The Divorce of Lesley and Barnabas Piper as Presented by Barnabas, Son of John Piper [Updated on 1/28/17]

"God ends the one-flesh relationship of marriage only through the death of one of the spouses." 
"The grace and power of God are promised and sufficient to enable a trusting, divorced Christian to be single all this earthly life if necessary." – John Piper: Position paper on divorce link


link

Update 1/28/17: I grew up in Salem MA as did my dad. When I became a visiting nurse, I was shocked by what I learned about some families. The nicest people on the outside were very different behind closed doors.

I have been getting pushback, particularly about Barbara Roberts tweets. Barbara has apologized as well. We have removed all but one of her tweets. 

But…not only have I heard from Barnabas supporters who claim he is a good guy and not patriarchal like his dad, we have also heard from others who would not agree. We are keeping up the post since I believe me comments were directly based on his post.

Thank you all who have contacted us, pro and con.

Update 1/27/17 8:46 PM: I am getting a lot of pushback about this post. Apparently, my "credibility and influence" is on the line. I am still trying to figure out which Calvinistas believe I am influential and credible. That is sure a surprise…. I have asked for specific information and if I can get something, I will post it. Until then, this is a speculation but there is no question that Piper blames his wife and we are supposed to accept that as the truth.

Barnabas Piper, son of John Piper, alerted the Twitterverse, that he had written a post on his recent divorce. He did this in at least 5 tweets around January 10. 

He also wrote about it on one of his Facebook pages. Along with the tweets dealing with his divorce post, there were other tweets dealing with his soon to be released book.

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Barnabas Piper is close to his dad, John Piper, which makes his particular divorce narrative more interesting.

When anyone alerts people to a post on divorce as many times as Barnabas Piper did, one may assume that he wants people to take notice of it. His narrative is particularly interesting since he is close to his father, often talking about the books his dad writes as well as his relationship with him.

1. John Piper has troubling and rigid views on divorce.

TWW featured a guest post by Divorce Minister on Piper's views. He had divorced his wife after she had an adulterous relationship, and this resulted in serious repercussions for his ministry.

He does not even permit divorce for the innocent Christian party when adultery has taken place! (see http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/does-the-bible-allow-for-divorce-in-the-case-of-adultery).

If divorced, he teaches–as a moral imperative–that the divorced Christian must remain single until the other party dies or takes back the divorced Christian in remarriage.

2. John Piper believes that married women should endure abuse for a season and should have a good attitude when they finally go to the police.

The Cry Out for Justice website posted Piper's *clarifying comments* on this statement. Piper believes that abused women who seek the help of the authorities should do it with the right motivation. He exhibits profound naivety in the following statement, which assumes that the abuser was once a *nurturing leader.* Piper exudes a condescending attitude that an abused woman should be able to be both humble and have a heavy heart that longs for a restoration of his leadership while she is lying in the Emergency Room.

 A wife’s submission to the authority of civil law, for Christ’s sake, may, therefore, overrule her submission to a husband’s demand that she endure his injuries. This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husband’s repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.

3. Piper's own church, Bethlehem Baptist, excommunicated and shunned a woman who divorced her long abusive husband.

The GBSFV website wrote about this in The Toxic Theology Of John Piper Bears Wicked Fruit Again. Domestic Violence Victim at Bethlehem Baptist Facing Excommunication and Shunning. They did not believe the woman's side of things.

They say I was not emotionally abused by my Ex for 24 years. Like they know. They call my story a “biased narrative” so they can minimize and dismiss it. They say I have no right to divorce him. They dismiss the 23 years I worked my butt off trying to fix my marriage, cooperate with all the men-leaders, be respectful, be vulnerable, grovel in sorrow and repentance, and obey – and when I finally say I can’t do it anymore – my kids need me, I need to heal, to focus on God, to move forward, they call me “resistant.” I needed and asked for friendship and love. They betrayed me with a smile on their face and a Bible verse on their lips. They use spiritual abuse to control women and children and even other men.

4. John Piper is a council member (along with CJ Mahaney- can you imagine?!) of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which holds to a strict gender role differentiation in marriage, claiming it leads to happier marriages.

CBMW emphatically states that complementarian marriages are happier that egalitarian marriages.

So, in the eternal wisdom of God, he has chosen to create marriage to help us see the glorious picture of Christ's love for his Church. It is this model of marriage, we suggest, that leads to the path of greatest happiness to humanity and honor to God. Any distortion of God's instruction for us in marriage also distorts his chosen means in which he displays his eternal love and satisfaction for his bride. For the sake of the gospel and the glory of Christ, this truth should sober  and encourage every husband and wife to pursue God's model of marriage.

Barnabas Piper wrote about his divorce in When a Marriage Dies.

Please read through his short post before reading my comments and the thoughts of others. I am interested in seeing if you disagree with me. Think about the fact that Barnabas, who loves his dad, was indoctrinated on his father's views on gender roles, which may have affected his marriage.

For the detractors out there, Barnabas Piper made this an issue on social media, and it is perfectly appropriate to question his narrative in light of what we know about his father's teachings on the matter.

1. He was shocked that she wanted to end the marriage. How well did he really know his wife?

2. He seems to blame her for pursuing the divorce. 

Eleven and a half years- that’s how long it lasted. Eleven and half years of marriage and then gone. It ended in death, though nobody died. Just the marriage. I say just, but it is a death as much as any person. When she told me she was finished it was like a knock at the door from the police chaplain – utter shock, not real, numbness, anger, fear.

3. Yet he seems to admit that things have been really bad for a number of years.

…While these last years have been ferociously difficult for me they have been the proving ground for God to me. Never have I been lower and never has He been closer or greater.

…2016 was a year of losses celebrities, heroes, icons, and American hope and decency all seemed to pass away. For me it was the year I lost my marriage. Actually that’s not true. It was the year the loss of my marriage was completed. It had been dying for a long time despite every effort to resuscitate and recuperate it.

…By the time it ended and the signed order from the judge came through it wasn’t shock any more. It was the final breath of one dying from a wasting disease,

4. He appears to present himself as the obedient Christian who believes in marriage, while she was the one who gave up.

And strangely I believe more in marriage now than I ever have. I believe it is worth fighting for and investing in. I belief it is worth pain and tears and patience and forgiveness and then doing all of that again and again. I believe it is a gift, a gift that God gives and gives and gives each day. It only ends when one or both stop accepting the gift any longer. I see marriage as a miracle, designed by God and utterly dependent on Him.

…It just did not want to live any longer because, unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two.

5. Barnabas is aiming his story towards his readers to make sure they understand his situation. He wishes to contain the inevitable explosion.

I found the juxtaposition of his post with his soon to be published book interesting. Divorce is viewed in a negative light within the Christian community. Could this be his way of *nipping it in the bud* by getting out in front of the story and fashioning the narrative? "It was her fault, not mine." I fight for marriage." 

So I write this now, reader, so you will know the place from which I write. It is not a confession. It is not a memoir or an exposé. Neither is it an argument for or against anything. It is simply a writer revealing his context a bit so that his readers, if they care, can know from whom they hear.​

…I want to be forthright and honest. People feel deceived when they sense a thing is hidden or when it is confirmed it was.

…So I write this to diffuse the explosives, or maybe explode them in a controlled environment.

6. He is also a church consultant in leadership development, which makes this divorce even more awkward.

6. He claims his goal is for people to trust him.

My hope is that readers will trust me as much or more after reading this.

… But I offer this piece as a show of respect, for the relationship (if that is the word) I have with readers through the written word and the common pursuit of truth. I want to be trusted and not just trusted – trustworthy.

7. He uses words to convey that he is in pain over this divorce.

  • Life is brutal and hurts so much there are not words.
  • It was the final breath of one dying from a wasting disease,
  • No band-aid has stopped the bleeding yet
  • I feel as if I am dying daily

Barbara Roberts from A Cry for Justice responded on Twitter.

Barbara is an expert on domestic abuse. She read this post by Barnabas and shared some interesting thoughts on the matter. 


 

My impressions:

– First and foremost, I am sorry that a divorce occurred for this couple. No matter the cause, I am sure both sides are in pain.
– Was it one-sided? It appears he is implying that his wife was the one to blame for the divorce.
– Was he the good guy and she the bad wife? 
– He appears to cast himself as the long suffering hero while she was the quitter.
– If their marriage was in trouble for years, what in the world was going on? That sounds serious.
– Was his wife bombarded with her need to submit to him and to be gender role specific in her life?
– He does not mention that he loved his former wife.
– He does not express concern for his children or even mention that they exist, for that matter.

Some interesting things to consider:

I am not a complementarian in my approach to marriage. However, I am well aware of the mores of that group.The following questions do not necessarily stem from my beliefs but from theirs.

Barnabas Piper admits he has a history of lying, which is why people might question his account. (Update 1/27/17 5:56 PM.)

Barnabas is a young man and will have to live a long life as a single man. Will Piper change his views on divorce and remarriage since it is now up close and personal?

This is the second well known complementarian divorce I have heard about in the last two months. One I cannot talk about. Piper and friends are going to have trouble claiming that complementarian marriages are happier. I bet they are no happier than egalitarian marriages.

Barnabas seems to be throwing his former wife under the bus. Is this warranted? 

Who has custody of the children? Will they equally share the responsibilities of caring for the children?

Some leaders in the complementarian movement will chastise the man for the divorce, claiming he didn't lead his family well. Does Daddy Piper believe that about his son?

Since Barnabas is divorced and he is teaching church leaders, will this divorce sideline him like it would other men in his situation?

Will his family name cut him a break?

Since John Piper believes that every tile you choose in Scrabble is ordained by God, one has to wonder whether he believes that God specifically ordained this divorce.

An offer to Lesley Piper, Barnabas' former wife

Lesley, perhaps Barnabas portrayed your divorce accurately. From our vantage point, It appears he believes you were to blame for the divorce. Being somewhat skeptical, especially when it comes to these matters, Deb and I wonder if you might have a different perspective. You are welcome to make any comment of any length or we can write an entire post featuring your thoughts. We also understand that you might be under a gag order and may be unable to publicly comment.

We are sorry for your situation. You married the son of a highly influential man (in some circles). If there is any way that we can be of help to you, please let us know. We will keep any communication with you strictly confidential. We don't give a hoot about John Piper's influence. Our thoughts are with you and your children.


Comments

The Divorce of Lesley and Barnabas Piper as Presented by Barnabas, Son of John Piper [Updated on 1/28/17] — 545 Comments

  1. I’m not sure the expression “Daddy Piper” is wise. I prefer “Piper Père” or “Piper Cub.”

  2. “Piper’s own church, Bethlehem Baptist, excommunicated and shunned a woman who divorced her long abusive husband.”

    Heck, John Piper even had his own son (Abraham) excommunicated! These New Calvinists are serious about that archaic practice! If he would excommunicate his own son, he would have no problem doing that to a mere derivative of man. http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/june/prodigal-children-if-it-can-happen-to-john-piper-it-can.html?paging=off

    “He claims his goal is for people to trust him.”
    Barnabas has reason to be concerned about that. His habit of lying caused him to move out of the Piper house, a place of “dysfunction and conflict.” http://religionnews.com/2014/07/01/john-pipers-son-discusses-dysfunction-conflict-upbringing/

    Yep, there is probably more to this story.

  3. I’ll go back and read the rest later, but I had to stop after about point #4. This sounds *exactly* like the narrative my ex-husband is spinning. Chillingly so.

  4. I yield to noone in my dislike of John Piper’s views on, well, everything. But all we know from what his son posted is that Lesley Piper was the one to finally call it quits on their marriage. There is nothing in his post that indicates he is an abuser. Barbara Roberts’s tweets are premature, at best. Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime), one party to a simply incompatible relationship, a mixture of all of the above, or none of the above. Until we have actual knowledge of their marital history, let’s not besmirch his character just because his father’s views are so abhorrent.

  5. “CBMW emphatically states that complementarian marriages are happier that egalitarian marriages.”
    Translation: Only men really matter, therefore happy husband = happy marriage. Whether a wife is happy or satisfied in a marriage or with how the husband treats her is irrelevant, A wife must accept the “gospel” fact that she was made to serve and obey the husband. She must mould her will to his and be a good Stepford wife.

    I wonder if this is what BP believes?
    I also wonder if BP will be able to keep his job with hard Complementarian Lifeway?

  6. Cody wrote:

    let’s not besmirch his character just because his father’s views are so abhorrent.

    That is her opinion based on her experience. He threw his wife under the bus, claiming that he was the only one working at their marriage. That is as bad as what you claim that Barbara said.

  7. Barnabas said “For me it was the year I lost my marriage.” No mention of his “wife” other than once he referred to as “she”…”When she told me she was finished…”

    Also no mention of children although Dee’s post says there were some.

    I just found his sorrow directed more toward the “institution” of marriage rather than losing his wife and children and missing them as an intricate part of his life.

    Even in his description of his leadership development position, he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

  8. Reading his short post I did not see a reference to mistakes on his part. He made it clear that he did not want to open his life for inspection and I respect that, yet he could still simply add that he made mistakes that made it difficult to reconcile. By making this public statement without any admission of error on his part he leaves the impression that he did no wrong, that his wife was just irreconcilable to his entreaties. If I were to engage in their misuse of jargon, I would say he slandered his ex wife.

    I will also note that when someone tells me they are fighting for their marriage I worry about the metaphor, not the one I would use for a relationship that is based on love.

  9. Cody wrote:

    There is nothing in his post that indicates he is an abuser. Barbara Roberts’s tweets are premature, at best. Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime), one party to a simply incompatible relationship, a mixture of all of the above, or none of the above. Until we have actual knowledge of their marital history, let’s not besmirch his character just because his father’s views are so abhorrent.

    I agree. All we know that he is 33, his wife is a leukemia survivor and she works in a psychiatric center.

  10. Cody wrote:

    I yield to noone in my dislike of John Piper’s views on, well, everything. But all we know from what his son posted is that Lesley Piper was the one to finally call it quits on their marriage. There is nothing in his post that indicates he is an abuser. Barbara Roberts’s tweets are premature, at best. Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime), one party to a simply incompatible relationship, a mixture of all of the above, or none of the above. Until we have actual knowledge of their marital history, let’s not besmirch his character just because his father’s views are so abhorrent.

    Seconded.

  11. Victorious wrote:

    he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

    Great pickup!

  12. @ Cody:
    Let me add one more comment. I like to post what people think when they read a post about someone. We go through this all the time here. We mean something one way and people derive a different meaning. Barbara is smart. If she read that in his post, then that’s way it came across to her. Barnabas should consider that when he is writing.

  13. Bill M wrote:

    Reading his short post I did not see a reference to mistakes on his part.

    This is an important observation. It is my hope that people will read for what is said and what is not said. We must be quick to question what is put in front of us.

  14. I was thinking perhaps she had an affair and he was trying to protect her from publicity, but an affair would come out in the end, and he did hint that she was to blame, even if he didn’t say the cause. It’s also true that he didn’t even hint at anything he might have done wrong.

    And lastly, what’s up with John Piper’s two sons having difficulties?

  15. Frankly I find it disgusting that he would air his laundry this way. I don’t care what the story is – the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet. But then, silence is a virtue and the mark of a wise man, so not surprised that it would be lacking in these quarters.

  16. Victorious wrote:

    I just found his sorrow directed more toward the “institution” of marriage rather than losing his wife and children and missing them as an intricate part of his life.

    Sadly there is an idolatry of marriage in the type of churches which follow John Piper’s teaching. Remember when Jesus told the Pharisees “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. Substitute the word “Sabbath” with “marriage” and you can imagine the Lord having a similar conversation with modern religious leaders. They worship the institution and neglect the people that it was intended to benefit. That is why they consign battered wives to abuse, divorcees to stay unmarried and tell unmarried people to consign themselves to being sexually frozen until they get a certificate.

  17. And of course, it goes without saying that this is just one more example of how there absolutely no evidence that Piper’s nonsense has any positive effect on marriage. It is only a matter of time before this crowd starts claiming that results are irrelevant – they have to oppress women in order to be “faithful”.

  18. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet.

    He can’t. He is between a rock and a hard place. His father’s views are well known. He is advising leadership at churches.He needs to get out in front of this.

  19. Former CLCer wrote:

    I was thinking perhaps she had an affair and he was trying to protect her from publicity,

    This problem had been going on for years. Do you think he would put up with a years long affair? It’s possible, knowing Piper’s belief in once married, always married even if it involves adultery.

  20. Cody wrote:

    Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime)

    This always amazes me when a man claims he/they are “emotionally clueless.” Being an avid sports fan myself, I’ve seen ooodles of emotion exhibited by men to other men and that includes hugs, pats on the rear end, leaps into teammates arms, anger and even tears at a disappointing, unexpected loss.

    Men cannot claim “cluelessness” when it comes to emotions….just their choice as to where to show and share them.

  21. Victorious wrote:

    Even in his description of his leadership development position, he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

    I noticed that also …. it is very telling

  22. Christiane wrote:

    I noticed that also …. it is very telling

    In all fairness, I must admit that after I posted that, I wondered if perhaps that was written after his divorce and then it would make sense whey he didn’t mention them.

  23. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet

    yes ….. he sounds a bit petulant and childish ….. and doesn’t mention his two daughters at all

    perhaps he was his wife’s ‘third child’ ????

  24. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Frankly I find it disgusting that he would air his laundry this way. I don’t care what the story is – the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet. But then, silence is a virtue and the mark of a wise man, so not surprised that it would be lacking in these quarters.

    And to air your dirty laundry this way, blame it all on your wife, and then say ‘oh but I don’t want to open up my life to scrutiny’ or whatever he said is laughably disingenuous.

    This is nothing but a career positioning move, IMO. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, all to many times. Getting control of the narrative. As you say, it’s unmanly. I’d go further and say it’s despicable.

    Otherwise, he should have just kept quiet, or made a very simple statement that, sadly, they were getting divorced. No blame games.

    What is it with these people? They seem to be simply unable to accept any responsibility for anything. OK, I’m getting wound up here, so I’ll stop…

  25. keng wrote:

    All we know that he is 33, his wife is a leukemia survivor and she works in a psychiatric center.

    Let me add that she had leukemia as a child.

    And we have been told by Barnabas she was the one who caused the divorce since she refused to keep fighting for the marriage. We know that Barnabas blames her and he didn’t mention his children in his story.

    We also know that he is an admitted liar for which he had to leave his parent’s home.

  26. Perhaps that is an updated (ed.) bio; I found a bio with the same pic which says this: "I am married to Lesley and we have two daughters, Grace and Dianne. Being a dad and having a full time job I don’t really have time for hobbies, but what time I do have is spent reading, writing, or watching sports. I am one of those unfortunate souls doomed to forever be a Minnesota sports fan. I just can’t quit them. We live in the Nashville area and I work at LifeWay Christian Resources for the Ministry Grid team doing content marketing and social media."

    Victorious wrote:

    Even in his description of his leadership development position, he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

  27. Victorious wrote:

    Cody wrote:
    Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime)
    This always amazes me when a man claims he/they are “emotionally clueless.” Being an avid sports fan myself, I’ve seen ooodles of emotion exhibited by men to other men and that includes hugs, pats on the rear end, leaps into teammates arms, anger and even tears at a disappointing, unexpected loss.
    Men cannot claim “cluelessness” when it comes to emotions….just their choice as to where to show and share them.

    Thank you for this!

  28. I am not trying to be disrespectful and I know there are many really hard working great Pastors out here who are working very hard for very little if any money. They work two or three jobs on top of all the church work they do. I have been a teacher for about 30 years and have been working with the disabled for about 37 years. When I was a kid I was in special ed until I was in high school. Back then when I was a student many teachers told us we were told we were faking it manipulating the teachers lying etc. At 6-14 that is a bit hard to deal with when you try with all of your heart but fail because you cannot see right or hear something right.

    Now that I am a teacher I often hear the same refrain, many times from fellow Christians about how teachers are lazy, manipulate, live off the government blank, leeches, thieves, Satanists, communists, socialists, Wiccans (which I would actually consider a compliment) etc. One of the new one’s swamp rats etc. I mean it gets tiring, I work sixty to seventy yours a week I get paid for 30. I try so hard to give the taxpayers every cent worth plus more every day.

    Why I bring this up is what actually do some of these pastors do? I mean for a living, I have several agencies that oversee us and they are quite thorough which I find very helpful. I am not saying there are not bad teachers or that but all groups have a variety of workers/employees. I am not trying to whine but with the way, the public discourse is online and off one has to ask. What exactly do some of these pastors/leaders do? I mean they seem not to have any oversight, they run their own book/video/conference franchise where much of the startup capital is tax-free. Don’t get me wrong I support tax exempt faith-based groups. But I look and listen to what these men, most of the ones I am questioning are men, what do they really do? I mean they make bank some make 250-500K and some others bring home 1 mill or more. There is also the pastor tax break and the parsonage tax break etc.

    I hope you don’t mind, I really feel free to share here and it does help so much. I hope it was not too far off topic.

  29. dee wrote:

    @ dee:
    And he admits to no blame in the marriage falling apart. It was her fault.

    If, in his mind, he feels this way, could it be that he is a product of a patriarchal teaching that gives to the husband the headship and automatically gives to the wife the blame for any difficulties in the marriage?

    I don’t know how women can STAND the built-in abusive treatment that this system lays on them.

  30. The weird literary apple did not fall far from the weird literary tree. I have no idea who did what or who did not do what, but his post is flat out odd-odd. This takes navel-gazing look at mee-ism to another level entirely.

    Honestly, this reminded me a lot of Tullian’s self-serving posts only this is even cheesier writing, regardless of the details of what happened (because I do not know what happened.) With children involved, it is a tragedy.

    Wake up, PastorJohn. Your formula is toxic, and your grandchildren are suffering.

  31. Despite his father’s views on remarriage Barnabas has no intention of being celibate the rest of his life. This post is intended to help convince some poor woman that he’s worthy of her trust and good marriage material.

  32. Nancy2 wrote:

    “CBMW emphatically states that complementarian marriages are happier that egalitarian marriages.”

    The complementarian example marriage featured in the “Return of the Daughters” video by sisters Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin is also breaking up, with the husband recently filing for divorce.

    “Return of the Daughters” was a piece of propaganda designed to tell young women that their place was at home serving their patriarchs until some man approached dad and asked for their hand in marriage. No university and no jobs for these ladies, they were supposed to remain under dad’s thumb! Ironically, this video is 10 years old and the Botkin sisters are now in their middle 30s and still unmarried.

  33. To Cody et al, the reason I had to quit reading Barnabas’s points was because my emotionally abusive ex-husband speaks EXACTLY the same way. Exactly the same false humility, exactly the same over-spiritualizing, exactly the same throwing me and our kids under the bus, exactly the same excuses.

    I hope you’re just ignorant of how abuse works. If so, please read “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” or “Why Does He Do That?

    If not, you’re perpetuating the cycle. Stop it.

  34. Gram3, there must be something in the air with these guys that they all sound similarly weird. When I’ve shown some of the letters my ex-husband writes our kids to their therapists (and mine), the first reaction is always, “That’s really weird,” followed immediately by, “That’s not okay.”

  35. Gram3 wrote:

    Wake up, PastorJohn. Your formula is toxic, and your grandchildren are suffering.

    Mrs. John Piper must share the responsibility for modeling a complementarian (patriarchal) marriage.

  36. @ Persephone:
    I’m one part blunt and one part Southern and you just never know which part is going to show up. But there is one thing I know. When someone blows a lot of gauzy and pretty watercolor words in your direction, there’s a good reason for it, and plain understanding is not it.

  37. Persephone wrote:

    Gram3, there must be something in the air with these guys that they all sound similarly weird.

    well, the Tullian case is a relative of a famous man; and the Barnabus case is also a relative of someone well-known

    these younger men are in the ‘family business’ so to speak ….. maybe that contributes to the weird similarity in how they distance themselves from a normal acknowledgement of responsibility for failure in their personal lives

  38. Barnabas Piper: "unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two."

    It's been so long since I've study anatomy that I have forgotten.

    Can someone help me out? Are kidneys egalitarian or complementarian?

  39. Persephone wrote:

    there must be something in the air with these guys that they all sound similarly weird

    New Calvinism is an infectious disease of young adults that has common symptoms.

  40. “Few people can do hypocrisy more smoothly than a PK. On the outside he is devout, polite, and involved. On the inside he is cold, angry, and detached. Or maybe he is simply confused.” (from his book “The Pastor’s Kid”, Barnabas Piper)

    Another glimpse of growing up in John Piper’s household. I have known many PKs in my 60+ years as a Christian. I don’t recall any which fit this resume. My own grandson is a PK. I have known him well since the day he was born – we are buds – he is not cold, angry, detached, confused, or hypocritical.

  41. dee wrote:

    He needs to get out in front of this.

    Good observation. He seems to absolve himself of responsibility ASAP – in announcing his divorce.

    Also, his post about their (plural possessive pronoun used here, unlike in the post), divorce and marriage is self-centered, he consistently states “I” and never “we”. Odd since marriage and divorce take two, and in this case, there is/was actually a family of four.

  42. Christiane wrote:

    maybe that contributes to the weird similarity in how they distance themselves from a normal acknowledgement of responsibility for failure in their personal lives

    Entitlement.

  43. dee wrote:

    And he admits to no blame in the marriage falling apart. It was her fault.

    In the article, he makes it sound like he is so sweet and innocent and clueless ……… like she just absolutely blindsided him – stabbed him in the back.

    He may be clueless because he focused too much on himself and his work and completely ignored his wife.
    I wonder because marriage almost went down that road when my husband started treating me like animate property ….. making big plans that directly affected me while not telling me or discussing the plans with me. When I decided to put a stop to it, I think hurt his ego – He packed and left.
    I’m wondering if there were similar problems Piper marriage and Barnabas ignored Lesley and/or refused to compromise?

  44. Max wrote:

    I have known many PKs in my 60+ years as a Christian. I don’t recall any which fit this resume.

    Whoops. Sorry. I do recall a young pastor who was cold, angry, detached, confused and hypocritical. Both his father and grandfather were pastors. This young rebel, a New Calvinist, resented the faith of his fathers to the point of rebellion to join the new reformation to change everything. Perhaps there are a lot more PKs out there in the reformed movement of this sort who want to get back at Daddy by changing his religion for their generation. This thing gets sicker by the day!

  45. Deb wrote:

    Mrs. John Piper must share the responsibility for modeling a complementarian (patriarchal) marriage.

    Oh yeah. The doorbell in the Master’s study on the 3rd floor of their home for ringing her for tea. And she obeyed and ran up and down those stairs.

    While reading about this divorce, one wonders if the younger Piper’s wife did not go along with the doorbell to call tea to the 3rd floor routine.

  46. Update:

    I am getting a lot of pushback on this blog post including some folks that I respect. No one can tell me what is wrong specifically only that the truth is not what is being speculated. I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    If I can get some specific information information, I will post it. Frankly, I am quite confused at this time.

  47. Now that Barnabas Piper has publicly divulged information regarding his divorce, I am watching the C.J. Mahaney/John Piper interview that took place on October 25, 2016, at the Sovereign Grace Churches Pastors Conference through a different set of eyes.

    It was then posted on the Desiring God website on December 14, 2016 (link).

  48. Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

  49. Regarding your update at the top of the post:

    Update 1/27/17 8:46 PM: I am getting a lot of pushback about this post. Apparently, my “credibility and influence” is on the line. I am still trying to figure out which Calvinistas believe I am influential and credible.

    Didn’t someone also say on Twitter that writing about this news would hurt our ‘ministry’?

    At least they acknowledged that we do have a ministry. 😉

  50. dee wrote:

    I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    Uhmmm, how do they know what you think? And, if they know what’s going on, why so secretive?

  51. I just wanted to chime in to say, I sure don’t agree with John Piper or Christians like him on marriage, gender roles, or this idea that people cannot or should not marry after a divorce.

    However, I sometimes cringe (as a never married person) when I see other people comment on the “you can’t marry after a divorce” theological view by sort of making it sound like remaining single for the remainder of one’s life is awful, hideous, and second-rate.

    (Like you are DOOMED if you stay single, and your life won’t amount to didley.)

    I’d like to be married myself, but so far as I am still single, I just cringe and feel insulted when folks make it sound like those who may live life decades as a single and go to the grave as a single are second-rate, or as though a life lived single is second-rate, or a fate worst than death.

