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Posts Tagged ‘John Piper’

Random Thoughts

By Tom Chantry

The formal charges once filed against J. Gresham Machen are one illustration from history of a near-universal fact. Whenever a church or denomination divides over doctrine, the side which has rejected historic orthodoxy insists that the division had nothing to do with doctrine.

Strident criticism frequently proceeds from those who have not worked to comprehend what they are criticizing. The most strident criticism is often from those who have not bothered even to read what they criticize.

Norman Vincent Peale was widely successful among the Greatest Generation. Robert Schuller was widely successful among the Me Generation. Rob Bell is widely successful among the Millenials. The differences between them are superficial; each demonstrates the simple truth that unbelieving pastors achieve success by appealing to the spirit of the age.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

What’s Inside John Piper’s Geodes?

By Tom Chantry

Here’s a true story: A man I once knew traveled during his youth to Colorado with a friend who was a knowledgeable mineralogist. They stopped at a field to take in the view, and as they walked the mineralogist stooped to pick up a roundish, mud-colored rock. With great excitement he took it back to his pickup, found a tool, and broke it open to reveal purplish crystals. He had found and recognized an amethyst geode. Now upon looking about, this man realized that the field was full of roundish, mud-colored rocks, and – knowing something of the price of these gemstones – he immediately went into town, found a land office, and bought the field. He then spent a few days gathering geodes, which he shipped out in a rented truck. He relisted the property before leaving town. Eventually it sold, but he had already turned a tidy profit by harvesting and selling amethyst from the rocks.

In addition to providing a real-life illustration of the Parable of the Buried Treasure, he demonstrated one important trait of the field geologist. It’s true that a field geologist needs to be able to walk through fields, to gather rocks, to break them up with hammers, and such like. However, what makes him effective is his ability to tell the difference between a rare or valuable rock and a common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill rock. He can discern one thing from another; that’s what geological training is all about. He has a form of discernment.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Is John Piper Confessional?

November 24, 2015 Leave a comment

John Piper recently answered a question about the use of confessions by a church. I’m thankful for several parts of his answer, and I have some comments to offer on the other parts.

First, Piper affirms and defends the validity, necessity, and value of confessions of faith:

“Christianity that is unified around a written confession of faith, at its best, is the best Christianity… Confessional summaries of biblical truth really do help us in our faith, because I think faith thrives on deep, true doctrine that is brought out of the Scriptures, properly summarized, applied to peoples’ lives, and in our souls, in our families, in our churches, even in society. That kind of clear, doctrinal truth is healthy for life and for obedience to Jesus.”

Amen.

In light of this, Bethlehem Baptist Church created The Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith (I believe in 2003) and they modified their by-laws to state “Elders are also required to be in agreement with the Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith” The confession states

“We believe that the cause of unity in the church is best served, not by finding the lowest common denominator of doctrine, around which all can gather, but by elevating the value of truth, stating the doctrinal parameters of church or school or mission or ministry, seeking the unity that comes from the truth, and then demonstrating to the world how Christians can love each other across boundaries rather than by removing boundaries. (15:2)”

Again, Amen! (Note that their Congregational Affirmation of Faith for members is different from the Elder Affirmation of Faith).

The rest of Piper’s answer focuses on why they…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Piper vs Owen on Romans 2:6-7, 13

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

By Brandon Adams

A short demonstration on the importance of covenant theology:
John Piper denies a works principle anywhere in Scripture, including the Covenant of Works.

Has God ever commanded anyone to obey with a view to earning or meriting life? Would God command a person to do a thing that he uniformly condemns as arrogant?

In Romans 11:35-36, Paul describes why earning from God is arrogant and impossible. He says, ‘Who has first given to [God] that it might be paid back to him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” The thought that anyone could give anything to God with a view to being paid back with merit or wages is presumptuous and impossible, because all things (including obedience) are from God in the first place. You can’t earn from God by giving him what is already his…

It is true that God commanded Adam to obey him, and it is also true that failure to obey would result in death (Genesis 2:16-17): “In the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (verse 17). But the question is this: What kind of obedience is required for the inheritance of life – the obedience of earning or the obedience of trusting? The Bible presents two very different kinds of effort to keep God’s commandments. One way is legalistic; it depends on our own strength and aims to earn life. The other way we might call evangelical; it depends on God’s enabling power and aims to obtain life by faith in his promises, which is shown in the freedom of obedience…

Adam had to walk in obedience to his Creator in order to inherit life, but the obedience required of him was the obedience that comes from faith. God did not command legalism, arrogance, and suicide… There was no hint that Adam was to earn or deserve. The atmosphere was one of testing faith in unmerited favor, not testing willingness to earn or merit. The command of God was for the obedience that comes from faith…

What then of the ‘second Adam,’ Jesus Christ, who fulfilled the obedience that Adam forsook (1 Cor 15:45; Rom 5:14-20)?… He fulfilled the Law perfectly in the way that the Law was meant to be fulfilled from the beginning, not by works, but by faith (Rom 9:32)…

We are called to walk the way Jesus walked and the way Adam was commanded to walk. Adam failed because he did not trust the grace of God to pursue him with goodness and mercy all his days (Psalm 23:6).

