Some comment threads from Adrian's blog

Here, for the record, I am copying and saving some recent comment threads from Adrian Warnock’s blog. I think I have included all posts which have any comments (even the one on football!) back to the beginning of November, which includes the whole series on Piper’s book about Wright as well as the controversial Mark Driscoll Firm, But Kind, About Joel Osteen on Prosperity Teaching.


“BOOK – Piper on Wright, Conclusion: What is Justification?”

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Peter Kirk said…

Would it not be more appropriate to buy, and read, one of Wright’s books on the subject before Piper’s response? After all, if Piper’s response is as good and convincing as you make out, no one is going to be led astray by this. And Piper’s work will be much more meaningful, surely, to someone who is already familiar with Wright’s writing. 

21 November, 2007 11:48


Glennsp said…

21 November, 2007 15:00


“Does Piper Neglect the Resurrection?”

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Alastair said…
I think its important to look at the whole picture: 

– Jesus’ incarnational life
– Jesus’ sacrificial death
– Jesus’ resurrection
– Jesus’ ascension
– Jesus’ Spirit being poured out (Pentecost)

The trouble is I don’t think many of us have figured out a way to tell the gospel with the Gospels, rather than just the crucifixion.

20 November, 2007 09:37

Vitali said…
Adrian, I am not sure it’s a Holy Spirit or not, but I made this
post a few hours before you’ve done yours. 

20 November, 2007 09:46

James Eglinton said…
Hi Adrian, 

Thanks for your comment. I’m also sorry we didn’t get to meet. Next time perhaps!

Are you up in Edinburgh often? I like your blog – always lots of good stuff here.

In Christ,

James Eglinton
(An Calbhinist Metro – Gaelic for ‘The Metro Calvinist’)

20 November, 2007 13:34

Timothy Ha said…
I think Eastern Christians (I am living in Russia, an Orthodox land) are more concerned with resurrection that Western ones – I wished I could have some time later to prove my point. 

Eastern people are more concerned with life with a living Christ and Western – with justification. Where the law system is more strong and practiced (which is good), people tend to think that justification is so important. But that doesn’t produce real Christian life. Only a living Christ and the Holy Spirit can. Our justification is nothing if it doesn’t lead us to anywhere.

We can be proud of being called Christians but who will help us live out our title? Only a living Christ.

By the way, Piper (I respect him a lot!) talks about resurrection also in terms of law and insurance — “his vindication-securing resurrection”.

That differs from Paul who said our life is hidden in Christ.

Of course, that was not the purpose of the book to talk about resurrection.

20 November, 2007 16:42

Stephen Dunning said…

It is interesting to notice how much the resurrection features in the preaching in the Acts of the Apostles (see, for example, Acts 17:18). 

I too am convinced evangelicals do not preach the resurrection with the same emphasis found in the NT. I suspect it is because, while we fit it into the work of Christ, we don’t consider it a part of the work of salvation.

20 November, 2007 16:58

Timothy Ha said…
Found some more details: 

“Easter is the fundamental and most important festival of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. Every other religious festival on their calendars, including Christmas, is secondary in importance to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is reflected rich Easter-connected customs in the cultures of countries that are traditionally Orthodox Christian majority. Eastern Catholics have similar emphasis in their calendars, and many of their liturgical customs are very similar.

This is not to say that Christmas and other elements of the Christian liturgical calendar are ignored. Instead, these events are all seen as necessary but preliminary to the full climax of the Resurrection, in which all that has come before reaches fulfilment and fruition. Pascha (Easter) is the primary act that fulfils the purpose of Christ’s ministry on earth—to defeat death by dying and to purify and exalt humanity by voluntarily assuming and overcoming human frailty. This is succinctly summarized by the Paschal troparion, sung repeatedly during Pascha until the Apodosis of Pascha, which is the day before Ascension:

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!”

Also, it’s important to notice that the Catholic cross has Christ crucified on it, and the Russian Orthodox one doesn’t have Christ, explaining that he is risen and glorified. Protestant crosses don’t have Christ crucified on it, either.

20 November, 2007 17:31

Chris Giammona said…

Some of my friends & I have been discussing: where does the resurrection fit into all of the discussion around the “cross”.

I remember that John MacArthur wrote a paper many years ago titled “Don’t forget the Resurrection”.

In trying to apply the entire life, death, and resurrection of Chris to my life, I prefer the term “Gospel Centered” to “Cross Centered”.


20 November, 2007 17:34

Peter Kirk said…

I am pleased to see here a critical evaluation of what Piper has written. Perhaps I need to take back the suggestion I made on my blog that you treat him as an idol. 

20 November, 2007 20:34


redmirth said…
Interesting point, and it’s something I’ve pondered over the last few months as I’ve been more exposed to Reformist teaching (i come from a traditional Pentecostal background, but am very much drawn to Reformist theology). There really ought to be no conflict for space betweeen Christ’s atoning death and his glorious resurrection. After all if Christ is still dead, then we are to be pitied above all men! 

20 November, 2007 21:22

Bernard said…
It is impossible to write a serious book on justification without plenty of consideration of the resurrection. 

Let us consider another verse Piper only uses the first half of

Romans 4 25
‘(Jesus)who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our justification’

The things that Piper claims Wright doesn’t include in Justification can easily be found in his account of our ressurrection life.

20 November, 2007 23:56

donsands said…

“I wish that we would all learn not to do that with that particular verse.” 


I agree that the emphasis on the Cross may be out of proportion at times.

A verse like Galatians 6:14 comes to mind. AS verse dear to my heart.
As well as Paul saying, I preach Christ crucified.
There certainly is a place to glory in the Cross, and all it stands for. Satan hates the Cross of our Lord. It crushed his head. And so he hates us to preach the whole truth of Christ on the Cross.

However, the risen Lord is the other half of the story though, and we do need to be equally emphasizing this dynamic truth as well. The tomb is empty, and Jesus is risen; risen indeed!

Good post. Good exhortation, and I’m encouraged.

21 November, 2007 01:03

Timothy Ha said…
To be fair, Piper has many sermons on the topic of the

21 November, 2007 04:12

Timothy Ha said…

Perhaps, Major Ian Thomas would have a word to say on Christ’s resurrection’s impact in our life. 

Please see his biography and index of sermons

21 November, 2007 04:38


“Tom Wright’s Response to John Piper”

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Mark L said…
How grateful I am for this quality in John’s book, which I have just started. It is gracious — it does not assume Wright is a heretic — it is not strident or abrasive or insulting. It is clear and engages in a debate with thoughtful evaluation of Wright’s work. I a, grateful for this model of debate and critique. Wright needs this kind of critique. 

19 November, 2007 15:02

xopher_mc said…

I wonder what you think about wright’s comments on PSA in this interview? 

19 November, 2007 23:34

Gordon Cheng said…

Anglicans have an annoying habit of whispering polite, soothing nothings into each other’s ears. The quote from old NTW is thoroughly, well, Anglican. Delphic in its nothingness, but it sure sounds good. 

20 November, 2007 00:55

Tim Chesterton said…

Gordon, as an Anglican myself I wonder how familiar you are with the current Anglican squabble about homosexuality? I assure you, we’ve gotten over our terminal niceness rather quickly… 

20 November, 2007 02:56

jgb said…

Are you saying that Wright’s statements regarding Piper mean nothing? My question is not sarcastic. I’m just trying to be clear.

20 November, 2007 03:04

Gordon Cheng said…

Tim, I’m a Sydney Anglican! Does that make me Anglican? 😉 

jgb, My reading of NTW’s comment is that he thinks Piper has tried hard to be fair

(but doesn’t know if he has succeeded)

and he might write something in response

(but then again he may not).

So I’m not sure what you make of this, but I’m not sure it amounts to anything, does it?

The praise he offers is fulsome (a nicely misconstruable word, that!). Even here, he sounds like he is saying something good about John P. whilst managing, brilliantly, to reserve the right to come back later and say that actually, what Piper has done is very, very bad.

So yes, jgb, I think with Wright’s comments as extracted here we have been left with a great, big, fat, smiling zero.

20 November, 2007 11:53

Peter Kirk said…

Well, Wright doesn’t always pull his punches, although they tend to be more subtle than the cries of “blasphemy” that we have heard from John Piper (concerning Steve Chalke). I hope Wright does reply to the substance of what Piper has written, and I would expect his reply to be graciously devastating to Piper’s arguments. 

20 November, 2007 14:51


jgb said…

I can see the point you are making about Wright’s comments. However, I think you aren’t seeing everything he has said.

It’s true that Wright doesn’t know whether Piper is being “fair or not at this stage.” I don’t see this as saying “nothing.” He explained his point in the statements previous to that, namely that he hasn’t read the final book.

He is clear when he says, “I do know that he has done his darndest to be fair and I honor that and I respect that,” and I think that is significant.

Further, he puts Piper into “a different category,” noting how Piper “graciously” sent him an advance manuscript.

I don’t see these statements as “soothing nothings.”

I don’t want to belabor this point or become pedantic (maybe I already have!), so I’ll leave it at that.

20 November, 2007 22:46

Bernard said…
Hmm, I don’t like Piper’s book at all ata all, but Wright isn’t doing himself any favours in that interview. He manages to say that we need to be careful about our terminology…..and then he confuses justification with adoption. 

21 November, 2007 00:04

jgb said…

Can you point out the place in the interview where you see Wright’s confusion? Thanks!

21 November, 2007 02:27


“Piper Gets Passionate With the ETS on Justification”

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Andrew said…
So he’s biased, but that’s okay ‘cos he’s passionate about his bias and therefore his view is of God??? 


I’m passionate about the subject too, and have spent years studying it out of a real desire to know the truth. Does that mean God’s behind my view? How come then, that I disagree with Piper on most things…?

19 November, 2007 09:02

Glennsp said…
If you disagree with Dr Piper on most things (and taking into account his proven track record in regard to fidelity to the Bible) maybe you should consider re-evaluating some of the areas in which you see yourself as in disagreement. 

I have found that I can take almost everything that Dr Piper puts out, weigh it against scripture and it will not be found wanting.

The areas covered by the ‘almost’ are in secondary issues and usually even Dr Piper recognises that there is room for other possible views.

20 November, 2007 00:22

jgb said…

I am sympathetic to your argument. Piper’s statements do seem circular (if that’s even the right word). It would be easy to attack him on this front. However, I love Piper and his passion so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

These statements make me think that at least one person whom he respects enough to pay heed has warned him that his passion for a particular doctrinal expression has made him “blind.”

I agree with his point that we need to be passionate about knowing the truth. We need to want to know. However, is he arguing that he has more passion to know the truth than his opponents?

As far as the pastoral effects of his view of justification vs. Wright’s, I think there are pros and cons both ways. Right now it seems easier for people to see the positive pastoral effects of Piper’s line of thinking because there has been a great deal of thought by numerous theologians applied to it. I wonder if the inability to see a different perspective (especially pastorally) might be getting in the way here.

20 November, 2007 03:20


“Mark Driscoll at MenMakers in Scotland”

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Charity said…
The race is named man because men rule humanity. 

What is the basis for this argument?

18 November, 2007 17:20

Glennsp said…
That has been answered elsewhere many times Charity and as such why not go over all that material that already exists. 🙂 

18 November, 2007 21:04

Suzanne McCarthy said…
Yes, I too would like to know how the word Adam, which God used to name he human race, means only the male, when in Numbers 31 the word “adam” is used to refer to a group of 32,000 women, exclusively women. At that point Bible translations have to translate Adam as “people”. 

In fact, I suspect that Driscoll is quoting from Grudem who once stated that God named the human race Man in Gen. 5:2 and that all translations up until the 80’s had Man/man in this verse.

In fact, the first Bible that I have ever seen which put Man or man in that verse was the RSV, 1952.

God named the human race Adam, which was the Hebrew word for “human” one who is from the earth.

It is sad to see both the English and Hebrew languages, along with 2000 years of Bible translation so sadly abused and misquoted.

Oddly, Adam, although called by the church fathers the head of the human race, was never the ruler of the human race. It was, however, Eve’s curse that he would rule her.

Is it this curse which Driscoll is seeking to perpetuate?

Unfortunately, this rather wrong-headed introduction spoils what might otherwise be a worthy exhortation to men to appreciate their wives.

