R2K Evening Wear — The Sequel

Dr. Hart, over at Oldlife blog, continues to try and rescue himself from his latest comment recorded here yesterday.

Dr. D. G. Hart says:
January 13, 2017 at 3:05 pm

“Robert, the question wasn’t whether Nero should light up his gardens with Christians. It was whether Nero executed Christians.

That is what God ordained the magistrate to do, right? Just because a believer has a special relationship with God doesn’t let the believer disobey the magistrate’s laws. Christianity is not a license for civil disobedience.

That’s why the debates about resisting a tyrant were so intricate. The best the Reformers could come up with was the doctrine of a lesser magistrate. A citizen could not disobey. But a magistrate might be able to.

If a law is unjust or if we must obey God rather than men, then we suffer the consequences of disobedience. That’s what the apostles did. They didn’t form political action committees to overturn Roman laws.”

Bret responds,

1.) Dr. Hart’s comments are not informed as to what “the best the Reformers could come up with.” Here is one of the greatest Reformers,

“In ‘The Appellation’ John Knox denounced the orthodox doctrine of (that required) Christian obedience (to wicked rulers) as sinful. He declared blind compliance to a wicked command to be sin. God has not required obedience to rules when they decree impiety. To say that God does is no less blasphemy than to make God the author of sin. Moreover, if the nobles and people comply with their sovereign in manifest wickedness, they will be punished along with him.

In “The Appellation” Knox also laid the foundation for the theme of his “Letter to the Commonality,” which declared “None provoking the people to idolatry ought to be exempted from the punishment of death.” The personal status of such an individual was of no consequence, be they monarch or commoner. Moreover, the punishment of idolatry and blasphemy does not pertain to only kings and rulers. Rather, it relates to all persons according to their Christian vocation and the opportunity afforded to them by God to administer vengeance. CITING DEUTERONOMY 13, KNOX ISSUED THE CALL FOR REVOLUTION — HE DIRECTED MOSES’ COMMANDMENT TO SLAY IDOLATERS TO ALL PEOPLE, NOT JUST THE NOBLES.

Yet Knox never called for indiscriminate slaughter. He distinguished between the treatment to be accorded idolaters, who had never known ‘true religion,’ and those who had known it but has forsaken it.”

Kyle & Johnson
John Knox; An Introduction to his Life and Work — pg. 104

2.) When Dr. Hart offers that “this is what God ordained the magistrates to do right?,” one is left saying, “no, God has not ordained the magistrates to execute those who obey God’s law.” Romans 13, contrary to Dr. Hart, clearly teaches

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

We see here that God has ordained rulers to praise those who do good. Good is not defined by any standard except God’s Word. So, when a Magistrate executes Christians for doing good, as informed by the standard of God’s Word, then those Magistrates are doing the very opposite of what God has ordained the Magistrates to do. Dr. Hart is in grave error here.

3.) Biblical Christianity at times is indeed a license for civil disobedience. The Hebrew wives knew that fact. Daniel and his friends knew that. Ehud, the left-handed Hebrew Ninja knew that. John Knox knew that.

4.) Finally, on the point of forming political action committees to overturn bad laws, once again, Dr. Hart is just in error. Dr. Hart needs to realize that the very fact that they were disobeying the law was itself the formation of a political action committee to overturn Roman laws. The disobedience is itself political action by committee.

Is Dr. Hart saying that it is un-Christian and / or not Biblical to form political action committees to overturn bad law?

 

The Latest In R2K Evening Wear

https://oldlife.org/2017/01/04/is-donald-trump-mainstreaming-apostasy/#comment-151497

“Nero did not violate God’s law if he executed Christians who obeyed God rather than man. If Paul continued to preach after the emperor said he may not, then Nero was doing what God ordained government to [sic] do. Christians don’t get a pass from civil law just because they follow a higher law. John Brown is no Christian hero.”

