Editor’s Note: the following essay appears in the Spring 2021 issue of Eikon.
Over the past thirty years, complementarianism has enjoyed something of a consensus position among conservative churches in North America. Over against feminist arguments that men and women should be treated equally in every respect, complementarians have insisted that God intends for men to exercise leadership in the home and in the church. This consensus has faced an ever-growing challenge from society’s rapidly progressing views on gender and sexuality. Recently, the subject has become controversial also within the Church. At the heart of this controversy are two books by conservative Reformed authors that reexamine complementarianism in order to discern which aspects of it should be kept and which should be discarded. Both books have met with vigorous critique in Reformed and evangelical circles.
Evaluating this controversy is difficult, partly because Byrd and Miller…