Genesis and the Gender Power-Struggle (or the “My Verses Versus Your Verses” Game)

Derek Ouellette —  June 14, 2012

In a recent article Rachel Held Evans, responding to Denny Burk, made many good points about the origin of the gender power-struggle.

Here are her key points to be celebrated (because I agree):

1. The gender power-struggle is a result of the fall.

A judgment of the fall upon the woman in Genesis 3:16 is that her “desire will be for [her] husband, and he will rule over [her].” There, in a nutshell, is the gender power-struggle. Many scholars have observed the paralleled sentence structure between Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7. In that passage sin (personified) desires Cain, and he is instructed to master it.

Genesis 3:16 Genesis 4:7
… Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. … [sin] desires to have you, but you must master it.

“Desire” should not be understood as the poor loving wife who simply want’s to be with her husband while he’s hell-bent on ruling over her. He is hell-bent on rule her, of course, and he has the sheer strength to do so (generally speaking). But the woman has much more conniving, less direct ways to rule her husband. Genesis 3:16 describes a power-struggle between the sexes, of which the man has historically come out on top.

Evans rightly condemns the power-struggle in which men come out on top and advocates “a harmony like we see in Eden.” Amen.

2. The effects of this power-struggle is clearly evident in the Old Testament.

She observes how women could not inherit property, but in fact they themselves were seen as property. They were abused, taken as plunder (while the men were merely killed! BTW), and easily traded in for a newer model or sometimes kept around for her usefulness (keep in mind that average or poor men usually had one wife they cherished and adored in most ANE towns, but their stories are not normally told).  Evans offers a slew of biblical examples. Rather than take up space in this article, I recommend you go there to read them.

3. Around the world women have been forced to succumb to the power of men.

She lists the statistics many of us have seen but should never become desensitized to. Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the U.S. One in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex or “otherwise abused in her lifetime.” Again, for sake of brevity, I recommend you go to her article to read the statistics.


Jesus changes everything, she insists. I agree. We live in the tension of already but not yet, and it’s the “already” part that we should strive to live out. If Jesus’ coming means an end to the effects of the fall, an end, that is, to the power-struggle of the sexes, than the people of God should live in the already. That is a part of what it means for the Kingdom of God to be realized on earth as in heaven.

But I couldn’t help notice Evans version of the Jesus story. It includes the account of Mary Magdalene as the first witness and reporter of the resurrection. How the early church included female apostles, deacons, teachers, and church planters. And how Peter and Paul broke the culture-mold of the household by instructing men, women and everybody else to submit to each other. And to numerous passages about how we are all one in Christ.

However, the temptation here is to remind Evans that the story of Mary Magdalene is more than matched by the story of the twelve apostles. That the narrative of Romans 16 is matched by the narrative of 1 Timothy 2. That the “submit one another” passages are matched by the “wives submit to your husbands” and “children obey your parents” passages (1 Cor. 11, Eph. 5:22; 6:1). And that “all are one in Christ” does not rule out any idea of hierarchy since certainly there remains a hierarchy between children and parents, slaves and masters (… and I better stop there, you get the point).

At least I hope you get my point. Evans article, her telling of the story, her version of the events are as imbalanced in one direction as John Piper is in the other. Just as Piper likes to selectively tell his version of the events, so does Evans. And this is precisely why I’m a functional egalitarian. Because I don’t like “my daddy is stronger than your daddy” games, especially when we’re discussion scripture.

Evans is right, that the power struggle is the result of the fall. The Old Testament people of God miserably failed to live up to God’s ideal (not just in their treatment of women, but in almost every other way too). And as far as the gender power-struggle has played out in the world, we shouldn’t be surprised though we should be sickened by it. But unfortunately Evans illustrates her original point as long as she continues to be locked in a power-struggle over the Bible with Piper et al. by only telling half of the story. Watching Evans and Piper is like having front row tickets to the drama that is Genesis 3:16.

I think the only way for the gender power-struggle to end, and for true mutuality to happen, is when we stop playing fast and loose with our favorite Bible passages, stop trying to recruit Jesus and Paul to our side and to begin to live in the tension of the scriptures, as functional egalitarians.

