Jesus Creed

Evidently, the African context is about the same as the North American context: some do and some don’t think women in teaching positions is a good idea. In the Africa Bible Commentary there is an essay on “The Role of Women in the Church.” It appears in the commentary on 1 Timothy 2:7-10 — which is an interesting placement.
What do you know about women in ministry in Africa?
The article is by Nyambura J. Njoroge — I don’t know if this person is male or female. Here are some highlights:
1. It questions using 1 Cor 11:34-35 (it says 13:34) and 1 Tim 2:11-14 as “laying down absolutes rather than general principles within a particular culture.”
2. We need to avoid the cultural roles men and women play; we need more theological exposition by discerning God’s will, by rooting ourselves in Jesus’ liberative vision (Luke 4:18-19), and by exploring the fullness of life (John 10:10).
3. “What women and men can do depends on our obedience to the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.”
4. Because of patriarchal, hierarchical, and sexist attitudes, women have a critical and prophetic role in Africa.
5. “Where churches have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit … women have been ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament.”
6. Women are doing lots of work in the ministry of the gospel in Africa.
The commentary is by Solomon Andria, and it shows more of a “complementarian” view. It sees “silence” in terms of hierarchy; it suggests Peterson’s The Message is more acceptable to some because it anchors Paul’s statement in a particular context of assertive women; for Africa, the author asks, there is the question of what “silence” means in Africa as an equivalent.

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