My guess is that they expected a lot of likes and the Reformed world to fall into lockstep with their pronouncement.
They got some of that…and they got (and deserved) a firestorm of disgust.
They took the statement down.
Coincidentally, (not) The Gospel Coalition released their love note to Mahaney this morning.
This will be the end of the New Calvinism…which is now the old business of religion with the only difference being a belief in predestination.
Those who claim to be the spiritual descendants of Calvin, Baxter, Ryle, and the Reformers have betrayed our heritage for a mess of pottage and a well attended conference.
We were the last to succumb to the cult of celebrity, but succumb we have.
It was a fun ride while it lasted…
John Piper needs to learn about “re-incarnation”.
Earlier this week when we were watching the unfolding tragedy in Oklahoma, Piper responded by tweeting out a verse from the book of Job.
It came across as insensitive and harsh…because it was.
It wasn’t intentionally so, but it was anyway.
If you don’t understand that in a tragedy people need comfort before doctrine, your words will not be heard above the weeping…and you are a poor theologian, indeed.
Steve Brown put it best many years ago when He said that God didn’t send us a book, He sent us His son…He didn’t just write us about suffering and death, He came to suffer and die with us and for us.
We call His coming “the Incarnation”.
“Re-incarnation” occurs when those who have His Spirit inside them come alongside those who are suffering and suffer with and for them.
The biblical response isn’t to offer some of the Book, it’s to offer some of yourself.
We are “ambassadors of Christ” and the message we carry from the King has never changed.
In a fallen world the greatest leap of faith is not to believe in God, but to believe that He is good and that He cares.
He is and He does…even when things are really, really, bad.
That’s what the weeping need to hear.
You may be the one to bring that message…you may be the “re-incarnation” of the One who came and suffered in person.
You may have to communicate without words to be heard.
When the time for weeping has passed, make sure they have a Bible.
Make your own application.
IT is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly alike; for at all times they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s word. Whosoever through his private judgement willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly that other may fear to do the like, as he that offendeth against common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the conscience of the weak brethren.
Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man’s authority, so that all things be done to edifying.
This article is deep. There seems to be an authority assumed in the church that many of us may not like. Michael said of the last article that there are things assumed of scriptures that simply do not exist in this culture. Like, shunning from the church being a horrific thing.
Another thing this article makes me think of is traditions in the modern church that at the time of this article would probably be considered “repugnant”. Maybe those things would be “afterglow” or “worship service”?
Just tossing that out there for discussion. Think out loud on this one, I am seriously interested in what folks have to say.
The performance at Pulse excluded Roger Waters, but this was one of Dave’s best performances. I have a list a mile long, but I have to get back to work.
The tornado had hit the town hard, but all were accounted for at the elementary school.
I prayed a silent thanks and took my boy, safe and sound, to his martial arts class.
We have a big tournament coming up this weekend…
Then another report came in…there was another elementary school.
It was devastated…and there were dead children.
I prayed again, but had no words.
My son was the first to ask “why”?
Why if God is good did he allow this to happen?
All Christian traditions have a theodicy, an attempt to explain the existence of evil and pain.
Mine has one too…but theology is small comfort when fitting a casket for a child.
I explain it to an 11 year old…and to myself… this way.
This creation is good, but broken.
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
(Romans 8:18–23 ESV)
Sin has broken it and it groans…it cries out for the day when all things will be recreated and set right, just like we do.
In that state of brokenness and corruption and bondage to sin the creation acts like it’s inhabitants often do…and tragedy is the result.
We are broken, the earth is broken, it’s all broken…but we know in our spirits that’s not the way it’s supposed to be and we dare confess it’s not the way it will always be.
We groan together under the burden of of sin and the damage it has done and those groans are the cries of our souls for the Creator to return and do His good work over again.
I know that God is truly good, because my spirit knows that all of this is so truly bad…His spirit testifies to mine that this is not how it should be.
Some will speak this morning of judgement and mercy and sovereignty and glory and other things of God… but I will not listen to them speak.
These things are too lofty for me to understand, too fearsome for me to ponder.
I will not pretend to understand.
I will groan and I will weep with those who weep.
I will thank God that I will hug my child and put him on a bus and pick him up and go to practice and if God’s willing we have a big tournament this weekend.
I will know that the plans some will have for this weekend will be for funerals…and I will shiver and hold him all the closer.
That is the best I can do…the theologian is no match for a grieving parent.
Maranatha…come quickly, Lord Jesus.
1. Last week I posted the amended lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries that alleged sexual abuses and the coverup of the same. Since then much of the suit has been thrown out on grounds of the statute of limitations. Recently,one of the defendants released a statement denying the charges and proclaiming his innocence.
We don’t believe him.
The question before the house is this…is that unbelief righteous? Is it always righteous and fair to believe accusations against clergy before all the facts are heard? Do those of us in online media have a responsibility to be as zealous in pursuing the truth on both sides of an issue as we are in advocating for victims? Why or why not?
2. The goal of church discipline is always rehabilitative and restorative, not retributive. The church isn’t in the business of being punitive. If yours is, you’re in the wrong church.
3. The reason homosexuality is poised to become an even bigger issue in the church is that this is the first time that the culture has declared an established tenet of the faith to be potentially illegal.
4. Any liturgy that speaks of people as “worms” doesn’t understand the biblical doctrine of adoption.
5. The SGM mess isn’t an indictment of Calvinism…it’s a reflection of what happens in any denomination when there is no mechanism for justice and the power is centered in a network of a few.
6. I do wonder if the complete stifling of any female voice adds to the institutional problems in places like SGM and CC…
7. ”It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are – even if we tell it only to ourselves – because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing….” – Frederick Buechner
8.“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”(2 Corinthians 1:8–11 ESV)
For those of you (like myself) who find ourselves being crushed on every side, listen up. You need to stop relying on yourself and rely on God…who has the power to raise dead dreams and dead hopes as well as dead people.Those resurrections happen…and are happening and will certainly happen. The more of us who pray for each other, the more people who will be giving thanks when God answers.
9. There is no amount of power or money that could move me to cover the abuse of a child. Period.
10. Nobody in the last 500 years of Western culture has a more undeservedly bad reputation than John Calvin. The reason for this is that two of his enemies wrote scathingly slanderous books about him and those books have been quoted as gospel ever since. How much more power do we have today to build and destroy a persons reputation in a world where once something is online it is online forever?
Yours—we gladly assert—are the heavens and the earth.
It is you who made all that is,
sun, moon, stars,
rivers, forests, fish—
We say, “in your image.”
Yours the kingdom and the power and the glory—and then us.
You do not will us to be powerless either,
so you endow us with power to work
We reflect you in our working
in our ruling
in our governing.
Ours is the chance for justice and/or injustice
for mercy and/or rigor
for peace and/or war.
We grow accustomed to our power,
and then are interrupted by the
doxology on which we have bet everything:
Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. And we are glad.