John Piper Compares Quran Burning to Crucifying Christ

Status
Not open for further replies.

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
On what basis do you make this sweeping claim?

Is there anything in the West has not been used as justification for violence by Muslims?

That's not the point. You claimed that violent reactions are simply "what Muslims do." I'm asking what leads you to make such a claim. Certainly there have been Muslims that have rioted over all sorts of things. This isn't exactly new in history for them or for any other group.

What I'm asking is on what basis you make the claim that this is simply what Muslims do, as if that applies to all or even most Muslims, is representative of them, etc. Or, if that's not what you meant, then I apologize for misreading you.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
What I'm asking is on what basis you make the claim that this is simply what Muslims do, as if that applies to all or even most Muslims, is representative of them, etc. Or, if that's not what you meant, then I apologize for misreading you.

Of countries with Muslim majorities, how many of them can we generally categorize as peaceful nations?
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
Of countries with Muslim majorities, how many of them can we generally categorize as peaceful nations?

First of all, that is hardly a sound strategy for figuring out the situation. If anyone had looked at Europe during the Middle Ages and used the same methodology, they would have drawn some dire conclusions. Or even take a step back to the first 100 years of American history...peace was not readily to be found. That's not to say that America is bad only that your reasoning seems faulty. Secondly, you're judging a whole group of people based on the political happenings. I don't want to be judged by all of what the American government does/has done and the wars it fights/has fought. I want people to get to know me, not make generalizations based on what my nation has done. Thirdly, much (not all) of the strife taking place in these countries has as much to do with politics, culture, and history as it does with religion. Fourthly, there are Muslim-majority nations that are "peaceful" even on your standards (Jordan, Morocco for example). Lastly, my point is not to debate all the ins and outs of this. My point is this: as Christians, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. Part of that means not just painting with broad strokes, but viewing as others as we want to be viewed. And the best way to do that is to go seek out some Muslims in your area and get to know them. You may find something quite different than you see on CNN and FoxNews.

And I think that is all I will say on it, as I'm just seeing the thread title again and seeing that this is a rabbit trail. As to John Piper's message, he was spot on in terms of how Muslims understand the Qur'an. He wasn't giving any legitimacy to their view, simply pointing out that this is part of the reason why there was a strong reaction, and that it highlights a crucial difference.
 

caoclan

Puritan Board Freshman
When I read it, I was uncomfortable with his comparison, although I knew what point he was making. But, did anyone else have an issue with his last quote: “So the Quran has been burned and the Christ has been crucified – and continues to be crucified,” Piper wrote. “The test is in the response.” I thought the crucifixion was a once-for-all act, which occurred around 2,000 years ago. His statement could have come from the Pope, in my opinion.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
And I think that is all I will say on it, as I'm just seeing the thread title again and seeing that this is a rabbit trail. As to John Piper's message, he was spot on in terms of how Muslims understand the Qur'an. He wasn't giving any legitimacy to their view, simply pointing out that this is part of the reason why there was a strong reaction, and that it highlights a crucial difference.

If what I'm saying is correct, it means Dr. Piper is wrong, which makes it quite relevant.

I also question whether there was indeed a 'strong reaction' in the Muslim world.

If we zoom out over the last few centuries, or decades, or years, or even the last few months, the riots/attacks in response to the Koran burning barely register as an increase over normal, everyday, garden-variety attacks on anything insufficiently Islamic. More world leaders chimed in on this one than normal, but the violence is hardly out of the ordinary or "strong" given what they have been doing for the last few (insert any time period here).

If this is pretty much par for the course, then it undercuts the thesis that there was burning the Koran had a unique ability to inspire attacks. Are we really supposed to believe that the attackers in this situation would have lived in peace and harmony if the thing had not been burned? At most, it changed when, not whether, those folks would terrorize.

Blind cave salamanders?

Looks like I have to concede on that point.
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
If what I'm saying is correct, it means Dr. Piper is wrong, which makes it quite relevant.

I also question whether there was indeed a 'strong reaction' in the Muslim world.

If we zoom out over the last few centuries, or decades, or years, or even the last few months, the riots/attacks in response to the Koran burning barely register as an increase over normal, everyday, garden-variety attacks on anything insufficiently Islamic. More world leaders chimed in on this one than normal, but the violence is hardly out of the ordinary or "strong" given what they have been doing for the last few (insert any time period here).

