The Calvinist? What?

Here is a video poem by John Piper called “The Calvinist.”  I honestly don’t get it.  Does anyone else?  What does this have to do with Calvinism and why should any of what is said be thought to apply only to Calvinist Christians? It seems like bizarre propaganda of some sort, but it is hard to figure out what it might be.  Color me confused.

http://vimeo.com/80146031

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7 Responses

  1. You’re not confused – Piper is. I heard nothing that is germane to Calvinistic belief at all. It seems to me he just wanted to show people he can write poetry. Well, now we know.

  2. Once, again, Piper is showing his irrelevancy…

  3. For a man who supposedly loves to boast about the glory of God, his boasting of The Calvinist completely undermines his previous work.

  4. Billy,

    I also got the feeling of bragging a little about this “Calvinist” as portrayed in the video. It was a little unsettling. I am still baffled by the whole thing. I just find it very strange.

  5. Justin Taylor calls this poem, “life-giving.”

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/12/03/john-pipers-new-poem-and-video-the-calvinist/?comments#comments

    Now I am even more confused.

    It does seem that a lot of people, even in Taylor’s comment thread, are making the same point that this poem is probably mislabeled at the very least. Billy uses this video as a spring board to focus on what seems to be a disturbing trend in Calvinism.

    http://thearminian.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/the-self-obsessed-calvinist/

  6. Nothing wrong with the poem, but the title would have invited a rebuke from Paul if Piper lived in the first century. Could just as well have been called The Apollion, or The Cephasite, or the Paulite. Either Piper is behaving in a way that is “of the flesh” and “merely human” (1 Cor 3:3-4’s indictment of those who use the names of others to distinguish their brand of Christianity), or he is suggesting that Calvin is greater than Paul, Apollos and Cephas.

    However, Paul goes on to say that “there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised.” Granted, he was referring to the Lord’s Supper, but we may learn something from the principle. Church history reveals that exclusive inclinations have legs and ultimately take their owners to places where their hidden pride is magnified for all to see. This inevitable polarisation does not only end up forcing a removal of the sect from the body, like cutting out some grotesque growth that has allowed itself to grow out of proportion to the other limbs, but also creates a separation between those in the sect who are genuine and those who are not.

    And so I am convinced that to the very degree that Calvinism is becoming more explicitly exclusive, a great number of its adherents are rethinking their allegiance to it, namely those who esteem Christ more than Calvin.

    This, in my mind, is a positive development.

  7. “a great number of its adherents are rethinking their allegiance to it, namely those who esteem Christ more than Calvin.

    This, in my mind, is a positive development.”

    ^ Aha! The ones that are Genuine you mentioned below? 😀

    “However, Paul goes on to say that “there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised.””

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