John Piper’s Son, Abraham, Is an Intelligent and Well to Do Exvangelical.


NASA

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” CS Lewis


Warning-The video clips will take a few minutes to load…


I grew up in a home in which I was loved by both of my parents. However, neither practiced their faith. My dad loved the Rissian Orthodox church festivals in which food and music were the keys. My mother rarely entered a church but would drop my brother and me off at a rather dead (at the time) Methodist church for Sunday school from time to time. She would never enter the church.

Both she and my father loved music. They would go to nightclubs to hear folks like Barbra Streisand and Satchmo. (I have pictures of them with their favorites.) They adored big band music.  We would go to the Lone Star Ranch in New Hampshire to hear the greats in country-western music.  I saw Johnny Cash as he was making his ascent to stardom. To this day, I love to play his music.

I was one of those annoying children who always had questions about life. I tried to ask my parents about faith issues but quickly learned that there was nothing there at that time. It wasn’t their thing. I remember a devout Jewish girl in my class who once told me that she was planning to go live in a kibbutz. I wondered if that was what I should do. My Catholic friends once slipped me into their church, St James, and told me how to do a confession. They gave me a rosary and explained how to use it. Thankfully the priest was kind to me and went along with my confession. My friends told me that I would go to hell unless I became a Catholic. So, I wondered if that was the answer.

So, I would go, off and on, to my church’s Methodist Youth Fellowship. One day, two students from Gordon Conwell decided to reach out to this dead little group of teens. I think we were the most clueless group of young teens they ever met. Yet, over time, I began to try to understand. You know the rest of the story. I would become a Christian while watching Star Trek although Star Trek had nothing to do with it. I remember the change in my life that happened almost immediately. I could read the Bible and understand it and that young couple pointed me in a couple of directions to find a church and fellowship. This was no easy task on the North Shore of Boston.

My children were born and my husband and I wanted to raise them as Christians.

This was not the easiest of tasks. Neither of us came from a Christian background so we didn’t have a clue. I read books (please don’t laugh) from Focus on the Family. You know the type, “How to raise Christian kids in 10 easy steps.” I often envied friends who came from Christian homes and seemed to have it all together. Then, my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was pregnant with my son. My other daughter, at 4 years old, began acting out because I had so little energy to devote while trying to care for my daughter and new baby.

My husband tried to be of help by leaving the long hours of academic medicine. But he traded one difficult job for another. We put our kids in Christian schools because we needed all the help we could get in figuring this stuff out. That move was helpful but I started asking questions. What about young-earth creationism and evolution? Why do some little children get sick and even die? What about those difficult verses in the Bible? Who really understands the Old Testament? Why do some Christians stop believing? Why do I keep believing despite the obvious difficulties? Why do kids raised in Christian homes rebel and turn away from the faith? Why do some people say those people never believed in the first place when I knew they did?

And so I began a search for answers, I read about church history and found that many of my questions have been asked throughout the centuries. If you ever go to EChurch you will see prayers written by the early church leaders. They are surprisingly relevant. I feel blessed to have visited over 40 national parks because it is in these places of beauty I see Christ.

All three of my kids have struggled with their faith. Yet, they still believe. My daughters have decided that I should be considered a moderate. I have come a long way from my Focus on the Family days. I have great empathy for those who want their children to be Christian and, instead, see them walk away.

The intriguing story of John Piper’s son, Abraham who has left the faith

As TWW readers know, I am not a fan of John Piper. He takes a pretty hard line when it comes to faith, often adding to Scripture to have what he believes is a cohesive view of God. He has tried to moderate his views on the abuse of women, saying that a woman can leave for her safety but should not divorce and remarry on the off chance her spouse sees the light and becomes that wonderful spouse he should be. As many here know, that is impossible.

John Piper’s son, Barnabas, remarried after his spouse left him. I am happy for him as he makes his own way in life. However, John’s son, Abraham, not only has left the faith but has become a media star on Tik Tok which led me to do something I said I wouldn’t do. I now have an account on Tik Tok and will use the *wartwatch* name there.

I knew that Abraham was no longer following the faith. However, I was surprised when Ruth Graham, writing for the New York Times posted A Pastor’s Son Becomes a Critic of Religion on TikTok It was subtitled: “John Piper is one of the most influential theologians in America. His son Abraham calls evangelicalism “a destructive, narrow-minded worldview.”

John Piper answers a question about unbelieving children

He has made quite a bit of money in the tech world. In 2017, it was estimated he made $16 million in one enterprise and he is set to make more money in other ventures. Curiously, in 2017, Piper posted How Did I Fail My Unbelieving Children?

But in either case (I’m not going to argue for that translation), warning or promise, I don’t see the nature of Proverbs or the rest of the Bible suggesting that this is an absolute guarantee of believing children to believing and faithful parents.

Is he saying something here?

We all sinned. We all did less than we could. None of us prayed as much as we could. None of us fasted as much as we could. Did you fast at all? None of us humbled ourselves as much as we could. None of us was consistent in our life as we could have been. None of us was faithful to the word of God as we could have been. None of us in exhortation, kindness, meekness, or gentleness was as good as we could have been. It is hopeless to base our present peace and joy on the assurance that we did a good job as parents. That is building a house on sand

He ends by saying:

Now, in the natural, human heart, this combination of emotions is impossible. It certainly seems so to me from time to time: (1) unceasing anguish in your heart because of the lostness of your loved ones, (2) daily earnest intersession to God on their behalf, (3) peace that passes all understanding because we entrust ourselves and our loved ones to God.

I suppose that is precisely why Paul calls it “peace that surpasses all understanding.” It isn’t based on rational deduction.

The peace of God in these kinds of situation — painful situations — that peace is a miracle. It is a gift. It cannot be produced by the natural reasoning mind. So, may the Lord give us (give our friend who wrote this painful note), grace to live in this kind of peace in spite of all our troubles, so that our children can see it, because that’s what they need more than anything.

Abraham Piper is making good money in the tech world and causing a sensation talking about his former faith.

Abraham is becoming well known in the exvangelical world. According to the NYT:

Mr. Piper’s pedigree is proof that ex-Christians should not be dismissed as people who were never really committed in the first place. “One of the common refrains is that these people were never Christian,” said Blake Chastain, who popularized the term “exvangelical” when he named his podcast in 2016. “But the people who leave over these issues are the people who took it seriously. They were the youth group kids who were on fire for God.”

Graham(NYT) writes about Abraham’s rocky road regarding church membership in his father’s church

Can you imagine the pressure of growing up in Piper’s church? If you click on the above NYT link, you will see that Piper had no idea of the path his son would take.

Abraham Piper was excommunicated from his father’s church at age 19 after rejecting the faith. “At first I pretended that my reasoning was high-minded and philosophical,” he later wrote in a Christian magazine. “But really I just wanted to drink gallons of cheap sangria and sleep around.” Four years later, he returned to the faith, and was welcomed back at the church in what his father has described as a “beautiful restoration service.”

At some point after that, Mr. Piper departed again — this time, apparently, for good. In his videos, however, Mr. Piper talks only vaguely about growing up in and rejecting what he describes as fundamentalism. He never mentions his lineage, and he declined to participate in this article. John Piper, too, declined to comment.

So what’s going on?

Neither of the Piper agreed to be interviewed by the NYT. However, it is crystal clear that Abraham no longer believes in Christianity. Years ago, I would have wished that I had been raised in a good Christian home with the likes of John Piper as the father. However, it is becoming clear to me that my parents may have given me a gift. I had to seek out my faith over many long years. As I read my Bible, along with help of commentaries and church history, I developed into who I am today.  I’m not sure that would have happened if I was a member of the Piper household. Imagine disagreeing with John? I bet all of his proofs would have been piled on the table before one could breathe.

Abraham is very bright. However, just like his dad, he appears to know that he is right as well. I wonder if the two debate or if they have decided not to discuss issues? I would love to sit in a room when these two Pipers debate!

I’m going to make it easy for you to hear the thoughts of Abraham.

Today, I joined Tik Tok. That platform makes it easy to embed these short clips. I spent quite a while today listening to his thoughts and choosing the clips for the post. There is no question that Abraham is highly intelligent. Maybe it is just me, but he reminds me of his father. Both appear to be quite sure they are correct in their point of view. I bet the discussions over the Thanksgiving turkey are fascinating if they still talk to one another which I hope they do.

I hope this helps you to get to know Abraham better. These clips are his way of letting you know what he believes.

For kids stuck at home with evangelical parents

Kids and mission trips

If you believe in a literal hell, how can you go out to eat at Outback?

Coming out of fundamentalism

The problem with Christian education

Not attacking Christianity but attacking fundamentalism

People would be better off if they didn’t exist

Pretending that Hell is real punitive justice is BS

Reading the Bible as a kid

A passive nonbeliever

The book of Revelation is overhyped

He left the fundie Christianity that he grew up with

Your God needs a therapist

Bonkers Bible stories: Abraham

Memorizing the Bible wasn’t worth it

5 insane Bible stories

A final comment from the NYT: Abraham and John Piper are both insufferable. He may have a point.

Taylor Brown, a New Testament Ph.D. student at Baylor University opined on his dislike for both Pipers in a comment on Twitter Monday: “Abraham Piper seems just as bad as his dad with saying dumb stuff but just in an insufferable exvangelical way instead of an insufferable hyper-Calvinist way.”

Comments

John Piper’s Son, Abraham, Is an Intelligent and Well to Do Exvangelical. — 148 Comments

  1. This is what happens when the church is all about law this, law that, holiness this, holiness that, and grace is hardly preached.

    American Evangelicalism is probably the biggest atheist maker ever.

  2. “it is crystal clear that Abraham no longer believes in Christianity”
    +++++++++++

    i don’t think i do, either.

    my beliefs regarding God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, well, that’s a different kettle of fish.

    (and TWO CHOCOLATE CREAM PIES)

  3. I agree with the final NYT comment, both are insufferable. Poor John Piper, I feel for him. I think his son is more obnoxious than he is. Looks just like his dad too. I wonder if he’s friends with Josh Harris.

  4. My opinion?
    For the most part, Abraham Piper is as off the train tracks as his dad is.
    Just in the opposite direction.

  5. Once again, Dee, you hit it out of the ballpark; ’tis the season.

    In a Tik Tok vid, Piper’s son pontificates from a visual arts (painting) studio. Frank Schaeffer, son of Evangelical Francis Schaeffer, also pontificates from his art studio.

