Keith Hunt - Women's Role in the Church #11 - Page Eleven   Restitution of All Things

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Women's Role in the Church #11

The Role of Pastor #2


Continued from previous page:

     The Protestant understanding of the representative role of
the pastor differs from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox
view. According to the latter, the priest does not merely
represent, but actually "presents the priesthood of Jesus Christ
to the rest of the community" 21 by reenacting through the
eucharistic celebration the very sacrifice offered by Christ on
the Cross. According to the Protestant tradition, however, the
pastor does not present the priesthood and the sacrifice of
Christ to the congregation, but rather represents Christ by
serving symbolically as Christ's ambassador and shepherd to the
     We have shown earlier that the sacramental view of the
priest is devoid of Biblical support. The role of the leader of
the congregation (elder/overseer/pastor) is seen in the New
Testament as being not an impersonification of Christ's
priesthood and sacrifice, but a representation of Christ, the
true Father, Shepherd, and Head of the church.

Indications of Representative Role. 

     The representative role of the pastor is suggested, first of
all, by Christ's calling, training, and commissioning of the
twelve apostles to be His "witnesses" (Acts 1:8; Matt 28:18-20;
Mark 3:14). As Christ is "the apostle and high priest of our
confession" (Heb 3:1), that is, the one sent to represent the
Father, so pastors are sent (apostello) to represent the Father
and the Son to believers and unbelievers: "As thou didst send me
into the world, so I have sent them into the world" (John 17:18).
     Paul underscores the representative commission given to
church leaders when he writes: "And he [God] has committed to us
the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's
ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We
implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor
5:19-20, NIV).
     There is no question in Paul's mind that he was Christ's
ambassador to believers and unbelievers. To the Galatians he
wrote: "You welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I
were Christ Jesus himself' (Gal 4:14).

Representative Shepherd. 

     While every believer is Christ's ambassador and belongs to
the "royal priesthood" (1 Pet 2:9; Ex 19:6; Deut 26:19), the
pastor fulfills in a special sense the role of Christ's
representative, as the under-shepherd of Christ's flock. Christ
describes Himself as "the good shepherd" and His mission as
gathering the sheep that are not of His fold, so that "there
shall be one flock, one shepherd" (John 10:11,14-16). To
accomplish this mission, Christ commissioned Peter (and in a
sense all those who function in the same role as church leaders)
to feed the lambs and the sheep (John 21:15-17). Christ's
commission to His disciples to be the under-shepherds of His
flock represents the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies
regarding the future appointment of faithful shepherds: "I will
set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall
fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says
the Lord" (Jer 23:4).  "And I will give you shepherds after my
own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding"
(Jer 3:15; cf. Ezek 34:1-31).
     The promise of true shepherds to come who would faithfully
tend God's flock (not as hirelings--John 10:13) is fulfilled
through the ministry of the apostles, elders, and overseers who
serve as shepherds of Christ's flock (Acts 20:17, 28). Peter
clearly describes the function of elders as shepherds of God's
flock, representing the chief Shepherd:

     So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a
     witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in
     the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that
     is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for
     shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in
     your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the
     chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading
     crown of glory (1 Pet 5:1-4).

Heavenly Worship. 

     In the worship service the pastor acts as representative not
only of the congregation but also of Christ. As believers we hear
the word, we are baptized and participate in the Lord's Supper,
not in an abstract, impersonal way, but rather in a personal way
as the pastor ministers to us in Christ's name. The vision of the
heavenly worship in Revelation 4 and 5 reflects the inner reality
of the worship of the church. In that vision the central position
is occupied by the Father and the Lamb who are surrounded by
twentyfour elders, representing the twelve patriarchs of ancient
Israel and the twelve apostles of the new Israel. This imagery
implies that the pastor, as the leader of the worshiping
community on earth, fulfills a representative role similar to
that of the twenty-four elders in the heavenly worship.
     The unique symbolic role a pastor is called to fulfill as
representative of the heavenly Father, Shepherd, High Priest, and
Head of the church cannot legitimately be fulfilled by a woman
pastor, because her Scriptural role is not that of a father,
shepherd, priest or head of the church. We have seen that these
functional roles are associated in the Scriptures with the
distinctive roles God has assigned men to fulfill. To appoint
women to serve as elders/pastors means not only to violate a
divine design, but also to adulterate the pastor's symbolic
representation of God.

