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SunnyDay's Message Board

Hi! Welcome to my message board! Use it to contact me or others or to post questions and share ideas and experiences. The topic should always be related to nudism / naturism. Feel free to respond to posts from others in a respectful way if you have something helpful or meaningful to contribute. Let's keep it light, lively, and most of all, fun! Thanks!

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how would you response to John Piper

Re: how would you response to John Piper

I would ignore him...

If you had to have a response, I align with "The Biblical Naturist"...

What are others thoughts...

Re: how would you response to John Piper

Quote: slim

John Piper is a recognised evangelical scholar. He is very conservative, opposing anything outside of traditional reformed teaching. He opposes N T Wright's understanding of the usage of the word 'righteousness' in Paul's writings,and supports male patriarchy in the church.

His argument it outside the insights and teachings that some modern exegetes apply to the early chapters of Genesis, which I believe has a far broader basis that what Dr Piper seems to understand about the text.


Re: how would you response to John Piper

I would advance my understanding of the Genesis story, which is not about clothing at all.

Briefly, I see the Genesis creation account written by Moses for the Israelites as setting out God creating the cosmos as His temple, in contrast to the prevailing creation stories of Egypt and surrounding nations. That will become the foundation for all that follows, ending in Revelation with a renewed world (Eden) and the tree of life, but no tree of the knowledge of good and evil in its midst.

The ancients would build a temple. After it was completed its idol would be placed inside and then it would be dedicated by a special ceremony, where the priest would lie on it and breathe the god's presence into it (an aspiration ceremony). It then would become the locus of that god.

God's icons are people, made in His image. God breathed His Spirit into humanity and we were then able to function as his representatives, co-regents over His creation.

The Fall begins the story of redemption, hence skins not leaves. But the times in Scripture where there is reference to either cherubim and God's clothing people is related to the tabernacle. and the holy place - the seat of God's presence amongst his people. Thus the couple, as God's representatives, were sent out as priests into the now fallen world, to begin its restoration. But that needed to wait until Jesus came and established His kingship once again, something begun now but not fully consummated until He next returns.

Thus, to argue for a divinely proscribed covering of our bodies is not the point of the story. Nor is failing to see that Christ's redemption begins the undoing of the Fall, and thus seeing shame as normative also misses an extremely important point. Salvation is about undoing the Fall as best we can as citizens of the kingdom of God, a kind of advance guard engaged in guerilla warfare, certain of the ultimate victory, and having a whole of life perspective. Christian nudists can stake their claim for reforming the shame attached to our bodies, especially its sexual components.

Thus I would suggest that John Piper has not really engaged the text in his articles.


Re: how would you response to John Piper

Piper is locked into a multitude of wrongheaded and even dangerous preconceptions:

At first, Piper claims that since our bodies belong to God, no one should see them. What?

I offer a Bible verse as a simple rebuttal:
The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. Psalms 24:1

Knowing this, should I close my eyes until I can find some place that does not belong to God? (Hint: NO!!!!!)

But then Piper backs off from his claim that only God can see your body. He says that your body is a possession of your spouse, therefore no one else but your spouse should see your body. (no mention of family members, health care providers, your colleagues at the health club locker room, or whether a painter or sculptor can see it. And he ignores the centuries-long precedent of mandatory nude baptism in the Church, the nudity of Isaiah for three years under God's direct orders, and Jesus' failure to criticize Peter's nudity when he was fishing.

Piper seems to claim that because nudity is sometimes used to appeal to prurient interest that it is always the case. Hardly seems worth the effort attacking such a foolish leap in logic.

Piper describes an incident in which a man condemned a nude actor on stage and the man then left the theater. Without providing the context of that nudity, Piper asks us to believe that the man rightfully called it "sin".

Eventually Piper leaves everyday examples of nudity and offers his interpretation of Bible passages that mention nudity (whether metaphorical or literal).

Piper assumes that Adam and Eve's attempt to cover their nudity with fig leaves was an appropriate response to their sin. In fact, it may show their naivety or fallen nature in attempting to cover over a spiritual problem by attempting a physical solution: fig leaves to cover their body.

God made clothes for Adam and Eve. That is clear. But the Bible does not say why. There is no command in this chapter that they wear clothes from then on. There are no specifications on what fabric or hide to use, no hint of a covenant at all.

Without trying to impose my interpretation, let me at least suggest some ideas to ponder:
Animal sacrifice for sin offering was established by the time Cain and Abel were young adults. It is reasonable to assume that God instituted this practice immediately after the fall of Man. After all, why would God let generations die in their sins with no means of atonement?

It is logical that the animals that provided those hides were sacrificed in the process. The use of hides as a garment in conjunction with a sin offering appears to be a one-time "show and tell" for Adam and Eve, that is, God showed them that the wages of sin is death, but that a substitute for the death of the sinner is an act of God's mercy. So rather than immediately dismissing Adam and Eve's sense of nakedness, God redirects it. The animal hides from what is presumably the first sin offering are a very simple physical demonstration of God's mercy covering our sin, just as the hides of these innocent animals covered the bodies that Adam and Eve had suddenly grown so uncomfortable with. From then on, all subsequent sin offerings did not involve the wearing of the hides of the animals that were killed.

There is nothing in Genesis or elsewhere in the Bible to lead us to believe that Adam and Eve's shame was never-ending. For all we know, these garments may have been used just for that one demonstration and put aside from then on for the most part.

Sunny has rightfully suggested that these garments may have offered physical protection outside of Eden from thorns and bad weather. Is the weather always too harsh for nudity? Not everywhere and not all the time!

I think Adam and Eve wore the hides "as needed" and, having learned the lesson of forgiveness, went back to nudity whenever possible.

Re: how would you response to John Piper

An afterthought:

Notions of nudity being inherently sexual are a modern phenomenon.

Nudity became associated with extreme poverty or was used to humiliate newly captive slaves.

In Egypt's hot climate, clothing was rarely a necessity. Slaves were often depicted in Egyptian artwork as nude. It indicated their low social status and their poverty. There were no sexual implications.

As the children of Israel returned to the promised land, some prospered and some fell into dire poverty. It is hard to imagine in our day, an age when every coin you earned went to purchase food, pay for a few sticks of wood to burn for warmth and cooking, leaving you totally unable to provide a single stitch of cloth, no matter how much your neighbors mocked you.

Imagine how God must have felt when the sight of his highest creation, the nude human body, gradually became a symbol of slavery and poverty!

God has worked for generations guiding cultures back into conformity with his original intent.
Slavery was abolished and eventually replaced with equality.
Women too waited generations for their social status to improve.

In the past century, God has used nudists and naturists to help us rethink the worth of the nude body. This prejudice, too must be overcome.

Piper is just as blind to his prejudice as advocates of slavery were in the 1800's.
Is he beyond reason? I don't know. I do know that millions of people need to hear from more enlightened voices, such as those that gather here!

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