[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation XIII

by Antonio da Rosa

Folks, I am in the process of more dialogue with the Evangelism pastor at Shadow Mountain. Here is a quote to bide the time by none other than John Piper.

But if, over the next ten or twenty years, John Piper begins to cool off spiritually and lose interest in spiritual things and become more fascinated with making money and writing Christless books; and I buy the lie that a new wife would be exhilarating and that the children can fend for themselves and that the church of Christ is a drag and that the incarnation is a myth and that there is one life to live so let us eat drink and be merry—if that happens, then know that the truth is this: John Piper was mightily deceived in the first fifty years of his life. His faith was an alien vestige of his father's joy. His fidelity to his wife was a temporary passion and compliance with social pressure; his fatherhood the outworking of natural instincts. His preaching was driven by the love of words and crowds. His writing was a love affair with fame. And his praying was the deepest delusion of all—an attempt to get God to supply the resources of his vanity.

If this possibility does not make me serious and vigilant in the pursuit of everlasting joy, what will?


(Thanks to Solifidian for bringing this quote to my attention.)


  • Yeah, like people who are really sincere never change their minds.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, March 16, 2007 1:26:00 AM  

  • Do you think Piper would disagree?

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Friday, March 16, 2007 9:02:00 AM  

  • I wonder if pressed, whether Piper would concede that he cannot have assurance of his eternal state even now?

    Think about it. The those words were framed assumes that at this moment Piper's passion for the Lord, devotion to his wife, practice of the spiritual disciplines are all sufficiently tuned to insure his entrance into heaven at this moment.

    But he has no way to know this! Why does he assume that at this time in his life he is in a state of grace? Where is the objective evidence that he will make the cut if he continues where he's at right now? How does he know that he hasn't already blown it?

    If he concedes the possibility that there is some "minimum standard" of sanctification one must meet in order to prove one's faith was real, then all possibility of assurance disappears.

    And one further thought. Is this not a false gospel of the sort that Paul condemned in Galatians? Should Piper not be anathematized by his own words?

    By Anonymous Bud, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 4:28:00 AM  

  • I don't agree with what he's saying at all. See, not all of us who embrace reformed theolgy fall into lock step. ;)

    It is very works-oriented, and as you said, Bud, where's the assurance?

    "If he concedes the possibility that there is some "minimum standard" of sanctification one must meet in order to prove one's faith was real, then all possibility of assurance disappears."


    By Blogger Gayla, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:32:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 6:45:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 6:48:00 PM  

  • Never been comfortable with Piper teaching. Always get concerned when I read some of his quotes.I get concerned with his "openess" to consider his own apostacy of defection in his loss of salvation.

    I like the honesty of John Knox just before he died while not denying Christ's presence and honest about his flesh in the present:

    "Now, after many battles, I find nothing in me but vanity and corruption. For in quietness I am negligent, in trouble impatient, tending to desperation; pride and ambition assault me on the one part, coveteousness and malice trouble me on the other; briefly, O Lord, the affections of the flesh do almost suppress the operation of Thy Spirit."

    I like his focus on the Spirit of God. would that we could all gain that in the midst of this and get our eyes off of our performance.

    In Pipers book "Jonathan Edwards is the Gospel" He writes about having the true motive for desiring forgiveness and uses the wife and a desire for sex to get things right with her and then works of that to call us to seekproper motive. Later he writes about his false motive to his wife in the same book. Its that same idea where he can't measure up to his own standard of proper motive while calling us to the same standard that he is frustrated with himself about.

    Still there are some free grace teachers that have concerned me. Oh that we all could get our eyes back on the Lord. Hard enough for us Christians to get them back on God...let alone in the midst of our failure here to call a lost world to do it.

    1 Corinthians 4:1-6

    Terry Rayburn from over at Grace For Life gave a good little message on MP3 about What Else Happened At The Cross. Give it a lesson...opps, I mean listen.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 7:01:00 PM  

  • It defies the logic of persons who have become like children in accepting the testimony of God concerning His Son and have simply taken Him at His word.

