Theology – Where Are the Women?

Through Pinterest, I found out about a blog that is hosting a read-through in 2013 of Calvin’s Institutes. You can find out the details here. Jono and I have signed up to be part of this. We already have the book(s) and it’s been on our to-be-read list anyway. It may be easier to read it with a group than trying to read through it on our own.

One thing I’ve noticed though, is that in the Facebook group that will be doing this, out of over 70 members, there are less than 10 women. Where are all the women theologians? I often feel as a woman that I am in a minority when it comes to interest in theological studies. Most of the theology blogs out there are by men. Most books for Christian women seem to be much lighter fare than discussing theological issues and doctrinal studies. Why is that? Are most women just not interested in these things? Why not?

Knowing what we believe is important. Knowing why we believe it is even more important. How can we defend what we believe if we don’t understand or know why we believe it? Doctrine and theology form the basis of our beliefs. They determine our worldview and how we behave in our world. What we believe about God will determine how we live our lives. Knowing who God is, what the Bible teaches about His character, will affect our day-to-day living. Or does the thought of God even enter our thoughts as we go about our day?

I know there are women out there for whom this matter is important. I’ve been able to connect with some of them through social media. But we seem to be a minority. Christian women, we need to make theology a priority, knowing our Bibles an important part of our lives. So, ladies, who wants to join us in a reading through Calvin’s Institutes during 2013? The readings aren’t long, about 15-20 minutes a day. Come join us! You can contact the host to sign up here.

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5 thoughts on “Theology – Where Are the Women?

  1. Well, you know I share your frustrations here! I think much of it has to do with how “the church” and evangelical Christianity does not generally encourage women to go deeper. It is a nature vs nurture issue. Women are not nurtured in this way. Women are often pushed or sequestered off into little corners of the church, and thus do not see their potential for God's Kingdom. As a female seminary student, I've had almost no encouragement or support from the church. I've even had men in the church question the point of me (a female) getting a degree! (Often the point of encouraging people to go deeper is to develop leaders and women can't lead in many evangelical churches…so what is the point of a woman getting a degree?) However, regardless of the views held on women in leadership, the input of women should still be valued and sought – shouldn’t it? Women reflect the image of God just as men do, women are Spirit-filled just like men, and women have Spiritual gifts just like men…isn't our input valuable? (Even if a church thinks that leaders should only be men, shouldn't those men at least seek the input of women? For example, by having a group of women attend some of the elder or pastoral meetings.) If our input is not sought, the message has been sent that it is not valuable. I know I am getting off on a tangent and to bring it back around to the point. In my opinion…until women are treated more like valued members of the team, until women who go deeper are encouraged rather than patronized, until women are given a few more opportunities (even if not official leadership)…the situation is not going to change. Thanks for listening.

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  2. To be fair to women who have children, a home to run, and perhaps work outside the home, reading the Institutes may be quite daunting. It isn't easy reading. I tried to follow along a few years ago when Reformation 21 went through them. It is necessary, but there may be women who are in a season of life that doesn't enable that. When my kids were younger, it was hard to find time for reading Scripture.

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  3. Yeah, I understand about the different stages of life. It just seems that most women aren't even interested in the topic, whether they have the time or not. I think my frustration is more over the seeming lack of interest in deeper things than this particular situation of reading Calvin.

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  4. Interesting post! I love to read theology and christian nonfiction, but I do know I'm in the minority. I wish I wasn't though. I'm not sure if it is because of (women) readers being too intimidated to start reading theology, or, if they just don't realize the benefits, or, if it's a matter of habits and discipline. If a person is not much of a reader anyway, I can see that finding twenty or so minutes for Bible reading and twenty or so minutes for christian nonfiction/theology may seem much too much. But if a person does read hours and hours a day, then it just seems right to portion out a good chunk of that time to God, in my opinion. I do think that habits can be changed and priorities rearranged. That's not to say that Calvin has to be the beginning place for someone 🙂

    I am potentially interested in reading John Calvin's Institutes, but not through Facebook.

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