Blog Posts by John Piper

Update from the Pipers

John Piper

Noël and I continue to be deeply thankful to our family at Bethlehem for the gift of these months away. You may recall my explanation for the leave where we said there were three components: soul, marriage and family, and vocational. Each needed a reality check. And of course they are interrelated.

On the soul front, we continue to probe the roots of our most characteristic sins with a view…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Commend Christ As Gain

John Piper

This is the twelfth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

My biggest concern about the effects of the prosperity movement is that it diminishes Christ by making him less central and less satisfying than his gifts. Christ is not magnified most by being the giver of wealth. He is magnified…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Separate from the Peddlers

John Piper

This is the eleventh post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

The apostle Paul set us an example by how vigilant he was not to give the impression that he was in the ministry for money. He said that ministers of the word have a right to make a living from…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Teach Them to Go

John Piper

This is the tenth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

A fundamental change happened with the coming of Christ into the world. Until that time, God had focused his redemptive work on Israel with occasional works among the nations. Paul said, “In past generations [God] allowed all the nations to…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Uphold the Value of Suffering

John Piper

This is the ninth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

The New Testament not only makes clear that suffering is necessary for followers of Christ, it is also at pains to explain why this is the case and what God’s purposes in it are. These purposes are crucial for believers…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Don't Conceal the Cost

John Piper

This is the eighth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Missing from most prosperity preaching is the fact that the New Testament emphasizes the necessity of suffering far more than it does the notion of material prosperity.

Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Preserve the Salt and Light

John Piper

This is the seventh post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

What is it about Christians that makes them the salt of the earth and the light of the world? It is not wealth. The desire for wealth and the pursuit of wealth tastes and looks just like the world. Desiring…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Eliminate Choking Hazards

John Piper

This is the sixth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Jesus warns that the word of God, the gospel, which is meant to give us life, can be choked to death by riches. He says it is like a seed that grows up among thorns: “They are those who hear,…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Foster Faith in God

John Piper

This is the fifth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

The reason the writer to the Hebrews tells us to be content with what we have is that the opposite implies less faith in the promises of God. He says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Grow Lavish Givers

John Piper

This is the fourth post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Getting rich is not what work is for. Paul said we should not steal. The alternative was hard work with our own hands. But the main purpose was not merely to hoard or even to have. The purpose was…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Warn Against Weak Investments

John Piper

This is the third post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Jesus warns against the effort to lay up treasures on earth; that is, he tells us to be givers, not keepers. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves…

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Elders Name Kenny Stokes As Interim Pastor for Preaching

John Piper

Bethlehem’s Organizational Elders voted unanimously Tuesday, April 27, to “name Kenny Stokes Interim Pastor for Preaching during Pastor John’s leave.” I think this is a very wise action and am thrilled that Kenny and his wife, Kathy, have expressed their willingness to take up this mantle. What it means is that Kenny will be the main preacher and that he will be in charge of shepherding the flock of Bethlehem…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Save People from Suicide

John Piper

This is the second post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

The apostle Paul warned against the desire to be rich. And by implication, he warned against preachers who stir up the desire to be rich instead of helping people get rid of it. He warned, “Those who desire to be…

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To Prosperity Preachers: Don’t Make Heaven Harder

John Piper

This is the first post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” His disciples were astonished, as many in the “prosperity” movement should be. So Jesus went on to raise their astonishment even higher…

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One Dream for Bethlehem in My 8-Month Absence

John Piper

In 1839, pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne was away from his church in Dundee, Scotland, for eight months. My dream and prayer for Bethlehem is that during my eight months away, we will experience something like his church, St. Peter’s, did in the time of her pastor’s absence.

M’Cheyne went on a mission trip to Israel at the beginning of April 1839. His words about being away express my conviction exactly.…

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Spiritual Gifts: An Implication for Unanswered Prayer

John Piper

First, let’s just remind ourselves of some truths about spiritual gifts from 1 Corinthians 12. Then we will notice a simple implication for unanswered prayer.

1. God wants us to know about spiritual gifts.

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed” (1 Corinthians 12:1).

2. Objective truths about Jesus govern subjective spiritual experiences.

“No one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus

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John Donne on God’s Never Despising Us

John Piper

John DonneToday in 1631 John Donne died. For those who know him at all, he is known mainly for his poetry. He was born in London in 1572. As a Roman Catholic he became disillusioned and was converted to the Anglican faith.

He took a doctor of divinity at Cambridge in 1618 and was appointed as dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1621. He was there till his death.…

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John Piper's Upcoming Leave

John Piper

As you may have already heard in the sermon from March 27-28, the elders graciously approved on March 22 a leave of absence that will take me away from Bethlehem from May 1 through December 31, 2010. We thought it might be helpful to put an explanation in a letter to go along with the sermon.

I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense…

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Hans Küng Calls the Pope to Repent

John Piper

 The BBC reported recently, concerning the recent revelations of more sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, "It is like a tsunami." Elke Huemmeler said “About 120 cases had come to light so far in Munich, about 100 of them at a boarding school run by monks.”

Hans Küng, long-time Roman Catholic critic of his own church (whose right to teach theology the church rescinded), has posted a challenge to

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“I Never Made a Sacrifice”

John Piper

David Livingstone

Today is David Livingstone’s birthday. He was born March 19, 1813. He gave his life to serve Christ in the exploration of Africa for the sake of the access of the gospel.

On December 4, 1857, he spoke the sentence that has made the greatest impact on me. It is one of the clearest applications I have seen of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:29-30. Jesus said,

Truly, I say to…

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A Poem for Molly and Abraham After the Ultrasound

John Piper

A Song for Molly and Abraham
On Seeing Baby A and Baby B

We cried,
“How long, O Lord, how long
   will we be made to wait, and swallow jagged shards
      of that unchristened chalice
         of whose warm wine we never took a taste
            and all we drank was emptiness unplanned?”

And he replied,
“Until you learn the song
   that only sorrow sings, of how…

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Let Them Be Like the Snail That Dissolves to Slime

John Piper

"Snail trail" by Mangiwau on Flickr

Psalm 58 is an imprecatory psalm. David asks God to tear out the fangs of his enemies, blunt their arrows, melt them like a snail in the sun.

We sometimes stumble at these psalms because Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

Can humble, obedient, loving Christians ever pray Psalm 58 and mean it the way the psalmist did?

Yes. Here is one…

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Tea Party Prevarication

John Piper

Tea PartyAccording to the New York Times “The Tea Party leaders . . . deliberately avoid discussion of issues like . . . abortion. . . . [They] argue that the country can ill afford the discussion about social issues when it is passing on enormous debts to future generations.”

Let me see if I understand this term “ill afford”.

Is this it? Enormous debt will hurt our children and grandchildren.…

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The Dispensability of Ministers

John Piper

Some books are for tasting regularly, not reading through once. One such book is Wise Counsel: John Newton's Letters to John Ryland Jr. edited by Grant Gordon (Banner of Truth, 2009). Newton was the former slave-trader turned pastor, and the author of “Amazing Grace”. The flavor of his ministry is such that frequent tastes are better than rare gulps.

I hope that he and you and I shall all so…

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