16 May 2012

Compare, Contrast, Caterwaul (1 of 2)

by Frank Turk

When I ran into these older videos last week, I knew I would be blogging about them this week because of the topical nature of the subjects they cover.  What I did not remember (saying I did not know this would be false, but I always hope for the best) is that Satan controls my scheduled work load, and when I have a great blogging subject like this I wind up having more work than 5 people can accomplish, and my blogging takes a back seat.

So here's the deal:  This is the first of a 2-part post.  Today I'm posting two videos by well-respected men speaking on the same subject, and here's my ground-rule for keeping the comments open: you must find all the good things from these videos this week -- because there is something good in both of these videos.  Negative comments will simply be deleted without any warning or recourse.  Next week we'll talk about whether or not one of these videos is better than the other, and in what way, and what the other video can teach us both from a positive example and from its shortcomings.

First, from John Piper:



Second, from Tim Keller:



Mind your manners.








73 comments:

Matt Gumm said...

Thanks for both videos. Showed both of them in their elements, which were strengths. Keller is strong with the audience; Piper practically exudes Bible and theology, and somehow makes you think he's talking directly to you personally.

There were things about both I didn't like, but they will keep. Looking forward to hearing your Part 2.

Frank Turk said...

Thanks Matt. Good start.

For those who didn't read the post, you must find all the good things from these videos this week -- because there is something good in both of these videos. Negative comments will simply be deleted without any warning or recourse.

Frank Turk said...

For example:

I think the major win for both these videos is to identify that the root of sin is displacing God as God and Savior for Self as God and Savior.

I think the other major strength of Piper's video is that he is utterly grounded in the text of Scripture so that he is careful to say what God has said on this subject.

I think the other major strength of Keller's video is that he speaks to people and answers the questions they are asking in a way they do not expect, and which undoes their premises about their concerns without berating them with presuppositional triumphalism.

There are other good things in these videos. I'm looking forward to someone pointing them out.

Robert said...

I like that both of them show compassion towards homosexuals.

Piper did a great job by saying that he is broken, just in a different way. And as Frank points out, he does a good job of pulling Scripture references for where the Bible shows that homosexuality is sin. I like that he takes it deeper than that, though.

Keller brought in the parable about the good Samaritan to show that homosexuals are also our neighbors and that we need to show love to them as well. Keller is right in saying that there are many (professing) Christians that hold to what the Bible says about homosexuality, but don't show love for their homosexual neighbors. I'd say that this applies in all kinds of areas (another big one is women who have had abortions). There is much that we all can and should take from this.

So I'd say one of the best things I liked about both videos is that they show how we need to show love towards homosexuals and not just shun them. I hope this will be further developed by somebody to show application within the Church towards different groups of homosexuals(unbelievers, professing Christians), but this is a good starting point for showing love towards them.

I'm not saying there aren't some bad spots in each of them, but that is for another discussion.

Johnny Dialectic said...

1. Piper emphasizes the authority of Scripture up front.

2. Keller emphasizes love up front.

I think those two things combined would be an ideal place to start any discussion of this issue.

dac said...

I find them very similar. Both state it is a sin. Both state that it is sin like other sins, which replace God with self (although I would say Keller does a better job at it) While Piper refers to bible passages by name and number (plus 1 for Piper) both basically are summarizing passages for their audience, not quoting long passages of scripture.

I like Piper's for it's basic purpose, which is a series of interviews that they put on their website for members, attenders and the public to view - it is an educational service, which is great. I like Keller's because it is a very Mars Hill kind of activity, where he is bearding the lions den and taking on the philosophers at Columbia University.

Les said...

I definitely like how Piper jumps right to "This is why it's wrong..." and he took care to do it in a gentle way. Most people would rather dance around the issue and generalize to the Nth degree OR just jump right to "The Bible says it's wrong." and stop there without even referencing verses.

Keller did address legalism and approaching people with love which is something I think we can all learn from in how we approach ALL unbelievers.

Michael R. Jones said...

