21 November 2014

Some here, some there — November 21, 2014

by Dan Phillips

Here's the first burst. I'll start some major adds after my Bible etc. reading, so check back. Priorities!

  • I go to Doug Wilson's site daily. But it may be a week, two or three, before something grabs me. Then when Doug's in the ten-ring, he is just In. The. Ten. Ring. Like this brilliant takedown of Greg Boyd.
  • Friends don't let friends indulge their revulsion against God's sovereignty. See Pinnock. See Boyd. See a host of others.
  • It often seems to be the case that when Doug is brilliant, he's brilliant by clusters. So the above was followed soon thereafter by Remanded to Sensitivity Camps, which is, well, brilliant. It's a thought from the same seedbed as this post, which even Challies admitted seeing.
  • Which makes it hard not also to recall:
  • Pause to reflect on the commentary that subsequent history added to both Tweets.
  • Now, to be fair: if anyone knows of any retractions and apologies — which is to say, any welcome deviations from PA#2 — let me know so that I can share.
  • Not related, and not theological, but still fairly awesome.
  • To us:
  • To the Pope:
  • In between? Don't know.
  • Used to be that Multnomah Press was a sure sign of Biblically-faithful Christian books. No longer. But in a rarity, the publisher is splitting into two labels, to deal with conservative titles and those that aren't so much. They're being up-front with buyers, that some of their titles are going away from Biblical fidelity. You know, just like Eerdmans, Baker, and Zondervan didn't.
  • Remember how Houston's lesbian mayor Annise Parker was seeking sermons and correspondence from some local pastors touching on homosexuality, her conduct in office, related matters? Remember how her legal team launched it, she doubled down, then she retracted? Turns out it seems to be ongoing.

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20 November 2014

"Remember Lot's Wife"

by Phil Johnson


From 2006 to 2012, PyroManiacs turned out almost-daily updates from the Post-Evangelical wasteland -- usually to the fear and loathing of more-polite and more-irenic bloggers and readers. The results lurk in the archives of this blog in spite of the hope of many that Google will "accidentally" swallow these words and pictures whole.

This feature enters the murky depths of the archives to fish out the classic hits from the golden age of internet drubbings.


The following excerpt was written by Phil back in November 2011. Phil used the account of Lot's wife to remind us of the dangers and consequences of "loving the world."


As usual, the comments are closed.
Lot began his career as a tent-dweller like Abraham. But after he parted from his uncle, Genesis 13:12 says "he pitched his tent toward Sodom." Soon he moved into the city and became comfortable there.

In fact, Lot apparently became a man of some importance in the community, because Genesis 19:1 says "Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom"—which tells us that he ultimately became a kind of civic official there. To have a claim on that place, you had to be someone of importance, recognized by everyone in the city.

As much as he may have enjoyed the comforts of city life, he never felt at home in Sodom. Peter tells us Lot's righteous soul was vexed every day by the wickedness of that city's rampant perversions (2 Peter 2:7-8). No matter how settled Lot became in Sodom, his heart was never at home in that city. He never came to love the debauchery and evil indulgences that characterized that place.

Mrs. Lot was different. She was attached to Sodom. If that city was not her home when Lot married her, it became her home in every sense. She grew to love to the place. No matter how evil it was, she did not want to leave. She probably loved being the wife of a prominent person in such a sophisticated, morally liberated city. There is no suggestion that her soul was vexed by the wickedness there.

First John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." That was precisely the thing that caused Mrs. Lot's downfall. She loved Sodom.

Why did she love that evil place so much? Because the love of the Father was not in her. Her values were worldly values. The things she loved were worldly things. She was a friend of the world, and therefore she was an enemy of God. And when faced with the necessity of fleeing a world that was perishing, with the way of divine deliverance open before her, she could not tear herself away from what she really loved.

Here is the danger of such a wayward love: First John 2 goes on to say, "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

You can think about it like this: you will spend eternity with whatever you truly love the most. If your heart is fixed on the things of the Lord; if you love righteousness; if you find your sweetest joy in fellowship with Him, that's where you will be throughout eternity. But if your affections are set on the things of this world, if what really delights you the most is the things that are passing away—if your life is characterized by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life—then like Lot's wife you will perish in the destruction of all that you truly love.