Danger of Changing Symbols. 

     C. S. Lewis rightly warns that "We have no authority to take
the living and seminal figures which God has painted on the
canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere
geometrical figures." 22 The sexual role distinctions, Lewis
notes, go beyond physical appearance. They serve "to symbolize
the hidden things of God." 23 Lewis warns that when we are in the
church, "we are dealing with male and female not merely as facts
of nature but as the live and awful shadows of realities utterly
beyond our control and largely beyond our direct knowledge" 24
     What this means is that the male role of father in the home
and of the pastor as spiritual father in the household of faith
(1 Cor 4:15) points to a much greater reality, "largely beyond
our direct knowledge," namely, to that of the heavenly Father,
the original and ultimate "Father" of the home, the church, and
the human family. Paul clearly expresses this connection in
Ephesians 3:14-15: "For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom all fatherhood (patria) in heaven and on earth derives
its name"(NIV, margin). The text suggests that all earthly
fathers, whether biological fathers in the home or spiritual
fathers in the church, reflect the image of the heavenly
"Father," albeit in a human, creaturely way.
     It is in no way derogatory to the female sex to affirm that
an elder/pastor exercises fatherhood and not motherhood for God's
family, because as E. L. Mascall observes, "his office is a
participation in God's own relationship to his people and God is
our Father in heaven and not our Mother." 25 The female sex has
its own distinctive dignity and function, but it can hardly
represent the Fatherhood of God to His people, a theme which is
dominant in both the Old and the New Testaments. The reason is
quite simple. The sexual and symbolic role of a woman is that of
mother and not of father. To change the nature of the symbol
means to distort the apprehension of the reality to which the
symbol points. To put it simply, a woman who stands for
motherhood cannot appropriately represent the Fatherhood of God
in the home or in the extended family of faith, the church. To
appreciate this point more fully, we need to consider the
implications of the male imagery of God for the symbolic role of
the pastor.

2. Male Imagery of the Godhead

Male Imagery. 

     It is an accepted fact that God has revealed Himself in the
Scriptures and through Jesus Christ predominantly in male terms
and imagery. Obviously God transcends human sexual distinctions,
yet He has chosen to reveal Himself predominantly and unmis-
takable through male terms and imagery.
     God has revealed Himself as Father and not as Mother. He
sent His Son and not His Daughter. Jesus spoke of the Fatherhood
and not of the Motherhood of God. He appointed twelve men and not
twelve women to act as His representatives. We pray "Our Father"
and not "Our Mother" who art in heaven. Christ is the new Adam
and not the new Eve. He is the Bridegroom and not the Bride of the
     To these can be added other Biblical expressions which
depict Christ as Lord (Acts 2:36; Phil 2:11), Head (Eph 5:23),
King (Luke 19:38), Lamb (Rev 5:12), Judge (Rev 19:11), Servant
(Luke 22:27), all of which are unmistakably masculine. The reason
why God has chosen this predominantly male imagery to reveal
Himself is presumably because, as discussed earlier, the male
role within the family and the church best represents the role
that God Himself sustains toward us. We found a fitting example
in Ephesians 3:14-15 where Paul indicates that all forms of human
fatherhood derive from and reflect the Fatherhood of God.

Resymbolizations of Godhead. 

