Are We On The Same Page? An Evangelical Response To Germaine Greer’s “The Whole Woman” -- By: Glen G. Scorgie

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 15:4 (Fall 2001)
Article: Are We On The Same Page? An Evangelical Response To Germaine Greer’s “The Whole Woman”
Author: Glen G. Scorgie

Are We On The Same Page?
An Evangelical Response To Germaine Greer’s “The Whole Woman”

Glen G. Scorgie

Glen G. Scorgie is a past president of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association and currently I professor of theology at Bethel Seminary in San Diego, California. He is also part-time pastor for English ministries at a Chinese church in San Diego. He and his wife, Kate, an associate professor of graduate education at Azusa Pacific University, are parents of three teenage daughters. This article was first presented to the CBE chapter in San Diego.

Last night I waited at Starbucks until it was time to pick up two of our teenage daughters after a home Bible study under the auspices of our conservative evangelical church. While nursing my Coffee of the Day, I could not help overhearing a young adult woman, with Bible open at an adjacent table, discipling four other university-age females. Their informal conversation ranged over a number of topics, and on each one the leader had a forceful and confident opinion. I winced especially when I heard her advise them that the Bible was very clear that a woman should remain silent and never teach a man. As far as I could tell, the group simply nodded assent to this insight and scribbled it down in their journals. As I drove through a darkened suburban neighborhood to pick up my own daughters a few minutes later, I could not help wondering whether the teaching my kids were receiving was any different.

I also realize that the participants in that coffee huddle at Starbucks would not be able to distinguish members of Christians for Biblical Equality from secular feminists. In their minds, the two movements are equally wrong, unbiblical, and for all intents and purposes, synonymous. To their way of thinking, CBE is simply a case of selling out to cultural trends, and a kind of feminist Trojan Horse within the walled fortress of evangelicalism. Evangelical feminists are simply those who uncritically parrot the values of secular feminism. To be fair, this assessment is not unique to relatively uninformed groups; it dominates in academic circles today as well.

In the majority of academic contexts in America today, the notion of an evangelical feminist is a contradiction in terms. In fact, a recent issue of Religious Studies News, the journal of the American Academy of Religion, reports on a major study of the tensions experienced by progressive evangelical women functioning in the largely feminist academy. Appropriately enough, the article is entitled: “Living on the Boundaries.” “Evangelical wome...

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