John Piper’s Freudian Slip – On What Else but Women Teaching Men

In his book The Blue Parakeet, at p. 148, Scot McKnight argues that, to be consistent, a man who refuses to listen to a woman teaching in church, he should also refuse to read biblical commentaries written by women.

In a recent audio commentary, John Piper takes on that issue and argues that reading a biblical commentary written by a woman is OK ‘as long as the man does not see her’, and he suggests that is behind Paul’s injunction that ‘women should not teach men’ (1 Timothy 2:12).

I am afraid what we have here is not only a sample of outdated fundamentalism, of the kind Piper if guilty time an again, but also an unintended Freudian confession of being obsessed with women bodies.

Rachel Held Evans takes this on in her article on this topic and provides us with a few examples:

  • ‘Piper’s primary measure of appropriateness is whether a man feels threatened by a woman’s teaching’
  • ‘Piper argues that a woman can teach a man so long as her teaching is “impersonal,” “indirect,” and “removed”—essentially, so long as it is easy for him to forget she is a woman’

As Evans rightly argues, these statements, and others like them are dehumanising for women and, I would add, a pathological expression that needs a bit of psychoanalytic unpacking. Continue reading “John Piper’s Freudian Slip – On What Else but Women Teaching Men”