Kent Hughes' successor and the future of evangelicalism...

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(Tim) Mary Lee's and my home congregation, College Church in Wheaton, is the church where any number of evangelical luminaries hold their membership including owners and executives of Christianity Today Inc. (Christianity
, Partnership, Leadership Journal, Christian History, etc.), TEAM,
Crossway Books (publisher of the ESV, John Piper, and works by a variety of authors associated with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), Tyndale
House (publisher of the New Living Translation, R. C. Sproul, James
Dobson, and Left Behind with its blockbuster sequels). Across the lawn from the front campus of Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center and Museum, there are also quite a few academics from Wheaton College as well as Moody Bible Institute. So a good case can be made that as College Church goes, so goes evangelicalism.

Until a couple years ago, David's and my friend, Kent Hughes, was College Church's senior pastor, so we've watched with interest to see what sort of man the congregation's search committee would select as Kent's replacement. The most controverted issue of the past twenty years at College Church, as with Wheaton generally, has been the nature and purpose of sexuality. Kent fought the good fight for orthodoxy here, so David and I expected the next pastor to represent some conciliatory movement towards those pressing for change.

Yesterday, the search committee announced they had finally settled on a man and announced Rev. Dr. Josh Moody as their candidate. Mr. Moody is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

I haven't yet had opportunity to delve deeply into Pastor Moody's doctrinal commitments, but based on what I've read so far, I'm pleased he appears to be solidly reformed. On the matter of sexuality, though, only time will tell.

Meanwhile, this statement provides some indication of the sort of posture he will be taking at this breach in the wall of biblical orthodoxy. Yes, it's likely Pastor Moody will support the New Testament texts applying the creation order of father-rule to the home and church. Nevertheless, it's a stretch to imagine any orthodox reformed pastor who lived prior to the late twentieth century going into print with a statement that, if I'm reading Pastor Moody correctly, holds that patriarchy is sub-biblical and inaccurate as a descriptor of Israel's corporate life:                                                                                                                                       

The Rape of Dinah (Genesis 34).  In a recent article in the academically respected peer-reviewed journal the Tyndale Bulletin,
Robin Parry analyses this particular example of the concern that some
have with the apparently patriarchal structure of ancient Israel. The
Rape of Dinah is a test case, because the affront of Jacob’s daughter
being raped, is seen by some as an example of a gender-biased, and
defamatory, view of women, for the disgrace appears to be the male
family member’s, rather than Dinah’s. In other words, does this portray
a view of women as property rather than personhood? But
even a mildly sympathetic reading of the text quickly exposes the
fallaciousness of this view. The author comments that this rape was ‘a
thing that should not be done.’ The apparently patriarchal attitude of
the brothers, their fury and violent response, is described by the
author but not commended. There are many narratives in the OT which are
examples to be avoided not copied.  This of course is one.

May God give Pastor Moody wisdom and strength, as well as boldness, in the battles he will soon face.