Praise God for Fundamentalists

A couple years ago, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship passed the following resolution, “On the Ministry of John Piper.” I mention it here just so I can use the occasion to say something good about fundamentalists.

While recognizing much that is commendable in the ministry of John Piper, including his emphasis on a passionately God-centered life and his identity as a theological conservative, the FBFI has some genuine concerns about his doctrine and practice. John Piper teaches in his local ministry that miraculous sign gifts are continuing. Piper has also failed to separate from the Baptist General Conference which has deliberately chosen to tolerate the heresy known as open theism in its membership. He also enthusiastically endorses Daniel Fuller, who has championed the attack on the inerrancy of scripture in our generation. The great popularity of Piper’s writings, especially among younger fundamentalists requires that FBFI warn its members concerning Piper’s non-separatist position and, for those who read his works, to do so with careful discernment.

I plead guilty to two-thirds of this, almost. Yes, I think miraculous gifts continue. Yes, I have not tried to pull the church out of the Baptist General Conference. My love for Daniel Fuller is unashamed. I owe him more than I can describe. We do have a few disagreements. So it would not be helpful to talk in terms of an unqualified “endorsement.” I love the Bible with all my heart and affirm its inerrancy. Dr. Fuller would want me to say that he does too.

What I want to say about Fundamentalism is that its great gift to the church is precisely the backbone to resist compromise and to make standing for truth and principle a means of love rather than an alternative to it. I am helped by the call for biblical separation, because almost no evangelicals even think about the doctrine.

So I thank God for fundamentalism, and I think that some of the whining about its ill effects would have to also be directed against the black-and-white bluntness of Jesus.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.