18 November, 2007 21:06

Mark said…
glennsp… it has not been “answered” it has been “argued” very different! I was about to comment did Mr Driscoll *really* say “The race is named man because men rule humanity.” though TBH I’m not surprised, just amazed he was allowed to get away with it! And it may just be the transcription but did he *actually* imply that it is Men that are made in the image of God and that Men are the glory of God… if he doesn’t mean that why does he not say “the same way we look at our sons AND DAUGHTERS and say, “You are my glory!”… 

every time I hear/read Driscoll he gets more and more obsessed and more and more extreme… I expect him to be joining Eldridge soon and swinging a big Sword around his head! I agree there are gender differences… but come on “Shopping” and “War”!? Cheap stereotypes which perhaps say more about the preoccupations and roles he has instilled in his Children. As for him going on and on about the whole masculinity bit… reminds me of the old saying “Methinks he doth protest too much”!

19 November, 2007 00:47

Charity said…
Thank you for your reply, Suzanne. I re-read the whole of the first few chapters of Genesis (Driscoll’s talk was said to be based on chapters 1-3) and I couldn’t find any evidence of men ruling humanity. 

I too found the first few paragraphs of the talk confusing, though I agree that making exhortations for men to love their wives must be a good thing.

19 November, 2007 06:08

Alastair said…
I was at this conference as well. The preach was very good, but I had to ignore the comment about Adam, as like others I read this as “human” or “humankind” in some contexts, not always “man”. 

19 November, 2007 08:36


“Mark Driscoll Preaches on the Atonement in Edinburgh, Scotland”

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Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator. 

17 November, 2007 06:02

James B said…
Good stuff!
I agree with Penal Substitution and everything that goes along with it, but I fear you may be falling into trivialising the argument. A read through this post would lead you to believe that those against Penal Substitution don’t believe he died, or that he died to save us. They are not saying that these things didn’t happen, they are saying they don’t like the mechanism of penal substitution – that Jesus actually suffered the wrath of God.
I thank you for your deep and insightful blog! 

17 November, 2007 08:56

Bernard said…
Point 2 – Jesus is our victor. This is an important point, and Jesus did defeat the Devil. However, the idea that the Devil and demons have ‘rights’ over people is a novelty of the last 50 years. For the Devil and demons to have rights over people the Devil would have to be a legitimate King. He is not, he is a rebel and a usurper. He exercises illegitimate power and control which we are freed from by Jesus’ victory. Let us not give false honour to the Devil by acclaiming him as any type of legitimate ruler with rights. 

17 November, 2007 10:40

Phil said…

Murdered God? Nonsense. You can’t murder God and we didn’t murder Jesus. Jesus said as much, “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” That’s not murder. The reason Jesus sacrificed himself was FOR our sins but no one forced it on him and you don’t do that for people you hate. For while we were still sinners Christ showed his hate for us? I don’t think so. 

God’s wrath hasn’t been poured out yet, that happens on the day of judgement so you’re either covered by the blood or you get wrath. The passover lamb didn’t get suffer wrath of the avenging angel it was there to avert it.

And finally, most of those who don’t agree with the modern hardline explanations of PSA also think that Christ died and that Christ was a substitute FOR our sins.

I like Mark Driscoll but let’s not swallow it all…

17 November, 2007 11:51

Ant said…
Hi Adrian 

I’ve linked this post on my blog at, for the interest of my readers – I hope thats OK.


17 November, 2007 13:17

Bernard said…
Following on from Phil. 

I don’t agree with all your post Phil. I believe Jesus did satisfy God’s wrath. But yes, to say that we murdered God is problematic to say the least.

The root of the problem is that all the concentration in Mark’s talk is on what Jesus did as victim. But Jesus was both Priest and Victim at the cross. The missing point in Mark’s talk that shout’s by his absence is that Jesus is our High Priest. Our High Priest who went voluntarily to the cross, who suffered voluntarily on the cross (having realised the necessity of his self sacrifice), who as priest offered his own sacrifice before his Father for our sins, and who in heaven right now continues to interceed on the basis of his self-offering for us moment by moment.

17 November, 2007 13:24

donsands said…

This preacher of the Word is orthodox, but his words are so plain. Mark is called to preach, and to reach with a little bit different language I think.
He preaches the truth, and it’s pure, but for me it hasn’t the fullness of say, a MLJones, or RC Sproul, or Piper, Begg, Dever, Ligon, and others. 

May the Lord continue to bless this young pastor, and use him mightily for the advance of the Word of God, and the kingdom. To God be all the glory. Amen.

One other thought. Mark said, “God hates sinners. You have been told that God loves sinners, but hates sin. No, Gandhi said that! God often says he hates people.”

Now that should cause a LOT of controversy! I believe he’s spot on here, but many wince when they hear such a truth.
And, I must also say, it is a deeper truth than Mark allowed for here. Much broader subject, but his statement is definetly true, according to the Holy Writ.

Thanks Adrian for posting this.

17 November, 2007 15:50

ryan said…
C’mon Phil listen more carefully. What he is saying when he says that we murdered God is answering the age old question of why did Jesus have to die? He is not saying that we imposed, by physical force, a death upon Jesus that he was not willing to embrace. He is saying that my sin and yours was the culprit in Jesus’ death. 

Also to say that the passover lamb did not suffer wrath is nonsense, last time I checked being murdered and having your blood spread on a door post is a fate of wrath. In fact I am sure most people would see that as wrathful. Any Jewish scholar would tell you that the point is the lamb substituted in place of the first born son, this is basic propitiation.

Last to say that God’s wrath has not been poured out is also incorrect. Romans 1 is not future tense in regards to God’s wrath. God’s wrath is ongoingly being revealed.

17 November, 2007 19:58

Phil said…

Hi Bernard
I agree with you about Jesus being our High Priest who volunteered himself for us. Given that is the case, I’d be interested to hear how you think that makes Jesus a victim? If you offer yourself willingly to both make and be the sacrifice, then that doesn’t seem to fit with any definition of victim. 

17 November, 2007 20:33

~c. said…

Seems like 6, 7, 8 are pretty more of #1. Of course, you can’t just preach Christ crucified, despite what Paul says. There is a whole birth, life, teachings, resurrection to preach as well. If it’s JUST crucifixion then Jesus is just another dead guy on the tree. In the end, Jesus wasn’t even up there very long, so why should his followers stop there? 

17 November, 2007 20:43

Phil said…

Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure your point about the passover lamb, is right. Because it wasn’t the angel of death who killed those lambs it was the people. The sacrifice was made to avert that wrath not suffer wrath, you either make a sacrifice OR you suffer wrath. So with the passover, God was clear about that (Ex 12:13,23). The same with the scapegoats and all the other sacrifices. In fact in all the descriptions of sacrifice in the OT and the new, wrath is not applied to any of them. Only that if they are not made then wrath is the consequence. 

Romans 1 is an active revealing of wrath, of course but is it an active outpouring of wrath? No. Do we see God constantly judging the unrighteous? No. He’s reserved that for the Day of Judgement. Are sinners objects of wrath before they are convicted of sin and repent? Yes. I’m not saying God doesn’t have wrath against the sin or sinner, just that we need to talk in the same way that the Bible talks about.

18 November, 2007 17:24

RobH said…
The OT sacrifices are symbolic types pointing to a later reality in Christ, who had our iniquities laid upon him (as in Isaiah 53). 

Some would argue that, somehow, Jesus at this point takes away our sins in a way unrelated to the punishment owing to them. It is as though God is pacified only by the great worth of the one dying for us. This leaves us with an unjust justification of sinners that fails the test of Romans 3. God is not seen to be just — sins are left unpunished.

18 November, 2007 23:49

Bernard said…
Hi again Phil 

How was Jesus a victim?

Well, we have to get ourselves out of our self obsessed late 20th/early 21st century mindsets where victimhood is so overused. Great for the claims industry. ‘Help! I’m being abused’ is the motto of our times.

In sacrificial terms the victim is simply the thing sacrificed. No other connotations are necessary. Jesus sacrifices himself, therefore he is both priest and victim.

We can go futher than that as Jesus himself does. The Jewish authoroties may have thought they were deciding to get rid of Jesus, the Roman authorities may have thought the same. Jesus appeared outwardly to be a victim of them. But in fact it was only happening because Jesus himself was choosing to go through with it. The choice was decided not in the Sanhedran or by Pilate but in the Garden of Gethsemane.

19 November, 2007 17:13

Phil said…

Hi Bernard
Ok we’re agreeing that Christ laid doen his life and what happened was under his control, we’re just using different language and use of the word victim. If you use victim as the same as ‘sacrificial offering’ then yes Christ was the victim. 

20 November, 2007 11:29

Peter Kirk said…

Does Driscoll neglect the Resurrection? 

Like Piper, he quotes 1 Corinthians 15:3 but not 15:4 He does mention the Resurrection in passing at the beginning of this post. And then at the end he points out that Jesus’ Resurrection shows the eschatological character of the atonement. But right through the main part of this there is no indication that Driscoll is anchoring his understanding of the atonement in the Resurrection – even the Christus Victor model which is often linked closely to the Resurrection.

Maybe Driscoll is no more guilty here than Piper, but the question does need asking.

20 November, 2007 15:02



“Arsenal vs Tottenham in My Family”

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Anonymous said…
I think you’ll find other places call the game soccer as well i.e. Australia, New Zealand. So don’t give us the “poor ickle Britain is the only one” routine 😉 

16 November, 2007 08:53

carl said…
Just thought I would let you know that I have never heard of either one of these teams. 

In the sight of most Americans there have only been two “soccer” teams. The one Pele played for and the one Beckham was on before he decided to move his wife to Hollywood.

Gooooaaaaaaaaaaaal! We know that from Mexican tv stations though.

16 November, 2007 12:43

Jesse P. said…

I can empathize with you with respect to the difficulties of family members cheering for different teams. In college basketball I cheer for the University of Maryland and my wife, quite unfortunately, cheers for the liberal, snobbish, priviledged and arrogant Duke University “devil worshipping” Blue Devils. It’s quite the ordeal when our teams play twice per year. Fortunately, we’ve had their number the last few 5 years or so. 

16 November, 2007 14:11

Mark said…

Cannon Vs. Bird. Fantastic.
Sounds like that native Warnock intelligence coming through. 

16 November, 2007 15:49

Barbara said…

All my grandchildren have played soccer from the time they were very young. I still have 4 that play. Granddaughter is on a traveling team as well as Captain of her HS team. She’ll be playing her last year this Spring. Right now, she’s gearing up for a tournament in Memphis, TN with her traveling team the first week in December. And, it’s definitely soccer – not football here in the states! 🙂 

I would think there are many other countries who play soccer, since there are teams all over the world who play on TV.

17 November, 2007 02:13

J.Wizzle said…

Go Man. U! Please, don’t hate me for that. 🙂 

19 November, 2007 20:30

Jonathan Hunt said…

Go HENRY!!! 

I am a londoner exiled to Gloucestershire, and I used to work for Arsenal. My wife is a Spurs fan.

We have fun…

20 November, 2007 21:18


“The Christian and the Law”

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donsands said…

The law makes sin abound, and gives sin it’s strength, and yet the law is good, holy, and spiritual. But we are sinful and rebellious from the crown of our heads to the souls of our feet. 

All this happens to drive us to the Cross for mercy.

God then saves, and then writes the law on our hearts.

God says you shall not kill, because your heart is new, and it has been filled with love.
But it’s not you, but Christ in you, the Lord of grace and love, through His Holy Spirit, who now stirs us to love God and others, instead of ourselves.

15 November, 2007 14:30

Kevin said…

The proper use of the law prevents us from falling into the trap of antinomianism, which is the lure and snare of liberal theology and it says that we do not need the law, only grace. Similar to a Calvinist understanding of the proper use of the law, a Lutheran understanding from the confessions teaches that the law has three purposes: political, theological, and didactic. It is the reason of the didactic that secular humanism so often shuns, which is a knee-jerk reaction to hard legalism. From a quote by Horatius Bonar linked from my previous post, he says that law is necessary because it is a part of God’s expression of love toward us. Love must be understood along with the law. As Romans 7 says, the law is holy, righteous, and spiritual. 

16 November, 2007 05:50


“Rob Frost, Leading UK Evangelical Methodist Dies”

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Bernard said…
I grew up in the same area of South West London that Rob Frost lived in. In Merton Park about a mile from Raynes Park where his church is. In the late 70’s as a 13/14 year old I delivered the local free newspaper (they were new at the time) which had a column by Rob Frost in it. I remember reading it after doing my round. 

14 November, 2007 20:26

DaveW said…
You might like to read Sunday night with Rob by Martyn Atkins (President of the Methodist Conference) who visited Rob in hospital on Sunday evening. 

