The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Monday, November 10, 2003
Piper's Pessimism
The most recent New Horizons (the OPC rag) has a reprint of an article by John Piper, "Taking the Swagger Out of Christian Cultural Influence".

The entire article is predicated on the notion that we are aliens here on earth (based on 1 Peter 2:11). For Piper this is what typifies the Christian. Such a view is typical of dispensationalism (which Piper I suspect holds to) and to many "pessimistic" amillenialist reformed folk.

Here is a taste of Piper's article:

"And our joy is a brokenhearted joy because human culture –- in every society –- dishonors Christ, glories in its shame, and is bent on self-destruction.

This includes America. American culture does not belong to Christians, neither in reality nor in Biblical theology. It never has. The present tailspin toward Sodom is not a fall from Christian ownership. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). It has since the fall, and it will till Christ comes in open triumph."

Has every culture in the history of the world dishonored Christ? Seventeenth Century Holland? The English Puritans? Byzantium before the takeover of the Ottomans? Charlemagne's Aachen?

Someone needs to tell Dr. Piper that there is a whole crowd of people in "the world" who are not under "the power of Satan" -- the Church! The innuaguration of the redemption of culture began with ressurection of Christi and continues now. This doesn't mean there isn't plenty to weep about. But there is reason for hope - hope that we can lay hold of now.

What on earth was the editor of the New Horizons thinking when he published this article?