I like that Piper begins with "The Bible says it's wrong!" and works from there. I also like that Piper compares the homosexual's choice to engage in sinful activity with the heterosexual's choice to engage in sinful activity. Both are broken.

Keller is right to point out that Christians ought to love their neighbor, including the gay ones (I don't know how we're supposed to "win" them if we can't even be civil to them). The line "I know for a fact that heterosexuality won't get you to heaven" is gold but my comments on what follows I will have to save for next week.

I must point out that both were in different forums with different audiences. Piper is speaking to people who presumably will largely agree with him while Keller is speaking to an audience one presumes will not view his statements on this so favorably.

This means they must communicate their answers in different ways but we should expect the core of their answers to be roughly the same.

I wonder, Frank, was there any reason for posting Piper atop Keller or was that random?

dac said...

Another positive of Keller's is that he does not let the interviewer (who is hostile) set the terms of the answers - the interviewer sets up a strawman and I think Keller does a good job of redirecting the question and answer. Keller clearly has the harder job in the Videos where Piper is giving the equivalent of a sermon, which while not easy, at least gives you a week to prepare and outline all your points.

DJP said...

Find a good thing from the Keller video. Hm, he...

Nice inflection! And pacing! Good pacing. No monotone there. Very expressive.

There.

yankeegospelgirl said...

Sorry DJP, looks like we'll have to wait 'til next week to comment on the Keller video. ;)

Loved the Piper vid. Actually couldn't think of anything wrong with it. Will say more later.

Noah said...

dac and M.R. Jones are on track with the circumstances surrounding the clips (Piper interviewed by Mathis in a controlled environment, i.e. no live audience; Keller at Columbia). Specifically, they both at some point emphasize that this is an issue of idolatry.

Piper is clear about his answer in sticking to the question he is asked, at least early on. His early answer, before he goes to a practical side, lands where the Bible lands, specifically Romans 1. His most important statement was his encouragement to read Romans 1:24-29. In other words, read what the Bible says about this instead of only sticking to my words.

Keller redirects the question he is asked (from the response of churches to what the Bible says) in order to give the reason for why homosexuality, among other things like greed and not loving your neighbor, is sinful. In other words, he does an end-around with his answer that gives an answer that is basically true, at least as far as the rules for this week's post will allow me to address in keeping to the good of the clip, while also keeping his audience attentive and engaged with his answers.

Btw, is the Keller clip from the same Q&A that caused the big stir earlier this year?

Kerry James Allen said...

If you look closely at DJP's avatar you can see the tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Or was he biting it...

DJP said...

I said nice things! Nice, true things!

Nash Equilibrium said...

Keller looks a little like Dan. That's a positive!

DJP said...

Not for Keller, poor soul.

DWB said...

Keller - you don't go to hell for being a homosexual any more than you go to hell for lying (as my sister always told me). You go to hell for not accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you have had an encounter with the risen Lord (a la Saul) then there has to be change. Not because you cannot, but because you would not do any other. If there has been a change, something must change.

Steven A Mitchell said...

To answer Noah's question, yes, it's from the same Veritas Forum event.

Frank Turk said...

For the record:

The bookmarks to these videos were stacked in my browser in this order, therefore they appeared in this order. They appear in the order I discovered them, not in any other kind of order.

Frank Turk said...

It bothers me that I see good things in the Keller video and my dear and virtuous friend DJP does not.

Nash Equilibrium said...

DWB - I think it's the other way around from what your sister said. Look it up!

DJP said...

I said good things! "Nice inflection"!

o_O

(I will, as always, be reading your further observations with studious respect and open-mindedness, having oft been instructed in the School of Turk.)

Matt Gumm said...

BTW, I didn't include this in my previous comment because you said no negatives, but it bothers me that Satan has control of your schedule. Just sayin'.

Kerry James Allen said...

In the spirit of DJP I will make nice: I read Keller's book The Meaning of Marriage recently and it was quite good.

Cathy M. said...