If this is pretty much par for the course, then it undercuts the thesis that there was burning the Koran had a unique ability to inspire attacks. Are we really supposed to believe that the attackers in this situation would have lived in peace and harmony if the thing had not been burned? At most, it changed when, not whether, those folks would terrorize.

If it is relevant, then you didn't respond to any of the points that I made. And I highly doubt John Piper was saying that this a sole cause, but rather that it explains this specific series of riots. And my point still stands that you are making huge generalizations here, when what we ought to do is just make some Muslim friends and find out what they are really like rather than judging what is normal for a Muslim based on the latest news headline.
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
I think many are jumping off the high dive of conclusions and misinterpreting what a Godly and extremely intelligent minister of the gospel has said. Piper is merely illustrating why the burning of the Q'uaran evokes such an emotional response from certain segments of the Islamic faith. Cut the guy some slack. Sheesh.

The fact that Piper is a Godly and intelligent minister who’s ministry reaches millions world wide, and is one of the few reformed voices that is listened to outside of the reformed world is precisely why he needs his work critiqued, and not just cut some slack.

But the point still stands that there are no parallels between Christianity and the world’s religion, which includes Islam.

If all Piper was trying to say is that the Quran is divine to Muslims and this is where their outrage comes from when it is burned, then why didn’t he just say that? Why did he go so far to say that the Quran is somehow “parallel” to Christ for Christians? This is quite problematic from a theological point of view.

Let’s step back and trace out what happens if we bring Pipers quote; “The giving of the Quran is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity” to some sort of logical conclusion.

Romans 1:18-25 tells us that God has reveled Himself to man, but man in his unrighteousness suppressed that truth and consequentially worships the creature rather than the Creator. So anything that is worshiped that is not the triune God of Scripture is only a creation of the minds of sinful men so as to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. We are left concluding, from Pipers remarks, that either Christ is just a creation of men or that the Quran has a claim to real deity. Now I know that’s not what Piper is attempting to say, but it’s what he ends up saying when he attempts to find a parallel between Christ and Islam.

We must begin any discussion with the belief that there is no parallel between anything Islam or the world has to offer and the truth revealed in scripture.

I understand what Piper might be attempting to say, but anyone who is reading his post who does not have a fully biblical understanding of the creator creature distinction, doctrine of God and doctrine of man is bound to be led to believe something that is not true.

Further more, to the Muslim the Quran is a way of salvation, what one must do to be judge as righteous by Allah. Is this anywhere near what we confess Christ to be?

I appreciate John Piper and all that he has done with his ministry, but Christians should never seek to find parallels between Christianity and the religions of the world, they will never be helpful because Christianity is wholly different from what the world believes.
 
Last edited:

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
But the point still stands that there are no parallels between Christianity and the world’s religion, which includes Islam.

Might there be analogies? Because this is what most would understand him to mean by "parallels." I think you are imposing a rigid systematic-theological definition of "parallel" when Piper is writing for a lay audience that would take parallel in the common everyday sense.
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
But the point still stands that there are no parallels between Christianity and the world’s religion, which includes Islam.

Your point is unclear. There are parallels. That doesn't mean at all that the other religion is valid, simply that there are formal parallels between the two.

If all Piper was trying to say is that the Quran is divine to Muslims and this is where their outrage comes from when it is burned, then why didn’t he just say that? Why did he go so far to say that the Quran is somehow “parallel” to Christ for Christians? This is quite problematic from a theological point of view.

That's pretty much what he did say. You're reading a lot into his statement that just isn't there. He's not giving any legitimacy to the Qur'an, simply that for Muslims, the Qur'an is similar to what Christ is for Christians. This explains their rage. It has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of the Qur'an. So it is not problematic theologically at all, but is a well-accepted point among those who study the relationship between the doctrines of Christianity and Islam.

Let’s step back and trace out what happens if we bring Pipers quote; “The giving of the Quran is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity” to some sort of logical conclusion.

Romans 1:18-25 tells us that God has reveled Himself to man, but man in his unrighteousness suppressed that truth and consequentially worships the creature rather than the Creator. So anything that is worshiped that is not the triune God of Scripture is only a creation of the minds of sinful men so as to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. We are left concluding, from Pipers remarks, that either Christ is just a creation of men or that the Quran has a claim to real deity. Now I know that’s what Piper is attempting to say, but it’s what he ends up saying when he attempts to find a parallel between Christ and Islam.

