Monday, August 24, 2009

Resources in complementarianism (Biblical manhood and womanhood)

The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood offers free resources like articles, journal articles, sermons, book reviews, conference audio, online books, questions and answers, evangelical feminism and Biblical truth; with multi-lingual resources in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

(Note: Jump to Danvers Statement Affirmations and online books for reading or download)

Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The Danvers Statement is an official statement of the complementarian Christian view of gender roles. It is not the product of any particular Christian denomination, but has been endorsed or cited by many Christian groups. It was first published by the The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in Wheaton, Illinois in November 1988. Work on the statement began with “several evangelical leaders” at a CBMW meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts in December of 1987. In 1989, a paid advertisement center-spread appeared in the January 13 issue of Christianity Today accompanied with the Danvers Statement. (From Wikipedia)


We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern:

  1. The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity;
  2. the tragic effects of this confusion in unraveling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood;
  3. the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives;
  4. the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women;
  5. the growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality;
  6. the upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family;
  7. the emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness;
  8. the increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts;
  9. the consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity;
  10. and behind all this the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which in the power of the Holy Spirit may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture.


Based on our understanding of Biblical teachings, we affirm the following:

  1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Genesis 1:26, 2:18).
  2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Genesis 2:18, 21–24; 1 Corinthians 11:7–9; 1 Timothy 2:12.
  3. Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Genesis 2:16–18, 21–24, 3:1–13; 1 Corinthians 11:7–9).
  4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Genesis 3:1–7, 12, 16).
    • In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife's intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.
    • In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.
  5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Genesis 1:26–27, 2:18; Galatians 3:28). Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:21–33; Colossians 3:18–19; 1 Timothy 2:11–15).
  6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
    • In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands' authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands' leadership (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18–19; Titus 2:3–5; 1 Peter 3:1–7).
    • In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 1 Timothy 2:11–15).
  7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission—domestic, religious, or civil—ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Daniel 3:10–18; Acts 4:19–20, 5:27–29; 1 Peter 3:1–2).
  8. In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Timothy 2:11–15, 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.
  9. With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world (1 Corinthians 12:7–21).
  10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.
Online books for reading or download

Several full-text books on gender issues from The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood are available for you to read online or download. The books below are intended for personal use only. You may download the PDF files to a personal computer. Please do not make copies or distribute them.

Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood (view entire book in PDF)

For years a debate has raged over how to define true masculinity and true femininity. While there is agreement that men and women share equally in the privilege of being made in God's image, some views of manhood and womanhood blur God-given gender distinctions.

Wayne Grudem assembled a team of distinguished writers to show how egalitarian views destroy God’s ideal for your relationships, marriage, and life purposes. The contributors to this book include: John Piper, Bruce A. Ware, Richard W. Hove, Daniel Doriani, Daniel R. Heimbach, and Peter Jones.

These writers explore key issues, including the interchangeability of male-female roles, the meaning of submission, and the historical novelty of egalitarian interpretations of Scripture. This book will demonstrate how some views of manhood and womanhood tamper with our understanding of God’s character and why the extremes of male domination and feminism destroy the beauty of our sexual differences — differences that celebrate the excellence of men and women as God created us.

Biblical Womanhood in the Home (view entire book in PDF)

The feminist revolution was supposed to make us feel better about ourselves, bringing us greater fulfillment and freedom. Yet many of us are feeling anything but fulfilled and free. Across generational lines, inside the church and out, we are understanding that we have lost the beauty and wonder of our distinctive makeup and calling as women. We are realizing that what was supposed to lift us up has been tearing down society, churches, and most importantly, our own families.

There is now a new movement spreading its seeds - seeds of hope, humility, obedience, and prayer. It is a call to return to godly womanhood, and it is resonating in the hearts of women everywhere.

Building Strong Families, Dennis Rainey, editor (view entire book in PDF)

Besides our relationship with our heavenly Father, there is nothing more important than our relationship with our family. It is the building block of our churches, communities, and nation. So when we neglect our families, the foundation of our churches and nation crumbles, and our homes begin to splinter.

If we desire to fulfill God’s calling in our lives and to make a difference in others’ lives for eternity, then we must start within our families. Whether single or married, with children or not, we all have a part in God's calling to build strong spiritual families.

Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley (view selected chapters in PDF)

Through personal anecdotes and careful examination of Scripture, Carolyn McCulley challenges single women to regard their singleness not as a burden, but as a gift from God that allows them to perform a unique role in the body of Christ.

Equality in Christ by Richard Hove (view entire book in PDF)

The debate over the roles of men and women is raging, not only within society, but also within the church. Some believe the Scriptures teach that men and women have unique roles in the home and church. Others hold that gender is irrelevant to these roles.

In the midst of this heated debate stands Galatians 3:28, frequently cited as one of the critical texts in determining the biblical teaching on gender roles. In this book Richard Hove thoroughly examines Galatians 3:28 to discover what it says - and means - so that we can accurately understand its significance in this dispute.

Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem (view entire book in PDF)

God created us, male and female, in His image. So what does that mean?

Has the modern church suffered a tragic loss of the beauty of manhood and womanhood as created by God? Has the feminist influence within today's evangelical church led to a rejection of the effective authority of the Bible? In this reasoned, comprehensive response to more than one hundred controversial claims from evangelical feminists, biblical scholar Wayne Grudem answers these questions.

The Feminist Gospel by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Can feminism be squared with the Bible? Mary Kassian meets this question head on as she offers a thorough inquiry into 20th-century feminism. Her careful examination of feminist thought - both religious and secular - gives readers a solid basis for making up their own minds about feminism.

The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Feminism remains one of the most urgent issues the church is facing today, as shown by the increasing confusion over gender roles in marriages, families, and churches. With a growing number of theologians and denominations advocating radical gender egalitarianism, we must answer many questions about women in the church - and in the wider culture. In order to do this, first we need to understand the history and development of feminist thought.

Fifty Crucial Questions by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

Fifty Crucial Questions
is a booklet adapted from chapter two of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. It offers an overview of the vision of manhood and womanhood presented in the larger volume by giving cogent summary responses to the most common objections to that vision. Because every effort to answer one question (on this important issue) begets new questions, the list of questions here is not exhaustive. Nonetheless, we hope to give enough trajectories that readers can track the flight of our intention to its appointed target: the good of the Church, global mission, and the glory of God

The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy by Vern S. Poythress and Wayne Grudem (view entire book in PDF)

This book is intended for personal use only. You may download the PDF file to a personal computer. Please do not make copies or distribute them.

“Interacting throughout with contrary views, the authors argue convincingly that the Colorado Springs Guidelines are right to maintain the need to keep the inclusive masculine when translating the Bible. This is the best book on its theme.” J.I. Packer

“I am glad for this book for at least three reasons. It is unmodern in its allegiance to the objective, original meanings of inspired Biblical writers who have reasons for their specific words that often go deeper than we thnk. It is unique in that there is simply no other book on this issue so thorough and so careful. It is useful to scholar and layman alike...I highly recommend this unmodern, Unique, useful book.” John Piper

Man and Woman in Christ by Stephen B. Clark

Men and women should live together in love and serve the Lord together. Most of what they should be doing is the same. But as we learn how to perceive and draw upon the value of what is distinctive to men and to women, our life together becomes stronger and more beautiful. There is something worthwhile about women for which men cannot substitute, and vice versa. When we live our life together as Christians “the way it was written,” it becomes better.

Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood, Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey, editors (view entire book in PDF)

The conviction of the editors is that family ministry in your congregation begins with your own family. Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey gathered a group of prominent Christian leaders to provide wisdom for people who want to see the Gospel flourish in their church families. Their essays touch on building strong marriages, confronting domestic violence, reaching out to singles, and more. Besides Grudem and Rainey, contributors include: R. Kent Hughes, Daniel L. Akin, Bob Lepine, H. B. London Jr., Dick Purnell, Timothy Bayly, Ken Sande, C. J. Mahaney, Bob Davies, David Powlison, Paige Patterson, Paul David Tripp, and Edward T. Welch.

Building families is the greatest way to spread the kingdom in today’s world. With families in such disarray in our society, the church has the opportunity to provide answers, and Christian families have a unique opportunity to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ.

Water of the Word by Andrew Case (view entire book in PDF)

This book is made available by the author and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

“Andrew Case has provided an ingenious and glorious tool for Christian husbands, one that has the potential of binding husbands and wives ever closer together while these prayers seek more intimate relationship between their wives and their God. By employing themes, principles, promises, and pleas from Scripture itself, Case has crafted hundreds of rich and meaningful prayers that any and every Christian husband can pray for his own wife.” Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Women, Creation and the Fall by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

In the sixties, feminists threw down the gauntlet to the church over its treatment of women. In response to this challenge, the church has reexamined and redefined time-honored Biblical principles. In many cases, it has obliterated all role distinctions between men and women.

Although women have indeed been repressed and held back from ministry, the answer is not to reject Scriptural truth. Rather the church needs to return to properly implementing that truth.

This book seeks to free women in their roles in the home and church. It lays the foundation for that freedom by a thorough analysis of the Bible’s teaching on woman’s status and roles. The author points the way to reinstate a full Biblical ministry for women.

Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by J. Ligon Duncan, III and Susan Hunt (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Susan Hunt and Ligon Duncan walk through the Scriptures to help readers better understand what it means to have an effective, biblical women's ministry in the church. The benefits of women's ministries are great: training and discipling, evangelizing, and reaching out to the poor and needy. This book, written by seasoned ministry leaders, provides many proven tools to help start a women's ministry in your church.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper and Wayne Grudem, editors (view entire book in PDF)

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