Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Women in Apologetics (Part 2): Heads for Men and Hearts for Women?

Note: see Part 1.

Heads for Men and Hearts for Women? - Mary Decker

The trend

If you like to potter around apologetics blogs on the internet (my guess, if you’re reading this, is that you do), or if you attend apologetics events, you’ll notice that the ratio of men to women is skewed somewhat towards there being a lot more men involved in such things than women.

Now before anyone thinks this is going to be a feminist diatribe about glass ceilings and male domination, hear me out. I have no problem with there being plenty of men in apologetics. I want every Christian I can get to take an interest in apologetics – male or female. Moreover, I’m a pretty traditional Christian woman who believes in male leadership in the home and church, so a radical feminist agenda is most definitely not my aim. My aim is not to discourage men from taking part in apologetics, or to advocate for any artificially imposed gender balance, but to encourage more women to get involved in apologetics.

To do that, we need to consider why this imbalance exists to the degree that it does.

The demands of motherhood

Not all reasons for an apparent imbalance in this area are inherently bad. More specifically, there are good reasons why there probably should be more men involved on a full-time, paid basis in apologetics work. The sort of work done by William Lane Craig, Greg Koukl, or Mike Licona is a full-time job. Many women will very reasonably realize that the job of being a mom (yes, it is a job!) is a demanding one that doesn’t allow them to put in the same amount of formal apologetics work as their male counterparts. This is not necessarily a bad thing and I will elaborate as to why I think so later.

False dichotomies and misunderstandings

However, there are some reasons for this imbalance that are not healthy. In particular, there is a perception in some circles that apologetics is for men, but not for women. This perception ¬has its roots in a false dichotomy between head and heart, or reason and emotion, as well as a misunderstanding of the nature of men and women. It manifests in an association of head and reason with the male and heart and emotion with the female which does neither sex much good because it denies male emotions and female reason...

Read the rest here.

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