19 November 2014

Pitting Holiness against Holiness

by The Late Frank Turk

As most of you know, I spent most of my childhood reading comic books in the peace and quiet of my room.  On one of those days, my youngest brother came in looking for some affection from his older brother who had his head in a comic book, and the lad innocently asked, "Frank: Who would win in a fight - the Hulk, or Captain America?"

Now: of course Cap would win in a fight, but that is not the point of this brief blog post.  The point is to look with some bewilderment at the question "Which is better: Justification or Sanctification?"

Some of you right now are recognizing that this post is reworked from another one which can't be found anymore on the internet, but I thought the matter was good enough to bring it back from oblivion.  Why? Because the point of theology is not to pit holinesss against holiness to see which one will win -- or whether one or the other is made less for its lack of victory.

Paul, to avoid that sort of untoward dismay, put it this way to good Timothy: "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."  In Paul's view, it was not a question of whether justification was better than sanctification: rather, it was that justification created sanctification, and those who were teaching and doing otherwise were jangling in vain.

Of course Jesus comes first; of course we are nothing but sinful wretches without him; of course good works do not save us and we have no confidence in them for that.  But for us to say that the good works are therefore not "better" than that which makes them possible seems to forget that we are justified for the sake of doing good works, or as Paul also said, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

When my brother asked me if a Gamma-Ray mutant could smash the Sentinel of Liberty, he was asking me a question to show how much he knew about something I definitely loved.  He was trying to connect with me over something which should be some common ground -- and at 5 years old, he didn't realize it wasn't the smashing which we both enjoyed most of all.  There's something like that going on here.  I think those of us who are in various stages of reformed intoxication ought to be careful of it. We should be much more worried that we have idolized one kind of holiness in such a way that it has dismantled and buried another kind of holiness which God says is part of the total package.  It leads us to say things like, "my sanctification is more imaged than real," which is an explicit denial of WCF XVI.2 and XVI.3 -- not to mention the letter of James and the last half of the letter to the Galatians.

While we may affectionately ask the question which is "better" in order to establish our bona fides amongst ourselves, the truth is that somehow the thing which ought to be caused is the way we do the things God expects us to do -- and it causes the ordinary grace God has ordained in this world which shows the lost who God really is.

We certainly have an invisible and invincible holiness, but if it doesn't cause a holiness which the world sees and is conflicted over -- that is, one with a beauty it cannot deny, but also it cannot resist hating -- what kind of holiness is that?

This brings to mind another personal anecdote.  When my son was a baby, he was of course the most precious and fantastic child ever born (until his sister was born, at which time I was overcome by the number of perfect children God had given me and my wife) -- but he was also quite perplexed by vocabulary.  For example, every kind of non-vegetable was called "chicken".  And in this state of minimalistic linguistic development, he was frequently out of words for what he meant to say or what he wanted to say -- so much so that he quickly mastered one phrase with gusto: "I! CAN'T! DO! IT!"

This occurred to me recently as he went on a ministry trip with his youth pastor and some of his guys to the local juvenile detention center to share the Gospel with some of the fellows there.  As we debriefed on the way home, my dear lad was telling me of this young fellow he spoke with who said he accepted Jesus, but wasn't sure that he was ready to turn away from sin.  This young fellow confided to my son, "I guess I just have to do better."

My boy had been waiting for more than 15 years to say this to a person for a theological reason, and he was quite proud to tell me that his response to this incarcerated fellow was, "But you! can't! do it!"

Which, of course, sounds a lot like reformed theology -- or at least one kind of reformed theology.  Of course nobody over here affirms that we do anything for justification, or denies that even the regeneration necessary to receive justification is God's work.  But sometimes (as we visited above) we get it in our heads that because we cannot earn justification, justification is better than sanctification, and that somehow being holy ought to cause us to be unburdened by actually being holy.  Because that fellow in prison thought that his participation in the holiness God gives to those who are in Christ is optional, or some kind of hobby, he sounds suspiciously like someone who says something like, "I am so thankful for my right standing with God because, after all, my sanctification is more imagined than real. But my justification is more real than imagined."

Compare that to Spurgeon's recent tweet in the same vein:


Spurgeon doesn't say his sanctification is mostly imaginary: he says that sin becomes more obvious and our grief over it increases as we draw nearer to God.  Paul, the greatest of sinners (he says), doesn't for a moment doubt he is not yet perfect -- but he also doesn't see that as a ground for saying that his justification is somehow better than his sanctification (or vice versa).  It seems to me that the same fellow who wrote 1Tim 1:15 also wrote 1Cor 11:1a.  For Paul, it's not a question of which is better -- one adorns the other, and one causes or draws out the other.  They are both necessary, and one is not a Christian without both.

