Smashing Piper’s Dialectic

I think I have posted about John Piper’s implicit Origenism sometime in the past. Essentially, Piper said that for God to be glorious and Lord, there must be something for him to be Lord over.   It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this makes sin necessary and creation eternal and necessary.

Still, one could respond, “Well, God is Lord, isn’t he?”   This is an example of dialectical horns at their finest, and it is a question I have wrestled with for a while.

The answer lies in St. Gregory of Nyssa.   For Nyssa, and for most of the Fathers, God’s names are names of his attributes, not his essence.    We deny that God’s essence = his attributes, and we deny that God’s names = God’s essence.  God’s names, rather, = God’s energies.  God’s names he God’s acts (i.e., creation).   Yet we do not say that God’s acts are eternal.

Still, for my part, I don’t think this question is fully answered.  At first, I simply noted that John Piper (and his legion of Christian Hedonists) had simply rehashed old Origenism in a new light.  I didn’t answer the question, though.   Now, I’ve offered a new way out of the dialectical process.  Still, there is one or two other questions that remain to be answered.



One comment on “Smashing Piper’s Dialectic

  1. […] come very close to an official Origenism.  It’s not theologically or culturally difficult to go from a necessary creation to an […]

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