Piper on the Election

Now I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m some sort of political junkie or activist. I’m actually quite ignorant and disinterested. I was directed to this 7-minute John Piper video by my pastor (no, not from the pulpit, just a mundane email), and I think it has a properly sobering perspective on the election.

I especially like how he defines a “prophetic perspective”, not as one of command, but of detachment. That, and when he says “SarahPalin” so fast, it sounds like “Serpent”. I had to listen to it twice to realize he wasn’t making an allegory to Gen 3!

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88 Responses to Piper on the Election

  1. RubeRad says:

    See boys, I told you we could fit a flat-screen in the Outhouse! The CO is now a fully-multimedia operation!

  2. brmorris says:

    Question: What would be his thought process about not wanting Gov. Palin as commander-in-chief? I wonder if he would be ok with a female Governor or Senator, or Congresswoman?

    I would have been very content with that video if he had just started at the 2:40 mark. The last half is terrific. I wish all those in the church that bow down at the altar of politics would watch that.

  3. Ron Smith says:

    Pretty much what you’d expect from a pre-millenialist. This world is going to hell in a hand basket, so anybody got a match?

    I prefer to do everything as if it actually mattered. To set this against God’s sovereignty is hyper-calvinistic.

  4. Ron Smith says:

    brmorris,

    Piper’s point about Palin is that a woman’s priority is in the home with her children, not gallivanting around the world playing man. If she understood this, perhaps her family wouldn’t be such a mess.

    “And ironically, we call this attempt by some women to be more like men ‘feminism,’ which is more than a little bit like calling an attempt by cats to be like dogs felinism.” (Doug Wilson, Federal Husband, p. 33)

  5. brmorris says:

    Ron (and John Piper),

    Questions:

    1. (Not rhetorical, but legit question) Can you help me find in the Bible the commands about mothers with children to not work?

    2. What makes vice president a man’s job?

    3. Would you support a Constitutional amendment that the Presidency/Vice Presidency being men only? If you believe Christianity demands it by natural law, then why not?

    4. Would you vote for a woman Senator, Congresswomen, School Board Member?

    5. So you don’t like Gov. Palin’s personal choices, and that disqualifies her for you. Does Sen. McCain’s divorce and remarriage disqualify him?

  6. RubeRad says:

    Piper didn’t really go into it, so I’m not sure about his reasoning. But I’m sure being governor of Alaska keeps Palin pretty busy too (so many moose, so few helicopters!). Maybe if it were an older woman, who had “done” her mothering job and gotten all her kids out of the house.

    I wonder what ever happened to Christine Todd Whitman (she was governor of NJ when I was there), who was the golden girl of Republican politics 2-3 elections ago.

    And let me point out the double-standard here as well. Nobody is asking whether Obama will be giving his young daughter(s?) short shrift. I know there’s a lot of stuff I would like to do that I don’t in order to spend more time with my kids (and wife).

  7. Chris Donato says:

    Yes, besides that hiccup about women in positions of political/military power, the video isn’t all that bad. He says some good about how we ought not be all wrapped up in whoever gets elected. It won’t be the end of the world; it might be a more socialistic world, but that’s not the end.

    He clearly somersaults from his disdain for Palin (which I tend to agree) to the principle of women in executive positions, an unwarranted and, in my opinion, silly ideal to hold.

  8. kazooless says:

    John Knox pretty much said that it was a sign of judgment if a woman was the head of state. He believed the scripture to teach this.

    kazoo

  9. RubeRad says:

    I’d say that’s true, for God’s covenant people.

  10. Chris Donato says:

    Not wanting to start a fight here, but that’s just asinine. Ludicrous even.

  11. Straight out of Piper’s mouth in that video (emphasis mine):

    I personally think that it would have been better for to stay at home with her disabled child, both for the good of the family and as a model for moms.

    He didn’t say specifically that women should not run countries, but that a woman in Palin’s circumstances (i.e. a disabled child) should have bigger priorities than personal ambition for power. I totally agree with that.

    That’s not to say that I’m in favor of women heads of state, but Palin in particular seems to have a poor sense of judgment if she won’t devote more of herself to Trig.

  12. Zrim says:

    Chris,

    If you are responding to Kazoo, those are fightin’ words so gird thy loins.

    Aug,

    Something tells me Piper got lucky that Palin’s family has problems; something tells me he thinks a woman’s place is at home even when all is well–the sick baby thing takes the edge off being perceived as too patriarchal. Also, though public figures sign up for it, I find it interesting that everyone thinks they have a right to editorialize on what they think a woman should do. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  13. RubeRad says:

    Let me just say that, as a mathematician, I think it is AWESOME to name a baby “Trig”. I wish I had thought of it. Although for the Palins, it’s probably short for “Trigger”.

    Reminds me of “Jennyfivetina

  14. Bruce S. says:

    I wish I had thought of it.

    It’s not too late. Makes a good girl’s name too.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well, you might settle for Ari, Cal or Geo.

  16. RubeRad says:

    It’s not too late

    Easy for the grandpa to say…

  17. Ron Smith says:

    It is so obvious that you have to hate nature in order to not see it. Women give birth to children. Life giving milk flows from mother to child. It has been proven (by science) that mothers bond with their children in a way no other caretaker can, and that the healthy development of the child is contingent upon this bond. Further, for all of time, save the last half century, it has been the order of women to nurture children to adulthood. It is therefore rebellion against the natural order of things for women to leave their children with nannies, or worse, the government, so they can seek fulfillment outside the home.

