God of the Mundane, my Heidelblog review

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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
The end for which we work is important. It is important to get ingrained into christian college kids' heads that they are working for Christ, not for themselves. The primary end of their labor is not to stock their 401k early and often, it is for Christ. That means everything. That means you tithe before you buy the new 3 series.

It's possible most people will land in between. Proverbs also says a godly man leaves an inheritance for his grandkids. No one here is saying we should buy all this cool stuff before we tithe. I am simply saying a good Christian life doesn't have to be on the extremes like Piper and Chan make it out to be.
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
It's possible most people will land in between. Proverbs also says a godly man leaves an inheritance for his grandkids. No one here is saying we should buy all this cool stuff before we tithe. I am simply saying a good Christian life doesn't have to be on the extremes like Piper and Chan make it out to be.

I still think you're caricaturing Piper. As far as I can remember, the man lived in a rather nice house in downtown Minneapolis. If you want to critique the excesses of Chan go for it. But you've lit a rather large Piper looking straw man here.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, I love the fact that you are well read. I learn a lot from you. But there is the issue of a lot of vacillation doctrinally when that happens. I too am an Amil but that term is loaded with a lot of baggage and is relatively new. I don't know a Premil, Progressive Premil, Dispensational Premil, Conditional Immoralists nor Postmil who would say any different. Even the Antinomian would say the same thing. My point is that there is a lot of growing to do when a lot of knowledge is crammed into a soul. I have seen many like you who have fallen away into a poor view of scripture and false doctrine of soteriology. So what, you are an amil. Means nothing in this statement.

It was implied because of my critique of Piper that I was worldly. No one said that, of course, but they all chose anecdotal examples and extreme scenarios, none of which I mentioned.

And I know many postmils who specifically attack the idea of "this world is not my home."
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I still think you're caricaturing Piper. As far as I can remember, the man lived in a rather nice house in downtown Minneapolis. If you want to critique the excesses of Chan go for it. But you've lit a rather large Piper looking straw man here.

I didn't say anything about Piper's house. I have no idea what kind of house he lives in or what he drives (I drive a broken Honda CRV. Don't get those kind of cars).
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
But there is the issue of a lot of vacillation doctrinally when that happens. .... My point is that there is a lot of growing to do when a lot of knowledge is crammed into a soul. I have seen many like you who have fallen away into a poor view of scripture and false doctrine of soteriology. So what, you are an amil. Means nothing in this statement.

With all due respect, this comes across as patronizing. I only had one moment of vacillation and that was when the La. Presbytery imploded because of the Federal Vision heresy.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
My 58 year old dad just retired and is more or less playing pickle ball every day. It’s wasteful. Hobbies are fine, but we’ve become so obsessed with them such that our lives revolve around them. Even our daily labor has turned into “do you find value out of your career?”
Brother. I am in my 59th year. I have basically been retired for 22 years now due to health. I find myself delving into my past and the things I use to be involved in. It is a struggle to just stay connected to people outside of the Church. I despise the Holy Huddle mentality. The importance of being involved with other humans is so important for us and them. So if playing Pickle Ball places me in a place to develop true friendships and expand my concentric circles then so be it. Judge things the way you want to. But believe me, you haven't been where your Dad has been and you are not where he is. He might be right where he is to win that one person Christ is saving whether they be regenerate already or not. My kids have no idea about the fulness of my life. It isn't theirs. I imagine you don't know the fulness of your father's life either.

BTW, Ecclesiastes does say we are to enjoy life. Even in the harshness of it. Trouble and hard times are promised. So is perseverance.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Then what exactly is extreme about Piper then?

Telling a bunch of college kids to live together in a cramped apartment, work multiple jobs, and put ALL the extra money into missions. If that's what you want to do, great, but it came across as "do this."
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
With all due respect, this comes across as patronizing. I only had one moment of vacillation and that was when the La. Presbytery imploded because of the Federal Vision heresy.
Not true brother. Think about it. It might have been Patronizing. What is wrong with that?
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
Brother. I am in my 59th year. I have basically been retired for 22 years now due to health. I find myself delving into my past and the things I use to be involved in. It is a struggle to just stay connected to people outside of the Church. I despise the Holy Huddle mentality. The importance of being involved with other humans is so important for us and them. So if playing Pickle Ball places me in a place to develop true friendships and expand my concentric circles then so be it. Judge things the way you want to. But believe me, you haven't been where your Dad has been and you are not where he is. He might be right where he is to win that one person Christ is saving whether they be regenerate already or not. My kids have no idea about the fulness of my life. It isn't theirs. I imagine you don't fulness of your father's life either.

