Pursuing Partnership, Part 21: What Does the Bible Say? What’s Next?

Pursuing Partnership Series: Men & Women in Leadership
Part 21: What Does the Bible Say? Carrying on as we Wrap Up

By Wendy Wilson, MissioNexus-Mission Advisor for Development of Women
Women’s Development Track, Exec Dir 

Interpretive Challenges in the Disputed Passages: Where Do You Go Next?
We now conclude this short series of articles that summarized some of the main issues in the “contested” passages that cause people who love the Living Word that is Jesus, and His written Word, to understand its meaning and application differently. But I know we all agree that even if we’ve hopefully made some good progress in our process, we’ve barely scratched the surface of a subject that is deep and wide!  I especially want to thank Heather Althoff for doing this excellent work to launch us in our further exploration. Her summaries represent a lot of hard work to synthesize the complexity! And now our hope is that you take it from here and “do your own work” as you continue to a place of position and practice before the Lord that you believe best honors His heart, the best you currently understand it.  Some final words from Heather:

“My goal in this final article/blog would just be to acknowledge that many people may not want to go as in depth as I did in my research–and that’s okay. But as a pastor, I have seen the importance of people’s awareness about the issues. So many people only know the perspective that they have been taught, and many feel betrayed when they learn that there are other viable views that take the inerrancy of the Bible seriously. These are complicated passages, and we should acknowledge that. These are also not the only passages that speak of women. There are countless examples of women in biblical narratives and epistles that we often overlook in our preference for “clear” instruction. My encouragement is to keep the conversation going, to help those we disciple, in our churches and elsewhere, be aware of the issues, and to teach the entirety of the Bible’s message to women.”

As we continue this Pursuing Partnership Series we will address more aspects of the issues, circumstances, and even confusion that women and men both experience as they find themselves in the practical out-working of their relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ, carrying out His purposes together.  As Heather says so well,

God’s glory is the mission and partnership is his plan. It’s not a new plan. Partnership has always been God’s plan from the very beginning. From our very first introduction to him at the beginning of Genesis, partnership between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a part of his nature. He went on to create us in his image and to command us to multiply that image throughout the Earth, a mission that we could only do in partnership with him –  and with each other as men and women.”.

As a fitting wrap up to her series, I invite you to watch two short videos in which Heather describes for us God’s stunning vision of this partnership:

Partnership: Essential from the Beginning

Partnership: Redeemed for Today

These thoughts are the perfect segue into the next segment in our Pursuing Partnership Series. This summer we will get back to our weekly article series where we will further explore this concept of partnership, in the words of Carolyn James – The Blessed Alliance!

Question for discussion: In what ways has this series,  Parts 14-21, impacted your theological journey on the issue of women and what do you think you need next as you continue to pursue clarity?