Why Are Men Reading This Woman Blogger?

Sping LaceMonday,  Tim Challies posted an article entitled Why Aren’t Men Reading Women Writers? The title amused me because I have trouble keeping men from reading my blog. Despite all my feminine artwork and my various statements that I write The Outspoken TULIP  exclusively for women, I know that several men read my articles regularly.

I can’t stop them from doing so, try as I may. But their persistence puzzles me.

And sometimes I laugh to myself that I would have loved having so many men following me when I was single! Doncha love the little ironies of life?

But I have no intention of writing yet another blog post explaining why I prefer writing for women. I’ve stated my reasons here and here. I realize that many people, including people I highly respect, see a distinction between teaching a mixed Adult Sunday School class and writing a blog post. Okay. Perhaps I err on the side of  caution. I must, however, stand on my convictions, which I draw from my study of God’s Word.

In response to Tim Challies’ article, I would ask why men should read the writing of women. Certainly we have much to contribute, even to theological conversations, but the mere fact that we have something worthwhile to say doesn’t necessarily mean that we should address ourselves to mixed audiences. What’s so terrible about limiting our sphere of influence to other women?

Do the men who read my blog suppose that I possess some spiritual insight that they won’t find from male bloggers? If so, gentlemen, you flatter me! In truth, however, I don’t bring anything original to the table. I’m just a lady who loves God’s Word and happens to enjoy writing about it. I figure I can, through this obscure little blog, inspire my sisters in the Lord to study Scripture. Sometimes women need to see that, although God reserves positions of general preaching and teaching for men, He welcomes women to study His Word carefully and seriously.

Hopefully I encourage women to study the Bible beyond fluffy, self-centered devotionals aimed at feeding their self-esteem. Women need to observe other women rightly handling God’s Word so that they will be emboldened to study Scripture for themselves. Men already have wonderful male role-models to emulate, and therefore don’t really require the wisdom of women for doctrinal growth.

Obviously, men will keep reading my blog no matter what I do. But I pray that they’ll ask themselves why they do so. And perhaps they’ll tell me.

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Lord Almighty Or Cosmic Sex Partner?

Sweet FlowerAs I researched Ann Voskamp, I read several quotes in which she described her erotic encounters with God. I’ve decided to neither record those quotes here nor link to documentation containing them because they’re just too graphic (I know at least one of my regular readers is only 17, and shouldn’t be exposed to such imagery). Those who seriously doubt the veracity of my claims can easily do some Google searches — though I recommend it only if you really require evidence.

Frankly, I wish the critiques I read on her hadn’t used direct quotes. A few of them literally nauseated me. I hated her portrayal of the Lord Almighty, the Most Holy ruler of all creation, as if He was a character in a pornographic novel.

Tuesday I wrote about the dangers of regarding Jesus as a Boyfriend or Husband. Typically those fantasies (as perverted as they are) don’t entail a great deal of sexual content. Sadly, Ann Voskamp worsens the perversion with ideas about the Lord that no professing Christian should even consider. As Christians, we must always live in awareness that the Lord, above all else, is holy.

My greatest problem with Ann Voskamp lies in her apparent inability to understand God’s absolute holiness. Yes, there’s a sense in which He demands that we imitate His holiness, but in a more basic respect His holiness differentiates Him from His creation. Thus it differentiates Him from us. Because of His innate distinction from us, the very thought of viewing Him as a sexual partner borders on blasphemy.

The Lord deserves our worship as a holy God rather than our sexual fantasies about Him. We indeed enjoy the intimacy of knowing Him through His Word, but that wonderful intimacy has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality.

Ann Voskamp exemplifies the sensuality that, according to the apostle Peter, characterizes false teachers.

 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. ~~2 Peter 2:1-2 (ESV)

Women are excited by the idea of a love affair with Jesus, Who of course would be a perfect Lover. Women, however,  need the true Lord Jesus Christ, Who reigns in holiness and calls us to worship Him in purity. Let’s reject any teacher who would reduce our holy God to the filthy status of a sex object and instead worship Him in spirit and in truth.

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Naming Names Or Real Discernment?

IMG_1892I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. ~~2 Timothy 4:1-4 (ESV)

Those in discernment ministry love this passage, and quote verses 3-4 frequently. With great enthusiasm, no less. To be sure, the current evangelical climate highlights the widespread embrace of false teachers and practices that deviate drastically from God’s Word. Naturally, we want to know if the popular teachers we read and listen to handle the Bible correctly.

Discernment blogs that name names can be helpful in determining the legitimacy of a false teacher. Yesterday I referred you to two of the most reputable discernment blogs, knowing that each of them provides wonderful resources for vetting celebrity teachers. Clearly, I don’t categorically oppose all discernment blogs.

Several years ago, friends I’d known back in California began practicing “Christian” yoga. One even got certified as a Holy Yoga instructor (Lord, have mercy!) who posted all sorts of yoga related things on Facebook. In order to confront her with the goal of leading her to repentance (which didn’t happen — instead, she broke off contact), I started researching online. As a result, I found the world of discernment blogs.