  18. brmorris says:

    Ron,

    So it is a sin for all women with young children if they have a full-time job? What about a part-time job? Do they have to stay home 24 hours per day? What if the woman has a good job and the husband stays home? What if the husband dies and she is a single mom? Is she destined to break natural law for life?

    Why do you get to decide what is right and wrong for that woman?

  19. RubeRad says:

    And why all of a sudden have you recoursed to natural reasoning? Isn’t the bible sufficient?

  20. brmorris says:

    Just switching to arguing based on Ron’s logic. I wasn’t sure if John Piper was arguing based on Biblical or natural law; Ron is using natural law.

    I still haven’t heard Biblical reasons for why women can’t work or hold commander-in-chief offices.

  21. RubeRad says:

    No, I was asking Ron why he came back with naturalistic arguments when you asked him for Biblical ones.

  22. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    If a woman in leadership is a supposed sign of God’s judgment on his people then why has the leadership in the RCC been staunchly male?

    I think it is quite vain to try and define what God’s judgment looks like beyond the cross, whether in sacred or secular (Kazoo and John Knox) environs.

  23. RubeRad says:

    Female leadership is not the only possible judgment, so the implication doesn’t work the other way (judgment=/=>female leadership)

  24. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    If I understand you, then, the RCC hasn’t had that particular judgment laid upon her.

    Given the great divide between Prot’s and RCC it must mean that female leadership isn’t a judgment to be particularly worried about. I mean, if we say that Rome has anathematized the gospel, which is quite serious, then one would expect a serious judgment. So ladies at the helm is no biggie.

    I suppose I am still finding it folly to look for what judgment look slike beyond the cross. Do you have other examples of how we should know we are being judged?

  25. RubeRad says:

    I think Piper made a great point; it is well in line with Rom 1 (“Therefore God gave them up…”) to understand that rampant abortion, homosexuality, etc. are not the cause of judgment, but are themselves judgment.

  26. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    You’ll pardon me that my machine doesn’t have ears to hear the Piper thing. Even so, I am trying to engage you, not him. Mind answering my question?

    Re this “cause of” point, if those things aren’t the cause of judgment but are the judgments themselves, what was the cause? What did “we” do wrong? Was the Wall Street collapse, like 9/11, also some sort of judgment? And why are two those things always the problem? What about rampant illiteracy and poverty and reality TV (kidding)?

  27. RubeRad says:

    Sorry, thought you were able to listen to Piper. My response right there was my answer to your question. The bit o’ Piper that you missed was him saying that, we can’t go around preaching coming judgment because of abortion and homosexuality; abortion and homosexuality are judgment.

    As for what was the cause — what was the cause in Rom 1:24,26,28? What is the “Therefore” there for? The cause is, at root, idolatry; “…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”

    As for rampant illiteracy and poverty, I would not say that those are “some sort of judgment”, because they are not (in themselves) morally wrong. (But as for reality TV…)

  28. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    I wanted to know what you thought about the idea of ladies at the helm being peanuts-judgment, thus no biggie.

    So the cause is the same cause for those society’s that don’t have rampant whatever. So what’s the point, if not to creatively engage in culture war couched in religion about particular sins that bug you?

    What would you say the point of the cross was?

  29. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    There’s no moral dimension to poverty or illiteracy? So is it immoral for you to keep your children from being educated or not feeding them?

  30. RubeRad says:

    I wanted to know what you thought about the idea of ladies at the helm being peanuts-judgment, thus no biggie.

    Oh that. I guess “ladies at the helm” is a judgment of less-than-average heinousness. My original point was about ladies at the political helm of God’s covenant people, i.e. to say that currently in the second kingdom, ladies at the political helm is no indicator of judgment.

    What would you say the point of the cross was?

    To shield the elect from judgment, and certainly not to shield the unwitting subjects of Christ’s other kingdom from judgment.

    So is it immoral for you to keep your children from being educated or not feeding them?

    If I have the means, then certainly not feeding my kids would be immoral, and maybe not educating them too. What I meant was, it is not immoral for a person to be poor or (rampantly) illiterate. So poverty, sickness, natural disasters, etc. may in some general sense be “God’s judgment” in that they are effects of the curse, but I think not in the same way that exacerbated depravity is a judgment of godlessness.

    So your next question is, why isn’t every atheist a raving bisexual baby-killer? Because, in God’s providence, common grace ensures that, even without sanctifying regeneration, nobody is as wicked as they could be.

  31. Zrim says:

    “I guess ‘ladies at the helm’ is a judgment of less-than-average heinousness.”

    Here is part of my point: How can God’s judgment have gradations? When Jesus said it was finished he meant mostly done but not all the way, so that some judgment could be reserved for America when she gets off course (whatever that means)?

    “My original point was about ladies at the political helm of God’s covenant people, i.e. to say that currently in the second kingdom, ladies at the political helm is no indicator of judgment.”

    You don’t need to persuade me that women at the secular helm is no such indicator. But I am equally unpersuaded that women at the churchly helm mean sanything beyond just getting it wrong on leadership. Why do you have to go so far as to say it has something to do with heavenly judgment? That completely undecuts the cross.