    Piper's preaching in the past has helped stir my passion for Christ and then tears it down at the same time by his schizo teachings. My soul can't handle these thoughts, they are bondage to me. AND I don't want to hear the same excuse that "I/we" don't really understand what they are saying....with all do respect that is insulting.

    Below is a quote from "What we believe about the 5 points of Calvinism"
    By Bethlehem Baptist Church Staff

    "It follows from what was just said that the people of God WILL persevere to the end and not be lost. The foreknown are
    predestined, the predestined are called, the called are justified, and the justified are glorified. No one is lost from this group. To belong to this people is to be eternally secure.

    But we mean more than this by the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end."


    Amazing, Christ doesn't hold them, they must hold fast to Him or they WILL BE lost in the end. It seems that they believe that they can pluck themselves out of the Fathers hands.

    In fact in the second paragraph quoted above tells the tale of not believing biblical truth.... Read it carefully..... Have they not left the object of faith (Christ) and trusted in faith persevering works to save them?
    You are so right on Bud, this is why Galatians was written.

    For a philosophy that is so Determined in their theology they seem hell bent on determining that a person can pluck themselves out of the hand of God by not holding fast to Christ. And holding fast is persevering in obedience unto good works until the end.

    Samson's life is a both a warning and encouragement to those who would consider not living in obedience and those who have failed to hold fast to Christ.
    I wonder what Samson would say to such wisdom from man. They can't say he was not a man of faith, he is in the faith hall of fame(Hebrews 11:32).


    Bud said:
    "I wonder if pressed, whether Piper would concede that he cannot have assurance of his eternal state even now?"

    I would say yes, I heard him in a radio interview say that He did fear going to hell.

    Sorry for the long comment

    By Blogger Kris, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 7:35:00 PM  

  • Kris, that was right on!

    By Anonymous danny, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 8:04:00 PM  

  • Pulling quotes out of context is to be expected from some........

    Also in Piper's sermon prior to the quote is the following conclusion by Piper. (Very similar to what John says in 1 John)....

    For these five reasons I conclude that if a person falls away and re-crucifies the Son of God, he has never been justified. His faith was not a saving faith.

    His last sentence in the sermon.... If you really bank your hope on him and in him, he will not let you go.

    For the entire sermon Piper sermon in context

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Saturday, March 17, 2007 8:52:00 PM  

  • >AND I don't want to hear the same excuse that "I/we" don't really understand what they are saying<

    Amen Kris. I am tired of it as well. Saying things that are anathema to get people to understand what you are trying to say in context is no excuse. But men go on and keep on exhonerating it.

    I once heard an insurance salesmen tell me that he was taught to say anything as well as lie to people in order for them to buy their insurance because they said the ends justified the means and that they knew as the seller what is best for the buyer in the long run and they were actually doing them a service.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 5:34:00 AM  

  • Brian,
    Suppose a person or Piper said the following in a sermon: "To have eternal life you must obey the commandments."

    Would the context be important or would it be a clear case of works salvation? Would it be such a clear case of works salvation that we could condemn the sermon without considering the context?

    Give me your answer and I will give you the person stating that very thing in a sermon......


    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 7:01:00 AM  

  • not going to bite jazz as the law of commadments is true for the Son of man but false for you so Piper is instead ignorantly drawing attention to himself as Messiah, but i will ask you to meditate on this...

    Jesus said to the Rich Young Ruler,"If you would enter life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:17b

    The apostle Pauls response to this command from Jesus,"The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment deceived me and through it killed me." Romans 7:10

    Stop calling people to look to Piper for their salvation and stop calling people to do what you yourself cannot do and are unwilling to be honest like Paul and admit to. Instead, rather encourage men and woment to hope.

    You can either look at endure to the end and you will be saved in two ways:

    "You better buck up man! Heal man! Heal! Hold fast to the end or you will be damned and as you wont be saved unless you tighten those boot straps up!"


