Thursday, February 11, 2016

3 Questions That I'd Like to Ask John Piper

I despise Christianese.  I also recognize that certain theological terminology is loaded with anthropomorphic (and other) baggage and needs substantial clarification, but here goes......

#1 - Via monergism and compatibilism, you believe that God can ultimately redeem anyone that He chooses to, and that therefore, if a person is not redeemed in the end it's because God has freely chosen not to redeem that person.  And you believe, without ambiguity, that this is indeed the case - that God does not intend to finally redeem all people?  Is that accurate?

#2 - You believe that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him", correct?  You've identified this as one of the most important sentences in your theology?

#3 - Holding to #2 - that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him" - why then would God, though perfectly capable of it, not intend to redeem all people (as you declare in #1), thus ensuring that all people will not finally be "satisfied in Him"?

How does this make sense?

Mr. Piper seems to attempt to answer this here.

Importantly though, #1 isn't addressed or even alluded to in his answer. 

That is a problem.

If you didn't know better, you might think that Piper believes that God does desire to save all people. But that is unequivocally false. 

The key term in #2 , of course, is the "us".  God is most glorified in "us".

The term is not being used in a general sense.  The "us" is the "Elect".  

The glory given to God in the satisfaction of this chosen elect group is only a consequence of God having "chosen" them in the first place. Importantly, (and Piper alludes to as much), God is just as glorified in the damnation of the damned - those people whom He did not choose to be "satisfied by God" (effectively, those whom he providentially chose to be eternally dissatisfied in Him, thus being suitable vessels of wrath).

So a more accurate way to phrase the theology of Piper in regards to this particular matter might be as follows:

If you’re of the Elect, then you’ve been chosen as a vessel through whom satisfaction in God will glorify God.  If you’re not of the Elect, you’ve been chosen as a vessel through whom ultimate wrath will just as equally glorify God.

Satisfaction and dissatisfaction (that leads to wrath) are, in the end, equal expressions of the “perfection” of God according to this theology of glory.  If one were more primary than the other, then God would not be maximizing His own glory by promoting both of them.

Thus, neither is truly a primary means of glorifying God.  They are mere expressions of a more primal act of divine volition.  Preeminent and prior to either satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and the true source of both, is sheer unadulterated will to power.

And as DB Harts says:

“In any event, such a God, being nothing but will willing itself, would be no more than an infinite tautology – the sovereignty of glory displaying itself in the glory of sovereignty – and so an infinite banality.”  - The Doors of the Sea

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