Liberty University removes John Piper’s convocation address from all its social media sites

On October 21, 2020, evangelical pastor John Piper spoke to students at Liberty University. The following day he published a piece condemning Donald Trump (without mentioning his name). In that piece he said he was “baffled” that so many Christians support the president.

Pro-Trump evangelicals responded to Piper’s post with outrage. I chronicled some of that outrage here. One court evangelical, 27-year-old Charlie Kirk, called Piper a “fool.” Some of you may recall that Kirk is the co-founder of the Falkirk Center, the pro-Trump culture-war wing of Liberty University.

It thus makes perfect sense that Liberty University refuses to share Piper’s convocation appearance with Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear.

Kate Shellnut of Christianity Today has it covered. Here is a taste of her piece:

Two videos of a discussion with Piper and Southern Baptist Convention president J. D. Greear were removed from Liberty’s social media and its convocation page at the direction of interim president Jerry Prevo. Prevo cited negative feedback and the controversy surrounding Piper’s article, Lamb said.

The now-pulled convocation session was not politically themed. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Piper’s famous sermon “Don’t Waste Your Life” (also known as the seashells message). He teamed up with Greear, whose new book asks What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?, to challenge a new generation with a message about living faithful and missional lives.

The pair recorded the session with pastor David Nasser, the senior vice president for spiritual development at Liberty, on October 12. The two-part discussion aired October 21 and 23.

Comments on Facebook posts promoting the Piper-Greear convocation appeared to be directed at both speakers. One Trump supporter called out “Calvinist heresy!” while several commenters decried “wokeness” and a “social justice agenda.”

Lamb said the feedback over Piper was “a controversy we did not seek out or desire” and came from “both those who would praise us for having him [and] those who would critique us from having him.” He said that it is possible the clips will be restored once the heat of the election season has died down.

Read the rest here.

Don’t expect anything to change at Liberty University under the temporary leadership of Prevo. He is a Jerry Falwell Sr. loyalist and worked for the Trump campaign in 2016.

When you cancel John Piper, it says a lot about the identity of Liberty University. Falwell Jr. may be gone, but little has changed at the school.

27-year-old court evangelical Charlie Kirk calls John Piper “a fool”

I don’t agree with some of John Piper‘s theology, but I respect his ministry and believe he is a true and authentic Christian who has a deep love for God and the Bible. I have learned a lot from his work, especially Desiring God.

Charlie Kirk is an arrogant kid. He is an internet troll and spreader of false information. Kirk never went to college. He has no theological training. He has no ministry experience and very little life experience. Yet he seems to have no problem calling Piper a “fool” for his recent remarks about the presidential election.

This is deplorable. Kirk gives voice to these Christians.

Kirk’s speech is also filled with so many historical, theological, and political errors that it is hard to know where to begin a critique.

Watch Kirk at Gregory Locke’s Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

Let’s also remember that Kirk is the co-founder, along with Jerry Falwell Jr., of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center.

UPDATE (8:37pm):

If you want to get a sense of the current state of evangelical Trumpism read the reactions to John Piper’s recent anti-Trump post

We covered the prominent evangelical pastor‘s piece here. For the sake of this post, I offer a few of Piper’s best lines:

Actually, this is a long-overdue article attempting to explain why I remain baffled that so many Christians consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.

I think it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader come only through his policies and not also through his person.

I find it bewildering that Christians can be so sure that greater damage will be done by bad judges, bad laws, and bad policies than is being done by the culture-infecting spread of the gangrene of sinful self-exaltation, and boasting, and strife-stirring (eristikos).

How do they know this? Seriously! Where do they get the sure knowledge that judges, laws, and policies are less destructive than boastful factiousness in high places?

Read Piper’s entire post here.

The Christian Post did a story on Piper’s post. The reaction in the comments section is overwhelmingly negative. (This should be expected. The Christian Post is now a pro-Trump rag).

Here is some of the reaction to what Piper wrote about the president:

–You have a “heart” issue if you can support candidates who support abortion on demand, right up to the time of delivery.

–I’m sorry but you have a Christian credibility problem when you tell people to vote for a guy who fondles little girls We were warned about you.

–John Piper is a confused person. On one hand he talks about Christ forgiveness then he forgets that this president is the first in this generation who starts the White House everyday with prayer. I do not like the character of DJT but neither do I like the character of the self righteous pharisee John Piper. Remember when Joshua met the Commander of the Lord’s army before Jericho and he asked the Commander, whose side are you on, theirs or ours? The answer he got was neither, the Commander of the Lord’s army, whom many believe is Jesus pre-incarnate said, I am on the side of the Lord. John, the question you need to answer is are you on the side of the Lord Your God, Yeshua the Messiah or are you on the other side?

