John Piper: American writer (born: 1946) | Biography, Bibliography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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John Piper
American writer

John Piper

John Piper
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American writer
A.K.A. John Stephen Piper
Is Religious scholar Theologian Writer Professor Educator Non-fiction writer
From United States of America
Field Academia Literature Religion
Gender male
Birth 11 January 1946, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA
Age 77 years
Star sign Capricorn
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Fuller Theological Seminary
Wheaton College
John Piper
The details (from wikipedia)


John Stephen Piper (born January 11, 1946) is a theologian, pastor, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Piper taught biblical studies at Bethel University for six years (1974-1980), before serving as pastor for preaching and vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis for 33 years (1980-2013).

Piper is the founder and senior teacher of desiringGod.org, named for his book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986), and has written a number of award-winning books, including ECPA Christian Book Award winners Spectacular Sins, What Jesus Demands from the World, Pierced by the Word, and God's Passion for His Glory, as well as bestsellers Don't Waste Your Life and The Passion of Jesus Christ.


Piper was born on January 11, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. His father was a traveling evangelist for over 60 years. Before Piper was one year old, his family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where he spent the remainder of his youth, graduating from Wade Hampton High School in 1964.

According to Piper, he had a religious conversion at his mother's knee while on a family vacation in Florida when he was six years old. Piper has remarked that the fact he was converted at the age of six "blows him away", not because he remembers the event, but due to his belief in the Bible's telling of the hopeless condition of all humans who have not been converted.

Piper married Noël Henry in December 1968, and together they have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren. He attended Wheaton College between 1964 and 1968, majoring in literature and minoring in philosophy. Studying romantic literature with Clyde Kilby led him to take particular interest in poetry, Piper has published several books of poetry, and continues to pursue, with his poetry, the deeper reality of personal, theological and social reality. He has explained in both prose and poetry why he writes. C. S. Lewis has remained a profound influence in Piper's life, in large measure, he says, because of the combination of rational precision with language, and profound poetic perception of reality.

At the end of his sophomore year Piper thought he had clarity about his future as a medical doctor. That changed dramatically and suddenly in the fall of 1966 as he lay in the college infirmary for three weeks with mononucleosis. During those weeks he listened on WETN, the college radio station, to the fall chapel messages by Harold John Ockenga, Pastor of Park Street Church, Boston. Piper has written that he dates his decisive call to the ministry of God’s word to that experience: “I can remember listening there on my bed to his messages on the radio and feeling inside my heart simply explode with longing to be able to handle the word of God the way he was handling it in the pulpit at Edman Chapel. Before those three weeks were over, I had resolved to drop organic chemistry. . . That was, I believe, my call to the ministry of the word.”

Piper received his Doctor of Theology degree in New Testament studies at the University of Munich, Germany (1971–1974) under Leonhard Goppelt. His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House. Upon completion of his doctorate, Piper taught biblical studies at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for six years between 1974 and 1980.

Piper's mother died on December 16, 1974, in a bus wreck in Israel; in 1990, a tribute to her was included in Piper's booklet What's the Difference?.


John Piper teaching at VMware, Palo Alto, California in February 2020.

In 1980, Piper became pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered until March 31, 2013 as pastor for preaching and vision. Piper became involved in evangelical Christianity following the publication of his book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist in 1986, and has continued to publish dozens of books further articulating his theological perspective. In 1994, Piper founded Desiring God Ministries, with the aim of "spread[ing] a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ". Desiring God Ministries offers all of Piper's sermons and articles from the past three decades—and most of his books—online at no cost.

Piper took an eight month leave of absence from his ministry from May 1, 2010, to January 9, 2011. He announced in June 2011 that he would soon step down from his role of pastor. A candidate to succeed him was announced in March 2012, and on May 20, 2012, Jason Meyer was voted in (784 yes to 8 no) to be the next pastor for preaching & vision, replacing Piper.

On March 31, 2013 (Easter Sunday), Piper preached his final sermon as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist and announced in an open letter to the congregation that he and his family would be moving to Tennessee for at least a year, in order for the church's new leadership to develop a strategic vision for the church without distractions. He still attends the church and is designated pastor emeritus with no official role in the church leadership.


In 2010, a Festschrift was published in his honor, entitled For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, including contributions from Don Carson, Sinclair Ferguson, G. K. Beale, Thomas R. Schreiner, Wayne Grudem, Al Mohler, C. J. Mahaney, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, and Bill Mounce.

In 2018, he was named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in English by Baylor University.

Personal life

He married Noël Henry in 1968 and had five children, including an adopted daughter. His son Abraham Piper has publicly criticized evangelical Christianity.

On January 11, 2006, Piper announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to a letter sent to his church, he and his doctors believed that the cancer was fully treatable. Piper responded to his diagnosis with the following:

This news has, of course, been good for me. The most dangerous thing in the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness. The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually sweet.

Piper underwent successful surgery on February 14, 2006.

