Archive for category evangelicalism

T4G, Complimentarianism, Creationism, and the Gospel

The Together for the Gospel articles of faith make the complementarian view of gender roles a gospel-related issue. Article XVI reads:

We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

In particular, Ligon Duncan argues here that:

The denial of complementarianism undermines the church’s practical embrace of the authority of Scripture (thus eventually and inevitably harming the church’s witness to the Gospel). The gymnastics required to get from “I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man,” in the Bible, to “I do allow a woman to teach and to exercise authority over a man” in the actual practice of the local church, are devastating to the functional authority of the Scripture in the life of the people of God.

He continues:

Two, and following on the first point, the church’s confidence in the clarity of Scripture is undermined, because if you can get egalitarianism from the Bible, you can get anything from the Bible.

I agree with Pastor Duncan and T4G on this one.

My question is: if complimentarianism is a gospel issue precisely because it devastates the functional authority for the people of God, why is creationism not a similar issue (esp. since his argument is based in part on a literal reading of Genesis 1)?

If succumbing to an egalitarian view does injustice to “I do not allow a woman to preach…” then how do they justify divergent views on “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…and the evening and the morning were the first day?”

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Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, an Interesting Read for Fundamentalists

I just finished Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (free .pdf here) via the Amazon Kindle application for my ipod touch. I simply couldn’t put this book down. I was drawn to the book because I had never heard of Tom Carson and because being “ordinary” resonates with just about every heart. 

Most of the book highlighted Tom Carson’s (DA Carson’s father) struggles as a church-planter in francophone Canada. The man was a militant witness in a highly Catholic atmosphere, often spending significant time in personal correspondence as well as visitation, passionately pleading with men and women to abandon the false teaching of the Catholic church and embrace Jesus Christ alone for salvation. His family sacrificed significantly in the financial realm, but was never characterized by a spirit of complaint or worry. Even towards the end of his life when his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Tom Carson remained faithful to Jesus Christ and never abandoned his calling as a minister of the gospel. 

Of special interest to me as a fundamentalist…

Being a part of Baptist Fundamentalism myself, I was intrigued to read about T.T. Shields of Toronto and the Baptist Union of that time. Having studied a little bit about the debates and controversy there, it was interesting to hear the episodes again from Tom Carson’s point of view, as well as how DA Carson interpreted the happenings through his more broadly evangelical perspective (he believes it unfortunate that Shields was so offensive and that he didn’t heed the warning of Martin Lloyd-Jones). Interestingly, Tom Carson disagreed with Shields on an issue (trying to force a pastor to take a church if I remember correctly) and ended up losing financial support for a mission-church in french-speaking Quebec. 

Also of note was Tom Carson’s apparent concern for DA in his pursuit of higher education. Shortly after returning from his PhD studies in England, DA Carson was asked to provide his viewpoint on the atonement in an edition of Christianity Today. Carson boldly defended the penal substitutionary view as being the paradigm through which we can understand all the other angles on the atonement. His father was pleased with the article and wrote a note, rejoicing that DA hadn’t shown any signs of liberalism from his training in England. 

Regarding Billy Graham and his campaigns, in one of his journal entries, he didn’t expound much, but indicated that he believed Graham was Jehoshaphat with Ahab.

Have you read this book? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts as well.

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