    “(The point of the cross was)t o shield the elect from judgment, and certainly not to shield the unwitting subjects of Christ’s other kingdom from judgment.”

    Again, so the shielding of the elect was partial?

    “If I have the means, then certainly not feeding my kids would be immoral, and maybe not educating them too. What I meant was, it is not immoral for a person to be poor or (rampantly) illiterate. So poverty, sickness, natural disasters, etc. may in some general sense be ‘God’s judgment’ in that they are effects of the curse, but I think not in the same way that exacerbated depravity is a judgment of godlessness.”

    It may not be immoral to be poor or uneducated, but nobody is poor or uneducated without someone else doing, or not doing, something potentially immoral to make them that way. Personal sin has its place, but so does cororate sin. Either way, methinks you need to get clear on the nature of God’s judgment versus the effects of the curse. If you don’t, I see no appreciable difference between anything you are saying and Pat Robertson telling us 9/11 had something to do with gay pride parades in Orlando.

    “So your next question is, why isn’t every atheist a raving bisexual baby-killer? Because, in God’s providence, common grace ensures that, even without sanctifying regeneration, nobody is as wicked as they could be.”

    No, I am quite clear on utter depravity over against total depravity, as well as common grace (providence) and special grace, so I rarely ask that question. My question, again, actually is why are you looking for a description of God’s judgment other than the cross?

  32. Chris Donato says:

    augmentedfourth wrote: “He didn’t say specifically that women should not run countries, but that a woman in Palin’s circumstances (i.e. a disabled child) should have bigger priorities than personal ambition for power. I totally agree with that.”

    That is most certainly not all he said. Listen again (at second 40 and following): “I don’t think that bibilically a woman should be a commander in chief of the army,” & co. I can agree with the first part about Palin in particular, but to somersault from that to a general principle about women in executive positions, is, as I said above, silly, if not reckless (especially in bringing the Bible in as his witness).

  33. Dude says:

    “It may not be immoral to be poor or uneducated, but nobody is poor or uneducated without someone else doing, or not doing, something potentially immoral to make them that way.”

    Wow. Nobody is poor without someone else doing something to make them that way. TO MAKE THEM THAT WAY. And doing something “potentially immoral” to boot. I guess Solomon (or whoever) should’ve written:

    Someone else’s potentially immoral act causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Prov. 10:4)

    and

    How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and don’t forget that potentially immoral act inflicted upon you—and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Prov. 6:9-11)

    But the real issue is, why hasn’t Zrim gotten his panties in a bunch over what Riddlebarger has written (as well as over the comments submitted by the Riddleheads) about president-elect Obama? (http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/the-latest-post/2008/11/4/president-elect-obama.html)

    Seems like that would get Zrim’s antinatalist blood boiling ….

  34. RubeRad says:

    Hold on there tiger; not everybody who is poor is lazy, and some people are poor even though they work very hard. When Jesus said “the poor will be with us always,” I don’t think that was a knock against the poor.

  35. RubeRad says:

    You don’t need to persuade me that women at the secular helm is no such indicator. But I am equally unpersuaded that women at the churchly helm mean anything beyond just getting it wrong on leadership. Why do you have to go so far as to say it has something to do with heavenly judgment? That completely undecuts the cross.

    OK, I see your point. Suffice it to say that in my original response, when I said “covenant people”, I was intentionally making a contrast between Israel and the U.S., not intending to make an assertion about the church.

  36. Tiger says:

    “Hold on there tiger; not everybody who is poor is lazy, and some people are poor even though they work very hard.”

    Agreed. But I think your argument is not with me, but with Zrim; you may want to reread his post, specifically the “nobody is poor or uneducated …” and “make them that way” parts. Surely such an absolute truth as that should have a corollary in scripture.

  37. Pooh says:

    “Agreed. But I think your argument is not with me, but with Zrim”

    That’s a given wherever zrim posts ☺

  38. Ron Smith says:

    Rube asks,

    And why all of a sudden have you recoursed to natural reasoning? Isn’t the bible sufficient?

    I thought this was the preferred method of argumentation ’round these parts…

  39. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    Rube suggested that abortion has a moral aspect to it that poverty doesn’t:

    As for rampant illiteracy and poverty, I would not say that those are “some sort of judgment”, because they are not (in themselves) morally wrong.

    Neither being poor nor being aborted are immoral in themselves. Nobody is aborted or impoverished on his own. Sometimes one is poor due to his own making, sometimes, it could be argued, he is poor because of the systems in place around him. If direct scriptural corollaries is what you demand, where is there anything in the Bible about killing in vitro humans? No fair quoting Psalm 139.

    Since my panties feel pretty good right now, why don’t you tell me what should be getting them askew at the Riddleblog?

  40. Dude says:

    Zrim,

    My active social life prevented me from commenting further last night, and The Man is oppressing me in likewise fashion today. (Read: I’m at work, and my job requires tremendous amounts of concentration, and I usually can’t take the time to visit the outhouse [’cept for the allotted potty breaks, of course]—even for erudite discourse. I don’t want to give you short shrift; a good read comes in handy sitting on the pot.)

    I’ll try to toss something your way this evening as time allows. Please be ready to catch it; I don’t think the five-second rule will protect you if you drop something in there.

