Rachel Held Evans Denies the Cat

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In the aftermath of the Oklahoma tragedy, Rachel Held Evans took John Piper to task for claiming, right in line with the Bible, that if disaster befalls a city, it is from the hand of God (Amos 3:6). Not only is it from the hand of God, but it is from the hand of a holy God. But to know — as insurance companies do — that such things are classified as acts of God, is not to say that God is abusive.

This stance of Piper’s upsets Evans, and she went on at length about it, maintaining that this creates abusive church environments, etc. I don’t want to go point-by-point through her post here — I simply want to make one observation, in line with the great Chesterton:

“If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.”

Here is the problem. Rachel Held Evans rebukes John Piper for answering the problem of evil as all orthodox Christians must, but then cops out herself. “We don’t know exactly why suffering happens in every situation . . .” Now of course this is quite right if we are maintaining that Henry got cancer because he cheated on his taxes three years ago. We don’t know that. But it is staggeringly wrong if we are talking about why our world is broken the way it is. We do know that. We have been told.

Evans goes on at length to tell victims of these and other disasters that they don’t deserve to have these things happen to them. But she does so while serenely neglecting her follow-up responsibility to explain why they are happening then. She says to victims everywhere, “You do not deserve to be abused.” Isn’t the next question obvious? “Why then am I abused?” Is God just or not? Is God in control or not?

John Piper lives in a universe where terrible things happen, but he knows that when we come to know the whole story, we will stop our mouths, and bow before a holy God in order to worship Him — and all manner of things shall be well. To acknowledge God’s sovereignty in such things does not keep our hearts from breaking in the midst of such devastation. The sovereignty of God is a hard shell case that carries and protects the tender heart.

Rachel Held Evans lives in a world where innocent people just get caught in the machinery, and God is terribly sorry about it.

Piper lives in a place where every apparent injustice will ultimately be revealed as part of a rich tapestry of means and ends, all culminating in that glorious Christlikeness that the “all things” in Romans 8:28 is yearning for. Evans lives in a place where our lives can be completely hosed, but at least God felt bad for us while He was making a hash of our little lives. “Don’t worry!” this kosmic klutz king says to us. “You didn’t deserve any of that!” These tornadoes are slippery.

But then, taking back with one hand what she just gave with the other, only a few lines later, Rachel Held Evans says that “God never fails.” Really? He protects the innocent from tornadoes, and tsunamis, and volcanoes, predatory ministers, and He never fails? Why, then, do they still happen?

That, in a nutshell, is how you deny the cat.

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Willis
Willis
8 years ago

This is one of the great and wonderful things about the Reformed faith. God is in control. We need fear nothing because God rules all. Even in the face of death, we can trust in God.

RHE worships a scary God. One that doesn’t really have much control over anything. If that tornado is coming, don’t pray about it because God is not particularly good at stopping tornadoes.

Donna L. Carlaw
Donna L. Carlaw
8 years ago
Reply to  Willis

Just one more comment. I spent a lot of time worshiping a sort of scary God – one that was in control, mostly. Before anyone says that I must not have suffered much, or known what abuse is let me assure you that I am very well acquainted personally with abuse, natural disasters, terrorism, family tragedies, and lots of other very scary things. I think that the older one gets, the less satisfying it is to believe in the scary god who is not God all the time, in every situation. That is the God who in Christ, loved me… Read more »

Nancy Adams
Nancy Adams
8 years ago

Thank you for this intelligent rebuttal. I was hoping someone with theological chops would take this on. Her critical tone was so unjustified, and made my heart weep.
The Chesterton quote was new to me, and I just spent some time researching its meaning. (I was hesitant to believe he was referring to a literal skinning of a cat–do people really feel happiness in that? Perhaps young boys do). We cannot deny that we are sinful, no matter how old-fashioned that may seem. Either God is soverign in all, or he is not God.

Zack Skrip
8 years ago

Well, she did update her blog post to include a sermon from notable Open Theist Greg Boyd. Maybe that will go that one step further in helping her answer the why question.

