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Egalitarians and Complementarians: One Gospel, Two Worldviews

The following is adapted from the President’s Column from the Summer 2014 issue of Mutuality, titled “Worldview.” If you like what you read, consider subscribing or purchasing a CBE membership. Mimi Haddad is the president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Palmer […]

The Bait & Switch of Complementarians

Mimi Haddad is the president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. Follow her on Twitter @Mimi_CBE. Many thanks to David Cramer for his blog, posted earlier this week, commending John Piper’s advocacy for the […]

Dear Complementarian

Dear Complementarian: If you embrace the theological position that God the Son is eternally (read “permanently”) subordinate to God the Father and then ground your belief that submission of the wife to the husband is permanently true because of this theological position, then what does this text mean? At the resurrection people will neither marry […]

The Historical Fallacy of an Inconsistent Ethical Evaluation

One states, “It has not been the practice of the church that women can be bishops.” The other responds, “Well, what about Bishop Theodora?” Perhaps you are familiar with such a conversation. One presents a practice in church history, and the other responds by giving a counter-example. Both are responding according to the logic that […]

Do I Tell Her?

A few years ago, a prominent Midwest pastor was featured in a brief biopic about his coming to grips with racially charged childhood experiences in South Carolina during the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It is a moving story of law and gospel:  confession of complicity with the racist perspectives—the “cesspool of sin”–ironies that immersed his childhood, […]

Excalibur: Double Standards or Double-edged?

When I relocated to Durban from my native Cape Town in South Africa, I started attending a charismatic church after some months in the city. I visited other groups and churches and tried to broaden my Christian fellowship network outside of my own community of faith. In doing this, something dawned upon me. Women were […]

Why (Most) Complementarians Should Be Pacifists

I believe that (most) complementarians should be pacifists.* Consider the following passages: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the […]

Where’s the Line? A Personal Journey Toward Equality

A while back a friend asked me my thoughts on gender issues and, particularly, a certain prominent “complementarian” organization. Here’s what I had to share about my personal journey: In high school and college I was a sure “complementarian,” based on arguments such as those of such of the organization alluded to above and the […]

Punch in the Nose

My little boy started preschool this year and picked out a pink backpack with flowers. At first I was hesitant to let him have it for fear that he would be teased, but decided that if we were truly going to be egalitarians we had to take that risk. Concerned, I asked him what he […]

Is Egalitarianism on a Slippery Slope?

I don’t know about you, but I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on gender. Come to think of it, I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on a whole host of topics: child baptism or believers baptism, just war or pacifism, Arminianism or Calvinism, and, yes, even egalitarianism […]

When Marriage Isn’t Mutual

support signs

Finding oneself married to a non-egalitarian spouse, whether male or female, can be a challenging road to navigate. Consider these case studies. Norma and Charlie: It was love at first sight. Norma and Charlie’s eyes, in all actuality, met “across a crowded room” at their conservative denomination’s annual meeting. Life for the Browns began, as […]

Unity through Communion

Throughout much of my childhood, I possessed my home congregation’s three unofficial requirements to serve communion: a sport coat and tie, a family that arrived on time, and a Y chromosome. Therefore my brother (who not surprisingly met the same criteria) and I served communion almost every Sunday morning and evening from seventh grade well […]

A Protestant-Specific Argument for Egalitarianism

I believe that it is inconsistent for one to be a strong complementarian and a Protestant at the same time. Complementarians often hold that, though women can be involved in various forms of ministry, they cannot become “ordained ministers.” But consider the following simple argument: According to one of the fundamental tenets of Protestantism, the […]

The Meaning of Words

There are some philosophical words which can appear scary until we understand them – here’s a few….. ONTOLOGY: The study of the fundamental nature of being, what makes something what it is. (Ontology is also a word used in Information Science in another way not related to our issues, in case any of you are […]

Willingly or Under Compulsion?

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7 TNIV). Some hierarchical teachers stress that submission is a choice and cannot be forced. When a husband is careful to never force or coerce his wife to […]

Unity in Difference

Equal and Complementary was a hierarchical-complementarian conference held recently in Melbourne, Australia and organised by an informal working group. Kevin Giles, a prominent evangelical-egalitarian, has written a lengthy response to the conference. Giles spends a lot of time discussing Greek words like exousia and authentein. It may seem that continued discussion about such words won’t move the discussion […]

One Flock and One Shepherd

Jesus calls each of his sheep by name, and they hear and know his voice (John 10:1-16). Sheep encompasses rams and ewes, males and females. Ewes can hear the voice of their Shepherd just as clearly as rams. While Jesus made a clear distinction between sheep and goats based upon their actions (Matthew 25:31-33), his […]

Letter to a friend: Paul Washer Sermon

This was my first response to a friend who was inspired by the American revivalist preacher, Paul Washer, in his series on “What it takes to be a man.”  My friend and I are still discussing this issue, but you may wish to comment after viewing, or listening to the sermon content yourself here. Managed […]

Something Beautiful?

Imagine a sanctuary filled with teachers and students of various ages singing:             “It’s the child on his wedding day,              It’s the mommy that gives him away,              Something beautiful” A child on his wedding day… given away. Pause for a moment and think about that. Young, teenage boys married off to older, wiser, and more […]

Every glass ceiling is broken?

In a recent ABC special, actor Will Smith is quoted as saying, “If the leader of the free world is African American, then every glass ceiling is broken.”  I agree that the inauguration of Barack Obama marks a remarkable moment in US history, but I don’t agree that ‘every’ glass ceiling is broken.  It is […]


I think there’s nothing more important than revision. When God matures us and leads us to a new vision or better understanding, we must revise our way of thinking even if it’s a complete embarrassment to ourselves. Looking back on my life, I can see so many times when I was sure of a thing […]

The Blessing of the Parachurch

I was shocked. I remembered the old Bryan*, the Bryan that put on the brakes during a discussion of Large Group speakers at our Coordinating Team planning retreat. “Why is it suddenly illegal to bring in white men?” he asked, frustrated. As Multi-Ethnicity Team Leader on our exec, I was pushing hard for more female […]

Some Things Biblical Feminists Do Not Believe

In following up a link which was quoted in a previous article, I read again other people’s statements about what we believe. I am troubled by this misinformation and would like to record these corrections for all complementarians who read this site, and for the encouragement to all who believe in true biblical equality. 1. […]

No, This Is Not Equality

Complementarian men say they believe women are equal, but what do they mean by that? If they believe men have authority over women, are women equal? No. If men have more authority than women, this is not equality. If men get to make the final decisions in the marriage, are women equal? No, since the […]

Dating Tips

I came across this concept in a book some time back and then more recently someone sent me an email with the same content which had been taught at a school. It demonstrates what is happening in some sections of the Christian community and gives us cause for concern when young people endorse these practices. […]