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Sixteen respected men and women of God apply the biblical view of manhood and womanhood in areas that concern pastors–from the personal to the practical.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781581344097
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 10/04/2002
Series: Foundations for the Family Series , #3
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and the author of over twenty-five books. 


Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and the author of over twenty-five books. 


Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews, and is the author of God's Lesser GloryGod's Greater Glory; and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring GodDon’t Waste Your LifeThis Momentary MarriageA Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.

Dan Doriani (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the vice president of strategic academic projects and professor of theology at Covenant Seminary. He previously served as the senior pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton, Missouri, and has been involved in several planning and study committees at the presbytery level in both the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). Dan lives with his wife, Debbie, in Chesterfield, Missouri, and has three grown daughters.

Daniel R. Heimbach (PhD, Drew University) is senior professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a social critic who works at the interface between Christian moral witness and secular culture. Heimbach was educated at the United States Naval Academy, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Drew University, and served on the White House domestic policy staff.

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and the author of over twenty-five books. 


Read an Excerpt


The Key Issues in the Manhood-Womanhood Controversy, and the Way Forward

Wayne Grudem

* * *


Very early in the Bible we read that both men and women are "in the image of God." In fact, the very first verse that tells us that God created human beings also tells us that both "male and female" are in the image of God:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

— GEN. 1:27, emphasis added

To be in the image of God is an incredible privilege. It means to be like God and to represent God. No other creatures in all of creation, not even the powerful angels, are said to be in the image of God. It is a privilege given only to us as men and women. We are more like God than any other creatures in the universe, for we alone are "in the image of God."

Any discussion of manhood and womanhood in the Bible must start here. Every time we look at each other or talk to each other as men and women, we should remember that the person we are talking to is a creature of God who is more like God than anything else in the universe, and men and women share that status equally. Therefore we should treat men and women with equal dignity, and we should think of men and women as having equal value. We are both in the image of God, and we have been so since the very first day that God created us. "In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). Nowhere does the Bible say that men are more in God's image than women. Men and women share equally in the tremendous privilege of being in the image of God.

The Bible thus almost immediately corrects the errors of male dominance and male superiority that have come as the result of sin and that have been seen in nearly all cultures in the history of the world. Wherever men are thought to be better than women, wherever husbands act as selfish dictators, wherever wives are forbidden to have their own jobs outside the home or to vote or to own property or to be educated, wherever women are treated as inferior, wherever there is abuse or violence against women or rape or female infanticide or polygamy or harems, the biblical truth of equality in the image of God is being denied. To all societies and cultures where these things occur, we must proclaim that the very beginning of God's Word bears a fundamental and irrefutable witness against these evils.

Yet we can say even more. If men and women are equally in the image of God, then we are equally important to God and equally valuable to Him. We have equal worth before Him for all eternity, for this is how we were created. This truth should exclude all our feelings of pride or inferiority and should exclude any idea that one sex is "better" or "worse" than the other. In contrast to many non-Christian cultures and religions, no one should feel proud or superior because he is a man, and no one should feel disappointed or inferior because she is a woman. If God thinks us to be equal in value, then that settles forever the question of personal worth, for God's evaluation is the true standard of personal value for all eternity.

Further evidence of our equality in the image of God is seen in the New Testament church, where the Holy Spirit is given in new fullness to both men and women (Acts 2:17-18), where both men and women are baptized into membership in the body of Christ (Acts 2:41), and where both men and women receive spiritual gifts for use in the life of the church (1 Cor. 12:7, 11; 1 Pet. 4:10). The apostle Paul reminds us that we are not to be divided into factions that think of themselves as superior and inferior (such as Jew and Greek, or slave and free, or male and female), but rather that we should think of ourselves as united because we are all "one" in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).

By way of application to marriage, whenever husbands and wives do not listen respectfully and thoughtfully to each other's viewpoints, do not value the wisdom that might be arrived at differently and expressed differently from the other person, or do not value the other person's different gifts and preferences as much as their own, this teaching on equality in the image of God is being neglected.

Speaking personally, I do not think I listened very well to my wife Margaret early in our marriage. I did not value her different gifts and preferences as much as my own, or her wisdom that was arrived at or expressed differently. Later we made much progress in this area, but looking back, Margaret told me that early in our marriage she felt as though her voice was taken away, and as though my ears were closed. I wonder if there are other couples in many churches where God needs to open the husband's ears to listen and needs to restore the wife's voice to speak.