Mike Bull
8 years ago

The question is not, “Were those people worse sinners?” The question is, “Why wasn’t it me?”

Justin
8 years ago

Outstanding, Pastor Wilson.

Karl Kroger
Karl Kroger
8 years ago

I’m with the millions of Christians who believe bad things sometimes just happen. Suggesting that they are either punishment deserved or divine plans of destruction that the devil implements–make up a theology I find incompatible with the love and grace of God as revealed by God in Jesus Christ.

Matt
Matt
8 years ago
Reply to  Karl Kroger

Karl, the risk is that you end up worshiping yourself, or more to the point, your own flawed vision of yourself. Sure, you’d never send forth wild, intense destruction on humans to warn them about sin if you were God, but you don’t have the necessary qualifications to be God, nor do you truly know yourself. It’s easy to edit out our anger out of our memory, to act like it’s an aberration rather than a real part of our personality. Jesus was a harsh guy at times; he preached destruction while preaching righteousness while preaching love. That was the… Read more »

MelHigley
MelHigley
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Pastor Wilson I think this is an interesting twist on the subject, great post. To Karl, Thanks for what you said. The outcome of believing that bad things just sometimes happen is definitely not self worship (Hey Matt, check out a fantastic book called Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drop It to test out that mentality). Christians come up with all sorts of round about arguments to justify such beliefs. I am geologist and will speak with some authority here: One thing we can say for sure about natural disasters is that they are part of the perfect order… Read more »

John Brigham
John Brigham
8 years ago
Reply to  Karl Kroger

Wow, Karl! Then who is in charge up there? Who is powerful enough to save us?

MelHigley
MelHigley
8 years ago
Reply to  Karl Kroger

I didn’t even realize how much I agreed with RHE thoughts until I starting reading the responses to Karl. Yikes.

Andy
Andy
8 years ago
Reply to  Karl Kroger

God demonstrated that his love and grace often don’t look the way we expect when he planned and allowed the worst punishment to happen on the cross. There is a lot of mystery in this, yes, but we either believe that God was in control when Jesus died or that He wasn’t. What one believes about that extreme event will inform these other daily examples.

Brian Ramey
Brian Ramey
8 years ago

I disagree with that post as much as I disagreed with Rachel’s post.

Richard
Richard
8 years ago
Reply to  Brian Ramey

And, that’s why you have nothing more to say about the topic than this.

Paula Cullen
Paula Cullen
8 years ago

I can relate to RHE’s rant. She expressed exactly how I sometimes feel. But I am not proud of those feelings because they are rooted in anger, bitterness and a shallow knowledge of God. John Piper, and many others, are so much farther along in their maturity as Christians than I am. Even that can add to my bitterness because of envy. Who will save me from this body of sin and death? Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus!

Brian
Brian
8 years ago

Thanks for bringing your comments and some clarity to the RHE post, Doug. You’re spot on, and I’ll only add that I found it interesting her entire rant was set off by Piper’s one tweet, a single verse from Job. She was primed and prepared to bring an entire case she’d [apparently] been building against Piper and unleash it in the courtroom of public opinion based on the Job verse, without realizing the entire book of Job is not about God punishing people who “deserve it”, nor does the verse Piper tweeted allude to that in any way. She jumped… Read more »

Donna L. Carlaw
Donna L. Carlaw
8 years ago

Thank you for this article. I get the idea that Rachel Held Evans is angry with Piper and wants to destroy his reputation and ministry. What did Piper do to deserve that level of abuse and destruction?

Dan Phillips
8 years ago

Donna, it’s that Piper boldly, happily, and pretty much unapologetically embraces and proclaims the teachings of Scripture that Evans hates. He doesn’t leave Evans with a wee little god who says “Yes, dear” every time she throws a fit.

