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John Piper’s Replacement Theology

Preface: I regularly attended Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis for over eight years. The senior pastor there, Dr. John Piper, is a gifted and eloquent speaker, but I often detected a not-so-subtle theological bias in his teaching that suggested that God had no abiding interest in the State of Israel or in the Jewish people. For example, in a sermon he preached (“Son of God, Son of Man”,” Dec. 2008), Dr. Piper said the following:

Jesus is where we meet God. If you want to say, “Where on the planet today is a holy place that I can do a pilgrimage and be in the house of God?” Answer, “Jesus!” You want to go to a holy place on the planet? Stand still and come to Jesus. There aren’t any holy sites in the Christian religion. Zero. I’ve never gone to Israel mainly for that reason. Please, when I’m here 30 years don’t give me a free trip to Israel – fix my car! I got no problem with you going to Israel. I don’t want any emails. There’s just no more Jesus in Israel than there is in your pew right now. – John Piper, Sermon delivered December 7, 2008

Note that the (ahem) “expurgated version” of this was published on the DGM website as:

Now Jesus is the new Beth-el. He is the place where God is present. Heaven has opened, and Jesus has appeared. And from now on, Jesus will be the place where God appears most clearly among men, and where men find their way into fellowship with God. There are no holy geographic places any more designated by God as his meeting place with man. Jesus is that meeting place. [Edited revision of this part]

 
Now I understood the basic point of Dr. Piper’s comment, namely, that we don’t have to make some sort of “pilgrimage” to find Yeshua — that we can encounter His (risen) presence wherever we are, etc. Nonetheless, there was something odd about the way he preached this — an almost sardonic tone that I detected. Not that I was altogether surprised by his sentiment…. After all, Dr. Piper had gone on record saying that he considers the Jewish people “a non-covenant-keeping people” without divine right to the land promised to the descendants of Abraham (see this article). But after hearing him publicly disparage God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people (i.e., by implying that historical Israel is of no real significance), my heart grieved deeply. After much prayer, I decided it was time for me to personally meet with him to discuss his views of the Jewish people and ethnic Israel. The following are just a few remarks about that meeting. If I find more time, I will post some additional comments.

 
The Paradoxical Insecurity of Covenant Theology

On June 2nd, 2009, I met with Dr. John Piper (of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis) to discuss his theology of Israel, or “Israelology,” as it is sometimes called.  I wanted to know why, in particular, Dr. Piper said (during a sermon I attended) that he “would rather have his car fixed than to get a free trip to Israel for his 30th anniversary” (i.e., as Bethlehem’s senior pastor). As a Messianic Jew, I found this comment deeply offensive coming from a man who professes to have faith in the One born “the King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2).  How could a pastor of a well-respected Evangelical church express an almost callous indifference to Israel’s past, present, or future? Is not the God Dr. Piper claims to believe in explicitly called the LORD God of Israel (Exod. 5:1, Psalm 41:13, Luke 1:68, etc.)? Did not God tell Moses that this was His Name forever (Exod. 3:15)?  Is not God repeatedly called the “King of Israel” (Isa 44:6, John 12:13)? Indeed, does not the word “Messiah” itself indicate a regal title given to the anointed King of Israel?  And does not the New Covenant itself (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה), as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, explicitly promise the perpetuity of Israel forever (Jer. 31:31-37)?

 

Thus says the LORD (יהוה), who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar– the LORD of hosts (יהוה צְבָאוֹת) is his name: “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) cease from being a nation (גּוֹי) before me forever.” Thus says the LORD: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) for all that they have done, declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 31:35-36

 
According to the great prophet Jeremiah, if you saw the sun shine today or the stars in the night sky, you can be assured that God’s promise to preserve the “offspring of Israel” — i.e., zera Yisrael — is in effect. Indeed, in the world to come, heavenly Jerusalem will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraved upon its gates (Rev. 21:12). Note well that this is the only occurrence in the entire “Old Testament” that the New Covenant (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה) is explicitly mentioned… It is a foundational passage of Scripture for those who claim to be followers of the Jewish Messiah…