    I just implore anyone posting here about this issue, please try not to make it sound like a person staying single until they die (whether they are never married or don’t remarry after a divorce) are living sub-standard, horrible lives not worth living.

    Yes, life can be lonely when you’d like to be married (or remarried), but you’re not going to die without a spouse.

    It’s not like you or your life have no meaning just because you don’t have a spouse (or cannot get another, if previously married).

  52. dee wrote:

    I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    Isn’t that what they always say?

  53. Deb wrote:

    I am still trying to figure out which Calvinistas believe I am influential and credible.

    Beware of Frenemies! A perceived friend can become an enemy when their tribe sounds a rally cry against you. Any group which will shun and excommunicate church members who question them will turn on a dime against you for picking on one of their own. These folks stick together at all costs to protect the movement … consider C.J. Mahaney.

  54. Dee said,

    Piper exudes a condescending attitude that an abused woman should be able to be both humble and have a heavy heart that longs for a restoration of his leadership while she is lying in the Emergency Room.

    The older I’m getting, I become more and more annoyed by this super sentimentalization of the faith, or this Hallmark-Cardization of the faith.

    Piper truly lives in a privileged bubble where he will never face being beaten up by a spouse several inches taller than him and physically stronger, so it’s easy for him, in his ivory tower, to tell others going through this scenario to stay and put up with it.

    I just hope that people don’t listen to this guy or take any of his advice.

    I wonder why God doesn’t orchestrate some kind of life altering event that would open Piper’s eyes as to how naive and presumptuous his views on women, divorce, and abuse are?

  55. roebuck wrote:

    dee wrote:

    I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    Isn’t that what they always say?

    Then dudes anti up the truth and sources.

  56. Nancy2 wrote:

    dee wrote:

    I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    Uhmmm, how do they know what you think? And, if they know what’s going on, why so secretive?

    These guys hate the light that shines on their heroes downfalls.

  57. On the push back regarding this TWW post –

    The original information shared by BP in his twitters, posts, etc., was to get out ahead of and control the narrative.

    Through TWW and the critical thinking of the TWW readers, that has now completely backfired for BP.

    Too bad (for him), not every believer swallows a fish like a duck.

  58. Lady quoted in the OP:

    They dismiss the 23 years I worked my butt off trying to fix my marriage,

    Wow. At my age – if I get married now and the guy is an abuser, I would drop his butt after a few weeks or months, never mind 24 years.

    I don’t think a lot of these weenies, who idolize marriage and treat married lady abuse victims like crud, pay these women near enough props for the many years and/or effort they usually put in in trying to save an un-savable marriage.

    By the time a lot of abused women step forward to ask for help or try to leave the abuser, they’ve been putting up with it for years and years. And, often, they’ve tried tons of marriage counseling and therapy, and nothing has worked.

  59. Dee said in the OP,

    1. He was shocked that she wanted to end the marriage. How well did he really know his wife?

    This is pretty common. Enough so, I’ve seen articles discussing that folks research the topic, and politicians try to get laws passed about it.

    A lot of men are blind-sided when their wife wants a divorce, even though the wife made it plain for weeks or months on end the relationship was not working.

    Utah lawmaker targets women with new divorce barriers so men aren’t ‘surprised’
    http://www.rawstory.com/2014/02/utah-lawmaker-targets-women-with-new-divorce-barriers-so-men-arent-surprised/

  60. Deb wrote:

    Didn’t someone also say on Twitter that writing about this news would hurt our ‘ministry’? At least they acknowledged that we do have a ministry.

    Can you imagine? I am trying to figure this whole thing out.

  61. Nancy2 wrote:

    “CBMW emphatically states that complementarian marriages are happier that egalitarian marriages.”
    Translation: Only men really matter, therefore happy husband = happy marriage. Whether a wife is happy or satisfied in a marriage or with how the husband treats her is irrelevant, A wife must accept the “gospel” fact that she was made to serve and obey the husband. She must mould her will to his and be a good Stepford wife.

    Yes, this. The girls brought up under this are taught to stuff their own needs down, as well as their feelings. I was raised like this. It does not work.

    Women have needs too, and if they aren’t met, a woman can only go for so long before she resents the man for not meeting her needs (while meeting his the whole time), or finds it so sad or frustrating she will dump the guy eventually.

    Basically, complementarian teachers ask and expect women to continually repress their own needs and goals only for the sake of catering to what the man or men around them want and need. This cannot and will not work.

  62. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    It is only a matter of time before this crowd starts claiming that results are irrelevant – they have to oppress women in order to be “faithful”.

    They kind of already play this game. I did a blog post at my Miss Daisy Blog several months back about this.

    If you keep pointing to example after example of how complementarianism enables domestic violence, comps say this does not matter or they say it’s a misrepresentation of their position.

    Tim Challies went so far in his book review of Ruth Tucker’s book about how comp affected her marriage (her husband cited comp male headship views to justify his poor treatment of her) to tell his readers in his review not to read her book.

    It is the very rare complementarian who cares about the practical, real life consequences of complementarianism.

    (So far, Aimme Byrd and the two guys she blogs with are the only comps I know of who express actual horror at what other comps teach, and how it’s negatively impacting people.)

  63. BP’s post is so very strange. From how I read it, I detect that his wife filed for the divorce, which he did not want. Far from “being honest,” the post is rather opaque and cryptic.

    Instead of clearing the air, his post seems to invite further speculation as it is short on details while raising a big red flag that he is divorced (and his ex-wife likely filed). All of that would be public record, if I am not mistaken.

    As far as posting on his situation, I think it is fair game as he himself posted on the matter. Plus, it is newsworthy in light of his father’s hard-nosed stance re:divorce and Barnabas’ close relationship with his father.

  64. JYJames wrote:

    get out ahead of and control the narrative

    BP is currently a “Content Marketing Strategist” and “Brand Manager” at Lifeway and has experience in marketing at other book publishers. In these capacities, he networks extensively in cyberspace. He has developed communication skills to “get out ahead of and control the narrative” to sell himself. New Calvinists are masters at social media; I daresay that the movement would not exist without it.

  65. roebuck wrote:

    And to air your dirty laundry this way, blame it all on your wife

    It’s got a somewhat Tullian Tchjvidian(*) vibe to it.

    “I only had that affair because my wife had one first” sort of thing.

    *(And I totally guessed at how to spell “Tchjvidian.”)

  66. Deb wrote:

    @ Divorce Minister:
    As Dee explained, Barnabas Piper tweeted about his blog post When A Marriage Dies FIVE TIMES!!!

    Yeah. He opened the door…actually flung it wide open!

  67. I have no love for Piper or his ilk and I would imagine marriage to his son could be rough. But having been divorced and have lead divorce recovery groups in churches for ten years I have learned a few things. One is that those who “doth protest too much” are trying to divert attention. Second is that in divorce, frequently things are not what they seem. I was one of those husbands that was shocked when my wife told me she wanted to divorce. We had cycled through some tough times in our relationship but had always recovered. I confess that I was emotionally immature and could be distant. We had gone to counseling several times which included a lot of bashing me as a husband, but each time she declined to continue past a few meetings. Things became more clear after her decision to divorce. I discovered that she had been carrying on an affair for years and was just starting a new one. Her decision had been to commit adultery instead of making an honest attempt to work on the marriage. The marriage was doomed and her relationship to me a sham for years. No wonder she wanted to end counseling as it getting to close to revealing her double life.
    My point is not to get Piper Jr. off the hook.
    My point is that making generalizations about being surprised by the end of a marriage as an indicator of abuse or inattentiveness is going too far.
    http://www.divorceminister.com/cannot-help-themselves/

  68. deb wrote:

    Let’s see… If Barnabas had remained quiet about his private life, there wouldn’t be anything to discuss.

    Poor Barnabas.

  69. I do not wish to speculate on whether or not BP is an abuser. Instead I’ll comment on this:

    [blockquote]I want to be forthright and honest. People feel deceived when they sense a thing is hidden or when it is confirmed it was. I want to be able to write freely without feeling as if a portion, a defining portion, of my life must be concealed for no reason other than privacy. I want to be able to write about faith and life in all the ways I have before without tap dancing around the land mines of marriage and love and pain. So I write this to diffuse the explosives, or maybe explode them in a controlled environment.[/blockqote]

    He says he wants to be forthright but his post is anything but. He is tap dancing around something even as he says he isn’t. I read his post and I still don’t know what he’s getting at, other than he’s sad that he was divorced. Maybe he’s just in a depression and cannot think straight but if that’s the case he needs to stop writing blog posts for the whole world to see.

  70. It’s rather curious. He marketed his “divorce blog post” almost as much as his forthcoming book, out in March — the release date he announced on Twitter two days before his “I’m the victim of divorce” post.

  71. Please put Lesley in touch with me. Is she the daughter in law who had a stillborn a few years back?

    Anyway. I am so angry!

  72. Cody wrote:

    all we know from what his son posted is that Lesley Piper was the one to finally call it quits on their marriage. There is nothing in his post that indicates he is an abuser. Barbara Roberts’s tweets are premature, at best. Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime), one party to a simply incompatible relationship, a mixture of all of the above, or none of the above. Until we have actual knowledge of their marital history, let’s not besmirch his character just because his father’s views are so abhorrent.

    Thank you Cody. I apologise to all for taking a while to read this thread. Time difference in Australia and my tiredness are the reasons.

    I’ve reviewed and considered all eight of my tweets on this. In this post here, Dee gave screen shots of those eight tweets, in the order I tweeted them.

    I now believe I was too quick in making my first four tweets. I wrote those first four tweets before reading Barnabas’s post.

    I don’t think I retract my first tweet. It is helpful education for anyone who wants to learn about the dynamics of domestic abuse. It’s an educational statement about what truly goes on in domestic abuse, and it’s not saying or implying anything about Barnabas Piper other than the fact that I’m commenting on a thread about Barnabas’s post.

    I regret my second, third and fourth tweets. I ought not have written them. I ought to have read Barnabas’s post first, and if I had I wouldn’t have used the words I used in those tweets.

    My second tweet — “If he’s in shock because his wife just left on him, he’s probably an abuser” is true for abusers, but please read on to see what I think about the wording in Barnabas’s post.

    The third tweet, where I said, “If a man says ‘She left me out of the blue’ there’s a chance he’d ignored her expressed grievances fr years” might easily give the impression that Barnabas said “She left me out of the blue.” Barnabas did NOT say that and I was wrong to give the impression that he said it.

    The forth tweet, where I said, “I had no idea the marriage was on the rocks — probably means he’s playing the pity card to gain sympathy” was unwise. I meant it as general education about tactics used by abusers, but not as a statement necessarily true for Barnabas Piper. Yet now I realise how easily it could be interpreted to mean I was pointing the finger at Barnabas.

    And when, after tweeting those first four tweets, I read Barnabas’s post, I realised that he said two things which kind of counterbalanced each other and raised doubt in my mind about him fitting the typical profileI know for domestic abusers. Those two things he said were:

    “When she told me she was finished it was like a knock at the door from the police chaplain – utter shock, not real, numbness, anger, fear.”
    “It [the marriage] had been dying for a long time despite every effort to resuscitate and recuperate it. It just did not want to live any longer because, unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two.”

    So, unlike domestic abusers, Barnabas said he had been aware for a long time that the marriage was in trouble.

    Now, here is what I have observed. After an abuse victim has declared the marriage OVER, domestic abusers typically speak to others about their marriage in one of three ways: either they deny that the marriage has had ANY serious history of trouble; or they spin a story of how the marriage had been difficult because their wife is crazy, shifting most/all of the blame off themselves and onto their victim; or they admit a bit of trouble in the marriage but very much downplay it, minimise it, and say ‘we got over that’.

    Barnabas Piper’s statement that “It had been dying for a long time despite every effort to resuscitate and recuperate it. It just did not want to live any longer because, unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two,” does not fit either of those three typical ways abusers speak about their marriage after it has broken down.

    So while I stick to my belief that if a man says he’s in shock because his wife just left on him, he’s probably an abuser, and if a man says “She left me out of the blue” there’s a chance he’d ignored his wife’s expressed grievances for years, I do not think that Barnabas Piper’s words exactly fit that model.

    I jumped in and commented on Dee’s tweet because of my zeal to offer general education about the characteristics we often see in domestic abusers. But I ought to have read Barnabas’s post before writing my first four tweets.

    Whether it was Barnabas Piper or his ex wife who was responsible for destroying the marriage covenant, I am not able to say. And there are cases (not ones involving abuse) where both parties contributed to destroying the covenant.

    I do not resile from my last four tweets, but readers please take them as general education about the domestic abuse, not as comments on Barnabas Piper.

    My knowledge and experience in the field of domestic abuse is that, in cases of domestic abuse, the covenant is destroyed by the abuser and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the victim of the abuse is not to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. And in saying this, it’s important to define what I mean by domestic abuse. Here is the definition we use at A Cry For Justice:

    THE DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
    A pattern of coercive control (ongoing actions or inactions) that proceeds from a mentality of entitlement to power, whereby, through intimidation, manipulation and isolation, the abuser keeps his* target subordinated and under his control. This pattern can be emotional, verbal, psychological, spiritual, sexual, financial, social and physical. Not all these elements need be present, e.g., physical abuse may not be part of it.

    THE DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC ABUSER:
    A family member or dating partner (current or ex) who has a profound mentality of entitlement to the possession of power and control over the one s/he* chooses to mistreat. This mentality of entitlement defines the very essence of the abuser. The abuser believes he is justified in using evil tactics to obtain and maintain that power and control.

    * Sometimes the genders are reversed.

  73. Deb wrote:

    Mrs. John Piper must share the responsibility for modeling a complementarian (patriarchal) marriage.

    Absolutely!

  74. Deb wrote:

    Didn’t someone also say on Twitter that writing about this news would hurt our ‘ministry’?

    Umm, Barnabas Piper wrote about it on Twitter for the world to see . . . so now everyone is supposed to shut up and just believe him!?!

  75. There is not a lot of information in Barnabas’ post, so clearly getting information out and clarifying any misinformation was not the purpose. To me it sounds like someone showed up at his door, totally out of the blue, with a signed Final Order from the judge and I just don’t think that is how it happens In Real Life, especially with kids. That is true regardless of who did what or didn’t do what.

    Generally, if you don’t want people to talk about you or speculate about your private life, then don’t write vague and confusing posts about your private life on social media which is all about discussing things with lots of strangers. I’m old and even I know that. Presumably Barnabas wants everyone to read what he writes. And now some are saying Wartburgers are naughty for gossiping about what he wrote about himself on social media. I do not get the rules.

  76. “God ends the one-flesh relationship of marriage only through the death of one of the spouses.” JP

    Does the death of the marriage count too, especially if the dude is a professional Christian?

    I used to disagree with complementarianism. Now I’m starting to really despise it.

  77. Bridget wrote:

    Umm, Barnabas Piper wrote about it on Twitter for the world to see . . . so now everyone is supposed to shut up and just believe him!?!

    Beat me to it.

  78. Dee in update: “but there is no question that Piper blames his wife and we are supposed to accept that as the truth.”

    Exactly. There is big trouble in Comp paradise. Comp marriages are not happy, nourishing, and fulfilling for women. But we aren’t supposed to talk about, or even see that elephant in the room. When this unsustainable power differential finally breaks thing all to heck, the warped doctrine is to be protected at all cost and the woman is to be thrown under the bus. Period.

  79. Victorious wrote:

    Cody wrote:
    Barnabas may be a monster, an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime)
    This always amazes me when a man claims he/they are “emotionally clueless.” Being an avid sports fan myself, I’ve seen ooodles of emotion exhibited by men to other men and that includes hugs, pats on the rear end, leaps into teammates arms, anger and even tears at a disappointing, unexpected loss.
    Men cannot claim “cluelessness” when it comes to emotions….just their choice as to where to show and share them.

    Yes, the term ’emotionally clueless man’ is more than a bit slippery. It can be used to excuse men from many sorts of bad behaviour. It can be an evasive euphemism.

  80. Cody wrote:

    an emotionally clueless male (common to my gender, but not a crime),

    No one would suggest that being emotionally clueless is a crime. For one thing, there are many people on the autism spectrum who have some degree of inability to recognise emotions.

    So I’m wondering, Cody, why you used the phrase ‘not a crime’ there. It strikes me as a bit of unwarranted hyperbole.

    Also, keeping this discussion away from Barnabas Piper and just thinking about a man who is not on the Autism Spectrum but who is what you call ’emotionally clueless’…. if such a man is married, isn’t he responsible to grow out of his emotional cluelessness? To be a good husband, surely he needs to face and overcome that flaw of his to the best of his ability? It is not a crime for the man to have that flaw, but it surely cause much anguish for the wife in the marriage if that husband resists all her attempts to wake him up to his cluelessness and educate him about how to become more emotionally intelligent.

  81. ZechZav wrote:

    there is an idolatry of marriage in the type of churches which follow John Piper’s teaching. Remember when Jesus told the Pharisees “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. Substitute the word “Sabbath” with “marriage” and you can imagine the Lord having a similar conversation with modern religious leaders. They worship the institution and neglect the people that it was intended to benefit. That is why they consign battered wives to abuse, divorcees to stay unmarried and tell unmarried people to consign themselves to being sexually frozen until they get a certificate.

    I second that.

  82. Daisy wrote:

    I just implore anyone posting here about this issue, please try not to make it sound like a person staying single until they die (whether they are never married or don’t remarry after a divorce) are living sub-standard, horrible lives not worth living.
    Yes, life can be lonely when you’d like to be married (or remarried), but you’re not going to die without a spouse.
    It’s not like you or your life have no meaning just because you don’t have a spouse (or cannot get another, if previously married).

    Thanks for chiming in with that, Daisy. I am very very happy leading the single life now (after two divorces). For more than a decade after my first divorce I longed to find a good husband; for me, then, the single life was hard. But now, it’a not hard at all, and has many blessings.

  83. Deb wrote:

    Didn’t someone also say on Twitter that writing about this news would hurt our ‘ministry’?
    At least they acknowledged that we do have a ministry.

    Ah yes! At least they acknowledged that!

  84. Loren Haas wrote:

    making generalizations about being surprised by the end of a marriage as an indicator of abuse or inattentiveness is going too far.

    Point taken, Loren. To clarify: I think that just on its own, a man being surprised by the end of a marriage is not enough to show him up as abusive or inattentive. If a man is surprised by the end of the marriage AND there are other indicators as well, I would be very confident he has been abusive to his wife.
    And I’ve not got as many case studies to go on, but the same may perhaps be true if the genders are reversed.

    Accordingly, I may add a qualifier to one of my posts at A Cry For Justice. Thank you 🙂

  85. Barnabas has a similar descriptive writing style to his dad’s.

    I’m sorry he’s in so much pain. I’m sure a lot died along with his marriage. Maybe this will be the opening of a door for him to see things in a new way. Formulas and roles are not much of an alternative to happiness and freedom. There are many ways to live out the faith.

    “The marriage” is central in his thoughts. He believes in marriage; the marriage is dead. He doesn’t say anything killed his marriage – “it just did not want to live any longer.”

    He refers to his wife only briefly and only as “she” which is very distancing and devaluing. He describes his pain in the loss of his marriage rather than the loss of his wife, the person.

    About his marriage, he says, “It had been dying for a long time despite every effort to resuscitate and recuperate it.” He doesn’t say who gave it every effort, just that every effort “was given.”

    There are no words of anything worthwhile that will be remembered or cherished, no words acknowledging the pain his wife may have gone through, or be in, or hopes that she, as well as he, will be okay.

    He describes the end of his marriage as “the final breath of one dying from a wasting disease.” I think they should find a place to include that description in the CBMW statement about the beauty of comp marriage. I’ll bet a whole lot of people experience it that way.

  86. Mara wrote:

    Barnabas Piper: “unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two.”
    It’s been so long since I’ve study anatomy that I have forgotten.
    ————-
    Can someone help me out? Are kidneys egalitarian or complementarian?

    Don’t people sometimes donate one kidney (almost every one comes with two?) – so one can in fact live on one alone? Or am I confusing the kidneys with some other body part?

  87. Daisy wrote:

    – so one can in fact live on one alone?

    No. They can. I was just being silly.
    You know, asking dumb questions like, is one kidney supposed to lovingly lead while the other joyfully submits?

  88. dee wrote:

    Update:
    I am getting a lot of pushback on this blog post including some folks that I respect. No one can tell me what is wrong specifically only that the truth is not what is being speculated. I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.
    If I can get some specific information information, I will post it. Frankly, I am quite confused at this time.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t the premise (or main one) of your post that complementarians (such as Piper) tout complementarianism as being best for marriages, they forbid divorce, they forbid remarriage after a divorce, but here the son of a famous complementarian got a divorce… which lays out all sorts of ramifications for the complementarian position.

    Maybe people are upset about the parts implying there was possibly abuse going on?

    But as to the rest of it, I don’t see much objectionable. I think it’s fair to point out that comp marriages are no more divorce-proof and happy than other marriages.

  89. ZechZav wrote:

    Sadly there is an idolatry of marriage in the type of churches which follow John Piper’s teaching. Remember when Jesus told the Pharisees “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. Substitute the word “Sabbath” with “marriage” and you can imagine the Lord having a similar conversation with modern religious leaders.

    This is an excellent analogy and one I’m going to remember and use.

  90. Dee correctly noted that Barnabas is a young man and if he abides by his father’s doctrine that it’s a sin to remarry after divorce unless your ex has died, he will have to live a long life as a single man.

    Perhaps the most important question Dee raised in this post is this: “Will Piper change his views on divorce and remarriage since it is now up close and personal?”

    I sincerely hope John Piper changes his view on divorce and remarriage. And I hope he publicly apologises for the harm his views have caused to countless victims of covenant-breaking spouses.

  91. I’m not Cody, but I would suspect it was because it seemed Barnabas was being “indicted.”

    Barbara Roberts wrote:

    So I’m wondering, Cody, why you used the phrase ‘not a crime’ there. It strikes me as a bit of unwarranted hyperbole.

  92. I keep thinking about Psalm 26:2, “reins” meaning kidneys which were supposedly the seat of affections. lol

    Mara wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    – so one can in fact live on one alone?

    No. They can. I was just being silly.
    You know, asking dumb questions like, is one kidney supposed to lovingly lead while the other joyfully submits?

  93. Siteseer:

    A very good point. Not only is BP’s article cryptic, it’s very detached even as oozes with emotionally loaded language. “The marriage” died; not “my wife left me.”

    I have often found John Piper’s emotion to be forced, unreal. Now I’m seeing that he tries to rationalize and be very abstract about emotional things. Then, sensing that it’s a topic he should be emotional about, he tries to force emotions back into it.

    I am a nerd and I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. It’s far better to experience the emotions raw than distance yourself and then try to experience substitute emotions.

    I don’t think a person who does this is necessarily an abuser although it’s certainly unhealthy and it’d be hard to have a relationship with someone who did it all the time.

  94. brian wrote:

    What exactly do some of these pastors/leaders do? I mean they seem not to have any oversight, they run their own book/video/conference franchise where much of the startup capital is tax-free. Don’t get me wrong I support tax exempt faith-based groups. But I look and listen to what these men, most of the ones I am questioning are men, what do they really do? I mean they make bank some make 250-500K and some others bring home 1 mill or more. There is also the pastor tax break and the parsonage tax break etc.

    I hope you don’t mind, I really feel free to share here and it does help so much. I hope it was not too far off topic.

    You are right, Brian. I wonder if once you are a public Christian persona who writes books and has important opinions on everything if life can become a prison. If you make a living telling other people how to live life, how marriage is supposed to work, it leaves you in a pretty vulnerable position. If it doesn’t really work that way in private, you can either live a lie or you can come clean and lose it all, and there is always the threat that someone else will expose you.

  95. dee wrote:

    I am getting a lot of pushback on this blog post including some folks that I respect. No one can tell me what is wrong specifically only that the truth is not what is being speculated. I have asked for more info but all I am told is that it is not what I think, whatever that is.

    If I can get some specific information information, I will post it. Frankly, I am quite confused at this time.

    Admittedly, I haven’t read all the comments yet but I haven’t seen much speculation. The man wrote about it himself and posted it online, surely he was bringing it out in the open and inviting conversation. And in his own words, “Questions are the currency of curiosity. Spend liberally.” So, we have questions and observations on what he’s written. That’s the downside of being a public persona.

    I’m constantly struck with the amount of silencing that goes on inside the church world. Being outside of it for awhile now, I’m amazed I put up with it so long.

  96. @ Barbara Roberts:
    Loren, I’ve modified the wording on our FAQ page https://cryingoutforjustice.com/as-a-pastor-what-are-the-most-important-things-for-me-to-know-about-domestic-abuse/

    The section I modified now reads as follows:

    Male victims?

    Yes, we know that men are sometimes victims of domestic abuse. But unfortunately for the genuine male victims, many male abusers portray themselves as victims. Some of the links below will give you tips for sorting out genuine victims from those who are faking victimhood.

    If a man says he’s in shock because his wife just left him, it is possible he is an abuser. Just on its own, the statement “I’m in shock because my wife just said the marriage is over” is not enough to indicate him being an abuser, but in conjunction with other indicators, it certainly suggests that the man is an abuser.

    If a man says, “I’m in shock because my wife just said the marriage is finished,” the other possibility is that the wife had been committing adultery and been very careful concealing it from him. But if the wife has been cheating, clear evidence or admission of that will probably come out after the separation.

    And bear in mind that in some cases of adultery, the non-adulterous spouse may in fact have been an abuser, and the adulterous spouse (the abuse victim) has responded sinfully by having an affair. In that scenario, the adulterous spouse, if truly a believer, will eventually confess the adultery as a sin. And it was not primarily the adultery that caused the marriage breakdown, it was the abuse.

    An abused wife will have been asking her husband to stop mistreating her for a very long time…. to no avail. If a deserted husband claims he had no idea the marriage was on the rocks, he may be lying and trying to gain your sympathy by playing the pity card.

  97. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet.

    Regardless of what unknown revelations may yet come, I’ll stick with Fundystan on this one. Piper junior brought this on when he should have just stayed quiet.

  98. @ Barbara Roberts:

    Thanks Barbara. I have seen your site and it is very informative and helpful. There is another book I think you may find really helpful by Darwin Chandler called the Royal Law of Liberty. He touches on the issue of divorce and abuse but the focus is on legalism. Instead of dealing with the specific texts on divorce (David Instone-Brewer does a really good job in that regard), he delivers a death blow to the legalism and literalism behind it. He doesn’t call out Piper by name but he attacks his doctrine on divorce. He also touches on the sexual frustrations of unmarried people and how the church has abused them also with cruel, unbiblical dogmas. Both stem from this idolatry of marriage and he lays the ax to the root of the tree. This quote says it all:

    “If we loved and cared for the welfare of others as Jesus did, we would not lay so many horribly hurtful requirements on people struggling in impossible marriages. No doubt God “hates divorce,” (Mal. 2:16). God hates the rending and tearing, the anger and suffering, the confusion and anguish that are inevitably part of divorce. Divorce hurts people. God hates what hurts people. But sometimes people are hurt by marriages gone awry. Remaining in such marriages creates ever-increasing hurt. And God hates that also. God hates divorce, but he loves people. And the need of people demands that sometimes they must divorce in order to survive. Jesus teaches us that mercy for an animal allows us to break the Sabbath law in order to save it. Are we so stupid that we cannot allow a breach of God’s “divorce law” even to “save” a woman from an abusive husband? Jesus broke the Sabbath law in order to heal a crippled man. Therefore it is right to break divorce law if necessary to heal one crippled by a bad spouse. (Darwin Chandler. The Royal Law of Liberty: Living in Freedom Under Christ’s Law of Love (Kindle Locations 5701-5707). Kindle Edition.)

  99. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    if such a man is married, isn’t he responsible to grow out of his emotional cluelessness?

    Yes..and also, I completely disagree with Cody’s assertion that emotional cluelessness is common among men (or even males). Not sure what circles he’s running in, but this is not normal, healthy, or extensible to the majority of men.

  100. John Piper’s gravest error of theology is his notion of “Christian hedonism.” He promotes desire above love. This is a relationship killer, both in our marriage to our bride, Jesus, and in our human marriages, which are a symbol of the first.