A Godward Life, p. 177

Piper is correct that man can never earn anything from God. But that is why our confession recognizes that God voluntarily condescended to Adam and offered him a reward for his labor that he did not deserve (LBCF 7.1). In so doing, he made Adam a wage earner. Piper rejects this. And because he rejects this, he does not believe there is any objective contrast between the law and faith.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

No Creed But the Bible?

November 2, 2015 1 comment

John Piper was asked by a podcast listener if he subscribed to the 1689 Confession of Faith? Here are five points that he made against the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith:

 

 
Now here is the deal with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. I didn’t choose to go that route, even though it is a good, solid, Reformed Baptist version of the Westminster Confession. And there are several reasons why. Here they are:

1) The language is somewhat foreign. Its vocabulary is like reading the King James Version. And I think it is probably a mistake to try to enshrine that today as the one if you expect families to use it without any updated form.

2) While I am able to affirm that Genesis 1 refers to literal 24-hour days, I had a hard time thinking that I should make that a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity, and so I stumbled over that section.

3) The understanding of the Sabbath is, perhaps, more rigorous and narrow than my understanding of the implications of Jesus’s teaching about the Sabbath.

4) There are certain historic categories of theology, like the covenant of works and others, that have proved useful, but you might wonder: Shall I make that the structure of the theology I am going to present?

5) This is going to sound so piddly — and yet you can’t be piddly in a confession — little things like saying that bread and wine are prescribed in the Lord’s Supper. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that wine was used in the Lord’s Supper. That comes as a shock to a lot of people. It doesn’t say that is what was used.

Now I suspect it was. I suspect it was wine, but it always uses the term cup or fruit of the vine and, therefore, if you get into a knock down battle and say we are going to settle this confessionally and you go to the 1689 Confession, it is going to say wine is what you are supposed to use. And I would say: Well, that is just unbiblical, because that is not what the Bible says, even though that is totally legitimate and maybe even preferable, but not at all required.

To read the entire audio transcript, click here.

To download the audio, click here.

 

 

My response to Piper:

1) The language of the1689 Confession is not foreign to the average reader of today. It is fairly simple in its explanation of the doctrines in which it confesses. That is not to say, that the average reader today, doesn’t need to study a little history of the Church because the confession does use certain words that affirm the truth, over and against the errors that tried to creep in during church history. But this is also true of the scriptures contained within Holy Writ. Unless one studies the historical setting of the Bible, then the reader will not grasp certain things in which the Bible states. So if, the average reader of today, struggles with the confession, then it is certain that they haven’t studied any church history and probably hasn’t studied any Biblical history. Of course, there are modern versions of the 1689 Confession, in modern language, and so Piper’s objection right here is absurd and ridiculous.

2) Piper has a hard time thinking that the 24 hours days of Genesis should by a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity. But why does he think that? Is he saying that whatever God states in scripture shouldn’t be a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity? To deny what God says in scripture is to deny scripture. Many, for the sake of not trying to look like the Bible is outdated or is ignorant concerning creation, have chosen to try and harmonize the scriptures with the obscure data of fallen man’s so-called science. Paul warned Timothy of this in 1 Timothy 6:20, whereby Paul said, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called…” So I say, if someone gets Genesis wrong, then they get all of scripture wrong. Genesis lays the foundation for the rest of Biblical revelation. And if you notice several of his remaining objections are points that can be cleared up by studying the book of Genesis.

3) Piper also has a problem with the 1689 on its doctrine concerning the Sabbath. Yet the Sabbath, is part of the Moral law, and is contained within the ten commandments. These ten commandments where given on Mt Sinai, and are the totality of what is contained in the moral law. However, these ten commandments were revealed before Mt Sinai when God wrote these commandments on the heart of man at creation. We see that most of these commandments were broken in Genesis and God judges those who broke them.

4) Piper also seems to have a problem with the covenant of works. Yet, if one does away with the covenant of works, then they do away with Christ’s sacrifice. What law did Christ fulfill? Why did Christ have to die in our place, if no covenant was broken? If you do away with the doctrine of the covenant of works, then you do away with justification.