I am a little familiar with Piper, and know nothing of the other fellow; so, I'm not listening with the same ears as most of y'all.

I found it easy to understand Mr. Piper's explanation of my "brokenness," and how it relates to everyone's brokenness, including homosexuality. The description of "levels" was helpful too. I'd never considered that some of my sinful proclivities may have been inherited. Oh, my poor children.

The other guy seemed to have a more secular interviewer and audience, which may account for his gingerly verbal dance. He did clearly mark homosexuality as a sin, but I think it was great that he identified self-righteousness as a greater (damnable) sin.

It's a good thing we're not being critical today, because I think each spoke well to his audience. You can school me next week.

Frank Turk said...

Here are some more good things about the Keller video:

* Pastor Keller was invited to talk to a completely-secular audience to talk about hard questions of the faith, and he gave them answers which they did not have prior to the discussion.

* Pastor Keller disqualified any work I might do as being to my credit, and made it clear that any refuge I take in my work is sinful.

* Pastor Keller was not generally defensive but rather well-engaged. There is a specific thing he did which we will cover next week which I think deserves more reflection, but that he could receive the question as it was asked and disarm it was completely instructive.

* Pastor Keller was funny without being clownish or crude.

Robert said...

One thing Pastor Keller was careful to do was to bring things back to his church, where he is actually accountable, before trying to expand things out to all of Christendom. I think that this is important because all too often people get sucked into generalizations that paint a bad portrait of the whole Church.

Frank Turk said...

I think he was very clever to diffuse the whole "I speak for Christianity" thing, even if he did sort of own the Christian label for good and ill.

Robert said...

Yeah, I didn't mention him wading back into speaking for all Christians so as to avoid getting into owning it for ill...avoiding negativity and all.

Frank Turk said...

I appreciate your restraint.

Jamie said...

I’ll be honest and say that I have not read most of the comments, so forgive me if I am repeating what others have said.

For Piper I think his comments were spot on and were I allowed to post any “yeah but’s” I think he would have needed point 4 to help flesh out the implications of points 1-3; but since I am not allowed to, I won’t.

For Keller I think he accurately noted that many of us have our “Respectable Sins” which we tend to overlook mainly because it is those sins we hold dear and exempt them from being all that bad. This therefore allows us to single out homosexuality as being worse particularly since God does call it a sin. Yet we, and I think his initial point, are very comfortable with gluttony, lust, or even selfish greed (which is idolatry and is really a rendering of all other sins) and is at the heart of a rebellious nature against God. I also think Keller, like Piper, gave an answer that was fit for the audience he was addressing. It is a wise man that can do this and an even wiser person that can recognize when doing so is appropriate.

Terry Rayburn said...

The good in the videos has pretty much been covered.

As to the disparity between Frank's and Dan's take, I see it as Frank opposing "presuppositional triumphalism", and Dan kinda liking it :)

Rob said...

One of things I really admire about Keller is his cool/calm demeanor when addressing a completely-secular audience. I've heard him in similar Q&A sessions and he can take some of the most loaded, nonsensical questions and glide into a perfect answer calmly delivered. This clip you've included is a perfect example.

Frank Turk said...

Well, with one vote for the "perfect answer," I may have to give up on part 2 ...

... maybe not ...

yankeegospelgirl said...

So many good things to say about Piper, but here are a few:

1. He gives specific biblical references dealing with the sinfulness of homosexuality, then thoughtfully unpacks it even further: It's a crime against nature, it's a form of idolatry, and so forth. He doesn't skimp on this---he takes time to walk the viewer through all the layers.

2. He took time to draw out and clarify the distinction between having homosexual desires and acting on them. He described perfectly what the biblical response should be for a person who sincerely wants to follow God's will under those circumstances.

3. He made it clear that homosexuality is not the only sin condemned in the Bible without sounding like he was downplaying homosexuality in the process.


4. He showed personal humility by making an analogy to areas where he is spiritually broken and must also depend on the grace of God like everyone else.

Sir Aaron said...