BTW, Ecclesiastes does say we are to enjoy life. Even in the harshness of it. Trouble and hard times are promised. So is perseverance.

Your situation is not at all what I am speaking of. I am not going to air dirty laundry on the internet, but if the sole purpose of one's existence is recreation something is massively wrong. Recreation is what makes many Americans get out of bed in the morning and that is exactly what Piper is speaking of.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
That is a much-needed critique. And youth, especially, need to hear it before they orient their lives towards that as their aim for this side of eternity.

I know many, even stalwart, Reformed people who neglect the first things for the sake of the love of this present world. They are like Demas. They claim the kingdom is important and then will find themselves ensnared with the love of the world as Lot's wife did.

There are many warnings in the Scripture regarding it, and sad to say, very few men preach it.
Beeke's book 'A Radical Comprehensive Call to Holiness emphasises these truths. It has done my soul much good.
 

Tychicus

Puritan Board Freshman
Dr. Joe Rigney, the current President of Bethlehem College and Seminary has an excellent article addressing this:
"I can look back over the last twenty years and see times when these exhortations have become distorted or twisted in my soul. "

He is balanced and precise. I admire that. The fact that he is the President of BC&S goes to show that Piper's ministry and theology being pinpointed and needled-down to that one message (or particular doctrine) is quite misleading. His book When I Don't Desire God is a great book on the ordinary life and waiting on the Lord. I remember Steven Wedgeworth mentioning (on some platform) another book of his; When Darkness Will Not Lift, which pushes back on the whole "Christian life is always a bliss. joy, etc" jargon.
I was trying to get this across: Piper's work is not the extreme "don't buy costly cars because people die of hunger". He is much more nuanced if one takes the time to read him closely.

Your critique may fit certain other folks (you mentioned Chan, I agree), but not Piper. I think he is balanced. His other works are testament to that. Joe Rigney is testament to that. He's written two books on enjoying the good world that God has created. Contrary to "things of the world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace", he's titled his work Strangely Bright. (a good review here). The article I linked is where he directly talks of how Piper's message can be twisted into an unhealthy obsession. All this to say, your concerns are being addressed. By Piper himself and the people who will be carrying forward his legacy.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I was trying to get this across: Piper's work is not the extreme "don't buy costly cars because people die of hunger". He is much more nuanced if one takes the time to read him closely.

Your critique may fit certain other folks (you mentioned Chan, I agree), but not Piper. I think he is balanced. His other works are testament to that. Joe Rigney is testament to that. He's written two books on enjoying the good world that God has created. Contrary to "things of the world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace", he's titled his work Strangely Bright. (a good review here). The article I linked is where he directly talks of how Piper's message can be twisted into an unhealthy obsession. All this to say, your concerns are being addressed. By Piper himself and the people who will be carrying forward his legacy.

I know Piper isn't saying that. He is not balanced, though, nor is he a reliable guide to the Reformed faith. He believes in final justification and rejects the doctrine of Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. His statements on political ethics have been incoherent (at best).
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
I know Piper isn't saying that. He is not balanced, though, nor is he a reliable guide to the Reformed faith. He believes in final justification and rejects the doctrine of Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. His statements on political ethics have been incoherent (at best).

Escondido isn’t a reliable guide to the reformed faith either. Recover only the parts of the confession that I like. Mike Horton’s political ethics are arguably worse than Piper’s.

Piper has his problems to be sure. No one is denying that.
 