     Both liberal and evangelical feminists have long recognized
the enormous significance of the correlation between the male
imagery of the Godhead and the male role of the pastor/elder in
the church, the latter being a reflection of the former. To them
this correlation rightly constitutes a formidable stumbling block
to the ordination of women. Consequently, with unshaken
determination they are clamoring for a resymbolization of the
Godhead, based on impersonal or feminine categories. This is seen
as the first indispensable step to clear the path for a female
     To bring about a resymbolization of the Godhead, feminist
theologians are employing several methods. Some are proposing
dropping the personal terms for God, adopting instead nonpersonal
or suprapersonal ones, such as "Fire, Light, Almighty, Divine
Providence, Heavenly Parent, Cosmic Benefactor, Source of
Sustenance." Others advocate using terms denoting actions, such
as "Savior, Creator, Comforter." Others recommend addressing God
as "Mother" or "Father-Mother," and Christ as "Daughter" or
"SonDaughter." 26
     A growing number of feminists are urging that Christ be no
longer thought of as "Son of the Father, but rather as "Child of
God." 27
     Moreover, as noted by Donald Bloesch, "They object to
calling Christ 'Lord' and 'Master,' since these terms reflect a
patriarchal vision. They offer instead the alternatives
'Companion' and 'Friend,' which denote a relationship of mutual
fellowship and equality rather than superordination arid
subordination." 28

Depersonalization of God. 

     The results of the resymbolizations of God are,
unintentionally perhaps, leading in two directions. On
the one hand, God is reduced to an impersonal abstraction,
light-years removed in transcendence. On the other hand, God is
made into an androgynous Being with male-female characteristics:
God/Goddess, Creator/Creatrix, Father/Mother. The latter augurs a
return to fertility worship. The ultimate results of such efforts
is not merely switching labels on the same product, but rather
introducing new labels for an entirely different product.
     Feminists who advocate changing the personal names of God
from Father, King, and Lord, to impersonal abstractions as "Womb
of Being," "Immanent Mother," "Life Force," "Divine Generatrix,"
or "Ground of Being," are ending up with a God who is a far cry
from the Biblical, personal God. To characterize God with
nonpersonal, abstract terms means not only to deny the personal
aspect of the three members of the Trinity, (the three members of
the "trinity" is a false doctrine that Dr.Sam help being as it is
a SDA teaching - Keith Hunt) but also to destroy the basis for a
meaningful, personal relationship between God and human beings.
Martin Buber points out that:

     The great achievement of Israel is not to have taught the
     one true God, who is the only God, the source and end of all
     that is; it is to have shown that it was possible in reality
     to speak to Him, to say, "Thou" to Him, to stand upright
     before His face.... It was Israel who first understood
     and--much more--lived life as a dialogue between man and
     God. 29

     Ultimately, the tendency of feminist theologians to reduce
God to impersonal abstractions leads to a depersonalized image of
God to whom it is impossible to pray personally. As Deborah
Belonic states it, "To exchange a personal God for imagery of
qualities of God leads to inadequate conceptions of God and
depersonalization of both God and humanity." 30 In a discouraging
report of the Evangelical Women's Caucus which met in Saratoga
Springs, New York (June 1980), Deborah Barackman complains about
the cavalier way the revealed names of God were treated in the
desire to eliminate gender-specific language. There seemed little
awareness that excision of titles such as "Father," "Son," and
"King" does violence to his personal, Trinitarian, authoritative,
and majestic nature. Though God "is spirit and not a man," to
shift gender titles also confuses the relationships in such
overarching scriptural metaphors as Israel as God's wife. 31

Feminization of God. 

     Equally dangerous is the effort of some feminist theologians
to make God into a female deity or to exalt Mary to a creative
and redemptive role. Elizabeth Stanton, an early feminist (1895),
argues that "the first step in the elevation of woman to her true
position is ... the recognition by the rising generation of an
ideal Heavenly Mother, to whom their prayers should be addressed,
as well as to a Father." 32 To achieve this objective Durwood
Foster believe that Christians can receive much help from Eastern
thought, specifically "from the mood and intuition of Sri
Aurobindo Ghose in his meditation on God as the Mother." He
continues saying, "It is still an open question as to whether the
figure of Mary may not have a more exalted role in the Christian
vision--not only as co-redemptivx but also as cocreatrix." 33
     This unbiblical and heretical exaltation of Mary as
co-redeemer and co-creator is developed more fully by Mary Daly
in her book "Beyond God the Father." She views Mary's virginity
as the symbol of woman's completeness and autonomy from man and
favors Mary over Jesus as the redemptive symbol for women. 34 The
desire to promote the sexual equality of women and their
ordination to the priesthood leads Mary Daly to deny the deity of
Christ and to offer a female counterpart in the person of Mary,
both of which are heresy. Susan Foh correctly observes that
authors such as Mary Daly (Stanton, Foster, Reuther, Soelle)
"began with the presupposition that the Bible is an important but
not the final authority and that women must be made equal to men
in every respect, no matter what." 35

An Androgynous God? 

