My Kind of Complementarianism

woman with thumbs upWhile I have categorized my position on gender roles as complementarian, I have wrestled with some ways in which it has been defined. One of my primary issues involves the distinctive roles between men and women, that I consider to be exaggerated or forced. Not only does this create more restrictions than I think is warranted in Scripture, but promotes some less than healthy attitudes. We can’t just look at 1 Timothy 2 and call it a day, especially considering that Paul was addressing a specific context. That has to be measured against the breadth of scripture. So while there is warrant for male headship in the church (which I translate as governing leadership) and home, beyond that I don’t see such as sharp distinction that traditional complementarianism has painted.

Wendy Alsup published a post that describes a new wave of complementarianism. I first came across Wendy’s writings at the Gospel Coalition and loved her treatment of Genesis 3:16. She’s obviously conservative (PCA) and complementarian but strives for a balanced and thoughtful consideration of how genders truly complement each other. Her post on a new wave of complementarianism resonated so well with me because it is the canonical picture that I see in scripture regarding male headship and the complementary aspects of gender in kingdom representation. She profiles 8 characteristics;

1) Belief in the trustworthiness of Scripture.  These women (and a few men I know as well who’ve talked about this subject), love the Word and study it hard.  They read, they study, and they listen.  And they do it all from the foundation that the Bible is God’s written Word, handed down through the Holy Spirit and preserved by God for the instruction of His children.

2) Belief that the Bible interprets itself.  The Bible is the best commentary on itself and gives us a great deal of information that, when coupled with common sense interpretive principles (like the fact that story is different from instruction), leads to much more clarity on issues of gender in the Church than some claim.

3) Respect for Church history and the Creeds.  Which leads to number 4.

4) Strong disagreement with Foh’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 that the woman’s desire for her husband will be a desire to control him.  This new wave of complementarian believers notes that Foh’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 has no history in the Church.  Before 1970, no Church father/theologian had suggested her interpretation of Genesis 3:16.  Instead, this new wave embraces Genesis 3:16 as reflecting an inordinate longing by the woman for the man, an idolatrous longing that is often the root of very bad choices on the woman’s part.  The answer to which is greater dependence on God, not the man, which then frees the woman to help the man as God originally intended.

5) Identifying with aspects of feminism.  This new wave of complementarians does not see feminism as the root of all evil on gender issues.  I personally think feminism rose up to address legitimate concerns, but a movement is not going to solve such root issues of the heart.  Only Christ can do that.  Feminism is simply a coping mechanism – helpful on some things, harmful on others.

6) Valuing complementary views of gender.  This new wave still values distinctions in gender. God obviously created complementary genders.  If men and women didn’t bring separate yet equally valuable things to the gender debate, we would not even exist to have this debate! In the older form of complementarianism, women were created with complementary gifts to aid the man in the areas in which he is lacking.  Women were created to complement the man.  But this new wave views this complementary nature not so much from the perspective of Genesis 2:18 (I will make a helper suitable for him) but more from Genesis 1:27, where God made man and woman in His image.  It takes two distinct though obviously overlapping genders to reflect the fullness of the image of God (and even then we still are lacking in our reflection of Him).  Complementing genders are about two genders reflecting God, and the female gender brings some things to this reflection that men don’t as well, and vice versa.

7) Not setting up marriage and family as the end all for women. For too long, conservatives have mixed up good things with ultimate things. Some set up marriage and family as the goal for every believer. I understand how that happened. Feminism seemed to undermine what women did of value in the home, and Christians felt they needed to strongly emphasize the value and need for women in the home. But few are good at emphasizing something positively and still distinguishing it from something that is ultimate.  What I do for my husband and children is powerful and important.  It is personally my first physical priority by my conviction. But I do not hold the view that my single female friends or married friends without children have any less powerful and important role to fulfill in the Body of Christ.

8) Not threatened by the terms submit or respect or the concept of male-only elders. Why? It goes back to point number 1. Those I know in this new movement trust Scripture, and that goes a long way when it comes to embracing/understanding a controversial word. Many also feel strongly that churches should allow women deacons.  Why?  Again back to point number 1.  And point number 3.  Female deacons are both biblical and historical.

Right on! Regarding #4, I think one of the unfortunate consequences of that interpretation are attitudes among men that women just want to gain control. While I do not agree with my egalitarian sisters on the issue of headship, this does a disservice to the mutually submissive paradigm that many egals uphold. It also has the potential of creating hostilities towards women by men who might think that any mention of women in leadership means women just want to usurp authority.

