"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

A Rant For Piper’s Disciples

Posted in Theological by matt on Friday, February 22, 2008

 So this is kinda blunt, but how is there a discrepancy between “saving people being Christ’s primary reason for coming to earth” and “everything God does being first and foremost for His glory?” My friends who seem to have sworn allegience as Piper’s disciples love spouting this one, but when I ask them to explain it usually doesn’t go beyond, “I’m just tired of people thinking it’s all about them!”
 I think the two statements are more linked than both sides of this argument prefer to consider. But, as usual, new generations prefer a passionate, pericing statement because it tends to make us feel as though we’re the true, counter-culture Christ-followers when really…we’re actually naive and just out of balance in a different way.
 I actually believe that these two “inconsistencies” can blend in a non-heretical way. In the case of Christ’s passion, in fact, I think they’re dependent on one another (not that God needs us in order to be glorified, but you know what I mean).
 I first have trouble with the concept that the entirety of Christ’s passion can be understood compartmentally. For many (but certainly not all) of the Piper-followers Christ’s passion has become solely about God’s glory – as though it can be separated from all the other important reasons for His death, burial, and ressurection. Dissecting the issue in this way has not necessarily resulted in a poor theological outcome, but it also doesn’t explain the finer details and means of getting there.
So the question I think we should start with is ‘How is God glorified’? Because arguing that everything is about God’s glory without saying more is like saying hospitals are first and foremost about making people healthy – which is true, but they’re about so much more than just that. Physical health is the end result, but it’s much more complex than just a pithy statement.
So does Christ’s saving people bring glory to God? 
 The answer is emphatically ‘yes’.
 Then can saving people be Christ’s primary goal? I believe so. Though NOT just because it ends in our salvation, but because God is glorified through our salvation. The issue is not about his “primary goal” the issue is about the outcome we work toward and how that comes about, and if we’re going to talk about whether Jesus’ death was more about humans or more about God then I think we’re missing it. Jesus’ death was about God’s glory, which means it was about both. So yea, all that to say I basically agree with the Piperians (hehe, did I make that up?). I just think it’s important to elaborate and not simply say “The cross isn’t about God’s glory and not just about us!” Well, true…but please explain.
 Ignorance focuses only on the what and forgets the why. But the why is always deep down at the heart of things.

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  1. Erin said, on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Hey Matt! I found your blog from Criner’s. It’s good for me to ‘hear’ others process through stuff like this, so thanks for sharing… and Thailand? That’s awesome!

  2. matt said, on Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Wow…it’s weird to actually get a comment from someone other than a parent! Thanks Erin.

    Ya, I’m definitely excited about Thailand. Now I’ve just gotta start preparing…

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