CBE Author Dr. Ron Pierce Debates "Should Women Serve as Pastors?" on Moody Radio

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Dr. Ron Pierce debated Dr. Owen Strachan over whether women should serve as pastors on Moody Radio.

On October 4, 2014, Moody Radio hosted a debate between Dr. Ron Pierce, professor of biblical and theological studies at Biola University and longtime CBE author, and Dr. Owen Strachan, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College. The debate focused on the question “should women should serve as pastors?” Dr. Pierce argued that women are able to hold all pastoral positions while Dr. Strachan argued that women are not able to hold the title of pastor.

The debate, moderated by Julie Roys, centered on Galatians 3:28 and 1 Timothy 2:12, the two Bible verses that are most often cited in the debate over female pastors.

Dr. Pierce stated the Bible establishes a strong precedence for women leaders and does not offer a universal prescription for leadership positions based on gender, ethnicity, or social class. Instead, the Bible offers an unqualified call to raise up the leaders and teachers who are best equipped to teach and lead within their own context. Moreover, the Bible does not offer universal “role” language that dictates what positions are closed to women.

Dr. Strachan stated the Bible consistently depicts males in leadership roles—only raising women up when there has been a failure of male leadership. He stated the world is structured so that women should not be pastors of any kind, though they can serve as leaders within certain roles.

During the debate, a poll indicated that 64.8% of listeners fully supported female pastors, 7.6% said females could serve in any pastoral role except "senior pastor," and 27.6% said that females cannot serve in any pastoral role.

"I was proud to hear Dr. Pierce’s defense of female pastors," said Dr. Mimi Haddad, president of CBE. "In our long history working together, I have been continually impressed by Dr. Pierce’s sound biblical scholarship and support for the full inclusion of females in church, home, and world. As the church discusses female pastors, biblical evidence continues to mount in support of women serving in leadership roles."

Dr. Pierce has long been an advocate for women in ministry. He is co-editor of Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, has authored articles for CBE publications, and lectured at CBE events. Additionally, Dr. Pierce’s book Partners in Marriage and Ministry is published by CBE.

In its effort to advance a biblical foundation for gift-based rather than gender-based service, CBE sponsors annual conferences, facilitates local chapters, hosts an online book service, and publishes two award-winning journals. For more information, visit http://www.cbeinternational.org

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