Grace Forfeited: A New Start for an Old Tradition

Grace Forfeited: A New Start for an Old Tradition

It’s a new start for an old tradition in American Journalism, says Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of World Magazine. The news poem. Says Olasky,

Hardly a vile murder or a military victory went by without colonial poets bemoaning or celebrating the occasion in verse, with the work then published on a single page “broadside” and sold for a penny. Happily, my favorite pastor/theologian, John Piper, is also a poet, and below are his thoughts on justice in regard to Connecticut’s school shooting and Boston’s Marathon bombing. has posted Piper’s news poem “Grace Forfeited: Adam, Tamerlan, and the Lady” with the short introduction by Olasky.

Also, here at Desiring God, you can read and listen to a two-minute recording of Piper reading the poem, and hear Piper explain the background of the poem and the biblical categories he explores in it in a special 5-minute episode of Ask Pastor John.

Recent poems by John Piper:

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David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for, pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary. He has edited and contributed to several books and is author of Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines.