I've just read Jean's Sola Panel post and most of the 239 comments. Phew!
1. The whole debate gets on my nerves. We have so much wonderful, rich, exciting goodness in the gospel... Why must we spill so much ink and so many tears over a handful of verses? [Yes. Yes. I know why we must. I just wish we didn't have to.]
2. I'm in the complementarian camp but often I want to go pitch my tent elsewhere. Here are some reasons why.
a. Complementarians often talk about male headship as leadership. The man needs to be the one driving things and making the decisions. He needs to have an alpha male personality - be driven, competitive, bold, confident, aggressive (of course, in a loving, serving way) - in order to be godly. Not so. Many men would need a personality transplant to achieve this. Teaching along these lines makes wives discontent with the very okay husbands God has given them.
b. Complementarians can similarly reduce godly femininity to a certain personality type. Women were not created in such a way as to be able to be driven, confident, assertive, responsible, bear heavy burdens etc. The godly woman will find herself at home. She will have a personality that complements the alpha-male - needing his decisiveness, direction etc. But many women naturally have drive and ambition and are capable of heading up multi-national companies. What are such woman to do on conversion? Repent of their capabilities?
c. A sector of complementarian women are so obsessed with home and kids you'd be forgiven for thinking they are wives and mothers first and christians second (or fifth).
d. Too much talk about male/femaleness makes contentment tricky for single friends. My humanity is more important than my gender. There are more than 5 chapters of the bible that apply to women.
e. The feminist movement was largely a good thing. I'm thankful for my education, my pay, my contraception, my vote...
f. The application of the complementarian position is far from simple. What is prophecy, anyway?
3. But I won't pitch my tent in the egalitarian camp, because
a. I think they are wrong. The bible does say that the husband is the head of the wife. Can't wriggle out of that even if it grates. Need to work out how God can say that and mean it and still be good and fair.
b. Egalitarians can be far too preoccupied with power issues.
c. Feminist readings of ... well, most things... make me groan.
d. When I hear women preaching to mixed groups I feel that they have given in to something I've had to fight in myself. This makes it difficult for me to listen well.
e. If it hasn't already, I think an egalitarian interpretation of Eph 5 etc, will eventually lead to liberalism. At some point we need to work out what we do with parts of the bible that we don't like. Will we accept that God is good and that he has said x even though we don't like it? Or will we try to argue that he couldn't have said x?
4. I appreciated Mark Baddeley's comments. I wish he would become a presbyterian. Please Mark? Please?