Paul's Passing Thoughts

Followers of John Piper Continue to be Confused by Him; This Time it’s Gun Control

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 29, 2015

JohnPiperIf you’re going to call yourself something, you ought to know what it is. Few Protestants know what a Protestant is, fewer Calvinists know what a Calvinist is, and most followers of John Piper are completely clueless in regard to what he really believes. Even the who’s who of evangelical academia bemoan things he often says with verbiage like, “Has anybody seen the real John Piper lately?” Uh, trust me, few that follow him have ever seen the real John Piper to begin with.

His latest attention getting controversy concerns an article he wrote on gun control. Apparently, according to a review of the article by Conservative Tribune, Piper believes Christians should disarm. However, the review also states that “Piper’s piece sent a shockwave through Christian and conservative circles and for good reason. While his heart may well be in the right place, Piper’s piece is full of confused conflations, unreasonable readings, and — heartless as this may sound — an ultimate lack of humanity.”

The review continued by citing specific things that Piper said in the article that are clearly a direct contradiction to the plain sense of Scripture. And that’s where I am going to park in regard to the main point of this post. Few followers of John Piper understand his position on state of being; in other words, how he interprets reality. By no means will the full scope of his philosophy be addressed here, but I will address his frequent poo-pooing of the plain sense of Scripture. There is a reason why this happens, and one would think this to be fairly evident.

Piper continually defies the plain sense of Scripture because he is an authentic Protestant. Do you want to find the real John Piper? Then find out what Protestantism was really about. The Protestant Reformation was totally about a whole new way of interpreting state of being and reality. I am going to keep this as simple as I can: it is the difference between “words mean things,” and interpreting all reality through a single prism. Protestantism was founded on interpreting ALL reality through the cross. This is sometimes known as the historical-redemptive hermeneutic which many believe to be a way of interpreting Scripture, and that is true, but first and foremost it is a way of interpreting reality.

The Reformers believed (and again, I am keeping this simple) that all of reality is a metaphysical story (meta narrative) about redemption written by God. So, all of reality is a story prewritten by God. He wrote the story for His own self-love and glory. In order to glorify Himself, he wrote evil into the script to better define His holiness. He created His anti-type, and then glorifies Himself by loving and saving some, and assigning others to eternal torment which also glorifies Him as well. Piper is mentored by the writings of Jonathan Edwards who believed the relatives of the damned would rejoice in regard to their fate because of the glory it would bring God.

Edwards also put feet on cross metaphysics through Idealism philosophy. This is the idea that all of reality is merely perceived in the mind, and all actions begin with an idea or thought. Even though the material world is experienced, it is dependent on mental perception. Hence, by God initiating and creating every first idea, he writes His metaphysical narrative about redemptive history for His own self-love and glory. Also, it is experienced as though we have control in matters of life, but in this interpretation of reality, it is God who creates the first idea of every action that takes place in our minds.

This is why Piper totally disregards biblical examples; that’s not the point. Anything done by the apostle Paul is not an example of what we should do, it’s merely the way God wrote the script. What happens in life, whether good or bad, gives God glory according to what He has predetermined. Hence, we should not be surprised that a “lack of humanity” is perceived in Piper’s writings.

But in the final analysis, it may all be a mute point when truth is based on authority. Perceived truth and personal culpability aren’t the issue, the truth authority of your choice is the issue. Past that, contradictions are totally irrelevant.

Those who care about contradictions shouldn’t be Protestants.


The Protestant Reformation was NEVER About the Bible

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 1, 2014

It was brought to my attention yesterday that Mr. Reformation himself, John Piper, hands down the most popular Calvinist of our day and the “elder statesman” of the Neo-Calvinist movement, stated the following in The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin  ( John Piper, Crossway Books, 2000, page 73):

We need to rethink our reformed doctrine of salvation so that every limb and every branch in the tree is coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight.

This is an outright admission that Plato is the foundation for understanding reality and the Bible. Augustine’s integration of Platonist philosophy with the Bible was well documented by Susan Dohse during the 2013 TANC Conference. Once one pursues knowledge in this information age regarding what was really going on during the Reformation, you see that it was nothing more or less than a philosophy war. You can take that literally because armies in fact brought swords and catapults to the theological debates going on during that time.

So, why did Martin Luther make Sola Scriptura a central focus of the Reformation? Due to the rise of the Age of Reason, the Bible being made readily available to the great unwashed masses was inevitable. Ingenuity invented the printing press, and the handwriting was on the wall. The masses were going to get a Bible in every hut, and it was obvious that Augustinian-like slaughter was not killing people fast enough to prevent mass distribution, so the next best thing was to mandate how people interpret the Bible. That’s what the Heidelberg Disputation was all about. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yes indeed, Scripture alone, but with what interpretation? Not the use of reason. To Luther and the Reformers, a serf believing in the ability to reason is like a toddler playing with a loaded gun. Basically, this is a discussion about grammatical interpretation using reason versus redemptive narrative. Those who would use reason to interpret the Bible were known as the “schoolmen,” and Calvin refers to them 69 times in the Calvin Institutes. The references are not complimentary. Like Luther, Calvin saw the use of reason to interpret the Bible as a rogue hermeneutic and antithetical to Platonist principles of philosophy.

This is an issue that has never been brought to the forefront among Christians for consideration even though most pastors preach via meta-narrative, and most Christians assume the use of reason to reach logical conclusions past, “I am a totally depraved person who can know nothing beyond the foolishness of the cross.” This is why Protestants are the most confused individuals on the face of the earth. Protestant pastors interpret reality in a totally different way than those being led.

And so it goes: Sunday after Sunday, the churches are full of parishioners trying to draw logical conclusions for living from a sermon designed to lead parishioners to one conclusion only: the only thing you can understand is that you cannot understand anything save that you deserve hell, and everything other than that is a an undeserved gift. Principles for living life? What life? Life isn’t for living, it is only to be praised as something done to us, not by us. The only thing we should be doing is hell, not life.

Therefore, if you raise a concern, or ask a question, this immediately reveals the fact that you just don’t get it. You are living for your own glory, and not the glory of the cross story. Knowledge and pride are inseparable, and of course, “pride precedeth a fall.”