So, John Lennox takes Piper head on in this book and I did not understand the reason at first. Why mention Piper by name when you could just discuss the Biblical texts? So I found some videos where Piper addresses the difference between arminians and calvinists and was quite horrified to find that Piper makes a gross generalization about non-calvinists’ approach to Scripture. Piper says, in no uncertain terms, that all non-calvinists he has ever interacted with start with philosophy and bring their opinions to the text, while honest exegesis inevitably leads to calvinism.
I would never make such a generalization about calvinists - including Piper. I think he is doing his best to exegete the text itself. And I do not understand why he would make this type of generalization against brothers and sisters in Christ. I have provided below some legitimate non-calvinist interpretations of Romans 9 as evidence this generalization is not true.
But I want us to process this together as part of reading the book:
What do you think of Piper’s statements / generalizations? Is he being fair to both sides? What do you think of the alternative interpretations of Romans 9?
Please feel free to disagree, but let us do all things in love Jesus be with us in our discussion!
John Piper Makes Generalization About Non-Calvinists
To my surprise, Piper says that non-calvinists are bringing their views to the Bible (eisegesis) rather than allowing the Bible to speak for itself and then accepting that God is beyond their understanding. I was very surprised that Piper made such a sweeping generalization.
Non-Calvinist Biblical Perspective on Romans 9
Paul’s burden, then, in Romans 9 is not to narrow the scope of God’s election but to broaden it. He wants to take in all who have faith in Christ Jesus regardless of their ethnicity. Election, then, is first and foremost a corporate notion: God has chosen for Himself a people, a corporate entity, and it is up to us by our response of faith whether or not we choose to be members of that corporate group destined to salvation.