« J. L. Dagg: Interview Continued | Main | Ascol on Garrett on Calvinism in the Alabama Baptist, Pt. 1 »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Geesh, Peter, why must you be so diplomatic? These are very good things to think on given the stand that some seem to take regarding the BF&M. I hadn't thought about it in quite the way you've addressed it here, but I can certainly see why the Outpost with all their readership would not want such a rational comment as yours to show up in their comment stream. selahV

peter lumpkins


Thanks for throwing in your line. Diplomatic? Me? :^)

Personally, I think there are lots of good conversational talks to have pertaining to gender leadership in the SBC. However, whether egalitarians & complementarians may "work together" is virtually moot now, since the BFM2K--which definitively embraces a complementarian view--became our "official" confession.

Grace, SelahV. With that, I am...


Robin Foster


While they have the right to do what they want on their blog, I find it hard to see how they are having the open dialog they promote while removing your comment?

Joe Stewart

Peter - your name suits you, if only you could walk on water.


Joe: how do we know he can't?
:) selahV

peter lumpkins


To be honest, though I've not had a lot of comments deleted (though at least 3 well-known Baptist sites refused to post my comments), it was strange why Paul Littleton deleted that particular one. It seemed no more "off-subject" than others not deleted. Nor was it "attack" oriented, as I can see anyway. I think in the long run, SBCOutpost has a very steep climb to overcome an obviously tainted approach to "News."


Walk on water? Dog, I thought everybody already done that. You mean to tell me you haven't? :^)

Grace to ya'll. With that, I am...



:) well said Peter... and yes, the issue of complementarianism versus egalatariansim is the watershed that reveals one's view of the scriptures. Well said.



My brother, your wit and reason is impeccable in that post. If it had been me I would have published your comment just because of your sheer literary genius.

I know that we disagree about many things, but in this issue it appears that we agree. I am a complementarian. Scripture leaves us no choice but to hold such a view.

God Bless,

Michael Westmoreland-White

You've just turned the BF&M into a creed by stating that no Southern Baptist may interpret Scripture in a way that disagrees with any of its articles. This places the BF&M above Scripture, which is heresy.

Ever since the adoption of the first edition of the BF&M in 1925, Southern Baptists have used it only as a guide, a dialogue partner. No one, not even the most fundamentalist or most thorough inerrantist or creedalist in the SBC followed every article equally. That remains true today with the 2000 revision, though SBC leaders and supporters like yourself try to pretend otherwise. For instance, tell me what major SBC leader follows the article on Peace and War even closely, never mind literally? This is article XVI in the '63 and 2000 versions and XIX in the '25 version. You can compare them side by side here: http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp

If you were to take the attitude toward this article that you insist that egalitarians take to article VI (on the Church, which is Art. XII in the '25 version), which is where your quotes come from, then you would be leveling indictments against most of the SBC leadership for their militarism. And if I insisted that you read Scripture closely through the lense provided by Article XVI when deciding anything on war and peace issues, would you then reply to me that the BF&M isn't a creed and that you are free to disagree with it?

You can't have it both ways.



Hello, my brother. It's been much too long since last we chatted. Perhaps that explains perfectly why you come with tires squealing, gravel flying and a donut in my front yard.

Anyway, I think you've got it backwards, Michael. I challenge you to locate anywhere I've written one, single verb that suggests I am credal in my understanding of historic confessions. To the contrary, I've attempted to focus elsewhere, especially in light of some Baptist bloggers who have actually suggested that the BF&M needs *annual* renewal. No thanks. The Separate cautionary attitude toward all confessions is a heritage toward which I feel very close.

Rather, it is the current dissenting community--led by SBCOutpost & Wade Burleson--that has taken credalism to heights beyond any in the CR ever dreamed. Their "maximal" interpretive principle they seem on chewing, making the BF&M "the" single, "sufficient" bowl in which they mix up their recipes for denominational service, is the "heresy" toward which you should aim your guns--at least in my view.
And, if you had paid a little bit more attention to the context of my conversation there, Michael, perhaps you would not have pulled the trigger here so quickly.

