Editor’s Column -- By: Bruce A. Ware

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 09:1 (Spring 2004)
Article: Editor’s Column
Author: Bruce A. Ware

Editor’s Column

Bruce A. Ware

Editor, Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood; Senior Associate Dean, School of Theology Professor of Christian Theology The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky

In many ways, these are exciting days for biblical complementarianism.

On the one hand, there are clear indications that upholding biblically faithful teaching on questions of gender is promoting a wide-spread humility before God and his word, along with a growing satisfaction in living according to the patterns that he has established for us, his human creation. In my travels over the past several months, I’ve had opportunity to speak in many settings on various aspects of “the gender debate,” as one might call it, and I have found such warm and enthusiastic reception to the clear and wise teaching of Scripture on roles of men and women. Perhaps as we witness denominations like the Anglican and Episcopal churches demonstrate that failure to uphold biblical teaching on the roles of men and women promotes even larger departures on questions of gender requirements for marriage and ordination, others may become even more resolved to seek to understand and obey Scripture rightly on these questions. We realize now, more than ever, that much is at stake—for our marriages, our families, our churches, and for the culture at large—in just how we interpret and live out biblical teaching on gender matters.

On the other hand, there are clear indications that the case for a complementarian understanding of Scripture is standing the test of time, and that alternate proposals from various strands of egalitarian scholarship are bankrupt and hollow. One example of this bankruptcy is seen in the warm reception among many egalitarians that William Webb’s Slaves, Women & Homosexuals—reviewed by Thomas Schreiner in JBMW, 7.1 (Spring 2002) 41-51, and also critiqued by Wayne Grudem in his article in this issue—is having, a book which makes its egalitarian case first by agreeing (essentially) with complementarians in their interpretation of New Testament passages! Only then does he invoke his proposal that this NT teaching, however, is not normative for the church today. Rather, we must look beyond the Bible to know how we are to live today. How dangerous, how deeply sad, and how wrong this proposal is. The encouraging point in this, however, is that complementarian interpretations of Scripture are proving true, as tested over and over again, and we rejoice in the steadfast defenses of clear biblical teaching that many faithful supporters of the complementarian position are giving.

So, both offensively and defensively, we see reason to rejoice that the complementarian understanding of Scripture is <...

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