Dr. Darryl G. Hart
Comment timestamped — January 12, 2017 at 10:52 am
OPC Elder

R2K Heterodox Maven
Doing his best John Knox impersonation

1.) Dr. Hart is now in the position of holding that Nebuchadnezzar did okay when he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace. After all, he was just doing what God ordained government is supposed to do.

2.) In Exodus 1 the Hebrew Midwives who disobeyed Dr. Hart’s God ordained Government in Egypt are rewarded for their following a higher law. Now, If Dr. Hart were serious about his statement, and if he were consistent, Dr. Hart would have to say that those Hebrew Midwives were disobedient to God’s ordained order. How will Dr. Hart explain that “God rewarded them with houses” because they did obey a higher law?

3.) When St. Peter says “whether it is better for us to obey God or man, you decide,” thus implicitly appealing to the higher law that Hart so detests, Hart answers, “Christians must obey man over God.” Even the Pharisees knew better than to answer the matter in that way.

4.) One of the doctrines of the church that was recovered in the reformation was the doctrine of the lesser magistrate with its insistence on resistance to tyranny in the name of a higher law than civil law. Both civil and church authority need to be resisted if they become tyrannical. The best proof of this is the protection offered Luther as well as the battle at Magdeburg right after Luther’s death. See, Christopher Goodman’s, “How Superior Powers Ought To Be Obeyed By Their Subjects And Wherein They May Lawfully By God’s Word Be Disobeyed And Resisted.”

5.) Dr. Hart is correct in offering that John Brown is no Christian hero but the reason that John Brown is no Christian hero is that John Brown was not following a higher law but was following anti-Christ Jacobin law. Surely Dr. Hart is not suggesting that the disobedience of John Brown was of the same nature and same character as the disobedience of the Hebrew midwives before Pharoah, the disobedience of the Hebrew children before Nebuchadnezzar, or the disobedience of Christ before Pilate?

Or … maybe he is?

6.) Now, to be sure, Christians who disobey man’s law must be prepared to suffer the consequences such as prison, loss of social standing, or even death. These are all possibilities. However, to intimate that authority figures get some sort of pass, simply because they carry some kind of illegitimate authority is just ludicrous wrapped in ridiculous as stuffed inside preposterous.

But this is the kind of heterodoxy where R2K inanity takes one.

 

 

 

 

Theology & The University

“War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

General Carl Von Clausewitz
German war theoretician 

As RJR notes in the quote below the same is true of Theology and all other disciplines. Every other discipline that can be named among the Humanities is just the continuation of theology by other means. This is why Theology was once understood to be the Queen of the Sciences. Our forbears understood that conclusions arrived at in the other humanities were only as good as the theology from which they were drawing.

Indeed, this understanding of Theology as the “Queen of the Sciences” is where we get our whole idea of “University.” The word “University” etymologically derives from the idea of “the whole,” or “the aggregate.” The idea was, in the midst of the various multifaceted disciplines offered and studied at a University there was a “Uni” that bound all the disciplines together. That “Uni” in “University” is Theology. Without theology as “Queen of the Sciences,” one no longer has a “University” but only a “Multiversity.”

The fact that we have given up Christian theology as “The Queen of the Sciences” goes a long way towards explaining the irrational age which we inhabit. Since we have no unifying glue to hold us together all that is left is the bizarre and the irrational.

Consider also, how modern Western man’s habit of compartmentalized thinking also is derivative of the refusal to have Christian theology be the “Queen of the Sciences.” Modern man is schizophrenic. He is a centripetal being. There is nothing that keeps him from the most strange and queer contradictions in his life. For example, modern man will, at one and the same time, espouse evolution and then turn around and attend church on Sunday. Modern man will complain about the Government and then keep on voting as if his vote will change what it has not changed for over a century. Modern man will see the modern woman for the feminist being she currently is and yet will still propose marriage. Modern man is a contradictory mess and that is largely accounted for, by the fact that he refuses to take Christian theology as the “Queen of the Sciences.”