     Equally alarming is the effort to make God into an
androgynous Being, consisting of a male and a female counterpart
or half male and half female (Father-Mother). This view is
totally foreign to the revelation that God has given of Himself
in Scripture. Elaine Pagel correctly points out that: "Unlike
many of his contemporaries among the deities of the ancient Near
East, the God of Israel shares his power with no female divinity,
nor is he the divine Husband or Lover of any. He scarcely can be
characterized in any but masculine epithets: King, Lord, Master,
Judge, and Father. 36
     Biblical faith envisions God not as the Mother Goddess of
mythological religion or the Earth Mother of animistic cults but
as the Sovereign Lord and Almighty Father who admits of no female
counterpart. "The Judeo-Christian tradition," writes James R.
Edwards, "knows nothing of an androgynous Godhead; that is, God
does not need a female counterpart to complete his identity. When
a female counterpart is present, fertility worship, or
neo-Baalism, lurks beneath" 37

3. God as Father and Son

God the Father. 

     In Scripture God is presented not only in male imagery, but
also female. In a few Biblical passages, for example, God is
pictured in maternal terms. 38  Perhaps the most moving passage
of all is found in Isaiah 49:15: "Can a woman forget her sucking
child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you" (cf. Matt
23:37). The fact that in Scripture "God is like a father who
pities his children (Ps 103:13) and a mother who cannot forget
her sucking child (Is 49:15)" 39 has led some to conclude that
God can be appropriately addressed as Father and/or Mother. 40
     Paul Jewett is right in emphasizing that both paternal and
maternal references to God are analogical in character, but is
wrong in concluding that "both analogies are equally revelatory"
of the inner being of God. 41 There is a difference between God's
saying, "I am a father to Israel" (Jer 31:9) or Christ's saying,
"call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who
is in heaven" (Matt 23:9) and God's saying, "I will cry out like
a woman in travail" (Is 42:14) or "Can a woman forget her sucking
child? ... yet I will not forget you" (Is 49:15). The first set
of statements describes the person of God (God is our Father)
while the second set of statements makes a comparison based on an
action of God (God is like a crying or compassionate woman). The
former identifies the person of God, the latter compares an
action of God to an action performed by mothers.

God is the Father. 

     The term "Father" is used in Scripture not only in a
"figurative" sense to describe what God is like, but also in a
"literal" sense to describe what God really is. As Hendrikus
Berkhof points out, "God is not 'as it were' a Father; he is the
Father from whom all fatherhood on earth is derived." 42
Similarly Karl Barth observes:

     No human father, but God alone, is properly, truly and
     primarily Father. No human father is the creator of his
     child, the controller of its destiny, or its savior from
     sin, guilt and death. No human father is by his word the
     source of its temporal and eternal life. In this proper,
     true and primary sense God--and He alone--is Father. 43

     The self-revelation of God as Father stands out especially
in the teaching of Jesus. Joachim Jeremias, in his massive study
of the Aramaic "Abba" ("Father") used consistently by Christ,
shows that there is no evidence in the extensive Jewish
literature of the term "Father" being used by itself by an
individual to address God 44 In startling contrast to the
prevailing custom of avoiding whenever possible the name of God
out of reverence, Jesus not only called God "Father" but "Abba"
(Mark 14:36), an Aramaic diminutive equivalent to our "daddy."
     Such a familiarity with the Almighty and Holy One was
sacrilegious for the Jews. "Jesus, however, not only addressed
God with the warmth and security of a child addressing its
father, but he taught his disciples to do the same (Gal 4:6)." 45

Implications of God's Fatherhood. 

