Blog Posts by John Piper
Christian Hedonist Calvinism
What would the doctrines of grace sound like if every limb in that tree were coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight. (that is, Christian Hedonism)?
- Total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to God’s beauty and deadness to the deepest joy.
- Unconditional election means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed as the overflow of God’s joy in the…
The Sovereign God of “Elfland” (Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off)
Ever since my days at Wheaton College, when I followed Clyde Kilby’s advice to read G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, it has been one of my favorite books. I think it’s the only book I have read more than twice (except for the Bible).
This is strange. Not only was Chesterton a Roman Catholic, he also hated Calvinism. So what’s up with me and Orthodoxy? I still think at…Continue Reading
A Word for Those Who Have Forsaken Jesus
How eager Jesus was to restore broken fellowship with his apostles after the resurrection! Surely this is a sign of how eager he is to restore us when we have drifted (or bolted) away.
All the apostles had forsaken him. In the garden, at his most sorrowful hour, "They all left him and fled” (Mark 14:50).
Now he was raised. What would he say to those who had abandoned him?…Continue Reading
Not by Bread Alone: Let’s Live on God’s Word in 2012
At Bethlehem we close prayer week with a focus on the value of reading and memorizing Scripture in the new year. I preach on the value of God’s word and the importance of reading and memorizing the Scripture every day.
Justin Taylor has pulled together a list of possible ways to read the Bible in this new year.
I encourage everyone to take the closing days of the year to …Continue Reading
How Desiring God Works
Dear Friends of Desiring God,
Desiring God exists to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ, especially by focusing on the truth, and its implications, that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
We want to spread that truth and all of its amazingly God-exalting, practical implications everywhere in the world.…Continue Reading
What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile
There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible. It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Lots of expectations that have deadlines and that seem too big and too many.
As I look back over about 50 years of such periodic mornings, I am…Continue Reading
A Poem on Our 43rd Wedding Anniversary
Sometimes I write poems for our anniversary. Sometimes on our anniversary. This one I wrote on our anniversary, December 21st. It addresses the question of where in this baffling, unknown, fragile world certainty and security can be found.
The Bridge and the River
A Poem on Our 43rd Anniversary
I count at least two thousand gray triangles
in the two-lane bridge that links Wisconsin
to the town
where we sat…Continue Reading
Outwitted and Victorious
This is not a plea to be thoughtless. It’s not an argument for ignoring strategy. God uses strategy (Joshua 8:4).
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). Yes. Make the horse ready. But it is also true: Sometimes the enemy strikes when there is no time to get the horse ready. And victory still belongs to the Lord.
Should We Be Tenderhearted?
The longer I live the more complexities I see in living. They’re not as paralyzing as they used to be. I pray more for a spiritual nose to sniff out the path between precipices.
Take tender-heartedness, for example. I think one of the most practical and important passages in the whole Bible is Ephesians 4:31–32. God put that there for me. It is one of the most important mandates in…Continue Reading
Christopher Hitchens, the Mission of Desiring God, and God's Word About Death
Three things came together in the last thirty-six hours to create this post. The death of Christopher Hitchens, the Desiring God Board meeting Thursday, and the word of God.
- Christopher Hitchens died Thursday night. He was, perhaps, the most aggressive of the “new atheists.” I am sobered and made quiet by the probability (though we do not know his final hours) that he is in torment today awaiting his final…
Can Authentic Faith Be Awakened by a Physical Miracle?
Did Jesus teach that miracles are useless for those who reject the word? Here’s the story he told:
From hades the rich man implored Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers not to come to that place of torment.
But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”
The rich man said, “No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead,…
To See His Supernova God, Put Your Eye to Edwards' Telescope
I stand in awe of Michael McClymond and Gerald McDermott’s massive The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press, 2011). Edwards is worthy of this scope of treatment.
But may I register a disagreement with one way this book is being commended.
Alistair McGrath said that it is “unquestionably the best starting place for anyone wanting to grapple with the ideas of America’s greatest theologian.”
And Kenneth Minkema said, “This…Continue Reading
The Great Ministry Killer
Money is a great ministry killer. Look at what happened to Israel’s spiritual leaders from top to bottom.
The heads of Jacob give judgment for a bribe;
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the Lord and say,
“Is not the Lord in the midst of us? (Micah 3:11)
And what is so shocking — and relevant — is that they…Continue Reading
How a Book Is Born
Did you ever wonder how a book idea is born in an author’s mind? Here is one way it happened.