What is interesting, though despite all the above being true, is that theology is an inescapable category, which means, that when man flushes Christian theology as the “Uni” in his “University” he doesn’t by doing so get rid of theology. Instead, he embraces something else has his theology. Marxists embrace Economics as their theology. Many moderns embrace “Science” as their theology, not realizing that that Science is only as good as the theology it is pinned upon. Cultural Marxists have, perhaps more insightfully than the rest, chosen culture as their theology. (More insightfully, I offer, because of the tight nexus that exists between culture and theology.) The point is that one never completely evacuates some kind of theology as the adhesive that is the sticking agency for something that passes as a pastiche of coherence for all the particulars.

As an aside all of this underscores again why R2K is such a stupid incoherent theology, arguing as it does, that there is no such thing as Christian law, or Christian Education, or Christian culture, etc. R2K strips Christianity of its fixative social order functioning and replaces it with the irrationality of a social order based on a “natural theology” that has only successfully existed when Christianity has dominated the culture.

Sociology, Literature, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Law, … all of it is just so much the continuation of theology by other means. If and when people ever come to grips with that truth, it will make conversation a good deal easier.

We end with the great Rushdoony making the same point.

“An abstract theology is only formally or technically systematic. Systematic theology must of necessity deny because God is sovereign, that there are any neutral facts or any areas of neutrality. All factuality is God-created and God-governed and interpreted. All facts are therefore theological facts, and every area of life, thought, study, and action is a theological concern.

Education, politics, science, the arts, the vocations, the family, and all things else, are theological concerns. A theology which does not involve itself in every area in terms of the sovereign God and His infallible law-word cannot be systematic: it is only abstract.”

 

Trying to Explain the Trump Phenomenon Among Christians

“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” 

Donald J. Trump
Interview with Esquire, 1991

In this piece I’m seeking to explain the popularity of Trump among otherwise conservative Christians. One would think quotes, like the one above, would be enough to be off-putting to biblical Christians in terms of voting for Trump, not to mention the chameleon like character of Trump that finds Trump saying just about every thing imaginable under the sun regardless of how contradictory it all is to what he is saying now. However, Trump’s record, flowery quotes, and ethic of a Tomcat are irrelevant now to many Christians who insist that God may use Trump like God did Cyrus of the Old Testament to accomplish His purposes to change the trajectory of America in a more God pleasing direction.

That there is little evidence to believe that is quite out of the question for those Christians who have arrived at the point of admitting that they don’t care what policies Trump may or may not pursue as long as he keeps making the right people angry.

So what is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man who is currently married to a former porn magazine centerfold, and who was married twice before this current marriage? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for building casinos where risque entertainment for men  (Strip clubs) is provided? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for boasting about his sexual conquests? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for saying “I don’t think I’ve ever asked God for forgiveness”? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for saying he has no problem with sodomites in the Military and who is on record as resigning himself to the fact  that sodomite marriage is the law of the land?

What I offer below is an attempt to explain why it is that otherwise good Christian people continue to support Trump despite the fact that Trump is the antithesis of everything they say they believe. Just so everyone understands …. this is intended as an explanation of why otherwise good people support Trump. It is not an endorsement of Trump or of thinking in this manner. Personally, I think such “thinking” that ends up supporting Trump is, at best, anti-rational.

1.) Trump has become symbol.

Trump, for many many people, has Transcended being merely human, and has now become the incarnation of a symbol of resistance and defiance. Trump hit a never with his anti immigration talking points and his anti political correctness stance. Symbols don’t have to be rational or consistent. They don’t have to explain or justify themselves in light of past utterances. Symbols are intuitive to people. When people want to identify with their symbols it is stupid for someone to expect an explanation. Symbols are trans-rational (which is different from irrational). Now that Trump has articulated an anti immigration stance it no longer matters that he chastised Republican during the Romney 2012 campaign for being too “mean spirited” concerning immigrants. Now that Trump has articulated an anti immigration stance it no longer matters that Trump has as recent as July of 2015 supported a form of amnesty. Trump is a symbol and one simply does not try to ratiocinate with those who are symbol minded.

