P is for Piper

John Piper is the tremendously gifted Bible pastor at Bethelehem Baptist in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He is a proponent of  the doctrine “Chrisitan Hedonism” which states that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.  This doctrine is thoroughly outlined in the book Desiring God and, like most of his teaching, has at the argument’s foundation a commitment to the Bible’s claims about God’s sovereignty.

Early in my college years I was floundering about and had not committed to any local body of believers.  While I stopped into a Bible church’s college program, they played a clip of his and I was absolutely shocked.  Here’s the clip:

Up until that point I had never thought God could be that satisfying.  I had been chasing my tiny pleasures that always betrayed me.  Piper spoke of a frighteningly glorious Deity that did not waste suffering, but drove people to Himself with the crushing weight of pain.  The response might be, “How can God be so self centered?  We hate people like that!”  Yes, that might have been my reaction as well.  The best answer would be that if God is the highest good, then He would do well to drive people towards Himself as opposed to something lower on the ladder.

Piper is really just a Christian punk.  You know those angry kids on the streets with denim covered in obscenities and piercings in strange areas?  Well that’s what Piper is but for God.  He’s just a man sold out for Jesus.  To me what is most encouraging is that the same Spirit dwelling in John is the same Spirit inside every other believer.  We have no use looking up to a mere man, but should make every opportunity to praise God that empowers all of His children! (Rom 8:9)

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4 Responses to “P is for Piper”

  1. My mother was trying to get me to read his, ‘Don’t Waste Your Life,’ the last time I was visiting her and my pop. Not that she thinks I’m wasting my life — more that she just felt she got a lot out of it and wanted to share. One of my brothers traveled to Atlanta with his girlfriend to go hear Piper speak at some enormous conference.

    • I tried reading the book and found his writing style overly simplified and repetitive. Of course, at the time I was darkened in my understanding and should probably give it another shot!

  2. OK, you got my attention, and I watched the video. I agree, but he sure has a forceful way of saying it! I’m trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet entries are an myqualityday.blogspot.com

    • Yes Piper is rather forceful in the video. I bet his aggression would make more sense in the wider context of an entire sermon, but I’m not aware which it was taken from.

      For what it’s worth, he rarely preaches like that. I was shocked to hear him use the word “crap”, but it was actually warranted because he meant it. I use the word too much and it’s lost meaning to me in comparison to the “crappiness” of what I’m typically describing. Like a crappy movie. A pathetically small matter compared to the reaching of lost souls.

      I do really like your A-Z theme because it gives us a wide view of creation!

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