Full Text for "It is not Given to Women to Teach" A Lex in Search of a Ratio (Text)

Preface . Within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. there is not an Insignificant number of persons who suggest that to discuss the Biblical r~sons for the apostolic prohibitions against ordaining women to the Office of pastor is to provide the energy for the ordaining of women to come to pass. In this view. the voices raised in favor of ordaining women are wearied and fading. and will pass from the Church. But events continue to show that such voices have considerable inertia. and that voices from other communions have brought their energy as well to the conversation in the LCMS. so that the discussion of women in the pastoral office. far from disappearing. remains a lively intercourse. The concern. of course, is that such discussion might become a one-sided speech. without the involvement of eloquent. knowledgeable. and passionate voices which defend the ancient and apostolic practice of ordaining only male pastors. The Church is therefore fortunate to have within herself these latter voices. not the least of which is the author of this paper. Dr. William Weinrich has not in this effort plowed again ground furrowed by other modem theological reflection. Rather. he has gone out to ground once well-known. but long ago left untended. He has cleared that ground of overgrowth, discerned the furrows of previous apostolic and patrlstic plowing. and has renewed those fields with modem words and insights. If a reader finds anything new in this paper (as I must confess I certainly did). then he or she is betrayed as a modern. As much as anything else. Dr. Weinrich's research into the fathers' thought and considerations show our present discussions on the gender of the pastor to be conversations long ago closed by the Church-not that the Church fathers spoke at length on the topic of pastoral gender (they did not). but the question Itself. as shown here. was settled byother theological considerations of far greater import. To speak of female pastors would have been to call Into question the nature of God Himself. and so it needed not to be spoken of. But In the modem age it is not impoSSible to call into question the nature of God Himself. and this is being done precisely at the locus of the pastor's gender. And so the service which Dr. Weinrich renders to the Church with this work may be not simply tlmely-it may perhaps also be timeless. Dr. Weiruich has shown that God gives knowledge of His Fatherhood through IDs creation of Adam. through His merciful salvation in Jesus Christ. and through the preaching office of Word and Sacrament occupied by a shepherd-all incarnate manlfestations of revelation. And he points out just what is at stake. what truly is obscured-the revealed being of God Himself-when aLtempts are made to set women into the preaching office. Will a single paper sull the intercourse. and leave standing only a unanimous affumation of apostolic command and practice? Probably not. Can it push the conversation in that hoped-for direction? This is certainly to be prayed for. At the very least. pastors and laymen who seek direct and compelling elucidation of things which likely have seemed intuitively certain all along will find. in the pages which follow. a well-plowed theological field. where only an ancIent. overgrown tract previously was found. And for the present this may be precisely what the Lord's Church requires. The Rev. Andrew W. Dirnit The Lutheran Church of Christ the King Duluth. Minnesota Sts. Philip and James. 1991 2 "It is not Given to Women to Teach" A Lex in Search of a Ratio When Tertullian in the 2nd century wrote: "It is not pennit- ted to a woman to speak in church. Neither may she teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the priestly office" (On the Veiling oJVirgins 9.1). and when seven centuries later Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople. wrote: "A woman does not become a priestess" (Nomocanon1.3 7), they were reiterating the apostolic prohibition of the Apostle Paul. At the same time they were indicating the practice characteristic of their day and indeed were indicating that unbroken practice in all sacramental and confesSional Churches which until the most recent times remained unquestioned. There were, of course, occasions in the Church's history when heretical or utterly peripheral groups organized themselves in ways contrary to Paul's prohibition. From Irenaeus (2nd century) we learn of the gnostic Marcosians in whose sacramen tal rites a woman consecrated the cup of Charis in to which she would drop her blood (Adv. Haer. 1.13). From Epiphanius (4th century) we learn of the -Quintillians" who appealed to Eve as the prototype of their female clergy. Epiphanius explicitly says that this grou p had women bishops and women presbyters and that. interest- ingly in view of modem argument. they justified all of this on the basis of Gal. 3:28 (Adv. Haer. 49.1-3). And from time to time in the early middle ages there appears to have been out-growths of gnostic or spiritualist enth usiasms which allowed women to serve at the altar. In the 6th century, to mention but one example, two priests in Brittany allowed women to assist them in the celebra- tion and distribution of the Lord's Supper. This elicited a vigorous response by three Gallic bishops who called this practice "a novelty and unheard-of superstition." l Yet. despite these occa- sional problems, the Church's obedience to the apostolic standard was unyielding and universally faithful. Nor, it must be said. did the Church's faithfulness to the Apostle's prohibition of women in the pastoral office rest upon some notion of the natural inferiority of women to men in either intellect or virtue. One can, of course, find evidence of such thinking. But as common and certainly more true to Biblical models were other much more positive evaluations of the innate gifts and abilities of women. John Chrysostom (4th cent.), often castigated as misogynist. could write that "in virtue women are often enough the instructors of men; while the latter wander abou t like jackdaws in dust and smoke. the fonner soar like eagles into higher spheres" (Epist to Eph. hom. 13.4). Similarly, com- menting on Priscilla's teaching of Apollos in view of I Tim 2: 12, Chrysostom says that Paul "does not exclude a woman's superi 3 ority, even when it involves teaching" when the man is an unbeliever or in error (Greet Priscilla and Aquilla 3). Nor, it must also be said, did the Church's obedience to the apostolic command reflect an unevangelical accommodation to social and cultural circumstances. In fact, the social and cultural context of early Christianity at times very much favored the introduction of women into teaching, priestly or sacramental offices. In 1 st and 2nd century Asia Minor, for example, the social position of women was well developed. There were female physicians, and Ephesus had its female philsophers among the Stoics, Epicureans, and Pythagoreans, who were known to teach, perhaps also publicly. Female leadership and priesthood were well-known in the local religiOus cults of Cybele, Isis, Demeter, and Artemis. In the Greek cults of Demeter and Artemis the holiest places were open only to female priestesses. Generally in the mystery cults women shared "equal rights" with men and were initiated into all the mysteries. Often women performed the ceremonies and delivered the instructions, even to the male participants. This is, for example. documented in the cult of Dionysius in which all distinctions between men and women. adults and children, freemen and slaves. were broken down. Furthennore. at times the Fathers themselves show a much more pOSitive attitude than does the 'surrounding culture concerning women. and they demonstrate no lack of sensitivity to unequal law and practice. Speaking of chastity. Gregory of Nazianz us (4th cent.) remarks that in regard to that (Le. chastity) .. the majority of men are ill-disposed. and their laws are unequal and irregular. For what was the reason why they restrained the woman. but indulged the man. and that a woman who practices evil against her husband's bed is an adultress. and the penalties of the law for this are very severe; but if the husband commits fornication against his wife. he has no account to give? I do not accept this legislation; I do not approve of this custom. Those who made the law were men. and therefore the legislation is hard on women" (Orat. 37.6). Gregory need take a back seat to no feminist in his disapproval of actual male chauvinism and self-serving. What, then. was the basis and rationale ofthe Church for its pervasive adherence to the apostolic prohibition of women in the Office of preaching and the· sacraments? There was in fact a rather broad basis for this practice. This basis was essentially three-fold: (1) the Biblical history; (2) the example of Jesus; and (3) Paul's prohibitions in I COrinthians 11 and 14. and in 1 . Timothy 2. Using the Biblical history. Origen argues against the Montanists, and Epipharuus argues against the Collyridians. 4 ~Never from the beginning of the world has a woman sexved God as priest", writes Epiphanius (4th cent.). And then he runs through the stories of the Old and New Testaments indicating tha t God's priests had always been men but never a woman (Against the Heresies 78-79). Similarly, in view of the Montanist appeal to the Old Testament prophetesses Origen (3rd cent.) argues that indeed Deborah, Miriam, and Huldah were prophetesses. yet "there is no evidence that Deborah delivered speeches to the people. as did Jeremiah and Isaias. Hulda, who was a prophetess, did not speak to the people. but only to a man, who consulted her at home." The same is true of the daughters of Philip: if they prophesied, "at least they did not speak in the assemblies, for we do not find this fact in the Acts of the Apostles" (Frag. on I Cor 74).2 The practice of Jesus was perceived to be fully consonant with this more general Biblical history. Not only did Jesus choose for himself only males to be his apostles, but more significantly Mary herself, the Mother of the omnipotent Son of God, was not given the task of baptizing Jesus. that taskbeinggiven to John the Baptist. The prohibitions of Paul, therefore, were understood to be fully in hannonywith the broad narrative of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament histories and the practice of Christ himself. Whenever the need arose, these three Biblical bases were adduced either individually or in combination. In the middle ages this whole perspective received canon law expression in the ban of Pope Innocent III against the preaching and hearing of confes- sion by powerful monastic abbesses:"No matter whether the most blessed Virgin Mary stands higher, and is also more "illustrious, than all the apostles together. it was still not to her, but to them. that the Lord entrusted the keys to the Kingdom of heaven."3 The Church, therefore, through the centuries understood herself to be not only in continuous agreement with the Old and New Testament history but also saw herself envisioned and imaged in these stories. As Paul indicated in another context, the things of the Old Testament were written for the instruction of the people of the New Covenant upon whom the end of the ages has come (1 Cor. 10: 11). Such an appeal to the Biblical narratives was. therefore. no mere referral to tradition or a recital of histOrical precedents. The appeal to Biblical narrative was predIcated upon the belief that the Creative Word of God, incar" nated in the man Jesus. revealed His will not only in the hearts of people, spiritually if you will, but also in the events and orderings of HiS people and in the canonical testimony to those events andordertngs. It was not without reason that, to repeat the words of Epiphanius. "never from the beginning of the world has a woman served God as priest." This was rooted in the way in which God has always arranged His people so that they might be 5 a sign of His creative will C!nd intent. The 4th century Apostolic Constitutions make the point: Jesus did what He did. and He has delivered to His Church no indication of women priests because He "knows the order of creation." "What Jesus did. being the Creator of nature. He did in agreement with the creative action. Similarly. since Jesus is the incarnate Word in whom the creation is being made new. He, as Head of the Church. the new people of God. typified in His ministry the new life of the Ch urch not only in it 'spiritual' but also in its fleshly contours. "4 The Church did not see in the Pauline prohibitions. therefore, commandments extraneous to, even alien to the new life which they had through Christ. It did not see in those apostolic statements ad hoc accommodations to the cultural surroundings. It saw in them rather apostolic exhortation and regulation which bespeaks the 'shape' or 'configuration' of the new community whose Life is constituted in the Word of God and made active through the Spirit. Within Protestantism. the principal Reformation and post- Reformation leaders merely assumed Without question the practice of reserving the office of pastor to men. Their strong "Scripture alone" position led them. however. to rely virtually exclusively on the Pauline prohibitions, with the concomitant result that appeal to the Biblical history and to the example of Jesus was less frequent, if not eschewed as Roman Catholic. Within Protestant- ism generally there was insistence on what could be regarded as clearly applicable Biblical mandate before a practice was to be regarded as required or prohibited. Luther. for example. while asserting that all Christians have the full power to preach, asserted as well, and on the basis of the Pauline prohibitions alone, that not all in fact can or ought exercise this power. He regarded the Pauline injunctions as normative for the Church. because they were given by the Holy Spirit: in the Law. by which Luther meant the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit had subordi- nated woman to man and now in the apostles the Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself. 5 Beyond the mere fact of the Spirit's speaking through the Apostle, which to be sure was for him sufficient in itself, Luther is not all that strong in explaining the whys and wherefores of the P~uline injunctions. He speaks unaffectedly of ability and aptitude: man is in many ways (multis modis) more suited for speaking than is a woman and it is more seemly for the man to speak. And this way of doing things. says Luther, is for the sake of order (ordo) and respectibility (honestas). 