This post will lead into my book review of the book “Bloodlines” written by Christian minister John Piper. I believe that it is necessary to inform you on the author before I post my review of his book in a few more weeks. I will be informing you of his background, his career and of his beliefs which he lays out in his book “Bloodlines. By informing you of the reader my goal is for you to get a better understanding of his perspective on topics discussed in his book, as well as understand why I decided to do a review of this book during this time in history. Because of Piper’s lack of popularity and his minor ideals I will not include him in the Inspirational People Series that I’m working on for my blog, but I hope that you still find John Piper to be an inspirational individual who had played a large role of shaping the Christianity in America today.
John Stephen Piper was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 11th, 1946, but was raised in Greenville, South Carolina because of his fathers position there causing the Piper family to move. Mentioned in his book “Bloodlines” Piper had one older sister and was raised by both of his parents. From what I understand in most of his books he reflects his life in South Carolina during the 20th century compared to his life now as a pastor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in a Christian home by his father who was an evangelist and his mother, which is an individual he greatly looked up to and admired her radical Christianity. Piper admits in his book that he wasn’t always a committed Christian. As a kid he stated he would say and do anything in order to fit in with certain crowds during most of primary school. Because of his parents commitment to their religion Piper jumped on board and after he discovered the potentials he could use for his faith he chose to follow the Christian path. This realization he had was when he was at a young age and before college. At the age of eighteen he attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. In college he majored in literacy and minored in philosophy with the plan to commit his skills to his radical faith. After college he received his Bachelor of Divinity Degree at Fuller Theological Seminary where he was introduced to the writings of C.S. Lewis, and Jonathan Edwards. He decided to continue his education studies by working for his doctorate at the University of Munich, West Germany. From my knowledge he officially started his minister career by teaching Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul Minnesota.
Year 1968 Piper married Noel Henry, which is a girl he met at Wheaton College, and had five children with her during his adult life. HIs influential mother died the year he started working at Bethel College , 1974, and he dedicated his booklet,”What’s the Difference?”, for her in 1990. After Piper resigned from his teaching position at Bethel College in 1980 he made a big decision to become the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He led his flock in Minnesota until last year’s Easter (March 31st 2013). This is one reason why I wanted to intensely read one of his books, I wanted to see what his message of Christianity was and why he was greatly quoted by devout Christian men. What gave Piper national recognition was his passion while preaching and his creation of Desiring God Ministries, which had a vision of spreading a passion of faith which would lead to joy in faith and life.
Piper received an enormous amount of popularity with the publication of his book in 1986 that sparked the vision of his evangelical ministry, “Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist”. He continued to write radical books that sparked the interest of Christian followers. He’s written about his perspective on controversial subjects in the American society. Piper describes his belief of spiritual gifts in one of his books. He understands that many Christians have lost their belief of supernatural miracles but Piper states gifts such as prophesying and healing still exist and are used for the glory of the Christian God. He has also discussed gender roles and how in marriage a women should submit, with love, to her husband and have him be the protective leader of the family. Another big topic that Piper is noticed on speaking about is ethnicity. In his most recent book that I’ll be reviewing, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, he discusses the American perspective of race and then what the Bible says about it.
Although Piper is now retired from his pastor position and currently resides in Tennessee his audience expects him to continue writing and publishing his thought provoking books. He continues to serve his ministry Desiring God as well as serving his successor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Through his theological actions he has become one of the most influential pastors of the twenty-first century, along with Rick Warren and Billy Graham.
“John Piper.” – Theopedia, an Encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. http://www.theopedia.com/John_Piper