A Short Dialogue on Ecumenism

one-in-christ

Note: The text below was written in response to questions addressed to me over a year ago, by Rev. Dorin Druhora (now Rev. Dr. Druhora), from Los Angeles, US, while he was doing his doctoral research on Evangelical-Orthodox relations in the USA. In the mean time he has successfully defended his thesis and I will publish soon some details about it.

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  1. Please define the uniqueness of the ecumenical dialogue here on the North American continent, in contrast with the dialogue in Europe or elsewhere? Do you see a paradigm that is specific to western culture (particularly in US, in the context of a pluralist Christian tradition or in the light of the dialogical development)? If your expertise is focused more on Europe, please address the question based on your experience.

DM – Although I never lived in the US, I traveled extensively there and I follow constantly the religious landscape there. Ecumenism is well and alive in the US. Yet, it involved more the Catholics and the mainline Protestants. Many of the American evangelical leaders do not strike me as very open ecumenically. That is true especially with the neo-reformed movement (the likes of Piper and Mohler), which is the new form of fundamentalism. However, there is a lot to appreciate also. Continue reading “A Short Dialogue on Ecumenism”

Aventurile lui Calimero: Și-ar fi omorât Isus propriul copil dacă acesta ar fi fost rebel? – Chibzuieli

Această postare face parte din seria aventurilor lui Calimero, seminaristu’, care a ajuns seminarist luându-se după mine la școală, și de atunci mă tot sâcâie cu întrebări. Ultima, vine de la…

Source: Aventurile lui Calimero: Și-ar fi omorât Isus propriul copil dacă acesta ar fi fost rebel? – Chibzuieli

Eugen Matei este unul dintre putinii evanghelici romani care nu promoveaza ‘sfinta bataie’. Nici nu ar putea, caci nu marsaza la pseudo hermeneutica literalista aberanta pe care se bazeaza aceasta inradacinata traditie nesfinta.

In ce ma priveste, nu ma mira ca Piper, un neofundamentalist, dupa parerea mea, se deda (din nou) la siluirea fara scrupule a textului biblic, pentru a promova prejudecatile clasice legata de disciplinarea cu nuiaua.

What to Call the So-Called New Calvinists?

What to Call the So-Called New Calvinists?.

An important discussion for those interested in the s0-called (not so) ‘young and restless’ of the Piper and the Driscoll kind.

Rachel Held Evans – Is God A Man? (a response to the CBMW accusation of heresy)

Rachel Held Evans – blog.

Of course, God is not a man, but Owen Starchan, or John Piper, and other such fundamentalists, would like God to be male.
That is, as Rachel tightly argues here, idolatry – worship of maleness.
Let me quote Rachel again:
‘The people of Israel received a strong warning from God about this in Deuteronomy 4:15-17: “You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air…”’

Mimi Haddad – The Bait and Switch of Complementarians

Mimi Haddad

Mimi Haddad is the president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary.

In a recent text published on the CBE blog, Mimi Haddad is commenting on another post on the same blog, ‘commending John Piper’s advocacy for the education and the safe return of 276 Nigerian females’. Yet, she argues that Piper, and other so-called complementarians, like him, do not go far enough in their support of women.

Here is the beginning of her article.

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These 276 girls (not to mention the 200 million females missing globally) are never helped by religious teachings (Christian, Muslim, or any other tradition) that devalues females and excludes them from leadership roles over men, whether in the church, the home, or society—because of gender. Ideas have consequences. Though Piper endorses female education, he denies them equal authority because they are female and this places them at great risk, in any corner of the world! To be equal in education but unequal in service is a bait and switch which egalitarians reject as unbiblical.

Happy as I am that complementarians endorse female education, even so, the teachings of complementa Continue reading “Mimi Haddad – The Bait and Switch of Complementarians”

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment – Chapter 8

The discipline of spiritual discernment

Chapter 8 – The Dangers of Discernment

by Danut Manastireanu, World Vision International

We can learn a few lessons on discerning what is false from what is genuine, from the process used in banks for identifying false banknotes. In principle, the process does not concentrate so much on studying the false ones, but on getting familiar, experientially, with the genuine article.

The author is laying then before us a serious problem of perception in terms of discernment:

‘It is sad to say that the word discernment has negative connotations in the minds of many Christians and non-Christians alike, for those who claim to exhibit discernment are often those who lack love. Somehow the desire to defend the truth seems to overshadow the ability to exhibit love. Truth and love are brought into conflict rather than being equally present.’

