Christian Joy Best for Charismatics and Not Cessationists, Says John Piper

(Pulpit & Pen News) Although once a popular figure among all stripes of Calvinist believers, John Piper’s increasing social justice activism and increasing charismaticism have largely reduced his popularity to that of The New Calvinists and, oddly enough, evangelicalism at large.

Those who hold to the tenets of classical Reformed theology, however, have grown increasingly cautious of John Piper. His endorsement of figures like Rick Warren, his crecommendation of Beth Moore as a preacher even to men, and his bizarre introduction of “Christian Hedonism” have all been thoroughly criticized by serious Reformed theologians. Peter Masters of the London Metropolitan Tabernacle explains

Christian Hedonism’ is a term adopted in the literature of Dr. John Piper to describe his scheme for sanctification and advance in the spiritual life. Certainly, it is a very strange term, because hedonism is, for Christians, a bad word. Hedonism means the pursuit of pleasure as the chief good, but in the case of this new scheme of spiritual living, it refers to the pursuit of pleasure in God..

Delighting in God, we repeat, is made the organising principle for every other spiritual experience and duty. It becomes the key formula for all spiritual vigour and development. Every other Christian duty is thought to depend on how well we obey this central duty of delighting in the Lord. The entire Christian life is simplified to rest upon a single quest, which is bound to distort one’s perception of the Christian life and how it must be lived.

Whatever the strengths of Dr. Piper’s ministry, and there are many, his attempt to oversimplify biblical sanctification is doomed to failure because the biblical method for sanctification and spiritual advance consists of a number of strands or pathways of action, and all must receive individual attention. As soon as you substitute a single ‘big idea’ or organising principle, and bundle all the strands into one, you alter God’s design and method. Vital aspects of Truth and conduct will go by the board to receive little or no attention

John Piper is a Third Wave Charismatic, who like his fellow “Charismatic Calvinists,” Wayne Grudem and Sam Storms, believes in a New Testament-era prophecy which, unlike Old Testament prophecy, is fallible and can be errantly relayed via the prophet, even though it was inerrantly given by God (source link).

These Third Wave Charismatic Calvinists also believe in the continuance of the Apostolic Sign Gifts, even while denying the continuince of the Apostolate itself.

Though not typically practicioners of “tongues” themselves, they nonetheless agree with First and Second Wave Charismatics who believe the gift is an ecstatic utterance of non-earthly language and deny that it is xenoglossia, or the speaking of foreign tongues as demonstrated in Acts 2, Acts 8 and Acts 11.

This leaves Piper and his fellow Charismatic Calvinists susceptible to all sorts of theological error routinely pouring through the Charismatic Window.

This is further evidenced by the long list of associations these men maintain with figures who are both greatly suspect in their theology and who are often demonstrably false in their purported “prophecies.” View article →