Bruce Ware, C.J. Mahaney, Council for Bibl. Manhood & Womanhood, Kevin DeYoung, Mark Driscoll, Owen Strachan, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: Complementarian Conflict of Colossal Proportions

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Oh boy.  I did not know this.   There is a new ESV Bible by Crossway to be released later this month:  Gospel Transformation Bible.   Look at this quote:

A team of over 50 pastors and scholars contributed to the Gospel Transformation Bible notes and book introductions.


Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 12.03.49 AM

In the quote above, when it says “50 pastors and scholars,” did it ever occur to you that they could be referring to WOMEN in that number?  Whoa, blow me down.

Why would strong complementarian men endorse and contribute to a Bible which has notes written by women in addition to men?  Think about it – when you are reading the notes in your Bible, you are being taught.     A woman teaching a man through the notes?  That’s not going to fly with complementarians, right?

Are these men compromising their strong complementarian standards?

Let’s take a look at who is endorsing this Bible.  Are you ready for this – how about Mark Driscoll?!?!

“This is a fantastic tool for Jesus-centered Bible study compiled by a world class team of Bible teachers.”
MARK DRISCOLL, Founder, Mars Hill Church, Resurgence; Co-Founder, Acts 29

And then there’s Carl Trueman:

“Crossway has done a fine job in recruiting an able list of contributors and the thoughtful Christian will find much here that is encouraging, challenging and transforming. I anticipate this will be useful tool for preachers, Bible study leaders, and individual Christians who wish to study the Bible more effectively.”
Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, WTS

But check this out – CJ Mahaney!!!!    So many YRR pastors fawn over Mahaney and highly respect him for his strong stance on compelmentarianism.  I’ve heard mention that in Sovereign Grace Ministry church’s membership agreement, married couples sign that they are in alignment with the complementarian view of marriage.  So, let’s think this through.  He wants all of his church members to be complementarians – and yet he’s okay with women teaching men in the notes in the Bible?    hmm

Now this one is one of the bigger surprise endorsements – Owen Strachan, the Executive Director of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood  – you know, the organization that is in existence to remind and interpret for us Biblical gender roles because we can’t figure it out ourselves.    Here is Strachan’s endorsement:

“This is a remarkably helpful resource, both an accessible Bible commentary and a theology of redemption. The Word of God is a living symphony, with many sections and parts, and in this unique resource we hear the harmony of salvation.”
Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History, Boyce College

Here is a complete listing of endorsements.  You will probably recognize more names.

In light of some very strong teachings on women’s roles in the church and specifically who women are allowed to teach Biblically, it was very surprising for me to see that Bruce Ware went even beyond endorsing this Bible – – he was a contributor along with other women.  :::::ja’s head is sooooo confused:::::

Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a council member at Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  The following excerpt comes from an article which has been removed, but I found the entire original article linked at theopotic musings blog.  It is common knowledge that anyone who is a member of  CBMW is a strong proponent of complementarianism.  You tell me if it sounds like he is agreeable to women in a teaching position over men.

“It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God’s ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as–for the most part, generally this is true–as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man’s position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men,” Ware said. “Rather than wanting that, she accepts and embraces who she is as woman, because she knows God and she knows his ways are right and good, so she is marked as a Christian by her submission to God and in that her acceptance of God’s design for her as a woman.”

Kevin DeYoung is another contributor to this particular ESV translation.  It took me one minute on Google to find this excerpt written by Kevin regarding men/women roles and teaching:

3.  Most importantly, Christians must affirm and teach and model that men and women are different—biologically, emotionally, relationally. There are a lot of passages I could turn to make this point, but I’ll limit myself to 1 Corinthians. Here we see that the husband is the head of his wife (1 Cor. 11:3). We see men have a teaching role in the church that women do not have (14:34).  Source

Who can explain this disconnect for me?  I’m completely baffled.


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Related link:  

Photo credit:  Source

I need to give a special h/t to Tony Miano for tweeting about this (you know, that Tony Miano).

