Posts Tagged 'John Piper'

In the wake of John Piper’s announcement that a certain natural disaster that hit a certain part of a certain city on a certain day at a certain time was the direct providence of a certain Deity, many have taken up the pen or key board to say one thing or another about Piper’s seeming omniscience into the mysteries of Trinitarian oeuvre.

David Sessions quoted Andy Crouch:

“All efforts to pin down the details of where and when we can say that God is working in history are fraught with the danger of self-deception, if not outright blasphemy. The commandment not to take the Lord’s name in vain seems especially to apply to human attempts to recruit God for one cultural movement or another. The warning that “history is written by the winners” should caution us that any attempt to discern God’s activity in particular historical events runs the risk of self-justification, claiming after the fact that God was on our side all along.”

HT/RT: imonk

Rather than post an entirely new thread on this subject, I’d like to direct your attention to, what one friend described as, an ‘extra-awesome’ take on the Piper post. I concur. It is super-awesome. Click this link and find out more: Did God Send a Tornado to Warn the ELCA?

I am especially fond of this awesomeness:

3. One has to wonder why God would single out the ELCA’s discussion of homosexuality as worthy of a tornado hit while by-passing so many other serious issues. To give one example, there are over 400 distinct passages encompassing over 3,000 verses in the Bible that address issues related to poverty. Compare this with homosexuality, a topic that is explicitly mentioned a total of two times in the Old Testament and three times in the New. On top of this, the most frequently mentioned reason God judged cities and nations in the Old Testament was because they failed to care for the needy. And, finally, if there’s any sin American churches fail to seriously confront, it’s this one.

In light of this, wouldn’t you assume that if God was going to send warnings and/or inflict punishment with tornados he’d strike some of the many American churches and denominations that condone, if not Christianize, greed and apathy toward the poor? Yet John would have us believe that God had his tornado skip past these churches (and a million other punishment-worthy locations, like child sex-slave houses) in order to damage the steeple of a church because the people inside were wrestling with issues related to homosexuality. If John is right, God’s priorities must have radically changed since biblical times.

This goes well with my post the other day concerning the Gospel and the Poor.

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I wanted my first post here at to be a spectacular essay–and it will be–but in the meantime this has been bugging me lately. I am hesitant to write this because I don’t want to be perceived–oh, whatever, perceive away. I am happy to be writing for and help these brave souls share the grace and love of Christ.

First, at a happy blog I sometimes visit, Always Ready, I came across this lamentby blogger Samuel Guzman, sometimes guest blogger at Slice and proprietor of the amazingly special Reformata. He wrote:

Thank you, John Piper, for articulating what has been on my heart so often recently. Why is their so little love of God and zeal for the truth among young people today? Let’s get over emotional buzzes and realize that God deserves our everything…not just a trip to a hip youth conference with a famous speaker. He deserves more than a t-shirt or bumper sticker or a week long “missions” trip to some exotic location.

I can’t believe that’s what he actually believes! Is this guy living under a rock? Last week, at Junior High camp, I had four kids from Kentucky Christian University helping me. You know these four uncommitted, un-zealous young people gave up their entire summer to travel for the college, sleep in rustic cabins, eat camp food, live on the road, travel across several states preaching, teaching, leading music, praying, playing games, sharing the love of Christ with other young people who give up a week of their lives to be at Church camp? My own son gave up a week of Boy Scout camp in New York to be at church camp! Samuel, what young people are you talking about?

As I will demonstrate in my first real post it is not young people who lack zeal and love for God or truth, but actually there is an entire generation missing from the church. It’s not young people who are ripping the church apart by abandoning orthodoxy. It’s not young people who are missing the point of ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.’