So, much as Obama and Palin became symbols in 08, so Trump has become a symbol in 16. It isn’t rational and it’s idiotic of people, like me, to expect it to be rational. People are looking at Trump the same way that patriotic Americans look at Old Glory. It is an emblem of something that moves them deeply in their psyche and emotions. Trump has become intuitive for people and as intuitive the facts no longer matter.

2.) Trump as become hope for the hopeless.

Other Trump supporters who are Christians do not fall into the “Trump as symbol” category, but are those who are seeking to grasp any slim ray of hope they can find. They know that Trump has been all over the map in his rhetoric and in his positions. They know of Trump’s unseemly and sometimes even slimy character but out of desperation they are putting all their chips on Trump to keep his word.

For these folks I often use the old Charles Schulz comic strip “Charlie Brown,” as analogy. In Schulz’ series Schulz would return periodically to a theme where Lucy promises to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick. The problem was that every time that Charlie Brown approached the ball to kick it, Lucy would pull it away at the last second, resulting in Charlie Brown falling on his backside. Over and over again, through Schulz’s series, Lucy would promise that “I’ll really hold the ball for you this time Charlie Brown, and, after some initial skepticism on Charlie Brown’s part, Charlie Brown would try again, only to have Lucy, despite her varied promises, pull the ball away yet again. It didn’t matter how many times Lucy had played Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown was all about the hope of one day kicking that ball out of the cosmos.

Those who insist that Trump is a real hope are like Charlie Brown. Despite all the evidence of past disappointments with lying politicians … despite all the evidence, as seen in his plethora of contradictory positions, that Trump is not the man who is really going to deliver … despite all the pulled footballs of the past the “Trump as hope for the hopeless” supporters still cannot bring themselves to reality. They seem to not have the capacity to realize that, any reason for hope regarding Trump’s current position on anything must have as a presupposition that he is a man of character who will actually do what he says.

The problem is here though that beyond Trump’s constantly changing positions, this presupposition is most obviously false to anyone who looks at even the most recent history of the man. This praise of Trump by people who should know better that he’s an opportunistic charlatan is perhaps what should be expected from people who need the illusion of hope.

3.) Trump as the anti-Obama

David Axelrod, in a recent New York Times piece, put forth the idea that Trump is attractive to people because he is the antithesis of the departing man who has been serving with the title of “President.” Whereas Obama is creepily detached and lacks passion, Trump is just the opposite full of vim and vinegar. Whereas Obama is seeking to destroy America by his immigration policies, and his policies with Iran and his policies to push America into a Internationalist order, Trump desires to “Make America Great Again,” desires to build a wall on the Mexican border, and desires to let the International order go pound sand in order to concentrate on America’s needs.  Trump is the anti-Obama.

Like #1 above this is more of a psychological point than a rational point. (Yes, I consider Psychology “irrational.”) The idea here is that just as people get tired of the feel of an old car and can’t wait to get a new one that is different than the one they are “finally getting rid of,” so voters, on a psychological level, get weary with old Presidents and desire, when switching, to upgrade to another model that has a feel that is very different from what they are getting rid of.

4.) Trump as pragmatism

Many Christians will insist on voting Trump, despite knowing his checkered past and despite agreeing that he has been all over the map regarding his positions because they affirm that “at least he’s saying the right things and so you take the coin toss, if for no other reason than to advance the position itself.”  This is pure pragmatism where the end (the hope of a restored America) justifies the means (voting for a man who himself has said, in the past, that he is a Democrat). That Trump’s past character is what it is and that Trump has repeatedly articulated a progressive worldview is irrelevant as long as there is a hope (see #2) that, against all odds, Trump will advance anti-Internationalist agenda. In my estimation this is voting for wickedness that good might come, merely because the one with the known wicked track record has, only recently, begun warbling a different tune. In my estimation this is like voting for Hugh Hefner to restore family values, merely because in the last 5 years or so he has begun to talk about the importance of family. In the Christian faith, pragmatism of this variety is eschewed and the Christian does what is right and leaves the consequences with God. Can it really be right to vote for a man who has taken positions so contrary to Biblical Christianity just on the pragmatic basis that it could end up well after all?

