Who Is the Best "Popular" Preacher Today?

Who Is the Best "Popular" Preacher Today?

  • Joel Beeke

    Votes: 11 9.1%
  • John Piper

    Votes: 37 30.6%
  • Tim Keller

    Votes: 13 10.7%
  • R.C. Sproul

    Votes: 24 19.8%
  • Joel Osteen ;)

    Votes: 9 7.4%
  • Someone Else (please list)

    Votes: 27 22.3%

  • Total voters
    121
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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
What I saw were simple statements and links that supported them- as opposed to ad hominem and slander. I hope that we are not falling sway under 'Piper worship'. Let's remember what Paul taught us about going the whole 'of Paul/of Apollos' arguement route.

Theognome
Bill, it is disingenuous to say that the these were "simple statements and links that supported them." I was not trying to comment on the virtues of Piper or agreement/disagreement with any of his views.

The claim, "liberals such as Daniel Fuller," is verifiably untrue by any standard definition of the term "liberal" (unless it was referencing his politics rather than his religious views???--I am personally unaware of his political position and only protested the untrue reference to his theological views). Using it in this context was excessive, defamatory, and shameful.

Yes, we all have strong feelings about movements and persons with whom we are in disagreement. No problem. We are still called, however, to conform our rhetoric to the canons of "simple" truthfulness.

I am in no position to evaluate the other claims made in the piece, merely the one relating to a man who lives in my retirement community. But, unless the words were a slip of the tongue, they do call into question how carefully the the other claims made might be.

Again, folks, state yourselves forcefully, but truthfully.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
What I saw were simple statements and links that supported them- as opposed to ad hominem and slander. I hope that we are not falling sway under 'Piper worship'. Let's remember what Paul taught us about going the whole 'of Paul/of Apollos' arguement route.

Theognome
Bill, it is disingenuous to say that the these were "simple statements and links that supported them." I was not trying to comment on the virtues of Piper or agreement/disagreement with any of his views.

The claim, "liberals such as Daniel Fuller," is verifiably untrue by any standard definition of the term "liberal" (unless it was referencing his politics rather than his religious views???--I am personally unaware of his political position and only protested the untrue reference to his theological views). Using it in this context was excessive, defamatory, and shameful.

Yes, we all have strong feelings about movements and persons with whom we are in disagreement. No problem. We are still called, however, to conform our rhetoric to the canons of "simple" truthfulness.

I am in no position to evaluate the other claims made in the piece, merely the one relating to a man who lives in my retirement community. But, unless the words were a slip of the tongue, they do call into question how carefully the the other claims made might be.

Again, folks, state yourselves forcefully, but truthfully.

It would be disingenuous if the claim was baseless, true. Personally, I tend to use the term 'liberal' in a religious sense when one's theology sways outside of orthodoxy in very key areas of the Gospel. Thus I saw no offense at the statement of Daniel Fuller having some very liberal views, nor of making a connection between Dr. Fuller and Rev Piper- who studied under him and considered Dr. Fuller's work to be more influential in his life than any other living theologian.

The liberal connection comes into play when we observe the development of the Federal Vision movement, and the part that Dr. Fuller played in it. In his book, 'The Unity of the Bible: Un-folding God’s Plan for Humanity, Fuller denies the confessional position of the Adamic covenant of works (Westminster confession Ch 7) and instead creates a new model- one in which the covenant of grace is in place from Gen 1 through to the end. The obvious major problem here is that since Adam was under grace in the garden and not under works, then neither was Christ under this covenant and thus His obedience- even unto the cross- carries no true theological weight. Bear in mind that Rev. Piper, in the foreward of his book, 'Future Grace.', gave homage to this principle in the work of Dr. Fuller-

"No book besides the Bible has had a greater influence on my life than Daniel Fuller’s The Unity of the Bible. When I first read it as a classroom syllabus over twenty years ago, everything began to change…. God’s law stopped being at odds with the gospel. It stopped being a job description for earning wages under a so-called covenant of works (which I never could find in the Bible)..."

The principle carried forth by Rev. Piper from Dr. Fullers work is quite simple- Since neither Adam nor Christ were party to this so-called covenant of works, Christ could not, did not, and was not supposed to pay the debts of, and earn salvation for, his people. As the Second and Last Adam, Christ did not by his active and passive obedience fulfill the Law of God, pay the debts of his people, and merit their salvation. Thus the denial of the covenant of works is an attack on the justice of God: on the imputation of Adam’s sin to his children, on the active obedience and work of Christ, on the imputation of Christ’s active obedience and righteousness to believers. By denying that Adam and Christ, as federal heads of their respective races, were subject to the covenant of works before the court of God’s justice, not his grace, each Adam being required to fulfill the terms of the covenant, one failing miserably, and the other succeeding perfectly, the doctrine put all believers on probation, and make their salvation depend on their own evangelical obedience.

