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The Rape of Solomon’s Song — A collection of posts by John MacArthur, Tim Challies, and others on the recent scandalous abuse of the pulpit.
John MacArthur
The Rape of Solomon’s Song Part 1, 2, 3, 4--conclusion
Sermons about sex have suddenly become a bigger fad in the evangelical world than the prayer of Jabez ever was. MacArthur gets this exactly right.

Tim Challies
Missing the Forest for all the Trees
Tim comments on MacArthur’s article: I think his long and faithful ministry has given him the right to speak out and speak up. We’d be foolish to immediately write him off as old and irrelevant and out-of-touch (as some are doing . . .). Quite right, Tim. It’s amazing how often young and hip trumps old and mature these days. Amazingly foolish.

Erik Raymond
Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Mark Driscoll and a Frat Party
Irish Calvinist chimes in: The shtick is tired and old. It’s really time to turn the page and put the old Chris Rock routines to bed. After all, there is a gloriously infinite and inexhaustible fountain of Christological delight to be had in the gospel. Amen!

Paul Lamey
A word about Mark Driscoll
It is interesting to note that the same ones who defend him are making the claim that he has repented of such behavior. Apart from the fact that no evidence of repentance exists, why would someone excuse his behavior yet say he has repented?

Frank Turk
In Other Words
. . . there is no analogical rosetta stone for the reader of the song of Solomon to tell us how certain passages correlate to body parts or whether it is merely emotional and relational gratification the writer is “really” talking about.

Fred Butler
Glamour Magazine Theology
I am reminded of what the Scriptures say of Rehoboam in 2 Kings 12:8, But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.

Related: Phil Johnson at the 2009 Shepherds’ Conference (here and here), and Frank Turk makes another relevant point. And another.

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16:14 MT |
  4/18/2009 11:28 AM Blogger Betsy Markman

Thank you for posting this series.

I hadn't read the posts individually, since I was already convinced of the evil of pulpit-level prurience. But today I decided to read the whole series, and I'm glad I did.

I learned that the Driscoll types are even worse than I thought, and I learned that MacArthur is even better than I knew. I admire his restraint where it was needed, his openness where it was called for, and the way he lent an air of refreshing purity to a sensitive subject.

As a woman, I felt assaulted by the Driscoll quotes I read, and I felt protected and honored by MacArthur. Enough said.

  4/18/2009 12:33 PM Blogger Betsy Markman

I've been thinking more about Driscoll and MacArthur, and a question arose that I'm hoping you can answer. (I don't want to wade too much into this mire to research it for myself, since it leaves me feeling so dirty. But since you're already tackling this tough subject, maybe you can help.)

Here's my question: has there been much feedback from women on this subject? If so, is there a split along gender lines?

I look forward to hearing back from you if you can give me any insights into this. Thank you.

  4/18/2009 2:40 PM Anonymous David Kjos


I haven’t read most of the comments on these posts, and few of those I have read have been from women. Of those I have read from women, every one has been similar to yours. They feel, as you said, “assaulted by the Driscoll quotes,” and “protected and honored by MacArthur.” And that’s an accurate assessment of both men’s treatment of the subject.

The most vocal supporters of Driscoll are men, which is no surprise. After all, if visual pornography appeals most to men and is most offensive to women, verbal porn would logically have the same effect. Men who enjoy feeding their carnal natures will naturally defend Driscoll. To put it bluntly, he gives an illusion of sanctification to their dirty minds.

I’ve also read a couple of comments from young, single men who found Driscoll’s explicit language decidedly unhelpful to their pursuit of chaste minds. Young men, who by design are aroused by such talk, really don’t need this kind of “teaching.” For them, it’s like setting ice cream in front of a diabetic with a sweet tooth.

It’s not that I think the subject itself is dirty; but even the most holy, beautiful intimacy of marriage becomes dirty when it is discussed outside of marriage. That is, the things that I should only do with my wife should only be spoken of with my wife.

  4/18/2009 4:48 PM Blogger Betsy Markman

Thank you for that feedback.

I wonder if anyone has ever specifically confronted Driscoll-types with the way women feel about their preaching. I fear that, in their calloused hearts, they would attribute that to women having more "hang-ups."

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that women (at least those who haven't been damaged to the point of soul-numbness) are strongly attuned to the heart and soul of what many men consider a purely physical act. We are designed by God to need that "heart and soul," which is where that beautifully veiled mystery of Solomon's Song resides. We are horrified when that soul is ripped away, and something which should be loving and beautiful becomes vile and corrupted. When that "heart and soul" is ignored or abused, women are reduced to objects in the eyes of men. That is an existential horror to us, if our innermost being is functioning as it should.

Any man who doesn't believe that needs to answer the question: Why is rape so much more traumatic to the victim than other types of assaults?

So MacArthur's use of the word "rape" to describe Driscoll-type assaults on the Song is quite appropriate. If a man does not realize the harm he is doing to a woman's soul by downgrading her to "object" status, and by reducing what should be a profoundly spiritual act of love to a mere animal activity, he will probably think that women just need to "loosen up." But what we need is to be loved and cherished, heart and soul. Husbands who love their wives will want to learn to love them that way, rather than demanding that women settle for being mere objects for their amusement.

You have to mangle scripture to find wives being commanded to perform certain acts on their husbands, but you can find the command for husbands to love their wives plainly written throughout the Book.

Please, men of God, turn away from anything which turns your focus to the purely physical. Find the heart and soul of your wives, or keep yourself pure for a future wife if you don't have one yet. You'll gain more than you'll ever lose.

I'm sorry...I didn't mean to preach, but some things just need to be said, and more men read this blog than read mine. I'll hush now. But thank you again for coming to the defense of what is beautiful. I hope a woman's point of view helped.

  4/18/2009 10:55 PM Anonymous David Kjos

Thanks, Betsy. I appreciate your input, and agree completely.

  4/19/2009 7:55 AM Anonymous Victoria

Thanks for your comments Betsy and David.
I have commented at least 4 times at the Challies site-my comments start at 149 there, if you Betsy, in particular want to read a woman's view.
I am leading and teaching women's Bible studies at my church-I also have many young women coming to me for marriage help. As I stated at Challies-I am having christian women come to me whose husbands are into internet porn.
Male Christian leaders and pastors need to be helping men toward godliness-which their wives so need from their husbands. The kind of filth that comes from the man we are all talking about does nothing for Christian men in their battle against a wicked and sex saturated pornographic culture. In fact it desensitizes young men to corrupt speech and evil innuendo. This leads to an open door to become trapped in the cesspool of a culture we should be trying to rescue people from with the Gospel!
I do not plan to comment anymore--let the godly men like MacArthur and Phil Johnson handle it--I personally Thank God for the likes of them....may their tribe increase!

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