Wayne Grudem has recently been interviewed by Books at a Glance, and here is a brief clip — at the link you can see the whole interview:
I’m not so sure that “complementarian” can be defined as “equal in value but different in their God-given roles.” It’s not difference that is the issue; the issue is the kind of difference.
Books At a Glance:
Dr. Grudem, perhaps you could tell us something of your own interest in this subject. How did it become such an area of extended study for you? And how did the CBMW come about?
Grudem:… My own interest in this issue began while I was still a PhD student at Cambridge University in England (from 1973 to 1976). From things I was reading that were published both in the UK and in the US, it seemed to me that the church was being led astray by misleading and false information, and incorrect biblical arguments, that were being put forth by evangelical feminists.
Then at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in Atlanta in 1986, I was one of the plenary speakers, but the other five were all committed evangelical feminists, all of whom were determined to criticize my position! It was quite an exciting meeting, to say the least.
However, several of us at that meeting believed that the lineup of speakers did not at all represent the viewpoints of the vast majority of members of the Evangelical Theological Society. We had a series of meetings in private that led to the writing of the Danvers Statement in 1987, and the public announcement of the formation of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in Wheaton Illinois, at the ETS Meeting, in December 1988. I was one of the founding board members and have continued on the board to this day.
Books At a Glance:
Let’s start with some basics: just what is meant by the term complementarianism? How should it be understood? And perhaps you want to mention how it should not be misunderstood.
Complementarianism just means the belief that men and women are equal in value but different in their God-given roles in marriage and the church.
The best understanding of complementarianism, to my mind, is the official statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood which is called the Danvers Statement. (Seehttp://www.cbmw.org/) [The better link is here.]
It should not be misunderstood as a viewpoint that is anti-women or that just seeks power for men. If the complementarian position is taught in the Bible, then it is the path that leads to the greatest joy and true fulfill for both men and women. But it is also challenging for both men and women to live according to the ideal standards laid out in the Bible.