–We are in a time of great deception. We are in the shadow of the first horse of the apocalypse. What is that? The rider has a bow with no arrows (deception), yet he has a type of crown (corona) which the rider is allowed to exercise throughout the world.

–( Border lockdowns etc = nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom). This is the shadow of the antichrist who will come to power through the dark forces of the globalist elite and the global reset. The left, aka democrats, deep state have already ‘bowed’ to this dark force with their LGBT scarves. That happens to be the Biden cohort and not the Trump cohort! Trump is being used by God to fulfill prophecy, to bring in the biblical end times, like making Jerusalem the capital of Israel, like starting the Daniel covenant that will be made greater or confirmed by the antichrist. He is the only man that can deal with the lunacy of the left. That does not make him a role model for Christians! He is a hero like character, but that is all. That does not mean Christians look to him but rather he is a tool of God’s. Like King Jehu he will stem the flow of Christian persecution that you would have seen with Clinton and will try to maintain sanity against almost impossible odds. Overall, Trump is the lesser of the two evils. He is also just a man, a sinner like the rest of us. He also has the right to receive forgiveness if he repents. To deny that this man is being used to bring about end time biblical prophecy would be foolish. It is staring us in the face. That said we put our faith in the blessed hope, Jesus who comes at the trumpet of 1 Corinthians15:51 which is the same as the Trumpet call of God of 1 Thess 4:16 and not the last Trumpet of Rev 11:15 which is the trumpet call of the seventh angel.

–So I am not going to argue the fact that Trump has sinful behavior. But look at the Christians he has surrounded himself with in his cabinet and vice president. Than look at the policies protecting Christians and free speech.

The other person who for some reason (satan) people think is an angel, the 47 year politician who lied 23 times last night and who has a communist for a vice president candidate is somehow going to save America. Black lives matter is a Marxist organization that wants democracy and the church gone. Go read it on their website. They are an arm of the Democratic Party along with LGBTQ community that wants to tell our school children at the age of 10 that transgender behavior is normal. Another arm of the Democratic Party. Let’s keep going, the biggest arm is the corrupt lying news media, what a bastion of leadership they bring to the Christian community. Then let’s go to the courts, who want to place liberal, progressive, communist judges in the court Trump or Biden. No one on these pages is even thinking what happens if Joe Biden passes away in 24 months. A communist is now the president. I am tired of pastors who think for some reason that any democrat not just Biden has the Bible and the church at its best interest. Prove that they do. Nothing they have done in the past 20 yrs. supports that. Mysteriously the riots have stopped because the Democratic Party who pays people to riot ordered it to stop. Don’t believe me ask the police chiefs in these towns. Every man has sin, there is more to that in an election. Its policies and a party’s intent are the direction for this country. If you watched 10 minutes of any one of these debates its socialism vs democracy period. I suggest you find a friend from Cuba to talk to.

–Mr. Piper has slipped into the sad abyss of now being, “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good”. Money and fame will do it every time. He would certainly have cast a vote against David being king of Israel.

–Mr. Wilson, you nailed it! Mr. Piper is what’s now commonly called a ‘woke’ Christian…….. sad!

–He must not know the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in the form of intersectionality, LGBTQ activists, radical Muslims, communists, cultural marxists, and feminists. What do we have left if we do not have freedom to preach the gospel.

–I’ve never had much use for Piper or his teaching. He is conciliatory to a fault, granting a degree of validity to the enemies of God on more than one occasion. When pressed, he gives ambiguous answers, Joel Osteen-style. (See his treatment on the subject of homosexuality.). There is no authoritative proclamation in his manner in most of his teachings. He is salt which has lost its flavor, and is only good for stomping on.

–Piper’s the kind of guy who would refuse to fight the Nazis because his fellow soldiers drank alcohol. I used to admire Piper. Now I see that he is a pompous fool. Go back to your inner sanctimonious sanctum, John. We’ll fight the war for you.

