Saturday, December 01, 2007

They are Mean-We are Not

It should be obvious by now to anyone that reads this blog that I enjoy a good debate. Some people may say I just like to argue. I have been known to be "snarky," or a little smart-aleck. There have been occasions I have been nice and cordial in my interactions with others. I admit that I have been wrong on occasions. I believe I am right about some things.

Any way, one of the blogs I read has basically set itself up to refute other blogs (this one in particular) they disagree with. They also tend to use words that I would have a hard time working into everyday conversation. Today's post was interesting to say the least:

I offer this without much comment, understanding that many will see irony in posting it here.

In his anti-[N.T.]Wright book¹, Piper says:
Faithful Christians do not love controversy; they love peace. They love their brothers and sisters who disagree with them. They long for a common mind for the cause of Christ. But for this very reason they are bound by their conscience and by the Word of God to try to persuade the church concerning the fullness of the truth and beauty of God’s Word (31-32).

I simply don’t believe that most polemicists² love their opponents in any way, desire peace or want a common mind. They want and need to fight. I think they have a psychological need to right, and will divide from anyone in order to establish that game and win it. They redefine love and discipleship so that arguing and the various tools for winning arguments become “loving.” This may not be true for all, but it’s true enough to make Piper’s statement absurd in many cases.

So, I guess it's everybody else that "wants and needs to fight"...but not them. Everyone else has a "psychological need to [be] right"...but not them. They "love their opponents...desire peace [and] want a common mind"...but everybody else doesn't. (I think their "common mind" is like saying "Teamwork equals everyone doing what I say") OK. Now I know the rules. And just in case you find any of this hard to believe, just check out the thread that ensued from today's post. It's pretty pathetic--like watching a couple of junior high girls standing around slapping each other!


Speaking of pathetic, I passed this sign today while I was out running some errands. Makes you wonder about our public education system.


¹ Click here for a review of Piper's book, The Future of Justification
² Polemicist n. 1. A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine. 2. A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.


Rick Frueh said...

Keith - John Piper seems to be a Godly example that not many reflect on either side. And for the record Brian MacLaren is a heretic.

Keith said...

Man, Henry! Were you sittin' right there when I clicked "Publish?!"

I'm working my way through a Piper book right now (Desiring God). I've not read anything by MacLaren. I'll admit it--I refuse to simply because I associate him with "emergent." I don't need anything more to raise my blood pressure. Tangling the CRN Boys from time to time is enough! 8^)>

Jim Bublitz said...

Yup Keith, it sounds like you've discovered the yellow brick road:

It's best to ignore it, because unlike the real Oz, this one only has a few people that watch it.

PS: Great "fight video" by the way; those girls are very polemic:-) I saw my older sisters fighting like that once, when I was a little kid. My dad ruined it by breaking them apart for an hour!

terriergal said...

Would be nice if the ppl at CRN.INFO could spell. I dropped them a friendly hint. I mean, hey-- you want people to be able to find the post if they search for polemicist on google ya know...

Joe C said...


LoL, great school banner.

Disagee with everything else though. I think you can figure out where I stand.

School girl fighting takes 2 at least 2 sides, guys, lol.

Someday I'm going to write a massive paper from an outsider perspective on both sides of this great online battle between the ODM and Anti ODM ODM. LOL.

Jesus would be proud of everyone involved.

I really do appreciate the email though Keith, don't be a stranger now ya hear!



Joe Martino said...

Keith, That sign cracks me up every time I see it. Every time. Now please don't tell anyone...I'll wait while you say you promise...OK, I own almost all of Pipers books. I've read Desiring God twice. Don't tell anyone. I don't want certain people to think that I'm not emergent. What names would they be able to call me?

Keith said...

I won't tell. Heck (can I use that word?), I've got some books that--if my Baptist friends knew I had them--well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.