Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Piper invited Warren - Jonathan Edwards

Dr. John Piper is hailed to be the popular hero of young Calvinists of today. In my days in Calvinia, I was a fan too, until I learned about Law and Gospel and I am no more. Read about my critique of his Desiring God - Hedonistic Christianity here. Read some more in here.

Piper is getting flak from his fans for inviting Rick Warren to his Desiring God conference. Look at this video, the long version here .

Why did Piper invite Warren to his conference? Because Warren has been reading Jonathan Edwards, the Revivalist of long ago, since Piper is a fan of Edwards, there you go. This shows you that when Enthusiasm becomes the common cause, people get together. This is why Calvinism does not work because it is Enthusiastic and Experiential. It is the experience that unites rather than the confession. I wrote about Edwards' famous sermon here. Sadly the most famous sermon has only Law, no Gospel.

The more I think about Calvinism, I conclude it is shaky. In fact, I think it is a big contributor to the mess and instability that present Evangelicalism finds itself in. If you think Walther and Co. is the answer, think again. It does not solve it.


Steve said...

I have heard many of Piper's sermons (talks).

They are dreadful and are all law.

Flowery, adjective-laden law.

How you ought, should, must...'feel'.

Just dreadful.

L P said...

Yet, people love him for that.

They go gaga on him.


Augustinian Successor said...

Steve's spot on. Indeed. Piper's book, Future Grace is actually the poisonous mixture of Law and Gospel. Grace has been RE-defined as something which we must still do in the future! Something to FULFIL. Very much like Auburn Avenue's Federal Vision thing.

J. K. Jones said...

Piper invited Warren because he was taken in by what Warrne does best: adapting his message to his audience.

I will tune in on the internet to see what Warren says. It will be interesting to see if he adapts his message even further.

L P said...


Piper got impressed when he heard Warren was reading his hero -Jonathan Edwards.

What is not impressive is that Piper tries to defend Warren in what Warren apparently confesses.

We know Warren is a politician. Piper attracted unnecessary suspicion to his ministry by this gesture. I do not think it will help.


Augustinian Successor said...

Warren is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR, Bilderberg Trilateral Commission are controlled by the people who are members of secret societies. These secret societies in turn are controlled by the Jesuits.

'acroamaticus' said...

Jesuits, huh?
And here's me thinking they'd become a bunch of loopy liberals.

Seriously, the Edwards connection is interesting from another perspective too, Lito, and that is that Edwards was one of the first to document and theologise about charismatic phenomena. This connects with Enthusiasm and the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit.

L P said...

Pr. M.
Piper's confession is really Jonathan Edwards'. Edwards was a Revivalist. I have read his accounts of revival.

Piper seemed to have been impressed by Warren's apparent admission that Warren has been reading Edwards.

It can be flattering if someone appreciates also the hero you admire.

Piper should not have been too hasty but then since he has separated the Word from the Spirit, the Sacraments from the Word, common experience becomes the source of unity.


Augustinian Successor said...

Yes, the Jesuits are all things to all people, a perversion of St. Paul's principle of being all things to all people.

The Jesuits are military order, the military order of all military orders in the Roman Church, that is they control all the other military orders like the Sovereign Order of Malta. In other words, the military orders of the Medieval Church survived intact today. The only difference is that they no longer possess the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The counter-reformation led by Jesuits continue today. Its aim is simple and has never changed. We all know that it is to restore the political prestige and power and realise the temporal ambitions of the papacy. In today's world, the Jesuits can only do that by being all things to all people, however genuinely liberal they are. They are liberal precisely because they are all things to all people.

Does that mean every Jesuit is a liberal? Heck no.

Does that mean every Jesuit is involved in the conspiracy? heck no. There are Jesuits and there are Jesuits.

Just like does that mean the whole of Magisterium is rotten to the core and totally apostate? Heck no.

The fact that the pope is the Antichrist and the superior-general is the black pope and the world's top secret society head does not mean that every single bishop and archbishop is "part of them."

The reverse is also true. Just because not every bishop and archbishop is "part of them" does not mean that the pope is not the Antichrist and the superior-general is a nice guy.

Augustinian Successor said...

Edwards was an Enthusiast trying to combat Enthusiasm. Ironic but this is what happens when one is not genuinely Reformational.

Augustinian Successor said...

So this applies to every single Reformed who is for revivals. He is a revivalist, like it or not and an Enthusiast. Enthusiasm and revivalism is contrary to the Word of God and the Reformation. Period. Piper is living proof.

You cannot combat Charismaticism and talk about sola Scriptura and sola fide without at the same time disavowing and denouncing revivalism. You simply undercut your foundation by holding on revivals whilst trying to be against excesses.