    There is an acronym “WIIFM” that describes hedonism in its basic form. When my felt needs aren’t being met, something must be wrong with you. Hedonism is inwardly focused, making a real relationship very difficult. Because when desire is not fulfilled, the relationship starts to die.

  101. Combine a hedonistic outlook with a dominant-submissive paradigm and it is not surprising that a wife would wither on the vine.

  102. Loren Haas wrote:

    My point is that making generalizations about being surprised by the end of a marriage as an indicator of abuse or inattentiveness is going too far.

    I am divorced. When I found out the circumstances that led to the divorce I was not only surprised but also frightened to the core at the idea that there might be more to it than I knew. Alas, there was more to it than I knew. It was a living horror.

    And sure enough when I divorced there were some ‘Barbaras’ who used the opportunity to try to malign me, apparently for their own purposes whatever that may have been. Perhaps I had sent them a bill for medical services and they resented that-I got quite a bit of that. As it turned out their accusations and innuendos were wrong in everything that they said. They were no more privy to what had been going on than I had been. But-but-but there will surely be those in that small town who to their dying breath will believe some of the things that were speculated against me at the time.

    So, I learned not only what my husband had been doing, but also learned that there were those who apparently despised me and came out of the woodwork when the opportunity presented itself.

    And then I had to come to grips with Jesus’ own words that if I did not forgive those who trespass against me neither would I be forgiven. It has been the hardest thing I ever had to do in life-forgive the Barbaras and their chorus who hummed in the background, or at least those were my nightmares. And every day I had to go to work and face down my entire world. That was even harder than forgiving my former husband. Why? Because it was easy to see what he had to gain by betrayal, but the Barbaras appear to have had little to gain from their behavior. I had done them no harm. They despised me without a cause.

    That is my story. It is true. Not every story is the same. I cry for those who divorce. I cry for those who for whatever reason have their private pain thrown out for all to see, even and perhaps especially when they do it to themselves. I struggle with the issue of forgiveness, and I always pray for divine forgiveness for the fact that I forgive so poorly.

  103. The red flag here to me is the passive-aggressive way his posting serves up information. Classless, Clueless and Graceless. A loving husband would seek to cover for his wife’s flaws–as a loving wife would seek to cover her husband’s flaws. The willingness on BP’s part to expose his wife to speculative thinking is selfish at best–quite cruel at worst.

    Someday, I would hope to hear a Christian celebrity just say something, in a case like this, that sacrifices their personal position and reputation rather than exposing their spouse to unwarranted innuendo.

  104. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    The red flag here to me is the passive-aggressive way his posting serves up information. Classless, Clueless and Graceless. A loving husband would seek to cover for his wife’s flaws–as a loving wife would seek to cover her husband’s flaws. The willingness on BP’s part to expose his wife to speculative thinking is selfish at best–quite cruel at worst.

    Someday, I would hope to hear a Christian celebrity just say something, in a case like this, that sacrifices their personal position and reputation rather than exposing their spouse to unwarranted innuendo.

    IMO, it is pure evil what he is doing to his former wife and the mother of his 2 children.

  105. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    @ Barbara Roberts:

    The problem is that you pose something that is essentially un-falsifiable, every divorce becomes grounds for suspecting abuse.

  106. I guess my question is if Barnabas is under any church discipline for not being the spiritual leader of his marriage? Will the divorce affect his job at LifeWay? Was there any attempt to put Lesley put under church discipline as they do (and did) at Bethlehem, Pipers former church?

  107. Chris S wrote:

    The problem is that you pose something that is essentially un-falsifiable, every divorce becomes grounds for suspecting abuse.

    And another problem is that ‘abuse’ is subjectively defined. The allegation of ‘abuse’ into somebody else’s marriage can mean anything or nothing, but it surely means that the outside accuser thinks that the other people did not do what he/she thinks they should have done, whatever that may be.

    I divorced my husband. I did not abuse him nor did he abuse me. The idea that everything is about abuse is, in itself and IMO, abusive. Any idea that there are only two kinds of persons in every divorce, and one of them is a victim is also derogatory and abusive. Thank God, the accusations of some abuser/victim dynamic in every divorce had not become so popular when we divorced or else somebody might have thrown that at me also.

  108. …It just did not want to live any longer because, unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two.

    Oooh, I missed this one the first time I read this. My impression was mostly that it was a big, useless ramble. But that does sound like he’s blaming his wife.

    I haven’t read the other comments yet but I had the thought that there have been several recent celebrity pastor occasions where the husband ran out there to get his story on record, and as far as I see those were infidelity not abuse (although we don’t know). This isn’t much of a story, detail wise, so I don’t know that I would say it’s lying in the same way those were but it definitely is meant to be pr for his side. That just seems like a mean spirited thing to do to a wife you supposedly loved. No wonder those marriages didn’t work.

    I didn’t actually see this article saying it came out of the blue, though. Maybe I missed it, but it sounds like he realized the marriage was going downhill he just thought she’d stick it out regardless?

  109. Victorious wrote:

    I just found his sorrow directed more toward the “institution” of marriage rather than losing his wife and children and missing them as an intricate part of his life.

    It was very dispersonalized! It’s almost like writing in passive voice, when you do this.

    He may not want to talk about it, but why write such a rambling post in the first place? Just say I am divorced and sad about it. Done.

  110. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Frankly I find it disgusting that he would air his laundry this way. I don’t care what the story is – the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet.

    Yes. The wives in the other pr pastor cases (tullian, pete) have exhibited class in their public behaviors. Their husbands have been running around doing PR work for their ‘ministry’ and self. I see this in the same vein.

  111. Why does Barnabas not work through his thoughts in a private diary? This would allow the same reflection without making a public display that places his ex-wife and family in an awkward situation at best.

    His tattoo is more private than his blog.

    {Last comment on this issue.}

  112. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Frankly I find it disgusting that he would air his laundry this way. I don’t care what the story is – the honorable and manly thing to do would be to keep quiet.

    Yes. And the honorable thing for his wife to do is to keep quiet. She does not owe anybody an explanation. And the honorable thing for both of them to do is to leave the children out of it.

    The appropriate thing to say in a divorce situation is ‘I am so sorry’. Period.

  113. @ Lea:
    It really bothers me that Barnabas Piper brought up body parts in this manner. A marriage is A LOT more complicated than the function of a kidney or a lung or an eye or an arm or a leg. If he doesn’t understand that, well…

  114. Lydia wrote:

    The publishers of Barnabas Pipers new book. A division of LifeWay, where he works.

    What do you reckon a “Content Strategist” does as LifeWay these days? As the son of a principal architect of New Calvinism and a YRR himself, would the strategy be to ensure that LifeWay publications are sprinkled with reformed content?

  115. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    silence is a virtue and the mark of a wise man, so not surprised that it would be lacking in these quarters

    Arrogance always seeks a voice. Pride always comes before a fall. New Calvinists sooner or later talk themselves into a hole.

  116. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    The willingness on BP’s part to expose his wife to speculative thinking is selfish at best–quite cruel at worst.

    This is common in the Comp and/or Neo-cal world. Driscoll threw Grace under the bus regularly for the sake of his own ego and empire. Entire sections of his “Real Marriage” book was devoted to that.

    So, yes, their words about lovingly nourish so a wife can flourish are dry, empty winds. And as has been noted before, it appears that they are starting to reap the whirlwind.

    I take no delight in watching them squirm. But they are squirming as evidenced by BP’s post.

  117. Mara wrote:

    R2 wrote:

    Now I’m seeing that he tries to rationalize and be very abstract about emotional things. Then, sensing that it’s a topic he should be emotional about, he tries to force emotions back into it.

    I’ve been known to refer to it as Christian Vulcanism:
    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2012/03/piper-guilty-of-christian-vulcanism.html

    Yeah, I think a lot of these guys have significant unresolved trauma in their past. Not saying this is true of BP. Boys don’t cry, so many will retreat into their minds. If they weren’t church boys they might fight or do drugs, but they are “good” and don’t do those things. When they encounter situations such as a divorce and they’re expected to show emotion they don’t know how. It comes across distant or forced.

  118. drstevej wrote:

    Why does Barnabas not work through his thoughts in a private diary? This would allow the same reflection without making a public display that places his ex-wife and family in an awkward situation at best.
    His tattoo is more private than his blog.
    {Last comment on this issue.}

    Because his entire career and income are on the line. He is trying to get himself in front of it –cast as the victim. He might be but, but, but his views on patriarchy and his career in the comp world are a problem in that respect. He comes off to me as just another entitled young ministry guru we should feel sorry for.

    Before he recieved the LifeWay gig, I went by his old blog several times. He might have been working for DG then, not sure. I do know that he was involved with a legalistic Presbyterian denomination at the time. It was evident he was trying to build his ministerial brand as a writer. He wrote about his great marriage (married young), why presbyterians get it right, and even a piece on why infant baptism is biblical. Before you think I am discriminating, imagine my surprise when LifeWay hired him. A tenant of the SBC has always been believers baptism. Somehow he managed to find a baptist church to attend when working for LifeWay. Evidently they were not so bad when paying him a six figutre income for “content”.

    What is the deal? These guys are all over place. It’s as if they subscribe to a sort of biblical situational ethic they make up as they go. We will see if this applies to remarriage.

    Barnabas can do or say whatever he wants. The part I don’t get is why he expects people to pay him for it as his source of income.

  119. Lea wrote:

    …It just did not want to live any longer because, unlike kidneys, one cannot make up for the loss of the other and do the work of two.

    What bothers me about this statement by Barnabas Piper is that it is exactly the opposite of what his father, John Piper, implies when he says women should endure abuse, being hit. John Piper, and many other men, believe abuse, and unhappiness because of poor relationship, is not a reason for divorce (see Maria’s story as well).

    Barnabas Piper can’t keep doing the work for two (as many women and some men have been told they must do) and is divorcing. But that is not acceptable for other Christians?!?

  120. Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    The publishers of Barnabas Pipers new book. A division of LifeWay, where he works.
    What do you reckon a “Content Strategist” does as LifeWay these days? As the son of a principal architect of New Calvinism and a YRR himself, would the strategy be to ensure that LifeWay publications are sprinkled with reformed content?

    Honestly, I think it was a favor for daddy.

  121. Well, for anybody who has gone through this and people just keep bringing it up, or wanting to know your business, or trying to assign blame, or try to get you to castigate your former spouse or wonder if you really ought to be a member of the church…

    For anybody who has run upon it that some people do not forgive (somebody else’s) divorce and actually seem angry with God for how well your children turned out; after all should there not have been divine reprisals against the kids…

    For anybody who has personal experiences and opinions that do not jibe with where the opinion pendulum happens to be about this at the current time on this issue of divorce and blame…

    The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. It is one of the benefits of being socially ‘liberal’; you are not required to throw anybody under any bus.

    This commercial brought to you by someone who considers themselves ‘battle hardened’ on this issue.

  122. Uncle Dad wrote:

    By saying the marriage died, it looks like he’s giving himself an out.

    He had nothing to do with it. Sgt. Schultz “I know nothing!”

  123. Dale wrote:

    John Piper’s gravest error of theology is his notion of “Christian hedonism.”

    Christian Hedonism is a philosophy, not Biblical theology … it does not belong in the Body of Christ! Consider Piper’s hedonistic addition to John 3:3:

    “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

    When I think of the Pied Piper and his tremendous influence on shaping the aberrant faith of Generation Xers and Milleneals, the following Scripture comes to mind:

    “Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!” (Colossians 2:8 Phillips)

    Is it surprising that two sons exposed to this stuff in the Piper household are so messed up?!

  124. Max wrote:

    What do you reckon a “Content Strategist” does as LifeWay these days? As the son of a principal architect of New Calvinism and a YRR himself, would the strategy be to ensure that LifeWay publications are sprinkled with reformed content?

    Content strategists are the propaganda makers, especially on websites and in social media outlets. They write stuff to get publicity for brands.

    He’s a Lifeway blogger, in other words.

  125. I am out of here and off to save the world. Actually, I maintain enough medical supplies to manage a certain level of trauma for when ‘it’ hits the fan, and when at the same time medical supply lines shut down, as I think may well happen. I/we are off to replenish supplies based on a rather elaborate plan I keep in place.

    Some old ladies crochet (tried it); some old ladies work puzzles (that too); some of us do stuff like this.

  126. Max wrote:

    “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

    Nothing like adding to God’s Word to pervert it.

    Jeremiah 8:8 How can you say, “We are wise and the law of the Lord is within us”? But behold, the Lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.

  127. JYJames wrote:

    The doorbell in the Master’s study on the 3rd floor of their home for ringing her for tea.

    The Pied Piper is probably ringing the heck out of that bell this morning after reading his son’s Twitter post and the attention it has received in the blogosphere! He may be ringing his dear wife for something other than tea to drink!

    As someone else noted, it would have been more noble and manly for Barnabas to remain quiet about his marital situation. He has just made the divorce a much sadder, and more public, event for his wife and children. The Church really shouldn’t allow such emotional (and spiritual) immaturity in a leadership role.

  128. Bridget wrote:

    What bothers me about this statement by Barnabas Piper is that it is exactly the opposite of what his father, John Piper, implies when he says women should endure abuse, being hit. John Piper, and many other men, believe abuse, and unhappiness because of poor relationship, is not a reason for divorce (see Maria’s story as well).
    Barnabas Piper can’t keep doing the work for two (as many women and some men have been told they must do) and is divorcing. But that is not acceptable for other Christians?!?

    It’s true, but it’s also likely true that they believe any problem in marriage is the woman’s fault. Men of their “elite status” can do no wrong.

    Now, I don’t know how John Piper is going to handle this. Time will tell. He is someone who excommunicated his other son. But, generally in the Calvinista world, men who are in the in-circle get passes on these sorts of things.

    Barnabas’ article sounded to me like he was in love with the idea of marriage, not his wife. I’m sure his wife probably knew that. I saw the same kinda thing with almost everyone I knew at Liberty, and those friends who believed wedding vows would turn their lives into fairy tales are all now divorced.

    John Piper wants hedonism in everything, including marriage, as do many other Calvinistas. But hedonism doesn’t work long when two or more people are involved, because you can’t fulfill everyone’s selfish desires. Only love fulfills.

    I do agree that this was mostly a propaganda piece designed to make everyone pity Barnabas so he can keep his job.

  129. ishy wrote:

    Content strategists are the propaganda makers, especially on websites and in social media outlets. They write stuff to get publicity for brands.

    He’s a Lifeway blogger, in other words.

    Aha! Then that explains his other LifeWay job title “Brand Manager.” If these New Calvinists want us old Southern Baptists to stop coming up with conspiracy theories about an SBC takeover, they need to stop giving us so much evidence!

  130. Max wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    John Piper’s gravest error of theology is his notion of “Christian hedonism.”
    Christian Hedonism is a philosophy, not Biblical theology … it does not belong in the Body of Christ! Consider Piper’s hedonistic addition to John 3:3:
    “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

    In an interview, Barnabas Piper discusses his difficulty in relating to his dad’s view of God:

    “What made it difficult for me was the intensity with which my dad connected to God and how he pursued Him. My dad is the most single-minded, driven, disciplined man I have ever known. That kind of intensity and focus can have the effect of distancing someone from those who are more, well, normal.

    It’s not because he is distant in a lackadaisical or unaware way but because he is on a different plane of focus, fire, and faith. I don’t know how to get there and he isn’t really able to come to where I live either.”

    It appears that he is not as complementarian as his Dad. From another interview:

    “My dad and Wayne Grudem wrote a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and it’s sort of the go-to complementation text for roles of men and women. I hold that issue much more loosely than he does in terms of the overall significance of it in the life of the church and the health of a marriage.”

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-pastors-kid-barnabas-piper-on-attending-church-with-a-female-pastor-parenting-and-totaling-a-car-qa-part-2-122921/#A76SSEODHiR1WxP0.99

  131. Some of my thoughts after reading what Barnabas wrote– The first thing that strikes me is how disappointing and painful it was to him for his marriage to end. Secondly, I noticed how impersonal it all sounds. To me, that seems to be an indication that he would rather not talk about the details, but that because he operates in a world (church consulting or whatever) that frowns on divorce, he feels obligated to at least offer an explanation.
    I don’t get the sense that he is throwing his ex-wife under the bus. He does indicate that she was the one who asked for the divorce, but I don’t see him casting specific blame at his wife except for the cryptic kidney reference which indicates that he wishes the marriage could have continued even if it was one-sided. I don’t think he is responsible for the speculation that people are doing; that’s on the people speculating. If he withholds facts, just say we don’t know.
    I think about the pattern of marriage he must have seen at home, and how that affected his expectations.
    It must be a very painful time for everyone personally involved.

  132. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    yes, disgusting.

    what stands out in bold relief is that in his world,

    *Complementarianism puts all the responsibility for the relationship ultimately on the husband

    *the husband loses credibility when a divorce happens

    *the church associated with his dad and his own last name shuns people who divorce, destroying what remains of the social fabric of their life

    He has every reason to fear for his reputation, significance (inherited, not hard-won), and career. He has a book with his name on it, the sales of which are in jeopardy.

    His effort to ‘control the narrative’ of his divorce is loaded and dripping with self-interest.

    Even bringing his dad and their positive relationship into the montage of it. To me, it’s sort of saying, “See? My dad & I are tight. Therefore, your guru approves of me, right folks? I expect you to give me the same approval, keep the career opportunities coming, and buy my book.”

  133. Lydia wrote:

    I guess my question is if Barnabas is under any church discipline for not being the spiritual leader of his marriage? Will the divorce affect his job at LifeWay? Was there any attempt to put Lesley put under church discipline as they do (and did) at Bethlehem, Pipers former church?

    These are important questions for those of us who have observed that painful rigidity of John Piper and those who follow him.

  134. Dale wrote:

    . I hold that issue much more loosely than he does in terms of the overall significance of it in the life of the church and the health of a marriage.”

    ~BP on Compism and RBMW.

    Oh boy. I could see some of the hardliners thinking, “And this, my boy, is the reason your marriage failed. If you had been a true believer this divorce would have never happened.”

  135. Max wrote:

    As someone else noted, it would have been more noble and manly for Barnabas to remain quiet about his marital situation. He has just made the divorce a much sadder, and more public, event for his wife and children. The Church really shouldn’t allow such emotional (and spiritual) immaturity in a leadership role.

    Don’t you think, though, that given his father’s position and unbending opinions, it was going to become a public discussion either way?

  136. Bridget wrote:

    Barnabas Piper can’t keep doing the work for two (as many women and some men have been told they must do) and is divorcing. But that is not acceptable for other Christians?!?

    Barnabas has been given the gift of having to face that the rule of law does not produce the results promised. What he does with this gift remains to be seen. But the way I see it, he’s further along on the way of Truth than those who have been able to hold together the public persona.

  137. @ elastigirl:

    i get the feeling that he realizes the risk of public perception that he is being given special treatment in these circumstances.

    it’s like he is grooming everything so that he does in fact get special treatment, but he is also wary of it — and is making an effort to nudge the direction of the collective consciousness on the topic of divorce.

    if he can somehow reinvent how his audience views divorce, then the topic becomes rethinking divorce — & his name (the name Piper) sort of fades from the fore. special treatment or no special treatment cease to be the focus.

    whatever he’s up to in the social media montage he’s creating, he has highly engineered it.

    he comes off to me as a self-centered schmuck. (but this is old news)

  138. I don’t know Barnabas from Adam. His post may or may not be sincerely written or it may be damage control given what he does for a living. It does highlight the hypocrisy of his father.
    In the post Barnabas states there is something feels “illegal” about the act of divorce. Interesting word given his dad’s theology.
    I think that many who adhere to legalistic Christianity place all their relationships in that box.
    Marriage, Parenthood, friendships, faith, are all seen as contracts with well defined roles and obligations under the ever watchful eye of an austere God and his authoritarian church.
    It messes them up and shocks them when life throws them a curve ball. The elder Piper has painted himself & by extension his kids into a corner.
    Barnabas and his ex are young. Will he pressured to pursue his ex wife beyond all reasonable boundaries? Will their family be excommunicated & shunned? Will they be barred from starting anew with other partners in the future? This is what we’re seeing on the front lines of neo Calvinist churches.
    Marriage comes with obligation but it’s not a covenant and it’s only a contract insofar as there are laws of the state regarding disbursement of assets, custody of children etc. when it comes to an end.
    Marriage is a partnership. It takes work but people change & we’re all living longer. Sometimes the partnership needs to be renegotiated, sometimes it’s broken beyond repair, sometimes it’s better to end it. Either partner has that right.
    My parents marriage went way past its expiry date. Not fun as a kid or as an adult looking at a relationship that degenerated into mutual loathing.
    Maybe that’s not Christian but those who read me here know that’s less of a concern to me. But if there is a God I don’t think he intends you to waste your lifespan on a dog that won’t hunt.

  139. I tried to write a post earlier. If it’s waiting approval just ignore it. Maybe it got lost in the ether. I might try again when I’m on a computer not my phone. I appreciate the work you are doing.

  140. siteseer wrote:

    Don’t you think, though, that given his father’s position and unbending opinions, it was going to become a public discussion either way?

    Yes, but BP has initiated the discussion with a strange post.

  141. dee wrote:

    These are important questions for those of us who have observed that painful rigidity of John Piper and those who follow him.

    Given that JP’s entire career has centered around his thinkings on marriage and the flowery-worded second (or third) class status of women, I wonder what Lesley’s relationship with her fil was like?

  142. Dale wrote:

    “My dad and Wayne Grudem wrote a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and it’s sort of the go-to complementation text for roles of men and women. I hold that issue much more loosely than he does in terms of the overall significance of it in the life of the church and the health of a marriage.” (Barnabas Piper)

    Mark Driscoll used to preach on what to “hold tightly” and what to “hold lightly”. It was a mixed-up message that allowed his teachings to appeal to a following of young folks desiring a religion where anything goes under the umbrella of cultural relevance. Driscoll tried to drag as much world into the church as he could, while trying to still appear Christian. Did BP bring complementarian or egalitarian belief into his marriage? … Lesley would have to answer that.

  143. Regarding this, from the OP:

    Update 1/2998/17:I grew up in Salem MA as did my dad. When i became a visiting nurse, I was shocked by what I learned about some families. The nicest people on the outside were very different behind closed doors.

    I’m speaking in general terms here, and about my own family, not necessarily about the Piper Jr. guy who is being discussed in the OP: abusers will often abuse in secret.

    I am sorry for anyone who finds this tiresome, but if it helps even one person who may be lurking here who is in the same position as I was before (or kind of still am):

    For years, I was verbally abused by my older sister. I did not even recognize it as abuse, even after online friends told me that my sister’s behavior amounted to abuse after I talked to them about it.

    I lived in ignorance or denial about it, until a few years ago, when I finally realized my sister’s behavior towards me was in fact abuse.

    One resource that really helped me learn about this, how to deal with it, was this one (this is on Google books, where you can read parts of it for free):
    The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
    https://books.google.com/books?id=XWgxgogz3aAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

    One thing that book drives home is that verbal or emotional abusers usually abuse their target in private, never (or very seldom), when there is a witness present.

    It makes for a very “Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde” behavior, which I noticed in my sister, and it made me feel a little crazy, to see her act one way in private, another in public.

    My sister would scream at me in private (and act very nasty), but any time the two of us were around extended family or some of her neighbors, her whole demeanor would change from yelling, screaming, angry hostile hot head, to sweet, friendly, charming, mild mannered, social butterfly.

    You would never guess, if you met my sister and me together, that she screams vulgarities and awful insults at me when we are alone in the same room (or in e-mail or over the phone), but she did.

    Otherwise, when you are around her, she will smile and make friendly chit-chat, just like a normal person. You would think she is a really friendly, likable gal.

    I would assume physical abusers are much like verbal abusers and also inflict their damage only in private, not in public –

    Which is why the victim’s family and neighbors will often say, “Oh, but her husband is such a nice guy,” or, they will tell the victim herself, “Your husband is so nice, you’re so lucky to have him.”

    Well, yeah, around YOU he’s nice, but in private with his wife (victim), he is cruel to HER. He just doesn’t want you to see him being cruel and controlling to his spouse.

  144. dee wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I guess my question is if Barnabas is under any church discipline for not being the spiritual leader of his marriage? Will the divorce affect his job at LifeWay? Was there any attempt to put Lesley put under church discipline as they do (and did) at Bethlehem, Pipers former church?

    These are important questions for those of us who have observed that painful rigidity of John Piper and those who follow him.

    I would not even ask if Barnabas had become an engineer or something. He got his “ministry” start at DG and now is at Lifeway.

  145. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of men are blind-sided when their wife wants a divorce, even though the wife made it plain for weeks or months on end the relationship was not working.

    Another thing I wanted to add about this is that (physical) abuse doesn’t not have to be involved.

    I saw some men above objecting to this premise, but it’s true this happens:
    A lot of women will plead with a BF (or husband) to work on the relationship and tell them constantly that they are unhappy with the relationship.

    However, the tendency for men is that many men tune the woman out and/or have little to no interest in fixing what the woman is complaining about. The men just want the relationship to sail along as always, putting in no effort to address problem areas.

    Some women simply stop trying to communicate that they are unhappy with the relationship, because culture, and the specific man they are with, present the situation as a woman trying to air her grievances, or get her needs met, is “being a nag,” so the woman will quiet down eventually.

    So, the root of the problems the woman is experiencing won’t get addressed because the guy shows no interest in hearing it, in changing, or else, he may label her attempts to fix things as “nagging.”

    Result: the woman will move out, leave, divorce. The guy will come home from work one day to find the woman has cleaned out her half of the closet.

    I linked to another article in a post up the page about this. A lot of men tune women out when the woman tries to talk to them about their relationship being in trouble –

    But then the man acts shocked that the relationship is ending, although the woman gave plenty of advance notice and warning things were on the rocks. I have seen so many women online say this was their experience.

  146. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Thanks for chiming in with that, Daisy. I am very very happy leading the single life now (after two divorces). For more than a decade after my first divorce I longed to find a good husband; for me, then, the single life was hard. But now, it’a not hard at all, and has many blessings.

    You’re welcome.

    In other forums and blogs I’ve been to in years past, when I see topics such as remarriage addressed by Christian, you will inevitably see at least one or two people who attempt to defend the concept of remarriage for divorced people by making a lifetime of singleness and celibacy sound cruel, second-rate, and horrible.

    I think it’s important for Christians who defend the notion of remarriage to realize it’s not necessary to do so at the expense of singles, singlehood, or celibacy.

    Remember, you have never married, celibate adults such as me reading your defenses of remarriage, and it grinds my gears to hear a defense of it framed in terms of,
    “Oh, it’s so mean and unrealistic to expect an adult to be celibate! And how awful would it be to remain single ’til the day you die, it’s a fate worse than death!”

    Some of us are actually living single and celibate ’til we die, and it’s not nice reading your life put down in that manner.

    (I’m all for defending the idea of re-marriage, but not at the expense of singleness or celibacy.)

  147. dee wrote:

    And he admits to no blame in the marriage falling apart. It was her fault.

    that strikes me as ‘patriarchal’ to the core ….. there are always two sides to consider and the huge thing in his writing is that SHE HAS NO VOICE to defend herself or to tell her story ….. he has gone ‘public’ and excluded her voice in ‘his story’

    it may be ‘his’ story, but his description is not ‘their’ story, is it?

    ‘I, me, my’ narcissism. If there is no thought now for his wife’s reputation, even as she is the mother of his children, then likely there was little thought expended on her when he might have worked on his marriage. I may be wrong, but by the ‘public’ exposure of his wife as ‘the blamed’, he has exposed himself for what he is more than he knows.

  148. Daisy wrote:

    Remember, you have never married, celibate adults such as me reading your defenses of remarriage, and it grinds my gears to hear a defense of it framed in terms of,

    P.S. Barbara, I didn’t mean YOU specifically there in my post, I meant “general you” 🙂

  149. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Yes..and also, I completely disagree with Cody’s assertion that emotional cluelessness is common among men (or even males). Not sure what circles he’s running in, but this is not normal, healthy, or extensible to the majority of men.

