John Piper is known for his support of missions. Many of his books devote sections to the advancement of missions, and almost all of his works have missions implications. Piper’s understanding of missions is based on his understanding of God’s glory, which flows from God’s righteousness. He sees Calvinistic theology as amplifying the themes of God’s glory and righteousness. Piper believes God glorifies himself in missions through individual, unconditional election. Piper states the “essential nature” of God is “to dispense mercy . . . on whomever he pleases, apart from any constraint originating outside his own will.” Piper also believes that God glorifies himself in missions through universal love. He states that God’s “righteousness demands that He be a God of love … love is at the very heart of God’s being.”
In Piper’s understanding of the glory of God in missions, involving a combination of individual, unconditional election with universal love, he reconciles the two seemingly opposing emphases of particularity and universality with the promotion of the “Two Wills of God Thesis.” He distinguishes between what God “would like to see happen” and what God “wills to happen.” God has a revealed will and a secret will; he desires to save all (revealed will), while he elects individuals unconditionally (secret will). Piper’s understanding of God’s glory, seen through the Two Wills of God Thesis, is the motivator and dictator of his missiology.
Philip O. Hopkins looks at John Piper’s background and thoroughly examines his written works to provide a clear and thorough discussion of Piper’s missiology and its foundation.