Donna L. Carlaw
Donna L. Carlaw
8 years ago
Reply to  Dan Phillips

I agree with you, Dan. Piper merely quoted a Scripture that would have deep meaning for God’s children suffering in the middle of the disaster in OK. The dear lady is the one who is being abusive, trying to cut God’s people off from the Source of comfort, it seems to me. There is no comfort in a god who is not in control of the wind and the waves. Her god is not the God of all comfort.

Kamilla
8 years ago

Doug,

Did you notice how she demoted God to a minor deity, “god” when speaking of Piper’s theology? I’ve not seen her do that before and I’m sure it was deliberate. Such rich grace coming from the 30-something woman who resorts to her pouting chair everytime someone questions her Evangelical bona fides and has a penchant for posting origami pictures with the vile names she gets called clearly visible.

The woman is a shameless manipulator.

brian
brian
8 years ago

Pastor Wilson

I do hope you and your family are well, thank you for your insightful post. If I may ask a question, do you think it a “sin” or in someway wrong to continue to develop technology that helps us detect such events and offer warning or even mitigate such weather phenomena in the future? Thanks

David Anthony
David Anthony
8 years ago

I don’t understand why any human capable of rational and compassionate thought would care what a misogynistic racist like you would think…

Joel Ken
8 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

HAHA!

Great response.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
8 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

He should have stopped after his first three words.

Jules
Jules
8 years ago
Reply to  David Anthony

I don’t understand why any Chrsitian with a knowledge of God’s word would follow the teachings of an unsaved woman.

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 years ago
Reply to  Jules

It’s always incredible to me when Christians claim absolute knowledge of the state of someone else’s salvation.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
8 years ago
Reply to  David Anthony

Would that all men…oops, I mean humans…oops, I mean hupersons…oops, I mean huperoffspring*…were as misogynistic and racist as Pastor Wilson. Which is, of course, to say, not at all.

*Ten points for anybody who can name the source I stole this from.

Whitney Clayton
Whitney Clayton
8 years ago
Reply to  David Anthony

Surely you see the irony in this statement placed at the end of an article you just read. That was a quick kiss goodbye to your own compassion and rationality.

Matt Svoboda
Matt Svoboda
8 years ago

Hey! It’s Whitney Clayton!

monax
8 years ago
Reply to  David Anthony

and yet David Anthony cares enough to drop a comment. .

monax
8 years ago
Reply to  monax

“Rachel is a person who relates to an individual in the midst of suffering. Doug Wilson and John Piper are theologians who wish to teach an individual in the midst of suffering. What Doug and John can learn from Rachel is this: People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2013/05/cities-are-people-relational-disconnect.html

Mark Dove
Mark Dove
8 years ago
Reply to  David Anthony

And yet you cared enough to actually comment David Anthony.

Ahman
Ahman
8 years ago

So did the SGM child abuse occur at the hand of God?

Daryl Little
Daryl Little
8 years ago
Reply to  Ahman

The “alleged child abuse” you mean…

Everything happens at either the hand of God or with the permission of God, however you want to say it.

Perhaps you are suggesting that God didn’t know about it? Or couldn’t stop it? Or or or…?

Ahman Kee
Ahman Kee
8 years ago
Reply to  Daryl Little

Out of the 11 plantiffs in the SGM lawsuit, 6 I believe involved situations where the abuser was actually convicted, so no I don’t mean “alleged”

Samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  Daryl Little

Some of it is alleged. Not all of it.

SGM hired known and convicted child molesters and rapists. That is a matter of public record.

alex
alex
8 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

I didn’t always agree with Hitch, but I liked him. And I don’t know how many times I heard him rebuke this very argument in his debates with you. God ordained child abuse = God is a monster. And our suffering should be meaningful to us in the hear and now, rather than having to wait for justice in the afterlife. Frankly, your God (in the way you conceive of him) is too big. You’re a smart guy, and I like a lot of things you say. But I guess I don’t understand the Reformed guys. I can hear him… Read more »

Fr. Barnabas Powell
Fr. Barnabas Powell
8 years ago

Ah, yes, Doug Wilson quotes a Roman Catholic to defend a Calvinist. What fun! As usual, rationalism on both sides of this issue fails miserably. It has been the enemy’s sole task from the Garden until now to impugn the character of the Father.

