Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why Can't We Be Friends?

So a reader of The Secret Diary of D.A. Carson tipped the Don off the other day about a little tiff that's been happening between John Piper and Roger Olson.  A lot could be said about this, but basically it boils down to a Calvinist and an Arminianist arguing over why the bridge in Minnesota collapsed a little while ago.

The Don is a lover, not a fighter, so I hate to see people at odds with one another (you know, unless someone disagrees with me).  So I called up those two crazy cats and convinced them to head towards the Chicago area so that we could work things out.  I had TEDS fly them into town first class (you wouldn't believe how much money we have laying around from the outrageous tuition we charge) and then I picked them up from the airport in the Dragon Wagon.

Now Piper and I go way back, but I've only met Olson a handful of times.  I'm pretty sure that made John a little overly confident because he seemed to assume that the two of us were going to work together to bring Roger down.

We met in a neutral territory: Bennigan's.  After ordering three Monte Cristo sandwiches, the conversation went something like this:

D.A.:  Gentlemen, I'm glad you agreed to meet.  I really think it'd be best if you two could work out your differences and continue doing the work of the ministry as allies in the faith.

Pipes:  I couldn't agree more.  

Olson:  I think we're all on the same page, then.

D.A.:  Great!  John, what would you like to say to Roger?

Pipes:  Well, Roger, I respect you a great deal and I want things to be right between us.  I want us to be able to work together to further the kingdom and to bring glory to God.  So just admit that my model of God's sovereignty is the correct one and we can put all of this behind us.

Olson:  What!?  I can't believe that you-

D.A.:  John, come nice.

Olson:  Oh, don't worry about me, Don, I can handle myself just fine.  You know, John, maybe I could agree with your model if God had ordained me to understand Him in the way that you do, but since it appears that He didn't, I don't know how you can possibly blame ME for what you can only believe to be GOD'S sovereign decision!!!

Pipes:  Roger, it's called COMPATIBILISM, and you should look it up some time when you're not claiming that you're OPEN to OPEN THEISM!!!

They went on like this for a while, so I pulled out some clubs and began juggling.  The room went dead silent and everyone stared at me.

Pipes:  Um...Don?  What are you going?

D.A.: I'm juggling.

Olson:  Uh...yeah, we see that...why?

D.A.:  Well, you two were just getting so upset with each other over your minor differences.  I thought maybe I could take your minds off of it and we could all have a good time.  I mean, as Christ followers you guys have way more that you agree on than that you don't.  Isn't it just good to gather around a juggler once in a while and laugh together?

Olson:'ve lost it.

Pipes:  Well, I agree with you on that one, Roger...even if you are a borderline heretic.

Olson:  Yeah, Pipes, well your mom's a heretic!

D.A.:  -sigh-


D.C. Cramer said...

Awesome Carson,

If I didn't know better, I would think you are getting content from my blog. (But since I do know better, I guess I must now hold to temporal reverse-causation, i.e., I must be retroactively borrowing content from your blog!)

Anyway, some other highly respected theological folk have joined this discussion: Ben Witherington and Greg Boyd. You can find their comments on their respective blogs.

Awesome Carson, you really should summon a forum on this issue to end it once and for all. Or at least write a definitive book about it.

In the meantime, I'll offer one last shameless plug for my reflections on this issue, which can be found at:

Thanks for all the good times. See ya around campus,


Maestroh said...

How could you pic them up in that car if there was only one seat?

Mark Heath said...

juggling to avert violence? has Don been reading Shane Claiborne by any chance?