5.) Trump and R2K

There are those in the Christian community who will suggest that as the 2016 general election lies in the common realm therefore we are not bound to apply a Christian moral template to these matters.  For these folks we are to live with the fact that there is no such thing as Christian voting or Christian politics and so we may vote for just about anyone.

Others will arrive at this position by noting that “we are voting for a President, and not a Pastor,” as if we are relieved of having Christian standards for a President. These people forget that the only other position, besides the position of Elders, which are referred to as God’s servants in the New Testament, are magistrates. In Romans 13 the magistrate is  “not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Now, if the Magistrate as God’s servant (“The Magistrate is the minister of God” — Romans 13:4)  is not to be a terror to good works then should we not be voting for men who have demonstrated themselves to be workers of good works?

R2K, whether of the Lutheran or Reformed variety, is a sure recipe for doing the devil’s work when it comes to election cycles.

6.) Trump as the bulwark against illegal immigration

Actually, this is the one that almost pushes me into the Trump camp. I agree with many experts who contend that if we lose on immigration we lose on everything. One this issue I  have become a “one issue voter.” I am convinced that the International Money interest has determined, in pursuit of a New World Order and in the pursuit of eliminating biblical Christianity that America’s historic Christian and ethnic character must be destroyed. I am convinced that mass immigration is being done to the end of leveling America’s ability to resist the control of the International Money interest. I am convinced that the program of mass third world immigration into the West is pursued to the end of creating a have vs. have not Marxist social order. If I really believed that Trump was going to be a bulwark against this, I might consider voting for him. Alas, I am convinced that Trump is not to be trusted.

I can only adjudicate a man’s intent to keep promises based on his past ability to keep promises. Trump’s failed promises in his previous two marriages suggest to me that I have no reason to believe he will keep his promises to us now. If a man cannot keep his vows as taken publicly before God and man how can I trust him to keep his vows to a nation?

Next on this point, Trump has said, as recently as July of 2015 that his plan to clean up America’s illegal aliens problem is to send them all back so that they can come back legally. Now, Trump wouldn’t let them all return. He has made it clear that the criminal class will not be allowed back. Still, any plan that allows huge numbers to return to America remains an amnesty plan. Such a plan does not answer the intention of the International Money interest plans to assimilate the globe into a New World Order.

I wish Trump were a bulwark to oppose immigration. I do not believe his record or words demonstrate that he is.

7.) Trump as Punishment to the GOP

Of the all the previous one’s I’ve mentioned this one comes the closest to making sense. The GOP, has not, for decades now, represented its conservative base. The likes of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, George H. W. and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, FOX News, National Review, Red State, Talk Radio, Hillsdale College, the Claremont Institute, Cato Institute, David Frum, Glen Beck, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer etc. (what is commonly referred to as “Conservative Inc.) have been the recipients of conservative largess all the while hijacking the Conservative movement and being traitors to Conservatism original intent of regionalism, limited and diffuse Government, and respect for common law and the age old traditions of Biblical Christianity. These Trotskyite neo-cons have slipped the blade to the older conservatism and have successfully reshaped conservatism into their image. They are a loathsome brood of spiders and snakes and if anyone group ever deserved the rise of Donald Trump these people do.  This is why, if Trump is elected, there will remain a part of me that rejoices that these people have been anguished.

These people, who are really Fabian progressives, have never been conservative in any meaningful sense. They are Conservative the way that Marilyn Monroe is conservative when compared with Miley Cyrus. They are the Montagnards to the Girondists of the French Revolution. Their only goal has been to retain power. They have never intended to break up the Jacobin worldview predominating in Washington.

