John Piper and the 2nd Commandment

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Aug 29, 2008.

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    If you have time today listen to this MP3 and hear what John Piper says concerning pictures of Jesus and the 2nd Commandment.

    About 5 minutes and 30 seconds in he says, "God broke the Second Commandment when he became incarnate".

    This is troubling in a number of ways, but give a listen and tell me what you think about his explanation. Before the John Piper apologists get on me I know he is not saying God sinned. But listen to it.
     
  2. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    Christ was not the work of an artisan's hand, therefore He was not an image in an idolatrous sense.
     
  3. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Yet another reason not to listen to Piper

    Apparently Piper doesn't understand the nature of God or his law. (God does not sin, nor does he break his word.) He also does not seem to understand the Biblical usage of 'seeing' & 'hearing' which do not refer to the physical organs or else the deaf cannot receive faith. (See Rom 10:17)

    Seems like he's justifying.
     
  4. the particular baptist

    the particular baptist Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi Chris please understand i mean no disrespect when i say i have a problem with your first sentence.
    A man that does not understand the nature of God or His law is not only unfit for ministry but most likely a lost man. I would hope you extend Dr Piper the benefit of the doubt.

    flavio


    **edit**
    Listened to the piece and I would hope Dr Piper would re-phrase that if given the chance b/c i disagree with his statement that "God broke the 2nd commandment"
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  5. FrielWatcher

    FrielWatcher Puritan Board Sophomore

    John Piper is huge and usually correct of theology and the justification of God. I just re-listened to the file because I had listened to it earlier. When he states, at 5m40s, there are panel members with him that give the statement an "amen".

    Now, that begs then - Christ is a graven image, an idol?

    Ex. 20:4-6: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    God then breaks His own law? I don't think so when He sends Himself. He is not sending a depiction of Himself or an affection that is like God, but not Him. Bowing down before Christ is then not bowing down before the God YHWH?

    Piper does understand the nature of God and His law so I find this a troubling statement from the Dr.
     
  6. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Rereading what I posted I realize I should have more fully explained myself before I posted it. I apologize for that.

    There are men who are saved and do not fully understand the nature of God or his law and some of these faithfully serve, and many serve well. So, no, I am not saying he is lost or necessarily unfit for the ministry. Nor did I mean to imply that. Based upon what I heard, if he honestly believes that God, who instituted the law which is a reflection of his holiness, broke the second commandment, then I must now consider Piper to lack understanding about God and his law. And to claim that God broke his law by sending Jesus, to me, is akin to saying Jesus was born by sin.

    If I were to affirm that Piper does not lack this understanding, then I must conclude that Piper is saying something he knows to be wrong. I'd rather assume ignorance on his part than deliberate deceit. For me, to not assume a lack of understanding here is more troubling.

    I too hope he would rephrase it if given the chance.
     
  7. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi:

    I thought that Adam was made in the image of God as well? Piper is equivocating on the word "image."

    Comment removed by Administrator. WAY out of line.

    -CH
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2008
  8. Brian Bosse

    Brian Bosse "The Brain"

    This seems rather uncharitable coming from someone who in his signature says "in...all things Charity." I need to go cool off. :mad:
     
  9. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    By "equivocating" do you mean he deliberately using terms in dual-senses to confuse his audience? Or do you think it might be a hasty generalization to say that Piper is a pretty careless fellow with central elements of his theological program?

    I have to agree with Brian's note re. "charity". I think some is due here.
     
  10. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    This might be a little off topic, but it relates to the 2nd commandment. Are pictures of Christ wrong? If so, why? If the pictures aren't used for worship or for making Christ "more real", what is wrong with a picture of Christ?

    From what I understand, the idea from the second commandment was "worshipping" the graven image.
     
  11. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Every orthodox Christological book I have ever read maintains that there was no confusion of natures when the second person of the Godhead became incarnate.
     
  12. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    I'm sorry but I don't get it.... How do ya'll get that from?....4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."
     
  13. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I think JP spoke extemporaneously - when he does so, sometimes he boo-boos. That's what this is - send Grudem an email and he'll set him straight. :)
     
  14. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    JP was wrong, but images of Christ, if not worshiped or created with the intent to worship, do not inherently break the commandment.

    That is - v5 qualifies v4.
     
  15. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    A thought - I can consider the "Man-ness" of Christ via an image or likeness and appreciate His struggles as a Man, His interaction with people or His torture on the Cross - there is no way that any image of Christ can capture nor manifest His "God-ness" - which is why I could, nor would, never worship a caricature of Christ.
     
  16. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The unio personalis makes this an impossibility. Just as the natures cannot be confused, neither can they be divided.
     
  17. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Not divided - considered characteristically - Christ is fully Man, thus His "Man-ness" and life as a Man is important as He is the second Adam.

    His complete "Man-ness" requires us to consider and comprehend Him as a Man, with the understanding that He is also fully God. His "God-ness" is incomprehensible, His "Man-ness" is - perhaps not fully, but substantially.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Every time you use the personal pronoun "His," you are referring to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to a distinct nature.
     
  19. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    No advocacy of images for worship, right? Is there a confessional prohibition of all images in all circumstances?
     
  20. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    For reference:

     
  21. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Is there a confessional prohibition for considering Christ's "Man-ness"?

    He is self-described as a Son of Man...
     
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    WCF 7:2, "So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man."
     
  23. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Please refer also to the Larger Catechism, answer 109, where one of the sins forbidden is, "the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons."
     
  24. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Still qualified to worship.
     
  25. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I'll respond to this, then abandon the discussion, as I know how this invariably ends :).

    Let me say first, that I never, ever, ever propose segregating the natures of Christ - this I profess and confess. Amen.

    "Very man" - means something - how is that realized in Christ? We know he had a body, with a face, hands, etc... We know he interacted with people, suffered on a cross, bled and died as very man. It is the "very man-ness" I am proposing may be understood in those contexts. Not for worship, certainly, but for context.

    That is - when I read Scripture and Christ is described teaching - I imagine Him in His human body standing before a group of people in the cultural context. It is an aid for consideration - I do not worship that mental image, but it does make the Scripture "come alive" to me and see Christ as a real person in a real context.
     
  26. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Calling someone a liar is rather rude and obnoxious
     
  27. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    So? You delete my post, but you engage in the same activity? Hmmm. Some here are not Epistemologically Self-Conscious.

    Grace and Peace, brother,

    Rob
     
  28. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Whereas I am different. I find visual representations minimising in that the idea becomes associated with the image and thereby distorts the fulness of the idea.
     
  29. kalawine

    kalawine Puritan Board Junior

    I think Piper is giving the Passion movie a fluff job here. I guess I'm sort of off topic but there is something that really bothers me. I'm not a Piper fan nor am I a Piper enemy. I think he's written some good stuff but what bothers me so much is that it seems that no matter what the man says people are in total shock when he is wrong. Many people get defensive of him too. Let's face it. He made some stupid, uncalled for statements on this mp3. I get so tired of seeing people defend their heroes. I love reading Gordon Clark but I realize that he got way off course on some things. I refuse to defend his mistakes. But any time someone goes after Piper or Sproul or McArthur (the list goes on) people try to gloss it over. Face it: the man made some disturbing comments. I mean, "God broke the Second Commandment when he became incarnate?!?!?!" Not only is this an outrageous statement but it calls for rebuke and correction that he would receive if he wasn't one of the "Untouchables." If I were a Baptist I would call him on it.
     
  30. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Like I said - email Grudem - he'll "touch" him :)
     
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