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
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  • Dan Martin

    Gutsy analysis, Derek, but I think you’re right.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Thanks Dan.

  • James

    I know you said you’ve stopped reading Evans, Derek, so perhaps that is why you missed it, but the scripture you say that Evans selectively ignores are all passages she has written blogs about in the recent past.

    You can check them out here:


    • Derek Ouellette

      Oh I never meant to imply that she never deals with the other story. And we shouldn’t imagine that Piper et al. never deal with the other story either. But when it comes to expressing her or his view, what they’ve done is dealt-away the other relevant passages, so that only one version of events (the version we prefer) remains. That’s why I’m advocating functional egalitarianism. You don’t have to deal-away any of it.

      When I said I stopped reading her, I meant I’m no longer a part of her tribe, not that I never lay eyes on her blog. It’s kinda hard to ignore when a good bit of my Facebook friends share her articles. 😉

      • James

        I’m thinking one person’s “interpretation” is another person’s “dealt-away”.

        I could similarly see an Arminian giving their interpretation of Romans 9, while using other passages to promote free will, and the Calvinist responding that the Arminian has simply “dealt away” with Romans 9.

        And I must say I’m confused by what you mean by “functional egalitarianism”. As far as I can tell, the only difference is that you recognize that statistically, males and females have differing abilities in different areas. I do not see any “full”(?) egalitarians debating or disagreeing with that, so I am left not sure what the difference is between functional and plain ‘ol egalitarianism.

        In a recent post, Rachel, wrote: “Well, here’s the thing: I’m egalitarian, and I believe there are differences between men and women too. Some are (clearly) biological, others are (possibly) biological, and still others are socially conditioned. What makes me egalitarian is the fact that I do not believe those differences to be universal, prescriptive, or indicative of hierarchy. ”

        Can you explain how your egalitarianism is different than the one Rachel describes in the comment I quoted (from )?

        • Derek Ouellette

          James, two things:

          First, great comparison. Please don’t misunderstand me, there’s always going to be a certain amount of text-trading. The Calvinist-Arminian debate has a wider scope (by that I mean there’s a lot more particular texts to work through) than the one at hand. And yes, interpreting a passage one way may come across as having been “dealt-way” by the other side. But I that’s not quite what I mean. Let’s keep with the analogy. When an Arminian outlines his or her view, he or she ought to be able to (in fact, should) include Romans 9-11 in their summary since those passages are highly relevant to the conversation. That is, they’ve worked through those passages to show that they agree with the Arminian perspective, and thus they are not afraid to include them in the discussion. What has happened here, I think, is that Evan’s has dealt with those annoying little passages that complementarians appeal to to such an extent as to deal them right out of the discussion. When she summarizes her view she does so in a way as to suggest: in all of these other posts I showed that these other passages don’t support the complementarian case, and thus now I can summarize my view as if those verse were no longer even relevant. That approach worked because your response to my article was to show me that she dealt with those passages, so now in the new article she doesn’t have to include them at all.

          Second, thanks for asking about my functional egalitarianism. Let me take your Calvinist/Arminian analogy one step further. Pretend for a moment that Calvinism = Complementarianism and Arminian = Egalitarianism. My problem with the Arminian approach is that they often do the exact same thing I’m suggesting egalitarians do: deal passages right out of the conversation. For example, there are occasions when the scriptures teach God intervening by controlling particular outcomes (i.e. particular predestination), even by co-opting human free will to guarantee a certain outcome. Arminians don’t accept this and so when (or if!) they ever deal with those passages, they do so in a way as to deal them right out of the conversation. What’s one to do? In enters Open Theism! A view that attempts to retain both God’s occasional co-opting of human free will (Calvinism, particular predestination to some extent) and human free will in the libertarian sense (Arminianism).

