IS YOUR THEOLOGY “PREACHABLE?”
A good test as whether or not your theology is accurate is whether or not it’s tenable, practical and teachable. Can you plainly state what you believe on Sunday morning behind the pulpit, even after the largest mass shooting in history?
I can and would clearly tell my congregation:
“This event was an act of evil that God hated. He didn’t want this to happen and because He intimately knows those affected I believe His heart is more grieved than any one of us. But know this! God is the redeemer of all evil. He will bring justice. Good can only come from these types of atrocities because our God is good, gracious and works to redeem all things for a greater purpose. Why did this happen? Because of sin. God hasn’t created a world of puppets who do everything He wants them to do. He has created real free moral beings who are able to do evil and bring destruction. This is why we must continue to seek Him, repent of our sin and beg Him to do His will here on earth as it is in heaven…”
But can our consistent Calvinistic preachers say the same thing? Will you hear any Calvinists say what John Piper of Desiring God Ministries has posted on their website?
“God . . . brings about all things in accordance with his will. In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory and his people’s good. This includes—as incredible and as unacceptable as it may currently seem—God’s having even brought about the Nazis’ brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child… Nothing that exists or occurs falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing, including no evil person or thing or event or deed. God’s foreordination is the ultimate reason why everything comes about, including the existence of all evil persons and things and the occurrence of any evil acts or events. And so it is not inappropriate to take God to be the creator, the sender, the permitter, and sometimes even the instigator of evil… Nothing — no evil thing or person or event or deed — falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing arises, exists, or endures independently of God’s will. So when even the worst of evils befall us, they do not ultimately come from anywhere other than God’s hand.” <From Desiring God with John Piper—Reference below>
Will any Calvinist in America plainly and clearly come out and actually utter these words this Sunday?
Some may say, “Oh, it’s too soon for that Leighton, we should let the nation grieve.”
It should never be too soon to speak truth in gentleness and love, especially when the nation is asking “Why!?” I’m not ashamed to tell people exactly why I think this evil came to pass and to preach my theology plainly, are you?
In this video I compare and contrast John Piper’s response to moral evil with that of CS Lewis (and others like Ravi Zacharias):
Desiring God reference: Mark R. Talbot, “’All the Good That Is Ours in Christ’: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us,” in John Piper and Justin Taylor (eds.), Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006), 31-77 (quote from p. 42).