    Re: The Riddleblog post in question: You can read it for yourself here, if you like: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/the-latest-post/2008/11/4/president-elect-obama.html. His post and the accompanying comments signify a kind of “assumed conservatism” that I thought might … get you worked up, shall we say. (I gotta admit that after what you said in your last post, I quite regret bringing talk of undergarments into the conversation.) But perhaps I’m mistaken.

    Dude

  41. I guess I came late to the party here, but just some thoughts.

    Solomon’s description of the virtuous woman involves rising before dawn to care for her family AND considering a field and buying it. This doesn’t sound like a 100% stay-at-home mom.

    But now to leadership, in the home, the church and the government.

    Paul makes it clear that the man is the head of the woman in the home. I think Paul’s requirements for elders are pretty clear about church leaders being “husbands” of one “wife”, which eliminates ladies because it is impossible for them to fulfill the requirements for eldership. Why would this order get turned upside-down when it comes to government?

    Anyway, just some food for thought.

  42. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    Just be sure not to pee on the carpet—it brings the whole room together.

    Re the RB post, I have subsequently posted there. It’s hard to find an in for useful conversation there without being branded a contrarian for not being able to see the obvious-o-sity of conservatism. (I’m just glad my liberal father is more willing to explore why it is I don’t automatically share all his views without resorting to said branding.) But reg provided some; can’t wait to hear what you think should get me “worked up.” But remember, old school Presbies have passion, not enthusiasm. And only a select few of us wear panties.

  43. sean says:

    “And only a select few of us wear panties.”

    And contrary to convention and appearance, some of them are manning pulpits.

  44. Chris Sherman says:

    Albino,

    I thought the Proverbs 31 woman was only a metaphorical woman, kinda like lady wisdom in Proverbs 1.

    I would really hate to put that much pressure on my wife to live up to that.

  45. RubeRad says:

    Especially in today’s real estate market…

  46. Dude says:

    Zrim,

    Wow. So the outhouse is carpeted. That ain’t right.

    In my original post I was making a specific, limited point: The Bible seems to say, contrary to what you stated in the post I referenced, that there are some causes of poverty that are not due to oppression, but instead are due to one’s own laziness, hence the crazy Dude Translation of Proverbs 10 and Proverbs 6. Is poverty also sometimes (perhaps more often than not?) due to oppression? Of course. But you stated—and I quote— “… nobody is poor or uneducated without someone else doing, or not doing, something potentially immoral to MAKE THEM THAT WAY” (emphasis Dude). Sounds pretty absolute to me.

    I may be at a mere embryonic stage of development, as it were, in terms of my skills in formal logic, but even I can see that if ALL cases of poverty are the direct result of someone else’s actions, then the Proverbs 10 and 6 verses are rendered nonsensical at best. When you or anyone makes that kind of a lazy statement, I gotta call you on it. Call me the Outhouse Police. (Sure, the job stinks. But somebody’s gotta do it.)

    Okay, so you don’t get “worked up” or bunched up in the loins. I guess I’ve misread you, and you’re a better man than I in that area.

    So you ask me to make a Biblical case against abortion, and then you limit what parts of the Bible I can use in making that case? Interesting.

    How about this: I’ll tell you where the Bible speaks to killing in-vitro humans after you tell me where the Bible addresses the killing of one-year-olds. Fair? And no fair quoting …

    … aw, shucks, I’ll let you quote whatever parts of the Bible you want.

    Dude

  47. kazooless says:

    When the warning to gird your loins was made, it was because I have been known to blast people for saying stupid things. So, the warning was in preparation for my possible response.

    I won’t do that now.

    There is a scripture that warrants the death penalty for the killing of an in-vitro baby.

    kazoo

  48. Chris Donato says:

    Albino Hayford wrote: Why would this order get turned upside-down when it comes to government?

    Simply because the church is not the government and the government is not the church. To be sure, some modes of operation overlap, but certainly not all.

  49. Dude says:

    “There is a scripture that warrants the death penalty for the killing of an in-vitro baby.”

    See? Kazoo to the rescue! Now K, please find for Zrim some scriptures that address killing one-year-olds.

    Kazoo, you look a lot like Dracula. Pretty cool.

    Dude

  50. kazooless says:

    Dude,

    I suppose you’re referring to the pagans sacrificing their children to Molech.

    k

  51. RubeRad says:

    Dude, I like your outhouse humor. “Bunched up in the loins”, ha! You should submit some entries to our tagline competition, or maybe a caption or two…

  52. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    Re your point about absolutism, OK, you got me, I overstated a thing; sorry, my tongue is only being sanctified and is not yet transformed. But, not only did you seem to miss above that I conceded folks are poor for various reasons, including their own sloth, it seems to me you’re way too caught up in my fallible linguistic device and not getting the point.

    “So you ask me to make a Biblical case against abortion, and then you limit what parts of the Bible I can use in making that case? Interesting.”

    Well, I am actually helping you out because Psalm 139 has nothing to do with abortion. If you believe Jesus that all of scripture is about him then the less this passage looks like the fail-safe verse to settle all legislative issues, especially against those who couldn’t care any less about the Bible. But when you are engaging folks like me who do venerate the Bible, it still doesn’t work because, like I said, I am with Jesus with he says the Bible is about him. I have a real problem with those who mis-use the Bible and distract us from its Christ-centeredness in order to make it relevant to worldly disputes and traditions of men. The point of the text actually has more to do with making the case for Jesus’ humanity and sonship to the Father, etc., etc.

