This week, Christians for Biblical Equality, an American ThinkTank and Research House, showcase Derek Tidball who is a Baptist minister from Leicester and former principal of the London School of Theology (formerly London Bible College) in 2007.
Tidball describes his and his wife, Diane's, differing backgrounds. Her family were Methodist and his Open Brethren. He describes how he had never heard a woman preach but when it came to his own study of the scriptures, Deborah, Ruth, Huldah, Phoebe and Priscilla left lasting impressions upon him and questions he couldn't shake off.
He describes his own obedience to scripture even when it is 'unfashionable or inconvenient.'
After studying the hermeneutical and exegetical issues regarding women in ministry, though, he became persuaded that male headship arguments were left wanting.
Dianne, his wife has gone on to become an ordained regional Baptist minister with responsibility for about 150 churches. He describes how his own calling now comes after hers, his call to support the wife whom he describes as 'a brilliantly gifted female leader, without whose leadership the church would be denying itself the use of the gifts God has given.'
Tidball was struck by a recent advertising campaign which challenged viewers by presenting what looked like evidence of one thing, only to reveal the bigger picture and then surprise people out of their original assumptions.
Recent TV advertisements by a leading British newspaper showed what appeared to be a thug mugging an old lady, and a young man attempting to steal a businessman's briefcase. But when the camera drew back, providing a broader context it was easy to see how interpreting their actions this way would have been wrong. The thug was pushing the old lady to safety from an advancing car and the young man saving the businessman from disaster descending from above. The punchline was: "It's only when you get the whole picture you can fully understand what's going on.
Tidball describes how he respects those who differ in their views, (after all he thought that way once too.)
But we now see that if we're to interpret Scripture correctly we need to get "the whole picture."