A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim & Kathy Keller — a review by Avid Reader

What I appreciated most about this book is the author’s deep affection for his wife. Reading through this book, you can tell that they really do cherish each other. It’s refreshing to hear a Pastor honor his wife’s talents while admitting how much he needs her. Timothy Keller writes on page 163, “To my wife, I’m Superman, and it makes me feel like a man in a way nothing else could.”

That’s what you want to hear in a marriage book. I also appreciated Tim’s brutal honesty with himself, admitting where he’s made mistakes in his marriage and how it took the wisdom of his wife to get him back on the right track.

He makes some really good points in this book such as —

“If you never express anger, your truth telling probably won’t sink in.” (p. 184)

Then he gives a lot of reasons to avoid sin — but honestly, we only need a simple love for Christ. That’s it. If you really love Christ — that’s enough to keep you on the straight and narrow without all these other reasons getting in the way.

Later on, Pastor Tim has a real powerful insight on problems with the rising trend of Christian courtship trying to replace Christian dating. He writes,

There are some evangelical Christian communities that have sought to reestablish the kinds of pathways that were prevalent in former times. Some have proposed a very father directed form of courtship in which a young woman’s father chooses mates and directs the process. I believe that by and large these return to courtship movements are beset with many problems. They don’t take into consideration the idols that were inherent in traditional societies and they each institutionalize one particular moment in human social history. (p. 235-236)

That’s a great point. We need to not get stuck on one generation’s methods when the Bible transcends time.

Mercy or Sacrifice?

While Jesus does call us to turn away from the pleasures of the world, take up our cross and follow Him — there’s a huge difference between laying down our lives for Christ, and suffering to meet the endless demands of a narcissist spouse.

Listen to what God says in the Old Testament —

I want your loyalty, not your sacrifices. I want you to know me, not to give me burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 GW)

Watch your step when you enter God’s house. Enter to learn. That’s far better than mindlessly offering a sacrifice, doing more harm than good. (Ecc 5:1 MSG)

That’s what Keller doesn’t understand. While selflessly giving yourself to your spouse is a basic ingredient of marriage — it can’t solve every marriage problem. Yet this book uses sacrifice to solve every marriage problem instead of teaching how to set boundaries to protect people. Then it goes further and says some things that leave you wondering where he’s coming from. Listen to what he wrote on pages 59-63.  I almost fell out of my chair.

There are many reasons that we cannot see our own self-centeredness. One of the main factors that hides it from us is our own history of mistreatment. Many people come to marriage having been seriously hurt by parents, lovers, or former spouses……Then there are the dating relationships or former marriages in which the other party wronged and betrayed you. (p. 59-60)

Woundedness makes us self-absorbed. (p. 60)

Woundedness is compounded self-doubt, guilt, resentment, and disillusionment. (p. 60)

Our hurts and wounds can make our self-centeredness even more intractable. (p. 61)

This is not hard to see in others, of course. When you being to talk to wounded people, it is not long before they begin talking about themselves. They’re so engrossed in their own pain and problems that they don’t realize what they look like to others. They are not sensitive to the needs of others. They don’t pick up the cues of those who are hurting or if they do, they only do in a self-involved way……They get involved with others in an obsessive and controlling way because they are actually meeting their own needs though they deceive themselves about this. (p. 60)

When you point out selfish behavior to a wounded person, he or she will say…….the wounds justify the behavior. (p. 61)

There are two ways to diagnose and treat this condition.….In this (secular) view of things we give wounded people almost nothing but support, encouraging them to stop letting others run their lives, urging them to find out what their dreams are and take steps to fulfill them. That we think is the way to healing. But this approach assumes that self centeredness isn’t natural……only the product of some kind of mistreatment…..That is a very popular view of many people in the West but this view of things simply doesn’t work. (p. 61)

