Tuesday, July 17, 2012

John Piper: God Gave Christianity a "Masculine Feel", When Will His Sycophants and *Apologists Wake Up? Do They Even Wish to?


Recently, published at The Christian Post, (from which part of the my title has borrowed) was an article concerning an assertion by Teacher, John Piper, which came from his Desiring God conference in January, 2012. The Christian Post reported the following quote by Piper concerning the assertion that Christianity is deliberately designed with a masculine feel:
God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king not queen; father not mother," Piper said at this year's annual pastors conference hosted by the Desiring God ministry. "Second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son not daughter; the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male.
And a second place where you may read (and I strongly recommend) a more full account, is at the blog Jesus Creed and its post, John Piper, what he said (I do not necessarily endorse the blog as a whole one way or the other but it has superior content on this matter). 

Let me be clear with my readers, I am neither a egalitarian nor complimentarian by identification. So I have no vested interest in protecting a school of theology in that respect as a motivation for my response. And that is not to say anyone using such labels should be viewed as suspect in responding to Piper, for or against. But some might consider one's view of marriage and gender roles as a motivating factor in defending or contending with Piper's assertions. For the record I call myself a "Governmentalist". That is, marriage is fundamentally a government. From that stems certain necessities which are revealed in the Bible. But let's go no further, I am still working on a marriage series.

What concerns me is not what John Piper has said, it is obviously sophomoric. It is easily defeated and not that there are not bits of Biblical truths woven into his tapestry of error because there are. But this is the mastery of John Piper, a mixer of human philosophy and reason with bits of Biblical truth. This is what the word "heresy" means, by the way. I recommend a word study on this. However, most disconcerting is the silence by many, many allegedly spiritually mature and Godly Christian Teachers and leaders who refuse to address Piper's regular and errant hermeneutic formula which gave to the western Christian world his  fallacious Christian Hedonism - all the way to this tidbit of poisoned candy (here is a place which provides many links on Christian Hedonism and its evaluation).

The Fundamental Error

That which is spiritual is spiritual. Christianity is not anthropologically based (I recommend you read through the series, An Examination of Protestant/Evangelical Race Based-Special Interest Theology for a more thorough treatment of the Biblical and necessary distinction between divine institutions which are anthropologically/humanly based constructs and the one which is a spiritually based construct.). It is true that within the government of the church there are anthropological considerations, but this is the physical government of the church, that is, it is with regard to human order. The Bible makes it clear that certain anthropological orders are preserved in a church government. But this, in no way, makes Christianity to have inherent "masculinity". Why? I will tell you why.

When you receive forgiveness from Christ and are placed in the body of Christ is this masculine, feminine or spiritual? Right, it is spiritual. When you participate in the fellowship of our Lord, is this masculine, feminine or spiritual? right, spiritual. All of Christianity is spiritual. Now you, the believer, have an anthropological point of reference with respect to your own human experiences, but your human experiences are not the basis of your Christianity.

One might then ask, why did Jesus decide to come as a male? Could he have as easily been a woman? No. God's anthropological order for humanity required him to be Adam for the seminal/genetic representation of all mankind. But his maleness had nothing to do with his spirituality.

Our Lord's spirituality stemmed from his divinity, not his humanity. His humanity, indeed, represents a certain reality of human order but not that of a spiritual order.
Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This is not a reference to the removal of anthropological orders, that is outside of Christ and within other divine institutions or even human institutions such properties remain real, but in Christ, none of this is relevant with regard to your walk with the Lord, your spirituality.

Piper's Two-Tiered Spirituality System

What John Piper has asserted is a spiritual advantage to men, merely because of their human masculine property. In essence, it at least implies if not outright demands, that we understand that there is supposed to be in view a two-tiered system for spirituality among brothers and sisters in the Lord which gives preference to males since they possess inherent masculinity hence, they receive more abundantly and with greater frame of reference, a "masculine Christianity". This is not simply nonsense, it ought to be seen as a great offense against the spiritual construct our Lord made clear for his body.

When will Piper's sycophants and apologists wake up? Are they so egotistically invested that they simply cannot bring themselves to admit their error about John Piper? Mr. Piper has a teaching gift but he has been teaching, unrepentantly so, a great deal of error for some time. His expertise at mixing human sentimentality, emotionalism and philosophy with parts of orthodoxy has been tolerated far too long. While it should never be tolerated, we, of course, are patient in the theological formation of our brothers and sisters as younger Teachers. But John Piper is not a younger Teacher and by now he ought to know better and does not. The silence of his peers and colleagues speaks volumes. What will it take for them to awaken? I don't know but maybe they simply do not want to.

*Special thanks to the unnamed but thoughtful friend who called attention to apologizers  vs apologists and the initial misspelling but I warned you about my editor. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I used to follow Piper but as I grew and read other things I quickly started to see how he goes off track a lot. It seems like he is always trying to stand out with some special twist no one else comes up with and then fills in the blanks with standard teaching to make it all seem kosher.