5 thoughts on “News to Me

  1. DGH is my favorite Calvinist, and the Old Life fellows are the only sort of Calvinists writing about religion whom I can appreciate for more than 5 minutes. When they write about Church and culture, I agree heartily. The polar opposite of the Touchstonistas.

    A friend of mine got DGH to sign a copy of his little ISI book to me.

    Question? Why would the Old Lifers have John Piper books advertised on their site? I would have thought DGH would have nothing to do with Piper.

  2. It would be interesting to know why you think they wouldn’t associate.

    There aren’t Calvinists who don’t find Piper’s books useful, especially at the popular level which is the one people involved in churches most deal with. Not that I know of at least. (I was surprised once that a lawyer told me he found Desiring God a very hard book to understand.)

  3. I suppose I thought that since the old lifers hold no punches with neo-calvinists and two-kingdomers and Kuyperians and pretty much anybody who does not hold to the strict letter of the Westminster Standards, and they promote a liturgical Reformed faith, they would not be so keen on a Baptist (however Reformed) whose church uses guitars at times, etc.

    But I suppose if one subscribes to TULIP one occasionally has to turn to folks like Piper and Sproul to do baseline work.

    I have a bit of an odd history with Piper, hence my interest. He was the grand enemy of a dear friend of mine, and he was engaged in a debate at my (exclusively missions focused) Bible College years ago in which an Arminianly persuaded theologian stood up during a Piper talk on missions and declared his determinism pagan. It is still the stuff of legend. Most folks think Piper lost the exchange. He was later invited by a prof I had (who had been kicked out of Bethel years before Piper got my other prof friend kicked out of Bethel) to debate his determinist missiology but Piper declined at the last minute.

    I co-student of mine was the some of the man who wrote The Five Points of Calvinism: Documented, Defined, Defended, and I would sometimes drive this fellow to Piper’s church, and we would go out after. The man is an event.

    My favorite of Piperisms was after an affair between two of his staff, one of them to do with music, took place, during a time when a number of folks had been pressing for a really expensive top notch organ to be put into the sanctuary. Piper had been against it, and after the affair become public he gave a sermon that is the most bizarre I have ever heard, stating that organ pipes were phallic symbols and, well, it gets worse from there. I still have the tape around somewhere I think…..

    For the record, I know some folks who went to the young Sproul’s church, and they sound like a real interesting crowd. RC Sproul meets Wendell Berry. There are a number of Calvinists in the Christian homesteading movement (indeed, I would posit that there are more Calvinists who actually remain in homesteading for a considerable length of time than there are other stripes of Christian homesteaders). I think that Calvinist theology is positively nuts, but I admire the patience and wonderfully human reserve of the dogged, tough old lifer sort. I’ve told my wife before that for all my years outside of Protestantism I will never get past the intuitive reflex that when the caca hits the fan in life I call my old school Pentecostal friend to pray for me and my old lifer Calvinist friend to come help. There are certain of the pre-pop theologies, perhaps, that tend toward particular human virtues and usefulnesses.

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