    So both may be visual artists (painters) & both pontificate about Evangelicalism, having been raised in the inner circle. Maybe the connections stop there. In any case, these are cursory impressions. As the Piper son said, not deep, at all. Just interesting to note. Public figures, from a distance & over the airwaves.

    Both dads were/are short. Francis seemed a bit rugged; Rev. Piper not so much.

    Their moms don’t seem alike, neither in aspect nor activities. Edith was diminutive, fashionable in Europe, and with proclivities for the arts, including opera. High brow tastes, but with a heart for young people from everywhere.

    Moreover, son Frank Schaeffer’s tone is neither cynical nor laissez-faire. He apologizes for the damage of his father’s influence, where he believes his dad went wrong. Things matter to him, personally and deeply.

    The Schaeffers seem empathetic. They are realistic about sexuality. They never encourage DV. They accepted LGBT young people at L’Abri. So, there’s that.

    Nice in the USA with freedom of religion, pastors’ sons (celeb or whatever) practice their beliefs and enterpri$e$. Good on them.

  6. elastigirl: my beliefs regarding God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, well, that’s a different kettle of fish.

    Same here, and by the way, I love a good old Wisconsin (Door County) fish boil.

  7. “Is he saying something here?“

    When “you” switches to “we” and back again can often be quite telling

  8. “Mr. Piper’s pedigree is proof that ex-Christians should not be dismissed as people who were never really committed in the first place. “One of the common refrains is that these people were never Christian,” said Blake Chastain, who popularized the term “exvangelical” when he named his podcast in 2016. “But the people who leave over these issues are the people who took it seriously. They were the youth group kids who were on fire for God.”“

    Joshua Harris comes to mind, as do the Ortbergs. One would hope that in the retellings over time of their backgrounds and of real issues that surfaced, they can also start seeing patterns of dysfunctional theology that exist and assign the same shortfall to those responsible rather than to God. That of course can be much easier said than done for many; it’s a matter for prayer and a matter for sunlight — and of course transparency, accountability, and oversight.

  9. Speaking of sons, there’s this:

    https://churchleaders.com/news/381472-this-is-a-mess-liberty-campus-pastor-admits-to-students.html

    “On April 8, 2021, Liberty University announced that Jonathan Falwell, brother of Jerry Falwell, Jr., will replace David Nasser as campus pastor at the end of the semester. Falwell is currently the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which is affiliated with the college.”

    The bigger story potentially is David Nasser evidently distancing himself from the situation:

    “This has been one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make, but we do feel affirmed that God is asking for our obedience to step out of this role in ministry and into a whole new role in ministry elsewhere,” said David Nasser in a video announcement with his wife, Jennifer. “As your campus pastor, I can’t ask you week after week to be obedient and to go wherever (God) leads and then not model that very same thing in our own lives.”

    “The Nassers are moving to Nashville, Tenn., to lead an “exciting, new” non-profit. They did not identify the non-profit by name, although Liberty’s announcement stated, “David Nasser is moving onto the next opportunities the Lord provided, using his voice on behalf of the most vulnerable, ministering on behalf of orphans and foster children.”

    Right, so go from begin closely associated with Falwell Jr. for years — and what exactly has been done to change the culture or hold people accountable there, I’d like to know — to “using his voice on behalf of the most vulnerable”? Some students gave their thoughts on how he used his voice, as well as how certain situations were handled when the stuff on Falwell Junior was coming out:

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/12/david-nasser-jerry-falwell-jr-liberty-university.html

    ”The Sunday after Politico’s reporting was published, Nasser called an impromptu all-campus worship service, to be held on the school’s outdoor ski slope as the sun set over the mountains. More than 4,000 students attended to sing and pray; Fox News quoted Nasser calling it “the essence of Liberty U.” One student described it as “very obviously a PR stunt, or a way to reduce the student uprising.” Many students came away from that worship service with the impression that Nasser would address the controversies directly in Convo the next week. But Wednesday’s service passed without a mention of the Politico article; instead, the singer Michael W. Smith performed.

    “When I asked Nasser about the service on the ski slope, he said it had nothing to do with any controversy. “That was related to that moment, not related to the article,” he said. What moment? I wondered. “I feel like we, in the last three years, have been more and more seeing what I would call the wind of the Holy Spirit in our sails,” he said. “I feel like we’re on the cusp of a revival.”

    “Nasser looked genuinely baffled when I asked him why he hadn’t mentioned the controversy to students. He had addressed it, he said, but in a deeper way than just rehashing the same old sordid details. As a pastor, “I’m going to talk to you about the root and not the fruit,” he said. “I’m much more interested in leveraging the moment to talk about: What do you do when accusations come your way? Or what do you do when someone is asking you these kind of questions?” He said “hundreds” of students contacted him by text or DM after the event, but most had questions unrelated to the article. In fact, the vast majority of conversations he has with students are about relationship issues, theological questions, or personal struggles—not politics. “Most of our students are thinking, Do girls think I look good in this shirt? How am I doing with my grades? How am I doing with my job applications?”

    “”I’m always interested in understanding why a student feels unheard, or misunderstood,” Nasser told me. “I don’t think I’ve ever sat with a student and told them not to voice their opinion.” Then he emphasized again the importance of keeping conflict internal instead of airing it publicly. He echoed the same passage in Matthew that Micah Protzman said he quoted in their first meeting: “As a Christian, I should first go to my brother.” When it comes to his boss’s relationship to Liberty students, Nasser said, the most important thing is this: When Falwell Jr. runs into students in restaurants, he always picks up the tab.”“

  10. Muff Potter,

    “I love a good old Wisconsin (Door County) fish boil.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    a fish boil…. a Wisconsin one….

    -is it with fish just caught?
    -multiple fish? whole? skin-on?
    -boiling over an open fire?
    -is it like a stew, or simply a way of cooking the fish?

    -served with anything else?

    a vicarious good old wisconsin fish boil sounds like just the thing…

  11. JDV: they can also start seeing patterns of dysfunctional theology that exist and assign the same shortfall to those responsible rather than to God.

    I don’t know who “they” are… maybe includes myself …

    Admittedly, personally, being able to examine some of these “theologies” or “extra-biblical” stuff, as well as the celebs & glitz of chollywood, and the “big-shot” theologians, … yes, examine this stuff here among the faithful-not-naïve at TWW, is always eye-opening and refreshing. The journey becomes lighter: keeping the faith while discarding baggage.

    After the Yoder post in the past, I’m still chafing over having to study Karl Barth in college. Not a good person, so no need for his theology or as some noted, eventual mind games that justified his despicable lifestyle. Hemingway, whatever. (Said he needed a new woman for each new book.) A theologian, what’s the point when they are philanderers. No point.

  12. I think this is truly sad. I feel for John Piper and his wife as would any Christian father or mother who sees a son of a believer rebel and reject the faith. My first thought though is that Abraham Piper just looks and sounds more like an ungrateful jerk. He’s only famous because of his father and his fame must be causing enormous pain for his parents. Not only is he rejecting the faith, he’s doing all he can to turn others from the faith too. Why would he not honor his father and mother and keep his rejection to himself? Because he wants the fame that only comes to him from his father.

  13. Administrative note

    One of the videos is shown twice. I’ve sent Dee a note and it will likely be corrected when she’s awake.

  14. John,

    “Why would he not honor his father and mother and keep his rejection to himself? Because he wants the fame that only comes to him from his father.”
    +++++++++++++

    perhaps in his life his father’s fame, which was foisted on him and not a choice he made for himself, was a source of pain and antagonism which added a ton of unnecessary pressure to his life.

    and perhaps this is a way he can redeem it, resolve it — instead of his life being controlled by other people and his father’s fame itself (and the expectations placed on him because of it), now he is in control.

    as all human beings need to be in control of their own lives, to have the freedom to make their own decisions.

    john piper has caused so much harm for people so far removed from him who are on the receiving end of the consequences of his theological pronouncements. i can only imagine the challenge of being his child.

  15. elastigirl: a ton of unnecessary pressure to his life

    I agree, it would have been a pressure being in the family of someone so famous, as it would be for anyone in a well known family. Still he’s making the most of a following he would only get because of his Father’s fame. His audience is due to his Father. I still think it’s sad.

  16. … he returned to the faith, and was welcomed back at the church in what his father has described as a “beautiful restoration service.”

    linked: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/marchweb-only/john-piper-racism-reconciliation.html (paywall)

    context: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/12/us/abraham-piper-tiktok-exvangelical.html

    What’s with the public set-up circa 2005? (Crabtree do this to their young too.)

    John both adds to, and subtracts from, Scripture. What Abraham is now doing, is exactly faithful to and identical to what John does.

  17. Meghan Markle gets attention because of her mother-in-law whose family she goes then about trashing. There’s a lot of $ being made by exiting the Christian faith in a loud, obvious, and even obnoxious way. Narcissists need supply (attention) and this kind of attention keeps them going. People of the Lie by Scott Peck is fascinating in this and the masks involved. Our upbringing has an effect, but we ourselves make choices. Both Francis and Edith Schaeffer stressed personal choice as opposed to the determinism they saw in the Reformed Church. This was in the late 1950’s. They would have seen and disagreed with in John Piper. And his sad and confused son.

  18. Listened to the “no-one believes in hell” bit. I speculate that he did not find his father’s ‘Pleasures
    of God’ answer — that we can rejoice in the sufferings of the damned because those sufferings magnify God’s glory (and indeed were determined for that purpose from before the creation of the world) — to be convincing.

    I think that his critique is mistaken; from within the worldview he was taught, it is perfectly possible to go about one’s daily routine without being distressed by the fate of those passing into a terrible eternity. I interpret this rant to be more a criticism of the damaged humanity of the people who are able without inner distress to contentedly embrace what he was taught on this matter.

    I suspect that had he early acquainted himself with authors like David Bentley Hart (who, it seems to me, is also very smart and very self-confident), he would not have departed “the faith” (for some definition of “the faith”. And it’s not a stretch to guess that the writings of DBH were not welcome in the Piper household.)

  19. Both Pipers have made a fortune distorting truth. Getting on the extreme edge of the absurd with your faith or lack of it sells in America.

    John Piper has been called the “Father of New Calvinism.” His aberrant belief and practice obviously didn’t work for this “Son of New Calvinism.” Whacko can pass from one generation to another when it’s a sickness of the soul.

