This is the first series of posts inspired by papers or conversations at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting this year. One of the first presentations that I heard was Harold W. Hoehner’s “Can a Woman be a Pastor-Teacher?” (If you can find this paper online, please let me know.) Apart from the provocative title, the content provided many opportunities for discussion. Hoehner’s premise was that we must not confuse spiritual gifting with office. Now, while I do not like the term “office”, I will use it for this discussion. His conclusion was that pastoring and teaching are both spiritual gifts, not offices. Since the Holy Spirit gifts different believers with different gifts, He may – and probably does – endow women with the gift of pastoring-teaching.
This series will center around the differences between gifting by the Spirit and office within the church. Is there a difference? Should someone holding a certain office always have certain gifts? Should someone with certain gifts always hold a certain office? If you think of other questions, please add them in the comments.