6 This was apparently sufficient to the day. The whole issue of the ordination of women into the pastoral ministry was still unthink- able. For him and for his time there was no such question. It is. however. not so for us. Today. it is important to emphasize. we are faced With an entirely new and wholly frontal assault upon the common and traditional practice of the Church 6 not to ordain women to the public Office of Word and Sacran1ent. This assault involves not merely the higher-critical e..-xclusion of the pertinent Pauline passages as authentically from Paul; it involves a very different reading of the Scriptures themselves. Rather than the Pauline prohibitions being understood as rooted in the creative will of God and hence but instances of apostolic regulation in harmony with the full Biblical narrative in the specificities of its stories (there never is in all of SCripture a woman priest or apostle). the Pauline injunctions are regarded as ad hoc accommodations to the surrounding culture, and hence of only temporary applicability. Or the Pauline injunctions are regarded as rabbinic hangovers of Paul's pre-Christian life which now are actually in conflict with the pure gospel which Paul elsewhere preaches with such clartty. Here ahnost invariably Gal. 3:28 is invoked. For our own understanding of the task before us, it is necessary, therefore, that we realize that the simple appeal to Paul's statements in I Corinthians and I Tirnothy are not sufficient anymore adequately to ground our present practice. This is not to say that properly understood and properly related to the rest of SCripture these Pauline injuctions do not apply as we have commonly understood them to apply. I firmly believe that they do apply. However. in the contemporary context the appeal to these three Pauline passages is countered by a host of argument which intends to void those passages of present authority. And this is occurring not only in the more liberal church bodies which we might expect to have a cIitical posture toward the Scriptures. It is happening every bit as much within American evangelical circles whose formal adherence to the SCriptures remains that of us in the Missourt Synod. Note, for example, the self-testimony of Gretchen Hull. who in her book. Equal to Serve, asserts that .. this book is written from the standpoint of what is called a high view of Scripture: The Bible is the inspired, trustworthy Word of God written and as such stands as the tru e revelation of God's message, regardless of any human reaction to it." Such a high view of SCripture "afIirms that the Bible texts have been proven authentic and considers them completely reliable transmitters of God's message. "7 What could we possibly find at fault with that posture toward the Scriptures? Yet, within her book Ms. Hull absolutely rejects patriarchy, equating it quite simply with male domination (p. 83), and regards the patriarchal stories of the Old Testament as "the true record of the false idea."8 The Biblical accounts of the patIiarchs she regards as inerrantly true (the Scriptures are inspired). But the patrtarchal narratives illustrate not the will of God which is given in creation and which receives renewed and sanctified obedience in the new creation. The patriarchal stories of the Old Testament illustrate rather the perversity of human sin 7 which has set up an ordering of human existence in opposition to that desired by God and created by Him. Now it is quite clear that the procedure of Ms. Hull is the very opposite of the procedure we summa.rized above of the early Church Fathers. For them the stories of the Old Testament illustrate the will of God the Creator and Redeemer. The Fathers were not unaware that the stories of the Old Testament could also illustrate sinful behavior and sinful attitudes. But sin was the perversion of what in itself was good. Or. as pertains to our point of discussion, patriarchy could be pelVerted, but patriarchy in itself revealed the will of God. that is, it revealed the way God works so that His will brings to pass His purposes. For Ms. Hull, on the other hand. the Old Testament patriarchal stories are a kind of anti-God story wherein it is not possible to see God at work at all. It Is evident. therefore. that to the extent that Ms. Hull allows the Pauline passages any partiCi- pation in the good. it can be only as a temporary accommodation to his immediate historical context. The Pauline passages cannot in any case be perceived as consonant with a "true record of the true idea", as an apostolic conunand correspondant to Old Testament and New Testament narrative wherein women were not admitted to the priestly and apostolic office. and this in obedience to the divine will. Now apart from the fact that Ms. Hull wrests from the formal principle its proper material principle, that is, empties the narrative of the Scriptural record of any content as the stoty of God's willful acUvity, it is clear that fundamentally Ms. Hull, and she is by no means unique in this, is operating with an analogy of faith quite different from that of the Fathers and quite different from that of the traditional understanding of confes- sional Lutheranism. including the Missouri Synod. That is. quite directly put, Ms. Hull in her whole method and in her whole approach to the question of the relation between male and female and to the specific question of the ordination of women bespeaks a creed at variance with that which has been operative from the time of the apostles. What we are dealing with in the broad issue of the relationship between male and female and with the partiCU- lar question of the ordination of women is a doctrinal and creedal issue. The question Is -what Is the Faith?", "what Is the analogy of Faith? .. , or, if you will. "'what is the Biblical story which determines. guides, and commands our understanding of the cUstlnctlve place and role of both man and woman in the world and in the Church of God'r What makes the present moment in the Church's history so difficult in this regard is that this complex question has never been forthrightly put and answered in the doctrinal history of the Christian Church. While the basis for the early Church's under- standing and practice was broad-encompassmg the whole Old and New Testament narratives. the example of Christ. and the specifiC Pauline injunctions-the rationale of the early Church 1s e:x:tremely sparse, if not non-existent. While we have the fact that 8 throughout the Church's his~Ory there have been women saints, martyrs. prophets. missionaries, monastics, secular rulers and while there have even been some women who by the Eastern tradition have been deSignated ijsapovstoloi "equal to the apostles". 9 we have also the fact that there have never been women who held the public Office of the bishop and pastor. But why that is so has never been doctrinally or theologically delineated. There are few if any sources in the early, medieval. or modem Church which deal with this question in any explicit way. What the significance of the distinction between male and female might be in terms of a Christian understanding of human life and the life of the Church has never been adumbrated. And, in the present Situation governed as it is by an egalitarian ethos, this has easily given rise to the belief that there is no significance. The Church has, therefore. expeIienced a ready. even precipitous capitulation to the feminist claim that restIicting the office of Word and Sacra- ment to certain chosen male members ofthe Christian community is a mere vestige of an antique and outmoded way of thinking. In the present age it is in fact. so it goes, inherently arbitrary and oppressive. In the present polemical and apologetic context a simple appeal to the Pauline passages is futile and bears no persuasive power. For the real question lies deeper than the issue of Biblical inspiration and inerrancy or the question of whether a particular passage is applicable to this or that situation. The question is rather whether the relevant Pauline passages are. as it were, imbedded in the general matrix of the Christian revelation and the corresponding vision that it engenders. so that they are perceived to artse organically out of the very preachment of the prophetic and apostolic Witness to the creative and salvific work of God. and are not to be regarded as mere regulatory additions attached. for some unknown reason. to the real apostolic concerns. We seek after the organic. that is. the theological foundations which lie at the bottom of the Pauline prohibitions and therefore give shape. form. and content to the Pauline prohibitions. Now before we begin this task. and it can only be a beginning. we must take note of some attitudes and concerns that have been voiced against any attempt to go to the bottom of the Pauline statements. The appeal to Paul is, many say. enough. and any attempt to do more is speculation and can never have any appeal, let alone authoIity. for the Church. To this it must again be Said that SCripture is not a bundle of truisms. true stortes. and legislations which somehow on their own and apart from the ~ho~e can be properly understood and appropriated. SCripture, ~splred Word of God as it is. is the prophetiC and apostolic Wlt~ess which norms our understanding of the speaking and a~tmg of God which began in the creation. continued through the hIStOry of the Old Testament people. was fulfilled in the incarnate 9 \Vord, and now in the speech and life of the Church moves toward its appOinted end in the resurrection of the dead and the eternal Kingdom of God. The deep reason for the details must be sought in the whole, and where such reason cannot be found, then, to be sure, argument may commence whether the detail is not a true adiaphoron or a temporary incidental which no longer may not have, or perhaps even dare not have, any abiding authority. \Ve seek after the Biblical structure, the way of God in the world, to understand the reason why Paul. when confronted by the prob- lems of his day, had to answer the way he did. IO This will not be the first time that Church practice searched for its theological rationale. In theArianconllict of the 4th century the question arose concerning the legitimacy and propriety of prayer to Christ orto the Holy Spirit. The answer came in the fonn of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which affirmed the full deity of both the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In the Pelagian controversy of the 5th century the question was concerning the theological requirement of the baptism of infants. The ariswer came in the doctrine of original sin which asserted that each individual. however small or young, was put out to the death which sin brings and therefore was in need of the redemptive work of the Savior. In the 5th century conflict with Nestorius the question arose concerning the legitimacy of the Church's liturgi- cal reference to the Virgin Mary as the "Mother of God". What deep theological reason made that reference not only possible but necessary? The answer came in the Church's assertion qf the incarnation of the Word of God whereby the flesh of humanity was assumed into the Person of the eternal Son so that the humanity of Jesus was in truth the humanity of God. Therefore. that One born of Mary was in truth the divine Son of God incarnate. Mary was in truth the "Mother of God. " Today the search is after the rationale for the Church's practice of reserving to a Christian man the Office of Word and Sacrament. That search is in itself not speculation as some are wont to assert. 