  20. I feel sincerely & profoundly sorry for anyone who grew up in the Piper household. Can you even imagine? I suspect his son has plenty of religious trauma, & is playing it out by doing the thing Pipers do, preach to an audience, but from opposing perspectives. I don’t begrudge him an audience through his Dad because of everything else he’s no doubt had to put up with, through his Dad.
    I think Frank Schaeffer is different, because as people have said in this thread, his Dad/parents were very different & so he does not have the same fundamentalist cognitive patterns, or at least not to the same degree. You could disagree with Francis Schaeffer on many things, & he would still consider you a Christian. On many issues he believed the truth was somewhere in an area, not a single point. There’s a whole different flavour & a lot more love & mercy.
    So many of these kids of famous Christians show the damage that comes with fame, look not only at Abraham & Franky, but at Sproul Jr, Jay Bakker & so on.

  21. John: elastigirl: a ton of unnecessary pressure to his life

    I agree, it would have been a pressure being in the family of someone so famous, as it would be for anyone in a well known family.

    Famous Father Syndrome with Divine Right.
    Seems he’s turned that liability into an asset.
    Well, when preacher’s kids finally have had enough, they go off in one of two ways: either become more Godly than their father or the total screaming opposite. Fred Phelps or Marilyn Manson, nothing in-between.

  22. Besides which, this is TikTok.
    The Chinese version of Video Twitter.
    Hm. Like Father, like Son. Father on Twitter, Son on TikTok.

    (Alongside all those teenage girls whose faces match TikTok’s algorithm of beauty nodding their heads to music and raking in all the hits and likes…)

  23. Max: Getting on the extreme edge of the absurd with your faith or lack of it sells in America.

    IOW, Algorithm, Getting attention, $$$.

    Interesting how Jesus was on the other side of this. He performed great miracles that saved people from enormous suffering, and then advised keeping it quiet. No grandstanding. At all. Yet completely changing people’s lives. No billboard. Just personal transformations of lives.

    Wonder if these dudes, father & son, are all billboard and completely devoid of transformation. That’s a hungry place. Empty, but full of noise.

  24. John: Still he’s making the most of a following he would only get because of his Father’s fame. His audience is due to his Father. I still think it’s sad.

    Bit tricky doing that given that he apparently never or at most very rarely mentions who is father is. The article states “He never mentions his lineage”. Someone else apparently linked two Pipers both from the Twin Cities together which led to the NYT article.

    One of his businesses is apparently making high quality jigsaw puzzles.

  25. Godith,

    “Meghan Markle gets attention because of her mother-in-law whose family she goes then about trashing.”
    +++++++++++

    i imagine the institution known as The Royal Family (with all its handlers) was more corrupt than she could have possibly been prepared for. at her expense.

    Like John Piper, the ‘systems’ they run on are tightly wound based on principle (not necessarily good, right, honorable, or even sensible principle) — but powerful principle.

    in many senses, ridiculous principle.

    in both the Piper and Royal Family, the principle is all that matters — the misery if not suffering it imposes on others, the inherent dysfunction, the inequity, the unfairness, the silliness are not factored in. i imagine there’s no room for even awareness of these things.

    I cheer both of them on for pushing back and standing up to these distorted and unhealthy systems.

  26. BeakerN: I feel sincerely & profoundly sorry for anyone who grew up in the Piper household. Can you even imagine? I suspect his son has plenty of religious trauma, & is playing it out by doing the thing Pipers do, preach to an audience, but from opposing perspectives.

    This is how I see what’s playing out.

    Although I don’t know Abraham’s reason for doing the video’s, it seems it would be hurtful to his parents even if he doesn’t mention his father. Maybe therapy would better help Abraham deal with the issues he is dealing with, and bring him some peace. I personally believe that children brought up in similar circumstances have a hard time maturing in many areas.

    And for those who believe he’s making buck off of this, re-read Dee’s article. Abraham has made plenty of money elsewhere.

  27. Dee: this passage in the OP is quite a bit muddled “John Piper answers a question about unbelieving children
    He has made quite a bit of money in the tech world.” Etc.
    The headline should go after you finish talking about Abraham’s fortune and before the excerpt from my article. I made quite a bit in the Religion world, not the tech world. “Quite a bit”?? “Well off”?? LOL!! Abe’s well off?? Rich as Croesus is more like it. I’m a veritable pauper compared to him. Rumor has it I earned a relatively small pastoral salary, lived in a relatively modest home, and gave away most of my book earnings.
    And, quite seriously, the article you referenced about unbelieving kids is pretty good— relatively speaking.

  28. Ava Aaronson: They are realistic about sexuality.

    I think I read this somewhere. How did the sex thing (apart from marriage) morph into an absolute across the board prohibition (no mitigating factors, no exceptions)?
    Was it simply a couple of Pauline verses, or are there other factors on one or the other side of the equals sign?

  29. Ava Aaronson:
    Once again, Dee, you hit it out of the ballpark; ’tis the season.

    In a Tik Tok vid, Piper’s son pontificates from a visual arts (painting) studio. Frank Schaeffer, son of Evangelical Francis Schaeffer, also pontificates from his art studio.

    So both may be visual artists (painters) & both pontificate about Evangelicalism, having been raised in the inner circle. Maybe the connections stop there. In any case, these are cursory impressions. As the Piper son said, not deep, at all. Just interesting to note. Public figures, from a distance & over the airwaves.

    Both dads were/are short. Francis seemed a bit rugged; Rev. Piper not so much.

    Their moms don’t seem alike, neither in aspect nor activities. Edith was diminutive, fashionable in Europe, and with proclivities for the arts, including opera. High brow tastes, but with a heart for young people from everywhere.

    Moreover, son Frank Schaeffer’s tone is neither cynical nor laissez-faire. He apologizes for the damage of his father’s influence, where he believes his dad went wrong. Things matter to him, personally and deeply.

    The Schaeffers seem empathetic. They are realistic about sexuality. They never encourage DV. They accepted LGBT young people at L’Abri. So, there’s that.

    Nice in the USA with freedom of religion, pastors’ sons (celeb or whatever) practice their beliefs and enterpri$e$. Good on them.

    I immediately thought of Frank Schaeffer too! LOL, great minds….

  30. Pastor John: Rumor has it I earned a relatively small pastoral salary, lived in a relatively modest home, and gave away most of my book earnings.

    (chuckle) … we’re on to you, Pastor John.

  31. Pastor John: And, quite seriously, the article you referenced about unbelieving kids is pretty good— relatively speaking.

    My point in quoting JP was not to agree or disagree with the article. I just found the timing interesting.

  32. First. Dee, thank you for including more of your life’s (including faith) journey. I cannot find the words to express how what you wrote touched me.

    From the OP: “I was one of those….children who always had questions about life.” (Dee)

    I might not have actually asked a lot of questions out loud, and I might not have realized it until I was an adult….I am sure I must have been born asking “Why?” (although not literally born speaking the word “Why?” out loud 🙂 ).

    Second. Maybe it is only me and / or my imagination….in listening to Abraham Piper’s TikTok videos, I got the uneasy feeling he could easily become a very damaging cult leader (specialized / isolated housing compound and all).

  33. Samuel Conner: he did not find his father’s ‘Pleasures of God’ answer — that we can rejoice in the sufferings of the damned because those sufferings magnify God’s glory (and indeed were
    determined for that purpose from before the creation of the world) — to be convincing

    I expect nothing dismays God – Who wills that no-one should be lost – more. By degrees of, first belief, then relational integrity, we shall be Holy Spirit providence and help for each other (Who is sent at Ascension). God’s ordinances and decrees are permissive, unlike John’s.

    I knew superiors that explicitly vaunted what obstacles to grace they were. I’ve shaken them off.

    Erp: high quality jigsaw

    Prominent Americans (copied by our “betters” everywhere) talk in jigsaws: the caricature of the meme, or the meme of the caricature.

  34. researcher: very damaging cult leader

    Oh you mean like his father who doesn’t need a compound for hundreds of millions of people?

    I get it from the facial expression, too. And Macarthur’s. And Dever’s.

    John and Abraham aren’t opposites, they are clones.

  35. Muff Potter: My opinion?
    For the most part, Abraham Piper is as off the train tracks as his dad is.
    Just in the opposite direction.

    Both father and son think they know it all – either in a grim fundamentalist form or in a glib relativist/hedonist/skeptic sort of way. The young Piper might be smart to make all that money in the tech world but he didn’t seem to say much that is profound – just (understandably) reacting against a toxic form of religion. But just reacting against things is as empty as fundamentalist certitude.

  36. My claim to fame is that I actually “preached” at Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist church one Sunday night many years ago—back when he thought I was a Complementation, though I spoke on missions (because he liked my missions text, From Jerusalem to Iran Jaya), and I was entertained in his home. But he didn’t like me so well when he realized I was an egalitarian and later we debated each other in a large forum at Wheaton College. I listened to Abraham’s Tik Tok a couple of months ago, wasn’t surprised, have always wondered about the rest of them in that family.

    But all that is beside the point. Your story, Dee, interests me far more than does the story of the Piper Kingdom. I asked you before in one of my comments: When are you going to write a MEMOIR??? I love to hear stories like yours!!! Truly, your story is amazing!

  37. Bridget: Although I don’t know Abraham’s reason for doing the video’s, it seems it would be hurtful to his parents even if he doesn’t mention his father. Maybe therapy would better help Abraham deal with the issues he is dealing with, and bring him some peace. I personally believe that children brought up in similar circumstances have a hard time maturing in many areas.

    Piper senior brought his family into the world of fame and “look at us”. Saying his son should not engage is just basically saying the the elder was right about everything and the son wrong.

    I and Dee both know families in evangelical churches where the kids split harder than the Pipers. And many were families that the congregations were told they should emulate as the parents were “doing it right”. And other families emulating them the kids would grow up to be great Christians. I haven’t asked her specifically but I’m betting the reason there are no posts about these people is because they are still basically private family matters. No interviews on national TV or book tours or whatever. So their family business is basically theirs.

    The Pipers, and the Royals, and others decided long ago to live their family lives on the front pages of the news. And anyone saying critics of them should not do the same is, well, in my strong opinion spouting nonsense.

    And yes, this comment is a bit strong and Dee may delete it on me.

  38. Jacob: Both father and son think they know it all – either in a grim fundamentalist form or in a glib relativist/hedonist/skeptic sort of way. The young Piper might be smart to make all that money in the tech world but he didn’t seem to say much that is profound – just (understandably) reacting against a toxic form of religion. But just reacting against things is as empty as fundamentalist certitude.

    This. Absolutely true.

    I know, personally, of very dysfunctional, fervently Christian families whose kids have dramatically abandoned all vestiges of faith in God. And yes, often those families drove the poor kids to it, in a real sense. (Although it’s always complicated.)