15 November, 2007 09:36

Shane Trammel said…
Your friend, Tony Miles, has a considerable array of quotes from Roman Catholic on his blog. 

Whats up with that.

16 November, 2007 05:41


“2 Corinthians 5 and Romans 5 – Two Critical Passages on Justification”

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Peter Kirk said…

Ah, now I see the root of Piper’s wrong theology. He depends on Augustine’s misreading of a poor Latin translation of Romans 5:12, which is the basis of the thoroughly unbiblical teaching (totally contradicted by Ezekiel 18:20 for example) that people are condemned for the sin of Adam rather than for their own sin. Piper takes this unbiblical picture as a model for how Jesus deals with human sin. 

But, by God’s principles of justice, we cannot be condemned just because Adam was unrighteous, and similarly we cannot be justified just because Jesus was righteous. This idea of a “connection” between people through which condemnation or righteousness can be transmitted is completely non-Christian. Note that 2 Corinthians 5:21 does not say “we might receive the righteousness of God”, still less “we might be reckoned as the righteousness of God”. No, it says “we might BECOME the righteousness of God”, as this righteousness actually becomes evidenced in our lives – just as we became guilty of sin as the sinfulness of Adam became evidenced in our lives, as we sinned, not “in Adam” (Augustine’s misunderstanding) but in our own behaviour.

So, the glorious promise of the gospel is not that we shall be reckoned as righteous even though we are really sinners, but that we shall become righteous in our actual behaviour, being “changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another”, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

14 November, 2007 12:38


donsands said…

Excellent post. Short and sweet, and to the point. 

” .. to him that works not, but believes on Him … his faith is counted for righteousness.
…unto whom God imputes righteousness without works,
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD will not impute sin.” Rom. 4:5-8

What a magnificient salvation we have. Incredibly gracious to blot out and wash all our sins away, as far as the East is from the West, and for God to grant us His Son’s righteous standing before His holy throne, which is the only possible way we could satnd in His presence, except for the holy elect angels.

And to baptize us clean in His Holy Spirit, and giving us new hearts to know Him: Hearts that wholely return to the Lord.Jer. 24:7

14 November, 2007 13:30

Pete said…


I take it therefore that you disagree with Wright too, who would argue that we are righteous in Christ? (i.e. the righteousness we have is his, we share in God’s vindication/not-guilty verdict on Jesus as seen in the resurrection)?

I wonder if you might distinguish for us your view against the roman catholic view of imparted or infused righteousness?

Sorry if this sounds aggressive, it’s not intended to be. Hard to sound anything other than clinical in type!

15 November, 2007 15:36

Pete said…

“So, the glorious promise of the gospel is not that we shall be reckoned as righteous even though we are really sinners, but that we shall become righteous in our actual behaviour, being “changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another”, 2 Corinthians 3:18.” 

I thought the gospel promised both? God counts us as righteous (justification) and then changes us to become progressively more righteous in our conduct (what has been traditionally called sanctification)?

Calvin reckons that properly distinguishing the renovative and the forensic benefits of union with Christ is key to understanding true religion.

15 November, 2007 15:40

Peter Kirk said…

Pete, thanks for your comments. 

First, I should correct the last paragraph of my comment to “So, the glorious promise of the gospel is not so much that we shall be reckoned as righteous …”. Of course if we become righteous we will also be reckoned as righteous. But I understand the main point of the verse in question, 2 Corinthians 5:21, to be that we actually shall become, indeed are becoming, righteous, because Christ was made a sin offering (not the meaningless “was made sin”) for us.

What Calvin called “key to understanding true religion” is a distinction which I am not at all convinced about. I don’t have a fixed position on this, but it seems to me wrong to say that we are reckoned as righteous BEFORE we actually become righteous. There is certainly no trace of this teaching in 2 Corinthians 5:21. And I am not sure where else Paul teaches that we are righteous or have been justified now, as opposed to this being an ongoing process (as in Romans 3:24,26, present participles) or our future hope.

OK, Romans 5:1,9, these are aorist participles implying past justification. But I would see this justification as being incomplete. As Christians we are in a sense living in two parallel worlds. In the one into which we were originally born we are still sinners and subject to death. In the other in which we are in Christ by new birth, we are righteous, in reality and not by imputation, and alive eternally in God’s kingdom. This idea of course needs a lot more fleshing out.

I’m not sure if my position is the same as Wright’s. If his position is indeed that the righteousness we have is that of Jesus, not our own, then probably not. But I will agree with Wright in refusing to take sides on arcane 16th century disputes over the unbiblical distinction between “impute” and “impart”.

15 November, 2007 18:20


Pete said…

Thanks Peter 

I think Wright clearly does take a side on the impute vs. impart debate. What he seems to be against is the language of imputation which he sees as something divorced from union with Christ and pertaining to active obedience (not just passive, i.e. his death). Wright does not think being made righteous is about us being changed to behave righteously – it is declarative and forensic. Like all in the reformed tradition he argues of course that this declaration leads to a changed life. Hence judgment by works (as the evidence of faith).

I also suspect, although you desire not to take a side in the impute vs impart, that your position is in actual fact a ‘justified by imparted righteousness’ position of sorts.

Whether 2 Cor 5 is talking about imputation or renovation I don’t know. I do know that the distinction (but not separation) between these two was really quite key in the reformation. I’d humbly suggest that such a distinction is very clearly made elsewhere in Paul.

I think Romans 5:1-11 is instructive here.

16 November, 2007 14:54

Peter Kirk said…

Thanks, Pete. If you are right about Wright, then what does Piper have against him? 

Note also what I have written about this on my own blog. I’m really not sure if my position is “a ‘justified by imparted righteousness’ position of sorts”; I suppose it is if you insist on classifying every possible position as either imputed or imparted.

16 November, 2007 17:44


Bernard said…
I recommend all readers visit John Piper’s ‘desiring god’ site where he offers all his books as free downloads in pdf format. 

The present book ‘The future of justification’ is in effect part two of his 2003 book ‘counted righteous in Christ’. In that book you will find Piper’s own particular take on Justification by Faith that account for his quarrel with N.T.Wright.

Piper can hardly claim to be preaching the unvarnished doctrine.

There is little mention made in either book of regeneration. Piper may equivocate, but he appears to hold that justification in practice preceeds regeneration, which puts him on the Lutheran side of the argument rather than the Reformed one. It also puts him on the opposite side to N.T. Wright who is quite clear, regeneration preceeds justification.

We also see why the imputed obdedience of Christ is so important to Piper. This is because he denies that victory over sin is in any way part of our justification.

In the relationship between justification and sanctification Piper goes a further step that traditional reformed or indeed evangelical doctrine. Where as traditionally things are ours my imputation in Justification, and then that imputed is progressively worked out in out lives in sanctification, Piper wants so so seperate justification from sanctification that some things are excluded from justification althogether and only appear in sanctification.

I see his dilemma, having so decided, if victory over sin is not imputed in justification the imputation of christ’s active obedience assumes a necessity it would not otherwise have.

There is another strange ommission when Piper describes assurance in the Christian life. Where are the references to Romans 8 14 – 17, to our adoption and the action of the Spirit in us crying ‘abba, father’?

Instead Piper looks for assurance simply in Christ’s active obedience in justification.

By now Piper’s doctrine of justification is looking just as particular to the man as N.T.Wright’s may look.

When I have all my thoughts worked out I will be putting them in a review of The Future of Justification on

17 November, 2007 13:14

Pete said…

Peter, thanks. I’ve had a quick read of your own post. 

I’m persuaded justification is declarative and forensic. I’m also persuaded that this legal declaration is rooted in union with Christ, and that that fact guards it from being a ‘legal fiction.’

Obviously, simply stating the above is unsatisfactory and proves nothing. Would be good to continue to discuss this further, but I feel guilty about usurping Adrian’s site for it. Also, at the moment I don’t have time to get my ‘stuff’ together on this. SO, I’m hoping to post soon on my own blog about this and when I do I’ll maybe send you the link?

17 November, 2007 22:35


“Hard and Soft Legalism”

8 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Pete said…

‘…the emphasis of people like Wright on the need for us to demonstrate that we have changed in order for God to finally justify us…’ 

Adrian, is it your opinion that this emphasis of Wright’s is in fact out of line with reformed doctrine?

We need to distinguish obedience as meritorious and obedience as evidential with regard to the final judgment. We must reject the former and affirm the latter. There is debate about which one of these Wright means when he talks about final justification by works. I’ve certainly read things from his Romans commentary which suggest he believes works of obedience are merely evidential.

And of course, all things being equal, without evidential works, we should not expect God to justify us on judgment day. Works are the necessary evidence of faith in Christ. John Piper himself believes this, as, of course, did the apostle James, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

That said, I of course agree with the general points you’re highlighting re. Sander’s position and the blindness of some NPPers with regard to semi-pelagianism.

12 November, 2007 09:34

Martin Clay said…
We are into fine points of theology here that by very subtle changes end us up in completely different territories. 

Our works do not save us. Evidential works indicate to us that we are saved. But they are only evidences of something that has happened that was nothing to do with works and everything to do with grace. We can look to works (amongst other things) as evidences but cannot look to them for salvation.

What do others think about assurance? How much assurance can or should we derive from evidential works, and does this detract from deriving assurance from grace?

I think this is a really important area, but also one where Reformed Christians can have a problem. These very subtle distinctions do not go well in an age that loves the big and bold soundbite.

Thanks so much for your really interesting and informative blog.


12 November, 2007 13:15

donsands said…

“you ‘become saved’ by faith but ‘remain saved’ by God-produced works” 

All legalism is very damaging.

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“God wipes the slate clean, and then hands you the chalk.”

As a young Christian I was taught these things. Sounds right, and made sense.

Main problem is that it allows us to boast, when we do good things.

The other is that it may cause us to give up, because there’s no way we can live a life of genuine love apart from Christ living in us, and through us.
He receives all glory, for it’s Christ who lives in us, and not we ourselves. Gal. 2:20
For it’s His grace that we are what we are. 1 Cor. 15:10

All the sin we committ, all our self-pity and pride is accounted to us, though if we are regenerated this sin is blotted out, and all the good, and righteous things we do, are all by His Spirit working in us.

We love only because He first loved us, and baptised us in His Holy Spirit, and then continues to fill us with His Spirit.

Jesus said you can do absolutely nothing without Me. John 15:7

12 November, 2007 13:26

Tyler said…
I think it was in Don Carson’s lectures on Wright & the NPP that he mentioned one reason for this is because we all do our theology the other side of a holocaust – the champion theology is one which will seem the most sensitive to the religion of 1st century Judaism. Something to think about. 

12 November, 2007 14:55

Bernard said…
Adrian. Wright’s point is not that we have to demonstratethat we have changed in order to finally justify us. 

As Pete says that is pretty much the traditional reformed doctrine of perserverance of the saints, which is different to the modern ‘once saved, always saved’ view.

Wright’s point is actually this. Pne of the meanings of justification is that we shall be vindicated on the last day on the basis of the totality of our life lived. The Holy Spirit then brings back that vindication into the present. In other words, the presence of the spirit in our lives now assures us that we will be seen to have lived faithful lives on the last day, otherwise we wouldn’t have the spirit in our lives now.

12 November, 2007 16:46

Pete said…

Bernard, I’m not sure that’s definitely Wright’s point either. 

What needs to be clearer is just what is being meant by ‘on the basis of the totality of the life lived’ – this could be seen as an evidential basis (which is therefore extremely close to reformed ‘judgment according to works’ type thing of works as evidence of faith) or as a meritorious basis. That is exactly the point of debate.

Again, I’ve heard it argued both ways regarding which one Wright means.

In his ‘new perspectives’ lecture at Rutherford House he says that works ‘…are the things which show, rather, that one is in Christ.’

And in his Romans commentary he says regarding his theology of final justification by works –

‘That verdict will correspond to the present one, and will follow from (though not, in that sense, be earned or merited by), the Spirit-led life of which Paul now speaks.’ p580

12 November, 2007 17:55

Andrew said…
Isn’t it time to admit that legalism is not a meaningful or helpful term and move on? 

12 November, 2007 22:12

steveprost said…

in answer to what martin clay asked about assurance, I DO believe, as the Puritans generally and J.Edwards believed (see e.g., Religious Affections) that much assurance CAN and SHOULD be derived from good works produced in our lives, while I also weigh heavily on the side of Piper v. Wright and the new perspective on this whole debate, as I am sure they also would have. 

