Don’t make the same mistake

I have already written about this a few blog posts back, but something recently hit a nerve again. Recently there were some devastating tornados. It was horrible. Lives were lost and families were destroyed and broken apart. The common question for the person watching it on TV is “Why?”

I personally do not believe we can actually say that we know why. Because we honestly do not know why. There is no way we can really know why. Yet some people and famous Pastors, such as John Piper, feel the need to say something. This time is no different, here is is blog post about it entitled “Fierce Tornadoes and the Fingers of God.”

I know it’s lame to quote yourself, and especially from a blog in which you only write every few months, but I wrote about John Piper’s statements about God and his supposed knowledge of why God does what he does. I said,

We like to think we have God figured out. And many times we act like we do have God figured out. I believe we have to be careful of claiming to know why God does what He does. Remember, God is infinite and therefore we could not possibly know why God does all He does. I personally believe we should not try and define the working of God in short pithy statements. But people do it all the time. Famous preachers and teachers do it all the time.

John Piper, to me, is notorious for doing this. He summarizes much of why God does what He does through simple, easy to remember one-liners. They sound good. They seem biblically sound, but is it the whole truth? Can God really be summarized by the fact that He does EVERYTHING for His glory? Can missions really be summarized by saying that “missions exists because worship doesn’t?” To me, John Piper seems to be claiming to know why God does all that He does. And of course he backs his arguments with Scripture, but what else is he leaving out? We need to be careful that even in our theological statements we aren’t putting God in our own theological box. I believe we always need to be recognizing that God is bigger than we can truly describe, and He cannot be put under our thumbnail.”

A pastor of mine from my childhood church wrote on his blog about this today. He humorously called it “OTD: Obsessed with Tornados Disorder.” He confesses it is a rant. And usually I am not much of a fan of rants, but I understand. When things get frustrating enough, sometimes a rant is the best way to deal with it.

I recommend reading it. I think it appropriately challenges some of the reactions of many people, such as John Piper, to events such as tornados. Personally, I was just glad to find out I was not the only one who thought these things.

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