Daryl Little
Daryl Little
8 years ago

Donna, I run into that same attitude among some friends of mine, and it really has nothing to do with Piper at all, although he is a target. It seems to me to be simply, as Doug mentioned in his post, a reaction against a God who controls the whole world, but who controls it in a way that I wouldn’t. Somehow that makes people angry and, I suppose, it’s easier and somehow more holy to call John Piper “a reproach upon the body of Christ” than it is to call Jesus “a reproach upon the all-encompassing, never ending, same… Read more »

Donna L. Carlaw
Donna L. Carlaw
8 years ago
Reply to  Daryl Little

Hi, Daryl,
I agree with you 100%. I don’t know Dr. Piper personally, but I do know some of what he does for the poor, the abused, and the suffering around the world. He cares deeply, and proves it by his actions. But this attack is not primarily about Piper, as you point out.

I have heard people in OK give praise and glory to God even after they have lost everything. It is not all that strange for Christians to have that kind of reaction in the Spirit.

Take care,
Donna

Stefan Stackhouse
Stefan Stackhouse
8 years ago

We live in a dynamic world where lots of stuff happens – tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. We now understand that it is this very dynamism that raises land out of the sea, and that drives the various cycles (water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) that make life on earth possible. Seen in this broader context, this dynamism and its consequences are actually a blessing. Without them, we wouldn’t even be here. At least as far as natural disasters are concerned, then, I suspect that understanding this is lifting the edge of the curtain just a little bit to have a… Read more »

Donna L. Carlaw
Donna L. Carlaw
8 years ago

Hey, Stefan,
I like your response. Our culture is not fatalistic, so most of us think that God has given us ways to see the possibility of danger and avoid it wherever possible. We expect nature to be violent at times, and we can take appropriate action.

Thanks,
Donna

MelHigley
MelHigley
8 years ago

Perfectly said. And I would add, end of discussion!

Melody
Melody
8 years ago

Matt. 5:45 “that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matt. 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” The only thing we can say for certain is that western society is sick with sin and that the Bible is filled with warnings of our downfall as a result. Tornadoes have been occurring in Ok… Read more »

Kristopher Foster
Kristopher Foster
8 years ago

I agree completely with this evaluation of Rachel’s post (though it is a touch snarky when presenting her view). However, her first motivation for making the comments is valid even though she botched the response. Though I love Piper and consider him to be pivotal in my becoming a Reformed Baptist, I cringed when I saw that tweet. Rick Warren’s tweet on this issue – In deep pain,people don’t need logic,advice, encouragement,or even Scripture.They just need you to show up and shut up. – is on the other end of the spectrum. While I have respect for both of these… Read more »

Nell Parker
Nell Parker
8 years ago

Is Piper correct in his theology? I am not sure that is the question. I know that he is quite learned and I respect his thoughts. But, there is a time and place for everything according to Ecclesiastes 3. IMO, the first response to a painful event, like a man being diagnosed with a terminal cancer, should not be to lecture him on the finer points of pain and suffering. A simple “i’m sorry and I am here for you” is appropriate. The shock of such an event like losing your child in a tornado or an accident is overwhelming.… Read more »

Bill Andrews
Bill Andrews
8 years ago

One of the things I’m mildly curious about is how the people who are lashing out at Piper would react if God started to pour out His wrath, and perhaps He will in our lifetimes, ala Revelation. That seems to me, at least, to be the natural progression of this whole argument taking to its conclusion.

Earl
Earl
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill Andrews

Unless you’re a preterist.

Brian
Brian
8 years ago

RHE is an enemy to our rich Christian faith. She somehow snuck onto the Christian sceen and is effectively poisoning the well with her feminism and false god. In short, RHE should be shunned by all godly women. The Puritans and Reformers wouldn’t let their wives go to coffee with The RHE.