Am enjoying Piper’s book online.

18 November, 2007 05:03


“A Time for War and a Time for Peace”

2 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Chris said…
Good thoughts. 

In the U.S. we call it Veterans Day. I think I like Remembrance Day better – – what did Kipling say, “Lest we forget…”

11 November, 2007 04:16

Peter Kirk said…

It is the day which we hope ended war forever in the main countries of Europe. 

I’m sure you don’t mean to imply that it is OK for the leaders of those countries, or any others, to wage war as long as they don’t do it in Europe. But I point out the possible misunderstanding as our leaders seem to think this.

Chris, I wish people really treated Remembrance Day as that, instead of as a Veterans Day which gives veterans the excuse to march around displaying their medals with pride. They can do the latter if they wish, as long as they do it outside church, which should be a place for promotion of peace rather than glorification of war.

13 November, 2007 14:52



“Mark Driscoll Apologizes For Not Being Humble”

1 Comment – Show Original Post


Donna L. Carlaw said…
This is powerful stuff. Wow! 

I loved the statement about how ridiculous we all are and that proud people do not have a sense of humor. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and see that we are ridiculous and that were it not for Jesus, none of “this” would be funny.

Driscoll is fast becomming my favorite living preacher. Maybe it’s because he is from the area where I grew up, he understands our own NW culture so well, he speaks the truth of God’s Word into that culture, and he is just one generation out of the working class – being the first in his family to graduate from university.

Other great preachers are more refined and fancy and that’s okay, too. Driscoll just preaches the truth straight-up. In Chinook jargon, he’s what I’d call skookum, like boiled coffee.

10 November, 2007 22:08


“Legalism Versus Grace in First Century Judaism”

6 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


adrian reynolds said…

Thanks for this quote Adrian: it’s not just history that proves this to be true; it’s my own heart which is saved by grace, acted on by grace, sanctified by grace – and yet still, still, keeps springing back to self-righteous legalism. 

09 November, 2007 08:26

Pete said…

Great point. 

I imagine the RC theologians around the time of the reformation thought they were theologians of grace too!

I think Luke 18 suggests very strongly that there was a semi-pelagian element in Pharisaism. Likewise, Romans 4 and its language of wages seems to bring the concept of merit into what Paul is arguing against, suggesting ‘works of the law’ were at least in part about this sort of idea (whatever else they may have involved along the ‘boundary markers’ line as well).

09 November, 2007 10:42

Bernard said…
I want to make other comments. But for now. In answer to Pete’s post. In the quotes Adrian has given us Piper has shown himself quite happy to have Roman Catholic doctrine as his fellow traveller. A key part of his methodology is to place a diving line not between Catholic and Reformed. Impartation and Imputation, but between Catholic and Reformed on the one side and N.T.Wright’s view (or rather his own view of N.T.Wright’s view) on the other. 

09 November, 2007 11:13

Pete said…

Thanks for that Bernard. I think I’ve understood what you’re saying. 

My comment above was simply an agreement with the idea that ‘the presence of grace-language’ in one’s founding documents/theological literature does not mean there’s no legalism. I took RC theology at the turn of the reformation to be an illustration of this. Here I don’t agree with the NPP(s) comments on 2nd temple judaism.

You’ll find the comments I’ve made in other posts on this wright/piper topic disagree with some of what is being said about Wright and about the reformed tradition. i.e. some of what is being said about the reformed tradition needs nuancing, especially with regard to the place of imputed active obedience, which nuances would enable us to read Wright more favourably (not that I agree/like all that Wright says on justification, but that’s for another day). If one is going to disagree with Wright, at least disagree with what he really says and means.

I also suspect that we mustn’t read approval of RC doctrine into Piper’s comments. I suspect the point he’s trying to say is that what Wright is teaching on justification is against the mainstream of both major Christian traditions. Whether he’s got Wright ‘right’ is of course, the major issue. I’ll leave my verdict until I’ve read the Piper book, though I am worried by a few things I’ve read here.

09 November, 2007 11:51

James Mendelsohn said…
There was a good article on “merit theology” in 1st century Judaism in a recent EN:

09 November, 2007 12:44

James Mendelsohn said…
There’s an older EN article here:

(Sorry, one day I’ll get the hang of those clever hyperlink things)

09 November, 2007 12:49


“John Piper: Is N. T. Wright Preaching Another Gospel?”

31 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


rebecca said…
Isn’t it Catholics who argue that righteousness is infused (or imparted) and Protestants who say it’s imputed? 

08 November, 2007 06:44

Adrian said…

you are of course right!! I have changed it in the original post.
Thanks for the eagle eye! 

08 November, 2007 08:08

Chris Roberts said…

I’m sure you don’t remember it but a year or so ago I accused you of “Piper worship” due to what I saw as an excessive amount of attention you paid to what Piper said. Piper this, Piper that – and everything Piper said surrounded in a kind of aura.

Well, I was wrong. The more I read Piper, the more I am exposed to his teaching (through his posts on Desiring God, his sermons available via iTunes, and his books) the more I am impressed with him. It’s hard not to quote him when he says so well the things I might like to say.

So good job with your quotes and thanks for the information. I just got my copy of Pierced and I hope it’s not long before I can get my hands on The Future of Justification. Until then I’ll enjoy the excerpts you offer. (I know Desiring God has the book available for free online, but I just rebel against the idea of reading a book that way…)

08 November, 2007 10:35

Peter Kirk said…

Adrian, have you had “the time to read massive volumes written by the current Bishop of Durham”? If not, how do you know that Piper is successful in “His scrupulous attempts to be fair to Wright”? Can you personally confirm the truth of such claims as that “there is no identification with … Christ’s perfect obedience”, or are you simply relying on Piper? 

08 November, 2007 12:19


Chris said…
Peter, you ask Adrian to classify himself in one of two categories: (1) Comprehensively read N.T. Wright or (2) “simply rely on Piper”. 

Surely there are other possibilities. Adrian has read widely on the subject, he is read very widely on Piper (though I doubt that any of us have read every sermon). I think there is a way to make a responsible evaluation about Piper’s fairness that doesn’t require one to say they have read everything that N.T. Wright wrote, nor to rely “simply” on Piper.

08 November, 2007 14:13

Charity said…

If you say that someone is making “scrupulous attempts to be fair to Wright”, it seems to me that you have to have read/listened to Wright extensively or rely on someone else’s testimony. I think Peter’s question is a fair one. I would like to see Adrian’s answer.

08 November, 2007 17:41

Lee Shelton IV said…

I’m certainly willing to give both Warnock and Piper the benefit of the doubt. What Adrian hasn’t read, Pastor John probably has read. He isn’t the type of guy to tackle a subject like this without proper research. 

Forgive the hyperbole, but couldn’t Peter’s question just as easily be applied to how we approach scripture? I cannot translate the Bible from the original languages, and I wasn’t involved in the canonization process, but I have every confidence that what we have today is the inerrant, infallible word of God. Am I simply relying on what others have said or written on the subject?

08 November, 2007 18:16

Peter Kirk said…

Lee, if you or Adrian believe that John Piper’s words are infallible or in any other way to be compared with the inspired word of God, then far be it from me to ridicule your religious beliefs. Just stop calling yourselves Christians to avoid confusion, call yourselves Piperists or something like that. 

As for me, I believe that John Piper is a normal fallible human author, as is of course NT Wright.

When I find Adrian (not apparently Piper) making wild accusations about “another gospel” against a well respected author, who is also a bishop of my own church, I think I am well within my rights to question the basis on which these accusations are made. 1 Timothy 5:19: where is Adrian’s second or third witness to the charge he is making?

08 November, 2007 19:25


Adrian said…

I have read some Wright. But, my main reasons for saying how fair it seems Piper was were 

1. The tone throughout his book

2. The fact that the book is twice the size it once was having been sent to Wright for comments

3. The fact that so far, no one has come out claiming Piper has misrepresented Wright with references

08 November, 2007 19:30

Peter Kirk said…

Well, Adrian, perhaps you ought to ask your commenters who have read Wright, like Pete (not me) and JGB, to provide references to back up their comments on your previous posts suggesting that Piper has not been entirely fair to Wright. 

But your attitude seems to be an extreme case of the first part of Proverbs 18:17. Wait for those who cross-examine Piper before judging in his favour.

08 November, 2007 19:42


David said…
One of the major factors in my huge disillusionment with what could be broadly described as the reformed and renewed continguent is that unfortunately, academic rigour and thorough study unfortunately do not intellectual honesty make. 

From those who claim much (and influence many), much will be demanded.

08 November, 2007 20:06

Glennsp said…
As Dr Piper sent his book to Wright to comment on and, as Adrian has pointed out, it has resulted in a much enlarged piece of work due to that interaction and as such I really do fail to see how you can justify your belligerent approach Peter.
Piper and Wright have interacted extensively over this book and I have heard no claims by Wright that Dr Piper has misrepresented him.
Until such time as we do your claims (or that of others) in that regard are somewhat spurious. 

08 November, 2007 21:42

Peter Kirk said…

Glenn, do you read the kinds of journals in which Dr Wright might express his opinions about Dr Piper’s work? Anyway, since the book has only been published for a week, it is not reasonable to expect Wright to have written and published his response this quickly. 

I must say I wonder how Adrian has managed to read Piper’s book and write about it so quickly. Did he have an advance review copy?

At least you have a reasonable excuse for “Piper worship” as you share his surname. Are you related in any way?

08 November, 2007 22:33


Rob Hyde said…
Can we not charitably assume that Piper has read a good deal of Wright’s work in preparation for this book and, that, having submitted the manuscript to Wright for comments, he has attempted to be reasonable towards him? 

Whether or not he has succeeded is a separate question, but I do not think you can attack Adrian for use of the phrase “scrupulous attempts”.

08 November, 2007 23:45

Peter Kirk said…

Rob, if your comment is directed at me, note that I never attacked Adrian for use of the phrase “scrupulous attempts”, I simply questioned, as you agree that I am right to do, whether those attempts were successful. Piper is an excellent preacher, but I don’t think he is in the same league as Wright as a theologian, and he may simply have failed to understand the complexities of the bishop’s arguments. The problem may well be that Piper reads everything through the narrow, if not distorting, lens of Reformed theology. Perhaps Wright is simply using different words (e.g. “reckon” rather than “impute”) for essentially the same concept. But people like Piper tend to see a reluctance to use the same technical terminology as the Reformers as a rejection of the content of their teaching. 

09 November, 2007 00:30


Peter Kirk said…

Henry Neufeld has published a helpful post about this controversy. In particular he has linked to an article by Bishop NT Wright On Becoming the Righteousness of God, concerning 2 Corinthians 5:21. If, like me, you have not read a lot of what Wright has to say on this subject but want to get a taste of his position, then read this. Then you might be in a somewhat better position to judge whether Piper is being fair to him. 

09 November, 2007 00:55


Chris Roberts said…

“but I don’t think he is in the same league as Wright as a theologian”

What league would that be?

(and an unrelated humorism:)
“…belligerent approach Peter. Piper…”

I had missed the period and wondered who was being addressed as Peter Piper…

09 November, 2007 01:09

Peter Kirk said…

Chris asked: 

What league would that be?

In reply I will pick a peck of pickled peppers 😉 :

As far as Wright is concerned, that would be the very top league as far as deep academic theological understanding is concerned. That of course does not imply that his understanding is right, or wrong. But it is certainly deeper than can be fully understood by an average seminary trained pastor.

Many of Wright’s works can be found online here.

As for Piper, he does have a doctorate in New Testament Studies from the University of Munich, Germany, so theologically he is certainly above the average pastor league. But that does not imply that he is a high flyer like Wright.

09 November, 2007 10:35


Pete said…

I find myself in a funny sort of position in this debate. 

I’ve read a little of Wright. I like lots of what he does say. I don’t agree with some of what he does say. I find myself confused sometimes about what he doesn’t say. Sometimes I wonder if this is because he isn’t great at systematic theology.

I’ve read a little of Piper. I love just about everything he says.

And yet, I don’t think he’s very good at biblical theology (as in redemptive-historical readings of the bible), which Wright is. He is excellent at systematic, polemic, pastoral, applied theology.

I think some of the differences can be accounted for here, perhaps.

09 November, 2007 10:53

Pete said…


Piper’s assertion that imputed active obedience (as opposed to passive obedience – his death on a cross) is an essential part of the historic reformed position needs to be investigated a little bit more.

