We did something a bit new in Issue 3 of Conversation Magazine – we put two articles next to each other which contain quite different perspectives on the same issue. In the first Jesse Masai reports on a conference of African women theologians and church leaders at St Paul’s University Limuru last year celebrating 30 years of African women in ordained ministry. The article discusses the agenda of these African women theologians and their perspective on Bible and culture. One is quoted referring to, “the entrenched patriarchal and ethnocentric presuppositions of the Bible.”
On the facing page Alan Purser of Crosslinks presents a biblical argument for “equal but different” – stressing the importance of strongly teaching the equality of men and women but also recognising that this does not mean “unqualified interchangeability of roles”.
The idea of putting these articles together is to represent a conversation – a conversation that is going on or at least needs to be going on in the church in East Africa. Where do we stand on the authority of Scripture? What hermeneutic (approach) are we using? How do we read the contentious texts? What does it mean to obey Scripture in the church and family in our context?
To help with this conversation I’ve uploaded a select bibliography which pulls together some of the best articles and scholarship on both sides of what is often known as the complementarian/egalitarian debate. As always in Christian conversation, but particularly on such a sensitive issue, let our conversation be full of grace and gentleness.