June 02, 2011

Gordon Fee on Spirit-gifting and women

Michael Gorman links to an article about Gordon Fee in Charisma magazine. I have long been impressed by Fee's thorough and insightful exegesis, as well as his very good work on hermeneutics, so I read this article with interest. And he has written some of my favorite books, Pauls Letter to the Philippians (New International Commentary on the New Testament), God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, and Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study. Fee is an egalitarian, and he speaks about his convictions in some very insightful terms:

But he is adamant: God does gift women for ministry.

“It’s a given,” he says. “The real question is, Which comes first, gender or gifting? What [opponents of women in ministry] are trying to tell me is that gender comes above gifting. How can that be? The Spirit gives the gifting. If a woman stands and prophesies by the Spirit, and men are present, does the Spirit not speak to them? Come on! How dumb can you get?”

His advocacy, Fee says, is on behalf of the Holy Spirit rather than women. “The Spirit is gifting women,” he says, “but many evangelicals are not prepared to adjust because of the ‘box’ they’re in.

Some food for thought, at least.

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