Professor Kirk has me pondering in his second post on Half The Church. I also intend to review the book soon, but am trying to finish James’ The Gospel of Ruth before jumping into the reading. Kirk takes issue with James’ seeming unwillingness to come out and say women should be allowed to be ordained. Kirk notes:
As James’ own stories show, failure to ordain women, failure to treat women as equal, is not good news to women. The church in North America will fail to be the champion of justice for women as long as it continues to teach, preach, and embody the very patriarchal system that creates the injustices she has denounced around the world. This book is about the unimpeachable, biblical importance of women–but, I fear, only for the 2/3 world “out there”, not the 1/3 or the 1% who are subjected to the power of patriarchal systems here at home. (bold mine)
But a simple question: isn’t it possible to differentiate gender roles in society without creating an unjust society? It’s pretty clear our own culture frowns on institutionalizing such differing roles, but are we then free to judge all such roles as unjust? Or to accuse those who promote complementarian theology (either in the church, home, or society at large) of tolerating/promoting injustice?