"cbmw.org will provide you tons of good resources on this [complementarianism]. cbmw.org They have a booth here in the exhibit hall. Recovering Biblical Mahood and Womanhood, a great book you ought to read on this." – Ligon Duncan
Ligon Duncan, in his 'role' as moderator for the panel discussion on complementarianism at this year's T4G, strongly endorses the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), as stated above. Why is CBMW so important to Duncan? Because until last summer he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Now Russell Moore serves in that capacity, although the website doesn't yet reflect the changing of the guard.
In the partial transcript of the complementarianism discussion featured in the previous post, it was interesting that John Piper did not remember many details about how "complementarianisim" came into existence. His buddy Wayne Grudem has written a detailed summary of events that led to the invention of this term and theological interpretation of gender roles. Last month we highlighted some of those details, and what follows is an excerpt from that history.
Wayne Grudem explains the early history of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
After his first article on kephalē was published in 1985, he received an invitation be a plenary session speaker at the 1986 Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting in Atlanta. The theme was "Manhood and Womanhood in Biblical and Theological Perspectives." He then notes that he was the “token complementarian” among the speakers who had been invited. According to Grudem, there was an imbalance with the plenary speakers that did not accurately reflect the membership in the ETS. He and Wayne House, along with several others, met “secretly” to discuss this.
Grudem then reveals: “We all were saying that we had to do something because egalitarians were taking over the ETS in a way contrary to the convictions of the vast majority of the members of ETS. So I made an announcement at the end of the ETS meeting that if any others would want to join us in a new organization dedicated to upholding both equality and differences between men and women in marriage and the church, they should please talk to Wayne House or me. (Gleason Archer was still president at that last session, and he gladly let me make the announcement.)”
A month later Grudem and House met in Dallas along with John Piper, Dorothy Patterson, James Borland, Susan Foh, Ken Sarles, and "perhaps some others" (Grudem's exact words). Hmmm….. During the meeting they drafted a statement on principles for manhood and womanhood, which included:
– Adam and Eve are equal in God’s image
– Adam’s headship in the family and the human race was established by God before the fall, not as a result of sin
– The fall created strained relationships (sin) between men and women with men having a tendency to rule harshly and selfishly and women having a tendency to usurp authority over men, etc.
Grudem explains that these concepts were the basis for the Danvers Statement and that John Piper supplied “substantial wording” for what would become the Danvers Statement. As Grudem reflected on that meeting, he writes: “We left Dallas encouraged that God was guiding our work.”
I believe this next portion of Grudem's summary is extremely important!
"We next met at the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort in Danvers, Massachusetts, on December 2-3, 1987, just prior to the 1987 ETS meeting at Gordon- Conwell Seminary. We finalized our statement, called it the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and voted to incorporate as the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. CBMW was off and running.
But we were still meeting secretly in 1987, not posting the meeting anywhere, not letting anyone know what we were doing. We just didn't want to get involved in controversy and argument while we were still getting organized and deciding what exactly we would stand for."
The President of Crossway Books, Dr. Lane Dennis, attended the meeting and while at the Sheraton he discussed with John Piper and Wayne Grudem the possibility of editing a book of essays on manhood and womanhood. That idea eventually became Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism.
Next Grudem shares the strategy they implemented to "take over" the Evangelical Theological Society, which included attending ALL future ETS meetings as well as ETS business meetings in order to vote for candidates for the nominating committee who shared their principles. Where have we heard this strategy before? (SBC)
Grudem then summarizes the results of their efforts, by writing: "When I reflect on the fact that the incorporation of CBMW, the finalizing of the Danvers Statement, and the agreement to produce Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, all came out of that one meeting at the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort, I think it is one of the Lord's pleasant acts of providence that twelve years later, on November 17, 1999, I had the honor of giving the ETS presidential address in that very same hotel. Those were the only two occasions in the sixty-year history of the ETS that the Sheraton Ferncroft was the primary hotel for the conference.)"
Finally, Grudem explains how they went public with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), by writing:.
"For those first two years we were still a very secret, by-invitation-only group. But by December, 1988, at the ETS meeting at Wheaton College, we were ready to go public. We announced the formation of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and handed out brochures. We even had a press conference (Christianity Today showed up, but nobody else). We coined the term "complementarian" as a one-word representation of our viewpoint. So we were now known to the ETS, but not yet in the general evangelical world."
