I've been reading an evangelical ecclesiology (how you understand "church") book, and ran across a small section about women in the community of the church.
In the seminary I attend, although we accept women openly in pastoral studies, I think the way they are treated in the classrooms and community is an uphill battle most of time.
To be frank, I am supportive of women as pastors. I will have to tell that story sometime in another post.
However, in this book, Exploring Ecclesiology, Harper and Metzger present a great argument for women in pastoral ministry (don't know if they intend to or not, but it's good nonetheless). It's an argument that I've never considered before, and it's beautiful.
The authors use a combination of texts, Matthew 22:23-32, Ephesians 5, and Galatians 3:28 in talking about this structure that's highly debated. In the Matthew text, a scenario is presented by the Sadducees where the husband of a woman without children dies. In that culture, the status of women was severley low. The significance that women played in the culture were essentially child-bearers. If a woman did not have children, they were practically considered insignificant. In this culture, if the husband died and had no children, the widow would be looking to marry one of the brothers (if available) in order to continue the family lineage.
The Sadducees map out a scenario where the woman married six different brothers, all of them dying. They then ask Jesus, "Who will she be married to at the resurrection?" Jesus answers that there will be no human marriage as we understand it at the end of all things. Essentially we will be married to Christ.
Harper and Metzger take it further by saying if there is a hierarchical structure with Adam and Eve (whatever you believe about that), that structure does not exist in heaven. Because of this, using Ephesians 5 as support for being married to Christ and not a spouse, and Gal. 3:28 stating that there is no designation between Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female (some argue this is religious, political, and biological designations), then for us to claim a hierarchal structure for church community leadership is not in line with what heaven is like. And if we are trying to proclaim the kingdom of God (in a sense, heaven coming to earth) here and now, then proclaiming a hierarchical structure for church community leadership is operating in the wrong type of future.
I love this argument, not just because I am egalitarian, but because it makes sense.
The "women in pastoral ministry" debate is another series of posts altogether, but this argument is extremely convincing, and I was shockingly surprised to find it in an evangelical ecclesiology book nonetheless.