Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Philip Payne and the Quote of the Day

Philip Payne's new book Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul's Letters is a must read for anyone who wants to do business with the thorny issue that is women's involvement in ministry.

From what I have read thus far (slightly less than one-third of the book), Payne offers the most detailed exegetical critique in favor of women in ministry that I have seen in print. The onus is certainly now on those who are deemed "complementarians" (for lack of a better term; see point made by Payne; 46, n.73) to respond to Payne's work, a tall order indeed.

One quote that sent me scurrying for my highlighter is in Payne's chapter(4) on Galatians 3.28 (79-104). He writes:

Paul's development of the idea of the body of Christ consistently focuses on a diversity of members working together. It is not the absence of diversity but the presence of harmony in the midst of diversity that distinguishes the body. Individuals do not lose their personalities or gifts. They use their individual gifts for the good of the body. There is no 'corporate personality' in the sense that all Christians look and act alike or that their individual personalities and gifts are suppressed. Here in Gal 3:28, the focus on the absence of barriers in Christ implies an equality of opportunity to become part of the body and to participate in it unimpeded by ethnic, economic, or gender discrimination (95).

I will have further postings on this important book in due time. For now, I would say that whether you are an egalitarian, complementarian, or something in between, do yourself a favor and "take up and read!"

3 comments:

Paul said...

FYI: I have a series of reviews on Payne's book at http://inchristus.wordpress.com/category/phil-payne/.

GodFanatic said...

Thank you for the quotation!

I°m doing my homework on Ephes. 5, it will help me : )

Kyle A. Roberts said...

It is a stunningly convincing book. I am using it right now in preparation for a sermon on 1 Cor 11. His exegesis of that passage (and his defense of "kephale" as source rather than "leader" or "authority" is air-tight. This book will have to be reckoned with in all subsequent dialogue on this issue