Christian approach…….(is that) we believe that as badly wounded as persons may be, the resulting self-absorption of the human heart was not caused by the mistreatment. It was only magnified and shaped by it. Their mistreatment poured gasoline on the fire and the flame and smoke now choke them but their self-centeredness already existed prior to their woundedness. (p. 61-62)

All people need to be treated gently and respectfully, esp. those who have been wounded…….Nevertheless, all people must be challenged to see that their self-centeredness hasn’t been caused by the people who hurt them its only been aggravated by the abuse. (p. 63)

The woundedness makes us minimize our own selfishness. (p. 63)

Reading that reminded me of something that happened a while back. One time I was driving down the street when several cars ahead of me had stopped because a motorcyclist was hit by a car. Everyone immediately tried to help him. Several people ran over to administer first aid. Others blocked traffic to protect him while he was laying on the pavement. Someone called an ambulance and the paramedics came. To this day, I’ll never forget seeing that poor guy laying broken and bloodied on the pavement — writhing in pain as the paramedics worked on him. Fortunately, they said his injuries weren’t life threatening.

Now picture this for a moment. Imagine that while the motorcyclist is laying in the middle of the street someone comes over to him and says, “Stop being so selfish. Forget about your injuries. Get on your feet and start taking care of everyone else!”

That would be heartless and cruel!

But while Jesus Himself is “touched with the feeling of our infirmity” this book seems to run right over them.

How does that make God feel? Look at Ezekiel where God gets REALLY ANGRY at pastors because they weren’t doing their job. Listen to what God says to the pastors.

You have not taken care of the weak ones, healed the ones that are sick, bandaged the ones that are hurt, brought back the ones that wandered off, or looked for the ones that were lost. Instead, you treated them cruelly. (Ezekiel 34:4 GNT)

Think about that for a moment. That passage is describing the role of the pastor as he is to —

  • Strengthen the weak
  • Heal the sick
  • Bring back the ones that wandered away
  • Look for the ones that were lost
  • Feed the sheep (see verses 2-3)

Jesus Himself came to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4). Not to hurt them even more. Any Christian theology that doesn’t understand that is missing the heart of God.

I’m NOT saying that Pastor Tim is doing that — I’m just saying that what he wrote about wounded people opens the door for the abuser to get all the mercy and forgiveness while the real victim gets the guilt and condemnation. This book is so focused on pointing the finger at wounded people that it misses the dynamics of emotional abuse that are causing the wounds in the first place.

Doctrine of the Trinity

This book teaches a very controversial doctrine of the Trinity that seems to apply marriage roles to the Trinity. That doesn’t work—unless as Michael Bird wrote, “your marriage consists of an older man, a younger man and a eunuch!”

This doctrine is called Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) [ERAS]. We all know that when Jesus walked the Earth — He set the example for us of submitting to God’s will. But does that automatically mean that throughout all eternity, both before and after coming to earth, Jesus was in a subordinate role in the Trinity?  Does that mean that Jesus doesn’t have the same authority as the Father does?

Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 (NIV) that “ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” So how could the Father be withholding some authority from Him? THEN there’s John 5:22 (NLT) which says, “The Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY to judge.”

So why would ESS be such a big deal? Why would so many strong complementarians be coming forward with serious concerns about the long-term effects of ESS?

None of that is discussed in this book. Instead this book acts as though ESS is a commonly accepted mainstream Christian doctrine when, in fact, it is being highly disputed by many leading complementarians.

In this book, Pastor Tim’s wife Kathy explains that ESS had a powerful influence in shaping her worldview. She writes, “When I first heard Christians talk about male and female as “different but equal” it sounded a little too much like the “separate but equal” motto of segregation.” (p. 197)

But what finally convinced her to accept the idea of roles was ESS because “If our assigned roles are rooted in the nature of the relationships within the Trinity, tampering with the revelation of that mystery that God intends within marriage is surely not our prerogative.” (p. 215)

Kathy defines these roles as “women have a gift of interdependence, a receiving gift” (p. 203) while men have a “need for independence.” (p. 206) Where is that verse in the Bible? Didn’t God say that it wasn’t good for men to be alone? This suggests that women are to be passive when Jesus told us to be actively “asking, seeking, and knocking.”

