On my October 31 post, “Praise God for Fundamentalists: Desiring God Blog,” I drew your attention to Dr. John Piper’s post “Praise God for Fundamentalists.” In this short article, he expresses his appreciation for the 2005 FBF resolution “On the Ministry of John Piper.” In my opinion, Dr. Piper’s brief article is worth noting on three accounts. First, Piper notes that the FBF’s resolution accurately reflects a few areas where there is disagreement. Second, Piper has some sense of respect for fundamentalism. As a fundamentalist, I have occasionally been disappointed because it seems that we are at times ignored as something of a “lunatic fringe.” In this regard, Piper’s article was refreshing to read. Third, Dr. Piper’s article reflects a humility that we should strive to have when appropriately criticized.
Though I am not a member of the FBF and am unfamiliar with many of their other resolutions, I had read this one with great interest because I understood that one of DBTS’s graduates, Michael Riley (currently completing a PhD in apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary and Acting Academic Dean at International Baptist College in Tempe, AZ), had written a foundational article prior to the FBF meeting entitled “On the Ministry of John Piper.” This article became the basis for the FBF’s 2005 resolution and was printed in the July/August 2005 edition of FrontLine magazine (for a presentation of the some of the criticisms to Professor Riley’s article along with his responses, see his blog). When I initially read this FBF resolution and after reading it again a few days back, I am convinced that FBF resolution was accurate and well-written. It praised Dr. Piper’s theological orthodoxy and overall ministry in stressing a God-centered view of salvation and life. In addition, it stated a few areas where the FBF disagreed with Piper. In my estimation, the FBF resolution hit a bull’s eye.
The point of this post is to call your attention to an October 31 post by Michael Riley. This post contains a letter that he wrote to Dr. Piper. The significance of his letter is that it provides some personal background to his foundational article for the 2005 FBF resolution; and it, at the same time, reflects a healthy appreciation for the contribution that Piper’s writing ministry has made in the theological development of Michael Riley, as well as many other young fundamentalists. It is well worth your time to read his letter.