          I think that’s what functional egalitarianism does. Just as I believe Paul thinks in terms of “corporate” rather than “particular” (in the free-will debate), so too I believe Paul thinks in terms of “general” rather than “individual” in the gender debate. Thus I accept the complementarian passages, I do believe in hierarchy and in the servant-leadership of men in the home. But since Paul thinks in general terms, those passages are generalizations which ought to work itself out organically and should not be regulated by anyone. Thus I have no problem with woman in leadership (even as head pastors et cetera) and no problem with those passages that egalitarians appeal to for support.

          In the end, in summarizing my view I am able to embrace both sets of verses. Something egalitarians are unable to do (the purpose for my original post above using Evans as an example) and something complementarians are not able to do (examples are not hard to come by there either).

          And that’s what distinguishes a functionalism from the rest.

          Thanks for asking

          • James

            Thanks for the thoughtful response, Derek.

            A few things in response:

            1) I agree with you about Open Theism. I believe Arminians and Calvinists too easily “deal-away” with scripture that goes against the grain of their belief. I am a universalist for the same reason – universalism lets me accept the face-value reading of both verses that talk about God’s power, sovereignty and control, as well as His universal love. That said, for me to tell a Calvinist or Arminian that their view “deals-away” with scripture while my view doesn’t puts any conversation in a quick downward spiral (I know this from experience) because without actually engaging with their interpretation of the scriptures, to say this comes across as if I’m saying they’re not really interested in engaging scripture but just interested in proving their preconceptions – a very unhelpful and uncharitable way to respond to someone’s beliefs. Again, I say this from personal experience – I’ve used your argument before and it causes the person you’re arguing with to put up big defensive barriers, rather than joining you in the hunt for the truth, and I can totally understand why.

            2) Secondly, there are times when “dealing-away” with a passage *IS* the proper way of doing things. For instance, in the debate about masturbation, the story of Onan spilling his seed is often used. I don’t believe this story has anything to do with the issue of whether Christians should masturbate, and once I explain why, I then feel it’s best to just leave that piece of scripture out of the whole conversation. I simply believe it’s not at all relevant. Now, someone might disagree, and think it is relavent to the issue. But they would need to convince me why. To say, “My view on masturbation includes this passage and yours doesn’t, therefore my view is inherently better” just doesn’t follow. Doing that changes the argument from “My verses versus your verses” into “My quantity of verses versus your quantity of verses” and I don’t think that improves your position.

            3) EVERY controversial view has problem verses. Even your functional egalitarian view does – what do you do about women wearing head coverings? I don’t believe you enforce this, and any interpretation you have on it will be viewed as “dealing away” with it by anyone who believes women do need to wear head-coverings. No viewpoint can say it doesn’t struggle with certain passages of scripture, and whatever view you take, the other side will be quick to point out those problem verses and say that you haven’t addressed them fully enough.

            4) So in regards to the points above, I think it is insufficient, and will come across as patronizing, to assert that someone is simply “dealing away” with scripture. One needs to actually engage with other person’s interpretations of those scriptures to determine and demonstrate whether that person a) is really “dealing away” with them and (b) that those passages really shouldn’t be “dealt away” with. If one does less than this, then all they are doing is “dealing away” with the other person’s interpretation.

            Lastly, thanks for your clarification on your view. I can see now how on an intellectual level, your view is different. On a practical level though, I still don’t see any difference from egalitarianism. Is there a case where you would use different criteria to determine someone’s role in marriage or within the church than Rachel would? For instance, is there a hypothetical situation when you would advocate someone taking on a particular role based on gender, where Rachel would disagree and say the role should be different because of God-given abilities? It sounds to me like in practice, your view works out to be the same as Rachel’s – I’m just trying to sort out what that difference might be (if there is one) or if it’s more of an intellectual difference.