The Pleasures of God was published in 1991. The first inkling I had of the conception behind this book came to me on September 12, 1986. Here is how it came — a direct quote from my journal from that day:
As I was praying today, the thought came to… Continue Reading
Thank you, Father
Thank you, Father, for my life.
Thank you for my precious wife.
Thank you, Father, for my girl.
Thank you for this deep-sea pearl.
Thank you, Father, for my sons,
Fathers, wives, the little ones.
Thank you for the church I serve,
Staff and friends I don’t deserve.
Thank you, Father, for my birth,
Who can measure parents’ worth?
Thank you, Father, for the schools,
Mental tools, and passion fuels.
Rob Not Your Heart of the Deep Sea Joys
In the history of the Christian Church there have been few people more eloquent than Charles Spurgeon. That makes his words about silence all the more striking.
Priceless as the gift of utterance may be, the practice of silence in some aspects far excels it. Do not think me a Quaker. Well, be it so. Herein I follow George Fox most lovingly; for I am persuaded that most of us…
Helping You Sing “Hallelujah” with True Exuberance
The English word “hallelujah” is a transliteration of two Hebrew words, "hallelu" and "jah". The first word, "hallelu", is the second person imperative of “praise.” The second word, "jah," is the short form of "Jahweh" (or "Yahweh").
So when we say, “Hallelujah!” we are exhorting others (people and angels) to join us in praising Yahweh.
What gives a punch to my singing, “Hallelujah,” is that Jah (= Yahweh) is not…Continue Reading
Steve Jobs: “He Knew the Couple of Things He Wanted to Do”
Steve Jobs, the biography by Walter Isaacson, went on sale yesterday. In an interview Isaacson commented on the effect Jobs’ cancer had on his life focus.
He talked a lot to me about what happened when he got sick and how it focused him. He said he no longer wanted to go out, no longer wanted to travel the world. He would focus on the products. He knew the…
Jesus Died to End Abortion and Racism
Seventeen years ago I linked Martin Luther King Day with Sanctity of Life Sunday for the first time. Since then I have tried to preach a pair of sermons back to back in January — one for the glory of Christ in racial harmony, and one for the glory of Christ in a sacred womb.
This has the unsettling effect of making me sound like a Democrat one week and…Continue Reading
One of My Teachers Has Died
Arthur Holmes was one of two philosophy teachers (the other was Stuart Hackett) who had a significant influence in shaping my mind at Wheaton College. I thank God for him.
I wrote in The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor,
In one sense my college and seminary days relate to each other as form and substance. The college days solidified passions and habits of mind. The seminary…
Thank you, Brazil!
This is a photoblog to say thank you publicly to some of the friends we made in Brazil last week. October 3-9 Noël and I, with Bob and Gayle Glenn and Bill and Cindi Walsh, flew to Sao Paulo. Over those seven days there were three different conferences, the Fiel Conference, the conference at Mackenzie University, and the rally in Rio de Janerio.
Thank you, Brazil, for embracing us…Continue Reading
My Experience with Racism and Reformed Theology
The Bible and the Reformed faith have been used to defend racism and slavery. But, if you take the long view, in every case, the day came when the very Bible, and the very faith, that had once condoned racism and slavery, were finally used as part of its undoing.
This was certainly the case in my own experience. It was not Reformed theology that in any way spurred or…Continue Reading
The Laugh of Faith and the Power of Prayer
I praise God for Jason Mandryk and his team who put together the seventh edition of Operation World. The subtitle is The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation. Just the other day I was having my world adjusted by reading and praying over the section on Palestine (The Palestine Authority).
Where does a book of this scope come from? What drives its production? It’s the vision of God,…Continue Reading
What Would John Stott Say to Us After Our Conference on Missions?
Something like this I think:
The highest of missionary motive is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is, especially when we contemplate the wrath of God), but rather zeal — burning and passionate zeal — for the glory of Jesus Christ. . . . Only one imperialism is Christian . . . and…
Keeping the Missions Flame Alive
It’s Monday the day after our National Conference on the theme, Finish the Mission. I slept till 9, got up, went to the gym with Noël, came home, opened my Bible, read two chapters and fell asleep till 12:30. Then we went on our day-off date to Baja Sol.
When I came home, I felt the burden to speak to those of you who stood up in the last…Continue Reading