    But I also know of balanced, normal, loving families whose kids rejected Christian faith. Maybe those families weren’t as balanced as I thought. Then again, maybe they were.

    The bottom line: Our kids have something John Piper doesn’t believe in. It’s called free will. That’s why even the worst parents can only beat themselves up to a certain extent when their kids “go wrong.”

    We can’t absolutely *control* our kids. Nor should we. Our children aren’t extensions of us, like extra appendages. They are their own persons. Unique, separate individuals. Profoundly influenced by us — for good or for ill — but ultimately their own human beings. They have free will. They make their own choices and decisions. Once they reach adulthood and choose for themselves, if they decide for something completely contrary to our wishes, well, we can pray, we can storm Heaven like Saint Monica, we can try persuading and cajoling, but beyond that, it’s out of our hands. It’s in God’s hands. Pray, pray, pray, and yes, repent for mistakes in parenting. But don’t beat yourself to a pulp. You could only do so much. Because Free Will.

    LOL…I didn’t mean to get that far off on a tangent. TBH my own millennial sons have turned out pretty well in the faith department so far, although my introverted younger son is kind of hard to read on that score. That’s Grace. But it’s also Free Will. Theirs.

  39. I’m not exactly sure what you are saying, or what you think I’m saying.

    If it involves the quote below. I’m not sure why you might think I’m criticizing Dee’s article.

    I’m more concerned about Abraham’s well being coming out of the crazy environment he was brought up in. I think that it might be better for him to seek therapy than to make these crazy videos that make him sound more like his father than he may realize.

    NC Now: And anyone saying critics of them should not do the same is, well, in my strong opinion spouting nonsense.

  40. Bridget: I think that it might be better for him to seek therapy than to make these crazy videos that make him sound more like his father than he may realize.

    To me his father needs the therapy. Then maybe the son. These videos are the son’s therapy till then.

  41. While I do find myself in the camp of that they’re both kind of obnoxious in remarkably similar ways,

    John Piper on being asked if he would attend a family member or child’s same-sex wedding:

    Five, I wouldn’t go because the weight of sorrow and love and revulsion would probably overwhelm me. I don’t think I could probably get through the ceremony.

    And the last thing I would say is: My not going is not my drawing away from my child — but his drawing away from me. I am where I have always been: arms wide open to the home-coming prodigal, ready to forgive anything.

    https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/would-you-attend-a-gay-wedding

    I’d agree that Abraham denigrating his father’s ministry in a public way is pretty crass, but then again I could see being set off by the scene from Barnabas’s wedding.

  42. Ruth Tucker: When are you going to write a MEMOIR??? I love to hear stories like yours!!! Truly, your story is amazing!

    Same question, same comment. Yes, your story, Dee, is inspiring, & the most interesting part of this post.

  43. After that, I feel a little less bad about my overweight daughter and prematurely balding son.

  44. I kind of get Piper the Young. The Bible stories… that’s I quit bible study. Couldn’t make it work.

    Both Piper’s speak to the lowest common denominator. Literalism.

    With the bible stripped of any context, God is either John Piper’s Monster or Abraham Piper’s fool.

  45. “4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” -I Timothy 3:4-5, NIV

    Does this mean an ecclesiastical investigation into John Piper needs to be open? More biblical warrant here than an investigation into a pastor whose wife cheated on and left him…

    Of course, it will never happen.

  46. Catholic Gate-Crasher: We can’t absolutely *control* our kids. Nor should we. Our children aren’t extensions of us, like extra appendages. They are their own persons. Unique, separate individuals. Profoundly influenced by us — for good or for ill — but ultimately their own human beings. They have free will. They make their own choices and decisions.

    A lot of New Calvinists I know have a very prosperity gospel view of God, though they’d rather jump in the lake of fire than admit it. Despite all their theology about strict predestination, they seem to believe that if they stay in the right and narrow, their kids will, too. And then it destroys them when they don’t.

    My first New Cal professor even admitted he believed that election was familial when the father maintains the “faith” (which he really defined as works).

    Honestly, their views on forced church membership fall right in line with this problematic thinking. If people aren’t really elect, then why keep forcing them to go to church? Though, I can’t help but wonder if deep-down, they know their theology is so spiritually bankrupt that they wouldn’t be getting the $$$ if they didn’t force people to stay once they figure it out.

  47. dee: I’m just an average person walking through the postevangleical wilderness.

    Average, honest, relatable. Testimony “the rest of us” value.

    OTOH: back to the Evangeo-Celebs & their Chollywood World: Julie K. Roys is reporting that a former employee is suing Ramsey’s outfit for being “cult-like”. https://julieroys.com/employee-sues-dave-ramsey-company-cult-like/

    Jesus was no grandstander & with no financial gain from ministry. His parents had no notoriety. No family legacy.

    It appears A. Piper does not make $$$ from ministry. Did his dad’s name help? In puzzle world? Does it help business that the son’s 180 from his dad received NYT publicity? To his credit? Or his fault? Is ex-evangelical on social media a publicity stunt? Pied Piper-ism?

  48. Bridget: it seems it would be hurtful to his parents even if he doesn’t mention his father.

    Maybe he’s trying to undo some damage that his father has caused, or at least distance himself from it, and let quiet questioners in his father’s orbit know that they are not alone.

  49. Friend,

    I’ve thought of that as well, which may be what Abraham is doing. The problem with what I see, though, is that there seems no middle for Abraham. It’s either his father’s version or his version, without the myriad of in between theology options/beliefs.

  50. ishy: A lot of New Calvinists I know have a very prosperity gospel view of God, though they’d rather jump in the lake of fire than admit it.

    I understand you can trace Prosperity Gospel to Calvinism. That it started with the Puritans looking for assurance of their personal Salvation and Predestined Election in the face of Evanescent Grace and God sending False Assurance of Salvation to the Reprobate.

    Today this expresses itself with More Perfectly Parsed Theology Than Thou, but back then the proof was “material blessings”, i.e. that if you were rich, it was proof that you were Elect because God was blessing you with wealth.

  51. Catholic Gate-Crasher: We can’t absolutely *control* our kids. Nor should we. Our children aren’t extensions of us, like extra appendages.

    Didn’t Douggie ESQUIRE of Vision Forum have something about a 200-year plan controlling your dynasty (including “estates and descendants”)? I mean planning your Dynastic House out in detail for two centuries like some Tywin Lannister?

  52. NC Now: Piper senior brought his family into the world of fame and “look at us”. Saying his son should not engage is just basically saying the the elder was right about everything and the son wrong.

    The Rules of CELEBRITY in effect, for better AND for worse.
    Everything for the Image, everything for the Dynasty.

  53. Bridget: I’ve thought of that as well, which may be what Abraham is doing. The problem with what I see, though, is that there seems no middle for Abraham. It’s either his father’s version or his version, without the myriad of in between theology options/beliefs.

    I see it too, and it’s not just this thread, you’ll find it everywhere, it’s gotta’ be the whole Enchilada or nothin’.

  54. Godith: Meghan Markle gets attention because of her mother-in-law whose family she goes then about trashing.

    (off-topic)

    Uhm, that’s not true. Her mother in law is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. So far as I know, Markle has said nothing about Camilla.

    I don’t know if you’re American, but from this side of the pond, the way Markle was treated by the British press was pretty abhorrent. I’m old enough to remember the way Princess Diana was treated, and do keep in mind she died in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi. Any normal son and husband, remembering what happened to his mother, and seeing it again with his wife, would want to get out of that situation.

    That said, everyone please understand that I am a small-r republican, as in I think royal families are an anachronism in modern democracies.

    (/off-topic)

    As for John and Abraham Piper, I find some of Abraham’s observations to be amusing and insightful. Some. If I were inclined to read John Piper, I’d probably find the same. But just as John Piper with all his influence is hardly representative of the average Evangelical, so too Abraham Piper, who is hardly like the average exvangelical. He’s got a huge fan club and makes a lot of money; most exvangelicals are just scraping by and still trying to find their place in the world.

    Perhaps an apt corrective would be to read an article about Rick Joyner, who runs MorningStar Ministries in South Carolina and whose beliefs in the religious and political spheres run counter to that of all five of his children. Nick Kristof wrote an opinion piece about the family a few weeks back. It’s titled:

    [blockquote]He’s a Famous Evangelical Preacher, but His Kids Wish He’d Pipe Down

    The Rev. Rick Joyner has called on Christians to arm themselves for civil war. But his children would be on the other side.[/blockquote]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/27/opinion/sunday/evangelical-rick-joyner-family.html

    You might find the ending surprising.

  55. Samuel Conner,

    One of the few things that I agree with from John is that David Bentley Hart is certainly a heretic. You speak of the man as if he is some kind of great godly theologian except he is not. He is just as arrogant as anyone else we have covered and very rude to boot. He exceeds John in these points and we go after him for this very reason. Hart is a member of the same elite establishment and teaches things which are simply not true, just in a different kind of extreme. The scriptures nowhere teach Universalism but Hart has gotten even more famous and richer by selling this crack to God’s kids. I think DBH’s evil exceeds that of John’s and Abrahams too.

    Neither man practices orthopraxy which begins with humility, follows through with not promoting yourself and ends with fearing God too much to make up b.s. to $ell to God’s flock. Both are bright and gifted but have not been responsible with those gifts.

  56. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: The Rev. Rick Joyner has called on Christians to arm themselves for civil war. But his children would be on the other side.[/blockquote]

    It’s always the Rick Joyners of the world who want war. Men who never had to fly through flak so dense that each black puff had somebody’s name on it. Or guys who never humped a click (1 kilometer) in the bush as point-man knowing full well his next step was likely his last.
    Civil war Mr. Joyner?
    Do you have any inkling of what the last one cost us?

  57. Muff Potter: I see it too, and it’s not just this thread, you’ll find it everywhere, it’s gotta’ be the whole Enchilada or nothin’.

    Yep. IMHO y’all are absolutely right. It’s everywhere. From one polar extreme to the other. No middle ground. No moderation. I guess it’s understandable, but it sure is disheartening.

  58. Headless Unicorn Guy: I understand you can trace Prosperity Gospel to Calvinism. That it started with the Puritans looking for assurance of their personal Salvation and Predestined Election in the face of Evanescent Grace and God sending False Assurance of Salvation to the Reprobate.

    Today this expresses itself with More Perfectly Parsed Theology Than Thou, but back then the proof was “material blessings”, i.e. that if you were rich, it was proof that you were Elect because God was blessing you with wealth.

