John Stephen Piper was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Bill and Ruth Piper January 11, 1946. When John and his older sister were still small the Pipers moved to Greenville, South Carolina where John spent the rest of his growing-up years.
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy and studied Romantic Literature.
In 1980, John became the senior "Pastor" of "Bethlehem Baptist Church" in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he has been "ministering" ever since.
John married Noël Henry in 1968, and together they have four sons, a daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.
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 underwent successful surgery on February 14, 2006.
Piper's soteriology is Calvinist, and his ecclesiology is Baptist. He affirms the distinctively Calvinist doctrine of double predestination, which includes "unconditional reprobation" or damnation as a corollary to the Augustinian doctrine of unconditional election, and he subscribes to the Leibnizian view that God decreed this universe to be the best of all possible universes.
Calvinistic predestination is sometimes referred to as "double predestination." This is the view that God chose who would go to heaven, and who to hell, and that his decision will infallibly come to pass. The difference between elect and reprobate is not in themselves, all being equally unworthy, but in God's sovereign decision to show mercy to some, to save some and not to save others. It is called double predestination because it holds that God chose both whom to save and whom to damn, as opposed to single predestination which contends that though he chose whom to save, he did not choose whom to damn.
John Piper, What does Piper mean when he says he's a seven-point Calvinist?: "When John Piper says he is a "seven point Calvinist," he does so half jokingly and half seriously. Historically, there are five points of Calvinism, not seven. Piper isn't seeking to add two more points, but is simply calling attention to his belief in the traditional five points (total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints) in a way that also points toward two additional "Calvinistic" truths that follow from them: double predestination and the best-of-all-possible worlds.
"The "sixth" point, double predestination, is simply the flip side of unconditional election. Just as God chooses whom He will save without regard to any distinctives in the person (Ephesians 1:5-6; Acts 13:48; Revelation 17:8), so also he decides whom He will not save without regard to any distinctives in the individual (John 10:26; 12:37-40; Romans 9:11-18; 1 Peter 2:7-8). By definition, the decision to elect some individuals to salvation necessarily implies the decision not to save those that were not chosen. God ordains not only that some will be rescued from his judgment, but that others will undergo that judgment. This does not mean that someone might really want to be saved but then be rejected because they are on the wrong list. Rather, we are all dead in sin and unwilling to seek God on our own. A true, genuine desire for salvation in Christ is in fact a mark of election, and therefore none who truly come to Christ for salvation will be turned away (John 6:37-40)."
God does not predestine anyone to hell or choose not to save anyone, as the heretic Piper claims. Indeed, God wants all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Man has free choice to choose damnation or salvation, to cooperate with God's grace or to reject it. It is heresy to say that God predestine some to damnation or that he will not save some men. God only sends those to hell who freely choose it themselves. God does not send anyone to hell except upon their desire to go (And stay) there. Neither is God able to save anyone unless they cooperate with His grace. God does not force anyone to follow Him against their own will.
Then Piper went on to say that God will not reject someone who really "want to be saved" and "A true, genuine desire for salvation in Christ is in fact a mark of election". But there are many people now in hell who "wanted to be Saved" and who "professed the Lord" but that nonetheless are condemned. People will go to hell regardless of their wish to be saved if they die in state of mortal sin and rebellion against God.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Here we see that he who "doeth" the will of God will enter Heaven, not all who consider Jesus to be the Lord or who simply "want to be saved" despite doing anything. Then Jesus emphasizes the point by stating that you must do what He says to be His.
Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock… And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
How clear does it have to be? It's a matter of whether you hear His words and do them. It's not by faith alone. So Piper is completely wrong when he says that God has no "regards for any distinctives" (or good works/deeds) in the person who wanted to be saved. If a person has evil distinctives and break the natural law, he will justly be condemned. Likewise, if a person has good distinctives, follow the natural law and cooperate with God's grace, he will justly be saved. Salvation by faith alone is unbiblical and heretical and condemned by the word of God.
James 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?"
James 2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."
This is the only place in the entire Bible that the words faith and alone (or only) are joined together. The Bible says that MAN IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE, BUT BY WORKS!
John Piper, The Free Will of the Wind - Desiring God: "Now notice the implication this has for the meaning of foreknowledge in verse 29. When Paul says in verse 29, "Those whom he foreknew he also predestined," he can't mean (as so many try to make him mean) that God knows in advance who will use their free will to come to faith, so that he can predestine them to sonship because they made that free choice on their own. It can't mean that because we have seen from verse 30 that people do not come to faith on their own. They are called irresistibly."
Piper says it can't mean that people come to the faith of their own free will. However, excluding baptism, in which infants receive the Faith, adults must choose to receive the Faith of their own free will.
God is justice, and God cannot contradict justice. It is an eternal law of justice that man has free will (just as the angels, who fell away, had free will) and that we (just as they) may choose to rebel against Him, however much He would want us not to.
Then Piper talks about God's call and that those whom He calls are called irresistibly. But does not God call every person to salvation? Why then are few saved? It's a fact that God has called every person that has ever lived on the face of the Earth to embrace the true Faith and to live according to the natural law, but most have resisted God's call, their conscience, and the natural law that God had given them; and so they have justly condemned themselves to an eternal condemnation. That's why Jesus Christ says few are saved (Luke 13:23-24).
As Christians, of course, we don't believe as the heretic John Calvin and his followers, who held a predestination according to which no matter what one does he is either predestined for heaven or hell. That is a wicked heresy. Rather, as Christians we believe in the true understanding of predestination, which is expressed by Romans 8, Acts 13.
Romans 8:29-30- "For whom He foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son: that he might be the first-born amongst many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Acts 13:48- "And the Gentiles hearing it, were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were preordained to life everlasting, believed."
This true understanding of predestination simply means that God's foreknowledge from all eternity makes sure that those who are of good will and are sincere will be brought to the Faith and come to know what they must – and that all those who are not brought to the Faith and don't know what they must simply were not among the elect. It is a point of faith, that this foreknowledge of the Almighty no ways interferes with man's liberty, but leaves him still a perfectly free agent, and therefore responsible for his actions.
If there were truly people of sincere and of good will who had not yet attained the faith, and if they cooperate with the natural law (or choose to follow it), then God would send a preacher (even miraculously, if necessary) to bring the Catholic Faith and baptism to him.
"If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2)
2 Corinthians 4:3: "And if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them."
St. Augustine, Tractate 89, on John 15:22-23- "What, then, does He [Jesus] mean by the words, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin? [John 15:22] Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so?...To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spoke not to them."