Submission, Silence, and Babymaking: Tough and Helpful Texts about Women

Speaker: Categories: Jun 09, 2007


[1hr, 13min, 43sec / 54min, 38sec]


Within your SDA experiences how often have you witnessed, or even been involved, in some rather animated discussions about the role of women - in the church and in the contemporary culture? What were some of the arguments used, based on Scripture, to support the viewpoints expressed? Were you at all distressed by what seemed to be plausible hermeneutics followed by rational conclusions? By the way, were you for or against the matter under discussion? Have you had any apprehensions about women employed as bus or taxi drivers, airline pilots, and drivers of shuttle-service vans from the place where you have your car serviced? How about women in military uniform - serving with combat ready troops?

Certainly one of the most keenly debated (discussed) topics in recent Adventist history has been the question of women's ordination to ministry. Attending this have also been similar discussions about women serving in various church offices such as elder or deacon. In many sectors of Adventism the discussion continues, often separating some of the faithful to other faiths - or at least other SDA congregations.

Why all the fuss? The January SDAF speaker provides some background for the dilemma:"There are more women than men in the world and the church. Their numerical superiority, among other factors; indicates that they must be taken seriously. But how seriously depends upon the belief system, and the authority underlying it, with which one approaches the issue of the place of women in society, religious institutions, and the home. For Seventh-day Adventists the Bible is the supreme authority and, therefore, its teachings are determinative of the angle of vision from which we approach all questions. In terms of the topic of this talk, the specific question becomes,What does the Bible teach about women and their relation to men?Tragically, from my point of view, the Bible has been used all too often to place women in a position of subservience and inferiority, whereby they have been disallowed from fully manifesting their gifts, experience, wisdom, and know-how for the good of everyone.

But, someone says, does not the Bible itself teach that men are to be the leaders and women the followers, that men are wise and women gullible, that men are called to guard from sin but women initiated sin, that men therefore are authoritative and women are to be submissive, that the function of men is to teach while women are to learn, and that men alone can be ordained clergy while women are limited to laity status?

So, upon the platform of biblical authority and with some attention to important principles of interpretation, this study we will contextually examine the tough texts of Scripture about women, as well as those which speak positively about women's role. When it is seen that both men and women equally share in God's image, dominion over the earth, and the procreation and parenting of children, that both are joint heirs of eternal life and one in Christ Jesus, that Jesus called and empowered them to ministry alongside men, then friendship and marriage between men and women will be transformed, and the church will finally have a fully orbed ministry to serve Christ and bring the gospel of redemption to the world."


This will be Dr. Blazen's seventh speaking appointment at SDAF over the past seventeen years. He is professor of Seventh-day Adventist Church History and Biblical Interpretation and Theology at Loma Linda University. He is an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Loma Linda University. He has also served as teacher and chair of the Department of New Testament at the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University and as a religion teacher at Pacific Union College. He gained his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also did graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and Drew University. He has written various articles and books, and has spoken at numerous church functions both in the United States and abroad. His main concern is to give the Bible a fair hearing in terms of its own time and place and to help people apply its teachings to contemporary life.

He is a scholar well-worth hearing!

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