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GNP/Crossway committed to publishing complementarian works

May 26, 2005

When it comes to the gender issue, Marvin Padgett does not mince words in articulating the publishing commitments of Good News Publishers (GNP)/Crossway Books.GNP/Crossway will not publish a work that is egalitarian.

When it comes to the gender issue, Marvin Padgett does not mince words in articulating the publishing commitments of Good News Publishers (GNP)/Crossway Books.

GNP/Crossway will not publish a work that is egalitarian. Padgett, vice president, editorial of GNP/Crossway says Crossway sees the complementarian view of gender roles in both the home and church as the clear teaching of Scripture.

“We will not publish non-complementarian views,” Padgett said. “We have a wide range of men and women who address issues from every theological perspective within evangelicalism, but we do not publish views we do not think are correct.

“We think it is our responsibility to publish books that are correct and we think that the complementarian position is biblical and is the position that should be published and we should publish it because it is biblical.

“We don’t see ourselves as a sort of publishing symposium, as sort of a clearing house for publishing every idea that comes down the pike. We have a responsibility when we put something in print to say that this is something we believe.”

Clyde Dennis founded Good News Publishers in 1938 as a Gospel tract ministry. Dennis died in the early 1960s and his son, Lane T. Dennis, today serves as president of the evangelical publishing house.

In 1978 Crossway began focusing primarily on publishing books. Today, books make up 90 percent of the publisher’s sales, though Padgett points out that it also sells more than 20 million Gospel tracts per year.

Padgett says the company’s mission is simple: to publish books for people in the pew on serious theological issues written by serious theologians and Bible scholars. The gender debate certainly falls in the center of the “serious” category, Padgett says.

Over the past few years, Crossway has been a leader in publishing books from a complementarian perspective with a catalog that includes such authors as Wayne Grudem, Rick Hove, Susan Hunt, Mary Kassian, John Piper, Dennis Rainey, and Bruce Ware, among many others. Crossway has put into the hands of the reading evangelical public such noted works as the landmark volume Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (1991), edited by Grudem and Piper.

Crossway is a confessional ministry with a nine-article statement of faith that guides its publishing vision. The articles affirm the core doctrines of historic, orthodox Christianity as articulated by the Protestant Reformers. Padgett views complementarianism as the overwhelmingly dominant teaching throughout the history of the church.

“We especially stress the reformers, but Calvin held one position and Luther another and so on [on various issues] and it isn’t as if we hold any particular stream within evangelical orthodoxy,” he said. “We think that what we now call complementarianism is part and parcel [to evangelicalism] and is an important part of the historic stream of evangelical orthodoxy.”

Padgett says Crossway realizes that the gender debate holds significance that reaches far beyond the question of the gender of the person manning the pulpit on Sunday morning. For Crossway, the Bible so clearly sets forth God’s plan for men and women in the home and church that a failure to follow it amounts to rank disobedience to the Word and wisdom of God, he said.

“The Bible says very clearly that men are to love their wives and that men are set apart for the tremendous responsibility of leading their wives and their children under God and they have been told to do that,” Padgett said.

“Anyone who wants to shirk that or say that has been changed is messing around with the text of the Bible itself. The One who wrote Gal. 3:28–which egalitarians hopelessly distort–is the same One who wrote the passages about how the home is to be run [and] how the church is to be run.

“So what we have at stake is the very nature of the Bible itself. [To disobey] is a turning from the Bible. It is a turning from biblical authority because we don’t like it and it is an in your face turning from the order of creation as well as the history of the world.”

In the fall of 2001, Crossway released a new Bible translation, the English Standard Version (ESV). Crossway assembled a team of evangelical scholars and translators that included such stalwarts as Clifford John Collins, Wayne Grudem, William Mounce, J.I. Packer, and Leland Ryken to achieve a word-for-word translation that was faithful to the Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew texts, while being infinitely readable.

Unlike recent attempts at English translations that neutered most or all gender references, Crossway sought to translate the Bible in a way that was faithful to the original languages, Padgett said.

“It was our intent to publish what the Bible said,” Padgett said. “If the word for man [in the original language] was ‘adam’ or ‘anthropos,’ as best as English would allow, we sought to translate it the way it was written. I don’t want some person out there somewhere being sucked in to what they think is the Christian faith because some translation has obscured what was said for the sake of marketability.

In all its publications on gender and family issues, Crossway seeks to call the contemporary church to biblical fidelity, Padgett said.

On this particular issue (gender roles), many people in the church have been co-opted by the radical egalitarian direction of our society where all that really matters is ‘I get to do what I want to do,’” he said.

“I think that far too many people have slipped away from even really caring what the Bible exactly says on this issue and even how the church has, for the last 2000 years–and Israel before that, seen that there is wholeness and security in what God has ordained to be in the things that men and women do.”

To learn more about GNP/Crossway, please see: <>. For Crossway’s statement of faith, please see: <>.

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