As I discussed some of these truths with Piper, I was sure he was going to argue that God had rejected Israel because he regards the “church” as “reconstituted Israel” or else to claim that ethnic Israel had forfeited their status as God’s people because they failed to keep covenant with God (first by failing to keep the terms of Sinai, and later by rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah).  Dr. Piper surprised me, however, since he claimed that the nature of the Abraham covenant, i.e., the “Covenant Between the Parts” (בְּרִית בֵּין הַבְּתָרִים) found in Genesis 15:9-21, is a conditional, rather than an unconditional covenant. This theological “move” by Dr. Piper allowed him to claim that ethnic Israel  ”failed” to keep the terms of that covenant (of faith) and therefore is (present tense) subject to Divine Censure or curse.  In other words, the rejection of Israel in God’s plan is not on account of their failure to keep the terms of the Sinai covenant, but rather because they have failed to keep the Abrahamic covenant… This is a puzzling position, to be sure, since it negates the point the Apostle Paul made regarding the idea of “Justification by Faith” in the Book of Galatians and subtly adds an element of “works” righteousness into the idea of being declared righteous by faith alone…

At any rate, the paradox of Dr. Piper’s position — despite his commitment to Calvinism — is that it leads to a lack of assurance of salvation, since “eternal security” is based on human merit, after all.  This “works righteousness” is alien to the true intent of Scripture and reveals a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the New Covenant itself (i.e., Jer. 31:31-38).  It reveals a confusion between the historical covenants by regarding them as functions of fictive covenants posited by Covenant Theology itself (see below)…. If God breaks His promises to Israel, why do Christians like John Piper think that He won’t break His promises to the Church?

Ultimately I believe John Piper’s replacement theology comes from his veneration of the saints of the Reformation and to later Christian scholars who devised the theosophical paradigm called “Covenant Theology.”   This system of theology, not unlike theoretical Kabbalism, claims that it understands God’s purposes and actions — even before the creation of the universe itself.  The idea of “covenant” (בְּרִית),  in particular, is more a philosophical construct than a genuinely Biblical doctrine, inductively discovered….  Indeed, the “great covenants” of Covenant Theology (i.e., “Works” and “Grace”) are not historically rooted interventions into the human experience made by the LORD God of Israel at all, but rather are theological fictions devised by those who claim to give a meta-narrative account for “God, the universe, and everything in it.”

I may write about this more at a later time, but Christians should be aware that Dr. Piper’s “Presbyterian-Baptist” theology is decidedly not traditional Evangelicalism, but rather a nuanced version of Reformed theology that has its roots in anti-Semitic European theological traditions.

For more information about this issue, please visit www.hebrew4christians.com. In particular, you might want to see the articles:

  • “Is Christianity Anti-Jewish?” [here]
  • “Israel and the Church: What’s the Relationship?” [here]

30 comments to John Piper’s Replacement Theology

  • Why don’t you write here any of what the conversation you had w/ Piper entailed? I don’t see any quotes above from your meeting with him.

  • admin

    I didn’t want to quote him directly, since our meeting was private. If you are questioning the credibility of my statements, I would recommend you contact John Piper directly. He should validate what I’ve shared here.

  • Jared Berg

    I don’t know who you are, but I love you!! I am very glad you had a chance to talk to pastor Piper. I am currently investigating the roots of “European based anti-semitism” and I am shocked at what I am finding!! I am a country church pastor in rural Wyoming(30 yrs. old) and I just recently dealt with some dear folks who were ex- mennonites that could not stomach or stand my firm commitment to literal interpretation and my eternal belief that God is not in fact done with His Chosen People!! Through this we lost about 17 people in our small congregation. I verbally told these men that “as long as God gives me the ability to preach and teach I will teach about His promises to His people! As I look through the book of Exodus I am awe struck by how many times the words “I will” are used. If i recognize and observe who is speaking and what he says after the “I will” I am greatly enriched!!

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  • admin

    Thank you for writing, Jared. Your congregation is fortunate to have you as its pastor, despite the anti-semites in your midst!

  • admin

    And now — this really comes as no surprise to me — Dr. Piper has invited the notorious “pragmatist” Rick Warren to be a keynote speaker at the The 2010 Desiring God National Conference.