5) Finally Piper has a problem with the 1689 because it speaks of wine being used in the Lord’s supper. He states that wine is unbiblical and that it was probably only the fruit of the vine which was used at the Lord’s supper. You would think that someone who was a Pastor for as many years as he was, that they would not be so ignorant concerning such a matter as this. The Lord’s supper took place between March and April, seeing that the Passover was a movable feast. The harvesting of grapes took place in late October. Now how does Piper propose that the Jews preserved grape juice for six months? Welch had not yet been born. Once new wine was bottled, it started the fermentation process.

Free Ebook: An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus

January 20, 2014 4 comments

full_1389628035Thousands of college students wait silently in a dark auditorium as you make your way to the podium, under the spotlight. What will you say? What will you offer them?

When he climbs the stage at Passion2014 in Atlanta this weekend, John Piper will face this moment again.

Marking the eighteenth year of his involvement in the conference, this event has inspired some of Piper’s most memorable messages. It was at Passion in 2000 that he appealed to the students to boast only in the cross (Galatians 6:14). The crucifixion of Christ is essential for the Christian’s own identity, he said. “Only boast in the cross of Christ. This is a single idea. A single goal for life. A single passion.”

One Passion, Lived Out

This single passion for Jesus is a shared passion, and it draws Piper back year after year, he said in an interview last year. “The movement is not about any particular cause, it is about the fame of Jesus. This is what unites Louie [Giglio] and me.”

Uniting the aim of every Passion conference is the annual challenge from the students: So how do I live out this single, all-consuming passion for Christ in my own life? What does this look like on my campus, and in my busy schedule?

Answering this challenge has been a theme in Piper’s messages over the years. To breathe fresh life into this theme, and extend its reach further, we collected four of Piper’s pivotal messages from the Passion conferences — including “Boasting Only in the Cross” and three others — into our newest ebook: An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus: Appeals to the Rising Generation.

To download An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus free of charge, click on the following format options:

 

■Download ebook as a PDF file.

■Download ebook as an EPUB file formatted for readers like the Nook, Sony Reader, and Apple iBooks (iPad, iPhone, iPod). 

■Download ebook as a MOBI file formatted for Kindle applications (this option works well on some mobile devices, and not so well on others). 

Note: To load the ebook into a mobile device, it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device and then to click the download option.

 

If you’d prefer a printed copy, a paperback version is available at low cost.

 

Source [DesiringGod.com]

John Piper retracts the term ‘Heresy’ in his stance on Roman Catholicism

March 19, 2013 11 comments

Well it seems that Piper can’t be consistent and stand upon what the Reformed faith teaches. When I first heard of Piper he was on the radio. It wasn’t long thereafter that he switched strictly Internet for his broadcast each week. When I first heard of him, he was preaching through Romans. His sermons were some of the best that I have ever heard.

Since then I have lost confidence in Piper. He has embraced some odd teachings, including the charismatic doctrines. On top of this he has held conferences with some of the odd balls and down right erroneous teachers who profess the Christian faith in modern Christianity. Now he makes a statement, a few years ago, that Roman Catholicism is heretical; yet when the Roman Catholic Church elects a new Pope, Piper shrinks from his original position. Go figure.

I want to state that I stand with the Reformers. The Reformers declared that the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate Church. I see no reason to not affirm the same view today. Have they retracted their doctrines of:

 

Faith + Works

Grace + Merit

Christ + Myself?

 

If not, then they are still an apostate church.

Here is a portion of the article as reported by Christianpost:

“As Pope Francis began his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, Desiring God founder, John Piper, attempted to clarify a controversial statement he made in 2009 about heresy in Roman Catholic theology.

During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Piper was asked on video if he had two minutes to question the Pope on an issue, what would he ask, and he chose the subject of justification.

“I think Rome and Protestantism are not yet ready – I don’t think the Reformation is over. I don’t think that enough change has happened in Roman understanding of justification, and a bunch of other things,” he said in the video.

He then proceeded to detail the question he would ask the Pope. “‘Do you teach that we should rely entirely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith alone as the ground of God being 100 percent for us, after which necessary sanctification comes? Do you teach that?'” he said in the clip.

“And if he said, ‘No, we don’t,’ then I’d say, ‘I think that right at the core of Roman Catholic theology is a heresy,’ or something like that,” he added.

In a new post on Thursday, however, Piper conceded that ‘heresy’ is a strong word and attempted a more nuanced explanation of what he meant by his comments.”

 

Read the entire article here.