John Piper on his father

June 4, 2008

I recently posted about Tom Carson, his godliness, and the impact he had on his son, Don (D.A.) Carson. I plan on writing several more posts about Tom’s exemplary life, gleaned from the biography his son wrote.  

John Piper has also had many wonderful things to say about his father and the impact his life had on him. Piper is known for his theology of desiring and delighting in God (“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisifed in Him”). He dedicated his signature book, Desiring God, to his father:

To 

WILLIAM SOLOMON HOTTLE PIPER

my Father

in whom I have seen

the holiness and happiness

of God

When Piper’s dad died in 2007, he wrote a stirring journal entry that speaks volumes of his father’s godliness and the impact his life had on him. This is an excerpt from that entry:

“Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for sixty-one years of faithfulness to me. I am simply looking into his face now. Thank you. You were a good father. You never put me down. Discipline, yes. Spankings, yes. But you never scorned me. You never treated me with contempt. You never spoke of my future with hopelessness in your voice. You believed God’s hand was on me. You approved of my ministry. You prayed for me. Everyday. That may be the biggest change in these new days: Daddy is no longer praying for me.

I look you in the face and promise you with all my heart: Never will I forsake your gospel. O how you believed in hell and heaven and Christ and cross and blood and righteousness and faith and salvation and the Holy Spirit and the life of holiness and love. I rededicate myself, Daddy, to serve your great and glorious Lord Jesus with all my heart and with all my strength. You have not lived in vain. Your life goes on in thousands. I am glad to be one.

I kissed him on his cold cheek and on his forehead. I love you, Daddy. Thank you.

It was 12:55 as I walked out of room 4326. Just before the elevators on the fourth floor in the lounge, a young man in his twenties was sitting alone listening to his iPod with headphones. I paused. Then I walked toward him. He stopped his music. Hello, my father just died. One of the greatest tributes I could pay to him is to ask you, Are you ready to meet God? “Yes, Sir.” That would make my father very happy. You know Jesus is the only way? “Yes, Sir.” Good. Thank you for letting me talk to you.”

Read the full journal entry here.

Also, see Piper’s Tribute to a Faithful Father.

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