John Piper’s Tweet During Devastating Twister Aftermath

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So, I’m minding my own business catching up on the latest Twitter news and it is filled with tweets about the devastating aftermath of the Twister in Oklahoma that as of this posting has 20 confirmed deaths and 145 people hospitalized.  People are still being pulled from the rubble.  These are the types of tweets I am reading:

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But then I see this:

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And I wonder is this love?   

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293 comments on “John Piper’s Tweet During Devastating Twister Aftermath

  1. ”’And Denny wants people to apologize to Piper for being uncharitable? Wow. That basically means everybody who calls it disgusting and poor taste is WRONG.”’

    Sadly, it truly shows how completely out of touch they are.

    There are ways of handling a ‘misunderstanding’ of the scripture verse, and if they look the time to realize that there ARE alot of people NOT on their wavelength as far as bible knowledge, their doctrine, etc. Yes, that does include some within their own circle. For some reason they seem to feel those people aren’t worth giving an explanation too, and do not take the opportunity to reach them. They just assume they are ‘haters’. ALL of them, but not ‘some’.

    Lets assume for a minute it was a misunderstanding. Yes, in the past others have said something that was taken the way wrong way. The people that are worth their weight in salt tend to stand back, and acknowledge the misunderstanding. They clarify, and then just apologize for not realizing people MAY take what they said the wrong way – how they have learned they need to do things a bit different in the future. That way they can say their message, but do it in a way that ‘everyone’ understands. Circumstance handled the best way possible.

    Honestly? They way they handled it they look like they have a major chip on their shoulder. I could even go as far as arrogant or prideful.

    ‘Leaders’ are to model how you conduct yourself in such circumstances, especially if they feel it was a ‘misunderstanding’. If you look at the scripture Piper quoted, look at the time in history, remember his past speech about tornadoes, etc. Its not that hard to put the pieces together. You know – look at it from the other person’s prospective? I mean they LOVE to teach that especially when it comes to ‘gender roles’. Act this way so he feels this….Same principal.

    All they had to do is use a bit of discernment at this junction of time, and you still would have had people ‘disagree’ with it – but you may not look so bad. Piper freaked, and deleted it. Denny got defensive, and got ugly in return. Not once were they able to place themselves in others shoes to even attempt to grasp where people were coming from. YES, that is part of the leader’s job. UNDERSTANDING should go both ways, but they decided to act like an adult to a small child…that will never go over well with adults. Why would it?

    They need a staff member to show them how to handle this stuff, because truly? They are clueless on how to do this themselves. They just make matters worse. In the business world – it would be small, but ugly marketing nightmare.

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  2. Seek Theos,

    In the face of tragedy, Dr. Piper tweets to almost a half a million people, “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” In the context of the moment, this is incontrovertible, insensitive drivel. In your attempt to defend Dr. Piper you tell us that Dr. Piper really meant to say, “in the face of tragedy we should mourn and worship (v. 20) and not blame God (v. 22).” With all due respect, under the circumstances of the moment, I find this to be as insensitive and ill-advised as Dr. Piper’s original tweet. The time may come when a victim of great loss can profit from such a teaching. However, as applied to those who have suffered great tragedy, I am not so sure that there can ever be any profit in very much you have to say this morning about God’s sovereignty and His working “all things after the counsel of His will.” This comes across to me as truth without love. It comes across as something Job’s comforters would say. Were you to attempt to comfort me with such loveless truth even 10 or 20 years after, say, the loss of a child, I suspect I would be sorely pressed to resist the temptation to try to deck you.

    No, your words are of no value in ministering comfort, unless, perhaps, you are willing to grant credence to the full word of God, Including: 2 Pet. 3:9 (God is not willing that any should perish), Rom. 5:18 (through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men), 1 Cor. 15:22 (in Christ shall all be made alive), and 1 Tim. 4:10 (God is the savior of all people). But no, my guess is that, however these verses are to be read (and I hold out hope that they can be taken at face value, i.e., literally), Dr. Piper and you have morphed these clear Biblical teachings into a doctrine of the eternal conscious torment of the unsaved dead.

    Yes, you have the right to speak here so long as Julie Anne permits. However, if you wish to be heard, if you wish to be take seriously, at least by me, you will need to ditch the Piperesque, insensitive, “truth-is-truth-with-or-without-love approach. The better approach, presented yesterday by monax, quoting Dr. Jerram Barr, is to say that “The answer is to cry; weep; mourn. Now is a time for tears and compassion, being agents of change, of healing, of coming alongside. . .” Here is truth spoken with love.

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  3. Piper did not TWEET to Oklahoma.. he tweeted the mortifying sad irony of Oklahoma and the story in Job. Everything else is VENOMOUS CONJECTURE. everyone put down your stones, and pray for Oklahoma.. One body, many parts is the body of Christ BUT NOT HERE.

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  4. ““The answer is to cry; weep; mourn. Now is a time for tears and compassion, being agents of change, of healing, of coming alongside. . .” Here is truth spoken with love.”

    Yes. That is evidenced by the 100 some posts calling Piper, essentially, Satan in disguise. You have got to be kidding.

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  5. TheGood – Oh, is this now about Piper’s tragedy? Wow. We’ve gone full circle now. I wonder how the victims of OK feel about that. Let’s not tell them. They have enough on their minds.

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  6. thebackpewguy,

    I must respectfully disagree with you and your assessment of Piper’s first TWEET. In Pipers first TWEET, he indicates that God caused the whirlwind, because Piper believes in a distorted Calvinist view of the Sovereignty of God, indicating that God caused the calamity, taking the lives of people. I know the story of Job. God gave Satan authority to do what he wanted, all because Satan placed a bet with God, that if God took away his family, that Job would curse God. God said, Well, we will see about that. Job’s calamity was a test, a wager, a bet.

    So, to equate the calamity of Job to the calamity of Oklahoma is absurd.

    Ed

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  7. thebackpewguy-

    Unforunately, you are yourself conjecturing about the meaning of Piper’s tweet as well. EVERYBODY had to conjecture. Piper’s original tweet was nothing but that one verse, Job 1:19. There was no context, no explanation, just that one verse. When you look at Piper’s past examples of tweets and messages after various tragedies, and then see this tweet of just Job 1:19, the safest and most logical conclusion to come to is that he was again preaching God’s judgement. Is it the only conclusion you can come to? Certainly not, as others did come to different conclusions. However, given history, which is a good predictor of present behaviour and ideas, the conclusion of Piper being insensitive of judgemental is sensible and logical, and arguably the best conclusion to draw.

    Now, if we assume that it was indeed a misunderstanding, a simple explanation to clear up misunderstanding and apology for hurting feelings would suffice (at least for me it would). That is not what happened though. Piper instead deleted the tweet, sweeping it under the rug, hiding his mistake, and refused to own up to it. His second tweet was more damage control and possible explanation, but it still lacks an apology, even a simple one. Also, since the first tweet was deleted, this second tweet is not really in explanation of the first tweet.

    Personally, if Piper had never tweeted teh original tweet, and instead tweeted only the second one which referenced James 5:11 (Piper specifically referenced the last sentence), I would be ok with it. For reference, here is James 5:11 (NIV)–“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” I see this verse as more about not giving up hope even in the midst of troubles (troubles of any kind), and to fall into the arms of a compassionate and merciful God who loves us. Is this the only thing that could be seen as what Piper was saying by referencing this verse? Certainly not. I think you have a better chance at seeing compassion in this verse though than you can in Job 1:19.

    Is this the best choice of verses to quote in a time of tragedy? Probably not. It could still be possible to construe other, less than compassionate meanings from the verse. It’s not the worst verse to quote, but neither is it probably the best. Personally, I think there are probably some Psalms that could be better suited (though I don’t have enough memorized to think of one off hand).

    In my opinion, perhaps a better thing that could be said in a case of tragedy is, “I’m so sorry. I care about you and God cares about you. If you cannot or don’t want to cry to me, just know that you can cry out your hurts to God.” We let a person mourn. If they want to cry out their hurt and frustration and anger and sadness to God, then that is OK. David did it ALL. THE. TIME. Just look at the Psalms. God can handle it.