Of course, Trump just doesn’t solve this. I suspect that Trump will end up being just another form of dictator that will serve just another expression of the left.

The hatred of genuinely Christian conservative people for Conservative Inc. is understandable and to be applauded but voting for Trump, while burning down Conservative Inc. will not rebuild the fortunes of America.
The only thing that can do that is Reformation and a return to Christ in our families, our Churches, and our Civil realm.

 

Dr. Piper and His Insistence that Christians Should Lie Down and Die — Part V

Dr. Piper offers,

7. When Jesus told the apostles to buy a sword, he was not telling them to use it to escape the very thing he promised they should endure to the death.

 
[Jesus] said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough [that’s plenty].” (Luke 22:35–38)
 
I do not think that Jesus meant in verse 36 that his disciples were to henceforth be an armed band of preachers ready to use violence to defend themselves from persecution. Jerry Falwell, Jr. said in his clarifying remarks on December 9,
 
It just boggles my mind that anybody would be against what Jesus told his disciples in Luke 22:36. He told them if they had to sell their coat to buy a sword to do it because he knew danger was coming, and he wanted them to defend themselves.
 
If that is the correct interpretation of this text, my question is, “Why did none of his disciples in the New Testament ever do that — or commend that?” The probable answer is that Jesus did not mean for them to think in terms of armed defense for the rest of their ministry. Jesus’s abrupt words, at the end of the paragraph, when the disciples produced two swords, were not, “Well, you need to get nine more.” He said, “It is enough!” or “That’s plenty!” This may well signify that the disciples have given a mistaken literal meaning to a figurative intention. Darrell Bock concludes,
 
Two events [are] commentary on this verse [36]: Jesus’ rebuke of the use of a sword against the high priest’s servant (22:49–51) and the church’s nonviolent response to persecution in the Book of Acts (4:25–31; 8:1–3; 9:1–2; 12:1–5). In fact, Acts 4:25–31 shows the church armed only with prayer and faith in God. Luke 22:36 sees the sword as only a symbol of preparation for pressure, since Jesus’ rebuke of a literal interpretation (22:38) shows that a symbol is meant (Fitzmyer 1985: 1432; Marshall 1978: 825). It points to readiness and self-sufficiency, not revenge (Nolland 1993b: 1076). (Luke, volume 2, page 1747)
 
What seems plain to me is that the uncertainty of this text (which I share) should not be used to silence the others I have cited.

Bret responds,

Those passages that Dr. Piper cites that are supposed to overturn the passage in Luke 22 Piper doesn’t like are in a historical context. Jesus is speaking to his disciples about eventualities that will come upon them. Even if the message to the disciples was to “lie down and die” that wouldn’t necessarily mean that would be the message for all time and all disciples everywhere. The fact that the passages that Dr. Piper quotes (Luke 21:12-19, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 10:16-22) are not necessarily for all disciples at all times everywhere is proven by a differing counsel that the Lord Christ gave to His disciples in Luke 22:36-38

36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

The Lord Christ counsel the purchase of a sword in vs. 36 because unlike the previous, in-house missionary journeys to their fellow Israelites, the Lord Christ knew that He was now sending his disciples out into the hostile/pagan Gentile world and they would need to be prepared to defend themselves. Dr. Piper is reading the Scripture through his Anabaptistic – Pacifistic lenses and so he concludes what he concludes but Anabaptist theology is not God honoring theology.

Dr. Piper follows up his eisegesis with more or arguing from silence. “The Apostles didn’t say anything about self defense therefore that proves we shouldn’t use self defense.” Can you say “fallacious argumentation?”

Dr. Piper complains about Dr. Falwell Jr. trying to use Luke 22 to silence other texts and then Piper turns around and tries to use the other texts to silence Luke 22 by appealing to the time honored evasion of “symbolism.”  On top of that there is the whole reality that Piper is trying to keep this debate in the New Testament. Dr. Piper does this because he knows that if the God’s Word in the whole of Scripture is allowed to speak on this subject his Anabaptist pacifism is even more dead on arrival than it has been seen to be demonstrated in this series.

