Christian Hedonism? A biblical examination of John Piper’s teaching

The latest book by ES Williams was published in October 2017.  This short book sets out to evaluate Piper’s ministry in the light of biblical truth. We see how Piper amends the shorter Westminster Catechism to say that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. We see how Piper creates a new commandment, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord’, from Psalm 37.4, and then tells Christians that the vocation of their life is to seek maximum pleasure in God. We hear how Piper extols the worldly worship of a Passion Conference. We note how Piper cleverly digs up Scripture to find a ‘happy God’. The book provides clear evidence that antinomianism is the underlying error upon which Christian Hedonism is built.

John Piper preaching at the Passion Conference

Our video, John Piper in the Dark at Passion, sets 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).  This video demonstrates 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 search for Christian Hedonism

This article explains how Pastor John Piper, as a young man, ‘found in himself an overwhelming longing to be happy, a tremendously powerful impulse to seek pleasure’. The philosophy of Blaise Pascal (All men seek happiness. This is without exception) and the writings of CS Lewis helped Piper discover a new man-made philosophical system he labelled Christian Hedonism.

A review of Keller’s book on Preaching

Even though Keller acknowledges the role of the Holy Spirit in preaching, the over-arching emphasis in PREACHING is on the acquisition of rhetorical skills.   The preacher is encouraged to develop rhetorical devices that fit the culture. Keller says, “We reach the people by preaching to the culture and to the heart.”

Keller is concerned about the listener’s sense of personal identity and worth. The concept of personal identity and unconditional love, which are supposed to promote security and significance, is taught throughout the book.

Keller’s book does not recognize preaching as a calling to preach God’s Word, but as a craft. The faith presented in this book is not the faith once delivered to the saints. It may be popular and trendy, even erudite as the book jacket says, but it is faith that has little to do with Christianity. Read the review of  PREACHING.


Keller on Prayer

Dr Tim Keller’s book on Prayer tells us much about his ministry. As a Reformed convinced Protestant, we are surprised that his book on prayer is replete with references to Roman Catholic authors. But perhaps we should not be surprised, for over a decade ago, in a series of five lectures on prayer and meditation, Keller taught Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York the finer points of Catholic mysticism.

In his lecture entitled, ‘What is meditation?’ (1998), Keller mentioned “two streams that are filled with good, helpful material on meditation—the Catholic stream and the Quaker stream.” He referred to the “great stuff’ that emanates from Roman Catholic mystics”, and mentioned Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Jesuits), St Francis de Sales, St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila. Keller endorsed Catholic mystical writings with these words: “The best things that have been written are by Catholics during the Counter Reformation. Great stuff!”

One needs to read the critique of Keller’s Prayer with the above facts in mind.

Keller and Pascal

Tim Keller, co-founder and vice president of The Gospel Coalition, posted an essay titled “Pascal’s Method for Sharing the Christian Faith” on the Coalition website February 25, 2014. Our article The Truncated Gospel shows how Keller thinks that we need to make Christianity more attractive.  Accordingly, we must convince non-believers that “only in Christ will their aspirations ever find fulfillment”; only in Christ will “the plot lines of their lives ever have a resolution and a happy ending.” Keller sells a truncated “gospel” devoid of the law and devoid of any need for the Holy Spirit to produce conviction of sin leading to repentance. The faith is pitched as non-threatening and useful in a manner closer to that of the prosperity preachers than to the apostle Paul.

The New Calvinists

The book, The New Calvinists, written by Dr ES Williams, has recently been jointly published by Wakeman Trust and Belmont House Publishing. Essential reading for those who want to understand this new phenomenon that is overtaking evangelical Christianity in the USA and UK and other countries around the world.


Review of Engaging with Keller

We believe that the evidence presented in our review of Engaging with Keller (2013)
provides overwhelming proof that Dr Tim Keller is not orthodox in his theology, and he
certainly does not demonstrate a commitment to sound Reformed doctrine. An
examination of Keller’s theology shows that he uses Scripture to support his
own ideas and to further his own agenda. We have seen nothing that convinces us
that Keller preaches the true gospel of Christ.

Keller’s flawed version of truth

We have posted an article which shows that the so-called ‘chastened correspondence theory’ of truth, promoted by Tim Keller and his friends in the New Calvinism movement, leads to a flawed understanding of Scripture and a flawed presentation of the Gospel. This is a vitally important issue, for The Gospel Coalition is a network that vigorously promotes the New Calvinism that is taking over evangelical Christianity in the USA and elsewhere. We refer reader to an excellent article by theologian Stephen M Cope, entitled, ‘The Gospel Coalition: The New Calvinism’s Attack on the Bible and its Epistemology’.