431 thoughts on “ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: Complementarian Conflict of Colossal Proportions”

  1. Lydia,

    You had said:

    :boatrocker God used the monarchy and patriarchy to demonstrate His Fatherhood and Kingship anyway. ” And God was angry they begged Him for a king like the pagans had. Yet He gave them one.”

    My response:

    Deuteronomy 17:14-15 14 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

    This was long before God was angry.




  2. Yes, this is an interesting verse tucked away in the Pentateuch, written by Moses. Looks like he was predicting something that would actually take place in the nation’s future. Yet, the circumstances surrounding the ‘desire for a king’ with the aging and grieved Samuel as well as his sons not being good candidates for leaders, presented a very distressing request for Samuel to work through with Yahweh’s help.


  3. Lydia said,
    Now, all the comps teach that Eve wanted to rule over Adam. They totally twist it.

    Yep, and the truth is that it’s the complete opposite.

    A lot of women rely on men too much. Wives will look to their husbands to be their little gods, instead of looking to the One True God to get their needs met. It’s called codependency, and gender complementarians are passing codependency off as being a biblical role for women to play, when God condemns it through out Scriptures.

    Some wives are afraid to stand on their own so they turn all power and decision making over to a spouse, hoping he will provide and protect them. Not only is that “fear of man” going on (codependency) but they’ve also idolized their husbands (turning him into a little god).


  4. chapmaned24 said
    “”Many times Jesus scolded people for not knowing scripture…but they did indeed know it. They knew the literal…but they couldn’t figure out the spiritual.

    For example, how many of us believe that the story of Noah’s Ark is about a boat with animals, and that God saved 8 souls? Yes, that is what it is about, in the literal sense. But it goes much much much deeper in the spiritual sense. How many have put on spiritual lenses to see what the spiritual story is? Here is a hint: Jesus is the Ark”

    Yes, I get that there is foreshadowing in literal stories in the Bible and shades of Jesus can be seen in the OT. I wasn’t disputing that. That wasn’t quite what I meant.

    Being a “biblical literalist” is often used as an insult or put down on emergent, liberal, or spiritual abuse recovery blogs. As someone who feels that is the best, most accurate way of understanding the text, it bothers me to see it dismissed.

    If you are a “biblical literalist,” it will be automatically assumed by some you are an ignorant, uneducated hayseed, or a judgmental, unloving Pharisee.

    Also, it will generally be claimed by anti-literalists that the Bible is a free for all, nobody can understand any of it at all with any degree of certainty, and that portions of it on certain teachings are too vague for anyone to understand, and/or large portions will be allegorized or spiritualized away.


  5. Totally agree, missdaisyflower. I’ve said this many times myself. When the Bible is taken out of its historical, linguistic context, it’s putty in the hands of whoever wishes to fashion it. Combined with the heaping of shame and scorn on anyone who doubts this “higher” knowledge, it has routed out many who are weak in faith. Yet none of them stops to ask why they should believe Jesus rose from the dead, if everything else is allegory. Symbols point to realities, not to more symbols.


  6. Wesley Roy said, Lydia you are not being honest when you accuse comps of teaching sin as virtue. Polygamy is condemned in Scripture but Patriarchy is not.

    I don’t remember any Bible verse that says God approves of, agrees with, or endorses patriarchy.

    I think you are just assuming God approves of it because there is not an out right condemnation of it, but neither are there out- right condemnations of abortion, slavery, or genocide in Scripture, either, but most Christians realize those things are wrong, based on other biblical principles.

    Also, gender comp is indeed sin taught as virtue, as I explained in my post above.

    Gender comp is codependency taught under another name, and God condemns it because it makes the wife make the husband into an idol, (or excuses the female tendency to do that), and it relieves the woman of any, or most, of her personal responsibility before God and other people.


  7. @ Gary, per your SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 @ 6:36 AM comment.

    It’s not just institutional church, or submission doctrines and such that have caused me to head more into agnosticism, but the Christian faith itself.

    I don’t wish to get into a big long story about it, or all the details, but it’s the Christian faith itself that is not making a lot of sense to me the last couple years.

    There are tangential issues driving me away from the Christian faith too, some that deal with how the church at large mistreats never married adults, but there are other reasons.


