Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Incarnation and Male Priests as “Icons of Christ”?

By John Jefferson Davis
Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics

I have recently completed an article titled “Incarnation, Trinity, and the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood,” which follows an earlier article on I Tim.2:12 and Paul’s use of the creation texts in Genesis. In this new article I address the issue of the ordination of women in an Anglican context, and respond to an argument by C.S. Lewis from the nature of the incarnation in which Lewis concludes that the fact that Jesus was incarnate as a male indicates that women can not properly represent the character of God to the congregation.
I argue that Lewis’s argument from the incarnation is not convincing, in that it overlooks the changed nature of the priesthood in the New Covenant, the analogical nature of human language about God, and the divine purpose to assume a human nature, rather than an exclusively male nature (cf. sarx, not aner – in Jn.1:14), for the purpose of redeeming both men and women, who both equally reflect the image of God.
If this is an issue that is of interest to you – and apart from the question of the ordination of women, the discussion raises significant points regarding our understanding of the nature of the incarnation – you can read an excerpt of this article by clicking on this link: [to be uploaded]
The complete article is scheduled for publication in the January 2010 issue of Priscilla Papers.

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