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Robert Yarbrough, professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary, and D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, recently spoke at the EFCA conference, Understanding the Complementarian Position: Considering Implications and Exploring Practices in the Home and the Local Church.

You can listen to the audio of their talks below:

Robert Yarbrough

The Cultural and Ecclesiological Landscape

Hermeneutics: A Biblical Framework

Leadership in the Local Church and a Theology of Pastoral Care 

D. A. Carson

Creation and Re-Creation: Male and Female in the Image of God, the Fall, and Redemption

Family: Husbands and Wives, Love and Submission, Christ and the Church

Church: Teaching/Authority in Context of 1 Timothy 2  [Q&A transcript excerpt]

Panel Discussions

Equal in Essence and Dignity, Distinction in Roles: The Home

Full Use of Gifts within God’s Ordained Structure: The Church

Concluding Comments [PDF] (Carson and Yarbrough)

In his closing comments, Dr. Carson recommends a couple of resources:

I’d like to recommend to you the most recent book by Tim and Kathy Keller: The Meaning of Marriage. It’s the best book I’ve seen on marriage in a long time. His wife Kathy writes chapter 6 on submission . . .  It’s the best chapter I’ve seen in a marriage context where there’s a deep theological patterning of all of Scripture in a practical, godly sense.
There is another book, not out yet, written by Claire Smith, who has a PhD in New Testament studies. . . . She’s written a book on many of the passages that I have covered. In fact, let me acknowledge freely and joyfully that I borrowed from her here and there—not because what she says is new, but she has a way of putting things crisply and simply—she’s straightforward. The book is called God’s Good Design. Don’t let the simplicity of the title fool you. She works through these passages with rare confidence, even-handedness, attractiveness. That’s a book that you might want to have on your shelf in some quantity to give to people. . . . This little book is clear, crisp, on the right lines—I strongly recommend it when it comes out.

The book is not available in the U.S. yet (though keep an eye on the Matthias Media store here). You can read online for free the contents, the preface, and chapter 1.

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6 thoughts on “Understanding Complementarianism”

  1. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for this, it’s going to be very helpful. I’m not sure if the Gospel Coalition audio links work (they didn’t for me), but the links at the EFCA website did.

  2. Marty says:

    Just to let your readers know, we have about 50 advance copies of God’s Good Design in our webstore at (or you can click through on my name above). They can call our office at 866-407-4530.

    Matthias Media

  3. Dan Sudfeld says:

    Thank you for pointing me to this conference, Justin. The EFCA’s daughter denomination in Canada, the EFCC, has a motion on the table to move to a more egalitarian position regarding ordination and credentialing. In light of this, I especially appreciate Dr. Hamel’s opening remarks (found at your first link).

  4. Meaty stuff here. I’m still listening to it all, but I’m jazzed by the fact that it seems I’ve been on the same page with D. A. Carson all along. The man is a brilliant exegete.

  5. God’s Good Design looks to be available in the US now.

  6. Tony Archer says:

    It is a shame that Carson’s talk (the first one) prematurely cuts off just before he gets to unpacking 1 Cor 11 on head coverings…

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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