Complementarian thinking largely draws on natural law as its general foundation. But grace does not destroy but supports and perfects nature. And so the church, the new creation by that special revelation in Christ, maintains this distinction in the church (e.g., in 1 Tim 2).
“For millennia,” wrote Owen Strachan, “followers of God have practiced what used to be called patriarchy and is now called complementarianism.” Others have made similar statements, and so we might not be surprised that Beth Allison Barr identifies complementarianism with patriarchy, which Barr understands as a system of male power and female oppression.
How does she make this connection between patriarchy and complementarianism? First, Barr discusses a taxonomy of patriarchy and highlights this definition of it: “A society that promotes male authority and female submission” (13). She then explains, “Both the tradition of male church leaders and the authority of male household heads function within cultures that generally promote male authority and female submission” (14). In other words, male-only pastors and male leadership in the home exist as instances of a larger patriarchal society.
Although Barr may allow for good in hierarchies, she does not explain if or how that might be the cause. And she argues that “gender hierarchies oppress and damage both women and men in the name of Jesus” (9). If I understand her argument correctly then, gender hierarchies as such indicate patriarchy, and patriarchy by definition creates a system of power and oppression that privileges men and devalues and damages women. [Read more…] about The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr (A Review)
Steven Wedgeworth and Wyatt Graham discuss the masculinity gurus (Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, etc.). I enjoyed talking with Steven. I hope you enjoy the conversation too!
Greg Morse from Desiring God recently criticized the new Captain Marvel movie for its feminist ideology. In the review, Morse argues that men should protect women and not celebrate their male characteristics as Captain Marvel does.
Yet not all complementarians see things like Morse does. All complementarians agree that men and women differ. The question is how. Morse, for example, sees super-hero like actions as masculine, implying that the ideology of Captain Marvel makes men cowardly: “Should we so cowardly send our women to protect our children and us?”
Is he right? Before answering that question, we need to consider how and why women and men differ.
In our day and in the Western world, 1 Timothy 2 might be the most controversial passage in the Bible. Here, Paul writes, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet” (2:11–12). While Paul certainly seems to limit a woman’s authority and instruct women to be quiet or silent, many are not convinced. They argue that Paul simply did not want certain women in the church to assume authority over a man. And in reality, Paul had a more egalitarian outlook.
But evidence from the first-century writer Clement shows that he sees the instruction for women be quiet as a general pattern of good behaviour. Before looking at Clement, I want to consider two egalitarian arguments that Paul does not forbid women from teaching in the church. [Read more…] about How Did Paul’s Contemporaries Understand His Instructions on Women in the Church?
According to the Bible, women have a unique privilege that men do not share. Likewise, Scripture points to one privilege that women do not have access to but that men possess. And these two privileges are:
Only women can give birth
Only men can be elders in a church [Read more…] about What Women Can do That Men Cannot And Vice Versa