Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

This Week's Sermon: "When a Lover of Good Thinks About Evil"

Jonathan Parnell

"It is predominantly bleak and ugly," says John Piper on 2 Timothy 3:1–13. The apostle Paul tells us we need to know evil and then lays out nineteen descriptions of it.

How we approach the Bible is vital to how we understand this text. These are not mere descriptions. They are descriptions given to the church for our holiness and maturity. They describe the last days in which we live…

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20 Principles to Live Faithfully in a Complex World

Jonathan Parnell

How shall we as American Christians think and act with regard to freedom of religion in a pluralistic context?

It was ten years ago when John Piper and the elders at Bethlehem first presented this question. The aim was to guide the church — both locally and on a wider scale — in how to live faithfully in an increasingly complex society. They drafted a single document of 20 guidelines…

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Biblical Masculinity and the Importance of Role Models

Jonathan Parnell

"The biggest hurdle to biblical masculinity," Trip Lee explains, "is the lack of fathers in the home." We need role models, and this is where the church comes in.

In this three-minute video, Trip shares about the importance of people in our lives who can show us how to follow Jesus and lead others.

Transcribed:

I would say that probably the biggest hurdle to promoting biblical masculinity in our…

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No One Is More Tolerant Than God

Jonathan Parnell

Gay rights activists across the country plan to descend upon Chick-fil-A this evening in response to Wednesday’s "Appreciation Day." Here will be a real-life test of tolerance for many professing Christians.

Now, as political and newsy as it may seem, the main thing to understand about tolerance is this: It is profoundly theological. Yes, tolerance is defensible on the basis of mere reason, and no, you don't have to be…

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Not Your Mother's Kind of Tolerance

Jonathan Parnell

Views that advocate same-sex marriage are free to exist, but they are wrong.

Now, stop. Read the above sentence again. Are you okay with it?

Chances are how you feel about that statement indicates your understanding (or misunderstanding) of tolerance. D. A. Carson, in his book, The Intolerance of Tolerance, explains that Western culture isn't exactly firing on all cylinders when it comes to knowing what tolerance is. He…

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How to Attend a Conference

Jonathan Parnell

Speaking of our upcoming National Conference, John Piper explains,

What we're really after is to know God better, and love him more, and serve him more fully, not just to get away and hear some more talk.

To this end, he offers four ways to maximize the effectiveness of a conference in your life:

Four ways to maximize the effectiveness of a conference:

  1. Read the Bible and other books related…
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Andrew Fuller Biography (Free eBook)

Jonathan Parnell

In October of 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in the home of Andrew Fuller. For the next twenty-one years Fuller served as the leader of this organization, raising funds, writing periodicals, recruiting missionaries, and sending personal letters to those on the frontlines.

He fulfilled his promise to the great missionary William Carey, who upon his trip to the unknown world of India, looked at the small band of…

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How Does Physical Exercise Relate to Sanctification?

Jonathan Parnell

Exercise, sleep, and diet — how do they relate to our sanctification?

Over 40 years ago John Piper was confronted with this issue after realizing the relationship between patience and sleep. Basically, it is easier to be patient after a good night of sleep. So then, as he puts it, "Is patience a fruit of sleep or a fruit of the Spirit?"

In this eight-minute video Piper and R W…

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Fighting to Be Who You Are

Jonathan Parnell

When we believe in Jesus it's not just "well I'm still a dead sinner who just loves Jesus now." No, actually, I've been reborn. I'm a brand-new creature. Yes, I'm still a sinner, but I'm a redeemed sinner. I'm also a saint. I'm also part of the priesthood of believers... I'm not a slave to my sin anymore. That's not who I am.

In this three-minute video Trip Lee talks…

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Who Is Your Neighbor? Well, Who Are You?

Jonathan Parnell

"Who is my neighbor?"

An earnest lawyer asks Jesus this question in Luke 10:29. We soon learn it's one of those conversations that's padded out in advance. He asks a question to set up something he wants to say. He was earnest to "justify himself," as Luke makes clear. And obviously, he was feeling pretty good about how it was going through verse 28. But then comes the curve ball.

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Why Read the Bible?

Jonathan Parnell

What is our goal in reading the Bible?

In this five-minute video, Don Carson explains that we read the Bible to know God better, as he says, "to think God's thoughts after him, to love what he loves, to cherish what he cherishes, to hate what he hates. It is to shape the whole mind and heart."

