Pastor John Piper is a big name among evangelical Christians. As a gifted preacher he is in great demand as a conference speaker and is particularly popular among young people. He passionately supports contemporary styles of worship and Christian rap. He has been keynote speaker at sixteen Passion conferences, delivering his first message, ‘Passion for the Supremacy of God’ in 1997. The focus of Piper’s address was Christian Hedonism. He asserted that ‘God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him — and therefore there is no tension or contradiction between your satisfaction in him and his glorification in you — then the vocation of your life is to pursue your pleasure. I call it Christian hedonism. And I want to talk to you tomorrow about how you do that and why it will transform your relationships, your campuses, your worship, and your eternity.
Passion, a global movement
Since then Passion has expanded into a global movement that uses youth culture, with loud rock music and psychedelic strobe lights, to promote its version of the Christian faith. Annual conferences are held in Atlanta, Georgia. Passion conferences are also held in towns and cities across the USA and worldwide, including London, England, Vancouver, Canada and Cape Town and Pretoria, South Africa, Kiev, Tokyo, Manila and numerous other cities. Passion claims that it is committed to spreading the fame of Jesus Christ to millions of college students in the USA, and countless others around the globe.
In this video we set out to examine Piper’s influence on the Passion movement. There is no doubt that young people respond with great enthusiasm to this preaching, but does he preach sound doctrine, or is he delivering a message that their itching ears are eager to hear? (2 Timothy 4.3). We demonstrate Piper’s practice of preaching in the dark, and his association with the contemporary Christian music industry and Christian rap. A feature of Piper’s preaching is that he seldom mentions the need for repentance.
Piper’s Passion talks mentioned in this video include
Passion 2011, Fort Worth, 2 April
The title of Piper’s message was ‘Getting to the Bottom of Your Joy’ and the topic was Christian Hedonism.
Passion 2012, Atlanta, January 1
Piper’s message was entitled ‘Seeing and Savoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ Above All Things’ and the topic The Supremacy of Christ.
Passion 2013, Atlanta, January 3
Piper’s message was entitled, ‘Joy As the Power to Suffer in the Path of Love for the Sake of Liberation’ and the topic The Supremacy of Christ. Repentance and salvation were not mentioned.
Passion 2014, Atlanta, January 12
Piper’s message was ‘A Radical Revelation of the Cross: The Sovereignty of God and the Sacrifice of Jesus’ and the topic The Supremacy of Christ.
Passion 2015, Atlanta, January 3
Piper’s address is entitled: ‘Why Do Christians Preach and Sing? Spectacular News and the Beauty of Christ’. Preaching in the dark, Piper does not mention the word repentance.
Passion 2016, Atlanta, January 3
‘The Beast, the Book, and the Beauty of the Lamb’. Scripture: Revelation 13:1–10, Topic: The Death of Christ.