In light of this, the author discusses ten potential risks run by those involved in discernment. Here they are (some of the labels used are mine): Continue reading “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment – Chapter 8”

The Myth of Biblical Manhood – A Parable

After a long correspondence, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Doug Phillips, and John Eldredge decide to meet at a bar to discuss whose view about Biblical Manhood is most biblical.

At Driscoll’s urging, they gather at the Red Herring Pub in Seattle to knock back a few adult beverages. Fog settles outside. The four men sit at a booth near the entrance, Piper and Phillips on the right, Driscoll and Eldredge to the left.

The bartender comes over.

“I’ll take a Rum and Coke,” says Piper, remembering his days as an Army Ranger.

“Hot buttered rum for me,” says Phillips. It seems a manly Colonial drink.

“Give me a Margarita,” Eldredge says, kicking off his sandals. He wears a loud Hawaiian shirt, untucked.

Driscoll looks askance at Eldredge. “Just give me a Bud,” he says. Then he thinks better of it. “Actually, give me two.” Continue reading “The Myth of Biblical Manhood – A Parable”

Hitler’s Rant on N.T. Wright and John Piper

I love this. I thank my son, Daniel, for the link.

I am sure the Piper ‘sect’ hates this. Fundamentalists have no sense of humour.

The abusive theology of “deserved” tragedy…

The abusive theology of “deserved” tragedy….

Piper speaks again, irresponsibly, as it has become his habit in the last years (iy is hard to believe this was a very decent man not very long ago; I guess it is because of him adhering to the neo-Reformed sectarian ideology) and Rachel Held Evans executes him, as he fully deserves. Well done, Rachel.

Yet, I am afraid, people like Piper never learn. For sure, NOT from a woman (what do they know, after all, things Piper and those like him).

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John Piper’s Freudian Slip – On What Else but Women Teaching Men

In his book The Blue Parakeet, at p. 148, Scot McKnight argues that, to be consistent, a man who refuses to listen to a woman teaching in church, he should also refuse to read biblical commentaries written by women.

In a recent audio commentary, John Piper takes on that issue and argues that reading a biblical commentary written by a woman is OK ‘as long as the man does not see her’, and he suggests that is behind Paul’s injunction that ‘women should not teach men’ (1 Timothy 2:12).

I am afraid what we have here is not only a sample of outdated fundamentalism, of the kind Piper if guilty time an again, but also an unintended Freudian confession of being obsessed with women bodies.

Rachel Held Evans takes this on in her article on this topic and provides us with a few examples:

  • ‘Piper’s primary measure of appropriateness is whether a man feels threatened by a woman’s teaching’
  • ‘Piper argues that a woman can teach a man so long as her teaching is “impersonal,” “indirect,” and “removed”—essentially, so long as it is easy for him to forget she is a woman’

As Evans rightly argues, these statements, and others like them are dehumanising for women and, I would add, a pathological expression that needs a bit of psychoanalytic unpacking. Continue reading “John Piper’s Freudian Slip – On What Else but Women Teaching Men”

John Piper and the Pope: Some Observations

John Piper and the Pope: Some Observations.

If you are interested in understanding how the neo-reformed react, from their own narrowly defined bubble, to the way Catholics frame their understanding of redemption, you should read this post by Scot McKnight.

Dianna E Anderson – John Piper, Spousal Abuse and Empowerment

John-Piper

I have spoken on this blog numerous times about the aberrations that abound lately in the public statements of the famous pastor and Bible teacher, John Piper, who started well and promised a lot, but lately became sort of a fundamentalist as he hardened in his stance as a promoter of the neo-reformed ideology.

Nowhere is his skewered version of Christianity more obvious that in his  position on the supposedly biblical requirement of absolute submission of wives to their husbands.

Dianna Anderson takes Piper to task on his still misogynistic reformulation of an outrageous statement he made four years ago about abused women, which was taken down from his website in the mean time.

Here is what Dianna has to say:

Four years ago, John Piper was asked a question in a video series about husbands abusing their wives and what the response should be to that. His infamous reply was taken down from the Desiring God website, though it is – of course – still widely available elsewhere on the internet, thanks to people making copies and transcripts. In this original post, he said that wives should “endure abuse for a season” and compared their abuse to Christ’s sacrifice for the husband’s well-being.

