For years I’ve been asking myself (and Jesus) how the Gospel speaks to the world-wide gender injustice issue. That’s what sent me on a search to find a program that addresses gender injustice. I’ve looked at gender and religion, women studies, sociology and religion – you name it, I’ve googled it. Finding a program that addresses gender issues (women and gender injustice) from a Christian perspective is harder than one would image. What I’ve discovered is conservative evangelicals in America have two answers to the issue: complementarianism or egalitarianism, neither of which I find fully satisfying. (I find we American evangelicals think our understanding of the issue begins and ends with us.) The reason I say I’m neither is because I don’t buy what complementarians are selling nor do I think the issue is one of equality. I don’t think Jesus died on the cross for equality. I think the Gospel is about shalom living; the great reversal of what happened in Genesis 3. I want to address gender injustice from this perspective, however I can’t find a university that addresses women’s issues in this light. So I’ve turned to secular universities in hopes of getting a different perspective on women, gender and religion (gender injustice caused or solved by religion.) Unfortunately, I’ve found a great divide. Universities addressing issues such as women, gender injustice, and religion pretty much approach it from a secular (God isn’t there) approach. Evangelicals are not well received in secular universities where diverse views are discussed (we tend to be discussion killers) I’ve also learned evangelicals are thought of as ignorant. Makes it hard to find what I’m looking for; Jesus + women + gender justice.
So this week I met with two universities, one in London the other in Dublin. I was surprised when the professor of a secular university said, “We would love to have you here. You ‘re experience and training would bring something different to the discussion.” Wouldn’t it be just like God to provide my answer at a place where he’s been disregarded? Not sure but following his lead wherever he takes me.
Read Scot McKnight’s blog for further insight on subcultures like us evangelicals who think our view begins and ends with us.
Here’s a taste: “One of the profound realities of theology and ecclesiastical enclaves in which American Christians live is each tribal subculture views the world as if Christianity begins and ends with their tribe. Evangelicals are a great example of this trend. Some evangelicals write as if they are the only Christians doing God’s work in the world.”