Tonight while bored in the library waiting for a book from the closed stacks to be brought to me, I decided to go find a couple books critiquing an egalitarian position. I’ve read many such articles, but I’ve never stomached a whole book, and what better book to start with than Wayne Grudem’s Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? I am finding it useful because it helps me better understand the arguments circulating in complementarian circles, which I think is helpful for understand if/where/when/how greater space for women can be made in the evangelical world. I also am finding the book amusing when I don’t find it exasperating or sad. And so that you, too, can be better educated on what some complementarian spokespeople are saying—and join me on the ups and downs of my emotional journey through this book (so far most of them have been ups, actually, because again, many aspects very amusing!)—I have decided to blog a short summary of each chapter as I go through. Let the fun begin!
Ch. 1- Introduction
This is where Wayne Grudem explains his passion for the topic and why he thinks “evangelical feminism” is leading people toward liberalism. Interestingly, he really prefers the term evangelical feminism over egalitarianism, I’m guessing because it sounds scarier to many conservative Christians. Additionally, he emphasizes specifically that evangelical feminists don’t recognize the special roles of men in the church and home—saying very little, in fact, about women’s (I thought supposedly equally special?) roles in complementarian thinking. He appeals to Francis Shaeffer so you know other good conservative evangelicals are on his side, though Grudem does admit to being friends with a handful of egalitarian men (they are all men) and encourages people to not try to be “more ‘conservative’ than the Bible” by restricting women’s contributions even more he is willing to do. He also adds a specific word to egalitarians: maybe even if they don’t change their views as he hopes, they will at least start avoiding the sorts of arguments he thinks are bad and lead to heresy. And to complementarians, he hopes the book will be a battle call of sorts, it seems.
Continue with this series–read about ch. 2-3!