“Introduction” by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Ronald W. Pierce -- By: Bruce A. Ware

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 10:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: “Introduction” by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Ronald W. Pierce
Author: Bruce A. Ware

“Introduction” by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis
and Ronald W. Pierce

Bruce A. Ware

Senior Associate Dean, School of Theology
Professor of Christian Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

In the Introduction to their edited volume, Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, Ronald Pierce and Rebecca Groothuis identify some of the convictions and commitments that undergird the overall position of their book, including this important claim:

Biblical egalitarianism (as opposed to any brand of secular or pagan feminism) is biblically based and kingdom focused. It does not rest its arguments on secular political movements or a theologically liberal denial of the Scripture’s full and objective truth and authority for all time. Moreover, biblical egalitarians apply the basic historical-grammatical method of interpretation and the best principles of theologizing to their task. They make no appeal to “women’s consciousness” as normative; neither do they feel free to dispense with or underplay any aspect of sacred Scripture, since it is all equally God-breathed and profitable for all of life (2 Tim 3:15–17) (14).

Upon reading the commitment to full biblical truthfulness and authority expressed by these words, biblical complementarians (as the movement has come to be known over the past two decades, and as defined and defended in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 1 ) can only rightly respond with a hearty “Amen.” Without any hesitation or qualification, complementarians likewise express their zealous and heart-felt commitment to the full inspiration, inerrancy, and divine authority of the whole of the Scriptures. So, it is clear from the outset of this book that the debate is over the actual content of the teaching of Scripture itself. “Agreed!” we say with excitement to our egalitarian brothers and sisters, “this debate with you is over, and should be over, just what Scripture teaches about the nature and roles of men and women.”

Given this common commitment

to the authority of Scripture, we would hope that both sides, then, would say, “May the best man [sic?] win.” That is, may the side that shows most clearly and convincingly just what Scripture teaches be vindicated; may the side that defends and displays most closely the truthfulness of Scripture itself be shown to be correct; may the side which most fully honors the truth and wisdom of Scripture’s own teaching triumph in this debate; and may that position which...

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