The Gospel Coalition, Carl Trueman and Complementarianism

Lydia McGrew makes some observations on Carl Trueman’s response to The Gospel Coalition leaders’ recent discussion on how complementarianism relates to the gospel.

…Carl Trueman, who teaches Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, put up on his blog a series of posts in which he argues that, though he himself is a complementarian, a parachurch organization like TGC should not make complementarianism a foundational part of its identity by putting that position into its confessional statement. His posts can be found here and here.

At first when I read Trueman’s posts and saw the video, I hadn’t noted the dates, so I wondered whether he had actually seen the video. It’s rather puzzling to realize, based on the dates and his own passing allusion at the beginning of his first post (“Given that the issue of complementarianism is raising its head over at The Gospel Coalition”) that he must have done so and that he apparently intends in some measure to be responding to it. Yet his posts are unresponsive to a number of excellent points made in the video, and one wonders why. He’s the one asking the questions. The men in the video have obviously heard something like them before and are attempting to answer them. Yet Trueman writes as though they have been neither answered nor even really considered. From the perspective of academic types, it’s generally more satisfactory to say, “The folks over at such-and-such group have attempted to answer a question that has often bothered me, and they do address it at some length and from various angles, but here is why I find their answers unpersuasive…” following this up with a point-by-point discussion of what was actually said. Trueman doesn’t even try to do anything like this, even briefly. As far as I can tell, he addresses only one of the points that TGC leaders made. He does so twice, and does so unsatisfactorily both times. This is the point made by Tim Keller to the effect that egalitarianism reflects a sadly lacking hermeneutic, an attempt to make Scripture say something different from what it obviously is saying at multiple points. Such an egregious hermeneutical problem is likely to have more wide-ranging effects.

Read the whole thing: Complementarianism and the Gospel Coalition

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