Blog Posts by John Piper
John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine
This 98 minute interview that I did with Rick Warren was recorded on May 1, 2011, during the Desiring God Regional Conference at Saddleback Church. It's the fulfillment of a commitment we made when Rick was not able to come in person to the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis in October, 2010.
The nature of the interview is mainly doctrinal. I read Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life with great…Continue Reading
Bob Dylan Turns Seventy Today
Yes, I still pray that he will find that the encounter with Jesus in 1978 was real, and that he will come to the end singing and believing his song, “Saved.”
I was blinded by the devil
Born already ruined
As I stepped out of the womb
By His grace I have been touched
By His word I have been healed
By His hand I have been…
Thoughts on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment
On May 21, 2011, the proposed Minnesota Marriage Amendment passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 70 to 62. This means that the question will be put on the ballot in the 2012 election.
If the amendment passes in November of next year, Article XIII will be amended to include the words, “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage…Continue Reading
Not Smoking Could Even Give Us an Edge on Schlatter!
Don Carson and I turn 65 this year. Pondering this, I wrote about it with a list of some amazing accomplishments by people older than 65.
Robert Yarbrough, one of the editors of the just-published Don Carson Festschrift, took note of my celebration of senior accomplishments, and wrote to Don and me to remind us of a very productive octogenarian, Adolf Schlatter, a German biblical scholar who died…Continue Reading
Piper’s First Published Poem for Money ($5)
Since I preached on this text last Sunday (John 8:57), I decided to dig into my files to find the first poem I ever published for money. Five dollars. It was in the September, 1969 issue of Christian Life (p. 68).
Five dollars may have been just about right for the poem, but the truth is worth billions.
In that land… Continue Reading
Were some birds
And some grass
And very much
Has the Gospel Been Preached to the Whole Creation Already?
From Rob Bell to Peter O’Brien, Colossians 1:23 proves a challenge. Paul refers to the gospel of his day as “the gospel . . . which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (ESV). Commentators multiply explanations of how the gospel could have already been proclaimed “in all creation” in the first century. The context:
You he has now reconciled . . . if indeed you continue in the…
Can You Please Explain Philippians 1:15-18?
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice (Philippians 1:15-18)
Where the Old Testament Demands the Deity of Christ
Hebrews 1:8-9 quotes Psalm 45:6-7 to the effect that the “Son”, the King of Israel is God.
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
Is the New Testament being faithful to…Continue Reading
Infant Baptism and a Puzzling Text
From age 18 to 28, my schooling became increasingly less congenial to believers’ baptism.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and church. Then Wheaton College broadened my world, and I learned the word “Evangelical.” I discovered that there were Presbyterians who were better Christians than I was. Then Fuller Seminary challenged me again as the debate grew more intense.
Then at the University of Munich, I…Continue Reading
Is God Glad Osama Bin Laden's Dead?
God’s emotions are complex—like yours, only a million times more. Right now, your emotions about bin Laden are not simple, i.e. not single. There are several, and they intermingle. That is a good thing. You are God-like.
In response to Osama bin Laden’s death, quite a few tweets and blogs have cited the biblical truth that “God does not delight in the death of the wicked.” That is true.
Three Cheers for Not Hiding God in Scholarship
David Lyle Jeffrey and Gregory Maillet just published Christianity and Literature: Philosophical Foundations and Critical Practice (IVP, 2011). The series preface (by Francis Beckwith and J. P. Moreland) contains this heartening exhortation to Christian scholars to stop hiding their belief in God.
They quote atheist philosopher Quentin Smith who says that one reason the university academic community has become increasingly secular is because “theists tend to compartmentalize their theistic beliefs…Continue Reading
Ominous Ravines and Unapproachable Crags
This is a plea that we would open our eyes wide to the not-God for the sake of God.
By the “not-God” I have in mind the skies—day and night—the clouds, the mountains, and the oceans. And a thousand other things. But especially these natural glories.
