Anglican Scholar Speaks in Defense of Women’s Ordination

( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2004 06:54 PM EDT

Reverend Kevin Giles, an Anglican priest in Melbourne, is criticizing the viewpoints of evangelical theolgians who oppose women’s ordination.

While Catholics are debating on the issue of birth control, evangelical theologians in Sydney Australia are dividing over the ordination of women.

The majority of evangelical theologians object to the ordination of women because of the premise in which God subordinated women to men in the home and the church. Many argue that just as Jesus, the Son of God, is subordinated in the Trinity so, too, are women in the spheres designated.

In order to counteract the argument supporting the Athanasian Creed which speaks of three divien persons as “co-equal,” the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and his doctrine comission examined the issue and produced a report in 1999, endoring the eternal subordination of the Son in “his very nature,” “functions” and “authority” to the Father. The report showed the Father rules over the Son like men over women, supporting male “headship”

Giles made arguments in his book, The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate (IVP, 2002), that the 1999 doctrine commission report contains both orthodox statement and heretical statements.

Despite being dimissed because of what he wrote, Giles continues to defend his belief against the 1999 doctrine commssion report.

In a commentary, Giles pointed out how the critics of his argument failed to show what the 1999 commission said and how it might be correlated with the Athanasian creed's insistence on a “co-equal” Trinity where "none is before or after another", "none is greater or less than another."

He wrote, “None of the charges against me is of any weight. My commitment is to defend the doctrine of the Trinity as expressed in the creeds and Reformation confessions of faith. In the 1999 Sydney doctrine commission report, women's permanent subordination is indissolubly linked with the Son's subordination in the eternal Trinity.

“If the Sydney theologians re-examining the matter embrace the Athanasian Creed's "co-equal" Trinity, they would also abandon belief in the permanent subordination of women. Logic would demand this but I find it hard to believe this will happen.”