What Is Your Capacity for Mystery?

Exploring the Tension Between Calvinists and Arminians

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Piper: “If you’re willing to live with mystery, there’s a glorious freedom in taking the Bible for what it says.”

In twelve minutes, John Piper pulls apart some of the tensions between Calvinism and Arminianism. Believing the whole Bible, with all of its varied pieces, is not a small or simple thing. A theology that lives “by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4) will require a great deal of mystery. Those of us who accept both truths of our full human responsibility and God’s absolute sovereignty can, as G.K. Chesterton wrote, “see two different pictures at once and yet see all the better for that.” The question is whether you are able to admit that the Bible can say two things that seem to our minds to be contradictory and, in the end, not contradict each other after all.


This clip is taken from a Look at the Book seminar on Romans 9, by John Piper. Full audio and video from the seminar, The Word of God Has Not Failed, may be found here.