Adrian Warnock has written an interesting blog post that lays out some of the common positions Christians hold regarding gender roles in the home and in the church. While it is a basic overview that just skims the surface level of each belief, and will doubtlessly leave people in each category wishing he had expained their position more clearly and charitably, I still think it’s a helpful tool, graciously written to boot.
Warnock breaks it down into seven different positions: Patriarchy, Strong Complementarian, Moderate Complementarian, Soft Complementarian, Moderate Egalitarian, Strong Egalitarian, and Extreme Feminism. This is helpful not only because it describe some of the differences between these belief systems, but because many people, in my experience, aren’t even aware that those different belief systems exist. They consider the traditions they grew up with, and the way that they were taught to understand and interpret the Bible, as normative. They may have never been exposed to the fact that committed, Bible-believing Christians hold vastly different views than the ones they grew up with, and that all of them have some scriptural basis!
I hope that Warnock goes back and adds some of the primary passages and interpretations that each camp uses to support their view. I think it would also be helpful to name a few familiar, well-published names of people who hold each position, and perhaps books that support that position as well. John Piper and Wayne Grudem are mentioned in the Moderate Complementarian section, and Gordon Fee is named as an example of a Moderate Egalitarian. But more names and more book titles would be a helpful resource for people who want to get a better understanding of each model.
Hop on over and take a look at Warnock’s post, then come back and chat about it! Do you think his categories are accurately portrayed? What strengths and weaknesses do you see? Where do you fall in the spectrum? Who are some of your favorite Christian writers/teachers, and where do they fit? Do you know where your church and/or denomination falls on this spectrum? And how can we continue to move conversations about faith and gender along in a postive way that builds up the Body of Christ, instead of bickering and biting at people with different views?