So as my boy and I discussed this fellow in prison who is not ready to "try harder," we didn't discuss the fantastic irony and religious metaphor he found.  We discussed the idea that while we don't do a thing to be saved by God -- the saving is all of God -- saved people have something right now to show for this salvation.  We aren't pitting an eternal decree of holiness against an immediate inclination toward holy deeds, or shouldn't be anyway.  We are glorifying God, and enjoying him for ever, starting right now.







18 November 2014

Here, let me help you help yourself

by Dan Phillips

FirstWe get inquiries all the time like "What is an RPB?" and "Have you written on ____?" I'm here to help you with that.

We know readers (surely!) don't expect us to drop everything and do their searching for them, or re-write what we've already put out in public. But perhaps they lack some skills for finding the information they're after fairly easily, themselves.

Here's the easiest way to do it, as simply as I can put it. Let's say you're asking "What's an RPB?"
  1. Go to Google.
  2. In the Search field, type RPB site:teampyro.blogspot.com.
  3. Click on the Google Search button, and voila! there's your answer.
You can use that formula for any other word or topic. Just substitute prophecy or schmerodactyl whatever for RPB in the example, above.

If you're using Chrome, it's even easier. If the address field above doesn't already say teampyro.blogspot.com, then just click on our banner at the top and it will. Then stick in RPB site: to the left of the address, and do your search from there.

In either case, Google will search for the word or words you type to the left of "site." If you want to search for an exact phrase, put it in quotation-marks, like so:

"leaky canon" site:teampyro.blogspot.com

SecondWe also get, "Do you have an email address?"

Well, of course we do. And they're public-knowledge.

Click on our names in the side-column. Frank's takes you to a page that lists an email address. Mine takes you to my personal blog where, in the side column, you'll actually see a link that says "My profile, email, the whole nine." Which is kind of a giveaway

This is partly to help you, and partly to save Frank and myself time, so...

You're welcome!

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16 November 2014

Your creed must bend to the Bible

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from Words of Counsel, pages 35-36. Pilgrim Publications.
The path of obedience is generally a middle path. “Turn not from it, to the right hand or to the left.”


There is sure to be a right hand, there is sure to be a left hand, and both are probably wrong. There will be extremes on either side. I believe that this is true in ten thousand things in ordinary life, and also true, in spiritual things in very many respects.

The path of truth in doctrine is generally a middle one. There are certain tremendous truths, such as divine sovereignty, the doctrine of election, covenant transactions, and so forth; and some men cast such a loving eye upon these truths that they desire to be, and are, quite blind to all other truths besides.

These great and precious doctrines take up the whole field of their vision, and another and equally valuable part of God’s Word is either left unread, or else twisted round into some supposed reconciliation with the first-named truths.

Then, again, there are others who think much of man. They have deep sympathy with the human race. They see man’s sin and ruin, and they are much charmed with the mercy of God and the invitations of the gospel which are given to sinners, and they become so entranced with these truths in connection with the responsibility of man, and man’s free agency, that they will see nothing else, and declare all other doctrines, except these, to be delusions.

If they admit the doctrines of grace to be true, they think them valueless, but they generally consider them to be untrue altogether.

It seems to me that the path of truth is to believe them both; to hold firmly that salvation is by grace, and to hold with equal firmness that the ruin of any man is wholly and entirely his own fault; to maintain the sovereignty of God, and to hold the responsibility of man also; to believe in the free agency of both God and man; neither to dishonour God by making Him a lacquey to His creatures’ will, nor, on the other hand, to rid man of all responsibility, by making him to be a mere log or a machine.

Take all that is in the Bible to be true. Never be afraid of any text that is written by the sacred pen. When you turn the pages over, I do hope you never feel as if you wish that any verse could be altered. I trust you never desire that any text might be amended so as to read a little more Calvinistic, or a little more like the teaching of Arminius.

Always stand to it that your creed must bend to the Bible, and not the Bible to your creed, and dare to be a little inconsistent with yourselves, if need be, sooner than be inconsistent with God’s revealed truth.



