God's intention for Christianity is for it to have a "masculine feel," evangelist John Piper declared on Tuesday.
"God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king not queen; father not mother," Piper said at this year's annual pastors conference hosted by the Desiring God ministry. "Second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son not daughter; the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male."
He continued, "God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men; and when it came to marriage they taught that the husband should be the head."
"Now, from all of that I conclude that God has given Christianity a masculine feel. And being God, a God of love, He has done that for our maximum flourishing both male and female."
On Monday evening, Piper had opened the conference, themed "God, Manhood & Ministry – Building Men for the Body of Christ," with a prayer and a warning that the subject of manhood and fatherhood may be an emotional one for many of the pastors in attendance.
His talk on Tuesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, included a "biographical sketch" of evangelist J.C. Ryle (May 10, 1816 - June 10, 1900), the Bishop of Liverpool, and Piper juxtaposed Ryle to his session's theme, "The Value of a Masculine Ministry."
Piper acknowledged that speaking about a primarily male-led Christian community can attract controversy. However, he outlined what he sees as God's plan in regards to the relationship between men and women.
"He does not intend for women to languish or be frustrated or in any way suffer or fall short of full and lasting joy in this masculine Christianity," he explained. "From which I infer that the fullest flourishing of women and men takes place in churches and families that have this masculine feel."
"That is liable to serious misunderstanding and serious abuse since there are views of masculinity which would make such a perspective repulsive. So, there is more that needs to be said," the influential pastor continued.
"When I say masculine Christianity or masculine ministry or Christianity with a masculine feel, here's what I mean: Theology and church and mission are marked by an overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, contrite courage, risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading and protecting and providing for the community. All of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus."
"It's the feel of a great, majestic God who is by His redeeming work in Christ inclining men to humble Christ-exalting initiatives and inclining women to come alongside those men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work."
Piper, who is the founder of Desiring God and pastor for "Preaching and Vision" at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, said previously in a video on the ministry's website that he chose to talk about Ryle because his teaching style was a great model for everyone.
"He lived in the power of Christ and he had these unusual gifts of a kind of pithy, forceful, direct communication," he said.
The Pastors Conference opened on Monday and has been made available to view at www.desiringgod.org. Other speakers at the three-day conference include Doug Wilson, Crawford Loritts, Darren Patrick, and Ramez Atallah.