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Changing their Minds about Women in Leadership
“Mine is the story of a man whose wife led her very reluctant husband out of the traditional views that he had been raised to accept without questioning to a position where he embraced the concept that men and women are equally made in God's image and that God's redemptive goal is that there should be no gender restrictions on women in church leadership and that the biblical model for husband/wife relationships is mutual submission.
While she was researching her book, it was Pat's probing questions to which I had no good answers that eventually led me to conclusions that were radically different than those with which I had been raised.”
- Stan Gundry in How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership
There are many books, such as One In Christ or Two Views on Women in Ministry, that look at the theology and exegesis behind the question of whether or not there is a Biblical warrant for women to be in church leadership.
The recently released How I Changed My Mind certainly addresses some of those issues, but primarily it is about testimony, the testimony of those who have moved from a complementarian to an egalitarian position.
This is not a book of polemics entering an arena already filled with polemical writing, but rather the personal stories of how and why these writers changed their mind on an important issue. Not an attack, but an attempt to discuss the issue on the level that it actually effects us, in our day to day lives. In addressing the issue from this angle, it allows both sides to enter the conversation and hear the stories without forcing the point.
In fact Gerald Hiestand’s review at The Gospel Coalition, while ultimately retaining his disagreement with egalitarianism, saw it as raising a number of issues that complementarians need to take into account, and ended by stating that,
“On the whole, I found How I Changed My Mind to be a useful book. Understanding the underlying factors that influence a person’s conviction on this topic is essential when attempting to help them see the wisdom of God’s design. As Johnson appropriately notes in the introduction, “Arguments alone does not convince”. And indeed it does not—for neither egalitarians nor complementarians.”
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