    "Hang in there my precious Child, I am coming back to get you. Don't lose hope. I'll be back and remember Christ redeemed you from the curse of the law by taking on the curse. Take heart, I'm comming soon."

    Jesus once told a parable about men being given money by their master and how other men made the money work for their master, but when he got to the last man there was no work done by him and all he gave back to him was what the master had originally given him. He didn't use it for the masters purpose but rather hid it in fear of his master. This parable is not meant to illustrate salvation by works but rather the fear that exists in the lost who refuse to accept Christ as their Saviour and somehow see God as being mean or bad.

    What was his excuse?

    "For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layest not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow." Luke 19:21

    "And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:" Luke 19:22

    The master confirms that he was a master that did indeed use vengeance and retribution and God is a God of wrath. Read through the book of revelation and you will see that his judgment is indeed coming soon and hell waits for all eternity for those who will burn in it for all eternity.


    Did you miss this part?

    Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant.

    You see...it's not really Him...its us!

    We are intrigued by hell and death like a moth to a flame. Why do you think we have so many horror movies today? The nation of Israel wanted the yoke of the law and they refused to believe and give credit to the God who delivered them from slavery in Egypt. They even wanted to go back to Egypt because they refused to believe that God was good enough to take care of them.

    I once heard of a boy and his father on a little vessel in the ocean that got caught up in a storm. The vessel became torn and smashed by the angry waves and the father dove into the water and called the boy to dive with him among the floating debris. The little boy refused to jump and clung to the mast of the ship that would take him down into the horror of the abyss of the ocean. The father grabbed his rifle that was floating nearby and pointed it at his son and said "Jump or I will shoot you!"

    The boy gave over his fears in confusion to his father and jumped into his faithful and safe arms and was delivered as the ship began to sink.

    Do you understand what God is doing? He is working to wake you up by pointing the law that you insist on not letting go of nor of letting others be released from that you hate.... at you and all that is found in false religion that is trying to gain the favor of God by this same seemingly true rite of passage; but it is false and all the law does is further inflame fear and God is taking that same fear and pointing it at you and telling you to stop trusting in it and to instead trust in Him and His grace. God the Son shed his own blood for you on the cross and eternal life is an absolutely free gift that you must receive without any earnest effort on your part or any payment.

    It is absolutely free.

    He paid the price with His BLOOD!

    Notice also how in the parable the master told his servant this:

    "Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?" Luke 19:23

    Do you see? He wasn't even requiring any work on this mans part. The master knew the money was his and so he told him to let the bank have it and do the work. By hiding the money in a napkin the man tried to lay claim on what only belonged to his master and in reality refused to accept the freeness of what his master gave.

    Believe On The Lord Jesus Christ and Thou Shalt be saved. Only Look to Christ. It is finished!!!!

    By Pipers own admission...he seems to feel it isn't with him. He even once said he worrys about whether his granda was truly saved....Agh!

    FEAR FEAR FEAR. If you cant have peace then dont let others have it. I am tired of this mentality.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:42:00 AM  

  • His grandmother I meant. All because she questioned him on his views of future grace.

    She was damned for all eternity because she didn't believe the book he hadn't written yet.

    Hey I wasn't the one who decided to go sit at the feet of an Open Theist, Daniel Fuller, to learn from. Piper did. The smeller is the feller. Stop blaming me for your struggles and fears.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:50:00 AM  

  • Perfectly appropriate to insist on keeping all the commandments as a means of pre-evangelism, which is precisely what Jesus was doing with the RYR.

    Only when one faces the weight of the law and realizes that he CANNOT keep the law in any measure whatsoever is he ready to be saved by faith alone in Jesus alone.

    A red herring...

    By Anonymous bud, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 12:45:00 PM  

  • Brian,
    I am sorry, but I could not follow your rambling statement. Much of it was incoherent.

    I have never read Piper. I do not follow Piper. This post was a quote that was taken out of context from a Piper sermon. It does not convey his message and in fact distorts his message.

