What does Christian author and preacher John Piper think of female professors in seminary? Considering he’s the same man who believes women should pray their way through domestic violence, his answer won’t surprise you.
The question about female seminary professors was raised by “Scott,” a listener of Piper’s podcast and a seminary student himself. Piper responded on his website, Desiring God, with what he calls a “well-founded historic understanding of Scripture” (read: patriarchal and sexist) based on the “Pastoral Epistles of the New Testament.”
Let me put it another way in the form of a question. If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded? I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.
“How can it be biblical to have women function in teaching and mentoring capacities?” Oh, I don’t know — maybe because part of a pastor’s job involves working with women. Piper seems to forget, or is just flat-out ignoring, that women make up a good percentage of the church-going population. If a man spends his entire seminary career being taught about women from other men, it’s that much harder to relate to women in a professional setting. (This is similar to the argument made against Mike Pence, who doesn’t meet alone with women unless his wife is present because he may get urges.) Ultimately, by not allowing women in positions of authority, at home or in the church, Piper and other men get to maintain their control. They insist women have different but equally important roles, just as God wants, but if they had the opportunity to switch places, you know they’d never accept that deal.The entire #ChurchToo movement, which specifically caters to victims of abuse in church settings, makes a lot more sense when you realize that men like Piper have influenced countless church leaders.
But before you get angry, Piper wants you to know that his stance has nothing to do with women being less competent as teachers. They’re absolutely able to teach. They just can’t. Because the Bible.
The issue, as always, is not the competence of women teachers or intelligence or knowledge or pedagogical skill. It’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership. It’s not the issue in church leadership. It’s not the issue in seminary leadership.
In other words, women are “separate but equal.” That sounds awfully familiar.
Piper just gave his critics another reason to think he and the faith he represents are anti-woman. Once again, his critics are right.
(Screenshot via YouTube)