What Is Bethlehem?
Bethlehem is a vision of God.
Question: What are the documents that describe this vision?
Answer: There are at least four, and they are all available at the church.
- Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (John Piper).
- “What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism” (staff).
- “The Theological Distinctives of the Staff of Bethlehem Baptist Church” (Steve Roy).
- “Biblical Priorities: The Philosophy of Ministry” (second diagram) (Adopted by Deacons).
Question: In view of this vision of God, what is the purpose of Bethlehem’s existence?
Answer: The purpose is three-fold:
- To see and savor the vision.
This implies an emphasis on earnest, God-centered, Bible-based worship that unites head and heart and goes hard after God in prayer.
- To study, instill, and support the vision.
This implies Bible classes, the “20:20 Vision,” pastoral care, and ministries to students, youth and children.
- To send and spread the vision.
This implies missions and evangelism, speaking and writing. It includes urban and social ministries, the apprenticeship program, the missionary nurture program, “90 by 90,” missions in the manse, etc.
Question: Can you put the essence of the vision in one phrase?
Answer: Yes: The supremacy of the glory of God in his own affections and ours.
Question: What does that mean?
Answer: To answer that I have dedicated my life in the company of this remarkable church.
A servant of the vision,
© Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines
Share the Joy! You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org