Click For Photo: https://wp-media.patheos.com/blogs/sites/168/2019/06/Mount_Holyoke_College_Mary_Lyon_Hall.jpgClick For Photo: https://wp-media.patheos.com/blogs/sites/168/2019/06/Mount_Holyoke_College_Mary_Lyon_Hall-768x586.jpg
I love to study people who don’t fit in boxes. These people explode our assumptions about which ideas or which actions go together. They help us think outside our own boxes in productive ways, whether we totally agree with them or not. To a certain extent, everyone I study as a historian doesn’t fit in my boxes: people in the past had different assumptions about the world than we do today. But I particularly like to study the people who didn’t fit in the boxes of their time or mine. And this is particularly true with respect to gender theology.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Beth Moore briefly attended. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Kerfuffle - Beth - Moore - Preaching - Baptist
I was thinking about all of this recently while observing the recent kerfuffle over Beth Moore preaching in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Fellow Anxious Bench bloggers Beth Allison Barr and Kristin Kobes Du Mez have produced several excellent posts (here and especially here,) and videos (here, here, and especially here) contextualizing this debate.
Barr, an egalitarian advocate for female pastors, acknowledged that she was disappointed to hear this. Still, she praised Moore for taking her calling as a teacher seriously and thus taking her time to think through any changes in her interpretation of the Scriptures. Barr was disappointed because Moore has nearly a million twitter followers, many times more than any male SBC leader involved in the debate. And far more women even than this look up to Moore as a Bible teacher. So I think Barr is right that if Moore were to embrace the egalitarian position, she would lead a large number of women to do the same. And at some point there would come a tipping point within the SBC: as Barr notes, complementarianism requires women’s assent or it just won’t work.
But it is...
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