I remain hopelessly convinced that a correct and consistent reading of biblical revelation inevitably leads one to embrace some form of gender complementarianism. Hence, I tend agree with the broad biblio-theological contours of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). I say "broad" because just as there is hard Calvinism and soft Calvinism so there is hard complementarianism and soft complementarianism all of which have representatives in the Southern Baptist Convention.
For example, the late Baptist theologian, Roger Nicole, was an avid defender of gender egalitarianism and remained on the board of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) until his death in 2010. Nicole was a strict Baptist Calvinist and was revered among Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention. In fact, Founders Journal still has Nicole posthumously listed as a contributing editor of its journal. Other reputable Calvinist theologians like Millard Erickson, Alan F. Johnson, F.F. Bruce, and Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. are also closely tied to gender egalitarianism.1
In light of this, one must question whether the recently reported comments on gender egalitarianism by Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), were a bit extreme. According to Bob Allen of the Associated Baptist Press:
Egalitarian couples “preach a false gospel” by viewing men and women as equal partners in marriage, the Southern Baptist Convention’s top expert on family concerns says in an interview posted on his agency’s website.
“God designed us in such a way where we learn about him through family relationships,” Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore said in a wide-ranging interview with Mark Dever of 9Marks Ministries in Washington, D.C. “We learn about the nature of reality in family relationships, and in terms of what it means to image God, by being faithful fathers and husbands and mothers and wives.”
“Often, I think, the gospel is obscured because God has designed a picture of the gospel in the one-flesh union of husband and wife,” Moore said of his long association with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in Louisville, Ky. “When that is broken down, you have a false gospel that is being preached.”
“And sometimes you have people who are preaching a false gospel to themselves in their homes by men who aren’t loving their wives as themselves and wives who aren’t submitting to their husbands,” he said. “That then plays itself out in other ways later on in that person’s walk with Christ.”
For my part, tying gender egalitarianism to a "false gospel" goes well beyond hard complementarianism and resembles a sort of hermeneutical monomania.2 Does Dr. Moore really think men like Nicole, Erickson, and Bruce, among many other evangelical believers who disagree with Southern Baptists over biblical gender, are preaching to themselves a "false gospel"? His words surely seem to imply he does.
What do you think?
Read Bob Allen's full article: "SBC leader: Women's equality 'false gospel'"
1whatever the case, I think The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 clearly reveals a confessional allegiance to soft complementarianism rather than hard.
2no, I'm not implying Dr. Moore suffers from what used to technically be called a mental disorder. Rather I'm suggesting that reducing gender egalitarianism to a "false gospel" seems to be an excessive hermeneutical preoccupation with one biblical notion