I love #6 and its implications. Outside of the Sunday worship service, I think the body would greatly benefit from more co-ed ministry, married and singles mixed. We can benefit from each other’s wisdom and perspectives. If women and men together are the imago Dei, than what better way to grow than sharing the word and life together.

Overall, I really appreciate that Wendy took the time to articulate this nuanced version of complementarianism.

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About Lisa Robinson

Servant of Christ, DTS Grad, member of Town North Presbyterian Church (PCA), non-profit professional, anti-poverty advocate, writer, thinker, explorer of ethnic food, lover of good coffee and a good laugh.
This entry was posted in church life, gender issues and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to My Kind of Complementarianism

  1. Laura M. says:

    I consider myself egalitarian, but that word, just like complementarian can be so mis-used and mis-understood. I appreciate Wendy Alsup. Her more mild/moderate complementarian beliefs and more diplomatic approach (compared to far too many other complementarians that I’ve encountered) is refreshing. I might (?) still be complementarian if more were like her. My move from “one side to the other” occurred over several years of intense study, consideration, and prayer.

    While egalitarian, I can actually “accept” (live with) a mild complementarian view – that is, women not being elders or the senior pastor, but no limitations beyond that. The problem is I have rarely, if ever, seen or experienced this!! It seems that mild complementarians give lip service to women having more freedom to serve, but it is not put into practice. Gifted women are not encouraged, or are only steered into the typical areas of working with kids and other ladies – rather than considering that their gifts could be used more broadly within the church, whether behind the scenes or more openly. As you mention, men and women together reflect the image of God and we need more “co-ed” ministry as you word it. I agree. Sadly there is too often a gender ghetto!

    The above, I must emphasize, has been my personal experience. I live in a very conservative area (in the shadow of Bob Jones). Since mild/mod complementarianism only seems to exist in theory and not in reality, it seems the only 2 options are strict complementarianism or egalitarianism. But I didn’t become egalitarian only because I felt backed into a corner, but, as mentioned, I also spent a great deal of time in personal study of the issue. Well, thanks for letting me ramble and share Lisa!!

  2. Laura says:

    I consider myself egalitarian, but that word, just like complementarian can be so mis-used and mis-understood. I appreciate Wendy Alsup. Her more mild/moderate complementarian beliefs and more diplomatic approach (compared to far too many other complementarians that I’ve encountered) is refreshing. I might (?) still be complementarian if more were like her. My move from “one side to the other” occurred over several years of intense study, consideration, and prayer.

    While egalitarian, I can actually “accept” (live with) a mild complementarian view – that is, women not being elders or the senior pastor, but no limitations beyond that. The problem is I have rarely, if ever, seen or experienced this!! It seems that mild complementarians give lip service to women having more freedom to serve, but it is not put into practice. Gifted women are not encouraged, or are only steered into the typical areas of working with kids and other ladies – rather than considering that their gifts could be used more broadly within the church, whether behind the scenes or more openly. As you mention, men and women together reflect the image of God and we need more “co-ed” ministry as you word it. I agree. Sadly there is too often a gender ghetto!

    The above, I must emphasize, has been my personal experience. I live in a very conservative area (in the shadow of Bob Jones). Since mild/mod complementarianism only seems to exist in theory and not in reality, it seems the only 2 options are strict complementarianism or egalitarianism. But I didn’t become egalitarian only because I felt backed into a corner, but, as mentioned, I also spent a great deal of time in personal study of the issue. Well, thanks for letting me ramble and share Lisa!!

  3. Tiribulus says:

    Lisa says:
    But this new wave views this complementary nature not so much from the perspective of Genesis 2:18 (I will make a helper suitable for him) but more from Genesis 1:27, where God made man and woman in His image.

    I always viewed it as both with the two defining one another. She is his helper in the covenant of marriage which is the context of 2:18 and his full equal in ontological dignity and value which is the context of 1:27. I have been saying for well over 20 years that man AND woman together constitute the imago dei in a fullness of expression that neither is capable of alone. Women are every bit as precious and valuable to the Lord as are men. Every bit. In fact I will go so far as to say that I’m not convinced that gender is present in the Godhead in the same way it is in us. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that God is neither properly male nor female or maybe both. He refers to Himself in the masculine and therefore so do I.

