As we have mentioned several times on this blog and as I have long suspected, one of the real reasons that men do not want to see women educated is that they think we will not be content in our roles as wives and mothers if we are…at least content in what they believe it means to be a wife and mother. The ideas that some women will be widows at a young age or that women may remain single for a longer period of time in this culture (or even remain single their entire lives) are of little concern. One size certainly must fit all, we have observed.
Along these lines, there has been quite the discussion going on over at the BaylyBlog, owned by two brothers who are PCA pastors, regarding women who have attended seminary and their place in the church once their educations are complete. There has actually been little profitable discussion regarding actual application of said degrees. Rather, it has centered around the criticism of the woman who wrote this article for a Presbyterian Church of America publication and comments she made at a conference on gender and the church held recently at Covenant College. A first hand recap of the conference can be found here and here and is quite interesting. It should also be mentioned that no one at the conference or in these discussions is advocating the ordination of women. This is a discussion of women using their education within the church after they have been to seminary that has somehow taken on a life of its own and participants are accusing, by default, those who found something good in her article of not loving God’s word. PCAer’s beware.
There is also a PCA pastor in Arizona who has taken it upon himself to write a catechism for women which I will share here, as it does relate to the women and college issue. I would agree that, as women, we must seek to live to God’s glory. However, what this actually means, I believe, is still a matter worthy of discussion.
Q: “What does it mean for a woman to be theologically trained?”
A: A theologically trained woman is a one, who, in the fear of God, does not disdain her sex for something more sophiticated such as writing books or speaking at conferences or translating Hebrew.
Q: “What would we call such a disdaining woman?”
A: Such a woman is, ironically, a Martha not a Mary.
Q: “How can [a woman] use [theological] instruction for the betterment of the church?
A: The church is bettered and strengthened when her women do not, as we would expect women of the world to do, for the sake of worldly acclaim or domestic ease, cast off their sex and play the man.
Q: “What are gender-specific roles and how and why are they defined?”
A: Christians shouldn’t speak of “gender-specific roles” since the calling of womanhood and manhood is not a role in a stage-play; nor is maleness or femaleness some “gender construct” but a chromosomal, creational, existential reality.
Q: “What then should Christians speak about?”
A: Christians should think and speak in terms of how God has called each sex to live to His glory.
Q: “How should each sex live to His glory?”
A: The calling of the sexes is articulated in the Word of God; it is defined by the Holy Spirit; and the reason for these callings can be found in the mind of God Himself.
Q: “Is there nothing more than what Scripture says?”
A: If, in seeking novel applications of God’s Word, you avoid applying God’s word, you are either a fool or being paid. If you do this and call it wisdom, you are an enemy.