John Own in the 17th century didn’t think it was;

‘There hath been a controversy more directly stated among some learned divines of the Reformed churches (for the Lutherans are unanimous on the one side), about the righteousness of Christ that is said to be imputed unto us. For some would have this to be only his suffering of death, and the satisfaction which he made for sin thereby, and others include therein the obedience of his life also. The occasion, original, and progress of this controversy, the persons by whom it hath been managed, with the writings wherein it is so, and the various way that have been endeavoured for its reconciliation, are sufficiently known unto all who have inquired into these things.’

And he continues by stating the extent to which he is willing to fall out with reformed brethren over it;

‘Neither shall I inmix myself herein, in the way of controversy, or in opposition unto others, though I shall freely declare my own judgment in it, so far as the consideration of the righteousness of Christ, under this distinction, is inseparable from the substance of the truth itself which I plead for.’

For myself, I think we are united to the whole Christ. His obedient life is ours as well as his obedient, wrath-appeasing death, and of course his vindication/resurrection. But I’m with Owen on how we treat those who don’t agree with imputed active obedience.

09 November, 2007 11:22

Dale said…
I have been a christian for 30 years, 22 of them up to my neck in bad theology in the shepherding movement/church abuse. ( as a psychiatrist Adrian I would love to here a critique on this some day from you )
I pick and choose now. Everyone has the potential for error even Piper give him another 5 years.
Neither Piper or Wright were crucifed for me. ( 1 Cor 1:12 )
I like reading blogs but in alot of ways as christians we sound no different than muslims or extremists as to who we follow. I wonder how we sound to them or the unbeliever? 

09 November, 2007 11:23

Lee Shelton IV said…

First of all, Peter, no one ever said Piper is infallible. My hyperbole was in response to your implication that Adrian is unqualified to make any comment because he hasn’t read every single thing Wright has written. 

Secondly, I don’t recall reading any “wild accusations” in Adrian’s post. He merely posed a question, calling our attention to something he obviously thinks is worth mentioning.

09 November, 2007 13:24

Peter Kirk said…

Well, Lee, the wild accusation I mentioned was not in the text of Adrian’s post but in its title. Technically I suppose asking a question is not an accusation, but to ask a question of this sort does have the same effect as making an accusation. 

In reply to your hyperbole, I was using a little myself. Isn’t that allowed? But it wasn’t me who first brought up in this thread the accusation of “Piper worship”.

09 November, 2007 16:32


jimbo said…
I am neither a theologan or academic so this argument is very hard to follow. I have read a bit of Wright and I have read the intro and forward to Piper’s new book. I guess I would probably agree with most of what Piper would say on matters of theology, my background is pretty well standard evangelical/charasmatic (sorry I’ve probably just contradicted myself!) However, for me Wright is very compelling I have to say that intellectually evangelicals are often very defensive as if they have no firm foundation and that if anyone challenges anything – such as Wright often does – it is going to bring the whole edifice down – I am not convinced it will and Wright has so much to offer in explaining what he calls the ‘meta-narrative’ of God’s purpose of reconciling this world to him. I am getting into hot water now but Wright does challenge our thinking. I do understand why Piper feels he has to respond, seeing that members of his flock are daring to read Wright and he (Piper) sees it his duty to protect and challenge what he believes is ‘another gospel’. One concern I had was that Adrian approached this article like a policeman who has long wanted to bust someone but not had the evidence and now he has Piper provides the evidence and Wright is the guy in the striped jersey carrying the swag bag – there is an element of gloating. If Adrian looks elsewhere he will find that there are many willing to challenge Piper, not that everything Wright says is easily acceptable but I think the fact that Wright sent an 11000 word response in advance suggests that there are clear serious differences. Finally Adrian gave an impression that Piper gave Wright every opportunity to respond and the way I read it Wright didn’t, which of course he did which is one reason why the book is so long considering it is a very nharrow, albeit important subject. 

10 November, 2007 13:42

Peter Kirk said…

Good comment, Jimbo. 

Can we clarify one thing, has Piper used the words “another gospel” in relation to Wright’s views, or are these words only Adrian’s? For it is these words which make this post so inflammatory, so contradictory to the “gracious discernment” and “amazing graciousness” which Adrian earlier claimed to find in Piper’s book.

I accept that there can be a place for accusing someone of “preaching another gospel”, but this should be done only by someone who really understands what is being preached. I would also argue that anyone who does this has abandoned “amazing graciousness” although they may be right to do so in the circumstances.

10 November, 2007 14:11


Adrian said…

The words were mine and intended as a question. Piper does refer to the galatians passage in his foreward but does not directly apply it to Wright 

10 November, 2007 14:39

Peter Kirk said…

Adrian, thanks for the clarification. I know we all sometimes fail, in our blogging and elsewhere, to keep to the path of “gracious discernment” and “amazing graciousness”. Here it would surely have been wiser for us to follow Piper’s example of these qualities by refraining from applying these words, even in a question, to Bishop Wright. 

10 November, 2007 15:45


Glennsp said…
As far as I am aware I am not closely related to Dr Piper. (As we all descend from Adam & Eve we are of course all distantly related) 

As to Wright being in a ‘different league’ and ‘certainly deeper than can be fully understood by an average seminary trained pastor.’

If, as you seem to contend, Wrights understanding is so deep (read unduly complicated) that to understand him you would have to have been trained to a very high degree then ultimately I fail to see what use he is.
If the only people who can understand him are some sort of academic elite (which is what you seem to be saying) then his work such as it is has no purpose outside of that oft referred ‘Ivory Tower’.
If that is not the case then someone like Dr Piper (who, by the way, is quite capable of understanding what Wright has written) is more than able to properly interact with the material in question.

You also seemed to suggest that I might have an element of ‘Piper worship’ in me.
You can believe me or not, but there is not the slightest worship in me of anyone other than the triune God of the Bible. (This is by the grace of God)
Anything and everything I read, no matter who the author, is subjected to the same scrutiny and questioning.

11 November, 2007 00:29

Bernard said…
If Wright is preaching another gospel by not including the imputed active obedience of Christ in it then so is the Evangelical Alliance, the UCCF and even the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, non of which include this in their statements of faith. Hang on a minute, Piper’s own denominiation, the American General Baptist Conference doesn’t require it! 

Will Piper now be even handed and write a similar book against his own denomination?

12 November, 2007 16:52

Anonymous said…
questioning whether wright is preaching a different gospel seems way over the top on this one. 

15 November, 2007 22:15

Bernard said…
Now that Adrian has brought this issue up he needs to address it in more detail. He appears in this post to agree with Piper. If this is so then most British and American evangelicals are preaching ‘another gospel’. Adrian’s own church grouping New Frontiers would sstand guilty of preaching another gospel, plus all the groups I have listed above, and many more besides. So Adrian, now that you have brought this up, please clarify your own position, and how you view the expressions of the gospel commonly found in British Evangelicalism. We are all ears at this end! 

16 November, 2007 13:30


“Piper Explains the Classic View of Justification Versus N. T. Wright’s View”

5 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Chris Brauns said…
This series of posts on The Future of Justification is most helpful. I have ordered the book, but not yet received it. (Okay, I only ordered it yesterday). This gave me the needed push to order it. 

Can anything be more important than this discussion? We must be clear about the Gospel.

06 November, 2007 11:59

Peter Kirk said…

An omniscient and just judge never “finds in favor” of a guilty defendant. 

… the omniscient Judge … finds in our favor precisely because he counts us as having the moral righteousness that we in fact do not have in ourselves.

Can you explain why these two statements do not simply contradict one another? For the Judge to find in our favour because of Christ’s righteousness, imputed to us although “we in fact do not have in ourselves” any righteousness, is surely precisely the injustice ruled out by the first statement.

06 November, 2007 18:32


jgb said…
peter kirk, 

I think Piper means to say that when we have Christ’s (“alien”) righteousness imputed to us we become “not guilty,” and therefore the judge can find in our favor.

I think a key difference between the two men is forensic vs. moral righteousness. Piper seems to believe that a person must be morally righteous to be justified. Therefore Christ’s moral righteousness must be imputed to us before the judge can “find in our favor” (i.e. justify us). Wright believes that justification bestows the status of “righteous” upon the individual justified and therefore makes them so. To Wright, justification has nothing to do with moral character – it is a legal declaration.

If anyone can correct me or add to what I’ve said I would be grateful.

06 November, 2007 21:04

Peter Kirk said…

jgb, my question was really only about Piper, not Wright at this stage. 

Of course Piper does try to answer my objection, with these words:

for virtually the entire history of the church, the answer has been, with various nuances, that God either imputes or imparts divine righteousness to the defendant because of his relationship with Christ.

Well, if God imparts Christ’s righteousness, thereby making us actually morally righteous, this problem disappears (although there may of course be other objections). But I don’t see how imputing moral righteousness to someone can make them actually morally righteous.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding “impute”. But it sounds to me like a matter of legal fiction rather than actuality. Here is a definition from a law encyclopaedia:

This entry contains information applicable to United States law only.


Attributed vicariously.

In the legal sense, the term imputed is used to describe an action, fact, or quality, the knowledge of which is charged to an individual based upon the actions of another for whom the individual is responsible rather than on the individual’s own acts or omissions. For example, in the law of agency, the actions of an agent performed during the course of employment will be attributed to the agent’s principal. The doctrine of imputed negligence makes one person legally responsible for the negligent conduct of another.

Well, US law is not divine law (whatever some Americans might claim). But I don’t understand how the concept of “imputed” as defined here can mean that someone becomes actually morally righteous without any real moral actions to demonstrate it.

I am discussing this at some length because I suspect that Wright’s objections to the distinction between “imputed” and “imparted” start in a similar place.

06 November, 2007 22:20


jgb said…
I don’t know if many people know this or not, but you can download and read Piper’s book from his website. I just thought I would pass that along. 

07 November, 2007 04:05


“John Piper Challenges N. T. Wright on Justification”

8 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Bernard said…
This passage from John Piper’s book is a lot worse than the last one. 

John Piper has to resort to desperation to prove N.T.Wright wrong.

In order to prove him wrong he puts N.T.Wrights argument as being. “I bestow on you the status of righteous, and I find you guilty as charged”

What Piper has done here is to reverse the statement in order to make it look ridiculous.

Let is try it the right way round.

“I find you guilty as charged, and I bestow on you the status of righteous”

That is the bones of the traditional doctrine of justification by faith. Of course we would add to it thus –

“I find you guilty as charged, and (or but)….. because of the punishment Jesus has borne for your offence I find no charge outstanding against you….and I bestow on you the status of righteous”

Well, as Piper conceeds as he finishes the paragrapgh he and Wright are agreed that the basis of the atonement is Christ dying for us. So there is no real argument here. Only a smoke and mirrors bit of trickery. The mirror being used to reverse an perfectly orthodox statement to make it appear nonsensical.

Round two to N.T.Wright.

Quite frankly John Piper should be disqualified from the match for this latest farce.

05 November, 2007 17:41

jgb said…

You said, “Without this concept of an alien righteousness either credited or transferred to us, ironically, both the Protestant and the Roman Catholic understandings of salvation unravel.” I think this is a bit of an overstatement. Wright’s understanding of salvation excludes the traditional understanding of imputation (namely that righteousness is “credited” or “transferred” to our moral “account”). However, he transfers the responsibility of this vital exchange to “union with Christ.” In union with Christ through faith we are reckoned as righteous. In other words what is true of Christ is true of us. This formulation is different from the historical formulation of both Protestants and Catholics, but no “unraveling” of salvation has taken place.

Also, you said, “Men as epoch-shattering as Luther only come along very rarely. Is Wright such a man? Or is he deluded and quite plainly wrong?” As I said in a comment on your previous post I think this is a false dichotomy. Wright is not the first significant theologian to make these types of theological assertions (Pauline scholarship has been focused on explanations like these for the last fifty years), and therefore is not like Martin Luther. Further, I think saying he is “deluded” is somewhat uncharitable. He has clearly and uncontroversially demonstrated a firm grasp of many doctrines, and cogently argued for orthodox positions in a number of settings. Further, saying that he is “quite plainly wrong” gives the impression that this debate not highly nuanced. If things were “quite plain” I doubt so much would need to be written about them. But I digress.

05 November, 2007 21:48

Glennsp said…
There are many ‘plain’ things that people have written much about, trying to make them ‘not plain’.
I for one will take Piper over Wright until such time as I see a reason to not do so.
I do not anticipate that happening, certainly not over this issue.
When I have had access to the full text of the book here in my hand as opposed to on line I will comment further. 

