Some Thoughts on Abraham Piper – the Son of Prominent Calvinist John Piper

Kids can be challenging. Yet, we love them. We’re concerned for them, and we do the best we can for them. We don’t always like the decisions they make. And so, as a parent who dealt with a challenging teenager, I’m sympathetic to John Piper and what he must be experiencing with his son, Abraham. With our son being as defiantly independent as he was, about the only comfort I took was the hope that in the end, the natural occurring consequences of our son’s choices would bring about enough difficulty in his life for him to decide that just maybe it would be better to make other decisions. I’ve always thought that experience was a very good teacher.

However, in John Piper’s worldview with respect to his son Abraham, there’s nothing that could be hoped for. God has already chosen the path for Abraham. And that path appears completely devoid of God. John Piper is a ‘hard-determinist’ wherein God initiates and controls everything including the final outcome of any event or action. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that John Piper loves and cares deeply about his son. I have no doubt that John Piper wants only the best for his son. But John Piper, believing in God’s absolute determinism and God’s decreeing of all things which are to come realizes that there’s nothing that can be done to alter the course of his son’s life. This is most certainly one of the bitter fruits of Calvinistic theology – some people are blessed and given eternal life, and some people are screwed and cast off into the pit of hell. It wouldn’t surprise me for Abraham, having grown up with his father’s extreme Calvinistic teachings to ask himself, “What kind of God is this?”

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper believes God has decreed everything that comes to pass.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper believes God has determined who goes to hell (reprobate) or heaven (elect) before the world began.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper breeds fatalism.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper misinterprets biblical words and concepts like election, predestination, sovereignty only to make it fit into the TULIP.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper believes God is acting out the good and the evil within any situation.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper teaches that God’s saving grace is restricted to a very small percentage of people.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper deviates many scriptural verses in its contextual application.

The Calvinistic theology of John Piper seeks to focus on God’s sovereignty such that it makes God into a monster.

Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

6 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Abraham Piper – the Son of Prominent Calvinist John Piper”

  1. I happened upon your blog. I have come to accept by faith, that my very limited understanding of God’s sovereignty is not to usurp His infinite wisdom and power to work as He wills through whatever means He chooses. If God wants to use the unbelieving son of a pastor, to capture the attention of Believers and unbelievers alike, so be it.
    The thief on the cross is a good example of one who lived a life by all appearances to man contrary to God’s will to save, but in his final hours God redeemed him and gave him spiritual eyes and understanding to see Christ.
    I am a mom, and I know what it’s like to have a grown child make choices contrary to how they were raised/taught. Every parent wants to be trusted and valued. But ultimately, I believe the LORD will work as He wills for His good pleasure and His great renown. I am praying for AP, that his idolatrous self will and pleasure for identity will be consumed one day by the work and identity of who God is.
    I pray you’ll come to understand that any will and understanding you’ve been given, a gift, is by grace a means by which you come to know Him better, for who He truly is, not to be satisfied by your limited stance. As you read God’s word, I pray you will be given faith, open eyes, and understanding to see Him for the Great God He is… beyond comprehension. Man’s great sin is willful unbelief! I pray your unbelief will be consumed by a desire to search Him out.
    LORD help your unbelief.

    1. Thank-you for your comment, “Anonymous”. I can’t be sure, but I sense from your response to my post that you are Calvinistically oriented as to your faith and beliefs. From which, many within the circles that I run in are in full agreement that it is God who controls all events and the actions (good, bad, indifferent) of people. And that includes the salvation of any and all via Unconditional Election. Suffice it to say that I reject any notion that God would intentionally bring about the beliefs espoused by Abraham Piper. I believe that we as individuals with God-given free will make decisions as to matters of faith in addition to decisions in the way and manner that we direct our lives – i.e. who to marry, jobs, where to live, what church to attend, etc etc etc. I see many Christians tossing out the common phrase, “God’s will,” to infer things that I don’t believe God is actually directing. I take the position that God’s will is clearly outlined in Rom 12. And, ironically, it would seem that the believer’s following of God’s will is most prominently ascribed to behaviors and interactions with people. To which, we are responsible to make wise (call them Godly) decisions. I appreciate your comment as to a wayward child. I can sadly relate. And it’s painful to watch the continued self-destruction. Ultimately, I think my son will have to make decisions. In any event, thank-you again for finding my blog and commenting. Please have a look around and comment as you see fit. Regards // Bob

      1. The beginning and the middle are both distinct from the end. God’s sovereignty certainly allows Him to write the end, as well as the beginning, and everything in between. AND. People always act from the desires in their hearts. AND. My little mind believes God is infinite and easily accomplishes both.

        1. Thanks for the comment, Mark. I would certainly agree that God can “write” anything he desires. I sense a better word notion is “to determine”. But then the question for me – Does God determine things? And if he does, how do we differentiate from something that God determines versus something that just happens or naturally occurs? As I wrote in the post, John Piper is a ‘hard-determinist’ wherein God initiates and controls everything including the final outcome of any event or action. In Piper’s worldview, and many other people’s perspective, nothing can occur except what God has determined will happen. And, as you can likely surmise, I reject this belief. I respect that we may differ here and I appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Regards // Bob

          1. I agree ‘write’ was not the best word. It’s from the phrase ‘God writes the last chapters’. One example being selling Joseph into slavery.
            In searching for certainty, the quest must include the notion that God can be trusted wherever the line is drawn in the determinism/free-will debate.
            -Mark

  2. For those who believe in absolute predestination to salvation and damnation no matter what any man does (or fails to do), what then is the purpose of free will? What is the purpose of preaching? Why do we need to pray? Why will God judge people in the end, for their deeds, if they were programmed to do those deeds like automatons, through predestination?
    Why would God ask a man to choose between life and death if a man can’t truly choose?

    Thanks for this write up. I used to be a Calvinist in my beliefs, but now, I see things differently. God has a predestinated plan of salvation open to all, but not all will receive it. For as many of those as he foreknew would believe, he predestinated to be comformed to the image of his Son.

    God bless you!

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