Know Your Evangelicals:
John Piper

piper.jpgName: John Piper
Why you’ve heard of him: Dr. Piper is one of the most influential and popular preacher/authors in American evangelicalism.
Position: Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN; Host of the daily radio program Desiring God; Founder of Desiring God ministries.
Previous: Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
B.A., Wheaton College
B.D., Fuller Theological Seminary
Dr.theol., University of Munich
Denomination: Baptist (Baptist General Conference)
Books: Piper is the author of over twenty books, including Love Your Enemies: Jesus’ Love Command in the Synoptic Gospels and the Early Christian Paraenesis (1991); Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986); Don?t Waste Your Life (2003); A God Entranced Vision of All Things (2004); and The Passion of Jesus Christ (2004); What Jesus Demands of the World (2006)
Assessment: Piper’s life goal and ministry have been focused on spreading “a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.” His writing and preaching have had a significant impact on many young Christian leaders, including pastors, seminarians, and members of the bands Third Day and Switchfoot. Espousing a concept he calls “Christian Hedonism“, Piper carries on the tradition of a complete God-centered worldview that he picked up from the Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards, one of his most significant influences. As noted by Al Mohler, who called Let the Nations Be Glad “the most important book on missions for this generation”, Piper has also had a major impact on the state of modern world missions.
[Special thanks to Justin Taylor for his input on this entry.]
(This is #26 in the Know Your Evangelicals series.)

Published by

Joe Carter

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicaton.

  • Rodney Olsen

    I’ve recently started listening to his weekly sermon podcasts. Great stuff. Always something to think about and to apply to life.

  • Paul

    Dr. Piper has been probably one of the most influential authors and preachers in my Christian journey so far. He is passionate for Jesus, rooted in Scripture, and understanding of the human condition.
    Thank you for the biographical summary! I’ll have to check some of the others on the list that I’m less familiar with.

  • Finlay

    Of course he’s awesome, he went to Wheaton!
    Class of ’95

  • BH

    My greatest thanks to Dr. Piper. Desiring God has turned my walk upside down and inside out. I’m in my forties and have been a Christian for 30 years, and only now am I coming to terms with what a Christ-centered life is like to live. It not only feels great, but has been an immense blessing to my wife and kids.

  • giggling

    I am a “young, restless and Reformed” believer =)
    The Pleasures of God is my favorite book. Piper is so God-centered it’s refreshing.

  • Catez

    Good one Joe. I read God is the Gospel and thought it was very good overall.
    Also want to say Merry Christmas to you.

  • Tim L

    There is definitely much respect owed to John Piper. Unfortunately, some of what he is wrong about, really turns me away from him. Obviously he is wrong about women and church leadership. He was also wrong with the way he handled Greg Boyd at Bethel. It’s ok, that he disagreed, mind you.
    Perhaps it would help him if he read a better translation of the Bible, like the TNIV.

  • John

    So, not to comment on the whole series instead of this particular entry, but…
    You might think of doing an entry on Andy Stanley. He is Charles Stanley’s son and the pastor of my church, Buckhead church in Atlanta. Through Northpoint ministries, he started the “video church” movement, and he is an absolutely remarkable leader. In fact, at least one Christian magazine has ranked Northpoint behind only Rick Warren’s and Bill Hybels’ churches in terms of influence in the U.S.
    You can find Northpoint here:
    And some of Andy’s sermons here:
    In particular, his sermon “Intimacy with God” (free as an MP3) has really changed my life.

  • robert hust

    Piper defended Calvin in the murder of Sarvetus. Thats all I need to know about Piper. It is nothing short of blasphemy to say that christ did not die for the sins of the world. It is heresy and a wicked doctrine in light of the scripture God is not willing any should perish, Who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, for God so loved the world, blasphemous blasphemous!!!

  • ma876zda