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  8. It’s a real problem when you have to have so many “interpret” and “translate” what Piper was trying to say. Even then, his words are NOT the most helpful words to speak after such a tragedy, at least for me. It doesn’t give much room for honest anger about the tragedy before you’re expected to just “pack” up emotions and go on your merry way.

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  9. TheGood,

    Please, would you consider avoiding the hyperbole. We can call Dr. Piper to account on his doctrine and actions without implying that he is the satan in disguise. In case you require reassurance, I consider Dr. Piper to be a brother.

    By the way, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself? I don’t believe you have commented here before. What drew your attention to this blog? How did you discover that Dr. Piper was being criticized here.

    Like

  10. Pingback: What Do Victims of Natural Disasters Need? A Survivor Shares | Spiritual Sounding Board

  11. Gary W May 21, 2013 @ 10:23 PM

    More than OK with me! I am with you 100% on what you wrote.

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  12. appreciated and wanted to echo Seek Theos’ thoughts on the sovereignty of God:

    Does God indeed work “all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11) or is that a false view of God and His sovereignty? Is there pointless evil, from which no good could ever and will ever come?

    It’s really that simple: God can make good come from everything (natural disasters, man-made disasters, murder, sickness, poverty, famine, etc.) even if we don’t see how that works out. . . .

    If God can predestine for His only Son to be tortured and killed (Acts 2:23 and 4:27-28), I see no reason to believe that He can’t bring good out of similarly deplorable events (just as He said he would (Romans 8:28)).

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  13. i’ve got a somewhat cryptic question for you Ed:

    Who moved David to number Israel?

    and JoeJoe:

    In all the verses of the story of Job where does Scripture most perfectly align itself over the Oklahoma Tornado tragedy?

    Is not Job 1:19 the parallel link to the sons and daughters of Oklahoma who were at school when “a great wind fell upon them, and they are dead”?

    Is this not the best verse in terms of parallel events?

    This is why I understand Piper’s mistake—the man tends to be super analytical and precise like myself. That is why his tweet spoke to me so profoundly. I understood what he was pointing to—and ultimately it is to Christ.

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  14. I know this one, as I studied that long long long ago, Monax. The incident that you refer two about David happened TWICE, not once. So, in EACH incident, who moved David to number the people?

    How do I know that it is two separate incidents? I dissected it.

    Ed

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  15. Monax,

    Job 1:19 does indeed draw a parallel with the tornado in Moore, OK. The circumstances are practically the same. Children died when a great wind brought a building down on them. So I agree that Job 1:19 is an acurate description. That’s it though. That’s all it is, a description. There is no compassion in it. No sorrow, hurting, love, empathy, anything. It is just a simple, non-emotional comparison. There are times and places for those. This is one of them. As I’ve mentioned before, Piper didn’t refer to any other part of Job, just that one verse. Now, if you read that verse, and it reminded you of the story of Job, and how God was still with him and blessed him and cared for him even in the midst of the tragedy, then that is fine. There is nothing wrong with that.

    The problem is that when you look at previous example of Piper’s tweets, blogs, or messages after diasters, he tends to say, either implicitly or explicitly, that the disaster was brought about as God’s judgement or will. The statements have a history of lacking in compassion and empathy. So when a lot of people read a verse like that, which is devoid of any context, compassion, empathy, or anything feeling, they see Piper as lacking in compassion. Not everyone would agree with me, but I do think he somewhat redeemed himself with his second tweet. I still think he should tweet an apology for the first tweet, but at least the second tweet was better than the original, though I do think there are probably other, better things he probably could have said.

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  16. Monax,

    After you find out WHO in EACH moved David to number the people, then ask the tough WHY questions for each. What was the purpose of each? What was the reason for each?

    Just advocating God’s Sovereignty is not a good enough answer. Just advocating that God’s gonna do what God’s gonna do is not sufficient. Just advocating that God brings good things out of evil is not a valid answer to anything that happens.

    How did I find out that it is 2 incidents instead of just one incident? Simple:

    Using a KJV ONLY, read the punishments. David had 3 options to choose from.

    Look at each incident and write down on paper the choices that he had, AS WELL AS the punishment that he chose.

    But again, ask the tough WHY questions before you conclude the Calvinist doctrine of God’s sovereignty.

    Ed

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  17. what a grand waste of time this discussion has been. someone posted

    Unforunately, you are yourself conjecturing about the meaning of Piper’s tweet as well. EVERYBODY had to conjecture. Piper’s original tweet was nothing but that one verse,

    truth is i am not conjecturing as i dont know.. i can wonder but i dont know so i cant say.. BUT MANY here have picked up their self righteous stones and CONJECTURE STONED Piper… doing the very thing you say you HATE about Piper.

    this is my last post. Love God, care for others, and leave the details to God

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  18. Conjecture: Form an opinion or supposition about (something) on the basis of incomplete information.

    thebackpewguy was conjecturing. He formed an oppinion on incomplete information. We all were. The difference is that those who were calling Piper to accountability for his tweet were also taking into consideration Piper’s theology, previous tweets and messages, and a view of psychology that says people need to here compassion in times of tragedy. We may not have known Piper’s true intent or meaning, but our assumptions were based on more information that simply blindly giving the benefit of the doubt. It’s not a “stoning,” it’s wanting a public figure to be held accountable for the things he says publicly.

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  19. Gary W – you wrote, “No, your words are of no value in ministering comfort, unless, perhaps, you are willing to grant credence to the full word of God,” then ripped passages out of their context that have absolute no bearing on what I wrote or this situation. It’s quite amazing to me that you would simply ignore what I wrote, the questions that I asked, and then say, essentially, “That’s not loving!”

    I think most readers can see that you simply can’t answer the clear teachings of the Bible regarding God’s sovereignty. Either that or you choose not to. Either way you didn’t. Also, I really don’t think your approach is at all healthy. We’re not here to abide by your demands so you will listen to us.

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  20. Seek Theos,

    You mean the clear Calvinist teachings of God’s sovereignty, not the Bibles. Not all of us believe that God created people for the sole purpose of going to hell. That is the Calvinist teaching of the Sovereignty of God.

    So, did God cause the whirlwind in Oklahoma according to clear Bible teaching?

    Ed

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  21. Chapmaned24 — you must have missed my post. Please scroll up, read it and respond to what I wrote. Creating strawmen might be convenient but it’s not a fruitful way to interact with people.

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  22. A mom lost her son to suicide. In response a well known pastor tweeted the following: “And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5”. Many were outraged, and understandably so. How could a prominent pastor be so insensitive? Others came to the pastor’s defense. “He was only showing that the Bible talks about suicide”, they said. “You seem to believe that we should throw out the book of Matthew when it comes to comforting those who suffer such a tragedy”, they added. Some went so far as to ask those who were outraged to apologize for jumping to conclusions about the pastor’s tweet.

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  23. Seek Theos,

    Please don’t try to use the “taking out of context” ploy on me. It has been my experience that when a pastor can’t respond to a point made from Scripture, they use this ploy as a means of shutting down further discussion. They (and you) may succeed in shutting down further discussion, but only at the cost of tacitly admitting the the validity of the point they (and you) can’t answer. If you want to demonstrate that I am taking Scripture out of context, that fine, but only if you show me how. For my part, the Scriptures I tendered for your consideration are very much a part of the context. You can’t simply eliminate them from discussion. You have to show how these Scriptures can be a part of the inspired inerrant word of God, just like the ones that more conveniently fit your doctrinal template.

    Do I believe in God’s sovereignty? Yes. Do I believe in free will? Yes. Can I wrap my mind around the paradox? In part, though not entirely.

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  24. Seek Theos,

    Please be more specific about scrolling up. I am not creating a strawman. I know that is a widely misused word in the blogisphere when one has no answer to a direct question.