     Why has God revealed Himself, especially through Jesus
Christ, as our Father and not as our Mother? Some feminist
theologians believe that the answer is to be found in the
patriarchal culture of the time where the father was the head and
ruler of the household. God would have adopted this culturally
accepted analogy to reveal Himself. Since we no longer subscribe
to such a patriarchal social structure and world-view, the
analogy of God as "Mother," they claim would be equally
appropriate today.
     This reasoning is not correct because although God has used
the patriarchal imagery of a Father to reveal Himself, He
transcends this imagery radically. As Karl Barth aptly puts it,
"when Scripture calls God our Father, it adopts an analogy only
to transcend it at once." 46 Jesus' revelation of God as "Abba"
was not only counter-cultural, but also determinative for His
self-understanding as the Son of God and for the self-
understanding of His followers as sons and daughters of God.
God has used the language of fatherhood to reveal Himself because
such language contains an abiding truth about Himself which
cannot lightly be dismissed. Fatherhood preserves the Biblical
principle of headship and subordination. As our Father, God is
the creator and controller of our lives and we are His
subordinate children (James 1:17-18). If God were our Mother we
would think of Her not as our Creator but as our Generatrix, that
is, not as the one who created us out of nothing (ex nihilo), but
as the one who generated us out of Herself. This shows, as
Kallistos Ware states it, that "if we were to substitute a Mother
Goddess for God the Father, we would not simply be altering a
piece of incidental imagery, but we would be replacing
Christianity with a new kind of religion." 47
     It is important to remember that the symbol of the
Fatherhood of God was not created by the prophets or apostles out
of their patriarchal culture, but was revealed and given to us by
God Himself. "God as Father is God's own witness to himself, not
a mere human witness to God" 48

Headship Role. 

     To appreciate the implication of the Fatherhood of God, it
is important to note the difference between fatherhood
and motherhood. In Scripture both are similar in terms of
compassion for his/her child (Is 49:15; Ps 103:13). The only
difference is to be seen, as Susan Foh points out, in "their
relationship to one another. The father is the head of the
household; consequently, his wife must submit herself to him and
reverence him (Eph 5:22-24,33). It is the husband's headship and
the wife's submission that makes it necessary to address God as
Father, not Mother." 49
     The same principle applies, as we have shown, to the
headship role that a pastor/elder fulfills in the extended family
of God, the church. If one erases the Biblical distinction
between the roles men and women are called to fulfill in the home
and in the church, as many feminist theologians are seeking to
do, then there is no longer any reason for maintaining the
Fatherhood of God.
     Feminists have well understood the connection between the
Fatherhood of God and the male headship role in the home and in
the church. Consequently, it is not surprising that some of them
are endeavoring to remove the Fatherhood of God, calling it a
cultural vestige of a patriarchal age. To do so, however, means
to reject not only the revelation which God has given of Himself,
but also His creational design for harmonious human relation-

God the Son. 

     Why did God become a man rather than a woman? As in
the case of the Fatherhood of God, some feminists seek to account
for the maleness of Christ primarily on the basis of culturally
conditioned reasons. Scanzoni and Hardesty, for example, argue:
Given the setting of patriarchal Judaism, Jesus had to be male
... Jewish women were kept in subjection and sometimes even
seclusion. A female Messiah would have had little scriptural
knowledge (according to the Talmud, the Torah should rather be
burned than transmitted to a woman), and would not have been
allowed to teach publicly in the synagogue, or have been believed
if she had. And with her monthly "uncleanness" making her
ritually impure for a fourth of the time, a female Messiah would
have taken at least an extra year to complete God's mission. 50
     Paul Jewett expresses concisely the same view: "the
incarnation in the form of male humanity, though historically and
culturally necessary, was not theologically necessary." 51 Is
this true? Was Christ's incarnation as a man determined primarily
by cultural necessities? Would a female Christ have equally
fulfilled the role of the second Adam, the head of the redeemed
humanity (Rom 5:14; 1 Cor 15:22,45)? Would a female Christ have
equally fulfilled such male messianic typologies as a prophet
like Moses (Dent 18:15,18), a King like David (2 Sam 7:12,16), an
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Is 9:6), a suffering servant
(Is 53), and a heavenly Son of Man (Dan 7:1314)? It is hard to
see how a female Christ could have fulfilled these male messianic
typologies and become the new Adam, head of the Redeemed

