Here's my story: 10 years ago, I sat down in my lovely rented 'Triple-J' Ranch home with Josh Stewart, and popped in a sermon tape by John Piper. I remember as if it were yesterday. The title was appealing, "Did Christ die for you or for God?". Seemed provocative enough to engage my senses.
10 minutes after it had started, I could barely hold back my thoughts of how this man preached with such authority and seriousness. It wasn't hell fire and brimstone, and it wasn't comic relief. It seemed as though this was his last sermon, and this was the last sermon the audience would ever hear. Every now and then, I would steal a glance at Josh as we listened, and I could tell he was going through the same internal breakdown I was experiencing.
Soon after the sermon was over, I made it my goal to read a book by this guy. The Borders I went and got a copy of "Pleasures of God". I began to read, and waves of questions flooded my mind regarding my personal understanding of doctrines. I felt like for the first time, I had exited the kiddie blow up pool and had thrown myself into the thriving waters of the ocean.
The love affair began, because he pointed me to greater things...and he lived what he preached.
So, I have composed the following list to help anyone understand this guy:
10 Reasons: Why I am, still a John Piper Fan.
1. He challenges a pastor to see the seriousness of their profession, as pastor and theologian, when the world mocks our job and other pastors turn it into the Sunday Comedy Routine.
2. He adopted.
3. He wears the same shirt and tie, at every single event/preaching, b/c he wants the audience to focus on his message not his attire.
4. Financially, he gets paid the average of those at his congregation. Not more and not less, in order to keep common ground with them.
5. His book earnings go to missions and making his ministry/teachings available online for FREE.
6. He preaches entire books, Hebrews, Romans, and John...and they take years to complete. No rushing around...and you know he prepares and prepares and prepares.
7. He writes a biography each year about 1 hero of the faith, and then preaches on him and how he is an example to believers.
8. He is focused on 'one thing', and I think he's got it right. (Single purpose for which we exist). Soli Deo Gloria.
9. He's a nerd. He's not handsome. He's quite odd socially.
10. He sets standards for ministry that I feel most ministers tremble at, due to their own sinfulness.
Finally, I have not listened to John Piper for almost 2 years now. I read his blogs occasionally, and buy his books when necessary. I believe that God used him in my life for one purpose. He showed me the glory of God in Christ. For that, I am eternally grateful. I pray that I can have the same impact on young ministers when I am in my 60's, as he has on mine.
Thank you John Piper for the fervor you bring to so many ministers, and Chaplains like me.
(oh...this weekend, I go see John Piper in Bonn, Germany. Nice!!)