11 The beginning of all speculation is the posture of autonomy in which an idea or a principle is developed according to its own inherent dynamic. Speculation Is indepen- dent in its own deductions: it Is in a state of emancipation from the basis of the Scripture narrative. On the other hand, Biblical theology is not creative. It is the task of serious hearing, of listening to the whispers and echoes of the Biblical stories in order to hear more. to understanding more, to increase more our wonder and awe at what God has done and what God proposes in what He has done. Biblical thinking is bound therefore to what has been spoken before. Biblical thinking is directed toward an "is". It is not engaged in what the feminist theologian. Letty Russell, calls "utopic envtsagement" wherein faith claims a knowledge of God's future apart from and indeed often in contra 10 distinction to the past and present of God. 12 In t..rying to come to terms with why Paul spoke as he did, we do not speculate. We try rather to lay bare the Biblical contours which lie within Paul's own words. In the midst of the 4th century, at the height of the Arian controversy. concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ, the bishop of the French town of Poi tiers , Hilary, wrote ofthe necessity of saying things which were beyond "what heaven has preSCribed," He wrote: We are compelled by the error of heretics and blasphemers to do what is unlawful, to scale heigh ts, to express things that are unutterable, to encroach on forbidden matters. And when we ought to fulfill the commandments through faith alone, ador- ing the Father. worshipping the Son together with him, rejoicing in the Holy Spirit. we are forced to stretch the feeble capacity of our language to give expression to indescribable realities. We are constrained by the error of others to err ourselves in the dangerous attempt to set forth in human speech what ought to be kept in the religious awe of our minds .... The infidelity of others drags us into the dubious and dangerous position of having to make a definite statement beyond what heaven has prescribed about matters so sublime and so deeply hidden" (De Trinitate. 2.2.5). We may take comfort and warning in the sentiments of Hilary . We have been warned by people of piety and caution not to attempt to define the ineffable nature of the human being. It is incompre- hensible even as is that greater incomprehensibility of the divine nature. As we cannot approach With our understanding the essence of God. so we cannot approach the essence of our own humanity. Mankind. too. is a mystery. I accept these reservations as apt warnings. Nonetheless. the incomprehensible God has not remained in His essential hiddenness. He has revealed Himself. not in his essence directly. but in the hypostatic or personal relations in which God's essence receives its distinct representa- tions. We know God to be Father. Son, and Holy Spirit. And we know God to be the Trinity of persons in and through His revealed activities, pre-eminently perhaps in our baptisms wherein we receive the Spirit of Sonship whereby we cry out "Abba Father" (Rom 8: 16m. We do not and cannot know God in His essence. but we do know him in the three Persons of His Godhead, in which God is in relation to Himself and graciously moves out of Himself to relate to us "from the Father. through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. .. In an analogous way, might I submit. we come to know also our own human nature. For God did not create an abstract human nature to which were then contingently added the quali- ties of maleness and femaleness. Sexual complementarity is a gift of God's creative act. Humanity is essentially binary. "Maleness" 11 and "femaleness" are strictly speaking not qualities or attributes at all: they are modes of human being. ways of being human. If we wish to understand humanity. it must be by considering humanity as male and female. Nor is our task here the wholly complex one of understand- ing humanity as male and female. It is however our task to grope toward an understanding of why. from the Biblical perspective. Paul made the prohibitions he did. At the outset we might make the observation that if Paul claims that man is the "head" of woman and that this "headship" must be indicated in the assem- bly of the Church and that this indication involves at least this . . as Paul says in I Corinthians 14. that the man speaks but the woman does not. then this claim of Paul may well be founded upon the mystery of what it means to be a male human and upon the mystery of what it means to be a female human. IfPaurs point is not in fact merely a vestige of anCient patriarchal social fOnDS. if Paul's point is not merely the temporary accommodation to histortcal circumstance. then does not the cast of Paul's injunc- tion itself imply that there is something to being a man. and there is somethingto being a woman. which demands an ordering in the assembly oIthe Church so that the distinctive modes of human being. maleness and femaleness. might be properly expressed and realized? Is it really a speculation or-heaven forbid!!-a flJght to catholic traditions. whether Roman or Eastern. to inquire after what we have so often called the "order of creation?" Is this not. in fact. demanded by the Biblical text itself which does speak of the sexual distinctions within humanity and which does reflect on the place and roles assigned to them both in the Church and in the home? The Bible does speak of a mutuality and reciprocity between the sexes, which mutuality and reciprocity however entalls no interchangeability or confUSion between the distinc- tions but rather a mutuality and reciprocity which has its own intIinsic order. In any case. the present feminist attack on the traditional practice of the Church. whether from the liberal or evangelical sides. finds it very difficult to make meaningful sense of the distinction of male and female in the human family. let alone in the Church. 13 There is rather a pervasive, and I would say docetlc. tendency to denigrate and to nullify that distinction as significant. This does not. of course, occur only in explicit denials of the significance of being male and being female. It occurs as well In the neglect of taking the question as significant or in the refusal to believe the question approprtate in seeking the ratio- nale for Paul's prohibitions against women in the pastoral office. We wish now to inquire after what among us has been called the ·orderof creation." We wish also to give some reflection on the relation of the ·order of creation" to the so-called "order of redemption". for one still finds with great frequency the argument that in the Gospel the patterns of the "order of creation" are 12 overcome, transcended. ortransfonned, and this is understood to mean that something structurally totally new is come in the Gospel. Against this view, the Commission on Theology and Church Relation's 1985 report, "Women in the Church", stated that the "distinctive identities forman and woman in their relation to each other were assigned by God at creation. These identities are not nullified by ChIist's redemption, and they should be reflected in the church."14 This very point was rightly reiterated by Dr. Samuel Nafzgerin his presentation. lhe Order of Creation. or the Creator's Order", delivered in October 1989 at a conference in Minneapolis. 15 These two presentations make an essential point: the distinction between man and woman, given in the creation, is not unrelated to ordered distinctions in the Church. What is left unclear in both. however. is why the distinctive identities for man and woman should be reflected in the Church. What is the nature of this 'should'? It is at this point that we wish to think in a supplemental and complementary manner to what our church body has said in the past. In a recently published article the Rev. George L. Murphy of Tallmadge. Ohio, makes an appeal to MissouIi for the ordination of women. 16 I would like to use some of his discussion as a lead into my own. M urphy's own article is divided in to three parts: (1) in the first part he discusses the question of the continuing relevance of the Pauline prohibitions and other passages which he believes bespeak a Biblical attitude which allows the ordination of women; (2) in the second section Murphy gives a short discussion on certain aspects of the Church's tradition and argues that even Lutheran tradition appears to allow the ordina- tion of women (he discusses a quotation from the 17th century Lutheran, Nicholaus Hunruus), but that in any case no tradition in itself is for a Lutheran authoritative unless it has "clear and unambiguous support from scripture"; (3) finally in the third section Murphy addresses general theological issues. among them the "orders of creation". the distinction between prophets and priests, the question of the pastor's representation of the person of Christ, and the relation of the pastoral office to the Church as a community of priests. Not all of Rev. Murphy's arguments are of equal weight and interest. Yet, he meIits a thoughtful response. Here I have time only to be selective in my response, but I do wish to dwell especially upon his remarks in the third section concerning the relationship of the person of the pastor to the person of Christ and the relation of the Office of pastor to the people as a whole. _ (1) I begin with some remarks of Rev. Murphy about the continuing validity and authority of the Pauline injunctions which traditionally make up the argument for the ordination of men alone. Rev. Murphy does not demean these passages of Paul, and it is evident that he does not wish to be facile in his use of 13 them. His argument. he says. is not "the simplistic one that the biblical authors were 'wrong', or that these passages are irrel- evant simply because they refer to a context dille rent from ours ... Rather. he argues. there are good reasons for believing "these authOritative statements to refer to particular situations in the first century. and therefore not automatically binding in all other situations." Acts 15:29. for example. whIch forbids the eating of blood. is authoritative Scripture. yet today. argues Murphy, we are not for that reason forbidden from eating blood sausage. And this is true even though the prohibition of "blood" had deep theological roots in the Noachic covenant. The conditional character of Paul's statements concerning the speaking of women in the Church do not mean. argues Murphy. that the Church may simply ignore them. "They continue to say that in some situations it may be appropriate for some groups within the church not to hold the pastoral office .... But it cannot be said that in prinCiple any gender or race must be excluded." Murphy believes that the fact that these passages are dealing with particular circumstances implies that there may continue to be situations which-presumably for reasons of peace. decency, or order-require some persons not to be admit- ted to the pastoral office. That is the continuing relevance of Paul's statements. However, no gender or race can in principle be excluded. We shall forego any comment on the matter of race which here for unexplained reasons appears in the discussion. I am unaware that anyone at any time in the Church's history has been debarred from the pastoral office because of race. At least that is certaJnly true of the claSSical tradition to which I have alluded above. It appears that here Murphy is simply overcome by a modem American sensibility which finds itself unable not to mention the equality of the races and the sexes in the same breath. But the text has nothing to do with the question of whether persons of race may preach in the assembly. It does make the explicit statement that women ought not preach in the assembly. That is. it appears to be precisely the case that one gender is In principle excluded from the function of preaching in the assembly. And as the parallel passages of I Corinthians 11 and especially I TJmothy 2 make clear. this exclusion is grounded not on the basis of what in view of the culture and society would be considered proper.