Complementarian vs Egalitarian

The last book of Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, continues to make waves among evangelicals.

One expression of this is an indirect dialogue between Rachel and Jen Pollock Michel, a ‘complementarian’ lady writing for the Her.meneutics blog of Christianity Today.

Those who read my blog know already a number of things about me:

1. I consider myself a feminist theologian. I believe the church looses a lot when she reads the Bible and interprets church history and Christian thought exclusively through the eyes of men, as was the case for most of its existance.

2. I refuse to be catalogued as an egalitarian, and even less so a complementarian (as much as I refuse to choose between the Calvinist and the Arminian ideologiei); I am convinced that these labels are misguided and deceptive. In fact, most so-called ‘complementarians’ are in fact hierarchialists, while egalitarians, when they don;t buy into the Marxist rubbish that informs some extreme versions of feminism, refuse to obliterate all differences between men and women (some of them, thank goodness, are in fact impossible to obliterate, to our delight 🙂 ).

3. If, however, I have to choose one group, I would rather spend my time with those who self-describe themselves as egalitarians, than with the others. The two texts whose links I will put below are my arguments for it. I wish people like Michel would learn to simply read seriously what the other group writes, rather than distorts what they read through the lens of their ideology.

So, here they are:

1. ‘complementarian’ – Jen Pollock Michel – ‘What You Don’t Know About Complementarian Women

2. ‘egalitarian’ – Rachel Held Evans – ‘Holy Homemaking: A Response from Rachel Held Evans

And now, I leave you to decide for yourselves.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “Complementarian vs Egalitarian”

  1. Multumesc de urari, Dyo. Si ma poti contrazice oricind, inclusiv de ziua mea. A propos, ai reusit sa citesti cartea lui Rachel. La mine inca n-a ajuns la rind. Dar vine curind.


  2. Mie nu mi se pare ca cele doua articole mentionate de tine ar trebui neaparat puse intr-o ireconciliabila batalie pe terenul feminitatii si problemelor iscate in jurul ideii de femeie casnica. Ambele articole mi se par ponderate, daca e sa tinem cont de gravitatea subiectului; sunt reactiile unor cititori nepriceputi, puternic inregimentati pe una din cele doua ideologii, cele care distorsioneaza fie spusele lui Michel, fie pe cele ale lui Rachel, inspre “folosul” lor.
    Dar azi nu-mi permit sa te contrazic (La multi ani! iti zic si cu aceasta ocazie), asa ca ma grabesc sa iti spun ca si pozitia mea este una similara cu a ta: ambele “-isme”, prin dogmatizarea lor, au un puternic potential de a acoperi definitiv orice idee de adevar despre “femeia biblica” … asa ca zic pas catre ambele …


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