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Piper on the Necessity of Disputation

Last week I greatly enjoyed this message from John Piper on John 1:1-18. It’s about Christ’s incarnation, but it contains a compelling call to arms and an explanation about the necessity of contending for the faith—adding disputation to education and exaltation, to use his words. Beginning at about 23:30, Dr. Piper says:

“I could wish—oh how I could wish!—we could move always directly from education to exaltation. Ah! Wouldn’t it be great?! Without the intervening disputation—controversy. Why is it that we have to move from education often through the shark-infested waters of disputation on the way to exalation? Because it can become so easily perceived that…’What you really love is disputation.’ It’s not what we love. I long for the day when this will be gone; it will be over; there will be no disputation, no controversy, no arguments, no heresies, no false teaching in heaven. I’ll be corrected, everybody will be fixed, and we will be one mind completely, and there will be exaltation and learning, and exaltation, and learning, and exaltation—forever and ever, with no intervening step of controversy. But here, it won’t happen. And if yo utry to make it happen—if you say ‘I’m not going to be part of that. Our church is just going to go straight from education to exaltation, and we’re not going to be part of controversies.’ You may last one generation, or two. It’s cheap to let everybody else do the dirty work and preserve the precious truth on which you stand. And it won’t last. It won’t last. Every one of Paul’s letters is called forth by disputation. We wouldn’t even have a New Testament if people acted that way.”

Amen. Very well said.

Two other sermons on John 1:1-18 that I’ve enjoyed are this one by Dr. Michael Barrett, and this one by Dr. Albert N. Martin.


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