Week of Mutuality: How it will work, definition of terms

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

I’ve spent the weekend furiously preparing for our series, One In Christ: A Week of Mutuality, which begins tomorrow. (Thankfully, my pinkeye has cleared up....and I didn’t even have to borrow my friend’s breast milk! Thanks, everyone, for your concern.) 

Before we begin, a few clarifications/details: 

1. Definition of Terms

A wise reader noted on my Facebook page that it would be helpful, at the outset of our series, to define terms regarding complementarianism, egalitarianism, and mutuality. This is a good idea.  So, for the purposes of this series, here’s how we’ll define our terms: 

Complementarianism (also known as “soft patriarchy”): Christians who identify as complementarians believe that the Bible requires Christian women to submit to male leadership in the home, church (and, according to some*), society.

[*JI Packer, for example, wrote in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that “a situation in which a female boss has a male secretary puts a strain on the humanity of both...” Not all complementarians would agree the hierarchy between men and women extends beyond the home and church.] 

According to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, complementarianism “affirms that men and women are equal in the image of God, but maintain complementary differences in role and function. In the home, men lovingly are to lead their wives and family as women intelligently are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. In the church, while men and women share equally in the blessings of salvation, some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men.” (See also: “The Danvers Statement.”)

Egalitarianism (also known as “mutuality”): Christians who identify as egalitarian usually believe that Christian women enjoy equal status and responsibility with men in the home, church, and society, and that teaching and leading God’s people should be based on giftedness rather than gender. 

According to Christians for Biblical Equality, egalitarianism holds that “all believers—without regard to gender, ethnicity or class—must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world.”**

[**Note: While I identify myself as egalitarian, I do not necessarily agree with every position/theological rationale of the folks at CBE. And they would probably want me to say that my views are not necessarily reflective of theirs.]

The purpose of this week’s series is to make a case for egalitarianism, (though it should be assumed that people of goodwill and sincere faith can disagree on these issues).  I'm not aiming to spend much time arguing against complementarianism, but rather showing that egalitarianism is a tenable position for Christians, based on scripture, reason, tradition, etc. 

2. How to participate in the synchroblog:

1. Write a post around the theme of mutuality in the Church, home, and world. (Feel free to use the image above, and be sure to link back!) 

2. Share your post on Twitter using #mutuality2012, and it will show up in the live scroll here on the blog.

3. To be considered for Mutuality Week’s Sunday Superlatives, submit your post here

3. Posting Schedule 

This schedule is subject to change. 

Monday, June 4

Let’s Start at the Beginning, Shall We? (Genesis 1, 2)
6 Common Misconceptions About Egalitarians

Tuesday, June 5

Submit One to Another: The Radical Household Codes of Early Christianity (Col 3:18—4:1, Eph 5:21—6:9, 1 Peter 2:18—3:7)
Dan on Roles, Leadership, and Supporting Your Partner (by Dan Evans) 

Wednesday, June 6

Who’s Who Among Biblical Women Leaders
1 Timothy 2:11 – The Final Word on Women in Church Leadership? (1 Timothy 2) 

Thursday, June 7

Women of Valor, Both Inside the Home and Out (Proverbs 31, Ruth) 
Ask an Egalitarian (Mimi Haddad) 

Friday, June 8 (my birthday!) 

6 Critiques of Complementarianism
Roundtable Discussion featuring Frank Viola, Pam Hogeweide, Julie Clawson, and more 

Saturday, June 9

List of Resources – Books, Articles, Blog Posts, Media 
Priscilla’s Ministry (Ed Cyzewski)

Sunday, June 10

Mutuality Week - Sunday Superlatives (my favorite of YOUR posts!) 

Any questions? Everyone (mostly) okay with how I've defined the terms?

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