Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem: a review
At the outset, I am a complementarian when it comes to gender roles in the home and the church. It is my biblical conviction that men are called by Christ to the roles of leadership in both the home (Eph 5:23-33) and in the church (1 Tim 2:12; 3:2). So going into the book I knew that I was going to agree with what Grudem proposes.
His thesis is that, what he labels as Evangelical Feminism, (egalitarianism) will eventually lead to liberalism. Grudem lists the examples of several mainline denominations to prove this. While he is careful not to label all egalitarians as liberal, he does argue that the trend usually leads one to more liberal thinking. Grudem gives many examples of the arguments that egalitarians use to make their case. What becomes apparent is that all of the arguments either downplay Scripture or distort Scripture. Thus, at the end of the day, the issue is one of submitting to the authority of Scripture. In order to submit to Scripture, we need to understand it rightly. Egalitarians fail to do both and so do liberals.
The path to liberalism, according to Grudem, is the downplay of the authority of Scripture and the distortion of certain passages. He is calling for both careful exegesis of evangelicals and also humble obedience to what God has revealed in His word. As a pastor this book was both refreshing and serves as a warning to me. It is refreshing to see men who are totally committed to the Word of God, even when the culture is going against it. Furthermore, as a pastor I am entrusted with guarding the truth, shepherding the flock, so that the Church will bring glory to the Lord Jesus. This can only happen as I submit myself to God’s Word humbly. It is a warning for me not to take lightly His Word but to seek obedience to it, with utter dependence upon His grace.