Marc’s post pertaining to the “putrid Puritanism” of Matthew Mead called to my remembrance others of this putrid Puritan Mind:
John Piper is heavily influenced by men like Jonathan Edwards. Edwards, in his work Religious Affections, had many footnotes of Thomas Shepard’s Parable of the Ten Virgins and so I infer that Shepherd probably heavily influenced Edwards. I’m not sure where Matthew Mead fits into this as far as chronologically, but obviously Mead would have much in common with the putrid theological tenets of Edwards and Shepard.
Knowing much about Piper, I state that his theological influences are many. Relevant to the subject of this post is the heavy influence of the putrid Puritanism seen in one of Edwards’ disciples, John Piper:
“Faith is not just believing facts about God. It is not just intellectual assent. Faith is the quenching of the soul’s thirst at the fountain of God. The biblical evidence for this can be seen most easily in John 6:35. ‘Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst'” (John Piper, The Pleasures of God, p. 247; italics Piper’s–CD).
Chris: John 6:35 does NOT disprove faith being just intellectual assent. For the person who gives intellectual assent to the fact that Jesus is the “Bread of Life,” shall not hunger. If the person does hunger, then they did not give intellectual assent — they feigned intellectual assent. To hunger is to not be satisfied (satiated) with Christ’s Person and Work. It is to not be satisfied with the true Bread from heaven being the sole condition for life; but rather to seek to make your own bread (i.e., establish one’s own righteousness) by adding conditions that the sinner meets or is spiritually enabled by his “god” to meet. Of course, this “bread” never satisfies and this is one reason why confessions like Westminster make room for doubting since they deny that Christ is the sole condition-meeter in salvation. And to deny that Christ is the sole condition-meeter is to deny that Christ is solely the Bread of Life; false religionists want to attempt to add their own conditional worm-infested, self-righteous bread to the true Bread from heaven.
Why do unbelievers doubt? Because they are still hungry. Why do believers never doubt? Because their hunger has been satisfied by the Bread of Life, whose atoning blood and imputed righteousness has answered the demands of God’s law and justice. God IS SATISFIED with Christ and so are His people satisfied and so they NEVER hunger as if Christ were not truly the One who satisfied the law’s twofold demands; or as if His flesh were not truly food and His blood were not truly drink (Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10; John 6:50-58).
To hunger (i.e., doubt; stagger by unbelief) implies that the Bread of Life is NOT the sole, exclusive condition for salvation, and hence, assurance of salvation. Those who hunger necessarily and inevitably seek to establish their own righteousness by meeting extra “instrumental-non-meritorious-conditions”; others hunger by doubting, and so they must seek to establish the additional bread of self-righteousness in order to satisfy their hunger since the true Bread from Heaven is NOT enough to quell or obliterate their hunger in perpetuity.
“Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone drinking of this water will thirst again; but whoever may drink of the water which I will give him will not thirst, never! But the water which I will give to him will become a fountain of water in him, springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).
Chris: That which the Scriptures say of Bread and hunger is said of Water and thirsting.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And the one hearing, let him say, Come! And the one thirsting, let him come; and the one desiring, let him take of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Chris: As far as I am aware, John Piper is the modern day king of the conditional Calvinists. He unashamedly puts forth so many conditions for salvation that even the most devout Papist might possibly kill over from hyperventilating. The late tolerant heretic (cf. 2 John 9-11) John Robbins noted the following:
“To return to Piper’s various definitions of faith: ‘All these acts of the heart [the 11 conditions he has cited for receiving future grace] are overlapping realities with saving faith. Faith is not identical with any of them, nor they with faith. But elements of each are woven into what faith is’ (252). Keep in mind that Romanism has only seven theological virtues; Piper has out-poped the papists.
But the worst is yet to come: There are still more conditions required for obtaining future grace: doing good deeds, not practicing the works of the flesh, and loving the brethren, to name three. Now here’s the catch: Unless Piper has provided a complete list of the conditions we must meet in order to ‘fulfill the covenant’ and obtain ‘our final salvation,’ the Piper Plan of Salvation is worthless. To be worth anything, a plan of salvation must be complete. But even with centuries to ponder the question, the Roman Church-State did not come up with a complete list of conditions the sinner must meet to obtain final salvation, and so it invented Purgatory, where all unfulfilled conditions for salvation may be met. The sinner may and usually does endure millions of years of torment in Purgatory, but at long last the persevering sinner fulfills the conditions required for final salvation. Perhaps one of Pastor Piper’s future publications will be Piper Proves Purgatory. Then we shall have a rediscovery of Romanist eschatology, as the Neolegalists continue to work out the implications of their false and Antichristian premises.
There are many more errors in Future Grace, but this discussion has disclosed some of the most important.
The music is gay; it will lead you astray:
Beware the Pied Piper” (John Robbins, Pied Piper).
Chris: “Piper has out-poped the papists.” Indeed he has. Those who are aware of John Robbins know that despite what he says about Piper, would NOT judge Piper to be unregenerate. And why not? It is because in spite of Robbins’ seeming perspicacity in vitally important spiritual matters, he is nevertheless “all billows of bombastic bluster with no backbone” a “spineless, emasculated, fork-tongued monstrosity”:
“Be amazed at this, O heavens, and be horrified; be completely desolated, declares Jehovah. For My people have done two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:12-13).
Chris: Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Living Water. The Puritan Calvinist doubters who profess to be among His people have forsaken the Fountain of Living Water in order to hew out self-righteous cisterns that can hold no water (cf. Romans 10:1-4).
Jonathan Edwards writes:
“The difficulty in giving a definition of faith is, that we have no word that clearly and adequately expresses the whole act of acceptance, or closing of the soul or heart with Christ. Inclination expresses it but partially; conviction expresses it also but in part; the sense of the soul does not do it fully. And if we use metaphorical expressions, such as embrace, love, etc. they are obscure, and will not carry the same idea with them to the minds of all” (Jonathan Edwards, Concerning Faith, Vol 2, p. 582).
Chris: Try Hebrews 11:1 and Romans 10:9 for a start, Edwards. Certainly the Scripture is NOT obscure when it succinctly states or elaborates more fully on what faith is. But men like Jonathan Edwards (in works such as Religious Affections), Matthew Mead (in works such as The Almost Christian Discovered), Thomas Shepherd (in works such as Parable of the Ten Virgins), and John Piper (in works such as Future Grace, The Pleasures of God, and Desiring God) DO twist, pervert, obscure, darken, and turn into self-righteous mystical mush the clear definition of faith given in such passages as Hebrews 11:1 and Romans 10:9.