·decent. and in good order. Nor. we should add. does Paul argue on the basis of a covenant which arises in view ofhumanity·s previous rebellion. Paul argues on the basiS of the stoty of creation wherein man and woman relate to one another according to an order initially willed by the Creator: -Adam was formed first. then Eve," The Apostle argues his case on the basts of a more encompassing context. namely, the creation orman and woman. Not inCidentalirregulartties occa- sion his full theological response. He could certainly have demanded decent and orderly behavior of the Corinthians on the 14 basis of common notions of orderliness and propriety. Bu t he did not do so. The question of a man or of a woman speaking in the assembly connoted an order given by God at the creation and an order which continues in the Church. At this point. however, the Rev. Murphy makes an interest- ing argument. It is risky. he writes, to base the traditional argument on "the simple temporal order of creation in Genesis 2. ,., Murphy recognizes that I Timothy 2 does give the order of creation as an argument for the silence of women in the assembly. However. that does not mean, he argues. that conclusions drawn from such an argument hold unconditionally. The same order of creation argument is used by Paul for the veiling of women. If. however. despite the order of creation argument. the veiling of women is no longer required, "then it is inconsistent to argue that the silencing of women prescribed in I Timothy must always be maintained because creation-based arguments were used to support it. This is a question worth pondering. And I would like to begin a reflective response by asking a prior question: is the wearing of the veil in the assembly and the speaking of the woman in the assembly the same kind of activity? I would.1ike to suggest that they are not. Of course, were it yet today the case that the absence of the veil would in our culture be regarded as the self- assertion of the woman against the man. we would still today. I submit. have to require the wearing of the veil. And this would be so precisely for the reasons Paul indicates. However. does the wearing of the veil in itself and apart from a cultural context denote the self-assertion of a woman against men. Obviously it does not. In our culture the wearing of a veil or the absence of a veil has lost its voice. Neither behavior says anything except perhaps something about the personal taste of the woman or maybe of the man she wishes to please. The wearing of the veil has no organic relation to the being of woman and her posture within the community of persons. However, there is indication in the text itself that a similar reflection cannot be made of the speaking of woman 1rt the assembly. In I Corinthians 14 Paul says that "it is shameful for a woman to speak in the assembly" (v. 35). The word here translated "to speak" is the Greek word lalein which is a virtually a technical term for preaching (see also Matt 9: 18~ 12:46; Mark 2:2; Luke 9:11: John 8: 12: Acts 4: 1: 8:25; 13:43; I Cor 2:7; 2 Cor 12: 19; Eph 6:20; Phil 1: 14). That the term is used to Signify the activity of preaching as a teacher may be seen from the parallel text of I Tim 2: 11 ff where the word "to teach" or "to instruct" (didaskein) is used. What therefore seems to be indi- cated by Paul in these passages is that a woman ought not to take the pOSition of the one who preaches or teaches in an authoritative way, that is, a woman ought not to speak the message of the Church for the Church and unto the Church. Now, the Church relates to such speaking in a vastly more Significant way than the Church relates to the weaIing of veils. The Ch urch organically 15 relates to such preaching and teaching as that which is created by and through suching speaking. In short. the Church is constituted in the hearing of faith which arises out of such authoritative speaking. And this fact. I would like to argue. possesses a substantive and organic relation to the relational order of man and woman given in the creation. When we read in Genesis 1:27 that "God created the man (adam. ho anthropos) in His own image, in the image of God He created him (singular), male (zakcu1 and female (neqebah) He created them", we gain our first clear indication of how central to the Biblical vision the distinction of gender actually is. In some discussions this is denied by referring to the use of "adam" in the Hebrew or to the use of "anthropos" in the Septuagint. both of which can be used to render common humanity. Only then are the distinctions male and female indicated. Hence, the argument goes, there is a common humanity created by God which exists, so to speak, independent of and autonomous to the concrete distinctions of male and female. We are, uyou will, humans first and male or female in a secondary way. However, what is not often observed is that in the Hebrew text at the word him ("in the image of God He created him", sing) there is a mark called an athnach which creates a pause in the narrative, something like an id est (1. e.), a .. that is". It is after this athnach that the words "male and female created He created them" continue. An athnach divides two parts of a sentence into its logical parts so that what comes second makes clear the inner logic of what comes first. In the case of Gen 1 :27 we might therefore render like this: "In the image of God He created him and by this we mean male and female did God create in His image."17 In short what this means is that in the mention of "adam" already in Gen 1:27 no idea of a generic humanity apart from the concretions male and female is pos- sible. 18 This athnach has the further effect of preparing us for the creation account of Genesis 2 where. in a clear narrative way, Adam and Eve are distinguished. From the very beginning of the Bible. therefore, it is evident that maleness and femaleness are constitutive aspects of human being. There is no humanity. there is no personh9Od apart from male humanity. male personhood and female humanity. female personhood. 19 Masculinity and femininity are. as I noted above, constitutively connected to the person: they are modes of human being, ways ofbeing human. Now. if this Is true, the implications are important. If masculinity and femininity are not merely qualifying adjectives alongside other adjectives like brown hair, blue eyes, and dark skin. then all that a person does is done either in a masculine or in a feminine way. and that includes what we are wont to call the spiritual actMties of individual. The gift of the Holy Spirit which we receive when we are united into Christ does not, as it were. impart some sort of spiritual nature to our natural 16 selves. so that. apart from our human selves as man and wonlan. there is a new. undifferentiated spiritual nature. common to both man and woman. which manifests itself by prodUCing or allowing only the selfsame. undifferentiated activities for both man and woman. The common gift of the Spirit does not mean that there can be no differentiation in spiritual matters any more than the cormnon gift of the life-giving Spirit of creation means there can be no differentiation in the activities of created nature. Bu t this refusal to allow for differentiation is the effect of the common. contemporary use of Gal. 3:28 which wishes to see in this passage the assertion that in Christ there is neither male nor female. and this in such a way that being male or being female has simply ceased to be important in the arena of the Church. The "order of redemption" has transformed the "order of creation" so that the order of creation simply no longer functions in the Church. As illustrative of this. I would like to quote from Prof. Gilbert Bilekizian of Wheaton College. who writes the following in hiS book. Beyond Sex Roles: The transforming power of the gospel needs to be applied to individual lives and to the way Christians relate among them- selves. Fragmentation and divisions consUtu te ... weapons in Satan's arsenal against the people of God. Where God wants to create unity and cohesion. the enemy seeks to cause alienation and separation .... The concept of sex roles is one of those bondages from which the gospel can set us free. Nowhere does the Scripture command us to develop our sex-role aware- ness as males and females. It calls us ... to acquire the mind of Christ and to be transformed in His image [Gal 3:27; Eph 4: 13; Phil 2:5: and so on). Both men and women are called to develop their 'inner man'. which means their basic personhood in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. 20 Quite evident here is the spiritual monism that arises when the concretions of human being. namely. the human as male and the human as female. are not taken with sufficient Biblical serious- ness. Paul's "inner man" is identified with "basic personhood" and this is not in any way defined by the notions of maleness and femaleness. Indeed. sex roles. which after all is the only way fundamental gender differentiation can express itself. are for Bilekizian a "bondage" from which we must be set free by the Gospel. Hence. for Bilekizian. the works of the Spirit can only illegitimately be differentiated between the male and the female. In such a view. that there might be spiritual vocations which correspond to the distinction between male and female is incon- ceivable. However. it is wholly illegitimate to understand Gal. 3:28 in a way that obliterates the continuing significance of the distinc 17 tion between male and female Within the -orderofredemption~. In this regard it is important to observe that immediately followincr GaL 3:28. that is in Gal. 3:29. Paul introduces the terminology of human sexuality and does so in order to define our being in Christ in terms of the Old Testament covenant and therefore not surprisingly in terms. of the .masculin~ role o.fbegetting: "For you are all one (Note: thIS is elS masc.) m Chnst. but if you are of ChriSt. then you are the seed (spenna) of Abraham. heirs of the promise." There is no radical diSjunction here between the patriarchal story of Abraham in the Old Testament (Abraham means "father of a multitude: his previous name. Abram. means .. the father be exalted") and the new life of unity in Christ throucrh the Holy Spirit. Indeed. a patriarchal story is used to e..xplicate the Gospel of Christ. Because the SCriptures in fact do conSider the human race as consisting in two consubstantial forms and therefore conSider these two forms. male and female. as of enduring and abiding significance, it is not surprising but rather to be expected that the Bible is not unaware of distinctive spiritual roles which corre- spond to roles given to masculinity and which correspond to roles given to feminlnity. It is not to be overlooked. let alone denigrated. that when the Scriptures speak of God or of those who represent Him to the people of God. it does so predominately throucrh masculln~ imagery. And similarly. it is not to be overlooked thOat when the SCriptures speak of the people of God and their relation to God. it does so predOminately by means of feminine imagery. And here. with our specifiC purpose in mind. we reiterate the fact that those figures. both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. who serve as fundamental representatives or types of the redemptive purposes of God in Christ are male figures. There is the figure of Adam. the figure of Abraham. the figure of Moses (prophet like Moses). the kings of Israel, especially the figure of David. There is also the idea of the first-born son. and there is even the figure of the sacrificial, passover lamb which. according to Exodus 12. was to be a male lamb of one year's age {also: the scapegoat and the goat of the sin offering for the yearly Feast of Expiation were males. Leviticus 16). We mention here also the fact that the Christ himself. to whom all these masculine types point. assumed his human nature in the masculine mode of human being. and we mention finally the fact that Christ chose as his apostles only males. We are. of course. aware that there are arguments made that these last two items were mere divine accommodations to the patriarchal social forms of the time and that had Christ come as a woman his mission would have been correspondingly less acceptable and less effective.21 Quite apart from the fact that his mission was rejected rather consIderably as it was, this argument is one self-serving of a prior feminist interest and the,refore is lR unwilling to take seriously the actual facts of the salvation history. Similarly, the argument that if the masculinity of the apostles is significant, then the Jewishness of the apostles must likewise have similar abiding sIgnificance fails to recognize that while Jewishness is not a constitutive feature of human being, maleness and femaleness is constitutive of human being. Again, we are dealing here not with contingencies but with elemental features of human existence. Does the masculinity of Jesus have anything to say to us about the question of the ordination of women? Does the pastor represent the person of Jesus in a way which creates an ecclesial proprIety which is transgressed should a woman be placed into the office of Word and Sacrament? From the Lutheran Confes- sions we are aware of the view that the pastor represents Christ's person. For example, in the Apology, in the article "On the Church", Melanchthon discusses the question of the validity of sacraments administered by unworthy ministers. He writes that sacraments administered by such ministers are true sacraments because "they do not represent their own persons but the person of Chrtst. because of the Church's call, as Christ testifies, 'He who hears you hears me' (Luke 10: 16]."'22 The reference to Luke 10 makes it vtrtually certain that the confessor thought of the minister as the voice of Christ rather than any kind of physical image of the Savior. In the words of the minister one hears the words of Christ, and. therefore. the one who hears must receive in faith the very spoken words of the minister. We, of course. recognize and confess this same view. But now we inquire after the meaning of the masculine form of Jesus' humanity and how this migh t in fact relate to the Pauline injunctions that only a man may be a pastor. Is there something about the masculine character of the pastor whIch is fit and apt to represent the position of the l.()rd in the conununity of hiS saints? There are those, of course, who think that the very question evinces an inadmissable Romanizing tendency. That is certainly not the intent. I have tried to indicate why it appears in terms of the Bible's own thought and form that such a question. especially in light of contemporary discussion, is de- manded. even trthe answer is yet to be clearly adumbrated. But to allay any reSidual fears. we do not suggest that there is anything given to the ordained rnin1sterwhich bestows upon him some ontologIcal capacity whereby is effected "an approximation to Christ as mediator and redemptive head of the Ch urch. '"23 If the pastor in the midst ofthe congregation is able in some natural way to represent Christ by virtue of his masculinity, it will not be beca use of something added to him by ordina tion or consecration. Christ redeems nature. making nature itself to be the bearer of the things of the Spirit. Therefore. any such natural representation will exist by virtue of the fact that God so willed to order creation 19 such that it presages in itself the consummation of the Holy Spirit in Christ and His Church. Or as Susannah Herzel has said, the creation is "prophetic material'", for it pOints to some future which is more complete. 