First Mark Driscoll, Now John Piper
So, recently John Piper made some interesting comments.
Rachel Held Evans has asked for responses to these comments, so I thought I’d chime in.
As the husband of an incredible beautiful and smart United Methodist pastor, it should be pretty obvious where I stand on this issue (you could also check my track record commenting on Mark Driscoll’s rubbish).
I obviously disagree with Piper (on many levels, starting with his Calvinism, but certainly including this desire for a “masculine” church). For example, this quote of his:
“God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men”
I would argue that God did not appoint all priests in the OT to be men; society appointed all priests to be men. The Son of God was a man yes, but he came in the world to be human (there is a significant difference). He did have 12 disciples who were all men, just like other rabbis took men as disciples – another example of society at work, not divinity. Finally, what does it matter who the apostles appointed as overseers of the Church? That is again society, not divinity.
There were many women who held important positions in the Church. There were also many women who held important positions all through the Old Testament. It seems that Piper has purposefully ignored these.
Next point – what does it mean when Piper says that:
“…the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male.”
He gave them the name “man,” the name of the male? The Hebrew word אדם is better translated, “humankind” in this instance, and Adam is simply a representative of humankind.
Also, note, Piper states that “the Father and the Son create man and women in His image.” Piper is directly adding “the Son” into the mix (which is not found anywhere in Genesis) in order to add another masculine element and support his argument. What he leaves out that both man and women are made in God’s image, which leads one to believe that God is neither male or female, but that man received some elements of God’s image and woman received other elements. A better understanding of God would not be to see him as masculine, but to see him as a combination of male and female.
Edit: I also wanted to link to two other really good responses that I’ve read by Frank Viola and JR Daniel Kirk. Kirk’s is especially enlightening, because it talks about Jesus’ man-boobs. Rock on, JR Daniel Kirk!