Edwards, Dabney, Piper, WILSON, & The Reformed Community!

Again, let me suggest reading the series of articles by Daniel Kleven on how we got where we are regarding the reformed movement and specifically John Piper’s contribution to the present state of affairs.

Let me make a few personal observations to Kleven’s incisive examination without reprinting his many poignant and heart-rending analyses.

 

#1) “If you lie down with dogs, don’t be surprised if you get up with fleas.”

Or as Proverbs warns . . . .

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

As Kleven states . . . . 

In his book Black & Tan, Wilson quotes Dabney more than any other figure, and repackages Dabney’s Lost Cause [1] propaganda for slavery and the Confederacy for his contemporary audience. Douglas Wilson, the self-proclaimed “paleo-confederate,” has promoted Robert Lewis Dabney, the actual Confederate, more extensively than anyone else in modern memory. . . . Rather than addressing the “poison” of “racist slavery,” Piper allowed its most prominent contemporary apologist his largest platform at conferences and on the Desiring God website.

John Piper will not be the first, nor the last, to materially damage his ministry by an unwillingness to speak out clearly and forcefully. Predictably, Doug Wilson’s fleas have already infested Piper’s legacy to where Piper’s reluctance (to date) may not even overcome a subsequent disavowal of Wilson.

 

#2) When Relationships Trump Integrity, Truth Is Slain In The Streets

When relationships TRUMP integrity, the truth, and the willingness to speak truth to power are butchered (my, that word calls up yet other contemporary examples of the same principle — referred to later).

You will see that in other ministries, and in the local church. One only needs to review the evangelical examples of the past year or more and shudder at the reality of it.

Piper’s unwillingness to disavow Doug Wilson may be the most telling indicator of why the reformed community has lost its way and influence when it comes to addressing racism!

“So, did this recommended book list move forward the dream of “a single river” articulated just four years earlier? Well, out of those 354 books, there were two written by African American Christians, a whole 0.5% of the list. Both books were relegated to the “racial reconciliation” category, one merely as a co-author. For comparison, a number of white men (D. A. Carson, Wayne Grudem, Iain Murray, R. C. Sproul) are recommended on the list multiple times in a variety of categories. Next to John Piper himself (12x), the most recommended author on the list is Douglas Wilson (9x). Let that sink inDouglas Wilson alone is recommended more than 4x as many times as all of the African American authors combined. Also featured in the list? Southern Presbyterian white-supremacists Robert Lewis Dabney and Benjamin Morgan Palmer.” [2]

“Allegiance” to men, who not only hold but expouse repugnant positions and who permit and/or engage in abusive actions, is not only obvious in the world of politics, but within ministries and churches.

Not only does John Piper refuse to call out men like Wilson (no less promoting Wilson), but pastors and leaders across the reformed movement also reveal that they too are reluctant (at best) to challenge and even disavow their allegiance to men like Piper.

Well-known Bible scholars, such as Kevin Bauder, back off of addressing serious issues involving John Piper & BBC. He claims that BBC is an autonomous local church, and as such, he has no interest in speaking to the serious issues which have arisen.  Men like Dough Wilson and John Piper are counting on that response!

 

#3) “Intent” Is Not A Tolerated Excuse When The Repeated Outcome Is Unchanged.

How often is it said, “I never intended that / for / it to be / there to be /etc. . . . ” I understand that “intent” matters, but it is not a defense when the repeated and damaging outcome is unchanged.

“I didn’t intend to hit, injury, or kill the child who ran out between the parked cars.” I would suggest that no matter how genuine the lack of intent, the child is still injured or worse. That reality should change the driving habits of the most genuine. There should be an obvious and sincere response to avoid such outcomes down the road.

“Reckless” driving is no such indicator.  

Greater care and caution are!

As Kleven states . . . . 

“Whether or not we intended it, here’s the message that I’m afraid minorities heard: ‘come to the table for hard work on racial reconciliation; then, when extremely racially insensitive statements are made with no (or vague and heavily qualified) apologies, we’re going to call it “a great dialogue” and chastise you for being too thin-skinned.’ Minorities have gotten the message, and they’ve left the table.”

 

Those in positions of influence and notoriety, such as Piper, have an obligation because their voice (or lack of voice) carries immense weight. [3]

Isn’t it about time to call out men who have exerted such wide and deep influences in the evangelical and reformed culture, such as John Piper. His unwillingness to disavow men like Doug Wilson speak clearly and loudly. That alone should be enough testimony and sufficient reason to disavow men such as Piper, as well as those who let relationships and allegiance trump integrity!  

Does the evangelical and reformed community really need to loiter about the decision, or is this just another example of the same quietness regarding this past weekend at First Baptist, Dallas, Texas?

 

THANK YOU
DANIEL KLEVEN!

 



1.  “Lost Cause” link — https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/lost-cause-definition-and-origins

“There are six main parts of the Lost Cause myth, the first and most important of which is that secession had little or nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Southern states seceded to protect their rights, their homes, and to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government.

Second, slavery was portrayed as a positive good; submissive, happy, and faithful slaves were better off in the system of chattel slavery which offered them protection.

The third tenet states that the Confederacy was only defeated because of the Northern states’ numerical advantage in both men and resources.

Fourth, Confederate soldiers are portrayed as heroic, gallant, and saintly. Even after the surrender, they retained their honor.

Fifth, Robert E. Lee emerged as the . . . revered the Virginian as the ultimate Christian soldier who took up arms for his state.

Finally, Southern women also steadfastly supported the cause, sacrificing their men, time, and resources more than their Northern counterparts. The idealized image of a pure, saintly, white Southern woman emerged as well.”

2. — https://biblioskolex.wordpress.com/2021/12/23/whose-calvinism-which-community-john-piper-desiring-god-and-robert-lewis-dabney-part-8/

3. One could easily cite the example of Elon Musk, who spoke out yesterday. The importance and strength of his voice were well understood across the business and political world!


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