Blog Posts by John Piper
A First Glimpse at ‘Look at the Book’
This is not the launch of Look at the Book. It’s a preview. It’s a ten-minute demonstration of the kind of thing I will be doing at our National Conference this September, and then with several texts each week when we launch Look at the Book this fall.
Some of you may recall from my legacy post that I feel an excited sense of calling for this next chapter of my life to take people with me into the…Continue Reading
Satan Disarmed, Sin Forgiven, Soul Alive
Since Satan still “prowls around like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), in what sense is he disarmed (Colossians 2:15) or nullified (Hebrews 2:14) or bound (Mark 3:27)?
One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible about the astonishing achievements of the crucifixion is Colossians 2:13–15. It contains the answer to our question, and so much more.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven…
I Do Not Aspire to Be a “Regular Guy”
When my soul is hungry for deep help from God; when I am blank before the word of God, and ache for someone to show me the greatness and glory of Christ; when I feel a longing for heaven, and desire a soul-brother who shares this passion; when I am full of fresh fruit from God’s word, and yearn for a fellow lover of Scripture, I do not look for a “regular guy.”
And since that’s not what my soul…Continue Reading
The Tender Rain of Christian Teaching
The latest poem from John Piper — a meditation on the nature of Christian teaching.Continue Reading
The Greatest Challenge in the World
Never, never, never forget that Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all the peoples on this planet — the whole planet (Matthew 28:19–20). This is the greatest challenge in the world.
Let the emphasis fall on “all the peoples” — Greek, panta ta ethne (all ethnic groups in the world). Jesus bought men “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Not some, but every.
The point is not that we can draw sharp boundaries…Continue Reading
How Are Women Saved Through Childbearing?
What did Paul mean when he said in 1 Timothy 2:15, “Yet she [the woman] will be saved through childbearing — if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control”?
Henry Alford’s interpretation of this verse is not widely known. I find it compelling and would like to commend it for your consideration. Henry Alford was a British Anglican scholar who published commentary on The Greek New Testament in 1863.
The context is that Paul is arguing why…Continue Reading
“Genitalia Are Not Destiny” — But Are They Design?
Riding in the wake of the cultural speedboat of the destigmatization of same-sex intercourse is the mainstreaming of “gender non-conformists.” Witness the June 9 issue of Time. Laverne Cox, born a boy, is on the front page, in his chosen female identity.
Cox, the star of the Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, gives a lengthy and illuminating online interview with Time reporter Katy Steinmetz. It is a sad story of a very painful childhood, an absent…Continue Reading
The Ethos of Christian Hedonism: Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing
Defending Christian Hedonism exegetically is one thing; helping people feel the ethos of it is something else. The latter is harder. That’s what I want to try to do here.
But first, what is it?
Christian Hedonism is a way of life rooted in the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. The branches and fruits of this root are all-encompassing and thrilling. They include the stunning implication that all true…Continue Reading
Piper’s Newest and Most Different Book Ever
Of the books I have written, Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully may be the one most different from all the others. It is less about the God we see and more about how to see him.
For decades, I have wondered about the relationship between the natural, creative process of the mind and the supernatural, spiritual process of the mind.
By the natural creative process, I mean the mysterious workings of the mind as it attempts to see in anything…Continue Reading
Why We Educate Our Girls
On April 14, 2014, the terrorist Islamist group called Boko Haram kidnapped over 270 girls, most between ages 16 and 18, from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeast Nigeria.
Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.” Part of the motivation behind the attack is their belief that it is sinful for girls to be formally educated at all. Educating girls is a Western effort to undermine the Islamic view of the family.
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar…Continue Reading
Our Last Child Leaves Home
Our last child — our only daughter, our only adopted one — just graduated from high school. As you may imagine, this is a time for reflection. We have had children in our home — in our marriage — for 42 years. Now, in a matter of weeks, we will not. That is massive.
The last time I lived with my wife without children was in Germany in the middle of graduate studies. Noël was 24. I was 26. Now…Continue Reading
The Legacy I Want to Leave
For most of my pastoral life, I heralded the wonders of what I saw in the Bible.
I tried to do this in such a way that people could see that the wonders really did come from the Bible, and not from me. But I seldom focused on how I saw the spectacular truths of Scripture. My preaching and writing aimed mainly to bring people to a banquet, not take them into the kitchen.
When I think of the coming…Continue Reading
An Excellent New Book on Justification
If a thoughtful layman asked me what he should read to understand the doctrine of justification in relationship to the New Perspective on Paul, I would send him to Stephen Westerholm’s new book, Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme (Eerdmans, 2013).