    OY VEY.

    http://www.h4cblog.com/john-piper-defends-rick-warren

  • admin

    For corroboration of the quote from Dr. Piper, see this site and note it’s open Replacement Theology position:

    http://www.fundamentallyreformed.com/2008/12/10/why-not-to-visit-israel/

  • truthwarrior

    Thanks for putting this out there. I have been seeing this for some time now- this slide of the church becoming anti-Israel.
    The Bible is so clear of God’s promises to Israel- over and over again. I find it amazing that these Christian leaders are turning away from literal interpretations and putting in their own interpretation. The Word is clear about adding and/or taking away from Scripture.
    Dangerous times for those who take these liberties.

  • George Bryson

    It is no secret that I find serious fault with Piper’s soteriolgy. The lack of assurance he embraces because of the Reformed version of security (namely perseverance of the saints) allows for no real security in the promise of God for eternal life based on the finished work of Christ and the sole, and sufficient condition of salvation-which is faith alone in Christ alone-and no corresponding assurance of salvation for a saint. The fatalism found in authentic Calvinism complicates and exacerbates the problem even more.

    As a dispensationalist I see a number of problems in his eschatology as well, not the least of which is his posture toward national or ethic Israel. While I do not subscribe to Israel “right or wrong” policies (any more than I accept the notion of America “right or wrong”)to deny ethnic or national Israel a positive place in God’s temporal and eternal plan is to deny (however unintentional) the clear teaching of God’s holy and infallible word. Thanks for explaining and highlighting this in a gracious manner. John Piper is a brother in Christ but that does not mean we need to accept his teachings “right or wrong”. In Christ, George

  • admin

    Shalom George. Thank you for your excellent comments.

  • You should listen to Piper’s teaching on Romans 11. You will discover that he doesn’t really hold to a “replacement theology” but believes that there is a future purpose for Israel as a nation.

    Also, you are really putting a lot of words in his mouth by quoting him saying, “don’t send me to Israel, fix my car instead” and interpreting it as “express an almost callous indifference to Israel’s past, present, or future?” Wow. That is a deep and broad conclusion. I would hate to have you make judgments about my heart after such a statement.

    His quote about Jesus being in your pew is absoluteness biblical and I think Jesus would himself agree with him as he instructed the woman at the well that it isn’t on this mountain or in Jerusalem that we will be worshiping, but in Spirit and in truth.

    For someone who attended his church for many years, I am pretty shocked at the emotional response to a simple statement.

  • admin

    Jake, I spent many years over at BBC, and served on the worship team there every week for years. My remarks should not be construed as casually stated or as mean spirited… I was THERE when Dr. Piper preached through Romans, so I heard firsthand how he attempted to “walk the line” by not completely stepping over into the realm of “replacement theology.” I held my breath during each of his sermons on Romans 9-11. And while you are correct that technically speaking Piper did not come out and openly advocate Replacement Theology, practically speaking he so removed the present status of the Jews from consideration that he might as well have done so… After all, he certainly regards Israel today as a matter of theological indifference (he’s on record saying as much) and therefore the fate of Israel is left to an abstract future when they will be converted to become “Christians.” It might be more accurate to refer to his position as “virtual replacement theology,” since the present status of the Jews and Israel apparently make no existential difference to his theological commitments.

    Incidentally, both my wife and I were present when Dr. Piper expressed his indifference to Israel from the pulpit. When he said that “he would rather have the church fix his car” than to send him to Israel for his 30th anniversary, both of us were upset and shocked…. Don’t you understand how this sentiment would be deeply offensive to those who love Israel and believe that God is sovereignly working through that people to fulfill the promise of Zion? How do you think a Jew might feel if he or she heard this being said from the pulpit? Would he regard Dr. Piper as a friend of the Jewish people or a lover of the LORD God of Israel? Teachers from the pulpit should be held to a higher standard, since they have the rhetorical advantage of shouting out their doctrines in soliloquy to their audience in the pews… They should therefore be charged with the heavy burden of being all the more careful when they claim something represents “God’s truth.” They should speak from the pulpit with fear and trembling before the LORD God of Israel… It is extremely dangerous for anyone to impugn God’s faithful love to Israel… Even the New Covenant itself cannot be understood apart from the vision of Zion’s great future (Jer. 31:31-37).

