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  • Writer's pictureElaine R Kelly

Framework for Navigating Gender and Theology #womeninministry (3)

Updated: May 30

Dr. Beth Felker Jones theologian, academic, and author discusses gender and theology with Tyler Tavares and Darryl Buckle. This is Episode 3 on Women in Ministry from the Local Churchology Podcast. Click my YouTube Playlist for the full conversation.

Q. How can we navigate gender questions?

I ask what actions enable believers to flourish. Ask if your stance is helping both men and women to do the good work God calls them to do. Are we open to the power of the Holy Spirit who calls men and women to a variety of gifts for the same service or are we allowing our ideas about gender roles to get in the way of responding to the spirit’s gifts? Are we allowing believers to use their gifts to build up the body of believers?

Q. What is your advice to the church?

Are we equipping women and men to do the good work God calls them to do? Or are we putting barriers to them from responding to the gifts the Spirit gives them? Paul uses the same ministry title for himself and the women co-workers in the early church.

Q. Why should we care about the topic of gender equality? Because God cares–God made us male and female and God’s good plans for us include our gender.

Q.Can you help us understand the terms complementarian and egalitarian? These terms are very recent and come with cultural baggage related to class, since most women have always laboured outside the home, but when white upper-class women started working, it changed society's gender roles and the church reacted. The evidence of women leading in the early church gets ignored by those who believe it is worldly to want women in leadership. Paul shares the same ministry title for himself and for women in the New Testament.

Q. Is Paul counter-cultural? Paul pushes against the culture of the day which is bad for women. It was not shocking to them that wives bodies belonged to their husbands but Paul switches it around! I would like to look at why God made us: gifting is based not on sex or gender but on the power of the spirit in our lives. Ask what does God want for us? What are God’s good intentions for us?

Q. How do we interpret the Bible? A basic way of looking at Scripture is in 4 parts: Creation, the Fall, Redemption, and Glory. Creation shows unity and diversity with shared tasks and fitting partners. The Fall brings men ruling over women. Redemption comes in Christ. Jesus treats women with respect, as friends, not as sexual objects. The old covenant brought men to God's family with circumcision. Jesus brings salvation for men and women in the sign of baptism.

Q. What would you tell girls and young women?

God made you, loves you, and has good plans for you. You are not accidental nor 'less than'. You are God's beloved.


The Local Churchology Podcast examines women in ministry and in church office.

This is Episode 3, where Dr. Beth Felker Jones provides a framework to navigate gender and theology discussions.

Episode 7 interviews Tom Barker about 1 Timothy.

Episode 6 interviews Dr. David Fitch and discusses being led by the Holy Spirit.

Episode 5 of the Local Churchology invites Dr. Cynthia Long Westfall to discuss the meaning of 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 and 1 Peter 3.

Episode 4, where Old Testament scholar Dr. Lee Beach diacusses his journey from complementarian to egalitarian.

On Episode 2, Dr Lynn Cohick discusses how God shows no favouritism and the impact of Ephesians and Colossians on women.

Often a story is the most accessible way to introduce ideas. The Local Churchology interviewed me on Episode 1 to discuss my novel #ForgottenFollowers from Broken to Bold as a parable, showing how Jesus lifted up women.

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