Piper on “the biblical tightrope” of controversy (deadly and necessary)

Doctrinal controversy is both essential and deadly. The attitude toward controversy in various groups of Christians depends largely on which of these two they feel most strongly. Is it essential? Or is it deadly? My pleas is that we belive and feel both of these. Controversy is essential where precious truth is rejected or distorted. And controversy is deadly where disputation about truth destroys exultation in truth.

The reason controversy is essential, even in the face of rejection and distortion, is that God has ordained that the truth be maintained in the world partly by human defense…

And controversy is deadly because it feels threatening, so it tends to stir up defensiveness and anger. It is deadly also because it tends to focus on the reasons for truth rather than the reality behind truth and so replaces exulation in the truth with disputation about the truth…

As a pastor, I am eager that my ministry of preaching avoid two great errors: losing truth in the quest for exultation and losing worship in the noise of disputation. May God grant us the grace to walk the biblical tightrope, balanced by the necessity of controversy on the one side, and the dangers of it on the other.

John Piper, Taste and See, p. 243-244


About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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