The Glory of God and the Question of Gender

June 9, 2006

Thanks, Mark and Lig for two outstanding posts on the issue of complementarianism.  Let me deal with the gender question Mark raised for a moment.  He made a generalization, of course.  Nevertheless, I agree with Mark and I believe the generalization to be generally true.  Younger complementarians seem to be more concerned to contend for complementarianism than (some . . most?) older complementarians.

I see this as part of the larger pattern visible in the church today.  I can see it in the students at the seminary and I can sense it among younger, seriously-minded pastors.  Put bluntly, this younger generation has been, of necessity, ready to assume a counter-cultural posture and then to find a way to contend for their convictions in the context of hostility, derision, and worse.  In a very real sense, this generation has been swimming upstream all their lives.  They know nothing of the cultural Christianity their parents took for granted.  Even in pockets like the deep South, where cultural Christianity still remains a factor, young Christians soon find themselves facing a very different context when they go to the university, move to a large city, or enter the professional world. 

Their parents, on the other hand, may find a counter-cultural posture to be strange and difficult.  They may share the same convictions concerning God’s gift of gender and sexuality, but they are less enthusiastic about standing apart from the dominant culture.  When they went to seminary and graduate school, egalitarianism appeared to be ascendant