    I think a lot of American men have been socially conditioned from the time they are boys to repress their emotions or deny them…

    Which may explain the many women I’ve seen online (and I’ve experienced this a bit myself) with giving up on a relationship or argument because the man in question doesn’t want to listen, does not listen, or want to fix the relationship.

    A lot of guys tune out a woman who comes to them angry, crying, or even calmly explaining her dis-satisfaction with a relationship.

    That is when a lot of women give up. They emotionally check out of the relationship. They’ve already determined to leave the guy. When they do, the guy acts surprised because he didn’t see it coming (he says).

    I suspect social conditioning plays a part in all this. Women are more allowed to be open with most of their emotions.

  150. Daisy wrote:

    “Oh, it’s so mean and unrealistic to expect an adult to be celibate! And how awful would it be to remain single ’til the day you die, it’s a fate worse than death!”

    Some of us are actually living single and celibate ’til we die, and it’s not nice reading your life put down in that manner.

    Many very fine people live celibate lives who are called to serve the Church. It is a very old Christian tradition that celibacy is an honorable state. I understand that some do not want to live in the celibate state, but I don’t see that as reason for denigrating celibacy itself, or those who choose it.

  151. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    Someday, I would hope to hear a Christian celebrity just say something, in a case like this, that sacrifices their personal position and reputation rather than exposing their spouse to unwarranted innuendo.

    Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a Christian celebrity divorce case where the woman does any or much talking.

    After news of Tullian’s divorce/ affair(s) was released, the guy could not shut up about it.

    By contrast, his wife issued one very brief public comment, and we never heard from her ever again.

    The men in these Professional Christian positions cannot and will not stop issuing PR statements about their marriages / divorces or writing books about it where they mention it and try to frame it as either “pity me” or “the wife was more at fault than I was” (even though more of the story later leaks showing that it was all or mostly the husband who was at fault).

    I just do not usually see the women in these stories going on and on, it’s always the men.

  152. Victorious wrote:

    I just found his sorrow directed more toward the “institution” of marriage rather than losing his wife and children and missing them as an intricate part of his life.

    Even in his description of his leadership development position, he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

    That jumped out at me too. I hope that one day (before it’s too late) he’ll wake up and realize that his wife and kids are life’s real treasure, the real gold in The Sierra Madre so to speak.

  153. Lydia wrote:

    I guess my question is if Barnabas is under any church discipline for not being the spiritual leader of his marriage? Will the divorce affect his job at LifeWay? Was there any attempt to put Lesley put under church discipline as they do (and did) at Bethlehem, Pipers former church?

    Excellent question!

    And will his church, or churchy friends, keep sending him unwanted, creepy e-mails or phone calls, where they go on about how they want to “push him under their care” and “shepherd his lost soul” etc?

  154. Daisy wrote:

    The men in these Professional Christian positions cannot and will not stop issuing PR statements about their marriages / divorces or writing books about it where they mention it and try to frame it as either “pity me” or “the wife was more at fault than I was” (even though more of the story later leaks showing that it was all or mostly the husband who was at fault).

    some ‘headship’ indeed …. when the ‘ship’ of his marriage hits the rocks, the captain bales and saves himself without thought of his wife’s public situation which MUST OF COURSE be denigrated in order for him to be ‘saved’. Ugh. In these screeds by the ‘wronged’ husband, we find the truth about their real character, and it wasn’t honorable or manly ….. just a bully to the end, even as he writes his account to blame his wife one more time. Publicly.

    I’m not buying their books, no. I already know their stories: It’s an old story. It goes back to Eden.
    ‘”The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

    God wasn’t having this line of bull, either. I bought God’s book. The real story is in there.

  155. Nancy2 wrote:

    dee wrote:
    These are important questions for those of us who have observed that painful rigidity of John Piper and those who follow him.
    Given that JP’s entire career has centered around his thinkings on marriage and the flowery-worded second (or third) class status of women, I wonder what Lesley’s relationship with her fil was like?

    Especially as JP moved to Nashville (where LifeWay resides) after he retired.

  156. okrapod wrote:

    And another problem is that ‘abuse’ is subjectively defined. The allegation of ‘abuse’ into somebody else’s marriage can mean anything or nothing, but it surely means that the outside accuser thinks that the other people did not do what he/she thinks they should have done, whatever that may be.

    Bancroft defines abuse in his book about domestic violence.

    It’s not as vague as you seem to think it is.

    As a matter of fact, if a woman says she’s being abused, and is asked what happened to her by family or folks on the internet, men who are abusive will deny that in their view what she went through was abuse!

    Guys with no empathy for what abused women go through seek to diminish the reality of abuse by saying it’s too slippery to quantify or to define.

    One basic component of abuse is if the behavior in dispute is a pattern.

    It’s also a little like sexual harassment on the job.
    A lot of laws and employers say it’s up to the victim who comes forward to report a behavior to say if the behavior is sexual harassment or not-

    Obviously, if left up to the perp who is being confronted, the perp will always deny that his behavior is sexual harassment
    (i.e., pinning up half nude photos of playmates in the office kitchenette, unwanted sexually tinged jokes, etc – some women would consider that stuff to be harassment on the job).

    I am not saying all divorces are due to abuse, though. Sometimes, people just fall out of love or drift apart over time, things like that happens. But some do break apart due to abuse.

  157. I do wonder about taking a salary from LifeWay and writing/selling books on their time and publishing brand. Does anyone know about any provision LifeWay has for employees double dipping? I know Setzer did it, too. Seems to be the best of both worlds to build a personal brand on OPM.

  158. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder why God doesn’t orchestrate some kind of life altering event that would open Piper’s eyes as to how naive and presumptuous his views on women, divorce, and abuse are?

    Maybe He has but Piper decided to keep his eyes closed.

  159. drstevej wrote:

    Why does Barnabas not work through his thoughts in a private diary? This would allow the same reflection without making a public display that places his ex-wife and family in an awkward situation at best.

    I think he is doing it so he can continue to make bank off Jesus. Dee has pointed this out several times over, and I agree with her.

    I also agree with you, that the guy should not be discussing this in public, or not in the way he is going about it, but he has to, if he wants to maintain his Professional Christian career.

    In his career, getting a divorce can get him fired or demoted, or certain other Christians won’t buy his books, or hire him to speak at conferences, etc, because they have this theology that “Divorced People Are Forever Tainted” and should not teach, lead, etc.

    Speaking out is a defense move, to defend his career.

    I’m not sure it’s necessary to do so at this stage, though.

    These days, a Celebrity Pastor, or other Professional Christian, could do something very evil and vile, such as stomp a baby to death from the pulpit, and we’d still see the same M.O. from other Celeb Christians:

    Circle the wagon around the person, issue the “but we’re all sinners” shtick, tell the guy to hush for six months, then slowly dribble out Tweets later, then write a book…

    And presto, they’re back in the Professional Christian career again, as though nothing ever happened.

    Every time a Mark Driscoll, or whomeve celebrity Christian falls, a Robert Morris is there to back him up and give him another chance or three.

    It’s standard operating procedure at this point in the Christian Industrial Complex to ‘restore’ guys who are biblically and/or morally or otherwise disqualified from teaching, leading, etc.

  160. Mara wrote:

    So, yes, their words about lovingly nourish so a wife can flourish are dry, empty winds

    Yep, complementarianism does not produce the real world results they claim it will.

    Sometimes, complementarianism even makes a marriage worse, or it makes life worse for girls and women, but then complementarians then start whistling the tune, “how our gender doctrine works out in real life doesn’t really matter. Stop relying on emotion, feelings, and go by the Bible alone.”

    What they really mean is that real-life ramifications only matters when they think it “proves” or bolsters their complementarian point of view.

    They don’t like it when it disproves their POV.

  161. Lydia wrote:

    What is the deal? These guys are all over place. It’s as if they subscribe to a sort of biblical situational ethic they make up as they go. We will see if this applies to remarriage

    Kind of like Mark Driscoll mocked and insulted Charismatics, Joel Osteen, etc, except when his career took a nose dive, then all the sudden, at least in public, he felt that Joel Osteen was the awesome-est ever, and he digs Charismatic views now.

    Some of them don’t really give a fig about some of the doctrine they espouse. They only support whatever doctrine they think will keep them employed.

  162. Lydia wrote:

    JP moved to Nashville (where LifeWay resides) after he retired.

    Whoa. I didn’t know that. Beyond LifeWay being there, Nashville is world headquarters for the Southern Baptist Convention. The plot thickens. Oh well, perhaps I’m just thinking conspiratorial again … JP’s relocation may be harmless enough … a country music second career?

  163. Bridget wrote:

    Barnabas Piper can’t keep doing the work for two (as many women and some men have been told they must do) and is divorcing. But that is not acceptable for other Christians?!?

    Yep. It’s pure hypocrisy. The Celebrity or Professional Christians do not practice as they preach.

    They hold the Pew Potatoes to another and more difficult set of standards than they do themselves.

    Jesus addressed this sort of thing:

    So practice and observe everything they [Scribes and Pharisees] tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

    They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them

  164. Daisy wrote:

    Some of them don’t really give a fig about some of the doctrine they espouse. They only support whatever doctrine they think will keep them employed.

    I think there is a lot of truth to that observation. For example, the Director of Missions for the Southern Baptist association of churches in my area has started appearing more Calvinistic of late. I suppose some of these guys just ride the most popular wave at the time to stay afloat.

  165. Max wrote:

    What do you reckon a “Content Strategist” does as LifeWay these days?

    They make recommendations about the content of a book to further sales, i.e. they take a prospective author’s idea and twist it around to fit the latest fad. One of my friends who had dealings with christian publishing told me of his disillusionment with the way they do business.

    Christian publishers have fallen prey to the same change of focus that befalls many organizations. Whatever their initial mission, their end purpose becomes their own continuance and advancement. Thus the publisher announces their goal is furthering the cause of Christ when it may have long since become profit, publishing what sells. Regardless of its various forms, institutional christianity soon becomes corrupted by the compulsion to promote the institution over that of the cause.

  166. bonnie knox wrote:

    Some of my thoughts after reading what Barnabas wrote– The first thing that strikes me is how disappointing and painful it was to him for his marriage to end. Secondly, I noticed how impersonal it all sounds.

    Single men cannot get hired in the church.

    I wonder how many of these Professional Christians get married out of genuine love or if they view it as nothing more than a career strategy.

    Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/us/22pastor.html

    But Mr. Almlie, despite a sterling education and years of experience, has faced an obstacle that does not exist in most professions: He is a single pastor, in a field where those doing the hiring overwhelmingly prefer married people and, especially, married men with children.

    If you want to get hired as a pastor or whatever else in Christianity, you have to have a spouse.

  167. elastigirl wrote:

    *Complementarianism puts all the responsibility for the relationship ultimately on the husband

    Yes, in a way, they do that. They will say that the husband failed in his so-called leadership role.

    But they also always blame the wife. The woman wasn’t X, Y, or Z enough, they will say.

  168. Max wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Some of them don’t really give a fig about some of the doctrine they espouse. They only support whatever doctrine they think will keep them employed.

    I think there is a lot of truth to that observation. For example, the Director of Missions for the Southern Baptist association of churches in my area has started appearing more Calvinistic of late. I suppose some of these guys just ride the most popular wave at the time to stay afloat.

    Max, some of these folk will do anything to keep their jobs.

  169. Jack wrote:

    But if there is a God I don’t think he intends you to waste your lifespan on a dog that won’t hunt.

    I agree. I can’t forget the story I read of the IFB married couple who refused to divorce only because their church is rigidly anti-divorce.

    Their marriage was a marriage in name only. They hated each other so much, the wife lived in-doors (in their house), while the husband lived in their RV trailer on the driveway.

  170. @ Max:
    Lol! I thought, according to his retirement video shot in Geneva, he was going to travel the globe spreading Calvin’s light in the darkest parts of the world. I think he made it to dangerous Dubai. (Wink)

    https://vimeo.com/50415486

    Enjoy the flowery passionate delivery as JP contemplates the giant statue of Calvin and tells us how God will exalt Himself through Piper and DG. It’s heady stuff.

  171. Nancy2 wrote:

    Given that JP’s entire career has centered around his thinkings on marriage and the flowery-worded second (or third) class status of women, I wonder what Lesley’s relationship with her fil was like?

    Please, don’t give me nightmares!

  172. “John Piper believes that married women should endure abuse for a season and should have a good attitude when they finally go to the police”

    John Piper is pure concentrated misogyny and so are his worshipers. Calvinist men go on about women being ladies, but Calvinist men are no gentlemen. They treat women the same way pimps do. She can take rape, she can take beatings, she can take being demeaned. Oh but Calvinist men can not take one minute going with out his bottom thoroughly kissed. A Calvinist man not having his bottom kissed is far worse then beating and raping women and children.

  173. Christiane wrote:

    I understand that some do not want to live in the celibate state, but I don’t see that as reason for denigrating celibacy itself, or those who choose it.

    Well, I don’t really want to be living it.

    I’d very much like to be married and having sex with a spouse, but that’s not my reality. I have not found a Mr. Right. 🙂

    In the meantime, it just bugs me when Christians put down singleness and celibacy because they are attempting to defend marriage or re-marriage.

    I don’t always like being single and celibate, but I’m not going to die without a spouse, romance, dating, or sex. Same holds true for divorced guys like Barnabas Piper.

  174. Jack wrote:

    I think that many who adhere to legalistic Christianity place all their relationships in that box.
    Marriage, Parenthood, friendships, faith, are all seen as contracts with well defined roles and obligations under the ever watchful eye of an austere God and his authoritarian church.

    Theirs is a cruel and petulant god who will settle for nothing less than the total micro-management of your (generic your) life and times. In my opinion, any ‘differences’ between Neo-Cal outfits and Arminian leaning sects are purely cosmetic. God has no interest in being your friend or to partnership with you on your journey, you exist solely to aggrandize his glory.

  175. Shannon H. wrote:

    Maybe He has but Piper decided to keep his eyes closed.

    That could be, I guess. I know stuff like my mother dying a few years back really had me question a lot of things about myself, God, life, the Bible, etc.

    I’m afraid people who live more or less Charmed Lives and who live in bubbles never have their eyes opened to things.

    It’s easy to coast through life and hold to legalistic doctrines very tightly when you’re not experiencing truly painful, life altering experiences that would cause you to readjust those legalistic views or understanding of God.

  176. Guest wrote:

    A Calvinist man not having his bottom kissed is far worse then beating and raping women and children.

    So true. So true. Which shows what their religion is really about. And it isn’t Jesus.

  177. Dave A A wrote:

    Tchenanigans

    That looks like some kind of item you’d see on a Tex Mex menu, like “Chimichanga.” 🙂

    This is making me hungry, too (it’s around lunch time where I am).

  178. Daisy wrote:

    Speaking out is a defense move, to defend his career.
    I’m not sure it’s necessary to do so at this stage, though.

    So true. Look at rival Nashville Area Church Leadership Consultant (NACLC) Pete Wilson. He pretended his marriage problems didn’t exist while giving his church a poor tired overworked pastor sob story. And TWW was the only place that questioned it. Once other sites reported the divorce, the articles mysteriously disappeared and he posted one on Facebook. Then immediately back to business as usual on social media. I don’t think his fans will mind, even if he might have made some mistakes he’s forgotten to mention. Even Tchenanigans himself, with all the dirt brought out by former “friends” still has thousands of fans clamoring for more sermons. Maybe he should move to Nashville and become a NACLC as well. Seriously, if you’re a NACLC in a troubled or even a happy marriage and reading this, the best thing you can do for your family is to quit and get an honest job.

  179. “This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husband’s repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.”

    The southern baptist father and the man that sexually terrorized me the first ten years of my life would love everything John Piper says.

    Because of these selfish hateful Christian men every time I read stories about men like Ariel Castro and Phillip Garrido it reminds me of Christian life, of Christian fathers, and christian husbands. These men make life as toxic as they can for their wives and daughters to make themselves feel good.

    These men promote for themselves everything Ariel Castro and Phillip Garrido arranged for them selves. These men do not love women or little girls.

  180. Daisy wrote:

    If you want to get hired as a pastor or whatever else in Christianity, you have to have a spouse.

    IMHO, this is an evangelical or protestant phenom.

    Early on, there were three sisters (from 3 different orders) that were highly instrumental in my life as mentors, guides, encouraging me in my higher education and early career. Their singleness was never mentioned. As their young proteges, we never thought about it. The sisters were highly fulfilled and mission-focused.

    They have done tremendous work, effecting many, many lives, which ripples out or multiplies as these lives in turn, help others, and so on.

  181. Bill M wrote:

    They make recommendations about the content of a book to further sales, i.e. they take a prospective author’s idea and twist it around to fit the latest fad. One of my friends who had dealings with christian publishing told me of his disillusionment with the way they do business.

    I wonder how long Christian publishing can hold on, considering a lot of amateur authors can self-publish these days?

    You can get your stuff published electronically, and I think sell it on major books sites.

    Kind of like a lot of American folks now don’t rely on the old three major TV networks for news, but go online to blogs and social media.

    Our current Orange Commander-in- Chief uses Twitter to by-pass the media to Tweet at everyone, which is driving the mainstream media insane.

    I don’t see why more authors don’t do the same with major, old school publishing Christian houses – use social media, blogs, etc, to get their work out there. I don’t know how Christian publishing companies survive these days.

  182. @ Daisy:
    I have a chimichanga in the fridge left over from yesterday, but had a late breakfast so it’ll be a couple hours.

  183. Guest wrote:

    The southern baptist father and the man that sexually terrorized me the first ten years of my life would love everything John Piper says.
    Because of these selfish hateful Christian men every time I read stories about men like Ariel Castro and Phillip Garrido it reminds me of Christian life, of Christian fathers, and christian husbands. These men make life as toxic as they can for their wives and daughters to make themselves feel good.
    These men promote for themselves everything Ariel Castro and Phillip Garrido arranged for them selves. These men do not love women or little girls.

    Frightening.

    I am so sorry you suffered because of religion gone wrong. My heart goes out to you and I pray for your complete recovery and healing. God bless you in every way.

  184. Max wrote:

    He has developed communication skills to “get out ahead of and control the narrative” to sell himself.

    However, he seems to lack the communication skills to be a loving grown-up in his marriage.

    A lot of the work of successful marriage and family life is in communication.

  185. Muff Potter wrote:

    God has no interest in being your friend or to partnership with you on your journey, you exist solely to aggrandize his glory.

    A Calvinist ‘god’ who needs ME to aggrandize his glory is barking up the wrong tree. 🙂

    what’s this business about God ‘needing’ to shore up ‘His glory’????? I don’t understand this. Sounds more like someone in leadership in a cult demanding obeisance to his ‘vision’. I can think of a few of them that we have mentioned here at TWW, yes.

  186. i get the feeling that barnabas realizes that people are observing to see whether or not he receives special treatment / favoritism.

    it’s like he is grooming everything so that he does in fact get special treatment, but he is also wary of it — and is making an effort to nudge the direction of the collective consciousness on the topic of divorce.

    if he can somehow reinvent how his audience views divorce, then the topic becomes rethinking divorce — & his name (the name Piper) sort of fades from the fore. special treatment or no special treatment cease to be the focus.

    whatever he’s up to in the social media montage he’s creating, he has highly engineered it.

    all in all, the net effect comes across as self-serving.

  187. My use of the phrase “emotionally clueless” has pressed some buttons. I write this as an unusually empathic man who has noticed that while most men are as emotional as women (yes, observe guys watching their favorite football team), they are generally emotional in a different way. The “cluelessness” of men refers to their inability to experience empathy — to sense and be impacted by the emotional vulnerability of others. Most women take this capacity for empathy for granted, because they (usually) have it themselves.

    Call it a character defect, a blind spot, what have you, my point was that lack of empathy in men is destructive to their marriages, but that lack of empathy in and of itself is literally not a crime. My own father’s lack of empathy has damaged all his close relationships, but (with a few exceptions) he is not an abuser. In its extreme forms (sociopathy and psychopathy) it can definitely LEAD to crime and abuse. Look at our new president — only a sociopath goes around sexually assaulting women as he has bragged; the damage done to the woman’s soul is literally of no concern to him, because her feelings have no impact on HE feels about his behavior.

    I have no idea whether any of this applies to Barnabas Piper — that was my point. From the posts published above, I don’t think we can draw any informed conclusions as to what exactly his contribution to the divorce was (Yes, I assume it wasn’t positive). There may be a staggering lack of empathy on his part, but that doesn’t constitute abuse by itself. If a blind man keeps bumping into you just because he’s blind, that’s destructive but not abusive. If he doesn’t CARE that he keeps knocking you down, that’s abusive.

  188. Bill M wrote:

    Christian publishers have fallen prey to the same change of focus that befalls many organizations. Whatever their initial mission, their end purpose becomes their own continuance and advancement. Thus the publisher announces their goal is furthering the cause of Christ when it may have long since become profit, publishing what sells. Regardless of its various forms, institutional christianity soon becomes corrupted by the compulsion to promote the institution over that of the cause.

    Just like the music industry. They change the tune according to sales.

  189. Guest wrote:

    The southern baptist father and the man that sexually terrorized me the first ten years of my life would love everything John Piper says.

    I am so sorry.

  190. “A Calvinist ‘god’ who needs ME to aggrandize his glory”

    Their god is so mean spirited, petty, selfish, heartless, hateful, and bratty. Much like them.

  191. Dave A A wrote:

    nce other sites reported the divorce, the articles mysteriously disappeared and he posted one on Facebook. Then immediately back to business as usual on social media.

    Sadly, this is often true.

  192. @ elastigirl:
    This is a minefield. He works for LifeWay, he desires to sell Christian theme books, his last name got him the job in “ministry” and his last name represents certain teachings on marriage whether that is fair or not. It’s there.

    For many years people all over big Eva circles in many venues from CBMW to conferences, etc, have been lectured by his dad about roles, rules, etc for a proper headship marriage. And much of it downright bizarre and cruel. From how to maintain the husbands leadership if he asks for a threesome to taking abuse for a season. BP grew up in this world and chose to remain for a career in ministry. People are sort of wondering if he gets a pass on church discipline, teaching, leading, etc. Is he now unqualified based on their own teaching? Is it all her fault so he remains qualified? Did he take a sabbatical to work on the garden of his marriage as his dad did? The list goes on and on. So what are the rules now?

    This is the world they created. It has repercussions. Frankly, all I can think about are all the people who bought into Piper’s nonsense on gender roles and marriage over many years.

  193. Bill M wrote:

    They make recommendations about the content of a book to further sales, i.e. they take a prospective author’s idea and twist it around to fit the latest fad. One of my friends who had dealings with christian publishing told me of his disillusionment with the way they do business.

    This is an interesting comment. Thanks for the info.

  194. Dale wrote:

    In an interview, Barnabas Piper discusses his difficulty in relating to his dad’s view of God:
    “What made it difficult for me was the intensity with which my dad connected to God and how he pursued Him. My dad is the most single-minded, driven, disciplined man I have ever known. That kind of intensity and focus can have the effect of distancing someone from those who are more, well, normal.

    Good comment.

  195. As I've said before, I do not know anything about this divorce, but the dogma of "Complementarianism" (which is really just re-branded patriarchy) is based on playing Roles and not on being authentically loving and respectful persons toward one another. At some point, one or the other will realize that they have lost who they are as a person in playing their Role. I suspect there will be a lot of disappointed husbands and wives who discover this magic system does not and cannot deliver what it promises. I think Barnabas Piper is on the leading edge of this wave that is coming in conservative evangelicalism. What a tragic waste.

  196. Thank you Miss Dee. You are the number one person I have found in America who hates child rape. You are a hero.

    I wish people would consider how all this rampant misogyny affects little girls growing up in Christianity who are living in rape. As a little girl I had the most sick toxic feelings towards god and all Christian men. I still do. I always felt like god hated me and my mother with a bloody passion. The wifely submission and man power proved to me that my rapist was more important than me. God wanted him to have everything. What little girls and women wanted was irrelevant. Men always trump women and little girls. I was never to disappoint a man, hurt a man, or tell him no.

    The wife submission/male lead stuff is Shangri-la for wife beaters and little girl rapist. I know this from experiences.

  197. Lydia wrote:

    This is the world they created. It has repercussions. Frankly, all I can think about are all the people who bought into Piper’s nonsense on gender roles and marriage over many years.

    Agree and – I know so many “secular” marriages that are more beautiful and fruitful, some of which end in a divorce that is *surprise* cordial. Because the relationship is built on respect and equality, not submission and domination.

  198. Guest wrote:

    “A Calvinist ‘god’ who needs ME to aggrandize his glory”
    Their god is so mean spirited, petty, selfish, heartless, hateful, and bratty. Much like them.

    I agree. But also…how can a god be complete and perfect and holy and need me (or anyone) to “bring him glory”. It is layer upon layer of logic fail. Which I helpfully pointed out at every opportunity during my brief seminary purgatory.

  199. Cody wrote:

    The “cluelessness” of men refers to their inability to experience empathy — to sense and be impacted by the emotional vulnerability of others.

    This is not even scientifically accurate. Are you just sharing your experience? That would make more sense than making a pronouncement about males as a natural class (which males are not, but they would have to be for your claims to make non-subjective sense).

  200. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    They have such a little god. No mercy. No compassion. Mean-spirited, yes. That’s how you know it’s not Chrisitanity they are selling. Their ‘god’ has no resemblance to what we know of God in the revelation of Jesus Christ.

  201. “But also…how can a god be complete and perfect and holy and need me (or anyone) to “bring him glory”.”

    I don’t know the answer to that one. Their version of god is really needy like them. It is difficult to respect a needy insecure god or grown man. Most people respect what is independent and confident. Not arrogant, one year olds are arrogant.

  202. Gram3 wrote:

    I think Barnabas Piper is on the leading edge of this wave that is coming in conservative evangelicalism.

    I suspect you are right. I have made sure that my grown daughters understand how my husband and I feel about complementarianism, which is actually patriarchy in disguise.

    My hubby is more opposed to it than I am. 🙂

  203. @ Cody:

    “Call it a character defect, a blind spot, what have you, my point was that lack of empathy in men is destructive to their marriages, but that lack of empathy in and of itself is literally not a crime.
    ….
    There may be a staggering lack of empathy on his part, but that doesn’t constitute abuse by itself. If a blind man keeps bumping into you just because he’s blind, that’s destructive but not abusive. If he doesn’t CARE that he keeps knocking you down, that’s abusive.”
    ++++++++++++

    here’s a rancid problem (not unrelated to the topic at hand):

    these lacks-of-empathy-on-legs have made it a sin not to grant themselves power in their christian subculture. A SIN, mind you. Most are smart enough to realize that kind of language will not go over well, so it is implied with all manner of wordsmithing.

    It is a sin for the decision-makers, party-line definers, and chief influencers wielding said party-line to be women. It is a sin for male non-empathics not to occupy these roles.

    The net result: codified cruelty (codified stupidity, really)

    here is the net result with human faces:

    Leslie Piper is cast as the bad guy, the villain. She is the reason for the divorce (which Barnabas has painted for us in his montage of social media effluent)

    Karen Hinkley at The Village Church is cast as the bad guy, followed by Matt Chandler’s henchmen harassing her and ‘intentionally’ destroying what remained of the social fabric of her life. Her pedophile ex-husband gets a pass on such things.

    Bethlehem Baptist excommunicates and shunns a woman who divorced her long-abusive husband, ‘intentionally’ destroying what remained of the social fabric of her life.

    Marie (Notcheva) O’Toole is excommunicated, shunned, and harrassed by Heritage Bible Church while her abusive husband gets a pass.

    …and this is just for starters.
    ———–

    no, lack of empathy in and of itself is literally not a crime to be prosecuted. endowing it with exclusive power results in crimes nonetheless.

  204. “Guys with no empathy for what abused women go through seek to diminish the reality of abuse by saying it’s too slippery to quantify or to define.”

    This group of Christians have a system. My father had the same one, mock, belittle, and dismiss, rape, child rape, wife beating, and child abuse.

    Basically their is only two real wrongs in their version of Christendom. Women and children having the right to tell men no and escape them.

  205. Lydia wrote:

    BP grew up in this world and chose to remain for a career in ministry. People are sort of wondering if he gets a pass on church discipline, teaching, leading, etc. Is he now unqualified based on their own teaching? Is it all her fault so he remains qualified? Did he take a sabbatical to work on the garden of his marriage as his dad did? The list goes on and on. So what are the rules now?