    Ed

    Like

  25. A Reader,

    I don’t think any of us are saying that Piper sent only one tweet. And at least a few of us (some may disagree) have said that we believe his second tweet was much an improvement over his first, and are glad on some level that he deleted the first. I can’t speak for everybody, but for myself, what I take issue with is that 1) he tweeted the first one at all, 2) he deleted it without a simple apology for tweeting it (ignoring his mistake rather than owning up to it and apologizing for any misunderstandings and hurt feelings). That shows a lack of compassion, even if I believe his second tweet was more compassionate than the first.
    **Also note that the second tweet was not immediately after the first, it was 12 hours later.**

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  26. JoeJoe, you and I are talking about different things. If you look at the picture I linked to you will see that Piper sent out MORE than just one verse initially. Piper initially tweeted all of this, broken up into two tweets: “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it feel upon them, and they are dead. Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” This gives much more context and illustrates the larger point. In response to suffering we mourn and we worship. Just focusing on his tweet of Job 1:19 without the rest of the context is a misrepresentation of the facts.

    Very few people have noted this so I’ll post the link to the full context again: http://richardsibbes.com/_temporary/JP-tweet.jpg. This was initially posted by Tony Reinke in a comment on Denny Burk’s blog.

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  27. Gary W — “Do I believe in God’s sovereignty? Yes.” Then why do you take issue with what I said before? You also still have not answered my question.

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  28. Hmm…I hadn’t seen or heard of the second tweet of verse 20. I will say that I believe the added verse, expanding the context, in my opinion, makes the initial tweet slightly better, as I do believe that even in the midst of tragedy, we should praise God. I still have a problem with the whole thing lacking in compassion, my view of his theology in this arena, and his non-apology but my framework for my conclusion is a little different now.

    Thank you though for the added information! I’d rather draw similar conclusions for slightly different reasons from fuller information than lesser information where I could be missing something important.

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  29. JoeJoe, initially I didn’t know about the second Tweet either. I believe this is a good reminder of why we should see the best in others lest we unintentionally slander them or misrepresent them. The huge backlash Piper received was assuming he just tweeted Job 1:19 with no additional context. All of that backlash was based on incomplete information. In that light I think the person most deserving of an apology (in this specific instance) is Piper himself. Regardless of what you think of the man outside of this situation, here he has been misrepresented.

    Countless Christians throughout history have looked to Job’s trial for comfort in the midst of unexplained tragedy. For everyone who is offended by those two verses, I’d imagine there are countless more who have taken comfort in them.

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  30. Also, thanks JoeJoe for charitably recognizing the additional tweet and the context it adds. I have seen very few people recognize it and I appreciate your willingness to alter your perspective on the situation, even if your overall opinion remains somewhat the same.

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  31. It’s up to around 25 dead now.
    And the tornado was confirmed as an F5 — the worst possible kind.
    With a footprint a good part of a mile across and an energy release of at least 60kt.

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  32. Seek Theos,

    You had said:
    “I laid out some clear questions which you did not answer”

    So, I went to the Post that you referenced, and the questions you posed were::
    “I’d like to ask you a question about how you view the tragedy (along with man-made tragedies): can God work it for good? Does God indeed work “all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11) or is that a false view of God and His sovereignty? Is there pointless evil, from which no good could ever and will ever come?”

    I believe that I already answered that. Yes, I answered that. This is what I said:

    What is God’s will? Does good come out of everything? How did Jesus view the tragedies from Luke 13? Was that God’s will, or an accident? I truly believe that Calvinists have a wrong take on God’s Sovereignty. I believe in God’s sovereignty, but not the way that the Calvinists define it. By the way, how are natural disasters defined as pointless evil? I don’t see evil in it at all.

    But, I will expound to answer more precisely.

    1. How do I view the tragedy (along with man made tragedies)?
    Answer: Luke 13…accidents happen having nothing to do with God.

    2. Can God work it for good?
    Answer: What was the evil?

    3. Does God indeed work “all things after the counsel of his will?
    Answer: What is his will?

    4. Is that a false view of God and his sovereignty?
    Answer: Yes

    5. Is there pointless evil, from which no good could ever and will ever come?
    Answer: No.

    PS. Again, where was the strawman?

    Ed

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  33. “4. Is that a false view of God and his sovereignty?
    Answer: Yes”

    Okay, so quoting exactly what the Bible says is a false view of God and His sovereignty. I find that quite interesting. Thanks for your responses Ed but I doubt we can dialogue in any fruitful way since you think the Bible itself presents a false view of God and His sovereignty.

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  34. A Reader: I saw the original tweet from Piper’s Twitter feed and posted the screenshot that I saw. I also saw the screenshot you posted from Burk’s site. The reason I didn’t say anything about that screen shot is that I do not recall any verses surrounding the insensitive tweet. I have seen people post screen shots of tweets around the same timeframe and I remember those tweets. I’m not saying that he didn’t tweet those surrounding verses, but I do not remember them. If I would have seen those verses around that tweet, I would not have published this post. Again, I am not saying they were not there, I just do not know 100%. But . . . . I am puzzled by the screenshot at the link posted on Burk’s site. Maybe some readers can clear it up for me.

    The format of the tweets is unfamiliar to me. Has anyone seen Twitter formatted like this? I have an iPhone. Maybe Android looks different?

    Tweet?

    This is a screen shot of a succession of tweets using the Twitter app:

    Tweet from my phone

    They are pretty different.

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  35. Seek Theos,

    Help me out here. I find 2 questions you have asked, but may be missing the one you’re waiting for me to answer. I find:

    What was Job’s response?
    Do you really think that’s a healthy way to interact with people?

    What question, exactly, would you like me to answer.

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  36. Seek Theos,

    Hahahahaha! No, I disagree with your assessment of WHAT the Sovereignty of God actually is. If you are a Calvinist, then you believe that God created people for the specific purpose of going to hell. God’s sovereignty? Absurd to the max.

    Your version of the sovereignty of God is not the Biblical version, it’s the Calvinist version.

    You are funny.

    Ed

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  37. A Reader: It was good for them to release a public response. However, it falls short in my opinion. Are they expecting all 485K of his Twitter followers to visit the Desiring God website to look for an explanation? What good does that response do if it is not read? I just checked Piper’s Twitter feed and there is nothing mentioned there about an explanation. I think the very least he could have done was publicly tweet – “sorry for the misunderstanding” and include a link to the full explanation at the same place where the trouble started. Is that asking too much?

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  38. So we are told that Dr. Piper posted “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” Job 1:19 Then he is said to have immediately posted “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Job 1:20.

    Fine. Somebody has just lost their family, their home, their car, and everything in their homes. WHO IS DR. JOHN PIPER TO SUGGEST THAT THEY NEED TO TEAR THEIR CLOTHES, SHAVE THEIR HEADS, FALL ON THE GROUND AND WORSHIP?

    Excuse me, but this is even more shocking than if he had in fact posted only the Job 1:19 verse.

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  39. Fwiw, Seek Theos, I’ve learned some time ago that I’m unable to truly dialogue w/ Ed concerning theological issues. We both subscribe to very different modes of approaching Scripture.

    I love you, Ed. But our conversations tend to break down along the lines of our readings of Scripture. Such as your “dissection” of the verses in question regarding David being moved to number Israel.

    2 Samuel 24:1 reads, Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

    and

    1 Chronicles 21:1 reads, Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.

    These two chapters —2 Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21—are both parallel accounts of David being moved to number Israel; the LORD’s judgment against David’s sin; the Angel of the LORD being stopped at the Jebusiste threshing floor where Solomon’s temple would later stand; etc. etc.

    Before we can even have a discussion about the question—Was it the LORD or Satan (or both) who moved David to number Israel? we have to be in agreement that these are both inspired accounts of the same events. I don’t know of any christian scholar who would assert that these two chapters depict separate events as you’ve suggested.

    Again, Ed, we’ve reached an impasse in our dialogue.

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  40. I just read the “official” explanation.

    Here is my response:
    Put your love into action, and don’t say anything at all, then nothing would have to be deleted. James chapters 2 and 3.

    The book of James 5:11 is Piper’s back up plan. But the context of it is to be patient as a Christian suffering, that Jesus will come again to retrieve us, and Job was the SHADOW of the example of what James was discussing. Begin at verse 1, and you see the context, that the rich (spiritual word for the wicked) oppress the poor (spiritual significance of the Christian). That is the suffering being discussed in James 5.

    Job was a prophet, and THEREFORE his story has spiritual significance, and it is so explained in James 5.

    Are we to shave our heads now, too, because that was what Job did?

