I notice that one recent debate which really grates for some is that N. T. Wright is welcome as a speaker by Inter Varsity, while John Piper is not.
- Yet IV seems to have forgotten why it exists. Bad theology of the gospel and weak ecclesiology are undermining IV's mission. Increasingly, IV's tendency is to take on issues which should be neutral in IV and left for gospel-centered churches to decide. Such secondary doctrinal issues (such as paedo- vs. craedobaptism, Arminianism vs. Calvinism, charismatic vs. cessationist) should ultimately be decided within churches; that's the place to agree or agree to disagree, not IV.
Not only that, but InterVarsity seems more and more willing to partner with churches that do not hold to the gospel, from liberal protestant churches to the Roman Catholic church. At the same time, IV is breaking fellowship with people who are solidly evangelical: John Piper, for example, is a persona non grata because of his view of women in ministry. Yet N.T. Wright, who's book Justification opens the door for a quasi-Catholic view of justification, speaks regularly at IV conferences.
However, I firmly agree that John Piper should be kept as far away as possible from InterVarsity. In 1939 Grace Koch Belden went down to Philadelphia to become one of the first InterVarsity workers in the USA. In 1939, my mother was the president of the InterVarsity chapter at McGill, at the time when Charles Troutman was there, as well as Gordie Thomas who went on to become the director of the Grenfell Mission. It was not until 1941 that InterVarsity USA was founded.
Will someone please let John Piper know why he is not wanted in InterVarsity. "Women in ministry" was not the downfall of InterVarsity but its founding strength. Yes, we see Stacey Woods' name a lot, but I always think of them as Stacey and Yvonne. I last visited them in 1976 in Lausanne. Cathie Nicoll was also an important Canadian leader and established InterVarsity in Jamaica.
John Piper, on the other hand, is the master of the toddlerhood of Christianity. He wants leadership in the church, which has - for the most part - always been male, to continue to be male. He also wants leadership in parachurch organizations, which historically has employed more Christian women in leadership, to become male.
It is important to realize that John Piper does NOT approve of female leadership in parachurch organizations. This would be a significant reason why he would not be invited to speak at any parachurch event where women are in leadership.
N.T. Wright, on the other hand, is considered iffy in certain areas of his doctrine of justification. The simple truth is that while everyone can identify the gender of chapter leaders in Intervarsity, not everyone can articulate whether they agree with Piper or Wright on justification. That's just the way it is.
The sad thing is that InterVarsity, since it is open to women, also acts as a switch and bait foil for the church. Young women can worship as equals in university, and then later they find themselves in an evangelical church where they have to be trained into submission, broken in, so to speak.