    Great questions! We will be watching to see if they get answered.

  206. “My hubby is more opposed to it than I am. ”

    He sounds like a confident cool man that is secure the women in his life actually like, love, and want him.

  207. @ Gram3:

    “I suspect there will be a lot of disappointed husbands and wives who discover this magic system does not and cannot deliver what it promises. I think Barnabas Piper is on the leading edge of this wave that is coming in conservative evangelicalism. What a tragic waste.”
    +++++++++++++++

    i expect sooner or later the powerbrokers will be announcing a reversal of their positions. And i expect it all to be uttered with ease.

    Easy pronouncements from on high, with more of the same ignorance of what it means for those at ground zero.

    Their new revised theology and doctrine will accommodate the likes of Barnabas Piper. They will take no responsibility for the pain and messed up relationships and lives in their wake. They don’t seem to be aware they exist even now.

  208. Guest wrote:

    I wish people would consider how all this rampant misogyny affects little girls growing up in Christianity who are living in rape. As a little girl I had the most sick toxic feelings towards god and all Christian men. I still do. I always felt like god hated me and my mother with a bloody passion. The wifely submission and man power proved to me that my rapist was more important than me. God wanted him to have everything. What little girls and women wanted was irrelevant. Men always trump women and little girls. I was never to disappoint a man, hurt a man, or tell him no.

    My heart goes out to you. What you describe has nothing to do with Christianity, nothing to do with Jesus Christ. It is quite the opposite! Christianity (also Complementarianism) is nothing more than a trigger word some men use to bolster their narcissistic egos and control/degrade females. It makes me sick as well as angry!

  209. Cody wrote:

    My use of the phrase “emotionally clueless” has pressed some buttons. I write this as an unusually empathic man who has noticed that while most men are as emotional as women (yes, observe guys watching their favorite football team), they are generally emotional in a different way. The “cluelessness” of men refers to their inability to experience empathy — to sense and be impacted by the emotional vulnerability of others. Most women take this capacity for empathy for granted, because they (usually) have it themselves.

    IMO, except for certain conditions,such as NPD, Asperger’s syndrome, I think men being non-emotional is more social conditioning than anything. The same thing goes for emotional women. Home, school, church, family and social contacts expect us to behave certain ways from birth. Men who show emotion are considered to be weak. Boys who are emotional are bullied/ and or made fun of ………. Tomboy girls are shunned by “normal” girls …….

  210. Victorious wrote:

    Even in his description of his leadership development position, he states he spends his evenings writing and rooting for sports…no mention of spending time with his wife and/or children.

    Well, Daddy spends his time (when not in front of a camera or audience) shut in his third-floor study Parsing Theology, ringing for (non-Muscular) wifey to bring him tea.

    And I remember from long ago that The Humble One & Sons (chuckle chuckle) were very much into that RESPECTABLE form of Fantasy Role-Playing game, Fantasy Football.

  211. siteseer wrote:

    given his father’s position and unbending opinions, it was going to become a public discussion either way

    So is he inoculating himself? Perhaps saying that divorce is inexcusable, except in his case?

  212. brian wrote:

    But I look and listen to what these men, most of the ones I am questioning are men, what do they really do? I mean they make bank some make 250-500K and some others bring home 1 mill or more. There is also the pastor tax break and the parsonage tax break etc.

    And the Private Jet, and the Furtick Mansion, and the night in the Lincoln Bedroom as GOP Kingmaker…

  213. Nancy2 wrote:

    In the article, he makes it sound like he is so sweet and innocent and clueless ……… like she just absolutely blindsided him – stabbed him in the back.

    Move over, Persephone, that sounds just like my NPD/Sociopath brother.
    The wide-eyed one whom butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, he’s SO sincere.
    It’s like they’re under a geas to prove themselves sweet and innocent and sincere, a compulsion to play the Genuinely Wronged Innocent.

    “If YOU weren’t being so UNREASONABLE, I wouldn’t have to play hardball like this.”
    — spoken oh-so-polite while cheating me out of an inheritance (went all to him)

  214. Max wrote:

    I do recall a young pastor who was cold, angry, detached, confused and hypocritical. Both his father and grandfather were pastors. This young rebel, a New Calvinist, resented the faith of his fathers to the point of rebellion to join the new reformation to change everything. Perhaps there are a lot more PKs out there in the reformed movement of this sort who want to get back at Daddy by changing his religion for their generation.

    Sixty years ago, he would have gotten back at Daddy by becoming a fervent Communist instead of furvent Calvinist.

  215. JYJames wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    Mrs. John Piper must share the responsibility for modeling a complementarian (patriarchal) marriage.

    Oh yeah. The doorbell in the Master’s study on the 3rd floor of their home for ringing her for tea. And she obeyed and ran up and down those stairs.

    While reading about this divorce, one wonders if the younger Piper’s wife did not go along with the doorbell to call tea to the 3rd floor routine.

    Three comments up, I wondered the same thing.

  216. https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/27/association-reformed-baptist-churches-america-arbca-leaders-coverup-chantry-abuse/

    I don’t know why after reading and seeing so much why this just hit me, in my religious experience it has been drilled into my head that such events, outside of some type of apologetic value should have no effect what so ever. They prove our total depravity and that is a good thing as it brings God Glory and shows us all our total vileness. But this just crushed my heart. This part especially.

    “What Triggered the Prescott Police Investigation of Thomas Chantry?

    In 2015 a young man, 18 years old, attended a summer camp. At this camp, an educational film was shown on sexual abuse. In viewing this film the young man became angry and upset. He had been sexually molested by Chantry in 2000 and had never dealt with the situation and realized he needed to.”

    This is very detailed and supported by annoying things like facts and documentation. When Dee reported on this and the “Twitter Avenger” dawned his costume and went after her then did a twitter/social media tune out with great fan fair I might add. Even a countdown of sorts. I mean he could not just say my friend did something awful it hurt I don’t know what to do about it, I am angry and it bothers me etc. That we all would understand, I actually grant this person that given his response and leave it at that. My point, his ilk in no way would do the same for others in similar circumstances concerning doctrinal or social issues. They would pile on with a vengeance and keep piling on. RW comes to mind.

    I have had such experiences, “triggers” if you will concerning some issues in my life and if you follow some of the “neo-Calvinists” with their mocking of triggers and safe spaces etc. You might get my point. They mock all that is emotion and human in us because of their belief that we are just so vile evil horrid etc. One of my triggers I have brought up here before has been fire, I almost died in a fire and was burned rather severely. What I did not mention is that I was in a “ward” where several of the kids with me did not survive (if I am remembering it correctly) because I did not talk about this that much. I know at six one should get over such things rather quickly (a bit tongue and cheek but this really is the bottom line ideology of some groups/people.)

    This article did that to me and for me. But I am very secondary if even important in this, there are still people out there that are trapped in the guilt, fog, anger, and worst of all aloneness that need healing and help. That is why covering up such things is so insidious, especially what appears to be reflected in this article allegedly in my point of view. I happen to believe the allegations presented in the article as factual given the information. THIS is why THIS and other blogs are very important.

  217. JYJames wrote:

    roebuck wrote:

    Getting control of the narrative.

    Exactly. That’s what Dee mentioned: get out front of the story.

    To where you can shine your Stupid Ray on all the ignorant masses:
    “REJECT HER REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!”

  218. Are we attempting to shame Barnabus Piper?

    I don’t actually know the man; I feel a little uneasy shaming fellow believers, especially those who find themselves divorced against their will..

  219. Daisy wrote:

    I think a lot of American men have been socially conditioned from the time they are boys to repress their emotions or deny them…

    I agree but also think this is generational and going away in most parts of society. Boys and girls socialize freely in groups these days, with more friendships across genders than used to be the case. It’s refreshing to see the ease of these relationships in our neighborhood and in the local schools. (Somewhat OT, but this makes it easier for young men to work for a woman when they get that all-important first job.)

    Unfortunately the comp movement seems intent on gender segregation before marriage, and on up-armoring the men in the Battle of the Sexes. So we will never run out of guys like Ralph Kramden.

  220. Deb wrote:

    Let’s see…

    If Barnabas had remained quiet about his private life, there wouldn’t be anything to discuss.

    But Famous Father Syndrome makes him a CELEBRITY!
    Kan a Kardashian step away from the Spotlight?

  221. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    It’s rather curious. He marketed his “divorce blog post” almost as much as his forthcoming book, out in March — the release date he announced on Twitter two days before his “I’m the victim of divorce” post.

    Publicity Stunt for Maximum Celebrity Interest?

  222. siteseer wrote:

    Barnabas has a similar descriptive writing style to his dad’s.

    As in “flowery word salad” like Merlin Ambrosius was warming up before that banquet at N.I.C.E.?

  223. Mara wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    – so one can in fact live on one alone?

    No. They can. I was just being silly.
    You know, asking dumb questions like, is one kidney supposed to lovingly lead while the other joyfully submits?

    Only in kidney transplants with opposite-sex donor & recipient.

  224. Daisy wrote:

    they forbid divorce, they forbid remarriage after a divorce, but here the son of a famous complementarian got a divorce… which lays out all sorts of ramifications for the complementarian position.

    Highborn of House Piper.
    Rank Hath It’s Privileges.
    (and Some Are More Equal Than Others)

  225. Lydia wrote:

    taking a salary from LifeWay and writing/selling books on their time and publishing brand.

    I can’t speak to his situation. Traditionally, though, it’s not uncommon for editors at publishing houses to try to have their own books published by the same house. It might look something like conflict of interest or double dipping, but the alternative is to take a manuscript to a competitor. Most book editors put in very long hours, so they would not be seen as stealing company time.

  226. Mara wrote:

    R2 wrote:

    Now I’m seeing that he tries to rationalize and be very abstract about emotional things. Then, sensing that it’s a topic he should be emotional about, he tries to force emotions back into it.

    I’ve been known to refer to it as Christian Vulcanism:
    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2012/03/piper-guilty-of-christian-vulcanism.html

    Read the link.
    Actually makes a lot of sense.
    And this comment is coming from a kid genius with hair-trigger negative emotions who was known as “Mister Spock” in middle school because of his way of staying able to function.

  227. Gram3 wrote:

    As I’ve said before, I do not know anything about this divorce, but the dogma of “Complementarianism” (which is really just re-branded patriarchy) is based on playing Roles and not on being authentically loving and respectful persons toward one another. At some point, one or the other will realize that they have lost who they are as a person in playing their Role. I suspect there will be a lot of disappointed husbands and wives who discover this magic system does not and cannot deliver what it promises. I think Barnabas Piper is on the leading edge of this wave that is coming in conservative evangelicalism. What a tragic waste.

    I feel sad for all concerned.
    I read an interview with BP from 2014, part of the promo for his Preacher’s Kid book. Here’s an couple of excerpt:

    Piper: My dad and Wayne Grudem wrote a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and it’s sort of the go-to complementation text for roles of men and women. I hold that issue much more loosely than he does in terms of the overall significance of it in the life of the church and the health of a marriage.

    CP: Would you be comfortable in attending a church with female pastoral leadership?

    Piper: That question right there is the one I would say I have yet to answer for myself. That’s the one where I’m sorting through things right now. There are complementarians who would be uncomfortable with a woman doing anything in a worship leading context whether it was leading worship or giving announcements on a Sunday morning. That stuff seems kind of silly to me.

    I’ve been to conferences where Christine Caine. Christine Caine doesn’t just speak, Christine Caine preaches. She’s a phenomenal preacher. So is there a difference between the local body, this core body, and a conference say like Catalyst? I think there is but I would be hard-pressed to give a firm argument on that. That’s the level where I’m just sorting through these things in my head. To answer your question, I don’t really know if I would or not.

    He seems more honest than a lot of his Young Calvinist ilk in trying to sort out his thinking before making pronouncements. I’d also say that people who’ve recently been dumped are not generally prone to making even-handed assessments of the reasons it all went wrong. Assuming I ever think about it agains, I’m going to wait awhile before deciding how much of an entitled jerk he may be.

    He also mentioned in the interview that three of his brothers went into other fields entirely and have nothing to do with ministry, and that in general, he thinks that’s smart.

  228. ishy wrote:

    Barnabas’ article sounded to me like he was in love with the idea of marriage, not his wife. I’m sure his wife probably knew that. I saw the same kinda thing with almost everyone I knew at Liberty…

    When Salvation comes by Marriage Alone (and Singles exist only to be unpaid servants to the Married), you HAVE to get married.

    And the female component becomes just a necessary piece of equipment to achieve that Marriage.

  229. Daisy wrote:

    My sister would scream at me in private (and act very nasty), but any time the two of us were around extended family or some of her neighbors, her whole demeanor would change from yelling, screaming, angry hostile hot head, to sweet, friendly, charming, mild mannered, social butterfly.

    Angel of Light Mask, check

  230. Daisy wrote:

    I think a lot of American men have been socially conditioned from the time they are boys to repress their emotions or deny them…

    Except under strictly-defined and controlled circumstances, which is why we see the Cro-Magnon Craziness in the stands of football stadiums.

  231. okrapod wrote:

    It is one of the benefits of being socially ‘liberal’; you are not required to throw anybody under any bus.

    Whenever I roll my eyes at a political rant by somebody at church I’m expected to agree with I do remember there are good things too. I would make rather be with the liberals even if they don’t get me at all, than with someone who thinks I’m lacking value because of my sex or martial status.

  232. okrapod wrote:

    I am divorced. When I found out the circumstances that led to the divorce I was not only surprised but also frightened to the core at the idea that there might be more to it than I knew. Alas, there was more to it than I knew. It was a living horror.
    And sure enough when I divorced there were some ‘Barbaras’ who used the opportunity to try to malign me, apparently for their own purposes whatever that may have been. …
    So, I learned not only what my husband had been doing, but also learned that there were those who apparently despised me and came out of the woodwork when the opportunity presented itself.

    Dear Ockrapod, you sound like you were entirely the innocent party in your divorce. I do not condemn the person who takes out the divorce per se (the legal process) I only judge the person whose attitude and conduct broke the marriage covenant. So, since your husband was in fact the one who broke the covenant by his conduct and attitudes, he is the one I would condemn and I would entirely support you.

    The folks in your town who condemned you sound like typical ‘c’hristian bystanders who judge the person who takes out the legal process of divorce. In cases of domestic abuse and in cases of heinous crimes like sex crimes, financial crimes, etc, the spouse who applies to the court for divorce is almost always the innocent partner. You sound like that kind of innocent partner. At our blog A Cry For Justice we support people like you and we talk about how naive and judgemental many bystanders are when it comes to divorce.

    You may not have read all the comments in this thread, so kindly allow me to point you to my comments where I have explained and backtracked some of the things I originally said. You can find them here:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/01/27/the-divorce-of-lesley-and-barnabas-piper-as-presented-by-barnabas-son-of-john-piper/comment-page-1/#comment-307176

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/01/27/the-divorce-of-lesley-and-barnabas-piper-as-presented-by-barnabas-son-of-john-piper/comment-page-1/#comment-307194

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/01/27/the-divorce-of-lesley-and-barnabas-piper-as-presented-by-barnabas-son-of-john-piper/comment-page-1/#comment-307206

    You may also find it helpful to read some of the posts we have under our FAQ page What About Divorce:
    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-divorce/

  233. Chris S wrote:

    The problem is that you pose something that is essentially un-falsifiable, every divorce becomes grounds for suspecting abuse.

    In divorce, it is always wise to examine the information available to see if there are any indicators of abuse. It is wise to do that because if one partner has been abusing the other then it is vital for Christians to support the victim and hold the abuser accountable.

    But looking for indicators of abuse is not the same as automatically going into witch-hunt mode to find an abuser under every rock.

    And please read all the comments I’ve made in this thread — you will see I have qualified my original tweets.

  234. okrapod wrote:

    And another problem is that ‘abuse’ is subjectively defined. The allegation of ‘abuse’ into somebody else’s marriage can mean anything or nothing, but it surely means that the outside accuser thinks that the other people did not do what he/she thinks they should have done, whatever that may be.
    I divorced my husband. I did not abuse him nor did he abuse me. The idea that everything is about abuse is, in itself and IMO, abusive. Any idea that there are only two kinds of persons in every divorce, and one of them is a victim is also derogatory and abusive. Thank God, the accusations of some abuser/victim dynamic in every divorce had not become so popular when we divorced or else somebody might have thrown that at me also.

    With respect, Chris S, I reject your allegations. I do not I do say that all marriage problems are about abuse. There may be people out there who have that belief, but I am not one of them.
    Nor do I define abuse subjectively. Please read the definition of Domestic Abuse I gave in this thread, and also read the posts we have in our FAQ page What Is Abuse?
    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/how-can-i-identify-an-abuser/

  235. 4/8 wrote:

    Are we attempting to shame Barnabus Piper?

    I don’t actually know the man; I feel a little uneasy shaming fellow believers, especially those who find themselves divorced against their will..

    I don’t ‘know’ this person either. But he has gone public with writing that he is blameless in his divorce and has implied that the responsibility for the divorce lays at the feet of his wife. Is this not a revelation of a very poor, immature character? To publicly shame a wife, the mother of his children?

    If he didn’t want speculation as to his character, why did he try to throw his wife under the bus so he could look blameless?

    He put himself ‘out there’ as blameless and his wife ‘out there’ as the problem; and he will make money from writing a book about it from his ‘followers’. I don’t think he minds some scrutiny and controversy if he is going to make some money out of this mess, no.

    He’s not the first to do this public wife-under-the-bus act, you know. And he won’t be the last either.

  236. 4/8 wrote:

    I don’t actually know the man; I feel a little uneasy shaming fellow believers, especially those who find themselves divorced against their will..

    You should feel ashamed shaming anyone, not just fellow believers.

    We have heard one side of this situation. It may be against his will, but it may be with good reason . . . asking questions when one tweets about their divorce and paints themselves in a certain light is not wrong. It is a healthy response as opposed to trusting everything the tweeter tweets.

    Who tweets about their divorce anyway . . . it is weird!!

  237. Friend wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    taking a salary from LifeWay and writing/selling books on their time and publishing brand.
    I can’t speak to his situation. Traditionally, though, it’s not uncommon for editors at publishing houses to try to have their own books published by the same house. It might look something like conflict of interest or double dipping, but the alternative is to take a manuscript to a competitor. Most book editors put in very long hours, so they would not be seen as stealing company time.

    I was basing my question on Mary Kinney Branson’s book, “Spending Gods Money” about her tenure at NAMB and the shenanigans that went on employees milking the system by being paid for material development and collecting royalties while paid employees. It is a very interesting read.

  238. Daisy wrote:

    For years, I was verbally abused by my older sister. I did not even recognize it as abuse, even after online friends told me that my sister’s behavior amounted to abuse after I talked to them about it.
    I lived in ignorance or denial about it, until a few years ago, when I finally realized my sister’s behavior towards me was in fact abuse.
    One resource that really helped me learn about this, how to deal with it, was this one (this is on Google books, where you can read parts of it for free):
    The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
    https://books.google.com/books?id=XWgxgogz3aAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false
    One thing that book drives home is that verbal or emotional abusers usually abuse their target in private, never (or very seldom), when there is a witness present.
    It makes for a very “Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde” behavior, which I noticed in my sister, and it made me feel a little crazy, to see her act one way in private, another in public.

    I endorse everything you’ve said. We have quite a few readers at A Cry For Justice whose abusers were siblings, parents, or parents-in-law. And we recommend “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” by Patricia Evans. It was that book which first turned on the lightbulb for me about my husband being an abuser.

    We recommend even more strongly the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft; it’s about the mindset and tactics of men who abuse their female partners, but many of things it describes can be transposed to other kinds of abusive relationships.

  239. Where did BP blame his wife. He says of his marriage that “it died.” That doesn’t seem the same as blaming her for the marriage. It even leaves room for understanding why she left.

    I just don’t think this guy is in the place where he needs to be writing publicly about his divorce. Maybe, at some point in the future, he’ll have worked through it enough to be in a place to help others. Right now he can’t even write a post that makes sense.

    But I suspect Lydia (or was it Dee?) is correct when she says he has to write to get out ahead of the criticism that’s going to come to him.

  240. westerner wrote:

    He also mentioned in the interview that three of his brothers went into other fields entirely and have nothing to do with ministry, and that in general, he thinks that’s smart.

    He is certainly young enough to make the change. But it would be hard to find that high of a salary at his age. Frankly, I am surprised LifeWay did not have a problem with his view on women teaching men – as vague as he was in the interview about sorting it out.

  241. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Sixty years ago, he would have gotten back at Daddy by becoming a fervent Communist instead of furvent Calvinist.

    Not that great a leap, economic/political determinism from religious/philosophical determinism.

  242. 4/8 wrote:

    I feel a little uneasy shaming fellow believers, especially those who find themselves divorced against their will..

    I got divorced from my LocalChurch against my will. Does that make you feel uneasy? Barnabus Piper wrote a cryptic post about his divorce which cries out for speculation and implies guilt on his wife’s part and that he was blind-sided. How is he being shamed?

  243. @ Lea:

    I probably should have defined the word ‘liberal’. I do not remotely agree with or condone much less practice a lot of the stuff that political liberals seem to thrive on, but I do sincerely believe that there is significant virtue in minding one’s own business whenever possible. There is probably some vocabulary word that fits that idea, but I don’t know what it would be.

  244. @ Lydia:

    gah

    “leadership”….. that word is now like a fart

    Christian culture does it again, takes a perfectly good word and turn it into something grotesque.

    so preposterous

  245. @ westerner:
    I think that the damage that is done is not in whether or not he thinks that females are allowed behind the pulpit but rather the basic way he sees relationships working. Are relationships based in reality or pretense? Respect or power? Love or fear? Those kinds of things which are formed very early in life which are very, very hard to unwind later on. Once the clay has dried and then been fired…

  246. R2 wrote:

    He says of his marriage that “it died.”

    Well, I’ve been married a long, long time. And that is a weird way of looking at it, IMO. A marriage is not something that exists independent of the two people as if it can die independently. So it’s a passive way of expressing what actually happened. One or both of two people married to one another did or did not do something which caused one or both of them to no longer desire to be married to one another.

  247. @ Lydia:
    Interesting! Of course I have no idea how this man’s work compares with life at a regular book publishing house… but the organization sounds more commercial than NAMB.

  248. Gram3 wrote:

    I got divorced from my LocalChurch against my will.

    I divorced my LocalChurch against their will, no less painful.

  249. Gram3 wrote:

    Well, I’ve been married a long, long time. And that is a weird way of looking at it, IMO. A marriage is not something that exists independent of the two people as if it can die independently.

    That was not my experience. I am glad that you have been married a long time and are still married to the same man. But there is also the possibility that marriages that survive as compared to those that do not might be described in different terms. My experience, and what I have sadly also observed in some other folks’ marriages is that whatever the marriage was in the beginning changed into something else. It is still marriage, but it is based on other things than whatever it was that the people involved thought they were setting out to create in the beginning.

    I don’t think that ‘love’ is the exclusive ingredient in relationships. Forget marriage a moment and let me talk about mothering. There are other motivations and values and goals in play along with ‘love’ like commitment and responsibility and long range goals and the expectations of family and society, and a time or two it was possibly the fear of the law that encouraged me to let one or the other of them live to grow up. I am not arguing against love but merely saying that it was more complicated than that in my experience of mothering.

    It was also more complicated than that in my marriage. I think that an analogy might be the way a snake sheds its skin, or the famous chambered nautilus moves to larger quarters. The old has to die for the new to come into being. Sometimes the new is better, sometimes worse, but certainly different when that happens. I would think that it well could be that old marriage sometimes dies but the new marriage is stillborn.

  250. Gram3 wrote:

    Barnabus Piper wrote a cryptic post about his divorce which cries out for speculation and implies guilt on his wife’s part and that he was blind-sided. H

    Can you imagine a great Christian writing career with the backing of big Eva if it was a spiritual “no fault” divorce?

    I can’t help but see some parallels to the big SBC Charles Stanley divorce many moons ago in that the wife was blamed and just faded away until many years later when his son spoke up. Stanley was the victim. Sometimes these guys who are desperate for an “audience” are insufferable at home. Barnabas Piper keeps mentioning his “readers”.

  251. Gram3 wrote:

    @ westerner:
    I think that the damage that is done is not in whether or not he thinks that females are allowed behind the pulpit but rather the basic way he sees relationships working. Are relationships based in reality or pretense? Respect or power? Love or fear? Those kinds of things which are formed very early in life which are very, very hard to unwind later on. Once the clay has dried and then been fired…

    I don’t disagree. What he said about complementarianism is that “I hold the issue more loosely” than his dad. Who knows what that means in real life, but people can and do change their thinking. Here’s hoping.

  252. okrapod wrote:

    don’t think that ‘love’ is the exclusive ingredient in relationships. Forget marriage a moment and let me talk about mothering. There are other motivations and values and goals in play along with ‘love’ like commitment and responsibility and long range goals and the expectations of family and society, and a time or two it was possibly the fear of the law that encouraged me to let one or the other of them live to grow up. I am not arguing against love but merely saying that it was more complicated than that in my experience of mothering.

    Agree!

    Personally, I think the concept of “duty”, which is certainly out of fashion in many places, has gotten a bad rap.

  253. Lydia wrote:

    So I can call it a divorce? I had never thought of that. Too bad there is no property settlement. :o)

    I would be nice to get back the money I sent their way all those years. Not that I need it now but I know of a lot better uses.

  254. dee wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    They make recommendations about the content of a book to further sales, i.e. they take a prospective author’s idea and twist it around to fit the latest fad. One of my friends who had dealings with christian publishing told me of his disillusionment with the way they do business.
    This is an interesting comment. Thanks for the info.

    I second what Dee said. Bill M’s comment is interesting. I will tuck it away for future use/reference.

  255. Guest wrote:

    I wish people would consider how all this rampant misogyny affects little girls growing up in Christianity who are living in rape. As a little girl I had the most sick toxic feelings towards god and all Christian men. I still do. I always felt like god hated me and my mother with a bloody passion. The wifely submission and man power proved to me that my rapist was more important than me. God wanted him to have everything. What little girls and women wanted was irrelevant. Men always trump women and little girls. I was never to disappoint a man, hurt a man, or tell him no.
    The wife submission/male lead stuff is Shangri-la for wife beaters and little girl rapist. I know this from experiences.

    Dear Guest, I agree with you, the wifely submission/male lead stuff is Shangri-la for men who abuse their wives and rape their kids. My heart goes out to you. Your father is NOT A CHRISTIAN and what he represents is NOT Christianity. Your father is a criminal and you were his victim. God is angry at the wicked every day (Ps 7:11); God is very angry at your father for what he did to you.

    ((((hugs)))) if you want them.

  256. Cody wrote:

    My use of the phrase “emotionally clueless” has pressed some buttons. I write this as an unusually empathic man who has noticed that while most men are as emotional as women (yes, observe guys watching their favorite football team), they are generally emotional in a different way. The “cluelessness” of men refers to their inability to experience empathy — to sense and be impacted by the emotional vulnerability of others. Most women take this capacity for empathy for granted, because they (usually) have it themselves.
    Call it a character defect, a blind spot, what have you, my point was that lack of empathy in men is destructive to their marriages, but that lack of empathy in and of itself is literally not a crime. …
    I have no idea whether any of this applies to Barnabas Piper — that was my point. From the posts published above, I don’t think we can draw any informed conclusions as to what exactly his contribution to the divorce was (Yes, I assume it wasn’t positive).

    Thanks for that, Cody.

    Have you seen my first response to you in this thread, where I retracted some of my tweets?

    Link to that response of mine here:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/01/27/the-divorce-of-lesley-and-barnabas-piper-as-presented-by-barnabas-son-of-john-piper/comment-page-1/#comment-307176

  257. Gram3 wrote:

    Barnabus Piper wrote a cryptic post about his divorce which cries out for speculation and implies guilt on his wife’s part and that he was blind-sided. How is he being shamed?

    Moreover, BP and his church community hold to some pretty stringent rules that apply to marriage and divorce, for everyone now? Or for everyone else but a Piper, now that BP is divorced?

  258. elastigirl wrote:

    i expect sooner or later the powerbrokers will be announcing a reversal of their positions. And i expect it all to be uttered with ease.

