Seminary prof. named CBMW president
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Owen Strachan, newly appointed president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, says CBMW will be "positive" and "transformation-driven" in the days ahead as it confronts distortions of God's plan for gender and sexuality.
CBMW announced yesterday (May 12) that Strachan would succeed Ligon Duncan, chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary, as president. Serving as the organization's executive director since 2012, Strachan led the launch of a new CBMW website with a tenfold increase in traffic, held the council's largest event ever in April and helped double giving between 2012 and 2013, according to a CBMW news release. In addition to his duties at CBMW, Strachan will continue to serve as assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"As one who has learned a tremendous amount from the work of this outfit, I can scarcely believe that I'm in this role," Strachan said in a blog post. "God is kind to us unprofitable workers."
Founded in 1987 by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, CBMW advocates "complementarianism," the teaching that men and women are of equal worth but have different roles in the church and the home. Council members include Duncan; Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary; and Dorothy Patterson, wife of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson.
At age 32, Strachan is the youngest president in the council's history.
In an address at the CBMW National Conference last month, Strachan laid out his vision for the organization. "I did not know at the time I gave that message that I would soon be appointed president of CBMW, and therefore be responsible for the vision and direction of the organization," Strachan wrote in his blog post.
In his vision address, Strachan said CBMW has renewed relevance in light of secular culture's push for homosexual marriage, transgendered restrooms and other manifestations of gender confusion.
"I am here for life transformation," Strachan said. "That is why CBMW was founded, and that is why it continues to exist."
When God cursed the world as a consequence of Adam's sin, it was a "gendered curse" with distinct penalties of Adam and Eve, Strachan said. As a result, the Gospel is integrally related to gender, overturning the curse and freeing men and women to live as God intended, he said.
"We're not sad and long-faced about being complementarians," Strachan said. "... We think that we are living the most joyful existence one can live as a man or woman, because God has saved us and has transformed us and has allowed us to become once more who we were made to be."
Duncan said he is "thrilled" with Strachan's election.
"Owen's leadership as executive director has breathed new life and energy into the organization," Duncan said. "If you were at our recent CBMW National Conference (or have seen the videos) you will have seen a glimpse of this. I look forward to working with him in the future as I transition to the post of CBMW senior fellow and back onto the board. I will relish encouraging him and supporting his leadership as he commends complementarianism to the coming generations."
Akin, a CBMW board member, said Strachan "has led CBMW in a stellar fashion since he took the helm as executive director. Growth and expansion of ministries make this move to president necessary and timely. The future of CBMW is bright and desperately needed. Owen is the right man to lead us. This appointment has my full and enthusiastic support."
Later this year, CBMW will publish an e-book with Piper's Desiring God Ministries, expand its staff and begin a church partnership program intended to strengthen the international complementarian movement.
Compiled by David Roach, chief national correspondent of Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).