John Piper and R C Sproul were recently together at the Ligonier conference in Florida. Two very significant men, representing two very significant ministries in our day (Desiring God & Ligonier). I can easily say that these men (I’ve met both) and their books have greatly shaped my own theology and ministry.
In a simple blog post about them and this event (by Justin Taylor), the following comment was made about why these men appeal so well to the younger generation….
Why, under God, are people attracted to the teaching of Dr. Sproul and Dr. Piper? Why do so many folks see them as “spiritual fathers”?
One reason is that younger believers, in particular, have highly attuned “boloney detectors” (to use the technical term). They are hypersensitive to hypocrisy and phoniness. And when they hear Dr. Sproul and Dr. Piper teach and preach, they hear authority and authenticity, truth and love, passion and power, combined in a compelling and arresting way. It’s not merely the God-centered, biblically saturated content. It’s that this deep theology is creatively presented and passionately believed. These men do not merely teach; they herald, they summon, they exhort, they plead, they yearn. In a way that’s difficult to describe in a non-clichéd way, the timber of their voices contains both sorrow and joy. And in that sense, I think they echo the tone of their sorrowful-yet-always-rejoicing Savior.
You can read the whole post here, and visit the Ligonier site for links to the conference video, etc. In 2009, at Piper’s 30th anniversary in ministry, I wrote about my time serving under him at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis here and again here.