    You recognize me Lisa. You may be surprised to learn that in my church we have female deacons and ministers AND even one female PASTOR ordained as such who is the women’s leader. Our ladies practically run the church being involved in all levels of ministry including handling all the money, EXCEPT senior eldership. They are fountains of godly wisdom whose word is pure gold to me.

    All that said, in the context of HUMAN creation, God made woman for man in marriage and man to cherish, love, protect AND lead her so in that sense he made them for each other. In the context of New Testament ministry, woman can do everything except provide the theological direction of the church, which means senior leadership. Not because women are less intelligent or wise or strong, but because only a desire to find it there at all costs can reach any other conclusion from scripture than God has declared it that way. If the bible taught FEMALE headship I would embrace it with joy and enthusiasm. In fact there are many days when my life would be easier if it did.

    You have no particular reason to care I suppose but I sense you are inching toward a slippery slope in ever so beguiling and minute increments. This piece in my view evinces that when compared to this one: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2009/10/women-scholarship-and-authentic-agendas/

    • ljrobinson says:

      Yes Greg, I do recognize you. Thanks for your concern about my slippery slope. Would that be towards egalitarianism? Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion from what I’ve written here. Also, I see no difference in this piece and the one you dug up from a few years ago. My view is now what it was then. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Tiribulus says:

        You don’t seem very happy I showed up here. (I could be oversensitive and it’s sometimes tough to read people over the web)

        I wasn’t being critical, or at least I wasn’t trying to be. I appreciate your writing. I don’t see the exclusion of the woman’s creation as a helper suitable for the man in the piece from a few years ago which I didn’t “dig up”. I clicked on the “gender issues” link at P&P and there it was. I thought to myself “hmmm, let’s see what she says here”. I was favorably impressed by the piece and your comments. I then clicked on your link here by your name and here we are.

        I gave an honest observation. The diminishing of woman’s creation specifically as helper to man is not present in the old piece. It seems an incremental concession to egalitarianism. Feel free to straighten me out or ignore me or tell me to get lost. This is your place. I was, as I say, only making an honest observation. Please forgive me if I have offended you in so doing. If not, I’d be happy to hear that too. I do however have to do some runnin around now though.

    • Garland says:

      Tiribulus, you said, “All that said, in the context of HUMAN creation, God made woman for man in marriage and man to cherish, love, protect AND lead her so in that sense he made them for each other.” Since sin hadn’t entered the world in Genesis 1:27 or Genesis 2:18, what presented a danger in the garden (especially since Genesis 3 hasn’t happened yet)?
      In neither creation account do I see the words you use (cherish, love, protect, lead) and so I’m curious as to where you derive your view of the pre-fall relationship of man to woman.
      Oh, and not because she needs me to, but because she’s my friend: I can attest that Lisa has not changed (nuanced, but not changed) her opinion on male/female roles since I met her, personally, in 2008.

      • Garland that’s a fair question that I unfortunately will not be able to answer until later. For now I’ll just say that my intention was not to accuse, I like Lisa, and if her view has not changed then fine. If it has then I only wish it be acknowledged though certainly not just because I wish it. Nuance IS incremental change btw though and I will confess to having a real dislike for that word. It’s so………. Arminian =] (tongue is in cheek) http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nuanced

        Real quick, I am also an incurable systematic confessional Calvinist. I live by this rule concerning scripture: ” The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html
        I believe a systematic treatment of God’s descriptions and prescriptions for covenant relations between the sexes manifests what I have said above “by good and necessary consequence:” even if not “expressly set down”.

        Lisa, I assure you I did not come here trying to find ways to give you a hard time.

  4. Tiribulus says:

    Garland that’s a fair question that I unfortunately will not be able to answer until later. For now I’ll just say that my intention was not to accuse, I like Lisa, and if her view has not changed then fine. If it has then I only wish it be acknowledged though certainly not just because I wish it. Nuance IS incremental change btw though and I will confess to having a real dislike for that word. It’s so………. Arminian =] (tongue is in cheek) http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nuanced

    Real quick, I am also an incurable systematic confessional Calvinist. I live by this rule concerning scripture: ”The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html
    I believe a systematic treatment of God’s descriptions and prescriptions for covenant relations between the sexes manifests what I have said above “by good and necessary consequence:” even if not “expressly set down”.

    Lisa, I assure you I did not come here trying to find ways to give you a hard time.

    • Garland says:

      Nuance also means “subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone,” according to the same source, which is the meaning I ascribed to my original usage. Just as one might describe a “red car” as also being a “cherry red Mustang,” so have I seen my friend not change, but nuance her articulation of the same complimentarian position she has held since I’ve known her.