I enjoyed this book so much I found it difficult to put down. It is constructive. That is, it builds a clear and positive view of what justification is, rather than simply criticizing other views. For that reason, it…Continue Reading
The Greatest Prayer in the World (Maundy Thursday)
It is Thursday, the night before Jesus’s crucifixion. This evening has been laden with teaching (John 13–17), shocking with foot-washing by the greatest for the least (John 13:3–20), epoch-making with the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:20–30; Mark 14:17–26; Luke 22:14–20), and pivotal with the departure of Judas (John 13:30).
Now Jesus and the eleven have gone to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1; Mark 14:32). Here Jesus prays the greatest prayer in the world. What hung in the…Continue Reading
Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed
Recently I spent 30 hours in the hospital. I won’t tantalize you with details, but you can tell by this blog, I’m still alive. In fact, I feel good. I received good care, a clear diagnosis, some new medication, and permission to go on with my life as usual.
Not wanting to waste this experience, I’ve been thinking about lessons learned and benefits received. Maybe, if I list some of them, you will be helped when your own time comes.
Great Losses, Severe Mercies, Tearful Joy
Do you have a view of God, and his severe mercy, that is robust and biblical enough to flourish with tearful joy, under heartbreaking losses, which he ordains as discipline?
What if you thought God took your child? Or what if you thought he cancelled a dream you had had for forty years?
Not until recently did I notice the difference between God’s response to the sin of Aaron’s sons in desecrating God before Israel, and his response to the…Continue Reading
World Vision: Adultery No, Homosexual Practice Yes
Update 3/26/14: World Vision has released a statement reversing their recent decision concerning so-called same-sex marriage.
Christianity Today reports that “World Vision’s American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman.” World Vision president, Richard Stearns, clarified, “The new policy will not exclude someone from employment if they are in a legal same-sex marriage.”
World Vision is in the top ten charities in America and…Continue Reading
Fake Papers, Chastened Pride
I wonder which is stronger: the desire for erotic pleasure or the desire to avoid ridicule? Which is stronger: the craving of the body for sexual pleasure, or the craving of the ego for notable praise? It’s hard to measure, because erotic power is mainly in the body, while fear of ridicule and love for praise are mainly in the soul. Both are massive compared to the human resources to control them.
I was chastened recently by the…Continue Reading
The New Calvinism and the New Community
Last week I gave the “Gaffin Lecture on Theology, Culture, and Mission” at Westminster Seminary. This was a high honor because of the esteem I have both for Richard Gaffin and the school. Gaffin’s book, By Faith, Not By Sight, which just appeared in a new edition, came at a time when I needed help and encouragement in dealing with the New Perspective on Paul.
The topic I chose to address was “The New Calvinism and the New…Continue Reading
Lesbian Sex, HIV, Esau, and Christ
It was a vexing, soul-stirring, Sunday morning.
First came my devotions, flaming with the words of Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Second was a New York Times article about the transmission of HIV through lesbian sexual relations. Third came a powerful sermon, from the pastor at the church we’ve been attending, about Esau from Hebrews 12:12–17.
Here’s how they relate — and vex and stir — in reverse order.
The… Continue Reading
15 Prayers for God’s Power
I love strength. I love the word “mighty,” as in “Mighty Woman of God,” and “Mighty Man of God.” I love to hear that “Moses was mighty in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:22), and that Apollos was “mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24).
I love it when Paul says, “Act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13), or, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10), or, “Be strong in the grace that…Continue Reading
How to Count It All As Loss
What does it mean to count everything as loss for the sake of Christ? What does it mean to renounce all that we have for Christ’s sake?
Paul said he does this. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). And a few verses later he said, “Brothers, join in imitating me” (3:17).
So this is commanded of all believers.
This Is Basic Christianity
This is what it means to…Continue Reading
Some Historical Roots of African American Big God Theology
Year after year our awareness of the historical evidence increases that “Big God Theology” is indigenous to African American leadership from the beginnings of the Christian conversion of Blacks on this continent. Again and again what we find is that the most vivid and horrible descriptions of the slave trade go hand in hand with unshakeable confidence in God’s sovereignty over and in it all.
I would dare to venture that it was precisely the steel certainty of…Continue Reading
Will America Be Judged?
The reason the gospel of Jesus is precious is that it offers joyful rescue from furious judgment. The Bible speaks of the “fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:15). And the Bible exults that “Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
It is God the Father himself who sent Jesus to rescue us from his own wrath: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for…Continue Reading
A Tender Word for Pharisees
This Sunday I preached at Watermark Church in Dallas under the title “A Tender Word for Pharisees.” There are not many tender words for Pharisees in the mouth of Jesus. Mainly his words to Pharisees are tough, even terrifying (see Matthew 23).
The most moving words of tenderness for Pharisees are in Luke 15:25–31, the words of the father to the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son.
Luke 15 begins with Jesus eating with “tax…Continue Reading