John Piper on Irresistible Grace

, posted by Richard Coords

John Piper explains “Irresistible Grace”: “This is what we mean when we use terms like sovereign grace or irresistible grace. We mean that the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, and therefore he is omnipotent and sovereign. And therefore, he is irresistible and infallibly effective in his regenerating work. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t resist him. We do. The Bible is plain about that (Acts 7:51). What the sovereignty of grace and the sovereignty of the Spirit mean is that when God chooses, he can overcome the rebellion and resistance of our wills. He can make Christ look so compelling that our resistance is broken and we freely come to him and receive him and believe him.” (The Free Will of the Wind)

No, that’s not at all the Calvinist teaching on Irresistible Grace. Irresistible Grace is not about “popping faith” on a person, as John MacArthur teaches, or about making Christ look “compelling,” as John Piper teaches.

The fundamental concept behind the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible Grace is a heart-swap. According to Calvinism, when God effecatiously draws a person, it is not by popping faith or making Christ look compelling, but by God allegedly, preemptively, removing the heart of stone, and implanting a heart of flesh, i.e. removing the unregenerate heart, and exchanging it for a regenerate heart, through which, a person may then irresistibly receive Christ. The primary mechanism for the Calvinist conversion is a heart-transplant, and Piper seems to overlook it, and by doing so, misses the deeper issue, which is that you do not receive the heart-swap by the Holy Spirit except “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:13), which is also why Calvinist, James White, actually taught that “the elect” are preemptively placed/birthed in Christ, prior to receiving Christ:

Calvinist, James White, writes: “When the time comes in God’s sovereign providence to bring to spiritual life each of those for whom Christ died, the Spirit of God will not only effectively accomplish that work of regeneration but that new creature in Christ will, unfailingly, believe in Jesus Christ (‘all that the Father gives Me will come to Me’). Hence, we are not saved ‘without’ faith, but at the same time, Christ’s atonement is not rendered useless and vain without the addition of libertarian free will.” (Debating Calvinism, p.191, emphasis mine)

This error by James White, by placing unbelievers in Christ, ultimately unravels Calvinism altogether. Here is an article on that point:

Here is another article on Irresistible Grace, which examines the quotes by Piper and MacArthur: