An interaction with Jewett, Scanzoni and Hardesty, and the Bible

The role relationship of women and men is one of the most discussed topics of our day, in evangelical circles as well as elsewhere. Two books claiming to be written from the evangelical perspective have aroused considerable interest: All We’re Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women’s Liberation by Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty (Word) and Man as Male and Female: A Study in Sexual Relationships From a Theological Point of View by Paul K. Jewett (Eerdmans). Attention has been focused on the necessity for justice and equality in the male-female relationship. Man is made male and female in God’s image. This equality is basic to the discussion. It is one of the bases upon which the husband is urged by the Apostle Peter to honor his wife as a joint heir of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:1–7), while the wife is asked to submit to her husband. This emphasis on equality and unity reiterated in the great redemptive passage of Galatians 3:28 has brought these authors to disavow any role of submission by women to men in the marriage relationship or in the ruling/teaching functions in the church.

I disagree. I believe that equality and difference of role are not mutually exclusive but are indeed the two sides to the teaching of the Word of God about the subject.

It is significant that the two notes of equality and difference of role are joined in the marriage relationship in the treatment presented by the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 3:1–7). The equality is appealed to when Peter instructs the husband to honor his wife as a “joint-heir” at the same time that he urges her to submit to him and urges him to recognize her femininity (the “weaker ...

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