Bible reading is a means of grace, along with others, that will be…

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10 Reasons You Should Read the Book of Job

Jonathan Parnell

God is sovereign and he is good. These are the twin theological pillars of childlike faith. Bigger and smarter than we are, all that God does is aimed at our benefit in Christ. But as simple as it seems, this truth isn't always easy to embrace.

A few years ago John Piper led a regional conference on this topic. He taught through the Book of Job and began by noting…

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What Is at Stake If I Don't Date My Wife?

Jonathan Parnell

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). That is, we should pursue our wives in sacrificial love, leading as husbands who have been transformed by the gospel. We should date our wives.

So then, what is at stake if we don't?

Justin Buzzard, author of Date Your Wife, answers in this 12-minute video:

Watch the trailer and get the…

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Why You Don't Have to Fear Terror

Jonathan Parnell

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. –Psalm 91:5–6

You don’t have to be afraid. These verses in Psalm 91 encompass the whole of your experience. Night or day, at any point throughout the week, or any season of life, you don’t have to be afraid. But…

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Adoniram Judson Biography (Free eBook)

Jonathan Parnell

Earnestly consider your role in completing the Great Commission.

That was John Piper's overarching plea when he delivered a biographical message on Adoniram Judson in 2003.

Judson was America's first foreign missionary and an example of one who considered, and executed on, his own uniquely strategic role in the completing of the Commission.

Though warned not to go to Burma, he entered the country almost 200 years ago — in…

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This Week's Sermon: "He Cannot Deny Himself"

Jonathan Parnell

Paul's burden for Timothy is straightforward: Embrace suffering for the gospel instead of running away from it.

In this last letter before his death, the apostle grounds Timothy's endurance in five unshakable foundations — foundations that all Christians should build at the bottom of their lives.

  1. Jesus Christ, the son of David, is risen from the dead and reigns over the world forever.
  2. Preachers may be bound. The word of…
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More on Sanctification from Piper and Keller

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper and Tim Keller's discussion on sanctification continues in this 15-minute video, including some practical guidance for in-the-moment motivations for holiness.

Time-markers:

0:01 — When action is enticed by a blessing.

3:00 — Looking for the past and future for sanctification now.

4:44 — How pleasure relates to our motives.

7:10 — The battle against pornography and being a "John Owen guy."

11:10 — Three levels of motivation for…

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The Problem with Commitment

Jonathan Parnell

Marriage is not maintenance mode. Justin Buzzard, author of Date Your Wife, explains that the biblical vision for marriage means more than mere commitment. Husbands are to love their wives like Jesus loves his church, and that means sacrifice. It means pursuit.

Watch the trailer and get the book from Amazon or WTS Books.

________

Interview with Justin Buzzard:

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Piper and Keller Wrestle with Sanctification

Jonathan Parnell

Earlier this Spring John Piper and Tim Keller sat down to discuss the biblical vision of sanctification. In this 14-minute video they touch on how justification and sanctification relate, along with the psychological dynamics of faith.

(Part 2 of the discussion)

Time-markers:

00:20 — How Keller talks about sanctification.

2:25 — What are we conforming to in sanctification?

3:45 — How does justification relate to sanctification?

6:40 — The…

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Sanctification in the Everyday (Free eBook)

Jonathan Parnell

How does the cross and victory of Jesus affect your everyday sanctification?

Over the past 30 years John Piper has preached several messages that equip listeners to apply the Bible in their daily lives. Stretching three decades, this e-book includes three of those sermons that intend to mobilize the church in the fight against sin and the walk of faith. In addition to these sermons, there is a practical appendix…

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J. I. Packer on the Puritan Vision of Sanctification

Jonathan Parnell

We recently had the opportunity to ask J. I. Packer a few questions related to sanctification, including how the Puritans have influenced him personally. He noted in his answer, "This is a question I welcome, because in fact, it was as helps in sanctification that I first came to appreciate the Puritans. And I believe now, nearly 70 years after, this is the best way into Puritan study for anybody."

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Helpful Quotes from The Unbelievable Gospel

Jonathan Parnell

Here are some helpful quotes from Jonathan Dodson's new ebook, The Unbelievable Gospel (GCD Books, 2012).

"Too many Christians look to clear their evangelistic conscience by simply mentioning the name of Jesus or saying that he died on the cross for sins. Saying Jesus' name in conversation earns us a √. Mentioning what Jesus did (on the cross) earns us a √+. This performance-based approach to evangelism is incredible because…

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