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Biblical Gender Roles in the Church & the Family - A Controversial Question

How does God define gender roles within His Word? Is it a cultural issue of the day and time in which the Bible was written? Or are the command and descriptions of gender roles rooted in the created order as God intended? Dr. Al Mohler's recent article, "A 'Stained-Glass Ceiling?' A Clarifying Look at a Controversial Question" helpfully deals with a long-debated issue concerning women's roles in ministry within the church. He engages a recently published op-ed column of USA Today, showing the fallacies underlying such a secular, feminist viewpoint. Some excerpts:
  • "Completely missing from her analysis is any concession that God might actually have ordered this pattern of leadership restriction for our good and His glory. Her perspective on the issue is fundamentally secular in approach. In this view, where men alone can hold positions of authority and responsibility, prejudice must be the cause and access to these positions for women must be the solution."
  • "Those who believe that the Bible is indeed the inerrant and infallible written revelation of God are obligated to perpetuate and honor the pattern of leadership ordered within the text of Scripture. Furthermore, we must see this pattern, not as evidence of human prejudice, but as God's revelation to us -- a revelation by grace that is for the good of both men and women and the pattern by which God brings glory to himself."
If you ever want to dive into this issue for a better understanding of the biblical texts and theology of biblical manhood and womanhood, here are some resources to check out: The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood - proclaiming God's glorious design for men and women
  • "The mission of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is to set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women, created equally in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church."

What's at stake in considering this issue?

  1. The authority of Scripture
  2. The health of the home
  3. The health of the church
  4. Our worship
  5. Bible translations
  6. The advance of the Gospel

Core Beliefs: The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood The "Danvers Statement" summarizes the need for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and serves as an overview of our core beliefs.

Some excerpts:

  • "Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse."
  • "In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands' authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands' leadership (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7). "
  • "In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15)."
FREE BOOKS ONLINE.... Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem "This is the fullest and most informative analysis available, and no one will be able to deny the cumulative strength of the case this author makes." - J.I. Packer "This is the most thorough, balanced, and biblically accurate treatment of feminism and the Bible I have seen." - Stu Weber "After the Bible, I cannot imagine a more useful book for finding reliable help in understanding God's will for manhood and womanhood in the church and the home." - John Piper Chapter 1: A Biblical Vision of Manhood and Womanhood as Created by God Chapter 2: A Biblical Vision of Manhood and Womanhood in the Church Chapter 3: Evangelical Feminist Claims from Genesis 1–3 Chapter 4: Evangelical Feminist Claims from the Rest of the Old Testament Chapter 5: Evangelical Feminist Claims from the Gospels and Acts Chapter 6: Evangelical Feminist Claims about Marriage from the New Testament Epistles Chapter 7: Evangelical Feminist Claims about the Church from the New Testament Epistles Chapter 8: Evangelical Feminist Claims about the Church from 1 Timothy 2 Chapter 9: Evangelical Feminist Claims about How to Interpret and Apply the Bible Chapter 10: Evangelical Feminist Claims from Theology and from Ideas of Fairness and Justice Chapter 11: Evangelical Feminist Claims from History and Experience Chapter 12: Evangelical Feminist Claims that the Complementarian View is Harmful Chapter 13: Is Evangelical Feminism the New Doorway to Liberalism? Some Disturbing Warning Signs Chapter 14: The Current State of Evangelicalism Regarding Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Fifty Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns About Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

"Fifty Crucial Questions is a booklet adapted from chapter two of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

It offers an overview of the vision of manhood and womanhood presented in the larger volume by giving cogent summary responses to the most common objections to that vision. Because every effort to answer one question (on this important issue) begets new questions, the list of questions here is not exhaustive. Nonetheless, we hope to give enough trajectories that readers can track the flight of our intention to its appointed target: the good of the Church, global mission, and the glory of God. "

Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism Edited by John Piper & Wayne Grudem

Here are the chapter titles and authors of this book.... For Single Men and Women (and the Rest of Us) John Piper A Vision of Biblical Complementarity John Piper An Overview of Central Concerns John Piper and Wayne Grudem Male-Female Equality and Male Headship Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. Women in the Life and Teachings of Jesus James A. Borland Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity Thomas R. Schreiner "Silent in the Churches" D. A. Carson Role Distinctions in the Church S. Lewis Johnson Jr. Husbands and Wives as Analogues of Christ and the Church George W. Knight III What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men? Douglas Moo Wives Like Sarah, and the Husbands Who Honor Them Wayne Grudem The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership Thomas R. Schreiner Men and Women in the Image of God John M. Frame The Church as Family Vern S. Poythress The Meaning of Authority in the Local Church Paige Patterson Women in the History of the Church William Weinrich The Biological Basis for Gender-Specific Behavior Gregg Johnson Psychological Foundations for Rearing Masculine Boys and Feminine Girls George Alan Rekers The Inevitability of Failure: The Assumptions and Implementations of Modern Feminism David J. Ayers Is It Legal for Religious Organizations to Make Distinctions on the Basis of Sex? Donald A. Balasa The Family and the Church George W. Knight III Principles to Use in Establishing Women in Ministry H. Wayne House The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective Dorothy Kelley Patterson Where's Dad?: A Call for Fathers Weldon Hardenbrook Women in Society: The Challenge and the Call Dee Jepsen The Essence of Femininity Elisabeth Elliot Charity, Clarity, and Hope John Piper and Wayne Grudem The Meaning of "Head": A Response to Recent Studies Wayne Grudem

May the Lord raise up more godly men to lead and teach their wives, children, and churches.

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