–No, Piper is manipulatively suggesting we should not vote for POTUS Trump because of a self-righteously-imposed judgment Piper has made toward the POTUS. I clearly discern POTUS as an imperfect man but also one who loves the Almighty God-ordained-USA and wants what is best for those of us fortunate enough to live here. I HIGHLY doubt Mr. Piper could “face the giants”! It enrages me that those who have a pulpit abuse it to cause more strife. Sit home if that’s what you want to do, or vote for your cat, but if you are going to presume judgement on anyone in our highest secular office, you better do a lot more homework, such as the corruption under your nose for decades. Furthermore, if you do not consider abortion, especially as it is currently being promoted/human trafficking worthy deal-breakers, you are not a Christian.

–I”m not voting for a pastor. I”m voting for the best president in my lifetime (73 years). President Trump is a born-again, Spirit-filled believer. Who among us didn’t have many rough edges that needed smoothing out when we were new believers? I’m always amazed by the level of deception and spirit of religion that is so prevalent in the comments on this site. It seems so many commenters have planks in their eyes. It’s actually quite sad.

–John Piper has lost all credibility with such an announcement. He reminds me of the false prophets and priests who came against Jerimiah when he warned Israel of the impending threat from Babylon, Israel would face if she didn’t turn back to God. The priests and false prophets were living comfortability and viewed Jerimiah as a threat to their way of life. Before 2016 such was the way of life for a lot of liberal theologians, both protestant, catholic and evangelical. Mr. Piper’s words are equal to the move of Pope Francis of negotiating a deal with the communists in China to have a state run church while, the true church under ground faces persecution! His predecessors, Popes John Paul 2 and Benedict 16 would never of promoted a church run by communists, that is “liberation theology” and that is heresy! However, since liberation theology was birthed in Marxist South America where Pope Francis was a bishop in Argentina and since we also have seen and influx of Masonry into the South American Roman Catholic church as well as the Roman Curia, we can see blatantly see why he is Pope and who is influencing his morality, especially with the approval of gay marriages between Catholics. Also it should be known that a large number of Baptist pastors are apart of the Masonic movement as well. That is a known fact passed on to me by a former Baptist minister. The Masonic movement has since the earliest days of the movement declared a secret war on the Christian church at it’s highest levels and has even published a book on how it plans to influence the Papacy and the destruction of the Roman Catholic church in the 1900’s. So when I see Baptist and Catholic leadership either silent or attacking the only pro-life President ever, I’m not surprised about the payoff!

–Not buying any more of your books Mr. Piper. (I take that back, I checked, I don’t have any of your books, just books that quote you.)

If there’s anything I detest, it’s pastors and lay Christians who don’t like Trump because he’s brash, rude and doesn’t act like a namby-pamby. Those traits are why he was elected in the first place. We’re tired of politicians who bend over backwards trying to be liked by the Democrats who hate America and Americans. Enough is enough.

I am glad that people in these comments have seen the error in Piper’s preaching on this issue. They have expressed it well. I pray that those who follow him will choose not to follow this advice. His words are causing more division than unity among the church. If he feels compelled not to vote he should keep that to himself, not encourage the church to do the same. What he is preaching has crossed over to legalism. He seems to believe that he has taken the high road in holiness to not vote for either of the choices we have before us.

Piper, along with every other preacher, that does not unequivocally speak out against the evil in the Democratic Party is not listening to the Holy Spirit. The contrasts are sharp and unmistakable. Your status as a well-known preacher means squat to me when you’re not hearing the still small voice.

Any one who is not voting for “Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, a God given right, is not of God or Jesus Christ but is for death, deception, and destruction from satan. Thou shalt not KILL. So anyone who is not voting for life is voting for satan.

Mr Piper sounds like an unsaved person. I never thought much him and his false teachings.

Interesting. Having spent 67 years on this planet as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I am amazed at how demented some of today’s “Pastors” have become. They have come to believe they are our masters rather than our teachers. Kind of a reflection of the Pharisees of old. I am sure Rev Piper believes he is a clarion unto the church, but he sounds more like Charlie one-note than a conductor of a symphony. Perhaps someone close to him should inform him it is time he passes the baton.

This comment sections looks my e-mail inbox x10. I heard this stuff a lot during the Believe Me book tour.

Evangelical pastor John Piper is “baffled” that so many Christians support Trump

I wish John Piper would have come out earlier with this post. (SEE UPDATE BELOW). If I read him correctly, it sounds like he will not vote for Trump or Biden.

Here is a taste:

In fact, I think it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader come only through his policies and not also through his person.

This is true not only because flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality, and factiousness are self-incriminating, but also because they are nation-corrupting. They move out from centers of influence to infect whole cultures. The last five years bear vivid witness to this infection at almost every level of society.