    I’m not expecting they will announce a REVERSAL of their positions. Announcing a reversal would be too direct, too explicit, too transparent — it would lay them open to direct fire from the watchblogs.

    I’m expecting that if they reverse or backtrack their positions, they will not do it by announcement, let alone apology to all the people whose lives were damaged by their former position. If they do backtrack or reverse, I expect they will do so in fancy footwork and prosody, and lots of things left unsaid, and by scrubbing items from their websites … so as to leave themselves plenty of wriggle room for plausible-deniability when the watch-blogs pinpoint the failure to fully confess and admit error.

  259. Bridget wrote:

    You should feel ashamed shaming anyone,

    Hmm…. where did you get that idea from?

    The Psalmists often pray that God shame the evildoers. Here are few examples:

    Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! (Ps 35:4)

    Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me! (Ps 35:26)

    Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! (Ps 40:14)

    He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! (Ps 57:3)

    Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! (Ps 70:2)

  260. @ Barbara Roberts:

    Yes, your comment is a more accurate description of it all.

    The egos in this whole ‘movement’ (as they like to call it)…. just staggering. beyond time for it to ‘pass’, f@rting all the way.

  261. ZechZav wrote:

    Thanks Barbara. I have seen your site and it is very informative and helpful. There is another book I think you may find really helpful by Darwin Chandler called the Royal Law of Liberty. He touches on the issue of divorce and abuse but the focus is on legalism. Instead of dealing with the specific texts on divorce (David Instone-Brewer does a really good job in that regard), he delivers a death blow to the legalism and literalism behind it. He doesn’t call out Piper by name but he attacks his doctrine on divorce. He also touches on the sexual frustrations of unmarried people and how the church has abused them also with cruel, unbiblical dogmas. Both stem from this idolatry of marriage and he lays the ax to the root of the tree. This quote says it all:

    “If we loved and cared for the welfare of others as Jesus did, we would not lay so many horribly hurtful requirements on people struggling in impossible marriages. No doubt God “hates divorce,” (Mal. 2:16). …”

    Thanks for that book tip, Zech Zav. I shall try to make time to read it.

    However, I know already, from the quote you gave, that I won’t agree with that book 100%. The
    saying “God hates divorce” is not actually a true rendering of scripture. It comes from many centuries of mistranslation of Malachi 2:16.

    See this post for an explanation:
    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/10/24/god-hates-divorce-not-always/

    And see my book “Not Under Bondage” for a more detailed explanation with many references to what Hebrew scholars have said about the translation of Malachi 2:16.

  262. 4/8 wrote:

    Are we attempting to shame Barnabus Piper?
    I don’t actually know the man; I feel a little uneasy shaming fellow believers, especially those who find themselves divorced against their will..

    You’d love my ex-husband, and he you.

  263. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    In divorce, it is always wise to examine the information available to see if there are any indicators of abuse. It is wise to do that because if one partner has been abusing the other then it is vital for Christians to support the victim and hold the abuser accountable.

    But looking for indicators of abuse is not the same as automatically going into witch-hunt mode to find an abuser under every rock.

    I have learned quite a lot about this subject from you guys and others this last year.

    I have mixed feelings when I hear someone (in general, not speaking of you/this case in particular) say on seemingly little evidence that that sounds like abuse, or adultery or what have you. But I have also learned that sometimes people who have experience in something pick up on little things that you might not. So it’s always wise to listen, and observe, with an open mind. For instance, when the Pete in Nashville thing came up, I thought some things were odd but I didn’t connect them with adultery or marital problems, although others did. Then more information came out later. Sometimes what seems like a snap judgement is really just a recognition of patterns.

  264. @ okrapod:

    ‘liberal’ gets confusing in church context sometimes. I”m mostly thinking about my own church. And post election, I’ve heard a lot of rants from regular friends and church friends.

    Liberal in church parlance tends to be very accepting of things that other churches are not. That’s one thing I like about them.

    Plus, not comp. At all. For those who call out calvinists, feel free, but know that there is a calvinist denomination that fully accepts women.

  265. Pingback: Divorce Marriage And Children Pdf | Try New and Inovative Ideas to Help Divorce

  266. I really wish you’d not post content like this, if anything it validates the views of your critics and damages your credibility. Your site serves such an important role and has done wonderful work, why pollute it with national enquirer type gossip, picking apart the words of a recently divorced man, insinuating that he might be an abuser? Sure he made a carefully worded public statement about it, he’s a (somewhat) public figure, he’d have been criticised even more by not saying anything (he’s hiding it!) – what kind of person picks apart the words of a statement like this, and publicly speculates on what went on and who’s to blame? Without knowing the full story, there is a chance that you are abusing a victim, is that really what the wartburg watch wants to be?

  267. Lea wrote:

    ‘liberal’ gets confusing in church context sometimes.

    Yes. The words “liberal” and “conservative” have been abused so badly in recent years that they hardly have meaning anymore. It used to be possible to be liberal in some areas and conservative in others without it being some kind of a stigma. Now these words are used as all-encompassing labels to demonize and divide people. Very unfortunate. The New-Calvinist movement is doing the same thing to words like gospel, grace fellowship, church, elder, etc.

  268. Ken F wrote:

    Yes. The words “liberal” and “conservative” have been abused so badly in recent years that they hardly have meaning anymore. It used to be possible to be liberal in some areas and conservative in others without it being some kind of a stigma. Now these words are used as all-encompassing labels to demonize and divide people. Very unfortunate. The New-Calvinist movement is doing the same thing to words like gospel, grace fellowship, church, elder, etc.

    You are so right. Supposedly a person is either 100% a “liberal” or a “conservative” with the definitions of these two words having many different meanings.
    I witnessed the used of these two words during the TAKEOVER of the SBC and it was ugly to watch former friends divide over such ambiguous terms. And as you say the New-Calvinist movement is no different.

  269. @ Barbara Roberts:

    Thanks for the link Barbara. I have not had chance to look into the translation issues in detail but it is helpful. The book has some side points which many people (including myself) will disagree with but the central point is that the two greatest commandments – love for God and for neighbour – controls how we use the law and other written texts. This means that even if the traditional rendering “God hates divorce” was correct it is not a cast iron rule to condemn divorcees. The Bible condemns deception but it also commends Rahab and the Hebrew mid-wives in protecting the innocent by misleading those desiring to destroy them.

    I was once accused of having an ulterior motive or sinister agenda to get around the “plain” meaning of 1 Timothy 2 by a fundamentalist. With contempt he said that I simply did not like God’s law and that I was serving the feminist agenda. As I had not dug into that text itself I could not argue with him effectively about it. However I knew that his interpretation could not be correct simply because it violated the commands to “love thy neighbour” and “love one another”. His interpretation (which appeared to be water-tight on the surface) showed no love or respect for his sisters in Christ. Understanding that the goal of God’s law as love gives me a valid starting point and leads me to question how we interpret or application other texts. The application of any text or law which causes harm to other people is a serious misuse of it.

  270. ZechZav wrote:

    I was once accused of having an ulterior motive or sinister agenda to get around the “plain” meaning of 1 Timothy 2 by a fundamentalist. With contempt he said that I simply did not like God’s law and that I was serving the feminist agenda. As I had not dug into that text itself I could not argue with him effectively about it. However I knew that his interpretation could not be correct simply because it violated the commands to “love thy neighbour” and “love one another”. His interpretation (which appeared to be water-tight on the surface) showed no love or respect for his sisters in Christ. Understanding that the goal of God’s law as love gives me a valid starting point and leads me to question how we interpret or application other texts. The application of any text or law which causes harm to other people is a serious misuse of it.

    When the Southern Baptists voted and removed Jesus as the criterion for interpreting scriptures this was a huge mistake IMO.

  271. @ mot:

    This is where going off on a tangent leads people astray. They breached the first and greatest commandment by removing Jesus as the criterion for Biblical interpretation.

  272. Zechzav wrote:

    @ mot:

    This is where going off on a tangent leads people astray. They breached the first and greatest commandment by removing Jesus as the criterion for Biblical interpretation.

    They do not like the Jesus of the Gospels and have done everything humananly to remove him from their lives and some of them in the churches they preach include very little Jesus in their sermons.

  273. “They to not like the Jesus of the Gospels and have done everything humanly to remove Him from their lives and some of them in the churches they preach, include very little Jesus in their sermons.”

    mot, you have clearly described the state of the modern church within the west. Very little Jesus, very little life application of Jesus’ teaching within their lives, and very little love and compassion in the Way in which Jesus models for all of us.

    It is possible that our LORD is using the foolish things of this world to confound those who profess to preach the truth, and yet do not model it within their own lives. If indeed, the Pipers’ followed their own teaching and preaching, they would be model citizens concerning the marriage institution within the church.

    Could it be possible to be so ‘right’ within the patriarchy movement, in that all of this foolishness is leading to the destruction of individual born again believers as well as marriage itself? Piper theology used to be in my portfolio of must hear sermons, until I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the truth of their heresies. I was following the golden calf of celebrity preacher syndrome and unlike Lot’s wife, I have never looked back! PTL literally!

  274. If you put divorce in the context of its time then divorce for a woman could be tantamount to a death sentence, given that a woman would be wholly dependent on her husband for a livelihood. I think Jesus edicts on marriage were meant for those of his time. I read them as more of an overarching message of keeping commitments.

    This is the 21st century and I think those who adhere to literal scripture paint themselves into all sorts of corners because the Bible isn't consistent. In the old testament divorce & polygamy were

  275. Zechzav wrote:

    They breached the first and greatest commandment by removing Jesus as the criterion for Biblical interpretation.

    Be careful here, because if Jesus if the criterion for biblical interpretation, then the passage in Malachi must be read by Christians in light of the question the Jews asked Jesus concerning divorce. It is not alright to exegete something from the OT and apply it to Christians outside of any commentary on the subject from Jesus, according to the criterion you have sited.

    Consider these assumptions, since conclusions are based on the validity or lack of it of assumptions.

    Assumption: that both Jesus and the Jews were aware of the OT scriptures and what they said on the subject they asked Jesus about.

    Assumption: that both Jesus and the Jews were aware of the arguments that had been put forth pro and con on the subject.

    Assumption: that both Jesus and the Jews took the entire picture into consideration in both asking and replying to the question.

    And your assumption that Jesus is the criterion for understanding scripture.

    (continued below)

  276. @ okrapod:

    Now look at these assumptions:

    Assumption that any solitary statement in scripture is to be understood as comprehensive such that one need not consider any other statements on the subject in the scriptures as pertinent.

    Assumption that failure to mention something in any statement is just as strong a statement as actually mentioning something. The argument from silence.

    Now look at the arguments from Malachi, and the arguments that Jesus gave, and the things that Paul had to say on the subject. What I find when I do that is that an enormous number of people selectively pick and choose verses, translations, understandings, cultural arguments and complexities to fit their own desired exegetical outcome. On both sides of any argument.

  277. @ fred:
    Here is a brief outline of where I disagree with you:
    I really wish you’d not post content like this, if anything it validates the views of your critics and damages your credibility.
    A journalist is not responsible for confirmation bias. Your emotions are not the criteria for journalistic direction.
    Your site serves such an important role and has done wonderful work, why pollute it with national enquirer type gossip, picking apart the words of a recently divorced man, insinuating that he might be an abuser?
    This is a baseless assertion. You have no criteria for establishing congruence between any given article and the National Enquirer. This is emotive language that describes your own feelings, not anything to do with facts or objective analysis. By contrast, the Deebs did not “insinuate” that Barnabas might be an abuser. The entire article is a posting of Barnabas’s own words (facts) and what those words sound like to the writers (analysis). This is how op-ed journalism works when it is done well.
    Sure he made a carefully worded public statement about it, he’s a (somewhat) public figure, he’d have been criticised even more by not saying anything (he’s hiding it!) – what kind of person picks apart the words of a statement like this, and publicly speculates on what went on and who’s to blame?
    Leaving aside the fact that you have no criteria for judging if this statement was carefully worded, the fact is that Barnabas did, in fact, write it and publicly post it. As such it is not only subject to public conversation, but we would be irresponsible not to. Words matter. This is so basic to journalism it is nearly congruous with the dictionary definition. Can you imagine if the press ignored or refused to analyze any “carefully worded public statement”? I find your position here to be ignorant and dangerous.
    Without knowing the full story, there is a chance that you are abusing a victim, is that really what the wartburg watch wants to be?
    This is another unfounded and poorly thought through assertion. Thinking through a statement intentionally made public by its author is our responsibility. Your words imply that Barnabas might be a victim and that if so, analyzing his words might harm him. But he chose to bring his story about his divorce into the public eye, and he chose to use the words that he did. This “argument” of yours (it isn’t an argument at all; it is a missing major premise fallacy, and as such is a bare assertion) could be used to silence any and all criticism of any and all public communication.
    In conclusion I find your comment confused, illogical, sentimental rubbish. I recommend, if you wish to engage in public discourse, that you take the time to polish your critical thinking skills.

  278. okrapod wrote:

    whatever the marriage was in the beginning changed into something else. It is still marriage, but it is based on other things than whatever it was that the people involved thought they were setting out to create in the beginning.

    That is a good point and a perspective I had not considered. My marriage has changed over time in good ways, so it is reasonable that marriages could change over time in bad ways. But aren’t those changes–whether good or bad–due to changes in the spouses? Thinking out loud here, and I think it is likely I’m sticking on a minor point that just rubbed me the wrong way in a weird post on an important issue.

  279. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    take the time to polish your critical thinking skills

    That’s why so many young folks have become ensnared in the aberrations of New Calvinist belief and idol worship. They have little, if any, critical thinking ability. Leaders of the reformed movement know this and take advantage of spiritual naivety to populate their churches and buy their books.

    Great comments about op-ed journalism, Dr. P.!

  280. @ Jack:
    Whoops. Big fingers, little phone.
    In the old testament, polygamy & divorce were ok. So was executing adulterers, homosexuals and disrespectful kids.

    My point is the Bible is smorgasbord of history, philosophy and prophecy and it needs to be interpreted through our lens of discernment. If it seems wrong, it probably is.

    A friend of ours husband left her. He filed divorce papers. Things hadn’t gone well for a while. The pain of divorce was exacerbated by her belief that Christians don’t get divorced!

    This is literalism run amok and it’s hurting people.

    Now I’m going to make the bacon & eggs. Don’t worry, I’m not violating any laws, Peter had a dream that says I can. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  281. @ westerner:
    Apologies if I made you think I thought you were disagreeing. I was just thinking out loud and also thinking of a few specific young families. It was news to me that BP held his father’s views more loosely, though I suspect he needs to hold them tightly enough to keep a paycheck on the strength of the Piper brand.

  282. Karen wrote:

    Piper theology used to be in my portfolio of must hear sermons, until I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the truth of their heresies

    So happy for you.

  283. okrapod wrote:

    Assumption that any solitary statement in scripture is to be understood as comprehensive such that one need not consider any other statements on the subject in the scriptures as pertinent.

    AKA
    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

  284. Karen wrote:

    It is possible that our LORD is using the foolish things of this world to confound those who profess to preach the truth, and yet do not model it within their own lives.

    I’ve often said the same about MLP: Friendship is Magic and its Expanded Universe of fan-created works.

    Could it be possible to be so ‘right’ within the patriarchy movement, in that all of this foolishness is leading to the destruction of individual born again believers as well as marriage itself?

    Reality cannot be permitted to oppose Pure Ideology, Comrades.
    And you can’t make a Perfect Ideological omelet without smashing Real eggs. A LOT of real eggs.

    “In the Devil’s theology, the most important thing is to Be Absolutely Right and to prove everyone else to Be Absolutely Wrong. This does not lead to peace and harmony among men.”
    — Thomas Merton, “Moral Theology of The Devil”

  285. Zechzav wrote:

    @ mot:

    This is where going off on a tangent leads people astray.

    Remember Dr Gene Scott (he of the dedicated cable channel, cigars, and funny hats?)
    At least when he went off on a tangent, he announced he was doing so.

  286. ZechZav wrote:

    I was once accused of having an ulterior motive or sinister agenda to get around the “plain” meaning of 1 Timothy 2 by a fundamentalist. With contempt he said that I simply did not like God’s law and that I was serving the feminist agenda.

    1) That anything like “the plain meaning” of Revelation 9:3-7 being helicopter gunships armed with chemical weapons and piloted by long-haired bearded hippies?
    2) Again,
    “I KNOW I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”
    3) Followed immediately by denunciation of the Traitor for Thoughtcrime.

  287. mot wrote:

    You are so right. Supposedly a person is either 100% a “liberal” or a “conservative” with the definitions of these two words having many different meanings.

    Like Tutsi or Hutu in Rwanda —
    break out the pangas and start filling those mass graves.

  288. Karen wrote:

    the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the truth of their heresies

    The Church of the Living God needs to be praying desperately for our young people … that the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth – would open more eyes to the ails of New Calvinism and the teachings of its leaders. We are losing a generation to this aberration of faith. Once young folks become disillusioned with the smoke and mirrors – their eyes opened to the deception – they may never return to church again to seek Truth.

    Praise God, Karen, that you saw the light and the Light set you free!

  289. Gram3 wrote:

    But aren’t those changes–whether good or bad–due to changes in the spouses? Thinking out loud here, and I think it is likely I’m sticking on a minor point that just rubbed me the wrong way in a weird post on an important issue.

    Certainly people continue to change as they mature, experience various things in life, undergo tragedies and all that. Also, I think that people in some aspects do not actually change so much as they come to understand themselves better and react accordingly. Example: the mother of very young children, awash in all that hormonal mommie stuff, is apt to be quite different from her own self post empty nest and post menopause and post retirement. Did she change? Well, her personhood did not change, she is who she always was, but her behavior and priorities and opportunities-and those danged hormones-certainly changed.

  290. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Barbara Roberts:

    Yes, your comment is a more accurate description of it all.

    The egos in this whole ‘movement’ (as they like to call it)…. just staggering. beyond time for it to ‘pass’, f@rting all the way.

    “The Universe cannot have two Centers.” — Kooks Magazine

    Like Highlander, “There Can Be Only One”.

  291. Bill M wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Sixty years ago, he would have gotten back at Daddy by becoming a fervent Communist instead of furvent Calvinist.

    Not that great a leap, economic/political determinism from religious/philosophical determinism.

    With the identical paradox that not only Is It Inevitable but All Must Sacrifice Themselves 24/7/365 To Bring It About.

  292. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

    … A TWISTED VERSE … text taken out of context to prove I’m right … cherry-picked favor to support my sin and rebellion … a contorted passage which fits my theology, strokes my arrogance, and leads me into further error. I feel so good about my new religion – it gives me the right to be wrong!

  293. @ Jack:

    Do I hear you correctly that you are saying that one does not use the criterion of Jesus for understanding scripture, both OT and NT, but that one instead uses other criteria? Are you saying that scripture should be evaluated in the criteria of one’s own current culture?

    I believe it was the neo-cals who wanted to take that Jesus criterion out of the BFM 2000, but I don’t think they were saying probably what you seem to be saying.

  294. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    The folks in your town who condemned you sound like typical ‘c’hristian bystanders who judge the person who takes out the legal process of divorce. In cases of domestic abuse and in cases of heinous crimes like sex crimes, financial crimes, etc, the spouse who applies to the court for divorce is almost always the innocent partner. You sound like that kind of innocent partner.

    I would like to point out that a standard tactic of a sociopath/abuser is to needle and provoke and gaslight the victim behind the scenes (donning the Angel of Light Mask to groom all third parties) until the victim is provoked into the first overt act in public. Then the pre-groomed third parties rally around the abuser as the Poor Poor Innocent Victim of The Violent Crazy. “See what he has to put up with?”

  295. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    i.e. The abuser NEVER voluntarily goes public; he lets his victim’s outburst or action do it in a way entirely to his advantage.

    Win-win for the abuser.
    Lose-lose for the innocent partner/victim.

  296. okrapod wrote:

    My experience, and what I have sadly also observed in some other folks’ marriages is that whatever the marriage was in the beginning changed into something else. It is still marriage, but it is based on other things than whatever it was that the people involved thought they were setting out to create in the beginning.

    I think this can be true in a positive sense also: where the change is from an immature view of ‘marriage’ to something far better, but only after many difficulties worked through together. I don’t see ‘abuse’ as anything that helps ever in any marriage. But sometimes difficulties come that are not foreseen and present challenges that are also opportunities to grow together. What we examine here at TWW with the heavy patriarchist abusive treatment of the dignity of women is NOT going to work in favor of a marriage lasting, no. Everything about the contempt of the husband for the dignity of his wife and everything about how she must tolerate a level of unending abuse in the form of being looked down on is obscene ….. where in that is the ‘either to other’ promise of mutual love???

    I think marriage can ‘become’ something more over time, but only if it has its roots in compassionate love and empathy between spouses. Life’s tough. A life’s companion is a blessing, but the blessing must be mutual.

  297. Gram3

    “So happy for you.” I appreciate that and yes, I am a much, much happier person too by choosing not to listen to their double minded rhetoric.

    Jack

    “Now I’m going to make bacon and eggs.” Yummy! And I’m happy for you as well, fellowshipping with a wonderful breakfast. I personally, sat under the ranks of those preaching the heresy of the Hebrew Roots Movement, still strong in this day and age. Gentiles trying to follow OT laws and such, and boy, are they ever miserable church folks, working diligently to steal liberty and freedom we have in Christ regarding our dietary needs. Adding a bit of fried bacon to my asparagus and onions for dinner!

    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    So true, so true. Working so hard and trying endlessly to be perfect in God’s eyes, according to the interpretations of religious men, about drove me bonkers! I personally came out of the “moralism saves sinners” movement, clinging to the very Words of Jesus as the author and finisher of my faith. And working out my own salvation has become a pure joy, as opposed to the drudgery of the ‘chores’ list of the legalists. Try witnessing to a legalist and see where that gets you!

  298. @ Karen:
    Individualism or individualistic thinking that does not align with whatever group is pretty much defined as selfish these days. It is much harder to convince an individualistic person they must be under the authority of the elders in a local church. Or, they must believe this or that in agreement with the group to be considered a good person by that group or they are maligned. It’s a big problem. Problem is, you don’t really know that until you are around the group. It’s good to learn the red flags.

  299. okrapod wrote:

    I believe it was the neo-cals who wanted to take that Jesus criterion out of the BFM 2000

    Yes, Calvinistic Southern Baptists on the 2000 revision committee for the Baptist Faith & Message (e.g., Al Mohler), successfully deleted the Christocentric criterion for interpreting Scripture. When you read both OT and NT and fail to see a scarlet thread woven in the fabric, you cannot properly interpret Scripture. I was sadly humored over the debate that raged in SBC ranks over who has ultimate authority: Jesus or the Word. Somehow, these otherwise intelligent folks forgot that Jesus is the Word!

  300. @ okrapod:

    I am not quite sure what you are getting at here. I probably did not explain myself well. My point was that any theology or ideology that does not produce love to God (Jesus) and man is suspect. I have been to churches that were fixed on young earth creationism, Calvinism and complimentarianism and that set their agenda. I have been to other churches where the emphasis was on Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection for our sins, they practiced hospitality and they were very warm and loving.

    I completely agree with you about cherry picking a verse in isolation and ignoring any other verses on it. My previous comments on 1 Timothy is a case in point: they have cherry picked one passage and took it out of historical context. They have then ignored other passages (like women prophesying in Corinth, Phillips four daughter prophesying in Acts) or they explain them away (like Deborah).

  301. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    i.e. The abuser NEVER voluntarily goes public; he lets his victim’s outburst or action do it in a way entirely to his advantage.
    Win-win for the abuser.
    Lose-lose for the innocent partner/victim.

    Oh that is so true. We were reading Lundy Bancroft this morning because the subject of flattery came up. (Considered a sin) Bancroft wrote a short piece warning about charming people. It is so hard to convey these concepts to teens much less adults. What you mention above is one of the tactics. They are never publicly uncharming. They let the victims do it.

  302. @ ZechZav:

    I was basically referring to the conversation between Barbara and you about the passage in Malachi and her post which she linked. I do not come to the same conclusions that she comes to, and my reasons are in the assumptions that I cited.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  303. @ ZechZav:
    When I read your comment my first thought was the need to define Love. As in, was Jesus showing “love” to the Pharisees? Is that our model for some of the religious leaders of our time? Most see it as unloving and even cruel treatment.

    The exchange between Jesus and Peter in John 21 is interesting on this score. Jesus asks if Peter agapas Him. Peter answers, yes, I philo you.

    Peter is affirming his affection for Jesus. Jesus is asking whether Peter has the love of reason and esteem.

    It’s interesting to do a search on it. Eye opening.

  304. Lydia wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Individualism or individualistic thinking that does not align with whatever group is pretty much defined as selfish these days. It is much harder to convince an individualistic person they must be under the authority of the elders in a local church. Or, they must believe this or that in agreement with the group to be considered a good person by that group or they are maligned. It’s a big problem. Problem is, you don’t really know that until you are around the group. It’s good to learn the red flags.

    If a faith community celebrates diversity in non-essentials, individuals stand a far better chance of their person-hood being respected and treated with dignity. Sometimes a Church can even pray with those from other religions, Christians with Jews and Christians with Muslims, in special ceremonies where the extended community meets together to observe what is important to the whole community. But you will never find fundamentalists participating in all-faith services. They are not inclusive even in matters that bring all men and women together as representatives of humanity in the midst of crisis or celebration.

    Diversity allows people to be respectful and to treat ‘the others’ with dignity. It has a place in Christianity because such was Our Lord who honored the Samaritan and the centurion and the women of his day.

  305. Max

    THANK-YOU as well. You have a valid point concerning the heresies our young people are following due to apostate teaching within the church. The fact remains, as in my case, that I left my faith to that of another individual, faithfully, and I mean diligently listening to the teachings of the Pipers, the Sprouls, and my very own local pastor, who subscribed to the view of ESS. I believed they were right in every teaching they presented, and the fruit of my actions in trying to follow their preaching, was that I became a very depressed and miserable woman. I believed in ‘worm theology’ and that my life did not mean anything. This apostate religion promoted by false ministers creates miserable, unhappy, and a depressed people, who are in need of prayer. Much prayer, for I lived this!

    But a funny thing happened, the Holy Spirit began working inside of me, personally, and I began reading the Gospels for myself, and loved (still love) every minute of it. Jesus told His Disciples that all authority in heaven and earth hath been given unto Me, which pretty much trashes the apostate doctrine of ESS. Wow, was that ever liberating to me, so overwhelmed with joy when I read that truth.

    Lydia,

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. Group think is the norm for the visible church in these times, as if God, the Holy Spirit, does not work through individual believers through the power of His divine illumination. And yes, I have been publically flogged with words from the public pulpit man regarding my belief concerning the drunk in the spirit heresy, ever so popular and practiced within the ranks of charismatic and Pentecostal religion. That is a whole other can of worms.

  306. @ Karen:

    About Hebrew Roots. I never heard that term until this very moment, so my understanding of it is limited to a short article I found on line.

    However, there is a lot out there more or less related to Judaism and Christianity and what Paul and Jesus did or not think, and such. I am quite interested in the scholarship that has developed since the 1980s or so about the New Perspective on Paul. Anyhow, the most recent scholar that I have found on youtube on this topic is Paula Fredriksen, a professor of Judaism both in the US and at Hebrew University in Israel. She is an excellent lecturer, but she throws out a lot of information quickly so it takes a lot of concentration. I am recommending her lecture at Stanford on “Judaizing the Gentiles; the Ritual Demands of Paul’s Gospel”. She starts and stays in antiquity, deals with the translation of the Hebrew scriptures from Hebrew into Greek and mentions a mistranslation here or there, and also talks about how modern Christian thinking is misunderstanding some things from scripture.

  307. @ Christiane:
    Where did I suggest people who are different should not be treated with respect? Do I need remind you Catholics have a closed system?

