I have read several books by John Piper. All have stimulated and challenged me to grow as a Christian. His recent, Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully is no exception. It is a terrific read on how language can be harnessed to showcase the glories of God.
Now to the possible blind spot…
In the chapter on Whitefield, we find a description of his incredible pace. Piper writes, “The daily pace he kept for thirty years meant that many weeks he was speaking more than he was sleeping.” Piper goes on to write of Whitefield never taking a vacation and so forth.
Piper has spoken publicly about his own father being gone for much of his years growing up. To his credit, he speaks without any evident bitterness. In fact, Piper underscores how this allowed him to learn certain skills from his mother like ironing.
Since any Calvinist must admit that God does not need them, and since good Calvinists are not Gnostics when it comes to honoring the human body, it would have been appropriate for Piper to at least raise some concern about Whitefield’s pace, especially since he was a married man during much (nearly twenty-seven years) of his torrid schedule.
Perhaps Piper’s affection for his own father makes it difficult to even raise the wisdom in going so hard. To his credit, Billy Graham has admitted his global travels were a hardship on his family.