• Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    An Open Letter Supporting Women as Pastors

    Earlier today, I saw that Scot McKnight posted an invitation to sign a statement affirming women as pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The group hosting the letter is called Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM). Although I’m not aware of this group having any meaningful ties to the SBC any longer, this group has a history that was forged during the crucible of the SBC’s conservative resurgence. One early member of the group was Molly Marshall, former professor at Southern Seminary a well-known advocate for female pastors, and an advocate for “theological hospitality” toward those who affirm homosexuality. BWIM tweeted about the letter before its release and gave a…

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    The New Pastor of Saddleback Makes the Case for Female Pastors

    Over the last week or so, Rick Warren and his successor at Saddleback Andy Wood have made public arguments in favor of women serving as pastors. I addressed Rick Warren’s remarks in an article last week, and some readers have asked me to weigh-in on Wood’s remarks as well. Wood recorded a video explaining Saddleback’s decision, and there is a good deal of clarifying information in it (transcript here). To date, it’s probably the fullest explication of Saddleback’s view that I have seen, so that’s good. It’s also good to see that Wood wishes to affirm the authority of Scripture, to reject the transing of the culture, and to lay…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Rick Warren Has Done the SBC a Great Service

    Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Russell Moore’s provocative interview with Rick Warren, the former pastor of Saddleback Community Church. If you are a Southern Baptist and you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend that you take a listen or read the transcript here. Warren makes it crystal clear that he knows Saddleback is in defiance of the BF&M by ordaining women as pastors. He also says that Saddleback doesn’t need the SBC but that the SBC needs Saddleback. So it would be no skin off his nose to leave the SBC behind. Nevertheless, he’s going to fight Saddleback’s removal in order to make the SBC a…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Taking a Dog by the Ears

    Last week people kept asking me if I was going to weigh-in on the drama du jour generated by a salacious post at The Gospel Coalition website. My response was that there was no way I would be taking this dog by the ears (Prov. 26:17). As far as I could tell, this was “strife” not belonging to me, and there was no sense in making it mine for no good reason. Nevertheless, over the weekend it became clear that the conversation had taken a turn in a way that implicates not just me but all complementarians. So here I am now. The controversy concerns an essay that Joshua Butler…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism

    Answering Objections To Saddleback’s Removal from the SBC

    I have seen a variety of responses to the news yesterday that the SBC has found Saddleback Church to be out of step with “the Convention’s adopted statement of faith” and now no longer recognizes them as a “cooperating” church (Art. 3, SBC Constitution). As many of you know, the presenting issue is Saddleback’s recognition of a variety of female pastors, including one of their new lead teaching pastors. Having female pastors contradicts our statement of faith, The Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M), which says, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” As…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Sprinkle Reconsiders His Views on Complementarianism

    Preston Sprinkle is reconsidering his views on the debate between complementarians and egalitarians. If I’m not mistaken, he has claimed the complementarian label up until this point. But now he’s doing a deep dive on the issue and is processing out loud so that others can follow him on his journey. Recently, he released a two-hour video in which he talks his way through the exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and especially of verse 12 (watch video below). He announces at the outset that he is not going to come to any firm conclusions by the end of the discussion. He is merely going to talk through the issues. I…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Does the Bible Portray the Triune God as Feminine?

    Last night I posted an item on Twitter that received a good bit of negative reaction from some readers. While reading through Chapter 7 of Herman Bavinck’s excellent book The Christian Family, I posted several quotations from the chapter. This is something I frequently do when reading material that stands out to me. You can look through my timeline and see clusters of quotations from books that I believed were worth sharing. But a quotation from Bavinck last night seems to have touched a nerve. Here’s what I posted last night from Bavinck’s work (in order of appearance on my timeline): 12:06am: “People and nations were very different from each…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    A Discussion of Issues Facing the SBC

    Albert Mohler hosted a panel discussion about issues facing the Southern Baptist Convention in Southern Seminary’s chapel this morning. We discussed the conservative resurgence, woman as pastors, Saddleback, celibate “gay Christian” movement, and abuse reform. You can watch the video of our discussion below. If you prefer audio, here’s a link to the podcast. I’ll also embed the podcast audio below. P.S. I go by “Denny the Bruce” now. Podcast Video

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Saddleback Pastor Affirms Intention to Continue in the SBC

    The new pastor of Saddleback Church, Andy Wood, told the Associated Press earlier this week that he intends to expand the number of women serving in pastoral roles. He highlights his own wife’s role at Saddleback saying, “My wife has the spiritual gift of teaching and she is really good. People often tell me she’s better than me when it comes to preaching, and I’m really glad to hear that.” These remarks of course raise more questions about Saddleback’s status as an SBC-affiliated church. The SBC’s statement of faith says the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by scripture, and Saddleback’s practice obviously contradicts what our doctrinal…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism

    Why the SBC Should Remove Saddleback

    Over the weekend, a friend sent me a post from one of Saddleback Church’s social media accounts announcing that their new female teaching pastor would be delivering her first sermon on Sunday, October 9. Her sermon streamed live yesterday on YouTube, and I took some time to watch it myself last night. If you are interested in watching it, this link is cued up to her husband’s introduction to her message, and her message follows immediately after. I don’t know either of them personally, but if you take time to watch the message, you are going to see a husband and a wife that seem as sweet as they can…