Content Warning: Violence and sexual violence

Here at the Kingdom Outpost, we are committed to exploring the full implication of Christ’s Kingdom as transformative leaven in the societies and communities in which we live. For the past two years, we have been working through discussions and beliefs about gender in the Kingdom of God – reading, communicating, discerning, and discussing with our brothers and sisters. A range of views have been expressed, particularly surrounding the gender-related controversies in the Christian world and in larger society that has plagued gender theology particularly in the 20th century. We want to articulate a Christ-centered, Kingdom view pertinent to these controversies.

This study is a careful and serious engagement with current theology and teaching in the area of gender and sex from a historical perspective. The end goal is for Christians with Kingdom convictions to recognize the difference between the kind of gender difference and gender roles consistent with “Christian nationalism” and kind of Christ-like celebration of male and female uniqueness consistent with the way of peace. In the previous post on gender theology, we looked at three concerning errors in gender theology, laying the groundwork for further exploration of the themes of imperial dominion and hierarchy in contrast to cruciform headship and complementarity. To summarize, harmful theology thus far has often been built on these foundations:

  1. The lack of distinction between the Kingdom of God and that of Satan and the world he rules, which in turn affects our view of force, authority, and dominion.
  2. The conflation of “dominion” in the sense of the world’s governmental powers, with Christ’s leadership and headship.
  3. The influence of Grecian “natural law” which denies the complementarity and mutuality of the sexes and their bearing of God’s image and glory.

This second essay continues to answer questions addressed in Part 1, namely: According to the Gospel of the Kingdom, what makes a man, a man, and a woman, a woman? How does this contrast with the way of the world?

What does a “Kingdom” view of gender entail?

Firstly, a Kingdom view begins with the viewpoint that God is good. We hold to the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures to reveal to us His goodness and His design as our Creator. This helps us separate the mix of “good and evil” we see in human societies and human wisdom that we sometimes mix into our interpretation of Scripture. God is a good Father who cares about our health, safety, and daily needs.

Secondly, a Kingdom view is one that rejects the way of violence even when expressed by those who use the name of Jesus. Whether this involved marching into battle, enslaving people, building Empires, pursuing the compromised political goals of Christian nationalism, or stealing, killing, or destroying, we know that these are the way of the wicked one whose deception extends even within church history. We are called to be a faithful, set-apart people proclaiming the Gospel of Peace and the Saviour’s love among us and through us. Jesus set His ultimate example for us, rejecting the ways of the world by dying on the cross. As His body, we need to be transformed so that our attitudes and beliefs on any subject, including gender, closely resemble Jesus and Jesus’s way, so that we may reflect Jesus to the world.

I believe that Kingdom theology provides insights into navigating relationships and ethics in the world today. As such, a major theme of this series is the problem posed by the ideology of Empire and its absorption in the church.

The name of the position that has emerged in the conversations about gender theology we have had for several years is “cruciform complementarity.”

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:3)

“I present the so-called evangelicals and their teachers and preachers no other alternative than the crucified, patient, and loving Christ.” (Pilgram Marpeck).

  • Cruciform complementarity affirms the truth of Scripture, focusing on the primacy of Jesus’s teachings and example as manifested on the cross.
  • Cruciform complementarity is based on a strong belief in the separation of the Christ’s peaceful Kingdom from the way of Empire and the sword.
  • Cruciform complementarity is the belief that male and female are unique, distinct, God-breathed, and reflective of the image of God, but these uniqueness and distinctions should solely be based on the revelation of God through Jesus Christ, distinct from the ideologies promulgated by the world.
  • Cruciform complementarity is the belief that our ultimate goal is to be conformed to and transformed into the image of Christ. Any other ideal or pursuit leads us away from the way of Christ into idolatry.