For quite a while, those blogs taught me the importance of discernment, and identified a number of false teachers that I hadn’t discerned for myself.  Of course I was enchanted with being “in the know” about those false teachers.

But some of the bloggers I most respect (particularly Erin Benziger) began thinking about discernment ministry differently.  Through their godly example, I began to reevaluate the entire issue of discernment. Slowly I realized that the Lord wanted me to cultivate discernment by studying His Word rather than by saturating myself with discernment blogs.

Look back at 2 Timothy 4:1-4 for a moment and notice Paul’s injunction that Timothy preach the Word because people otherwise follow false teachers who tell them what they want to hear. Paul implies that knowing God’s Word and sound doctrine arms us against false teachers and deception.

That’s why I feel disappointed that most of my readers click on articles mentioning false teachers, but rarely on ones about doctrine and/or Bible Study. Naming names has its place, I admit, but it should really play a minor role in discernment.

I could point out famous teachers who pervert the doctrine of the Trinity, for instance. But if I instead write about the Trinity from a Biblical perspective, you’ll be equipped to recognize false teachers for yourselves. Similarly, I hope our upcoming study of Christ’s resurrection will add to our discernment abilities. Ladies, I want more for you than simple gossip about evangelical personalities. I want the Word of God to direct you back to the Lord Himself.

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Saturday Sampler: January 21 — January 27

Wings on Hearts

Using godly wisdom, Tim Challies offers Seven Thoughts on the Billy Graham / Mike Pence Rule that make better sense than anything else I’ve read on the topic. He applies both Scripture and common sense application of Scripture artfully, reminding all of us that we are accountable, first and foremost, to the Lord.

Consider reading What Does Your Love for Self Cause You to Do (or Not Do)? in Leslie A’s Growing 4 Life blog. Okay, she says a lot of really uncomfortable things — all of which indicate that she uses Biblical wisdom with precision.

I love Julie Ganschow’s compassion and wisdom in Dear Post Abortive Sister, On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Appearing in Biblical Counseling for Women, this article empathizes with women who have terminated pregnancies and gently leads them to the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.

The arguing over whether or not women should be pastors annoys me. So I appreciate Denny Burk for writing A mere complementarian reading of the most contested verse in the evangelical gender debate — 1 Timothy 2:12 to explain the clear meaning of the verse. People, this isn’t rocket science!

In Is It Possible for Christians to Idolize the Bible?, Tom Olson takes on the current attitude that we should focus less on Scripture and more on Jesus. His article, which appears in Unlocking The Bible, addresses this attitude fairly and wisely. Please make time to read it.

Secular media is abundantly reporting the story of Larry Nassar, the doctor for the U.S. Gymnastics Team convicted of molesting over 150 little girls. The media, however, is downplaying the victim impact statement of Rachel Denhollander, the woman who made the first accusation. Why? Most likely because of her stunning presentation of the Gospel. Thankfully, Todd Pruitt of Mortification of  Spin provides both the transcript and the video in his post, Law and Gospel in Judge Aquilina’s Court.

Writing for For The Church, Lara d’Entremont teaches us How to Be Both a Grace-Filled and Discerning Church Member. We sure need to implement her advice in this climate of bickering among self-proclaimed discernment ministries.

Cell phones bug me. So I really love Allen Cagle’s piece, Deep Growth in a Shallow World, which Parking Space 23 features. His counsel isn’t especially ground breaking, but it gets terribly neglected in this digital age.

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Saturday Sampler: January 14 — January 20

Bell Sampler

The age of feminism seduces Christian women into thinking we have to perform monumental tasks for God, according to Elizabeth Prata of The End Time. She writes Ladies, no job is too menial and no sphere is to small to make a huge difference as an encouragement to those of us who feel unnoticed and obscure.

To help us understand the importance of patience, Clint Archer posts Waiting for God? Oh. in The Cripplegate. The English major in me appreciates Archer’s allusion to the play, Waiting for Godot, but I appreciate even more the Biblical application he brings out in this devotional piece. Each of us should take this message to heart.

What do you think The Easiest Sin to Justify is? I used to justify this one all the time, so I believe Tim Challies hits the nail on the head. See if you agree.

Once again, Leslie A of Growing 4 Life graces us with her wisdom in Do I Need a Special Experience in Order to Know God? It’s shameful that evangelicals still need teaching on this matter, but praise the Lord for people like Leslie who continually proclaim the truth and remain faithful to Scripture!

If, like me, you wondered if Hollywood’s protest against sexual harassment at the Golden Globes was disingenuous, Brett McCracken’s Will #MeToo Cause Hollywood to Rethink its Views on Sex in The Gospel Coalition Blog will confirm your suspicions. But it doesn’t just throw stones at the entertainment industry; it also challenges Christians to accept responsibility.

Guest posting for Unlocking the Bible rather than her own blog, Lara d’Entremont addresses the typical decline in maintaining New Year’s resolutions her article, Change of Plan: To Change Every Day. She strikes at the heart of Christian living, using Scripture to illustrate the practical principles she proposes.