  5. ljrobinson says:

    Garland, thanks for that. Seriously.

    Greg, sure I’m happy you popped by here. One of the reasons I provide the link to my blog on stuff I write over on P&P is for that very purpose.

    However, you seem to be straining at gnats. You said “The diminishing of woman’s creation specifically as helper to man is not present in the old piece.” I’m sure you understand the concept of authorial intent. The older piece was written for a different purpose than this current one. Of course, in that piece my intention was not to show the women’s role in creation. So why would I mention it? Just because it is absent does not mean I’ve changed positions.

    As in all theological study, one does come to more comprehensive understandings of topics they study. In terms of the woman’s role of being the helper, I’ve come to understand ezer as synonymous with the rescuing that God himself does elsewhere that term is used. Of course, I’m not proposing any type of divine role for the woman only that her role is not so much of an assistant to the man but that of a completer.

    Also, when one uses the term “slippery slope”, it has the connotation of a loosening of orthodoxy. I failed to see anything I wrote suggested such.

    Anyways, today is a long school day so I don’t have much time. But I did want to respond.

  6. ljrobinson says:

    Greg, real quick. I didn’t read that last comment before I responded. Again, I don’t think my position has shifted as much as its been clarified. I’ve always had issues with the way traditional complementarianism has been defined. The more I study scripture, the more I’m better able to articulate why. This is what I really appreciated about Wendy’s piece because it really captured the nuances that I’ve wrestled with. Hope that helps.

    • Tiribulus says:

      I know you’re busy Lisa and if you’d rather not talk about this any further right now I’ll understand, but you really got me goin now. Honestly, I never really dove that deeply into feminine :”helperhood” or contentiousness as arising from the curse of Gen 3:16 at the exegetical/expositional level because they both seemed self evident and everybody I respected held that family of views. I also feasted on a strong diet of Jay Adams marriage books when I was very young in the Lord. “Christian Living in the Home” and “Solving Marriage Problems” remain at the top of my recommended reading to this day.

      It never occurred to me that abuse or denigration could legitimately be supported from scripture though I used headship against my wife during a long season of horrific drunken backsliding in my life when I absolutely knew better. I hated myself for it and I’m still rebuilding despite not having touched alcohol or misusing God’s word in a such a manner for over 7 years. (long story)

      The bottom line is: “What saith the Lord?” I believe that you, like myself, will believe whatever you are truly persuaded is taught in scripture. I do. Or I wouldn’t even be wasting time talking to you. I’m not afraid to be wrong. On this or anything else. As I told Micheal, it means I have more truth than I did before. I want that. The words “I stand corrected” are not dreaded by me.

      That said, it is far from clear that Calvin doesn’t see 3:16 as teaching contentiousness as a result of the fall. He renders the phrase as: “Thy desire shall be unto thy husband,” (of course a translation of his translation though) and then appears to view it as a command: “Thou shalt desire nothing but what thy husband wishes.”(his words) with the husbands rule as the delegated enforcement the very presence of which presupposes her unwillingness to comply. The very next thing he does is directly equate this phraseology with that of 4:7 “Sin is comin after you Cain and you better keep it under your rule.

      A few things need consideration here. First, IS this what Calvin is saying? If so is the issue settled? And if so what does that mean for us?
      1. I’m open to correction, but this sure does look like what Calvin is in fact saying. Her desire for Adam will be like sin’s desire for Cain with the only practical management strategy being rule in both cases.
      2. Still, Calvin is not God and cannot be allowed to singlehandedly silence this discussion. However, if I’m reading him right it does mean that Foh’s interpretation is not the first real instance of it in history and who knows if there may then be others. Foh isn’t God either. I haven’t looked closely.
      3. Does this mean that this is a prescription for marriage from God? Of course not. Neither her contentiousness nor his ruling over her. It does however explain much of the Old Testament. I should also throw in here that this COULD be a false dichotomy where Wendy declares that if the curse is not contentiousness (let’s not forget the famous warnings in proverbs) then it must be the idolization of men. Once again, why can’t it be both with varying degrees and manifestations depending on which particular woman were talking about at the moment.

