With 2020 drawing to a close, my glance back through CBMW’s most-read articles in 2020 was an exercise in reacquainting myself with Einstein’s theory of relativity. So much has happened, so much change has taken place, since many of these articles were published, that some of them feel like they were written in another year, even another era.
But a look through these articles also catalogues God’s mercy to our ministry in 2020, for which I am thankful. Several of these articles are from one of the two issues of Eikon published in 2020 — both of which are packed full of helpful, fresh, accessible scholarship on gender and sexuality. Do check out dozens of articles in these issues!
Finally, if you were helped by any of these resources, or benefited in another way from CBMW, please consider supporting our work through a year-end ministry gift. Without further ado, here, in order, are CBMW.org’s top fifteen most-read articles in 2020:
“Some complementarians think complementarianism is embarrassing. They’d rather not talk about it. They’d prefer not to emphasize or celebrate it. They hold to it reluctantly because that’s what the Bible says even though it might not make sense. They believe it, but they don’t love it. That’s not how we should think about what God has revealed. We must not only believe whatever God reveals to be true; we should cherish it. It’s not okay to say, “The Bible teaches that, but I don’t like it.” It’s a bad sign if we want to ignore or apologize for what God has revealed in the Bible. If we have a problem understanding the nature and rationale of what God has revealed in his word, then the problem is with us—not with God and not with the truth he has revealed.”
“Until 2019, I held the common, historic Protestant view of divorce, namely, that adultery and desertion were the only two legitimate grounds for divorce allowed by Scripture. . . . However, as a result of additional research that I carried out in 2019, I now believe that 1 Corinthians 7:15 implies that divorce may be legitimate in other circumstances that damage the marriage as severely as adultery or desertion. This change in my position has come because I reached a new understanding of Paul’s expression “in such cases” in 1 Corinthians 7:15.”
“A wide range of issues — such as the economy, health care, trade, immigration, and national security — will be affected by the election’s outcome. Issues related to sexuality and gender — such as how “sex” is defined in federal statutes, whether individuals with gender dysphoria can serve in the military, and whether “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” become protected categories in federal civil rights law — will be significantly influenced as well.”
“A video interview with N. T. Wright recently went viral on Facebook. In it, Wright is asked about women in ministry. It is clear that the interviewer and the audience are eager to hear Wright plant an egalitarian flag in the ground. Wright says that he is asked about this almost everywhere he goes, but in Britain the question elicits a yawn. Wright says that they settled the question long ago across the pond, and he expresses amusement that Christians elsewhere can’t seem to catch up to the British embrace of egalitarianism.”
“According to the event announcement accessed on Thursday, the Q Collective, which is an LGBT group “exploring the spectrum of gender, sexuality, and romantic orientation,” hosted its 2nd annual Transluminate Arts Festival at The Chapel of Memorial Presbyterian Church on consecutive nights, February 27 – March 1.”
“If you had asked me ten years ago whether evangelicals would ever give up ground on the issue of homosexuality, I would have said ‘no way!’ Sure, the evangelical movement has always had its ‘progressive wing.’ And yes, even the term ‘evangelical’ has always been notoriously difficult to define. But whatever ‘evangelical’ means, everyone always seemed to understand that it doesn’t include those who would affirm homosexuality as consistent with God’s will. Everyone always understood that to affirm homosexuality is to affirm your way right out of evangelicalism. That was a clear line that anyone who wished to remain an evangelical was loathe to cross.”
“One of the most harmful and perverse aspects of contemporary American culture is the sexualization of our children, especially our young girls. While not new, this trend seems to be snowballing through various age-targeted marketing campaigns which advertise suggestive clothing, wanton pop idols, and bawdy TV shows and movies that are improper for any age, let alone preteens.”
“After fifty years of fractious debate over sexuality, The United Methodist Church is about to divide into two or more denominations. This division would have occurred at the scheduled May 2020 quadrennial General Conference, now postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
“If ratified next year, this schism will be the first organized division of a major national US denomination since before the Civil War, when Methodists, Baptists, and others divided over slavery.”
“The current cover story for Christianity Today is nothing short of alarming. I did a double take when I read this statistic in the article by sociologist Mark Regnerus: ‘According to a Census Bureau survey taken in 2018, only 35 percent of 25- to 34-year-old men were married, a precipitous and rapid plunge from 50 percent in 2005.’ Fifteen percentage points lost in a little over a decade!”
“While CBMW’s Danvers Statement has been and continues to be a touch-point for what defines complementarianism, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are major differences among those who call themselves complementarians on this very question. Now, I do not think I can name a single complementarian who would restrict women from teaching other women at a women’s conference. In fact, I and many like me believe Titus 2 not only permits but commands this kind of teaching ministry. Nevertheless, reserving the function of preaching the Sunday morning sermon for qualified men only is a more direct application of the plain words of 1 Timothy 2:12, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man.’ It also more faithfully reflects the spirit of the Danvers Statement, which confesses “some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men.”
Last year in Dallas, amidst an ongoing controversy surrounding Side-B ‘Gay Christianity’ and the Revoice conference, the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) General Assembly voted to commend CBMW’s Nashville Statement as a ‘biblically faithful declaration.’ The General Assembly also voted to form a study committee that would ‘study the topic of human sexuality with particular attention to the issues of homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and transgenderism and prepare a report.’”
“The question whether women may serve as pastors or elders is one that hits home for many Christians. Believers have seen this issue embroil and even divide their churches. In taking up such a critical and sensitive matter, it is important to turn to the Bible. What light does the Word of God shed on this controversial topic?”
“It is clear that marriage must be prioritized by conservatives, even as one considers the statistics cited in Brooks article referenced above. And as long as marriage, biblically defined — heterosexual, monogamous, procreative, lifelong — is upheld, we will have nuclear families, which must be supported and encouraged. What’s the alternative? Bavinck doesn’t mince words: ‘Imagine there were no marriage and family, and humanity would . . . turn into a pigsty.’
“I know David Brooks doesn’t mean to lead us into a pigsty. But with Bavinck we must say, ‘let a vigorous protest be sounded against all those who . . . violate the honor of marriage and undermine the foundations of the family.’”
“One of the many challenges confronting complementarians today is trying to avoid sounding too much like a broken record. In the face of a veritable cottage industry of egalitarian publishing, which perennially puts out new arguments as to why the church should abandon her traditional position on men and women, complementarians are tasked with re-articulating the same position over and over and over again. But what I’ve come to realize is just how necessary this task is.”
“This article has attempted to give a natural law argument for male and female that supports complementarity. However, in doing so we revisited some previous descriptions of masculinity and femininity, arguing they were too oppositional, too specific, didn’t appreciate the overlap of male and female, and not comprehensive enough for all relationships as male and female.”
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.