MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Gesticulating wildly while preaching on Romans 8:17 Thursday, John Piper accidentally struck himself in the face with a powerful blow, bloodying his mouth and knocking at least two of his front teeth out, sources at Desiring God confirmed.
The vigorous gesture responsible for the injury reportedly came as Piper was beseeching his audience to glorify God in the midst of their sufferings by holding Jesus as their highest treasure. With his arms twisting violently as he spoke, his right hand solidly impacted his open mouth instead of sailing past his face as he likely intended. After absorbing the blow, Piper spit an unconfirmed number of teeth into his hand and laid them on the pulpit next to his sermon notes. Refusing medical care and warding off concerned audience members with furious tornado-like arm and torso movements, he continued on until his sermon was finished.
Desiring God staffer Tony Reinke was present and witnessed the injury. “At DG we’ve been quietly wondering for years what would happen if John ever accidentally nailed himself with one of those gestures,” he told reporters. “It was brutal, but in a weird way, it made the sermon even more powerful—he was preaching about ‘suffering with Christ,’ with blood pouring out of his mouth.”
“I’d say God was glorified in the midst of Piper’s suffering,” Reinke added. “He definitely didn’t waste his lost teeth.”