A Debate with Rachel Held Evans on Gender Roles

I recently debated the hotly contested theology of gender roles with Rachel Held Evans, a talented writer and speaker.  The forum for the debate is the UK radio show Unbelievable, which has hosted some memorable discussions in the past: Mark Driscoll on British Christianity and Rob Bell on Love Wins, to name two.  Adrian Warnock also joined the conversation and has released a chart on the differences on this matter among evangelicals.

Here’s the program info.  Click the “Listen Now” button to, well, listen.  This was a meaningful discussion from my view of things:

This Week on Unbelievable : Egalitarian vs Complementarian views of men and women

Listen to this featured programme!

A controversial blog post by Jared Wilson, quoting pastor Doug Wilson on the role of men and women in sex, recently reignited the debate between complementarians and egalitarians. Rachel Held Evans is a popular US author, blogger and speaker who believes the New Testament supports the equality of men and women in the church and in the home (Egalitarian). Owen Strachan is a theology professor at Boyce College, Kentucky and believes the Bible teaches that men and women have equal dignity but different roles in family and church (Complementarian). UK church blogger Adrian Warnock joins the conversation too as we discuss reactions to the Wilson blog post, how to interpret verses in the Bible about women “submitting” to husbands and “remaining quiet” in church, and more.

 Find out more:

For Rachel Held Evans, click here. For Owen Strachan,click here. For Adrian Warnock, click here

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  • Don Johnson

    Overall, I find this format to just allow for a sampling of info about the sides; if one really wants to study this, they will need to study books by both sides of the debate.

    2 comps tag teaming an egal, one trying to be slightly more moderate than the other. That aspect was pretty strange, all by itself.

    Owen was totally wrong is his claim about kephale/head not meaning source. He has obviously not looked at a lexicon, it is easy for anyone to check and see just how wrong he was. I was surprised at his faux pas.

    Owen also spoke with a false confidence about the “clearness” of the gender verses. The truth is the gender verses are complicated to even begin to understand in context.

    I do not agree with Rachel on how she understands 1 Cor 11 on what is often translated as headcoverings, but she has one flavor of egal understanding, while I have another.

  • Tom

    Don, the host of the show is an egal so I tihnk that’s why he wanted on Adrian as well, to make it more balanced.

    • Don Johnson

      Is the host an egal? I did not hear him say that in the debate, but he might have in another place. In any case, as the debate host, he would be expected to ACT neutral.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaigner Jonathan A. Aigner

    Rachel Held Evans is fantastic. And for a good response to your marginalizing and epically terrible “man fail” comment, check out the current “Ask a Stay-at-Home-Dad” blog post. The mutuality and fluidity this man and his wife demonstrate is a perfect picture of how Christian marriage is to work.

  • http://www.cuppboard.blogspot.com elizabeth

    I wanted to say I really enjoyed the conversation and thought you both handled yourselves very well. I dance the fence on this issue, and thought this was a good introduction to both sides. Thanks & God bless!

  • Tara

    I really enjoyed this debate. After the Jared Wilson incident…I was very anti- Rachel Held Evans. Now I see her groupies have given her a bad name, at least after hearing her in this setting. I still think being egalitarian is the most biblical point of view. However, as a woman, I admit that the lack of female leadership in the past leaves a bad taste on my tongue. But I’m not married yet, so my opinions still have time to stew. haha Great job, Owen.

  • http://sparkflyphotography.com dan!

    your link for Rachel Held Evans at the bottom goes to Owen Strachan’s site. Please correct this! Thanks.