Jesus Defines the Kingdom Way

Jesus is the way (John 14:6), and He demonstrated this way to us in His life, His ministry, His teachings, and also His death on the cross. Because He called us to take up the cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24), it is important to understand what this way of Jesus, the way of the cross, means. What is clear to us from early church history, however, is that the cross actually represents two different messages and two conflicting gospels proclaimed by two very different Kingdoms. Jesus defined His way against the backdrop of the world’s empires even as they tried to proclaim their ideology.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

Let’s start with the ultimate place where the conflict between kingdoms happens: between God and Satan. The world is presently under the control of evil (Galatians 1:4; 1 John 5:19). Satan boasted to Jesus that he had the power to grant anyone he wished the “authority” and “splendor” of “all the kingdoms of this world” (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus rejects Satan’s offer because worldly power is obtained by subordinating oneself to the power of Satan. Instead, Jesus rescues us from the power of Satan to God, from the Kingdom of darkness to light (Acts 26:17). Where we were once ruled by lusts that come from Satan (John 8), following the deception, strife, violence, and destruction according to his way (John 10:10, James 3-4; Galatians 5), we now live under the Prince of Peace and manifest the fruit of the spirit and wisdom from above.

Jesus’s crucifixion symbolized the spiritual battle between God and Satan. Under Satan’s power, they schemed and contrived to put Jesus to death. The Roman Empire ultimately carried out Jesus’s execution in a manner they had specifically designed. Crucifixion represents the way of Satan in two ways: it is a desecration of the body and glorification of torture and violence, secondly, it served as imperial propaganda. Crucifixion sent a message to imperial subjects: any rival king or usurper will be put to death. Rome executes vengeance on its enemies, large and small.

Jesus was not a member of the elite; he was powerless, situated on the outskirts of Greco-Roman hegemony. Before His death, Jesus invited His disciples to participate in a banquet, a banquet now called the Eucharist and recognized as a central sacrament in Christianity. Participants consume the wine, representing Jesus’s blood, and the bread representing his body. The Apostle Paul asserts the consumption of these constitute an act of remembrance of his past death and proclamation of his future eschatological victory over Rome and every other empire, namely, the reign of the Kingdom of God.

Streett (2013), a scholar of the early church, describes in detail how that the Christian banquet was, in every way, a counter-gospel to that of Rome and challenge to imperial ideology. Streett draws from first century imperial history to identify the Roman banquet as a place where hierarchy, patronage, the emperor’s divinity, and the Roman empire’s “manifest destiny” (p.218) were prophesied and enacted as social values. The Christian banquet, according to Biblical and extant historical sources, disputed Caesar’s lordship, proclaiming Jesus’s lordship instead. If the Roman banquet served as a “social institution” representative of a hierarchical, stratified way of life in relation to “emperors, patrons, clients”, women, and slaves (p.236), the Christian banquet as practiced by the early church made no hierarchical distinction between enslaved and free people, rich and poor, men and women (p.250).

As an important social institution the banquet encapsulated the Greco-Roman culture, its values, morés, and ideology. In a sense, each banquet was a miniature reproduction of Roman society and served as a venue where one’s social status was recognized and formally solidified. … one’s standing within the Roman hierarchy was determined by one’s eating partners. Where one reclined at the table defined his ranking among his associates. Interpersonal relations at mealtime mirrored daily life within the empire. Rome used the banquet as a vehicle to promote imperial ideology, define community boundaries, and reinforce allegiance to the empire. In essence, the banquet was one of Rome’s important instruments of domination, guaranteeing that the aristocracy maintained its “social control of the polis.” (Streett, 2013, p.9).

Feeley-Harnik (1981) identifies the birth of the Christian banquet in the Jewish Passover, celebrating freedom from Pharoah’s rule and slavery. While the eschatological and thus political enactment embedded in the Eucharist has been documented, one hitherto unexpected concept is that of the contrast between imperial masculinity and Roman conceptions of power and the “broken” body (1 Corinthians 11:24). The synoptic gospels describe the act of breaking the bread as one of distribution (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19) – the bread is torn in order to be passed around and consumed. 1 Corinthians 10:16 describes the consumption of this bread as participation, and 1 Corinthians 11:24 describes this as a remembrance of Jesus’s death, resurrection, and future return.

