[StriderMTB’s lengthy article, “The Folly of Doing Theology in an Echo Chamber: A Thorough Examination of Piper’s ‘Two-Wills’ View,” has been divided into 30 parts and edited for serial publication on this website. Here is a link to the original post. After the entire series is published, it will be made available as a single article on this site. Critique 30 is included in this post.]
Critique 30: DOES GOD ASSURE US HIS PURPOSES WON’T SHIPWRECK ON THE WEAKNESS OF HIS OWN WILL? WHY PIPER’S EXAMPLES RESULT IN UNINTELLIGIBLE GOBBLEDYGOOK WHEN MARRIED TO HIS OWN THEOLOGY
We are now nearing the close of this series. But I want the reader to take notice of one more example where Piper’s theology of two divine wills (the latter determining everything the former abhors) results in unintelligible gobbledygook when plugged into his own expositions of scripture.
“One of the most precious implications of this confidence in God’s inviolable sovereign will is that it provides the foundation of the “new covenant” hope for the holiness without which we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). In the old covenant the law was written on stone and brought death when it met with the resistance of unrenewed hearts. But the new covenant promise is that God will not let his purposes for a holy people shipwreck on the weakness of human will.”
Put aside for now Piper’s glaringly, outlandish claim that his two-wills view is the critical foundation for every Christian’s new covenant hope. That’s simply more grandstanding by Piper and fits an increasingly typical Calvinist profile in arrogantly assuming that Calvinists have cornered the market on NT grace. Instead I want to focus on the incoherence of his own assertion in light of his own theological assumptions. Let’s read it again but this time bracket in Piper’s own view that “every detail of life” has been sovereignly decreed by God and see what sense is left:
“In the old covenant the law was written on stone and brought death when it met with the resistance of unrenewed hearts.”
True–but Piper’s theology dictates that even resistance to God must fall into the category of “every detail of life” and therefore resistance cannot arise independent of God’s meticulous determinations. Rather, God determinatively decreed who, what, where and how persons would resist the old covenant.
“But the new covenant promise is that God will not let his purposes for a holy people shipwreck on the weakness of human will.”
Doesn’t he mean the weakness of God’s will? After all, Piper’s theology again dictates that God determines every detail of our lives–therefore God determined the weakness or strength of every will. If this is true, Piper is saying nothing more than “God will not let his purposes for a holy people shipwreck on what God has determined.”