God Desires All To Be Saved, and Grants Repentance To Some, by John Piper

Simplicity can be both good and bad.  When preaching or teaching or conducting family devotions or discipleship, biblical simplicity is an admirable goal.  But simplicity is a problem when it is used to justify theological laziness or, along the same lines, we discover a verse that we intend to make our pet because it singularly defends our theological position, and we are quite unwilling to give an ear to verses that are not contrary but balancing.  Such verses or passages are in the Bible to make us think, to challenge the mind, to balance our theological or traditional bend.  In other words, biblical simplicity often involves hard labor in the biblical text.  And often times it involves balancing one apparently clear verse with another that seems to be contrary but isn’t.  They are meant to level one another until the bubble of truth stands in the middle.  They interpret one another, though one is usually master of the two.  A good example of this is found in Piper’s exegesis and interpretation of 1 Timothy 2.4 in light of 2 Timothy 2.25:

Put two texts together, and see what you see.

“God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth(eis epignōsin alētheias)” (1 Timothy 2:4).

“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (eis epignōsin alētheias)” (2 Timothy 2:25).

Go here for his textual labors and the theological interpretation that follows.  Bad theology, even if honestly affirmed, is usually incomplete theology; an unwillingness to do what Piper does here.

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