(^Note the displeased Mr. Luther above.^ Yes…we are still debating Salvation by Faith Alone.)
Well, I think we have written enough on John Piper. I nevertheless thought it might be helpful to collect everything that has been published on Heart & Mouth on the subject into one place, as a shareable resource for the interested. I have also added a short tl;dr for each post below. Lord willing this will allow folks to pick and choose according to their particular interests, or at least grasp at a summary level the arguments that have been made.
One thing should be noted throughout: this debate is not so much with Piper himself, but rather with his Presbyterian and Reformed defenders. John Piper is John Piper, and it seems to me he just makes it up as he goes. The original post that kicked off this debate afresh, “Does God Really Save us by Faith Alone?”, was awful, but par for the course as far as I could tell. The real surprise was how many folks were willing to come out and attack Rachel Miller’s reaffirmation of salvation sola fide in response to Piper. And no, not fellow Bethlehem Baptists, but Presbyterian and Reformed teachers and pastors. It was this that was troubling and demanded response.
A quick note on our previous post, Part 1. It seems that many take exception to Ursinus’ use of the word “regeneration.” I am not suggesting we change our current use, but rather just pointing out that when we read what he has written on the subject, Regeneration is used simply to denote all that is the second benefit in the duplex gratia. It represents all that answers to our corruption received from Adam in distinction to our guilt derived from the same. And this was the common usage of the word prior to the tidier ordering and parsing of benefits that came later. For example, Witsius writes,
For really, sanctification differs no other ways from the first regeneration and renovation, than as the continuance of an act differs from the beginning of it. (Bk. 3.8.10)
And as to the concern that Ursinus is saying faith precedes Regeneration in time, that is not at all what he is saying. Rather, the Holy Spirit is working Regeneration when He works faith in the heart. As the Catechism says,
Q.65. Since, then, we are made partakers of Christ and all His benefits by faith only, where does this faith come from?
The Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts by the preaching of the Holy Gospel, and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.