06 November, 2007 01:00

jgb said…
glennsp, you said, “I for one will take Piper over Wright until such time as I see a reason to not do so.” One thing I have noticed in this debate, more-so than in others in which I have participated, is the desire to align oneself with a personality – either Piper or Wright. People seem to want “their guy” to win regardless of the exegetical merit of their arguments. I don’t mean to say you fall into this category, glennsp. I am just using your statement as a spring-board to make a broader observation. 

Despite what you may think based on my previous comment I don’t agree with Wright (or Piper for that matter) 100%. Both have been hugely influential on my theological development because they help me understand the Scriptures better. However, I don’t think either has the market cornered on the truth – which is what I am after. My previous comment was aimed at setting (what I consider to be) a misunderstanding straight because I want everyone (including Wright) represented fairly.

At the end of the day, I will take the truth (Jesus, help me) over Piper or Wright.

06 November, 2007 03:14

Glennsp said…
Thank you jgb for not presupposing my outlook.
I, like you, will take the truth over any personality.
In a choice between Piper and Wright I personally consider Piper to be a better and more consistent purveyor of that Godly truth.
That does not mean that I accept, without question, something just because it is put forward by Dr Piper.
Dr Piper himself would be appalled if some one approached his work in that fashion and would be the first to tell people to check what he has written against Scripture. 

06 November, 2007 09:56

Pete said…

Calvin (and I presume others) have always rooted imputation/reckoning of righteousness in the doctrine of union with Christ. Union with Christ is how the ‘transfer’ (using the book-keeping analogy of biblical ‘reckoning/counting’ language) takes place. 

I thought this was uncontroversial in reformed orthodoxy.

I find it hard to understand Wright’s dislike of ‘imputation’ language. I suspect he is perhaps against the merit theology associated with imputation of Christ’s active obedience, and misunderstands this to be the entirety of the doctrine of imputation. Either that or he is being picky about terminology? But I understand him to teach that by faith-union we share in God’s ‘not-guilty’ verdict on Christ, and that because of Christ’s atoning death.

The imputation of Christ’ active obedience was not held by all the reformed of the 17th century, nor (I think I’ve read somewhere) even by all the westminster divines.

06 November, 2007 14:43

jgb said…
Thanks for the clarification, glennsp. Not to be pedantic, but I feel it’s safe to say that both men would be appalled if someone approached their work uncritically. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Piper’s book when you get it. Do you have a blog where you will post your thoughts?

06 November, 2007 15:43

donsands said…

Important truth, justification. Thanks for letting us look at it through Piper’s wisdom. 

Jesus paid my debt. I had quite a sin debt, and I could not pay it, not a penny of it.
Jesus paid it all. He became my sin on the Cross, and God fulfilled His wrath upon His Beloved for my sin. Unbelieveable!

He made me free from all my sin debt.

Now am I righteous? No. I’m simply not a sin debtor, and I have no righteousness in myself, only sin tainted self-righteous deeds is the best I can do.
Do I need to be righteous? Yes, absolutely.
God imputes His righteousness to me. The righteousness of His holy Son is credited to me, and I couldn’t be any more righteous.

I’m now fit for the presence of God the Father, and the Lamb of God, who took my sin upon His holy broken body at Calvary, and He washed my soul clean with His precious blood.

The good news never gets old.

06 November, 2007 21:20


“Is Ephesians the Greatest Book in the Bible?”

1 Comment – Show Original Post


adrian reynolds said…

Adrian, I’ve just finished preaching through this book and last week had the privilege of teaching it to African students on the Philip Project. I echo your sentiments on Lloyd-Jones’ volumes. I got mine from the US where they are sold paperback (and therefore cheaper than the UK where they are only hardback, I think?). I think the issue about sealing with the Spirit is a red-herring. Even if you don’t agree with MLJ’s position (which I don’t particularly) why two chapters or so of a six volume series would put you off the set is a mystery. I really hope people are not avoiding them for this reason. There are similar difficult parts in the Romans series – particular his treatment of Romans 7, and yet they are still well read. Well done for publicising them! 

A bit like Stott, they do present a problem for a preacher, which is that it is difficult to read through the relevant chapter and not find yourself preaching his sermon! I found I had to prepare all my stuff before reading MLJ!

04 November, 2007 08:32


“Of Tone, Discernment, and the Charismatic Question”

8 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


David at free Christian resouces said…
A vey concise and clear response Adrian. 

It is so, so sad when charismatic Christians get it wrong (whether “on purpose” or not. But let us not be so scared that we start to limit God – especially when they are in ways that are clearly biblical.

03 November, 2007 07:41

Andrew and Carolyn said…

Hi Adrian
Thank you for this rich seam you’re mining with regard to how we engage those with whom we disagree. Your comments on Piper and Wright are also very stimulating and I’m looking forward to reading more over the next while.
May God bless you richly for the honour you are bringing to His name through your blog,

03 November, 2007 11:07

Chris Brauns said…
Adrian, this dialogue is very helpful . . . both in terms of how we should interact amid our diversity and in terms of the content. 

It is helpful to pastors to be able to reflect on this kind of discussion.

03 November, 2007 16:26

donsands said…

Speaking the truth in love to one another, and having some deeper issues that we don’t agree on can become a “sticky wicket”, to borrow a phrase from my GBritian friends. 

However, Phil and Adrian, you have both been blessings to us all who look on and desire to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks for being good pastors to the church.

03 November, 2007 16:47

centuri0n said…

Dr. Warnock: 

Are the sign-gifts necessary for the on-going life of the church?

03 November, 2007 22:22

Chad A. Moore said…
I have followed this little interchange and it has been interesting. I respect both bloggers & their blogs on either side of this. One thing is for certain, the Pyromaniacs are never boring! 

However, I am in agreement with Warnock. I do not see how one can get around the obviously charismatic nature of the early church as amply evidenced in both Acts and the Pauline epistles. Paul himself dealt with such excesses in Corinth but he did not react to them by denying spiritual gifts such as tongues, healings, etc.

This, I think, works against the “pragmatic” argument of Johnson to say that the excesses invalidate any real worth found in the charismatic position [I understand his position to be based on more than that]. Furthermore, isn’t this similar to arguing, for instance, that the excesses of hyper-Calvinism invalidate Calvinism itself?

In the end, I don’t see how one can avoid what Scripture teaches on the (visible) life of the Spirit in the Church-regardless of how some take such to excess. Sure, there’s a lot of craziness and junk that goes by the name “charismatic” (and we see it all the time) but the same goes for cessationist and Reformed circles which often endlessly split hairs over super-detailed theological systems, yet that doesn’t make me drop systematic theology! Of course, charismatics get the attention because they’re the ones on the big screen.

The charismatic position is risky, uncomfortable, and certainly not safe-it requires a strong belief in the personal sovereignty of God-not merely the proposition of His sovereignty-in the here and now through His spirit leading His people, giving gifts for their equipping, manifesting His spirit for their edification, doing marvelous works for His glory, guiding their prayers for His purposes, all for the glory of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and, of course, always conforming to the revealed Word of God.

05 November, 2007 15:38

Link said…
I saw Phil’s closing post on the ‘Nice’ thread after it was shut down. 

I did not read every single commeent, but I sure did not see the predominant charismatic argument to be that God had limited the gifts to a non-apostolic level power. It sounds like he was responding to some theological arguments he’d read before, and applied them to the blog.

The irony is that he revealed the basis of his cessationism. He is building doctrine on experience. He hasn’t experienced or read of anyone who did the same kinds of things the apostles did. He needs to read more and do a bit more research. Cessationism is based on experience (or lack thereof.)

05 November, 2007 18:39

Kevin said…

Ptr. Adrian, thanks for sticking your neck out on the issue of charismatic gifts. It’s not easy being a charismatic, as cessationist think they’ve cornered the market on doctrinal and theological truths. Sometimes we think we have to prove ourselves and it can get to be a drag so I’ve quit trying. 

Anyway, I’d like to say that if there was a need for discernment of spirits in the early church, then we can logically assume that there must have have been the exercise of the spiritual gifts. Moreover, in my research, I discovered that the early church fathers, even up until the 3rd and even 4th century, acknowledged the exercise of the charisms within the church.

I’ve been reading your blog for a while and find your posts insightful. Blessings to you and your ministry.

06 November, 2007 05:12


“John Piper, N. T. Wright, and Gracious Discernment”

19 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Glennsp said…
I am so looking forward to reading this book and learning from it. My copy is already on order. 

02 November, 2007 09:46

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author. 

02 November, 2007 10:09

John said…
Adrian, I share you concern about the posture many have shown in responding to Wright. I have spent a good amount of energy responding to Wright, but have often times deleted half of what I have written before posting. It is very easy to blast an individual over an “impersonal web”. 

02 November, 2007 10:12

Peter Kirk said…

at all times [Piper] interacts with Wright with amazing graciousness. 

Makes a change from how he interacted with Chalke:

With one cynical stroke of the pen, the triumph of God’s love over God’s wrath in the death of his beloved Son is blasphemed, while other church leaders write glowing blurbs on the flaps of his book. But God is not mocked.

02 November, 2007 11:50


donsands said…

“I believe Piper has shown how very wrong Wright is” 

Thanks for the review, and sharing the quotes and such.

The wonder of the Cross is that a heavenly and holy loving Father would sacrifice His Son for sinful wicked people, as Abraham was a foreshadow when he took his son to sacrifice him on the mount, of our Father taking His Son to Calvary.

This must cause NT’s heart to twitch with discuss I suppose, when my heart is overwhelmed by this act of love for sinners that is beyond comprehension, and beyond compare.

Jesus was crushed and forsaken for all His children, whom He personally loves, and would not have them die in their sins, and suffer eternal torment, which we all rightly deserve.

02 November, 2007 13:40

Anonymous said…
First. A line needs to be drawn between N.T.Wrights view of Justification and his comments regarding Steve Chalke. Otherwise we are going down a marxist style guilt-by-association route. 

02 November, 2007 16:04

Bernard said…
Second. That is me above. 

It is impossible to know from the passage you quote from Piper above how it reads within the larger text. On it’s own it shows Piper in a poor light,choosing quotations out of context and only using those that provide fuel for his polemic.

For balance he must also engage with this from ‘What Saint Paul Really Said’ by N.T.Wright.

Summing up Paul’s docrine of Justification N.T.Wright has as point 2

‘2. Covenant. Justification functions like a verdict in the law court: by acquitting someone, it confers on that person the status ‘righteous’. This is the forensic dimension of the future covenential vindication.’

In this N.T.Wright says precisely what Piper accuses him of not saying. Piper is hiding behind N.T.Wright’s avoidance of traditional words like imputes and imparts to advance the thesis that N.T.Wright does not believe that christians have a righteous status before God. N.T.Wright clearly does believe this.

Round one to Wright, with a foul committed by Piper. I expected better of him.

02 November, 2007 16:15

Anonymous said…
“…ever further away from the tone I frequently detect on TeamPyro.” 

Bravo. The TeamPyro blog, in my mind, is deplorable and should not be read by anyone who would be called a Christian.


02 November, 2007 16:57

Phil said…

The quote from Piper doesn’t seem to do justice to Wright’s views on justification (follow the link to read a short paper by Wright on it 

Quote: “Our definition is as follows: justification is not only God’s declaration on the last day that certain people are in the right: it is also his declaration in the present that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the person who believes the Gospel is in the right”

02 November, 2007 17:46

Anonymous said…
“Bravo. The TeamPyro blog, in my mind, is deplorable and should not be read by anyone who would be called a Christian.” 

Hear, hear. The book of Galatians too – terrible language in it – that Paul clearly had issues. Also the gospels. Did you hear what Jesus called those Pharisees? He could learn a thing or two from us, I tell you.

David Anderson

02 November, 2007 19:16

Pete said…
If Wright did actually say what Adrian quotes Piper as saying he said (!) – the quote beginning “If we use the language of the law-court, it makes no sense whatever…” AND also said what Bernard and Phil have quoted him here as saying: is NTW muddle-headed or has he changed his mind at some point and these quotes come from different stages in his thinking? And if that is the case – which represents his current state of thinking? 

The apparent lack of clarity and straightforwardness in the bishop’s writing is rightly (no pun intended) concerning. I appreciate Piper’s gracious tone – but I also appreciate TeamPyro’s forthrightness – at least there is no fudge or smoke-and-mirrors trickery about what their views are!

