John Piper v. Mark Driscoll on Intimacy [Content Caution]

John Piper posted a new Taste and See article (HT: Cent), and if you keep up-to-date on the whole Mark Driscoll fiasco(es), you will find it interesting.

The passage: 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

By contrast, consider the controversial Mark Driscoll message he delivered at Destiny Church in Edinburg, Scotland, during the Sunday morning service November 18, 2007. This was the sermon that reportedly made John MacArthur lose his appetite (and launch his own controversial response [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4]).

There are two lessons that jump to mind from Piper's presentation.
Piper: "[This counsel] does not give either spouse the right to demand certain sexual acts from the other that he or she does not want to give. It is more complex than that."

Compare this to what Driscoll had to say based on the Song of Solomon:
Driscoll: [Referring, from the pulpit, to oral stimulation] Jesus Christ commands you to do so.
. . .
And ladies, let me assure you of this. If you think you’re being dirty, he’s pretty happy. . . . But that’s what she’s asking [now turning his attention to "request" of the woman] that he would hold her, and that he would caress her, and that he would manually stimulate her, that he would [*eh-hem,* you get the idea of what Driscoll is about to say from the pulpit]
First, Driscoll puts the sexual relationship within terms of the guy saying "please me this way" and the gal saying the same thing. Piper, on the other hand, puts it within terms of "how may I please you?" Consider this:
Piper: If her body is his and his body is hers and each has authority over the other’s body, then he has the authority to ask her to do something he would find pleasurable, and she has the authority over his body to ask that he increase her pleasure by not asking that she do that.
Stalemate.

. . .

This is analogous to Romans 12:10 where Paul tells us, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” I will try to honor you and you will try to honor me, and who will have the greater joy of honoring the other more? It is a mysterious dance of love in the Christian community as we lay down our rights and our demands, and seek to outdo one another not in what we can get but in what we can give.

Piper couches the question of intimacy within Christian love, whereas Driscoll's presentation is couched in playground giggles and egocentric requests.

Compare, once again, to Driscoll:
Driscoll: She invites him to perform [. . .], the wife does. How many wives wish their husbands would do this, but the husbands don’t? But the wives don’t ask. Biblically, the wife has the right to ask. . . . And so she invites her husband to perform [. . .].
Second, Piper demonstrates tact. He does so in a publication that could be somewhat regulated. Driscoll, on the other hand, gave vivid detail in both his words and hand motions from a pulpit before a mixed congregation of singles and couples, young people and old, children and adults.

Even now, I'm trying to quote him in a way that won't get my blog flagged for explicit material. Has this ever been a concern before? Does anyone realize how odd it is that we have to edit a sermon for content?

Piper and Driscoll are talking about the same things. However, Piper deals with the issues delicately. Any couple knows what Piper is talking about, so Driscoll's graphic language is unnecessary (if you actually want to read the transcript to the offending message).

Piper is showing Driscoll how it's done. He's showing all of us.

Hopefully, Driscoll gets the message. He's witty and a great communicator, and I for one would love to see him clean up his act and take his place at the table of great orthodox preachers of our day.

Besides, I think this is as close as Piper will ever come to publicly repudiating Driscoll, so let's make the most of it.

UPDATE:
See this post for an update.

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