Dr. Piper offers,

8. A natural instinct is to boil this issue down to the question, “Can I shoot my wife’s assailant?”
 
My answer is sevenfold.
 
1) This instinct is understandable. But it seems to me that the New Testament resists this kind of ethical reduction, and does not satisfy our demand for a yes or no on that question. We don’t like this kind of ambiguity, but I can’t escape it. There is, as I have tried to show, a pervasive thrust in the New Testament pushing us toward blessing and doing good to those who hate, curse, and abuse us (Luke 6:27–28). And there is no direct dealing with the situation of using lethal force to save family and friend, except in regards to police and military. This is remarkable when you think about it, since I cannot help but think this precise situation presented itself, since we read that Saul drug men and women bound to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1–2).

Bret responds,

a.) Everyone reading this should have pity and compassion for Noel Piper, Dr. John Piper’s wife.

b.) Note again how Dr. Piper goes out of his way to limit this discussion to the New Testament. This is all very Marcion of Dr. Piper.

c.) As I have shown in the first entry on this subject, the Reformed Confessions demand that we conclude that we shoot an assailant of our wife if that is the only means from keeping her from being maimed and killed. To not shoot such an assailant would incur God’s displeasure against us for being so cowardly in disobeying the 6th commandment.

d.) Dr. Piper, as I have demonstrated in previous entries, is in error, when he presumes that it is doing evil to those who intend to do harm to the judicially innocent, when we stop them from doing evil. It is not doing evil to them but is returning to them good for evil.

e.) In Dr. Piper’s last sentence above he, once again, argues from silence.

Dr. Piper offers,

2) Our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life. So when presented with this threat to my wife or daughter or friend, my heart should incline toward doing good in a way that would accomplish this great aim. There are hundreds of variables in every crisis that might affect how that happens.

Bret responds,

a.) Our primary aim in life is to glorify God. The 6th commandment, with the attendant Catechism explanations, demonstrate that if we do not defend life when defending life is possible we are defaming God.

b.) The fact that our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life is itself reason to honor Christ by taking the life of the wicked who would take the life of my wife, daughter, or friend. Christ is glorified when the 6th commandment is esteemed.

Dr. Piper offers,

 
3) Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. That is, Jesus’s personal strategy for overcoming crimes was to overcome sinful inclinations by giving his life to pay debts and change hearts. It is no small thing that Peter based non-retaliatory suffering from unjust treatment on the atoning work of Christ as exemplary: “To this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Bret responds,

a.) Dr. Piper does not know that the Lord Christ died to pay the debt of the assailant who is trying to kill a family member. If the Lord Christ did die for the debt of the assailant then Dr. Piper can be sure that when he fires his weapon to defend his wife, or daughter, that he will not inflict a mortal wound since God never fails to win His elect for whom Christ died.

b .) God’s personal strategy for overcoming crimes is for people to obey his law and the law in Exodus 22 clearly and unambiguously teaches self defense.

c.) Peter is writing a suffering people who have no recourse. Peter is not writing to recommend going out of one’s way to come under suffering.

Dr. Piper offers,

 
4) I realize that even to call the police when threatened — which, in general, it seems right to do in view of Romans 13:1–4 — may come from a heart that is out of step with the mind of Christ. If one’s heart is controlled mainly by fear, or anger, or revenge, that sinful disposition may be expressed by using the police as well as taking up arms yourself.

Bret responds,

a.) Here John’s Anabaptist pacifism reaches so far as to suggest that calling the police would be dishonoring to Christ.

b.) The only way the heart can be in step with the mind of Christ is by esteeming the law of God which requires, via the 6th commandment, self defense. Here John is divorcing God’s Word from the mind of Christ.

Dr. Piper offers

 
5) I live in the inner city of Minneapolis, and I would personally counsel a Christian not to have a firearm available for such circumstances.