On page 216 Kathy also defines women’s role as “A wife accustomed to resenting every Archie Bunker like behavior of her husband may begin offering her submission with graciousness rather than resenting the lack of honor she receives from her husband.” (p. 216)

Hang on a second. What about God’s law of sowing and reaping?

This is sweeping serious problems in the marriage under the rug. Again, trying to fix everything by sacrifice when sometimes the only way to make things change is by setting boundaries. Interfering with people’s ability to set boundaries is literally interfering with the fruit of the Spirit in people’s lives. The Bible says there’s NO LAW OF GOD AGAINST SELF-CONTROL (Gal 5:23). Books that teach people that sacrifice solves everything forget that Jesus gave us the power to decide when to lay our lives down and when to take it up again (John 10:18). Any Christian teaching that goes against that is going against Scripture.

Yet Kathy defends these controversial roles to the point where she writes on page 215 that if your born-again, spirit-filled, Bible-believing CHRISTIAN spouse doesn’t agree with your opinions on theology, you should TREAT THEM AS A NONBELIEVER!!! She literally teaches people to consider themselves as married to a nonbeliever if there’s a difference of opinion in the marriage on Christian theology!


Taking these roles even further, on page 306 Kathy says that these roles should determine how society functions as a whole “including how that affects the relationship of men and women in the church and in the world.”

That sounds familiar. Where have we heard that before? The more Kathy describes these roles the more it sounds like she’s quoting from the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (RBMW), where John Piper actually wrote —

  • that women are supposed to feel submissive to EVERY man in EVERY situation even down to “the most casual relationship with a STRANGER ON THE STREET.” (p. 44)
  • that even the housewife in her backyard must be submissive when giving directions to a complete stranger so that “neither of them feels their mature femininity or masculinity compromised.” (p. 50)
  • that women must avoid any jobs that give them too much direct influence over men in a work environment because that would “OFFEND a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership and thus controvert God’s created order.” (p. 51)

Wait a minute! He just said that men being “offended” proves that women are disobeying God! Really? Galatians 1:10 says “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Plus, the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t let any of this interfere with her career opportunities!

So where does Piper get these crazy ideas? You guessed it — Piper  founded the organization which is the driving force behind ESS. What’s really crazy is that if you read Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood  — the Christian theologians who wrote that book can’t even agree among themselves as to the proper role for women. Chapters in RBMW literally disagree with each other!

Think about what’s happening here. Bible verses on marriage are being applied to the Trinity. Then they’re being applied to the workplace. Then society as a whole. No wonder complementarians themselves are coming forward with serious concerns about ESS!

And, who gets to decide exactly what these roles are? There’s such a huge difference of opinion among Christian theologians on these roles that no matter how hard we try, we will never know if we’re following the role properly or not. That’s why the Bible warns us NOT to add anything to the text. The further down the rabbit hole we go in researching this the more you see that there’s many personal opinions being added to Scripture.

My point is that the further you research the more you see that ESS has serious implications that need to be addressed by the church as a whole. The fact that both complementarians and egalitarians are coming out against ESS should make people pay attention. Besides, Jesus said to pray that God would send more laborers to the harvest, why let ESS shut the door on the gifts and talents of half the body of Christ?

Thank you for hanging in there through this long review. It was necessary to address all these issues in this book because we have to get back to the simplicity of Christ.

The bottom line is that ALL Christian theology has to bow its knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ who came to “destroy the works of the devil,” “set the captives free,” and “heal the broken-hearted.” Any theology that misses that is missing the Heart of God.


You can vote on this review at Amazon by clicking here.



