Blog Posts by John Piper
10 Resolutions for Mental Health
On October 22, 1976, Clyde Kilby, who is now with Christ in Heaven, gave an unforgettable lecture. I went to hear him that night because I loved him. He had been one of my professors in English Literature at Wheaton College. He opened my eyes to more of life than I knew could be seen. O, what eyes he had! He was like his hero, C. S. Lewis, in this…Continue Reading
Pastors, Bring Your Fathers and Sons
It seemed to us that if the focus of the pastors conference is going to be on the pastor as father—both of a church and a family—then having the sons along could enable them to catch a vision of what it is that their fathers are called to and what the challenges are that their fathers face.
Asking the fathers to come is, in part, a means of showing…
Go to God in Weariness
If you enjoyed Jon Bloom’s post-Christmas wisdom, you might like a 400-year-old version of the same point in verse by George Herbert.
This is one of my all-time favorite poems:
When God at first made man,
Having a glasse of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) poure on him all we can:
Let the worlds riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first…
For Noël at 60
I love my wife. Today is her 60th birthday. I got her permission to say that.
We have had significant talks in recent months about aging. Not all the accompaniments are visible, and not all are expected. But some things are firm—forever. That’s because of Christ. I wanted Noël to feel that. Hence the poem.
On Turning Sixty
Toward sixty, losses multiply.
The pace and pain we cannot stop:…
Is God Pleased with Jesus' Death?
The book on sale this week, The Pleasures of God, has a chapter entitled “The Pleasure of God in Bruising His Son.” It is based on Isaiah 53:10, “The LORD was pleased to bruise him, he has put him to grief.” The chapter ends with this parable:
Once there was a land ruled by a wicked prince. He had come from a foreign country and enslaved all the people…
Why This Pastors Conference Theme?
The death of my dad in March 2007 prompted the theme for this year's conference. After he died, and I began to think later that summer about who my biography would be about this year, it occured to me that I could do it on my dad.
I thought that I would tell the story of my father, and his ministry as an evangelist, and my relationship with…
A Kind of Christmas Tale
I wrote this story about four years ago to tell the children at Bethlehem's Christmas Eve service.
The Poor Man and His Cow
And the Rich Man and His Wall
Based (very loosely) on a story in T. H. White’s The Once and Future King.
Once upon a time there was a very wise old man named Job. In his old age God gave to him a daughter whom…Continue Reading
For Noël on Our 39th Anniversary
Noël and I mark our 39th wedding anniversary today. As you can see from the pictures, some things change. As you can see from the poem, some things don’t.
None But You
For Noël on our 39th Wedding Anniversary
Whose lips have mine with kisses met?
None but yours, no, none but yours.
Whose kisses can I not forget?
None but yours, no, none but yours.
Whose arms have wound…
Thank God for John Newton
Today is the 200th anniversary of John Newton’s death.
- John Newton wrote the hymn ‘Amazing Grace.” (The words, not the music.)
- He counseled William Wilberforce to stay in politics to fight the slave trade.
- He never gave up on the suicidal William Cowper who gave us “There Is A Fountain Filled with Blood” and “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” and “O For a Closer Walk with God.”
- He partnered…
“From His Fullness We Have All Received Grace upon Grace”
Just before the first service at the north campus last Sunday, the little band of praying saints was hard at work fighting for the faith of our people and for the churches of the Twin Cities and for the nations as they prayed. At one point Jim Tomaszewski prayed the words of John 1:14-16:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory…
This Week's Advent Poem
In my final Advent Poem on Nicodemus, I concluded with lines about Christian courage in the face of the Colorado shootings:
So, Bethlehem, with candle three,
Are you afraid? Or are you free?
Do Christian-killers in the news
Make you a slave? Or do you choose
With Christ that they will make you brave?
What do you fear the most? The grave?
Did Jesus die and rise for this?
Rest in the Final Hour
The likelihood of dying because you are a Christian is closer than it used to be for Americans. The freedom from such threats has generally existed in this country for a tiny portion of history (about 400 years). We have gotten used to it. It seems like the way things must be. So our first reaction to the threat that things might be otherwise is often anger.
