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

Posts tagged ‘John Piper’

Putting the (church) cart before the (wedding) horse

“The ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. (25).” – John Piper

If said so before, but I will say it again: Marriage cannot be “patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people.” Look at that second little word: “after.” To be “after” something, the other thing needs to be “before.”

When was the first marriage? In the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve. When did Christ’s covenant relationship with his redeemed people, the church, start to exist? (more…)

Do “men should lead, women should follow” keep men out of church?

“It’s the feel of a great, majestic God who is by His redeeming work in Christ inclining men to humble Christ-exalting initiatives and inclining women to come alongside those men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.” – John Piper

Okay, to recap: Men, so say Piper, should not merely lead in a way someone else may have led before, but come up with “humble Christ-exalting initiatives.” The man who comes up with this “Christ-exalting initiative” can have no “joyful support” or “intelligent helpfulness” from another man, but only from women.

And since there is, in his view, such a clear difference between the helping people (leaders have male genitals, helpers do not.) and the lead person, nobody could ever start by following and get groomed for leadership. And no male leader could ever (more…)

Women were made to represent Christ, and man the church?!

John Piper asserts women were made, right from the start, to represent the church, and man to represent Christ. (Why his view is logically untenable can be found here.)

Let us suppose that from the creation story, one of the two is a character who need rescuing (representing humanity, the church), and the other came down to rescue (representing Christ).

Who, in creation, has a problem? “It’s not good for a man to be alone…” The man has a problem. Who, in the Christ – church picture, has a problem? We do, not Christ.

What help is sent for the man? An ezer k’negdo*, a help meet for him. Ezer translates as helper, but not as in assistant. Almost every time it is used in the Bible, it refers to God helping humans, a strong, rescuing help you cannot do without. In the Christ – church picture, Christ is the helper, the strong, rescuing help you cannot do without. (more…)

John Piper, you make no logical sense on gender roles – Part 4

John Piper, ending the same sermon I was quoting this past 4 posts:

this is the way the Scriptures teach us to order the church,
and God inspired the Scriptures

Oops. The primary verse expounded upon in there is 1 Timothy 2:12. And 1 Timothy 2:12 is not what the scriptures, per implication God, teach. It is prefaced with the word “I.”

“I permit not” means, in that context, that the letter writer Paul forbade something. Piper’s words make it sound as if we have to believe that God is behind Paul’s words when Paul say “I”. Paul makes it clear this is not always the case elsewhere:

1Co 7:12 But to the rest say I, not the Lord: …

Another important verse he use is Ephes. 5:32, which he muddles badly.


Ps: Jon Zens tackles Piper with logic and evidence here.

John Piper, you make no logical sense on gender roles – Part 3

Still John Piper: (Bold mine)

And God intends to equip and mobilize the saints through a company of spiritual men who take primary responsibility for leadership and teaching in the church.

To give one example of how this may pan out: If a woman discover something in the word, she should not let men learn it – she cannot teach them. If she becomes knowledgeable on a topic, no man in the body of Christ can benefit from that knowledge. God cannot use her to impart this knowledge to men.

That is irrational and impractical. And untrue. The Lord never say he want to equip the saints through men alone. He equips us through apostles; prophets; evangelists; pastors and teachers. (Eph. 4:11-12) And we have a female apostle, a female evangelist and a female teacher in the NT. And several female prophets. (Nobody in the church- male or female – is described in scripture with the word translated “pastor” here, except Christ. It is used for literal shepherds, not for a church role.)

It is certainly not true that God equips saints only through “spiritual men who take primary responsibility for leadership and teaching in the church.” Even in complementarian churches, God uses women to equip female saints and underage saints.

Female saints. Child saints. And the ladies who teach them are … equipping and mobilizing saints. Live with it, John Piper.

John Piper, you make no logical sense on gender roles – Part 2

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.

John Piper, you make no logical sense on gender roles – Part 1

John Piper said (bold mine):

So when God created man and woman he made us the way we are — with the differences of manhood and womanhood — so that we would be suited for these complementary roles (and for the other expressions of complementarity outside marriage). In this drama man was meant to play the role of Christ, and the woman was meant to play the role of his bride the church.

And we have stressed for five weeks now that these differences are not the result of sin. … Before sin ever entered the world God ordained and fitted Adam to be a loving, caring, strong leader for his wife Eve. And before sin entered the world God ordained and fitted Eve to be a partner who supports and honors that leadership and helps carry it through…

Firstly, a question: Is Piper teaching that God wanted humans to sin, so he made one of the two to exemplify a repentant sinner?

Then, an observation:

Piper says in a world without sin, without man or woman, a man was made to exemplify the redeemer from sin, and a woman to exemplify the sinners who get redeemed. God did not make man play the role of the Redeemer because of sin, nor did women have to play the role of the redeemed because of sin. Even if nobody ever sinned, it would still have been right to let the man play the role of the Redeemer from sin, and the woman of the redeemed.


You could as well tell me the TV was invented in order to show a documentary of the negative effects too much TV has; because the inventor wanted to keep people from watching too much TV.

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