Rerun: Piper Speaks of His Fundamentalist Heritage

In light of the recent hullabaloo regarding Piper’s commendation of fundamentalists (in response to the FBF’s 2005 resolution about his ministry), I thought many would be interested in this post, originally published on August 30, 2007. Notice that it was preached the very week of the FBF meeting at which the resolution was passed. How weird is that?

By the way, I have said repeatedly that I think the resolution and the background article written by Michael Riley were fair and well-written.


John Piper honored his father in this message on June 19, 2005, a message which I took in as part of my preparation for preaching on parental instruction this Sunday. Piper rehearses the spiritual legacy he inherited from his father, who he describes as (a) a graduate of Bob Jones University (from where he received a Doctorate of Divinity in 1956), (b) an itinerant evangelist (a ministry which Piper defends), and (c) “the happiest man I’ve never known,” despite a great tragedy Piper relates.

Bill and John Piper

In addition to passing on the spiritual lessons learned from his father—11, to be precise!—Piper addresses fundamentalism several times during the message. He says “we were fundamentalists without the attitude.” He notes that the standards he learned from his dad are essentially the same he practices today, and he defends their importance. He even quotes Dr. Bob Jones Sr.: Do so fast you don’t have time to don’t.” Though Piper speaks very highly of fundamentalists, he does share that it was sad for him and his father to see fundamentalists sometimes wield the truth in an unloving way.

One more thing: about 30 minutes in he throws in a Driscoll-ism that probably would have shocked his dad but which cracked me right up—and it’s accurate.

Piper’s dad impacted him with Bible truth. It’s edifying to hear him rehearse the lessons he learned and fascinating to hear him speak of his fundamentalist heritage.


4 Responses

  1. It almost seemed to me that Piper was making purposeful mention of BJU in the obituary and again in the funeral sermon.

    I was spending a lot of time researching in the BJU archives around the time Bill Piper died. I came across several playbills, programs, and newspaper reviews of plays or oratorios in which Bill and his brother participated. I scanned some of these clippings and have been intending to send them to the Pipers, since they have likely never seen these things.

    (Editing Note: Links are fixed.)

  2. nice pic, Chris.

    neat pic of your family, too.

    family is a precious gift from God.

  3. Thanks Chris for that link. Very moving and challenging testimony of what Piper’s father taught him and the lessons from Scriptures. What a great heritage he received from his father, and what a great challenge I received from this message.

  4. Glad you enjoyed it, Mike! Have a great Thanksgiving, friend!

    Turkey Tacos, perhaps? ;)

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