The life of the Christian is not boom and bust (from economic world but equally applicable to other spheres), high and low, but death and resurrection, so that movement is "zig-zag," V-shaped not a U-shaped or undulating or hilly or a curve.

It is TOTALLY JUSTIFIED AND TOTALLY SINFUL AT THE SAME TIME. Totus, totus ... NOT partim, partim ...

David Cochrane said...

There is perhaps a nickles difference between Piper and Warren. Nearly six cents between Warren and Johnny mac and about the same with Sproul. So the hubub is about?


Your rejection of Walther and company extends beyond UOJ? You also reject "The Proper Distinctions Between Law and Gospel?"

God's Peace. †

L P said...


I am glad that you asked. This way I can state the reasons where I differ from CFW, and where I agree.

No I do not reject the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. In fact Luther said that the one trained by the H.S. on this is better than anyone who has a ThD.

His book is helpful and I learned from it on how Law and Gospel distinction is done. I still have it and have not given it away, unlike some of my Calvinistic books.

I just think that after some reflections that CFW Walther has overstated the case in some places.

Let me give an example, Thesis XIX (p. 85 in God's No and God's Yes In the fifteenth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the preacher speaks of certain sins as if they are not damnable, but of a venial nature

All sins are damnable, but they are not damnable in the same way. There is a greater and lesser sin and Jesus spoke in that manner.

For example, my thinking of stabbing my enemy is not the same as my actually doing it. Yes my thinking will damn me but it is not the same as me carrying it out.

Some one who does not distinguish in this respect will reason this way (and I have heard it too) - well I might as well do it since I thought of it and by thinking of it I have already sinned anyway. I might as well get the benefit from what I am being damned for.


Augustinian Successor said...

The same goes to any Lutheran who is a Charismatic or who sympathises with Charismaticism. It's un-Lutheran and un-Reformational. Period.

Augustinian Successor said...

Remember, I don't care if you call yourself Reformed or Lutheran, just remember that both the Lutheran and Reformed hold on to the truth that the Word of God alone is the divine revelation. You don't listen to God speaking to you in voices, dreams, visions and what not. You reject them as coming from the devil himself! No coddling up or never minding these experiences as neither here nor there.

David Cochrane said...

Well Lito a statement like that does not come from faith. Indeed a thought is not as physically or emotionally damaging as action or word. From God's point of view, and that is the one that really counts, they are the same.

The point being is that we are sinful in our person. Which, all praise to Jesus, we need his righteousness. I have heard of so many churches who will admit divorced persons into membership but limit thier activity. This makes divorce seem worse than any other sin and not totally forgiven like say treating others shamefully.

Augustine Successor. Amen

God's peace my brethren. †

L P said...


Point well taken. So true, amen.


Correct. Because people have been taught that all sins are equal be big or small, it should be treated equally, so the thinking goes.

There is a way where in CFW's statements are quite sound and correct. You made me go back again to the book, God's No and God's Yes. I just saw another item that made me wonder if he might have over stepped the bounds of Scripture. Perhaps it is for another time and post for discussion.

A Lutheran pastor (WELS) communicated to me that we Lutherans suffer between Melanchton's timidity and Flacius' exaggeration.

I think his observation is correct.


Brigitte said...

Several things (I'm a pest, I know, and I'm kind of sorry I said AS was ranting, but he kind of was ranting...) Anyhow.

About: sin you're just thinking vs. doing and whether Walther is right or wrong with his distinction: before God, we know that we are a foul, stinking mess either way. But if I have not actually hurt my neighbor, that's certainly a better course of events. In that vein I think we have in the catechism: "God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory."

We see that there are things that are "great" shame and vice, and we pray that we are preserved from getting into them.

In the same way I interpret the Te Deum, as I already announced I was trying to memorize (almost have it. I since realized Luther, brilliant as he was, also translated it beautifully into the German, where it does rhyme and is easier to learn). Anyhow, the Te Deum has: "Grant, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin." This makes no sense to us "simul" types, but it works in the preserve-us-from-"great"-shame-and vice vein. (Thus far my liturgical insights.)

And in the congregation we also do make distinctions. There are certain issues/sins which will disqualify people from being ministers, but not from being members. We have this as a precedent in the pastoral letters.

L P said...


No rant at all. We have to discuss these things and it is proper to spend sometime understanding where people are coming from.

The problem is that Walther is not making a distinction at all. Yet God does both. God does treat all sin the same, yet he judges them as not the same in degree since Jesus said that there is a greater or lesser sin etc.

People have known to have operated in a Waltherian way. Let me give an example.

Should you be put to death (humanly speaking) for stealing a loaf of bread?