    Often it is not what is said that matters, but what is left UNSAID. There is an assumption in the theological culture at BBC that Israel and the Jewish people are relatively insignificant for Christians today. There is little passion for the vision of Zion, no real heeding the words of the prophets who repeatedly promised Israel consolation and a future and a hope. Oh sure, “one day, over the rainbow, all Israel will be saved,” but that means little more than “one day, the end will come and the world will be saved.” In other words, the present miracle of the Jews being regathered in their ancient homeland is not of much practical significance… etc. etc. Ultimately what you believe about Israel and Zion will affect ALL other areas of your theology.

    The Bible is a collection of JEWISH literature. It cannot be rightly outside of its Jewish context. You mentioned the Samaritan woman at the well whom Yeshua spoke with. Keep reading his response to her: “Salvation is from the Jews.” The whole idea of “Christ” is Mashiach – the title given to the anointed King of Israel… Yeshua was born the King of the Jews. He is NOT presently ruling and reigning from the throne of David (even though He indeed has all authority in heaven and on earth). That day is yet to come… Christians are graciously grafted into the covenants and blessings given to Israel, not the other way around. Even the Heavenly Jerusalem will have the names of the tribes of ethnic Israel inscribed upon its gates… Again, this is a HUGE issue, and those who disregard its significance are willfully choosing to disregard the full counsel of revealed truth.

    Finally, Jake, I personally met with Dr. Piper and discussed all these issues with him. As I mentioned above, he essentially ratified his thinking when I talked with him. I did not reach a hasty conclusion, nor was I unfair. I had spoken with him before on this subject. And during my private meeting with him later, I pleaded with him to reconsider his thinking, and gave him numerous articles I’ve written, books, etc. I even offered to start a small group that would explore these issues at BBC. None of what I said was received, despite my best efforts to humbly share the truth God has revealed to me.

    I could say more, but honestly, I’m done with this subject and question. I share my experience with those who have “ears to hear,” not to argue the point with people…. I mean no ill will to Dr. Piper and realize his teaching has helped many people over the years. May the LORD bless him and help him. However, if the question of replacement theology bothers you, I would recommend that you contact Dr. Piper yourself and discuss the subject of Zion and the present status of the Jewish people with him directly.

  • admin

    Subsequent to my last response in this thread, some John Piper fans have attacked me using ad hominem reasoning, emotional appeals, and other disingenuous means. For example, in a recent email, I have been accused of being arrogant, full of spite, rude, etc., because I felt compelled to ask Dr. Piper to rethink his theological assumptions. To all those who wish to criticize me, I appeal solely to the LORD God of Israel who knows the truth.

    So please – all Dr. Piper devotees and defenders – it’s enough. I will not be baited into argument with you further regarding John Piper’s theology, nor will I respond to comments left here that are meant as personal attacks. I will simply repeat a basic principle that I believe is entirely warranted by the Scriptures themselves: Ultimately what you believe about Israel and Zion will affect ALL other areas of your theology…. If you have questions about the implications of this statement in relation to Dr. Piper’s philosophy, I would encourage you to pray and search the Scriptures for the truth.

  • admin

    SOME OTHER SUPERCESSIONIST THEOLOGIANS

    Just in case you think I am singling out John Piper, here are some other well-known Christian theologians who are likewise supercessionist in their orientation to the question of Israel and the Church:

    Origen, Against Celsus 4.22, ANF 4.506.

    Melito of Sardis, On Pascha

    Martin Luther, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” in LW 47:138–39.

    Rudolf Bultmann, “Prophecy and Fulfillment,” in Essays on Old Testament Hermeneutics

    Karl Barth, CD III/2, 584.

    George Ladd, “Historic Premillennialism,” in The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views,

    N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 457; also Jesus and the Victory of God, 316

    Vern S. Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists, 2d. ed.

    Millard J. Erickson, A Basic Guide to Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 123–24

    Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 861.

