As many of you know, I have been regularly attending a PCUSA church for worship on Sundays. About once per quarter my family has sat under the preaching of one of the female pastors. This has not been particularly easy because of my understanding of 1 Tim 2:12, but quite frankly I have had a tougher time in the past listening to many unqualified and rambling men (1 Tim 3:2)! Lisa Johnson's sermon on 7/1/07 was quite good, and I hope it will be posted online soon.
One of the truths that has made this scenario easier for me to swallow is the eschatology of woman. There is a very real sense in which Eve "finished" incomplete Adam (Gen 2:18). Scripture even goes so far as to say that women are the "glory of the man" (1 Cor 11:7). Women are the finishing touch / crowning jewel of our humanity and should be prized as such. Can it be an accident that the resurrected Christ was first revealed to and testified by women (Luke 24)? Or that Paul's salutations to ministry partners in Romans 16 called out many, many women? Or that the church itself is the very bride of Christ?
Don't get me wrong. It is precisely the eschatology of woman - the concept of being a "bride" that underscores the exclusive role men have in preaching. Men serve the Bride in this way as Christ serves His Bride, the church (Eph 5:25ff). Preaching is a form of guarding and service to the Bride and that is one reason men should be doing it. When women preach, this dynamic is sadly obscured and churches and families are weaker for it. Gender is not arbitrary or meaningless in God's program.
The reality is that I struggle just as much with a form of patriarchy that strictly relegates women's leadership to childcare, hospitality, and mercy ministries. I may not be comfortable with women preaching in corporate worship, but I am increasingly uncomfortable watching women being completely sidelined by men. In my dream world this would all be settled and I wouldn't have to deal with either problem, but here I am. If I've got poison to choose I think I will take this one for now. Believe me, I'll take a well-preached sermon delivered by a woman than an ill-informed / rambling effort by a man any day. And maybe someday generations from now this will all get sorted out and my great-great-great grandchildren won't have to make the choices I am making.