Tychicus

Puritan Board Freshman
I know Piper isn't saying that. He is not balanced, though, nor is he a reliable guide to the Reformed faith. He believes in final justification and rejects the doctrine of Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. His statements on political ethics have been incoherent (at best).
This could derail this thread, but here goes: I do not go to Piper for public theology. I almost never do that. Like you have noted, his political ethics is not the most coherent

About final justification, I beg to differ, though I think Piper's exaggeration was unwarranted (but the foreword to the Matthew Barrett Five Sola series was good). Mark Jones has done a better and more careful work on this, he's better at articulating justification and works with scholastic distinctions and sources. I didn't want to comment on this because the thread would get derailed but I think I owe you the courtesy to clarify on this.
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
This all has gotten far afield thanks in large portion to myself. I do want to clarify something though. I am not suggesting that pickle ball, collecting sea shells, having a nice lake house, or any combination of nice luxuries is unlawful. Not in the least. However, to act like there is no temptation towards a worldliness and covetousness of ease and luxury is naive and blind. Wordliness is in fact a real threat, particularly to broke college students who can't wait to have their white picket fence and BMW. We are all so prone to covet the next stage of life. For the single college student its marriage, for the married couple its kids, for the couple with young kids its when they will have more independent children, and so on.. This is my annoyance with it all. You can call covetousness idolatry in the abstract, but the second you apply it to a flesh and blood example it becomes legalism.

This is also why the overemphasis on the law/gospel distinction can be tiresome. The distinction is real and we need to make it lest we swim the clearwater river on our way to the murky theological waters of Moscow. But for the Christian, the law and gospel sweetly comply. Telling the Christian not to idolize stuff and the modern view of retirement isn't legalism; its something that should make his soul shout 'AMEN!!'
 

Tychicus

Puritan Board Freshman
But for the Christian, the law and gospel sweetly comply.
Kevin DeYoung is excellent on this: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/a-conversation-about-the-law/

The distinction is real
Dr. Mark Garcia makes the same point in the exchange that he had with Dr. Horton in the Confessional Presbyterian Journal. He distinguishes between the Law-Gospel Hermeneutic(LGH) and the Law-Gospel Distinction (LGD). All Protestants must hold to the latter. But the former, he finds issue with, as do many of the critics of Escondido.
 

bookish_Basset

Puritan Board Freshman
Appreciate seeing this review.

Maybe this is another area where my husband and I are outliers; I don't know. He came of age in Francis Chan's church and in a Christian college environment that was constantly calling kids to recommit their lives to doing something radical for Christ. After a time, it basically became about getting his conscience beaten up over and over.

We both came into the Reformed world feeling burnt out and like failures as Christians. I can't tell you how freeing it's been to learn the Reformed doctrine of vocation and that God is pleased with my efforts to live a quiet life of serving my family and attending to the ordinary means of grace (which is a daily battle in itself).

I'm sure people caricature what Piper said and that the above is maybe not what Piper et al. are critiquing, and also I'm sure many people do need to be jolted into realizing that this is our one chance to live our lives for Christ. There will always be a few people who will walk away with the wrong message and be crushed by it, though.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I would acknowledge that this is a balanced look at the call to be "dangerous" or "Sold Out". I came from a Navigator Group that radically called for scripture memory and we all lived in homes or the barracks together at NAS Oceana. It was probably the happiest and most hard time of my life. It has born great benefit in my life and the lives of others. There is a need for and understanding of God's call upon individuals as they participate under the authority of the Church. It can be most wonderfully dangerous and sold out.

The Hiedelblog.... What a mess.
oops, misspelled Heidelblog
 
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PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Oh, One more thing. As a Navy Airman and then a College Student I was single. That is prime time to grow in knowledge and love for the Lord as St. Paul noted when he spoke on Marriage. Life has its times and seasons. We are called to act differently in each station and stage of life.

1Co 7:29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
1Co 7:30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
1Co 7:31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
1Co 7:32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.
1Co 7:33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,
1Co 7:34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
1Co 7:35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Maybe this is radical.
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is the text of the sermon in question. I am baffled that a reformed minister thinks that this is the reason that we need a new reformation.

I think we need a recovery of previous reformations. Ones in which the law was preached without apology. Holiness of life was emphasized. Psalms were sung with grace in the heart. The magistrate was told they were accountable to God and that "Same-sex unions" weren't dandy.
 
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