  1. Rebecca Davis

    Avid Reader, thank you so much for this thorough review. I appreciate your emphasis on setting boundaries, which of course is only possible when a person knows she has a right to be treated with dignity and respect. (My good husband gave me the book “Boundaries” when I was around 50 because I had issues with a certain family member, and I cried as I read it, asking, “Why didn’t you give me this a long time ago?” Ha! As I began to allow myself to express dignity and respect in interactions with this family member, the relationship improved dramatically.)

    I cringed as I read the quotations from Keller addressing woundedness and selfishness. When people are extremely wounded, yes, of course their thinking is going to be messed up — that’s very often a big part of what the wounder did on purpose. But as the healing takes place and the pain subsides, they can see more clearly what’s true and what’s false (which is really what repentance is).

    There are several other things I appreciated about this post, but I’ll just mention two: expressing the supremacy of Christ in saying that love for Him is enough to keep us from sin, and the emphasis on the fact that all theology (ESS included) must bow to Lordship of Christ and His great mission. We’re all called to join Him in His great work.

    • Anonymous

      When people are extremely wounded, yes, of course their thinking is going to be messed up–that’s very often a big part of what the wounder did on purpose.

      Thank you for this as it’s SO TRUE. They mess us up on purpose so they can then manipulate us and use our wounded-ness as PROOF that we’re crazy and thus everything is our fault!

      • Rebecca Davis

        Exactly. I’ve seen the crazy-making play out in so many different ways.

  2. Sasanka

    Excellent, excellent post….thank you. 🙂

  3. Lea

    When you begin to talk to wounded people, it is not long before they begin talking about themselves. They’re so engrossed in their own pain and problems that they don’t realize what they look like to others. They are not sensitive to the needs of others.

    This is such a weird thing to say! And mostly wrong I think. For one, how do you know that people are wounded unless they mention it? You don’t, so all the wounded who are ashamed and keeping the hurts inside and not seen at all by you. Who is self centered now?

    On top of that, the wounded people have probably been wounded by the incredibly self centered people in the first place! Let’s put that into the equation. This whole section is terrible. How dare you wounded people – banging on about being wounded.

    I do like the part about anger bringing truth, because I read somewhere that our brains are wired to speak truth when angry.

  4. Herjourney

    The “worldly” submissive wife has no godly wisdom. She believes every word the flows from the mouth of her highly successful “spiritually dead” husband. In public, her husband prays for wisdom from god. Intentional little g here. Behind closed doors? Only God knows.

    A Spirit-filled woman of God is a warrior for Christ and His word. She won’t follow false prophets. She knows her God is her protector. Provider. Spiritual leader. Woman of God! You can do all things through Christ who gives you the strength to overcome your enemies.

    • BetterEquipped

      Thank you for these mighty words!

  5. Cher

    The light bulbs continue to turn on for me the more I read this blog. Thank you Cry for Justice. I am still unlearning so many many horrible teachings that were drilled into my brain over the past 5 years. There’s so much I feel I lost by being taught so much wrong and my husband still brainwashed by a lot of it….but I know that God will use it for good. I can warn others and stand up for the truth… I used to follow Piper’s teachings without question. I sometimes see the stuff I used to say and share and I just thought I knew it all and was somehow part of a spiritual elite. The authority with which my former pastor taught stuff, as if there was no debate…his way or the highway…I keep trying every day to get over it all…but it’s so much to undo….it’s been a lengthy mental process and this blog helps me every day to unlearn dangerous things. I am so thankful for normal people who don’t see women as they did in my former church. It’s only been about 4 months since I made the decision to stop going there….

  6. MarkQ

    Great review, especially the treatment on woundedness. It has been very healthy for me to think of the comparison between physical trauma and emotional trauma. As you said, no human would look at a man lying wounded in the middle of the street and say, “you can be healed. First get up and put on a big smile, then help us clean up this big mess you made!”

    Yet, we are completely blind to emotional trauma. It’s hard enough to heal without people coming alongside saying that we need to get over it, or that we’re too sensitive, or that we’re sinning by being so selfish.

