Reviews

About the author

avatar

Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@teaminfocus.com.au.

9 Comments

  1. avatar

    RoSeZ

    Hehe, okay now I’m confused… =P

    Great clip! =)

    Reply
  2. avatar

    Alen

    Booyah! Go Piper it’s your birthday!

    Reply
  3. avatar

    Lou Martuneac

    I’ll preface my reaction to the Piper video by saying that is it my understanding Piper himself claims to be a 7-point Calvinist. That includes a belief in double-predestination.

    That said, his repeated use of “particular work” in context indicates to me that he refers to a particular work on behalf of the elect ONLY, which is consistent with Calvinistic thinking and especially double-predestination.

    LM

    Reply
  4. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Hey Lou,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I’m not sure what Piper’s approach is to double predestination. I would be careful not to assume he holds the position.

    Yes, he definitely means that the atonement is “a particular work on behalf of the elect ONLY.”

    But he also really means that whoever believes will be saved. And there is no inconsistency between the two when understood as he means them.

    Grace to you.

    Reply
  5. avatar

    Lou Martuneac

    Jason:

    Here is the problem as I see it. Piper is not filly disclosing his terms and what they expressly mean. This, in my experience, is very commonplace among Calvinists. They use orthodox terms, but have a Calvinistic bent on the interpretation, which they do not disclose in discourse such as this video. Now, if Piper is preaching to his choir and all know the context, fine. Many, however, will not.

    For example, most Calvinists will NOT use the term “total inability.” They use the commonly accepted term, “total depravity,” but when he uses TD he actually means “total inability” and these are two different things when you boil both down to their core meaning, which is typically not disclosed at the outset.

    Similarly, Calvinists have all but abandoned identifying their system as “Calvinism,” preferring to reference it as the “Doctrines of Grace.”

    Why? Why the absence of full disclosure?

    So, back to the video: What do you suppose Piper actually means (when you boil it right down) by the frequently used term, “particular work?”

    LM

    Reply
  6. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Lou,

    I agree that it is very important for people to study Calvinism so they actually know what a Calvinist means when he says something. I would think that of all people, Piper has given a thorough disclosure of his beliefs. The guy has published dozens of books on theology.

    “Total inability” is merely coming at “total depravity” from a slightly different angle. TD implies TI and TI depends on TD. Both terms communicate the same theological reality. This is basic Calvinism.

    Wasn’t it Spurgeon who popularised the term “doctrines of grace” for Calvinism? Spurgeon viewed Calvinism as being inextricably linked with the gospel, therefore, the “doctrines of grace.” I wouldn’t accuse Spurgeon of incomplete disclosure.

    When he says “particular work,” he is contrasting it with the global/universal view of the gospel. There is certainly a broad sense in which salvation is for the elect. But when you are dealing with a particular person, you don’t know if they are elect or not. So we go to Scripture which says “whoever believes” will be saved. We can preach and whoever responds in faith will be saved.

    That is what he’s saying. We don’t have to worry about accidentally offering salvation to those who are not elect. Instead, we offer it lavishly to all and call them to respond in faith and repentance. And those who do, will be saved.

    Reply
  7. avatar

    Lou Martuneac

    Jason:

    Thanks for the follow-up. You wrote, ““‘Total inability is merely coming at ‘total depravity’ from a slightly different angle…Both terms communicate the same theological reality.”

    No, they do not “communicate the same…” and that is why they need clarification if we are going to be transparent in what (Piper) we are communicating.

    Total Depravity” (TD) and “Total Inability” (TI) are significantly different. No one I know of disagrees with TD (Rom. 3; Jer. 17:9). TI, however, takes TD to a completely different level. Total Inability says man is unable to participate, respond to or cooperate with God in the salvation process. Total Inability sees lost man as absolutely unable to hear or respond to spiritual things, including the gospel. Biblical TD does not teach this, only Calvinism’s TI does.

    You wrote, “When Piper says ‘particular work,’ he is contrasting it with the global/universal view of the gospel.”

    When I asked my earlier question I was looking for a more concise answer. Wouldn’t you agree that Piper’s use of “particular work” is in fact a catch phrase for Calvinism’s “Limited Atonement?”

    LM

    Reply
  8. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Lou,

    Total depravity does not mean that man is as bad as he can be. It means that every aspect of man’s being is marred by sin. Since this includes the will, total inability is a necessary implication of total depravity. If you do not hold to total inability, then you cannot rightly say you hold to total depravity.

    No, I do not believe Piper is referring to particular redemption in this context. Particular redemption is the point he is contrasting against.

    Grace.

    Reply
  9. avatar

    Steve Warren

    Brothers,

    Ephesians 2 makes it so clear, just as it is true in the physical realm, spiritually dead men are totally dead,corruption permeates every last cell and they are totally unwilling and unable to respond to the one who breathes into them the spark of eternal life.

    I am so thankful that early in my Christian walk without instruction or use of commentaries, just by reading my first King James Bible and comparing the cross references I came to an understanding of the doctines of Calvinism as being the truth without ever having heard of Calvinism.

    It was only later that I came to see that this is an issue which causes great conflict and much argument over the meaning of words. This then caused me to waver betwen the ideas of the 2 points of view for quite a while but thankfully I am now back in the TULIP camp.

    We would all do well to accept the words of the Bible as a simple child instead of trying to over analyse them and make them fit what our preconcieved ideas are.

    It probably helps to have had no real religious upbringing like me, as the Word of God is then able to have free course and comparing scripture with scripture instead of with the thoughts of men leads us to the right conclusions.

    I am always totally blown away when I stop to consider that someone like myself who had no interest in the God of the Bible, who thought all Christians were hippocrits and that all missionaries were dangerous corrupters of the noble savage should be so marvelously changed changed and set upon a quest to know God.

    The first time I was aware of this was when I was working as a linesman and got hooked up across 240 volts when working up a pole one day, I had a live wire in one hand and an earthed line in the other and was unable to let go, I was still conscious and trying to yell out to my offsider but no sound came out due to the fact that the electricity was controlling my muscles not my mind.

    Eventually I blacked out and collapsed into my harness whick broke the contact, thankfully I had not gone into cardiac fibrilation or arrest and on coming to I decided that this was no coincidence and that I needed to find out about God. For the first time I became aware of my mortality and started to be concerned about eternity.

    From that day on I had an interest in spiritual things and God sovereignly brought various Christians across my path who shared the basics of the Gospel with me over a period of about 18 months till on the 4th of August 1991 annd at the age of 31 I accepted Christ as my saviour.

    I know that I had heard the general claims of the Gospel in some sense before at RE at School and through the media but I know that before God did something in me I was spiritually dead, unwilling and I believe unable to respond till in His grace he rescued me.

    Only a sinner saved by grace.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2005-2016 by InFocus. Powered by WordPress. Effective News theme by Themelions Team.