• Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Non-Contradicton (not Subscription) Is the SBC’s Confessional Standard

    If anything became clear at last week’s meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, it’s this. The SBC has a confessional dispute in front of it, and it is not at all clear where it is going to go. The debate is occasioned by the ordination of female pastors at Saddleback Church in California. When Albert Mohler rose to speak against such a practice last week, it was very clear that the floor of the convention was overwhelmingly behind him. So much so that the Credentials Committee withdrew its proposal concerning Saddleback church’s female pastors. Nevertheless, in spite of that show of solidarity on the floor of the SBC,…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Is Rick Warren Right about Gift vs. Office?

    An unexpected thing happened this week at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) when Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, rose to make a statement that began with, “It’s customary for a guy who’s about to be hung to let him say his dying words.” He said it tongue-in-cheek, but we all knew that he was actually referring to something very serious—that his church is currently under scrutiny from the SBC for ordaining three women as pastors just over a year ago. Just recently, Warren also announced that his successors at Saddleback would be a husband and wife team, both of whom will be pastors leading the…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Will the SBC Now Accept Women as Pastors?

    Last year, Rick Warren’s Saddleback church announced that it had begun ordaining women as pastors. This caused quite a stir at the time because Saddleback is an SBC church, and the SBC’s statement of faith clearly disallows female pastors. Our statement of faith, the Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M), says that the church’s …scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. So it was not a surprise that a messenger at last year’s convention moved to have Saddleback disfellowshipped from the SBC. This morning, the SBC’s Credentials Committee…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    How Do Pastors Enforce Their Word? They Don’t.

    Jonathan Leeman has a really helpful article dealing with the proper use of pastoral and husbandly authority. This is really insightful stuff, and I commend it to you. There’s a Satanic version of authority and a godly version of authority. There’s authority as intended in creation and exercised in redemption, and authority as exercised in the Fall. Godly authority authors life, like the root of the word itself. It builds up, equips, strengthens, serves. Satanic authority steals, takes, diminishes, destroys. Godly authority, as set down in Scripture and as I’ve witnessed it, is seldom an advantage to those who possess it. It involves leading and making decisions, to be sure.…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Debating Manhood and Womanhood with Ron Pierce

    I recently joined Rob Pierce on Sean McDowell’s podcast to have a discussion about manhood and womanhood. Ron is a well-known egalitarian and the editor of the landmark egalitarian work Discovering Biblical Equality, which is now out in a third edition. I’m the President of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, which is an organization that promotes the complementarian position. And we’ve both written a great deal on this issue. Sean says that our discussion isn’t really a “debate” but a “robust discussion.” But it’s still kind of a debate, I think. 😉 In any case, Ron and I go at it for about an hour. In a format like…

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Saint Paula Is No Exemplar of the Faith

    I thought it might be helpful to address yet another serious accusation from Beth Allison Barr about my representation of her work. On social media yesterday, she reacted to a critical review of her book that a colleague and I commented about online. The review offers a trenchant critique of Barr’s praise for “Saint Paula,” a medieval catholic woman who abandoned her children. Colin Smothers and I both commented that our jaws hit the floor when we read that part of Barr’s book. Barr’s response was sharp. She writes, Y’all, I’m a kind person. But I’m also a fighter. And I have hit my limit with @DennyBurk & @colinsmo. There…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Complementarianism as a Second Order Doctrine

    Last week, there was some discussion on social media about complementarianism as a second order doctrine. The issue was brought into focus by a recorded comment that Thabiti Anyabwile delivered about women pastors. He later clarified that he still believes in a qualified male-only eldership. Nevertheless, I think his video statement—if the off-the-cuff remarks accurately reflect his position—would still be problematic because he seemed to imply that having a female pastor would not be sufficient reason to leave a church. That’s much different than reading a book by an egalitarian or acknowledging they are Christians. If your pastor is a female and you are a complementarian, then you necessarily believe…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible

    Crucial Questions with Kristin Kobes Du Mez

    Over the weekend, I had an important exchange with Kristin Kobes Du Mez on social media. I won’t rehash the entire back and forth here. Some of it is linked below for your reference if you are interested in following the threads. If you boil it all down, she asked me a question, and I asked her one. She asked me whether I thought her book Jesus and John Wayne contains false teaching (to which I answered “yes”), and I asked her if she believes that homosexuality is sinful (to which she answered that she doesn’t know yet). In this post, I simply want to comment on her answer to…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    What happened at the ETS?

    Well, another annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is now in the books. I returned home late Thursday night from Fort Worth, TX, where this year’s gathering was held. For those of you who don’t know, the ETS is a society of theologians and biblical scholars who are dedicated to biblical inerrancy and a belief in the Trinity. At the annual meeting, members come together to present academic papers, meet with publishers, and catch up with old friends. Keep in mind that I only experienced a narrow slice of things, but here are my reflections on what I saw nonetheless. 1. Fort Worth and Nostalgia I confess that…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    Elite Evangelicalism’s Allergy to Complementarianism

    Former editor of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, wrote a jaw-dropping column last week. Galli’s essay discusses where the next generation of evangelical leadership is going to emerge from. Will it be from among “elite evangelicalism” (e.g., Fuller Seminary, CT, Intervarsity Press, World Vision, etc.), or will it be from among the constellation of “reactionary Reformed conservatives” (e.g., Doug Wilson)? Galli then goes on to talk about his tenure at Christianity Today and what it revealed to him about the priorities of “elite evangelicalism.” He writes, Elite evangelicalism (represented by CT, IVPress, World Vision, Fuller Seminary, and a host of other establishment organizations) is too often “a form of cultural accommodation…