There are important reasons why I believe that John Piper is a false teacher. His gross imposition on the doctrine of justification proves that he is a contemnor of the Gospel. He has historically tried to redefine significant doctrinal terms, and has put stipulations on salvation to make works a contributing factor. All of Piper’s articles that mention “future” or “final” salvation is disturbing. Piper argues that “our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.” This is not the teachings of Christ. On the contrary, it is similar to Catholicism. Men are not acquitted because of their subsequent obedience, but by the gratuitous acquittal from God, and the attestation of righteousness that Christ imputes to those that He reconciled to the Father.
In his articles, it does not take an erudite to see that Piper relies on sophistry to redefine the meaning of “faith.” Faith is not the cause, ground, or basis of our justification. The only grounds for justification is Christ’s perfect righteousness—His alien perceptive and penal obedience—which God the Father reckons unto the account of sinners. The instrument by which the righteousness of Christ is applied to sinners is through faith alone which unites the elect of God to their vicarious substitute and Savior. Piper’s aversion to the doctrine of justification should not be surprising. He was a pupil of Daniel Fuller, who affirmed justification by faith “and works.” Therefore, he is just following in his footsteps.
Piper's stance on justification is not that far off from Federal Vision. What is the Federal Vision (FV)? FV is a detraction from Christian orthodoxy because it denies the imputation of Jesus’ active obedience, and it distorts the biblical teaching of justification by grace alone—by maintaining that faith and obedience are necessary for their final or future salvation. Also, FV teaches: baptismal regeneration, paedocommunion, incipient sacramentalism, and a contradicting position on election and the covenants. An objective observer should wonder if this is why Piper has defended Doug Wilson, a prominent FV heretic, by arguing that Wilson does not teach a false gospel. There is a reason why Piper will not call out this wolf. That is because he is one also.
It is important to note what Doug Wilson has publicly acknowledged in an article titled Federal Vision No Mas: “I have decided, after mulling over it for some years now, to discontinue identifying myself with what has come to be called the federal vision.” This means nothing! In his article, Wilson does not excoriate FV or any of its present luminaries to repent for teaching heresy. Wilson does not repent for being a leading bastion of the FV heresy. He merely psycho-babbles with melodramatic reasons that does not prove that he has unequivocally anathematized the FV notion as heresy. All his article proves is that Wilson does not want, as he states: “to use federal vision as a label for any part of what we are trying to do here is only confusing things.”
I have read the “Auburn Avenue Theology Pros & Cons”—Knox Theological Seminary colloquium on the Federal Vision. In my opinion, this book is informative, but lacks a polemical thrust against FV. In my opinion, several of the essays are soft peddling, and compromising exhortations that fail to chide this perennial heresy. If you are looking for a good book on the topic, check out David Engelsma’s book, “Federal Vision: Heresy at the Root,” [first edition] which was published by the Reformed Free Publishing Association (March 9, 2012).
Christians need to be warned about Piper’s heresy. Hirelings will not warn anyone. They will voluminously quote excerpts from his articles; post memes about him; and will call men “divisive,” “unloving,” and “prideful” for calling out Piper. Why is it a necessity that Christians are warned about this wolf? The doctrine of justification is the Gospel and it is not a secondary issue that Christians can agree to disagree on. May God have mercy on these hirelings who are either ignorant or evil about Piper’s stance on justification. And may God lead true Christians away from the heresy that is espoused by John Piper which trifles with the divine beneficence of Christ’s meritorious work.
There are Christian ministries and pastors who have taken the time to guard their sheep. Take the time to scrupulously examine the articles and videos that have been provided below:
1. John Piper on Final Justification by Works
2. Pied Piper
4. John Piper Endorses Doug Wilson
5. The Pied Piper Plays Again
6. John Piper Invites Rick Warren to speak at 2010 Desiring God Conference