15 November 2014

Annual Turkey Recipe

By Frank Turk

Just a picture from the Internet
I'm trying to escape the tradition of posting this too late for you to use it, so I'm tossing it up as a weekend extra.  For those who are opposed to Turkey, it also works great on Chicken.  It makes utterly-lousy Pizza.

You do not have to be "truly reformed" to use this recipe. You just have to like Turkey and stuffing.

Roasting a turkey isn't as hard as it sounds. Here's a basic recipe to get you started. In this case, the turkey is stuffed. DO NOT stuff the turkey and put it in the fridge overnight: that's bacteriologically a bad idea, and we want you all to enjoy Thanksgiving on the sofa, not on a hospital gurney.

Ingredients:

12- to 14-lb. turkey, thawed if purchased frozen
1 bag, your favorite "Italian" croutons
2-4 bouillon cubes
2-3 stalks, celery, chopper or cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
½ cup onions, finely chopped
1 tsp, dried parsley
1 cup, cashews
Pepper and Garlic Salt

STEPS:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325. Remove the cooking racks, then place one rack into oven at the lowest position.
  2. Unwrap your THAWED Turkey in a clean sink, and remove the giblets – that bag of stuff that you never thought you would use for anything because it looks gross. It's not gross. You may have to unhook the metal clip which holds the legs together in order to get all the giblets out; you may have to run some warm water into the bird to get the giblets out. Don't be afraid.
  3. Start a medium-sized pot of water boiling – not more than 3 cups. Put your packet of giblets in the water (sans wrapping paper), along with your bouillon cubes and the carrots, celery and parlsey. 2 cubes will make a somewhat-mild flavored stuffing; 6 will make a very salty and spicy stuffing. You know what you like best, so add the cubes to the low end of your tolerance for spicy. For your reference, I usually use 4 cubes. Boil this mix for about 30 minutes – long enough to cook the giblets thoroughly.
  4. While the soup (yes: you very smart readers knew that we were making soup, didn't you?) is cooking, wash the Turkey thoroughly, inside and out. I wouldn't use soap as you might miss a spot in the rinse and ruin your hours of hard work here, but washing the bird is an important health safety tip. If we were deep frying the bird (that's the Christmas recipe), washing is pretty much unimportant because if some germ can survive the deep fryer, it will kill you before you eat any of the dinner. Anyway, clean the bird thoroughly and put it in a large roasting pan. For this recipe, the deeper the roasting pan, the better. I suggest a large disposable roasting pan from WAL*MART even though it might possibly ring up at the wrong price.

    If you get bored waiting for the soup to finish up, this would be a good time to rub salt and pepper into the skin of your bird. Visually, salt and pepper the skin so that it looks like very light TV static. Do the top (the breast side) and the bottom (where the shoulders are); do not worry if you put less on the breast side. Because of the way this bird is going to cook, pay special attention to salting and peppering the wings and drumsticks.
  5. You now have a clean, prepped bird and a very delicious-smelling pot of soup. You have to make stuffing now. Remove the soup from the heat and remove the giblets. If you are a complete carnivore (like me), take the fully-cooked giblets to your food chopper and chop them up and put them back into the soup (you can't chop up the neck, but if you have 20 minutes, de-bone the neck and put your neck meat into the soup).

    Those of you grossed out by chopping up the giblets can throw them away. The rest of us will weep for you.

    Now empty the bag of croutons into the soup. If you used about 2 cups of water, you will get a somewhat-damp bread-and-soup mixture; if you used about 3 cups of water, you will get a very wet bread-and-soup mixture. I like the latter better, but some people like their stuffing more dry than others. The extraordinary secret here is that a soupier stuffing makes for a more-moist bird in the final product. After the soup and the bread are well- mixed, add the cashews and mix again.
  6. When you have this mixing complete, use a tablespoon and start loading the stuffing into the bird. Pack the stuffing down into the bird to get the cavity of the body completely full of stuffing. Don't leave any air pockets. Once the Turkey is completely stuffed, position it in the roasting tray breast-side down (I learned that from watching Emeril) in the center of the pan, and load the pan with the rest of your stuffing mix.
  7. Cover the Turkey, and place it inside your oven. After 2 hours in the heat, remove the cover and roast for another hour. In this final hour, the skin of the exposed parts should turn golden brown. At the end of the third hour, test the bird with a meat thermometer; the center temperature should be 175-180 degrees F. It will be the most unbelievable bird you every ate.