I thought that Piper's video showed his knowledge and expertise with Scripture. I thought his explanation of Romans 1 was quite instructive.

There were several things I appreciated about the Keller video. I thought he used humor to effectively set the audience on their heels (and the mediator) and it opened a gaping door which he could have driven a truck through with regards to a gospel presentation on sin and man's need for a Savior. Actually, I thought he could have piloted an aircraft carrier through that door. I thought his comments about speaking for all the churches struck a good balance between owning the Christian name and making the point that he can't possibly speak for everyone. Finally, I thought he offered a decent explanation for why Christian behavior is not always uniform...i.e., some churches focus too much on one aspect of Scripture without balancing it with the rest of Scripture.

PKZ said...

I hear the term "brokenness" used in a more emotional, self-centered, God help me feel good way generally. I love the fact that Piper used it to describe our brokenness as it relates to the different ways we struggle with sin. I avoided the term previously, now I feel compelled to use it! Thanks John P.

I have enjoyed much of what I have read/heard previously from Keller. I won't say anything negative here, as the rules say not to, even though I now know that sin does not send people to hell? Just playing it safe?

dac said...

I think it would be....perhaps a rush to judgement if you were to base your opinion of Keller's presentation solely on what was in that video, as that is only a part of what he said that day.

It would be kind of like forming an opinion on his theology by proudly proclaiming you never read his books but thought less of him because of one video....

Frank Turk said...

Do I smell bacon?

Jesse said...

I thought Keller did a good job using humor and presenting the truth about human nature and our propensity toward self-righteousness. I thought given the setting he almost nailed it. His comment about "heterosexuality won't take you to Heaven" was a home run in my opinion. I hope it was helpful for non-Christians and I know it would be helpful for a lot of professed Christians as well.

But (and I know we're not supposed to be negative but I'm going to be out of town and away from my computer next week. Forgive me...) while he emphasized why homosexuality was wrong in regard to the second commandment he didn't really mention it in relation to the first, and greatest commandment.

Jesse said...

In other words there's more to the sinfulness of sin than just, "well it's bad for other people" (human flourishing as he says"). There's even more to sin than just "it's bad for us."

PKZ said...

Ok, I was being humorous and perhaps too harsh. I agree with Michael R. Jones regarding the very positive and memorable quote of Keller - "I know for a fact that heterosexuality won't get you to heaven". That is precious and I also respect his handling of a potentially hostile audience.
I am anxious to see how others will comment on more controversial quotes from Keller when the time arrives. I realize this is only a short clip and it would not make or break my opinion of the speakers. I wonder if either speaker would have said things differently if they had it to do over again? Obviously I sometimes do!

Frank Turk said...

Jesse: You are jumping the gun.

Peace.

Halcyon said...

Piper's pastoral humility and Keller's cool-n-collected delivery were both pleasantly disarming.

Reminds me of Col. 4:6 where our speech is to be "seasoned with salt". I'm just an amateur at Greek (and not a Ubermench like DJP), but if I remember correctly that phrase means to have speech that is both edifying and pleasant to hear. I think Piper and Keller both have that down nicely.

Keller's "human flourishing" argument however....

No...I shall resist.

Jesse said...

Frank, I jumped it but I tried not to shoot anyone with it.

Sir Aaron said...

@Frank:

I think you made a point that is worthy of its own discussion:

*Pastor Keller was funny without being clownish or crude.

Keller was witty and clever proving that Christians don't have to reduce our humor to the same level as a Jim Carrey movie in order to be relevant. Keller related to the audience without having to give any ground on morals or message.

Frank Turk said...

Sir Aaron:

Exactly.

Frank Turk said...

Halcyon:

Why you gotta ...?

Just avoid the "yeah but." There is a "yeah but" to both of these videos, and I have already said that. Let's stick to the sunny side of the street today and then next week we can be the dirty calvinists which we love to be.

John N said...