            • Derek Ouellette

              James, I appreciate your analysis. You’ve made many excellent points. Particularly in regard to the truism that sometimes it is necessary to deal away some passages right out of the discussion. But I still don’t think you’ve grasped what I mean by that particular charge in this conversation. I wrote two paragraphs illustrating the relevance of both sets of passages. Surely you wouldn’t say that the second set is not relevant simply because it doesn’t support the egalitarian position? Maybe some of them aren’t, but all of them? (I think they are all relevant, of course.) My point has been to embrace both sets. This may come across as a crude example, but to say that Paul was an egalitarian in the modern sense is like saying the Bible appeals to modern science (which you and I both know it doesn’t). The analogy only goes so far, of course. And the point I want to make with it is that in Paul’s historical context, even given his progressive theology due to his realization of the resurrected Christ, he still holds to a hierarchy of some sort. I don’t think I’ve come across an egalitarian who has satisfactorily proved otherwise, nor do I think it can be done. This isn’t because I want to believe Paul wasn’t an egalitarian. I do. Otherwise I wouldn’t argue for the functional egalitarian position. Some egalitarians have simply come out and said, “we think Paul was culturally conditioned in regard to hierarchy and gender, but we interpret the faith as a constant progression in which we disagree with Paul here because we understand more. I can respect that view, while disagreeing with it (because of my high-view of scripture). But I don’t think that egalitarians can make the case that Paul was one of them. (By the way, the same goes for Complementarians.)

              As regard to your last point, I want to cheer. Here’s the line I want to affirm: “I can see now how on an intellectual level, your view is different. On a practical level though, I still don’t see any difference from egalitarianism.” What I am offering is functional egalitarianism. In other words, it is functionally the same on a practical level as egalitarians. The view I espouse, and need to work out, is that Paul thought in terms of generalizations but that this is something that would and should work itself out naturally, which leaves a lot of room for exceptions. There is no discussion of roles assigned et al. by gender. None.

              Hope that helps and thanks for the conversation.
              (P.S. last I knew you where merely open to universalism. You’ve embraced it fully?)

              • James Palmer

                Hi Derek,

                First of all, if your egalitarianism really is functionally equivealent, then the practical Anabaptist in me says, “What the heck are we arguing about anyway – let’s just move on.”

                But, for some reason, I will still respond, haha! Sometimes it’s just too fun I suppose. First, you say I don’t grasp what you mean, and then you ask, “Surely you wouldn’t say that the second set is not relevant simply because it doesn’t support the egalitarian position?”, which I do not understand why you are asking that, except that you don’t grasp what I’m trying to say. Let me give a more concrete example of proper “dealing away” with regards to this very topic. A growing number of scholars believe that 1 Corinthians 14:33–35 (where it says women should be silent in the church and ask their questions at home) should not be in our Bibles and was not in the original manuscript that Paul wrote. They believe this because it appears grossly out of context with the surrounding text (which makes more sense with this passage removed), because different manuscripts have this passage in different places, and because some of the language used is not consistent with how Paul typically writes. They do *not* believe this because they think Paul was an egalitarian (in fact, if you look into the history of how Junia in Romans 16 gets translated, translators throughout the last few centuries have translated it to the male “Junias” solely because they believed the opposite to be true.)

                *IF* this is correct (or even debatable), and you respond, “Well, my view incorporates this passage”, then that makes your view weaker, not stronger. And interestingly, it really can make a difference on how you see Paul’s views when just a couple passages can be “dealt away”. For instance, 1 Timothy is a book that many scholars believe wasn’t written by Paul. Now, I haven’t researched this at all, so I really have no idea (and in the grand scheme of things, hardly care), but if you take away 1 Timothy and that one passage in 1 Corinthians away from Paul, and then add in Romans 16 where Paul addresses women apostles, deacons, and teachers, what emerges is a very egalitarian view from Paul, at least as far as functions in the church if not within marriage.

                But my point isn’t that Rachel successfully deals away with the second set. My point is that you can’t accuse her of doing so without engaging with her arguments. If you’re going to accuse her of “dealing away” with those arguments, you need to engage with them and demonstrate it. The fact that she doesn’t mention them in a blog post (not a scholarly article, not a book, but a BLOG POST), is hardly something to jump up and down about = that is setting your expectations unreasonably high on someone. The “blogosphere” is a place for conversation, not a place where you expect someone to provide footnotes explaining all other views for every view you present.

