Ben Witherington weighs in on John Piper and “masculine” Christianity
I added a post recently about John Piper’s call for a more “masculine” Christianity. Just this morning, Dr. Ben Witherington III added his own very well thought out response.
Dr. Witherington starts out with an excellent point:
“What Dr. Piper says is not merely bad theology in various ways, its dangerous theology”
He then goes on to explain that in a variety of ways. The arguments that I want to highlight are as follows:
“Well let’s start with the orthodox Christian point that GOD IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE IN THE DIVINE NATURE. The Bible is clear enough that God is ‘spirit’, not flesh and gender is always a manifestation of flesh. In the book that Laura Ice and I wrote some time ago, entitled The Shadow of the Almighty we made reasonably clear that: 1) there are plenty of both masculine and feminine images and metaphors applied to God in the Bible; 2) that interestingly enough it is not true that God is much called Father in the OT. In fact such language is rare, with almost no examples of God ever addressed as Father in the OT in prayer or entreaty…”
One of my basic arguments was that God does not have male or female traits, but that males and females have “God traits,” in that both male and female were derived out of God, not the other way around. Dr. Witherington touches on the difference between spirit and flesh, which is also an excellent explanation.
Do yourself a favor – read Dr. Witherington’s post on this topic. It is well worth the read.