Gospel Coalition Haiku

Why does a complementarian organization promote a congregation that belongs to a communion that ordains women?

Here‘s an explanation of complementarianism’s importance from TGC poobahs:

Probably all of us who share The Gospel Coalition’s vision to renew our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reform our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures have been asked, “So why is TGC complementarian? Are you saying only those who uphold male leadership in the home and church believe the gospel?”

If you’ve ever wondered and asked the question yourself, we hope you’ll watch this video featuring TGC founders Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper. Keller opens with a hermeneutical argument about what sometimes happens when we apply arguments in favor of egalitarianism to biblical passages that relate directly to the gospel. He also explains why TGC’s confessional statement and theological vision for ministry go beyond basic gospel doctrines to include such issues as gender roles. As Piper explains, TGC wants to say things that protect the gospel, display the gospel, and release the gospel for human flourishing. And our current age demands that believers model and argue the biblical case for Christ-like headship.

“We live in a culture where for the last 30 or 40 years, the collapse of the meaning of biblical masculinity has not produced a beautiful egalitarian society,” Piper observes. “It has produced a brutal masculine society.”

Here‘s a profile of puff piece on Hope Church, the largest Presbyterian Church in the nation (even larger than Redeemer NYC) that avoids questions about gender by featuring the topics of race and ethnicity:

The principles were solid: Churches should reflect their neighborhoods, and relationships are a good way to show God’s love to the unchurched. But the results were decidedly monoethnic congregations.

Within 20 years, Hope was the largest church in Memphis, regularly drawing 7,000 worshipers each weekend. But in a city that was nearly 60 percent black, less than 1 percent of them were African American.

At first, Hope reflected its neighborhood. The city to Hope’s south—Germantown—was 93 percent white in 2000, and 90 percent white in 2010. But its county—Shelby—fell from 47 percent white in 2000 to 41 percent white in 2010. And Cordova, the small suburb where Hope sits, dropped from nearly all white in 1988 to 68 percent white in 2010.

So Strickland and Morris set out to do what had never successfully been done before—to convert a white megachurch into a multiracial congregation.

They’re doing it.

Today, one out of five people who attends Hope is black. Of the 106 staff, 18 are nonwhite—including the senior pastor. The congregation sings hymns, contemporary Christian, and black gospel. Members work in predominately black, underresourced neighborhoods in north Memphis together through Hope’s community development corporation. They attend biannual three-day urban plunges and regularly spend eight weeks eating dinner with someone of another ethnicity.

Here’s the Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s statement on women’s ordination (Position Paper, 1984):

Thus, while some churches may ordain women and some may decline to do so, neither position is essential to the existence of the church. Since people of good faith who equally love the Lord and hold to the infallibility of Scripture differ on this issue, and since uniformity of view and practice is not essential to the existence of the visible church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church has chosen to leave this decision to the Spirit-guided consciences of particular congregations concerning the ordination of women as elders and deacons, and to the presbyteries concerning the ordination of women as ministers.

It is in this context that the Evangelical Presbyterian Church states in its Book of Govern-ment, Chapter 6, titled “Rights Reserved to a Local Church” that “The local church has the right to elect its own officers” (6-2). This right is guaranteed in perpetuity.

Does this mean that race trumps gender?

11 thoughts on “Gospel Coalition Haiku

  1. Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    Well, these self-identified ‘complementarians’ are actually crypto-egalitarians; Dalrock has their number; see here, here, and here, for illustrations of this.

    Thus, it doesn’t surprise me in the least, then, since they’ve gone all proggy on sexual relations, that they have ended up all proggy on race relations, too. They are hopelessly ‘converged’, as we reactionaries say.


  2. Could anyone, just anyone, from the GC leadership or it’s office staff, give any rebuttal of this post which shows how much the GC and it’s leaders like Kevin DeYoung gladly work with churches that flatly disobey God’s Word about eldership being male only? By working with such churches they are affirming their present practice, which includes the GC ladies holding their own teaching seminars. What an absolute flat contradiction of Scripture, quietly supported by Tim, Don, Kevin and all the progressive guys allied with GC.
    The only answer I can see these guys giving is a some finely nuanced and basically convoluted response. After all, how often do they fall back on the the mental plumage of their doctorates and theological studies, rather than the clear teaching of the confessions and Scripture?


  3. It is odd that they seem to be more concerned about egalatarianism than the sacraments but then laud an egalatarian church.


  4. “They… regularly spend eight weeks eating dinner with someone of another ethnicity.”
    Evangelicals now pretty much exhaust me. Can we change to from K-LOV to a secular station please?


  5. Paul,

    Publishing an article concerning the church’s success at improving race relations hardly qualifies as “work[ing] with” the church in question. And, even if it did, who cares? If you’re only willing to engage with Christians who agree with you on every secondary and tertiary issue, then you’ll likely end up like Carl McIntire–worshiping at your death in a church of one person.


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