Andrew Dragos, “A Response to John Piper on, ‘Where’s the Arminian John Piper?’”

, posted by SEA

In a recent podcast of “Ask Pastor John” from Desiring God, John Piper provided an answer as to why there isn’t an Arminian version of himself. This was in response to the challenge Roger Olson posed for Arminians to produce such a charismatic, theologically robust leader. Let it be known that I have deep respect and admiration for John Piper—his piety is hard to match and when I hear him talk about the gospel he inspires me to love God more deeply. Piper provided a rather charitable answer and began by expressing his appreciation for Wesley, Finney, and Asbury—all charismatic, theologically attuned preachers. He does, however, see an inherent deficiency in Arminianism that precludes it from producing the kinds of leaders that (new) Calvinism has produced.

Here is what John Piper believes is the stumbling block of Arminian theology:

At its core, the distinguishing feature of Arminianism is that the ultimate, final decision in salvation is given to persons, not God. Essentially, it is about the powers of human self-determination. This kind of system “cannot bear the weight of worship and wonder,” and is therefore, “worshipfully uninspiring.”

The problem with this is simple: it is false. This is another reiteration of the myth that Arminianism is human-centered theology. This simply isn’t true. The distinguishing feature of Arminianism from Calvinism is it’s view of God. Arminian-Wesleyans have long believed that meticulous sovereignty, hard determinism, even compatibilism all compromise the character of God. At the heart of Arminianism therefore is a particular view of divine loveand divine justice that runs against the Calvinist view. God has not predestined who would be saved and who would be damned. God has predestined that all those who would believe would be adopted as sons and daughters.

One result of this theology is that the freed will of persons is the final—temporally speaking—criterion in a person’s salvation. This however does not mean it is the ultimate one, theologically. As an Arminian-Wesleyan I have the great privilege of proclaiming thatultimately, it is God’s good grace that saved me.

It is often said that while Wesleyanism hasn’t given us a systematic theology, it has given us a hymnody. It is no wonder why Calvinists love Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be.” That’s because at its heart, Arminian-Wesleyan theology points us to a God of love who redeems sinners just like me. What a grace to worship this God!


For a clear articulation and clarification of Arminian theology I recommend Olson’s Ariminian Theology: Myths and and Realities.

Andrew Dragos is Managing Editor of, the resourcing and publishing arm of Asbury Theological Seminary. This post was taken from