They proudly announced the formation of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in the January 13, 1989, issue of Christianity Today. Then Crossway Books (CBMW's ally from day one) released Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 1991. The following year it was chosen as Christianity Today's "Book of the Year".
So now you know how the word "COMPLEMENTARIAN" came into existence.
It is somewhat surprising that John Piper's memory places Danvers in Connecticut, not Massachusetts. As important as the Danvers Statement appears to be to Piper, we don't know what to make of this geographical inaccuracy during the complementarianism panel discussion. It was a HUGE relief to hear John Piper say that you don't have to be a complementarian to be saved.
During the second half of this discussion, Ligon Duncan explained that he sees pastors having three different responses to complementarianism.
(1) Some will lean into it (embrace it)
(2) Some will put it on the back burner
(3) Some will question the issue itself
Russell Moore suggested a fourth category of hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity
If you haven't yet done so, we strongly encourage you to invest thirty minutes into listening to this panel discussion.
Here are the highlights from the second half of the discussion on complementarianism.
Russell Moore (17:22 mark): When people embrace this issue, they are forced to become counter-cultural in this society to say I love what it means to be a man or a godly woman say I love what it means to be a woman or simply to love children and to love families and to do what it takes to love families. So when you see that man who is working two or three jobs so that he can provide for his wife and children, when you see that mother who is not seeking her own career advancement but really sees pouring herself into nurturing the next generation and Titus 2 woman to woman ministry as being valuable and worth it, you’re seeing something that looks increasingly strange to the outside culture but strange in I think a glorious kind of way, which means that we as a church need to stop mimicking the outside culture even with the kind of pictures we put of women, for instance, in our printed materials. We give this picture that seems to say the supermodel shall inherit the earth rather than saying what we really value is not that Madison Avenue caricature; it’s something else.
Next Greg Gilbert makes two points regarding complementarianism:
(1) It is impossible to back burner the issue because pastors have to make decisions about who will fill the pulpit and read scripture from week to week.
(2) When women's roles are framed in negative terms – what women cannot do in church — it is detrimental. Gilbert says he wants women serving in every way in the church according to the guidelines provided in Scripture. There are certain roles God has reserved for women in the church, and Gilbert prefers to focus on them.
Ligon Duncan then asks John Piper about receptiveness / acceptance / embrace of the complementarian message amongst the young folks. Piper says there are thousands of young women who are embracing this. Really? He explained that there is a tremendous difference in the 20’s and 30’s crowd today and those who were viciously opposed to his ideas during the late 80s. Piper did concede that he is out of touch with the vast majority of young people.
Toward the end of the panel discussion, John Piper responded to a previous question posed by Ligon Duncan. Here is what he said:
John Piper: Can I answer your other question? All I wanted to add was there’s a line of continuity between simple homespun conservative evangelical complementarianism and so-called gay marriage, and in those days I used to say you're gonna quote Galatians 3:28 on me there's neither male nor female the way you're quoting it I know where that's gonna go and they would scoff at me, just scoff at me! Nobody’s scoffing today. Nobody’s scoffing today. There’s neither male nor female. See, there really is neither male nor female with that hermeneutic. Now here’s the question that I found. The question you asked was what do you to say to people who might be a little skeptical or whatever. The question egalitarians have never satisfactorily answered for me is if you’re raising an eight year old little boy or little girl, you're mom or dad, and that little girl says to mom mommy what does it mean to grown up and be a woman and not a man? Or the little boy – daddy what does it mean to grow up and be a man and not a woman? It will not do to just talk in terms of plumbing – biological – cause that's not your personhood. And it won't do to simply say courage, humility, righteousness, Christ's likeness. Cause [the] little kid's gonna say no, no I mean a woman and not a man. No answer. No answer. And that's the question I would ask these folks. What will you say to an eight year old or a ten year old who says what does it mean to grow up and be a man and not a woman? What separates me? And I don't just mean body. I mean is there anything that matters?…What are you gonna say if you can't give some articulation to complementarity between them. And by and large you don't. I read book after book after book after book in those days when I was trying to fight the battles. They never would address the issue. . .
It certainly sounds like John Piper is trying to say is that if you don’t draw the line between complementarianism and egalitarianism, the end result will most likely be gay marriage.
This appears to be another Calvinista fear tactic to intimidate pastors into embracing complementarianism.
Lydia's Corner: Ezekiel 24:1-26:21 Hebrews 11:1-16 Psalm 110:1-7 Proverbs 27:14