Join C. Michael Patton, Sam Storm, and Tim Kimberley as they give a tribute to John Piper.

MESSAGE SUMMARY: Recently, Sam Storms and Justin Taylor presented John Piper with a new book in his honor: For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper. In this broadcast we discuss what brought about this book’s publication and ask “What is so special about John Piper?”


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  • C Michael Patton
    C Michael Patton

    C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

      8 replies to "Theology Unplugged (with Sam Storms) – A Tribute to John Piper"

      • Rebecca

        I am a relatively new Christian…by eight years. I am still learning the who’s who of Christianity….passed and present. It’s been pretty easy to weed out the obvious charlatan that John MacArthur refers to. I know of John Piper and of his value and respect of many other quality Christian leaders. Recently I have been watching to a program called Wretched hosted by Todd Friel. This program is partnered with Way of the Master. There is some controversy about John Piper inviting Rick Warren to speak at his conference this year. Can anyone here shed any light on this controversy for me? There seems to be some concern over Rick Warren’s theology and Saddleback Church becoming a church of works.

      • Gary Simmons

        Rebecca: Michael Patton wrote a post on Rick Warren recently. I remember hearing about the Piper-Warren thing, but I don’t remember enough to say much. I suspect that Piper was willing to allow Christian scholars and speakers join conferences as guests even though they may no fit into the conferences’ beliefs completely.

        Some Christians have the tendency to jump the gun on things like this and start thinking “well, I guess that means Piper is OK with everything Warren teaches! Piper’s a heretic now!”

        We are to be discerning as Christians to keep out heresy. But that doesn’t mean we are to be actively suspicious of figures like Piper who have earned our trust. I’m sure he had his reasons for inviting Warren (who I’d not agree with 100%, but he’s not bad). One of the most dangerous people you’ll meet in church is the one who constantly scrutinizes, as if expecting at any moment for someone to put a knife in their back. It’s theological paranoia.

      • Rebecca

        Gary, thanks. It’s hard when you are learning theology and you want to know you are studying under one who has it correct. John MacArthur has been one of those men and I didn’t know until recently that he believes that Rick Warren’s theology is way off. I feel I need guidance but maybe I can’t count on anyone other than the Holy Spirit. I guess it’s no surprise that many, too many will one day compromise their beliefs. I want the truth…not the water down version. I can tale the boldness. I think I’m listening to too many people and need to back away for awhile. Thanks so much for you perspective.

      • Dave Z

        Rebecca, that’s a wise response – read a lot, pray and make up your own mind. Also, read between the lines – in a given article, do you see the influence of the Holy Spirit? Even in a critique, I think it’s possible to exemplify the fruit of the Spirit. Is it written with love, joy, peace, gentleness, etc., or is it filled with sarcasm, condescension and self-righteousness? Also, if you’re wondering about someone, read their writings, not just what other people write about them.

        You mention MacArthur as trustworthy, but you should be aware that not everyone would agree. He’s caused some raised eyebrows with his “Lordship Salvation” ideas, which a lot of Christians, including some prominent, highly respected evangelical leaders, see as a form of legalistic works-based salvation. Just goes to show that some of these issues are not as simple as they may seem at first glance.

        I think it’s very important to distinguish between essential and non-essential beliefs, and to interact graciously with other believers, even if you have some disagreements with them. Regarding Piper and Warren, they have their differences but Piper made a choice to give Warren a prominent place at the Desiring God conference. There’s a video clip online of Piper explaining that decision. It’s worth a watch.

        As far as studying theology, The Theology Program and Bootcamp are highly recommended. If you’re unfamiliar with them, just click the “Reclaiming the Mind” link at the top of this page. Very well-balanced, with an emphasis on developing a good understanding of various positions and how they fit into orthodox Christianity.

        Also, C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity is a great overview of basic theology – a true classic.

      • Susan

        Very inspiring. I love Piper’s passion and unapologetic preaching. I liked hearing about how he lives, and the reasons behind his choices. He does remind me of Jonathan Edwards.

      • Brock

        That’s not a suprise, since John Piper has stated that one of his main influences is the works of Jonathan Edwards.

        It really speaks to the character of John Piper that he would invite Rick Warren to speak, even though the Reformed world seems to despise Warren’s “Purpose Driven” model (google “purpose driven critique” or something similar and you’ll see what I mean). While Piper is very Reformed Baptist, he’s willing to work with people in camps outside his own instead of trying to shield his followers from them (i.e. he also invites paedobaptists and cessationists to his conferences). It just goes to show that Piper isn’t afraid of other theologies, and I don’t think he wants to characaturize them, like so many other otherwise good teachers tend to do (i.e. I cringe when R.C. Sproul goes off on Arminianism).

        I would advise doing your own research on Rick Warren before making judgements about his theology or orthodoxy. Read some of his stuff, and try to find the well thought out critiques (it can be difficult to weed out the reactionary ones). Also keep in mind what is important to orthodoxy as a whole, and not just what is to your tradition.

      • Rebecca

        Dave Z: Thanks. Very good advice. I did watch the video previously. Everyone seems to make excellent points. I do look for the main and plain things and try to focus on what is essential and non-essential.

        About John Mac Arthur and the report that he teaches “legalistic works-based salvation”. He claims that is what Warren does. I don’t have a problem when Christian leaders calling another out on false doctrine especially that which is essential to being saved by Christ. What I don’t like is when I never have the privilege of knowing that the one being called out was privately spoken with by his accuser prior to it going public. It’s like an issue you have with your spouse. Don’t air it in front of everybody else. Work on it at home and if you need help, get some pastoral counseling and if it’s a chronic sin issue and the guilty spouse doesn’t repent, go to your pastor. But first, you try to work it out at home. There’s a system in place. If the accusing Christian leader has tried to reach out to the accused, that person should say so…and how often and what was said and what the response was.

        The other thing that bothers me is the name calling of the so called impostors and mocking them. It gets my attention but I know it’s wrong. I personally don’t have a problem with sarcasm. I think it helps emphasize a point. But leave out the personal attacks, the mocking.

        Thanks Dave. I’ll take you advice. Think I will stick for now to my Sunday school class. It’s a year long study split up into different lessons that run 4 weeks each. We are on week 2 of evangelism. I need to get my head back into that. I think I listen to too many and I get sidetracked on way too many different topics. Guess I’m trying to make up for lost time. I want to know it all and I want to know it now! 🙁

      • Rebecca

        Dave, I did find this link that you might find interesting as well. Written by MacArthur and Dallas Seminary has a “honorable” mention.

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