    I always look at the spiritual meaning of scripture. When I do, I find things that most skip over. Exegesis only sees the carnal side.

    Ed

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  41. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4).

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  42. Monax,

    I already told you that it is two different incidents, not just one. So, I came back to you with the question, who moved David to number the people? God or Satan, or both?

    Here is my answer:

    Both. One for each.

    But you did not ask, nor research the who, what, where, when, why questions. That is what I do when I search out things.

    In EACH, David was given 3 choices for his punishment.

    What were those choices for EACH incident?

    You will see that they differ…if…you write them out on paper. I did my homework on this years ago, as it was posed to me by a very good debater.

    Ed

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  43. Julie Anne, regardless of whether or not the response meets your standard, I believe you owe a response to your readers who you have misled. You should edit your original post to include the full context of what he said. Until you do that it seems hollow to critique where the explanation was posted.

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  44. Monax…you need to use the KJV for this…as I notice the NIVr version shows it to be the same incident, as well as other translations. I default to the KJV when doing word studies, not the NASB, or NIVr. Many Calvinists refuse to use the KJV, or they use a preferred Bible for their whole denomination.

    Ed

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  45. Chapmaned — “Hahahahaha! No, I disagree with your assessment of WHAT the Sovereignty of God actually is.” Actually, you just denied what Ephesians 1:11 says. There is no assessment there. It either says what it says, or it is “a false view of God and his sovereignty” which you maintain that it is.

    Again, I really do not believe that we can have any kind of meaningful dialogue if you deny what scripture says (there is no interpretation needed for what is said in Ephesians 1:11 re: working all things). Also, asking “what is his will?” is, in my opinion, a question which neither you nor I can answer.

    To quote Job: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:2-3)

    And: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Ro 11:33)

    It seems to me that you pretend to know God’s will in a way the Bible says no one can. Then again, you clearly reject what the Bible says when it is convenient for you to do so. That is why I do not think we can make any forward progress.

    Like

  46. A Reader, I believe that Piper owes us the apology, not the other way around. Since he posted and deleted on Twitter, then Twitter is where is explanation belongs…not on a different blog site.

    Ed

    Like

  47. Ed, my comment regarding our different approaches to Scripture was more a case in point to Seek Theos underscoring from my perspective the impossibility of dialoguing with you.

    Curious—in the doing of your homework did you come across any scholarship that supports your view that these were two separate incidents?

    Like

  48. Piper does not owe anyone an apology. Given the full context of his tweets, all he did was point people to a part of Job which encourages believers to mourn and praise God in the midst of trial. I’m thankful he did not apologize for that. As Julie Anne said above, “If I would have seen those verses around that tweet, I would not have published this post.” This whole demand for an apology centers around a poor representation of the facts. The person who has been wronged and maligned here is Piper.

    Like

  49. Seek Theos,

    If you can’t figure out what God’s will is, then how is it that you can quote scripture using it in a sentence, somehow trying to equate it to a whirlwind in Oklahoma?

    You said that Job said:
    I know that you can do all things

    Well, let me ask you, Can God lie? I guess he can’t do all things, then, can he?

    We need to be careful about what God can, and cannot do. He cannot disobey his own laws, his own rules…in other words, he cannot do evil.

    Are you really saying that God can do all things? Or are there exceptions?

    I believe that God’s Sovereignty is that he gave man the ability to have free will to worship him, or not to worship him, and by that, he will not interfere at all. God does not force anyone to worship him, nor did he foreordain people to worship him, or not to worship him. It’s man’s choice.

    Ed

    Like

  50. chapmaned — it seems you specialize in making assertions and never backing them up. “Many Calvinists refuse to use the KJV, or they use a preferred Bible for their whole denomination.” Really? Please show that to be the case. Seeing as Calvinists used the KJV for a few hundred years, I find that quite a claim.

    Also, as far as translations go, if you’re at all familiar with the Biblical languages, textual criticism, and the developments in linguistics since the early 1600s, you’d know that there are much better translations than the KJV. Do you “default to the KJV when doing word studies” when it comes to Granville Sharp constructions (e.g. Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1)? Do you “default to the KJV when doing word studies” on the pericope adulterae or the comma Johanneum or the long ending of Mark?

    Like

  51. Monax,

    Scholarship? Are you kidding? I dissected it. I know what the scholars say. They are wrong. How do I know?

    Again, I know based on the three punishments that were available in each incident.

    They are different.

    I don’t need a scholar to figure that out. We don’t need no stinking scholars (Humphry Bogart). We need Bereans.

    Ed

    Like

  52. Ed, I’m a language scholar and often do my (or check) the OT translations directly from the Hebrew.

    Fyi: the NIV and KJV are both based upon the same Masoretic Text.

    Like

  53. Seek Theos,

    I disagree whole heartedly about your assumption of the KJV. I know that the Calvinists have a preferred Bible that is not the KJV. It is denomination wide. Also, the English Language was more pure in the 1600’s than it is today. Can you imagine the hip hop Bible version of today? Today’s English is so corrupt it’s pitiful. I revert back to the KJV and I learn to understand the 1600 English, but I have a Strong’s Concordance.

    Ed

    Like

  54. Well, Monax, if you state that both the NIV and the KJV are both from the same text, then do the research of what I asked and look at BOTH the NIV and the KJV of EACH incident in regards to the THREE listed punishment choices.

    You will see that the choices are different for each in the KJV, but are the same in the NIV, which you say are from the same Masoretic Text.

    There is a major discrepancy between the KJV and the NIV here.

    And since the NIV was written long after the KJV, I trust the KJV over the NIV.

    Ed

    Like

  55. Chapmaned — “Are you really saying that God can do all things? Or are there exceptions?” You must be confused. Notice how I cited the Bible. You should re-evaluate what you said in light of that.

    The above claims are shockingly similar to what I’ve heard Jehovah’s Witnesses say to justify their butchering of Colossians 1:16. Ta panta couldn’t really mean all things, or else God would have made Himself! If that’s the kind of logic you want to use then feel free. I think we all realize God can’t make a rock too heavy for him to lift or any such nonsense. Saying Job is incorrect because God can’t make a square circle is patently absurd, Ed.

    “I believe that God’s Sovereignty is that he gave man the ability to have free will to worship him, or not to worship him, and by that, he will not interfere at all.” Notice how you didn’t cite any scripture to support your assertions? He will not interfere at all? Really? I’d be happy to refute that if you can actually say you’ll read the scriptures (instead of maintaining that the scriptures are simply wrong).

    “God does not force anyone to worship him, nor did he foreordain people to worship him, or not to worship him. It’s man’s choice.” Again, notice how you didn’t cite any scripture? I can cite plenty of scripture showing that God does indeed choose those who will worship Him. And no, you can’t wish them away with corporate election-type rebuttals.

    Like

  56. Chapmaned —

    “I know that the Calvinists have a preferred Bible that is not the KJV.” So then Spurgeon wasn’t using the KJV? That’s news to literally everyone.

    “It is denomination wide.” There is no denomination called “Calvinism.”

    “Also, the English Language was more pure in the 1600′s than it is today. Can you imagine the hip hop Bible version of today? Today’s English is so corrupt it’s pitiful. I revert back to the KJV and I learn to understand the 1600 English, but I have a Strong’s Concordance.” You successfully avoided everything I said re: Granville Sharp constructions (e.g. Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1), the pericope adulterae, the comma Johanneum and the long ending of Mark.

    I’m sorry but if this is how you operate then I think we have even less to discuss than I previously thought.

    Like

  57. Seek Theos,
    Did the Bereans concern themselves with those things? Yes, or no?

    1. If yes, then maybe you can be my spiritual adviser.
    2. If no, then I could care less.

    And yes, I stand corrected. Calvinism is not a denomination. It is a religion, like Catholicism. It’s an ism. A belief that I, and many others who call themselves Christians, do not subscribe to.

    Ed

    Like

  58. Seek Theos, if you wish to have a theological debate, I am more than prepared. I am not a novice at debate. Julie Anne can give you my email address, and we will take it off site. However, I am about finished for the day.