    If you want to form opinions based on out of context quotes, then go right ahead. Far be it from me to point that out to you anymore. I do not care nor intend to debate John Piper's theology or who's feet he sat at to learn from. I do have the discernment to recognize when someone continually posts out of context quotes to make people and viewpoints look bad. Antonio is a master at doing this.

    Furthermore, you erroneous assumptions and accusations about my beliefs are insulting and do not merit a response.


    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 12:57:00 PM  

  • >I have never read Piper.<

    I have so by your own admission my incoherance is the result perhaps, but thanks anyway for suggesting I am a madman and you have it all together:-)

    > I do not care nor intend to debate John Piper's theology or who's feet he sat at to learn from.<

    Then why were you defending it?

    >This post was a quote that was taken out of context from a Piper sermon.<

    To understand Pipers method then you need to read more of his sermons and put the pieces of the puzzle together and see this pattern of his before you defend it.


    I use the Law often in evangelism to get people to understand how desparately short they have fallen of the Glory of God as the Rich Young Ruler had in order for them to come to their senses and transfer the trust of their sin wrapped up in anxiety of it and worry of it that man often trys to relieve and wipe away with money as an entrusment of its own and instead entrust that fear over to God in acceptance of His absolutely free grace. So I agree with you. I wasn't trying to call to question the use of the law, but it is imperitive that all understand that only Christ was able to fulfill what he told the Rich Young Ruler to do, as what he told him to do in actuality by selling everything and giving it all to the poor and following God was not anywhere required in the Mosaic law, but was the will of the Father for our Messiah and only Jesus did it. Essentially Jesus was telling the Rich Young Ruler to be perfect like him and do what he was doing in order to save himself and he went away sorrowful because the possessions that were relieving his conscience were now what was condemning him.

    I hope that isn't to incoherant. Frankly I really didn't want to bother as I get that all the time, but its all about the Lord so perhaps I will glory in the insult and count it wonderful as we should look to Christ alone and not we ourselves and His strength should be seen in our weekness.

    So a madman I am.OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOhahahahahahahahhahahahhahahqahyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyyey.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 2:03:00 PM  

  • bhedr, we agree on the use of the law in evangelism. And we both disagree with R'd theology on the need to satisfy the law in order to "prove" our regeneration.

    By Anonymous bud, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 4:21:00 PM  

  • Amen Bud,

    If I am reformed then I tilt in Luthers direction first, but then in reality we have our Bibles out of the work in the reformation so I am greatly thankful for the witness of Tyndale, nevertheless any religion that breathes off of any fear of hell as a guide to goad a christian is horribly false.

    "All those led by God's Spirit are God's sons. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:14-16

    Either we are or are not Sons of God. There is no limbo or purgatorial state with which to goad one another on toward righteousness. It is an insult to the finished work of Christ and I am tired of the exhoneration of any hint of it in anyones theology.

    Pauls was confident when he spoke here. Satan will try to remind us of our potential failure and that is his game and focus and he will remind us of our past, but truly he will burn in torment forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and of that we can be sure. He does not like to be reminded of this so he tries to throw it on others to make them think this possibility exists with Gods children as it must torment him to think about this, yet this is his horrible future. Not ours, so we shouldn't imply it for God's children or even ourselves being Gods children. It is an insult to His promises.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 4:52:00 PM  

  • Also Jazzy,

    you said>I have never read Piper.<

    why are you telling us to read him in context then.

    My only point is to re-iterate the point I was making about the insurance saleman. We all do need to think about what we are saying and if you weren't here then is it just possible that some preachers have that same proclivity?

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:26:00 PM  

  • Hey Brian, how is it going? Wasn't Paul considered a madman on occassion?

    That quotation in or out of context is a bit unsettling.

    I agree that I am also tired of the fear-mongerers and their attempts at shaking the faith of the weak. This examining yourself business to see if you are in the faith has been taken so far out of application that many are reduced to an introspective rubble, depending on their fruit to prop up their assurance rather than Christ's all-sufficient grace and love.

    By Blogger Jim, at Monday, March 19, 2007 8:13:00 AM  

  • Hi Jim!

