EFCA Theology Conference Session 1

The first session of the conference was titled ‘The Cultural and Ecclesiological Landscape’ and was done by Dr. Bob Yarbrough. He gave us some background to this very sensitive issue by giving 5 theses and asking a question. The these were:

  1. We’re hurting
  2. The complimentarian term needs a redo
  3. Redo would mean blessed repentance and the good works and better practices that the Gospel received would bring.
  4. We live in a time of dizzying and sometimes intimidating negative change.
  5. The crises and evils of our time can be overstated.

The first point is very true of our culture today; our culture is a mess right now. People are asking a lot more questions than giving answers.

The second point is very timely as well. Men and women together constitute the image of God. That is, both men and women are created equal in the term that they were created, but they are so very different. Our culture today is waging war on the Bible’s understanding of personhood and marriage. Jesus did not address the gender issue as a trajectory that needs to be altered, or a social convention, but as something created and maintained by God.

Under the third point was read James 1:21 and gave many explanations about complimentarian that I’ll simply list below.

  1. Complimentarian has too often meant “you can’t”
  2. Complimentarian has too often meant catering primarily to men.
  3. Complimentarian has been a cover for oppression of women
  4. Complimentarian has been wed with Americanism, as in “family values”
  5. Complimentarian has not always been robustly biblical enough to repel licentiousness.
  6. Complimentarian has been used to justify juvenile and boorish behavior.
  7. Complimentarianism has been used to justify male aggression, laziness and refusal to love and serve in marriages.

The fourth point was listed many statistics of the state of our culture in America. One example listed was obesity. People get whatever they want whenever they want and don’t want to sacrifice or wait for anything. (anyone remember dial-up? My cell phone is faster than my first computer)

Finally, we can overstate where the culture is going. “Where there is God, there is hope.” Our media tends to publicize all the bad things that happen, but bury all the good things on the back pages.

Finally, the question: Is our church order and apt vehicle for administering God’s grace in the church by the gospel of our crucified, risen, ascended, reigning and returning Lord?

A good question to ponder that left us thinking and processing through our cultural landscape as we looked at what the Bible said about this issue.

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