    Ed

    Like

  59. Chapmaned — “Did the Bereans concern themselves with those things? Yes, or no?” Did they concern themselves with what was written in the scriptures? Yes. Did they concern themselves with things that weren’t even written yet? No, because unless they were time travelers, they couldn’t be concerned with later additions to texts that had yet to be written.

    You also managed to still avoid every single thing I’ve said. If that is what you call “debate” then honestly I’d rather not waste my time. I usually like to dialogue with people who actually address what I say. That’s usually how conversations work.

    Also, well at least you’re up front in claiming Calvinists aren’t Christian. Thanks for being honest, Ed. I just hope next time you try to talk with someone you actually address what they say.

    Like

  60. Monax,

    Using the KJV

    2 Samuel 24 Punishment choices:

    1. 7 years of famine
    2. Flee your enemies for 3 months
    3. Three days pestilence

    Punishment given: Three days pestilence

    Where was the angel?
    By the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite

    1 Chronicles 21 Punishment choices:

    1. 3 years of famine (NOT 7 YEARS AS NOTED IN 2 SAMUEL 24)
    2. Flee your enemies for 3 months (NO CHANGE)
    3. Three days of pestilence (NO CHANGE)

    Punishment given: Three days of pestilence

    The final difference is punishment #1

    Where was the angel?
    By the threshing floor of ORNAN, the Jebusite (different than 2 Sam 24)

    Ed

    Like

  61. Seek Theos,

    Come on, Ed never said Calvinists aren’t Christians. Please stop trying to play your more clever than thou games.

    Like

  62. ja, utterly ineffable!

    Ed, there are good answers to your questions. However, I hope you’ll understand if I bow out of providing them to you. Shalom, my friend.

    Like

  63. Seek Theos
    Time travelers, huh? The Bereans taught us to search the scriptures daily to see if what you tell us is true, or false. There was no indication in any of the scriptures that we are to adhere to some sort of advanced college method of searching the scriptures.

    That kind of thinking states that only Rome can interpret scriptures, if you are a Catholic, or that only New York can interpret scriptures, if you are a JW, or that Salt Lake City, UT can interpret scriptures, if you are a Mormon, etc.

    Scripture is easy to understand without college education. It’s not that hard.

    Ed

    Like

  64. Monax,

    Bow out? I provided you with solid words from scripture, and you bow out? Wait one doggone minute here. You had previously (without directly saying it) called me a liar. Now, all of a sudden you have an explanation when there was a denial? How did you get the explanation so fast, when you denied it before?

    I think you owe me your so called response. You can email me privately. Don’t you dare bow out.

    Ed

    Like

  65. A Reader, I haven’t seen any defamation. I kinda know what that means after successfully winning a defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor.

    And lets not forget. Many people are responding so strongly based on his history of saying foolish things. Have you clicked on links commenters have added in this discussion?

    Like

  66. Yes, I have. But even if I hadn’t, it would not affect the point I am making which is related to the specific issue surrounding his tweets the other day. Any time I bring up the misrepresentation of Piper (not just here, but anywhere) people always want to move to some other peripheral issue. You winning a defamation lawsuit brought on by your former pastor has nothing to do with the point I have made about Piper being misrepresented in this instance.

    Piper was implicitly defamed as people, such as yourself, began blogging and throwing stones based on false information. You ask at the end of your initial post, “And I wonder is this love?” And I ask, is it love to admit that you would not have written this post had you seen all of the initial evidence and then refuse to issue a response now that more information has come to the surface? Would you find it loving if someone began critiquing you based on half of a thought? Both tweets were necessary if one wishes to engage with Piper on his use of Job. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Piper’s theology, the man is owed an apology for the way he has been misrepresented in this specific instance.

    Like

  67. Julie Anne,

    I didn’t read through all the responses, not sure what Piper was trying to accomplish in sharing that passage.

    I have heard a particular hard core preacher suggest people that lost their lives or everything they have in a storm was “they got what they deserved”.

    Maybe Piper wasn’t going that far, who knows whats inside his heart.

    By the way whats his Doctrine?

    Like

  68. Ed, I owe you nothing but my love.

    You can email me privately, However, I’ve learned through our past email exchanges that we have two irreconcilably different approaches to Scriptures.

    Any debate we might undertake is not likely to get anywhere when we’re not in agreement concerning our foundational documents.

    Like

  69. A Reader,

    Let me repeat somewhat from my comment of 2:24 pm. I just do not think adding Job 1:20 to 1:19 resolves anything. Good grief, are people who have lost loved ones, homes, cars, etc. being admonished to tear their clothes, shave their heads, fall on the ground and worship? I’m sorry, but I find this even more shocking than if Dr. Piper had in fact posted only the Job 1:19 verse.

    Like

  70. chapmaned24, in decide to blog about something without having all of the information, many people do owe him an apology. Piper is well within his rights to link a passage of Scripture which has historically been used to comfort God’s people to the specific situation in Oklahoma. Christians are not within their rights to mischaracterize his intent and only present half of the story. The apology is owed to Piper. In this specific instance he owes no one an apology. I do believe he owed people an explanation, and thankfully he has provided that both on Twitter and in a full length post which is on Desiring God.

    Like

  71. Gary W, the story in Job has often been used to comfort Christians who have faced unbelievable tragedy. The fact that you personally don’t find it comforting doesn’t negate the fact that many other Christians have found Job’s plight incredibly comforting. I know of many people who I have discipled and spoken with who have found great comfort in Job’s trial. The point of the passage Piper quoted is that we should mourn and praise God in response to trial.

    Like

  72. Seek Theos,

    You had said:
    “well at least you’re up front in claiming Calvinists aren’t Christian.”

    I never said that. But it shows that since I equated the suffix “ism” with Catholicism, that you don’t believe that Catholics are Christian. I never said that any “ism” is not Christian. I believe that there are Christians in ALL Church’s, including Catholicism, and Calvinism. The simple get it, the theologians don’t.

    Ed

    Like

  73. Chapmaned — Okay, I’m sorry I misunderstood you. I’m still waiting on you to respond to what I said. This doesn’t take a college degree (I have no formal training in theology) nor does it take a theologian (since I’m not one). It takes a bit of research and some common sense. No more.

    Like

  74. A Reader,

    Yes, I can see what you are saying about finding comfort in Job’s trial, and even in praising God, but Dr. Piper’s timing was just awful. There is a time for everything, and there is a way of speaking truth with love.

    I submit that it is highly unfair to argue that Dr. Piper is owed an apology for criticisms based on only half the facts. It was Dr. Piper himself who took down the full record. He should not now be heard to complain at the overlooking of that which he is responsible for having removed.

    Like

  75. Seek Theos,

    I answered your questions. We did this routine once before, where you accused me of not answering, so I had to reference where I did answer. Please tell me specifically what I did not answer that I really did answer.

    Ed

    Like

  76. A Reader,

    In Job 1:19 it has been interpreted, that storms and sin and God’s wrath go hand and hand.

    Job later suggested to his friends that if his sufferings was a result of his sin then why aren’t they suffering.

    In Job 42: 7-17 God actually rebukes Job’s friends.

    I have witnessed a preacher suggest Katrina victims got what they deserved. I’m just not so sure what Piper is getting at, with his tweet.

    For some reason you seem to be reaking of an abusive form of a Calvinistic Doctrine.

    Like

  77. Gary W, you admit something very important. When Dr. Piper took the tweets down he took down the FULL record. But when the record was brought back up, half of it was missing. It was extremely easy to throw stones at Piper when you look at Job 1:19 without Job 1:20. Even Julie Anne admitted above that she would not have posted this had she seen the surrounding context. I believe Piper is owed an apology because stones were thrown at him when they didn’t need to be thrown.

    I would also submit that the timing was not off. Job mourned and praised God immediately after hearing the news of the tragedy. If I ever face the loss of a child or my wife I pray that some dear friend will remind me to mourn and also remind me to praise our unchanging, faithful, loving God. Those truths have carried many broken ships over rocky waters and I see no reason why it was bad timing for Piper to bring them up in this instance. All that to say, I have no problem disagreeing over Piper’s application of Job to the Oklahoma tornado. I do have a problem with the misrepresentation.