A healthy perspective on the way that equality manifests itself in marriage was summarized as part of a "Marriage and Family Statement" issued by Campus Crusade for Christ in July 1999. After three paragraphs discussing both equality and differences between men and women, the statement says the following:

In a marriage lived according to these truths, the love between husband and wife will show itself in listening to each other's viewpoints, valuing each other's gifts, wisdom, and desires, honoring one another in public and in private, and always seeking to bring benefit, not harm, to one another.

Why do I list this as a key issue in the manhood-womanhood controversy? Not because we differ with egalitarians on this question, but because we differ at this point with sinful tendencies in our own hearts. And we differ at this point with the oppressive male chauvinism and male dominance that has marred most cultures throughout most of history.

Why do I list this as a key issue? Because anyone preaching on manhood and womanhood has to start here — where the Bible starts — not with our differences, but with our equality in the image of God.

And to pastors who wish to teach on biblical manhood and womanhood in their churches, I need to say that if you don't start here in your preaching, affirming our equality in the image of God, you simply will not get a hearing from many people in your church. And if you don't start here, with male-female equality in the image of God, your heart won't be right in dealing with this issue.

There is yet one more reason why I think this is a key issue, one that speaks especially to men. I personally think that one reason God has allowed this whole controversy on manhood and womanhood to come into the church at this time is so that we could correct some mistakes, change some wrongful traditions, and become more faithful to Scripture in treating our wives and all women with dignity and respect. The first step in correcting these mistakes is to be fully convinced in our hearts that women share equally with us men in the value and dignity that belongs to being made in the image of God.


When the members of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood wrote the "Danvers Statement" in 1987, we included the following affirmations:

1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God's image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood.

2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart.

3. Adam's headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin.

The statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in June 1998 and affirmed (with one additional paragraph) by Campus Crusade in July 1999 also affirms God-given differences:

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to his people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

By contrast, egalitarians do not affirm such created differences. In fact, the "statement on men, women and Biblical equality" published by Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) says:

1. The Bible teaches that both man and woman were created in God's image, had a direct relationship with God, and shared jointly the responsibilities of bearing and rearing children and having dominion over the created order (Gen. 1:26-28)....

5. The Bible teaches that the rulership of Adam over Eve resulted from the Fall and was, therefore, not a part of the original created order....

10. The Bible defines the function of leadership as the empowerment of others for service rather than as the exercise of power over them (Matt. 20:25-28, 23:8; Mark 10:42-45; John 13:13-17; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet 5:2-3).

11. The Bible teaches that husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life and that they are bound together in a relationship of mutual submission and responsibility (1 Cor. 7:35; Eph. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Gen. 21:12). The husband's function as "head" (kephale) is to be understood as self-giving love and service within this relationship of mutual submission (Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:19; I Pet. 3:7).

So which position is right? Does the Bible really teach that men and women had different roles from the beginning of creation?

When we look carefully at Scripture, I think we can see at least ten reasons indicating that God gave men and women distinct roles before the Fall, and particularly that there was male headship in marriage before the Fall.

Ten Reasons Showing Male Headship in Marriage Before the Fall

1. The order: Adam was created first, then Eve (note the sequence in Gen. 2:7 and Gen. 2:18-23). We may not think of this as very important today, but it was important to the biblical readers, and the apostle Paul sees it as important: He bases his argument for different roles in the assembled New Testament church on the fact that Adam was created prior to Eve. He says, "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men. ... For Adam was formed first, then Eve" (1 Tim. 2:12-13). According to Scripture itself, then, the fact that Adam was created first and then Eve has implications not just for Adam and Eve themselves, but for the relationships between men and women generally throughout time, including the church age.

2. The representation: Adam, not Eve, had a special role in representing the human race.

Looking at the Genesis narrative, we find that Eve sinned first, and then Adam sinned (Gen. 3:6: "she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate"). Since Eve sinned first, we might expect that the New Testament would tell us that we inherit a sinful nature because of Eve's sin, or that we are counted guilty because of Eve's sin. But this is not the case. In fact, it is just the opposite. We read in the New Testament, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). The New Testament does not say, "as in Eve all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

This is further seen in the parallel between Adam and Christ, where Paul views Christ as the "last Adam":

Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. ... The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. ... Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

— 1 COR. 15:45-49 (seealso ROM. 5:12-21, where another relationship between Adam and Christ is developed)

It is unmistakable, then, that Adam had a leadership role in representing the entire human race, a leadership role that Eve did not have. Nor was it true that Adam and Eve together represented the human race. It was Adam alone who represented the human race, because he had a particular leadership role that God had given him, a role that Eve did not share.

