1. What particularly strikes you in Piper’s message?
2. List several ways that you see believers — including yourself — wasting their lives.
1. How does a poor theology of suffering support the Prosperity Gospel?
2. What books or sermons have influenced you in this area of theology?
In all the hub-bub about Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, a number of us Bible-thumping, Jesus-story-hijacking, toxic Evangelicals have responded with virtual tomes of refutation. Bell raises significant questions (350 of them by one person’s count!) and has a clear agenda of trying to prove that the traditional view of eternal conscious punishment should be replaced by a much better story.
Frankly, I think Pastor John Piper might have had the best response when he simply tweeted “Farewell, Rob Bell!” Piper has been castigated for “dismissing Bell from the Evangelical fold.” I think Bell did that quite well by himself. Doug Pagitt criticized Piper for such a dismissive comment. Some of us were castigated for criticizing Bell’s book before it was
released (the promo video was quite incendiary). Pagitt skewers Piper for his tweet, accusing him of threatening all young Evangelicals of the penalty of following Bell!
Frankly, I’m going to side with Piper on this one. Sarcasm can be either hurtful or therapeutic! Sarcasm has a long tradition in the Scriptures (see the many OT texts which mock idolatry), and is used by the Lord Jesus on several occasions.
Sarcasm might bring someone to their senses, a verbal cup of cold water
Discussion Questions: What do you think? Was Piper’s dismissive comment about Rob Bell well-intentioned sarcasm? Wouldn’t it be GREAT if Dr. Piper responded to this blog with his explanation and comments?!