    Like

  78. A Reader,

    I’m more than willing to apologize for any misrepresentations I’ve made of Piper and his tweets. I’m also willing to move on by accepting his explanation. One thing, however, still bothers me. When Moses confronts Aaron about the golden calf, Aaron says something like “I just threw the gold in the fire and out came this calf.” In other words, Aaron didn’t take any responsibility for his actions. I hear Piper saying (and forgive me if I’m not being fair) “I just threw these tweets out there and there was this huge negative response.” If nothing else, it seems to me that Piper can learn, from people like Julie Anne, why his words were hurtful even though that wasn’t his intent.

    Like

  79. Craig, thought I can’t speak for Piper I would imagine that this instance will cause him to think twice again before tweeting. I think it specifically brings to light the danger in trying to make one point across multiple tweets. Piper is quoted in the recent Desiring God article explaining his perspective, “The reason I pulled my tweets from Job is that it became clear that what I feel as comfort was not affecting others the same.” I believe Piper began realizing how the tweets were being taken very quickly and removed them so as to not be a stumbling block to others. A more complete response was posted the next day from Desiring God. But in that short span of time rocks were already being thrown.

    Like

  80. sorry, said i would not post again, i saw a tweet from John Piper today about the deleted tweets. I thought it only fair to share this if it was missed by anyone here.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/those-deleted-tweets

    OBTW JoeJoe – If I was waiting to get a clarification on John Piper posts.. this is of course NOT conjecture.
    CONJECTURE IS when a person in the case of this post fills in the blanks BEYOND the information provided in the original John Piper tweet. This conjecture could be PRO PIPER or CON PIPER but a neutral view of his tweet is NOT conjecture

    I did not form an opinion as I did not believe his original post was worthy of CONJECTURE

    BUT those who heaped hate on John Piper over this tweet PILED ON HOT COALS OF HATE without knowing (BUT ASSUMING) his intentions. This is the definition of CONJECTURE.

    It is one thing to not like John Piper, or his beliefs BUT the recent TWEET STONING was wrong.

    I am hopefully again leaving this thread for good. I just felt compelled to clear this up and also clarify for JoeJoe what CONJECTURE is.

    🙂

    Like

  81. Chapmaned — You successfully avoided everything I said re: Granville Sharp constructions (e.g. Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1), the pericope adulterae, the comma Johanneum and the long ending of Mark.

    Also, how do you think the Bereans searched scriptures that weren’t written yet? You wrote, “Time travelers, huh? The Bereans taught us to search the scriptures daily to see if what you tell us is true, or false. There was no indication in any of the scriptures that we are to adhere to some sort of advanced college method of searching the scriptures.” You realize we’re talking about things they couldn’t have searched yet because they weren’t written, right?

    Or are you saying the KJV is the scripture spoken of there? That makes even less sense.

    Like

  82. Seek Theos, Again, I did not avoid your questions. I answered them. Did you not see it?

    I answered the question with a question, and even answered my own question. That answer to that is my answer to you.

    In plain English, I believe I said, “I could care less”, or something to that effect.

    The Law and the Prophets and the Writings (TNK, or TaNaK) is the scriptures that they, the Bereans searched. Why would they be doing that? Because Paul was preaching something to them, and what he preached to them is no different than what He preached to YOU and ME and every person that he went to.

    YES, the things that they searched out WERE INDEED ALREADY WRITTEN. It is called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc., to Malachi. That is what Paul preached that they searched out.

    Ed

    Like

  83. chapmaned — precisely. Interestingly, you seem to be answering your own question, “Did the Bereans concern themselves with those things? Yes, or no?” No, they didn’t because what I’m talking about concerns texts that weren’t even written. You basically proved your question to be completely irrelevant to the issue.

    You couldn’t care less about reading the original scripture? You couldn’t care less about knowing what the Bible actually says? Interesting. Again, I don’t think we have much to dialogue on based on your views expressed here.

    Like

  84. Seek Theos,

    The Bereans went to the synagogue of the Jews (Where the scriptures would be). They, the Jews had Genesis, Exodus, etc. Many people believed because of this research of those already written books. Believed what? The Gospel that Paul was preaching.

    Acts 17
    10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

    11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

    Like

  85. Julie Anne,

    A Reader may be Piper-type Calvinist and will defend his actions.

    I find it happening more often than not, that Calvinist are defending the Methodology or making acceptions to their behavior because they embrace the same Doctrine.

    Now that isn’t always the case, but I don’t see Calvinist being critical of each other very often, other than a slight difference of opinion.

    Like

  86. Seek Theos,

    No, I don’t care what the original states, because it was translated to all languages of the world. Believe it or not, the KJV ENGLISH is more closer to ALL OTHER LANGUAGES than the multitude of other English translations. I don’t speak Greek or Hebrew, nor am I required to. God brought his word into my language. The Muslims believe in an original (And they claim to have it safeguarded) and that all Muslims must learn the language of the religion in order to understand it. Christians are not obligated to do any such thing.

    Ed

    Like

  87. O Chapman, this is precisely why i was reluctant from the outset to engage you. .

    i did not call you a liar. . nor did you prove your case. . find someone that agrees with you—that the narrative accounts of 2 Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21 are each separate events in the life of David and then i will be happy to take the time to go through whatever logic brought you to that conclusion and demonstrate the errors in your reasoning. .

    the reason I brought up the question Who moved David to number Israel? is to point you to something of the mystery surrounding the Sovereignty of God in the affairs of men and angels. But I was unable even to initiate that discussion with you for your being unable to see that these are indeed two different Scriptural accounts of the same event in the life of David. . this was our starting point for discussion, a point that has no basis in your approach to reading these texts. . what am i to do?

    again, find someone else that holds your position and then i’ll be willing to proceed. ultimately, Ed, our dialogue tends to come undone over the logic applied to our reasonings. .

    Like

  88. Julie Anne and Mark, both of you are avoiding the key issue in all of my posts. Julie Anne, I’m disappointed that you haven’t gone back to edit your original post so that the context is more clear. I also am curious as to why you won’t engage with the core of what I’m saying? You keep picking up on peripheral issues while avoiding the heart of my posts.

    Like

  89. You know, some of us found Pipers’ tweets insensitive and offensive. None of the explanations of what he *really* meant has changed my opinion of that.

    If I’m ever caught in a natural disaster crisis, I’m going to contact Julie Anne, and ask her to give my phone number to Mandy. I hope Mandy will call me up and cry with me. Those of you who would find more solace from Pipers’ tweets can have them. Really. I wouldn’t dream of denying you that. It’s a personal preference. To each his own.

    Like

  90. Julie Anne, I laid down the criteria above—find someone that agrees with you—that the narrative accounts of 2 Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21 are each separate events in the life of David and I’ll engage. Simple as that.

    Like

  91. A Reader,

    Dr. Piper not only took down the FULL record, but he took down the means by which anybody could be expected to even know that there was more than the one tweet that had made its way into the public record. It really is unjust to expect an apology from somebody for failing to use information Dr. Piper himself had at the time made undiscoverable. I don’t expect we will agree on what I am saying here, but I do hope you will at least be able to see my point. Thank you for your courteous manner in discussing these matters.

    Like

  92. A Reader:

    What exactly would you like me to edit? Oh, I definitely can add the Piper explanation to the “related links” at the bottom. I will do that as soon as I hit “reply.” So thanks for that reminder, but what else are you suggesting that I edit?

    This article shows what I saw on Twitter late Monday night. History can change in minutes. People reading the comments can see the further developments.

    Like

  93. A Reader,

    I’m under the impression that preference of “Methodology” and “Biblical Interpretations” is the core bases of why bloggers like yourself rally around John Piper and maybe others like Mark Driscoll. David Platt and Albert Mohler.

    Job 1:19 has been interpretted by some, that Sin, Storms and God’s Wrath is connected and to some the Katrina devastation has been blantantly describe as “they got what they deserved”.

    It is staggering the amount of Spiritual Abuse that is occuring, by Pastors that embrace a harsher form (Geneva Style) of preaching.

    I have to witness in a Preacher, 1 Corinthians 13:13, another words if his actions and words (when it comes to Love) isn’t believable, then “by appearence” he embraces a reckless interpretation of scriptures.