This principle is at the core of the Federal Vision, though it obviously does not hold water when presented in the confessional language- thus the meaning of the words must be re-defined. However, Dr. Fuller goes even further in attacking the confessional doctrine of Justification, based on the theory that perfect obedience was something Adam was capable of accomplishing. Quote-

"Were…covenant theolog[ians] to perceive that the obedience of faith is the only kind of obedience that is ever acceptable to the “God who will not give his glory to another” (Isa 42:8), they could make the blessing Adam was to receive after passing his probationary test a work of grace rather than the payment of debt, and therefore would not make themselves vulnerable to the charge that the kind of righteousness Adam and Christ were to perform was the highest kind of blasphemy." (Daniel P. Fuller, “A Response on the Subjects of Works and Grace,” Presbuterion: A Journal for the Eldership, Volume IX, Numbers 1-2, Spring-Fall 1983, 76.)

So I must disagree with you, Brother, that referring to Dr. Fuller as a liberal is slanderous. He has, in his writing, clearly denied the confessional stance of justification by re-defining the standards- and thus opened the theological door for the Federal Vision folks to trod through. To stray that wide from orthodoxy is quite liberal in my book.

Theognome
 

Ivan

Pastor
The principle carried forth by Rev. Piper from Dr. Fullers work is quite simple- Since neither Adam nor Christ were party to this so-called covenant of works, Christ could not, did not, and was not supposed to pay the debts of, and earn salvation for, his people. As the Second and Last Adam, Christ did not by his active and passive obedience fulfill the Law of God, pay the debts of his people, and merit their salvation. Thus the denial of the covenant of works is an attack on the justice of God: on the imputation of Adam’s sin to his children, on the active obedience and work of Christ, on the imputation of Christ’s active obedience and righteousness to believers. By denying that Adam and Christ, as federal heads of their respective races, were subject to the covenant of works before the court of God’s justice, not his grace, each Adam being required to fulfill the terms of the covenant, one failing miserably, and the other succeeding perfectly, the doctrine put all believers on probation, and make their salvation depend on their own evangelical obedience.

Could you please give me a reference where Piper promotes the above statements?
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
The principle carried forth by Rev. Piper from Dr. Fullers work is quite simple- Since neither Adam nor Christ were party to this so-called covenant of works, Christ could not, did not, and was not supposed to pay the debts of, and earn salvation for, his people. As the Second and Last Adam, Christ did not by his active and passive obedience fulfill the Law of God, pay the debts of his people, and merit their salvation. Thus the denial of the covenant of works is an attack on the justice of God: on the imputation of Adam’s sin to his children, on the active obedience and work of Christ, on the imputation of Christ’s active obedience and righteousness to believers. By denying that Adam and Christ, as federal heads of their respective races, were subject to the covenant of works before the court of God’s justice, not his grace, each Adam being required to fulfill the terms of the covenant, one failing miserably, and the other succeeding perfectly, the doctrine put all believers on probation, and make their salvation depend on their own evangelical obedience.

Could you please give me a reference where Piper promotes the above statements?

His book, 'Future Grace', he Quotes Dr. Fuller-

"A faith that only looks back to Christ’s death and resurrection is not sufficient…. Forgiveness for the Christian also depends on having…a futuristic faith in God’s promises. Thus we cannot regard justifying faith as sufficient if it honors only the past fact of Christ’s death and resurrection but does not honor the future promises of God… (pp206-207).

Reading from 199-226 gives further support of Rev Piper to Dr. Fuller's position in this regard.

Theognome
 

Ivan

Pastor
The principle carried forth by Rev. Piper from Dr. Fullers work is quite simple- Since neither Adam nor Christ were party to this so-called covenant of works, Christ could not, did not, and was not supposed to pay the debts of, and earn salvation for, his people. As the Second and Last Adam, Christ did not by his active and passive obedience fulfill the Law of God, pay the debts of his people, and merit their salvation. Thus the denial of the covenant of works is an attack on the justice of God: on the imputation of Adam’s sin to his children, on the active obedience and work of Christ, on the imputation of Christ’s active obedience and righteousness to believers. By denying that Adam and Christ, as federal heads of their respective races, were subject to the covenant of works before the court of God’s justice, not his grace, each Adam being required to fulfill the terms of the covenant, one failing miserably, and the other succeeding perfectly, the doctrine put all believers on probation, and make their salvation depend on their own evangelical obedience.

Could you please give me a reference where Piper promotes the above statements?

His book, 'Future Grace', he Quotes Dr. Fuller-

"A faith that only looks back to Christ’s death and resurrection is not sufficient…. Forgiveness for the Christian also depends on having…a futuristic faith in God’s promises. Thus we cannot regard justifying faith as sufficient if it honors only the past fact of Christ’s death and resurrection but does not honor the future promises of God… (pp206-207).