    I’ve heard this too.

  59. Ghosting a false religion, perhaps?
    hmmm…
    More and more people are rejecting Calvinism as a religious way of life. They have come to view the profound absurdity of its ri•dic•u•lous propositions, and seek to avoid it where ever possible, understanding that those trapped within its confines are in desperate need of earnest prayer.

    Inter Mission,
    OPEN SOURCE ORCHESTRA Berlin – Perry Mason theme
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAYakg0m_A

  60. Muff Potter: I see it too, and it’s not just this thread, you’ll find it everywhere, it’s gotta’ be the whole Enchilada or nothin’.

    I know quite a few middle-ground people, but they are just not as interested in being as loud as the extremists. And extremists often get heard now by the media because extremes grab attention, which means views, clicks, and advertising $$.

    Though, I think it ends up being kinda cyclical because I have noticed family members and friends who have become more extreme because they are always immersed in media, but not thoughtfully questioning those they consider on their own side.

  61. John,

    Christianity has caused me horrific pain. It ruined my childhood and life. It ruined my mother’s life. It is disgusting how Christians want the right to push their toxic preferences on children and people who don’t want it and we cant respond to it.

    I was sexually abused as a little girl by a bible quoting church going Christian man. My parents brainwashed me to believe that bible god and Jesus loved me, answered prayers, and had power. They never answered my prayers not to be raped again. It kept happening.

    Can you imagine how damaging it is to be a kid knowing god is watching you get raped and wont stop it when you keep begging him to and when it would be so easy for him to?

    I should have never been taught to pray or brainwashed in the Sunday school children’s song Jesus Loves Me. Never.

    My thoughts were god is obviously pro little girl rape, is on the rapist side, and likes watching. I had the sickest feelings towards bible god and thought he was every bit as gross as the man hurting me.

    Let me guess. You think there is a good excuse to sit on your bottom and watch a child be repeatedly raped? Christians excuses for why it is okay for bible god to watch children live in sex slavery are morally and intellectually bankrupt.

    Then my family told me to read the bible and I would feel better. Reading the bible as a girl who was sexually abused and wasn’t a virgin any more was like pouring gasoline in an open wound and setting it on fire. The bible preached hatred against me for not being a virgin. I wasn’t as good as virgins and the bible was pure concentrated misogyny.

    I was born in hate and slavery because I was born in Christianity. I was suppose to marry a Christian man and become his trapped slave. All the men in my family trash talked women and girls my whole childhood. I hated my self and wished my mother had aborted me. I hated my self and wanted to die because of the bible. I have been suicidal since age 11.

    We have every right to leave the toxic excruciating misery that is Christianity and speak out against it and tell our stories of how it made our lives a living hell.

    Christians want to tell their side of the story but their victims have to take it with a smile on their faces and keep their mouths shut.

    I believe teaching children Christianity is child abuse. If my parents and other Christians can use Christianity to hurt me then I can use tell the world Christianity hurt me and my parents used it to hurt me.

    The bible hurt me.
    Bible god hurt me.
    Christians hurt me.

    It isn’t just me.

    Christians thinking they should be able to hurt people and people have to kiss their bottoms in return is sadistic, spoiled, and selfish. John Piper’s son isn’t doing anything wrong. John Piper did something wrong and does so every day of his selfish sadistic life.

    In Christianity it is totally okay for parents to hurt their small children but these children can not grow up and respond to it.

  62. ishy: And extremists often get heard now by the media because extremes grab attention, which means views, clicks, and advertising $$.

    A variation on what’s known in mediaspeak as “If it bleeds, it leads.”.

  63. Bridget: It’s either his father’s version or his version, without the myriad of in between theology options/beliefs.

    As I noted upstream: “Both Pipers have made a fortune distorting truth. Getting on the extreme edge of the absurd with your faith or lack of it sells in America.” They know what they are doing – they are chuckling all the way to the bank.

  64. Why Are Prominent Evangelicals Denouncing Christianity- My View?

    Just in the last week, I have seen two different headlines of religious news that I have found shocking but, in many ways, not surprising. What am I talking about? Former Desiring God contributor Paul Maxwell leaves the Christian faith published in Christianity Today April 10, 2021 and A Pastor’s Son (John Piper’s son) Becomes a Critic of Religion on TikTok published in the April 12, 2021 edition of the New York Times. What these two people have in common is that they are connected to John Piper. Paul Maxwell wrote for his website and of course, Abraham is his son
    So who is John Piper? According to his website, Desiring God, “John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.”
    Here is a more personal look at who John Piper is according to Roger Olson, on his blog Patheos,
    I first became aware of the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement (YRRM) before anyone thought to give it that moniker. I was teaching theology at Baptist-related Bethel College and Seminary (now Bethel University) in Minnesota. John Piper had left the faculty to take the pulpit at nearby Bethlehem Baptist Church about a year before I arrived. He was still much discussed by students and faculty alike and seemed to have been a polarizing figure on campus. People tended either to love him or despise him. I had read his article about “Christian Hedonism” in HIS magazine (the now defunct publication of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) before then and had met Piper when I first visited Bethel a few years before joining its faculty…
    Not long after taking my teaching position at Bethel I began to hear colleagues calling certain students (mostly males) “Piper Cubs.” It wasn’t long before I could identify them myself. They tended to quote Piper a lot and be passionate about Calvinism. One told me I wasn’t a Christian because I wasn’t a Calvinist!
    Over the following years (approximately 1984 to 1999) I witnessed the beginnings of the YRRM. It was born and then grew and coalesced around Piper’s pastoral conferences at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
    John Piper, in my opinion, has been one of the major factors in instigating and teaching a newer, more radical form of Calvinism that has swept the evangelical churches of America. Fifty years later, we are seeing the damage and the backlash of this movement in some people very close to this man.
    Of course, it is not the man himself, but what he taught that can lead to total spiritual confusion if one really thinks about what he is saying. I would like to mention a few of his teachings that resulted in my husband and I personally stumbling from the faith we held into a land of questioning and doubt, struggling to regain a foundation for a faith that is workable.
    I first came face to face with John Piper’s foundational teaching position through the use of his videos while participating in a Sunday School class at our church. One Sunday morning while watching a video, Mr. Piper, was talking about how everything is pre-determined in life and that we are just nails being used by the hammer of God. “Yes, I am a Calvinist,” He declared. What’s a Calvinist? I had never heard that term.
    As soon as we got home from church, I proceeded to look up Calvinist. Whoa! I was shocked with what I found and more shocked to realize that something I had hoped to never encounter was in the midst of seemingly the most evangelical of churches. It is the belief that “every single thing that happens has been rendered certain (ordained) by God because there is nothing God does not either directly or indirectly cause (including sin).” More specifically, for those of you reading this who have no idea, from this belief springs several principles outlined in Calvinism by an acronym -TULIP. T stands for Total depravity which most Christians would agree with. We are totally sinful and cannot save ourselves. What would be in dispute would be the belief that goes along with this that we are also totally unable to believe the Gospel message (dead) without God making us believe (or regenerating us before giving us salvation). U stands for Unconditional Election or the belief that God arbitrarily chose, through no action or attribute of the creature (us), before the world was formed, who He would give the gift of salvation to (predestination) and who He would “pass over” or damn to hell. L stands for Limited Atonement or the belief that Christ died only for those who God pre-elected and not for the whole world. I stands for Irresistible Grace or the belief that if God has chosen you to be one of His “elect” that you cannot resist His saving you. P stands for Perseverance of the Saints. In other words, since it is already pre-determined who will be saved, one’s salvation (if so chosen) is guaranteed.
    The most often voiced justification by evangelicals for Calvinism that I hear is that “God is God,” “God can do whatever he wants,” and “we all deserve hell so any one God choses to save is receiving his grace and mercy.” First, the overall problem with the Calvinistic viewpoint, as I see it, is that the premise from which the whole doctrine is built on is faulty. I do agree that “God is God” and “God can do whatever he wants.” I also agree that if God decides to save some and send others to hell that is his prerogative but who does that make God into? Why would a loving God make creatures with the whole purpose of throwing most in hell and selecting some for heaven? Is that a God of Love? The response of John Piper is that it is to show God’s glory. What….?? If one can’t know if they are one of the “chosen elect,” than what is the purpose of living a life of honor – you will go whichever way you are supposed to regardless? Also if this is teaching is true, then what was the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross to save us? Everyone already has their pre-determined stamp on them, so Jesus dying for our salvation would make no difference.
    The response of so many people to these articles recently about prominent evangelicals who are renouncing Christianity is Cluck, Cluck “They weren’t really ever really Christians in the first place.” I am not sure if that makes them feel better about their own salvation or what. I don’t have to wonder why Paul Maxwell, Abraham Piper, Joshua Harris, Marty Sampson and others are angry and confused. They have finally realized that the teachings they have been exposed to are false and unworkable for a life of faith that is meaningful.

  65. Amanda Farmer,

    Brava!!!! Love that analysis.

    Yes, it makes sense that many Calvinists would reject a toxic faith.

    IMHO that’s why most of Boston’s former (Calvinist) Congregational churches are now Unitarian Universalist. You can’t go on believing in a Monster God for too long before you snap.

  66. Max: As I noted upstream: “Both Pipers have made a fortune distorting truth. Getting on the extreme edge of the absurd with your faith or lack of it sells in America.” They know what they are doing – they are chuckling all the way to the bank.

    As noted in Dee’s article, Abraham made quite a bit of money on his own, apart from his religious views. His videos may be bringing him exposure, fame, or something else but it doesn’t seem like money is a motivating factor.

  67. Jack: With the bible stripped of any context, God is either John Piper’s Monster or Abraham Piper’s fool.

    I agree.
    Wayyyyy back when I was a Lutheran kid, the Bible was read with heavy doses of reason, common sense, and an eye for the fact that the world of ancient peoples is not our world and vice versa.

  68. Amanda Farmer: First, the overall problem with the Calvinistic viewpoint, as I see it, is that the premise from which the whole doctrine is built on is faulty. I do agree that “God is God” and “God can do whatever he wants.” I also agree that if God decides to save some and send others to hell that is his prerogative but who does that make God into? Why would a loving God make creatures with the whole purpose of throwing most in hell and selecting some for heaven?

    I agree. If their theology reserved hell for maybe certain really “evil” categories and nothinginess for the rest, their theology would make more sense. A lot of Calvinists I know just insist that this is loving and won’t really think or converse about what this means. “Because God” is not a good enough answer.

