Paul honors men like Timothy and Epaphroditus (Phil 2); author of Hebrews honors men and women of faith (Heb 11). Anytime we honor human beings it should be because we see them glorifying our Lord in an admirable way. John Piper is my hero in the faith. I hear more people say things like that about him than anyone else. And I simply praise God for the way He has used Dr. Piper in my life and many others.
Please take time to watch this 20 minute documentary on one big way God shaped him.
The thing every single one of us should grab from this is that we really need to step up on how much we really think of the church as our family. It is not a metaphor. Brothers and sisters in Christ really are family.
For some reason, one of the biggest lessons I learned at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was that seminaries should not exist in an ideal world. Seminaries are good, but churches should raise up their own ministers (Eph 4, 2 Tim 2).
This is why we have started the Antioch School Hawaii, a partnership of churches on Oahu that is looking to raise up pastors and church planters. We do not think one church can do this alone; that is why I am always careful to say “partnership of churches.” We do not see the Antioch School as a parachurch ministry; it is a partnership of local church ministries. We do not see ourselves in competition with seminaries; we believe most seminaries would like to see churches raising up ministers. We do not think we are better teachers than seminary professors; we simply see this as our responsibility as pastors.
You really must listen to Albert Mohler here. He talks about this at about the 11:25 mark.
I would ask you to consider two things: one, think about whether or not this really is God’s call on the local church, namely, to raise up their own ministers, not outsource to seminaries. Two, we have noticed in our first year a need for more help to do this faithfully. A good friend of mine, Chris Bruno (M.Div from SBTS, Ph.D. from Wheaton), is planning to move out here to become a part time staff pastor at one of our partnering churches, Harbor Church of Acts 29, with one of his main tasks as a pastor of that church to be the acting “Academic Dean” for our Antioch School. He has to raise support to get out here and is about halfway there. Please consider helping us to get him out here, and/or pass this on to others you think might become interested in what God’s doing in Hawaii.