Reading from 199-226 gives further support of Rev Piper to Dr. Fuller's position in this regard.

Theognome

Thanks, Bill. I'll have to seriously look into that.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to document your points and doing so in an honorable way.

I stand by my contention that Dan Fuller is hardly a "liberal." Nor is all heterdoxy and even heresy necessarily "liberal." I doubt that many on this board would consider dispensationalism confessional. While that might make it wrong, it does not make it "liberal." Wesley was not "liberal" although he was certainly not Calvinistic or Reformed. Those Pentecostals who are KJV only folks are not "liberal" by any meaningful definition that I know. The vast majority of fundamentalists are opposed to our view of confessionalism, but err on the right not the left. The evangelical community contains any number of people who believe in salvation by grace through faith alone. They are NOT liberals regardless of what they think about the Westminster Confession. Wayne Grudem, not a cessationist or a Presbyterian (he is even premil), could hardly be classified as a liberal.

"Liberal" has a rather specific historical theological meaning (cf. Schliermacher's theology). There are heresies to the right and the left. It is simply wrong to brand everyone we disagree with as a "liberal." And, because of the universal opprobrium attaching to the word in our circles, it is intellectually sloppy to brand everyone with whom we disagree as "liberal." Most of the mainline denominations rightly may be called liberal and would be proud of the moniker.

I can give you any number of reasons why I fault Dan's theology. in my opinion, his attempt to defend the authority of the Bible led him to a minimalist strategy for apologetic defense (oddly quite similar to the reason why Bob Gundry decided to relegate Matthew to the category of Midrash so that he could dismiss harmonistic problems as unreal). Fuller's restricted view of inerrancy was one of the causative factors (in my opinion) that led to the disastrous evangelical surrender of this doctrine.

However, NO one who ever sat under his teaching would confuse his theology with liberalism. Indeed, it has more in common with rationalistic evangelicalism that led him to what I consider untenable conclusions due to his faulty premises.

As to Piper's veneration for Fuller, you are quite correct in your quotations. Piper adored the man who taught him to love the Bible and to seek truth relentlessly as a "Berean" (one of Dan's favorite descriptors). Ironically, Dan feels as if Piper has abandoned the cause by becoming more consistently (albeit evidently not enough for you) Calvinistic. After years of force feeding Edwards down the throats of Fuller students, one of Dan's prize students, Piper became more of an Edwardsian Puritan Calvinist than he was.

Another irony of your analysis is that it is John Piper who strongly opposes Tom Wright and Bob Gundry and has written books defending the imputation of Christ's righteousness. Indeed, his work has been hailed as the best defense of imputation in 50 years.
 
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ThomasCartwright

Puritan Board Freshman
Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to document your points and doing so in an honorable way.

I stand by my contention that Dan Fuller is hardly a "liberal." Nor is all heterdoxy and even heresy necessarily "liberal." I doubt that many on this board would consider dispensationalism confessional. While that might make it wrong, it does not make it "liberal." Wesley was not "liberal" although he was certainly not Calvinistic or Reformed. Those Pentecostals who are KJV only folks are not "liberal" by any meaningful definition that I know. The vast majority of fundamentalists are opposed to our view of confessionalism, but err on the right not the left. The evangelical community contains any number of people who believe in salvation by grace through faith alone. They are NOT liberals regardless of what they think about the Westminster Confession. Wayne Grudem, not a cessationist or a Presbyterian (he is even premil), could hardly be classified as a liberal.

"Liberal" has a rather specific historical theological meaning (cf. Schliermacher's theology). There are heresies to the right and the left. It is simply wrong to brand everyone we disagree with as a "liberal." And, because of the universal opprobrium attaching to the word in our circles, it is intellectually sloppy to brand everyone with whom we disagree as "liberal." Most of the mainline denominations rightly may be called liberal and would be proud of the moniker.

I can give you any number of reasons why I fault Dan's theology. in my opinion, his attempt to defend the authority of the Bible led him to a minimalist strategy for apologetic defense (oddly quite similar to the reason why Bob Gundry decided to relegate Matthew to the category of Midrash so that he could dismiss harmonistic problems as unreal). Fuller's restricted view of inerrancy was one of the causative factors (in my opinion) that led to the disastrous evangelical surrender of this doctrine.

However, NO one who ever sat under his teaching would confuse his theology with liberalism. Indeed, it has more in common with rationalistic evangelicalism that led him to what I consider untenable conclusions due to his faulty premises.

As to Piper's veneration for Fuller, you are quite correct in your quotations. Piper adored the man who taught him to love the Bible and to seek truth relentlessly as a "Berean" (one of Dan's favorite descriptors). Ironically, Dan feels as if Piper has abandoned the cause by becoming more consistently (albeit evidently not enough for you) Calvinistic. After years of force feeding Edwards down the throats of Fuller students, one of Dan's prize students, Piper became more of an Edwardsian Puritan Calvinist than he was.

