Man, woman and salvation

It has occurred to me for quite some time that when it comes to a theology of the sexes we need to connect with the gospel. I’m not talking about the analogy of man and wife being Christ and the Church. That is not enough to strengthen the hand of the Church now ‘the foundations are being destroyed’.

The commitment to patriarchy based on the Fatherhood of God is awesome and essential, but that is not enough, either. Too many men on the internet champion masculinity and femininity without referencing Jesus’ death and resurrection. That is a problem.

We can add a third prong that recognises the sexes as integral to how we are saved.

(You may recognise this from a previous comment when discussing 1 Cor 11:2-16.)

Simply put, men are saved because Jesus the man shared their nature and became the head man; women are saved because they are of the same nature as man by virtue of being created from man and for man. It is because man is head of woman that Christ the man is the head of woman in salvation.

And while we can say if man was not head of woman, women would not be saved, we can also say if woman did not give birth to man, men would not be saved. (1 Cor 11:11-12).

So, while both men and women are connected directly to Christ the head, they are connected according to their sex. The duality and order of the sexes is written into and essential to salvation and therefore elevates the doctrine of the sexes because it directly concerns the mechanics of salvation.

I’ve never seen this understanding discussed anywhere else. So tell me: am I theologically on point or heading into heresy? And if I’m on point, is it as useful as I think it could be?

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The needle on my heretic-o-meter was not moved by anything you said there.

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Maybe its me, but its a little unclear what you mean. Are you saying women are under Jesus’ headship via man’s headship (headship by proxy), or are you saying Jesus, as the God-Man, is woman’s head because He’s also a man (Jesus is man’s head by virtue of being God and woman’s head by virtue of being man)?

The first would clearly be wrong, the second I tend to think would also be wrong. Jesus is the covenant head of all redeemed mankind (both men and women) by virtue of being the 2nd Adam (Romans 5). The 1st Adam was the covenant head of both my wife and myself (before we were redeemed) without any sort of differentiation, so the same would be true of the second.

@Jesse not quite any of those options.

Jesus is the 2nd Adam because he is the man God appointed covenant head of mankind.

He is the head of men because he is a man.

He is the head of women because man is the head of woman, and he is the head man.

I would argue this is also the case for the 1st Adam (1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-12).


Thanks for you answer. Rereading the OP, that makes much more logical sense than how I originally took it.

I don’t think this is heretical, but I’m not sure that its really very helpful. It seems to me to be a bit of a distinction without a difference.

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In some ways, sure. But there are ramifications. For instance:

  • women who deny men as their head are denying the possibility of their salvation, i.e they deny they are connected to the head man.
  • people who identify as ‘non-gendered’ deny the possibility of salvation, i.e. they deny they are connected to the head man.
  • men who deny their position as head of women deny women the possibility of salvation, i.e. they deny women can be connection to the head man.

In a world where the sexes are being denied and societal representation is being dismantled, to declare that you must be man or woman to be saved is a galvanizing call to the Church and a challenge to the culture. And it’s not just a preference on God’s part, salvation will literally not apply to you if you are not the man or a woman God made you to be.

(Intersex people? To be talked about later).

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… women who deny men as their head are denying the possibility of their salvation (they are not connected to the head man).

Christian single women who don’t, technically anyway, have a male “head”? At any rate, I think there are clearer ways to make the argument you are making.

6 posts were split to a new topic: What’s a single woman to do?

@Hobbit, I assumed a certain understanding of the doctrine.

1st, when 1 Corinthians 11 says man is head of woman, it’s talking about a general truth of Creation. All men are to reflect that truth to all women to the degree their relationship determines.

For example, husbands are the head of their wives, fathers of their daughters, elders of church members, and so on. A man on a bus gives his seat to a woman he doesn’t know as a reflection of that truth. Elders are chosen from men as a reflection of this. It used to be that only men went to war as a reflection of that truth.

So, even if a woman is single, has no father, no Church and no male relatives, man is still head of woman and therefore Jesus the man is still her head.

2nd, I should also say, denying the headship of man does not mean headship does not actually exist. I will edit that to make it clearer.