    Amen brother. What you say is so true. I really haven't wanted to debate much for so much of this very reason...well its the anxieties really and sometimes they come from the FG camp as well, but not always. They understand the base of accepting grace and trusting in the promise taking God at his word, but I guess sometimes they do seem to use the life insurance salesman tactic as well. I know in the past I have, but it is an unsettling thing to do and we need to get away from it and get our eyes back on the Lord.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at Monday, March 19, 2007 1:38:00 PM  

  • Piper, and others who would hold to the Reformed understanding of Preservation/Perserverance of the Saints, would not deny the sola gratia nature of justification or sanctification.

    It's not a question of whether or not someone who believes has eternal life and can have certain assurance. The real question is not ...
    Do I have eternal life if I believe? or
    I believe, do I have eternal life?

    The question is, do I believe? This question is a more difficult one to answer.

    Is it possible for a person to think he or she believes (however a person wants to define that reality and the object of faith) and yet really not?

    If you allow for this possibility, you have to ask and answer the question of how one might have assurance that one believes.

    Piper might be willing to say he has assurance, but if he denys the faith and never receives discipline by God to return to faithfulness, then he was mistaken because he was an illegitimate son (Heb 12:5-8).

    In my little mind, I can see three validations or indicators of the reality of faith, but they are all subjective. I think the difficulty comes into play when we want to try to make evaluation of one's spirituality an objective matter, but we cannot. God knows the heart. He do/can not.

    1. Is there evidence of a changed life? New creatures will have new characteristics (2 Cor 5:17). The indwelling Holy Spirit is at work in a person both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), to complete the work He began (Phil 1:6). Just as an evil spirit motivated people to do evil things, so the Holy Spirit motivates people to do holy things, moving them in accordance with His decrees (Ezek 36:26-27). What will this look like to necessarily demonstrate conversion? The Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

    2. Is there the internal witness of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are indeed childrn of God. (Rom 8:16)

    3. Is there evidence of discipline from God? If God disciplines only those He loves and leaves the others in their sin, then lack of discipline is a bad sign, a sign of being an illegitimate child (I won't give you the KJV expression since kids may be listening in). (Heb 12:5-8)

    So, while I think there is assurance to be had, the Bible offers no assurance to anyone living a life rebellious to the Lord Jesus Christ. Neither would I.

    I'm not on board with undue introspection and questioning assurance every time one sins, but I'm averse to giving a false assurance. I don't want to assume one has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ that he/she may be saved merely because he/she did what somebody said to do (e.g., raise a hand, walk an aisle, pray a prayer, etc.).

    The question, it seems to me, is ... is assurance a right or a privilege of a (professing) believer?

    P.s. I said all that to say this ... the basis for assurance is never how well I'm doing, but Christ, and the fact that I am "doing" in Him.

    By Blogger GUNNY, at Tuesday, March 20, 2007 10:22:00 PM  

  • Gunny,

    thanks for joining this forum and discussing your comments.

    You write:
    The question is, do I believe? This question is a more difficult one to answer.

    Is it possible for a person to think he or she believes (however a person wants to define that reality and the object of faith) and yet really not?

    I believe that questions such as these defy the intellect.

    It astounds me that Reformed thinkers posit an inability to certainly know whether or not something is believed.

    A child is consciously aware and understanding when he/she believes something. Humans operate at this level in every facet of mundane life. But when it comes to the theological, we are told by our Reformed brothers that it is impossible to be certain you believe, and you cannot even come to a strong inference of belief unless it is attended by various subjective considerations.

    I will be so bold, Gunny, to state that it I cannot think of a single scenario by which someone thinks he/she believes something but in actuality does not.

    Can someone think that they believe the true gospel but do not? Of course.

    But the bottom line would be that:



    1) They are believing something
    2) That which they are believing is a false gospel.

    Let me ask you a question:

    Do you always perceive whether or not you believe something in the mundane world by the subjective criterion and experimentation you attach to biblical faith?

    Thanks for your comments.

    Every blessing in Christ,


    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:28:00 AM  

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