24 There are many voices, and by no means only radical ones, which believe that the maleness of Christ has no significance, neither in the matter of who may become a pastor nor even in the matter of the Savior's redemptive work. I would like to refer to three worthy proponents of such a view. make to each a short response, and then briefly develop my own thoughts. Professor Eric Gritsch. referring especially to Robert Jensen. writes that when Jesus called God "Father". he did not address a male God. Jesus' historical reality-as the revelation of God-transcends such and other designations into a genuine sphere of God-talk which no longer reflects the suspicions and broken relationships of sinful human creatures. The Gospel frees us from feeling guilty abou t the use of imperfect language and analogies which we need to express praise and thanks to the God who justifies the ungodly.25 To this we must simply say that in the New Testament the historical reality of Jesus-as the revelation of God-does not transcend the designation of God as "Father" and move us into "a genuine sphere of God -talk." Rather, it is precisely the historical o reality of Jesus' humanity ,which reveals. not just God, but God as the Father. and therefore the name of "Father" becomes the Name addressed by those who. as Paul says in Romans 8, have received the Spirit of the adoption of sons (v. 15: pneuma huiothsias). The God-talk of the Bible remains in every case concrete. creaturely. and historical. It does not fly off into some "genuine God-talk". and I suspect that this is so because the Bible does not believe that the things of creation need to be transcended for God to be rightly and truthfully spoken.26 Nor is this point vitiated by the fact that in the present age the things of creation bear the brokenness of sin. It is in the revelation of the Christ in the flesh. in his concrete humanity. that we see. in faith and in hope, the consummation of that given in the beginning. Pastor George Murphy. in the article mentioned above, adduces a Christological consideration to argue that it is wrong to think of the pastoral representation of Christ only in masculine terms. He refers to the claSSical Christological doctrine of the anhypostasis of Christ's human nature. According to this doc- trine, the flesh of Christ has no independent or autonomous personhood apart from the incarnation of the Word of God. In the incarnation. however, that flesh which possessed no personhood of its own received personhood by its assumption into the Person of the eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity. Therefore. concludes Pastor Murphy, that humanity assumed by Christ is that humanity common to both men and women, and both can equally, therefore, represent Christ.27 Murphy is certainly correct in the view that the Christological doctrine of 20 Chalcedon. especially those aspects most beholden to Cyril of Alexandria. understood the tenn -flesh"-the Word became flesh- to be a generic tenn referring to human nature as a whole. Christ . . the Word. did not unite to Himself only one individual but united to Himself the entire human race.28 Nonetheless. one ought not overlook the fact that the ChalcedorUan Fathers developed their Christology in the light of the requirements of so teriology. Christ as the Savior of all must bear the humanity of alL Nevertheless. as post·Chalcedonian diSCussion indicates. the Fathers were alive to the dangers of conceIVing the humanity of Christ in some PlatOniC fashion whereby Christ's humanity was some kind of abstraction and in no way a specific humanity. That would be the worst kind ofmonophysitism. a virtual denial orthe true human- ity of Christ. The Fathers who interpreted Chalcedon were equally of the opinion that Christ was a concrete human figure. The fact that Christ had assumed "human nature in general" did not exclude the fact that he was human within the specificities of a distinct human person. and that would have included Christ's reality as male.29 Therefore. while it was not an expliCit feature of post-Chalcedoruan discUSSion. the maSCUlinity of Christ was impliCitly asserted. Finally. there is the recent book by Adrian Hastings, Profes- sor of Theology at the University of Leeds. who likewise argues on the basis of the incarnation of Christ. specifically referring to the words of the Nicene Creed that the Christ was made "man". homo in the Latin and anthropos in the Greek. both terms meaning "generic humanIty." Hastings argues: the issue is "whether God in being incamaUonally particular does or does not mysteriously break through the bonds of any and every limitation thus imposed. If the male/female wall of binary division remains operative. any more than the Jew/Gentlle wall of binary division, then not all is assumed. not all is redeemed."3O Again we need to say that while the generic humanity of ChriSt was afilrmed by the creeds of the Church in order to assert the universal. all- encompassing salvific work of the Savior. the specific character of Christ's humanity was never denied. other than perhaps by those of an Apollinanan or Monophyslte bent. But in Hastings too we see the antipathy of many toward the particularities and concretions of creation. Hastings notes no difference in the distinction between male and female and the distinction between Jew and Gentile. That one is a created distinction. present inherently in the organic unity ofhuman1ty. while the other is a contingent distinction which has arisen within the movement of history Is apparently of no matter to Professor Hastings. Rather. he sees in both distinctions ~alls of binary division." When that language is applied to the distinction of male and female. there is to be noted an unmistakeable Manichaean negativism toward the c~eation as such. While making much show of being conversant WIth patristic Christology. Hastings is oblivious to the fact that the - 21 Fathers asserted as an essential element of their Chnstology that Christ was the new Adam and as such the Head of a new humanity. a new humanity which, to be sure. encompassed all human beings. both male and female. In our own reflections we wish to advance two arguments. (1) In discussion concerning the continuing relevance of gender the relation between the "order of creation" and the "order of redemption" often arises. Many think that the "order of redemp- tion." transcending and transfOrming the "order of creation." presents a different configuration of human existence all-to- gether. Many others. and here I would classify most Missouri- Synod Lutherans. thinkofthe "order of creation" as the implanted will of God in the structure of things and as such it is the expressIon of God's immutable will. The "order of redemption. ,. on the other hand, constitutes a new existence in a new world brought by Christ. and this existence is determined by grace. This is. in fact. the very posturing of these two "orders" in the 1985 CTCR document. ""Women in the Church." Here, to be sure. the "order of creation" is said to be sanctified and hallowed by Christ's work. There is between the two "orders" a relationship of contlnu- ity (the first is not destroyed in the second. but continues as sanctified in the second). Yet, one searches in vain in the CTCR document for any organic relationship between the "order of creation" and the "order ofredemptlon" whereby the purposes of God for the world in Christ are already enVisioned. presaged. and prophesied In the "order of creation" itself. I have already referred to the striking phraseology of Susannah Herzel's that the creation is "prophetic material" pointing to some greater and more com- plete future. Along that same line. I would like to suggest that the creating activity of God and the redeeming actiVity of God are not two qualitatiVely distinct ways of the divine working. but that they are organically related. The way God works creattvely (and this (:from the beginning) and the way God works redemptively are not intrinsically different but are united in intention and purpose. Perhaps one can express the POint like this: the redemptive work of God brings the creative work of God~ presently under the alien dominion of sin and death. to its intended purpose and goal. If this is the case, then the "order of creation" Is not transformed in the "order ofredemptlon" but Is rather illUminated in the "order of redemption". We perceive the "order of creation" most clearly in the "order of redemption." That Chr1st, the Head of the new humanity, was male was Dot due, therefore. to some requirement to maintain the "order of creation." It is not that Christ was a male human person because in the "order of creation" God had given . headship and authority to the man. Adam. Rathe!,', God who created h umank1nd in order that He might have communion with it in and through His Word gave the headship of humanity to the man. Adam. in view of the eschatological goal of humanity which is Christ and His Church. Because in the final purpose and telos of God for the world the man Jesus Christ was to be the Head of his Body. the Church (which relates to Christ as Bride to Bridegroom). God in the beginning gave Adam to be head to Eve. As Paul says ... the head of woman is the man" (I Cor. 11:3), and "Adam was created first (or perhaps "as the first"). then Eve" (I Tim. 2: 13). This makes perfectly good sense of two passages of Paul. The first we have already clearly implied. Eph 5:23-33. As is evident in this passage, Paul is implicitly appealing to the creation story of man and woman in Genesis 2. This passage intimately combines the creation of Eve from Adam, the recogni- tion of Adam that the woman is "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." and the unity they have together as "one flesh" in the marriage bond. That Adam possesses "headship" within this "one flesh" of the marriage bond is clear. However. in Ephesians 5 Paul's point is not that Christ's love for his Bride. the Church. is patterned after what was to be the case between Adam and Eve in the Garden. Rather, it is in view of Christ's love for hiS Bride, the Church. that husbands are to love their wives and that wives are to be subject to their husbands as to their head. The true marriage was not that marriage in the Garden. The true marriage is that between ChIist and the Church. All other marriages (including that frrst one in the Garden)-and this is true the more marriages are blessed by love-are faint images and icons of that Marriage of the Lamb :with his Bride. the Church. The second passage is Rom. 5: 14 where Adam is explicitly called ·the type of the One who is to come (has estin typos tou mellontos). Here we see more explicitly yet that what transpired in the Garden was in view of that perfect speaking of God when the Wordhimselfwould become man and be. as the Second Adam. also the perfect Adam. Adam in himself was prophetic; he pOinted toward the Christ who was to come as the man Jesus. It is utterly erroneous. therefore. to think that the "order of creation" has been overcome in the ·order of redemption." for it was in view of the "order of redemption" that the "order of creation" itself was ordered the way it was. The "order of creation" is not merely sanctified and hallowed in the "order of redemption ... The "order of creation" comes to its own completion. to its intended goal and end in the ·order of redemption". (2) Finally. we tum again to the fact that in Paul's discussion of the relation between man and woman the story of the creation of man and woman in Genesis 2 is foundational. Adam was ~reated first; then Eve (I Tim. 2: 13). Paul's language in I Cor. 11:8 IS more vivid and more instructive: "man Is not from woman. bu t woman from man" (gyne ex andras) . . Adam Is the source of woman'S being: she Is bone from his bone and flesh from hiS flesh (ostoun ek ton osteon mou kai sarx ek tas sarkos nou; Gen. 2:23 l..XX). Adam does not, therefore, relate to Eve merely in terms of a temporal sequence: he was first and she was second. Rather. 23 - he relates to Eve as one who has a posture, a position, a vocation vis-a-uis Eve, a vocation which earlier in I Corinthians 11 is indicated by calling the man "the head" of woman (v. 3). What "headship" in part means can be discerned in Col. 2: 19 where Christ as "Head" is the One "from whom" (ex hou) the whole body (here. the Church) is nourished and receives its growth. Being "head" includes the notion (at least in Biblical usage) of source from which another's being. life. and sustenance is derived. Not inSignificantly. therefore. Paul can deSignate Jesus as "the last Adam" who became "'a life-giving spirit" (l Cor. 15:45). Adam is the one from whom Eve's life is derived and to whom Eve relates as to the source of her life. That such derivation does not involve essential inequality is clear: Eve, coming from Adam. relates to him as "bone from his bone and flesh from his flesh." Yet. this relationship of equals is not a relationship of independent and autonomous equals. It is a relationship of equals which has its own intrinsic and organic order and which is not given to interchangeability and mutual reciprocity.31 It is a relationship of equals established in and through the creating of God and consists in the bestowal of the self of one upon another and the corresponding receiving by the other of the one's self-giving. Adam relates to Eve as the one who gives of himself to her. Eve relates to Adam as the one who receives Adam's self-giving. This relationship of giving and receiving between Adam and Eve relates to fundamental differences between the Biblical creation narrative and the pagan creation accounts of the anCient Near East. First of all. in creation accounts of the ancient Near East .