The crucifixion of Jesus, for all intents and purposes, should have been something His early followers should have attempted to rewrite and obscure. Taubes (2003), a Rabbinical scholar, describes crucifixion as a “death by defamation”, something “accursed”, a sign of expulsion from the Jewish community.  Crucifixion was also a violent symbol of Roman power, designed to inflict torture and inspire fear. It involved the degradation of the body through flogging, which rendered the sufferer effeminized, violated, and essentially on par with the status of a slave (Saller, 1999). Figueroa and Tombs (2019) argue that the corporeal disfigurement, display, and degradation inherent in crucifixion constitutes a sexual violation – this is consistent with the Roman view that beating and penetration (rape) were similarly degrading (McLaren, 2008). Why, then, did Christians not only choose to remember the shed blood and humiliated, penetrated, body of Jesus, and how indeed did they see it as a victory in an imperial world where crucifixion symbolized defeat and an utter loss of dignified status? Such an unseemly death should have served to reinforce the message that Rome was victorious and its enemy, a rival “king of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:38; John 19:19), was nothing more than a powerless, naked, dead pretender. Early Christians chose to proclaim and celebrate Jesus’s death representative of victory, and they chose to center their worship, sacrament, and communal assemblies around ritualistic, corporate, participation in Jesus’s death and his tortured, violated, corporeal substance. Christians become “one loaf, one body” in this act of union (Streett, 2013, pp.117). In doing so, they become anathema to Empire.

In his defeat, penetration, and death, Jesus symbolized everything but Roman imperial ideology. He rejected the imperial masculine ideal, namely the celebration of violence. Ancient Greco-Roman empires would follow the pattern of violence, colonization, and conquest of Mesopotamian forebears, with victory symbolically and physically enacted through sexual conquest: the penetration and feminization of enemy soldiers, for example (Gnuse, 2015; Johnson, 2007). Caesar’s imperial military victories, such as over a fallen Jerusalem, were depicted as rape. Rape, of “men and women, and animals too”, signified “victory”, “total power”, and Caesar’s masculine supremacy (Gnuse, 2015, p.81). Caesar was, in the Roman milieu, the ultimate man, the manliest of men, the father of the fatherland (Ripley, 2015; Stewart, 2016). He was undefeated, an impenetrable penetrator (McLaren, 2008; Walters, 1998). Masculinity, in Caesar’s image, was to be aspired to, a status to be earned.

In Roman society, penetration not only symbolized penetration but also enforced the hierarchies Romans repeatedly characterized as benevolent. Rule over slaves, women, and conquered peoples was deliberately framed as paternal. Once inducted into Caesar’s household, imperial subjects were taught to count themselves lucky. They had been saved, and Caesar was now their benefactor and patron. Under his rule, they were ostensibly protected from marauding barbarians and given peace and prosperity to enjoy (Hardt and Negri, 2000). Empire, it seems, is a campaign not only for territorial possession, but for the sole possession of truth and ideology. Roman society was to be a cohesive enactment, from top to bottom, of imperialism and patriarchy as a hierarchy over which male Romans were lord. As Caesar ruled over the empire as the “father of the fatherland”, Roman males established and ruled their households (Ripley, 2015). However, such subjection was not only based on the threat of violence and reprisal (Figueroa and Tombs, 2019), it was sexual in nature. Patriarchs had full rights to the bodies of both wife and slaves and through sexual possession established rank and hierarchy (Walters, 1998; McLaren, 2008; Berg, 2000). Masculinity was power, and power was masculinity. Romans took care to use the familial term, “paterfamilias” to refer to the master-slave relationship rather than the more harsh, authoritarian, term, “dominus”. Subjection was to be couched in paternalistic terms because the Roman male alone held the superior self-possession his position required (Berg, 2020). The Romans borrowed from Aristotleian natural law in this regard: male rule could be attributed to his dignitas, his greater, complete, and rational soul predisposed to the benevolent wielding of authority and power.

The juxtaposition of Jesus’s death and Jesus’s broken body against a backdrop of imperial masculinity tells us that Jesus calls us to a complete rejection of the Roman order. Jesus’s broken body reminds us that God in divinity chose to be recognized as penetrated, defeated, terrorized, enslaved, and degraded rather than identify with and pursue authority and violence in the imperial order. His victory and His power is of another Kingdom, another way.