The greatest point about Keller’s response is that he is reframing the issue and focussing on the bigger picture. He is saying that what gets someone to hell is that they don’t trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and become their own Lord and Savior not their homosexuality alone.

He moved the focus away from homosexual sin to general human sinfulness and I liked how he quipped that “heterosexuality doesn’t take you to heaven either”.

And I assume DJP having nothing good to say is tolerated because…well he’s one of the boys who blogs here :)

DJP said...

Yes, normally the Pyro posters do "tolerate" it when commenters comment within the rules, as I did. No special qualification required.

Frank Martens said...

Can I just say... You're a genius? :D

lisa said...

Agree with those who said of Keller we must love our neighbors, and also with Piper; The Bible says what are sins.

Nic said...

Two good things;

Piper made me cry

Keller made me laugh

Matt Gumm said...

Frank M.!

SB623 said...

^ Nic is right on!

It was refreshing to hear such a mature christian response from both. Now is the time for iron to sharpen iron as we should all be ready to respond to these sort of questions.

Tami said...

Piper:
His speech reveals the weightiness of the topic.

He clarifies that it is "knowing it is wrong, and going to do it anyway" is an indication you are going to hell, not the specific sin.

He speaks to the listener personally, challenging those who have realized their sin to make the right decision going forward.

Keller:
He states we are to love everyone regardless of sex, race, etc.

Who is he talking to? the audience?

Nonna said...

Piper's Video Response

"The Bible says it is."

Piper's answer to homosexuality being a sin. Very direct and on-target approach. No wiggle room here.

The question why would the Bible say that homosexuality is wrong...

He doesn't allow his first answer to suffice, but goes on to give reasons why homosexuality is damaging to the person.

"Same sex attraction is a dysfunctional form of idolatry."

Heart of the matter: Homosexuality by its very nature is choosing to put one's sexual proclivities before the worship of God.
He also makes a distinction in feeling attracted to the same sex - which is not a sin - or to make a choice to indulge in homosexual acts - which is a sin. The way that he expresses the temptations that both heterosexuals and homosexuals have and the need for both to be chaste is a good way of leveling the playing field.

"Don't hear me isolating it as the worst of all sins.

Compassionate response.

John Piper has a kind, fatherly demeanor and this has a way of putting others at ease so as not to feel defensive or threatened.

Keller's Video Response

Keller:"I'm not representing all the other churches of the world, right?

Great humor/apropos for the occasion.

When the interviewer asked Keller, "What is your church's approach to homosexuality - is it a sin, are they going to hell?" - Keller wisely refrained from answering the question at this particular time. Instead, he waited to answer on his own terms.

When the interviewer asked, "What do so many of the churches have against homosexuality, Keller responded with grace: "The Bible says to love your neighbor. Gay people are your neighbors." A way to disarm his interlocutor.

Keller addresses extremes among Christians toward homosexuality, an observation worth noting. Let me say here that while we in the Christian community would not regard those who affirm homosexuality or gay marriage as "Christians" - this is not a matter that Keller needs to tackle at this juncture, especially with the contrasts he is making, namely:
"Some churches ignore the places where the Bible talks about homosexuality in order to love their gay neighbor." AND
"Other churches take it very seriously what the Bible says about homosexuality, but in a very self-righteous way. They'll love their Hindu neighbors, their Muslim neighbors, but not their gay neighbors. There is no excuse for that."

Keller is acutely aware of his audience; rather than polarize them against Christians, he is acknowledging weakness within conservative Christian circles - placing emphasis on wrong attitudes toward homosexuals.

Keller:"Therefore, I have to take some responsibility of being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals."

Acknowledgment shows humility & grants a listening ear to his audience.

Keller: "You don't go to hell for being a homosexual."

Truthful, direct statement answered in Keller's own timing w/o succumbing to the interviewer's manipulation; it dispells contention that "Christians say homonsexuals are going to hell."

Keller: "Heterosexuality does not get you into heaven."

Apt & back-atcha! Reductio ad adsurdumm toward assertion that Christians say homosexuals are going to hell for being gay.

