The Subordinate Place of Supreme Honor: A Response to Douglas Wilson

By Valerie Hobbs and Rachel Miller - Posted at Patheos:

‘The Subordinate Place of Supreme Honor’: The Wedding Exhortations of Douglas Wilson

What is marriage? What is Biblical headship? What is a Christian wife? According to prominent leaders in the Reformed and/or broadly evangelical Christian community, gender roles and sexuality are among the most, if not the most, important issues of our day.

A controversy of major proportions has spread throughout the church. Now more than ever before, gender roles are openly questioned in the wake of evangelical feminism—a movement that is having a profound impact on society, the home, and the church. (John Piper and Wayne Grudem
What is the confessional issue of our time? The confessional issue of our time is human sexuality, biblically defined. (Douglas Wilson, How to Exasperate Your Wife, Kindle Locations 984-986) 
What we believe about our identity as man or woman is central to who we are are individuals, couples, and families and how each of us pursues our life calling…Biblical manhood and womanhood is too important a subject not to think through carefully as a Christian. (Andreas J. K√∂stenberger and Margaret Elizabeth K√∂stenberger, God’s Design for Man and Woman, p. 14)

These bold claims, combined with recent events such as the unfolding Duggar scandal and John Piper’s comments about women showing deference to the (presumably male) mail carrier, to whose defense Douglas Wilson quickly leapt, demonstrate a need to examine carefully views about gender and marriage among those with patriarchal leanings. In this article, we focus on the writings of Douglas Wilson, using his often controversial statements about marriage and gender as a means of achieving some understanding of where some of these patriarchal and complementarian church leaders are coming from. What do they mean, for example, when they say things like, ‘So, no. A Christian complementarian woman should not become a cop, especially when it involves riot gear. No.’