                Anyway – I wouldn’t deal away with those passages, but do see them as progressing things to a more ultimate view beyond the static words of the text. And doing so isn’t a “low view” of scripture, as you seem to imply. “Eye for an eye” was progressive at the time and surrounding cultures, where punishment often greatly exceeded the crime. But then Jesus rejected Eye for an eye, and progressed things even more, to enemy-love and forgiveness. There are many examples of this. I highly recommend the book “Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring The Hermeneutics Of Cultural Analysis”, by William J. Webb, where he delves into this in detail. I promise you will not be able to claim he has a low view of scripture. This view isn’t (when it’s at its best) about saying, “because we understand more” but about comparing scripture to the culture its in, and to previous scripture, and asking, “Where is this scripture taking us? What’s the journey here?” You can certainly disagree with it, but I’d suggest looking into it more first, as your characturization of it is not very accurate.

                And yes, I have, more or less, embraced evangelical universalism. Have you read The Evangelical Universalist yet? We’ve talked about this a bit before, but I think until you read that book (or a couple other similar books out there), then we’re not even talking about the same thing. Again, this was another case where you threw out the whole “high view” vs “low view” of scripture thing (you said it couldn’t be evangelical because it didn’t have a high view of scripture.) I would humbly suggest you cease using that kind of language – it is incredibly insultive and patronizing to those who do have a high view of scripture but still somehow manage to come to a different conclusion than you on certain matters.

                • James Palmer

                  Hey Derek. While I meant every word in my previous post (that I just hit submit on), I feel the tone may be a bit more confrontational than I like to have. I just want to say sorry, and to just say that it was the whole “high view” vs “low view” thing… it just *really* drives me nuts. Again, my apologies for the tone (but not the content.)

                • James Palmer

                  Ok, so you’re free to respond to any specific thing I’ve said in that last post of mine, but I just want to summarize what I’ve seen as our positions, so we don’t get lost in the minutae here.

                  In your original post, you stated that Rachel only looks at one set of verses, and you look at both sets, therefore your view is better.

                  I responded that Rachel did look at those verses, but in different blog posts.

                  Your response was that since they weren’t mentioned in this more recent blog post, that she has “dealt away” with them.

                  I’ve responded that just because they’re not in the most recent blog post, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dealt away with them. You can’t just assert that she’s dealt away with them, but must actually engage with her arguments to demonstrate that a) she dealt away with them, and b) she shouldn’t be dealing away with them.

                  I think the last couple posts have just been reiterations and clarifications of our sides. Anyways, if you want to discuss more, I’m game, but perhaps this is also a good place to stop and move on, if all we’re doing now is clarifying and reiterating our positions.


                  • Derek Ouellette

                    Hey James, sorry for not responding to all of your points. I’ve been really busy. You might get the cue by my latest (and final) post.

                    In sum: I believe that Paul believed in a hierarchy and in male headship. That distinguishes me from the egalitarian. But I believe that those roles are not to be regulated; that most “roles” will develop naturally and this leaves room for women in head and lead positions. This distinguishes me from the complementarian. I believe this is how Paul can make many of the statements he makes while simultaneously accepting and endorsing women as apostles, teachers, leaders and so on. In short, I believe Paul was a functional egalitarian.

                    Thank you so much for trying to understand.

                    I don’t think I’ll be available to carry on this conversation at this time. Be blessed James.

                    • James

                      Hi Derek,

                      Thanks for the response, even if you don’t have time to address everything I said (which I completely understand.) I’ll just respond to one thing:

                      “In sum: I believe that Paul believed in a hierarchy and in male headship. That distinguishes me from the egalitarian.”

                      I just want to say that I believe that Paul believed in a hierarchy and in male headship, but I am an egalitarian. A Christian who is faithful to scripture does not need to believe that Paul was an egalitarian to believe that the church should be egalitarian now.

                      As Rachel alluded to, and the book I referred to goes into in much detail, the male/female hierarchy and the master/slave hierarchy are treated almost identically throughout the Bible, and I think if one is to be consistent in their reading of scripture, one needs to treat them both the same. And I believe as, the Kingdom of God is in that tension of “now but not yet”, the writers of scripture lived in that tension too. And we should not just see their writing as an end point, a destination, but instead as something dynamic, pushing us towards the “not yet” of God’s Kingdom. In this way I can see God using scripture passages on slavery and women to push us towards the ideal of equality, and still accept that the writers, while seeing that God was “up to something” with these hierarchies, still, to some extent, accepted them.

