Sunday, April 6, 2014

John Piper on Romans 8 & 9

The Pauline epistle of Romans grows with you and on you or should it be the other way round? Minds could not figure this out or even think to ask a question like this. The question and answer come from life itself. And that is what separated two good men who loved each other dearly: Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

I have learned a lot from John Piper, he is a truly good fellow and an honest teacher of the Bible. He is also a theologian.

I have observed and learned through the years two things about Romans. One can never stop learning from Romans because it is so tied up with living. Life is the best teacher the Spirit uses to teach us Romans and also destroy heresy. This is also the way to make Romans accessible.

In another age John Piper would be spot on but in our age it is more relevant to say that when Christians grow up from Romans 8 they will find Romans 9. They will stop being babies excelling at asking God to bless them. They will start to love rather than demanding to be loved. Then among others, they will also know how to love the homosexuals etc.,

Joseph Prince was wise to stay away from the LGBT controversy. Lawrence Khong if he is interested is learning to love. But my wish and prayer for so many believers in New Creation Church is to stop remaining babies with an insatiable appetite for grace and start becoming conduits of grace themselves. Many must have left their churches to join NCC, and some attending their church and also NCC too. I know a few of them, so there must be lots I don't know. To be practical, it is better to be a baby who refuses to grow up than a dead one. At least the former has a chance but the latter is hopeless. And that is God's amazing grace, forever waiting, forever standing at the door looking far out for the prodigals to come home.

But the Bible ends with the Lord's mostly severe words to the seven churches of Asia....and yet his patience is infinite. Thank God for quantum mechanics or should I say thank quantum mechanics for God? If you only have your mind to work this you are in trouble. Richard Feynman was honest how hard this stuff is. Me still trying to understand and Physics was my strongest subject.

Like Paul, John must have thought the Lord was coming back very soon. What happened? Don't just use your head. It is more important to use the heart. It was and has always been about relationships. Love is that binding force and ever imperfectly we also find evidence of it in the quantum world.

Update: 10:05 am

Just got this from my friend in Seattle. Yes beside being not too quick to judge this is an ordinary example of giving rather than receiving love.

and I wrote back as follows:

Yet another hidden angel among us. Perhaps God plant them a few here and there, all over the place to stop himself from raining sulfur and brimstone on our civilization eh?

A gentle poke at a friend who often get angry at all the injustice, corruption and evil all around and asking for the world to end.


  1. Many of these "medicine peddlers" love the fire and brimstone scripts to scare the daylight out of gullible followers and then supposedly lead them to expect the end and the return of the Christ The end is when our individual lives have lived its run on earth If we look into history, there are so many episodes of colossal destruction of human race (including big plagues etc) which we can label like end of the world yet the wise and the discerning will survive to rebuild. Being aware of the injustice, corruption and evil is in fact a gift of the Spirit for as the Master warns about not staying awake or wish passively for a quick end as solution. Remember Noah did take action and build an ark, Lot did get those who see the evil in the twin cities and leave to serve God elsewhere. We need to stay vigilant especially in those pockets of human history where evil is ragingly high - these decades no doubt qualify. But to fall prey to false messiahs, that's a big mistake.

  2. Yes , quite impressed with John Piper's passion and sincerity. He is also critical of preachers pushing the Prosperity Gospel. You can see a Man of God here. By the way, both Benedict and Francis will have heard Romans 8 read at mass today. Is it a coincidence that you happen to mention it here ?

    1. Yep, I am completely unaware that Romans 8 had been used at mass today.

  3. Many things in life do not happen by chance. They are in fact all destined and for a purpose. Thank God! The Bible is read in at least 3 parts (excluding the Psalms) in every mass celebrated whether on a sunday or weekend. Indeed there are many moments when one realise that a passage just appears to pop up from nowhere and for apparent no other reason and then find it is connected with other ordinary occurrence. Discerning will help us realise God is always revealing so much and so deep for the soul "to mere little children"

    1. " Indeed there are many moments when one realise that a passage just appears to pop up from nowhere and for apparent no other reason and then find it is connected with other ordinary occurrence."

      If you mean the readings address a matter currently on your mind, yes, this happens pretty often. Remarkable in fact.