Tag Archive | women

Diary of an Autodidact: John Piper Steps In It on Rape and Sex

I saw this yesterday and thought I’d share it because, although at first glance it looks as though Autodidact is making more of John Piper’s post than was really there, it is really a very good and on point analysis of how fundamentalist evangelicals view women and sexual sin.

So it’s definitely worth reading and considering.

And, needless to say (or perhaps not), if you are evangelical, please don’t just say “not all evangelicals”, chew it over and consider firstly whether the church you’re in may be preaching these twisted ways of looking at women, sex, power and abuse, and secondly, whether you have absorbed these ways of thinking and how you might change your mind.



Missional Moms

I have been seeing the term ‘Missional Mom’ around about the place recently, and I followed a link this afternoon to a podcast on the Verge Network, which is an organisation that encourages mission and evangelism.


The podcast is an interview with the author of a book of the same name.

I must say at the outset that I haven’t read the book. Nor do I intend at this stage to part with my hard-earned cash to get a copy. (If somebody would like to send me a copy to review, I will happily oblige, however.)

The central argument seems to be that Christian moms (mums for British readers) should not be ‘just’ moms; they should love Jesus more than their children (and apparently they should also love their husbands more than their children; hm, is this Biblical, or an American cultural bias, I wonder?), that they should not make idols of their children, with the implication that being ‘nothing but a mother’ is to do just that.

I think this needs answering.

Certainly, I can agree that we should love Jesus ‘more than these’.

Certainly, I can agree that we should not make idols of our children.

But it does not follow that a mother who has set aside the rest of life and career to give her all to being a mother has made an idol of her children. It does not follow that she loves Jesus any less than missionary moms or moms who are out at work in the Christian or secular workplace.

‘Missional Mom’ could so easily be used as a(nother) stick to beat stay-at-home mothers with.

I am very conscious of the ‘mommy wars’, and they really help no-one – not the women, not the children, not the family and not the faith.

We all follow the path we believe to be the right one, or the one we must follow, or the only one we can afford to follow, we do the best we can. We shouldn’t need to constantly defend our position, and we certainly shouldn’t attack mothers who are following a different path to our own.

But the fact remains that motherhood is a high calling, and one that should not be dismissed or taken lightly, nor delegated carelessly. It is a mission field in itself, every bit as valid as the mission field of other people’s children or indeed any other.

The idea that a stay-at-home mother, ministering to her children’s needs and training them up in the faith, is somehow deficient and lacking in ministry must be rejected. There is no greater mission.

I am already a Missional Mom.

Read52 Week 2: Aggressive Christianity by Catherine Booth

I have had a long on-and-off relationship with the Salvation Army, from Corps Cadets youth group as a teenager, through working (for most of my working life) at THQ in London, to infrequent attendance at various Salvation Army Corps around the country wherever I’ve been living. But this year I am planning to cement our relationship by becoming a soldier – more on that as my application progresses – and I am setting out to read some classic Salvationist texts.


‘Aggressive Christianity’ is a series of addresses given by Catherine Booth. It wouldn’t be quite fair to call her the wife of the Founder, as her influence was substantial, and from the outset women were allowed equal status, rights and responsibilities in the Salvation Army.

The sermons were collected in 1880, but have a surprisingly pertinent, modern feel to them. Excusing the use of some archaic language (which I like actually, as I happen to be a KJV fan), Catherine Booth’s arguments seem just as relevant over 130 years later.

She talks with passion about the imperative for Christians to be at work rescuing people out of the ‘flames of hell’ – she wasn’t just talking of alcoholism, drugs, prostitution and the like of course, but of a real possible future eternity in ‘hell’. Whether or not Christians today believe in future damnation, there are still people for whom life is a living hell, who could be helped if Christians were willing to go out and rescue them. But what if? What if the modern sensitivity and rejection of the whole idea of hell is misplaced? How motivated should a church that believed in hell be to make sure that nobody would perish?

Aggressive Christianity is also a round rejection of ‘easy-believism’, emphasising the imperative for repentance and holiness. A modern discussion would certainly want to explore what is meant by the terms, but Catherine Booth’s passion is infectious, and although many Christians may take issue with some Salvationist Theology, (not only their belief in hell, but also their rejection of Communion and Baptism, and their belief that salvation once gained can subsequently be lost, which appears to be a works-based salvation),  I’m inclined to think that this little volume should be required reading for anybody considering going into ministry, and perhaps for all Christians.