An event has an application, and God has a Word, but making the various aspects of weather in a particular place a clear word from God is raising a human pastoral application up to the level where all the problems we’ve discussed become real problems for many people. Such connections will cause many to stumble in their faith as they wonder “what was God’s Word to me in taking my child? Why did he have to speak that way instead of another way?” Piper clearly, WILL answer that question for suffering people out of his high views of God ordering all that comes to pass. Many other Christians will not. It’s the difference between a pastor saying, “in the tornado, I see a lesson” and saying “in the tornado, God is saying to you.” There’s a significance difference between these two expressions. I, and many others, frequently call to mind the lessons of providence, but they are the connections we see, not the connections God has made absolute. “The tornado caused me to think about God” and “God sent the tornado to Minneapolis so I would think about God” are simply two pastorally different statements. I’d suggest that what I can say about my house fire (or Piper can say about his cancer) and what I can say about Minneapolis’s tornado are two very different things on the level of using my interpretation of events as God’s Word.The irony here, of course, is that Dr. Piper has pretty plainly, straight-forwardly, without exegetical sleight-of-hand, shown how the Bible tells us what he is telling us about calamity, and the writer of this piece of philosophical marshmallow has yet to open his Bible or wonder out loud if he should. In his high hopes that "God has a Word" and "God is Sovereign", he can't ever seem to get to the Word, of fall under the sovereignty. The Jesus-shaped "Word" he wants to fill everything into apparently doesn't speak to this stuff.
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