Nancy
Nancy
8 years ago

It seems to me that the problem with Piper’s response is not a theological one, so much as a question of timing and compassion. And this IS a problem with his, and your, response, which misses this point. It is insensitive and unkind to preach the sovereignty of God in the moment of disaster. You are right. We do not know God’s plan or motives, and He is in control. But to evoke theology at this time rather than to “weep with those who weep” seems wrong to me, even if it is good theology. A more loving response would… Read more »

Nancy
Nancy
8 years ago

It seems to me that the problem with Piper’s response is not a theological one, so much as a question of timing and compassion. It is insensitive and unkind to preach the sovereignty of God in the moment of disaster. You are right. We do not know God’s plan or motives, and He is in control. But to evoke theology at this time rather than to “weep with those who weep” seems wrong to me, even if it is good theology. A more loving response would be to join in the suffering of those whose lives have just been devastated,… Read more »

Josh
Josh
8 years ago

Doug, Looks like Piper was right here. And Rachel responded to Piper wrongly – he was trying to identify the victims with Job, a blameless victim who responded to suffering with worship. But Piper’s responses through the years have seemed to move us toward the response of Job’s friends: disaster as caused by some sin on our part. Yes, death is the result of sin and we all deserve death as the result of our sin, but Rachel is right to say that God doesn’t blame the victim in any specific case (Christ, Job, Paul). And Christ’s example (along with… Read more »

David
8 years ago
Reply to  Josh

But Piper’s responses through the years have seemed to move us toward the response of Job’s friends: disaster as caused by some sin on our part. Yes, death is the result of sin and we all deserve death as the result of our sin . . . The statement in your last sentence happens to be about as far as Piper has gone. In only one of RHE’s linked posts (the one about the tornado that hit downtown Minneapolis a few years ago — which, for anyone concerned about possible tone-deafness, did not injure a single person) did Piper come… Read more »

Phillip Harrison
Phillip Harrison
8 years ago

I’ve always been struck by the fact that God knew in advance of the massacre of the innocents under King Herod and alluded to it beforehand in scripture. It didn’t take Him by surprise and He certainly could have stopped it from happening, but it was part of His story. And interestingly enough, when the Christmas story is recounted most people don’t seem to have a problem seeing it that way. So it’s just a matter of applying the same principle across the board.

Lucretia Thompson
Lucretia Thompson
8 years ago

I do agree to a point with Piper that God is in total control and with Ms. Evans that God is not sitting on a throne saying, well Moore, OK take that! The problem with all of it is this, neither fully know the truth of scripture from its full meaning, for if they did they could both see the truth. If you want to know the truth of both the Job scripture and the truth of all these disasters, you must first ask a Rabbi! His answer might just astonish you all!

Martin Downes
Martin Downes
8 years ago

What a helpful response! On this subject I think that Bavinck expressed the right convictions about the Fatherly love and sovereign dominion of God in the right way with these words: “It is above all by faith in Christ that believers are enabled — in spite of the riddles that perplex them — to cling to the conviction that the God who rules the world is the same loving and compassionate Father who in Christ forgave them all their sins, accepted them as his children, and will bequeath to them eternal blessedness. In that case faith in God’s providence is… Read more »

Some1
Some1
8 years ago

Moore, OK has been hit by two tornadoes since 1999 before this one, including one in which the highest wind speeds on Earth were recorded.

People decided to stay there despite knowing this.

Ergo, God sucker-punched them with a tornado that NO ONE could have possibly predicted would arrive.

