Consider with me if you will the curious case of Doug Wilson and John Piper, prominent American evangelical pastors with large, high-profile ministries, colleges, and major platforms for preaching and teaching.
From the 2000 Ligonier National Conference: Mohler, Piper, Sproul, and Wilson: Questions and Answers #1 – Ligonier Ministries – 34:25.
From the 2012 Desiring God conference for pastors: “A Pastor & His Worldview” / John Piper and Doug Wilson – 1:59:41.
In these and other videos just like them, you will find that these two disagree in some significant practical details regarding the way we think and communicate about sin and folly inside and outside the church.
On the one hand, you have the polemicist Wilson who routinely employs biting sarcasm to highlight and ridicule persons and movements who are calling good evil and evil good.
On the other hand, you have Piper who has deep and abiding misgivings about emulating anger and disgust, even where we find examples in the Old Testament and New Testament of God’s servants expressing such in their rebukes of sin and folly and their calls to repentance.
But I want to draw your attention to the manner in which they express their disagreements and agreements with one another. For all that we can, and should, bemoan the often frenetic and superficial way dialog and debate are handled in modern American society – inside and outside the church – at least some of the antidote to the chaos and disfunction may be these sorts of long-form, respectful, in-depth dialogs.
When everyone is chasing the 30-second soundbite and the mic-drop accolades of teaming throngs of internet fanboys, where so-and-so just “destroyed” such-and-such or whomever, perhaps we need to be measuring our disagreements in hours and days over years rather than seconds and minutes.
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