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‘Harmful, domineering and controlling’

‘Harmful, domineering and controlling’ January 7, 2012

David Moore at the Burner blog really, really, really does not like Mark Driscoll’s new book about marriage.

Moore is not a feminist, or even an “egalitarian,” but he still finds: “This book is an astoundingly unbelievable work of disrespect for women.”

It’s good to see that assessment coming from that corner of the evangelical world.

I mean, one sort of expects that someone like Rachel Held Evans would find the book immature, chauvinistic and disturbing. Or that she would write, “The amount of guilt and shame that pervades this part of the book makes me so sad.”

And it’s delightfully entertaining, but not surprising, to watch Dianna E. Anderson dismantle Driscoll’s book and refuse to put up with his nonsense.

But I had worried that the polite “complementarians” of the mainstream evangelical establishment might be more inclined to look favorably on Driscoll’s repackaging of misogynist d-baggery as “marital counseling” for his flock.

So it’s kind of nice to see Fuller Seminary’s Burner blog so emphatically reject this book in the fourth installment of Moore’s review:

[We] cannot recommend that any couple needing information/advice/tools to improve their marriage take this book seriously.

I keep writing because think the book really is a bad book. In my (very male) opinion, it’s not affirming or helpful to women. Women are more than tools to be used for their husbands’ sexual gratification. …

The book is worse than bad if the readers try to mimic the ‘husband-first’ attitude riddled throughout the book. It’s harmful, domineering, and controlling at best.

* * * * * * * * *

John Shore reads and responds to a letter from  “a Christian woman who chose abortion.”

I don’t agree with everything in his post (which gets a bit bogged down, oddly, in the particular mechanisms of atonement).

But all of that can be overlooked because Shore’s response includes these 13 words:

You made a difficult decision. You’re not guilty there of anything. … You’re innocent.

And to speak those words in the context of the American evangelical subculture that makes up his audience is wonderful, necessary, revolutionary and prophetic.

“It’s harmful, domineering, and controlling.”

“Women are more than tools to be used …”

Those words don’t just apply to Mark Driscoll’s book.

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