Piper's Guarantee

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by swaimj, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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    From the preface of John Piper's recent book Don't Waste Your Life:
    When Jesus preached, as it is recorded in the gospels, and when Paul preached, as it is recorded in Acts, there were three groups. Some believed, some rejected, and some wanted to hear more later. Apparently, Piper thinks that when he writes, rejection of the message is not an option. Hmmm. Why the difference?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    When Jesus preached, as it is recorded in the gospels, and when Paul preached, as it is recorded in Acts, there were three groups. Some believed, some rejected, and some wanted to hear more later. Apparently, Piper thinks that when he writes, rejection of the message is not an option. Hmmm. Why the difference? </font>[/QUOTE]Because those who want to hear later are "rejecting" in the present. Therefore they are rejectors of the message. Read what Piper said: "God is now calling you ..." That means that if you do not accept "now" you are rejecting "now." I haven't seen this book so I am unfamiliar with it. But I think your statement that Piper thinks rejection of the message is not an option is not found in the stuff you quoted above.
     
  3. William C

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    I often wondered about this. Calvinist seem to insists that no one seeks after God to the point that if someone does show any kind of sign as being the least bit interested in the things of God then they must be elect, otherwise they wouldn't have shown that desire to know more.

    Romans 10-11, teaches that no man seeks God, it never says no man can respond to God's messages.

    This is like saying, no one has the ability to make a phone call to God and assuming from that statement that no one has the ability to answer the phone when it rings either. And if they do answer the phone they couldn't possibly refuse to listen and obey God's calling. This is simply not true.

    Larry, I think the part of Piper's quote that is in question is the part where he says, "You wouldn't have picked up this book if God wasn't already working in you." This makes it seem as if it would be impossible for a "non-elect" to even show interest in the gospel. Do you believe this?
     
  4. swaimj

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    If I saw some charismatic tele-vangelist claim that everyone who watches his show gets saved, I would question it.

    If I hand out a gospel tract, can I anticipate that the fact that they read it means that God is at work in their life and they WILL get saved?

    Yet, Piper is saying that everyone who reads his book will get saved is he not? He is either confused or he is making a statement that is very misleading.

    BTW, I have not finished reading the book, but I have enjoyed what I have read so far. The quote is the second paragraph of the preface and is hardly the point of the book. I just have to tweak Calvinists once in a while when they say dumb things! [​IMG]
     
  5. William C

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    That can become a full time job if you're not careful. ;)
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    I don't have the first clue what Piper is really saying or meaning by it. I really don't. I guess my point is that I would not assume that he is granting three categories of people. I do believe that people seek falsely, that is not from the effectual calling of the Holy Spirit (don't start an argument here; just accept my terms for the sake of argument [​IMG] ). Just as in the gospels many followed for the wrong reasons, so it is possible today that some do. Ultimately, when someone picks up a book, they have some level of interest. We do not know what spawns that interest or how deep that interest is. It may be merely philosophical or general. It may be more specific. Who knows???

    Without reading Piper's book I don't know how to take this statement. At face value, it is probably not the way that I would have said it. I might have said something along the lines of "If you are picking up this book, you have shown some level of interest in the topic." Ultimately, I don't really see this as a Calvinist/arminians issue since I think "seeking" is defined different ways. When the calvinists says that no one "seeks" after God apart from God, I think they are using the term specifically. When arminians say people "seek after God" I think they are using it more generally. I usually say that all men seek after the concept of God. Only those being effectually called by the Spirit seek after the true God. But again, this should not be discussion about teh effectual call, per se.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    John is a godly pastor and gifted communicator, but I think we are wresting this out of the whole context of the book.

    God "calls" in a general sense every creature. God "calls" in a regenerative sense His own. Piper knows that. So do we all.

    Just because someone is led to pick up a book is not in the biblical sense a sign of regeneration. Sorry to disagree with him.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Actually, we "all" don't. There are several here who have found ways to get around those parts of Scripture.
     
  9. William C

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    Actually, we "all" don't. There are several here who have found ways to get around those parts of Scripture. </font>[/QUOTE]What "parts" of scripture teach that there are two separate calls of God? You gather this from two very fague passages that can clearly been interpreted in two different ways. It sure seems to me that if Paul knew of a general and effectual calling that he would have spent just a little bit of time expounding upon that, doesn't it?

    I mean think about it. One call has no effect on any one without the other. Doesn't that sound important enough to at least devote one chapter to? Your doctine of dual callings is based upon a very weak and questionable foundation.
     
  10. swaimj

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    Below is my reproduction the entire preface of the book. I have highlighted the sections which I see as inconsistent with Calvinism as I understand it.
    I printed all of this because I want to demonstrate that I am not taking Piper out of context.