02 November, 2007 20:21

Anonymous said…
“…ever further away from the tone I frequently detect on TeamPyro.” 

Bravo. The TeamPyro blog, in my mind, is deplorable and should not be read by anyone who would be called a Christian.

Yes, thank God we’re not like them (Luke 8:11).


02 November, 2007 21:19

Bernard said…
I have a feeling that N.T.Wrights refusal to use imputation language may be part of his refusal to join in standard evangelical imputation:good impartion:bad arguments in which imparted righteousness is seen as a Pelagian good works doctrine. 

His refusal to go down this route shows that he knows his history. The original anti-pelagian Augustine believed in the impartation of righteousness, as did the compilers of the decisions of the Council Of Orange in AD 529, which is the definitive anti-pelagian document, so there is obviously nothing inherantly pelagian about it.

02 November, 2007 22:44

Peter Kirk said…

Bernard, I wonder if the point is in fact that Wright, like Augustine, believes in impartation rather than imputation, but doesn’t quite want to say so. Of course that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong. But he avoids the language to avoid needlessly challenging those who presuppose that the Reformers had the last word on this issue. 

03 November, 2007 10:07


Bernard said…
Peter. N.T.Wright refuses to uses both imputation and impartation. He does use reckon. He once used an illustration of what he believed, I cannot locate the sourse now, so I will have to attempt a brief reconstruction. 

Imagine a man being put in prison. He loses his job, he is seperated from his family, he has a bad reputation. Then he goes before the court and the verdict is that he is of good standing. He is released, he is placed back in the arms of his family, his repuation is restored.

This, says Wright, is what Justification is about. Wright makes a big distinction between Jewish Courts and Roman and indeed modern ones. My reading is that he does not believe that forensic catagories in the ancient Jewish courts. He sees their justice as being much more relational, hence he stays away from forensic language in order to uphold a more relational justification.

03 November, 2007 20:24

Pete said…

I have read the Wright passage quoted above in context. 

Wright does believe in justification as forensic.

He does think the law-court is in view. He attacks those who try to separate the participationary and the forensic, he sees them united in covenant.

In the quote above he is attacking the idea that the judge (God) imputes his own righteousness to the acquitted sinner, he is not attacking the idea that the sinner is acquitted, or that this is what being righteous is about. It is part of his wider argument against taking the phrase ‘righteousness of God’ to refer to imputed righteousness. Wright would argue that the righteousness we get is a sharing in God’s vidication of Jesus, it’s not that we get given God’s righteousness.

So, perhaps it is Wright’s denial of imputation that I suspect (haven’t read it myself) Piper is attacking here, rather than that he is misquoting Wright in order to suggest that Wright denies justification is a forensic/law-court idea.

In other words, people might have attacked both Wright and Piper in this comment stream without careful attention to what’s being said.

For my own part, I think Wright is correct to affirm justification as forensic, and that as such he doesn’t hold to a Rcatholic impartation idea. However, his denial of imputation is a little odd, and is based on a misunderstanding of the idea contained therein. Wright seems to dislike the idea of a transferral of a substance called ‘righteousness’, but I think he would agree that we are righteous by virtue of union with Christ, through which we share in God’s not guilty verdict/vindication of his Son and the benefits of his death. I’d want to show him that imputation is simply this same logic described in the language of book-keeping. God credits Christ’s righteousness to our account – we are righteous in him – two ways of saying the same thing. Either way, Christ is our righteousness.

05 November, 2007 00:12

Pete said…

Forensic vs relational is a false dichotomy and I think Wright would argue that viewed covenantally both are there in justification. I also think most of the reformed writers and preachers since Calvin (at least) would say the same. Why play off two concepts that fit together? Why separate what God has joined? 

05 November, 2007 00:15

jgb said…

I got the impression from your post that Wright denies penal substitution. I don’t know if you intended to convey that idea or not, but just so that there isn’t any confusion let it be known that Wright does not deny penal substitution.

This fact has not always been known by some in the blogging world. A post by Jim Hamilton earlier this year attests to this.

I would also cite Trevin Wax’s post as well for more explanation of Wright’s view of PSA. To quote from the conclusion, “One can clearly see an affirmation of the penal substitutionary atonement throughout the theology of N.T. Wright. Though Wright does not affirm this doctrine within the standard Reformed categories, the concept of Jesus the Righteous One dying in the place of the sinner and thus taking upon Himself the wrath of God is clearly espoused. Even though some of us may disagree with Wright’s “fresh” perspective on Paul or his view of Jesus’ messianic consciousness, this does not mean we should not affirm Wright where he should be affirmed. Personally, since I began writing this essay, I have a deeper appreciation for the penal substitutionary view of the atonement because of the way Wright espouses it within the historical events of the first century.”

Trevin also had a helpful comment regarding Wright’s criticism of Pierced for Our Transgressions. To quote once more, “What we are seeing here is not so much a clash of theology, as a clash of methodology. The Reformed critics of Wright do their theology of penal substitution systematically. Wright does his historically/narratively. Unfortunately, Wright does not appreciate Pierced for our Transgressions for what it is (a marvelous systematic look at the doctrine of penal substitution). But neither do Wright’s critics appreciate Wright’s work for what it is (a marvelous grounding of this doctrine in historical context).”

05 November, 2007 01:49

jgb said…

Near the end of your post right before the quotation from Piper you said, “Piper is speaking about the concept of justification…” Although the concept of justification frames the whole book, I believe that Piper is actually speaking about imputation in the text you quote.

Clearly, Wright does not believe most classical formulations of imputation are accurate. However, while he denies the semantics of “imputation,” he affirms its substance via “union with Christ.” In other words, I think Wright would affirm this statement (which is very similar to the one Piper asserts), “When the Judge finds in our favor he counts us as having the required righteousness not in ourselves, but because of the divine righteousness we have in Christ.”

You call the quotation from Wright regarding how imputation makes “no sense” “breathtaking” and “infamous.” I think it would behoove everyone in the debate to realize that both Piper and Wright are theologian/pastors who use rhetorical hyperbole. That is to say, they exaggerate to prove a point. I think you present a false dichotomy with your either/or statement that either Wright is a Martin Luther type “lone figure” or he is “very wrong.” I do think there are more options than that as this debate is highly nuanced, revolving more around semantics than bottom-line orthodoxy (in my opinion).

05 November, 2007 02:53


“Mark Driscoll Firm, But Kind, About Joel Osteen on Prosperity Teaching”

26 Comments – Show Original Post Collapse comments


Bernard said…
The whole sermon is avalable on the site in his present sermon series ‘The Rebels Guide To Joy’. There is one sermon in the series, number 3 on suffering which is probably the best sermon I have ever heard, certainly the best on suffering. Spurgeon, Martin Lloyd-Jones, Mark Driscoll???? Go check it out and see what you think. 

01 November, 2007 09:30

Sam said…
Am I the only one genuinely surprised he considers Osteen a brother? 

01 November, 2007 10:40

Rob Wilkerson said…


Excellent example of our discussion. EXCELLENT! Thanks for this huge illustration.

Joel Osteen’s presents a heaven too early. None of the things he says we ought to have will come til we get to heaven. And he also presents a heaven without Jesus, our example for living until heaven comes, and our hope for what we anticipate when we get there.

Thanks again.

01 November, 2007 14:08

Joanne said…
I’m impressed with this guy, he has a real heart for God and it shows in his sermon. I’ve never heard of him but I’ll have a look on his site, to see at the other part of the sermon. Thanks for putting the link in there, bless you.

01 November, 2007 15:05

Chris said…

Driscoll was right on except for the comment about Osteen being a brother. I’m not so sure about that. In another video, Osteen, says Mitt Romney may be saved. 

01 November, 2007 18:02

donsands said…

Driscoll has the truth in his heart, along with some crudeness, though here the crudeness was not shown, as he does sometimes. 

I like to check in on Mark every once in a while to see how the Lord is using him, and how he is maturing in his faith and love for Christ.

Osteen speaks words that are empty, and yet they’re spoken through a million dollar sound system. What a waste, but many seem to like empty words. I guess they tickle the ears. i thank God for His grace in my life and heart, so that worthless words like his are seen for what they are.

01 November, 2007 19:39

lordodamanor said…

You said visit, I visit. First, to let you know, the discussion at Pyro, it wasn’t about this way or that. It was about balance. And, it wasn’t about being mean or crude like Driscol. What has adorned this current age in the Church is an effeminate Christ who is always a nice guy, a Joel Osteen kinda guy. Gone are the fire and brimstone teachings, revivalism of his father. But in both cases it is showmanship, not truth. Driscol might want to present Osteen a saint but his is a false gospel for which Paul declares him anathema, accursed. And it does not matter what his spiritual state is, it is his doctrine that condemns him in the eyes of the church. There is nothing harsh or cruel about exposing the darkness. You cannot be mean to a ravenous wolf or a lion prowling around looking for souls to devour. As they say in acting, “What’s your motivation?” Beside, who cares to make a pack with Belial, except belials. Anger and wrath look the same, and so do love and kindness, whether is it the Devil or God, they both show emotions the same way. So it depends on what the heart of the matter is, wouldn’t you say? Because we have said the Devil looks thus and thus and God looks the opposite, Satan gets away with doing his business undercover of ministers dressed as angels of light. I’ll take the flaming sword of our comforting Lord, any day over the cottonmouthed Osteens, or myriads of others within mainline SBC world, like Warren, who promise gold for acts of obedience either here or in Heaven. 

Harsh as it may be, the balance that Driscol offers is to shake hands with the Devil. Critisize him, but with open arms, welcome him into the family.

Driscol can go down with him. We do not need that kind of ecumenical can’t we all just getalongism. It only obscures the truth.

01 November, 2007 23:45

Adrian said…

c’mon guys. Driscoll quite clearly and firmly expresses his disapproval. He is clearly also exercising self control whilst doing so. No need to anathamatise him for being nice! 

01 November, 2007 23:55

lordodamanor said…


I just said what Paul said of Peter. I actually like Driscoll’s firm affirmation of the Gospel. He is quite articulate and clear in a street level approach that the lowly man can understand. I find that remarkable. He is among the few who can get across complicated ideas simply. A rare gift.

Remember it was Paul who withstood Peter face to face, or as we might say to day in his face. And, it was Peter that he was referring to with the anathema. It was as if Paul was saying, if you sail with those guys, you go down with their ship.



By the way I am not one of the guys. Just an observer. If Driscoll issues an anathem of Osteen, and he should. Then we can all just get along.

02 November, 2007 00:37

Anonymous said…
Adrian you are right on. It is quite Biblical of Driscoll to call Osteen his brother and not make implicit judgments of the man’s salvation. At the same time, he is clear that this type of Christian belief is a huge distortion and will destroy lives even. Great example in speaking the truth in kindness and love. 


02 November, 2007 16:21

Jared White said…

I’m not generally familiar with Joel Osteen’s teachings, nor have I read his books. I am however intriqued at the contrast between what Joel says in that clip and what Driscoll says. Frankly, I agree with Joel’s message. The teaching that poverty, sickness, ill relationships, anxiety, and stress are somehow “of God” and the cross we must bear is a heresy that has plagued the church for a ridiculous amount of time. Why do we attribute evil to God when the very reason we believe in Jesus Christ is because of his victory over evil? Salvation is more than a get-to-heaven-free card. It is an entering into the Kingdom of God, appropriating the things of heaven which have been given to us, which are our inheritence. And as believers, we have the ability to receive a foretaste of that now, not after we die. 

Dricoll’s comparing what the state of believers today should be with how Jesus lived is downright absurd. If we are supposed to be sick, poor, miserable, pain-filled, estranged nobodies destined to be beaten, nailed to a cross, and die a horable death, then what Jesus actually did for us becomes a mockery.

I prefer to look at how the people Jesus ministered to lived. When the Kingdom of Heaven arrives, sickness disappears. Relationships are healed. Resources are at hand to live right and give generously to others. Creativity soars. Dreams and visions give purpose and meaning to people’s lives. Praise and worship are on everyone’s lips as the glory of the Lord transforms lives and nations. This is what Jesus died for, and we don’t need to wait for the age to come to get a taste of this superior reality in the present age.

02 November, 2007 19:08

donsands said…

Jared what do you think of the Apostle Paul’s life as a believer in Christ?
How about Job?
Have you taken a glimpse at Church History?
Much suffering for the pople of God. And God receives all the glory when His children suffer, as He suffers with us.
And if God blesses His children with wealth and health, then this is fine, and may all they received be a tool for His glory as well.
But we had better not build our treasures here, but in heaven, as our Lord tells us. 

