Blog Posts by John Piper
Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 1)
[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, not us. You won’t live a day longer or shorter…Continue Reading
One Thing the 9/11 Terrorists Got Right
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. The time of fun and waste has gone. . .…
Why Are You Thrilled to Be Loved by Jesus?
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, and said, “I really love you,” what would you focus…Continue Reading
How to Glorify God at Work
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 focus was a good idea. I said yes, because of…Continue Reading
Minimizing Views of God Don't Advance the Mission
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 smaller ways of dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:31), and possibly…Continue Reading
The Prison Gates Opened of Their Own Accord—Really?
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 the mouth of your mind before you swallow it down…Continue Reading
Put Strong Pillars Under Your Case for the Unbelieving Poor
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 listeners don’t know they are the wrong pillars, and even…Continue Reading
A 30-Year-Old Dream I Have Outlived By One Year
I’ve outlived my 1981 dream by one year. I was still in my first year as pastor at Bethlehem and I was fighting discouragement. My dream on that early May morning was
to come to the end of my life after 30 years of pastoral labors and be able to say (gray-headed and full of joy): “My right is with the Lord and my recompense with my God.”
Now I’ve been here 31 years and I can testify from three…Continue Reading
J. C. Ryle, Holiness, and Bible Density
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 doesn’t take many steps without a Bible stone underneath his…Continue Reading
The Bible Is Infinitely Valuable
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:
- A vision of the meaning of Truth.
- The historical connections between the KJV, ASV, RSV, and ESV.
- My huge admiration of and appreciation for William Tyndale and his impact on all…
The Logic of Fearlessness
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 suffer for his sake (Philippians 1:29).
The logic is this:
Ramadan: Praying for a Precious Sense of Emptiness
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 on the word “worship” and the other focuses on the…Continue Reading
Don’t Provoke Your Teenage Children to Anger
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 the rudeness of the rising generation. I am an oldster…
There is a Global Gladness to Be Had
I assume you are like me. I know (in my head) that my joy enlarges with significant engagement in world missions. But I drift away from this engagement and this joy. It takes a biography or a message or a video or an article or a conference to wake me up to the drift.
We would like to do that for you in September at our National Conference, as so many have done it for us — wake you up…Continue Reading
The Nightmare of Communism in North Korea
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 in the Communist dream, which for North Korea has been…Continue Reading
Should You Support Campus Crusade Staff Now That the Name Is Changing?
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:
Glenn Beck ridiculed the change as he wadded up the report and threw it away. His entire focus was to attack the wimpy people who avoid using the name Christ for fear of giving…
Why Does the Truth of Hell Rise to Watershed Significance?
“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 is not bound to save anyone from suffering.
If God…Continue Reading
Let Jesus Argue With Your Soul About Being Anxious
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 every reason and preach it to your soul as true.…Continue Reading
John Stott, The Expositor, Sent at a Crucial Point in My Life
In 1982 John Stott chastised himself for his 1966 book Men Made New. It was an exposition of Romans 5 through 8. I read it in 1967 while coming alive to the glories of exposition. He agreed with a critical letter: “Your book is like a house without windows,” meaning it had no illustrations (Between Two Worlds, 240).
My response to that was, and is: Men Made New did not need windows. It was all window.
How Do the Nations Rage in Vain?
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 rage and the plotting of Christ’s enemies is in vain.
How Do I Think About Tweeting? — A Response to John Mayer
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 up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4…
The Inevitability of “Gendercide” and Its Other Deadly Effects
163,000,000 unborn baby girls have been killed in Asia over the last three decades. That’s more than the entire female population of the United States.
Aside from the mounting up of blood-guilt, and the treasonous shredding of God’s image, the result is a dangerously imbalanced population. “Normally, about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. The ratio in India is 112 to 100, in China 121 to 100, with some Chinese cities reaching 150 to 100” (First Things…Continue Reading
What Does It Mean to Serve God?
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What does that mean?
- It means to do what he says in a way that makes him look supremely valuable in himself.
- It means to submit to him in a way that makes him look thrilling.
There are ways to submit to God that only make him look threatening, not thrilling. There are ways to do what he says that only call attention to the fact that…Continue Reading
Christ Died to Sin and Lives to God
“The death he died he died to sin, once for all,
but the life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:10).
How are sin and God coordinate in this text? Died to sin. Lives to God.
Sin causes death;
God causes life.
Sin is the sting of death—gives death its eternal horror;
God is the spring of life—gives life it eternal glory.
Christ's death was infinitely effective in nullifying the miseries of sin;
Christ's life is infinitely effective…
Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager
Four years ago a teenager in our church wrote to me for advice about life in general, and identity in particular. Here is what I wrote, with a big dose of autobiography for illustration.
My experience of coming out of an introverted, insecure, guilty, lustful, self-absorbed adolescent life was more like the emergence of a frog from a tadpole than a butterfly from a larva.
Larvae disappear into their cocoons and privately experience some inexplicable transformation with no…Continue Reading