I wish all could reason as well as Andrew Wilson. Here he sketches common myths propagated by opponents, in this case the Egalitarians (E) and Complementarians (C). I’m unpersuaded these are the best terms, and I’m personally much more in tune with the term “Mutuality” and consider myself a “mutualist,” though I’m quite happy to be part of the egalitarians … and there so much to be said… so a question:
Which of these do the most damage for civil conversation? Which of these hurt the church the most?
E1. All complementarians are chauvinists who dishonour women.
C1. All egalitarians are liberals who dishonour the Bible.
E2. Complementarians do not believe men and women are equal.
C2. Egalitarians do not believe men and women are complementary.
E3. “Headship” and “submission” always communicate the inferiority of women.
C3. “Headship” and “submission” never communicate the inferiority of women.
E4. Complementarianism is analogous to supporting the slave trade.
C4. Egalitarianism is analogous to supporting homosexual practice.
E5. The differences between men and women are entirely a result of the Fall.
C5. The differences between men and women are entirely a result of creation.E6. Women were clearly foundational apostles in the early church.
C6. Women were clearly not apostles in the early church.
E7. New Testament scholarship has concluded that the Greek word kephale (literally, “head”) means “source”.
C7. New Testament scholarship has concluded that the Greek word kephale (literally, “head”) never means “source”.
E8. 1 Timothy 2 is entirely circumstantial, and reflects no creational principles.
C8. 1 Timothy 2 is entirely creational, and reflects no circumstantial principles.
E9. Narrative trumps doctrinal instruction: women in the early church taught and exercised authority over men, so Paul could not have prohibited either.
C9. Doctrinal instruction trumps narrative: Paul prohibited women from teaching or exercising authority over men, so women in the early church can’t have done either.
E10. Scholars agree that the Greek word authentein means “to usurp, domineer or assume authority”, with negative connotations.
C10. Scholars agree that the Greek word authentein means “to exercise authority over”, with no negative connotations.