    Re in- and ex-vitro humans, maybe I am not following, but if you all are trying to make the case against the killing of in-vitro humans on the grounds of sacrifices to Molech, how are 1-year-olds in-vitro?

    But the larger problem, again, with searching the Bible for rules about children is that it is all premised on the failed hermeneutic that the Bible is a handbook for how to order society. The point of making sacrifices to Molech isn’t really the fact that children were dying but idolatry. The fact that it involves children only scrapes our collective sensibilities as 21st century people who venerate children (and family) to virtually idolatrous proportions. So if you want to point to that as grounds for your case it seems to me you actually end up making a better case for modern idolatry instead of how the Bible is about Jesus.

    Interestingly, one thing natalists and theonomists don’t seem to recall is that Israel was ordered to kill everything in the midst of their enemies, including children. If killing children is a problem then your beef must also be with Yahweh.

  53. sean says:

    “natalists”! that’s a keeper.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Sean,

    Go ahead, I’ll only charge, like, a dollar.

    The pro-life movement is the political version of family values rhetoric. I don’t have anything against children or famiies (I have lots of both and find them quite pleasant). I do, however, have great hesitation when it comes to the movements or rhetoric of men that have decidely self-righteous undertones, legalistic implications and moralistic demands.

    If we are cautious about family values rhetoric–and many Reformed rightly are–I am puzzled as to why so many Calvinists can be found in the ranks and employing the language and tone of the pro-life movement.

  55. Zrim says:

    Yeow, that anon post was me, folks.

  56. kazooless says:

    Hey Z,

    I’m just playing along with Dude. No idea who he is, where he comes from, or what his agenda is.

    He (or was it you?) asked if there was a scripture other than Ps139 that was against killing of in-vitro babies. I said “yes.” (Didn’t even give the reference).

    Then, he asked if there was a scripture against killing 1-year old babies. I answered with my guess that he was referring to the sacrifices.

    To your issues, I’m a theonomist and I didn’t forget. God deals with people on a representative basis (as well as individually). That’s why we can be found *in* Christ or *in* Adam and benefit or de-benefit from that state of being. God by special revelation said to go wipe them out. The children were represented by their heads, and that was that.

    As far as legislation goes, whatever. I’m haven’t emotionally committed myself to this thread. So, blah. 🙂

    But, I will address your premise about all of scripture pointing to Jesus. Now don’t take this to mean that I totally disagree with you, but it seems to me that you’re guilty of interpreting scripture based on only one reference (Luke 24?)

    So, I’ll just remind you of another scripture that might be useful to you:

    2 Tim 3:16-17
    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    What do you think that “all” means? Is this an example of ‘absolutism?’ 😉

    kazoo

  57. RubeRad says:

    guilty of interpreting scripture based on only one reference (Luke 24?)

    Just one? How could a theonomist forget Matt 5:17? Oh yeah, because you’re a theonomist, so for you Matt 5:17 means the opposite of Luke 24:27 (Christ confirms the law, vs. the law confirms Christ)

  58. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    As an organic reader of holy writ, I am a really bad fundamentalist (read: proof-texter), so when I employ Luke 24 and John 5:39 I do it the way the confessional forms do it, namely by the organic rule of regula fidei. In other words, that all of scripture is about Jesus is what all the scripture teaches; it just happens to show up clearly in passages like these.

    By your hermeneutic, all of scripture is about Jesus plus other stuff. This is the Protestant equivalent of when Rome says that we are saved by grace, but not grace alone, or faith is good, but it’s not enough for justification. When it comes to justification Rome says faith AND; when it comes to the Christocentric nature of scripture the theonomist says Jesus AND.

  59. kazooless says:

    Z,

    Got any support for those bare naked assertions regarding theonomists? Please.

    I assume you adhere to the confessional standard of sanctification, don’t you? How about the 3 uses of the law? (Or are you Lutheran in that regard?). If you do, then you’re ‘theonomic.’ I just happen to think that a Theonomist is being more consistent with the confessional understanding of sanctification and the three uses of the law, in that Christ in us applies to every sphere of our lives.

    I think you should win the straw-man knocking down contest of the year. You seem so extremely practiced in it.

    kazoo

  60. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    I must plead being a bit lost now. What does sanctification or the three uses of the law have to do with any of this? But yes, I have a confessional understanding of both…(?)

    And I don’t understand what’s wrong with bare naked assertions nor why everything must be proven ad nauseum, especially when nothing ever seems to take with you. I mean, are you really that rationalist? When pagans tell you to prove your faith do you ask how high to jump? We are supposed to live by faith, Kazoo, not by sight. I hope that comes as some relief.

    But if you want to give me an award, I’ll take whatever I can get. Can I accept it without the tux?

  61. sean says:

    “……..Christ in us applies to every sphere of our lives.”

    I think this sort of pietistic, moralistic, catch-all phrase should be legislated right out. If you like you can put a sunset provision in place, maybe twenty years from now. Until then, it’s 86’ed.

    Zrim, stop beating your wife and children.

  62. kazooless says:

    z,

    You’re right. It’s got nothing to do with the original thread. Look up and see who brought out the ‘t’ word first. Was it me?

    (Kid interpretation: You started it!)

    I could ask you the same question, does anything I say ever take with you?

