I guess blogging is as good a place to be introspective and anecdotal as anywhere else, right? I’ve decidedly chosen to “think out loud” here at ThinkTheology.org for a number of years now, so this isn’t really all that new. I’ve written in the past about why I think the “gospel-centered” movements should abandon complementarianism as their default, about why I think William Webb’s redemptive movement hermeneutical model is applicable to complementarians, and discussed why I appreciated “compassionate” complementarianism. Even when I was describing myself as a “soft complementarian,” I was enjoying what egalitarians were saying about trajectory hermeneutics. I even reported my two days of being an “egalitarian” husband and father (day 1 and day 6) in addition to my acknowledgement that our presuppositions play a huge role in how we approach this subject. As these links attest, I’ve done my share of constructive criticism toward complementarianism as well as talked about poor arguments made by egalitarians. As you can tell, I’ve been interested in the subject of women in ministry for a long time. Eight years ago I was a convinced complementarian. Five years ago I was a soft complementarian. For the past two years I’ve been “undecided.” Currently I’d describe myself in the following way: [Read more…]
I generally define myself as a “soft-Complementarian” when it comes to my understanding of how Scripture informs us concerning the issue of women serving in ministry. In a nutshell, I hesitate at seeing Scripture affirming women as Elders (Pastors, Overseers) but do not see a problem with women teaching or preaching within the context of the local church gatherings. I suppose I could even state that I believe that the normative way in which a “senior” church leadership team should exist is by having men as a part of that group. That means that I’m not necessarily opposed to women being “team members” nor that I think this is the way it must always be (hence the use of my word “normative”). [Read more…]
I’ve been slowly reworking through William J. Webb’s Slaves, Women, & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Those who are aware of the issues related to gender, women in ministry, and hermeneutics will recognize Webb’s name. In fact, his work is probably one of the most widely respected books advocating for some significant changes in our hermeneutical method. So much so that folks like Wayne Grudem have written some pretty exhaustive responses to his book (cf. this review here). I think it’s safe to say that “hard” Complementarians find Webb’s work significantly problematic (cf. the responses to Webb’s essay in Four Views on Moving beyond the Bible to Theology).
But I’m afraid that many of the Complementarians that I’ve heard talk about Webb have failed to really represent him well. On more than one occasion, I’ve had opponents of Webb’s position represent him as a “liberal” with a disdain for biblical authority. He’s painted as a scholar who wants to erode biblical authority in the life of the church and allow culture to shape our praxis.
Would you please, kindly, stop the bus. I’m not drinking that water. [Read more…]