John Piper Is Dead Wrong on Gun Ownership

There once was a Christian stuck on the roof of his house during a flood. He prayed fervently for God to save him.

As the waters rose, along drifted a makeshift raft whose builder offered rescue. The believer refused, insisting that God would save him.

A short time later, another man passed by in a motorboat, offering aid. The believer refused, insisting that God would save him.

As the water began to lap over the edge of the roof, a rescue helicopter descended from overhead, dropped a ladder, and waved the Christian aboard. Resisting temptation, he passed on that offer as well.

Soon, the deluge overtook the Christian. He succumbed and went on to heaven. Shaken by the transition, the believer approached the great throne and asked the Almighty, “Why, Lord? Why didn’t you save me?”

The Lord replied, “Son, I sent you a raft, a boat, and a helicopter. You chose not to use them.”

Reading this article by iconic Christian author John Piper, in which he discusses the theology of gun ownership, I find myself reminded of the above allegory. Piper’s admonition regarding self-defense is that we ought to leave such matters to government, or to God himself. He conflates vengeance with defense, and would have believers set aside both.

I appreciate the spirit motivating Piper’s words, but object vehemently to the conclusions he draws. Loving your enemy does not mean, and has never meant, yielding to victimization.

Piper’s essay deserves comprehensive point-by-point rebuttal. It has attracted a variety of responses so far. Look for further thoughts here in the coming days.