Should Women Teach in Church? is a new series of videos that looks at Bible passages which are often used to limit the ministry of women in the church. The videos are short and designed for people who don’t have time to read, or prefer not to read.
Producer Michael Huffman has posted four videos so far on his YouTube channel, Sharp Readings, with more being planned. These videos are intelligently and reasonably argued, and are a helpful voice in gender discussions.
In the first, introductory video, Michael shows that women are already teaching in some way in most evangelical churches, even in churches which claim women must not teach men. (5 mins)
In the second video, Michael discusses the context and meaning of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak . . .”) and he makes several excellent points. (7 mins)
In the third and fourth videos, Michael argues that the principle taught in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 is not about gender roles but about the need for those who teach to learn first. (9 mins and 8 mins)
I have one qualm about video four. Michael claims that Eve received knowledge about the forbidden fruit second hand and that Adam failed to teach Eve properly about the forbidden fruit. Thus she was less prepared to deal with the deceiving serpent. Others, both hierarchical complementarians and egalitarians, make similar claims, for example, Gilbert Bilezekian in Beyond Sex Roles (2006:33). But I’m not so sure Genesis chapters 2 and 3 support such ideas.
All in all, I recommend these videos and think they are a valuable resource. Some of the artistic concepts are clever and fun too.
Michael is married to Isabel and they have two daughters. Michael grew up in the USA and, as a child, attended a small Plymouth Brethren church where women were not permitted to speak in services except to state prayer requests and sing solos. Michael began to ask questions about the Bible’s teaching on women in ministry while studying Biblical Studies at The Masters College (where John MacArthur is president). Despite the prevailing patriarchal ethos at this college, about a year after graduation, Michael began affirming women in ministry. Since that time his interest in the Christian basis for mutuality in the home, church and society has grown. His hope is to show fellow believers that a faithful interpretation of scripture leads towards mutuality of the sexes. Michael teaches religious education to high schoolers.