Theological views

Christian hedonism

One of the most distinctive marks of Piper's theology is a branch of thought named Christian hedonism, first outlined in Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986); Piper has stated that Christian hedonism, which he considers the central message of his work, runs throughout all of his publications and books, and has summarized it as "God [being] most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him".


Piper holds to a complementarian view of gender roles, holding the view that the Bible teaches that a husband is called to lead, protect and provide for his wife and family, and that a wife should affirm and submit to her husband's leadership. Piper also states his view that the Bible teaches men to bear the primary responsibility to lead the church, and that only men can be elders. Piper, along with Wayne Grudem, acted as co-editor in development of the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which covers gender role complementarianism as a central theme.


Piper's soteriology is Calvinist and his ecclesiology is Baptist. Piper affirms the distinctively Calvinist doctrine of double predestination, which includes "unconditional reprobation", or damnation as a corollary to the Augustinian doctrine of unconditional election. Piper also subscribes to the Leibnizian view that God decreed this universe to be the best of all possible universes.

Piper believes in sola fide, justification of faith by faith alone, without the need for justification by works of man, and his teachings emphasize the need for the active perseverance of the believer in faith, sanctification, and enduring sufferings, which he believes is evidence of God's saving grace. In regards to the Lordship salvation controversy, Piper takes the stance that a once-professing Christian who does not faithfully persevere until the end demonstrates that they were mistaken about their election, and were never a true believer in the first place.

Historical creationism

Piper espouses a brand of creationism known as "historical creationism", and credits John Sailhamer's book Genesis Unbound to explaining the view. "Historical creationism" states that God created the universe, planet Earth, and many creatures and things within Earth itself over the course of an indefinite time period before the first day of Genesis 1, and that the days of the creation week were God changing a desolate piece of land into the blessed region of Eden, where God would bring Adam and Eve into existence and place them within it on the sixth day. Piper has acknowledged, however, that although it is his interpretation of the text, he is not dogmatic about the issue, and that "every pastor should go ahead and say what he believes ... I'm inclined to not draw that too narrowly."


Regarding spiritual gifts, Piper is a continuationist, though not in the classical Pentecostal sense, instead believing that supernatural gifts such as prophecy, miracles, healings, and speaking in tongues have not ceased, and should continue to be sought by the church, in particular with regard to missions and evangelism. Piper does believe, however, that the office of apostle has ceased and that the gift of prophecy in the church is not the same as the inspiration of scripture. While he believes that God's supernatural revelation in the New Testament gift of prophecy is without error, Piper has stated that in the modern day, outside the biblically recorded Word of God, the prophet's perception, understanding and delivery of that revelation is imperfect and fallible, thus resulting in modern prophecies within the church being subject to sifting out.


Piper describes himself as an "optimistic premillennialist" and holds a post-tribulation view of the second coming of Jesus and of the Rapture, which teaches that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. Because of this belief, he maintains that Romans 11 teaches that a mass in-gathering of ethnic Israelis will be saved when the hardening of their hearts is removed at Jesus' second coming. He therefore advocates the importance of hoping in the resurrection of the dead at Christ's return.

Law and covenant

Piper does not deny the typical hermeneutical frameworks, but is furthest from dispensationalism, and closest to Covenant Theology, or a New Covenant theology in matters of the Law and covenants, but agrees with the dispensationalist belief that there will be a millennium. He says that the Law was meant by God to reveal sin and show man's inability to live up to his righteous standards. Piper considers that Christians, living under the New Covenant, are not under the Old Covenant law but able to fulfill its intent through faith in Jesus Christ.

Piper teaches that God has only one covenant people, mostly believing Jews in the Old Testament, now consisting of all the followers of Christ or the Church, whether Jew or Gentile. Piper asserts that Israel has rights from God to dwell in that land, but not because they are merely Jewish, and Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah have no divine right of claim on those promises. Piper also believes that all Christians, Jew or Gentile, will inherit the earth, including the land of Israel, when Christ sets up the millennial kingdom in the Second Coming.

New Calvinism

Piper has been influential in a New Movement called New Calvinism, which he has stated he feels he has a fatherly duty to shape; one of the key aspects of the New Calvinist movement is the revival of the doctrines of Grace, as well as a renewed interest in the theology of theologians such as Jonathan Edwards and other notable figures of church history. New Calvinism was cited in 2009 by David Van Biema in Time Magazine as one of the "10 ideas changing the world right now".

Despite its influence, many notable theologians have expressed reservations about the movement; one of the notable figures who expressed reservations about the movement is Dr. Peter Masters of Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, who referred to New Calvinism as a merger of "Calvinism and worldliness". In Zambia, amongst Reformed Baptists, there is growing concern that New Calvinism is a dangerous movement; some, such as Dr. Conrad Mbewe, who Piper has mentioned in his Gaffin lecture to be New Calvinist, are silent about their affiliation to New Calvinism, yet the church he pastors maintains such close ties with New Calvinist figures, churches and institutions, where he frequently ministers, and are heavily financing mission activities in his native Zambia.


