Blog Posts by John Piper

Victor Converses with Death

John Piper

It was one of the great privileges of my life to speak the word of God at the memorial service for 14-year-old Victor Manuel Watters on September 11, 2011. Sober, painful, and joyful — that’s how I would describe this unexpected way to mark 9/11.

Victor died of cancer — Ewing’s Sarcoma. At the age of nine he was in the hospital alone. His birth family was unable to care…

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Nigeria: Corruption, Church Growth and Discipleship

John Piper

On September 20-22, readers of Operation World are praying for Nigeria. Among the matters for prayer is the plague of corruption. “The scale of corruption in Nigeria is staggering,” write the authors (643).

What is the price of this corruption?

“The impact of corruption on Nigeria is devastating and crippling.

  • It pulls others into the grasping free-for-all,
  • it undermines those who attempt good governance,
  • it inspires the imposition of shari’a,
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How Do I Love Reformed Theology?

John Piper

I am a lover of the Reformed faith — the legacy of the protestant Reformation expressed broadly in the writings of John Calvin and John Owen and Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards, and contemporaries like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and John Frame.

I speak of love for this legacy the way I speak of loving a cherished photo of my wife. I say, “I love that picture.”…

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Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 1)

John Piper

[Read Part 2]

Glen Bloomstrom, the Campus Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Leadership Development at Bethlehem College and Seminary, asked me to write something for his students about my life-long commitment to physical exercise. So here’s my attempt.

First, a disclaimer: Some godly people who exercise regularly and eat well drop dead at every age. And some sedentary overeaters live to be ninety. Our days are set by God,…

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One Thing the 9/11 Terrorists Got Right

John Piper

The 9/11 terrorists were governed by what they believed about their future. That’s the way it should be. But if the future you envision is wrong, you will be shocked when you die.

The terrorists believed that the instant they died as murderers of infidels “the women of paradise would be waiting.” Here’s an excerpt from one of their notebooks:

Purify your heart and clean it from all earthly matters.…

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Why Are You Thrilled to Be Loved by Jesus?

John Piper

Believers in Jesus are precious to God (we're his bride!). And he loves us so much that he will not allow our preciousness to become our god.

God does indeed make much of us (adoption!), but he does so in a way that draws us out of ourselves to enjoy his greatness.

Test yourself. If Jesus came to spend the day with you, sat down beside you on the couch,…

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How to Glorify God at Work

John Piper

Just home from two weeks in Australia, I am brimming with thankfulness to God for his people there, and for the pleasures of working with them in Brisbane and Sydney and in the mountains of Katoomba.

One of the conferences was called Engage. It was focused on “young workers,” which, in their lingo, means young professionals in the workplace. I was asked in an interview if I thought this…

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Minimizing Views of God Don't Advance the Mission

John Piper

What Is the Basis of Risk?

Risk is “an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury.” (“Risk Is Right” in Don’t Waste Your Life, 79). “Possibility” is a key word. If you know what you will suffer, it’s called sacrifice, not risk. God requires both from us. God demands a life of intentional sacrifice (Philippians 2:4-8), and he demands risk for the gospel — in…

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The Prison Gates Opened of Their Own Accord—Really?

John Piper

One of the great benefits of vacation is that there are no deadlines for being done with devotions. I can start and go as long as I want. If the Bible plan says four chapters (which it does), I can read eight. If it takes 20 minutes to read four chapters, I can take two hours. That’s the way I really like to read the Bible. Roll it around in…

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Put Strong Pillars Under Your Case for the Unbelieving Poor

John Piper

I only bring this up because I want the church to care more not less about the suffering that comes from poverty. Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering. And “all suffering” includes the miseries of unbelievers who live in extreme poverty.

This is a cause that should have the best biblical pillars under it. When the wrong pillars are put there, the cause is weakened, even if many…

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J. C. Ryle, Holiness, and Bible Density

John Piper

I am immersed in J. C. Ryle because I plan to give a biographical study of his life and thought at the Desiring God pastors’ conference next January. He was a 19th century, evangelical, Anglican bishop of Liverpool. One thing that gives him power as a writer is the density of biblical saturation.

Human opinions don’t get very far with me without explicit Bible foundation. So I like Ryle. He…

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The Bible Is Infinitely Valuable

John Piper

It was a high privilege to speak at a banquet last July celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Version and the 10th anniversary of the English Standard Version. I called the talk “The Infinite Worth of the Word of God.”

If you listen what you will hear are four things:

  1. A vision of the meaning of Truth.
  2. The historical connections between the KJV, ASV, RSV, and ESV.
  3. My huge admiration of…
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The Logic of Fearlessness

John Piper

Paul told the Philippians that living worthy of the gospel of Christ meant fearlessness before enemies.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . not frightened in anything by your opponents (Philippians 1:27-28).

Then he gave the logic of fearlessness.

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also…

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Ramadan: Praying for a Precious Sense of Emptiness

John Piper

How do the words of Jesus guide us in praying for Muslims during Ramadan (August 1–29)? One of the aims of fasting during Ramadan is that Muslims aim to bring greater focus to their worship of Allah.

A Question With Two Meanings

One of the questions that followers of Jesus often ask is, Are Muslims truly worshiping the same God we worship? That question can have two meanings. One focuses…

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Don’t Provoke Your Teenage Children to Anger

John Piper

Children, including teenagers, should treat their parents with respect (Ephesians 6:2). But it cuts both ways. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” (Ephesians 6:4). Of course children can get angry for no good reason. But the point is: Don’t give them a good reason. That would include things like treating them rudely in front of others. C. S. Lewis gives good counsel:

We hear a great deal about…

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The Nightmare of Communism in North Korea

John Piper

For those of you too young to remember building bomb shelters in the ’50s, and for whom the horrors of Stalin’s Gulags and the “iron curtain” have little impact, I would encourage you to look today at what Communism has done to the soul of North Korea.

I am calling you to pray for this nation, and I am planting antibodies in your bloodstream against the next wave of interest…

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Should You Support Campus Crusade Staff Now That the Name Is Changing?

John Piper

Since Campus Crusade for Christ announced (and explained) that it will change its name to Cru, some donors have withdrawn support from Crusade staff. I am writing to say: That’s not a good reason to withdraw your support.

Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Glenn Beck ridiculed the change as he wadded up the report and threw it away. His entire focus was to attack the wimpy people…

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Why Does the Truth of Hell Rise to Watershed Significance?

John Piper

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life,
he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!” (Revelation 15:3).

My eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Lamentations 3:48).

If God is not bound to save anyone from hell, he…

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Let Jesus Argue With Your Soul About Being Anxious

John Piper

We should be slow to treat Jesus as if he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is not naïve in the way he deals with our anxiety. In Matthew 6:25-34 he tells us three times not to be anxious (vv. 25, 31, 34) and gives us eight reasons not to be anxious.

Evidently he thinks this will help. So don’t call it simplistic. Call it grace. Believe him. Take…

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How Do the Nations Rage in Vain?

John Piper

Quoting Psalm 2, the early church in Acts 4 prays in a way that shows how the rage and plotting of God’s enemies are in vain.

Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed (Acts 4:25-26).

The point of that citation from Psalm 2 is that the…

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How Do I Think About Tweeting? — A Response to John Mayer

John Piper

I began tweeting in 2009, and explained why in a blog post. Now, two years into it, do I think it’s a good idea?

Let me answer that by responding to a confession by musician, singer-songwriter, John Mayer. A few weeks ago at Berklee College of Music he confessed his debilitating addiction to Twitter.

The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. You’re coming…

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