My main point was definitively *not* to state my view of complementarianism--of which, I am gladly a card-carrying adherent--nor state the credal authority of the BF&M. My purpose was to demonstrate the Outpost's quite blatant inconsistency in, on the one hand, stating the BF&M is the "maximal" gauge by which to judge denominational service and on the other hand, bleating about egals & comps working together denominationally, despite the said "maximal" document explicitly affirms complementarianism. As you said to me, Michael, "you can't have it both ways."

As for your analogy with the Peace & War article, I think I understand what you are saying, Michael, but I simply disagree. First, as far as I know, no SBC leader is shunning his/her duty to "seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness... do[ing] all in their power to put an end to war." Nor is there one who would deny this statement as one agreeable to them. Do you know of any SBC leader who denies this article?

Surely, you may respond that some of them may not be as actively involved in pursuing peace--say, in Iraq--as do you or a thousand other activists. But activism is not the only way to "seek peace...and put an end to war"--at least in my view. Even worse, it is my experience that many, if not most, activists--whether left or right--devolve into an extremely judgmental community.

For twenty plus years I had pro-lifers--of whom I also gladly carry a member card--storming my office, perplexed why I wouldn't march down main street or picket abortion clinics and make a real difference, if I "really" cared about the unborn. My way of promoting the prolife paradigm was not good enough for them. So, I was viewed many times at best as indifferent and at worst, a closet pro-abortionist. I offer that to say, Michael, that all do not possess the peace activist agenda that you so faithfully embrace. That does not make them warmongers, nor peace-haters.

Contrarily, the consequent comment thread on Outpost was not about differing views of the way the BF&M could be understood or how various gender leadership models be implemented. Rather it called into question an explicit affirmation of the BF&M. Do you disagree, Michael, that complementarianism is the affirmed teaching within the confession? If not, I'm unsure how your analogy fits--unless you can show that SBC leaders question the very affirmation of the peace statement located there.

It's always a privilege to have you here, my Brother. With that, I am...


peter lumpkins

Jeff & Grosey,

Always glad to have you guys around. And, Jeff, thank you for the warm words. Also, it is encouraging always when we agree :^)

Grace, guys. With that, I am...


Michael Westmoreland-White

Sorry to come on strong, Peter. I have read your many posts against creedalism (credalism is British spelling) and I do not read SBCOutpost, so I do not know whether or not they are being hypocritical. I may have misunderstood your post. I can see urging consistency--which is what I was urging with you. Sorry to have misunderstood. (I still disagree with complimentarianism, which is just a new name for subordinationism, but I do like the way you try to approach things.)
The question as to which view is the one believed by the majority of the SBC is beside the point. Majority opinions come and go--egalitarianism was the majority view in the '70s. But theological truth is not determined by majority vote.

However, I completely disagree that the SBC leaders are obeying BF&M article XVI in any real sense. It's not that they aren't peace activists, it's that they are cheerleaders for war and violence. Your analogy with pro-life views on abortion is apt, except for 2 points: 1) There is no Scripture directly on the topic of abortion, while there is much on war and peace--and the NT, at least, is completely on the side of peace and nonviolence. (Indeed, my own pro-life stance comes as an implication of nonviolence.) 2) Jesus COMMANDS us to be peacemakers (actively making peace), not peace-admirers or peace lovers. He makes it central to being children of God--no other ethical issue, certainly not abortion, is made so central for Jesus.
The SBC leaders which promote militarism and cheerlead for war have completely broken BF&M article XVI, but, more importantly, they have so broken with Jesus as to (metaphorically) be spitting in his face. That is far more serious than any other issue of biblical interpretation or obedience.


complimentarianism is what the bible teaches. we can either surrender the that clear teaching, or else reject it, but that's what the bible teaches.

also, abortion is murder. it's first degree, premeditated murder in what should be the most safe place in all the world...the baby's own mother's womb. and yet, some murdering dr. with the ok of the mother comes creeping in to slaughter an innocent little baby. that's sin, and it's horrific.

peter, i just had to get a few things off of my chest for some reason. :)


Emily Hunter McGowin


I'm not sure how I missed this post. I am very glad that you chose to post your comment here so that it can be read for what it is: thoughtful, irenic, and important.