Three and a half years later, Piper has offered some “clarification” for those remarks. I’m guessing that suggesting a wife who gets beat up by her drunk husband is a martyr for Christ hasn’t gone over too well with a lot of people, and he felt explaining himself would put that discussion to rest. Continue reading “Dianna E Anderson – John Piper, Spousal Abuse and Empowerment”

Carson and Piper on Hermeneutics

I thank Carson Clark for this clip (his post on it can be found HERE).

Here is the comment I have left on his blog:

[DA] Carson is surprisingly good in this video (like you, I am not a fan of Carson, nor, I would add, of the Gospel Coalition – too modernistic and fundationalist for my postmodern taste), while Piper is as aloof as always.
I may also add that, even if I preach sometimes (I have just accepted the invitation to do it on 7 August), and I enjoy a good sermon (they are so rare these days) I am not a great fan of preaching either. I think the ‘laleo’ version of sharing the good news is much more fitting with our times.

The Evangelical Divide – A View from the Other Side

My previous post on the Evangelical divide was based on a text written by Arminian theologian Roger Olson.

In case some people doubt such a divide really exists, I add here part of an article on this topic published in First Things by the Reformed theologian Gerald McDermott, the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion,  editor of The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology and coauthor of The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford).

I add here, as a teaser, the first part of this longer text (bold emphases are mine).

* * * Continue reading “The Evangelical Divide – A View from the Other Side”

Martin Marty – Hell’s Bell


Duccio di Buoninsegna – Descent to Hell

Americans may have thought that cracks in the façade and framework of evangelicalism would show up most visibly when serious evangelicals argued whether Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee would be the better presidential candidate. But now we have a chance to see that other divisive issues among evangelicals beg for attention. When one of these, a theological argument, no less, makes its way to the New York Times and other papers plus many blogs, it’s time to pay attention. Bystanders who think they have nothing at stake in the non-political arguments, and who have never heard of Pastor Bob Bell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, or his critic, neo-Calvinist John Piper, may stand by in fascination, but they are likely to be reached this time. The topic? Hell, and a punishing God’s use thereof. Continue reading “Martin Marty – Hell’s Bell”

Piper – pledoarie pentru competenta biblica si ignoranta in toate celelalte

Marius Cruceru a pus astazi pe Facebook un link la acest clip cu John Piper. El incearca sa raspunda intrebarii daca pastorii ar trebui sa aiba sau nu PhD. NU daca toti ar trebui sa aiba si altii nu, si NICI daca celor care au le poate fi de folos. NU, ci pur si simplu daca ar fi foloc vreunuia dintre ei.

Din perspectiva lui Piper, un PhD, mai ales unul obtinut intr-o scoala seculara, asa cum este si cazul lui, care si-a facut doctoratul in Germania, pe o teme legata de teologia lui Pannenberg, nu poate fi de niciun ajutor. Ba dimpotriva.

Redau mai jos cu minime corecturi cele doua comentarii lasate pe Facebook la acest link si sunt curios ce credeti voi. Iata-le: Continue reading “Piper – pledoarie pentru competenta biblica si ignoranta in toate celelalte”

Vinoth Ramachandra on the Priority in the Gospel


Vinoth Ramachandra, InterVarsity

You have read already on this blog about the controversy created at the Lausanne congress in Cape Town by the one-sided presentation of the Reformed Gospel (whatever that means) by the well-known preacher John Piper.

Rene Padilla also alluded to it in his evaluation of this event that I have published yesterday.

Here is now another reaction to this controversial presentation, this time from Vinoth Ramachandra, one of the most important leaders of the student organisation InterVarsity. I imagine you understand, implicitly, that I agree with Vinoth’s analysis. Continue reading “Vinoth Ramachandra on the Priority in the Gospel”

Third Day of Lausanne III Congress – UPDATE

Contrary to my hopes yesterday, I was not able to go to the congress in the morning to listen to Piper. I had to stay in the hotel room and edit a text on post-communism for a World Vision publication.

I arrived at the reunion site at lunch and what I heard from various friends about Piper’s presentation conformed my suspicion. His approach was, they said, judgmental and aggressive, in clear polemic with Ruth’s presentation the day before. Although his duty was to do an exposition of Ephesians 3, Piper did not abstain from correcting Ruth on some things in Ephesians 2. He also commented ungraciously about the applause she received, in spite of the fact that she tried to dissuade people from clapping at the end. Continue reading “Third Day of Lausanne III Congress – UPDATE”