Over at ThinkTheology, Luke Geraty shares how he has changed his views about women in ministry. While Luke doesn’t want to be labeled either an egalitarian or a complementarian, he offers the following as his position:
“I am convinced that the most convincing biblical scholarship, most robustly well rounded theologically informed arguments, and the consistent witness from church history and my experience leads me to conclude that women can and should serve in all leadership roles in the church, as the Spirit leads.” (emphasis added)
While Luke doesn’t want to be labeled an egalitarian, what he says about women serving in “all leadership roles in the church, as the Spirit leads” is what egalitarians actually say (Scot McKnight’s Blue Parakeet makes this plain, where he quotes F.F. Bruce on the matter.).
In his journey from complementarianism to the position he now holds, Luke mentions his indebtedness to Mike Bird’s Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry (this short work finds Mike Bird tackling those Pauline texts that complementarians and egalitarians have been debating over the years. It’s worth the read.).
In his work, while Mike Bird may not be the “hard” complementarian of a Wayne Grudem (both Luke and Bird interact with Grudem, in their respective works) and allows for women teachers and preachers, in mixed gatherings–he still restricts and limits women in ministry:
“I have reservations about women occupying the senior roles of bishop or senior pastor since male headship still seems normative to me and more missionary contexts seem conducive to limiting women’s roles in some instances.”
While Mike Bird doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into either the complementarian or the egalitarian camp, egalitarians I’ve interacted with would call him a complementarian and complementarians would call him one of their own, albeit a “soft” one, because he still restricts and limits women in ministry.
Mike Bird may have helped Luke Geraty along the way, but some would conclude that the student has gone beyond his teacher, on this issue.