I’m not sure if anyone has impacted my faith more than Pastor John Piper. John served as the Preaching Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church for 33 years. During that time, he has been used by God to plant hundreds of churches all over the world. He has been called by many the father of neo-Calvinism, a set of theological beliefs which has influenced quite possibly hundreds of thousands of Christians around the globe.
However, Piper is by far the most notorious for his contribution to the idea of Christian-hedonism. This idea did not originate with him, but he is certainly responsible for re-excavating it and bringing it back into the spotlight where it rightly belongs. In his book, Desiring God, Pastor John reminded the Church that Christian Faith is first and foremost about God, rather than man. For decades this reality has been neglected, especially by the Church in America. One of the primary reasons for this is because the emphasis of God’s glory so often causes us to become suspicious of God. If God is completely self-orienting and infinitely jealous for his own glory, how can we trust that he has our best interest in mind? This age-old question has been perfectly answered by a single quote from Piper: “God is most glorified in man, when man is most satisfied in him.”
If nothing else, Piper has helped The Response Church (along with countless others) to clearly see that God’s commitment to his own glory and his faithfulness to his people are not at odds with one another. As John 1:14-16 states, from the fullness of God’s glory overflows grace upon grace. Eternity is a long time. Streets of gold and perfect health are simply not enough to captivate humanity’s joy forever. Only an infinitely glorious God can eternally satisfy the hearts of his people. It is true, that everything that God has ever done and ever will do has been for his glory, but it is no less true to say that all of this is also for “the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purposes”. John Piper has taught me not to be suspicious of God’s desire for his glory, because God’s glory is always our good.
If you too have been blessed by the ministry of John Piper and are searching for a local church in San Diego that agrees with his teaching, come and join us for worship at The Response Church. We would consider it an immense privilege to have more people who are committed to see God glorified join our church family.