John Piper stirred up a little controversy last spring when he invited Rick Warren to the Desiring God conference. Due to family health incidents, Warren could not appear live on Friday and addressed the conference via video, but Piper is still determined to ask him questions about The Purpose Driven Life. Piper emerged from an 8-month leave so he could attend the Desiring God conference and for the inauguration of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He spoke with Christianity Today about his new book, Think, his invitation to Warren, and what he has been doing during his leave of absence.
Tell me what provoked your new book, Think.
It seemed helpful to describe what I've been doing for 3040 years. Early on, you talk about God because you consider him to be most important. But later you realize there are means by which God is known and portrayed. Also, we have our inaugural convocation for Bethlehem College and Seminary, and I was thinking, what would I see happen there? What kind of a mind do I want these young men and women to develop?
You dedicated the book to Mark Noll and Nathan Hatch, and you reference Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, adding that you want Christians to think through a biblical lens. So why did you look at "thinking" through that lens?
When I asked Mark to do the foreword I told him, "You're going to recognize what this is—this is tribal scholarship, this is tribal theology. It's all I know to do." WhenI say I'm not a scholar, you know who I'm measuring myself against: Mark Noll. Mark Noll, to me, is the epitome of what a scholar is. He's so intimidating in his capacities, his scope, his breadth, his comprehensiveness, his nuanced seeing of everything. I really am limited. People think I'm ...1