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.”
Yet the times and especially the example of our Savior demand that if we’re really a “gospel coalition,” then we’ll forsake the temptation to speak with disdain of those who differ from us. Nor will we dictate the precise terms for how women and men will relate in every situation, recognizing differences in temperament, ecclesiology, and culture.
As the video concludes, Piper explains why TGC can’t take a both/and position on gender roles. For further reading on this subject, Carson recommends the new book God’s Good Design by Claire Smith. We also invite you to read the new article “To My Egalitarian Friends” by Kathleen Nielson, TGC director of women’s initiatives.