John Piper and Disaster.

Piper recently gave an analysis of the recent sweep of tornadoes across Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, an other states this past week.

Piper does not seem to take advantage of a natural theology based on Genesis and the Psalms. His focus is solely on God’s sovereignty and how Christians should act in a way that glorifies God. Please note that I applaud Piper’s call for Christians to act and minister to the victims of the tragedy.

What I do not applaud is his view of God’s actions seeming distant to the reality at hand. The first and most obvious is that people suffered and that is something that the Scriptures states is a needle prick to the heart of God.

The second issue is that Piper seems to not view earth and nature as the good created by God. Good in Genesis 1 is not a moral sense, but is a more aesthetic sense. God loves his creation. He is much like an artist painting a masterpiece. There is no intrinsic moral value, but it is a sign of beauty and goodness.

The third issue is that Piper has a poor view of the curse in Genesis 3:17-19. In this passage, it is tempting to think that God is just controlling the earth and pushing it against mankind. I do admit he does well to say that God is over nature and can command it. However, in the creation accounts, nature plays a very active role in that it is commanded to produce, and boy does it produce. What this means is that Genesis views nature as having a mind of its own. When God says that nature will from that point on will be tough against man, he means that nature is rebelling against man. Nature never rebels against God and highly reveres God, even when we do not (Luke 19:39-40). Nature logically would then rebel against whatever is against the object of its praise. Man rebels against God, nature then decides to fight off man.

Fourthly, when nature has an itch, it will scratch. Nature is notorious for acting to balance itself, which is some of the reason for the existence of tornadoes. Piper completely ignores this in his treatise.

I challenge John, my brother in the Lord, to reconsider his view. Although our theology is a hairs breadth away, I think this point is something worth revisiting.

Grace and peace to you John, and the same to everyone else.