  7. Avid Reader

    Thank you all for the encouragement! Just knowing that this review was a blessing to you is all that I could ask for. 🙂

    I’m starting to understand why the Apostle Paul looked back over all the years he had invested into being a Pharisee and studying the law and decided “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Phil 3:8 (NLT)


    not Christian theology

    not Christian celebrities

    ONLY JESUS is the WAY the TRUTH the LIFE!!!

  8. BetterEquipped

    So, does Keller’s theology on woundedness apply to the war-battered soldier suffering PTSD?

    The book ‘Boundaries’ was mentioned. Practical read. Another eye-opener for me was ‘Changes That Heal’ (same author). As I read this book I realized, with horror, how the church’s imposed teaching about roles in marriage was the single dynamic reason I suffered an emotional destructive marriage – NOT my past traumas. Because their teaching created such deep conflict within my own intuitive spirit (uh … God’s embedded engine warning lights), and I, thinking it was my selfishness, actually participated in teaching my husband to disrespect me, because I obeyed the church’s teaching. At large, my husband’s mindset was shaped by this abusive teaching as well and created a narcissist out of him. The image I draw in my mind to liken this epidemic to is the Jewish ghettos during the time of The Holocaust. Walled in by Nazis, shot if they wandered outside its boundary. That is what many churches have become for marriages – they are no longer sanctuaries or hospital for sinners. One must go out into secular society to find validation, love, and help. For even they can see abuse for what it is.

    • Thanks for this, BetterEquipped.
      Note to all readers: we have not read “Changes that Heal” so publishing BE’s recommendation of it here doesn’t mean we necessarily approve of everything that book teaches. No offence meant to BE, but as all you know we have pretty tight policy for publishing recommendations of other resources. In this instance, because BE gained pretty specific help from the book, I thought we could bend our policy a bit.

  9. bright sunshinin' day

    Avid Reader, outstanding review!

    Thank you for clearly highlighting the pros and cons of the Keller’s book!

  10. Joy

    Reading about Timothy Keller claiming that woundedness isn’t caused by mistreatment but by self-centeredness made me nearly fall out of my chair and then grow angry. It is because of my mistreatment that I am wounded. If I wasn’t wounded by mistreatment, I wouldn’t be able to empathize with others pain and attempt to help them in the first place. I love Guest Post’s example of what this book is asking its readers to do.

    I have, in fact, been accused of self-centeredness when talking about my own woundedness. I’ve been demanded to stuff down my pain over the years, as so many other people’s lives presumably are so much worse than mine is, because their pain is more obvious to society than mine is. I’ve had it pointed out how fortunate I should be to be alive, how grateful I should be for others sacrifices to give me my basic necessities, even though I’m suffering in misery.

    Emotional abuse is finally being recognized as the psychological torture that it is, although how deep the wounds go is still being discovered. People’s demands for the wounded to care for others when they themselves are hurting is even worse than being wounded in the first place, because these hurting people are asking for help and are being denied it. This is how already hurting people continue to bottle up their emotions and decide not to tell anyone about their problems, for fear that their concerns would be dismissed; the wounded people then submit to whatever demands the abuser gives them, instead of getting the support and encouragement they need and setting boundaries.

    • Anonymous

      Joy, your response is SO IMPORTANT and it sums up my life as well. Pastor Crippen in another post talks about how he often can’t stop talking about some abusers he’s encountered and when he was with one of his friends he told this friend that he was probably sick of hearing him go on about it (I’m paraphrasing here) but this FRIEND told him no, that what he was doing was good and necessary. And Jeff said that to some degree he will probably always have to vent about some of the extreme abusers he’s had in his life for the rest of his life–that’s how BAD these people have harmed him.

      And what you’ve written is so true for so many of us. We are fewer in number these days (those with empathy) and it appears as though they are trying to task us to be responsible for the many who will never have it due to the choice they made to have a seared conscience. It took me DECADES to even learn to care about myself let alone to love myself because of the abuse that you’ve written about. I still struggle with this but I am big into boundaries and I also have zero ability to waste time on known abusers. My empathy is worth more that money in this generation and since God has shown me the truth through His word and in my life, my empathy is only spent on the few God desires it for. This includes myself.

