Thursday, March 8, 2012

Roger Olson, "John Piper & Judgment"

This got me thinking. I remember Greg Boyd preaching a sermon back in the day addressing John Piper (though not by name, he made a point of critiquing the view not the man) and denouncing what I'm (cheekily) dubbing "Calvinistic Divine Command Theory." I'm certain there is a technical term, but I like my idea better.

Anyway. Olson is -- I think -- sharp but fair. He gets a little overly pointed at the end (something I'm not certain I endorse), but I'm curious to see if John Piper will indeed respond. This is not the first time John Piper has made comments of this nature. After this, I'm not certain I see much of a difference between Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in regards to disasters/terrorist acts and calling upon the name of God as a salve to tragic wounds.

Hopefully, we'll become privy to the direct link Piper has to the Almighty, or Piper will admit he was wrong and apologize, or there is some third option I can't foresee. Either way, read the article.

To continue, Roger Olson.



  1. As I mentioned to you before, I'll probably be responding to Olson in the coming days. But for now I'd like to briefly comment on a couple of your comments here.

    1. The difference between Robertson/Falwell type comments and those of Piper is self-righteousness. Piper includes himself in the judgment of which he speaks. Falwell and Robertson have historically stood above those upon whom they pronounce judgment.

    2. Piper shows the link between himself and the Almighty by citing and explaining the texts from which he draws his conclusions. It's one thing to read them differently than Piper and draw different conclusions. It's another thing altogether to dismiss the evidence he's provided in favor of snarkily creating a strawman by putting words in Piper's mouth.

    Anyway, that's what I think. ;)

  2. Hey hey!

    1) This would not be the first time Piper has included himself in the judgment, sure, I grant that. But it is difficult to distinguish between self-righteousness and ignorance. I think John Piper is ignorant in regards to what he said, and I think F/P are self-righteous. I think that is fair.

    2) I'm not certain where the strawman comes in. I think I left it open to being wrong, though it did come with my usual tablespoon of snark. ;)

    2a) The verses he cited are isolated. Exodus showcases God's authority over the wind and the Red Sea. Sure. No issue there.

    Most of the verses shown seem to be not only isolated, but qualified. Meaning prophets, clarifications and following addresses from God, and everything seems to be expanded upon or shown. There is no reason to read anything more into the text. Piper has not given us any real reason to treat these as "warnings" in any way that we cannot interpret these as a sign of "natural weather." He says the tornados are God's. That does not follow that God *caused* this, merely that He *can* command the wind. When Piper filters these verses through his lens of determinism, it makes sense.

    To those of us who are not determinists, it does not. I do not put it past God to allow suffering, but I'm not certain I see much warrant in Scripture to support the idea of God causing suffering. Especially in this present circumstance. There is no way he can possibly know beyond what he is talking about, unless God is specifically talking to him. Since he has not revealed, this I have little reason to accept his use of Scripture and his reasoning.

    I look forward to your blog post! I wants to reads! ;)


  3. ah this one is too easy for me...

    god does not cause suffering. sin does.

    end theological exegesis.