It’s early Tuesday morning. You shuffle into your study at the church, turn on the coffee maker, and open your laptop.
While the coffee brews, you open your email to find a subject line that says “Is Jesus the True and Better Woman?”
You open the message. It reads:
First of all, I really enjoy the deep and thoughtful teaching I receive in my church. It’s Bible-based, richly theological, and generally applicable.
One of the things I love most is the gospel-centeredness of our congregation. Each week the sermons and Bible studies show us how Christ is the perfect fulfillment of everything God requires of me. (Hallelujah!) And then they show how faith in Jesus informs and empowers my sanctification. It is glorious!
I’ve been hearing a lot in bible study groups, on podcasts, and at some conferences about “biblical manhood and womanhood.” So, I’ve been doing some reading up on it. I’ve come to embrace the complementarian stance of our church readily.
However, there’s an area that’s stumping me. I’ll try to explain.
I’m trying to apply the idea of “gospel-centeredness” to the area of gender. In particular, I’m trying to understand the intersection of “biblical manhood/womanhood,” righteous, Jesus person and work, the Gospel, and me.
I try to work through things logically and thoroughly, generally by asking myself questions (and more questions, based on the answers). I feel like these questions might come off as either me being a “radical feminist” or me somehow questioning the doctrine of our church. The people here are really gracious, but I don’t really want to be viewed with suspicion. So, I thought I might reach out to you and see if you could be of help.
Here is my “starter list” of questions:
1. Does such a thing as “biblical manhood and womanhood” exist?
2. Are “biblical manhood and womanhood” clearly definable from Scripture?
3. Is conforming to “biblical manhood and womanhood” a moral requirement for men and women, respectively, to be righteous?
4. Is it a sin for men and women to fall short of conformity to “biblical manhood and womanhood,” respectively?
5. Is it sinful for a man to conform to “biblical womanhood” or a woman to conform to “biblical manhood?”
6. In his earthly life, was Jesus sinless and perfectly righteous?
7. Did Jesus perfectly fulfill every aspect of “biblical manhood?”
8. Did Jesus perfectly fulfill every aspect of “biblical womanhood?”
9. Does Jesus’ righteousness imputed to a man through faith include the righteousness of flawless “biblical manhood?”
10. Does Jesus’ righteousness imputed to a woman through faith include the righteousness of flawless “biblical womanhood?”
11. Is Jesus the “true and better male?”
12. Is Jesus the “true and better female?”
13. Is Jesus a perfect example of how to be a biblical man?
14. Is Jesus a perfect example of how to be a biblical woman?
15. If yes to (13) and no to (14), do women have a model of perfect womanhood to follow, corresponding to Jesus’ example for men?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
How would you respond?
“#DearPastor” is an occasional series representing questions directed to a pastor on topics of culture, church, bible, and theology. These letters may be real or fictional. No real communication will be published without the express permission of the author (unless received anonymously). It is my hope that this series prompts thought and conversation. Go here to read other #DearPastor posts.