Correcting the Record for Associated Baptist Press

Yesterday, an Associated Baptist Press story by Bob Allen alleged that the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood had taken down an article on gender roles in the new creation after online pushback. As Executive Director of CBMW, I feel compelled to respond due to the article’s numerous inaccuracies, all of which could have been immediately cleared up with a phone call to me or to Denny Burk, editor of the Journal on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.

The problems with Allen’s story are as follows:

1st paragraph: “…article posted online recently…”

The article in question was not posted “recently.” It was published in our journal in 2006, nearly a decade ago. It has appeared on our website for many years and is still there today. When we transitioned to our new site about a year ago, it was reloaded to the site (apparently in May 2013). The link is here: http://cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/11-1.pdf#page=4. To be honest, in full disclosure, I’m not sure why the HTML version of the article went offline. Website editors know that small technical glitches are no respecter of persons and know no theological bounds. No story here; nothing worth posting about.

2nd Paragraph: “A 7,000-word article… apparently was taken down”

The article was not taken down from the website. This is a classic case of reading a motive where none exists. The actual story is as I said much less exciting: a small web glitch. The article has appeared on our site for years and is still posted there now. If CBMW had taken the article down–which was plainly not the case–we would have simultaneously pulled the 2006 PDF of the journal in which the article appeared. We did no such thing, and have no reason to do so.

5th to last paragraph: “the group’s executive director said in a blog post…”

My blog post from last week had absolutely nothing to do with the non-loading article in question. I was referring to previous debates and to a standing tendency on the part of a small group of anti-CBMW folks to misconstrue our motives. Though I wrote those comments last week without reference to the ABP story, they ironically apply to the matter at hand. As I said above, had Allen followed what I (no journalist myself) understand to be journalistic due diligence and contacted me before running his story, I would have gladly and promptly informed that our website had a small glitch. My hope is that Allen (a genuine practitioner of the journalistic craft for many years) will publish a correction to his original story on this and other points.

3rd to last paragraph: “Denny Burk, associate professor of biblical studies and ethics at Boyce College, is the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood editor.”

This statement seems to imply that Denny Burk was the editor under which the article in question ran (2006). Burk became editor in 2008. He has provided outstanding service to CBMW and the broader evangelical community in this role. As Executive Director, I could not be happier with his work, and I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him at CBMW. I love our work, I love our journal, and I am grateful to God for the outsized influence and kingdom utility of CBMW and JBMW.

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As I said, this whole incident is highly unfortunate for ABP. The article, and the blogs and social media activity that led to its writing, fundamentally mischaracterized this situation. I saw some of the social media activity before the ABP story and assumed that the trail would go cold. Surprisingly, I was wrong. As stated above, I hope the record can be publicly corrected. I wish ABP and Allen no ill will, after all.

I have a responsibility to speak up, however, when CBMW is the subject of misinformation and public projection of a motive. Readers should know that this is not what excites me in my work at CBMW. I am excited about seeing men and women, homes and churches, transformed by the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what CBMW is after; that’s what well over 1 million pageviews of CBMW.org in 2013 shows us tons of folks all over the world want from us; that’s what I champion while speaking regularly to churches, conferences, and hordes of the next generation; that’s what our upcoming National Conference with John Piper, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and others will trumpet from the rooftops.

It is life-giving to work with a pulsing, dynamic, international movement that stands for a rich body of doctrine. I hope that many will continue to join us in this great work.


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