As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission - eBook  -     By: Alan G. Padgett
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As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission - eBook

Baker Academic / 2011 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 9781441232045
ISBN-13: 9781441232045

Publisher's Description

What does the Bible really say about gender, the ethics of submission, and male-female roles? In this book, well-regarded theologian Alan Padgett offers a fresh approach to the debate. Through his careful interpretation of Paul's letters and broader New Testament teaching, the author shows how Christ's submission to the church models an appropriate understanding of gender roles and servant leadership. As Christ submits to the church, so all Christians must submit to, serve, and care for one another. Padgett articulates a creative approach to mutual submission and explores its practical outworking in the church today, providing biblical and ethical affirmation for equality in leadership.

Author Bio

Alan G. Padgett (DPhil, University of Oxford) is professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the author or coauthor of several books, including Christianity and Western Thought (volumes 2 and 3), But Is It All True? The Bible and the Question of Truth, and Science and the Study of God. His scholarship ranges over philosophy, theology and science, and New Testament studies. Padgett is also an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.


As Christ Submits to the Church is an insightful, compelling, and much-needed work, not only on the specific issue of women in leadership but also on the distinctive nature of Christian leadership in general. Combining theological and exegetical skills, Padgett has given us a scholarly yet broadly accessible book that moves us beyond some of the impasses the discussion on this hot topic has been bogged down in. Regardless of one's stance on the women-and-leadership issue, As Christ Submits to the Church is a must-read for all who care about Christlike leadership.
-Greg Boyd,
coauthor, Across the Spectrum

Exploring critical questions regarding biblical interpretation, As Christ Submits to the Church offers a thoroughly Christian understanding of submission and service within marriage and the church. Alan Padgett opens much sky over the heads of those engaged in the evangelical conversation on gender and authority. This book is well worth our time and attention.
-Mimi Haddad,
President, Christians for Biblical Equality,

Product Reviews

4 Stars Out Of 5
4 out of 5
4.5 out Of 5
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4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Vancouver
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good, But Needs More About Women In Ministry
    August 22, 2014
    Mr Bultitude
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A valuable book in the gender roles debate within the Church. Alan Padgett critiques the complementarian views of folks like John Piper and Wayne Grudem by pointing to the necessity of contextual analysis of verses that involve the relationships of men and women in the church. If anything, Padgett claims the complementarian view is just as revisionist as an egalitarian outlook and he traces the genesis of complementarian teaching to the work of George W. Knight III in the 1970s. He focuses particularly on Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 11-13 and the Pastoral Epistles. While Padgett admits that some verses appear to indicate male authority upon first glance, the actual circumstances of the writings need to be more closely examined; for instance, in Ephesus, wealthy women were being led astray by false teachers and thus Paul demands that they "remain silent" because they are teaching error to their fellow believers. He refutes the "creation-order" argument and spends time looking at specific Greek words; for instance, one Greek word often translated as "authority" can also have the alternative meaning of "origin," which drastically affects how a particular verse may be read. Padgett seeks to present Jesus Christ as the ultimate model for leadership and submission. Jesus washed the disciples' feet and submitted himself to the Cross for the sake of the Beloved, his Bride, the Church. In Padgett's mind, mutual submission means the temporary role of servant towards those whom we love and seek to serve, not a consistent, once-for-all hierarchy. This is essentially the same as "servant leadership." Padgett concludes that by looking at the Bible as a whole, instead of cherry-picking individual verses, an egalitarian view is the outlook best presented. The one critique is I would have liked to have seen Padgett address women in ministry a bit more.
  2. Detroit, MI
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Mutual Submission, only a dream?
    December 26, 2011
    DeliverDetroit Blog
    Detroit, MI
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Hot button topics. I love them. One of my favorites concerns leadership and authority in the contemporary Church.

    As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission by Alan G. Padgett presses that button. Actually, he presses that button to the tune of each page in this release from Baker Academic.

    The author engages in an excellent cumulative style that makes the academic data accessible for most readers. Far from an easy read, the information is systematically is made digestible with a summary and review style at the end of each chapter. This approach to the data disseminates and repeats the information previously read. The author accomplishes his task of proving his thesis very effectively and I would enjoy reading more of his works for the fun of it.

    This book was paced efficiently and remained concise while breaching a topic that is broad and expansive in arena of Christian conversation. Far from a tome owed to the topic of leadership, authority, and mutual submission, this concise volume contains satisfactory references in the footnotes and a bibliography to keep any reader busy for an entire year. The measure of the author's resolve concerning this topic is summarized in some his closing statements at the end of this book:

    "Against too many church leaders in the evangelical movement, we must resist reductionist prooftexting in our efforts to understand the full will of God. Only the whole of Scripture, read as a whole, is a firm foundation for the reform of the church and the life of daily discipleship."

    As the author embarks on a journey to survey the evangelical approach to gender roles, male dominion, mission and submission, headship, and justice for today, he keeps several topics in the common denominator. Christ's earthly ministry, relationship with mankind, and his association with the disciples. Through these areas of concern the author illustrates the posture of submission Christ intended for his Church. Alan Padgett begs the question in each chapter by demonstrating the power of Christ's ministry and posture toward others as a tool of understanding true submission. In the end, the books title proves its worth and earns its placement on the front cover.

    I found this book helpful for my own personal study. Endeavoring to discover the required posture of submission, whether it be in my relationship with my wife or members of the Church, I am eager to replicate Christ's behaviors and desires for mutual submission to one another. The engaging style, diligent academic study, and careful attention to detail regarding the Lord's life and ministry in this book will provide an effective and refreshing new approach to an age-old debate. I did not agree with all points made with the author, even when he was making them well. I did appreciate this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in resolving their own view concerning submission in today's Church.
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