His follow-up "What most non-Christians think they hear is: if you're gay you're going to hell for being gay. It's just not true." He brings the subject full circle firmly answering the opening question on the gay issue.

Keller's manner is pleasant, & he shows a willingness to interact with and engage the interviewer, not merely talk at him. This alleviates tension & opens a door to further communication.

Nonna said...

Next week we can be the dirty calvinists which we love to be.

They say there's a truth in humor. :-)

religionannarbor said...

Piper. Loved it. No complaints. Could not have said it any better.

Keller. If one had a goal introducing people to Christianity gradually to people who would normally be quite hostile(Hobbit fans: think Gandalf introducing the dwarfes to Boern), he was effective.

It is easy for us to want Keller to throw out red meat but unless you have stood in front of a whipped up tolerance mob (ask Doug Wilson) and stood the wrath of the gay mafia, you might want to reserve judgment. There is no stronghold of the gay mafia like New York City. They will go Alinsky style on you until your ministry is destroyed and you either run out of town or in jail. There are of course, times when such sacrifice must be made to speak the truth but I am just trying to get everyone to understand the real and present danger that a large bible believing church in Manhattan faces.

Brett R said...

Way late and a few dollars short, but I really liked how both men pulled back the curtain on the sin behind the sin and got to motive and idolatry. From both I think I could walk away knowing that I am a sinner by myself with no one else in the world and uninfluenced by bad "stuff;" I am my own sin factory because of the idol factory within me. I grieve that I am more upset about the dumb things I do than about the "good" things I've done with bad motives.

reformed chaplain said...

Piper always comes across as the most sincere, unjaded minister of the Gospel in the land.

Keller succeeds where others fail in the arena of ideas because he knows how to engage the cynics on Mars Hill, all the while enduring the slings and arrows from his own camp. You have to admire a man who is so focused on the ministry of making Christ known.

yankeegospelgirl said...

Sorry, I just don't see a "yeah but" for the Piper vid. Will be genuinely surprised to see how anyone could possibly criticize it next week.

Keller made me laugh too.

Chris Nelson... classy man!!

Frank Turk said...

Fosi -

Your comment got deleted for referring to a comment that I deleted. The bulk of your comment pretty useful, so if you want to repost it without the reference, be my guest.

religionannarbor said...

One other defense of Keller while I a thinking of it:

When the rich man asked Jesus how to be saved, Jesus didn't give the full Pauline (evangelical) answer that you must "repent and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior." If you or I answered like Jesus did and it ended up on Youtube, I think that there would be lots and lots of Reformed critics condemning us for failing to "give the gospel". But, of course, Jesus knew his audience and the needs of the rich man. The rich man had no clue what areas of his life needed to be repented of. He thought he was pretty good already. Jesus made it clear he was not.

I think Keller's audience (like much of America) struggles more with the idea of lordship than the idea of repentance. Honor and shame cultures hate to repent, Americans have no sense of shame and therefore have less trouble confessing our sins. But we have (and I think homosexuals have a particular problem in this area) a major problem with confessing that Jesus(with all his rules and commandments) is Lord. And I think that Keller stepped around the question "should we repent of homosexuality" and toward the question "do we submit to Jesus as Lord". Which might be the more important question for most homosexuals.

Keller's answer was not perfect and I look forward to the next post so I can give the negatives but I appreciate the chance for everyone to examine the positive.

Mr. Fosi said...

:^(

I understand, Frank.

I don't save my comments, so I'll post what I remember of it:

Piper: Bible-founded, clear, compassionate answer.

Keller: Mostly Bible-founded, compassionate, sophisticated answer.

I admit it is hard not to add in hints about what I don't like in the answers. :^D

I ditto the comments regarding the different men answering to different audiences and the skill with which they did it.

To Dan, YGG, and the commentator who shall not be named:

Even the apostles were sinful men who behaved inconsistently at times. In particular, I am thinking of Peter withdrawing from the gentiles when James's boys came to town.