                      So I think I actually see Paul as more complementarian than you do, even though I would be more egalitarian than you are. One thing I would agree with you on is that Paul wasn’t *legalistic* about his views – the demise of legalism is a huge part of his theology, and it shows in his treatment of women, that even though he had complementarian views, he wouldn’t let any legalistic ideas get in the way when God was clearly doing something special. I believe he fully accepted women like Junia, Phoebe, and Priscilla as leaders, but I’m sure he found this to be an astonishing and miraculous work of God that these women were gifted in these areas.

                      Anyway, no need to respond – I just wanted to clear that up, that one can believe Paul was complementarian, but still be egalitarian while having a high view of scripture.


  • Dave
    • Derek Ouellette


  • Andrea Gette


    I’d like to join this conversation as well. What I’m interested in is also the practicality of our beliefs, how we live out what we believe in the real circumstances God finds us in.

    So, what will you do, Derek if your wife gives you a word that you acknowledge is from God but goes against your role as leader in the home? What if you find that the church you are a part of has chosen a man for a specific ministry position while a woman was just as qualified, and you find the truth that he was chosen because he is a man? Will you “lay down your life” in every way to seek justice and do what is the right thing, the will of God as you now hear it? Be that person God can use to show God’s will in the real, hard business of power struggles?

    So, if you agree, I will pray that God may test your genuineness to give up power and control, those things that are the hardest in being a follower and friend of Jesus, right there in your circumstances. May you come to know if God has a great friend and worker in you, who will not use the “relative” trump card but stand up for God’s humility and serving heart! If your are willing, I will do it.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Andrea, I appreciate your pushback but you have grossly misunderstood my position leading you into a series of false accusations. (It comes across as being self-righteous!) You ought to be ashamed. Especially your accusations to me about power and control. When egalitarians such as yourself frame the discussion in terms of who has more power (thus claiming the righteous high-ground), you show a complete inept understanding of my position.

      Now, to answer your questions: if you are an egalitarian, than I would do the same as you “in the real world”. That’s what makes me a functional egalitarian.

      Please attempt to understand my position before you toss around accusations as you grow in humility and likeness of Christ. I’ll be praying that your bitterness towards those of different opinion than you dissipate in humility as you learn to genuinely love and serve those whom you disagree.

  • Dave Leigh


    Surprised to see you come down so hard on Adrea. Perhaps I’ve missed some dialogue somewhere. Also surprised at how you’ve mischaracterized Evans and McKnight (and others like myself who agree with them). That said….

    I continue to be puzzled by your use of the term “functional egalitarian.” The term, which was originally coined by a complementarian, was used pejoratively as an accusation of inconsistency. It is akin to a Christian being a functional atheist, meaning that one lives in ways that contradict one’s faith claims. Yet you seem to be using the phrase as a badge of honor. Frankly, I’m perplexed by that.

    You also seem to suggest that those who are trying to live consistently with their presuppositions (be they complementarian or egalitarian) do so by committing hermeneutical violence to scripture, in that they abuse the selected passages either to refute the texts of others or at least to connive interpretations that will favor preconceived conclusions. Yet there are many of us who started out in one camp but ended up in another because we wrestled our way to what we felt were consistent ways to honor scripture. See for example: How I Changed My Mind About Women In Leadership (a book, I’m pretty sure you know about).

    I don’t think you’re doing justice to either side by mischaracterizing its adherents as you do. And I wonder at how you are so happy and cavalier about resolving the matter by openly embracing inconsistency. Either complementarian presuppositions lead to complementarian functionality, or egalitarian functionality has a sound presuppositional foundation, or something is missing.