Bret responds,

John might as well say,

“I live in the inner city of Minneapolis, and I, as a Anabaptist pacifist, would personally counsel that you make no provision to obey the 6th commandment.”

Dr. Piper offers,

 
6) I do not know what I would do before this situation presents itself with all its innumerable variations of factors. And I would be very slow to condemn a person who chose differently from me.

Bret offers,

That’s big of John to allow that someone who defended his family from murder and mayhem, by way of self defense, might not be condemned by John Piper.

Dr. Piper offers,

7) Back to the first point, it seems to me that the New Testament does not aim to make this clear for us. Its aim is a radically transformed heart that lives with its treasure in another world, longs to show Jesus to be more satisfying than life, trusts in the help of God in every situation, and desires the salvation of our enemies.

Bret responds,

a.) And yet here Dr. Piper has spilled vast amounts of cyber ink to suggest that the NT does make matters clear for us. This statement is schizophrenic on John’s part.

b.) Self defense does not negate, as I have demonstrated in all these entries, the desire for a “radically transformed heart that lives with its treasure in another world, longs to show Jesus to be more satisfying than life, trusts in the help of God in every situation, and desires the salvation of our enemies.” I can do all these things and defend my pregnant wife and toddler children as in keeping with the 6th commandment.

c.) Of course with the way that John has crafted his #7 we see his Marcion like admission that the God of the OT was different than the God of the NT. What John is implying here, perhaps without even realizing is, is that the NT God has one aim while the OT God has a different aim.

Dr. Piper offers,

9. Even though the Lord ordains for us to use ordinary means of providing for life (work to earn; plant and harvest; take food, drink, sleep, and medicine; save for future needs; provide governments with police and military forces for society), nevertheless, the unique calling of the church is to live in such reliance on heavenly protection and heavenly reward that the world will ask about our hope (1 Peter 3:15), not about the ingenuity of our armed defenses.
 
God is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1)
 
My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
 
You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. (Luke 21:17–18)

Bret Responds,

a.) Pretty soon, I expect Dr. Piper to go all John Reed on me and write, “Property is theft.”

b.) If John really believes this then why does he own anything? Is not his ownership of anything proof that he is not living “in such reliance on heavenly protection and heavenly reward that the world will ask about his hope?” Does John lock his door at night? Proof that he isn’t acting as a Christian. Does John lock his car doors? Proof he isn’t acting as a Christian.  Does John buckle up when he goes for a drive? Proof that John isn’t acting as a Christian.  Does John have a savings account? Proof that John isn’t acting as a Christian. Does John vote for the candidate he thinks will be best? Proof that John isn’t acting Christian. All these things that John is doing that is keeping the world from asking about his hope. John should be ashamed and riven with guilt.

Dr. Piper offers,

 
This article is about the people whom the Bible calls “refugees and exiles” on earth; namely, Christians. It’s about the fact that our weapons are not material, but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:4). It is an argument that the overwhelming focus and thrust of the New Testament is that Christians are sent into the world — religious and non-religious — “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3). And that exhorting the lambs to carry concealed weapons with which to shoot the wolves does not advance the counter-cultural, self-sacrificing, soul-saving cause of Christ.

Bret responds,

a.) On the potential spirituality of guns see the 3rd paragraph of this entry,

http://ironink.org/?p=5915

b.)  John Piper must really not like the 6th commandment and the Reformed Catechisms that comment on it.

c.) Piper continues with his false dichotomy to the bitter end. There is no dichotomy between protecting the lives of the judicially innocent and advancing the cause of Christ. Indeed, Dr. Piper might be amazed at how people stand up and notice the cause of Christ once a few Christians step forward to defend their wives and families from deranged sociopaths with weapons.

Honestly, I hope that Dr. Piper.’s writing can be explained by his suffering from some form of dementia that is driving him to write this kind of drivel. I would hate to think that Dr. Piper honestly is in full possession of his faculties and so really believes this eisegesis. This kind of drivel is detracting from the really stellar work he did 20-30 years ago.