This truth is not uniquely Christian: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Whether you embrace that company in your house or on social media, it corrupts. There are sins that “lead people into more and more ungodliness” as “their talk [spreads] like gangrene” (2 Timothy 2:16–17).

There is a character connection between rulers and subjects. When the Bible describes a king by saying, “He sinned and made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 14:16), it does not mean he twisted their arm. It means his influence shaped the people. That’s the calling of a leader. Take the lead in giving shape to the character of your people. So it happens. For good or for ill.

Is it not baffling, then, that so many Christians seem to be sure that they are saving human lives and freedoms by treating as minimal the destructive effects of the spreading gangrene of high-profile, high-handed, culture-shaping sin?

This point has a special relevance for Christians.

Freedom and life are precious. We all want to live and be free to pursue happiness. But if our freedoms, and even our lives, are threatened or taken, the essence of our identity in Christ, the certainty of our everlasting joy with Christ, and the holiness and love for which we have been saved by Christ — none of these is lost with the loss of life and freedom.

Therefore, Christians communicate a falsehood to unbelievers (who are also baffled!) when we act as if policies and laws that protect life and freedom are more precious than being a certain kind of person. The church is paying dearly, and will continue to pay, for our communicating this falsehood year after year.

The justifications for ranking the destructive effects of persons below the destructive effects of policies ring hollow.

I find it bewildering that Christians can be so sure that greater damage will be done by bad judges, bad laws, and bad policies than is being done by the culture-infecting spread of the gangrene of sinful self-exaltation, and boasting, and strife-stirring (eristikos).

How do they know this? Seriously! Where do they get the sure knowledge that judges, laws, and policies are less destructive than boastful factiousness in high places?

Read the entire post here.

Whenever I think of Piper I think about Wayne Grudem. They have similar theological convictions and they are both complementarians. Grudem, as many of you know, is a Trump supporter. I wonder if he thinks that Piper is bearing false witness?

UPDATE (2:55pm): A few folks have pointed me to this piece in which Piper condemns Trump and Trumpism on the day of his inauguration.

What Did Theologians and Ethicists Say About Bill Clinton’s Impeachment in 1998?

Impeachment trial

Today I was talking to a reporter about impeachment and recalled a statement issued in 1998 by prominent American theologians and ethicists.  A really interesting mix of evangelical and non-evangelical moral philosophers signed this statement.  I have copied it below.

Could we bring such a coalition of thinkers together today as we watch another POTUS  impeached?

Why are we not getting the same kind of ecumenical statements of moral clarity today?  Legal scholars have commented on the legality of the entire Trump impeachment affair.  Historians have weighed-in as well.  Where are the ethicists?  Here you go:

Declaration concerning religion, ethics, and the crisis in the Clinton presidency

The following declaration can be found at, November 16, 1998

The following declaration can be found at

To be released on 13 November 1998

As scholars interested in religion and public life, we protest the manipulation of religion and the debasing of moral language in the discussion about presidential responsibility. We believe that serious misunderstandings of repentance and forgiveness are being exploited for political advantage. The resulting moral confusion is a threat to the integrity of American religion and to the foundations of a civil society. In the conviction that politics and morality cannot be separated, we consider the current crisis to be a critical moment in the life of our country and, therefore, offer the following points for consideration:

1. Many of us worry about the political misuse of religion and religious symbols even as we endorse the public mission of our churches, synagogues, and mosques. In particular we are concerned about the distortion that can come by association with presidential power in events like the Presidential Prayer Breakfast on September 11. We fear the religious community is in danger of being called upon to provide authentication for a politically motivated and incomplete repentance that seeks to avert serious consequences for wrongful acts. While we affirm that pastoral counseling sessions are an appropriate, confidential arena to address these issues, we fear that announcing such meetings to convince the public of the President’s sincerity compromises the integrity of religion.

2. We challenge the widespread assumption that forgiveness relieves a person of further responsibility and serious consequences. We are convinced that forgiveness is a relational term that does not function easily within the sphere of constitutional accountability. A wronged party chooses forgiveness instead of revenge and antagonism, but this does not relieve the wrong-doer of consequences. When the President continues to deny any liability for the sins he has confessed, this suggests that the public display of repentance was intended to avoid political disfavor.

