermath of Warren’s piece, it appeared that Christian women were falling into two camps—rather than Jen vs. Angelina, we had Jen vs. Tish. But instead of taking sides, it might be more useful for us to realize that we are all, like them, products of historical and cultural forces that define our experiences and constrain our choices in ways we often fail to realize.
One theme of questions regarding authority struck me: Who has the authority to tear down others and to pit women against each other as enemies?Who gives us the right to shame, blame, and accuse fellow believers?
The miracles are one of the ways that Jesus’ knowledge, authority, and power start to be revealed as he begins his ministry. And by the end of his ministry Jesus is offering these same ministry tools to his various followers.