John Piper (Untimely Meditations or Unfashionable Observations)

By Lee Karl Palo

© 2013 Lee Karl Palo

You know you are a Bible-geek when you get your N.T. Wright books autographed by him.

You know you are a Bible-geek when you get your N.T. Wright books autographed by him.

I love the Bible. I am a Bible-geek. As such I have grown fond of many authors who have helped me gain a better understanding of the Bible. N.T. Wright is great for this! Awhile back his views on Romans came under fire by John Piper, so N.T. Wright wrote a book-length response. I have always loved talking about the Bible with many of my customers, and on one occasion I was talking with my friend UAC Archbishop Parlotz about the debate between Piper and Wright. He made the keen observation that Piper and others of his theological persuasion follow the Reformers’ theology, while N.T. Wright follows the Bible.

Archbishop Robert Parlotz and me

Archbishop Robert Parlotz and me

Bible scholarship evolves over time, and there are some very exciting recent discoveries that help us better understand the Bible. Thus it is kind of ironic that the Protestant principle of scripture as the authority for Christian faith has been abandoned by Piper in favor of the Reformers’ understanding of the Bible.

This week John Piper has made a rather insensitive remark about the Tornado in Oklahoma. In this case I am very grateful to Rachel Held Evans for her thoughtful response to John Piper’s theology. I would highly suggest reading it. Though she is concerned that she may have been too harsh, I feel that she is spot-on. It is hard to know when to be the prophet, speaking truth to power, and when to be the priest, communicating gentler messages of love. In this case the role of the prophet was certainly called for, and I am grateful to Rachel Held Evans for her prophetic message.

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Untimely Meditations or Unfashionable Observations are meant to provoke thought. They are not necessarily meant to convey the author’s actual opinion, and may be hypothetical in nature. The style is inspired by a certain oft-misunderstood European philosopher of the late 19th Century (he would have preferred to be called a European philosopher rather than a German philosopher) – “Dionysus.”

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© 2013 Lee Karl Palo

leekarlpalo@gmail.com

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