Blog Posts by John Piper
More Thoughts on Friends Who Fail You
Last Sunday’s message struck a chord with many when I spoke of Christian friends letting you down. I argued that sometimes they forsake you never to return — like Demas. He loved “the present world,” and so abandoned the great apostle who craved the Lord’s appearing more than he craved the world (2 Timothy 4:8).
And, even more relevant, we saw that many friends let you down but can and…Continue Reading
Life Is Cheap in Norway: C. S. Lewis on the Sentence of Anders Breivik
Anders Breivik’s sentence for killing 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011 is outrageous. He was deemed sane and sentenced to serve 21 years in prison “in a three-cell suite of rooms equipped with exercise equipment, a television and a laptop.” That’s 100 days of posh prison time for each person he murdered, with a legal release possible at age 53. Life is cheap in Norway.
The news agencies…Continue Reading
When a Sermon Becomes a Poem
After preaching on the inestimable value of God’s inspired word on August 11th, I was so moved that the desire to say it again another way kept urging me on. So I wrote this.
A Meditation on 2 Timothy 3:14–17
Stay, Timothy. Stay in this firmament,
This world of light within the world. Relent
From wandering, from chasing mist. Remain!
Outside awaits the glistening world, insane.
Stay, Timothy.…Continue Reading
Beware of Elevated Vagueness
The term “elevated vagueness” caught my eye.
It was in a tweet by Fred Sanders linking to his article about F. W. Robertson, a 19th century British preacher. Even before I read the article I could smell the rot. Robertson, it has been discovered, was covering his sexual affair in private while covering the truth in the pulpit.
That is not surprising. There is a connection between skilled vagueness…Continue Reading
Praying for Your Straying Soul
Do you pray for your straying soul?
I do. Daily.
The soul is always in motion. If you think yours is motionless, you are probably floating downstream.
Daily the soul is lured to other treasures, other satisfactions, other rewards besides Jesus and his way. Jesus taught us to pray daily, “forgive us for these wanderings and lead us not into, but out of, them.”
So, how do you pray for…Continue Reading
Your Executioner May Laugh You to Scorn for Quoting Psalm 91
As a church we are memorizing Psalm 91 again. It's part of our Fighter Verse program. Again we face the seeming unreality of these promises. Ordinary readers start to stumble and need help. At least I do.
Here are the sorts of promises we are memorizing:
- Verse 3: "He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence."
- Verse 7: "A thousand may fall…
If You Are Old, Don’t Hold Back
I write this to encourage old people to come boldly to Christ. Come and offer him what remains of your life. Come with grateful confidence that he will receive you and gladly help you use the rest of your life to make much of him. Don’t waste what’s left. Don’t hold back, doubting that he is eager to help you.
Here is the way Jonathan Edwards argued with old sinners…Continue Reading
Why Was Jesus Unintimidated by Pilate?
Ponder with me the lesson of Pilate’s authority over Jesus.
Pilate said to Jesus, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:10–11)
Pilate's authority to crucify Jesus did not intimidate Jesus.
Some Proven Weapons in the Fight for Holiness
When Paul says to put to death the deeds of the body “by the Spirit” (Romans 8:13), I take him to mean that we should use the one weapon in the Spirit’s armor that is used to kill. Namely, the sword. Which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
So when the body is about to be led into a sinful action by some fear or craving, we are to…Continue Reading
Some Foreseen Effects of Legalizing So-Called Same Sex Marriage
When I preached on the implications of the legalizing of so-called same sex marriage I said, “Pretending that [marriage] can exist between people of the same sex will send ripple effects of dysfunction and destruction in every direction, most of which are now unforeseen.”
Here is an example you may not have foreseen. There are hundreds of others on the way.
It has been reported that in the case of…Continue Reading
The Presence of the Lamb and the Sufferings of Hell
Two of the passages of Scripture that express the unending nature of hell most clearly point to seemingly opposite reasons it will be terrible. One speaks of being “away from the presence of the Lord.” The other speaks of suffering “in the presence of the Lamb.”
“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2…
A Conference Focusing on the Power of Paradoxes
This fall the Desiring God National Conference will wrestle with paradoxes. Not contradictions. Things like Philippians 2:12–13, “You work . . . for God is at work in you to will and work.” And 1 Corinthians 15:10, “I worked hard . . . but not I but the grace of God.”
We are commanded to repent (Acts 3:19), and God is said to grant repentance (2 Timothy 2:25). We are…Continue Reading
Thank You, Friends and Partners in Ministry
This is my public thanks to our gracious God for the way our fiscal year ended at Desiring God on June 30. We announced on June 13 that we needed $300,000 of our $5,089,810 annual budget in order to close the fiscal year with a balanced budget. Mercifully, God put it in hundreds of hearts to give a total of $354,720 (as of my writing this letter).