      Though there are glimmers of God’s original purpose for and future redemption of marriage there, woman in the old testament were a step (or two) above prized livestock and polygamy was everywhere. In other words marriage itself, God’s first and foundational human institution was itself warped by the invasion of sin.The solution to woman’s undue pursuit of unordained authority AND her demanding from man what can only be bestowed by God, along with man’s disdainful condescending rule, is the cross. Where marriage is catapulted to the status of earthly representation of the Son of the living God with His glorious and beloved church bride.

      Now, in Christ, man can fulfill his design for loving headship and woman can trust him to gently and adoringly do so.

      I have to strop. This is alot, I recognize, but where am I wrong so far? (could be I am)
      It is critical whether 3:16 and 4:7 are analogous. For what it’s worth, even the ESV study bible agrees with me. Desi Alexander handled Genesis for that work. Hardly a nutcase misogynistic woman hater from What I can tell.

  7. Tiribulus says:

    I don’t know why I do this to myself. I can’t even keep up with the conversations I had goin before I stumbled over P&P to say nothing of this now too.

    This could turn into a good discussion though. I will believe literally whatever I am persuaded the scriptures teach and will have no problem being grateful for having been edified by being proven wrong if is the case. I mean that. Even from a girl, kooties n all. =D

    I am SOOPER busy too. Could I ask you what, if anything, I’ve said that you disagree with so I don’t have to assume? I will try to do a fresh word study on “ezer” as well as some exegesis on the related passages.

    What in your estimation is the substantive difference between helper and completer? Also, in my view, the role of women in the public ecclesia is vastly different than in the marriage covenant though there are considerations of each that effect the other.

    I gotta go for now. TTYL.

  8. Tiribulus says:

    This happens to me all the time. I just got in and I’m wiped out. This’ll have to wait. I know I sometimes have a brash and unrefined manner Lisa, (you may possibly prefer some other words, I know Carrie would) but you have my word I’ll be good here.

    • Tiribulus says:

      OK, it’s now an hour and a half later and I have been reading not only Wendy’s article you here cite, but an older one of hers asserting what amounts to the same thing. Very thought provoking and not immediately dismissible for any glaring deficiencies staring me in the face. Not immediately embraceable as a hallelujah shoutin epiphany moment either though. It would have been much easier on me had it been one of those because now I have to research, which I really love to do, but am also in the middle of about 5 projects I already don’t have time for.
      Garland, I saw you up there brother. I’m not ignoring you man, but my eyeballs are gonna fall outta my head. I need some sleep.

  9. ljrobinson says:

    Greg, I’m sorry. I don’t have room for a protracted discussion on this right now. Hope you understand. Again, thanks for the comments.

  10. Tiribulus says:

    Honestly, I don’t really either, but ya did git me thinkin. For the record I don’t see how one comes down on this as a make or break issue. If I remain convinced of the “and your desire shall be for your husband’s position of headship” interpretation of Gen. 3:16, I won’t view yourself or Wendy as apostate heretics for holding the view you do. For the further record, I have never assumed a manifestation of assertiveness coming for a woman as ipso facto evidence of her stiff necked refusal to overcome the curse of Genesis 3.

    Lastly, no theological question can ever be defined or answered on the basis of what anybody does. It must be defined by what the word teaches at every level. The fact of some men’s reprehensible denigration of and lording over women has literally nothing to do with whether innate contentiousness is included in the curse or not.
    You’re gracious host. I hope I haven’t worn out my welcome.

  11. Tiribulus says:

    I apologize. I just have to fix those two typos
    Honestly, I don’t really either, but ya did git me thinkin. For the record I don’t see how one comes down on this as a make or break issue. If I remain convinced of the “and your desire shall be for your husband’s position of headship” interpretation of Gen. 3:16, I won’t view yourself or Wendy as apostate heretics for holding the view you do. For the further record, I have never assumed a manifestation of assertiveness coming from a woman as ipso facto evidence of her stiff necked refusal to overcome the curse of Genesis 3.

    Lastly, no theological question can ever be defined or answered on the basis of what anybody does. It must be defined by what the word teaches at every level. The fact of some men’s reprehensible denigration of and lording over women has literally nothing to do with whether innate contentiousness is included in the curse or not.
    You’re a gracious host. I hope I haven’t worn out my welcome.

  12. ljrobinson says:

    “For the record I don’t see how one comes down on this as a make or break issue.”

    I’m not making it a make or break issue. It’s actually pretty minor. But I do think the differences in interpretation have implications for how we view male headship. That’s all.

  13. Tiribulus says:

    Oh no. I didn’t think you were.