    If you could simplify the key point you are trying to make that would be great. there are over 250 postings here and I would rather not go through everyone.

    Like

  94. Gary W

    That is a good point. He did remove evidence. I’ve been asking around about about that screenshot, btw. People have told me that some people have their tweets sent as text messages and that could be why it looks like that.

    Like

  95. Julie Anne, earlier you said, “Are they expecting all 485K of his Twitter followers to visit the Desiring God website to look for an explanation?” And to you I would say, are you expecting all of your blog readers to look through these 200 comments to “see further developments”? You should be strive to be consistent with your own standards.

    I believe you should add something to the original post clarifying the context of Piper’s initial tweet so that you remove the impression that Piper quote Job 1:19 in isolation. As it stands, your initial blog (which is all some might read) gives the impression that the lone tweet is all Piper had to say on the matter. That, is misleading.

    Like

  96. Julie Anne, yes that screenshot was from tweets being sent to Reinke’s phone. It is not straight from the Twitter app but would still accurately reflect Piper’s tweets.

    Like

  97. Monax,

    You said the following:

    “Before we can even have a discussion about the question—Was it the LORD or Satan (or both) who moved David to number Israel? we have to be in agreement that these are both inspired accounts of the same events. I don’t know of any christian scholar who would assert that these two chapters depict separate events as you’ve suggested. ”

    Well, we are NOT in agreement, and below is why.

    Again, I must must must quote your last sentence again:
    “I don’t know of any christian scholar who would assert that these two chapters depict separate events as you’ve suggested.”

    Why do you not know of any Christian who would assert that these two chapters depict separate events?

    Well, you now know one. Me.

    I did lay out my case, and proved my case. Here it is AGAIN.

    Using the KJV

    2 Samuel 24 Punishment choices:

    1. 7 years of famine
    2. Flee your enemies for 3 months
    3. Three days pestilence

    Punishment given: Three days pestilence

    Where was the angel?
    By the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite

    1 Chronicles 21 Punishment choices:

    1. 3 years of famine (NOT 7 YEARS AS NOTED IN 2 SAMUEL 24)
    2. Flee your enemies for 3 months (NO CHANGE)
    3. Three days of pestilence (NO CHANGE)

    Punishment given: Three days of pestilence

    Where was the angel?
    By the threshing floor of ORNAN, the Jebusite (NOT THE SAME AS 2 Sam 24)

    The final difference is punishment #1 AND AND AND the location of the Angel.

    7 vs. 3, and Araunah vs. Ornan.

    Both of those indicate two separate events, not the same. You claim that both the NIV and the KJV are from the same texts, but both are out of sync with each other.

    So, tell me that I didn’t prove my point. I did my homework.

    Ed

    Like

  98. Gary W, yes he did take down the full record. However, someone took a screenshot of the Job 1:19 tweet and made the decision to not include the other tweet which would have been up at the same time (both were removed together). I believe this situation could have been avoided if the first response was charity, rather than hostility.

    Particularly in this instance, anyone who blogged about Piper’s tweet (even just the one) should have mentioned the context of Job and not implied that Piper’s tweet was unloving. Even Job 1:19, in context, tells the story of God allowing the righteous to suffer. It’s not about judgment. The whole story of Job is a comfort to God’s people when they suffer great calamity. Piper shouldn’t be blamed for a complete lack of biblical literacy, especially when he offered the needed context through the second tweet.

    Piper did offer a clarification on the matter, but not before people began throwing stones at him. Case in point, the internet causes things to move way too quickly. People should have taken some time to let the dust settle before throwing out accusations.

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  99. BeenThereDoneThat, I agree with everything you stated. I think we all know now who to call when we need a shoulder to cry on and who to call when we wish to enter into a theological debate – hopefully not at the same time. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

    Can we all agree to let Gary W’s comment end this debate? I feel like we are playing the adult version of the kid’s song “The Song That Never Ends”. At the end of the day we still have people in Oklahoma who are suffering from the effects of this tornado. Let’s turn our focus towards them and how we can offer comfort and assistance.

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  100. Monax, In addition,

    1 Chron 21
    David purchased threshing floor for SIX HUNDRED SHEKLES OF GOLD FROM ORNAN

    2 Samuel 24
    David purchased threshing floor for AND OXEN FOR FIFTY SHEKLES OF SILVER FROM ARAUNAH.

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  101. A Reader,

    Are you really comparing 485K with 200? LOL

    To be bluntly honest, I’ve had readers tell me the screen shot looks suspect.

    I’ve also been told by a number of people that when they saw the tweet, they went directly to his complete Twitter feed to try to find the context (as did I). No one remembers any other corresponding verse and that was why the outrage. Why are so many people saying the same thing?

    I would like to see better proof (ie, legitimate Twitter feed screen shot, not something that looks like texts) than a screen shot that looks like texts before I revise my article.

    If anybody is misleading, it’s Piper. He’s the one who posted and then removed the tweet.

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  102. Ed, find another scholar (other than yourself), someone who agrees with your position and only then will i begin to explicate such things as how Araunah the Jebusite is the same man as Ornan the Jebusite. Just as the Sea of Galilee is known by different names (e.g., Lake Tiberias; Lake Genneserate) so too was the Jebusite known by different names.

    But take up my challenge to find someone else who is reading it your way, and then i’ll be glad to further answer your (plural) reasonings.

    Good Night from Pittsburgh,

    David

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  103. Monax, my position is backed up in writing. There was a purpose for the threshing floor. The end result of the threshing floor ceased God’s punishment for David. Two different threshing floors, two different amounts paid, two different people, and two different choices of punishment. Your Sea of Galilee example is irrelevant in regards to spelling and pronouncements.

    Ed

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  104. I think we’re too quick sometimes to instantly assume that God has never once allowed a single bad thing to happen. I think it breeds a horribly weak view of God to think that He doesn’t get mad or allow judgement to come to our land. Just because it sounds like something we don’t like doesn’t mean that there isn’t a possibility that it is true. God will judge the world one day. Maybe this is just a way to prepare us and encourage us to share the Gospel with everyone we meet- we never know when this is going to happen again.

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  105. Julie Anne, you do realize you are implying that 1) Tony Reinke fabricated a screenshot of his phone and 2) that Desiring God is trying to cover up what Piper posted? If that is what you believe, it’s clear that you are lacking basic Christian charity toward him and his ministry. If you believe either of the above, then there is nothing left to say. I hope others will follow our exchange and realize how you have disregarded clear evidence in exchange for what is basically your implicit conspiracy theory suggesting that Desiring God is trying to “cover up” something that wouldn’t need to be covered up in the first place.

    To other readers, I hope my posts have been charitable and have contributed to showing exactly what happened when Piper initially tweeted. I pray the Lord blesses your conversations and leads you into an accurate and healthy understanding of what has transpired over the last day or so in regards to this situation.

    Grace and peace.

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  106. Monax,

    Did you also take note of EACH instance of the NUMBER of people that were counted?

    2 Samuel = 800,000 for Israel and 500,000 for Judah
    1 Chronicles = (Wording from the KJV) A thousand thousand and an hundred thousand for Israel, and Four hundred three score and ten thousand. Levi and Benjamin not counted.

    Even the count is different.

    How many is a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand? The NIVr indicates 1,100,000. That’s a far cry from 800,000.

    How many is Four hundred three score and ten thousand? The NIVr indicates 470,000. That’s a far cry from 500,000.

    How many more differences do you need to see before you admit defeat?

    Ed

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  107. A Reader: That is what I am trying to find here: accuracy. Are you suggesting that I tell the people I’ve been in touch with that they are liars? I don’t know how to reconcile this to be honest with you. I would like to see a Twitter screenshot, not one that could be re-fabricated on any cell phone with text messages. That would help clear things up. People have said there is something funky going on with the verses on the screen shot as well as the date/time. Why is that?

    I do not know what is going on. I am a seeker of truth. The truth that I know is posted on my article. The truth that Piper knows is posted on his blog. One of us is right, one of us is wrong.

    Really, the bottom line shouldn’t be all of this craziness, but should be focused on how can one best support those in a crisis? Mandy has shown us based on her experience what she needed during her tornado tragedy. Does her experience not count? I’d rather focus on how to be like Christ in our response to tragedies.