    I also wanted to demonstrate that the Calvinist system of theology presents tremendous obstacles to presenting the gospel. In order to state the offer of salvation, even a great scholar and a lucid writer like Piper is forced to either step outside of the Calvinistic points in his presentation or to soften their meaning.
     
  11. William C

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    This is a great point Swaimj!

    When a Calvinist preaches can he ever honestly say, "Jesus Loves you." or "Christ died for you?"
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Key words being "as I understand it." Without being offensive, and knowing where you come from, it is safe to say that what you have been taught is not really what we believe.

    Again, perhaps you should have stated it as stepping outside of what you have been taught, rather than what Calvinism is really all about. I love Calvinism becuase it gives real hope in sharing the gospel. I do not have to compromise one iota of it. I do not have to soften the meaning of it. Perhaps othes do. I pity them. I preach the gospel as it is in Scripture and that is what is usually known as Calvinism. Just this morning, I shared the gospel over breakfast with a lady who owns a restaurant down the street and has been coming on Sunday nights to church since I preached her mother's funeral. It is a wonderful thing to know that the gospel is performing its work.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Absolutely. You should know that. You have been around here long enough.
     
  14. William C

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    Absolutely. You should know that. You have been around here long enough. </font>[/QUOTE]I never remember this question, that doesn't mean it hasn't been discussed--I just may not have read it, so please refresh my memory.

    How does a Calvinists say to a large group of people that Christ died for you when he knows that someone in that room may not have been elected?
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Because the death of Christ is sufficient for all. All men, whether elect or not, benefit in some way from the death of Christ.
     
  16. ScottEmerson

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    how does a non-elect person benefit?
     
  17. KenH

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    From James P. Boyce's Abstract of Systematic Theology:

    3. Another statement upon this subject may prove more satisfactory, although it embraces no more than is actually implied in the above extract from Dr. Hodge. It has only the advantage of recognizing more explicitly the relation of the atoning work of Christ both to the world and to the elect; a relation clearly indicated to be such that he can be called, in some general sense, the Saviour of all men, though he bears this relation more especially to those who believe. 1 Tim. 4:10. The statement suggested is, that while, for the Elect, he made an actual atonement, by which they were actually reconciled to God, and, because of which, are made the subjects of the special divine grace by which they become believers in Christ and are justified through him; Christ, at the same time, and in the same work, wrought out a means of reconciliation for all men, which removed every legal obstacle to their salvation, upon their acceptance of the same conditions upon which the salvation is given to the Elect. According to this statement:

    1. Christ did actually die for the salvation of all, so that he might be called the Saviour of all; because his work is abundantly sufficient to secure the salvation of all who will put their faith in him.

    2. Christ died, however, in an especial sense for the Elect; because he procured for them not a possible, but an actual salvation.

    3. The death of Christ opens the way for a sincere offer of salvation by God to all who will accept the conditions he has laid down.

    4. That same death, however, secures salvation to the Elect, because by it Christ also obtained for them those gracious influences, by which they will be led to comply with those conditions.

    5. The work of Christ, contemplated as securing the means of reconciliation, is a full equivalent to all that the advocates of a general atonement claim; for they do not suppose that more than this was done for mankind in general, while Calvinists readily recognize that this much has been done for all.

    6. But, while the making of an actual atonement for the Elect is not inconsistent with the securing of a method of atonement for all the assertion that such was the special work done for them complies with the nature of the atonement as heretofore seen and shows how Christ could be especially their Saviour, and also the Saviour of all.
     
  18. swaimj

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    Pastor Larry said...
    ...and...
    But Pastor Larry, this thread is not about where I have been or by whom I have been taught and it is not about you and how you feel about calvinism. This thread is about Piper and what he said. Earlier, when I posted his quote in stand-alone fashion you said "I don't have the first clue what Piper is really saying or meaning by it. I really don't." Now that I have provided his quote in its entirety, perhaps you can evaluate it better and speak to it. Dr. Bob is a calvinist and he was able to evaluate it. What say you?
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Life, breath, and all things, rain on the just and unjust, etc. In other words, the only basis for God's not immediately destroying every sinful thing is the atonement of Christ. God can not deal with sinful humanity in anyway apart from the contemplation of his satisfaction. Common grace is what it is usually called.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    My point was that it seems your particular background has colored your understanding in a way that it has not colored mine. I don't see it the same way that you do, but I am not burdened with your mindset about CAlvinism. I am burdened with my own. It colors the way that I see what he wrote. Of course mine is the correct one :D ... Seriously, the presuppositions that we bring to the table affect how we see it. That is all my point was.

    I will try to take a look at what he says and comment on it. It will have to be a little later. I have a bunch to get done today to get ready for my fishing trip tomorrow. Look for some big northern pike and a few bass ... Come to papa ... [​IMG]
     

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