  11. Cher

    I have commented on several articles over the past several weeks and my comments never appear. Are they being rejected for some reason? Thank you.

    • Hi Cher. I’m not sure why you think your comments have not been published. Here are the last few comments of yours that we published: link, link, link, link.

      • Cher

        Thank you for this! I’m not sure why I couldn’t see them before! Very strange…but I have been having some weird issues with my internet.

      • Perhaps your device just kept reloading what it had cached — which was the post and comments thread before you submitted you comment on it. Just a guess. If you open an ‘incognito window’ on your computer and use it to look at our blog, it will not attempt to use what your computer had cached when you visited our site in the past.

  12. Toiler

    Great review. I am still struggling with the idea of Boundaries. My last church said there are no such thing as boundaries in the Christian life. My job was to be used and abused to the sake of Christ. It’s still hard to unravel.

    • Cher

      I totally understand how you feel! I was told the same and to not have any expectations in marriage because that would only set me up for disappointment. So when I was pregnant and very ill, I was told, when my husband didn’t believe I was really sick but just pretending, I was told I had to sacrifice myself like Jesus did….lol….no one ever said anything against him when I was struggling…they all questioned ME….it was hard to know something wasn’t right but have no support. It’s a process to unravel all that thinking, but we will get there. It takes a long time…God will help you through. He is good.

  13. Tan

    They are not sensitive to the needs of others. They don’t pick up the cues of those who are hurting…

    err..yeah…I think they’re talking about themselves.

    • Lea


      Lucky in Tim’s view, you don’t even have to pick up cues from wounded people if they are telling you outright that they need help. All you have to do is help them. I guess that part was too much trouble.

  14. IamMyBeloved's

    that women are supposed to feel submissive to EVERY man in EVERY situation even down to “the most casual relationship with a STRANGER ON THE STREET. (p. 44)

    Whoa. Wait a minute. Does this mean if I am in a medical situation and some male doctor of sorts tells me to take off all my clothes, that I should submit? Because honestly, I have no idea why he wants me to take my clothes off. Maybe he needs me to for his exam. I am just to trust and submit according to this quote. My head where the brain should still be functioning has suddenly become air. Just air. Not thinking anymore about what would actually protect me, because I have become a mindless robot to the teaching I have embraced.

    Also pertaining to the entire distorted view of self-centered behavior and suffering, we have a great example of how God really wants us to treat hurting people by the story of the Good Samaritan. Most were just walking over and around the wounded man, I guess leaving him to deal with his self-centeredness and flesh, according to Tim. But God sent a servant to help and this should be our example.

    • kind of anonymous

      Ha! Good one, IamMyBeloved`s, re the logical outcome of believing all wounds are caused by self centeredness = the good Samaritan being quite right in judging the beaten victim and NOT stopping to help.

      Like Pearl, I think its sheer lunacy to suggest that women must submit to all men; Is Piper smoking something? I remember objecting to the church practice of being expected to turn around and embrace male strangers just because we were in church; how do I know I didn`t just hug Ted Bundy and in so doing, get lulled by a false sense of safety into creating dangerous familiarity? This idea that I am to actually submit to any man would have meant that if Ted asked me to come help him carry something to his car, as he did with some of his victims, I would have felt obligated to do so. Crazy and delusional. I prefer expecting all men to prove their godliness and trustworthiness before I am willing to go beyond the basic courtesy we extend to all human beings, thank you. And I no longer care if we are in church or not.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Well, it cannot line up biblically to blindfully submit to all men just because they are men, or we would have to get out our ginormous permanent black markers and start blackening out passages such as Abigail’s story and Proverbs in more places than I can count. So let’s just say our Bibles would have a lot of black marks in it. For example, Prov. 22:3 states “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Oh. Sorry Lord. That one has got to go, because these men say we need to submit to a man just because he is a man. So no being prudent here, we just submit and suffer for it. Then we get blamed or labeled. We are told by God to be prudent to protect ourselves from danger and they tell us to submit. No wonder we are in such a mess. Who’s in charge here? Christ or them?

