Monday, April 20, 2009

Dan and complementarianism and taking the Bible seriously

One time, back when I was a complementarian, Dan gave a talk about gender roles in the church. I grew up in the PCA, a conservative Presbyterian denomination that split off of the PCUS, the mainline denomination, over the issue of whether women can be elders. In my church growing up, this issue—keeping women from being elders—was a shibboleth to determine if someone takes the Bible seriously.

I was telling Mom about this talk later. What she and I found surprising was that, as Dan was talking about how it's great for women to be leaders in the church, he didn't disrespect the scriptures. Instead, he pulled up the scriptures that had traditionally been used to explain why women should have restricted leadership roles, and showed how they actually would have been taken as feminist statements in the cultures these scriptures were addressed to.

Dan loves the Bible. I was used to thinking of liberals as people who pick and choose the parts of the Bible that they want to use and conservatives as people who submit themselves to the whole Bible. Dan seemed like a liberal to me, but a different kind of liberal than I thought there could be.

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