  308. @ okrapod:

    Let me mention this to try to entice whoever is interested to listen to what some of these people are saying. Paul says, and quotes from both OT and NT that there was no monotheism in Judaism or paganism in that day, not as we understand monotheism. They were all polytheists as we today define polytheism. She shows in scripture where it is accepted by all, including Paul, that there are many gods but that the requirement for Jews was that the Jewish God was One and was the highest god. And she says that the God Fearers were pagans who also gave respect to the Jewish God and that the Jews of that day and for several centuries made no effort to convert those God Fearers to Judaism or to require that they give up their cultural gods. She then says that Paul’s revolutionary concept was to tell the Gentile converts to Christianity that they had to bury their own gods and worship only the God of the Jews, but that they did not have to convert to Judaism. And this caused quite a ruckus all round. Thus there were three groups of people at the time involved in this issue; the Jews, the God Fearers, and the Gentile Christians. And all Paul’s epistles were addressed to cultural pagans.

    And when the NYT says that the gods of the gentiles are daimons (spelling) now translated demons, actually the word in Greek at the time meant ‘lesser gods’.

    This, she says, is coming out of the New Perspective on Paul. So, IMO, that the emphasis on Judaism as it relates to Christianity is here big time and is to be dealt with as time goes on.

  309. Christiane,

    It has been such a joy in my small area, to literally witness Muslims coming out of their apostate religion. Upon hearing the Gospel shared with a love that transcends mere human understanding by followers of Jesus, they have renounced their religion and have become born again believers Christ for their salvation. It is so exciting to literally see the moving of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of sinners for Jesus hath set them free!

    I also had the pleasure of attending our neighbor’s wedding in which this person married a Muslim. I did not know this beforehand and was surprised at this revelation. The service was Lutheran, slash Muslim, in sharing the wedding ceremony. Due to my personal faith in Jesus Christ and my love for Him, I could not participate in praying a Muslim prayer, nor could I go through ‘the motions’ of the Muslim portion of the service. Our family could have conformed to keep the peace, but my faith in Christ could not allow me to do so.

    I also have family members who attend church every Sunday, that are extremely upset with me, for I do not agree with their apostate theology, that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. No. We do not worship the same LORD, however, it is my belief that as a born again Christian, I can boldly share Jesus and His love with Muslims in my community. I can love my Muslim neighbor, and yet, not share in their false faith.

  310. @ Karen:

    In my former town a few decades back there was a tragedy involving some Muslim children who drown, apparently the elder while trying to save the younger. The whole town grieved. They held a Muslim service in the large UMC church and we all went. It was a wonderful service, full of faith and hope. The leader invited the entire crowd to participate in reciting some stuff, but the only person who knew the stuff and participated was one man who was an Orthodox Christian from Syria who worshipped with the local Episcopalians. Everybody else stood quietly and respectfully. I stood quietly and respectfully. I believe that is sufficient to show respect and grief for the family.

  311. @ Karen:
    Hi Karen,
    In my Church we CAN pray with Muslims and Jews. We see them both as worshiping the God of Abraham. We have no problem with all-faith services in the larger community. So you and I see things differently, but I acknowledge that some Christian people do not accept the legitimacy of ‘the Abrahamic faiths’ as following the ‘same’ God.

    That is an enormous difference to have, yes; and I acknowledge that it exists.

  312. Karen wrote:

    I do not agree with their apostate theology, that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. No. We do not worship the same LORD

    Beware of the insidious Chrislam movement in America. Generation Xers and Millennials have more tolerance of mixing the two in “Christian” churches than some of us older folks who know better.

  313. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    You assumed that. LYDIA.

    My comment was about individuals. You responded with “communities” (groups). The same thinking I was referring to earlier.

  314. Karen wrote:

    But a funny thing happened, the Holy Spirit began working inside of me, personally, and I began reading the Gospels for myself, and loved (still love) every minute of it. Jesus told His Disciples that all authority in heaven and earth hath been given unto Me, which pretty much trashes the apostate doctrine of ESS. Wow, was that ever liberating to me, so overwhelmed with joy when I read that truth.

    For all you New Calvinists who happen to be strolling by this morning, listen to Karen and learn from her experience. The celebrity pastors you follow have been teaching you a perverted gospel which distort the epistles of Paul. Do what Karen did – start reading the Gospels yourself. Pay particular attention to the words written in red. Pray for discernment that the Holy Spirit will lead you into Truth. I tell young reformers in my area that if they read Paul first, they might read Jesus wrong … but if they read Jesus first, the writings of Paul will come into perspective. Read the red and pray for power to overcome the teachings and traditions of men. May God help you by His Spirit on your journey.

  315. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    With the identical paradox that not only Is It Inevitable but All Must Sacrifice Themselves 24/7/365 To Bring It About.

    Probably said before, sounds like Borg theology.

  316. @ okrapod:
    thank you, OKRAPOD, for sharing that memory

    how revealing it is that in the sadness of losing innocent children, something of faith far deeper than the divisions among human persons is reached, and they may with mutual dignity grieve together before God

    it’s a good example …. whatever the Orthodox Syrian Christian was able to recite together with the Muslim imam, it must have been a very ancient and widely shared cultural kind of ‘kaddish’ among all the people of Syria, Christian and Muslim …. a way to call up hope in the midst of a painful loss ….. a way to honor God as we sometimes do when we say:
    ‘God gives. And God takes away. Praise be the Name of the Lord.’

  317. @ Lydia:
    Only the strongest communities can recognize the strength of diversity and what it offers. The kinds of neo-Cal communities described at TWW are ‘lock-step’ with a ‘great leader’ and his toadies who ‘discipline’ all who are getting ‘out of line’.
    Such ‘communities’ are more ‘cults’ where it’s top down conformity rather than a thriving community of faith.

    The kind of faith community that is healthy IS made up of INDIVIDUALS who are respected as such: human persons with the dignity of God-given souls, made in His image, and blessed with moral consciences and with separate gifts that they come together to share to build up the Church.

    Big difference between a cult and a place where people treat one another respectfully and appreciate the different gifts they bring as individuals, yes.

  318. Max wrote:

    Beware of the insidious Chrislam movement in America. Generation Xers and Millennials have more tolerance of mixing the two in “Christian” churches than some of us older folks who know better.

    Regarding Christlam, the Truly Reformed(TM) are already most of the way there with similar tunnel-vision about Predestination and Sovereignty. (I’ve heard it said that “Calvin Islamized the Reformation”.) Add the “IT IS WRITTEN!” liberalism of Fundamentalism and the Theo-Political angle of Restoring a Christian Nation(TM) and you have an Islamic Republic without a single mention of Mohammed.

  319. @ Christiane:
    Sorry, not buying the reflection. My original comment was about individuals and individualistic thinking. Not groups or communities. I work with a broad diversity of people daily. I do not interact with them as if they are a community or a group but as an individual.

  320. okrapod wrote:

    there was a tragedy involving some Muslim children who drown, apparently the elder while trying to save the younger

    I was thinking about Lydia’s wanting to develop an understanding of the definition of the word ‘love’, and when I read your account of the older child drowning while trying to save the life of the younger one, then I thought: ‘there it is’, two Muslim children …. there is a definition of ‘love’ that we can all understand without words getting in the way, an example of which Our Lord Himself would approve

  321. @ Lydia:
    I guess I backed the lens up too far. Don’t we need both perspectives, Lydia, the close=up examination and also the wider view of how strong individuals make a difference? In my perspective, I thought I was adding something of value.
    So it goes ….

  322. My comments were not intended to cause undue nor unjust controversy, but to share. I respect the belief systems of those present here and will choose not to engage in tearing down another human being or their belief system, but will encourage those who have an ear to hear, please read, study, and meditate upon our Holy Scriptures for ourselves. We can come to the table and debate who is right or wrong, but ultimately, it is God, the Holy Spirit, Who is still moving and working in the lives of His children, that reveals truth to us. I have made a conscience choice to follow Jesus and believe on Him for salvation, no more believing in this man or woman, or that denomination or other religion as the author of my faith, and thus my eternal destination which will be in the presence of my LORD and Savior, Jesus.

    I know that I will not be a good example of one who participates in other religions, for I cannot as I once did in the past. I can and will attend weddings when invited to do so, or as in the case of funerals, yes, we can grieve together as well in compassion, sympathy and healing. Because of my faith in Jesus, I cannot recite nor practice the beliefs of other religions, and can respectfully decline and quietly be present without making a big show out of my faith in Jesus alone for eternal salvation.

    I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I believe in Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father (GOD) except through Me, says our Master Jesus. And He still Lives.

  323. Karen wrote:

    I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I believe in Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father (GOD) except through Me, says our Master Jesus. And He still Lives.

    Amen.

    In my Church we believe that if anyone is saved, Christ does the saving. We leave HOW He does this to Him and we don’t put a limit or a restriction on how He accomplishes this. We trust Him. And we trust in His great mercy.

  324. Jack wrote:

    If you put divorce in the context of its time then divorce for a woman could be tantamount to a death sentence, given that a woman would be wholly dependent on her husband for a livelihood.
    I think Jesus edicts on marriage were meant for those of his time. I read them as more of an overarching message of keeping commitments.

    BINGO. Who was it written to? And what were the surrounding circumstances? How much of it can I (generic I) Huey (helicopter) out of the way back then and into the here and now?
    It’s not that I don’t believe Scripture’s inspired, I believe it is, but ‘inspiration’ does not mean (for me anyway) that it all carries identical weight.
    There are (in my opinion) granite blocks, and grains of salt, I keep my own counsel as to which is which.

  325. fred wrote:

    I really wish you’d not post content like this, if anything it validates the views of your critics and damages your credibility. Your site serves such an important role and has done wonderful work, why pollute it with national enquirer type gossip, picking apart the words of a recently divorced man, insinuating that he might be an abuser? Sure he made a carefully worded public statement about it, he’s a (somewhat) public figure, he’d have been criticised even more by not saying anything (he’s hiding it!) – what kind of person picks apart the words of a statement like this, and publicly speculates on what went on and who’s to blame? Without knowing the full story, there is a chance that you are abusing a victim, is that really what the wartburg watch wants to be?

    Fred, these are excellent points. It is also a possibility that BP’s post, “When a Marriage Dies” was reviewed by Lesley before it was published and she may have even suggested or assisted with the careful wording. If that is the case, picking apart the post is a criticism directed at both of them.

  326. On the question of do Christians and Muslims worship the same God. I read something by Dr. Craig on this, and he said that the question is not whether it is the same God, but rather is it true what Islam says about God. He then went on to compare how Islam characterizes God and how Christianity characterizes God, which is quite different in various aspects. Then he raised the question as to how different can a thing be and still be the same thing; how different can the descriptions of God be and still be describing the same God. I think his approach is a good approach to the question.

  327. @ okrapod:
    am wondering about the human factor though that is even present in our own Christianity in a way that we cannot turn away from …… Bonhoeffer, the martyr, put it this way:

    “The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity.”

    We look at the Incarnation from the perspective often of how ‘we’ are ‘saved’,
    but we do often forget the implication of ALL humanity being taken up into Christ, and how it is that the Incarnation has made ship-wreck of our man-made divisions in how we ‘define’ what is the mystery of God.

  328. fred wrote:

    I really wish you’d not post content like this, if anything it validates the views of your critics and damages your credibility. Your site serves such an important role and has done wonderful work, why pollute it with national enquirer type gossip, picking apart the words of a recently divorced man, insinuating that he might be an abuser? Sure he made a carefully worded public statement about it, he’s a (somewhat) public figure, he’d have been criticised even more by not saying anything (he’s hiding it!) – what kind of person picks apart the words of a statement like this, and publicly speculates on what went on and who’s to blame? Without knowing the full story, there is a chance that you are abusing a victim, is that really what the wartburg watch wants to be?

    Are you Barnabas Piper using the name of Fred?

  329. Christiane wrote:

    We look at the Incarnation from the perspective often of how ‘we’ are ‘saved’,
    but we do often forget the implication of ALL humanity being taken up into Christ, and how it is that the Incarnation has made ship-wreck of our man-made divisions in how we ‘define’ what is the mystery of God.

    I doubt if most protestants would ever have heard or thought about the incarnation in the way that you have said here, and in several previous comments. I certainly have never heard that concept in protestant circles. I think this is one of the dividing lines between catholic and protestant; one among many.

  330. @ Barbara Roberts:

    I have a lot of thoughts on this, but not the time to write them out at the moment. I will get to it later today.

    Thanks for all your work regarding the teaching of divorce in the church, Barbara. I really appreciate it.

  331. @ okrapod:
    Actually it goes back to Athanasius, I think.

    There is much thought in eastern Christianity (Eastern Orthodox) about a fuller understanding of the Incarnation than is seen in Western Christianity. Perhaps Ken G. can add to this.

    I do know that the Lutheran pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer had some understanding of it, yes. He saw how our humanity being assumed by Christ in the Incarnation changed how we relate to all human persons now in a different way.
    Bonhoeffer wrote: ” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love toward all on earth that bear the name of human.”

    my goodness, is possible that view of the power of the mystery of the Incarnation does put more light on the words of Our Lord here:
    ““I came to save and to find that which was lost” (The Holy Gospel of St. Luke 19:10)

    so the Lutheran pastor understood some of it, yes

  332. @ Ken G:
    Are you serious? She couldn’t stand to live under the same roof with the man but she took the time to review and edit his post about their failed marriage??

  333. Christiane wrote:

    The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity.

    His statement bases the concept of the brotherhood of man on the person of Christ. Therefore it is a Christian religious statement regardless of how diverse one may become about the details of doctrine or practice or identity.

    The other idea, and the one that I have heard, is that it is creation which unites all humanity into a common family of siblings as it were. This is said in the debate as to who is my brother and what does the scripture say about who is my brother. This bases the brotherhood of man on creation by the same God. This is a religious statement but does not limit the brotherhood idea to the incarnation.

    And of course there is the concept of a common biological ancestor. That takes religion completely out of the discussion.

    So, who is my brother? That depends on at least two things: how you define brother, and what criteria you use to establish relationship.

  334. Christiane wrote:

    Actually it goes back to Athanasius, I think.

    Here’s a link to a good work by Athanasius related to the incarnation: http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/athanasius/incarnation/incarnation.1.htm. It’s very good, but when it was digitized it brought some typos in to the document, mostly things like 0 instead of O and improper hyphenations.

    To add to this, Irenaeus wrote, “our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through his transcendent love, become what we are, that he might bring us to be even what he is himself.”

    Jesus assumed our humanity so that he could draw humanity into relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit. As the creator and sustainer of all things, he (by definition) has a relationship with all humans. The atonement was accomplished for everyone – the sin problem was taken care of for every person. But we get to choose how we want to experience everlasting presence with the Father, Son and Spirit. To those who reject God’s love, his presence will be unbearable. To those who embrace it, his presence will be bliss. This is how the early church seemed to believe. And it’s how the Eastern Orthodox seem to believe. But it’s very different from what Protestants have been taught.

  335. fred wrote:

    I really wish you’d not post content like this, if anything it validates the views of your critics and damages your credibility. Your site serves such an important role and has done wonderful work, why pollute it with national enquirer type gossip, picking apart the words of a recently divorced man, insinuating that he might be an abuser?

    Fred, with all due respect, do you think you might be engaging in an appeal to flattery here?

    Sure he made a carefully worded public statement about it, he’s a (somewhat) public figure, he’d have been criticised even more by not saying anything (he’s hiding it!)

    I have noted the same thing above. Nevertheless, when something like this happens, people are going to discuss it.

    – what kind of person picks apart the words of a statement like this,

    You call it “pick apart” I call it assess. I can’t speak for anyone else here but, personally, I have learned to listen very carefully to peoples’ words because of having been deceived and manipulated in the past, particularly in the church world.

    and publicly speculates on what went on and who’s to blame? Without knowing the full story, there is a chance that you are abusing a victim, is that really what the wartburg watch wants to be?

    Some commenters have engaged in speculation but I think most of us are discussing the bigger story, which is: the comp mindset promises to be the be-all and end-all of producing perfect marriage and it has, yet again, not lived up to the promise. This is the story that needs to be discussed and recognized.

    Marriages fail, that is a reality of life. It is always a painful process and grief. But we need to recognize that within the church system and philosophy of this group of people, many suffering persons have been pressured into remaining trapped in failed marriages or have been shamed or excommunicated for divorcing.

    I feel for Barnabas, I’m sure he is deeply in pain. My hope is that he will come through the other side of it with a more realistic view and perhaps go on to counter the idolatry of the institution of marriage that has developed in the YRR world.

  336. Ken F wrote:

    But it’s very different from what Protestants have been taught.

    Yes. Which brings us to a basic difference between p and c in that p would be apt to say, so Athanasius and so Irenaeus, so what? That is not scripture and their ideas should not be treated as inspired utterances.

    I don’t remotely see any bridges over that chasm.

  337. Ken G wrote:

    Fred, these are excellent points. It is also a possibility that BP’s post, “When a Marriage Dies” was reviewed by Lesley before it was published and she may have even suggested or assisted with the careful wording. If that is the case, picking apart the post is a criticism directed at both of them.

    I think this is certainly possible. His post seems to avoid assigning blame to either party and just express sorrow at the ending of the marriage. But again I say that reading the words he posted and considering them is not “picking apart.” Do you suggest we read it with eyes closed?

  338. “2016 was a year of losses celebrities, heroes, icons, and American hope and decency all seemed to pass away. For me it was the year I lost my marriage. Actually that’s not true. It was the year the loss of my marriage was completed. It had been dying for a long time despite every effort to resuscitate and recuperate it.”

    OK, here are a couple of questions for all you smart Wartburgers. Barnabas Piper is a New Calvinist. A Calvinist believes that all events have been predestined, willed to take place by a determinist God. Did Lesley choose by her own free will to exit the marriage, or was divorce foreordained long before she entered her marriage with Barnabas? Since Calvinists believe in the beauty of complimentarity and that God hates divorce, why would God predestine a beautiful marriage to end – something He hates?

  339. okrapod wrote:

    That is not scripture and their ideas should not be treated as inspired utterances.

    The issue is whether or not ancient tradition should have any role in what we should believe today. It’s not possible to read the bible completely independent from traditions that have been handed down to us because those traditions shape how we interpret the Bible. The question for each of us is how open we want to be to re-evaluating the traditions we have been taught vs the traditions that those in earlier centuries were taught.

  340. Max wrote:

    Since Calvinists believe in the beauty of complimentarity and that God hates divorce, why would God predestine a beautiful marriage to end – something He hates?

    Because it most glorifies him. I’m not sure how that works out, but that is how New-Calvinists seem to answer questions like this.

  341. Ken G wrote:

    It is also a possibility that BP’s post, “When a Marriage Dies” was reviewed by Lesley before it was published

    Stranger things can happen but that Lesley contributed to her ex husbands post is highly implausible and lacks even a clue let alone evidence.

  342. @ Ken F:
    thanks for entering the conversation, KEN F. ….. i had mentioned ‘Ken G.’ by mistake ….sorry, so glad you can contribute 🙂

  343. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder why God doesn’t orchestrate some kind of life altering event that would open Piper’s eyes as to how naive and presumptuous his views on women, divorce, and abuse are?

    I don’t doubt he’s given him many opportunities to come to his senses, and now, with his son’s divorce, he has yet another.

  344. Max wrote:

    OK, here are a couple of questions for all you smart Wartburgers. Barnabas Piper is a New Calvinist. A Calvinist believes that all events have been predestined, willed to take place by a determinist God. Did Lesley choose by her own free will to exit the marriage, or was divorce foreordained long before she entered her marriage with Barnabas? Since Calvinists believe in the beauty of complimentarity and that God hates divorce, why would God predestine a beautiful marriage to end – something He hates?

    Excellent questions!

  345. @ okrapod:
    but the ‘event Incarnation’ seems to have over-taken our ‘understanding’ in that what occurred may have been far more meaningful that our knowledge of it could be

    so it is that ‘knowledge’ (gnosis) is greatly valued in Western Christianity whereas Eastern Christians are far more at home with ‘mystery’

    perhaps that is what has always divided us …. so it is that we in the West cannot fathom that our ‘words’ and our ‘understanding’ of what is revealed doesn’t cut it for comprehending what cannot be comprehended and still be ‘God’ 🙂 I think we Westerners could learn from the Eastern view of the Incarnation, yes.

  346. Bill M wrote:

    Stranger things can happen but that Lesley contributed to her ex husbands post is highly implausible and lacks even a clue let alone evidence.

    Possibly he agreed to run it by her before posting it. That would be a plus for him. I do note he respected her privacy in it. Some commenters have compared his statement to Tchividjian’s but he did not engage in the blame or shame of his wife that TT did.

  347. Ken F wrote:

    But it’s very different from what Protestants have been taught.

    I think it has to do with ‘re-birth’ ….. that the East celebrates the rebirth of our kind in the Incarnation itself (the actual event, not our understanding of it);
    whereas in the Protestant faith, people think the re-birth is when they CHOOSE to accept Christ as an act of their human will.

    Not sure I’m on track, here, but I offer it as what I have sorted out so far.

  348. Christiane wrote:

    I think it has to do with ‘re-birth’ ….. that the East celebrates the rebirth of our kind in the Incarnation itself (the actual event, not our understanding of it);
    whereas in the Protestant faith, people think the re-birth is when they CHOOSE to accept Christ as an act of their human will.

    I’m still trying to sort this out. I’ve been finding Baxter Kruger’s writings very helpful. Here is one that touches on what you wrote: http://www.perichoresis.org/on-the-death-of-our-blessed-lord-jesus-christ-2/

    There is no more stunning news in the universe than the news that a human being now exists inside the Trinitarian life of God. It was not an angel or a ghost that St. Stephen saw standing at the right hand of God in heaven. It was Jesus. It was the incarnate Son. What could be more astonishing than the news that the very communion of the Triune God has opened itself up, and that it now and forever includes a human being within it? Do you see that? Of all the things that we read about in the Bible, the most astonishing, the most shocking, the most mind-boggling is the ascension of the man Jesus, the incarnate Son.

    This is not something that I can remember hearing in my Protestant upbringing. I think we in the West lost contact with very rich traditions from the East.

  349. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    If BP felt the need to make a public statement about his divorce, he should have kept it brief…… Something along the lines of: My wife and I have divorced, and we wish to keep our private lives private. We are both working to make the situation as easy as possible for the children. The End.

    His ramblings only opened the door to speculation.

  350. Ken F wrote:

    The question for each of us is how open we want to be to re-evaluating the traditions we have been taught vs the traditions that those in earlier centuries were taught.

    Yes. Which brings up the issue of how one is to view the significance of age when looking at understandings. Understandings is a better word for me than traditions, but we are talking about the same things. If something is older does that make it better, or if something is newer does that make it better.

    When I was investigating catholicism I read a position paper by Ratzinger entitled ‘,,,,dominus iesus’ and something he said stuck with me, because this is something which catholicism does. On a certain subject he wrote that ‘we’ were not expecting any new revelation but that with time there come further understandings. He said this to say that what he was writing might be viewed in a different light in the future. And the issue was critical in that he was addressing the long held concept of whether one was required to be a Roman Catholic, or not.

    Later I read a position paper by JP II on Mary as co-redemptrix. I thought maybe since he was a philosopher he would write in terms which I could understand. Well, he kept building one argument on the other, some older and some newer as far as I could tell, until there was a whole trail of arguments (or so it seemed to me) and that is when I knew I could never think like catholics think, because it seemed to me that he had built a house of cards which was unstable.

    So, there you are, is newer better in that it is more complete understanding or is the older better in that it may have been built on fewer (loosely?) related arguments. IMO it is interesting to trace the development of understandings over the centuries, but without something more than just arguments by theologians or philosophers I do not get too excited over any of it.

    But I do believe that we have common biological ancestors and then the only question is how alike do we have to be (and that is yet to be thoroughly worked out) to claim which level of kinship. But that’s not religion? Precisely!

  351. Ken F wrote:

    I think we in the West lost contact with very rich traditions from the East.

    I think when we read our sacred Scriptures in the light of Eastern Christianity, some pieces of the puzzle come into help us make better sense of the gifts of revelation. We can no more celebrate the Christian faith without the East than we can all each in our own bubbles in the West. There is at the ‘bedrock’ of the faith the only needful thing: Christ, but perhaps we have failed to credit if ‘the sacrifice’ also included for Our Lord to ‘come down’ and to take up our ‘lost’ humanity …. was that also a part of His suffering for our sake? What do we know of this? And what remains as mystery? How ‘salvific’ is the Incarnation when seen in the context of the whole Christ Event?

  352. Christiane wrote:

    whereas in the Protestant faith, people think the re-birth is when they CHOOSE to accept Christ as an act of their human will.

    Close but not entirely accurate.

    Some protestants believe in election in which effectively one is regenerated (born of the Spirit) which predates the act of will since the will is not capable of choosing to accept Christ.

    Some protestants believe that one responds to the invitation of Christ ‘follow me’ by an act of the will but that one is actually ‘born again’ by an act of the Holy Spirit, not the act of the person, all the while all of this is accomplished by grace through faith.

    Some protestants believe covenant theology and consider their children to be children of the covenant.

    And some protestants believe in baptismal regeneration and baptize infants through which the child becomes part of the church/family of God.

    And protestantism being what it is there are probably other ideas also.

  353. okrapod wrote:

    On a certain subject he wrote that ‘we’ were not expecting any new revelation but that with time there come further understandings.

    A thought-provoking comment, yes. Revelation yeilding itself to further understanding ….. being ‘unfolded’ slowly

  354. okrapod wrote:

    If something is older does that make it better, or if something is newer does that make it better.

    This is a great question. When it comes to forensic questions about things seen and heard, I think one can make an argument that 1st-hand sources are generally better than 2nd-hand sources, which are generally better than 3rd, etc. To me, this is the value in trying to understand what the early theologians believed about what the apostles taught and handed down. If there is evidence that the early church believed things that are not widely believed today, then it should cause us to dig deeper into what we believe and why. Because much of what it means to be a Christian is tied to what the apostles handed down to their disciples, it seems like we should not quickly discard what those early disciples had to say.

    For theories that build on human discoveries, such as science, I think it’s pretty clear that later ideas are generally better than early ones.

    In my own case, I was taught Christianity from a perspective that mostly started around 500 years ago. Not that all of the theology coming out of the reformation was bad, but I believe the reformation would have been more powerful had the reformers put less emphasis on Augustine and more emphasis on other early theologians.

    It’s quite a Gordian knot by now for the Christian world.

  355. Ken F wrote:

    Because it most glorifies him. I’m not sure how that works out, but that is how New-Calvinists seem to answer questions like this.

    This is where a Calvinist really boxes himself in, IMO. If anything would not ultimately glorify God, then it would not occur. Following this illogical logic, whatever occurs glorifies God. Just think of all the god-awful things that will happen on planet earth today – and then try to imagine God basking in glory because they occurred. Young person, if you are listening in and find yourself ensnared by this theological nonsense, RUN!

  356. Max wrote:

    This is where a Calvinist really boxes himself in, IMO.

    Except that they can always find another statement in their hopelessly inconsistent confessions to explain it away. There is no effective way to box them in because they always have a convenient escape clause because their confessions aver opposites. Critical thinking did not make its way into New-Calvinism. Yes, people need to RUN from their nonsense.

  357. Ken F wrote:

    There is no effective way to box them in because they always have a convenient escape clause because their confessions aver opposites.

    Reformed systematic theology effectively puts the mind of God in a box. What arrogance!

  358. Max wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    There is no effective way to box them in because they always have a convenient escape clause because their confessions aver opposites.

    Reformed systematic theology effectively puts the mind of God in a box. What arrogance!

    Because Calvin Had God All Figured Out —
    How dare God act in any way other than in Calvin’s Institutes!

  359. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    If BP felt the need to make a public statement about his divorce, he should have kept it brief…… Something along the lines of: My wife and I have divorced, and we wish to keep our private lives private. We are both working to make the situation as easy as possible for the children. The End.

    His ramblings only opened the door to speculation.

    Maybe he’s like his father in that he can’t “keep it brief” but has to ramble on?

  360. Nancy2 wrote:

    If BP felt the need to make a public statement about his divorce, he should have kept it brief…… Something along the lines of: My wife and I have divorced, and we wish to keep our private lives private. We are both working to make the situation as easy as possible for the children. The End.
    His ramblings only opened the door to speculation.

    Correct. This wasn’t a public statement; it was a narrative.

  361. @ Ken G:

    Seems strange he would not mention that.

