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Gender Scripture

The Fatherly Act of Preaching

Mary Kassian wrote a fine essay recently in which she poses the question, “Where can women teach?” She lays out eight principles to guide our answers to that question in various situations. The principles flow from her central conviction with regard to the question, which she states in the beginning of her essay as follows:

As a complementarian, I believe that God wants us to honor his design for men and women by following the principle of male headship in our homes and church families. The church is God’s family and household (1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6; Galatians 6:10). The family part is key. The Bible teaches that in the nuclear family unit, as well as in our corporate church families, the father — or multiple fathers in the case of the church — has the responsibility to lovingly lead and humbly govern the family unit.

Kassian’s argument here goes deeper than exegetical observations on a handful of Pauline commands (as important as those are). By tying her conception of gender roles in the ministry of the church to the concept of fatherhood, Kassian advocates for a broad, rather than a narrow, complementarianism. Or, in my preferred terminology, a “thick,” rather than a “thin,” complementarianism.