    I was just making sure that you didn’t think I was. I am far more narrow, close minded and intolerant than anybody who writes for credo House. I am also quite unrepentant in that regard. My list of non essentials as far as considering somebody in good standing communion in the body of Christ is quite a bit smaller and higher than Micheal’s. I view someone like say, Rachael Held Evans as an enemy combatant and domestic so called Christian egalitarianism as it is being advanced in much of the blogosphere as a crippling manifestation of the spirit of the age.

    A snickering Satan’s well earned bonus to his spectacularly successful campaign against western civilization by wisely attacking the foundational social unit upon which God’s creatures were designed to function. Destroying both them and future generations by poisoning them before they’re even born. Every time somebody with the name of Jesus on their lips argues that headship in the home is a non essential peripheral matter of legitimate difference of opinion the enemy gets an extra satisfying side splitting laugh. The church is doing his work FOR him. In Jesus name. How much more could he ask for?

    This in my view is not that, is the point.

    Lastly for now. Whenever I cast my eyes upon the written word of almighty God for the purpose of studying especially something potentially controversial, I beg Him to save me from seeing there what I really want to see if it is not what He is truly saying. Search me Lord and may your truth ever prevail in my heart no matter what consequences it may pose to myself or my personal reputation. I cannot but be honest here. Forgetting for a minute whether she’s right or wrong. What I see in the comments following Wendy’s blog posts is a parade of cheering women who have not spent one single minute in prayer or research of their own, but are willing to proclaim her views as holy writ because they would prefer it if it were so.

    I don’t think I believe that’s you (I hope not). But it certainly is them.

  14. Roy says:

    Googling :Gen 3:16, Foh”, I stumbled onto this blog. Fascinates me that the response to Wendy Alsup in the link below gets nearly no attention. Believing both Lisa and Tiribulus would make scripture their final authority, I decided to risk a comment suggesting the link. Bluntly, Claire’s reply out scholars Wendy’s work and is much more faithful to scripture. That’s true even if one does not read the very incisive comments below both Claire’s essay and below Wendy’s essay (they are companions at the link below). The comments (super condensed summary) show that Wendy 1) Has missed some serious linguistic info and made too much of a pressed-into-service interpretation of “desire”; 2) Has not given any weight to the parallels (plural) in Gen 3 3) Does not deal with how the Fall wrecks havoc upon the husband in his relationship to the wife as well as what it does to the woman (Susan Foh missed this, too, or at least could have been more clear. Cf Wayne Grudem’s brief comment for a simple, straightforward exposition.)

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/09/17/a-sidebar-named-desire/

    • Tiribulus says:

      You’re a real troublemaker Roy ya know that. Right when I thought I was gonna get outta this for a little while. I hadn’t seen Claire’s article as you rightly guessed.

      Wendy does skate over the 4:7 parallel, telling the guy that they aren’t really analogous though Calvin draws about a 1 inch straight line directly from 3:16 to 4:7 450 years ago. Again I’m jist sayin that he did. Claire makes a few points that I was actually going to make myself above, but felt I was already pushing my welcome.

      However, I almost feel like this:
      “It also fits with the rejection of the roles and responsibilities of the man and the woman in Genesis 3, where the woman acts independently of her husband and leads him into sin, and he follows (cf. 3:1-6, 17).

      It fits because it is a distortion of the roles and responsibilities of women and men in Genesis 2 (2:7-24), where the man is the firstborn, is given the law, and has ultimate responsibility in the garden. The woman, on the other hand, is created from the man, and for him (1 Cor. 11:8-9). She is his helper, not his leader. She is lovingly named by him, and joins him in the new family he initiates. Instead of helper, she will seek control. Instead of loving head, he will rule.”
      was prophetically plagiarized from my mind before the fact.

      I haven’t closed the door on this, but I continue leaning toward the “contentiousness” view. I need sleep.

  15. Tiribulus says:

    See here’s the practical question. If it winds up being true that there actually is NO representation of the “contentiousness” view before 1970? Then that’s about 95% conclusive to me already. I am terminally suspicious of anything that somebody just discovered in the bible. If what I’ve believed all this time turns out to be wrong, I’ll change what I believe. With a smile and joy because as I say, I now have more truth than I did before. I honestly must wonder what percentage of Wendy’s disciples will be equally receptive to admitting error and enthusiastically embracing what they will have then had proven to them is more truth than THEY had before.

