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Counterpoint: We egalitarians should rely more on careful exegesis and less on political ideologies.

I am a complementarian. I believe the Bible teaches that God created men and women to serve different roles in the church and the home. But I am deeply concerned that some complementarians are missing the mark. In their efforts to restore God's ideal, I fear they may actually distort it.

Instead of focusing on what the Bible says about the relationship between men and women, complementarians too often give the impression that they care only about the place of women. This one-sided perspective is unhealthy and ultimately unbiblical.

When God created humankind in his image, he created them to be male and female (Gen. 1:27). It is often said that men and women bear the image of God equally. But it might be more accurate to say that men and women bear God's image together. Men and women collectively reflect the divine image; one without the other is incomplete. In addition, the Book of Genesis affirms men and women's joint mandate to exercise dominion over creation. Men and women share this responsibility; neither can fulfill God's mandate alone.

Too often, complementarians approach theology only through a male lens. But in order to see the complete picture of what's being taught in Scripture, we need the theological perspective of both sexes. If it is true that men and women see things differently, as we complementarians often assert, then stifling the feminine perspective can only lead to an inadequate theology. Adam's first sin was his silence in the garden when Eve was being tempted. His subsequent sin has been to silence the voice of his God-given partner.

Complementarian discussions about the differences between men and women ...

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June 2008

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