Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Piper on the Faithfulness of Younger Generations

In Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen, Piper writes about Athanasius' role in combatting the Arian heresy denying the full deity of Christ:
Athanasius was a little over twenty when the controversy broke out—over fory years younger than Arius (a lesson in how the younger generation may be more biblically faithful than the older 12).

12 The Bible encourages us to hold older people in honor. "You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:32). In general, wisdom is found with age and experience (1 Kings 12:8), but not always. Timothy is exhorted in 1 Timothy 4:12, "Let no one despise you for your youth." There are situations when he would have to correct the elderly (1 Timothy 5:1). And in the book of Job the young Elihu proved to be wiser than Job's three older friends. "Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger. And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said: 'I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you. I said, "Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom." But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right' " (Job 32:4–9).


todd wood said...

amen to Athanasius

but no amen to Elihu

thinking of heart issues

Josh said...

We can also look to the example of King David. A man who consistently followed God even though many of his elders were on the wrong path.