When John Piper and I Agree (What Is Our Hope In?)

When John Piper and I Agree (What Is Our Hope In?) December 22, 2015
When John Piper and I Agree (What Is Our Hope In?)

I very rarely agree with John Piper. I love him as my brother in Christ, but beyond the most foundational elements of the Christian faith, he and I just don’t see eye to eye on very much.

So I was thrilled when reading his recent article, “Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?,” to find such a major point of unity between us on such an important issue facing the church. The article does reflect a few of the theological underpinnings of our disagreements, but I don’t want to focus on those right now.

I just want to celebrate this point of unity, and encourage my brother in the stand he has taken. The perspective he is advocating is not a very popular one in modern Evangelicalism, and I have no doubt he will be taking some flak for it in the coming days. I pray God will help him stay strong in this.

Here are a few excerpts I particularly enjoyed (bold emphases added):

The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No. …

Any exaltation, or Christianization, of the sword that silences Romans 12:19–20 has lost its way.

Peter’s aim for Christians as “sojourners and exiles” on the earth is not that we put our hope in the self-protecting rights of the second amendment, but in the revelation of Jesus Christ in glory (1 Peter 1:7, 13; 4:13; 5:1). …

What is the moment of life-threatening danger for? Is it for showing how powerful and preemptive we have been? Is it to show our shrewdness — that we have a gun in our back pocket and we can show you something? That is a response learned from Jason Bourne, not Jesus and the Bible. That response appeals to everything earthly in us, and requires no miracle of the new birth. It is as common and as easy as eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. …

I think I can say with complete confidence that the identification of Christian security with concealed weapons will cause no one to ask a reason for the hope that is in us. They will know perfectly well where our hope is. It’s in our pocket.

When Jesus told the apostles to buy a sword, he was not telling them to use it to escape the very thing he promised they should endure to the death. …

Our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life. So when presented with this threat to my wife or daughter or friend, my heart should incline toward doing good in a way that would accomplish this great aim. There are hundreds of variables in every crisis that might affect how that happens. …

Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. That is, Jesus’ personal strategy for overcoming crimes was to overcome sinful inclinations by giving his life to pay debts and change hearts.

I do not know what I would do before this situation presents itself with all its innumerable variations of factors. And I would be very slow to condemn a person who chose differently from me. …

exhorting the lambs to carry concealed weapons with which to shoot the wolves does not advance the counter-cultural, self-sacrificing, soul-saving cause of Christ.

Be sure to read the full article.

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