There should be little doubt for those who have been reading this blog for a while, that I hold Tim Keller in high esteem. However, this quote from the “News Service of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary” is more than a little graceless. (It sounds more like a certain younger man from Seattle than the more mature Pastor from New York, actually.) [HT]
…there is an idolatrous reason behind each behavioral issue. For example, behind the belief that women should be ordained is the need for power and a love for feeling in charge.
Many of us would suggest that “the need for power and a love for feeling in charge” is precisely why so many humans with dangly bits are incapable of reading scripture in any way other than to deny leadership to those without. (Keller in praxis, does not seem to fall into this category.)
I can think of hundreds of examples of idolatrous reasoning in the church and wonder why this example is used – one with which more than half the evangelical camp would profoundly disagree. (That is, of course, whether you consider evangelicals from the developing world as part of the “evangelical camp.”)
Earlier today, I linked to Peggy Brown’s article Where ARE the Women? in Next Wave. Let me quote from Peggy.
So, where ARE the women? Well, they’re everywhere, actually. Doing some of the most amazing ministry. Some of them are serving “out in the open” with official status and proper recognition. Some are also serving “out in the open” with no official status or recognition. Some are serving “under the radar” where status and recognition have no meaning – or, worse, could get you in a heap of trouble. Some are also serving “under the radar” with official status and proper recognition among the “Under the Radar” folks. And some are just serving wherever and however the Spirit gives them the inspiration and the power. This last group of sisters is not interested in status or recognition, especially. They figure they are just serving Christ as faithful followers right where they find themselves, and that’s all the status or recognition needed.
The problem is not that the women aren’t out there using their gifts to build up the church. The reality is that they, in fact, are. The problem is one of perception. Perceptions about what women can do versus what they may do in ministry. And it is a problem that the sisters share with many other segments of society. [Please read the entire article.]
Keller’s denomination, the PCA do send women out to the mission field, where they are expected to teach new believers up to the point where local males can replace them. Something I’ve always found rather inconsistent in their complimentarian theology. (Please note that the Kinnon family attended a Toronto PCA church for almost three years and love and respect the PCA leaders we know. We disagree on complimentarianism. Which probably makes me even more of an idolater than I was earlier today. Thank goodness for the Interwebs or I’d never have known.)
I linked earlier to Jonathan Brink’s post featuring NT Wright on this very topic. Now I’m going to post the YouTube video here. UPDATE: This older post from Rebecca Groothuis is also well worth your time.