The problem is not with God, the problem is with men who apply to others what God has reserved for himself.

Aside from Dr. Ichabod, I have yet to find someone in North America who has misgivings about Walther. I have found one or two here in Aus.

Sasse would be considered one of the Lutheran fathers of Australia, yet has his open critics here.


Brigitte said...


1) I don't understand what you tried to explain just above.

2)Does what I wrote pertain, or not? I don't get that, in light of what I don't get just above.

3) I have not yet met anyone who does NOT have some misgivings about Walther, and I know some arch-confessionals, here. My husband is the chair of the board of regents of Concordia University College. I know whereof I speak. That's the only reason I mention it. That's all.

4)What you have written in this thread, has not yet demonstrated me how he is wrong, though I am open to the possibility. He is not wrong by default, just because he can be wrong sometimes.

L P said...


Was your comment of 5:20PM about Walther? If not then my comment was out of place. I misunderstood you.

If it was not about Walther, then your point is well taken.

What I am going to say is then of a separate issue...

Re: Walther, my point is that some who revere him as an authority have operated humanly in regarding all sins alike. In this regard they follow to the hilt Walther's mis-statements in practic.

For example, although we are sinful people the BoC makes distinction between our nature and original sin. Yet I have heard expositors of Waltherian bent sound as if our nature and original sin are one and the same. They sounded Manichaen to me.

I have to dig in my past blogging travels where I have encountered this type of speaking and I wish I made some written notes of it so I can put it for discussion unfortunately I did not bother at that time (to my disappointment) . Right now, I am sounding anecdotal but I hope to articulate this better.

S.D. I, 44. Chemnitz says "it is evident that *even after* the Fall human nature and original sin are not identical with but must be distinguished from each other".


Brigitte said...

I think I've missed where your quote started and finished. So the point was beside the point...

Yes, maybe make the critique more concrete, so we know exactly what we are talking about.

Augustinian Successor said...

Paul McCain is a hypocrite. He keeps saying on his blog that encourages comments and what not. But he keep on censoring my comments even when they are not aimed at him. He says one thing but does another. Bloody coward, that's what he. A craven beholden to something else BUT the truth of the Word of God and confessional Lutheranism.

I have said it before; I'll say this again: These have the truth but they love NOT the truth so that their hearts and conscience are seared with hot iron. Professing to be confessional Lutherans, they repudiate the truth of confessional Lutheranism by their words and deeds. They will not make a stand, nay, their paychecks are more important. They only like the name, "confessional Lutheranism" but they do not "know" the essence of confessional Lutheranism.

The truth WILL prevail despite efforts by false professors to thwart or hinder its proclamation in the church. The elect remnant is victorious and the gates of hell will NEVER destroy the church.

If God is for us, then who can be against us?

Amen, and so let it be.

L P said...

Sad to say, I do not believe the stuff McCain is putting out. He has lost credibility to me. He caters to his fan club.

You can see there is a clique. He will not publish anything that critiques his friends etc.

You know my policy here. I will not publish anything that has profanity but arguments and so forth I do allow to stand. I do not moderate as such. I have not banned anyone in my 5 years of blogging.

History will show the people that made an a.. of themselves - it is out in the open - in the comments.

Having said that they can redeem themselves too. So people type at their own risks, so to speak.


L P said...


BTW, do you remember the stuff that happened or is happening in the Reformed world? Like who is the real real Reformed? Notice how that level is so precious such that its adoption is like a ticket?

One internet radio program I occasionally listen to always had to append "theologically reformed" when the guest is introduced.

The same is happening with the word "confessional Lutheran".

When they use that label, what they actually mean is that they are Synodical Lutherans.

Because if they were sticking to the Confessions, they would not be dishing out junk for the the sheep to devour and eat.


Brigitte said...

"You know my policy here. I will not publish anything that has profanity but arguments and so forth I do allow to stand. I do not moderate as such. I have not banned anyone in my 5 years of blogging."

writes LP

I struggle with your policy. I'm used to speaking my mind and I like to extend that opportunity to others. But I also think as blog owner you have the right and responsibility to make it a place where things, though permissible are also helpful.

I'm thinking of when a village rejected Jesus and the dear disciples wanted to call down fire. What did Jesus do: turned around and rebuked them (the disciples). Luke 9.

You, yourself, have so much good to say, that I have wished to myself that you would moderate the blog a little more.

Augustinian Successor said...

