Some of you may know that a couple of weeks ago, John Piper had the DG Pastor's Conference, and had a lot of men there. Well, this offended a lot of women, and Scot McKnight, and they had a lot to say about it as you might expect. Most of it didn't really make any sense, but it's Wednesday, and we can't just leave this space blank.
The message that seems to have really bent them all out of shape and put them off their yogurt and vitamin water is the biographical sketch Dr. Piper did of J.C. Ryle. In particular, they took offense to Dr. Piper saying this by way of introduction:
For the sake of the glory of women, and for the sake of the security and joy of children, God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel. He has ordained for the church a masculine ministry.Now, what exactly about that is offensive? As I said, I couldn't make heads or tails out of what was being said by the egalitarian offended class, but I did garner a few things from them which are at least enjoyable to hear them say out loud:
And, of course, this is liable to serious misunderstanding and serious abuse, because there are views of masculinity that would make such a vision repulsive. So here is more precisely what I mean. And words are always inadequate when describing beauty. Beauty always thrives best when she is perceived by God-given instincts rather than by rational definitions. But we must try. What I mean by “masculine Christianity,” or “masculine ministry,” or “Christianity with a masculine feel,” is this:
Theology and church and mission are marked by overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ, with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, and contrite courage, and risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading, protecting, and providing for the community—all of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.
1. There's no difference between being a decent "husband" and being a decent "spouse". That is: in marriage, the roles of husband and wife are interchangeable. Whatever it is you do to be a good spouse is the same for both men and women, so let's not try to get too worked up about the relationship between the sexes in marriage. In the end, it's no wonder people who think like this might think that marriage could therefore be two men or two women -- it's just jobbing, just role playing, and you just have to make sure that all the job description items are filled.
2. There is in fact no difference between the sexes when it comes to having friends. For example, one woman explained to me that she did nothing wrong being a confidant to a man whose marriage was in trouble. She was quite shocked and outraged that his wife thought otherwise -- can't a man and a woman just be friends?
3. Of course the pastoral office is not explicitly for men -- and certainly not for men who are inordinately manly. I didn't realize we're all Anglicans now, but I realize I can't keep up with all the newest news.
It's sort of like hearing lap dogs describe what it must be like to drive a car. It's as if they don't even understand that even Science has said there are significant differences between men and women that maybe we can't even entirely explain. What will happen when they discover that a men's public restroom is different than the women's?
That's really enough for today. That's probably all the tender-hearted among you can take anyway. I have a full plate at work and I leave it to you to talk amongst yourselves -- in an ambiguous and androgynous manner, of course, so that nobody's feelings get jostled.