Saturday, July 21, 2012

Update: Jared Wilson and the Gospel Coalition Take Down Offending Post

Late yesterday evening Jared Wilson did what I consider to be the right thing: he (and the Gospel Coalition) took down the controversial post in which he not only extended "complementarian hierarchy" to the inner sanctum of the marital bedroom, but used such images of dominance as "penetration," "conquering," and "colonizing" (from a book by Doug Wilson) in doing so.  Wilson also posted an explanation/apology, which should go a long way to defusing the situation.

I am sure some will be disappointed by Wilson for doing this and will view his sensible response as a "capitulation" to the sensibilities of dastardly "egalitarians" or, even worse, "feminists."  But this was the right thing to do.  He is certainly entitled to express his opinions on the application of putative gender roles to the bedroom.  Nevertheless, a Christian must always act, speak, and write in such a way that needless offensiveness is minimized.  Such was the case, I believe, in this situation, where his descriptions of male "authority" and female "submission" in sex came uncomfortably close to sanctified rape.  I know, from the works of such "complementarians" as John Piper and Tim Keller, that such descriptions are not par for the course in writings from this perspective.

For me, this is a cautionary tale.  Blogging, by its very nature, is prone to this kind of retraction.  Blogs are, first of all, opinion pieces.  More importantly, they are more along the order of "interim reports" than final products designed for peer review.  As those who know me well are all too aware, I am not only opinionated, but have a decided tendency to speak and write in black-and-white terms for effects' sake.  When necessary, I can provide all the qualifications and shades of gray necessary, but doing so tends to inhibit conversation and dialogue.  Because of this, in years past I often told my students to take what I say and divide it in half.  Some never got that message, however, with results I have lived to regret.  So I take this as a lesson: always be careful with what I say, no matter how strongly I hold to a debated position, for, if I am not, I may cause harm and offense to one for whom Christ died.

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