Here is an email Rich and I received...
Hi Guys. In thinking about the equality of women issue I came up with an analogy for Paul's viewpoint. I think His writings are viewed as backing up patriarchy but it is really undeserved. My thinking changed dramatically by reading his stuff. By allowing women to be in church he was 3 steps ahead of the culture of his day. Anyway, here it goes.
Imagine that tomorrow there is a new president of the Augusta national golf course. One of the first things he does is open the door for women to come play the course. Not just a few, but free access to as many women as want to play. Within a week, half of all the golfers are women. They are pretty happy to be there, but they are duffers and have only played municipal golf courses their whole lives. They show up in jeans and tank tops, drive their carts all over the place, drink eight beers each during the round, hit into the groups ahead of them, take 6 hours to play a round and basically chew up the golf course. After a month, the new president hears about what is going on and decides to take action. What do you think his letter may sound like?
I can imagine it would say things like, "if a woman is in a foursome with a man, do whatever he tells you to do, in fact I don't even let a women tell me how to behave on this golf course at all." You get the idea. Basically, I think if Paul walked into a church where a woman was behind the pulpit he would have a tear in his eye, and think "Wow! This is better than I ever imagined! They have taken loving and respecting each other to a whole new level!" Not, "Where is her hat?" "I really hope there is a male in leadership a rung over her somewhere here." Similar as my golf club president showing up thirty years later at Augusta and seeing an LPGA event and while meeting the new female president of the course.