    You assert that theonomists are Jesus AND (fill in the blank). Then Sean asserts more stuff by name calling. But when asked to provide support for your assertions, you don’t (because you can’t). When given information that shows your assertions to be incorrect, you cry out “I can’t talk to you.”

    (Kid language: It’s no fair! Whaaa. Sniffle)

    I don’t have any problem with you disagreeing with me and my conclusions about what scripture teaches us. One of my best friends is Rube, and he disdains my theonomy. But at least he deals with the evidence. Instead, you just say stuff about theonomy that shows that you’re either truly ignorant about what it really says, or that you know what it says but want to paint it in a false light. I can’t think of another option.

    I don’t come here (COH) to pick a fight with you. That’s what The Reformed Standard is for. I’m here just trying to play nicely and throw in my thoughts on the subjects at hand. If you don’t bring up my theonomy then I won’t call you out on your straw men, okay? But if you want to mis-represent me, then I’ll correct you every time and ask you to support it. If theonomy really teaches what you say it does, it seems to me that it wouldn’t be so hard for you to just pull up a quote. Most of the theonomy literature is free at http://freebooks.com so have at it.

    That’s all. Like I said, I started out in this thread playing nicely and staying on topic.

    And Sean, are you saying that the sanctification that Christ applies to you *doesn’t* influence every part of your life?

    Seems to me that even Natural Law Theory reveals that man is made in God’s image and owes complete obedience to God. It just isn’t revealing enough to shed the light of salvation. (Pretty sure I read that somewhere, maybe in the confessions?)

    k

  63. sean says:

    “And Sean, are you saying that the sanctification that Christ applies to you *doesn’t* influence every part of your life?”

    Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. By the way would you stop getting drunk at work! I love sweet theonomists, the self-righteousness and smugness is so much more palatable this way.

  64. kazooless says:

    “And Sean, are you saying that the sanctification that Christ applies to you *doesn’t* influence every part of your life?”

    Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.

    Wow. That’s about all I can say to that.

    kazoo

  65. sean says:

    “Wow. That’s about all I can say to that.”

    Wait! Oh my Gosh! There’s so much more!

    I’ve got twister on the floor, and the strippers are on the way. But, right now I have to finish the pentagram I’m carving into my forearm. By the way, could you give me your physical address?

  66. kazooless says:

    Okay, yanking my chain, got it.

    Romans 6:1-2

    1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin (acting immorally) that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin (acting immorally) live any longer in it?

    (words in parenths added)

    If you really want my address, ask Rube privately.

    Are you still having fun? Enjoying this discourse? I didn’t realize it was a child’s playground. But I’m seeing the pattern now. Every time you are presented with an idea that challenges yours and you have no answer to it, resort to child’s play. Cool. Whatever works, huh?

    Enjoy yourself at that twister stripper party. Give Piper a call, see if he’d like to join you.

    k

  67. sean says:

    “Enjoy yourself at that twister stripper party.”

    Kinda unnecessary reminder don’t ya think.

    Thanks for the scripture verse. I think I’ll repent of my ways……………………….Tomorrow.

    “But I’m seeing the pattern now. Every time you are presented with an idea that challenges yours and you have no answer to it, resort to child’s play.”

    Dude your good. Wow! Can you like read my mind too?! The FBI should hire you as a profiler.

  68. kazooless says:

    I get called moralist all the time, so I decided to look it up on my trusty Mac dictionary:

    Moralist: a person who teaches or promotes morality

    Guilty as charged I guess.

    So, let’s see what else I can get you to admit. You speak of a moralist in a negative way, which would mean that you don’t think people should teach or promote morality, right?

    How do you feel about the moral law?

    You know, I just realized you could probably help me out on something. Recently, I just asked a question about a certain scripture. Jesus was teaching. Maybe you can head over here and shed some light for Rube, Zrim and me.

    I’m sure your wisdom and maturity would spruce the place up a little. 🙂

    k

  69. Ron Smith says:

    To all the outhouse sitters save Sean: Is this really what you are all about? Do you really want TCO to be characterized by this childlike behavior? Is hatred toward theonomists the only criteria for sitter status on this Blog?

  70. sean says:

    “How do you feel about the moral law?”

    Hey man, if you’re into that sort of thing. Go For It! (throwing my metal horns)

    Ron,

    Your so right. It’s not hatred I was going for at all,……………. more like contempt. Pray for me. I’m working on better concealing my disingenuity, poisoning the well and baiting. Maybe if I start small and pejoratively refer to others as Lutherans and the like, or obfuscate L/G categories, I can carve out a niche of respectability in circles such as yours. I don’t know it’s tough, twister or theonomist approval. Talk about being torn……………or twisted as it may turn out.

  71. RubeRad says:

    I gotta say sean, I’m not getting the joke either.

  72. sean says:

    Rube,

    It’s not primarily intended as a joke but more a mirror, but if it offends your sensibilities I’ll suspend my participation.

  73. kazooless says:

    I’m not really following either. Mirror? Lost on me. If there was a point to it, I’d sure like to know what the point was. And if me *not* getting the point, was the point, I guess it backfired since one of the sitters didn’t get it either.

    Oh well.

  74. sean says:

    Hey Zoo,

    Rube or any of the other sitters are welcome to pull my sitter’s card anytime they like. Maybe you and Ron could start a petition drive. I engage you at exactly the rhetorical level you merit. If the sitters find it inappropriate, inequitable, or uncharitable they don’t strike me as the type to be shy about taking action, and maybe they’re planning just such an action.

