In short, I am a complementarian. That is, I believe that â€œGod has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complementary in function with male headship in the home and believing community, God has created men and women with distinct but complementary roles.â€
So I affirm that the scriptures teach that all men and women are created in the image of God with equal dignity before God. Christian women and men are indeed â€œfellow-heirs of the grace of lifeâ€ (1 Peter 3:7) and have an equal share in the blessings of salvation (e.g., Galatians 3:28).
Yet God has created man and woman to have distinct roles in the church and in the home. These distinctions of masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order and are not a result of the fall (e.g., Genesis 2:16-18, 21-24).
The Old and the New Testaments reveal a principle of male headship in the family and in the church (e.g., Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). This means that there is a Biblically prescribed patriarchy that must be observed in the church and in the home.
The brevity of this explanation leaves much to be desired and in fact may raise more questions than it answers. So I direct the interested reader to The Danvers Statement for a fuller description of what I believe the Bible teaches about gender.
In the current evangelical gender debates, I am very concerned that egalitarians are marshalling exegesis and hermeneutical approaches that distort the Bibleâ€™s teaching on gender. These distortions affect not merely the gender question, for the gender debate is inextricably related to the way one understands the Trinity (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11:1-3) and the Gospel itself (Ephesians 5:32).
I believe Russell Mooreâ€™s essay is important because it describes a leftward tilt among the so-called â€œevangelicalâ€ femininists. If not in this generation of â€œevangelicalâ€ femininist approaches, I suspect that succeeding generations of â€œevangelicalâ€ femininists will lay aside commitment to the evangelical doctrine of inerrancy.
This appears to be the current trajectory of egalitarian thought, and it is troubling indeed.