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Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Piper Article

I ran across an interesting article today by John Piper. You can read the article here. I am mostly interested in your thoughts, responses, etc.

Do you agree with him? Disagree? Still aren't sure?

Let me know :) Thanks

In Christ alone,


Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Yes it is good stuff. On one level I think it is good to have a vocation of research or become a doctor to help people with their sickness but on another level I think along the lines that when people are suffering it is for the Lords purpose and we are to do what Jesus did and that is in the name of Jesus we are to heal them and cast out their demons.

Deaths due to depression are massive killer more so then cancer I am told. People have no fear of God any more. We are to cast out their demons of depression not think up good counseling courses and drug them up. I watched a show on depression on a tv program in Australia and I was disgusted at their God-Less conclusions. They are professing themselves to become wise but are simply fools.

When you are sick do you go to your christian brothers and ask them to pray for you or do you go down to the hospital? Is it not lack of faith that they are sick with ailments.

I am not saying that what Mr Piper said is wrong I am just saying that their is power in the name of Jesus and as a believer I think he should be encouraging this over research.

4:49 PM  
Blogger TheDen said...


I guess I'm in total agreement with this gentleman.

"Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." (Genesis 1: 28)

God calls us to subdue the earth and we have dominion over everything that's not God. Eradicating disease is what God calls man to do.

Disease and dying is a result of the Fall. To eradicate disease is not outside of God's perfect will.

Can we be healed by faith? Sure...but do I have that faith? Do I have the faith to move a mountain? I don't know.

But I do have faith that man can eradicate disease through research. That we can find a cure for cancer or AIDS for we truly do have dominion over these diseases. We just have to figure it out.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Interesting Dennis.

I'm wondering if you agree with the distinction between the Will of Command and Will of Decree?

11:42 PM  
Blogger TheDen said...


Honestly, I had never heard that God has two wills in my learning of the faith.

Do I believe this? I guess I would call it differently (and I truly don't understand/haven't studied the will of decree vs. the will of command--so if I'm misrepresenting it, I apologize).

I guess my thoughts are that God has one will. We either choose to follow it or choose not to follow it. God allows us to not follow His will as He allows us to have free will. (Yes, I know we disagree on this point).

He knows in advance that we don't choose His will but He still allows it (and we still choose) and also knows the consequence of us not choosing His perfect will.

God's plan for us is to be with Him for eternity. As any father, He wants what's best for His children. As our parents don't want us to do drugs or live a life of debauchery, He also doesn't want that for us. A child shouldn't obey his parents because they are his parents. A child should obey his parents because he loves them and should trust that the parents love them so much that they only want what's best for their child.

If we follow His will (or rather His plan), it leads to eternal happiness. If we don't follow His will (or disobey His commands), it leads to despair and death. Not because He wills it but rather because we're not following His plan. It was like that with Adam and Eve and it's like that with us today.

I'm currently doing a reflection on the Prodigal Son and using that as an example, the father (probably) does not want his son to leave but allows it to happen. God does the same with us.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...


We have breifly discussed this in the past so I was pretty sure that you disagreed with Piper (and me) on this point.

Given the chance to respond, how would you address this brief excerpt:

God’s “will of decree” ordained that his Son be betrayed (Luke 22:22), ridiculed (Isaiah 53:3), mocked (Luke 18:32), flogged (Matthew 20:19), forsaken (Matthew 26:31), pierced (John 19:37), and killed (Mark 9:31). But the Bible teaches us plainly that we should not betray, ridicule, mock, flog, forsake, pierce, or kill innocent people. That is God’s “will of command.”

10:19 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...


Two wills of God is pretty accepted in both Catholic and Protestant theology. I posted on this awhile back. Piper was one of the first folks that I hear talk about this.

1:05 PM  
Blogger TheDen said...

Hey Mike,

I think it's just a matter of semantics. What you are saying is a "Will of Decree" I am saying, "God allows."

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that God has two wills...just a little confusing for me. If God allowed Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge even though He forbade it, maybe it was implicitly His will. Adam (and Eve) still chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and God didn't interfere with that.

Of course, He knew that Adam would eat from the Tree before He created Adam as He knew that He would send His only beloved Son to redeem the world before Adam was created.

As I said, the terminology is new to me. I don't necessarily disagree...just have used different terminology (to express essentially the same thing.)


2:21 PM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...

I understand.

The only thing is that I see "Ordain" and "Will" language littered throughout the Bible but have not found very much "allow" language.

Is there some particular place that you find this (and accordingly why you prefer to use it) or is it just something that has developed?

I think there are definitely different connotations between "allow" and "decree/will/ordain". The question then becomes, which idea is communicated Biblically?

In Christ alone,


2:43 PM  
Blogger TheDen said...

Hey Mike,

I see your point that God willing and allowing are different.

Regarding scriptural references, I guess I would say it's inferred. Let me note that "Will of Command" and "Will of Decree" are not scriptural either. I don't see that anywhere in the Bible and we may just have to agree to disagree on this.

Regarding where the argument of God allowing evil or sin to occur, I guess I'd have to point to our old friend Augustine in Enchiridion, Chapter 95: "Nothing, therefore, happens but by the will of the Omnipotent, He either permitting it to be done, or Himself doing it."

I don't really want to belabor this point. I really don't disagree with you on this.


8:15 PM  
Blogger TheDen said...

BTW...I honestly appreciate it when you ask me questions as I usually don't know and have to do some research to find the answers. I think the questions and discussions(and reading each other's posts)is helping us get a better understanding of each other's faiths.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

We can't really use the concordance as a reliable guide in some situations to see which set of terms is more Biblical.

Often there are Biblical concepts that spelled out in the terms that are most popular today. For instance, the Bible never uses the term "trinity" but that doesn't mean that it's not a Biblical concept.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

I would be interested in how you would answer these questions when you have time. Yes and no is fine if you are to busy.

1. Can anyone resist the Lords will?
2. Has anything happened that is outside the Lords will?

4:35 AM  

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