UPDATE VII: Ochuck makes a good contribution to the topic.
UPDATE VI: James White on the whole debate. Two things you can be sure of: 1) The longer the discussion goes on, the more likely that Witherington will eventually be called out as an apostate. 2) The longer the discussion goes on, the more it will morph into the discussion that Calvinists always want to have.
UPDATE V: Piper answers Witherington. Will that be the end of the “discussion?”
UPDATE IV: True to form, Triablogue announces that Witherington isn’t a serious scholar (like the guys at Triablogue, I guess) and is a TV celebrity. Then Steve Hays takes off on Witherington’s post.
It’s been a long time coming.
The influence of John Piper’s theology has expanded enormously in the past 5 years, and few non-Calvinists have been willing to mount any kind of response. There are signs, however, that the responses are on the way.
Ben Witherington III, reacting to a volume of New Testament theology it won’t take too much detective work to identify, asks why the Bible doesn’t say “God so loved himself….?”
Is the self-centered God of Edwards, Piper and company a narcissist? More importantly, is Piper’s theology leading scholars and pastors to an imbalanced reading of the Bible?
Witherington is asking questions that many will loudly protest, but Piper has anticipated and discussed these objections in many of his books. Let’s hope his defenders will let Witherington contribute to the most overdue, much needed conversation on the theological web: a true critical discussion of Piper’s theology.
Be sure and read all of Witherington’s comments in the meta.