Popular American pastor and author John Piper has explained some of the controversial claims made in his new book Coronavirus and Christ after an atheist lobby group requested that a US army chaplain be disciplined for sending a copy of the topical publication to his military colleagues.
Last month, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Mikey Weinstein, sent a scathing letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a bid to get chaplain Col. Moon H. Kim reprimanded for sending an email to 35 of his fellow chaplains with an "unsolicited" copy of Piper's book. The group lambasted Piper for supposedly alleging that coronavirus could have been sent as a judgment from God, arguing that his belief in "predestination" means that "even something as deadly as coronavirus is sent from God."
In a new audio interview posted to DesiringGod.org this week, Pastor John was asked directly about the situation and whether or not he feels the criticism is fair.
“Well, Tony, some of it is," Piper said. "I think it would be fair to say that some of my views about what the Bible teaches, even rightly understood, the author of that letter hates. He hates what I think,”
Pastor John added that his beliefs have been labelled "incendiary," "bigoted," and "vulgar,’ "not just because [Mikey Weinstein] misunderstands [them], but, in part, because he does understand, and that’s how he thinks and feels about some of what the Bible teaches.”
Piper went on to reiterate his conviction that God is “sovereign over the coronavirus, and sends it and ends it when He wills.”
He added: "The coronavirus is a call for repentance to all of us to bring our lives into alignment with the infinite worth of Jesus.
“I consider all of those views to be true because they are what the Bible teaches, and therefore, they’re very valuable to know. So I think it’s not just that he misunderstands, but that he gets some things right in those quotes, and he just doesn’t like them.”
Piper has said that he wrote the book to "summon the whole world to repentance" so that we would all "experience a transformation of our thinking and our feeling and our living" that "brings our lives into alignment with the infinite value of Jesus Christ."
The book is split into two parts, titled "Who is this God who rules over the coronavirus?" and "What is this God doing through the coronavirus?"
To find out more about John Piper's book Coronavirus and Christ, check out the video below: