Why I Was a Complementarian
Before I arrived at an egalitarian viewpoint, there were basically two things keeping me complementarian.
- I thought the so-called “plain meaning of Scripture” was in my favor.
- I thought gender stereotypes were therefore normative.
Now, my view was perhaps a little more nuanced and involved, but most of the arguments in my head fell into these categories.
Why I’m Now an Egalitarian
There was a radical shift in my thinking. Here’s why I changed and why I’ve stayed egalitarian.
- The “plain meaning of Scripture” that I thought was so plain, well, wasn’t.
- Because kephalē doesn’t mean “authority.”
- Because Ephesians 5:22 can’t stand without Ephesians 5:21.
- Because ezer kenegedo doesn’t mean submissive helper.
- Because women did teach, exercise authority, and hold offices in the early church.
- N.T. Wright, Gordon Fee, John Stackhouse, Greg Boyd, Stanley Grenz, Catherine Clark Kroeger, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Gilbert Bilezikian, Timothy T. Larsen, Mark Husbands, Stephen Spencer, Roger Olson, Philip B. Payne, William J. Webb…
- John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Paige Patterson, Don Carson, Doug Moo, Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, Wayne Grudem, Paige Patterson, Dorothy Patterson, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul…
- Because the whole sweep of Scripture points toward a radical acceptance of women as full partners, not as submissive, passive assistants.
- Because I realized that, as a complementarian, I was going straight from reading to application, and that’s no way to treat the Bible.
- Because partnership makes much more sense in my own marriage.
- Because it’s good for men, too.
- Because the church has only been taught half the story God wants her to hear.
- Because God makes more than two kinds of people.
- Because I don’t fit the mold.
- Because I was introduced to fantastic female leaders, preachers, and overseers.
- Because the complementarian arguments always seemed defensive, like they’re reaching and stretching to make their points.
- Because patriarchy leads to all kinds of abuse.
For these reasons, I can never go back, and I want to bring as many people with me as possible.
Click here to check out the CBE Bookstore, where you can find all kinds of good stuff, including an article written by myself and my wonderful, capable wife Kelsey. It’s in the current edition of Mutuality.