(such as in the BabylOnian Enuma Elish) human beings are created to be servants of the gods. However. in the Genesis account. God creates mankind and gives to it the bleSSings of a good earth and dominion over the earth. God creates mankind in order to be Servant to it. As Creator God gives to His creatures all those good things they need for this body and life. Already in creation. therefore. God is Lord precisely in His servanthood. He is Lord in His bestowal of life. both in the giving and in the sustaining of life. Secondly, ancient creation myths frequently derived the existence of the earth from female deities. These deities were usually nature I harvest deities and were the symbolic representa- tions of the mysterious force of the life and fecundity of the earth. The natural cycle of springtime and harvest was understood to be divine, and the natural potency and fertility of the earth were rttually dJvinJ..zed. the gods and goddesses being portrayed as frankly sexual beings who lusted. mated. gave birth. and were the fathers and mothers of the creatures they procreated. In such a view the rhythms of the goddess and of reUgious life were governed by repetition. by times and seasons. Being governed by the repetition of the seasons these goddess religions had no function 24 ing concept ofthe future nor of divine purpose. The idea o1'a divine Mother. therefore. is associated with the idea of a divine earth. The distinction between God and the creation is compromised, and the notion of God's transcendence is lost. But with the loss of the distinction between God and the world there is the corresponding loss of the ideas of divine grace (God wills to love) and ofhope (in divine purpose and in the possibilityofnewness).32 In view of such pagan ideas the theological structure implicit in naming God "Father" begins to be evident. We should. however. be aware of the important fact that the questionofGod's "Fatherhood" and the question of His masculinity are entirely distinct. The Church has always been aware of the divine prohibition given in Deut. 4:15-16: "Since you saw no fonnon the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst ofthe fire. beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the fOIm of any figure, the likeness of male or female." The pagan nature religions surrounding ancient Israel found their opposite in the Old Testament worship which e..x- cluded the depiction of God as either male or female. It was. in fact. against the heresy of Arianism that the Church most clearly detailed its belief that the Triune God is transcendent to all creaturely categories. including that of male and female. The Christian Church does not worship a male god, nor does it worship a female goddess.33 This does not mean. however. that the Christian does not worship God the Father and God the Son. For very decidedly the Church does worship God the Father and God the Son. The prophets and the apostles and the Church have simply been careful to remove God from any notion of father as a physical progenitor. God's fatherhood realizes itself apart from any motherhood. Therefore. while God is Father, there is no reality in God's being which can properly bear the desIgnation "Mother". This fact is espeCIally evidenced by the language and narrative of the New Testament. but it is by no means absent in the Old Testament. Every Semitic religIon In the ancient Near East. with the exception of Israel. had goddesses. One indication of this is the practice of giving personal names which conSist of a god's name plus the word for "father", "mother", "brother", "sister". For example, from Babylon one finds the name. Urrun1-Ishtar "my mother is Ishtar", or Samas-abi "my father is Samas". However. among the Hebrews there are many names in whIch "father" occurs, but there are none in which "mother" occurs, From the Hebrew names we may mention Abijah ('"Yahweh is my father")' Joab (,"Yahweh is father"). Eliab ("El is father") and Ablel ("father is El").34 How central the fatherhood of God is to Biblical understand- ing is indicated by God's choosing of Abram to be the progenitor of the chosen people. In the midst of a culture which possessed 25 numerous female deities God calls Abram, which means "exalted father" or .. the father is exalted", It is to Abram that God chooses to make His promises of redemption for the nations. and in so doing God changes Abram's name to Abraham "father of many nations": The Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him. "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly, ... Behold, my covenant Is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you. and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you through- out their generations for an everlasting covenant. to be God to You and to your descendants after you· (Gen. 17:1-7) God makes His fatherhood known by choosing a man to be -father" of many. But what is important to note is that God's fatherhood is indicated by His free and gratuitous election of Abraham. and in him of Israel. God related to Abraham as a distinct Other who. while free and possessing transcendent autonomy (-God AlmJghty"). chooses to focus and to direct His love to a particular people and on behalf of a particular people. By making covenant with Abraham. God in effect adopts Abraham and his descendents and makes them His own. And this God does without any corresponding divine motherhood. God'sfatherhood is indicated independently of any cooperating participation by another. God litera1lymakesAbraham and his descendents to be His sons.35 It is this prevenient, free. and willing making of a people that we term grace (see Deut. 7:6-8). PrecIsely as the God of grace is God "Father", Graciously, as a father. God takes Abraham out of the nations. the tribes, and the families of the earth and makes Abraham himself to be a nation in that Abraham becomes father in the stead of Him who is Father. Abraham is released from the earthlytles of blood and family relationship and is oriented toward a future not determined by earthly bonds but by the everlasting covenant of grace and mercy in which God everlastingly chooses to be the God of Abraham and his descen- dents.36 It is in the election of Israel that God the Fatherbecomes, in Abraham. Father to the people of Israel. And this thematic is central also to the message of the New Testament. For example, the Prologue of the Gospel of John makes clear that the people of . God are not made by means of a natural, sexual fatherhood. but by the will of God: "to all who received him. who believed in hIs 26 name, he gave power to become the children of God: who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man. but of God" (John 1: 12-13). Similarly. Paul indicates that the Christian is the child of Abraham by faith and that therefore the Gentiles. and not only the Jews. have access to the grace of the Gospel (Romans 4). That God the Father becomes our father through the free and gracious adoption of us in Christ is nicely sunnnarized in Rom. 8: 15. which refers to our baptisms: "For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. but you have received the Spirit of sons hip bywhom we cry 'Abba. Father'" (aUa elabete pneuma huiothesias en hoi kratzomen abbi ho patar) . The Greek word translated wsonship" really means wadopted as son" or "placed into sonship". In our baptisms into Christ. therefore. we receive the Holy Spirit whereby we are made sons of the Father (by the Father's gracious adopting of us) and for that reason we call God "Father", It is not incidental. therefore. that in the earliest commentaries on the Lord's Prayer the introductory words "Our Father" were explained by language reminiscent of Christian baptism (Tertullian. Cyprian). Now what does all of this have to do with the maleness of Jesus? As we have noted. against the subordinationism of Arianism the Church Fathers frequently asserted that true and proper fatherhood belongs to God alone.37 However. fatherhood is proper to God because He eternally generates the divine Son. This generation of the Son from the Father is not a generation on the basis of will. That would be the position of the Arians. and moreover such a generation of the Son from the Father would be like the creaturely begetting of a son by a human father. Rather. the eternal generation of the Son from the Father involves what is sometimes called a "communication of essence" whereby the Godhead of the Father is imparted to the Son so that the Son is "of one substance with the Father" (NiceneCreed). It is. therefore. in the Son that the Father. so to speak. moves out of Himself and resides in another. It is the Son who bears in Himself the Father. As is well known. it is New Testament witness that the eternal Son of the Father became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1: 14). The significance of this is that in the human person of Jesus Christ the heavenly Father comes to us. The divine Father declares His will to be our Father in the person of His incarnate Son. It is the man Jesus who bringS the heavenly Father to the world. Or. in the striking words of Irenaeus (c. 180 AD.). "all saw the Father in the Son; for the Father is the invisible of the Son. but the Son the visible of the Father."38 Such remarks are in strict agreement with the words of Jesus himself: "He who has seen me has seen the Father .... Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me" (John 14:9-11). Now the Father reveals Himself in the incarnate Son. that is. in the specific humanity which the Son assumed into Himself. That concrete humanity was, however, a male humanity. And it is evident why that was so. Within the order of creation it is in fact the male member of the human race who may, as God wills it, become a father. The male human being alone has the natural capacity to be a father. Within the human order, therefore. it is the masculine image which is naturally apt to connote fatherhood. Indeed, a feminine image is naturally unsuited as an image and indication of fatherhood, for a woman can not by nature be a father. Nevertheless. it was precisely the purpose of Christ's incarnate life, death, and resurrection that He bring the Father and restore us again as children of the Father. It was in view of the very purpose of Christ's redemptive cOming, therefore, that He took upon Himself a male humanity. Christ's being a male was not accidental. nor was it mere accommodation to patriarchal cul- ture. As the eternal Son of the Father, who bears in Himself the Father's divine essence. He came to a sinful and mortal humanity in order to communicate and to give to the world that which He Himselfpossesses, namely. the relation of Son to the Father. And this relation of Son to the Father Christ gives in and through His humanity. The flesh of Christ was not merely some abstract. passive human "stuff' which Christ took on and assumed. It was. so to speak, the active envisagement of the Father. The flesh of Christ was. and is. the means by which the divine Father becomes Father for us. Christ in His concrete humanity remains the means by which the Father moves out of Himself in order to make us sons in His Son. the new and second Adam. Christ's flesh is not merely a dumb instrument. but it is itself flesh of the Word and therefore it speaks. "Here is your Father. Whoever sees me sees the Father. for I and the Father are one." The flesh of Christ is the active source of that new life which the Father gives by begetting us anew. as John 1: 13 speaks of it: '"Whoever believed in His name. He gave power to become the children of God; who were born. not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man. but of God." Since God so created the human race that it would be the male member who can be father. to be male is by revelation the proper mode of the incarnate Son who brings and manifests the divine Father. 