Does God Count the Apology as the Cleaning?

From Facebook’s Preaching Christ Crucified discussion:

Is a symptom of Piper’s error the way he speaks of the atonement and/or who it’s for  – making faith the righteousness? Seems you told me in times past that this is what Piper does in his book on imputed righteousness.

It’s confused, like John Murray’s commentary on Romans. First, he does a good job of showing why faith cannot be the righteousness. Second, he assumes that Gen 3:15 and Romans 4 are teaching that God counts the faith as if it were the righteousness, it being an “instrumental condition”.

I am serious. Murray’s reasons why faith is not the righteousness are excellent.  But then he takes it all away: my theology say but the text says. He needed to ask himself again if he was right about what the text said. The object of faith is what is imputed, not the message but the righteousness that the message talks about.

The worst part of Piper is his illustration. Son fails to clean the room. Dad cleans the room for the son. Thenthe  son apologises. Therefore, Piper says, dad’s cleaning is the righteousness and not the apology, therefore I will count the apology as the righteousness. Makes no sense…

Scott Price wrote on January 20, 2010 at 6:42am

Wow, Piper blows it on the example. That’s just plain and simple conditionalism, like Arminians do. So much for him being a ‘7 pointer’. That’s what I can’t figure. You mentioned his work on Romans 9 was great and he claims to believe in double predestination but yet has this 2 wills of God thing goin on.

Though people hold a mix sometimes of good and error, BUT it seems the shift is from the  cross to preaching it to shave off the offense of it.

There seems to be a big concern in the minds of some to want to psychologically condition the mind of the hearer to feel more comfortable about the cross instead of offended by it. There is no doubt that the Spirit of God uses the offense of the cross in true preaching.

The Amyraldian gives lips service to sovereign grace and widens the door of the Atonement more than God Himself does and he thinks he is actually helping the sinner.  They think if Christ only died for the elect how can the hearer know he is elect and thus they adjust their message and it does not become about the cross and Christ anymore, it becomes  what is available on conditions.

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3 Comments on “Does God Count the Apology as the Cleaning?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    A close examination of Piper’s book,Counted Righteous in Christ can help us to see how this confusion has arisen. Mr. Piper wrote his book to support the doctrine of imputation of the righteousness of Christ – a doctrine for which there is strong biblical support.

    However, it becomes clear throughout the book that Mr. Piper is writing less to support the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer and more to support the doctrine associated with active obedience of Christ. We affirm and wholeheartedly support the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the sinner for our justification, but we do not extend that endorsement to the imputation of the active obedience of Christ – and that is what Counted is all about.

    In chapter 4, Mr. Piper spends a significant amount of time to explain that the phrase “one act of righteousness actually means “the entire life of Christ’s obedience.”

    To his credit, Mr. Piper includes a lengthy footnote recognizing that Jonathan Edwards held that “Christ’s death itself both paid the penalty for our sin and accomplished or positive righteousness.” Clearly, Mr. Piper sees a contrast between the view for which he is advocating and that of Jonathan Edwards. Since Edwards never denied the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, the difference between him and Piper is this understanding of the “righteousness of Christ.”

  2. markmcculley Says:

    the bad

    The believer, now justified, is “now able to do deeds of righteousness which are congruous with such a judicial verdict”

    These works can be the basis of this future verdict, Kirk claims, “because [Jesus’ death and resurrection] is the person and place in which the grace of God has been manifested, because transfer into this realm is based solely on the grace of God…” (226)

    On Rom 4:25, Kirk mistakes the connection, however, when he attributes the “righteousness” in a believer’s justification to the life of obedience made possible by the believer’s union with the risen Jesus.

    KIrk—“A unity based on theological articulation is a dead end for the unity of the church” (231). Kirk laments that the Reformation and its heirs have separated soteriology from ecclesiology, using justification as a “wedge for dividing the church” and rendering division all but inevitable

    “The doctrine of justification by faith becomes the doctrine of justification by believing the right doctrine of justification by faith (232). Kirk proceeds to query whether “those of us in Protestant churches should begin by asking the Roman Catholic Church for forgiveness?” or “those of us in denominational spin-offs should] begin by asking the mother churches for forgiveness?” (233)

    the good

    Kirk—Owen divides the work of Christ into two parts: a reconciliation that comes from Christ’s death and a true righteousness and justification that come from his life of law-keeping. In support of his argument he alludes to Rom. 5:9-10. These verses, however, cannot be used in this way. In conjunction with verse. 10, Romans 5:9 undermines the distinction between reconciliation and justification. Verses 9 and 10 are parallel. Owen changes Paul’s statement about Jesus’ resurrection into a statement about the earthly life of obedience to the law by Jesus.

    John Owen—There was no wrath due to Adam, yet he was to obey if he would enjoy eternal life. Something there is MORE to be done in respect to us, if after the slaying of the enmity and Reconciliation made we shall enjoy life.

    John Owen– “Being reconciled by his death: we are saved by that perfect Obedience which in his life he yielded to the Law of God. There is a distinct mention made of Reconciliation, through non-imputation of sin as Ps. 32:1. Rom. 3:25. 2 Cor. 5:19: and Justification through an imputation of Righteousness Jer. 23:6. Rom. 4:5. 1 Cor. 1:30 … and this last we have by Christ’s life of obedience.”

    Kiek—In the face of the failure of the law of Moses, Romans 3:24 spells out how justification comes to sinners: ‘through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward a sacrifice of atonement .” Paul says that the purpose of God’s giving Jesus up in a sacrificial death was ‘to show forth his righteousness at the present time in order that He might be just and the justifier of the one who is of the faith of Jesus’ (3:26). Two points merit attention here. (1) In response to the failure of the law, Paul does not say that God sent Jesus to obey the law;. Rather, Paul says that in response to the failure of the law to accomplish salvation the law witness to God’s accomplishment of justification in the death of Jesus (3:21).

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Piper’s appendix from The Future of Justification disregarded by Piper ,

    John Piper— Romans 9:32 views the law as it points to and aims at “Christ for righteousness,” not in all the law’s designs and relations to faith. Therefore, it would be a mistake to use Romans 9:32 to deny, for example, that there is a short-term aim of the law that may suitably be described as “not of faith” as in Galatians 3:12 (“But the law is not of faith, rather `The one who does them shall
    live by them'”).

    John Piper—I myself have argued in the past, for example, without careful distinction, that “the law teaches faith” because Romans 9:32 says that you don’t “attain the law” if you fail to pursue it “by faith,”
    but pursue “as from works.” But the distinction that must be made is whether we are talking about the overall, long-term aim of the law, which is in view in Romans 9:32, or whether we are making a sweeping judgment about all the designs of the law.

    John Piper— We would go beyond what Romans 9:32 teaches if we made such a sweeping judgment, so as to deny that there is a short-term design of the law not easily summed up in the phrase “the law teaches faith” but fairly described in the words “the law is not of faith” (Gal. 3:12).

    John Piper—For example, one short-term aim of the law was to “imprison everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Gal. 3:22). That is, the law functions, in a subordinate, short-term way, to keep people in custody, awaiting
    the fullness of time, which is a time of faith, as Galatians 3:23 says, “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.”

    John Piper— If, in some sense, “faith” had not yet come, but was “to be later revealed,” then it would
    not be strange to say “the law is not of faith” if the faith being referred to is the faith of Galatians 3:23, that is, faith in the Son of God who has come in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4). This is probably what Paul
    means when he says in Galatians 3:12, “The law is not of faith.” The faith that was to come–to which the law was leading Israel, as it held them in custody–is faith that is consciously in Christ, “the end of the law for righteousness for all who believe.”

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