CBMW, TWW, and the “Nashville Statement”: Discuss Among Yourselves

Here is the original Danvers Statement, by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, on masculinity and femininity.

Here is the Nashville Statement, by the same council, which was released August 25.

Here is Deb’s assessment of it at TWW.

Here are my initial thoughts on which I will expound later:

(1) The original Danvers Statement is otherwise Biblically-sound. I see no problem with it. I’m not saying that every signatory of that statement has necessarily fleshed out the details properly–I think some of the Patriarchs/complimentarians, in their attempts to flesh out what that relationship means, have been more rigid than necessary, as the complimentarian framework, even as one looks at Scripture, carries great flexibility–but the statement itself is good.

(2) The Nashville Statement, at first glance, appears to be, for the most part, Biblically-sound. I will delve into more details and make a more in-depth assessment of it.

I would add this, however: having studied the issue of intersex–not to be confused with “transgenderism”, which is a sexual fetish–I cannot say that I oppose such a one, who may have genetic properties of one sex while having anatomical ambiguity, getting surgery. I see nothing in Scripture precluding that, as surgery, in such a case, would be tantamount to correcting a birth defect. It would seem that such surgery ought to be looked at as a good thing in those cases, which are not the same as “transgenderism”.

As a result, I would pick better wording for Article VI to provide clarification.

(3) Deb is conflating two issues: (a) the Nashville Statement–which, at face value–is good, and (b) the questionable doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS), which many complimentarians have used to frame their case for complimentarianism/Patriarchy.

My view on ESS: that doctrine needs to be tabled, as any attempt to frame this issue in terms of the Trinity–something that NONE of the Biblical writers do–is risky and requires decades (perhaps even a century) of assessment and deliberation. I would stop short of calling it heresy, but I am leery of framing in issue in a way that the Biblical writers did not pursue. I wrote about that last year.

The Biblical case for Patriarchy is rooted in (a) Creation, (b) the relationship of Christ and the Church, and–in the context of Church offices–(c) the Fall.

When Jesus addressed the issue of divorce, He framed it in terms of Creation.

When Paul explicated the relationship between husband and wife, he did it in terms of Creation and the relationship between Christ and the Church.

When Paul precluded women from particular offices of Church leadership, He framed it in terms of Creation and the Fall.

None of the Biblical cases for Patriarchy are connected to ESS, so I’m not about to go there.

At the same time, The Nashville Statement is not about ESS, and I think Deb is going off on an unnecessary tangent here. They would do better to discuss the particulars of the Nashville Statement.

By focusing on ESS, they are creating a red herring.

3 thoughts on “CBMW, TWW, and the “Nashville Statement”: Discuss Among Yourselves

  1. At first glance, I can see where the Nashville Statement and ESS would be considered two separate issues. However, I can also see the argument that those who consider ESS a biblically unorthodox doctrine could believe that an organization containing advocates of ESS has no business dictating orthodoxy in other matters of biblical doctrine. That may, or may not, constitute the crux of Deb’s argument, but it’s a logical conclusion. As for me, the jury’s still out on the matter.

    What is of concern to me regarding the Nashville Statement are some of the signers. With all due respect, C.J. Mahaney and his enablers have no business endorsing any document on sexuality, however orthodox it may be, when they have yet to give account for their roles in one of the biggest child sex abuse coverup scandals in the modern evangelical church. Since you’ve opened another thread about Mahaney and the coverup, I’ll leave it at that.

    • I think that–the permitting of folks like Mahaney, who have sex scandals over their heads, to sign the statement–would be a worthy issue. Mahaney should be in sackloth–if not prison–and ought not be within a mile of a pulpit.

      As for ESS, like I said: that is an issue that requires a LOT of deliberation and probably will not be resolved in our lifetimes.

    • Still, the Nashville Statement, on its face, is an otherwise Biblically-sound resolution, and it would be hard to deny that such a resolution is appropriate at this time.

      One of the great criticisms of evangelicals is how “all over the map” they are on so many important issues. That a group of prominent conservatives have sought to provide a definitive statement on the matter–with the aim of bringing evangelicals closer together on this–is appropriate.

      Having said that, I would deny Mahaney and other pastors with scandals over the heads from being signatories.

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