I do agree with one part of Guzman’s post: God does deserve more than a conference, or t-shirt, or bumper sticker, or week long missions trip. Perhaps the esteemed Rev Guzman also agrees that God deserves more than a blog that does little more than rip apart the body of Christ, cut down the people among whom God has chosen to live, and a little better than the sentimental emotionalism, borderline narcissistic preaching of a Paul Washer. (Although, when I pointed this out at my own blog, I was reminded that Paul Washer also once did ‘missions’ work among Gypsies. So I guess missions work is valid as long as you are in the right camp and in the right ‘exotic’ location.) Guzman’s statements are simply full of, uh–what’s a charitable way of saying this?–stupidity? Where did anyone ever suggest that t-shirt Christianity was enough? OH, but handing out CD’s is a profoundly effective way of ‘reaching the lost’ (that way we don’t have to actually talk to them and hear their story.) I have heard, in recent days, that many hungry and naked and dying people have found new life, and new hope–not to mention clothing, food, and medicine–in compact disks (but not in Blue Rays; sorry.) This is especially helpful when the poor, downtrodden, hungry, and sick have tons of money to throw away on new compact disk players.**

I’m sorry about that ’stupidity’ thing. I should have used a different adjective like meaningless, or absurd, or apples and oranges, or strawman. Yes, that’s it.

On the other hand, I also came across this post at Reformed Voices a week or so ago:

“You see young men listen to me, there is a reformation going on in this country. There is a real reformation. I’m not talking about the church growth six flags over Jesus entertainment type of reformation or revival. I’m not talking about the media charismatic type of revival. But I travel all over this country, I travel all over the world, I visit many universities and I am seeing quite an amazing thing, that even in secular universities when I go there to speak, I see 100-150 young men and women reading Edwards and Spurgeon and more importantly the Apostle Paul and reading him rightly.

There is a reformation occurring. And God has done it, and He will do it.” (Paul Washer, in a sermon called Regeneration and Self-Denial.)

Well, aside from the inherent Washer worship, I guess there is much to be thankful for in this quote. 100-150 people reading Spurgeon and Edwards has to be a boon for the church at some level. The problem is, Washer and Piper (Guzman is referencing thoughts by Piper) seem to be at odds. Washer seems to think that libraries full of eggheads reading Spurgeon and Edwards is equivalent to a Day of Pentecost type of revival or a 95 Theses sort of reformation; Piper seems to think that all the young people are going to hell in a hand-basket because they are so unloving, uncommitted, and anti-everything high church, Calvinist, orthodoxy and that the church is suffering because they are ‘no where to be found.’ Fellas, fellas! Which is it? Are we in the midst of revival or not? Are young people getting it or not? Why can’t you even agree on what God is and is not doing?

I am sorry about that ‘egghead’ thing. I should have used an adjective like college-student-who-has-a-lot-of-reading-to-do-over-the-weekend or college-student-trying-to-avoid-a-Paul-Washer-emotionapalooza or college-student-who-has-no-social-life-at-all.

Chris Rosebrough recently made an offer that he would personally pay anyone $10,000 if they can demonstrate, from the Bible, the claims of Creflo Dollar that the rich, young ruler actually went and sold his property and was, consequently, blessed by the Lord. Well, I have a little offer of my own: I will personally pay anyone $10.00 if they can find a Bible Verse demonstrating that God has promised revival or reformation to all who read Spurgeon and Edwards in college libraries. (Sorry, I don’t have as much money as Chris as I am just a pathetic young, uncommitted, Christian preacher trying to eek out a living for 5 people on under $40K a year.)

Paul Washer: Prove yourself!

Samuel and Philip, I plead with you to agree in the Lord! Come together and form a consensus on whether or not something is going on in this world of churchianity.

My point to this post is simply this: Here are two people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I refer to those four young people who spent a week with me and their entire summer as evidence.


*sarcasm offered free of charge. And yet, I don’t think the sarcasm is too far off point. Do you?

PS–My comments reflect only thoughts on the posted quotes. I did not watch the youtube vid posted at Always Ready nor did I read the entire sermon by Washer. I am only commenting on the responses by Guzman and Philip.

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