  • Love Your Enemies: Jesus' Love Command in the Synoptic Gospels and the Early Christian Paraenesis (Cambridge University Press, 1980; Baker, 1991).
  • The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1–23 (Baker, 1983; 2nd ed, 1993).
  • Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Multnomah, 1986; 2nd ed, 1996; 3rd ed, 2003; 4th ed [25th Anniversary], 2011).
  • The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Baker, 1990, 2nd ed, 2003).
  • The Pleasures of God (Multnomah, 1991; Expanded edition, 2000).
  • Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Co-editor) (Crossway, 1991).
  • Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Baker, 1993, 2nd Edition 2003).
  • Future Grace: The Purifying Power of Living By Faith In Future Grace (Multnomah, 1995).
  • A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer (Crossway, 1997).
  • A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life (Multnomah, 1997).
  • God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (Crossway, 1998).
  • The Innkeeper (Crossway, 1998).
  • A Godward Life, Book Two: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life (Multnomah, 1999).
  • The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (Crossway, 2000).
  • The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (Crossway, 2001).
  • Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2001, 2nd edition, 2004).
  • The Dangerous Duty of Delight: Daring to Make God the Object of Your Desire (Multnomah, 2001).
  • What's the Difference?: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible (Crossway, 2001, reprint 2008).
  • The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God (Crossway, 2002).
  • Brothers, We Are not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002).
  • The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce (Crossway, 2002).
  • Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness? (Crossway, 2002).
  • Beyond the Bounds (co-editor) (Crossway, 2003).
  • Don't Waste Your Life (Crossway, 2003).
  • Pierced By the Word: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Soul (Multnomah, 2003).
  • The Prodigal's Sister (Crossway, 2003).
  • The Passion of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2004). Also released under title 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die
  • When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Crossway, 2004).
  • Life As a Vapor (Multnomah, 2004).
  • A God Entranced Vision of All Things (Co-editor; Crossway, 2004).
  • Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (w/ Justin Taylor, Crossway, 2005).
  • Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life (Multnomah, 2005).
  • God is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself (Crossway, 2005).
  • Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen (Crossway, 2006).
  • Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die (Crossway, 2006).
  • Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (Crossway, 2006).
  • What Jesus Demands from the World (Crossway, 2006).
  • When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy (Crossway, 2007)
  • Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce (Crossway, 2007).
  • The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World (co-editor w/ Justin Taylor, Crossway, 2007)
  • Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure (Multnomah, 2007)
  • The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright (Crossway 2007).
  • Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ (Crossway, 2008).
  • John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God (Crossway, 2008).
  • The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (Crossway, 2008).
  • Finally Alive - Christian Focus, (March 20, 2009).
  • This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence (Crossway, 2009)
  • Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton (Crossway, 2009).
  • A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God (Crossway 2010).
  • Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? (Baker, 2010).
  • The Gadarene (Desiring God, 2010)
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God Crossway, (March 31, 2011).
  • The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor - Crossway, (March 31, 2011).
  • A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named - Desiring God, (July 1, 2011)
  • Thinking. Loving. Doing.: A Call to Glorify God with Heart and Mind (co-editor w/ David Mathis; Crossway, (September 8, 2011)
  • Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian - Crossway, (September 8, 2011).
  • The Innkeeper - Crossway; Reprint edition (September 14, 2011)
  • Adoniram Judson - (Desiring God, 2012).
  • The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent - Crossway (August 31, 2014)
  • A Godward Life: Seeing the Supremacy of God in All of Life - Multnomah; Revised edition (October 6, 2015)
  • Think It Not Strange: Navigating Trials in the New America (co-editor w/ 9 authors; Desiring God, 1 edition * (January 1, 2016)
  • Lessons from a Hospital Bed - Crossway, (February 12, 2016)
  • Your Sorrow Will Turn to Joy: Morning & Evening Meditations for Holy Week – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 1, 2016)
  • Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power – The Good Book Company, (March 15, 2016)
  • A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness – Crossway, (March 31, 2016)
  • A Camaraderie of Confidence: The Fruit of Unfailing Faith in the Lives of Charles Spurgeon, George Müller, and Hudson Taylor – Crossway (April 30, 2016)
  • 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood (co-edtior w/ Wayne Grudem, Crossway (April 30, 2016)
  • Andrew Fuller: Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Mission – Crossway; (August 31, 2016).
  • Happily Ever After: Finding Grace in the Messes of Marriage – Desiring God; 1 edition * (January 25, 2017).
  • The Collected Works of John Piper (13 volume set plus Index) – Hardcover: 8464 pages * Publisher: Crossway (March 31, 2017).
  • Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture – Crossway, (April, 2017).
  • The Satisfied Soul: Showing the Supremacy of God in All of Life – Multnomah, (September 5, 2017).
  • Shaped by God: Thinking and Feeling in Tune with the Psalms – Desiring God, (November 17, 2017).
  • Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship – Crossway, (April, 2018).
  • Coronavirus and Christ – Crossway, (April, 2020).
  • Providence – Crossway, (January, 2021).
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 30 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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