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John Piper and the Rise of Biblical Masculinity

Why many church leaders are tempted to confuse cultural norms with biblical truth.

We've been hearing a lot about masculine Christianity lately.

By now we're used to hearing Mark Driscoll campaign for more masculine church leaders and expressions of Christianity; late last year, Reformed pastor Douglas Wilson invited Driscoll to his church to speak at a Grace Agenda conference—a gathering that tactfully segregated women by offering a separate pre-conference just for them. In turn, Wilson spoke at John Piper's Desiring God Pastor's Conference, which this year had an explicitly masculine theme: "God, Manhood & Ministry: Building Men for the Glory of God." No stranger to strong statements in the blogo-twittersphere, Piper again drew attention by declaring that "God has given Christianity a masculine feel."

The insistence that Christianity ought to be muscular is often traced to American evangelists of the early 20th century, such as Billy Sunday and D. L. Moody, who emphasized sports and physical strength to counter the perception that Christians were soft and docile, ...

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