  8. Brian T said, You guys keep addressing something that has not been depicted here by the proponents of complementarianism. This makes it sound like the whole marriage relationship is just one long power struggle where the man is always supposed to win. I pity the couple whose marriage is even remotely like that. True biblical complementarianism is not about winning.

    If you watch, listen to, or read the views of gender comps, they do in fact teach that in an argument or dispute that the husband gets the last word.

    Pat Robertson, host of The 700 Club, is a gender complementarian.

    Anytime a wife writes in saying she and her husband disagree about X, Robertson always declares that the husband should get the last word. Robertson is not the only comp I’ve heard/seen who believes this, but he is one of the ones whom you can probably find examples easily of on You Tube if you do a search.

    BrianT said,
    When the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, and the wife respects her husband, complementarianism truly is a wonderful thing.

    So in practical terms how does that work? If wife and hubby have a dispute, and they cannot reach a compromise, then what?

    Comps like you say this stuff, but it’s not how you really believe.

    Some of you may live your marriage out differently, where the husband is like the boss and the wife the subordinate, she is expected to take orders from the spouse (so at least you are living consistently with your views), but lots of other comps spew compism yet their marriages are egalitarianism in daily life.

    I suppose this is all fairly irrelevant to me, since if I ever marry, I will not be “submissive” to a spouse. I will be a full, equal partner in the relationship, not an underling who defers to her husband.


  9. Brian T said,
    You know it’s funny. God declared this would happen all the way back at the fall when he told Eve that her desire would be for her husband. He wasn’t talking about sexual desire, but desire to take the place of Adam as the head of the household.

    What God was saying is that a wife’s desire would be for her husband, not her husband’s position or control.

    And many women do indeed have a tendency to want to latch on to husband for financial security, provision, and protection, and to get their needs met.

    God was warning women of this tendency, that they would look to a human male (usually husband) to get all their needs met, which is codependency and a form of idolatry, both of which God condemns through-out Scripture as sin, yet gender comps want women to continue in this sinful and dangerous pattern.

    One reason women stay in abusive relationships is codependency, the belief they need a man (husband) to make it in life, they need a husband to meet their emotional and financial needs, and they believe they cannot stand alone and be independent, or they are afraid to do so.

    So, God was actually teaching the opposite of what gender complementarians think He was in Genesis. God was warning women against an excessive dependence on men, but that there would be a shift due to sin, where women would turn to men too much, and men would abuse that vulnerability. And you are defending that sinful pattern. Jesus Christ came to set women free from that.


  10. Brian T wrote,
    ““The phrase ‘he shall rule over you’ and the parallel wording in 4:7 suggests that her desire is to dominate.”

    So some author thinks it “suggests” that, but it does not actually say that.


  11. Wesley Roy said, Explain this to me boatrocker:
    For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Ephesians 5:23)

    Either you or some other comp guy up thread just said comp is not about hierarchy, but you clearly believe that Eph. 5.23 is teaching that there is a hierarchy in marriages, where the man is head (which you must think means “boss of”). If you do not feel that compism teaches hierarchy, why ask what “head of” means in Eph 5.23? Christ came to serve the church and be in relationship with her, not be ‘boss over.’

    Many biblical egalitarians have written about alternative understandings of ‘head’ that does not involve a hierarchical understanding.

    Here is a page which responds to your inquiry (it is a PDF):
    “Does Kephale [Head] Mean ‘Source’ or ‘Authority Over’ in Greek Literature?”: A Rebuttal by Richard S. Cervin


  12. Wesley Roy said, just that people exercise complementary roles in life.

    Egalitarians believe that the genders are complementary, but they disagree with the comp position that the man is head (boss, ruler, in authority over) the wife, and that the husband always or should get final say by simple fact of his gender.


  13. @ boatrocker said,

    “It is only by your insistence that comps don’t practice what they preach that tries, vainly, to erase those differences.”

    I actually agree with him about that part of it: a lot of couples who say they are gender complementarians say they believe in gender compism, yet they live out their marriage in egalitarian terms, which actually undermines the gender complementarianism teaching.

