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23: Women, ministry and the church


Women, ministry and the church

with Michael Jensen and Megan Powell du Toit

Welcome back! Season two of With All Due Respect starts with a bang …

For argument’s sake: where we take a debate, cut out the party politics and try to talk it out

It’s game on as Megan and Michael address the elephant in the room: the issue of gender in the church.

This topic marks one of the deepest divides among evangelical Christians, and the church in general. It’s also one of the biggest disagreements between Megan and Michael personally (and the discussion that Michael’s been avoiding because of the painful responses it can provoke).

So what should women do in the church and why does it matter anyway?

It’s time for Megan and Michael to tie their colours to the mast: exactly what do they think about the “c word” (complementarianism) and the “e word” (egalitarianism), what’s the biblical basis for these positions and how do they play out in the life of Christians and the church today.

While on opposite sides of the debate, both Megan and Michael agree that this is not just a “women’s issue”.

Further reading:

Also mentioned in this segment:

  • Created Or Constructed? Great Gender Debate by Elaine Storkey
  • Michael gives a shout-out to Matt Anslow, a member of the With All Due Respect Facebook group, who asked the following question (abbreviated): “My assumption is that God, being wholly good, gives us commands that are for our good … Complementarians, at least as far as I’m aware, are unable to point to any objective good secured by prohibiting women from exercising these certain ministry roles. Usually the reason given for upholding these teachings is simply that God has commanded it in Scripture, and exegetical arguments ensue.
    Keeping in mind that such commands are seen by many Christians as only being intended for and applicable to their original contexts, what objective goods do complementarians think are being secured by upholding their teaching on ministry roles?”


Q&A: you ask us questions, and we answer without the spin

You can’t ask that! Oh but you did, and Megan and Michael asked you to. The pair field a handful of some 600 questions about gender identity and the church thrown at them by members of With All Due Respect Facebook group – a community of Christians committed to respectful public conversation.

Megan goes into bat for the “feminist egalitarian” team and Michael the “moderate complementarian” team.

Here’s just a taste of some of the curly questions they address: Isn’t egalitarianism just about women seeking power? Does complementarianism always lead to abuse?

Mentioned in this segment:

The secret life of us: what makes the other one tick

Time to get personal.

Michael asks Megan, “Am I a misogynist?”

Megan asks Michael, “Do you think I’m called by God?”

After this epic first ep for season two, our co-hosts may not have solved the issues around gender roles in the church but hopefully we’ve reached a starting point for mutual respect, understanding and further conversation. 


Less aggro, more conversation.

Is it even possible to have a deep discussion without it descending into chaos? Michael Jensen and Megan Powell du Toit think yes, and want to show the rest of us how to do it.

There’s plenty of things they disagree on: free will, feminism, where you should send your kids to school and what type of church you should go to. But there are also plenty of other things that they have in common. They want to talk about all these things with conviction. But they also want the conversation to be constructive. Tune in to find out if that’s possible.

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Oh boy, does John love questions. So don’t be afraid to send them in. At the end of each season we dedicate an episode or two for John to answer all your burning questions about Christianity. Want to know something more about a previous episode? Or perhaps you’ve got a question about faith that you’ve been struggling to find an answer for?
Let us know here.

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