Mar 10, 2010

Piper's Double Speak

I have previously written about how I believe that John Piper says contradictory things about the relationship of faith to the new birth. Let me give some further examples of it.

"Our Part in the New Birth: Faith"

"The question in this tenth message on the new birth is: What is our part? What do we do in the act of new birth? How do we participate in bringing it about? Let me give you the answer first that I see in the Bible, and then we will go back and show where it’s found.

Your part in the act of new birth is faith—faith in the crucified and risen Son of God, Jesus Christ, as the Savior and Lord and Treasure of your life. What you do in the act of new birth is believe on Christ. The way you participate in bringing the new birth about is by receiving Christ for who he really is, the supremely valuable Savior, Lord, and Treasure of the universe."

"The Simultaneity of the New Birth and Faith

The answer continues like this: Your act of believing and God’s act of begetting are simultaneous. You do the one and he does the other at the same instant. And—this is very important—his doing is the decisive cause of your doing. His begetting is the decisive cause of your believing."

Yes, it is his "doing" that causes our believing and our birth, but the question is this - is this "doing" an act of begetting? His begetting is the cause of our "living" also, but who would affirm that one is begotten before he is born or is alive? One cannot say that a person is begotten or born before he actually experiences life and faith.

Piper says further:

"...the new birth is “by obedience to the truth.” That is, the new birth is by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why I say our part in the new birth is believing. In believing we are acting out the new birth."

"There are three clues in this text that God’s action in new birth is the cause of our action in the new birth. That is, his begetting causes our believing."

"The new birth does not take the place of faith; the new birth includes faith. The new birth is the birth of faith."

("What Man Does in the New Birth")

See here

It seems to me that Piper is trying to have it both ways. He says that sinners are born again by faith and that believing is by beng born again. But at least he is to be praised for affirming that regeneration includes being made a believer.


Mike said...

Your blog has been recommended to us as a interviewee's favorite blog!

We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for Blog Interviewer. We'd like to give you the opportunity to give us some insight on the "person behind the blog."

It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can be submitted online here
Submit your

Best regards,

Mike Thomas

JLTan said...

I think what you wrote is true. My slightly different view is that faith is not something you do. Jesus has done it all. Faith is just one of the responses you have to that message that is not really any work on your part.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear JL:

Faith is something we do, yet it is not called a work of the one believing. Jesus said - "this is the work of God that you believe..."

Thanks for visiting and commenting.



Dr. Trader said...

Showing that saving faith and the new birth are simultaneous is so
important for us to understand.

Some have faith before the new birth and others see it after the new birth. The concurrence of the two is Scriptural.

Thanks for your plain teaching on this vital subject.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Dr. Trader:

I agree. There is no new birth without faith and no faith without a new birth.

Good to hear from you.