But that anger…Continue Reading
Does Heaven Destroy Liberty?
Objectors may say, God cannot always prevent men’s sins, unless he act contrary to the free nature of the subject, or without destroying men’s liberty. But will they deny, that an omnipotent and infinitely wise… Continue Reading
Newly Published Edwards' Essay
Oshea Davis just published in a self-standing volume (for the first time that I am aware of ) Jonathan Edwards’ Dissertation Concerning the Divine Decrees in General and Election in Particular. I am thankful for this service to the church. This 75 -page essay (in Davis’s work) proved enormously helpful to me along the way in my thinking about God’s sovereignty.
Here is one excerpt from that essay (quoted…Continue Reading
How the Lord of Life Gives Life
Everywhere Paul preached some believed and some did not. How are we to understand why some of those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, 5) believed and some did not?
The answer why some did not believe is that they “thrust it aside” (Acts 13:46) because the message of the gospel was “folly to them, and they [were] not able to understand” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The mind…Continue Reading
Ryle on Increasing Unbelief
Very, very few Christian writers are being read widely 100 years after their death. J. C. Ryle, the first Bishop of Liverpool, died in 1900. He wrote the foreword to his book, Are You Ready for the End of Time?, in 1867. One of the reasons for his relevance today is that his work is Bible-saturated, careful, clear, and urgent.
Here is one of those paragraphs that rings clear…Continue Reading
Conquered by Christ
The only statement Timothy McVeigh left behind when he was executed in Indiana, June 11, 2001, was a handwritten copy of the 19th century poem “Invictus” by William Henley.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings…
When Satan Hurts Christ’s People
When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.
Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad...
Poem for Theologian Fathers
On August 2, 2007, Charles Simic was selected to be the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His poem, “Full of Pictures” may have a word to fathers who study theology—or anything else for that matter.
Full of Pictures
Father studied theology through the mail
And this was exam time.
Mother knitted. I sat quietly with a book
Full of pictures. Night fell.
Pray Global Prayers
To help you stay encouraged to pray for huge Christ-exalting movements of God, here’s what we read this morning. Each day, as part of our family devotions, Noël and Talitha and I read the daily reading from the Global Prayer Digest. Today we read this:
"David, what do you think about this quote from Ahmad Al Qataani which was posted on the Al Jazeera web site regarding Africa? It…
You Are Greatly Loved
Would you not love to hear the angel Gabriel say to you, “You are greatly loved”? Three times this happened to Daniel.
- “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved” (Dan. 9:23)
- “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now…
Damned for the Beloved?
Sometimes Romans 9:3 is put forward as the Achilles heel of Christian Hedonism. Is a Christian Hedonist willing to be damned for those he loves?
Christian Hedonism says that you ought to aim at maximizing your eternal joy in God in everything you do—even if it means selling all you have and giving it to the poor, being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, returning good for evil with no hope of…Continue Reading
God's Loving Self-Exaltation:
A Response to Ben Witherington
Recently Ben Witherington reacted to Thomas Schreiner's forthcoming New Testament Theology by suggesting it calls into question "God's essential moral character." He cites Schreiner's point that the most basic theme of the New Testament is, "God magnifying himself through Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit."
He concludes with,
I suppose we should not be surprised that in a culture and age of narcissism, we would recreate God in…
Happy Thanksgiving from the “lead pastors” of Bethlehem and our wives.
The four pastors met yesterday for about two hours and ended that meeting with overflowing expressions of thanks for our families and the family called Bethlehem and for the glorious work of Christ in saving us.
This photo, as you can see, was taken at Old Country Buffet where we feel absolutely dashing.
Ganging Up on Gratitude
These are days of strange alliances in evil. That is what evil has always done. Remember how Pilate and Herod were adversaries until their common abuse of Jesus knit them together? “Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other” (Luke 23:12).
That’s the way it is with the bishop and the atheist. They are united in…Continue Reading