I recently read the opinions of a man regarding the teaching of John Piper, and I don’t really see what the big difference is. I’m no professor of philosophy, but the points made that differ from what Piper teaches are actually not against what Piper teaches.

“Affective Christianity sounds like Christian Hedonism when it says things like “We are driven (motivated) by our affections (desires/values)”. But more carefully stated, Affective Christianity is about recognizing that we are driven by what we value/love/desire; not the value/love/desire itself, but what we value/love/desire. So the two frameworks explore the same issues, but they do not share the same focus.”

Piper asserts that the value of a thing is in direct proportion to it’s excellence and our need for it (paraphrased). Likewise, our duty to any authority is in proportion to the excellence of that thing. Therefore, I obey my pastor because the word of God tells me to do so. To concentrate on value/love/desire and not the object of emotion promotes hypocracy and confusion. Piper is neither a hypocrite nor is he confused. That is not meant to be a defense of Christian Hedonism, mind you, and if I tried to make it so, Jeremy would surely object. He and I have disagreed on certain matters before, though I think most of our disagreements have happened because he overestimated my knowledge.

For example, once I said something, I don’t remember what as it’s been a year or two and he asked if I was pragmatic. Honestly, I didn’t know what pragmatism was at the time, so I looked it up and came up with something like this: matter-of-fact: concerned with practical matters

Being relatively uneducated, I felt that this was fine. If God working in the heart of man is the only thing that can work toward our salvation then trusting in the sovereignty of God must be pragmatic, as the plots that are of man will not be effective without God. So I said that I was pragmatic and he broke off contact with me. I don’t know if he even remembers that conversation, but I learned that with certain people you have to ask for clarification before you answer their questions or run the risk of being thought a dolt.

He may think I’m uneducated, and I think he splits hairs needlessly. If he wants to deny Piper’s teachings that’s fine with me. He is saved by the grace of God just as I am, and I will forever call him my brother in Christ. If nothing else, conversations with him and others have led me to let authors like Piper speak for themselves. That is why I used so many quotes in that book review and that is why I stressed that nobody can value God as much as we should, but Christ has done this for us, and it is faith in Him that justifies us before God, not our understanding of philosophies.