I am excited, officially, to work at the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood as Executive Director.
CBMW is an organization that has had a major impact on my life and theology. I trained under leading complementarians Bruce Ware (former CBMW president), Al Mohler, and Mark Dever. Under these figures (and others) I learned about the Bible, the gospel, and God’s good design and plan for men and women. Complementarianism, it turns out, is all about the flourishing of God’s people. It is about filling the joy-giving roles God has scripted for men and women. It’s about truth, doing what is right and obedient to the Lord. And it’s about aesthetics, showing the beauty of God’s wisdom in tangible, everyday form.
CBMW was co-founded by Wayne Grudem and John Piper four decades ago. I have learned a great deal from both of these men and consider them forefathers in the faith. The book they coedited, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway, 1991), is a tour de force. It has been used of God to help thousands and thousands of Christians profit from the wisdom of God’s Word. CBMW has sponsored or helped produce numerous other volumes and many events and conferences. The effect of the organization is diffuse, but suffice it to say that diverse institutions have benefited from the ministry of CBMW. These include, but are certainly not limited to, Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, The Master’s Seminary, the NEXT/New Attitude conference, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church in America, the Evangelical Free Church, Acts29, the Resurgence, and much more.
One of the things I love about CBMW is that, as one can see, it involves evangelicals from different groups and denominations. Figures like Paige Patterson, Danny Akin, Dorothy Patterson, Jack Cottrell, Mary Kassian, Joshua Harris, and Erik Thoennes sit on the CBMW council. It’s an impressive group, and I’m excited to work with it and with leading evangelical voice Russell Moore, dean of Southern Seminary and chairman of the powerhouse CBMW board of directors. My day-to-day leadership will involve close interaction with J. Ligon Duncan. Dr. Duncan exemplifies what CBMW is about: he’s biblically faithful, personally gracious, and committed to the promotion of the gospel in order that God’s people might flourish. It’s an honor to follow Randy Stinson in the role of Executive Director; Randy is a godly man and a strong leader, and I will be leaning on his insight in days ahead.
We at CBMW have much to do. You should plan on seeing a number of exciting initiatives and changes in days ahead. We will continue to promote God’s wise and life-giving plan for men and women. We look forward to helping raise up a generation of young complementarian women who will speak and write on crucial issues (be on the lookout for this especially). We are eager to engage the broader evangelical and cultural conversation on marriage, homosexuality, and the family. These are critical times for our public square, and CBMW needs to have a voice in these discussions, both for the sake of our Christian witness and for the equipping of pastors, churches, and individual Christians who face a culture shifting from traditional mores. We intend to engage these conversations with truth, grace, and love for men and women who, like us, desperately need God’s Word to norm their lives.
CBMW is already planning a slate of events and publishing projects. Over future months, we will make these matters public. We are going to rebrand our material, further develop a website that will crackle with energy and excellence, continue to produce top-notch academic resources under the leadership of Denny Burk, and launch new social media. In short, we have a great deal ahead.
We are thrilled to undertake an ambitious program starting now.
We will undertake this work with charity, good cheer, and optimism. Even as we debate issues with fellow evangelicals, we intend to exemplify a godly and gracious spirit. We have no reason for defensiveness, after all; we believe God’s Word is perspicacious, and we are grateful for that. I am personally friends with a number of believers who differ with me on the issues at hand. This is good for me, and I hope for them; I want to persist and indeed to grow in such friendship.
I once heard D. A. Carson say that he was merely, in view of God’s grandeur, an “unprofitable servant.” That stuck with me, as with so many things Carson said and did. That’s all I am: an unprofitable servant. That’s all any of us are. But I am asking a great God to work through CBMW, an organization he has used to tremendous effect in the past, because if we are to know health, God is the one who must give it.
I hope you’ll join me in this request.