Pop Quiz: Better Theology
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Pop Quiz: Who was the better theologian
A. C.S. Lewis
B. Dorothy L. Sayers
B. Dorothy L. Sayers is the one who reflects biblical theology, showing that women are also made in the image of God and since Jesus represents all humanity, either men or women can represent God as priests. Jesus brought equality and mutual submission, not authoritarianism.
"I can never find any logical or strictly theological reason against [women's ordination].... If asked point-blank whether Christ Himself is the representative of male humanity or of all humanity, I should be obliged to answer of all humanity; and to cite the authority of St. Augustine for saying that woman is also made in the image of God." No logical or theological reason exists to prohibit female priests (much less preachers and teachers),
(in response to a request from C S Lewis asking her to oppose women priests)
C. S. Lewis believed the church should act in keeping with history and tradition that only males could be priests. He wrote against ordaining women as priests in the Anglican church, using the logic that a priest represents Jesus who was a male, and women cannot represent God or speak to us for God. He believed that if one says masculine imagery originates from human writing or language, then one is saying it is not originating from God, which to him was an argument against the Bible and Christianity as a whole. Lewis concludes his 1948 “Notes on the Way” with, “It is painful, being a man, to have to assert the privilege, or the burden, which Christianity lays upon my own sex.”
However, the Bible teaches that your appearance, gender, race, physical abilities, traits, or addictions are irrelevant. God looks at the heart. Jesus represents all humanity, saves all humanity from guilt and shame, empowers and authorizes all humanity to employ their gifts.
Both the old and new Testaments announce that it is what is inside that counts. God asks us to love and serve one another, to follow God's calling in our life. Our gifts are given according to God's grace, having nothing to do with our outward appearance, gender or race. The Bible not only says there is no reason not to have women in ministry, it says that when you are gifted, you must use those gifts to build up the church.
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
Both women and men are formed in the image of God, and being made female is not an accident or detriment. God requires both male and female to fully use their gifts.
"You formed the way I think and feel. You put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you made me in such a wonderful way. I know how amazing that was! Psalms 139:13-14 ERV
In my #HistoricalFiction Forgotten Followers: from Broken to Bold, I show that Jesus created a safe space where women and men could ask theological questions and work out their own beliefs about who he was. My female main characters are proactive in overcoming traumas from abuse and racism. Healing and self-care requires thought, work, and specific action steps. I hope that my readers will be encouraged to work out their own beliefs about Jesus.