I have read a handful of web pieces on John Piper’s recent regret for a statement he made a the Passion07 conference. I’ve resisted linking to any of them until now for a couple of reasons which are immaterial.
**I’ve been waiting for Mark Driscoll to comment on this, but he is probably (and wisely) steering
clear of having his own ministry and manner of communication harpooned yet again by weighing
This “controversy” reminded me of a recorded sermon of Piper that I bought several years back, where he is making a strong point (as he is so skilled at) and as he reaches the crescendo, he says something to the effect of “that’s just a bunch of (insert pause) baloney! And I say that because of your weakness.” He moved right on from there to his next point, and I laughed out loud when I first heard it because I think most people in the audience probably missed what he said there. I thought I understood what he was saying loud and clear. He wanted to use another adjective in that spot, one that would have registered with the listeners in a much stronger way and would have been in keeping with the emotional buildup of the point he was making. But because there were likely many in the audience who would have been completely offended and would not have heard another word he would subsequently say, he choose another word, in respect of the “weaker brother”.
I wonder if John really believes what he seemed to be saying then (some speech is a matter of Christian liberty), or if he really believes what he posted as an apology in recent days. “Greats” such as Calvin and Luther were downright caustic communicators. I can’t speak for Edwards and Spurgeon but to find out they were too at times, would not surprise me.
Either way, I agree with Chailles. I am encouraged by reading posts such as this where the accountability of brothers, and the humility to respond to their exhortations is made known for the building up of the Greater Body of Christ. As compared to the ridiculously lengthy (and vehement) threads that existed 6-7 months ago on Driscoll’s means of communication in his newest book, the blogosphere threads on this “issue” have been relatively few, humble in nature and actually edifying for me to read. For that I’m grateful.