Sunday, May 03, 2015

Why PhDs In Theology Commit Adultery

It's not rocket science. People desire sexual pleasure, perhaps more than any other natural thing. Since the Fall, we desire wrong sex even more than the right kind. If they don't know about grace, not only as the favor of God, but as the power of God unto right living, they are easy pickings.

John Piper might even agree with this. The galling part is, he's not being a very good Baptist and Protestant in that agreement. The difference between knowledge and love is participation, the very participation the Reformers took great pains to deny.

A great many people who have this pointed out to them are quite annoyed; they have a lot invested in pretending that "monergism" isn't just how it sounds: God does it all, to the praise of His glorious "grace". (Or justice.)

It's very true that we cannot be saved merely by what we do. It's equally true that we aren't saved merely by what we say. If you agree, welcome to the Catholic Church!


Nathan Hall said...

I agree with all of this but I don't think that makes me Catholic. The difference lies in the nature of participation. The Holy Spirit may sometimes show us that the human heirarchs of the visible Church are in the wrong or perhaps not even born again. I would recommend A. W. Tozer's several books on this subject.

By the way, I'm in Italy; any messages for the pope?

Jason said...

Dear Nathan,

I think it even a high likelihood that a significant percentage of the so-called princes of the Church have not even experienced what we would call an initial conversion. That is not necessarily pertinent to the discussion of theological participation. May I recommend the Catholic Encyclopedia article on participation? (I am not familiar with Tozer, which may be surprising. I'll endeavor to fix that.) If in fact you were able to speak to our pope for me, assure him of my affection and prayers. Hey, you never know.

Nathan Hall said...

Should I stumble into an audience I will pass that on. Tozer wasn't writing about Catholicism or judging the salvation of others, by the way. He wrote about how to know the Holy Spirit. I would recommend his Mystery of the Holy Spirit, not the most popular of his books, but my favorite. Is the encyclopedia article you mentioned online?

Jason said...

I have yet to find it, sadly. I'll ask around. It may only be in the print medium at CUA. Boo. But then, it was pure luck that I read it. My instructor has since gone off the grid.

Timothy Butler said...

Actually, I don't think Piper is saying anything that makes him a bad Protestant, unless Luther and Calvin were bad Protestants too. Good Protestants, going all the way back to Luther will eagerly insist that God provides "power" to do good through his Grace.

Jason said...

Well, Luther talked about grace, but he essentially denied that it comes through means. (You can say "sacrament" until the cows come home, but it's ad hoc without the hierarchy.) P.S. I'm just offended you didn't comment on my Barth post. ;)