3. The naming of woman: When God made the first woman and "brought her to the man," the Bible tells us,

Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

— GEN. 2:23

When Adam says, "she shall be called Woman," he is giving a name to her. This is important in the context of Genesis 1 — 2, because in that context the original readers would have recognized that the person doing the "naming" of created things is always the person who has authority over those things.

In order to avoid the idea that Adam's naming of woman implies male leadership or authority, some egalitarians (such as Gilbert Bilezikian) deny that Adam gives a name to his wife in Genesis 2:23. But his objection is hardly convincing when we see how Genesis 2:23 fits into the pattern of naming activities throughout these first two chapters of Genesis. We see this when we examine the places where the same verb (the Hebrew verb qara' ["to call"]) is used in contexts of naming in Genesis 1 — 2:

Genesis 1:5: "God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night."

Genesis 1:8: "And God called the expanse Heaven."

Genesis 1:10: "God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas."

Genesis 2:19: So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name."

Genesis 2:20: "The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field."

Genesis 2:23: "Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'"

In each of these verses prior to Genesis 2:23, the same verb, the Hebrew verb qara', had been used. Just as God demonstrated His sovereignty over day and night, heavens, earth, and seas by assigning them names, so Adam demonstrated his authority over the animal kingdom by assigning them names. The pattern would have been easily recognized by the original readers, and they would have seen a continuation of the pattern when Adam said, "she shall be called Woman."

The original readers of Genesis and of the rest of the Old Testament would have been familiar with this pattern, a pattern whereby people who have authority over another person or thing have the ability to assign a name to that person or thing, a name that often indicates something of the character or quality of the person. Thus parents give names to their children (see Gen. 4:25-26; 5:3, 29; 16:15; 19:37-38; 21:3). And God is able to change the names of people when He wishes to indicate a change in their character or role (see Gen. 17:5, 15, where God changes Abram's name to Abraham and where He changes Sarai's name to Sarah). In each of these passages we have the same verb as is used in Genesis 2:23 (the verb qara'), and in each case the person who gives the name is one in authority over the person who receives the name. Therefore when Adam gives to his wife the name "Woman," in terms of biblical patterns of thought this indicates a kind of authority that God gave to Adam, a leadership function that Eve did not have with respect to her husband.

We should notice here that Adam does not give the personal name "Eve" to his wife until Genesis 3:20 ("the man called [Hebrew qara'] his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living"). This is because in the creation story in Genesis 2 Adam is giving a broad category name to his wife, indicating the name that would be given to womanhood generally, and he is not giving specific personal names designating the character of the individual person.

4. The naming of the human race: God named the human race "Man," not "Woman." Because the idea of naming is so important in the Old Testament, it is interesting what name God chose for the human race as a whole. We read: "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created" (Gen. 5:1-2).

In the Hebrew text, the word that is translated "Man" is the Hebrew word 'adam. But this is by no means a gender-neutral term in the eyes of the Hebrew reader at this point, because in the four chapters prior to Genesis 5:2, the Hebrew word 'adam has been used many times to speak of a male human being in distinction from a female human being. In the following list the roman word man represents this same Hebrew word 'adam in every case:

Genesis 2:22: "And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man." (We should notice here that it does not say that God made the rib into another 'adam, another "man," but that He made the rib into a "woman," which is a different Hebrew word.)


Excerpted from "Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood"
by .
Copyright © 2002 Wayne Grudem.
Excerpted by permission of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

The Contributors, 9,
Preface, 13,
1 The Key Issues in the Manhood-Womanhood Controversy, and the Way Forward Wayne Grudem, 19,
2 Male and Female Complementarity and the Image of God Bruce A. Ware, 71,
3 The Surpassing Goal: Marriage Lived for the Glory of God John Piper, 93,
4 Does Galatians 3:28 Negate Gender-Specific Roles? Richard Hove, 105,
5 The Meaning of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] ("Head"): An Evaluation of New Evidence, Real and Alleged Wayne Grudem, 145,
6 The Historical Novelty of Egalitarian Interpretations of Ephesians 5:21-22 Daniel Doriani, 203,
7 The Myth of Mutual Submission as an Interpretation of Ephesians 5:21 Wayne Grudem, 221,
8 Tampering with the Trinity: Does the Son Submit to His Father? Bruce A. Ware, 233,
9 Sexual Perversion: The Necessary Fruit of Neo-Pagan Spirituality in the Culture at Large Peter R. Jones, 257,
10 The Unchangeable Difference: Eternally Fixed Sexual Identity for an Age of Plastic Sexuality Daniel R. Heimbach, 275,
Appendix: The Danvers Statement, 291,
Scripture Index, 295,
Author Index, 300,
Subject Index, 303,

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