Brother, your logic here does not follow at all. The sentence I have put in italics does not follow from the preceding ones. His point has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of Islamic views or the Qur'an. His point is simply that for Muslims, the Qur'an is more nearly similar to how we view Jesus, not to how we view the Bible. He's very clear on who Christ is and that the Qur'an is not real deity. I really don't see how you can get that anywhere from what he said. Simply having a formal parallel has nothing to do with the legitimacy of that claim.

We must begin any discussion with the belief that there is no parallel between anything Islam or the world has to offer and the truth revealed in scripture.

Then why does Paul begin in Acts 17 with the parallel with the unknown God? Why did the apostles start off with Jews as if there were huge, necessary parallels? There are parallels, particularly since with Judaism, we share the Old Testament, and with Muslims, we share significant biblical stories. What they do with those is obviously of greater significance, but the parallels don't mean that thereby they have salvation or that they don't need Christ.

I understand what Piper might be attempting to say, but anyone who is reading his post who does not have a fully biblical understanding of the creator creature distinction, doctrine of God and doctrine of man is bound to be led to believe something that is not true.

To be honest, unless they were looking to read something into it, I honestly don't think that would happen. His point is simple and clear. How we view Christ is how Muslims view the Qur'an (as revelation from God), and so that explains (at least partially) some of the recent anger at its burning. Although on the other hand, if someone's view of the creator/creature distinction, the doctrine of God, and the doctrine of man is seriously in error, then yeah, they're probably going to get something wrong out of about half of what is said on blogs, and probably in books and everywhere else. That isn't anything against what Piper wrote.

Further more, to the Muslim the Quran is a way of salvation, what one must do to be judge as righteous by Allah. Is this anywhere near what we confess Christ to be?

I appreciate John Piper and all that he has done with his ministry, but Christians should never seek to find parallels between Christianity and the religions of the world, they will never be helpful because Christianity is wholly different from what the world believes.

He never said that they are parallel in every way. That would be silly, as one is a book and the other is a person. Obviously there's differences. His whole post is predicated on the fact that there are differences. Nonetheless, there is a parallel in terms of self-revelation, despite it being one that leads them away from God rather than towards him.
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
Might there be analogies? Because this is what most would understand him to mean by "parallels." I think you are imposing a rigid systematic-theological definition of "parallel" when Piper is writing for a lay audience that would take parallel in the common everyday sense.

From Parallel | Define Parallel at Dictionary.com

2. having the same direction, course, nature, or tendency; corresponding; similar; analogous: Canada and the U.S. have many parallel economic interests.

—Synonyms
2. like, alike. 10. equivalent, equal, mate, duplicate, twin, double.

—Antonyms
2. divergent; unlike; unique. 10. opposite.

I much prefer any of the antonyms of parallel to describe the relationship between Christianity and Islam than parallel itself.

---------- Post added at 12:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 PM ----------

First, let me apologize as i made a major typo in my response, i meant to say, "Now I know that’s not what Piper is attempting to say..." not "Now I know that’s what Piper is attempting to say..." :doh:

Then why does Paul begin in Acts 17 with the parallel with the unknown God?

Here is a brief article i found describing a Van Tilian approach to Acts 17. The writer shows that Paul is not attempting to draw parallels between the unknown god and God, instead Paul is pressing the antitheses between the two.

Contra Gentes: The Knowledge of God, Pressing the Antithesis: Acts 17
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here is a brief article i found describing a Van Tilian approach to Acts 17. The writer shows that Paul is not attempting to draw parallels between the unknown god and God, instead Paul is pressing the antitheses between the two.

Contra Gentes: The Knowledge of God, Pressing the Antithesis: Acts 17

You did not respond to any of my thoughts. The simple point is that Piper is not claiming what you make him out to be claiming (or at least implying, or leading to). I don't have time to read through whole articles on one point and respond to them. That's not a discussion; we can all throw articles at each other and not get anywhere.

I am also quite Van Tillian in how I view these things. There are formal similarities/parallels despite the fact that we have no ultimate common ground with nonbelievers.
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
You did not respond to any of my thoughts.

Sorry for the brief response, I am very short on time, when i return home from work tonight i will try to respond in more length. Also, please note my typo noted above, as I hope this will clarify a few things.

I don't have time to read through whole articles on one point and respond to them. That's not a discussion; we can all throw articles at each other and not get anywhere.

