Terminology

I was talking to a man the other day in Panera Bread about the Gospel. I said to him, “It’s important to have faith in the God of the Bible” which he agreed. I thought I had made myself pretty clear about who I was speaking of and that we were on the same page, right up until He said, “Yes, Jesus is in the tree.” I immediately saw our disconnect. Hmmm. Problem, I thought. I don’t think I mean what he thinks I mean.

As we are posting new articles, words may appear that can cause some confusion unless we CLEARLY define what we mean by them. This page was designed to clear up such confusion and “define our terminology” if you will. This list is not exhaustive and may be added to as time progresses.

COMPLEMENTARIAN – A Complementarian is someone who believes that men and women are equal in our position in Christ, but we have been given differing roles or functions based ultimately on God’s creation order and a variety of Scripture.

Major players in this group are: Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mary Kassian, Andreas Kostenberger, and Dorothy Kelley Patterson. For an exhaustive list, click here.

EGALITARIAN – An egalitarian is someone who believes that equality of men and women span beyond their commonality of bearing God’s image and position in Christ all the way to a lack of distinction in function in the home and church.

Major players in this group are: Letha Scanzoni, Nancy Hardesty, Rebecca Groothuis, and Gordon Fee. For an exhaustive list, click here.

HERMENEUTICS – The process of interpreting Scripture

KOINE GREEK – This is the original Greek that the New Testament was written in. It is similar to classical Greek in structure, however, different in meanings and connotations.

FIRST WAVE FEMINISM - occurred in the 19th-20th centuries, when women fought for the right to vote, to own property, fair wages, end chattel marriage, and gain higher education. Women sought to be recognized as persons.

SECOND WAVE FEMINISM – begin in the 1960’s-1970’s, where women fought against social and cultural inequalities, including sexual freedom, abortion rights, careers, and to liberate women from home and children. Women sought to become men.

THIRD WAVE FEMINISM – began in the mid 1990’s and has made its way into main stream culture in the last few years.  Feminist’s today celebrate ambiguity, tolerance and androgyny. They refuse to think in terms of “us-them” in regards to men. In this wave, women seek to erase their femininity and encourage men to abandon masculinity. Women and men become an it.

ANDROGYNY – Neither masculine, nor feminine, but an blurring of the two, presenting an “it” appearance to the world. Gender Neutral.

TRIUNE – A term that refers the trinity of the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three persons in One God.

9 thoughts on “Terminology

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  5. Ladies,

    I was showing some this sight and we looked through this page, which I had never taken the time to peruse. I think your definition of complementarian needs to be revised. It says: COMPLEMENTARIAN – A Complementarian is someone who believes that men and women are equal in our position in Christ, but we have been given differing roles or functions based ultimately on God’s creation order and a variety of Scripture. On this definition, a person could affirm that men and women have different roles and functions in one sphere (home) but not another (church) or that those differences are such that women can still serve as pastor (if under male oversight such trustees, presbytery, committee, etc). Since the definition you give does not specify what roles and functions define a complimentarian, it allows for someone to claim to be a complimentarian who believes in women serving as pastors and another to be accused on not being complimentarian who holds to, say, women deacons (such as John MacArthur, who is a complimentarian). It seems like there are specific roles and functions necessary to complementarianism, and I think they deserve to be in our working definition.

  6. Good point. There are varying degrees of complementarianism out there and the semantics often make things murky. The purpose of our definition is to draw a clear and simple distinction between the two general lines of thought. For the specific outworking of complementarianism, we would refer to the following texts: Genesis 2:15-25, I Timothy 2:9-15, Ephesians 5:22-3

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