Courage in the Pastorate -- By: David Wegener
Courage in the Pastorate
An Interview With John Piper
JBMW: Tell us about your background, about your family, and about how you became a Christian.
JP: I had the great honor and joy by sheer grace of being born into the home of an evangelist, Bill Piper, and a godly woman, Ruth Piper. They had two children, my older sister and me. My folks raised us under the Word of God and under an umbrella of prayer. They were the happiest Christians I have ever known. They taught me the truth of Christ, and I embraced that truth and made a profession of faith when I was six years old. There were times when I had theological struggles or questions, but I never really saw any reason to doubt the validity of what my parents had taught me.
I went to Wheaton College, where this was all deepened and strengthened. I loved my days at Wheaton. They were tremendously significant, as I discovered a whole new realm of hymnology and church history and a wider evangelical life than at the Baptist church where I’d grown up. Fuller Seminary was a stretching, broadening experience for me because of the things I discovered about how to interpret the Bible and the grounds for believing its truth. During this time I developed strong convictions about Reformed theology under the influence of Dan Fuller, who pointed me to the works of Jonathan Edwards. So I look back on my life as one grace after another.
JBMW: How did you come to your convictions about biblical manhood and womanhood?
JP: None of us know exactly how we have come to think the way we do because the seeds of our convictions are sown long before we know anything about it. Most important was the fact that I grew up in a Bible-believing home, where my parents said that the Bible is true and to be obeyed, regardless of what the culture says. So I’ve never felt a strong impulse to change my views just because they are at variance with the culture-at-large. I don’t care about being up-to-date in Kansas City. I care about honoring the Scriptures. So when I realized that the Scriptures teach a complementary view of manhood and womanhood, I accepted that teaching, even though it went against the dominant viewpoint of the culture. Further, I viewed the Scripture’s teaching as a good thing, because God is good.
However, I would be naïve if I didn’t say that the home where I grew up had a significant impact on me, though not exactly in the way some people might think. My dad was away from home two-thirds of the year in evangelistic meetings, so my mother was everything to me. She was my financial adviser, the one who taught me how to make pancakes, the one who taught me how to clean my room, and the one who made sure I got out and playe...
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