        It is just ridiculous.

  15. Karen

    Thank-you Avid Reader for your watchful review. Still in tears that a spiritually elite couple could actually believe this way. How damaging to the Body of Jesus Christ. Your book review on Amazon is spot on and I am thankful you have the courage to speak truth in love.

    I am so very sorry this happened to you for none of what you experienced are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. You should have been cherished and loved back into good health, by your family and believers. I too, experienced a similar situation when I was ill for three years, avoiding surgery because of my husband’s hatred for my choice in health care systems. He kept verbalizing, “You are sick because of your own sin,” to which I believed for several years, beating me down to nothing. I was nursed back to good health by a small group of unchurched believers of Jesus, who knew how to show genuine love through their kind words and actions of true love.

    I am not sorry for saying this; I find the words that Tim Keller and his wife speak in their book, as non-Christ-like and rather brutal. These are not people that offer wise counsel to abuse victims, nor are interested in ‘bearing one another’s burdens’ as God commands us to do.

    God Bless you Avid Reader.

    • Cher

      Wow! Karen, that is quite a testimony as to how we are treated by our own churches and husbands. It sure does say a lot for what is wrong with a lot of churches. I’m sorry you had to suffer without your husband’s or church’s support. I’m sure you are very thankful for those unchurched people. I’m still trying to build myself back up after all the times I asked for help but got none. Yes, I was even told the same thing when I was ill that God was showing me my pride, lol. I quickly shot that one down. Since I stopped going to that church, I have barely heard from anyone. I think they know better.

  16. PEARL

    I so do NOT want to SUBMIT to EVERY man I encounter. Nor will I. Is Piper living on another planet or what? Give me a break.

  17. Stronger Now

    Clearly Piper is a misogynist who deeply believes that all men are superior to all women.

  18. anonymous

    Emotional and psychological abuse changes you. Your life is forever altered. It now becomes a part of who you are. It cannot be undone; you can’t un-ring a bell. Perhaps how we go forward and live our lives after abuse is the barometer to any self-contentedness we may display.

    Frankly, my knee-jerk reaction upon hearing Keller say, “…their self-centeredness already existed prior to their woundedness” forced me to stop, pause, and take another look in the mirror. If this is true of me I do not want to be blind to it; I want to deal with truth.

    I would be curious to know if Keller or his wife have ever been abused emotionally, physically, psychologically, sexually, financially, spiritually or verbally. If their comments are from this vantage point, well then they have my undivided attention and I would be open to discussion. If their comments are not from this vantage point, and because they have the ability to sway public opinion, then they make my road to recovery even harder still.

    I have heard the cries from the hearts of so many victims of abuse right here at a ACFJ. I remain astounded with how many women (I recognize there are men too) continue year after year to give everything of themselves to their husbands. I do not see self-centeredness in their actions in fact, I see the exact opposite.

    Having to deal with the aftermath and trauma of abuse certainly does put us on a different course in life, one we would not have chosen. Coming face-to-face with EVIL does sober us to its reality. Our ‘innocence’ is stolen. Whom do we believe? Whom do we trust? So many questions!! And how we are now viewed among those never having been abused, and therefore cannot possibly understand our world, in and of itself add another degree of disappointment to our yearning for others to recognize (and even better understand) the world of abuse and trauma.

    And yes, what about our service-men and -women who suffer PTSD and many commit suicide? As they return home from the battlefield do any of us think for a moment their lives are not forever altered? Trauma and psychological abuse certainly have different degrees, but it is trauma and psychological abuse nonetheless.

