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Posts Tagged ‘Scot McKnight’


I was reading Tom Schreiner’s review of Scot McKnight’s book The Blue Parakeet tonight. In his attempt to develop a hermeneutic he uses women in ministry as a case study.  This review is found on The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Gender Blog.  Schreiner is a complementarian.  He does a good job of pointing out some weaknesses in his friend’s arguments.  But I found his comments on women deacons to be interesting.

 Similarly, Phoebe, in my judgment, served as a deacon (Romans 16:1-2; cf. 1 Timothy 3:11), but the office of deacon must be distinguished from the office of elder. Elders are distinguished from deacons in that they must be able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2; 5:17; Titus 1:9) and are required to rule (1 Timothy 3:4-5; 5:17). Significantly, Paul insists that women should not engage in teaching men or ruling the church in 1 Timothy 2:12. Hence, women serving as deacons does not mean that they should occupy the pastoral office. Certainly women served in a variety of ministries in the NT: Romans 16 almost serves as a roll call for such noble women. And we must not forget the evangelistic ministry of Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2). Still, the example of Priscilla does not mean that women can teach men publicly since she and Aquila instructed Apollos in a private setting (Acts 18:26). The pattern of the NT is more complex than the “all or nothing” approach of McKnight. Yes, women may serve in ministry as deacons, prophets, and missionaries, but they are not to serve as pastors/elders/overseers. 

What surprised me was that this stalwart complementarian, on Gender Blog no less, states that he believes women may be deacons.  I don’t think people can accuse him of being a closet feminist.  Or capitulating to culture.  This is an area where honest complementarians disagree.

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