John Piper’s Masculine Christianity

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.

8 Responses

  1. Ben08 says:

    I agree with a lot of what your saying, and a woman can be very beneficial in teaching, encouraging etc.

    How do you view 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent”?

    • The key concept for understanding anything in Scripture is context. I linked to a bunch of texts that do have women in equal or higher authority roles. It was very common in the early church, with about 50% of the leadership in the first 3 generations or so being women before slowly tapering off to be all men by about 300 CE. So we need to ask which we pick and choose to be true for all time. Were the women in Romans 16 the exception to the rule found in 1 Timothy 2:12, or was the specific context in Timothy’s church the exception to the rule of women leading such as those in Romans 16 did? To me, the latter makes far more sense in its consistency with other Scriptural texts like how Jesus treats women, how God often portrays herself as a woman, the Galatians claim that there is no longer male nor female, etc.

  2. Jan Fourowls says:

    Keep writing! You do wonderful work here. Reasons are always
    multilayered but from lived experience among various Christian modes of
    practice, I’ve noticed that domination within professed Christian practice
    mirrors the prevailing society of global culture generally, and this mirrored
    domination is comfortable for many professing Christians. (A predominant cultural
    circle feeding on itself.)

    Also many pastors rely for their “higher” authority on a literalist
    English translation (or cultural mistranslation) of the Bible. Then their
    congregation (filled with people acclimated to domination culture) need not
    question what’s printed on the page as translated into the English which arose
    as language in cultures of dominance. (More predominant circularity.) For
    example, “authentein” (Greek) as translated in 1 Timothy 2:11-15,
    could be translated as “originator” and therefore a Pauline caution
    against lapsing back toward temple sex-priestess dogma of males’
    origination from females by a corrupted earth mother goddess religion in
    Ephesus where Timothy pastored. Apparently the translators into English
    of the Greek texts didn’t want to go there several hundred years ago, and most
    don’t want to hear about it today. Breaking free from the predominant circularity
    isn’t easy but blogs like yours help to open minds and hearts. Thank you!

    From the mid-1800’s until now it has not been easy for slaveholders or dominant
    persons of any type to give up the thrill and/or profit of controlling another
    human being especially when the Bible in English has condoned the practice.

    Praying for changed hearts by those who believe differently (about domination and
    otherwise) helps me extend the radical love of Jesus. Facing my own
    lapses from Christ’s radical love helps me forgive myself and those in
    Christendom who might castigate me for even daring as a woman to write this.

    • Many good thoughts here. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jan Fourowls says:

        Thank you, Ryan! I expanded on the ideas in a post to my fledgling blog, https://reverendjan.wordpress.com/. I spent so many long years searching elsewhere (outside the direct relationship with Jesus) because the witness of so many in the churches seemed to exclude me and other women from full humanity. The issue of parity in Christ affects about 3.5 billion women and all men of good will, which makes us collectively the majority. Your voice is very appreciated.

  3. Jessica Eyler says:

    This is great. Thank you so much for writing this.

  1. April 4, 2013

    […] Most Christians – even most egalitarian Christians – don’t realize that the early church had approximately 50% female leadership and well more than 50% women active in the church. There was no doubt that Christianity in its original form had a special appeal to women with its call to equality, the exact opposite of John Piper’s recent claim that Christianity was supposed to have a masculine feel. […]

  2. April 4, 2013

    […] Most Christians – even most egalitarian Christians – don’t realize that the early church had approximately 50% female leadership and well more than 50% women active in the church. There was no doubt that Christianity in its original form had a special appeal to women with its call to equality, the exact opposite of John Piper’s recent claim that Christianity was supposed to have a masculine feel. […]