• Complementarianism,  SBC

    Responding to Three Concerns about the Law Amendment

    The leader of Tennessee Baptists, Randy Davis, just released an article opposing the Law amendment. He gives three reasons for opposing it. First, he says that it is not necessary because Southern Baptists demonstrated last summer that they can remove churches that violate our confessional parameters. Second, the amendment legalistically imposes a confession on SBC churches and violates principles of “soul competency” and “priesthood of believers.” Third, passing the amendment will set a precedent of going beyond the BF&M to establish the parameters for our cooperation (e.g., Millennial views, Reformed theology, etc.). What are we to make of these arguments? I don’t know Mr. Davis personally, but I am grateful…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Can Complementarianism include female associate pastors?

    Someone recently asked me a question about complementarianism, and I thought it might be useful to share with readers more broadly the answer that I gave privately–especially in light of recent controversies in the Southern Baptist Convention concerning women serving as pastors. Here’s the question followed by my lightly edited answer. Do you think complementarianism is a big enough tent to include those who restrict the office of elder/senior pastor to men but still allow women to serve in associate pastors roles? From a normative perspective, I think the answer is clearly no. If we take The Danvers Statement as baseline complementarianism, it says that some governing and teaching roles…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  SBC

    Responding to Opposition to the Law Amendment

    Pastor Steven Bezner has published an article arguing “Against the Law Amendment” in which he urges messengers to to vote against the measure at the upcoming SBC meeting in Indianapolis. Interestingly, Bezner doesn’t really argue against what the amendment actually says but against what he perceives as ulterior motives on the part of those who support the amendment. He writes: The Law Amendment seeks to clarify the extent of complementarian commitments within the SBC, answering this question: can a church remain in good standing with the Southern Baptist Convention if they have women staff members holding the title of pastor? If the question stopped there, the conversation around the Law…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  SBC

    Can’t we all just get along in the SBC?

    I just read a helpful thread by Bart Barber, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), about cooperation and non-connectionalism in Southern Baptist life. Among other things, he writes: This local-church non-connectionalism simply says that two churches can do something together without taking on any responsibility before God for the other church… This idea is woven into Article XIV (“Cooperation”) and Article XV (“The Christian and the Social Order”) of The Baptist Faith & Message. Those articles remind churches that it does not compromise a church’s faith to cooperate with other churches who differ theologically. Quoting from the Baptist Faith & Message, he elaborates: “Christian unity in the New…

  • Complementarianism,  Culture,  Entertainment

    The Child Will Never Be Born

    My wife and I had been hearing and reading mixed reviews on the Barbie film, so last night we decided to go and check it out for ourselves. I think it’s safe to say that from the jump, the film left us pretty cold. The very first scene shows morose-looking little girls in a dark and barren landscape playing with baby dolls. The desert backdrop and the sullen expressions on the girls’ faces make it clear that playing at maternal stereotypes is oppressive and limiting for a young girl. After all, there is much more to life than the drudgery of motherhood. So the girls smash their baby dolls into…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  SBC

    The Baptist Press Features Opponents of the Law Amendment

    The Baptist Press (BP) is the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and in the last two days BP has run three different news items airing the perspectives of opponents to the Law Amendment. The first focuses on remarks from James Merritt who proposed a task force that some people hope will offer an alternative to the Law Amendment.† The second is a video interview with J. D. Greear who makes the case against the Law Amendment. And the third is a news report with an ominous headline about the Law Amendment, “Greear foresees ‘nationwide hunt’ if SBC amendment passes.” BP published one article featuring comments from…

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  SBC

    Texas Baptists Offer Lessons to Southern Baptists on Female Pastors

    Here is an interesting development in the debate over female pastors among Baptists. At last week’s annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), messengers considered a motion that calls the BGCT to… Affirm women in all ministry and pastoral roles, and that the BGCT Executive Board be instructed to have staff create programs, resources and advocacy initiatives to assist churches in affirming appointing and employing women in ministerial and pastoral roles. This motion is no surprise in the context of the BGCT. While the BGCT still has theologically conservative churches in its ranks, it also has a good number of progressive churches as well. It is the…

  • Complementarianism,  SBC,  Theology/Bible

    A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors

    Earlier this week, it was announced that Rick Warren had been installed as the honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College in London. After his installation, Warren took the opportunity to double-down on his support for female pastors and to claim that “my views on ordination are identical to Spurgeon’s.” I am no expert on Spurgeon, but I am reasonably certain that Warren’s views on ordination are not identical to Spurgeon’s—at least insofar as it relates to the ordination of female pastors. In his book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon devotes an entire chapter to “The Call to the Ministry.”* In that chapter, I can see at least three differences between Spurgeon’s…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  SBC

    Rick Warren Knows Exactly What He Is Doing

    The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced earlier this year that Saddleback church had been removed from the SBC over Saddleback’s calling female pastors. Just yesterday, the news broke that Saddleback has appealed that decision, which means that the matter will come before the messengers to the annual meeting in June in New Orleans. Rick Warren cites five reasons for Saddleback’s appeal. First, Warren claims that “we’re challenging the ruling on behalf of millions of SBC women” who are forced to sit on the bench and cannot participate in the Great Commission. This is a false claim. Southern Baptists believe that God calls and gifts women for ministry. It’s written in…