Monday, January 4, 2016
One Small Step for a Reformed Baptist, One Giant Leap for Evangelicalism: John Piper’s Ignoble Fade as Reflected by Tom Chantry
This is not an essay, per se, rather a qualifying lead into a recommended blog post about Charismatic (light, some insist), Neo-Calvinist, Neo-Evangelical and oft theologically enigmatic Bible teacher John Piper by a Reformed Baptist Pastor named Tom Chantry. Tom Chantry is a name I have used once, in an article a couple of years ago when I wrote about the juvenile nature and anticipated decline of a once popular Evangelical blog, Pyromaniacs.
I referred to Chantry as a moon in waiting, so to speak, who appeared to be devoted to the ebb and flow of the narratives that Pyromaniacs produced via their articles and subsequent discussions in the comments section. However, it appears that Mr. Chantry has left their orbit, whether because they lost their gravitational properties or because he produced some polar magnitude of his own thus, pushing him away from their location in the internet universe, I know not. I really do not have a great deal of time nor interest in investigating the why, I suspect it is some of both.
My point is to bring to the attention of my readers a development which I am convinced is pivotal in the Calvinist community at large with regard to John Piper. Tom Chantry is as good an example as I can hope for with respect to the awakening of many in the Calvinist camps (and beyond!) who, for a number of decades, readily defended Piper in spite of his regular hermeneutic failures and their ultimately harmful products.
I want to spend more time writing my thoughts on this but for the moment, take time to read Tom Chantry’s article, What’s Inside John Piper’s Geodes?
And for the record, my recommendation to the article should not be with any assumptions that I wish to be chummy with its author, Chantry. I do not personally know the man and have no desire for any kind of cooperation other than when someone elaborates on a matter and speaks the truth, credit must be given where credit is due. Further, it does not mean I will always agree with Mr. Chantry nor that I may not, tomorrow, level some form of criticism. This is simply a matter of objectivity.
So if you missed clicking on the link above, click here.
A Final Note
My (and that of others) greatest criticism of Piper has always been toward the source of his errant conclusions namely, his flawed and sometimes reckless hermeneutic. So it was with great satisfaction I read Chantry’s identification of this trait as a major contributor to Piper’s failures and theological inadequacy which has been ignored or minimized over and over again for decades by his defenders. Many are waking up and smelling the brewing coffee. They have matured enough and gained enough spiritual and theological self-esteem not to be intimidated by gurus.
Understand, this isn’t personal, either. It is a matter of principle. Would I and could I help the brother, John Piper, understand his misguided hermeneutic and the damage some of his work has done, I, along with many, stand in line. He is eager and sincere which is to say more of him than many alleged servants of God. And he has said some right things but they do not somehow mitigate error and at times, gross error in both theology and practice.
Good reading, friends.
(*Some will get the Martin Landau and company reference. Secondly, Chantry’s article is not necessarily about Piper’s fade. I use the qualifying term as his article being a representation of the rousing of many in the Evangelical body regarding their shedding of Piper’s theology and practice on many levels.)