A History of Compromise

Anabaptists and Kingdom Christians believe that when the church allied with imperial political power under the Emperor Constantine, the church compromised the way of Jesus and exchanged the way of the cross for the way of the sword. Fourth century Christian leaders such as Eusebius celebrated the political support of Constantine, and beginning with the council of Nicaea, began to use his support to establish the boundaries of doctrinal norms (Jacobs, 2022). Christianity was absorbed into the Roman imperium, and the Roman imperium was absorbed into Christianity. If Empire could not suppress Christianity, it  wouldappropriate Christianity to its own ends. However, this was not merely a political change but reflected compromises in the way Christians related to one another and to those outside their communities. A pattern emerged – “Christians” became openly hostile and violent to their Jewish neighbours (Jacobs, 2022)  and anyone who did not conform to the Christian social, political, and cultural identity of Christendom (Murray, 2009, Steele, 2004). 

For centuries, Europe was not White (Quijano, 2000). It was not even European. It was Christendom, Christian lands ruled by Christian kings (Catlos, 2018). To effect this change, the very image and iconography of Jesus had to undergo change – the crucified Lord became the “regal king of heaven” as would befit the masculine imperial sensibility (American History Association, 2023). While the early church preached Jesus’s “gospel to the poor”, evangelization of the peasantry largely ceased. Instead, church leaders focused on converting rulers and thus converting lands into officially “Christian” domains (Stark, 2004).

Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas were natural law theologians who appropriated natural philosophy from its Greco-Roman origins and embedded it into the foundation of Christendom.   In fact, Augustine is seen as a “principal architect” of Christendom in his revision of theology to “accommodate an alliance of throne and altar” (Bartley, 2006, cited by Christoyannoupoulos, 2013, p.196).  This became the philosophical basis of colonization and racialized slavery (Boucher, 2009). 

Non-Greeks, or barbarians, in their political submission to absolute monarchy, or despotism, were already enslaved, and the Greeks, being naturally suited for freedom, not only had a right but also a duty to enslave barbarians. Both Plato and Aristotle believed that this would provide the rational, or governing, element missing from, or underdeveloped in, their psyche. Such attitudes towards foreigners have been described as proto-racism in direct denial that racism is in fact a product of the nineteenth century, and particularly of the uses to which Darwinianism was put. It is also a denial of the view that the origins of racism do not precede Columbus and European expansionism (Isaac 2004) (Boucher, 2009 p.24).

As discussed in the previous section, natural superiority and inferiority as designated by birth was essential to the Roman imperial and domestic system of paterfamilias – household rule. According to Furlan (2009), there was a wholesale and uncritical absorption of the central legal and cultural ideal of the paterfamilias into the post-Constantinian church. Specifically, Augustine of Hippo posited in the “City of God” that the civil order and the household order were mirrors of the other. Drawing from Roman imperial masculinity, he described the paterfamilias as having absolute power, carrying a “greater burden” for the spiritual destiny and “everlasting happiness” of his household, including wives and slaves. His responsibility included correcting them by “word and blow”. Augustine termed this, “equitable rule”. This logic became the basis of global colonization, with one proponent explaining,

We give peace where war was. We give justice where injustice ruled. We give law and order where the only law was the law of strength. We give Christianity, or a chance of it, where Paganism ruled. Whether the native looks on it in that light is another matter. I am afraid that possibly he doesn’t as yet truly appreciate his benefit.” (Parsons, 2012, p.1)

Can you see Satan’s false gospel in the above? This sentiment, that “I know better than you, and there I should rule over you” was the basis of Greco-Roman slavery. Jackman (1994), noting the parallel between racial and gendered discrimination, describes paternalism as a relationship “with pleasant sentimentality and a satisfying feeling of benevolence” based on the “fulfilment of… needs” by the one in control. It is an “unequal relationship” described as promoting the “best interests of all concerned.”  This is, in fact, a pattern across European colonial history: violence towards women, slaves, and colonial subjects is justified in the language of affection and care. In South Africa, colonization was characterized by whites the rule of Black “children” by white fathers (McClintock, 2013, p.358). This continued under apartheid, a system described by whites as one of love, benevolence, and care (Wolterstorff, 2012). This was also true of slavery in antebellum America (Chestnutt, 2008), where “wise subordination” of slaves was believed to be returned with “kindly affection”. Contemporary Christian nationalist theologian, Doug Wilson identifies with this ideology and equates slavery with patriarchy, writing, 

Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship between mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. The credit for this must go to the predominance of Christianity… (Wilkins and Wilson, 1996, p.24), 

Excerpt from Gothard’s “Basic Seminar”

The benevolent authority gospel today can best be summarized in this song about the “umbrella of authority” teachings promoted by one widely-known, abusive preacher, Bill Gothard. In his seminars, children were taught that immediate and unquestioning obedience to authority figures was God’s will, and anything that involved stepping out of the “umbrella of authority” and its protection was rebellion and would bring destruction. However, despite the fact that these teachings have been shown to be abusive and a form of predatory grooming, the way these teachings were presented always emphasized that submission, obedience, and complete trust was for one’s good.

When the sky grows dark and the thunders ROARS,

When the strong winds blow and the cloudburst pours,

I know I’m safe as I can be,

When I’m under the umbrella that God places over me.

For instruction, so I know where I belong.

For correction, so I know when I am wrong,

For provision, for the things I need,

For protection, that is guaranteed.

The promise and guarantee of blessing and protection accompanies the call for total obedience and subjection to authority figures. Gothard, in fact, drew his teachings from the Christian Reconstructionist teachings of John Rousas Rushdoony, who in turn drew from the theology of an apologist of Southern chattel slavery, Robert Louis Dabney. The emphasis and responsibility is placed on members within the social and household hierarchy to submit themselves to the rule of the authority figure: the patriarch (father-ruler).

Today, we think of homes as consisting of fathers, mothers, and children  – nuclear families. However, in the ancient world, the household was not just a place of care and nurture, but an extended economic unit, a place of production led by a paterfamilias and consisting of wives, slaves, and children. The household was a mini-Empire, modelled in every respect after Caesar’s larger empire (Ripley, 2015).

For the paterfamilias, authority and manliness were synonymous. His position over his household gave him status in the Roman political arena. The relationship between Caesar and his Empire, and the relationship between patriarchs and their wives and subjects, was based on a theory of gender called the “one-sex model” under which penetration determined one’s place in the hierarchy not only of authority, but of divinity and humanity. This was enshrined in Augustinian and also Lutheran and Reformed Theology, as Troelstch (1918) describes.

From the point of view of Natural Law, its aim is the ordered union of the sexes, the ordered procreation of children, and the household which is formed by the several contributions of the various energies and powers mutually made is the heart of all economic activity. But relationships of this kind, founded by Natural Law, become for the Christian also directly the form of the primary and most elementary religious exercise of love, since the relations between husband and wife, parents and children, provide the most immediate opportunity for the exercise of love, and in this relationship both a common self-surrender to God and the Divine commandment of love are to be put into practice. (Troelstch, 1918, p.545)

The fact that within marriage, both morally and legally, an extensive masculine domination of a patriarchal kind is taken for granted is due not merely to economic conditions, or to Catholic tradition; it belongs to the very essence of Lutheranism, which looks upon the physical superiority of man as the expression of a superior relationship willed by God, and a stable order as the chief end of all social organizations. The house-father represents the law, and possesses unlimited power over others; he is the breadwinner, the pastor, and the priest of his household. By submission to the husband the wife atones for Eve’s transgression… (Troelstch, 1918, p.546)

The Roman Binary
Superior Reason and ControlWeakness and Foolishness

As such, the gospel of Empire is that of penetration, possession, and paternalism. The fascinating thing is how pervasive and deceptive it is, and how easily it tricks us away from Jesus’s gospel. Interesting, benevolent dominion is also at the heart of progressive ideology: the doctrine of modernism. The language of progress as a “gospel” for the world was born during the Enlightenment and was used to justify imperial violence on a global scale. You will notice in the language of Empire a deep sense of its own righteousness and morality, even the appropriated and deceptive notion of love. Despite the fact that colonization occurred by force and was backed by imperial armies, Rome and other Empires have always claimed “peace”. From an Anabaptist perspective, it is clear that the gospel of progress and liberalism is not even another Empire but one and the same. It is not the way of Christ.

