Women and the Gender of God— Dialogue Part One

Women and the Gender of God— Dialogue Part One March 21, 2023

  1. With so many books of late written about women in the NT, and even the subdiscipline of feminist interpretations of women in the NT, what was it that prompted you to write this book in particular?


  1. Yes, it was with fear and trepidation that I entered into such a well-stocked field! I became convinced that attention to Mary was still not an oversaturated market (especially for Protestants) and that the theological questions her role in God’s salvation prompted demanded attention, especially in light of continued revelations of some Christian’s failures with regard to women.



  1. One of the things that becomes apparent the further one reads in your book is that you are doing a ground clearing exercise to remove some of the stereotypes and caricatures about God. (God is distant, God is stern, God is abusive even violent towards women, the fatherhood of God reflects the oppressive patriarchal culture, God is male or masculine and so on). This seems to largely be a critique of the more radical feminist readings of the Gospels (and other portions of the NT), but at the same time you clearly reflect on the helpful insights of such readings of the text. At the same time, you take on some of the pejorative patriarchal readings of the text as well, so you are in essence fighting on two fronts.  Am I right about the undercurrent here, and if so, how have you maintained a sort of fair balance of critique and appreciation of this literature which has become a growth industry in NT studies?


  1. Yes, you’ve discerned the difficulty I took on for myself clearly. I hope that readers will conclude that I’ve balanced critique and appreciation fairly, but I’m sure I lean more in one direction or the other at times. Two things aided me, I think, in this kind of research and writing. First, I was taught, in my liberal arts Christian college (OBU) to read charitably. I need not be afraid of any position but can trust that there might be truth there I can learn from. Second, having existed in both “conservative” and “liberal” spaces, I know people whom I value that hold many of the positions with which I interacted. That helped me to humanize the authors with whom I was reading and respond to them as I would want to treat a friend.

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