    How many will stubbornly cling to what they prefer by self manipulating deception? Why do they prefer it now which they clearly do with exactly zero research or prayer themselves? Because God would get more glory if Wendy is right? Men can and have been just as guilty of this so let’s not begin suspecting that I’m picking on women in this regard.

  16. Lydia Strickler says:

    Adding to the discussion, check out Hannah Anderson at sometimesalight blog. NWC ladies are not changing doctrine. They are not appeasing egalitarians. They are reminding everyone of tne image of God status being recreated in Christ.

  17. Tiribulus says:

    Why ya gotta do this to me now? WHY?!?!?!?! 😀 Now I have a bunch more stuff to read that I have no time for.

  18. Tiribulus says:

    Ok Lydia, IF the conversation between Karen and yourself over there is accurate and indicative of the motivation and fruit of this NWC then you have succeeded in moving me toward rejecting it. I had the exact same initial reaction DeYoung did, but have been somewhat tentative because I haven’t been able to look into it like I’d wanted to. As I say over there, IF the idea of career and individual pursuits that are not for the purpose of helping the man and strengthening the family absolutely FIRST is what’s being advanced, then this IS new indeed and a clear concession to secular feminism and it’s apostate egalitarian counterpart poisoning the church.

    Feel absolutely free to straighten me out (I can take it), but IF I’m reading you two right? Expect strong decisive opposition. And thank God for it. IF

    I as a husband am commanded to live my life as servant, protector, leader and lover of my wife FIRST in my call to conformity to Christ. THEN I am to fulfill all else He has for me to do. She as a wife is commanded to submit herself to helping me do both that and whatever else God has called me to do FIRST in her call to conformity to Christ. IF you ladies are saying that you oughta be intentionally having careers with the kids at home then you lost me for sure and what you are espousing IS pagan feminism.

    Say it ain’t so.

  19. Tiribulus says:

    I hope you don’t mind. I figured I’d stick this over here too.

    Lisa says: “I didn’t get a chance to interact with this on my blog”
    ===================================================
    I understood perfectly. You are very busy as am I and even if you weren’t, you don’t owe me anything.
    ===================================================
    Lisa says: “women’s role to assist man as he does the work”
    ===================================================
    Girls is the goofiest people 😀 no nO NOOOOOO! This is a vaaaast unduly constricted oversimplification of the somewhat significant content I’ve given here and on your blog. Proverbs 31 is also the word of the living God. There we have Bathsheba commending to her son a women with a very VERY full plate. Immense responsibilities abound, including business WITH MEN which SHE starts and runs and he confidently trust her to do so. In case nobody noticed, that there is a woman teaching her son (and by extension all men) who would become king, the unspeakably vital principles for choosing a wife. The short summation of that passage is that he would be nowhere without her which brings me to my next point.
    ===================================================
    Lisa says: “helper (ezer) has connotations of rescuing”
    ===================================================
    Of course. We can’t do this life thing without you. Gad said so. Adam was alone. It was not good. It still isn’t unless specifically gifted to singleness. She was part of Him. Taken from him. One with him. Still is when a marriage is functioning properly. He CANNOT live without her. She saves him, so to speak, from his own untamed masculinity as well. She is the primary instrument of the Lord in reigning in his passions and will as she subdues him by her God given charms(more explanation needed here). The one person in the whole world who’s opinion really matters most to him. She can make or break him with her mouth, Yes, she completes him and rescues him. He loves her for that. As he loves himself. He understands that those are the same thing. He joyfully surrenders all that he is and all that he has to her well being in obedience to a savior who has done that for him. This man’s life in the flesh is defined by his oneness with this women. That IS conformity to Christ to him.

    He recognizes in her gifts and callings that by God’s design he is to nurture and encourage and help bring to full flower in the Lord. That is an integral part of what headship means to him. She is better than him at many things. He would be a sinful prideful fool, not to take great joy and comfort in this. Praising God for this most wonderful of all gifts save only for the blood of His son alone.

    All of her gifts and callings are however also to be submitted to his godly management and service and to the service of the children she bears to him FIRST. THAT is what motivates her every desire and decision because this is pleasing to her God who designed her just for this purpose. That IS conformity to Christ to HER.

    Where do we see this today? Practically nowhere which is the point.

    ===================================================
    Lisa says: “And the capitulation to feminism and breakdown of the family? C’mon Greg, that is a cheap and false shot. Me thinks thou doth protest too much. ”
    ===================================================
    Lisa my dear, did you not see all the capital bolded “IF’s” in my posts on your blog? IF what Karen strongly implies above when she says the following IS what in fact what we’re talkin about:
    —————————————————————————————————–
    Karen says: “[some woman answered] men are called by God to a ministry/career; we are called to a man.” It was a bit of an awakening for me.

