Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celibacy and Women's Ministry

I am not preaching tomorrow on Good Friday. It will be a rest day for me after completing 9 hours on lectures from Tuesday, Wednesday and today on New Testament on the Pastoral Epistles. I am thankful to the Lord for giving me a great bunch of students. Over 20 students take my class on John's Gospel and they have been so attentive and appreciative of what we are doing in class. Likewise in today's NT 2 class, the atmosphere was surreal. We discussed the issue of celibacy in general and priestly celibacy in particular. As usual once we reached 1 Tim 2, there was bound to be a discussion on women's ministry in church.

I have prepared some notes which I hope my students had read in advance and cited 10 scholars with their differing views on various aspects of the debate on women's role in church. We simply cannot avoid the hard questions whether Paul saw that as cultural or limited to local conditions in Ephesus when he said, "I do not allow women to teach or have authority over men." Then he gave the two reasons in the following verses whereby one cannot escape the fact that these reasons are theological in nature and not cultural in that it was the creation account and the Fall that constituted the basis of what Paul taught concerning man-woman relationships in respect of their specific roles and functions in church. The class ended early as we met for Maundy Thursday communion service at Chapel which ended just before 1pm. Then I was taken aside for a photo session with the Wardens of the college and proceeded to lunch where I chatted with a number of students from the Sabah stand-off to the commandment to offer hospitality. This has been my week.

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