Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What, after all, is John Piper? And what is Tim Keller?

A paraphrase of I Corinthians 3:3-6 and the temptation of pastor worship-- or more accurately, preacher worship-- from Acton Institute's Anthony Bradley at World's blog...

Anyone aware of the alarming state of American evangelicalism’s celebrity-driven church culture would not have to try hard to draw parallels with the church in Corinth. The “big name” pastors, as we sometimes call them, thanks to the Christian conference circuit, book publishing, the internet, and so on, tempt many evangelicals to cannibalize each other in the spirit of following “Paul” or “Apollos”...whomever people would rather download and listen to instead of their own pastor.

The problem is not the wonderful ways God uses these men. The problem is with us, the people holding these great preachers and teachers of our time too highly...

Paul challenges the Corinthian church saying:

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:3-6)

A short column like this is clearly insufficient to cover this topic, which is worthy of much discussion in book form at least. I’m not sure, however, who would be brave enough to write it and which publisher would be bold enough to publish it. However, I can’t imagine that Jesus is smiling on a church in tension because of trifling Paul and Apollos followers....


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