Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What Makes Disagreement Disagreeable

There's a short list of folks with whom SWNID is compelled not simply to disagree but to disagree with relish.

John Piper is one.

As the pope of the Neo-Puritan Church, Piper espouses a particularly rigid and radical form of Reformed theology, one in which the sovereignty of God is so extremely interpreted that human freedom is constrained to the point that, as Piper himself admits, a person will go mad contemplating the results.

That's something to disagree with, as the majority of the church has historically.

What adds the necessity of relish is Piper's insistence that anyone who disagrees is a sinner. We refer to a helpful little piece by George W. Sarris at the Christian Post for reportage and rebuttal. When Piper asserts that those who don't hold his particular view of election are sinners for not doing so, he draws lines that rightly make the community of faith bristle.

One wonders whether Piper is willing to take the next steps in his public discourse: to affirm that such belief, like the position of the dust motes in a sunbeam, is the consequence of God's sovereign predestination, that God is therefore the cause of the sin, and that God is therefore the author of evil, but so what?

The wisdom of the Campbellite silence on matters of biblical silence is significant on all such matters. The Bible doesn't teach overtly sovereignty as Piper affirms it: that much is demonstrable. At the least, the community of faith ought to have liberty to disagree with Piper without his bringing judgment on their disagreement. Better still for Piper to say, This is how I see it, but many differ because Scripture isn't as clear on this point as some want it to be.

But we don't hold our breath. Per Piper, both his continued dogmatism and our continued respiration were foreordained.


Neyhart said...

Thank you! My thoughts exactly!

Anonymous said...

I bet him and Mark (?) Whats-his-face in Seattle get together and wear those "Tapout" t-shirts and watch UFC together. There are words for these guys, but most of them are of Saxon origin--excepting the one I'm thinking of which is rather rudely misappropriated French.