14 November 2014

John Piper and Mark Driscoll: lessons not learned?

by Dan Phillips

NOTE: this week's SHST is pushed aside by a recent turn of events. To wit:

A recent "Ask Pastor John" segment is titled "Do You Regret Partnering with Mark Driscoll?" An answer to that question could have been very helpful. However, once the question is asked, the word "partnering" never recurs. Piper instead poses and answers a question of his own: "Do you regret befriending Mark Driscoll?"

I don't doubt that question was more appealing. Low-hanging fruit always is. However, it is is a question I've heard no one ask. I asked my Tweeps if anyone had heard that question asked, and no one had. (I also offered some other thoughtlets on Twitter: here, here.)

"John Piper has no regret for befriending Mark Driscoll," Piper said Bob-Dole-ically, answering the question he alone asked himself. Piper did go on to admit that he regrets not being a more effective friend. But then Piper somewhat undoes that admission, by saying that Mark knew he had flaws of leadership attitude, unsavory language, exegetical errors, and that Mark knew Piper knew. Piper says he always hoped the relationship would be redemptive and helpful. So it's really Driscoll's fault. Which, of course, ultimately is true...and, once again, was not the question.

Then, somewhat oddly, Piper stressed that Driscoll gave Piper a lot of time and counsel and "guidance." Driscoll gave guidance to Piper and his elders. "He certainly gave me more time and counsel than I deserved." Oh? What is this? Taken seriously, this rather subverts the perception that Piper was an elder brother taking Driscoll under his wing to sober, mature, guide and mentor the famously loose-cannon leaky-Canoneer. Instead, Piper depicts them as equals, giving and receiving counsel to each other.

Would that make Piper still less responsible for the direction Driscoll took? Is that the intent?

But this is all wide of the mark (no pun intended). The issue is that Piper had, as far as I know, a well-earned stellar reputation. He was regarded as a sagacious elder statesman. He lit the fires of devotion to God, delight in God, open celebration of God's sovereignty. He did and represented much that is really great and good. I myself have often admitted with enthusiasm (and do so again, here) that Piper's writings have done me great good, particularly Future Grace.

So when Piper extended his embrace to Mark Driscoll, all that gravitas and bona fides was added to Driscoll's resume. Driscoll had been "the cussing pastor" and all; now he was "John Piper's protegee," "John Piper's partner." When anyone started to express misgivings about Driscoll, he might hear the response, "But John Piper embraces him. Piper's working with him. Driscoll must be OK." Driscoll himself had that card to play, as needed.

Good men cautioned Piper privately and publicly, warned him, begged him to reconsider what he was doing. But Piper resolutely brushed them all aside and stayed the course. And so has Driscoll.

So now where are we? We are exactly where Piper's friends warned him he'd be. Driscoll has come to a sad place, yet remains defiant and undaunted, and it's Piper who has to explain their connection.

But Piper still doesn't seem to take it all that seriously.

In a way, Piper seems to ackonwlege that things are sort of bad now, though for unspecified reasons. Piper says he sees why Driscoll's books might be off of shelves temporarily. Yet he also immediately goes on to say he sees a day when they could be replaced and stand on their own merit. Which underscores something I'm going to say, below, about "echo-chamber":

Before we leave that paragraph, Piper says, "If he is disqualified from being an elder should he still exercise the teaching office of an elder through his books?" "If"? Is he, or isn't he? Driscoll himself insists that he is not disqualified. His hand-picked committee that was supposed to be counseling him insists that "we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry." Is Piper saying differently? If so, he is not saying it very clearly.