    Oh well

  75. Zrim says:

    Fellas, fellas,

    I don’t mind jibs and jabs. I’m a really bad babysitter for a host of reasons, but it does seem to be getting a bit out of hand.

    Everybody take a deep breath and remember that it’s just a blog.

    I, for one, simply do not understand the theonomist mind except to say that it resembles the very fundamentalism I deliberately rejected years ago. I didn’t get fundamentalism then and I still don’t get it, no matter how much it wraps itself up in the confessions.

    For my part, the theonomists might do well to read the About tab. Unlike them, I do not consider myself an exegete, an apologist, a theologian, a historian, etc., etc. I am simply one persuaded of the Reformed confessional tradition (unlike most who did so over matters soteriological as they treked from broad evangelicalism to the Reformed tradition, I cut my Reformed teeth on matters over the nature of the kingdoms and their relationship to one another, whcih is to say, the W2K tradition). Mainly I am only here to reflect further as one wholly persuaded of these things. Once and a while I engage the conversation for fun or if I am a glutton for punishment. But it almost always ends up that many of the disputes can be settled by realizing some are transformationalists, some are theonomists and some are two kingdomites.

    Like I told Kazoo, theonomists are spoken to they way they are spoken to for good reason: they presume the Reformed tradition but work against it. I am not saying all theonomy is FV or vice versa, but the same principle applies. I am a bigger fan of civility than vitriol, but I also have nothing against a little passion once and a while. If they don’t like it they can go home and lick their wounds.

  76. kazooless says:

    Okay, I just read the about tab and the comments. I suppose that brings a better understanding for me about the OH.

    For the record, this conversation, especially with Sean, didn’t offend me or even heighten my passion and sense of self-righteous indignation. It was just fun and innocuous, but also confusing. (I really didn’t understand what he was trying to do, still don’t really). But, I definitely took no offense.

    Z says on the about page:

    Thomas Oden, in After Modernity What, famously observed that “Fundamentalists and Liberals have more in common than either would want to admit.” This, to me, is the same idea Hart is getting after, namely that the chief operating principle in most of the Household is that the Gospel has a direct bearing on and obvious implications for the temporal world.

    I suppose this explains a lot. I have to admit, much like Rube and Bruce do, that I’ve come from that world. The more and more I read, study and learn the Standards, the more I feel that they are “reforming” me, like Z mentions in the comments. “Reformed and always reforming.” But I, obviously, still believe that the Gospel (to put it simply, using Z’s terminology) does affect the temporal world, and I have yet to see proof that the original reformers believed differently.

    Is it acceptable to agreeable to say that I am Reformed, of the ilk that believes the Reformers applied Christianity to all of life, and that you are Reformed, of the honorable few that believes they were of the 2K type?

    Also, when considering Gnosticism, specifically their dualism where they separated the spiritual from the material, the former being good and the latter being evil, what’s the practical difference between it and W2K? (I know that W2K says that the material is God’s creation and He said it was good, but it still seems like the practical outworking is such that they are very much the same.

    Just musing. No chest thumping here or whimpering. I admit, we’re different and won’t convince each other either way. But, I sincerely do want to understand.

    kazoo

  77. Dude says:

    Zrim,

    I did see that you conceded that folks are poor for various reasons, and I was going to point that out (after my “Sure, the job stinks …” paragraph) but in my haste in posting, I forgot. So yes, I realized that your initial comment was simply an overstatement on your part, and I apologize for not acknowledging that.

    In retrospect, in my initial post I probably should have asked you if you really meant what you said, and you could have cleared it up then and we could have avoided unnecessary jib and jab (I started it!).

    I don’t know why this particular strand of the thread went all Molech on us. I guess I wasn’t clear. What I thought I was asking is if you could provide me with any scriptures that prohibit the murder of one-year-olds. You asked me where in the Bible there is anything about killing in-vitro humans (I assume you mean the prohibition thereof?). So I thought I’d turn the table and ask you: Is there anything in Scripture that prohibits the murder of one-year-olds? Or two-year-olds? Or three-year-olds?

    I haven’t found any such scriptures. Why can’t we murder ’em?

    Also, could you explain how you are using the term “natalist”?

    Dude

  78. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    Re the killing of toddlers, yes, the sixth commandment comes to mind. But I also knew that when I was, like, four years old growing up in unbelief. Looking for specific verses for ages as you do sure seems like straining a gnat and way too wooden.

    Re what I mean by “natalist,” I’ll be posting today something which may help.

  79. RubeRad says:

    Also, when considering Gnosticism, specifically their dualism where they separated the spiritual from the material, the former being good and the latter being evil, what’s the practical difference between it and W2K?

    W2K says that things in creation (outside of the church) are, or at least can be, good in and of themselves; transformationism (reconstruction, theonomy, fundamentalism, etc…) say that earthly things (governments, laws, constitutions, politics, economies, businesses, sciences, …) need to be ‘Christianized’ to realize their full potential for goodness. Thus we claim that you guys are the real gnostics.

    Whoa, this little thread is at 79 comments now, and way off topic! Time to call it off now, I think.

  80. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    I would only add this to Rube’s fine answer: spiritual and material duality can come in both the good and bad kinds.

