So yesterday, John Piper once again entered crazy-television-evangelist territory and blamed a small tornado that jumped over Minneapolis and toppled a steeple on Central Lutheran Church on the fact that the ELCA delegate were down the street discussing whether to welcome practicing homosexuals into the clergy. He even implies in his post that the lack of warning by the National Weather Service shows that God cooked up this twister with her his pinky at the last minute.
Of course, this is not new territory for Pastor Piper. He made similar claims to know the Divine Mind after the Minneapolis bridge collapse, the Asian tsunami, and other times. And, as might be expected, Piper has been gently questioned by Scot, excoriated by Adam, Drew, and others, and brilliantly satirized by Jenell.
But he keeps doing it, so we should no longer be surprised. It’s part of his schtick.
All of this is to be expected. Piper’s twisted logic that interprets some natural phenomenon as authored by God to scare sinners while completely ignoring others shocks us, I think, because he otherwise seems like a pretty reasonable fellow. For words like that to come from bombasts like Falwell and Robertson is to be expected, but Piper somehow seems above that.
My question is this: Where is Christianity Today? Where is Tim Keller? Where are the presidents of Dallas Seminary or Wheaton College? Where is J.I. Packer, Collin Hansen, or Darrell Bock?
These people and institutions will gladly editorialize against liberals and emergents, happily write editorials against open theists or pro-choice Christians. But will they call out John Piper?
Christianity Today mentioned Piper’s post in an online news piece about the the ELCA convention. And I can guess, knowing some of them, that they find Piper’s interpretation of the whirlwind something between laughable and odious. But will they, or anyone in the Evangelical intelligentsia, finally say that John Piper is outside of mainstream evangelicalism?
I doubt it.
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