Have you ever wondered how egalitarian and complementarian marriages play out differently on a day-to-day level?
In this unique book Aída and William Spencer and Steve and Celestia Tracy, two couples from the differing perspectives of egalitarianism and soft complementarianism, share a constructive dialogue about marriage in practice. They cover a variety of topics like marriage discipleship, headship and submission, roles and decision-making, and intimacy in marriage. Also included are responses from three additional cultural frameworks: North American Hispanic, Korean American and African American.
Whether you’re still working out your views on marriage or have found an approach you’re comfortable with, this book will help you better understand the two perspectives on the ground level. While the theological starting points are different, you may be surprised to see the degree of convergence on practical issues as the dialogue unfolds.
This dialogue between professional scholar-ministers who are also couples living in exemplary marriages is incredibly helpful because they show theologically and personally the similarities and differences between complementarians and egalitarians. Because they dialogue respectfully as friends, the clear presentation of their similarities and differences is all the more helpful. It’s a must-read for scholars who want to explore theology and exegesis, pastors and counselors who want to do better marital counseling, and people who need examples for more Christ-honoring marriages.
—Gerry Breshears, professor of theology, Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon
Aída Besançon Spencer (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She has served as a community organizer, Protestant campus minister, adjunct professor at New York Theological Seminary, academic dean for the Alpha-Omega Community Theological School and pastor of organization of Pilgrim Church. She has spoken at churches, conferences and classes on different biblical, theological and experiential aspects of marriage. Spencer is an ordained Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and is the author of Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry, Paul’s Literary Style: A Stylistic and Historical Comparison of II Corinthians 11:16-12:13, Romans 8: 9-39, and Philippians 3:2-4:13, 2 Corinthians, Daily Bible Commentary and coeditor of The Latino Heritage Bible.
William David Spencer (Th.D., Boston University; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary) is the ranked adjunct associate professor of theology and the arts at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME) in Boston. He has served as protestant chaplain at Rider University, adjunct professor with New York Theological Seminary and helped establish and serve as director of personnel for the Alpha-Omega Community Theological School (A.C.T.S.). Spencer is an ordained Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and speaks regularly at churches, conference and classes on biblical, theological and experiential aspects of marriage. He is also the author of Mysterium and Mystery: The Clerical Crime Novel, Dread Jesus and coedited Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader.
Steve Tracy (Ph.D.) is professor of theology and ethics and Phoenix Seminary. He has published numerous articles on sexuality and abuse and is author of the book Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse. He also serves on the Arizona governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women. With his wife, Celestia, he is cofounder of Mending the Soul Ministries, an organization committed to providing education and resources for the church and community on abuse, sexuality and healthy intimacy.
Celestia Tracy (M.A.) is founder and president of Mending the Soul Ministries, an organization committed to providing education and resources for the church and community on abuse, sexuality and healthy intimacy. Celestia is in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a partner with Professional Counseling Associates.