    Other notable “supercessionists” include:

    R.C. Sproul
    Michael Horton
    Kim Riddlebarger
    Meredith Kline
    J.I. Packer
    Hank Hanegraaff
    O. Palmer Robertson

  • admin

    LARGEST REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY DENOMINATIONS

    The Roman Catholic Church
    The United Methodist Church
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
    African Methodist Episcopal Church
    The Episcopal Church
    Churches of Christ, Corsicana, Texas
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
    African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
    United Church of Christ
    Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, Joplin, Mo.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses

    Approximately 100 Million American Church Members adhere to the creeds of replacement theology…. and of course ISLAM is a world religion that is founded on the idea of supercessionism….

    Source of list: Bill Koenig

    http://www.watch.org/showart.php3?idx=64261&rtn=/index.html&showsubj=1&mcat=24

  • admin

    John Piper Still doesn’t Get it…

    In a recent “Desiring God” blog entry (dated March 4, 2011), John Piper once again reveals how his commitment to a faulty theological system (i.e., “covenant theology”) can blind someone to the truth of the Jewish Scriptures…

    In his apparent defense of the plight of Arab Christians (which certainly is a valid concern, btw), Piper again impugns the Jewish people as “a non-covenant-keeping people” that does not have “a divine right to hold the land of promise.” Piper again reaches his conclusion by confusing the Sinai and Abrahamic covenants, forgetting the more foundational promise of God that He would never forsake the Jewish people. Even regarding the New Covenant, of which Yeshua came to fulfill, we read: Thus says the LORD: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) for all that they have done, declares the LORD (re-read Jer. 31:31-36).

    At any rate, you can read Piper’s latest on this subject here:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/israel-arabs-and-the-family-of-god

  • Nick

    Hello sir! Thank you for taking the time to write about this. I have been searching to understand what Dr. Piper’s real stance is on the Jewish people, and your posts have helped me reach a very FAIR assessment. I especially agree with a statement you made above: “Ultimately what you believe about Israel and Zion will affect ALL other areas of your theology…”

    This could not be more accurate.

    May the LORD cause His face to shine on you… and bring you peace!

    -Nick

  • Please be alerted to the following updates…and comment on Wayne Grudem.

    Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Global Peace Plan vs. Scripture
    New Website
    http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com

    As though it is not enough that Rick Warren has a Muslim physician Dr. Oz speak from his pulpit who wants to hypnotize all of America, it is time for Dr. Laverne Adams and all Christians to sever their unholy alliance with Apostate Rick Warren and publicly renounce him, and come out from among them!

    “Warren just awarded Blair his annual International Medal of PEACE. The award is given to individuals who exemplify outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants.”
    SOURCE: http://www.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-to-interview-tony-blair-at-saddleback-church-48988/

    You have to wonder after Rick Warren gives Tony Blair his Global Peace Plan Prize, who’s next? Gaddafi?

    “Tony Blair believes Muslim cleric saved without Jesus”

    SOURCE: http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/tony-blair-quotes-koran-says-grand-mufti-gone-home-to-paradis/

    Blair is a globalist and has converted to Roman Catholicism…totally apostate…Hybels has no business promoting him, but should be marking him.

    “I also mentioned Pastor Rick Warren who sits on the advisory board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that seeks to bring the religions of the world together.”

    SOURCE: Brannon Howse http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=6684

    Contrast this with WAYNE GRUDEM’S statement:

    “Rick Warren’s is truly advancing the work of the Kingdom of God” Wayne Grudem
    SOURCE: http://adrianwarnock.com/2010/05/wayne-grudem-on-the-atonement-unity-rick-warren-and-john-piper/
    Recent update reports on Articles page:

    World Vision Betrays Israel

    NY Supreme Court Judgment against Top Assemblies of God Leaders
    Sima Motivational Abilities Pattern vs. Scripture

    Recent Videos:

    Experiencing God through Deceitful Mysticism

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vghLjyVUSA

    Rick Warren Most Dangerous Pastor in the World

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vghLjyVUSA

    Rick Warren’s SHAPE DISCOVERY CLASS Carl Jung Occult-based Personality Profiling (aka ASSEMBLIES OF GOD’S “WE BUILD PEOPLE”)
    http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com/wfalseteacher2.html

    I hope and pray that you will sound the alarm on His Holy Hill!

