Spoiling the Beautiful Difference

Jun 24, 2022 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

I have teamed up with Andrew Bartlett QC, author of Men and Women in Christ: Fresh Light from the Biblical Texts (IVP, 2019), to offer a biblical critique of ‘Beautiful Difference: The Complementarity of Male and Female’, by Andrew Wilson, speaker and theologian for Newfrontiers. For full details of authors and endorsers of this critique, see the end of text.

Wilson steps up.

Complementarianism1 is in crisis.

1991 saw the publication of the major complementarian work Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. But 2020 saw the publication of Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. You can guess the content from the title. The author, Aimee Byrd, was a woman theologian writing from within a Reformed denomination in the USA which does not permit woman leaders in churches.

Byrd’s book was reviewed by Denny Burk, a leading North American complementarian. He candidly admits that there is a generation wanting “to exit complementarianism”. He warns: “there’s a generation looking for a doorway, and Byrd provides it.” Her audience “is ready to jump and is just looking for a reasonably intelligent pretext for doing so.”2

Terran Williams was a teaching pastor at a large church in South Africa, committed to complementarianism. He was asked to research and write a better defence of their position. When he thoroughly re-examined it, he found he could not defend it from the Bible.3

Many are indeed jumping out of complementarianism. Women are finding their full freedom in Christ. Men are seeing women with fresh eyes, as their true co-equals.

But Andrew Wilson has stepped up to try to stem the losses. He is a teaching pastor and elder at a church in South East London, which is part of the Newfrontiers family of churches. We respect him as a good-hearted and well-intentioned brother in Christ. He is deservedly known as an intelligent and thoughtful writer.4 He is perhaps the leading European theologian of complementarianism.

Read here


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