Women and Theology: An Introduction

To kick off this series of interviews I asked one of our young female leaders in the church to share with us her desire to be a professional theologian.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and about your love for theological study. Hi there, my name is Megan. I enjoy long walks on the beach, would consider myself an expert air guitarist, and am fully capable of making a mean pb&j. I love theology and doctrine to a fault. I find myself challenged and dumbfounded with its depth. I consider myself a Reformed complementarian. That should sum it up. Everyone should love theology, if not… well then they are just lame.

2. As one of our young leaders in the church you have often lamented that it has been hard to find female theologians to learn from in Evangelicalism. Why do you think that is true? To be completely honest, I think it stems from the misunderstanding of women’s roles in the church which tends to lead to an absence of opportunity for learning. Often times, we take the idea that “women cannot lead a congregation” and run. If women cannot be leaders, in any way shape or form, then they often think that they have no need to understand theology or doctrine.

3. You do a lot of reading and a lot of study, and often are known to read from a variety of male theologians. Why is it so important for you to also learn theology from a woman? I completely respect the men I read and study from, but there are only so many ways I can personally relate. I think Paul understood that too. After presenting what is expected of the older men, he goes on to say “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5 ESV) Although Paul is not necessarily saying “women need to teach women theology” I think it is safe to say that if the older women are called to teach younger women the fundamentals of their faith and lifestyle, why not take it to a more in-depth role in the faith too. That being said, I do not think my theology necessarily differs from male theologians due to gender, but I think the way I identify with it does. Typically, men and women think differently, we process differently and it would be nice to have a woman who has similar passion, train me.

4. As a young leader in our church you are involved in discipling other women. How do you feel about the typical women’s ministries popular in so many churches these days? What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses? In recent years, “women’s ministry” has really taken off. I put this in quotations due to, and forgive me for being brutally honest, the fact that the typical women’s ministries that I have been exposed to are not exactly ministry. Annual retreats to get away from the stresses of daily life, and subjecting yourself to three days of devotionals and worship do not qualify as a “ministry.” Nor is meeting your girlfriends and gossiping  over coffee. Yes, these make you feel better and often times refreshed, but I think that we are missing the point. A ministry, in my opinion, is presenting the Gospel on a daily basis. Reiterating the Gospel to your fellow sisters and encouraging one another, more than on Sunday when you see each other at church. That’s not to say all women’s ministry is superficial and barren in the fruits that are vital, but I think this is typical for the church. I also think it is unfair to become disgusted with these accusations. If we have not had proper discipleship or opportunity, there will be major flaws. However, it is pertinent to address such. Now, as Isaac Newton said, “To every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” So, although there are negatives, there are also major positives such as, development of accountability, friendship and genuine Christ-centered relationships.

5. As a young leader in our church you are also being discipled by older women. Why do you think this is important to you? How has that been helpful? What would you like to see more of from those relationships? This is huge for me. It is extremely important to have a mentor whether male or female. I have very close and Godly friends, but they are experiencing the same struggles as I am. I have found myself extremely overwhelmed at times due to lack of hope or blindness from the light at the end of the tunnel. With my mentor, I see the perspective of someone who underwent similar events, and survived. Immediately hope can be restored. The church I attend is full of young attendees. Due to this, the elders of our church are in the late 20’s early 30’s and although I find my young mentor wise beyond her years, I would love to see more of the older Christian women step up and help mentor the younger. Older meaning 50’s, 60’s+.

6. What area of theology interests you most? Oh my goodness, what a question. I would have to say that it changes relatively fast. I get fixated on one aspect of theology and then burned out (which I like to think is typical of an eager young girl). At the moment, I would say I am most interested in systematic theology and covenant theology. I honestly do not have any significant reason why those two, but they definitely intrigue me… for now.

7. Who are currently some of your favorite theologians to read and learn from (male or female)? How long do I have? (giggles) Top 10 of right now would be:

i. A.W. Tozer

ii. J.I. Packer

iii. Martin Luther

iv. Tim Keller

v. D.A. Carson

vi. John Frame

vii. Wayne Grudem

viii. Charles Spurgeon

ix. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

x. Augustine

b. Honorable Mention

i. F.F. Bruce

ii. C.S. Lewis

iii. R.A. Torrey

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