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Podcast episode 32: Moving Beyond Patriarchy with Carolyn Custis James

Our guest this week is author and speaker Carolyn Custis James, a passionate and pastoral voice in addressing the very real problem of patriarchy in Evangelicalism. James’s books include Half the Church and Malestrom.

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Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.


  • Jack says:

    I have been thinking about John Piper’s complementarian views. In particular, he deters Christian women from being police officers because that will offend “man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and controvert God’s created order.” According to Piper, women that exercise personal or direct influence over men will cause “profound Biblical and psychological issues.” Therefore, women’s leadership should be discouraged.

    And Wayne Grudem has attempted to explain away all women in the Bible that are identified as leaders
    or demonstrate leadership… to, undoubtedly, protect his theological construct. I still remember Piper and Grudem referring to Junia as Junias, and telling people that their scholarly work, as they presented it, determined Junia was an uncommon name.

    I do not understand why people take them seriously.
    But I also think patriarchy is not the message, but the backdrop to the message. The Bible is surprisingly liberating when we look at the trajectory of it.

    • Judy Gale says:

      I was once part of a local church that used Piper and Grudem resources. For many of us, both men and women, it was (after all) oppressive and we could not remain a part of that ideology.

  • Jean Bergen says:

    This was so good, I took notes. Carolyn put words to questions and thoughts I have been struggling with. I love to hear that struggles such as these are not to deter us but to bring us into a new place of theological thinking. That’s been true for me.

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