This video has already made the rounds. It has already started heated arguments between hardcore Piper defenders and people with more common sense than that. I'm not bringing it up to stir up a bunch of heated argument but rather to analyse it with this new information I have on how New Calvinists approach the gospel, the world, other people, and themselves.
I have had sort of a theory in dealing with decent men who don't understand abusive men. They don't 'get' the abusive mindset but they understand that women can really drive men crazy and that there are even scriptures talking about contentious women and constant drips. So these decent men make the mistake of thinking that, yes, it's never right to hit a woman, but that some women ask for it and if they would just obey the Bible and submit, then they wouldn't be abused. I put Dobson in this category. I also used to put Piper in this category.
I remember someone saying, concerning the clip that I link above, that Piper was being rather cold hearted and uncaring and used the little nervous laugh that Piper gave upon reading the question as evidence.
At that time I wasn't willing to go that far. And even now, I'm not willing to say that Piper, himself, is coldhearted. Rather, I'm coming to the conclusion that New Calvinism creates coldheartedness in people. It is New Calvinism that is clinical and coldhearted. Trying to be pure, New Calvinists have made themselves sterile and reclusive from the human condition.
One of the reasons I'm coming to this conclusion is that I could see that Piper might actually be a very sensitive man. So sensitive, in fact, that he needs a doctrine that helps to shield himself from the pain of walking this earth.
Now I'm guessing here, of course. But the reason I'm turning this direction in my reasoning and theorizing is that this is possibly happening to the young man in my church. He had a very hard blow. Very emotional. Something that made him cry. But men aren't supposed to cry... Right?
So how do we deal with this, since manhood in men doesn't look so manly when it is dealing with honest pain in the thick of turmoil? Well, Vulcanizing their Christianity by way of New Calvinism could be an option. Think of it. Rather than rolling around and getting messy in the pit of emotions we can take ourselves out of the pit, sterilize everything and become the distant scientist observer, a Vulcan type dude. It certainly could cut down on the immediate pain and make life a bit more bearable in the now. But the down side is that, as it causes us to withdraw from the pain, it also causes us to withdraw from that which is human, created in God's image. And ultimately it makes even God more distant. We become something less than human, cold blooded, perhaps even reptilian.
But we are not to be reptiles. We are to be human. We wrestle with emotions and many other things. We have highs and lows and, if we will let Him, God will stay near to use through all of it.
I'm going to leave you with a song here that expresses well our need for a God who is near.