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  108. Monax,

    Come on buddy, you can’t bow out now…I got ya where I want ya…lol.

    See my previous for the NUMBER COUNT for EACH instance.

    Israel 800,000 vs. 1,100,000
    Judah 500,000 vs. 470,000

    How do you reconcile that one? Another Galilee lesson? Hmmmm.

    Ed

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  109. Julie Anne, you can’t start a post which implies that John Piper is unloving and then switch it around 250 comments later and say, “We should just focus on the crisis.” You brought this blog up and now you have to finish it out.

    Here are a few reasons why you should trust Reinke’s screenshot:

    1) It’s charitable.

    2) there is a t.co link in one of the tweets (the one which says “all things are yours”) which can only be generated by Twitter. If you go to the domain http://t.co you will see that it is Twitter owned. Links generated through t.co go directly through Twitter. It differs from the link on the matching Twitter.com post, which is normal since it is an SMS update. Both links go to the same place:

    Link on Twitter.com – dsr.gd/17Vvrkx
    Link in Reinke’s screenshot – http://t.co/UDCe0rZ2pl

    In other words, there is no way that message could be forged. Reinke couldn’t have someone on another cell phone generate a t.co link for him. That only happens when it’s coming from an actual Tweet.

    3) Matching timestamps on the NAMB tweet.

    4) The format is exactly how it would look if Twitter had sent it. I get mobile updates on my iPhone and have confirmed that it looks exactly the same.

    5) No suggestion of tampering. I’ve done Photoshop work before and it would be fairly easy to spot a fake in a situation like this. Granted, I know you don’t have any reason to trust me on this but from my perspective the idea that the Reinke screenshot is fabricated is absolutely bogus.

    Based on your Twitter conversations, the main reason you aren’t trusting the screenshot is because a couple people are saying they didn’t see the Tweet of Job 1:20. They could have come by Piper’s feed after it was deleted or they could have been so upset by the 1:19 tweet that they looked over the other one. It easily could have been looked over. That’s much more plausible than some fabrication theory.

    I find it funny that you were quick to post Piper’s initial tweet before gathering all the information but are taking your time to gather evidence now that more information has surfaced which paints Piper in a better light. I’m not suggesting you tell the people you’ve been in touch with that they are liars. I am suggesting that they could have been mistaken. Your idea of a coverup over something like this is so outlandish that only those wanting a reason to dislike Piper could buy it, in my opinion.

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  110. Also, that post will be my last. There is really nothing else to say and I’m convinced that engaging further will not be a wise use of my time or energy. If you’re not convinced by the above evidence then I pray God brings you the evidence you need so that you are not holding false thoughts toward John Piper on the specific issue of these tweets. Grace and peace to all.

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  111. And when I say “that post” I mean the one that is still awaiting moderation. I’m not sure if it will be posted here or not but I’ve laid out the evidence which suggests that the Reinke screenshot is valid.

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  112. Hang on, A Reader, I just got to the computer again. I’m going to release it now and respond. I’m not like some blogs where you are not allowed to disagree with blog owner. I can name a list of names for you of people who are like that, but I’ll try to show some restraint right now.

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  113. blessings to you A Reader

    thank you for investing yourself with us here

    we’re mostly a bit divided and broken here, but it is my home, my family, my church, whom He loves

    please stay engaged, i really appreciated the perspective you gave us

    thank you, sincerely

    and drop by often

    i already miss you

    David

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  114. I disagree with your first paragraph. The whole point of the post was this: was Piper’s tweet (as shown) an effective way of showing the love of Christ? The key word being “effective.”

    I like to be charitable. I believed the screen shot at first and actually dismissed my own first judgment of my memory. That was charitable of me. And then when I started seeing others (without my prompting) starting to ask around if anyone else had seen Piper’s full Twitter feed because they were questioning the other verse, I started to question things because I, too, had seen his Twitter feed and don’t remember both of those verses together.

    I do think there is a possibility it could fabricated. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

    There are probably 10 people who have discussed this with me, far more than what you see on Twitter. These are people who saw his Twitter feed, looking for context, and do not recall that verse. Now, I suppose it’s possible that we all looked at his Twitter at the exact same same time that particular verse was removed. What are the odds? Or all 10 of us could have had memory lapses, I suppose.

    Let’s be clear. I checked out his Twitter feed looking for context within his tweets. No tweets around that particular tweet provided more context to lessened the shock value. Now, it’s a possibility that when I checked his feed, he was in the process of removing them, but I don’t really think that is the case because at that time, there were only 4 negative responses. I don’t think he would removed a tweet with only 4 negative responses. (BTW, I do have a screen shot of that.)

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  115. A Reader – The blog is much more than a Piper tweet. Sometimes things can get heated, understandably. This topic was a little extraordinary. Feel free to come back and see for yourself. There are wonderful people here.

    ~ja

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  116. Ahh! This is one of those posts you leave for a day, come back, and it’s exploded.

    In case you’re still reading, Seek Theos, I’m just now seeing your questions. It appears that others have answered probably more articulately than I, and with more desire to debate.

    My main point is that I think Piper’s tweet was not an isolated insensitive comment, but was reflective of a consistent overemphasis of doctrine rather than love. I am basing this on several sermons and books by him that I have read and listened to, as well as his lack of boldness to call out evil in SGM, yet quickness to be bold to speak about something that was NOT caused by sin.

    I think what bothers a lot folks on here about Piper’s statement, or at least what bothers me, is the quickness to try to assure people that God has his purposes and to present Christianity in the public sphere as the religion with all the answers.

    I spent a lot of time in the book of Job in my healing process from the almost militant teaching on Calvinism I experienced in SG. I even wrote a song about it.
    What I have concluded thus far in my walk with the Lord is that there are so many things I simply do not know and cannot know.

    At this point, like you, I wouldn’t put myself in either the Arminian nor the Calvinist camp.

    In response to your question of how I view tragedies, both those caused by people and those not, whether God can use them for good, yes.

    Do I think God caused them? No. As someone earlier said, in the book of Job, God ALLOWS Satan to cause tragedies. God is in control but for some reason he allows darkness to reign temporarily. God also allows Job to express his anguish to such a degree that he cries out that he wishes he had never been born. And at the very end, he comes to the conclusion Piper would like us to rush to in Chapter One of our tragedies. I read Job as a long, heartfelt, anguish-filled, REAL dialogue with God. It doesn’t seem to me to be an apologetic for Calvinism.

    So while on a doctrinal level, I may see eye to eye with Piper on some things, namely that yes, God can make good come from everything, like Julie Anne’s latest post shows Rick Warren tweeting, there are times when people need to “show up and shut up.” I had a family member commit suicide a few years ago. His funeral was the most moving service I have ever attended. His parents have trusted in God and looked for the good in such a deep tragedy in ways that I can’t even imagine. I see them living their raw faith after losing their son in a beautiful and profound way, acknowledging that God is good, and that they don’t have all the answers. If they can still say that through all they’ve gone through, surely I can learn to too.

    I still believe (though it’s a fight of faith often) that God is in control and works all things together for good, but I don’t have that obsessive need to spew out Scripture and doctrine to those who are suffering like I learned to do so well while in SG, which drew much of their teaching from Desiring God, the Gospel Coalition, etc.

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  117. I don’t know if you noticed, David, I’ve been adding links to the bottom of the post. I added that one earlier. Wade’s post is so good. That is his 2nd post on the topic.

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  118. Not sure if this was pointed out already, but this tweet was not meant to be read in isolation. Right after it he posted another one showing that they were meant to be read together. Together it reads like this: “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead. Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” He explained in a blog post afterwards that he finds it comforting just to see that biblical characters go through the same kinds of suffering we do. After people got confused and mistakenly read the first tweet in isolation, he took down both tweets. In light of that, this blog post is mistaken in its interpretation of John Piper’s comments and attitude on this whole situation, and as such it amounts to a form of slander and should be taken down.

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  119. Clayton –

    It’s not slander on anyone’s part when they respond to what Piper writes. The fault lies with Piper since he can’t seem to make his tweets understandable.

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