Reasons for the Maleness of Christ. T

     The typological correspondence between Adam and Christ can
help us understand a major theological reason for the maleness of
the incarnate Christ. Both Adam and Christ stand in Scripture as
representative of fallen and redeemed humanity respectively: "For
as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so by one
mans obedience many will be made righteous" (Rom 5:19). "Just as
we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear
the image of the man of heaven" (1 Cor 15:49).
     The reason why Adam rather than Eve functions as the head
and representative of the human race is not because of any moral
or spiritual superiority, but simply because, as we have seen,
God by creating man first established him as the head of humanity
(1 Tim 2:13; 1 Cor 11:8).
     The reason why God chose the man and not the woman to
function as the head of humanity, of the home, and of the church,
is not given in the Scriptures. We have argued repeatedly that it
is not a question of superiority or inferiority but of com-
lementary functional roles men and women have been equipped by
God to fulfill. Man was created to serve as father and head of
the family and woman was created to serve as mother and nurturer
of the family. Being made a representative of humanity, Adam
became "a type (typos) of the one who was to come" (Rom 5:14).
Since God has assigned this representative, headship role to the
male, Christ had to become incarnate as a man to be able to
function as the representative and the head of the church (Eph
5:23). The male headship of Christ in the church becomes in turn
the model for the headship of the husband in the home and the
headship of male pastor/elder in the church.
     In a sense the incarnation of God as a man reveals the
importance that God attaches to the creational role distinctions
assigned to men and women. It is only by blurring or eliminating
such distinctions that one can deny the necessity of the
fatherhood of God and of the maleness of Christ. Susan Foh
expresses the same conviction very clearly:

     Those who deny the theological necessity of God incarnate as
     a man also reject those passages which teach any differences
     between men and women as culturally determined. As in the
     case of the fatherhood of God, these theologians first
     eliminate the distinctions Scripture makes between men and
     women; then they say there is no ultimate reason Christ came
     to earth as a male. If one believes, "I permit no woman to
     teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent"
     and its theological justification, "For Adam was formed
     first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman
     was deceived and became a transgressor" (1 Tim 2:12-14), to
     be true, then there is one obvious reason why Christ could
     not have been a woman. 52

     In the light of the foregoing considerations we conclude
that while God's mode of personal existence transcends male and
female categories, through Jesus Christ He has revealed Himself
supremely as Father, and He chose to incarnate Himself as a man.
The male category used by God to reveal Himself as Father and as
a male person through the incarnation of His Son, has great
significance because it expresses the role that He sustains
toward His creatures: Creator, Sustainer, and Savior. This role
is the foundational analogy which serves as a model for the role
men are called to fulfill as fathers in the home and as
pastors/elders in the household of God: "For this reason I kneel
before the Father, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on
earth derives its name" (Eph 3:14-15; NIV, margin).


     This chapter has shown that the New Testament envisions the
church as an extended family of believers in which the
elder/pastor serves in dual representative roles: on the one hand
as representative of the church members to God and on the other
hand as God's representative to the church members.
     Women cannot legitimately serve in such dual representative
roles, not because they are any less capable than men of piety,
zeal, learning, leadership or other aptitudes required to serve
as a pastor, but simply because such roles are perceived in
Scripture as being those of a spiritual father and not of a
spiritual mother. To blur or eliminate the role distinctions God
assigned to men and women in the home and in the church, means
not only to act contrary to His creational design, but also to
accelerate the breakdown of the family and church structure.
     The pastor fulfills a unique symbolic role in the church as
representative of the heavenly Father, Shepherd, High Priest, and
Head of the church. A woman pastor cannot appropriately fulfill
such a symbolic role because her Scriptural role is not that of a
father, shepherd, priest or head of the church. Thus, to ordain
women to serve as pastors/elders means not only to violate a
divine design, but also to adulterate the pastor's symbolic
representation of God.
     The efforts of liberal and evangelical feminists to clear
the path for a female priesthood by revising the language of God
through the introduction of impersonal or feminine names for God
is a most dangerous trend which, if allowed to prevail, will
result in a new religion widely at variance with the Christian
     God has revealed Himself supremely as Father through His
Son, Jesus Christ, who became a man and not a woman. We have seen
that God's choice of these male categories to reveal Himself is
most important. It tells us something about the role which He
sustains toward us His children, namely, the role of an almighty,
just, compassionate and caring Father. This role of the Heavenly
Father functions as the foundational model for all forms of human
fatherhood (Eph 3:14-15), whether it be that of the husband in
the home or of the pastor in the church.
     Christian fulfillment in the home and in the church is to be
found not by blurring, eliminating or reversing gender roles, but
by willingly respecting the distinctive roles assigned by the
Creator to men and women. Elizabeth Elliot's fitting expression
of this conviction will serve as an apt conclusion of this

