Many people have been (rightly) consterned about infamous assertions of the extremely popular Evangelical preacher John Piper such as God causing earthquakes to punish America for its sins or “It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.”
Yet few people suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg.
John Piper is a staunch Calvinist. Also called reformed theology, Calvinism is a doctrine which did not begin with the French theologian Calvin but can be found in diverse authors such as Luther, Zwingli, Aquinas, Anselm of Canterbury and William of Ockham. The man who introduced it to the Christian Church was Augustine, who (quite coincidentally) was also the first theologian to defend the use of torture against heretics, with all the historical consequences we know all too well.
One basis of Calvinism is divine determinism (which they call “sovereignty”) which means that every thing which happens (including rapes and genocides) has been desired and made certain by God before the very beginning of time.
The other basis of Calvinism is the so-called TULIP belief-system, whereby:
Total Depravity – As a result of Adam’s fall, the entire human race is affected; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins. Man is unable to save himself (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18).
Unconditional Election – Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate a response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation. Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on man’s response (Romans 8:29-30;9:11; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12) because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to.
Limited Atonement – Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of God’s unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone. All whom God has elected and for whom Christ died will be saved (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11; 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:25).
Perseverance of the Saints – The precise ones God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None whom God has elected will be lost; they are eternally secure (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-14).