Despite all that publicly known information, what Piper does say clearly is that he has "no regret." Hear Piper:
John Piper has no regret for befriending Mark Driscoll, going to Mark Driscoll’s church and speaking at his events, or having him come to the Desiring God conference. I do not regret that.
Instead, Piper sees himself as in a position to issue lessons that he says he has learned, and which he says we should all take from the whole affair. Having admitted no errors in judgment, and detailing nothing specific that he would do differently, he's ready to bid adieu to the whole thing, it appears, with this list. Here it is, and I shall add my own brief thoughts in brackets:
  1. People are very complex. Some of our sins are hidden to ourselves. [Amen. But I didn't need this, to know that; and all the harm that has been done was not necessary for this point to be made.]
  2. We need to take very seriously what wise counselors tell us about ourselves. [Ironic. The advice of wise counselors to Piper himself that he should distance himself from Driscoll, or be more public in his rebukes, apparently is excepted.]
  3. Sometimes you can see what others are saying about yourself, sometimes you can't. If you see it, you repent and fight the sin. But if you can't? What then? You have to go with what you see, or you'd be hopping to everybody's varying opinion, something neither Paul nor Jesus did. Says Mark stood down instead of a fight (implying he did the right thing). [This paints Driscoll's stepping down as a noble act, given Driscoll's inability to get what his critics are saying. Putting it mildly, I do not see it that way.]
  4. Biblical leadership structures are not luxuries. [Amen. Yet Driscoll was unwilling to follow the counsel even of his hand-restructured structure.]
  5. Salaries shouldn't be huge. Corporate mindset, beware. [Like a pastor seeing himself as "the brand"?]
  6. Same theology on paper can coexist with very different personalities and leadership styles and sins. No theology on paper or merely in preaching that keeps a man from sin. See Peter — what he did in Galatia had nothing to do with his theology. Peter and those who erred with him believed the truth, but did not walk in step with it. [Amen.]
  7. God's kingdom and his saving purposes never depend on one man, church, denomination. His word is not bound. [Amen, and thank God. But is it not also true that "one sinner destroys much good" (Ecclesiastes 9:18)?]
  8. Let him who is thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall; restore such a one. For Mark's detractors to sniff "Good riddance" is sin and un-Biblical.  Renew and restore all, including Mark. [Already? It's time to talk about restoring Driscoll, already? To what? After what process? After assuring ourselves of what, and how? Should repentance play a part in restoration? Shouldn't we be talking about what repentance looks like (— like this, and this, and this, and this) before moving on to restoration?]
I'm not reassured to see that Piper thinks these are the main lessons he should learn from this. He did not already know these things? If not, what would he have done differently, knowing them?

Here are the lessons I'd like to suggest might be more helpful to learn from this. Were I someone whose judgment meant anything to John Piper, I'd be putting this before him:
  1. To whom much given, from him much is required (Lk. 12:48; Jas. 3:1). Piper should have been much, much slower to extend his good reputation to someone with such a genuine and palpable cloud around him (1 Ti. 5:22, 24). Piper made a mistake. I have no trouble believing that it was good-hearted and well-intentioned, but it was a mistake. I think it he should own it, not double-down about it. That would serve him and the church better.
  2. To turn a deaf ear to wise and godly counsel, as Piper did, is not wise (Pro. 11:14; 12:15; 15:22; 26:12).
  3. Widen your circle and get out of your bubble. The echo-chamber clearly did not get the word through to Piper. They did not serve him well. So I'll just say it, and take the hate that will come: what if Piper had read Pyro? What if he'd really thought about what (for instance) Phil Johnson was writing, years ago? What if Piper were to say, "Someone pointed me to this blog nobody'd ever told me of, it's called Pyromaniacs. Years ago, Phil Johnson and others warned that exactly this would happen. I wish I'd been reading and listening; I've learned I need to widen my circle among those sharing my core convictions but seeing things differently. I regret that I didn't do that then, and urge others not to repeat my mistake." Would that be constructive, specific, and perhaps admonitory to others who keep making the same sorts of errors?
  4. Re-think your enabling of Charismaticism. And then withdraw it. If you had read this (and additional comments like this and this), and had thought it through, you would have seen. Please, please consider what I am about to say very slowly and very seriously: there is a very short and straight line between (A) thinking God tells you stuff He tells no one else, yet (B) taking no responsibility and accepting no consequences for your claims to such revelation, and (C) abusive, egotistic, narcissistic, damaging leadership. History's told many such tales, and you just witnessed another firsthand. With such rotten fruit, shouldn't the tree be reassessed?
  5. Force yourself to admit the extent of the damage caused.
I don't begrudge Piper's befriending Driscoll, for my part. I have been befriended by men much, much, much better than I. Thank God for them. I feel like they're all slumming, having me for a friend. So what I do is (A) I try to learn all I can from them, and (B) I try not to make them regret their friendship.

So what I am sad about is Driscoll abusing the friendship Piper extended. And what I particularly regret is that Piper simply is not admitting the extent of the bad public decisions he made, the damage that resulted, and the utter preventability of the whole thing.

Which simply assures more iterations. And does nothing to correct the specific situation we're discussing.

Thus endeth the post that, of all my many posts, I probably most hated having to write. I hope it does someone some good, for the sake of Christ's name and church.

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