     Supreme authority in both the Church and the home has been
     divinely vested in the male as the representative of Christ,
     who is the Head of the Church. It is in willing and glad
     submission rather than grudging capitulation that the woman
     in the Church (whether married or single) and the wife in
     the home find their fulfillment. 53



1. Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be
(Waco, Texas, 1975), p.177.

2. The Order of Priesthood. Nine Commentaries on the Vatican
Decree Inter Insignores (Huntington, Indiana, 1978), p.12.

3. Pirqe Aboth 3,7.

4. This view is expressed by Hermann W. Beyer, "Episcopos,"
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel
(Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1974), vol. 2, pp.616-617; see also
Raymond Brown, Priest and Bishop, Biblical Reflections (New York,
1970), pp.77-78.

5. George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand
Rapids, Michigan, 1974), p.533.

6. Joachim Jeremias, "Poimen," Theological Dictionary of the New
Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1973),
vol. 6, p.498.

7. Jerome D. Quinn, "Ordination in the Pastoral Epistles,"
Communio 8 (Winter 1981): 368.

8. B. W. Powers, "Patterns of New Testament Ministry--1. Elders,"
The Churchman 87, 3 (Autumn 1973): 175; see also Ed Glasscock,
"'The Husband of One Wife' Requirements," Bibliotheca Sacra 140
(July-September 1983): 250.

9. See James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective
(Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1981), p. 229; Susan T. Foh, Women and
the Word of God (Phillipsburg, New Jersey, 1979), p.128.

10. David P. Scaer, "C. S. Lewis on Women Priests," Concordia
Theological Quarterly 44, 1 (January 1980): 58.

11. Rosemary Reuther, "The Other Side of Marriage," A. D.
Magazine 8, 6 (June 1979): 8-9. 

12. Donald G. Bloesch, Is the Bible Sexist? (Westchester,
Illinois, 1982), p.56

13. Ibid.

14. Michael Novak, "Man and Woman He Made Them," Communio 8
(Spring 1981) 248.

15. Donald G. Bloesch (n. 12), p.56.

16. E. Margaret Howe, Women and Church Leadership (Grand Rapids,
Michigan, 1982), p.205.

17. Ibid. 18. Ibid. 19. Bishop Kirk, Beauty and Bands (London,
1955), pp.179,186. 

20. E. Margaret Howe (n. 16), p.201.

21. Deborah Belonick, "The Spirit of the Female Priesthood," in
Women and the Priesthood, ed. Thomas Hopko (New York, 1983), p.
166. The author emphasizes that to be ordained a priest "means,
by the mystery of the Spirit, to bear the presence of, not to
represent, the priesthood of Jesus Christ at the altar and in all
the sacraments of the Church" (Ibid.).

22. C. S. Lewis, "Priestesses in the Church," in God in the Dock,
ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970), p.238.

23. Ibid.

24. Cited in W. Andrew Hoffecker and John Timmerman, "Watchmen in
the City: C. S. Lewis's View of Male and Female," The Cresset 41,
4 (February, 1978): 18.

25. E. L. Mascall, "Women and the Priesthood of the Church," in
Why Not? Priesthood and the Ministry of Women, eds. Michael Bruce
and G. E. Duffield (Appleford, England, 1972), pp.111-112.