Look at them. Think about the distances involved from here to the stars, and from the surface of the water to the bottom of…Continue Reading
What Happens When You Turn 65
Turning 65 in January has me all fired up to get busy. I am close enough to the finish line that the face of Jesus is coming into sharper focus. This is very exciting and makes me want to pick up the pace.
Of course, he is not the least impressed with frenzy. Nor is he pleased with Boomer indolence. What his face says to me is: “I am your…Continue Reading
More Divinity in These Ten Days Than 50 Years Before
Andrew Rivet was a devout theologian at the University of Leyden who died in 1651 at the age of 78. The approach of his death became a seminary for his soul. I pray it will be this way for you and me. Here is what he wrote just before his death.
The sense of divine favor increases in me every moment. My pains are tolerable, and my joys inestimable. I…
It’s Good to Please People; It’s Bad to Please People.
Life is not simple. So language is not simple. Different situations in life call for different ways of living. The language that describes those differences can be very confusing.
For example Paul says he tries to please people and he doesn’t try to please people. (Same Greek word for “please” both times.) Wise listeners are slow to judge. They assume he’s not speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
The Overflow of Easter: A Whole Theology of Resurrection in One Chapter
He is risen! And O the overflow of that single event. It was the cosmic Yes! from God the Father that the death had done all it was meant to do. And it was the beginning of the eternal existence of the God-Man in a glorious new body in which he would finally reign on the earth forever. And so much more.
There is a whole theology of the…Continue Reading
Why God Created the Universe—For Good Friday
On the panel at The Gospel Coalition I was asked how my preaching may have become more Christocentric over the years. Here’s the summary of my answer.
My devotion to the truth that God magnifies himself in all that he does has been increasingly refined in a Christ-centered direction. I have been driven in this direction by a cluster of insights.
1. The apex of God’s display of his own…Continue Reading
Salt, Suffering, and Satisfaction
Try this interpretation of what it means for Christians to be salt.
I suggest that being salty as a Christian means at root being so profoundly satisfied by Christ as our eternal reward, we are freed from fear and greed for the sacrifices of love, while rejoicing at persecution.
Let’s see if that works in three texts.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and…
Women Increasingly Pursue Porn
I think Jesus would say that internet pornography is one of Satan’s most powerful baits that he puts on the hook of hell. I say that because of how he connects hell and lust.
Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is…
Make Holy Week Holy to the Lord
The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is not intrinsically holy, except that all time is holy, since it belongs to God. But we can make it holy by setting it apart for sacred focus.
May I encourage you to do that, for the sake of seeing more of the greatness of Christ. He reveals himself through his word. Take up his word and focus your attention on him in…Continue Reading
Appreciation for Don Carson
On the evening of April 12 in Chicago at The Gospel Coalition National Conference, I had the huge privilege of honoring D. A. Carson, as he was presented with a Festschrift by the president of Crossway Books, Lane Dennis. I represented pastors while John Woodbridge represented colleagues and scholars. Here is what I said to Don.
Tribute to Don Carson
From John Piper
TGC April 12, 2011
Memorizing Scripture: Why and How
I wish I could persuade everyone to do this.
Here is inspiration and application on why and how to memorize Scripture.
Why Do It?
First, the inspiration.
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote,
Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental…
Burning the Qur’an and Crucifying Christ
The burning of the Qur’an and the murder of human beings are not morally equivalent. That’s true. And it is, frankly, outrageous the way some commentators speak with more moral indignation about the burning of holy books than the butchery of human bodies. In the western media this seems to me to be sheer fear.
But, of course, my conviction stems from a certain view of the world that is…Continue Reading
Providence, Proverbs, and the Pastorate
Charles Bridges wrote not only one of the best books on The Christian Ministry but also one of the best commentaries on Proverbs. Both of these have proved inspiring and insightful to me over the last 30 years of pastoral ministry.
Here’s a taste of the kind of help Bridges gives, for example, on Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from…Continue Reading
God’s Love: Blocked, Then Accepted
George Herbert was born on this day in 1593. He described his poems as echoes of the conflict between God and his own soul. Yes, but there is also resolution. He had been subdued by love.
Here we see the love of God blocked, and then accepted. I pray that love will triumph for you in this way.