Therefore, it doesn't shock or dismay me to see what I deem to be incomplete presentations of Christian doctrine by various pastors.

That doesn't mean that I don't lobby and militate against what I recognize as error, but such actions must be done in love, especially when dealing with people I recognize as brothers. And not just "I love you, so I confront you" but also love that the other person can easily recognize.

My wife has brought this subject of love between believers lately, so it is interesting that you have posted this, Frank, in the way that you have.

Halcyon said...

Frank:

"dirty Calvinists" made me giggle. Sometimes I think that that should be the name of this blog.

I mean...just the "dirty Calvinists" part. (O.o)

yankeegospelgirl said...

I think we need a more precise definition of love here... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Nonna said...

"It is easy for us to want Keller to throw out red meat but unless you have stood in front of a whipped up tolerance mob (ask Doug Wilson) and stood the wrath of the gay mafia, you might want to reserve judgment. There is no stronghold of the gay mafia like New York City."

Thank you religionannarbor, for stating so well what I had intended to say. I concur with your assessment, as one who lived in New York City in the heart of the village, where the highest percentage of the gay population settled. It takes a certain kind of moxie to throw oneself to the wolves and not be devoured. I likened Keller's audience to The View where most anyone with a conservative voice is asking to be ridiculed and harassed for going against the current politically correct structure that prevails within the media. I have no doubt that Keller was very aware of the nature of his audience and geared his answers in like manner. Compassion suggests we should give him some slack.

Unknown said...

Great response, Nona.

Fosi is correct in pointing out the difference in audiences. We sometimes fail to discern who is asking the question preferring to get directly to the answer. For the non-believer, the answer should always lead to a discussion of sin and the Savior and God’s mercy and grace (i.e. the Gospel). For believers, the answer starts with the written Word.

Piper starts with Bible and goes on to elaborate how exchanging the glory of God for idolatry is the basis of all sin. When you isolate homosexuality as one of the worst possible and unimaginable sin, other sins, in comparison, appear respectable.

We unfortunately isolate Romans 1: 24-29 to the engage in prolonged discourses about “ is homosexuality sin” rather than see the whole of Romans 1 – 3 listing many, many sins which culminates in “all have sinned and fall short . . .”

Concluding, Piper speaks how we as Christians have a choice to deal with our “brokenness” (or residual sinful nature) leading either to right behavior or sinful behavior.

Shamefully, the Christian church is partly responsible for the discrimination and oppression of homosexuals in the world. Good for Tim Keller for acknowledging the same. And, I am sure Piper would agree the Church has fallen short in this area.

Tim Keller skillfully redirected the discussion to a gentler, more compassionate response. Although, I think he missed a golden opportunity to better clarify for his secular audience: What is sin and who decides what sin is and what sin is not. He might have explained why he, a pastor, like everyone else in the world is going to hell apart from the works of Jesus Christ.

The problem with “loving your neighbor” sometimes is seen more as tolerance and acceptance by the secular community without getting to the root of man’s problem (i.e. self idolatry).

yankeegospelgirl said...

What's wrong with discriminating against homosexuals?

I don't mean things that would be truly un-Christian like denying medical care, refusing to help push a neighbor's car out of a ditch, etc. But denying membership in a church (while telling couples who plan to simply attend that they must hide the nature of their relationship for the sake of the children in the church)? Refusing to hire if you're a Christian business owner? Refusing to "marry" two homosexuals? All perfectly legitimate. And I would be sorry to see Piper cave and say they weren't.

yankeegospelgirl said...

See, this is problem when we let "discrimination" become a dirty word. Sometimes it's wholly appropriate. After all, aren't you "discriminating" against men if you set up a rule that only females can babysit your kids? But there's nothing wrong with a rule like that. Oh, I forgot though, it's always okay to discriminate against the "oppressing" group (whites, males, etc.)

Andrew Lindsey said...

Since DJP commented here, I demand that Chantry also comment here!

Frank Turk said...

Super. Comments are closed.