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Archive for the ‘John Piper’ Category

It’s hard to believe that in his biographical addresses that John Piper is just getting around to George Whitefield.  But if you are not familiar with Whitefield, much about him is hard to believe!  Piper’s address is entitled “I Will Not Be a Velvet-Mouthed Preacher!”  Of late some have charged that Whitefield was more actor than preacher.  Piper explains Whitefield’s “acting” and I believe, sets it in the proper context.  The following is from a transcript of a Whitefield sermon:

“I’ll tell you a story. The Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1675 was acquainted with Mr. Butterton the [actor]. One day the Archbishop . . . said to Butterton . . . ‘pray inform me Mr. Butterton, what is the reason you actors on stage can affect your congregations with speaking of things imaginary, as if they were real, while we in church speak of things real, which our congregations only receive as if they were imaginary?’ ‘Why my Lord,’ says Butterton, ‘the reason is very plain. We actors on stage speak of things imaginary, as if they were real and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’”

“Therefore,” added Whitefield, ‘I will bawl [shout loudly], I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.”

Whitefield was a man of his age and had feet of clay as we all do.  Piper delves into what he calls the most glaring contradiction:  The fact that Whitefield was influential in bringing slaves to Georgia yet he was beloved by blacks, and his preaching at times infuriated slave holders.

You can find Piper’s message here, where you can either read, listen to or watch it.

(HT:  Justin Taylor)

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