    A lot of New Calvinists I know seem to think that God has to do these things and is incapable of giving other creatures free will. Which makes God less powerful than they want to insist he is. I once pointed this out to a New Cal arguing with me and he just kept repeating over and over that free will couldn’t exist if God was powerful. It was completely illogical.

  69. Bridget:
    Friend,

    I’ve thought of that as well, which may be what Abraham is doing. The problem with what I see, though, is that there seems no middle for Abraham. It’s either his father’s version or his version, without the myriad of in between theology options/beliefs.

    A persistent issue seems to be leading publicly with megaphone switched into expert mode. Quiet, respectful reflection and thinking things through seems to be less “real“ or something for some than focusing the camera and attention on themselves as they go through thought processes — freely pointing fingers as they do it.

  70. JDV:
    “Mr. Piper’s pedigree is proof that ex-Christians should not be dismissed as people who were never really committed in the first place. “One of the common refrains is that these people were never Christian,” said Blake Chastain, who popularized the term “exvangelical” when he named his podcast in 2016. “But the people who leave over these issues are the people who took it seriously. They were the youth group kids who were on fire for God.”“

    Joshua Harris comes to mind, as do the Ortbergs. One would hope that in the retellings over time of their backgrounds and of real issues that surfaced, they can also start seeing patterns of dysfunctional and defective theology that exist and assign the same shortfall to those responsible rather than to God. That of course can be much easier said than done for many; it’s a matter for prayer and a matter for sunlight — and of course transparency, accountability, and oversight.

    And I believe we’re seeing even more effects of dysfunctional and effective theology in emerge as people evaluate their experiences, with troubling to terrible consequences all around.

  71. JDV: megaphone

    Great insight. Some people leave abusive and coercive churches silently. Some get outside and start yelling. Joshua Harris spent some time adjusting the volume (as it were). After awhile, though, everybody deserves to settle down, gather their thoughts, and gain wisdom, for their own sake if not for the sake of others.

  72. Bridget: His videos may be bringing him exposure, fame, or something else but it doesn’t seem like money is a motivating factor.

    A sickness.

  73. Christianity HURTS children,

    I am so unbelievably sorry that this was done to you. I understand full well why some people reject a faith that has done nothing but hurt them.

    I hope you know you’re on a page full of people who would have tried to help you as a child if they could, & believe that not helping you was appallingly wicked.

    Dee’s aim with her page is to make sure that child abuse victims of/in the church are heard, believed & cared for, & that abusers are properly prosecuted & punished.

  74. Bridget,

    Hey, wow, I saw him apologise on Twitter for some of the beliefs he espoused in the past, but he didn’t say then he had left the faith. People called him out I think on some very patriarchal/sexist material he said he had moved away from but was still easy to access online, & I think he said a lot of his old work is on platforms he has no control over, which must be frustrating.

    I have definitely been traumatised by that belief system, to the point where I won’t read his book, but it is interesting that he’s published this. I’m sure the Dudebros are giving him a good kicking behind the scenes.

  75. Amanda Farmer: The response of so many people to these articles recently about prominent evangelicals who are renouncing Christianity is Cluck, Cluck “They weren’t really ever really Christians in the first place.” I am not sure if that makes them feel better about their own salvation or what.

    I’m sure that’s a large part of it. A Zero-Sum Game of Salvation.

    Christians are prone to One-Upmanship games, Dispensing Existence with Who’s In and Who’s Out. Like they were God on the Great White Throne for J-Day. (Or Grima Wormtongue seated at God’s right hand whispering in His ear.) This is just the Calvin-specific version.

    P.S. When writing this, I initially typoed “Salvation” as “Calvation”.

  76. BeakerN: I have definitely been traumatised by that belief system, to the point where I won’t read his book, but it is interesting that he’s published this.

    Can’t blame you there. Hope you’ve recovered now.

    BeakerN: I’m sure the Dudebros are giving him a good kicking behind the scenes.

    Well, since he’s left the cult, I don’t think the Dudebros have much influence over him anymore. That’s the good thing about getting out.

  77. Muff Potter: It’s always the Rick Joyners of the world who want war. Men who never had to fly through flak so dense that each black puff had somebody’s name on it. Or guys who never humped a click (1 kilometer) in the bush as point-man knowing full well his next step was likely his last.

    Civil war Mr. Joyner?

    Especially when the two sides in that civil war live intermixed. It’s not like the end of a movie with Patriots in tac gear posing with their Second Amendment Equipment against a background of a waving Old Glory.

    It’s Bleeding Kansas 1860.
    It’s Missouri 1860-65, with Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson.
    It’s Hatfileds & McCoys for generations afterwards.
    It’s Yugoslavia after Tito.
    It’s Rwanda 1994.
    It’s this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC0nQxOtKZI

    It’s always the boots who’ve NEVER seen action that are all Howling Commandoes looking forward to it. NOT the veterans who’ve been there.

  78. Friend: Headless Unicorn Guy: We’re all Bozos on this Bus.

    Ha! Long time since I heard that album.

    I actually discovered Firesign Theater when I first got cable in the Eighties and music videos were actually short musical movies. Night Flight used to play a couple Firesign Theater movies – actual movies – after midnight on Fridays.

    I’ve got a copy of one of them – J-Men Forever!, a parody of Thirties Pulp using mashed-up footage from Forties movie serials – but have never been able to find a copy of the other: Nick Danger and the Case of the Missing Yolk. The only parts of it I’ve been able to find are online copies of the two fake commercial breaks: “Boobie Chew” and “Rat-In-a-Box”.

  79. Mr. Jesperson,

    Yes, here’s an intriguing paragraph from the Washington Post story:

    “In its lawsuit, Liberty contends that Falwell failed to return university-owned computers, devices and confidential information to Liberty and that he failed to disclose to the university alleged threats of extortion he had received in connection with potential personal scandals.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/04/16/liberty-university-jerry-falwell-jr-lawsuit/

  80. Amanda Farmer: One Sunday morning while watching a video, Mr. Piper, was talking about how everything is pre-determined in life and that we are just nails being used by the hammer of God. “

    If it’s all pre determined then churches, missions and worship is a complete waste of time.

    Stay home Sunday, save 10%.

  81. Christianity HURTS children,

    This may be the most impactful comment I’ve read in a long time.

    Nobody has been able to adequately address the nature of suffering from a spiritual point of view.

    It’s one of the toughest pills to swallow.

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? – Epicurus

    All Christians make their peace with it.

    But it takes a lot of mental pretzel making.

  82. Amanda Farmer: I don’t have to wonder why Paul Maxwell, Abraham Piper, Joshua Harris, Marty Sampson and others are angry and confused. They have finally realized that the teachings they have been exposed to are false and unworkable for a life of faith that is meaningful.

    I have said for years that when the New Calvinism bubble breaks (it will), that a great multitude of Piperites will be left disillusioned and confused. They may never venture into faith again. Whose plan would that be?

  83. Christianity HURTS children: It is disgusting how Christians want the right to push their toxic preferences on children and people who don’t want it and we cant respond to it.

    I was sexually abused as a little girl by a bible quoting church going Christian man. My parents brainwashed me to believe that bible god and Jesus loved me, answered prayers, and had power. They never answered my prayers not to be raped again. It kept happening.

    Thank you for sharing. You are absolutely right. In some churchy family homes, “Honor thy father,” is the incest commandment. And when the child tries to tell, the church, most often, sides with the offender and then also damages the child. Complicit.

    (I write about this in the book, “Legal Grounds” – not to sell a book, but to say that what you are writing about, what you have experienced is truly experienced in this day and age in the church and it is evil. Again, thank you for sharing!!! And my sympathies for what you have experienced. Keep speaking out.)

  84. Amanda Farmer,
    Christianity HURTS children,

    Yes it IS the man himself AND all his toadies. (Trigger words follow.)

    “You Too Can Have Paroxysms (TM) Without Oral Roberts Kissing Goodbye To Your Every Ten Dollars And Without Bill Johnson Digging Your Great Grandmother Out Of The Cemetery Because I John Piper (TM) And None Other But Me (TM) Am Vetoing (TM) All Christians Ever Having Holy Spirit Holy Spirit Gifts”.

    I reacted against Abraham’s face, also he is too old for a pink hat. I am devastated that the IVP has got itself mixed up in this.

    As to the real God’s decrees and ordinances they are permissive. It’s a logical fallacy – coming from Piper a lie – that conditional predetermination concerning specifics conflicted in the slightest with what free will we and others come to have. If we want assurance then our degrees of inference are adequate, like J H Newman said.

  85. Can Any Good Thing Come Out Of Minneapolis? Its Roman archdiocese had to move into a sticky-tape factory.

  86. Christianity HURTS children,

    You have suffered so much, and I am sorry.

    Child sexual abuse is evil. Twisting that child’s own beliefs to gain even more power, and to justify and hide the abuse, is even worse—not because it defames a religion, but because it manipulates the mind and makes recovery harder.

    Belief is completely voluntary, and you have made the right choice for yourself. You have a clear and strong voice. I hope you will continue to speak out, and also to heal.

    I was also abused in church and family settings, although not to so grave an extent. My own belief is that Christians need to do far more about earthly justice, instead of waiting for God to make it all right in the hereafter.

  87. John Piper’s Son, Abraham, Is an Intelligent and Well to Do Exvangelical … who suffers from PTSD (Piper Traumatic Stress Disorder).

  88. Max: suffers

    Assuming that people raised in an abusive environment do suffer, do you think it’s understandable that they use the same tactics against their former tribe, at least while they are recovering?

    I don’t have a right answer in mind, just a few tendencies that many of us have probably observed. Survivors don’t always behave in attractive ways. Some cannot, because of damage. Some cannot, because of limited skill. Some could, but they figure that turnabout is fair play.

    People who are struggling don’t owe the rest of us a calm, pulled-together presentation. What of those who have gained some distance and perspective? Do they achieve anything by serving as… hmmm… anger translators?

  89. Friend: Assuming that people raised in an abusive environment do suffer, do you think it’s understandable that they use the same tactics against their former tribe, at least while they are recovering?

    There was an SBC New Calvinist church planter in my area whose father and grandfather were “traditional” (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist pastors. In his new-found theology, he preached very aggressively about the “error” he was raised in. I suppose he felt abused by the faith of his fathers in some way. He left the area after a few years … I’ve often wondered if he has crashed yet.

  90. Friend: do you think it’s understandable that they use the same tactics against their former tribe

    If you don’t push back at least in ways similar to the message that was used against you, you are now allowing the problem to spread with no opposing message.