Although Michelle Lesley repeats Answering the Opposition – Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections in Discipleship for Christian Women, reading it again sure doesn’t hurt! So many of the objections she addresses betray a lack of properly understanding Scripture in its context. This issue accentuates the critical importance of knowing God’s Word thoroughly.

Al Mohler’s article, Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is), raises a point that all too often gets overlooked. Praise God that Mohler brings it to our attention, handling it with balance and fidelity to Scripture.

Quoting the heartbreaking experience of a feminist who aborted her baby, Denny Burk writes A feminist describes her abortion… and sadness to remind us that the unborn aren’t the only victims of this horrible practice. What a needless tragedy.

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The Kind Of Discernment That’s Kind


What are we doing as discernment bloggers? Lately, there’s a viciousness that I’ve never seen. A friend of mine, in discussing the matter, observed that some bloggers and podcasters appear to relish the task of calling out wolves just a little too much.

Now, I do agree with the perspective that women often won’t get it if pastors and teachers simply teach sound doctrine without ever naming names. Surely their favorite celebrity Bible Study teacher doesn’t teach error! After all, she tweets all the time about how many commentaries she supposedly reads, how she “prays the Scriptures” and how she loves God’s Word. Never mind that she teaches Old Testament passages as allegories and claims to receive direct revelations from God.

So yeah, calling out false teachers certainly has an important place in women’s ministry. Again, praise God for Elizabeth Prata, Michelle Lesley and Leslie A who boldly and consistently identify false teachers and demonstrate how these false teachers deviate from Scripture.

As an aside, I came to Reformed Theology primarily because my research of “Christian” yoga led me to discernment blogs. I thank the Lord for using those blogs to educate me on how to apply proper hermeneutics in studying the Bible and for solidifying essential doctrines in my mind. Those discernment blogs went a long way in getting me grounded in the Bible and protecting me from popular evangelical fads.

But the idea of discernment (not necessarily discernment itself)  is somewhat of a fad among Reformed Christians these days. Even more troubling, some discernment ministries have developed a nastiness about them that completely drives out even the willingness to extend charity.

When people use character assassination and nit pick, applying the heresy label to Arminians and Charismatics, they’ve crossed a very dangerous line. Arminians and Charismatics hold to some doctrinal errors, to be sure. I’ve embraced Armimian and Charismatic teachings during much of my Christian life, and I well understand the dangers of those teachings.

But I absolutely do not believe those errors meant that I was a heretic. Furthermore, looking at the Scriptural criteria for genuine salvation convinces me that, despite accepting those errors, my salvation proved real. Therefore I grieve that people so quickly decide that our Armimian and Charismatic brothers and sisters aren’t truly saved.

Discernment encompasses so much more than discrediting those we disagree with. Yes, the wolves need to be rebuked and avoided, but in a way that draws sheep closer to the Shepherd Who feeds them in the green pastures of His Word.

For that reason this blog (while naming names when necessary) best teaches discernment by immersing women in God’s Word.

In a few weeks (probably March, to accommodate my personal Bible reading plan), we will begin studying Christ’s resurrection through 1 Corinthians 15. We’ll notice how the apostle Paul addressed a popular false teaching about the resurrection that circulated through the church in Corinth (hint: he did it without naming names) and we’ll learn how teaching doctrine in a positive manner can feed Christians effectively.

Mostly, we’ll focus on honoring Christ instead of dishonoring people.  I hope many of you ladies will join me in studying this wonderful Christian doctrine. May we all grow in the sort of discernment that truly honors the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Saturday Sampler: January 7 — January 13

Three Beauties

Okay, it’s true. I get a kick out of typing Ryan Higginbottom’s name. That said, I genuinely appreciate many of his contributions to Knowable Word. His post, Your Secret Weapon in Bible Study, leads us in engaging effectively with Scripture.

Erik Raymond of The Gospel Coalition Blog shows us The Staggering Consequences of Neglecting Your Bible. Hopefully, each of my readers does spend regular time in God’s Word, but on the outside chance that one of you doesn’t do so, this blog post might help you understand the critical importance of this practice.

In recent years, the term “evangelical” has come to mean something much different than what it should. In Putting the Evangelical in Evangelicalism, Eric Davis of The Cripplegate reminds us who the true evangelicals really are.

Take time to read Bad Examples of Women Pastors (But Great Examples of Godly Women) by Pastor Gabe Hughes.  He goes through all the women in the Bible that feminists hold up as arguments for the ordination of women.

Along those lines, Katie McCoy explains Why Women Are Critical To the Mission of the Church in her post for Biblical Woman. She emphasizes the many ministry opportunities that women can enjoy! I believe her perspective offers encouragement to ladies who mistakenly assume that people can only serve the Lord through pulpit ministry.

Dear Michelle Lesley of Discipleship for Christian Women also weighs in on the topic of women preaching in Seven Reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 Isn’t the Crazy Aunt We Hide in the Closet when Company Comes Over. Her Biblical insight into this issue really helps to show serious problems when a church opens its pulpit to women.

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