The Real Problem....
The latest email update from the PCA's magazine, By Faith...
To: byFaith Readers
From: Dick Doster, Editor
Subject: December issue of byFaith
Subscribers to byFaith will receive the December issue within the next few days. And, in two cover stories we discuss a topic which, in coming months, will become more difficult to ignore: the PCA's stewardship of women's gifts.
We begin with "Women Theologians: A Goldmine for the Church" where Carolyn Custis James calls our attention to the growing number of PCA women who are graduating from Reformed seminaries. "The PCA," James says, "has been remarkably successful in producing an army of solid female theologians." And this, the author believes, is one our great successes, but it also presents a great challenge: What should be our response to the influx of female seminary graduates as they arrive in our churches with their gifts, training, and theological wisdom?
Some, when they hear questions like this, don't understand why--in the 21st century--the PCA doesn't ordain gifted women. As James says, our views on women's ordination are "firm, clear, and defended by Scripture." But many wonder how.
L. Roy Taylor, stated clerk of the PCA's General Assembly, has written an article titled "The Authority of the Word and the Wisdom of the Church: Why the PCA Only Ordains Men to Ecclesiastical Office." Ordination, Taylor explains, is not a human rights issue but a biblical and theological one. The PCA's position is based on biblical and theological principles and solid historical precedent. But the challenge remains: How best may women use their experiences, gifts, and talents within the church for the glory of God?
Others, on the other hand, when they hear questions like this don't understand why this settled issue has risen to the forefront in the PCA. Evidently, there are some who wish it were not settled?
It's a classic trick of the "change-agent" trade to harp on the existence of a problem until, like Frankenstein awakened, the problem finally rears its head. Your shirt may be entirely inoffensive, but if I insist all day and night that it is offensive, ultimately I have defined the problem into existence.
So, as an alternative point of discussion and in order to propound the problem a bit more biblically, perhaps we should ask why Reformed seminaries insist on graduating women with degrees that throughout history have been given only to men preparing for leadership in Christ's Church? Why do our Reformed seminaries insist on confounding Reformed theology and polity by their practice in this area?
And, perhaps just as importantly, who sets the editorial agenda for By Faith?