It is worth examining that convictional pattern just a little. The label ‘complementarian’ has been given to those who believe that there New Testament does place a restriction on roles for women in the church’s ministry. However, there are those who extrapolate from the evidence of the New Testament to a full theory of gender roles grounded in the creation perhaps in the very being of God himself. This is then a ‘thick’ description of complementarianism. A ‘thin’ complementarianism is wary of ontological statements and wants to uphold the profound equality of human beings expressed through the difference of roles indicated in Scripture. It would be accurate to say that most Sydney Anglicans are ‘thin’ complementarians in the sense that they don’t seek to import some view of the essential difference between men and women in the way that some American complementarians have. The risk of a ‘thin’ position is that it seems incomplete. It invites ‘thickening’. After all, as a broad cultural phenomenon we can see how fascinated people are with gender and how confused they are about manhood and womanhood. And yet, thickening the description of gender difference beyond the scope of Scripture may result in a coagulated mess.
Are you thick or thin (or something else entirely)?