• Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Female Pastors and an Amendment to the SBC Constitution

    As many of you know, the Southern Baptist Convention has been having an intramural debate over women serving as pastors. This has been sort of a surprise to many people because our doctrinal statement, the Baptist Faith & Message, is so clear on the matter: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Clear enough, right? How could there be any controversy? Well, we have a number of churches who are now saying that women can indeed serve as pastors. There are multiple justifications given for this. For Saddleback Church—which has ordained women associate…

  • Book Reviews,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    Book Review: “The Genesis of Gender” by Abigail Favale

    I just finished one of the most riveting and timely books that I have ever read. The author is George Fox University professor Abigail Favale, and the book is The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory (Ignatius, 2022). Even though I differ with the author on several important points (more on that below), her overall thesis is unassailable in my view. On some of the biggest and most contested issues of our day, this book is a breath of fresh air—indeed, of fresh, clean, Christian air blowing from the ancient past. In the Genesis of Gender, Favale exposes the philosophical and spiritual bankruptcy of what she calls the “gender paradigm” (p.…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    God Is the Sovereign Designer of Sex

    “God is the Creator of the human being, and simultaneously also the Inaugurator of sex and of sexual difference. This difference did not result from sin; it existed from the very beginning, it has its basis in creation, it is a revelation of God’s will and sovereignty, and is therefore wise and holy and good. Therefore, no one may misconstrue or despise this sexual difference, either within one’s own identity or in that of another person. It has been willed by God and grounded in nature. It was then, and still is, willed by God; he is the sovereign Designer of sex; man and woman have God to thank not…

  • 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,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible

    Pride Month and Ezekiel 16:49

    I’ve gotten quite a bit of pushback on a thread I posted on Twitter a couple days ago to resist the abominable observance of “Pride Month.” I was inspired to post the thread in part by Carl Trueman’s excellent column marking the first day of this month-long celebration of sin. (If you haven’t read Trueman’s piece yet, I highly recommend it.) My thread was simply a list of Bible texts dealing with sexual perversion and God’s grace to sinners. You can read the entire thread here, but the push-back I’ve read focuses on the text from Ezekiel 16: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom… they were haughty…

  • 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.…

  • Abortion,  Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Eyes Wide Open about Abolitionism

    Tom Ascol has written a long essay in which he makes the case for the Abolitionist resolution passed at the 2021 SBC and against pro-life dissensions from it. He also engages my last two posts on the subject, so I thought I would write a brief word of response here. Tom Ascol frames our differences in term of class struggle—the SBC “elites” versus the average man in the pew. He writes: It is the elite class that is woefully out of step with the rank-and-file believers who are working hard to see the scourge of abortion brought to an immediate end in our nation… Six times Ascol uses the language…