    Many of those who don’t understand abuse and the way it affects society at large, should seek to increase their knowledge OR remain silent.

  19. Finding Answers

    Reading the quotes posted by Avid Reader, I’m afraid I have lost all respect for the Kellers.

    When I first started posting comments on ACFJ, I was writing of secrets never spoken. (I am more than half way through my fifth decade.) Indeed, I was re-integrating memory fragments both painful and unknown until my fingertips typed out the words.

    From the very first post, I have felt self-centred, taking up so much time and space on the blog. If the Holy Spirit had not been leading me, if I had read what the Kellers had written, I would have died inside….I certainly would not have dared to post.

    Is it being self-centred to seek the truth? Is it self-centred to cry out for help? Is it self-centred to discover a life filled with abuse? Is it self-centred to read and learn from someone else’s pain – which, of course, we would not see posted because the Kellers believe we would be self-centred to do so? Is it self-centred to acknowledge someone else’s pain with my own? Is it self-centred to pray that every time I post a comment I am speaking for others who currently have no voice?

    If I could reach through my monitor, gently touch those in pain, I would do so in a heartbeat. If I could place a temporary shield of protection in place around all the victims / survivors, a place to heal, I would do so in a heartbeat. If I could untwist words and Scripture for people, I would do so in a heartbeat.

    Posting in the ACFJ community is the first time I have been heard, the first time I have been visible, the first time I have been validated.

    Tell me. Who do you think has the better ministry?

    • Dear Finding Answers, I have never felt you were being self-centred by writing your comments on this blog. I have felt and still feel the very opposite!

      I feel, nay, I’m sure, that you are voicing things that many many others will benefit from.

      And I’m personally very blessed by your comments, seeing how you are finding answers and how the Holy Spirit is leading you all the time. I have had the privilege of seeing someone reintegrate after having been so disintegrated and so uncertain about what the answers were. I feel like you have given me and our other readers a box seat where we are witnessing your recovery, you ongoing recovery. Thank you so much for being part of the blog community! 🙂

    • Anon

      I, too, wondered if I posted too much. Nonsense. That’s what is great about blogs. People helping others via their sharing. I read your comments, and they give me hope. You seem to be doing okay and that’s great. There’s been a progression in your comments. It’s neat to witness (read) such. 🙂

  20. Anon

    Oh, and by okay, I mean, managing and that’s a real achievement. Opening scabs and dealing with the aftermath of longstanding abuse is really no small feat, but it’s better than indefinitely staying in denial-land.

  21. Finding Answers

    Barb and Anon,

    Thanks for your replies and support. I get so frustrated….I have heard the attitude expressed by the Kellers in other walks of life and watched people hurt and damaged in the process. I have heard the “blame-the-victim”, “suck-it-up-princess”, and all that other filth applied to the victim / survivor too many times to count. To read the same thing, but adding “God” into the mix, makes me want to cry out in pain for those being oppressed by “piece of paper” educated Pharisees.

    (I would give some examples, but they would be too identifying.)

    Sometimes I have provided information to someone that has – literally – saved their life. Not because of me, but because they had previously been told there were no other options. I have watched the same thing happen through others within the ACFJ community, felt grateful to God when someone has understood God was not behind their oppression.

    I get frustrated by those who use God to push their own agenda.

  22. Ktrig

    I did not like Tim Keller’s book on marriage. It was very patriarchal. He does not view his spouse as an equal partner in the marriage. He expects her to sacrifice everything for his career.

    Tim talks about a husband’s self-sacrificial love. However, he has never been a full time househusband. Not has he ever made a major career sacrifice for Kathy so that she can advance in her career—and surpass his career.

    Tim always quotes men in his books and sermons, which is a dead ringer that he thinks women are intellectually inferior to men. He obviously does not think women have anything worthwhile to say.

    Tim embodies the “nice guy” view of “complementarianism” (read: patriarchy).

    But even if the “complementarian” husband / master is nice, he is still demeaning the woman.

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