    I’m not trying to beat you up here, so please don’t be defensive. But please understand, if by your own admission you function at a level not supported by your own premises, you leave yourself open to legitimate disagreement and criticism. I am not attempting to enter into that criticism at this time. I am simply saying, I don’t see how you can be proudly a functional egalitarian unless you are also an egalitarian presuppositionally.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Dave, Andrea distorted my view’s beyond recognition and then went and suggested that I need my “genuineness tested” in giving up my power and control (which further suggested that this is somehow about power and control!).

      Please take no offence. I’m not suggesting that Evans has committed “hermeneutical violence.” I’m attempting to suggest that she has dealt (I’ll go further and say, dealt well) with some very contrary passages. But in doing so in the end she removed them from the discussion (having previously dealt with them) so that in summarizing her view, those passages are no longer relevant. Dave, the language you use for this is not my own. Your emotions are oozing through my screen. Not Evans nor McKnight nor yourself commitment “hermeneutical violence” “abuse selected passages” or “connive interpretations”. Those are things you’ve read into what I’m saying (sadly).

      In recent posts how have I mischaracterized either side? By suggesting that I believe they don’t do justice to the New Testament corpus with their interpretation? If that’s mischaracterization than every time we disagree with someone’s interpretation we mischaracterize them.

      Finally Dave, you admit in your second paragraph that you’re puzzled and perplexed by my use of the term “functional egalitarianism”, so how can you suggest in your last paragraph that how I function does not support my premises? Do you know what my premises are? It sounds like you think my premise is that complementarianism is true and egalitarianism is wrong, thus I’m being inconsistent and open to criticism. You see me as nothing more than a complementarian in egalitarian clothing (is that right?). (P.S. all views are open to criticism. And no, I’m not asking you to drop the hammer of criticism upon me. I know you’re more capable than I!)

      Dave, I know you mean well, and I know this is a sensitive subject for you. But unless you take a crack and trying to understand what I mean by the term, and not just see me as a complementarian you will truly continue to mischaracterize the position I am proposing.

      Thanks for the grammar check. With love and a desire for friendship.


      • Dave

        Even Vulcans have emotions 😉
        Mine always seem to ooze and the most embarrassing times.

        Derek, I truly do not understand you. But I am trying. Thanks for your patience and you cordiality.

  • Andrea Gette

    I did not want to accuse you, but very much challenge your position. As such, I do believe I understand your position in as much as you convey it here in the blog. The only way to find out if we are genuine is to do the walk we talk. Since I do not know you personally, but only from what you present about you here that is how I react to you. I did anticipate a similar response from you, so I can handle what you say. Did I offend you with asking questions about what you would do in certain circumstances? Or with bringing myself in relation with God into it? I assumed according to what you wrote, yes, but I’m sorry you see that as accusing. Please forgive me then. My questions were serious though.
    When you say: “I do believe in hierarchy and in the servant-leadership of men in the home” then that is hierarchy. How is that equal to Jesus’ concept of humility and up-side down structure, being the “least of these”, laying down your life for others? To me it does not show that, and I like to take a stand for it. I believe the egalitarian talk is not deep enough if it is not followed by deeds people can match your words to.
    So, since I can’t check your words with deeds, I should have left it alone and not commented in the way I did. I regret I did since I see the conversation as such will not go anywhere. I will leave you alone now.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Andrea, in your earlier comment you outlined my position as though I were a full-blown complementarian, and treated me as such. Since you don’t know me any more than I know you, you ought to immediately take my “walk” and “talk” at face value and with charity. The only offence I received by you was in your insinuations. How could you suggest that the scenarios you suggested offend me when my answer to those was the easiest to give: I would function just that same as you in any of those situations.

      It is beyond question that you do not know my position (conveyed in this blog). I do sincerely apologizing for coming down so hard as I did. But frankly your comment is no different than when come people accuse Arminians as being Pelagians and then treat them as such. Or accuse Open Theism as Socinianism and then treat them as such. You approached your comment as though I were a full-fledged complementarian, and then went on to treat me as such. I find that a terribly ungraceful and uncharitable. I’m a functional egalitarian, not a complementarian.

      Go in peace, sister.

      • Andrea Gette

        I apologize for the way I criticized you earlier. Of course, the speck in your eye in always a plank in my own.
        Thank you, and peace to you also.