Neuer’s Man and Woman in Christian Perspective (A Summary)

MSF – Neuer has been a major influence in my approach to sexuality. I don’t agree with everything he says but I think he still very helpful. You can usually pick up a copy of his book for under $10 online. 

Men and Women in Christian Perspective by Werner Neuer

Summary of Main Points and Conclusions

1. The biblical view of the sexes can be summed up in three points:

  1. The unconditional affirmation of sexuality within divinely set boundaries as a good creation of God.
  2. The full equality of man and woman because both were made in God’s image and fully redeemed in Christ.
  3. The distinction of male and female, which involves different tasks for the sexes and a different position of man  and woman.

2. The biblical ordering of the sexes consist in the man being seen as the head of the woman and the woman as supporter of the man (Gen. 2).

3. Headship for the man means:

  1. The task of leadership and direction in marriage, church and society.
  2. The acceptance of this leadership in dedicated selfless love, imitating Christ.

4. The position of supporter for the woman means:

  1. Loving subordination under male leadership.
  2. Completing the man by her special gifts as a woman.

5. The biblical ordering of man and woman (male superordination and female subordination) is an ordering in love, is sanctified by love and is also limited by it.

  1. It is sanctified by love in that it reflects the eternal, inner trinitarian love of God (1 Cor 11:3) and the covenant of love between Christ and the church (Eph 5:22ff.).
  2. It is limited by love, since love makes impossible every type of arbitrary male despotism and every slavish subjection of women.

6. As an ordinance of creation the biblical ordering of man and woman fundamentally applies to everyone, since it rests on the created nature of male and female.

7. As an ordinance of total love it presupposes the new person who has been redeemed in Christ and in him freed from egoism for selflessness.

8. As an ordinance of selfless love it ends the age-old battle of the sexes; it brings both sexes to God’s intended development of their character, and so fulfills God’s creative intention for male and female.

9. The biblical view of the sexes is the perpetually valid Christian answer to the perversion of masculinity and femininity by unredeemed humanity. It is a call to repentance directed at both sexes which condemns both oppression and devaluation of women just as much as the feminist revolt against God’s creation ordinance.

10. The biblical view of the sexes is of peculiar relevance to the present, for never before have the fundamental difference between men and women been so denied and the leveling out of all. except physiological, gender differences been so propagated. Behind this tendency to identify the sexes with each other, which find its sharpest idealogical expression in feminism, lies the confusion of the equality of the sexes with their identity. From the viewpoint of biblical theology this tendency is ultimately an anti-Christian rebellion against the divinely intended destiny of male and female. It must be seen as part of the eschatological rebellion of autonomous man against God’s ordinances and commands. That feminism is ultimately anti-Christian is frankly admitted by the feminist Mary Daly: ‘In its depth, because it contains a dynamic that drives beyond Christolatry [i.e., the worship of Christ], the women’s movement does point to, seek and constitute the primordial, always present, and future Anti-christ.’

11. Currently fashionable attempts to relativize the biblical view of man and women as culturally conditioned and in need of revision are bound to founder. This is because the biblical view of the sexes is characteristically different from the conceptions of its contemporary environment.

12. A more precise analysis of the biblical view of the sexes shows that it is  not only based on the created nature of man and woman, but ultimately on the nature of God himself. This view of God and with it the fundamentals of the Christian faith and Christian theology.

13. The Christian church should therefore make it one its central tasks to put into practice the biblical view of man and woman as fully and consistently as possible.

14. An unavoidable consequence of the biblical ordering of the sexes is rejection of female ordination to the offices of the church.

15. The spiritual power and authority of Christianity depends on making the biblical view of man and woman a reality. A spiritual renewal of the church of Jesus Christ can only be permanently effective if the biblical view of sexes is recognized as valid norm for Christian marriage and for the church.

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