What is a Man and what is a Woman?

Historians note that manhood as a definition has been shaped by imperialism and by notions of possession and conquest alongside territoriality. For example, McCurdy (2011) describes how 17th century British manhood was defined by his formation of a household and his position over his household. In the American colonies, nearly half of the adult population were household subjects – wives, indentured servants and slaves. Just like a Roman male, early American men had to contend with “anxieties” over “behavioral choices” and the consequences of failing to meet established and evolving “standards” of masculinity. You had to earn your status as a man by establishing a household, securing a “calling or career”, exhibiting Stoic “self-control over one’s masculine comportment”, and having penetrative access to your household subjects, both wives and slaves. As such, in the Roman and Western worldview, manhood was competitive, fragile, and dependent on status symbols.

We should ask themselves, “How concerned was Jesus with any of these status symbols of masculinity”? He had no sword, no land, no household. While foxes have holes and birds have nests, he does not have a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). He calls his disciples to sell all they have and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21), to store up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21). He instructs a wealthy would-be disciple to sell all he has and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21), then turns and tells his disciples to forfeit patrilineal identity and inheritance – fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, fields, and houses – to pursue the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:29). Exile as the way of Jesus contrasts with the way of Empire, territorialism.

Have you ever heard of the idea that a man needs to be “man enough”? This pressure on old and young men alike to be tough, assertive, claim women as sexual conquests, make lewd jokes, and suppress their emotions reflects the idea that if you don’t measure up, you can be laughed at, mocked, bullied, and labeled a “sissy”, or worse. This is a product of Empire, and is one of the many ways in which we harm the emotional health of young men. This is, frankly, abusive. Jesus, on the other hand, constantly rebuked His disciples for their competitiveness and desire to be above one another and rule over one another (Matthew 20:28). The greatest among you, He proclaimed, is the servant of all.

Jesus was noticeably undisturbed by what society termed masculine versus what was considered “sissy”. Servanthood and the washing of feet, for example, were lowly, feminine roles. Dying on the cross was a culmination of this gospel He demonstrated for us, His disciples.

What then, is cruciformity? It is the pursuit of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and thus the rejection of the kind of gender ideology Rome promulgated under which the person who does violence is male, and the person who is subject to violence is female. It is also a rejection of the idea proposed by Christian nationalists and complementarians (John Piper, Joshua Ryan Butler, Elisabeth Elliot, Doug Wilson, Steve Schlissel) that a man possesses, conquers, invades, and controls, while a “woman” is anyone who is possessed, conquered, invaded, and controlled. It is a rejection of the “benevolent possession” paradigm under which abuse, slavery, and conquest are presented as a kind of false promise, a false gospel of peace and prosperity under abusers. Fundamentalist evangelicals idealized  relationships between men and women where femininity is primarily defined as subordination under the “strength”, “leadership, and “authority” as wielded by men (Piper, 1991, pp.31-38). To John Piper, feminine women are always “vulnerable” and “sensually receptive” (p.37). She is a “receiving, accepting vessel” in relation to a male “giving, dispensing vessel” (Piper, 2021). Penetration defines a woman’s perpetual mode of being as a counterpart to the dominant, yet benevolent, “Biblical” male.

A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts… This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.

True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours. (Wilson, 2012a, pp.86–87)

The “giver and taker”, “penetrator and penetrated” dichotomy or view of gender as opposite in character (dominance and subjection) is one that simply does not fit into a Kingdom worldview because it is antithetical to the way of Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel. Instead, we are called to love one another, serve one another, and be conformed to the image of Christ.

In the next post in this series, we will look at how Ephesians 5 reflects the Gospel of Peace in its teachings for husbands and wives. We will also contrast cruciform theology with theologies informed by the “biological essentialism” and “gender polarization” Western society inherited from Greco-Roman philosophy, emphasizing instead how God designed men and women to be interdependent, complementary, laborers in the Kingdom of God.

Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us to be addressed in future posts. In the meantime, this graphic summarizes some of the historical research outlined in this article.

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