It’s a Genesis-to-Revelation Issue

Matt Smethurst | October 24, 2014

If you ever want to get folks lathered up, raising the issue of God’s gendered design is sure to do the trick. Such discussions can be frustrating, and they often leave us with more heat than light. This is, after all, an understandably sensitive—and therefore contentious—subject. Is the conviction that men and women are, as Tim Keller has put it, “equal but not equivalent” based solely on a few isolated (and likely misinterpreted) texts? Or is it rooted in something broader, something deeper, something more holistic?

In their thick new book, God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey (Crossway), Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger labor to demonstrate that, far from being a peripheral anomaly popping up here and there, male leadership and female partnership is a sustained pattern that spans the canon. It isn’t just about 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, in other words; it’s about Genesis to Revelation.

I recently corresponded with both Andreas (senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina) and Margaret (adjunct professor of women’s studies at Southeastern) about the danger of mistaking conservative culture for biblical complementarity, women as company presidents, “non-pulpit” teaching, and…

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