When I went to Together for the Gospel in 2008 I really appreciated the panel discussions, a group of brothers sitting around and discussing issues with one another rather than standing behind a podium and lecturing. The lectures were great, theologically rich and intellectually deep, but the panels were even better. I have been waiting for this particular panel discussion to come out, Ligon Duncan, John Piper, Russ Moore and Greg Gilbert speaking about complementarianism.
The discussion is set in the context of a traditional local church to be sure but I appreciated the wisdom and the boldness exhibited, especially from Piper who doesn't seem cowed by the prevailing church culture on this issue and yet still impacts millions of young Christians.
I tried embedding the audio file but I don't think it worked. Not sure why blogger lets you embed video but not audio. Anyway.
One of the things that I appreciate is the way that these brothers link how we view Ephesians 5 and the related passages with how we view the rest of the Scriptures. Piper makes the point that the view of the Bible that draws us away from a complementary understanding of the relevant passages in Ephesians 5 is likewise a serious danger to draw us to a place where we get the Gospel wrong. I think we have seen that lived out in the former mainline Protestant denominations that have all embraced an egalitarian view of gender and have all walked the same path toward normalization of sin and abandonment of the Gospel and eventually death. That is why this issue is so crucial and why I bring it up all the time. We start down a dangerous path when we spend more time trying to explain why Scripture doesn't mean what it says rather than trying to submit ourselves to the Word, whether that is counter-cultural teachings on gender or using violence or how we view money.
Greg Gilbert (at around 19 minutes in) makes a great statement, something I am trying to focus on, namely that we come at this the wrong way by focusing on negatives, "what women cannot or should not do in the life of the church". That is exactly right, we should encourage women to serve in the church in every way that God in His wisdom has set it forth. This was just an excellent discussion that pulls no punches.
Now I wish these brothers from T4G would apply the same hermeneutic principle to their understanding of other passages, primarily in the church....