    Kindest regards in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director

    DISCLAIMER: Rock Salt Publishing was founded by author James Sundquist as a volunteer discernment ministry to assist those who have been affected by the abuse of ecclesiastical power or false doctrine. The contents of all of the emails, articles, blogs, books and broadcasts have been researched very thoroughly and carefully. Where applicable, both documentation and supportive Scripture references are provided. It is a very serious matter to bring charges against any organization or individual, and therefore if anyone reading these charges is able to substantiate that they are false, please bring this to our attention.

  • Tim Velasco

    Thank you for standing up for the truth. I have heard Dr. Piper and I sincerely wish him well and know that the Lord has used him mightily, but on this point he is very wrong. And unfortunately it has an effect on all other areas of his teaching and theology. I know that God uses us even when we are wrong, but this makes me so heart broken for the millions of Jews that need to know the Messiah.

    From one who has been to Israel many times and has found God to be there just as much as he is here :)

    Thanks!

    Tim

  • Allen C. Heatherly

    Doesn’t Replacement Theology get its start at The Councel of Niceia?

  • Faith

    I have read your post- excellent!
    Your comment: Ultimately what you believe about Israel and Zion will affect ALL other areas of your theology!
    Is this not the truth! God will not bless those who will turn their backs away
    from God’s people, the Jews.
    Christians, we are grafted in- we did not replace the Jewish people. God will redeem Israel again!
    These people will know Yeshua and believe in Him.

  • Danny alnaser

    I am x- muslim , i came to know my lord and savior yeshua hamshekh 2 years ago, i began to study the bible on my own , no one helped me at all , and during my studying God enlightened my heart and i came to believe that God has not done with his people yet , Im really so sad to know that some of God’s servants are drifting away of the truth , Don’t be afraid brothers, Our God , God of israel will never abandon his people nor the one new man , Mr Piper is talking about Islam as if islam a heavenly Messege , why would he even mention islam at all ? what is wrong with him ? My Great Lord Jesus Christ Changed my heart from some one who totaly hates and want to wipe the state of israel off the map to a new Man , new creation, I Know that im on the right way and the holy spirit is encourging me to keep on it. God is about doing something soon , a great thing, “the replacement theology” is totaly against God’s plan , anyway i can’t say more than this , im still surrounded by some ” non-christian replacement theology believers ” and i hope that you understand what i mean , and i’m not safe, John Piper you are too old , but i really pray that God will keep you to the day when you see by your own Eyes what is God going to do .

    thanks all

  • Melissa Graves

    Thank-you for clarifying the debate for me! I am just becoming aware of Replacement Theology and am alarmed that it has so many prominent adherents. As a new Christian (some 30 years ago), I remember reading the Word for the first time and seeing the special relationship between God and Israel. It grieves me that so many Christians are being taught this wrong doctrine. Thank-you again for taking the time to post this information!

    May the Lord richly bless and keep you,

    Melissa Graves

  • Please forgive me. The Scripture reference was Zec. 12:2-3.

  • Kenneth Honkomp

    It is not surprising when many have quit believing that God created the the heavens, earth and all that is in them in six days several thousand years ago as the Bible says, that they would not take Him at His Word on other matters. Crack that door open you let in a lot of flies or a little leaven (you get the idea. Answers In Genesis is a good Word defender.

    k honkomp

  • Tina

    I have been researching replacement theology and have been so saddened by its resultant effects on the Body of Christ as to cry with sadness over the entire matter. You are correct that it is pointless to argue with those whose ears do not hear. I recently remarked on a youtube video about Christians’ obligation to bless Israel. I was howled down mostly by replacement theologists. Their vitriol was most disturbing with no love, patience or kindness being shown altogether. (Please note that I do not think all replacement theologists act in this way.) Someone remarked to me that it was someone that I didn’t know, why should I have been so upset. I replied that whilst I didn’t know that person, G-d does and that in itself is a reason to cry, not for me but for the Lord my God whose name is being dishonoured by such actions.

