Gender Unity and Diversity with Lisa and Nelson Monteiro

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At a Glance

In his forthcoming book, The Grand Design, Darrow Miller explains how as image bearers of God, both male and female are equal in value and dignity, while also beautifully designed with unique roles and functions. Today we are joined by our good friends Lisa and Nelson Monteiro, who have both played integral roles in The Grand Design course and book creation. Because the Monteiros have lived in both Brazil and Canada, they have a unique perspective on the way cultural views of men and women can be helpful or damaging. You’ll hear about the tears, conversations, and behind-the-scenes stories that led to the creation of The Grand Design book and course. Join us as we explore the transformative power of truth and the unique challenges and opportunities of ministry in cultures rooted in sexism or feminism.

What You'll Hear
  1. Introduction (1:21)
  2. The backstory of the book (13:18)
  3. Malaga, Spain and what followed (39:32)
  4. Our gender-confused world (40:52)
  5. Rediscovering gender roles (55:46)

Nelson and Lisa Monteiro live in Victoria, BC, Canada. They are global workers affiliated with PAOC (The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada), serving under their Global Mission division. They work in partnership with Disciple Nations Alliance mainly in Brazil and Canada. Their mission is to help equip the church to be God’s effective agent of transformation in the lives of individuals, in their communities and in society. Their focus has been on the transformation of vulnerable communities as well as on equipping millennials and the younger generation to be God’s agents of transformation to society through their God-given vocation. Nelson has a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering and a M.Div. from Regent College, in Vancouver. Lisa has a B.Sc. in Kinesiology from UVic, in Victoria, and in Dietetics from UBC, in Vancouver. They have been married for over 30 years and are parents of three adult children.

Using the link above, you can read the transcript, listen along, and adjust the speed of the podcast while you listen.

The Grand Design brings in a big picture for all of us -- there is a sense of significance, of meaning, purpose, and responsibility.

Nelson (46:05)

  • 21:24 “There’s one word that separates South America from North America: covenant.” – Jose Gonzalez


  • 23:44 “Most people think that poverty is a ‘material’ thing. You know, people don’t have money. If you give poor people money, you’re going to end poverty. But the root of poverty is not a physical root–it’s a metaphysical root, it’s a root of ideas. And one of the greatest causes of poverty in the world is a lie, it’s that men are superior to women, and that lie has been manifested in cultures all over the world.” Darrow


  • 44:36 Fragmentation defines our postmodern society and culture, but this teaching integrates and brings together a big picture of what it means to be human. Nelson


  • 45:54 “If you remove God from the picture, then we cannot talk about meaning, significance, purpose and responsibility.” Vaclav Havel


  • 46:05 “As we talk about The Grand Design, we bring in a big picture, especially for this new generation, but for all of us really – there is a sense of significance, there is meaning, there is purpose, there is responsibility – this ability to respond – we have a part! One of the big things for me about The Grand Design is that it integrates belief and action, it integrates heaven and earth; it integrates the already with the not yet.” Nelson


  • 50:24 “The book is really a celebration of diversity and unity–and we use those words a lot today–but for me personally, I have felt a new level of freedom in being a woman; that I’m diverse from man. I grew up in the feminist movement in the 60s/70s of ‘I’m equal to a man,’ and I have found a new level of freedom in my diversity from men.” Lisa


  • 51:12 “A tenant of the book, and God’s truth is that we have equality, as Darrow has said many times – we have equality and value and dignity, as humans created in God’s image, yet diversity in our function and attributes. So I see The Grand Design as a celebration of diversity and unity. We are unified by our humanness and we are celebrated by our uniqueness, both as individuals and as male and female.” Lisa


  • 59:34 “So we want to come alongside brokenness but, as Nelson said, to make sure that brokenness is not the platform from which we operate but that hope and redemption are.” Lisa
Go Deeper

The Grand Design: Rediscovering Male and Female as the Image of God

By Darrow Miller

“Darrow offers a healing biblical vision where men and women reflect the relationship within the Trinity: unity without uniformity and diversity without superiority.” – Nancy Pearcey, Professor and scholar in residence at Houston Christian University, author of Love Thy Body and The Toxic War on Masculinity

“Rich, timely, wide ranging, provocative, and wise, Miller’s The Grand Design is a book to be read slowly, pondered, and discussed.” – Os Guinness, Author of The Magna Carta of Humanity

Throughout the ages, cultures have pivoted between two understandings of the sexes. 

Men and women are equal,
and therefore they are the same – interchangeable.


Men and women are different,
and the differences are exploited to falsely claim that some people are superior to others. 


But what if there is a third option? What if a true biblical understanding, rooted in the Trinity, provides a foundation and vision for the sexes, where unity and equality is possible without uniformity, and difference and diversity between men and women is celebrated without superiority? In an age where views about men and women have divided the church and the culture, The Grand Design offers an opportunity for everyone to discover with fresh insight all that it means to be made in the image of God, male and female. 

The Grand Design Course

DNA’s Grand Design course will surprise and delight you. Many participants find they are engaging elements of worldview and the biblical narrative in ways they never have before. Their self-understanding has improved, as they realize what it means to be transcendently and biologically male or female. This has breathed fresh life and purpose into areas that previously felt mundane and unimportant, and their family relationships have improved. It’s time that you discovered the Grand Design.

Take your first step by starting our free course today!

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