  91. Amanda Farmer: One Sunday morning while watching a video, Mr. Piper, was talking about how everything is pre-determined in life and that we are just nails being used by the hammer of God.

    Islam’s been going down that road for a LONG time; every time they start turning off, some New Pure “Reformers” come along and force them back on the road.
    “In’shal’lah… Al’lah’u Akbar!”
    Look where it got them.

    And it’s been said that “Calvin Islamized the Reformation”.

  92. NC Now: If you don’t push back at least in ways similar to the message that was used against you, you are now allowing the problem to spread with no opposing message.

    If people have the strength (a big if), I agree that they should think about countering the teachings in some way. The tribe will try to screen out the contrary messages, though. They might end up sharing insights with others who have left. People who feel trapped might silently receive helpful affirmation.

  93. Tut tut, it looks like rain?

    hmmm…

    Skreeeeetch…

    “John Calvin Augustinized the Reformation”.

    Whoa

  94. Max: I have said for years that when the New Calvinism bubble breaks (it will), that a great multitude of Piperites will be left disillusioned and confused. They may never venture into faith again. Whose plan would that be?

    Some of them will convert to fundamental atheism, a shtick every bit as brutal and restrictive as the heavy-handed fundagelicalism they fled.

  95. Muff Potter: Some of them will convert to fundamental atheism, a shtick every bit as brutal and restrictive as the heavy-handed fundagelicalism they fled.

    Fundamentalism is an attitude which can attach itself to any belief system.

    And can flip 180 from Absolute Blind Loyalty to a specific belief system to Absolute Blind Hatred. I saw this pattern in Furry Fandom with Rabid Furry-Haters, many of whom were Rabid Furry Fanboys until they flipped.

  96. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Muff Potter,

    Anger and hatred are certainly awful to deal with. Certainly some atheists have written books and gone on tour. Everybody with an axe to grind can post on social media.

    Still, atheism is not nearly as organized as theism is. Furry Fandom does meet up (or did in the Before Times); I dearly hope that Rabid Furry-Haters are not holding conferences.

  97. John,

    I would argue that that is not the case. I didn’t connect those dots until weeks after I had hit the follow button on Abraham’s account and you can see in comments that same thing happen again and again. People get into the content first, and then make the connection, maybe. From what I see, the majority of Abraham’s viewers don’t come from an Evangelical or even religious background. They’re there because they like Abraham’s content, it has nothing to do with his father. He’s never mentioned his father. Never mentioned growing up in a family of any note. Never talked explicitly about his family beyond having been raised in a fundamentalist Evangelical tradition. He’s never even talked about being a PK. He’s also never talked about Brainjolt or 22 Words or any of his companies other than Blue Kazoo Games. He goes for a walk and talks about what’s on his mind. He gets to have his own experience, we all do. We’re not required to live for our parents for our entire lives. I’ve wondered if he’s shocked at how quickly his channel has grown. He’ll have a million subscribers by the end of the month. My guess, based on reading the comments people leave on his videos, the percentage of people who even know who his father is is not more than 10% and of those the number who subscribe because of his father is a small percentage of that 10%. Nope, this is all Abraham being interesting, smart, well read, funny, and generally entertaining.

  98. I’ve been reading Dave Hunt’s book “What Love Is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God” (Hunt, now deceased, was a Christian apologist from the IFB camp who openly opposed Calvinism). The title of his book is a rhetorical question he asks throughout the book when wondering how Calvinists can teach that God “loves” those who aren’t part of “the elect”.

    Given Piper’s teaching (which Hunt described as similar to the fatalism found in Islam, and further describes as repugnant to the human conscience; he states that it is no wonder atheists consider Calvin’s god a monster), sadly I’m not surprised that his son has totally rejected Christianity for atheism. In discussing the P of TULIP, Hunt notes that even though Calvinists stress that only God can do the first four points, they turn around and argue that the last point requires a great deal of human effort, so much so that nearly every major Calvinist has had serious doubts about his faith (Sproul is mentioned; it is not surprising that like Piper, his own son is a washout as well).

  99. Sòpwyth:
    Tut tut, it looks like rain?

    hmmm…

    Skreeeeetch…

    “John Calvin Augustinized the Reformation”.

    Whoa

    Most of what Calvin taught he took from Augustine. I recommend Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This?” for a very good read on Calvin’s upbringing, his iron rule of Geneva, and the double-speak (and Scripture twisting) that Calvinists use to defend the Five Points.

  100. I don’t completely agree with you or John. We are all entitled to our own opinions. What I quoted below is ‘your’ opinion, not fact. John is entitled to his.

    Early Subscriber: this is all Abraham being interesting, smart, well read, funny, and generally entertaining.

  101. Mark R: I recommend Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This?” for a very good read on Calvin’s upbringing, his iron rule of Geneva, and the double-speak (and Scripture twisting) that Calvinists use to defend the Five Points.

    Hunt provided a scholarly work detailing the ails of hyper-Calvinism which contributed to the rise of “New” Calvinism. I, too, recommend his book.

  102. Mark R: nearly every major Calvinist has had serious doubts about his faith

    As they should! When you limit the atonement of Christ for ALL people, you stand on dangerous ground.

  103. Bridget,

    Mine is an opinion based on being a part of the community in question and firsthand observation, but, yeah, opinions, everyone has one.

  104. Max,

    This is not accurate. Both Pipers have made a lot of money, John through book sales, Abraham is a media entrepreneur. John Piper gives away most of his book royalties, that’s an easily corroborated fact, and Abraham’s TikTok ‘career’ started a mere 5 months ago, he may not even be in the creators fund yet. If he does join the creators fund, the small amount of money he will make on TikTok is throw away pocket change compared to what he earns in the real world. He is not in it for the money and neither is his father. Whatever feelings anyone has for these men there is nothing to suggest that they’re motivated by greed.

  105. Mark R: Most of what Calvin taught he took from Augustine.I recommend Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This?” for a very good read on Calvin’s upbringing, his iron rule of Geneva, and the double-speak (and Scripture twisting) that Calvinists use to defend the Five Points.

    Calvin twisted Augustine, who *never* preached either double predestination or limited atonement. Never ever ever.

    With all due respect, I get so tired of people smearing Augustine when, in many cases, they’ve never even read him.

    BTW, the Council of Orange condemned Augustine’s view that grace is irresistible. Catholic doctrine has never been tied to just one man or one theological school. Augustine was influential, but he’s not the whole enchilada. Not by a long stretch.

  106. Catholic Gate-Crasher: Catholic doctrine has never been tied to just one man or one theological school. Augustine was influential, but he’s not the whole enchilada. Not by a long stretch.

    Dave Hunt also wrote the tedious anti-Catholic diatribe A Woman Rides the Beast.
    That was back in the glory days of Southern California fundagelicalism, back when we all believed we were just a few years from getting raptured outta’ here, and that we’d never see the new century turn.

  107. Max: What motivates them?

    The same zeal that motivated the Crusaders to slaughter Jews and Muslims.
    Even though it’s to a much lesser degree, it’s roots are still the same.

  108. Max: What motivates them?

    I would say John Piper is motivated by his desire to save souls. I don’t agree with him but that doesn’t mean he isn’t sincere in his work. He doesn’t have a private jet lifestyle, he’s lived in the same house for decades, he has given away millions of dollars in book royalties that would have gone straight into the pockets of every other well known pastor that I can think of off hand. I disagree with his beliefs but not his integrity.

    From what I know of Abraham Piper, which before TikTok was limited to the fact that he turned a small personal blog I enjoyed, 22 Words, into a multimillion dollar media company. He turned 22 Words into Brainjolt. I’m not sure people with no experience in tech or media or marketing can grasp how rare a success that really is. The first time I saw anything about him was a write up in Forbes magazine. I didn’t realize who he was when he first popped up on my For You Page. I didn’t notice the name until I’d decided to subscribe because I didn’t want to miss his content. The name was a shock, I’d only ever seen photographs of business man Abraham, never heard him speak, but how many Abraham Pipers an there be in the world. I didn’t connect him to John Piper until weeks later. Like his father, I take Abraham at his word: he does TikTok for fun. He has over 300 videos, maybe 20 of them touch on religion. He didn’t start making videos to harass Christians or attack his father, he never mentions his father. He does have feelings about his life experiences and thoughts about the state of Conservative Christianity. Agree with him or not, he has every right to speak his mind like anyone else. Christian media don’t have to cover his TikTok account but they’re after click and ad bait and know scandal sells. You want to know what he does, go watch his videos. You’ll probably be surprised how little of his content has anything at all to do with religion. The reason I know he doesn’t do TikTok for money is TikTok pays pennies. Abraham Piper does not need pennies. It wouldn’t be worth his time to fill out the paperwork.

  109. Max: What motivates them?

    He’s also on TikTok to promote his puzzle business, Blue Kazoo. That’s the only business venture he ever mentions. If you didn’t know who he is in the business world or who his father is, you would not learn those things from him on TikTok. People do ask in comments but he doesn’t talk about it there either. I don’t see that his father has the right to expect any more than that from his fully grown son.

  110. Early Subscriber,

    I’ve appreciated your insights about this. In general, a lot of Christians (of whom I am one) are not used to snark or hostility directed at Christianity and Christians. We sometimes forget how dismissive and angry Christians often sound.

    You are probably right about Abraham not having greed as a motivator, and you seem to know some things about Pa Piper’s lack of material motive. I’m no expert about either man. I would say, though, that John Piper has a lot of influence and perhaps some power as well. Maybe he enjoys keeping and increasing those things.

    Warren Buffett lives in a 5-bedroom house he bought in 1958, yet he has gobs of money and influence. People can do things unevenly.

  111. Early Subscriber: I would say John Piper is motivated by his desire to save souls.

    According to Piper’s theology, there’s not anything he can do to effect the salvation of a soul. God already predetermined the saved or damned destiny for us all in eternity past.

    Early Subscriber: Abraham Piper … turned a small personal blog … into a multimillion dollar media company … a success

    He can also count it a success to have distanced himself from Daddy. Whew!

  112. Max: He can also count it a success to have distanced himself from Daddy. Whew!

    I hope he has distanced himself from his father’s theology. I hope he still manages a relationship with his mom and dad.

  113. Friend:
    Early Subscriber,

    I’ve appreciated your insights about this. In general, a lot of Christians (of whom I am one) are not used to snark or hostility directed at Christianity and Christians. We sometimes forget how dismissive and angry Christians often sound.

