Women in Ministry and the Redemptive Trend Hermeneutic: My View Essay

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In 1988, the Council for Biblic¬al Manhood and Womanhood published the Danvers Statement, affirming that "In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men." I am hesitant to single out one organization for focused argument, but this statement accurately represents a sentiment within the faith that I find disturbing. In this paper, I will use the redemptive trend hermeneutic to deconstruct the CBMW's affirmation, while providing my own views on why I find both women in ministry and the redemptive trend hermeneutic as valid.
The redemptive trend hermeneutic is a strategy for making sense of our 2000+ year old collection of texts we call the Bible. Keeping in mind the fallenness of humanity from the creator's ideal, the reader sees scripture as containing situations and imperatives which, when the text was written (and perhaps even today!), drew the creation closer to what it was always meant to be. The Bible, therefore, as the holy documents of the Church (the redemptive institution), and it's predecessor Israel (the redemptive nation), guides the reader into coordination with the ultimate trajectory of God's people - throughout all places, throughout all time.
Forgive the pun, but my mental image for understanding the biblical canon's purpose is that of, well, a "cannon." Much like artillery directing an explosion to launch a projectile, scripture guides our religious fervor "so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17). This means, of course, that the trajectory of the Bible will extend beyond the written word - not unlike how a canno...

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...ty. For example, I could parallel veil-ditching Corinthian women attempting to show equality in Christ by removing my Sunday best in the pew in an attempt to simulate Eden. As verse 23 reminds us, the ensuing controversy may be lawful, it's just not beneficial.
This all said, I hope that the impression given in this paper is not one of close-mindedness against the CBMW. If people can be happy with a patriarchal, complementarian world, let them be. The distinction between them and me is not one of morality but of culture. But, given recent history, they are a dying breed in the Western world. Which seems to be the ultimate hope of the biblical canon.

Works Cited
Grudhem, Wayne. "But What Should Woman Do In Church?" The Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (Fall 1995). Accessed at

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