The Calvinist by John Piper
It’s a poem by John Piper — was a Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, author of too many books, and known for his Christian Hedonism, and later on his New Calvinism. John Piper is most influenced by C.S. Lewis and he loves to write poems. This is one of his many poems and on this video you will hear the voices of D.A. Carson, R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, and Sinclair Ferguson.
To quote John Piper he said, ‘I wrote this poem called “The Calvinist” to capture a glimpse of God’s sovereign intersection with the life of a sinful man. There is no part of life where the greatness of God does not penetrate deeply. I want to help you feel that.’ And it is on this same purpose I’m sharing this video.
So am I a Calvinist? I knew you would ask or probably presuming I am. The truth is, I hate being asked such question. I know where this is going. It’s going down to Calvinism vs. Arminianism. I got to say I don’t want to be labeled and with Save More Church in perspective I don’t want the church to be labeled either of the two.
It’s not for the purpose of playing it safe or having a ‘be friends with everybody’ rule. But ofcourse people just can’t avoid asking which one is you — a Calvinist or an Arminian. And to say I’m not both is not an acceptable answer.
My professor in Hermeneutics refuses to be called an Arminian although he obviously hates Calvinism. Let’s say I refuse to be called a Calvinist although I obviously love Calvinism. Honestly, I don’t want to be called a Calvinist.
I’m a student and I’m studying and learning, everything I believe now could be changed in the future (who knows). I don’t want to be certain about Calvinism vs. Arminianism (could never say I figured it out). I don’t want to read the Bible through the lens of Calvinism nor of Arminianism and most importantly I don’t want to encourage the church to side between the two. Ofcourse I don’t want the church to be ignorant of the issue that divides churches and denominations. I want them to be like the Berean Jews in Acts 17:11, Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (NIV, emphasis added). And I want the church to drop their every presupposition as they study the word of God. I want the church (Save More Church) to avoid the politics of taking side which can make us arrogant and intolerant.
So don’t ask me if I’m for Democrat or for Republican because in the first place I’m not even an American. The point is I’m a Christian and my Christianity should not be about Calvinism or Aminianism. It should be about Christ and His Lordship in my life. My business is not to make John Calvin known but to give glory to the King of kings and crown Him with renown.