    This is post on the youtube video: “The theological position is that if you curse Israel you will be cursed and if you bless Israel you will be blessed. Who does the cursing and blessing? G-d! Gen 12-3. Judeo Christians do not do the cursing and blessing. Those who do not believe is the Christ, Jesus as John 3:16 says will perish. It is not we who say that but G-d himself. BTW the lake of fire is an eternal punishment for those who worship the ‘beast’ as well as the ‘beast’ himself. Any other questions just google them.” For some reason one indvidual said that I was promoting replacement theology. I was flawed by his assumption, as I had no intention of ever promoting or agreeing with replacement theology. I was indicating that in the video the interviewee was telling the public that Christians were condemning those who do not believe into the lake of fire. I was merely stating that it is G-d not people who will do the condemning and that it was G-d who will do the cursing of those who curse Israel. I thought I had made myself clear. Obviously not!

    Then these were some response: “This position is the genuine postion whilst this (*) is spouting a jonny come lately replacement theology which I doubt she can even refute” and this “actually authentic christians! This makes the famous verses Rev 2:9 & 3:9 clear about those who say they are Jews but are not but are in fact part of the Synagogue of Satan! Since Jesus calls these ‘Jews’ satan does that mean that he is cursed? Furthermore, the only Israel recognised in the NT is actually spiritual and not physical Gal 6:16 ie the Israel of G_D ie the Church. Therefore, their is NO land to inherit in the ME for the Synagoge of Satan. BTW Kazah theory is lame!”

    Blessings to you.

  • Jeff Dunlap

    Isn’t the whole argument based on the question of “Who/what is Israel?” It seems that Paul is pretty clear in Romans 9:7-8 that it is not the blood-line that makes a person a true Israelite, but rather God’s choosing.
    I am trying to understand replacement vs covenant theology, and wonder about this question. It seems to me that in Romans 11:1-5 Paul makes it pretty clear that “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew” (I think FOREKNEW is the key word!), but because of His choosing (Ro. 9:18) He has kept for Himself “a remnant” just as He did in Elijahs time.
    So, in my attempt to better understand this issue, could you provide some insight (biblical, not emotional) on my opening question? Is Israel everyone who has ever been born from the bloodline of Abram, or is Israel all of God’s chosen people, regardless of bloodline?

    Thanks for your help with this

  • admin

    @Jeff Dunlap – Before asking your question, I’d like for you to tell me whether you’ve read the articles I have already written on this very question on the main site….

  • matthew vincent

    Hi, I think John Piper is a very anointed and godly preacher and I really appreciate his ministry in general…having said that, on this issue, I do agree with you. I just read a sermon of his from some years ago (sorry did not make a note of the year/title) and was surprised and disappointed to see that it was clear replacement theology.As a result I did a web search to see if that was the impression of any other people, and found your article.

    What a shame. I will continue to respect and enjoy John Piper’s ministry. I have heard God through him many times and been greatly helped. I also consider his book “The Supremacy of God in Preaching” one of the best books I have read. That said his position on Israel does not make any sense to me…as you rightly say it makes the return of Jewish people to Israel of no particular significance. That is ridiculous, as it is such a powerful sign of Gods hand on history, and a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.History is a testimony to the miraculous preservation of the Jewish people, which is quite remarkable, in the face of clear demonic hatred from the devil. That seems obvious to me-indeed, I was aware of it as a young man even before I was actually saved.

    All the best, Matthew.

  • admin

    Thank you for your comment, Matthew Vincent… I agree that Dr. Piper is a gifted and powerful speaker, and I share your sense of mystification whenever I try to fathom why he seems to turn a blind eye to the miracle of Israel and God’s faithful love for the Jewish people…. Shalom

  • Julie

    Thanks for your blog regarding this issue. I am just a simple person, but when I read scripture, I see the steadfastness of the LORD to his people, Israel. Past, present and future. I feel blessed to have been grafted in, and I am a branch that is mindful of the root! I attend Bethlehem, and am thankful for John Piper’s teaching, yet I also understand that he is just a man, just as capable of being influenced by the filters he has in place. When Jesus’ foot touches down on the Mount, all eyes will be on Israel. He will govern his kingdom from Jerusalem, so I take a bit of exception to the idea that the place is of passing significance.

    As I read your blog, I heard no disrespect toward Dr. Piper, only the difference in interpretations. I would hope that other posters who sit under Pastor Piper’s teaching, know that he would would call for gracious, Christ-honoring words, especially with those with whom we disagree. The Lord bless you as you seek to honor him in spirit & truth!