    If it helps you, the entrenched world-flight Gnosticism of broad evangelicalism was a huge impetus for my own rejection and I am considered the “worldly Christian” in my former evangy environs–simply because I like creation and see nothing wrong with it (read: the distinction between its essence and condition).

    There were two ways my fundies knew how to engage the world: pietist withdrawal or throwing the Bible at everything in utter frustration. Neither is Reformed.

  81. kazooless says:

    I’ve been calling it “off” since I read it. 😉

  82. Dude says:

    All:

    I am probably the worst blog poster ever. Exhibit A: This entry is stamped ten days after the one in which Zrim last addressed me. (I really am bad; I just can’t/don’t commit the time others do to this.) My apologies for resurrecting this dead horse and then beating it silly.

    Zrim:

    Having said that, I did want to finally answer your initial question to me regarding scripture addressing the murder of in-vitro humans. As you did regarding toddlers, I will also cite the sixth commandment as speaking to this issue. The sixth prohibits the murder of in-vitro humans as much as it prohibits the murder of toddlers or 10-year-olds or 100-year-olds.

    I think you knew that all along, you cheeky monkey.

    I wonder how you would approach this under a different scenario. If the humans being murdered were not still in the womb, but instead comprised millions of three-year-olds systematically slaughtered every year, would you still be making the same arguments?

    Dude

  83. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    I have no problem citing the sixth when it comes to questions of in-vitro humans. But, again, the question is not, “may she or mayn’t she,” but rather, “who gets to deicide.”

    What I do have a problem with is invoking a lot of “holocaust, slaughter” rhetoric that turns of the decibels to an unfathomable screed. This issue bears no image or likeness to the Third Reich, etc., no matter what pop-religio pundits like John Piper say.

  84. Dude says:

    Zrim,

    I trust you meant “decide”—not “deicide.” Freudian slippery slope, perhaps?

    Assuming your premise, who gets to decide that it is unlawful to murder three-year-olds for the sake of convenience?

    I think your rhetorical ears are overly sensitive, perceiving unfathomable volumes of sound where the music is actually at a comfortable level (think “7,” not “11” on the volume control). To that point, I use the term “slaughter” deliberately. Look it up. It fits. I am not turning up the rhetoric; I am simply pointing out an inconvenient, uncomfortable truth.

    While the differences between the two are many and vast, I’m not so sure the abortion devastation of the last 35 years “bears NO image or likeness to the Third Reich, etc.” (emphasis Dude). The extent of human misery, suffering, and horror experienced in the Holocaust are most certainly unrivaled in history. I’m not going to argue with that. But the issue at hand isn’t human suffering, per se. It’s the unlawful murder of humans. 11 million + killed in the Holocaust over thirteen years (if you count all the victims of Nazi persecution); upwards of 45 million killed through abortion alone in the U.S. over 36 years.

    While I certainly have some disagreements with Piper, to dismiss him as a “pop-religio pundit” as you do seems rather flippant.

    By the way, I didn’t even originally bring up the issue of abortion in engaging you; you did. But I’m happy to continue this line of discourse.

    Dude

    P.S. Kindly don’t let my question in the second paragraph get lost in the shuffle, now!

  85. Zrim says:

    Dude,

    I only consider Piper a pop religio-pundit because he acts like one. Sounds like you disagree.

    I’d try to answer your question, but I sense I will get no where with you since it is obviously loaded beyond meaningful conversation. (I will say that the point of my formulation is to make a point about states’ rights when it comes to this particular issue. When the question is asked in its proper jurisdiction I would then answer that one segment of the human population mayn’t hold sway over the life and death of another at whim. But I don’t employ “murder for the sake of convenience” language, etc.)

  86. Dude says:

    Zrim,

    I’m trying to understand your antipathy toward the pro-life position and am failing. Since we’re agreed that the sixth commandment prohibits murder, whether the victim is in the womb or not, how does the question, “Who gets to decide” apply? Or how does it apply differently to in-vitro humans than three-year-olds? Are you saying killing three-year-olds at whim is a states’ rights issue? To an earlier point, if one segment of the human population (e.g., three-year-olds) was unlawfully killed at the rate humans are aborted, would you think any differently about the issue?

    Dude

  87. RubeRad says:

    I’m trying to understand your antipathy toward the pro-life position and am failing.

    Dude, we just recently had exactly that discussion

  88. Zrim says:

    I don’t pretend to know the answers to these sorts of political and legislative questions, Dude. I do know that nobody is clamoring to be able to terminate 3-year-olds at whim, so the question seems moot. (There is a state that recently had to re-write its abandonment laws since parents were dumping their unwanted kids at the states’ doors. It was meant to help young women with infants who didn’t know what to do; instead the language allowed parents of 17-year-olds to abandon without penalty. But even those cases were complicated and not really all about deadbeats the way pro-lifers portray women who terminate as hung-over sorority girls and evil, careerist women.)

    But if your question is whether states have rights to govern themselves, like the one that wrote and revised bad abandonment laws, yes. They have the right to write bad laws, enforce them, and revise them when and how they see fit. I know that makes feminists and natalists around this issue shiver since it means a state out there somewhere may violate their morality by either making it legal or illegal, but I don’t have sympathies for political moralism.

    But, more the point, my problem with the PLM has more to do with its spirit than its letter.

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