Steve McAlpine
8 years ago

Love John Piper on many, many things. However, regardless of the right and wrong of the deeper theological nature of what Piper said, is Twitter the appropriate vehicle to make these comments? Anyone who has to delete a tweet is skating on thin ice. Once you’re a tweet deleter it’s only a matter of time before you end up having to delete your account because you are losing the ability to discern how you come across in that medium. It’s not exactly the must nuanced medium, as Piper’s longer explanation demonstrated. Leave the soundbites to those who have nothing else… Read more »

Nick Mackison
Nick Mackison
8 years ago

Superb Doug. Penetrating, wise, articulate and faithful to Scripture. RHE seemed to assume the worst about John Piper. She assumed that he was coldly sending out tweets on the day of disaster with a “that’ll teach ’em” attitude. Anyone who has read or heard the man will know that the opposite is true. Like Paul in Romans 9:1-5, John writes these things with anguish and sorrow. Furthermore, for her to invoke cases of child abuse to damn the classical view of God was shameless opportunism and made a mockery of real, hurting victims. The comments on her “Forgive Me” post… Read more »

Nathan
Nathan
8 years ago

To defend, at least, the emotion behind RHE’s response – certainly not the logic – she’s expressing something that myself and several others have felt for years, and the reason why I at last left the faith. And that is that all attempts to rationally deal with evil and with an all-powerful, loving God at the same time ultimately fail, at least if we accept that God does not act because he won’t act, not because he can’t. I’m left with two options – believe that God is evil, or believe that God is good, but that I don’t understand… Read more »

Scott
8 years ago

Here is a well-written article from Internet Monk: http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/john-piper-miserable-comforter.

I find some balance in it.

Scott Douglas
Scott Douglas
8 years ago
Reply to  Scott

I thought he missed the mark on Job and his assessment of Piper.

John R.
John R.
8 years ago
Reply to  Scott

Ah yes, I remember again why I left that site right after the late Mr. Spencer began his Capon-driven descent.

Ryan
8 years ago

“John Piper lives in a universe where terrible things happen, but he knows that when we come to know the whole story, we will stop our mouths, and bow before a holy God in order to worship Him — and all manner of things shall be well. ” Please don’t quote Julian of Norwich like that. It really twists her words to mean something very different than what she meant.

Kyle B
8 years ago

Pastor Wilson,

This comment has nothing to do with the merits of your argument; I just love the new design for your blog. Kudos for making the leap to WordPress.

Ian Sims
Ian Sims
8 years ago

About 2 years ago my 4 year old son died very suddenly. While he lay lifeless on my living room floor as I tried to breath life back into him, my 10 year old son stood next to us crying frantically. In between breathes I looked at him and said “no matter how this turns out God is in control.” In that moment of sheer terror that was the truth that held me together.

I loved both the message and the timing of Pipers response. Some were offended, but I’m sure to others they were words of life.

Jason Kates
Jason Kates
8 years ago
Reply to  Ian Sims

I agree with you, Ian. Some folks are wired like you or like me, and Piper’s tweeting of Job scratches the itch at its precise center. 2 years ago we went through a sudden trauma with our son – who did not end up dying – but had friends speaking “no matter how this turns out God is in control” in our ears along the way. I needed it. I welcomed it. I love that they loved me enough to do that for me. RHE has already made a semi-apology and tried to soften her stance on Piper, but the… Read more »

RFB
RFB
8 years ago

I know that God is, and that He is The Author of all creation, and as such has all authority for all definitions, including that of good and evil. Blaming God for His actions or omissions is an old habit of fallen creation, when the proper response is quite Jobian in both acknowledging that God as God gives and takes as is His right, and that there is much beyond our comprehension. (“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”)… Read more »

Greg
Greg
8 years ago

Rachel is right. His comment was highly insensitive; even absurd. If Dr. Piper has the need to attribute Natural disasters and the agony they inflict to God’s judgment, then he should do it at later times and never mention places. It served no purpose other than to hurt even more. And trying to make some sense out of his mistake is doubly absurd-what a disgrace!

