Anderson seems to have misunderstood the argument that I made in my essay. I did not make the argument that churches should put a “hedge” around the law. Nor did I make the argument that the “slippery slope” is the only reason that women shouldn’t be teaching Sunday School. I made the argument that 1 Timothy 2:12 prohibits women from two things—teaching and exercising authority over men.
Hannah Anderson has an essay at Christianity Today warning against “paternalism” among complementarians. She says that paternalism occurs among complementarians whenever “policies and practices” are put into place “that restrict both the freedom and the responsibilities of women who do not hold the authority associated with pastors and husbands.”
In other words, it’s not men in authority per se that are the problem. It’s those who misuse their authority to limit women under their charge. She then says that “The challenge for complementarians, then, is to create policies and practices that don’t unnecessarily limit the freedom or the responsibilities of women as co-heirs of the gospel of life.”
Anderson cites a recent article that I wrote as an example of this so-called paternalism. In her own words,
[Complementarian leaders] need to carefully weigh the restrictions put on women’s giftedness and service, beyond those based in Scripture and applied ecclesiology. When leaders make prohibitions simply in order to “err on the side of caution,” they reduce the credibility of their claim to honor and value women as equal image bearers. Even worse, they risk losing the very gifts the Holy Spirit has given for the growth of the church.
For example, in his blog post “How To Turn Complementarians into Egalitarians,” Denny Burk, President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, argues that women should not teach mixed Sunday School. In his opinion, people would see women perform functions similar to those that male pastors perform, and that in turn would eventually lead to women being ordained as pastors. “The endgame is not teaching Sunday school,” he warns. “It’s the pastorate.”