3. We are aware that certain moral qualities are central to the survival of our political system, among which are truthfulness, integrity, respect for the law, respect for the dignity of others, adherence to the constitutional process, and a willingness to avoid the abuse of power. We reject the premise that violations of these ethical standards should be excused so long as a leader remains loyal to a particular political agenda and the nation is blessed by a strong economy. Elected leaders are accountable to the Constitution and to the people who elected them. By his own admission the President has departed from ethical standards by abusing his presidential office, by his ill use of women, and by his knowing manipulation of truth for indefensible ends. We are particularly troubled about the debasing of the language of public discourse with the aim of avoiding responsibility for one’s actions.

4. We are concerned about the impact of this crisis on our children and on our students. Some of them feel betrayed by a President in whom they set their hopes while others are troubled by his misuse of others, by which many in the administration, the political system, and the media were implicated in patterns of deceit and abuse. Neither our students nor we demand perfection. Many of us believe that extreme dangers sometimes require a political leader to engage in morally problematic actions. But we maintain that in general there is a reasonable threshold of behavior beneath which our public leaders should not fall, because the moral character of a people is more important than the tenure of a particular politician or the protection of a particular political agenda. Political and religious history indicate that violations and misunderstandings of such moral issues may have grave consequences. The widespread desire to “get this behind us” does not take seriously enough the nature of transgressions and their social effects.

5. We urge the society as a whole to take account of the ethical commitments necessary for a civil society and to seek the integrity of both public and private morality. While partisan conflicts have usually dominated past debates over public morality, we now confront a much deeper crisis, whether the moral basis of the constitutional system itself will be lost. In the present impeachment discussions, we call for national courage in deliberation that avoids ideological division and engages the process as a constitutional and ethical imperative. We ask Congress to discharge its current duty in a manner mindful of its solemn constitutional and political responsibilities. Only in this way can the process serve the good of the nation as a whole and avoid further sensationalism.

6. While some of us think that a presidential resignation or impeachment would be appropriate and others envision less drastic consequences, we are all convinced that extended discussion about constitutional, ethical, and religious issues will be required to clarify the situation and to enable a wise decision to be made. We hope to provide an arena in which such discussion can occur in an atmosphere of scholarly integrity and civility without partisan bias.

The following scholars subscribe to the Declaration:

