Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Does John Piper Teach Separation?

You be the judge.

Here's just one relevant quote among many from today's radio program:
When a person departs from the doctrine that the apostles had taught, Paul sees this as a greater threat to unity than the disunity caused by avoiding such people. If we say: How can that be? How can dividing from a false teacher who rises up in the church promote unity in the church? The answer is that the only unity that counts for unity in the church is rooted in a common apostolic teaching. Isolating false teachers—avoiding them—is Paul’s strategy for preserving unity that is based on true teaching.
You can see the whole manuscript here or download an MP3 here.

The bottom line? Unity is a sham unless it's unity around truth. Piper discusses loving people and loving truth, purity for the sake of unity, a defined body of doctrine, and truth-based division for the sake of truth-based unity.

1 comment:

Christian said...

The difference for our dear Brother Piper is what are truths and what are in our opinions truth. I recently listened to his messages on Baptism and church membership -- the value of membership (unity) is weighted heavier than the truth of immersion after salvation. It is hard from this writer's perspective to process this. Clearly Piper believes in teh truth of immersion after salvation, but it is not a truth worthy of separation. There is then a hierarchy of truths.

Although I am uncertain, I think Brother Piper would consider Truth-to-be-separated-over to be only the Gospel -- separation is then only warranted for a direct attack on the Gospel. Yet I see misunderstandings about infant baptism as an attack on the Gospel.

As we have seen, some of these conservative evangelicals are talking about separation but the scope is limited to the Gospel proper. Admittedly they have valid concerns about unity, I just am not sure that they have enough concern yet for all the truth of the Bible and all the truth that effects the Gospel.

For His Glory,
Christian Markle