39 And now. fmally. we come to the relevance all of this has for the Office of the Public Ministry. for the question ofthe ordination of women into it. and for the question of women performing those functions which are distinctive of the Office of pastor. We begin with the assertion of the Augsburg Confession that the Office of the Public Ministry is the office of the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments.40 It is important to note that this assertion of the constitutive functions of the pastoral office comes immediately after the article on Justification through faith (Art. 4) which is itself Intimately connected with the article on the Person of Jesus Christ (Art. 3). When. however. the 28 Augustana begins to speak of the Office of preaching and the sacraments. it says, "In order that we migh t obtain this U ustifying] faith. the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments was instituted." That is. the Office of preaching and administering the sacraments is instrumental in the granting of justifying faith to the believer in which we have the new life of the Holy Spirit. The preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments are the means whereby Christ Himself comes. and it is the pastor who preaches and the pastor who administers the sacraments who is representative of Christ and who speaks 0 His voice. But as we have noted. Christ does not come only to bring Himself. He came in the flesh and He comes in the preaching of the Gospel and in the administration of the sacra- ments as the One who brings the Father. The pastoral office is that office which God has placed in His Church and by which and through which He continues to engender sons of God. For those who hear the preached Gospel in faith and for those who receive in faith the Body and the Blood of Christ given and shed for them for the forgiveness of sins, God continues to be "Father" in the Christ who speaks and gives Himself. Just as it is the person of the incarnate Son who in His male humanity cOllll1lunicates to us the Father's grace, so also it is proper and right-and this in terms of the whole salvific economy of God from the beginning-that the human instrument of the Father's grace in Christ, in the concrete- ness of male humanity, be an image of the incarnate Image of the eternal Father. We need to reflect upon the inner and organic connections which bind the speaking of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments to the inner life of the most Holy Trinity. The God who is Trinity has not kept Himselfhldden from us, but for us and for our salvation has made Himself mown in the coming of the Son. The movement of the Father outside Himself whereby He imparts His very being to Another. namely the Son, finds its analogue in the creation of Eve whereby the bone of Adam's bone and the flesh of Adam's flesh was imparted to Eve. And as the diVine Son is a distinct Other, and yet an equal Other, so also was Eve a distinct other, and yet an equal other. We see the selfsame economy in the movement of the Father in Christ toward the world whereby Christ, as the new Adam, became a "life-giving spirit" and brought to pass the new Eve, which is the Church. And we see finally the selfsame economy in the movement of the Father in Christ by means of preaching and the sacraments. whereby children of God are engendered by grace through faIth. Where the pastor forgives our Sins. where the pastor preaches the Gospel. and where the pastor gives to us the Body and Blood of Christ. there the heavenly Father. who wills that we be His children. graciously and alone makes us to be His children, or, as Paul says. children of Abraham by faith (Romans 4). In the context of the pastoral office a male pastor remains the apt representative of the 29 Father's grace whereby all. male and female alike. hear the words of Christ and become the Bride of the Groom. As illustrative of the above position we take a couple of contexts from our Lutheran liturgy. First of all. we adduce the confession and absolution of sins:u At the beginning of the worship service. the people say. "If we confess our sins. God. who is faithful and just. will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It becomes immediately clear who "God" really is when the pastor continues. "Let us then confess our sinS to God the Father" (italiCS added). It is. then, to the Father that the people confess their sins, . and this is further indicated by the fact that the confession of sins which follows concludes with the prayer that God will forgive. renew and lead us "for the sake of your Son." When. therefore. the pastor, upon the confession of the people, speaks the words of forgiveness, it is clear that he o speaks the Father's forgiveness, which,. to be sure. has been mediated through tlre>"Son~and the Holy Spirit. The pastor. standing "in the stead of Christ", stands for the Father .. Secondly. we take a look at the prayer spoken at the conclusion of the celebration of the Lord's Supper.42 The prayer is addressed to "God the Father, the fountain and source of all goodness. who in lOving-kindness sent your only-begotten Son into the flesh". and the prayergtves thanks to God the Father that "for [Christ's) sake you have given us pardon and peace in this sacrament." From this language it is clear that the prayer regards the ultimate Giver of the sacrament, that is, of the Body and Blood of Christ, to be the Father. It is the Fatherwho for us and because of our sins gave His Son up unto death. Here then also it is evident that the pastor who administers and gives the Body and the Blood of Christ in the sacrament ought be representative of the Father who gives His Son for us. To conclude we take note of the thought of two theologians who. although taking a different emphasis than we have taken, yet conclude that the ordination of women is improper or at least unWise. Regin Prenter, a Danish Lutheran theologian. has argued that the prohIbitions of Paul (against women teaching in the Church) are not merely commandments which are culturally determined and may not have lasting relevance. They are commandments "which intend to preserve the right and pertinent tradition of the Gospel. "43 They are sImilar to the commandments of Jesus, such as the command to baptize, or to "do" the Lord's Supper. or to evangelize. Such ·commandments of the Gospel" ("Gebote des Evangeliums") command the ways in which the Gospel properly is carried forth or preserved within the Church. 30 Since the Gospel. argues Prenter, is a unity of the event of salvation history and its application through means. the external form of the means is not left to us but is given tousfrom the salvific history.44 The commandments of Paul concerning the role of Christian women in the Christian worship assembly arejust such "commandments of the Gospel." Paul speaks commandments which are analogous to Christ's commands to baptize and to celebrate the Lord's Supper in that they intend, like Christ's. to order the continuing life of the Church in such a way tha t the reality of the Gospel and the new life it engenders is sustained and maintained. Concerning the institution of the means of grace, argues Prenter, one may not merely regard them as activities and therefore believe that only their form is binding upon the Church. One must also consider the office which administers the means of grace and the fonn in which it was instituted. "If the history of salvation and the means of grace are something historically given. then they must be continued [in the Church] in the same way in which they were historically given."45 In this view, therefore. the fact that Christ gave the command to baptize and to celebrate the Lord's Supper to his apostles is not indifferent to the question of who may properly administer the sacraments in the on-going life of the Church. The second theologian is James I. Packer, a prominent evangelical theologian with English roots. In a recent article he summons the evangelical community to rethink its somewhat precipitous rush toward the ordination of women into the presbyterate (roughly corresponding to our pastoral office). He presents four arguments. 1) The Reformation prinCiple of the a~thOrity of SCripture includes the idea of the sufficiency of Scripture. Yet. despite the clear affirmation of women by Jesus, the New Testament nowhere indicates that women functioned as presbyters. Obedience to the SCriptures seems to indicate that it is unwarranted to introduce a practice in the exercise of the presbyteral office which is not indicated in the sufficient Scrip- tures. 2) Packer's second argument is that Christ is the true minister in all Christian ministry, and that the words and acts of Christ's ministers are the "medium of his personal ministry to us." Packer's comments at this point are worthy of quotation. "Since the Son of God was incarnate as a male, it will always be easier, other things being equal, to realize and remember that Christ is ministering in person jf his human agent and representative is also male... Stated structures of ministry should be designed to create and sustaIn with fullest force faith knowledge that Christ is the true minister. Presbyterallead- ership by women, therefore, is not the best option. That one male is best represented by another male is a matter of 31 common sense; that Jesus' maleness is basic to his role as our incarnate Savior is a matter of biblical revelation", To mini- mize the maleness shows a degree of failure to grasp the space-time reality and redemptive significance of the Incarna- tion; to argue that gender is irrelevant to ministry shows that one is forgetting the representative role of presbyteralleader- ship,"46 It is of especial interest that an evangelical theologian of Packer's stature makes this kind of argument, for it is sometimes claimed that such an argument, for it is sometimes claimed that such an argument represents a Romanizing tendency or is mere speculation. Those who make such claims may wish to take Packer's exhortation to heart and to think again about the implications of the doctrines of creation and of the incarnatipn for the reality of the Church and its life as a renewed humanity, 3) One cannot rightly ignore the significance of gender. Male and female are set in a ·nonreversible relation" in which leadership responsiblity is given primarily to the man. Since presbyters are set apart for authoritative leadership. it is most proper that ·paternal pastoral over- sight .. be reserved for deSignated Christian men. 4) The example of Mary as a supreme model of devotion and of developing discipleship, is final proof ofthe"non-necessity of ordination for a woman who wishes to serve the Father and the Son, and of the significance that can attach to unordained roles and informal minis- tries." A concluding word: In matters of faith it is always a question of faithfulness, not of sight. The dis tinction of male and female and the Biblical model for their mutual and complementary, but nonreciprocal relationship Is a datum of revelation and must therefore be held by the perception of faith. That Christ is the Incarnate Son in whom we come to know the Father and to be known by the Father is similarly a datum of revelation and recognize thIs only by the Spirit. And finally that Paul is an apostle of the Word who was entrusted by the Word to speak of the Church and to found the Church upon his apostolic testimony and activity. that too is of faith. But because all of these things are of faith and not of sight. because they are of God and not of the world, they are easily forgotten and lost when the Church no longer with the reqUisite rigor nor with the requisite creedal interest finds it necessary to think on these thlngs. A -know-nothing" henneneutic which finds itself satisfied 'when expliCit and particular prohibitions are wanting in SCripture47 will not be competent to inquire after the inner and organiC relation between word and act, between what the incarnate Word did and what the Church must do to be faithful to the Gospel. It remains the unavoidable task of the Church to inquire after its practice and to lay bare the theological and evangelical dimensions of those it does which are significant for preserving and making vivid the Gospel of a new creation. End Notes 1. See Roger Gryson. The Ministry oj Women in the Early Church (Collegeville. MN: The Liturgical Press. 1976. 19BO), p. 106; Alme Georges Martimort. Deaconesses: An Historical Study (San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 1986), p. 195. 2. For the full Origen quotation. see Gryson, Ministry oj Women., pp. 28-29. 3. Quoted in Manfred Hauke. Women in the Priesthood?: A Systematic Analysis in the UghtojtheOrderojCreationandRedemption(San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 1988}, p. 447. 4. CTCR Report "Women in the Church: Scriptural Principles and Ecc1esial Practice" (September 1985), pp. 14-15. 5. WA 8.424.20-425.6. 6. WA 8.424.30-33: "Ita mulieres Paulus prohibet loqui, non Simpliciter, sed in Ecclesia, nempe ubi sunt viri potentes loqui, ut ne confundatur honestas et oreio, cum vir multis modis sit prae muliere idoneus ad loquendum et magis cum deceat." See also the discussion of John Gerhard concerning the question of whether women also must be brought into the ministry (Loci Theologic~ Locus 23). He gives fives reasons for an answer of -No.· Among them: -man has better judgment. greater discretion and a faster pace than woman"; also, quoting Epiphanius. -woman is a deceitful sort, prone to error and endowed with humble intelligence." Here Gerhard gives explanations (rationes) for the presence of Paul's prohibitions. which explanations are indeed very likely founded upon his own historical context, and-let us say it forthrightly-an androcentric viewpoint. Obviously, such argument bears no persuasive power today. 7. Gretchen Gaebelin Hull, Equal to Seroe: Women and Men in the Church and Home (Old Tappen. NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1987). p. 26. 8. Hull, Equal to Seroe. pp. BOff. 9. Some women who have been honored by this title are Mary Magdalene: the martyr ThekJa; Helen. the mother of Emperor Constantine: and Nina. missionary to the Georgians. 