David
David
8 years ago
Reply to  Greg

Dear Greg, Timing is very important when speaking to the down-trodden (words in due season), but when you say that the concept of God ordaining whatever comes to pass is ridiculous, this is a major theological concession on your part. Is God not all powerful? Is He not good? Is He neither? You saying that we cannot make sense out of this is not avoiding giving a reason to the event. You simply give a different answer than the Bible does, and in doing so, you remove any purpose from it, so that those who died just….died, for no reason.… Read more »

Jason Kates
Jason Kates
8 years ago
Reply to  Greg

Jesus said things that could be construed as insensitive. Is that the standard for hearing something? Good grief, man.

Jane Dunsworth
Jane Dunsworth
8 years ago

Greg, to what are you responding? Piper mentioned nothing specific, mentioned no natural disaster, and mentioned no place.

He quote a passage from Job without commentary or context. Whatever might be said about the timing of his tweet or the presumed thought behind it, he did none of what you said should never be done.

Mark Loewen
Mark Loewen
8 years ago

I’ve always found it interesting that God never condemns Job’s friends for remaining quiet for awhile. It’s when they start to speak their opinions about God that they start to get into trouble. I’ve come to see the wisdom of sitting quietly for a season and mourning with those who suffer a tragedy, but when it comes time to speak, I try to be sure it’s the truth about God from his own revealed word instead of just my opinions. And having been through several tragedies myself, I can assure you that truth from God is a comfort far beyond… Read more »

Ray Nearhood
Ray Nearhood
8 years ago

OFF SUBJECT:

You have got to fix how the comments post. I can tell that some respondents are commenting on another comment, I just can’t tell which.

And what is that apparently random black line between some comments?

Jane Dunsworth
Jane Dunsworth
8 years ago

The black box is evidently a marker for site owner comments.

I agree, either remove the ability to reply directly to a comment so that people are forced to specify what they’re responding to, or add something to make the “threading” more obvious.

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

Doug Wilson is nothing but a misogynistic and racist old coot. His views are thankfully dying off in this day and age and thank GOD for that because the last thing we need is more people who promote sick and demented views like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Slavery-As-It-Was/dp/188576717X

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/07/marital-rape-doug-wilson-on-dominance-and-submission-in-the-marriage-bed.html

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I love how you focused on what I called you instead of addressing your obvious racism and misogyny. Nice deflection. In any case, I’d like to see you defend your obviously backwards views. But I doubt you will. Because you know that it won’t fly with most civilized humans in the 21st century, and rightfully so.

Harry Vest
Harry Vest
8 years ago

The more I read about Piper and the so called “New Calvinists” as well as all the mean spirited and hateful rhetoric coming out of the mouths of most of the “Religious Right” the more terrified I become that we are indeed in the last days and that these “leaders” are the false prophets spoken of by Jesus himself. Sure, it’s easy pickings to label lunatics like Benny Hinn and the name-it-and-claim-it crowd as “false prophets” but perhaps it goes deeper and darker than the obvious. There is something about these “New Calvinists” that gives me the creeps. The only… Read more »

Todd Morton
Todd Morton
8 years ago

What bothers me about John Piper’s quote of Amos 3:6, is that he conveniently disregards the next verse – v. 7 “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” THe question that RAGES in my mind and, I believe, should make any Bible believing Christian stop and pray just the same, is NOT “Why are there indeed calamities in our cities?” but, “Why does the Lord allow these things to fall upon us “WITHOUT REVEALING HIS SECRET COUNSEL TO HIS PROPHETS beforehand?” as Amos 3:7 says He does. Having Christians stand… Read more »

Ben Hawkins
Ben Hawkins
8 years ago

Pastor Douglas WIlson,

What would you tell a little girl who asked you, “Why was I abused?”

Ben

theromans6man
theromans6man
7 years ago

sounds like alot of hate going on here……when are Christians going to stop persecuting each other? Love, Love, Love

Reformed Trombonist
7 years ago

> I don’t understand why any human capable of rational and compassionate thought would care what a misogynistic racist like you would think…

By contrast, I don’t even understand why any human capable of rational thought believes that compassion is a product of rationality.

Or why someone who values rationality would have to resort to question-begging epithets to make a point.