I am also quite Van Tillian in how I view these things. There are formal similarities/parallels despite the fact that we have no ultimate common ground with nonbelievers.

I understand you may not have time to read the brief article, but my point was simply that Paul is not drawing parallels between the unknown gods and God, instead he is showing the antithesis.
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
Sorry for the brief response, I am very short on time, when i return home from work tonight i will try to respond in more length. Also, please note my typo noted above, as I hope this will clarify a few things.

No worries about the time, we're all there. I was operating under the assumption that it was a typo.


I understand you may not have time to read the brief article, but my point was simply that Paul is not drawing parallels between the unknown gods and God, instead he is showing the antithesis.

Showing the antithesis does not mean one can't admit the existence of formal parallels.

I think, though, that I don't really have the time to fully continue this conversation. Feel free to respond, but I think I'm done personally.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I much prefer any of the antonyms of parallel to describe the relationship between Christianity and Islam than parallel itself.

You're missing Piper's point here. He is not saying "Christianity is like Islam" he is saying "Muslims view Q'uran in the way that we view Jesus." There is nothing syncretistic or unclear here When we draw parallels as Piper is doing here, it is in the sense of correspondence or analogy, obviously not that of the same direction.
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
Showing the antithesis does not mean one can't admit the existence of formal parallels.

I think, though, that I don't really have the time to fully continue this conversation. Feel free to respond, but I think I'm done personally.

Yes, formal parallels exist. And i too will end it there, good discussion.

---------- Post added at 01:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:13 PM ----------

he is saying "Muslims view Q'uran in the way that we view Jesus."

And I'm saying, that scripture is saying, that that is not possible.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
We can understand why Muslims get angry and upset when their "Holy Book" is desecrated. They are under the false notion that it is a holy book. Comparisons with the Crucifixion of Christ are unhelpful.

Christians get upset and angry when the Bible is desecrated. It's just that the Christian religion doesn't sanction people going on the rampage and killing people as being the appropriate or godly response.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
Where is the original statement Piper said. I don't have much confidence in ''The Christian Post''
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
We can understand why Muslims get angry and upset when their "Holy Book" is desecrated. They are under the false notion that it is a holy book. Comparisons with the Crucifixion of Christ are unhelpful.

Christians get upset and angry when the Bible is desecrated. It's just that the Christian religion doesn't sanction people going on the rampage and killing people as being the appropriate or godly response.

I think, at least from what I can understand, that this is exactly WHY Piper needed to explain to us why Muslims get enraged when the Quran is desecrated. We just don't get the extent of their beliefs. It is not the same as someone burning the Bible. To the Muslim, the Quran is apparantly NOT just the medium that the word of God is made available to them, but instead, again, to the Muslim, it is God incarnate. Of course, and I wish it could go without saying, I know it is not really God incarnate. But that is what they believe it to be--so they feel as if someone were killing God--just as Jesus' disciples were sad/angry/violent when he was under attack.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
We may wish to qualify Mr. Pipers comments for him, but the fact remains that he still wrote,

“If this is so, then Quran-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying.”.

Scripture is clear that the world’s religion is in no way parallel to true religion. The philosophy of Christ and the philosophy of the world are antithetical not parallel. So until Mr. Piper rescinds or qualifies his own comments we must take him at his own word.

Ok, you are going to laugh at this, but my reaction was, uh, Doug Pagitt is on the PB?

You must get that all the time, especially up there in Rob Bell country!!
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, you are going to laugh at this, but my reaction was, uh, Doug Pagitt is on the PB?

You must get that all the time, especially up there in Rob Bell country!!

Haha, yeah. And I am a member at University Reformed, Pastored by none other than Kevin DeYoung, author of Why Were Not Emergent. The first 6 months there every time i introduced myself to anyone they always raised an eyebrow. I even had one person (who is now a great friend) think I was just trying to play a practical joke on the church.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Ok, you are going to laugh at this, but my reaction was, uh, Doug Pagitt is on the PB?

You must get that all the time, especially up there in Rob Bell country!!

Haha, yeah. And I am a member at University Reformed, Pastored by none other than Kevin DeYoung, author of Why Were Not Emergent. The first 6 months there every time i introduced myself to anyone they always raised an eyebrow. I even had one person (who is now a great friend) think I was just trying to play a practical joke on the church.

Ooh, I KNEW I recognized the name of your church!!! (Just don't call it comeback...)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top