Another irony of your analysis is that it is John Piper who strongly opposes Tom Wright and Bob Gundry and has written books defending the imputation of Christ's righteousness. Indeed, his work has been hailed as the best defense of imputation in 50 years.

Dennis

It is a question of how you define these terms. Clearly you believe that a man can be orthodox and not a liberal if he adopts an unorthodox/hertical view of soteriology and Biblical inerrancy. I beg to differ. It would be interesting to note how you objectively and historically define an evangelical and a liberal.

We used to call Fuller's views liberalism or modernism, so I cannot understand why you would argue that I have violated the 9th Commandment. That is a big charge you have made against a fellow believer so you need to have very good grounds to sustain it. Indeed, the Evangelical Theological Society makes inerrancy a cardinal doctrine of what constitutes an Evangelical.

ETS Constitution | The Evangelical Theological Society

So, I fail to see why you are claiming that I am out of sync with mainstream Evangelical thinking here. It is only fair to point out that if you are going to re-define all traditional definitions of orthodox and evangelical to be fluid concepts embracing everyone from Karl Barth to Fosdick then what is the point of us debating here and using these terms. After all both these men believe the Bible is the Word of God and is infallible! I have defined Fuller using traditional definitions and the burden of proof is on you to show that I am wrong. You cannot simply claim that I have violated the 9th commandment just because you believe so.

Please read just a few chapters of Dan Fuller's rejection of the orthodox evangelical view at Fuller:

Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller ... - Google Book Search
 
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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
It is a question of how you define these terms. Clearly you believe that a man can be orthodox and not a liberal if he adopts an unorthodox/hertical view of soteriology and Biblical inerrancy. I beg to differ. It would be interesting to note how you objectively and historically define an evangelical and a liberal.

NO! I do NOT believe that a person is orthodox who holds an unorthodox view of soteriology or bibliology! All liberals are heretics; not all heretics are liberals. Some of the heterodox are neo-orthodox and even fundamentalists too.

But, we simply do not have the right to employ standard terminology (particularly when it carries strong negative connotations) to describe every possible deviation from our own view. It misuses language and falsely slanders people.

You mention the ETS. They all sign on to inerrancy and presumably have an orthodox view of soteriology. However, they are not all Reformed. Charismatics, Pentecostals, Dispensationalists, Arminians, etc. all claim the shelter of ETS identity. If I call anyone who does not agree with me a liberal, then the KJVO folks are liberals, the fundmentalists are liberals, dispensationalists are liberals, EP people are liberals, hyper-Calvinists are liberals . . . and I suppose you must be one too! :lol:

I STRONGLY disagree with Dan Fuller's view of the Bible. But, there is a difference between his approach and that of almost anyone in the mainline denominations. Most of them, in my experience, actually are liberals.

One rule I try to operate with is to use terms that people freely "own." Most "evangelicals" are proud (or at least willing :lol: ) to be called that; similarly true liberals generally accept the term as an honor (or at least being called a "progressive"). If you called Dan Fuller a liberal he would probably have a heart attack. In my mind that is prima facie evidence to cause one to pause and try to find a more accurate descriptor.
 
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Theognome

Burrito Bill
One rule I try to operate with is to use terms that people freely "own." Most "evangelicals" are proud (or at least willing :lol: ) to be called that; similarly true liberals generally accept the term as an honor (or at least being called a "progressive"). If you called Dan Fuller a liberal he would probably have a heart attack. In my mind that is prima facie evidence to cause one to pause and try to find a more accurate descriptor.

That can be a difficult rule to live within. For example, have you ever heard an antinomian fellow 'own' that term?

Theognome
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
One rule I try to operate with is to use terms that people freely "own." Most "evangelicals" are proud (or at least willing :lol: ) to be called that; similarly true liberals generally accept the term as an honor (or at least being called a "progressive"). If you called Dan Fuller a liberal he would probably have a heart attack. In my mind that is prima facie evidence to cause one to pause and try to find a more accurate descriptor.

That can be a difficult rule to live within. For example, have you ever heard an antinomian fellow 'own' that term?

Theognome

That's why I say "try." :lol: Some people are just plain jerks and they will never own their views. But, those people are generally habitually pugnacious, difficult to live with, and spend their time posting on internet message boards.

I have, however, found that when you don't slander people or tar them with overly broad brushes, they will quite often be honest about their positions. Mr. Obama refusing the moniker "socialist" in his interview with the NY Times may be a notable exception! :lol:

In the case of Dan Fuller or John Piper there are far more accurate ways of registering your disagreement without resorting to inaccuracy or name calling.
 
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