Kuya to moderate blog??? Hahaha ... Kuya is absolutely right NOT to moderate the blog! As Kuya says, we are NOT like the Pharisees in confessional Lutheranism by the grace of God alone. ;-D

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

There are just too many who call themselves Reformed who are not in fact Reformed exactly the same situation we have in confessional Lutheranism. Now you have got 'young, restless and Reformed' types who want to combine the doctrines of grace with charismaticism, cultural compromise, etc. They like the form but not substance. They are obsessed with presentation, exactly like the clowns in the so-called confessional Lutheranism.

I am absolutely convinced 200 hundred percent that Puritanism is a *subversive* movement which has done great damaged to the Reformed faith. The trajectories that we revivals, charismaticism, worldliness, etc. is rooted in Puritanism. Under such 'framework,' the historical pendulum would swing between legalism (neo-nonism) and antinomianism which at the end of the day amount to the same thing, the attack on grace as Luther understood it. This trend parallels the swing in the politico-economic sphere from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism, etc. The conservative puritans talk about sola Scriptura and sola fide, but in the same breath they gloss over the excesses, doctrinally and practically of the revivals. Even when they grudgingly admit the shortcomings and defects of the revivals, they want to hang on to fundamental confusion of Law and Gospel inherent and integral to revivalism(!)

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts was not a revival as these people understand it. It was an act in the history of salvation (historia salutis) which must not be confused with the order of salvation (ordo salutis). That is to say, we cannot psychologise or 'immanentise' the history of salvation at all. It is a once for all event in which we are all incorporated into the 'narrative.' Such is the meaning that the Word of God is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. We are the 3000 who were saved on that day because they embodied the Catholic Church expressed in the diverse tongues and geographical locations. Such an idea leaves no room for free-will whatsoever because the Holy Spirit who was poured out on Pentecost is the same Spirit that NOW comes to us in, through and with the proclamation of the Word of God. This is why St. Peter says (and this is something the Puritan is dead wrong to ignore ...), this is why the apostle says ...

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

And this is what the Catholic Church has been doing for the past 2000 years SINCE Pentecost.

Revival????? hahahahahaha .....

L P said...


I appreciate your suggestion but I have seen moderated blogs run by so called Confessional Lutherans.

I look at this blog as a place for Scriptural ideas and a place for development, where we can discuss openly what is at issue in our striving to follow after Jesus.
A place to learn both for the blogger and the reader. I must admit, it is not always a safe and cozy place.

What makes this blog controversial and misunderstood is because my method for it is similar to academia. In academia you can publish a lecture on any topic (even if it is out of this world), just be prepared to be challenged by questions and comments after your lecture. In such a situation you open yourself up for risks that after the lecture people might simply dismiss you as a fool or respect you as wise. This is the risk I take (and other commenters sometimes unknowingly take).

I am not a minister trained in seminary. Though I was in ministry, my ministerial skills are technical and came from the university, consequently I am accustomed to doing critical thinking and have a developed thick skin. I actually count my non-seminary training as a strength rather than a weakness. I am not onion skinned unlike some who blog out there.

I am not easily offended when my position is challenged. On the other hand, a couple of well known bloggers have declined to publish my comments, moderating them. These people identify themselves or call themselves Confessional Lutherans. Lay people are not always able to think through the grey clouds of ideas, and so look up to these people I disagree with. They go gaga on them. That is how the cookie crumbles - in this side of heaven.

Thank God that Jesus said that in that day - there will be those who are first that will be last, and those who are last that will be first.

One day in heaven when we see the nail pierced hand of Christ as he holds our hand, we will shout for joy as we see those scared hands. For those scars are a memorial to all eternity for us and all the angels to see, he bled and died to set you and me free. We will all be like the Pentecostals, shouting Alleluia, saying thank you , thank you for dying for me. I think that would be more important than the fact that someone misunderstood us.

In the mean time we blog (LOL) as we make our way to the celestial city.


L P said...


You are absolutely right about Puritanism how it actually undermined Reformed theology.

But Reformed theology has that crack or loop hole because the Means of Grace has been extruded from the HS, it is a trajectory that through Puritan Revivalism will lead because there the means of grace has not been the anchor that bold your feet to the ground. This is unlike the BoC which spoke of the Means of Grace without equivocation.

Because the HS is not attached to the Means of Grace, then there would be other means that the HS may come as a corollary.

Notice how in Puritanism the HS is allowed to speak to you immediately.

It is not as if the Lutherans do not believe that there may be impressions on you the the HS may give but in Lutheran thinking this is secondary and not given credence of reliability.

This is not true in Purtianism. The experience is given equal authority as the Word and Sacraments.

Hence we get this unhinging of one's theology from its anchor. So we get the evangelical mess we see today.

I was just listening to a Christian radio station here and how their songs have become a bore to me. Often I tune in to see if things have changed, I did it last couple of days and they have not.

Still the same.