• 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…

  • 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,  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,  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…

  • Book Reviews,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Junia Is a Woman, and I Am a Complementarian

    Scot McKnight is one of my favorite egalitarians. We are quite different in our theological perspectives, but he is an all around engaging personality. He is a fantastic New Testament scholar and a prolific writer. His interests are wide-ranging, and he is gifted both at producing serious scholarship and at reaching more popular audiences with his work. In my view, he’s a triple threat: serious scholar, popular blogger, and charismatic speaker. He has a gift for communicating serious ideas to wide audiences. His new little e-book Junia Is Not Alone (Patheos Press, 2011) is no exception. In this little pamphlet, McKnight argues at the popular level in favor of an…