    BP has a problem. He makes his living and has a following in a world that does not recognize the concept of a no fault amicable divorce. (I am not saying it was) He will probably get more of a pass from peer followers.

    But this still presents a problem for his future as a Christian theme author and “leadership” consultant to churches. So navigating this is going to be tough if he wants to maintain a following and the backing of the big cheeses to endorse and support him. They don’t want to look like they are endorsing divorce. Therefore, there has to be a “biblical” reason for it.

    As JD Greear has said about other SBC situations, “Its tricky”. :o)

    In most of these situations, youth are taught they have to be married to be complete and they marry young. Then you have the whole “roles” thing going on as we have no idea what *”loosely” means to BP considering what he was taught…..but in those circles, after a while many young couples find the roles approach a problem. Then one partner is trying to build their brand and following which brings a whole other set of problems. It is all a recipe for disaster.

    *in the world of Piper, holding comp “loosely” could mean it is ok for a wife not to consider her husband her spiritual head if he asks her to go in for a threesome.

    That is how bad it is in Piperland.

  362. Lydia wrote:

    He makes his living and has a following in a world that does not recognize the concept of a no fault amicable divorce.

    Hypocrisy, or a new spin on the theology now that a leadership family member has ventured beyond the acceptable theological mandates.

  363. @ JYJames:

    There is a good chance we won’t hear any more about it after the state…..err narrative from BP. Any inquiries from that point will most likely be labeled gossip by his followers. (They always have a back channel strategy) Big Eva circles have never felt the need to go back and explain anything they have said or done or changed. And So far so good as the money is still coming in –albeit a bit slower.

  364. doubtful wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    Are you serious? She couldn’t stand to live under the same roof with the man but she took the time to review and edit his post about their failed marriage??

    Especially in the comp world he BP lives in.

  365. Lydia wrote:

    BP has a problem. He makes his living and has a following in a world that does not recognize the concept of a no fault amicable divorce. (I am not saying it was) He will probably get more of a pass from peer followers.

    Maybe he will go to work for the A Group, among other things they bill out themselves as literary agents.

  366. Lydia wrote:

    @ JYJames:

    There is a good chance we won’t hear any more about it after the state…..err narrative from BP. Any inquiries from that point will most likely be labeled gossip by his followers. (They always have a back channel strategy) Big Eva circles have never felt the need to go back and explain anything they have said or done or changed. And So far so good as the money is still coming in –albeit a bit slower.

    It is about the money!

  367. Lydia wrote:

    *in the world of Piper, holding comp “loosely” could mean it is ok for a wife not to consider her husband her spiritual head if he asks her to go in for a threesome.

    It usually means it is OK for her to bring home a paycheck. Even a paycheck that is larger than his paycheck. It is probably also OK for him to take care of the household tasks, too, as long as everyone pretends that he is the Ruler of the House. I agree that things are ridiculous in Piperland and CBMW World.

  368. okrapod wrote:

    I read something by Dr. Craig on this, and he said that the question is not whether it is the same God, but rather is it true what Islam says about God.

    This is much closer to my approach to the subject.

    I think some muslims are worshiping our God unknown. And some are not.

    But the religions are divorced from each other in a way that christianity and judaism are not, both geographically and in the most basic way, as the koran does not build on the bible, but replaces it entirely.

  369. doubtful wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    Are you serious? She couldn’t stand to live under the same roof with the man but she took the time to review and edit his post about their failed marriage??

    To get back to the topic, I feel like if his wife had reviewed and cosigned it, it would have sounded more like a press release, than a rambling diary entry.

  370. Max wrote:

    Since Calvinists believe in the beauty of complimentarity

    Not to be picky, but could you please clarify the types of calvinists you are talking about? Complementarity is not wedded to calvinism itself, just this errant branch of it.

  371. Lea wrote:

    I think some muslims are worshiping our God unknown. And some are not.

    Muslims worship ‘the one God’ …. is there another ‘one God’ that you know of than the God of Abraham?

  372. okrapod wrote:

    Are you saying that scripture should be evaluated in the criteria of one’s own current culture?

    Yes. The problem with biblical literalism is the focus is not on the message but on the culture that message came out of.
    If the literalists can pick their passages, so can I.
    I don’t care what the Bible says. Men & women are equal, I do not endorse execution for moral crimes, I don’t endorse slavery, I don’t think polygamy is a great idea but if consenting adults want to enter into alternate relationships, that’s not my business.
    I also repudiate young earth creationism.
    On the other hand, loving thy neighbor as thyself, caring for the dispossessed, the poor and the vulnerable. Kindness & tolerance I can get behind.
    Much of what I repudiate is cultural and is not in line with the message of redemption & Hope.
    Literalists are trying to kit bash iron age & bronze age “values” into a 21st century liberal democracy.
    I can’t look at the Bible any other way.

  373. @ Lea:
    Calvin himself was not a mutualist so the egalitarian stream of Calvinists is historically new. Patriarchy/heirarchy/determinism is wedded to the doctrine he wrote. It’s just that some groups chose to go a more social Gospel route and play down the determinism. Thankfully!

  374. Lydia wrote:

    Calvin himself was not a mutualist so the egalitarian stream of Calvinists is historically new.

    This would be true of most christian groups, though, if we want to go back 500+ years. I merely meant to point out that going to a reformed church does not equal Piper nonsense, in modern times, for anyone who doesn’t know. Thankfully.

  375. @ Lea:
    One of my kids seasoned music coaches is also the youth pastor at a small more liberal Presbyterian church. She really approaches it differently because of their schedules and attitudes. She invited my teen to one of their outings to an art museum. They went to a college coffee place after (very cool) to discuss beauty and art in culture. If the church was not so far we would visit. But the point is, she doesn’t care. All are welcome to join the youth outings. She told me she is formerly a Baptist and obtained her music grad degree from Southern back when they had an excellent program. Pre Mohler.

    I think it is wonderful they are welcome to join in without all the membership nonsense.

  376. Lea wrote:

    Not to be picky, but could you please clarify the types of calvinists you are talking about? Complementarity is not wedded to calvinism itself, just this errant branch of it.

    Sorry. Should have referred to “New” Calvinists in my comment. Classical Calvinists are much more civil in their discourse and treatment of others, than their neo-brethren.

  377. Jack wrote:

    The problem with biblical literalism is the focus is not on the message but on the culture that message came out of.

    I think there’s also a problem with just basic reading comprehension. A person ought to be able to read the account where God supposedly says “I hate divorce” and realize he was actually disgusted with the abuse of women by duplicitous men who held all the cards. It’s no different than what Jesus told the Pharisees, that they made a huge deal out of details while missing the whole point about love, fairness, justice, etc..

  378. Christiane wrote:

    Muslims worship ‘the one God’ …. is there another ‘one God’ that you know of than the God of Abraham?

    But in this line of reasoning, if I say the golden calf is “the one true God” would that make him the same person as the God of the Bible?

  379. Lydia wrote:

    He will probably get more of a pass from peer followers.

    Yes, New Calvinists stick with their celebrities until the potato becomes too hot to handle. They gave potty-mouth Driscoll a pass for years. BP made an emotional appeal to his tribe in “When a Marriage Dies” to get his pass signed. He can be comfortable with them to affirm and encourage, rather than question and rebuke. You can sense that in his words “I write this to diffuse the explosives, or maybe explode them in a controlled environment.” He has appealed to his “controlled environment.”

    BP’s situation is just a small blip on the radar compared to Driscoll’s transgressions. I have no doubt that BP will survive this OK. I wish the best for his wife and children and that they find a non-New Calvinist church to minister to them. BP will be OK – he lives in a controlled environment. His family must now seek another – I hope it’s a happier place for them.

  380. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Maybe he’s like his father in that he can’t “keep it brief” but has to ramble on?

    I’d much rather hear Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On than Piper the younger’s rambling any day of the week and six ways to Sunday.

  381. Lea wrote:

    Sometimes what seems like a snap judgement is really just a recognition of patterns.

    Gavin de Becker’s book “The Gift Of Fear” has some excellent example of that. I highly recommend it.

  382. @ Barbara Roberts:

    You are third person I have heard recommend that book. Just whipped over to read some reviews. Saw this:

    “The one line from this book that will be forever seared in my brain is this . . . “the first time a woman suffers a beating at the hands of her spouse or partner she is a victim. The second time, she is a volunteer.””

  383. @ Lydia:

    Whoa!

    I read it and liked it, but it’s been a long time. Gave it away to someone ages ago, actually. I think it was good for making me feel confident trusting my instincts, but now I’m wondering if I wasn’t a little too confident – but I’ve decided it only works on physical danger, not liars. Maybe.

  384. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    You should feel ashamed shaming anyone,
    Hmm…. where did you get that idea from?
    The Psalmists often pray that God shame the evildoers. Here are few examples:
    Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! (Ps 35:4)
    Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me! (Ps 35:26)
    Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! (Ps 40:14)
    He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! (Ps 57:3)
    Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! (Ps 70:2)

    Sorry for the time delay in responding, Barbara.

    I’ll preface my thoughts with the fact that we may view scripture a bit differently. I don’t necessarily believe that everything is prescriptive in the bible. I especially don’t view David’s prayers and discourse with God to be prescriptive. David did some awful things that I would not repeat, nor do I believe God would want me to. David’s cries to God in the Psalms you quoted are just that, cries to God. How God responds is up to God. God did not always respond just as David expected, but God did execute justice as he determined.

    When I think about how Jesus interacted with those around him, I don’t recall him engaging in a lot, if any, shaming. I do see shaming as very much a cultural issue in ancient times and even in many cultures today. I certainly see it used in Evangelicalism and not to shame someone who is evil.

    In my response to 4/8 above, my main point was that he appeared to say that it was not okay to shame a fellow believer, but possibly okay to shame a nonbeliever. I hear and read these kinds of comments quite often from Christians; that we are to treat Christians better or different than we treat nonbelievers. I don’t agree with this concept as I don’t see where Jesus did anything like this. Yes there is a difference between believers and nonbelievers, but I never see Jesus being unkind to either.

    In the case of this discussion regarding Barnabas Piper’s tweets and article, we are not shaming him. We have a lot of questions regarding his communication, what he meant by it, and how it relates to all the teaching we have heard from his father and other evangelical leaders about divorce, but we have no evidence that Barnabas did anything evil at all. There is no need to shame him. Discussion and pointing out inconsistencies is a much better way to communicate then shaming. I’ll leave shaming to God, if he chooses to shame a man or a nation.

    Hope this is helpful to understand where I am coming from about shaming

  385. @ Barbara Roberts

    Thank you.

    Much love;)

    My father did not sexually abuse me, it was someone else. My father did abhor rape victims and mocked them. He did beat my mother and say creepy things about her. Mark Driscoll and Doug Wilson remind me of my father. I feel so sorry for their daughters.

  386. siteseer wrote:

    I think there’s also a problem with just basic reading comprehension. A person ought to be able to read the account where God supposedly says “I hate divorce” and realize he was actually disgusted with the abuse of women by duplicitous men who held all the cards.

    Reading comprehension is irrelevant when you’ve chopped the Bible into nice little quotable verses, suitable for clobbering.

    Thanks, Ken F, for the Baxter Kruger quote. I was thinking the other day that Jesus never ceased to be human. Which means that right now, part of the substance of the Eternal God exists as a resurrected human. And another part exists in a bunch of other pre-resurrected humans. If I’m crazy, at least I’m in good company.

  387. Ken F wrote:

    There is no more stunning news in the universe than the news that a human being now exists inside the Trinitarian life of God. It was not an angel or a ghost that St. Stephen saw standing at the right hand of God in heaven.

    And Jesus wasn’t seated at the time, he was standing, in that culture an act of giving honor and respect Jesus stood for Stephen.

  388. Max wrote:

    Sorry. Should have referred to “New” Calvinists in my comment. Classical Calvinists are much more civil in their discourse and treatment of others, than their neo-brethren.

    Peter Masters, a Classical Calvinist, wrote a strong critique of John Piper’s Christian Hedonism some years ago. I don’t agree with all his points (especially since I’m not a Calvinist) but it was interesting nonetheless. I really liked these words:

    “This reviewer must own that he finds Dr Piper too keen on producing startlingly original ways of looking at everything, and seldom are these to be found in the Bible. He is a master of the oblique approach, but at times his rather contrived reasoning leaves one grateful that Scripture, by contrast, is so straightforward and free from philosophical gymnastics.”

    http://mettab.blogspot.co.uk/2006/02/christian-hedonism.html

  389. @ GSD:

    You all need to be very careful with this line of thinking lest you end up way too close to some of the understandings of the more ancient pagan polytheists. It is not just JP who can be accused of philosophical gymnastics. Don’t go out on the mat with the experts in this methodology without being very very cautious.

  390. After a full weekend of flying out for my uncle’s graveside service and funeral, I’m just now commenting here.

    My opinion of Barnabas Piper’s statement is that in his circumstances, he had to make one. Given who his father is and all, the news would have eventually leaked out and then people would have been accusing him of concealment and hypocrisy. I did not read it as him throwing his ex-wife under the bus the way Tullian did. Some of his wording is odd, like speaking of the marriage as “it” not wanting to live any longer, as though marriage is some conscious entity separate from the two people comprising it. Perhaps he could have written better than the stream of consciousness style and been more succinct, while understandably not wanting to go into too much detail. It’s probably impossible to write about something like this without setting off all manner of speculation, especially given his celebrity father’s well-known views. It will be interesting to keep an eye on John Piper for any reaction or change.

  391. @ okrapod:
    I missed this earlier. Thanks for the reference to that scholar. Over the last few years I have become convinced that dismissing Jewish scholarship historically was a big mistake.

  392. NJ wrote:

    Some of his wording is odd, like speaking of the marriage as “it” not wanting to live any longer, as though marriage is some conscious entity separate from the two people comprising it. Perhaps he could have written better than the stream of consciousness style and been more succinct…

    Maybe there’s something genetic about being a Piper and long malaproped rambling…

  393. okrapod wrote:

    She shows in scripture where it is accepted by all, including Paul, that there are many gods but that the requirement for Jews was that the Jewish God was One and was the highest god.

    I understand the actual word for this is “Henotheism”. That there are many gods but yours requires an exclusivity contract — no others.

  394. @ okrapod:
    Hi OKRAPOD,
    on the other hand
    the Creator God existed before all ages and before any revelations of Who He Was even the one given to Abraham from whom Ismael descended.

    Perhaps we need to realize that those ‘revelations’ are viewed differently ….. the Jewish people don’t accept the NT, but we know they worship the same God as we Christians do….
    so we can say that peoples who worship the same God may not regard one another’s ideas of His revelations as the same

    God as the Source of all in existence, as ‘Being itself’, is the Abrahamic God

  395. NJ wrote:

    I did not read it as him throwing his ex-wife under the bus the way Tullian did.

    No, not in the same way. But he implied that he was the one trying to save the marriage with the weird kidney thing. Or maybe I got lost in his thought. Quite possible. I liked Nancy2’s version better.

  396. GSD wrote:

    Which means that right now, part of the substance of the Eternal God exists as a resurrected human. And another part exists in a bunch of other pre-resurrected humans. If I’m crazy, at least I’m in good company.

    It’s ‘mystery’ but an ancient Coptic Christian prayer speaks of Christ in these words:
    ““. . . You are the life of us all, the salvation of us all, the hope of us all, the healing of us all, and the resurrection of us all.”

    so the concept of Christ as ‘the resurrection of us all’ is not so far from the beliefs of early Christian people in that they were able to express those words prior to the reading of the Gospel in their liturgy (Coptic Christians descend from the early Christian Church out of Alexandria, Egypt)

  397. I just listened to a lecture by Paula about Augustine and his ideas about Jewish understanding of interpreting some of their scriptures literally instead of allegorically as being the correct way to interpret some thing, like the dietary laws for one. He argued against both his former sect on this and also he and Jerome apparently disagreed, Jerome representing some popular thinking among Christians of that day. I am finding so much actual first rate academic thought (whether correct of not) on youtube. No way I could wade through all the ancient tomes, but then that is what historians and other academics are for. Let’s hear it for technology and the net.

  398. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    She shows in scripture where it is accepted by all, including Paul, that there are many gods but that the requirement for Jews was that the Jewish God was One and was the highest god.

    I understand the actual word for this is “Henotheism”. That there are many gods but yours requires an exclusivity contract — no others.

    so am I to understand that the fundamentalist evangelicals who reject the Abrahamic faith status of Islam are really ‘Henotheists’ instead of ‘Monotheists’???
    I can’t do that! I just can’t accept that anyone in our Christian realm views that there really are ‘other gods’ in existence being worshiped .. Yikes!

  399. ZechZav wrote:

    Peter Masters, a Classical Calvinist, wrote a strong critique of John Piper’s Christian Hedonism some years ago.

    “This reviewer must own that he finds Dr Piper too keen on producing startlingly original ways of looking at everything, and seldom are these to be found in the Bible. He is a master of the oblique approach, but at times his rather contrived reasoning leaves one grateful that Scripture, by contrast, is so straightforward and free from philosophical gymnastics.” (Peter Masters)

    In former days, Christians would have distanced themselves from a teacher labeling himself as a “hedonist.” Now they say “Cool, let’s buy his books!” As Masters notes, Piper likes to startle folks to get their attention – to the point of making up new religious vocabulary and definitions. His theology is more philosophy than Truth. The charm of the Pied Piper is reaching disturbing proportions.

  400. Christiane wrote:

    I can’t do that! I just can’t accept that anyone in our Christian realm views that there really are ‘other gods’ in existence being worshiped .. Yikes!

    Oh come on. There are indeed ‘other gods’ but whether they “exist” as for example the Hindu’s think they do, or whether they are “demons” as modern translations of scripture say, or whether that is what Paul called “principalities and powers and rulers of this darkness”. or whether they are mere ideas and delusions and do not ‘exist’ in any actual form whatsoever, certainly many people worship something which indeed is not conceived of as personal infinite reality.

    Now, let us say that somebody says that oh, their ‘god’ is thought of as personal infinite reality, and then they describe their god in ways which are utterly contrary to what somebody else describes his ‘god’ whom he also believes to be ultimate personal reality, at some point it becomes crystal clear that these ideas cannot both be correct. Either one or both is mistaken.

  401. Christiane wrote:

    so am I to understand that the fundamentalist evangelicals who reject the Abrahamic faith status of Islam are really ‘Henotheists’ instead of ‘Monotheists’???

    IMO the predominant idea would be who cares whether or not they are talking about the same god, they are mistaken about God. And it would be a serious error to think that this concept is restricted to fundamentalist evangelicals, IMO.

  402. @ okrapod:
    I cannot accept that anyone who is a part of the Abrahamic faiths worships ‘real, existing other gods’, no. Nope.

    Now I’m wondering how ‘God’ is perceived in the evangelical world. You’ve given me something to mull over.

    I know my Jewish friends are monotheistic. I know my Catholic brothers and sisters are monotheistic. I am told that Islamic people are monotheistic.
    So now people WITHIN the fundamentalist/evangelical sphere view ‘powers and principalities and demons of the darkness’ as real ‘gods’???

    I think it right to say that the EO have a wonderful way of speaking about God: The Uncreated Light

    and I love the way my own Church sees God as ‘Being itself’

    I’ve always seen the fallen angels as created by God and choosing to go bad, which for them is irrevocable, and in the mystery that is our existence, they have been allowed to exist and for some purposes we do not understand, they have indeed created havoc and chaos …… but they will not ‘win’, no, as it is said in my faith, ‘no amount of darkness can extinguish the light of even one candle’

  403. Gram3 wrote:

    No, not in the same way. But he implied that he was the one trying to save the marriage with the weird kidney thing. Or maybe I got lost in his thought. Quite possible. I liked Nancy2’s version better.

    Yeah, we don’t really know for sure if his version (such as it is) is correct, or if he was mixing falsehood in there. Only Lesley could tell for sure, and right now she’s not talking about it, and may never talk about it. I simply hold such statements in abeyance of credibility.

  404. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Maybe there’s something genetic about being a Piper and long malaproped rambling…

    Possibly, although I don’t think even Barnabas has been as bad as his father on Twitter.

  405. @ Christiane:

    In what way did I not make myself clear? We speak of the ‘gods’ of power and money and sex and self and on and on. Now, you are taking this concept of ‘god’ along with other concepts and trying to make it look like I said something which I did not say. I don’t know if you really don’t ‘get it’ or whether this is something else altogether.

  406. okrapod wrote:

    Now, you are taking this concept of ‘god’ along with other concepts and trying to make it look like I said something which I did not say. I don’t know if you really don’t ‘get it’ or whether this is something else altogether.

    It’s frustrating.

    BTW; Whether The Islamic Allah (God) is the same as Yahweh or not was debated to death in many non Fundy circles after 9/11. You even used to be able to discuss it on some college campuses in an amicable fashion without being called a Fundy. No more. Now it is hzte speech and a horrible phobia.

  407. Christiane wrote:

    I know my Catholic brothers and sisters are monotheistic.

    Outside the scope of the post, but only a bit as this is a huge “interpretation thing”. Muslims and Jews have accused Christianity of not being monotheistic because of trinitarian thinking (ie “The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit”) Three Godheads. Now as I understand it, Christians have meant that these are 3 aspects of the same being.
    I guess this is why doctrines like Eternal Submission of the Son gain traction as literalists come to grips with the fact that the faith believes in one God not 3 Gods, therefore it must be hierarchical (as everything such as marriage must be). I mean how could Jesus be wandering around ministering and praying to his father when he is his father? Very perplexing to a non-Christian. So we start to see:
    God -> Son ->Pastor -> Man -> Woman -> Child -> Jack and the Holy Spirit relegated to the sidelines somewhere.
    I freely admit I am woefully underequipped to debate this point but this just how I see it – no disrespect intended.

  408. Lea wrote:

    To get back to the topic, I feel like if his wife had reviewed and cosigned it, it would have sounded more like a press release, than a rambling diary entry.

    I think Dee may have provided the answer. Dee wrote, above

    We also understand that you might be under a gag order and may be unable to publicly comment.

  409. @ okrapod:
    I didn’t ‘get it’. Sorry. I took part of what you said literally, when you apparently did not mean for that to happen. My bad.

  410. I’ve been where he is now just not on that grand, public scale. He is still trying to get his brain around this, while trying to reconcile his legalistic upbringing. It takes a long time for someone of his position to work through this. I feel for him or anyone else that goes through divorce. Just my opinion

  411. @ Ken G:
    How is it legal that an ex-wife is placed under a gag-order while the ex-husband is allowed to portray himself as the innocent party in their divorce?

    I would think that runs into questions of discrimination over one party getting to cast doubt on the reputation of the other party. Seems one-sided, which if there IS a gag order, would make Barnabus’ putting out the dirty laundry even more contemptuous and dishonorable. I don’t know how ‘gag orders’ work, but how is it he gets to write and she cannot?
    ?

    confession: I hear ‘Barnabus’, I don’t think biblical, I think vampire ….. I grew up with ‘Dark Shadows’ and Johnathan Frid playing Barnabus Collins.
    🙂
    Good thing most people these days don’t make that connection.

  412. Off topic – sort of. In regard to BP’s employer Lifeway, are there any Southern Baptist followers of TWW familiar with Lifeway’s new “Disciples Path Bible Study” materials? Are they another subtle introduction to reformed theology like “The Gospel Project”. I guess I’m suspect of anything endorsed by David Platt.

    http://www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/Disciples-Path?cmpid=adwords-disciplespath-%2Bdiscipleship%20%2Bstudy&s_kwcid=AL!4443!3!58524917277!b!!g!!%2Bdiscipleship%20%2Bstudy&gclid=CMiGrbqp6tECFVy4wAodKqsNUQ&ef_id=WI9tTAAABHfSUBku:20170130164854:s

  413. okrapod wrote:

    No way I could wade through all the ancient tomes, but then that is what historians and other academics are for. Let’s hear it for technology and the net.

    You too huh? It’s not just the ancient tomes, many of the ‘modern ones’ suffer from the same malady, overly wrought wordiness which can lead to needless confusion and even obfuscation. Many years ago I sat under an *English Prof.* who put it this way:

    “Never spend 3000 words on something for which 300 will do nicely.”

    *She sleeps in the Earth now, and may she awake to a goodly inheritance in Olam Ha-Ba*

  414. Muff Potter wrote:

    Many years ago I sat under an *English Prof.* who put it this way:

    “Never spend 3000 words on something for which 300 will do nicely.”

    But New Calvinists would be unable to produce so many books if they did that! As one young reformer told me, New Calvinist celebrities are the only religious leaders writing popular books and holding cool conferences for his generation. So, where else are they going to go? (as Al Mohler puts it)

  415. @ Lydia:

    Ah. Political correctness. Why did I not think of that? Alright, in that line I want to say further:

    Having been through divorce I hate divorce and I like to think that God does also. If he does not, then that is going to have to be his problem; I have enough of my own.

    I could get addicted to this non-p.c. stuff.

  416. Gram3 wrote:

    NJ wrote:
    I did not read it as him throwing his ex-wife under the bus the way Tullian did.
    No, not in the same way. But he implied that he was the one trying to save the marriage with the weird kidney thing. Or maybe I got lost in his thought. Quite possible. I liked Nancy2’s version better.

    A lot of couples part ways because one if them ceases to exist …….. Is taken for granted ……..
    Thought process of the one surprised: He/she will never file for divorce ……. marriage is til death do us part ……. So, things aren’t going so well right now, but I’m too busy. I’ll make up for it …… someday……..

    But, “someday” never comes.

  417. @ NJ:

    Yes I agree with you and others on this – watching for signs of change is really important here. The thing that annoys me more than anything about Piper and his ilk of authoritarian leaders is the lack of perspective and honesty about how values are subjective and designed to suit themselves. They rail and pontificate against divorce but let's see what happens when it is one of your own. Want to bet that the hard line of one or both of these dudes is softened by this "experience"? Can't see BP spending the remainder of his life single and celibate somehow.

    This whole scene makes me sick – these arrogant indulged men need some truth spoken to them and to be called on their bullsh#t (ed.) hypocrisy, even better if it is by strong women (well done daughters of Stan!). I don't blame BP so much as JP and yes wouldn't it be interesting to hear from Lesley. I also read the story of the brother AP – doesn't the old prodigal son narrative just warm your heart ? (not). Would be far more interesting and honest to feature PKs who just up and left and Never Came Back. But no these get hushed up and the lessons about the psychological abuse inherent in the system never get aired. No end of blather from the APs of the world though.

  418. Scott wrote:

    I’ve been where he is now just not on that grand, public scale. He is still trying to get his brain around this

    He made it public, though. He could have issued a simple statement of fact and asked for time to wrap his head around it.

  419. Lydia wrote:

    BTW; Whether The Islamic Allah (God) is the same as Yahweh or not was debated to death in many non Fundy circles after 9/11. You even used to be able to discuss it on some college campuses in an amicable fashion without being called a Fundy. No more. Now it is hzte speech and a horrible phobia.

    See how Al’lah sends madness upon the Infidel?

  420. Christiane wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    How is it legal that an ex-wife is placed under a gag-order while the ex-husband is allowed to portray himself as the innocent party in their divorce?

    Rank Hath Its Privileges, and Money Talks when it comes to attorneys.

  421. @ Lydia:

    The next on my list is N.T. Wright “How Paul Invented Christian Theology”. Maybe tomorrow.

    I have heard Crossan (sp?) on Christ a bit, but I get sad in the winter, and Crossan makes me sad, so maybe next spring.

  422. Scott wrote:

    He is still trying to get his brain around this, while trying to reconcile his legalistic upbringing. It takes a long time for someone of his position to work through this. I feel for him or anyone else that goes through divorce.

    Twitter is not famous for helping people work through their lengthy, complex sources of private anguish. If that’s what someone seeks in Twitter, he is confused indeed.

  423. @ Muff Potter:

    ““Never spend 3000 words on something for which 300 will do nicely.””
    +++++++++++

    i love succinct. if NT Wright is so brilliant why can’t he be succinct?

    maybe it’s not a matter of brilliance, just a skill that is acquired.

  424. Girasol wrote:

    This whole scene makes me sick – these arrogant indulged men need some truth spoken to them and to be called on their bullsh#t (ed.) hypocrisy, even better if it is by strong women (well done daughters of Stan!).

    But that would mean Invading Their SAFE SPACE!