Learning from Myself Forty Years Later: Thoughts on the Republication of My Doctoral Dissertation
Crossway just republished my 1974 doctoral dissertation from the University of Munich. In re-reading parts of Love Your Enemies, I am struck at how solidifying those early days were.
For example, a significant focus of the dissertation was on the nature of motivation for loving our enemies and the role of God’s Spirit in bringing about enemy-love. In one section I asked, If we are born again by the…Continue Reading
How Would You Like to Wear Your Joy?
The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
“Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.”
- Upon their heads as a crown — because joy is the mark by which we share the rule of God.
- Upon their heads as a wreath…
Meditate with Me on Isaiah 42:21
“The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious.” (Isaiah 42:21).
- God’s righteousness inclines him to make his own instruction great and glorious. “For his righteousness’ sake he magnifies and glorifies his instruction.”
- So we learn something crucial about divine righteousness. It is the consistent and compelling inclination to do what is right, which in God’s case is defined by his…
“There Is No Demilitarized Zone in the Issue of Homosexuality”
All the participants of the panel on homosexuality at The Gospel Coalition Council meetings agreed that we have entered one of the most difficult challenges to a gospel-centered approach to evangelism. The reason is not that the center of the Christian gospel has changed, but the center of the cultural gospel has changed. That center for many is the freedom to be GLBT and to be approved.
Which means…Continue Reading
What the Star-Tribune Got Right — And Wrong
The part that they got right was that I did not give a public endorsement for any legislation or candidate.
But they got two parts wrong.
First they say, “Key Minnesota pastors opt out of marriage fight.” I didn’t opt out. I opted in. What is at stake more than anything else is the…Continue Reading
How Do You Relate to a Gay Family Member?
Is there hope for a relationship with a family member who is not a believer and is in a same-sex relationship, and who knows your Christian position?
Yes. One story went like this. An adult sister-in-law was in a lesbian relationship and would bring her partner to all the wider family functions when she was invited. She knew her brother-in-law’s position. Not only was she sinning to be involved sexually…Continue Reading
Beware of Naïve Assumptions and False Stereotypes
We should beware of overly-simple generalizations in dealing with people with same-sex attraction, and we should deepen our analysis of what is really going on in a person’s soul.
For example, a woman may be a predatory lesbian and a man may be merely experimenting because he longs for male friendship. To deal with these two cases in the same way would be a serious mistake. The spectrum of bondage…Continue Reading
Christ Swallows Up Eroticism in Something Much Bigger
One panelist at The Gospel Coalition discussions of homosexuality said he knew a dozen joyfully married Christian couples with children, in which one of each couple was formerly gay or lesbian. He said that this does not mean there are no more homosexual desires or fantasies.
The reason these marriages work is because love and marriage and life are now seen in a much larger scope. The relationship is seen…Continue Reading
Homosexuality, Human Relations, and the Challenges to Evangelism
Several weeks ago the Leadership Council of The Gospel Coalition met for its annual discussions of current issues and the state of gospel-centered ministry among evangelicals. Of the many panel discussions, the most illuminating to me was the one on homosexuality.
The four forthcoming blog posts I have written were triggered by insightful comments made by the panel participants, but I have developed the thoughts, and I take responsibility for…Continue Reading
A Tribute to My Father, on My Last Father’s Day at Bethlehem
Today is Father’s Day. I was thinking about my father as I walked to morning prayer on Friday. I remembered one scene most vividly and joyfully. The moment of his death. I was alone with him in his hospital room. It was March 6, 2007. He was 88. He was ready.
The breaths were coming rhythmically, but the pace was slowing. I have told the story in detail. But this…Continue Reading
Ministry Update: John Piper and Scott Anderson in Switzerland
We have received $329,258 of the $300,000 that we needed in order for us to close-out our fiscal year in the black and balance the budget. Thank you for your generous support! The Lord is good, and all of his paths are "steadfast love and faithfulness" (Psalm 25:10).
At Desiring God, we have a vision for ministry that is global. With the Lord's help, we aim…Continue Reading
God Desires All to Be Saved, and Grants Repentance to Some
Put two texts together, and see what you see.
“God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (eis epignōsin alētheias)” (1 Timothy 2:4).
“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (eis epignōsin alētheias)” (2 Timothy 2:25).
Here’s what I see:
1. Though God desires all people to be saved, he “may…Continue Reading