"All Christian ministry begins with the announcement that Jesus has been raised from the dead. And Jesus entrusted that task, first of all, not to Peter, James, or John, but to Mary Magdalene. Part of the point of the new creation launched at Easter was the transformation of roles and vocations: from Jews-only to worldwide, from monoglot to multilingual (think of Pentecost), and from male-only leadership to male and female together.
Within a few decades, Paul was sending greetings to friends including an “apostle” called Junia (Romans xvi, 7). He entrusted that letter to a “deacon” called Phoebe whose work was taking her to Rome. The letter-bearer would normally be the one to read it out to the recipients and explain its contents. The first expositor of Paul’s greatest letter was an ordained travelling businesswoman.
The resurrection of Jesus is the only Christian guide to the question of where history is going. Unlike the ambiguous “progress” of the Enlightenment, it is full of promise — especially the promise of transformed gender roles.
The promise of new creation, symbolised by the role of Mary Magdalene in the Easter stories, is the reality. Modern ideas of “progress” are simply a parody. Next time this one comes round, it would be good to forget “progress” — and ministerial “programmes” — and stick with the promise."
The whole piece is published simultaneously on Fulcrum and in The Times. I agree with +Tom. The key biblical argument arises from considering the sweeping implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the firstfruits of the new creation - God's new society.
While looking to Fulcrum, worth a peek is a transcript of Elaine Storkey's speech at the GS. I particularly like two things here and draw your attention to them.
(1) If Lorna Ashworth and friends are running here and there saying that a definition, or a key part of the definition of 'conservative evangelical' is the 'complementarian' approach to women in ministry and in the home (i.e. 'equal but different ... so never in charge of men'), could she and they please STOP. [For clarity, could they please stop defining 'conservative evangelical' in such an exclusive manner. Conservative evangelicals include complementarians, egalitarians and (such as myself) non-complementarian non-egalitarians].
(2) Elaine reminds us of a time when the most conservative among us (as represented by Oakhill) could countenance women preaching and women leading. Is the complementarian approach a reaction to modern times which actually goes back on where conservative evangelicalism had been heading without trauma or trouble?
[UPDATED, rewritten para]: Some associate Chris Sugden with a certain kind of extremism, ironically in the guise of Anglican Mainstream. But it looks like on Virtue Online that he offers this reflection on the situation at the GS which is somewhat sober, balanced, and utterly reasonable. But then it has been drawn to my attention that Chris Sugden wrote no such thing - I am guessing that David Virtue has lifted this careful balancing act from Anglican Mainstream where Sugden posted it! Starting the paragraph afresh and accurately: the Tablet has published a good editorial here!!
Finally, and locally, yet also globally in its concern re Commnon [sic], Bosco Peters manages to be both witty (beginning with a hilarious illustration) and wise in asking just what this Anglican Commnon is all about.