1. Paul J. Achtemeier (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia)

2. P. Mark Achtemeier (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

3. LeRoy Aden (Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia)

4. Diogenes Allen (Princeton Theological Seminary)

5. Joseph Alulis (North Park University)

6. Charles L. Bartow (Princeton Theological Seminary)

7. Donald G. Bloesch (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

8. Carl Braaten (Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology)

9. Manfred Brauch (Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

10. William P. Brown (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia)

11. Don S. Browning (University of Chicago)

12. Frederick S. Carney (Southern Methodist University)

13. Ellen T. Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary)

14. Karl Paul Donfried (Smith College)

15. Richard Drummond (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

16. Jean Bethke Elshtain (University of Chicago)

17. Edward E. Ericson, Jr. (Calvin College)

18. Gabriel Fackre (Andover Newton Theological School)

19. Robert Gagnon (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

20. Joel B. Green (Asbury Theological Seminary)

21. Robert H. Gundry (Westmont College)

22. Scott J. Hafemann (Wheaton College)

23. Roy A. Harrisville (Luther Theological Seminary)

24. Stanley M. Hauerwas (Duke University)

25. Gerald F. Hawthorne (Wheaton College)

26. S. Mark Heim (Andover Newton Theological School)

27. Frank Witt Hughes (Codrington College)

28. Robert Imbelli (Boston College)

29. Robert Jenson (Center for Theological Inquiry)

30. Robert Jewett (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)

31. Jack Dean Kingsbury (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia)

32. Paul Koptak (North Park Theological Seminary)

33. John S. Lawrence (Morningside College)

34. Walter Liefeld (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

35. Troy Martin (Saint Xavier University)

36. James L. Mays (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia)

37. S. Dean McBride (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia)

38. Sheila E. McGinn (John Carroll University)

39. John R. McRay (Wheaton College)

40. Robert Meye (Fuller Theological Seminary)

41. David Moessner (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

42. Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

43. Carroll D. Osburn (Abilene Christian University)

44. William A. Pannell (Fuller Theological Seminary)

45. Jon Paulien (Andrews University)

46. John Piper (Bethlehem Baptist Church)

47. Stephen Pope (Boston College)

48. J. E. Powers (Hope College

49. Mark Reasoner (Bethel College),

50. John Reumann (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia)

51. David Rhoads (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)

52. W. Larry Richards (Andrews University)

53. Daniel E. Ritchie (Bethel College)

54. Joel Samuels (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

55. David Scholer (Fuller Theological Seminary)

56. Keith Norman Schoville (University of Wisconsin)

57. J. Julius Scott (Wheaton College)

58. Mark Seifrid (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

59. Christopher R. Seitz (St. Andrews University)

60. Klyne Snodgrass (North Park Theological Seminary)

61. Max Stackhouse (Princeton Theological Seminary)

62. W. Richard Stegner (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)

63. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

64. R. Franklin Terry (Morningside College)

65. David Tiede (Luther Theological Seminary)

66. Reinder Van Til (Eerdmans Publishing Company)

67. Warren Wade (North Park University)

68. J. Ross Wagner (Princeton Theological Seminary)

69. David H. Wallace (American Baptist Seminary of the West)

70. Timothy P. Weber (Northern Baptist Theological Seminary)

71. Merold Westphal (Fordham University)

72. Jonathan R. Wilson (Westmont College)

73. Edward and Anne Wimberly (Interdenominational Theological Center)

74. Harry Yeide (George Washington University)

Calvinist Megachurch Pastor Speaks Out Against Jerry Falwell Jr. and Guns

John Piper

Some of my readers my be familiar with John Piper.  He is the retired pastor and founder of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  He is a Calvinist theologian, author, leader of the so-called “Neo-Calvinist” movement in evangelicalism, lover of the theology of Jonathan Edwards, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, also in Minneapolis.  He is known best for his affirmation of “Christian hedonism,” and his defense of a “complimentarian” view of gender roles,  

At his website, Piper comes out in opposition to Jerry Falwell’s recent comments about guns at Liberty University.  It is a thoughtful and non-combative response.  Piper even called Falwell Jr. on the phone to make sure that he was representing his position clearly.

Here is a taste:

As chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, I want to send a different message to our students, and to the readers of Desiring God, than Jerry Falwell, Jr., sent to the students of Liberty University in a campus chapel service on December 4.
For the sake of the safety of his campus, and in view of terrorist activity, President Falwell encouraged the students to get permits to carry guns. After implying that he had a gun in his back pocket, he said, “I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course. And let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” He clarified on December 9 that the policy at Liberty now includes permission to carry guns in the dormitories.
Falwell and I exchanged several emails, and he was gracious enough to talk to me on the phone so I could get as much clarity as possible. I want it to be clear that our disagreement is between Christian brothers who are able to express appreciation for each other’s ministries person to person.
My main concern in this article is with the appeal to students that stirs them up to have the mindset: Let’s all get guns and teach them a lesson if they come here. The concern is the forging of a disposition in Christians to use lethal force, not as policemen or soldiers, but as ordinary Christians in relation to harmful adversaries.
The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.
Thanks to Justin Taylor for bringing this post to my attention. You can read it here. Piper boils his argument down to nine points. They are:
1.  The apostle Paul called Christians not to avenge ourselves, but to leave it to the wrath of God, and instead to return good for evil.
2.  The apostle Peter teaches us that Christians will often find themselves in societies where we should expect and accept unjust mistreatment without retaliation.
3. Jesus promised that violent hostility will come; and the whole tenor of his counsel was how to handle it with suffering and testimony, not with armed defense.
4.  Jesus set the stage for a life of sojourning in this world where we bear witness that this world is not our home, and not our kingdom, by renouncing the establishment or the advancement of our Christian cause with the sword.
5.  Jesus strikes the note that the dominant way (not the only) way Christians will show the supreme value of our treasure in heaven is by being freed from the love of this world and so satisfied with the hope of glory that we are able to love our enemies and not return evil for evil, even as we expect to be wronged in this world.
6.  The early church…expected and endured persecution without armed resistance, but rather with joyful suffering, prayer, and the word of God.
7,  When Jesus told the apostles to buy a sword, he was not telling them to use it to escape the very thing he promised they should endure to the death.
8.  A natural instinct is to boil this issue down to the question, ‘Can I shoot my wife’s assailant?” (he gives seven-fold answer to this question).
9. Even though the Lord ordains for us to use ordinary means of providing for life…nevertheless, the unique calling of the church is to live in such reliance on heavenly protection and heavenly reward that the world will ask about our hope (I Peter 3:15), not about the ingenuity of our armed defenses
I don’t always agree with Piper, but I can definitely get behind his theology of guns.