John Piper's Arminian Invitation for Christmas

Calvinist John Piper has issued a "Christmas Invitation to Everyone," which, in part, states: "He died in our place and bore our sin and provided our righteousness and took away the wrath of God and defeated the evil one so that anyone, anywhere, of any kind can turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put their faith in him, and have everlasting joy." (link) We know that he does not believe this; he himself knows that he does not believe this; and yet he publishes statements like these that betray his own Calvinistic theology.

But Piper and other Calvinists demonstrate for us, this Christmas season, why Calvinism cannot be lived out. One cannot tell all people throughout the world that God loves only the unconditionally elect, and that Christ died only for the unconditionally elect, and that only the unconditionally elect can come unto Christ: even if that is what one believes, the Calvinist just cannot admit so when addressing all people. If one cannot be honest about his or her theology, then the time has arrived to discard that one for another, more honest and genuine one. A friend of mine on Facebook, Cody, commented:
I think Calvinists feel like they have license to preach the gospel in this way because it's how it's delivered in the Bible [i.e., universally]. They also think the Bible preaches unconditional election, so in their mind, they're just acting like God when they preach "seemingly" (as they might say) contrary doctrines. If Jesus can knowingly offer salvation to the damned, why can't they? It brings God more glory in their damnation if they heard the gospel clearly.
I think he is, tragically, right. The problem, however, is the underlying deception in the Calvinist's method of presenting the Gospel message. John Piper does not believe that "anyone, anywhere, of any kind can turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put their faith in him, and have everlasting joy." He proves me right, consistently and perpetually, by his own Calvinistic teaching.

For example, he writes, "If we just stay in the Gospel of John, and work our way out from the near context to the farther, what becomes clear is that Jesus means not that he draws everyone and then some of them provide the decisive impulse and come, but that everyone whom he draws actually comes. The drawing is the decisive impulse." (link) Yet, in his Christmas Invitation, he claims that "anyone, anywhere, of any kind can turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put their faith in him, and have everlasting joy." Which is it? Which message of John Piper's is actually genuine?


Anyone familiar with both Piper and Calvinism knows exactly which message is genuine. His Christmas Invitation is a farce, given that Piper knows the truth, at least according to his Calvinistic version of the truth, about who can actually "turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put their faith in him, and have everlasting joy." A proper interpretation of John Piper's Christmas Invitation to Everyone is this:
He died in the place of the unconditionally elect and bore the sin of the unconditionally elect and provided the righteousness solely for the unconditionally elect and took away the wrath of God solely for the unconditionally elect and defeated the evil one so that only the unconditionally elect can turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put the faith given to them via regeneration in Him, and have everlasting joy. (Too bad for the rest -- the majority, cf. Matt. 7:13, 14.) Merry Christmas!
Any other interpretation of Piper's Christmas Invitation is, simply, a lie. Why other Calvinists are so blind to this inconsistency -- to put the matter in the most polite frame -- and refuse to draw our attention to it is telling -- telling of a singular lack of theological integrity.

Piper's message is disingenuous; he knows it is disingenuous; and his theology informs him that only the unconditionally elect can "turn from the treason of sin to the true king, and put their faith in him, and have everlasting joy." Arminians, on the other hand, present the world with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ: The Gospel, the Good News, of Jesus Christ is that He was incarnated as God the Son, sent to give His life a ransom for the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19; 1 Tim. 2:4, 5, 6; 1 John 2:2), completing the story of Israel, so that anyone -- and by anyone we genuinely mean anyone, not the alleged unconditionally elect, or those whom God pre-selected by decree to save -- who would trust in Christ would, indeed, have everlasting joy.

Arminians do not inherently need to deceive others about their theology. We do not have to use deceptive universalistic language in order to present and offer salvation by grace through faith in Christ to the whole world because Jesus does not do so, His Father does not do so, and the Holy Spirit does not do so. When St Paul writes, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13), we are not thinking, in the back of our minds, "But we know that 'everyone' refers to the unconditionally elect." There are no unconditionally elect individuals. Piper's Christmas Invitation is inconsistent and yet thoroughly Arminian, and we can offer his message to the whole world as he cannot -- with absolute integrity.