26. For a discussion of the resymbolization of the Godhead, see,
Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward the Philosophy of
Women's Liberation (Boston, 1973), pp.69-70; Ruth Tiffany
Bamhouse, "An Examination of the Ordination of Women to the
Priesthood in Terms of the Symbolism of the Eucharist," in Women
and Orders, ed. Robert J. Heyer (New York, 1974), pp.20-25 Alla
BozartCampbell, Womanpriest : A Personal Odyssey (New York,
1978), pp. 214 ff.; Rosemary Radford Reuther, New Woman/New
Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation (New York, 1975),
p.65; Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty (n. 1), p.21. The United
Church of Christ has published a booklet recommending the
adoption of alternative impersonal names for God, instead of the
traditional trinitarian language.  See Inclusive Language
Guidelines for Use and Study in the United Church of Christ (St.
Louis, 1980).   For an incisive critique of feminist attempts to
revise the language about God, see Erik Routley, "Sexist
Language: A View from a Distance," Worship 53 (January 1979):
2-11; Donald G. Bloesch (n. 12), pp.61-83; also, Carol P. Christ,
"The New Feminist Theology: A Review of the Literature,"
Religious Studies Review 3 (October 1977): 203ff. 212 

27. A task-force report to the National Council of Churches
recommends that Christ be called not "Son of God" but "Child of
God." The same report urges avoiding the use of personal pronouns
when referring to God. See Newsweek 95, 25 (June 23, 1980): 87;
The Christian Century 97, 23 (July 2-9, 1980) 696.

28. Donald G. Bloesch (n. 12), p.62.

29. Cited in Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God
(Crestwood, New York, 1974), p.129.

30. Deborah Belonick (n. 21), p.156.

31. Deborah H. Barackman, "Evangelical Women's Caucus:
Joumeyings, Eternity 31,11 (December 1980): 35.

32. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Original Feminist Attack on the
Bible (the Woman's Bible) (New York, 1974), part 1, p.14.

33. A. Durwood Foster, "God and Women: Some Theses on Theology,
Ethics, and Women's Lib," Religion in Life 42, (1973): 56.

34. Mary Daly (n. 26), pp.69.

35. Susan T. Foh (n. 9), p.149.

36. Elaine H. Pagel, "What Became of God the Mother?" in Carol P.
Christ and Judith Plaskow, eds., Womanspirit Rising (San
Francisco, 1979), p.107.

37. James R. Edwards, "Does God Really Want to be Called
'Father'?" Christianity Today (February 21, 1986): 29.

38. See Deut 32:18; Is 42:14; 46:3; 49:15; 66:11-13; Ps. 131:2;
Luke 15:810; Matt 23:37.

39.  Paul K. Jewett, The Ordination of Women (Grand Rapids,
Michigan, 1980), p.41.

40. Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty (n. 1), p. 20; Virginia
Mollenkott, "A Challenge to Male Interpretation: Women and the
Bible," The Sojourners 5, 2 (February 1976): 23-25; Paul K.
Jewett (n. 39), p. 41; also Paul K. Jewett, Man as Male and
Female (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1975), p.167.

41. Paul K. Jewett (n. 39), p.41.

42. Hendrikus Berkhof, Christian Faith, tr. Sierd Woudstra (Grand
Rapids, Michigan, 1979), p.69.

43. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics: Index Volume with Aids for
Preachers, eds. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance (Edinburgh,
1977), p.495.

44. See discussion in Gottlob Schrenk, "eater," Theological
Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich (Grand
Rapids, Michigan, 1967), vol. 5, p.985.

45. James R. Edwards (n. 37), p.29.

46. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics I, 1 (Edinburgh, 1963), p.447.

47. Kallistos Ware, "Man, Woman, and the Priesthood of Christ,"
in Peter Moore, ed., Man, Woman, and Priesthood (London, 1978),
p.84. 1975), p.168.

48. Donald G. Bloesch (n. 12), p.77. 

49. Susan T. Foh (n. 9), p.153.

50. Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty (n. 1), pp.55-56.

51. Paul K Jewett, Man as Male and Female (Grand Rapids,

52. Susan T. Foh (n. 9), pp.158-159.

53. Elisabeth Elliot, "Why I Oppose the Ordination of Women,"
Christianity Today 19 (June 6, 1975): 14.


To be continued

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