Monday, December 15, 2008

Jeremy Pierce on the glory of God

Jeremy Pierce on the glory of God.


  1. Presiding over a Sadistic lottery is an odd way to get glory. In fact, that's what one does when he's looking to get shame. If God is all about his own glory, he'd definitely go the whosoever will route.

  2. Come back when you can exegete.

  3. In Faith in Future Grace, Piper says we should be motivated by 'faith in future grace', whilst most theologians I've read say we should be motivated by gratitude. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Does it matter much?

  4. BEOWULF2K8,

    I realize that you're too blinded by your insensible range to see straight, but did you actually bother to read Pierce? Pierce is not taking that position. Yet Pierce is a Calvinist. Are you capable of rationally responding to his position?

    If all you can do is to snort and paw the ground like an agitated bull, then your comments will be deleted. You need to stop thinking with your glands and begin to use that dusty organ between your ears. This is not a place for you to vent your brute fury at what you refuse to understand.

    You seem to suffer from authority issues. Did you have an unhappy childhood or something?

  5. I agree with Piper that we ought to motivated by "faith in Future Grace". I don't think there's a conflict (Biblically or theologically) in being motivated by both gratitude AND God's future rewards based on faithfulness. The former focusing on the past, the later on the future. But even then, all future blessings ultimately spring from fountain of the Cross which will go on into eternity (Eph 2:7). So gratitude for the past, is also gratitude for the future. Reformed tradition affirms both gratitude and hope of rewards as proper motivations.

    Though, at times the latter is de-emphasized or not mentioned in Reformed circles (unfortunately sometimes denied). For example, Michael Horton has criticized John Wesley when he complained that the Reformation doctrine(s) of justification (and possibly also election) removes the motivation to seek holiness because it removes 1. the fear of hell and 2. hope of reward as motivations.

    However, I think if someone personally asked Horton whether those were legitimate motivations even in Reformation theology he would say "yes". I just mention it because often when I've heard him refer to Wesley's sentiments, he (Horton) doesn't make it clear that those are also legitimate motivations in Reformation theology.

    Btw, if I recall correctly, in the beginning of Piper's book "Future Grace", he does affirm gratitude as a proper motivation. Only that in that book, he's emphasizing the motive for seeking "conditional unmerited grace". Or what John Gerstner called Christian "supererogatory works" that "merit" rewards.

    That is, that while Christ's sacrifice purchased and provided salvation for the elect; in addition to that, by God's grace we can do works by the Holy Spirit, which (while imperfect) can "graciously merit" rewards. Both of which were in keeping with God's sovereign decrees. As Calvin said, our works will receive rewards because whatever was lacking will be filled up in Christ. Whatever was tainted by sin will be forgiven in Christ.

    Gerstner talked about the seemingly oxymoronic phrase "graciously merit" rewards that Augustine (and other fathers) talked about.

    All this is to describe the difficult idea of how Christians will receive rewards for faithfulness even though faithfulness itself is God's gracious gift. Or as Augustine said, God "crowning His own gifts" (paraphrase).

    Piper talked about those rewards as "unmerited" because it's NOT *strictly* merited. Yet "conditional" in that they are given only on the condition (and degree) of faithfulness. Gerstner talked about them as "merited" because they are according to works, though not by strict merit.

    Can anyone explain to me the difference in Medieval theology between condign merit and congruous merit? Would I be right in saying that neither describe Pelagian strict works. But that one of them (say X) does refer to a Semi-Pelagian-like pre-salvation works that merit reception of salvific grace (Which Aquinas denied and Gabriel Biel affirmed?) which can lead to the other kind (say Y) of merit whereby gracious works merit salvation (which Aquinas affirmed).

    Would X congruous and Y be condign?

    Or is it that one DOES affirm *strict* merit?