    I would say, though, that John Piper has a lot of influence and perhaps some power as well. Maybe he enjoys keeping and increasing those things.

    Warren Buffett lives in a 5-bedroom house he bought in 1958, yet he has gobs of money and influence. People can do things unevenly.

    I’m sure John Piper does want to influence people. He’s upfront about that, it’s his whole gig. I don’t think either one of them has an underhanded or ulterior motive for the work they do. In fact, I would say they’re both decent, honest men with profoundly different points of view. Of the two, I definitely align with Abraham but a few people who are very important to me are big Desiring God adherents who feel Abraham should keep his mouth shut. They’re basing that opinion solely on the hullabaloo being created by the Christian media’s coverage and sudden interest in his TikTok account, not on their own experience of his content. He doesn’t mock Christianity or his father, and he doesn’t demean Christians. Criticism is not mockery. Believing differently than your parents is not disrespectful. It’s clear that he, as an adult, feels differently than his parents but he doesn’t mention them at all, doesn’t mention his family of origin at all. The discussion is general not specific and that’s intentional. He’s intentionally leaving out the personal details and keeping the topic open to all, not gossiping about his family. That, to me, shows his intention with the religious videos; he knows there are tens of thousands of people who feel throttled, rejected, and even abused by fundamentalist Christian churches and beliefs. He’s one of them, he identifies with them and they (including me even though my background is RC not evangelical) identify with him and his journey. His religious videos are for us, not for those who are still attached to fundamentalist churches. He is not required to shut up about his experiences, our experiences, because some Christians don’t want to hear any criticism. He ends one video about this topic by looking right into the camera and saying “You’re alright.” Doesn’t sound like much but I sure choked right up hearing it. The fact that his father is a well known pastor with a huge audience likely complicates things for him but if he intended to mock or be openly disrespectful to his father he’s doing a poor job of it. Several of the videos he’s put out since the Times article have me wondering if that article was akin to a hornets nest being kicked in the Piper family. Still, nothing specific, nothing about his family or the article, or his father, just his thoughts on how he handles being misunderstood, on not being particularly aware of the emotional impact of his actions on the people around him, on what it means to be called “over emotional,” on feeling uninspired. I don’t know if that’s happening but it could be. Anyway… what I’ve said to my Desiring God friends who are up in arms is, go watch his videos. Start at the beginning and watch, they’re a minute or less. Try not to be so damn sensitive about your beliefs and pretend you don’t know who his father is. If he were there to mock John Piper that’s what he’d be doing, mocking him, talking about him, making fun of him, he doesn’t do that at all. His beef is with the small segment of Christendom that behaves as if it’s the only voice that’s real and everyone better toe their line or else. His father is part of that world but he doesn’t go after his father even though he easily could. Personally, his videos on the weirdness of the English language are my favorites. He’s entertaining, smart as a whip, hugely successful, with a 17 year marriage and 4 kids. His father should be proud of him. And the fundies who are losing their minds need to relax a little. Go bowling.

  114. Max: According to Piper’s theology, there’s not anything he can do to effect the salvation of a soul.God already predetermined the saved or damned destiny for us all in eternity past.

    So true! I’ve never understood how the whole evangelical Calvinist thing works. Surely that’s an either/or not a this-and-that kind of thing, right? Being an evangelical Calvinist seems paradoxical to me. I’m (or was) Catholic so they’re both going to Hell according to my CCD teachers LOL! Nowadays, my thought is to let the Pastor Pipers of the world battle it out with the Conservative Catholic leaders and the Conservative Muslim leaders, and the Conservative Jewish leaders, and when they come to an agreement they can let me know. Until then, leave me alone. I’m not interested in that fight.

  115. Early Subscriber: Being an evangelical Calvinist seems paradoxical to me.

    There’s nothing evangelizing about New Calvinists, like Piper. Their gospel is another gospel which is not ‘the’ Gospel. The new reformers put their faith in doctrinal propositions about grace rather than a direct experience of Grace, an encounter with the living Christ. They don’t lead folks to Jesus since many have not made that journey themselves, IMHO.

  116. Early Subscriber: Anyway… what I’ve said to my Desiring God friends who are up in arms is, go watch his videos. Start at the beginning and watch, they’re a minute or less. Try not to be so damn sensitive about your beliefs and pretend you don’t know who his father is. … His father is part of that world but he doesn’t go after his father even though he easily could.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful response. I think you understand that part of my comment was general.

    These days I shy away from any high-demand group; I’ll always be a Christian, but will never again trust a church or religious group with a system that works perfectly as long as you do the infinite number of things you are told. Being sensitive about beliefs is a symptom of high-demand Christian groups (and other groups too of course). Most people are not that bad; most struggle through life because life is hard without the invented hardships of gender complementarianism, Eternal Subordination of the Son, dress and hair codes, written membership contracts, salvation of women through childbirth, church discipline, and the terrifying possibility that one is not Elect.

    A calmer faith, an assured faith, a faith that admits pain and joy in the only world we have ever known, a faith that lets me help build the Kingdom—that’s what I try to follow.

  117. Bridget: I hope he has distanced himself from his father’s theology. I hope he still manages a relationship with his mom and dad.

    Indeed. Theology should never separate families, it just ain’t worth it. However, if abuse has its origin in one’s theology (e.g., complementarian bondage of women, using the rod to beat a kid, indoctrination to the point of mentally snapping), it would be best to maintain a healthy distance (phone calls, go home only at Christmas, etc.).

  118. Friend:

    A calmer faith, an assured faith, a faith that admits pain and joy in the only world we have ever known, a faith that lets me help build the Kingdom—that’s what I try to follow.

    I like that. I have a similar outlook on religion in my life at this point.

  119. Max,

    Totally agree.

    At this point all the Piper kids are adults and don’t have to put up with their parents’ theology. They can choose for themselves, as can any adult child.

  120. Christianity HURTS children,

    I, too, dealt with sexual abuse as a child, and got little to no help from the church. But I got a lot of help from the Bible. For example, my reading of the story of Onan has always been that God stepped in to kill Onan because he was raping Tamar. Tamar wanted a child, and after the first time, she didn’t want to have sex with Onan. Men have so ignored Tamar’s presence they use that passage to condemn masturbation! They argue that God killed Onan either for failing to do his family duty — (although no one else did it either, and Onan is the only one killed), or for “wasting his seed.” Neither of these crimes carry the death penalty; neither of them carry a serious penalty at all. The man who refuses to do this duty for his dead brother gets spit on and slapped with a sandal, while the man who masturbates — like the man who has sex — is made unclean for a day.

    Onan married Tamar under false pretenses, making the marriage illegitimate, so God treated Onan as he would a man who raped a single woman, and served him with the death penalty.

    God not only put the death penalty on rape, he told husbands and fiancés that a woman who was raped “is like a man murdered,” (Deut. 22:26), and must not be punished for what has happened to her. The church and society have long reversed this, of course, making the woman the guilty one. The only man who can escape the death penalty is a man who rapes a single woman; he is either sold as a slave, pays the price of an adult male slave (as a comparison, at the time of the Civil War an adult male slave cost about seven and a half pounds of gold), or becomes her father’s slave if she wishes to marry him.

    In other words, a man who enslaves a woman to his will for a short time through rape is to be made a slave, either symbolically or actually. This exception gives the woman an income if she choses not to marry, or a very generous ketubah if she marries. In the times of Moses, a married woman had her own money (the ketubah), which she brought into the marriage, and which she could take out. Women who did not have money and were taken as wives were concubines, which is a type of slave wife, however they had rights that regular slaves did not. The Jews of Jesus’ time, who paid attention to what God actually said, punished married men for raping their wives; plenty of Christian men of our own time haven’t figured out yet that marital rape is even possible.

    While we are on earth, God allows us the freedom to follow him, and the freedom to ignore his commands. Christians in the antebellum era ignored God’s law that kidnapping someone and enslaving them carries the death penalty (Deuteronomy 24:7, Exodus 21:16, 1 Tim. 1:10). He sent plenty of warnings that people needed to straighten up or they’d suffer, and we did. The Civil War remains the bloodiest war with the most deaths of any war the US has been involved in. But even those who escaped that cultural consequence would one day stand before the Great Judge and have to face their own sins. There is no escape, not for us, and not for those who have wrong us.

    While they’ve finally gotten it mostly right on slavery, Christians today still ignore many, many passages demonstrating that their treatment of women is wrong. There’ll be a time when God takes some vengeance for that, as well, either in this life or the next. When people choose to sin against us, that’s not on God. That’s on man. God allows sin for the sake of freedom, but God is both love and justice — he will repay. (Deut. 32:35, 41 & 43; Nahum 1:2; Romans 12:19; and dozens of others).

    God never promised he would keep us safe. God allowed his own son to suffer and die on a cross; die a shameful, brutal, and horrific death — and Jesus warns Christians that they will be treated even worse. God does promise to be with us, and he promises us justice in the end. But he certainly doesn’t promise us justice in this world. Consider how Christian men — those who claim to represent God — have twisted the story of David and Bathsheba. God makes it clear that Bathsheba was an innocent raped — the story Nathan tells David is about an innocent EWE (female) lamb, and Nathan warns that God has declared “what you have done secretly, I will do in the sun,” referring to Absolom’s rape of David’s wives. Yet Christian men through the ages have turned Bathsheba into a temptress.

    Don’t blame God for what man does, and don’t let men like that color your own reading of the Bible. Feminists who see the Bible through that male lens will go on and on about how God sees women as unclean based on the fact that menstrual blood makes things unclean. But the fact is, God treats semen the same way. It makes the man unclean, and it makes anyone who touches it unclean. Under Mosaic law, both men and women secret substances that make people ritually unclean; the fact that men who claim to represent God will hyperfocus on female uncleanness says nothing about what God really does or said.

  121. John,

    His father doesn’t keep his views to himself so why should the son? All of us are entitled to express ourselves.

  122. Christianity HURTS children,

    I totally agree with this. The kind of religion that John Piper espouses is extremely harmful, in my opinion, and I think it’s perfectly natural that his son feels this way, and also feels the need to express himself publicly. For better or worse, social media has made this normal. After growing up with a father like Piper, I wouldn’t be surprised if being able to be loud about your “heretical” opinions is very therapeutic for Abraham.

    Perhaps he will express himself differently in future, or moderate his views. But I find it perfectly understandable that someone who has grown up evangelical would find his lack of faith to be as big a part of life as his faith was. And while it’s disappointing for Christians to see a young man leave the faith entirely, I think it’s a bit odd to criticise him for expressing himself about it.