For the record, I was not too keen on deleting any comments from the Outpost, no matter how off-topic. I would much rather engage you in conversation than anyone thoughtlessly slinging the "liberal" word in my direction.

That said, let me try to address some of your points. First, I concur that my position from discussion of the second Outpost article seems to be thoroughly egalitarian. I admit that in the midst of the discussion I found it easier to "lean back" on a full egalitarian position than try to finesse what I believe to be a better, more scripturally faithful and missionally sophisticated choice. Plus, most of my readers would not distinguish between my perspective and egalitarianism anyway, so I chose to work with the knowledge basis they possessed.

Second, although I am disinclined to accuse anyone of inconsistency, I think your assessment of my Outpost brothers (and sisters) is correct. Their strong support for the BFM2000 as a maximal confession for cooperation, inherently excludes me as a person capable of serving the convention, no matter how much they want to include me. I am aware of this, even if they are not. I have contented myself with the realization that until the articles you reference are changed or deleted, my service to the convention will be seriously limited.

I admit that my difference with the BFM2000 makes me wish for a return to the BFM1963. I know that for some that makes me a dreaded "moderate," but I must own my beliefs. As a modified egalitarian, the strict definition of women's roles and their disqualification from pastoral ministry (in our Western context) is repugnant to me.

Now, at the risk of oversimplification, let me offer a very brief summary of my position on women's roles, the Bible, and the missional nature of the church. Much of my view on this matter comes from John Stackhouse, Jr. in his book Finally Feminist. It is worth the read, I promise.

First, I believe there is evidence in scripture both for complementarianism and egalitarianism. I think it is foolish to try to pretend that the Bible is a thoroughly egalitarian volume.

Second, I believe the overall trajectory of scripture is such that the full equality (in nature and function) of women is God's original intent for humanity (especially evidenced in Gen 1-2).

Third, I believe that because of God's mercy in condescending to work within a messy, fallen humanity, often he operated within a patriarchal system in order to accomplish his broader will--the reconciliation of all things in Christ.

Fourth, I believe Paul understood that the implications of the Gospel are such that patriarchy is overthrown in theory (Gal 3:28), but his missional commitment to see the good news received by as many people as possible rightly overshadowed any social commitments he might have had (hence, he left slavery alone, as well). So, he worked within the system, rather than against it, knowing that the End was near and the Gospel must go out un-hindered into the whole world.

Fifth, I believe we should take up Paul's model in this manner, supporting the full equality of women when the context permits it (like in the Western world), but choosing to submit to cultural mores when the context prohibits it (like in the Islamic world). In this way, the missio dei is of utmost importance.

I hope this has been clear, Peter. Thank you again for a great interchange of ideas. I think your criticism of my Outpost brethren may be well-founded, but I hope you understand that it is not easy to "bite the hand that feeds." :-)

Grace and peace to you today,



Dear sister Emily, Not that you need it from me, but I wanted you to know that this comment you've given Peter has created respect in my heart for you and what you have to say. Again, I know you don't need kudos, least of all from me, but I felt led to let you know. selahV

peter lumpkins


Thank you for both your warm words and your skeletal outline of your theological journey on gender-leadership matters. I prize them as a great way to think through precisely how our own view either overlap or part. Perhaps our Lord may open up an opportunity for us to dialog again on this matter.

Also, I confess one of the theological vagaries with which I personally struggle is precisely how to apply 1 Tim 2.12 *outside* the Local Assembly proper. That is, while I do believe Paul clearly continues to implement the Hebrew *headship* principle in the NT Church, I have yet to discover a suitable *extension* toward which to apply that principle outside the Assembly. For me, it remains a stretch to *extend* the application of the male-leadership paradigm to institutions other than the Local Church.

What Scriptural data, for example, prohibits females from teaching men Hebrew? Or theology? Or a number of other subjects one could name? Presently, I do not know. Nor am I suggesting there is a perfectly good Biblical reason why they should not. I am only saying I do not know what that would be.

As for Outpost, Emily, I thank you for your amen. It looks now, however, with three contributors publicaly suggesting major problems with it, and consequently pulling out as a contributor, SBCOutpost may be cracking apart at the seams.

Grace. With that, I am...


The comments to this entry are closed.