    Unfortunately this view of gender roles is rampant in fundamentalism/evangelicalism. I appreciate your pushback.”
    ——————————————————————————————————
    With proper biblical definitions what that unnamed women said happens to be the case though. Paul said “follow me as I follow Christ”, this goes for men and women. Peter focuses this a bit more for the ladies by saying in essence “Follow Sarah as SHE follows Christ.”

    IF IF IF the upshot of this is “I have MY OWN life, MY OWN career, MY OWN ministry and no man is takin that away from me” then that IS godless feminism in sheep’s clothing and IS to this day a nuclear arsenal in the hands of a lying murderous Satan who IS devouring our families.

    The bottom line is: “What saith the Word” Period. I am waiting for more than tenuous, new, novel exegesis to support this NEW wave “complimentarianism”. Whoever suggested that that word is wearing out it’s welcome may have a very good point too.

    Don’t ask me exactly how Lisa, but I feel like I at least somewhat know you a little by now. I juts can’t believe that down inside, you don’t sense the tug of the truth of what I’m saying here. I also think you believe that my motivation here is only to see my beautiful Jesus faithfully served and glorified. Like I told you. If that meant FEMALE headship, I would embrace it with joy and enthusiasm.

  20. Lora says:

    Genesis 3:16…..
    Repentance is translated from Hebrew word tesuva–turning away from something towards God.
    Hebrew word tesuqa is opposite meaning….turning from God towards something else.
    In Genesis 3:16, the word tesuqa is translated as desire…
    God was telling Eve that she would turn from Him towards Adam….and Adam would use her desire (or longing) to “rule over her.”
    Reading Genesis 3:22-24 are all singular MALE PRONOUNS. I believe God sent Adam out of the garden, but not Eve. Eve did what God said she would do—-she chose to follow Adam.

    Solution is Acts 5:29
    For we ought to obey God rather than man.
    Acts 5:29 is the moral foundation for the right to liberty–especially for women who are oppressed.

  21. Lora says:

    I married when I was 19–young and dumb.
    Towards the end of my 21 year marriage, my husband decided to buy houses to fix up and sell–“flipping.” Since he refused to listen to me (and to any knowledgeable men in finance) he was causing a lot of serious financial problems for our family (racking up nearly $60,000 in credit card debt).

    I suggested that he get a real estate license if he was going to ‘flip” houses full time in the future. Instead, he expected me to get a real estate license to help with his new business!
    I told him NO I have a BS in engineering design technology and that is MY career field.

    Furthermore, VP at the bank was in trouble because of my husband’s financial decisions.
    Since my husband refused to accept responsibility for his decisions and actions, the VP and I worked out the problems between the two of us. Last time I signed paperwork, the VP called me “Abigail” including the implication that my husband’s name would be Nabal–foolish man.

    Sorry- but complementarians don’t have any solutions for me.

  22. Greg Smith says:

    Oh Lord help me.

  23. Lora says:

    Many “Christian” men who engage in domestic violence use complementarist interpretations of Scripture to justify their sinful behavior.
    He that justifieth the wicked and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination unto the Lord.–Proverbs 17:15
    God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in they sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4

  24. Interesting. Yeah, most of the complementarians I’ve read seem to hold to a position of overall male headship and are similar to this perspective presented here.

    I personally tend to be a bit more submissive than most males though. As such, I still cannot see complementarianism working for all people.

    • Oh, yes. There is also an overall problem with using Genesis 1-3 to make a case for complementarianism as well.

      Matthew 19:11-12 – But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”

      A eunuch was always put in charge of a woman’s bedroom. As such, some eunuchs were gay, some were castrated, and some just chose this life of celibacy. Thus, women were definitely not made to complement these men.

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  28. For your consideration:
    https://jenniferjolene.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/two-verses-i-never-understood-before-genesis-47-and-316/

    These are the best, most accurate translations:

    Genesis 4:7 – “Will you not, if you do the right thing, be uplifted? And if you don’t do the right thing, there at the entryway lies a male goat, a sin offering. He is turning towards you, so rule over him.”

    Genesis 3:16 – “To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pain in pregnancy. In painful toil you will bear children but your turning will be towards your husband (like a sheep turns toward its shepherd); therefore he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

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