Saturday, 2 July 2016

Opinion - 2 July 2016

Archdeacon Archdruid Eileen Church-Seeking: Some Advice

Andy Walton Christian Today Time for a revolution: Why women should be leading at least half our big churches

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 2 July 2016 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Andy Walton makes the classic mistake of confusing diversity with equality. He presents arguments based on diversity (bigger talent pool, good role models etc) to justify an equality outcome in his title - women should lead 50% of big churches. Neither his diversity observations, nor his equality outcome, are inherently wrong, it is just muddle-headed to argue an equality outcome based on diversity arguments.

The diversity arguments could be satisfied by a few highly visible women, with no need for 50%. The 50% arises instead from an equality of opportunity for individual women.

That's the key difference. Diversity is about the class (here women) as a whole; equality is about the opportunity of each member of the class.

There have been some high class pieces linked recently (and I am looking forward to reading Martyn Percy's) essay, but for me this piece by Walton was intellectually deficient.

Posted by: Kate on Saturday, 2 July 2016 at 1:47pm BST

Sanity prevails. Archdruid Eileen's guide to church-going, if she chooses to go with a major publisher, could beckon a cult following. "Lonely Planet" watch out!

Posted by: Pam on Saturday, 2 July 2016 at 11:24pm BST

My thanks to The Church Mouse for pointing out (on Twitter) my error, now corrected above.

Archdruid Eileen has a follow-on article "First Find Your Church".

Posted by: Peter Owen on Saturday, 2 July 2016 at 11:37pm BST

Two from the Archdruid, too terrific! Nice to see there's some room for milk in that cuppa. Aargh.

Posted by: Pam on Sunday, 3 July 2016 at 6:54am BST

Archdruid? Is this a spoof?

Posted by: robert ian williams on Monday, 4 July 2016 at 7:13pm BST

@riw. Perish the thought.

Posted by: Pam on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 at 4:51am BST

The author asserts the said disparity is a "massive problem". And just why is this true? Would displacing all the men from these leadership roles (to replace them with other leaders because they are women) bring untold blessings to the Kingdom of God? What of the leadership gifts (of the men) now set aside? Is this inconsequential? Would solving this massive problem with quotas for women bring vitality, conversions, fruit that lasts to the Church? To the contrary, actual data indicates such a move would have no (if not negative) effect. The massive problems in the church, and there are many, lie elsewhere. The church needs revival not quotas. And yes, this will require new or renewed leadership. Whether that is male or female leadership should not be decided by ratios or quotas but real fruit from ministry.

Posted by: Rob on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 at 3:31pm BST

The fairly obvious explanation of the problem that Andy Walton alludes to is that most of our 'big' churches (at least using the definition he mentions) are large conservative evangelical congregations, who do not believe that the ladies can assume positions of authority, and assert (confidently but erroneously) that the Bible tells us so.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Wednesday, 6 July 2016 at 6:44pm BST

Malcolm Dixon 'Most'? Too sweeping. The evangelical world is more diverse than that. At least some of it is simply unredeemed male-centred thinking and behaving.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Wednesday, 6 July 2016 at 9:13pm BST

@ RIW: if I'm confident of anything, it's your inability to recognize a spoof.

Posted by: Daniel Berry NYC on Thursday, 7 July 2016 at 10:02pm BST
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