33 10. We wish to distinguish clearly this task from the search for some 'general tendency' or 'main thrust' of SCripture which is then used to interpret or even to critique explicit statements of Scripture, It is a common method of many feminist writers to gather Biblical data which speaks of spiritual equality, mutual love. and the like. and then to declare that there is a general thrust in the Bible to level out all differences and distinctions, especially those based on gender. This 'general thrust' becomes a hermeneutical tool to void specific Biblical statements, like those of Paul. of abiding significance. We seek rather to ascertain the theological structure of the Bible's own witness (one might say the creedal structure of the Bible) which gives theological content to Paul's exhortations, 11. For a nice discussion of the difference between Biblical theology and speculation, see Walther Kuenneth, "Schrifttheologie und Spekulation," in: Viva Vox Evangelit Eine Festschrift fur Landesbischof D. Hans Meiser (Muenchen: Claudius-Verlag, 1951), pp, 185-95. 12. Letty M. Russell, Household of Freedom: Authority in Feminist Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987), p. 18. Russell speaks oflivtng out of "a vtsionofGod's intention for amended creation." In an important sense, she writes, Christian feminists "only have this future" since patriarchal structures as such that reconstruction of woman's place "requires a utopian faith that understands God's future as an impulse for change in the present." Russell borrows the phrase "utopic envisagement" from Beverly Harrison. 13. For example, Paul Jewett admits that he is uncertain "what it means to be a man in distinction to a woman or a woman in distinction to a man" (Man as male andJemale: A Study in Sexual Relationshipsfrom a Theological Point oJView [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 19751. p. 178). 14. CTCR Report "Women in the Church" (1985). p. 27. 15. Samuel H. Nafzger, "The Order of Creation, or the Creator's Order," Paper delivered in Minneapolis. Minnesota. October 7, 1989, p. 9. 16. George L. Murphy. "For the Ordination of Women: Lutheran Forum (Advent. 1990). pp.6-8. 17. For the athnach. see J. Wetngreen. A Practical Grammar Jor Classical Hebrew. 2nd edition (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1959). p. 21. There is the opinion that an athnach indicates simply a pause in a verse and no more. However. even if that is so, the athnach in Gen. 1:21 indicates a pause within a narrative. so that what comes 'second cannot simply introduce a novum. The "male and female" after the . athnach indicates the content of -man" before the athnach. 18. We note as well that the duality of male and female is already indicated tn v. 26 of Genesis 1. There God determines to create "man" (adam, anthropon: singular) In His image and to give ·them" (plural) dominion over the creatures (Hebrew: radah: LXX: arxetosanl. 34 19. In his commentary on Gen. 1 :27b Claus Westermann makes this same point: "the division of the sexes belongs to the immediate creation of humanity. A consequence of this is that there can be no question of an 'essence of man' apart from existence as two sexes. Humanity exists in community, as one beside the other, and there can only be anything like humanity and human relations where the human species exists in twos. W. Zimmerli is exaggerating when he writes in his commentary: 'A human being in isolation is only half a human being.' A lone human being remains a complete human being in his lonesomeness. What is being said here is that a human being must be seen as one whose destiny it is to live in community: people have been created to live with each other. This is what human existence means and what human institutions and structures show. Every theoretical and institutional separation of man and woman, every deliberate detachment of male from female, can endanger the very existence of humanity as determined by creation- (Genesis 1-11: A Commentary. translated by John J. Scullion [Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House. 19841. p. 160). 20. Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles: A Guid.eJor the Study oj Female Roles in the Bible (Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Book House. 1985). p. 208. 21. Paul Jewett asserts that there was a cultural and historical necessity for Christ to come as a male but no theological necessity (Man as male andJemale, pp. 168f.). Similarly, Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty: "Given the setting of patriarchal Judaism, Jesus had to be a male (All We're Meant to Be{Waco. Texas: . 1975J, p. 1 n). 22. See Apology 7.29: also Augustana 28.21f.: Apol. 7.47: 12.40. 23. Hauke, Women in the Priesthtxx:l?, p. 336. This book is an extremely helpful book and with considerable erudition covers a wealth of material, addressing virtually all aspects of the feminist question: Biblical, historical. philosophical. sociological. biological. psychological. etc. Yet. on occasion. as in the section of the priest's representation of Christ. Hauke advances a very distinctive Roman Catholic viewpoint which is unacceptable. A further example: ibis imaging relationship [of the priest to Christ] has its foundation in the sacrament of ordination to the priesthood. through which. in a way that goes beyond baptism by virtue of its character indelebilis. an ontological approximation to Christ is realized- (p. 338). 24. Susannah Herzel. lhe Body is the Book. - in: Man. Woman. and Priesthood. edited by Peter Moore (London: SPCK. 1978). p. 102. When I speak of some Mnaturat representation. I do not have anything especial in mind other than a representation that goes beyond that of the -Voice of Christ- and sees in the physicality of Christ something that connotes the office of the ministry. 25. Eric Gritsch. "Convergence and Conflict in Feminist and Lutheran Theolo- gies.· Dialog 24/l (WInter. 1985): 11-18. 26. Note how George Florovsky speaks about the relation between the human word and the divine Word in the Bible: "When divine truths are expressed in 35 human language, the words themselves are transformed .... The Word of Gad is not diminished when it resounds in human language. On the contrary the human word is transformed, and as it were transfigured because of the fact that it pleased God to speak in a human language- (Quoted in Deborah Belonick, Feminism in Christianity: An Orthodox Christian Response [Syosset, NY: 1983], p. 11 f.). The doctrine of the incarnation detennines the way Florovsky understands the words of Scripture: the Word became flesh, so that the flesh of Christ was itself Word. Concerning the Scriptures one might put the same thought like this: The Word of God became human word, so that the human words of Scripture are Word of God. We cannot trade this -Nicene- way of thinking about the words and narratives of the Bible for the -adoptionism" of Gritsch's way of thinking. 27. Murphy, -For the Ordination of Women," p. 8. 28. See, for example, the Christologica1 reflections of Theodore the Studite (+826 A.D.) in his Refutations of the Iconoclasts: -For Christ did not become a mere man (yivlo .. ), nor is it orthodox to say that He assumed a particular man, but rather that He assumed man in general, or the whole human nature- (tonkathholouaetoitaen olaenplws~ Refutations1.4: also 3.17: taen katholouphusird. 29. The passage of Theodore the Studite, quoted in note 28, continues with these comments: -It must be said. however, t..'la.t this whole human nature was contemplated in an individual manner (taenenatomo theopownenae~, so that He is seen and described. touched and circumscribed, eats and drinks, matures and grows, works and rests, sleeps and wakes, hungers and thirsts, weeps and sweats, and whatever else one does or suffers who is in all respects a man- (Refutations 1.4; also 3. 17). 30. Adrian Hastings, The 7heology of a Protestant Catholic (London: SCM: Philadelphia: Trinity Press International. 1990), p. 97. 31. One should note 1 Cor. 11:3which says tbatGod is -head" of Christ. Godand Christ. too, relate to one another as equals, but within a relationship of-begettirig" and -being begotten-. The Father is Father of the Son. He is not nor can become Son. The order bespeaks the position of relation one has toward the other. 32. It Is to be noted how often feminist writers expUcitly reject the idea of God's transcendence as an essential element of a patriarchal point of view. 33. See Ken Wesche. -God: Beyond Gender, Reflections on the Patristic Doctrine of God and Ferninis t Theology ... St.. Vladimir's 7heological Quarterly 30 (1986): 291- 308. The Arians subordinated the Son to the Father by denying the Son's equal divinity with the Father. They interpreted the Son's relation to the Father in strict analogy to the sonship and fatherhood of creatures. Since a human (male} father is temporally prior to his son and wills to beget a son, so also the Father is naturally prior to the Son and relates to the Son by will. Indeed, just as a human male need not be a father bu t becomes a father, SO also God is not Father but becomes Father by willing the Son. Orthodox trinitarian belief asserts that God is Father in the eternal generation of the Son who is the true Image of the Father since He participates in the Father's essence/deity (the -of one substance with the Father- 36 of the Nicene Creed). 34. Abijah (oYahweh is my father") is the name of two wo men in the Old Testamen t. Other names include Ahijah ("my brother is Yahweh"), Joah ("my brother 1s Yahweh"), and Malchijah ("my king is Yahweh-), Among Hebrew names there is no occurence of "my sister is Yahweh" or "Yahweh Is queen-, Paul V. Mankowski, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, writes: "Of the 55 recorded Hebrew sentence names which are composed of the name YHWH and a verb, each shows the masculine fonn of that verb" (Unpub- lished paper), 35. Itis interesting to note that the very words spoken to Adam and Eve "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28) are the words used of God's -multiplying" of Abraham and making him "exceedingly fruitful" (Gen. 17:2,6). Already in Abraham a new humanity based upon God's gracious election, that is, upon God's fatherhood, begins. This new humanity will find its fulfillment and completion in the true "son of Abraham" (Matt. 1: I), who is also the true Son of the Father. The order of redemption 1s based upon a fatherhood but withou t a corresponding motherhood. 36. The image of "mother" is incapable of connoting this Biblical idea of grace and the idea of purpose (eschatology) which accompanies it. The earth is not free in its giving forth of fruit and harvest. It is in the nature of the earth to bear harvest. A seed is planted and the earth naturally nurtures the seed and eventually bears fruit. The earth is not gracious in doing so; it must by its nature do so, So it is also with woman. When a male seed is implanted in her, she does not will to bear a child. Her nature is such that she nurtures that seed and eventually bears a child, and this sometimes quite against her will (as we know from the abortion debate). It is important to grasp this important point of Biblica11magery and nomenclature, for in the present context of feminized theology the idea of nurture is frequently advanced as the equivalent of grace. 37. For example. Athanasius. Orations against the Arfans 1.21: after noting that among creatures fatherhood and sonship are characterized by serial succession (a son of a father becomes In tum the father of a son, and so on) and division of nature he continues, "1bus it belongs to the Godhead alone. that the Father is properly father, and the Son properly son, and in Them. and Them only, does it hold that the Father is ever Father and the Son ever Son- (NPNF. 2nd sertes, 4.319); Gregory of Nazianzus, Theoklgical Oration 3.6: -He is Father In the absolute sense, for He is not also Son; jus t as the Son Is Son in the absolute sense, because He Is not also Father. These names do not belong to us in the absolute sense, because we are both and not one more than the other- (NPNF. 2nd series. 7.302], For the creature. fatherhood is a work. a function. But for God fatherhood is a prinCiple ofbelng. what is called a hypostatic or personal su bsistence of being. God Is Father; human males may become fathers or not, as they will. 38. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies 4.6.6 (ANF 1.469). 39. It would be false to say that there is something autonomously inherent or ontologically present in maleness which makes it alone apt to image and indicate Cod' r. S !atherhood. As the orthodox Church Fathers were wont to say, God does 37 not pattern H!mself after the creature, but the creature ;5 pal a'" "J ,lIlc r G"~ Human fatherhood is a pale image of the eternal F,:llh!.!rbood which is God'..:;. What we can say and what we musl say is this; according to His will as our Creator. God so ordered His creation that it is the male and not the female who can be a father. And for that rcusor;. ~.lcldcn in the ',I.,rill of the Creator. it was Christ's male humanity which was tilt: apt and proper humanity for Him to possess in order for Him to manifest to us His eternal Father. 40. Augsburg Cortfession., article 5 (Tappert. p. 31). 41. Lutheran Worship (St. Louis: Concordia PUblishing House. 1982). p. l58. 42. Lutheran Worship, p. 174 . . \3. Rcgin Prenter, Die Ordination cler Frauen zu dem ueberiieJerten Pfarramt: der lurhenschen Kirche. Luthertum 28 (Berlin/Hamburg: 1967). p. 8: "Gebote. welche die n .. "Chte. die sachgernaesse Ueberlieferung des Evangeliums hueten wollen." The Gennan word "sachgemaess" which I have rendered with ·pertinent" means "