    One gender comp leader (I’m sorry I can’t recall who it was) actually came out a few years ago and mentioned this.

    He said egalitarians were correct that in day to day life, people who profess to be gender comps have egalitarian marriages in practice, so he wants gender comps to embrace the term “patriarchy” and admit that is what they are and what they believe. This guy thinks patriarchalism is biblical and that Christians should model their marriage on it.

    Maybe Wesley is in that camp and why he is coming across as so confusing or duplicitous about this. Maybe he thinks gender complementarianism does not go far enough and that Christians should embrace patriarchalism?


  14. Wesley R said

    boatrocker thanks for your efforts to get me to accept your view of something you do not practice. I would be interested for you to show me the examples of comp marriages that in practice are ran as a dictator would run a country.

    If you go to blogs by Christian women who divorced their Christian husbands for being abusive and/or controlling, you can find examples of those.

    When these women go to their preachers to find relief or a solution to the abuse, their preachers often tell them to “submit to” their husband even more, which keeps these poor ladies trapped in abusive marriages. Some of them eventually find the courage and strength to break away.


  15. boatrocker said,

    What you will be “hard pressed to supply” is justification for your personal, unique, self-contradictory “comp-lite”.

    Other comps would shame him and chew him out for not taking a tougher stance.

    Men who are reluctant to lord authority over their wives, yet who say they are comp (they often identify as “soft comp”), would be made to feel like they are not being the “spiritual leaders” of their families by the more hard line comps.

    I’ve seen this come up on other blogs, where women said their husbands were shamed or humiliated or criticized by a comp preacher or church member for not being more hard line.


  16. It really is bullying, missdaisyflower. The comp leaders bully their underling men, and the men are supposed to bully their wives.

    Reminds me of an excellent point someone raised a few years ago. Many patriarchal households train toddlers to not touch things they might break; that is, they house-proof the toddler rather than toddler-proof the house. Yet when the male toddlers becomes a grownup, suddenly the world must be made “toddler-proof”; the men are not held responsible for what they see and want and might break; it’s the fault of the “vase” that enticed the toddler to break it.


  17. “Yet when the male toddlers becomes a grownup, suddenly the world must be made “toddler-proof”; the men are not held responsible for what they see and want and might break; it’s the fault of the “vase” that enticed the toddler to break it.”

    It is more Islamic thinking instilled in them. She is making me lust sort of thing…it is her fault I am turned on by her. Part of the problem is that sex has become a major topic in Christendom. And you couple that with patriarchal/comp thinking and women are objectified over and over. She cannot be a sister in Christ of in that sort of environment.


  18. Saw this on Twitter “Saw #ShouldShePreach by @tonymiano in my Twitter feed. Must be a short book. Answer is “no” & roll of duct tape included for emergencies.”

    Yes, Jim, I saw that, too. I think it was a retweet, but disgusting. That really shows Miano’s heart, doesn’t it?


  19. Jim posted Miano’s retweet:

    Saw this on Twitter “Saw #ShouldShePreach by @tonymiano in my Twitter feed. Must be a short book. Answer is “no” & roll of duct tape included for emergencies.”

    Here’s Tony’s new tweet this morning and my response in light of the above disgusting retweet.


  20. “Saw this on Twitter “Saw #ShouldShePreach by @tonymiano in my Twitter feed. Must be a short book. Answer is “no” & roll of duct tape included for emergencies.”

    Yes, Jim, I saw that, too. I think it was a retweet, but disgusting. That really shows Miano’s heart, doesn’t it?

    Oh but she can work to support the family, though. What manly men.


  21. “Oh but she can work to support the family, though. What manly men.”

    Yes, exactly. She can work while he stays at home mingling and debating on social media, frequently giving pleas for donations: We need $2,000 in the next 3 days!!’

    Give me a break.


  22. Really REALLY slow on the uptake here, but couldn’t the subtitle of this thread have been “Complementarian Conflict of BIBLICAL Proportions?”


  23. Yes indeed God has chosen some women to teach in writing to men. Proverbs has writings and teachings for men And women of the church and Israel . Dont understand your Foolish complaints at all.


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