Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wimpy Theology Makes Wimpy Women - John Piper

My father would say that in order to understand something, it is sometimes helpful to look at its opposite. With that in mind give attention ot the quotes below from John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, concerning the results of wimpy theology. Men this also applies to you.

The opposite of a wimpy woman
is a girl named Marie Durant. In the late Seventeenth Century in . . . southern France, she was brought before the authorities, charged with the Huguenot heresy. She was fourteen years old, bright, attractive, marriageable. She was asked to abjure the Huguenot faith. She was not asked to commit an immoral act, to become a criminal, or even change the day-to-day quality of her behavior. She was only asked to say, “J’abjure.” No more, no less. She did not comply. Together with thirty other Huguenot women she was put into a tower by the sea. . . . For thirty-eight years she continued. . . . And instead of the hated word J’abjure she, together with her fellow martyrs, scratched on the wall of the prison tower the single word Resistez, resist! The word is still seen and gaped at by tourists on the stone wall at Aigues-Mortes. . . . We do not understand the terrifying simplicity of a religious commitment which asks nothing of time and gets nothing from time. We can understand a religion that enhances time. . . . But we cannot understand a faith which is not nourished by the temporal hope that tomorrow things will be better. To sit in a prison room with thirty others and to see the day change into night and summer into autumn, to feel the slow systemic changes within one’s flesh; the drying and wrinkling of the skin, the loss of muscle tone, the stiffening of the joints, the slow stupefaction of the senses - to feel all this and still persevere seems almost idiotic to a generation which has no capacity to wait and to endure.

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Gladys Staines who in 1999, after serving with her husband Graham in India for three decades learned that he and their two sons, Phillip (10) and Timothy (6), had been set on fire and burned alive by the very people they had served for 34 years, said, “I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. Let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”

The opposite of a wimpy woman is her 13-year-old daughter Esther (rightly named!) who said, when asked how she felt about her father’s murder, “I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him.”

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Joni Eareckson Tada who has spent the last 41 years in a wheel chair, and prays, “Oh, thank you, thank you for this wheel chair! By tasting hell in this life, I’ve been driven to think seriously about what faces me in the next. This paralysis is my greatest mercy”
Now where does this take us in regard to the ultimate meaning of true womanhood? It does not take us to wimpy theology or wimpy women. It is not wimpy to say that God created the universe and governs all things to magnify his own grace in the death of his Son for the salvation of his bride. That’s not wimpy. And it doesn’t lead to wimpy womanhood.
But it does lead to womanhood. True womanhood. In fact, it leads to the mind-boggling truth that womanhood and manhood—masculinity and femininity—belong at the center of God’s ultimate purpose. Womanhood and manhood were not an afterthought or a peripheral thought in God’s plan. God designed them precisely so that they would serve to display the glory of his Son dying to have his happy, admiring bride.
In other words, the ultimate meaning of true womanhood is this: It is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.
-Quotes taken from John Piper from the the message “The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood” and from his book “Battling Unbelief”, pp.72-73


The Shepherd's Desk said...


Thanks for the post! A great reminder that our God and our theology must necessarily produce lives that demonstrate the grace of courage in those who are truly His children.

It is interesting that cowards are the first category of people mentioned in Revelation 21:8 that will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Boldness my friend! Gospel boldness!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this sermon. We should all be praying for the courage to stand for Christ no matter our circumstances. This writing reminded me of the book: Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose. Again, thanks for sharing this.
Your little sister, Deb