Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

I just wanted to bring this article to your attention. I’m not a self professed feminist because I’m not into labels. However, I believe it’s very possible to be a feminist and a Christian. I know and communicate with a lot of intelligent and loving Christian feminists. Anyway, just wanted to make you aware of this article and discussion. It would be good to hear from the other side of the discussion.

Can We Be Christian Feminists?

– Kim

Hi, good question!

I disagree with the article you link to. What the article does is called creating a straw man: Formulating a weak/ silly version of your opposition’s argument so you can easily knock it down.

Katie McCoy gives multiple sources to show there are believers who call themselves feminists, but not the slightest bit of evidence for “The feminist reader filters the biblical text through her personal awareness of women’s collective experiences (most often experiences of oppression). These experiences determine what in the Bible is valid.”

That is firstly a redefinition of feminism, and secondly a baseless statement of which, between feminism and the Bible, is most important to the Christian feminist.

1) Redefining feminism:

Feminism, according to the dictionary, is believing in equal social, economic, etc. opportunities for men and women, and working to achieve such equality for women.

Others would rather define feminism as freeing women from oppression. One of the reasons is that, if a woman socialized to always be the least and give in works with a man who have been taught to expect compliance from women, and both have theoretically equal say, the man will use his say more – freedom from oppression is not achieved yet. Another is that “freedom from oppression” makes it easier to see why feminists concern themselves with things like rape laws.

Feminism does not mean reading everything in the light of female experiences. When feminism talks from a female experience, it is as opposed to always talking from only the male experience. It is not about women replacing God, but about women adding the other part of the truth in a world that speaks mostly from the earthly male perspective. Of course, in a world where God calls believers not to lord it over others, to love others as ourselves, where Jesus can be seen in the least; in such a world God calls us to see the perspective of those who are undervalued as much as the perspective of the top dogs. Ultimately, a Christian follows God, neither male nor female perspectives. But a Christian should still value both male and female experiences for what they are worth.

2) Telling us which will be the highest priority of the Christian feminist:

If a Christian is into helping the poor/ freeing people from oppression/ encouraging people to love one another/ making peace, does that mean the highest priority of such a believer is helping the poor/ freeing people from oppression/ encouraging people to love one another/ making peace, as opposed to following God?

Whenever people who call themselves Christians are against something, the easy accusation, false or true, is: “The goal of [those who do this something] is more important to them than God is!” However, the article writer provides no evidence that Christian feminists will put the female perspective before the Bible, or, by the theories they adhere to, should do so.


As for calling myself a feminist, I do not. People like, for example, Katie McCoy in this article, spread so much misinformation on feminism that I fear people will misunderstand if I say I am. But if people who know the meaning of “feminist” call me one, they are correct: I am. I am not quite sure I like the name, though.

Comments on: "Reader question: Is evangelical Christianity compatible with feminism?" (6)

  1. Just read the post your reader is referring to and left this comment:

    I must take issue with your statement that “within a feminist approach to theology, women’s experience both interprets Scripture and determines whether or not Scripture is true. ” Just as there are many types of Christians (fundamentalist, conservative, moderate, progressive, liberal, etc.) there are many types of Christian feminists. You can’t make this claim of all Christian feminists, only of those who fall on the extreme liberal end of the spectrum. There are plenty of moderate Christian feminists who believe Scripture is true, but take issue with traditional interpretations developed from only a male perspective.

    I also think it is a far leap to say that RRR’s statement “[W]hatever diminishes or denies the full humanity of women must be presumed not to reflect the divine or an authentic relation to the divine”[11] means the individual woman’s perspective is the deciding factor in determining what it true (i.e., promoting the full humanity of women) and is false (i.e., denies the full humanity of women). It seems to me that “whatever diminishes or denies the full humanity of women must be presumed not to reflect the divine or an authentic relation to the divine” because it would go against the nature of a just and loving God who created man and woman in his own image and gave them an equal mandate to rule and nurture creation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am a Christian, a feminist, and an egalitarian. Here’s why:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. krwordgazer said:

    What Gail said. Many of us call ourselves feminists because we sincerely believe that Jesus taught and exemplified the full equality of all human beings, and that this is what the kingdom of God is all about– and that means we believe the Bible’s teachings are the foundation of our feminism, not the other way around.


  4. One of the big issues about accepting that Christians can be feminists is because of a certain, very American/Western first-world problem: Because we have made advances in women’s rights and freedoms, it is assumed that this is the norm. Since the world has (apparently) embraced equality, the church should want nothing to do with it and put women back in their God-ordained place (read: beneath men). This whole line of thinking is so far from the truth. In most of the world, and throughout most of history, women have consistently had little or no rights, little or no education, and great risk of becoming a victim of violence in its various forms.

    I grew up in Fundamentalism, and one thing that I was consistently taught is that Christians should be different from the world. I still agree, but I add a huge caveat: Whatever we do differently must also be superior. The subjection of women is no different from what women have experienced through history. The refusal to educate women is nothing new. The assumption that women are both the deceived and the deceivers has been a given throughout history.

    If the church wants to be truly different, the only way to go with women is up. Down has been done. Assume women are real people created in God’s image and gifted. Assume women are worth more than their reproductive organs. Assume women can learn and practice discernment. Assume violence against women is a bad thing and that it does harm to women and to the whole body of Christ. Church, be different, but also be superior. Treat women like full human beings and full members of the Body of Christ. Why is that so hard?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m Kim, and I sent you that email. I’m on a tight schedule, so I don’t always get to respond as I would like to. While I’m not really into various labels, I do think that it is very important for readers (especially women) to hear both sides of the issue.

    I’m thankful that several ladies offered a different, yet Biblical answer to the question, “Can we be Christian feminist?” I did notice that the author didn’t engage and enter into a dialogue with the “feminists” who responded to her post. On the bright side, she did publish the comments. So many comps won’t publish comments that differ from theirs and don’t support their particular interpretation of the subject matter.

    With that being said, I want to bring another post to your attention.

    I’m hoping that some seasoned, knowledgeable Christians will respond to all the errors presented in that post.

    Anyway, thanks again for tacking that question.


    • The first problem I see with such an interpretation is that scripture does not call God male. God adamnantly say “I am not a man” (Numbers 23:19, the text uses a term for male human) and “male and female” is in His image. (This blog contains posts on why God perhaps reveals Himself as a father, and it is about the opposite from what this writer thinks.)

      To say man can be defined independent of women but not vice versa is proof texting: “It is not good for a man to be alone. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.” Eve came because Adam was needy. In that sense, Eve represent Christ and Adam the church.


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