One final verse, and then I’m done: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY.” Heb. 11:36-37

God can bless with abundance, or He can bless with hardship. Either way we can rejoice, and love Him, and give Him all the glory.

02 November, 2007 20:00

lordodamanor said…

“This is what Jesus died for, and we don’t need to wait for the age to come to get a taste of this superior reality in the present age.” 

This is why Jesus died. All the people that received blessing rejected Christ, even his disciples fled. It did not bring them happiness, all those miracles. In fact what it brought was disappointment because they expected that the kingdom would be established at this time because of the miracles.

This is what is so disgusting about the prosperity message. It twists and perverts the gospel, from one of suffering and shame to one of personal glory. Two different gospels. Paul’s gospel included “what ever state I find myself in.” With what ever God deals us we are to be content. Joel Osteen is a malcontent, simply put, and he appeals to all those malcontents like him who have no clue as to the calling Jesus was calling his disciples to. In other words, it is just to condemn and to question the salvation message, and Joel Osteen’s state of grace. It is not the Gospel of Christ he preaches, if that is what he thinks in this life he was called to.

That is why Driscoll’s embracing a preacher of the occult, manipulate this, do works and get that, as a preacher of the Gospel and a brother is disturbing. If Driscoll does not recognize the anti-gospel and that those who preach it were condemned by Paul, it leaves one wondering just who Driscoll is.

Think about what is around you. How many Christian right now throughout the world, not just in your tiny affluent surroundings, are in deperation, suffering proverty, war, oppression, homelessness, hunger, disease, famine. Are you ready to say that you are more spiritual than they? Paul died in proverty, stripped of all this life’s blessings. Myriads of saints have passed before you having been starved to death, driven out of their homes, torched, sawed in two by oppressors…. It is simply egotistical naivete, myopic self-absorbtion by narcissitic spoiled brats who have been coddled in an affluent society that say God’s way is prosperity, peace and pleasure. How sensuous, how licentious! Go and tell Luther during the days of plague, who tended the believers who were diseased and those who were mourning for the death loved ones, that it was because they were hereitcs that they were dying and that if they only recognized that God’s plan was for them to live the good life now, they could have their best life now. Learn this says the Preacher, “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in their heart.” Or, “I have seen the wicked prosper in their wickedness, and the righteous become poor.”

What heretical nonsense Driscoll supports by legitimizing a false gospeler, get rich off the stupid people person like Osteen. If what you think Jesus did on the cross was to gaurantee you a free pass in the here and now, you have missed the entirety of the Gospel. If you think that Jesus did not call his disciples to follow him, if you do not understand that Paul said, you would be glorified if indeed you suffer with Him, then it must be that Jesus is correct when he calls those who do not believe, brados. Foolish idiots.

02 November, 2007 20:05

Annette Harrison said…

If we are to claim the name “Christian” and count ourselves among those who follow Christ, then it seems to be only fair to assume that we would want to do as Christ commands. In Luke 9:23 he instructs those who would be his followers in this simple, forthright way, and in words surely everyone can understand: 

“And he [Jesus] said to ALL, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF and TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY and follow me.'” I don’t think it needs any further explanation. Even a child can understand that.

02 November, 2007 20:24

Jared White said…

You misunderstand me. I’m not denying suffering exists, or even that it will occur. But the theology of suffering that places God at the forefront of its origin is demonic. Satan and his kingdom of darkness has taken dominion over the earth because of our transgressions, and therefore sin, decay, and death have corrupted what God made to be good. Yet Jesus came to proclaim the Gospel of Kingdom, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse the leapers, to loosen the bonds of oppression, to free the prisoners, and to preach the good news to the poor. This is what he came for, and to claim that the more the church is poor, miserable, and afflicted, the more it shows God’s glory — that viewpoint I find to be against Scripture. Satan loves nothing more than a beaten, bruised, battered, and powerless church. 

Yes, we will face intense persecution from the demonic realm and from the anti-Christian forces in the world. Jesus promised us that would happen. But will happen at the hands of evil men and evil spirits, NOT at the hands of a good Father who cares for the well-being of His children. I do NOT nor will I EVER serve a God who rains down evil upon me. If that’s the God you serve, I am sorry.


02 November, 2007 20:26

donsands said…


Surely Satan is the evil one, and we are to pray that our father will protect us and keep us from him.

There will be times when our Father will allow us to be tempted, as our brother Job was.
God is sovereign, and he allows Satan to afflict, and God is the one who tells Satan to leave us alone.

So I agree with you. But when Satan does come and afflict us, what should be our response?

Paul prayed three times for God to remove Satan’s thorn from him, and God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is upon you when you are weak.

Paul said that he would then rejoice in his pain and affliction, because God’s power was upon him that much more through these trials. 2 Cor. 12

I have had very mild trials compared to Paul.
Jesus actually told Paul that he was chosen for the honor of suffering for the name of Christ. Acts 9:16

So the Lord sovereignly purposes our suffering, He loves us that much.

But no matter how much we may suffer, no one will ever suffer the way our Savior did.
Pilate told Jesus, “I can kill you, or let you live.” Jesus said, “You have no power, unless it was given to you from above”.

God loves us, is sovereign, and allows us to suffer for His glory, and our good.

But there is a day coming when the Lord will make a new heaven and a new earth! And what a day that will be for His children who have served Him faithfully here in this evil age.

02 November, 2007 22:45

lordodamanor said…


the Lord says, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things…
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the Lord has done it?…
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips…

You see the problem is Jared you have believed the lie that Satan is a god, who can operate independently of God’s will, and beside that these things God does without Satan’s involvement…

so you are spreading the lies you’ve heard, and it is they that are heresy.

From your statement you do not believe God to be the first cause of all that is. From you statement, you take the open-theist heretical position that God is not the for ordainer of all that comes to be. By you own statement you reject the God Scripture who is omnicient. That is what is wrong with you movement. You do no believe that God and God alone is in control of the universe.

03 November, 2007 04:08

lordodamanor said…

Oh, Jared, it pleased the Father to bruise the Son. It was the wrath of God the Father that bruised Him. You said you would not serve a God who who do to you what he did to his own Son. That, Jared is why you do no know him. 

03 November, 2007 04:11

Anonymous said…
If being poor and sick for Jesus brings glory to Him then why are the ghettos literal hells on earth? 

There is something to be said about discernment and having the very authority and mind of Christ when HE shows up on the scene to do something about it.

03 November, 2007 04:59

lordodamanor said…

“If being poor and sick for Jesus brings glory to Him then why are the ghettos literal hells on earth?” 

So what do you say about his glory and when do you show up with his very authority? He said that all authority has been given to Him, not to you, therefore you go-

How about this: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him…Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Yep, the Scripture says that “the ghettos literal hells on earth” were created for him, for his honor and glory and power by his will.

Says the Lord to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it…Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong?Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?

Then Job said:

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (the Lord says ‘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. (the Lord says ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’) I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job had thought that by doing things pleasing to God that he could purchase God’s favor, and when God sent Satan to afflict him, to make him sick and bring him to the point of death and even cursing God by doubting his providence in this matter, he in the end sent the prophet Elihu to say of God: “He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.”

And warns Job: “He also allured you out of distress into a broad place where there was no cramping, and what was set on your table was full of fatness. But you are full of the judgment on the wicked; judgment and justice seize you. Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing, and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.”

Elihu said also: “Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ that you ask, ‘What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?’

Do you think yourself better than the sinner upon whom God makes it to rain? Does he not make it to rain on the wicked as well as the righteous, and do you think, Jesus said, that you are less of a sinner than the men upon whom the tower of Shiloh fell? Do you wish good things for your self, Baruch (who ever you are anonymous) and seek good things for your self, seek them not, but if you’re born again God will let you get away with your life. And this was said to a faithful minister, the scribe of Jeremiah. It was Jeremiah’s job to tell the people that the way of deliverance was through proverty and enslavement to cruel task masters, that in the end time God would deliver his people, but not until the fullness of the judgement had be rendered against her.

Back to Elihu: “Would that Job were tried to the end, because he answers like wicked men. For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us and multiplies his words against God.”

The man, who was the most righteous among men was the most wicked also, being no more than a man, and do think that he deserved more than any other because he offered prayers and sacrifices for his family?

So Elihu precluded his pronouncements against Job this way: “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. Why do you contend against him, saying, ‘He will answer none of man’s words’ For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the Lord. Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed and with continual strife in his bones, so that his life loathes bread, and his appetite the choicest food. His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen, and his bones that were not seen stick out. His soul draws near the pit, and his life to those who bring death. If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him, and he is merciful to him, and says, Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom; let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’; then man prays to God, and he accepts him; he sees his face with a shout of joy, and he restores to man his righteousness. He sings before men and says: ‘I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not repaid to me. He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.’ Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life. Pay attention, O Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. If you have any words, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you. If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

And, if I were you anonymous, I would pay attention to Elihu and learn. Because it appear as if you do not know Scripture nor discernment.

03 November, 2007 07:30

Anonymous said…
Pleazzzze. I like a good fight too. I’m not impressed. 

Thats the problem with reformed folks they think christianly but don’t act.

We all need each other brother. We are different parts of His body. I’m not that arrogant or presumptious as you.

03 November, 2007 11:22

lordodamanor said…


Thanks for proving my point. You reject the straight forward testimony of Scripture-

That is presumptious and arrogant-

So, pleazzze, you’re arguement is not with me-

And, I did act-

And, your implication is that Reformed means inaction. Again, your arrogance deprives you of the true view of Protestant history. You would not even be able to contradict it, if it had not have been for the Reformation. You are a prostestant, if indeed you are, because of the Reformer’s actions.

03 November, 2007 16:54

Jared White said…

lordodamanor, I’m not really interested in debating you. I’m certain that we have radically different views of Scripture and of the significance of the Gospel message, and in light of that, it’s much better we shake hands as brothers in Christ and walk on. 

However, I am greatly surprised you feel like you’re in a position already to judge the extent and quality of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Are you really so proud as to think that you have the ability to ascertain the level of someone else’s walk with God whom you only know through a few short Internet comments? The Apostle John said that we Christians would be known for our love. I’m afraid I don’t see very much of that in this thread.

03 November, 2007 17:24

donsands said…

” I’m afraid I don’t see very much of that in this thread.” 

Difficult to see love when we are arguing, but it’s there just the same, if one is a born again child of the Lord.

If my words were harsh, then please forgive me. I always try to speak the truth in love, and though the Sprirt is sovereign and with me, my flesh is weak, and sometimes causes me to say things that are less than loving.

Have a blessed Lord’s day, and weekend.

03 November, 2007 18:36

lordodamanor said…


I judged what you said, and what you said is that you did not know Jesus as the one upon whom God poured his wrath. Now, I am not judging who you are in Christ. I judged your knowledge of him. And the Scripture flatly contradicts what you said.

It is not a matter of pride, it is a matter of truth. Love for one another is found in the Son, who is Truth. And, when you deny that it is God, who is the judge, who uses evil, such as the evil of the Roman empire weilded by the evil of men so called Jews, you are denying the very fact of the crucifixion. Plain and simple. And if I did not tell you so, it would not be the love of God.

03 November, 2007 20:34

Bernard said…
lordadamanor, just one question: are you dalek or borg? 

04 November, 2007 15:52

8 thoughts on “Some comment threads from Adrian's blog

  1. I wish I could save more of the threatened comments, but I don’t have time tonight. Perhaps I should save the ones from December last year which were especially controversial. Or maybe someone else would like to.

  2. Dear Peter
    Thank you so much for taking the time to save these and for hosting them here. It is very kind of you, and I really do appreciate it. I will be leaving comments up for about a week but am open to negotiate a slightly longer period. The only problem I have is that I must be careful not to do a “publsh all posts” on blogger as that will obliterate them!

  3. Peter and Adrian,

    I have downloaded comments from some of the Grudem interviews. Maybe I will post them sometime. Argh. Once again I see nobody cares about the truth. The truth is just shut up under wraps so it won’t interfere with doctrine.

  4. Interesting, Charity, but not surprising. Maybe Adrian or his editor pushed the wrong button accidentally or on purpose. Or maybe it was just the Blogger system which can hardly be expected to preserve abandoned comments.

  5. Dear Both,
    The comments are still there…just not on the homepage. Follow the links to individual posts and they will appear.

  6. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Adrian’s comments from December 2006 - the Grudem interview

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