Man and Woman in Christ

Men and women are different. (Clark, ch. 24, “Ordination, Occupation, Legislation”)



BTW, through the years it’s become clear to me that sex should never be spoken of as any “role.” There are no “sex roles.” Rather, sex is everyman’s duty. Sex is the very foundation of personhood there from the moment of conception. It’s not something anyone can take on or off. It’s personhood at its most profound and elemental level. The more objective our language having to do with sex, the better. “Sex” rather than “gender.” Physiology. Body parts. Obedience to the male or female God made us.


I think the difficulty with “duty” is that it at least implies a functional job description with a discrete list of things to do and not do. The benefit of using a word like “role” is that it tries to capture the fact that sex is wrapped up in our whole identity, and is actually not confined to a neat list of external do’s and don’ts. “Duty” in the singular might do a decent job conveying this (if people are taught and accept that duty to the Lord is a good thing and central to our personhood), but as soon as we pluralize it by talking about “sex duties” (as opposed to “sex roles”), it begins to sound like it’s actually not an aspect of our whole lives, but is just boxes to check. In my mind, when we talk about “duties,” we’re usually talking about something external to ourselves, the accomplishment of which can be measured. I wish there were a better word than “roles,” but I’m not convinced that “duty” is better, at least not in every case.

I also don’t think we should say that sex is the foundation of personhood. It is true that we do not have personhood without a specific sex (either male or female) assigned by God as part of that personhood. It’s a fundamental aspect of our personhood, but sex itself is not the foundation of personhood.

Also, for what its worth, Clark never once uses the term “gender roles.”

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I agree; I wasn’t meaning to suggest “duties” replace “roles.” I was simply making the point that it is our duty to obey our sex. Our duty to God Who ordered it. Love,

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On this we disagree, I think. “in the image of God He created them, male and female.” Not sure there’s anything possible between image of God and sex which could be labelled “personhood.” On other hand, I don’t agree with Barth that male and female are bound up with image of God. Love,


I like to speak and think about sex duties and roles in the language Scripture uses to speak about our salvation — an objective reality of who we are and have been made by God and how we are becoming what He has already declared us to be.

Justification is to being male as sanctification is to becoming and being a man.

God from my conception declares and makes me a male. Once for all act, never can be destroyed or changed. From the womb I am called a man. In obedience to His making me male I must now bear fruit in accordance with what He has called me to be. I must be a man because I am one. It’s organic.

Not a checklist. Not merely an external thing. Not a post-modern performative act. Obedience to my sex comes not from conformity to roles and duties outside of me, rather I have roles and duties that come out of me. I am a male tree and I must bear male fruit because by the grace of God I am what I am.