Friday, March 07, 2014


Sometimes, We Do Not Have Answers

Jeff Dunn and Chaplain Mike Take out after John Piper in the wake of the Oklahoma tornadoes last year. Dunn:
I didn’t even flinch when I read a tweet John Piper sent out (since recalled) Monday evening that read, “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” (Job 1:19) He followed it up with the next verse in Job: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” I didn’t flinch when I read that, but I did want to puke. Piper sits in his pompous palace on his pompous ass and tosses out verses that are supposed to explain just why this tornado touched down and killed ten children and fourteen adults.
Chaplain Mike looks deeper into Job than Piper's quick quotes:
By steadfastly refusing to be silent, to take his place by the side of those who are suffering with mouth shut and heart open wide, he misses the point of the very Bible book he cites in a misguided attempt to bring theological perspective to the Oklahoma disaster.


Once they opened their mouths, it was all downhill. They became “miserable comforters.” It is not simply a matter of timing. The friends’ words came after the accepted period of silent mourning. Their words were wrong. And so it is with John Piper. It is not as though Piper’s words, inappropriate in the tender moment, would be appropriate once wounds have healed somewhat, once things have calmed down and we have time to gain perspective on the tragedy. No, his understanding and application of the book of Job is wrong. He has taken his place with Job’s friends, not with the argument of the text.

From the point when Job’s friends open their mouths, the Book of Job becomes a protest against their “miserable comfort,” particularly by challenging all theologies of explanation.
Sometime we do not know. Sometimes we should not try to know. Sometimes there is only God. That is always enough.


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