• 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,  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

    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

    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…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    How To Turn Complementarians into Egalitarians

    Mike Bird and Devi Abraham recently interviewed authors Kristin DuMez, Beth Allison Barr, and Aimee Byrd (see video below). All three of these authors have written books condemning complementarianism. Both DuMez and Barr are convinced egalitarians. While I have never heard Byrd own that label, she has said in her book that she is not a complementarian. In any case, it’s difficult to detect any daylight between Byrd’s position and that of the two egalitarians in this interview. They all three are very much opposed to complementarian theology, which is denigrated as abusive patriarchy in this interview. One thing that they all three seem to agree on is the need…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Albert Mohler Offers 10 Points on Complementarianism in the SBC

    Earlier today, Albert Mohler delivered a timely and needed chapel message on complementarianism. It is a message that is timely not only for our seminary community but also for our entire denomination—the Southern Baptist Convention. In the last half of the message, Mohler offers ten points on complementarianism in our denominational life. I have the video above cued up to begin at those ten points. Below you can read my notes on the ten points. I have some quotes sprinkled in here and there, but my notes are no substitute for listening to the entire message. I hope you will.

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Complementarianism? What’s in a name?

    Over the last several weeks, the evangelical interwebs have been astir with debates about women preaching and complementarianism. I have noticed in much of this discussion that there seems to be much confusion about what complementarianism is. As a result, some of us have been trying to address this confusion in hopes of shedding some light on the matter (see here, here, and here). But that is not my purpose in this short post. Rather, what I would like to do is make a brief historical point about the origin and referent of the term complementarian. While it was common for older commentators to point out that Adam and Eve…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Can broad and narrow complementarians coexist in the SBC?

    Tom Schreiner is a world class New Testament scholar who has published extensively about complementarianism and egalitarianism. He’s also a Southern Baptist pastor with decades of experience in church ministry. Today, he weighed-in on the intramural debate that Southern Baptists are having about women preaching. I think what he argues here really gets to the heart of the issue. Schreiner writes:

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A mere complementarian reading of the most contested verse in the evangelical gender debate—1 Timothy 2:12

    Evangelicals seem to be more divided than ever about the issue of gender roles in the home and in the church. On the one side, you have the egalitarians. They believe that Christ came to abolish gender norms. For them, true equality means that both men and women can serve in whatever roles they feel called to within the body of Christ. If a woman wants to be pastor, great. If she wants to preach the Bible to men, no problem. As long as the person is gifted for the work, then it doesn’t matter what the gender of the preacher is. At least that’s how the egalitarians have it.…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    The Doctrine of the Trinity and Complementarianism in Recent Discussions

    Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference last weekend on the Trinity. The speakers include my colleague from Southern Seminary Michael Haykin as well as Scott Swain, Ligon Duncan, and D. Blair Smith. The audio from the sessions is now online. I look forward to listening to all of them, but I can already recommend to you Ligon Duncan’s message, which I just finished this morning. It is really wide-ranging and addresses head-on recent controversies. It is titled “The Doctrine of the Trinity and Complementarianism in Recent Discussions.” Here are links to the other messages: Michael Haykin, “Biblical Exegesis in Fourth Century Trinitarian Debates” D. Blair Smith, “Trinitarian Relations in the…