Christianity,  Theology/Bible

Can Calvinists Sing “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling”?

John Piper’s message at T4G 2014 was one of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard. His assignment was to preach Romans 9, to explain the doctrine of election, and to show how that doctrine is NOT at odds with the free offer of the gospel to all sinners. At the end of the message, he tells a story about his father, who was a Southern Baptist evangelist. Many “cage-stage” Calvinists would not put Romans 9 together with an old school tent revival, but Piper does. And it’s beautiful.

Here’s the description of the message from the T4G website:

Why is Romans 9 in the Bible? More specifically, why do its seemingly hard truths — ‘Jacob I loved; Esau I hated’ — immediately follow the riches of Romans 8 — ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’? John Piper gives an answer to these honest questions in his description of unconditional election. Far from something that hinders evangelism in the heart of the apostle Paul, we find this doctrine impels him to plead and persuade all those who are not-yet saved. So it should for us.

The video above is cued up to Piper’s concluding story, which only takes about seven minutes. If you have time to watch the whole thing, do so. But don’t miss the conclusion. The video below is what Bob Kauflin led us to sing at the close of Piper’s message. I remember being overcome, hardly able to sing through the emotion. It was an indelible moment that I will never forget.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. –2 Timothy 2:10