Ask Your Questions on Women in Ministry (Gupta)

The final few posts in this “Why I Believe in Women in Ministry” series will be my answers to questions from readers.

You can ask a question:

  • In a comment to this blog post on WordPress
  • On Twitter tweeting back at my tweet of this post
  • On my FB personal page (“Nijay K. Gupta”) where I have linked this post

Please note the following

  • I cannot answer every question, so I will try to cluster them and prioritize most relevant questions to the subject and items I haven’t already discussed in the posts.
  • Snarky questions, rhetorical questions, and statements in the form of a question will not be acknowledged
  • Questions that begin, “Why should I listen to a liberal idiot like you…,” will be edited to read: “Nijay, you brilliant scholar and handsome devil…”
  • If you are a spambot trying to sell me something, sign me up for 3 and send the bill to “Dr. Michael F Bird, Ridley College.”

8 thoughts on “Ask Your Questions on Women in Ministry (Gupta)

  1. Nijay, you brilliant scholar and handsome devil, what will questions starting with “Nijay, you brilliant scholar and handsome devil” be edited to read?

    And in all seriousness, thank you for this amazing series. I’ve read it with great pleasure.

  2. 1. I am curious why Ambrose described Deborah as a widow, since it seems like, from the description of her life in Judges, that her husband was living. Ambrose had such high accolades for Deborah, and it felt affirming, as a woman, to read an early church father’s admiration for a woman leader and prophet. Did it matter that Deborah was a widow? Did that come from church tradition?

    2. Why is the nature of the word “desire” in Genesis 3 considered to have a negative connotation? It seems like the word simply describes a very powerful emotion that can only be met with an equally powerful response of complete mastery or surrender–God told Cain he must master sin’s desire of him, but the woman in Song of Songs joyfully surrenders to the shepherd/king’s desire for her. If Adam surrendered to Eve, Song of Songs style, would that have been bad? Or was his choice of mastery a necessary choice for survival? How do we think about those choices today, though? Should “Eve” have mastered her own great desire?

  3. I realize that this question may be beyond the scope of women in ministry, but it does often come up in the same discussions.

    Does the bible teach that the husband is the head of a household and that wives should submit to them? And if women are called to submit to men in marriage what does that mean for a female pastor who is married?

  4. Hi Nijay

    I’ve so enjoyed this series, both because it’s been bite sized, and the clarity and graciousness of your writing. Thank you.

    My question is a hermeneutical one, to do with how we read these encultured texts. It seems to me that both complementarians and egalitarians try to work out what was being done and taught in New Testament times and in the New Testament, and argue for a position for today’s practice based on that (or sometimes its trajectory), as if we can discern from the Bible an objective set of principles. Ought we to treat the Bible this way, as laying down Christian practice and theology on the issue, or would it be better to see these texts as telling us, how, in God’s mercy, the issue was worked out to redeem a particular people in certain cultures at one time? Perhaps I am asking about the maxim that the Bible was written ‘to them for us’ – what is the nature of that relationship and how it plays out on this issue? You understand my question is not about taking a biblical ideal and applying or accommodating it to a culture (whether it be hierarchical like the one I’m currently living in, or supposedly egalitarian like my passport culture) but about whether we can say there is a biblical ideal in the first place. I’m not trying to do away with the importance of the Bible as a rule for life, but asking whether our relationship to the Bible as we approach it from different cultures is more dynamic than looking for *a* position on women in ministry.


  5. Is having women pastors worth the loss of the dream of unity? Given that both Catholics and Orthodox seem unlikely to change their minds on this, the decision to ordain women (whatever we mean by “ordain”) seems to add one more element of incompatibility.

    1. It depends on what you mean by unity. I fellowship and have a good relationship with my Catholic friends. But we could also ask about unity on their end as well. I think it is meaningful that many Catholics have valued women theologians who are Catholic.

      1. I certainly mean more than just having a good relationship! For example, the “Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity” put together by Braaten and Jenson summarizes a plan.

        Women theologians is not the issue, is it?

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