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Complementarianism Controversy Ecclesiology Gender SBC Author Scripture

Al Mohler is Mistaken about “Women Pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention

Like R. Albert Mohler, Jr., I’m not a moderate, or an egalitarian, or an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.

I’m a conservative, complementarian, Southern Baptist.

I agree with the Bible when it says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” in 1 Timothy 2:12.

I agree with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 when it says, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

I agree with Dr. Mohler when he says, “So what did ‘pastor’ mean here? It basically means the same thing as ‘elder.'”

That last claim is significant. The BFM2000 posits only two offices in the church, “Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons,” such that Southern Baptists view pastors, elders, and overseers (bishops) as different descriptors for the one office of pastor, distinct from the only other office of deacon.

Senior Pastors, Associate Pastors, Youth Pastors, Children’s Pastors, and the like aren’t separate offices from the office of pastor. The Bible doesn’t recognize such a distinction, the BFM2000 doesn’t recognize such a distinction, and Dr. Mohler doesn’t recognize such a distinction. I don’t either.

That’s why a tweet from Denny Burk that does appear to recognize such a distinction caught my attention:

Dr. Burk qualifies his claim with “senior.” Burk leaves open the possibility women are serving as “pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention, they just aren’t senior pastors. But the Bible and BFM2000 know of no such distinction.

And Burk is wrong anyway.

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Gender Scripture

The Strange Phenomenon of Women Pastors in the SBC with Nate Schlomann

On this episode of the new CR:V Podcast contributor Nate Schlomann sits down with Jeff Wright to talk about the presence of women pastors in SBC churches.

Reminder: Article V of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads, in part:

“[The church’s] scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture” (relevant point emphasized).

Find it on Apple Podcasts or by clicking here.

Categories
Methodology Missions Racism

Is Preaching the Gospel Sufficient to Combat Racism?

It seems that we could generate much more light, instead of mere heat, if we would take the time to define the terms of our controversies. In the past few years, a social media divide has emerged among Christians who argue, on the one hand, that we must address racism by preaching the gospel, and those who argue, on the other hand, that while the gospel must remain central to the church, wider forms of social activism are also necessary as legitimate implications of the gospel. This common method of framing the debate is actually too crude to be helpful. What we need is a nuanced look at what, exactly, is being argued on each side.