Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

John Piper, again, from the same sermon as the previous entry:

In other words, elder-authority is servant-authority. Elder-leadership is servant-leadership. That’s why teaching is at the heart of this calling. Elder-authority leads by persuasion — by teaching — not by coercion or political maneuvering. Elder-authority is always subordinate to Biblical texts. It can always be called to account by Scripture. Therefore teaching is the primary instrument of leadership in the church.

Nice paragraph there. It sounds so good. It is so easy to nod, agree with your heart, and to not notice what he slipped in. There is nothing leading from “servant leadership” to the parts after “that is why” and after “therefore.” (Later in this post, I’ll get to why his conclusion is not even possible by the definition his ilk has of teaching.)

His conclusion – that teaching is the primary instrument of leadership in the church – does not follow from his premises. He then continues, in the same sermon, by forever excluding women from teaching based on what Paul- not God – did not permit (a woman, or all women?) in his private letter to Timothy.  This way he excludes women from “the primary instrument of leadership.” But he gives no reason to call teaching “the primary instrument of leadership”.

It reminds me of some of the other verbal gymnastics his ilk performs to exclude women from leadership:

Rom 16:7: “I know Junia was an apostle, but… apostles don’t have authority, they aren’t really leaders!”

Acts 2:7, 21:9: “I know there were female prophets in both the old and new testament, and God said His daughters would prophesy, but… prophets don’t have authority, they aren’t really leaders. Oh, and prophets don’t really teach either.”

Rom 16:1: “I know diakonos refers to deacons and ministers when referring to men in the bible, but diakonos Phebe was only a servant, she didn’t have authority!”

Rom. 16:2 “I know the masculine form of prostatis refers to ruler, but Phebe was only a helper at Cenchrea, she didn’t have authority! The female of the word don’t mean ruler.”
John 4:39: “I know one woman in Jesus’ time evangelized her whole village, but… evangelists don’t have authority, they aren’t really leaders! Oh, and evangelists don’t really teach either.”

Ri – di -cu -lous.

By telling us that apostolic work, prophesying and evangelism are not teaching, his ilk defines teaching so narrow that by that definition, teaching cannot be the primary instrument of leadership in the church.

Comments on: "John Piper, you make no logical sense on gender roles – Part 2" (2)

  1. Kristen said:

    That is priceless. Such verbal gymnastics have only one purpose– to keep the powerful in power and the subordinate in subordination. Reason and common sense take a back seat.


  2. Michelle said:

    Yes! It’s so frustrating, because it makes any real conversation on the topic challenging in all the wrong ways…


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