Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

Behind the Blog with Mathis's Wife's Sister's Husband's Cousin's Wife

Jonathan Parnell

In this special edition of Behind the Blog, David and Tony sit down with Rachel Jones to talk about her posts in the new "Grace at Home" column (you'll soon understand the title).

Rachel and her husband Tom live in East Africa where she writes and mommies their three children. She has written several articles, including one published in the New York Times earlier this year.

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When the Gospel Comes to Life

Jonathan Parnell

The gospel rightly, thoughtfully, and in biblical faithfulness expounded, will not only win sinners to Christ but it will also shape the lives of Christians to greater conformity to Jesus.

Don Carson explains in this five-minute video:

Sanctification is the theme of this year's National Conference, Act the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification. Plenary peakers include Kevin DeYoung, Russell Moore, Jarvis Williams, Ed Welch,…

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"JOB the Film" Released on iTunes

Jonathan Parnell

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Few questions are more ancient. Job was blameless and upright, he feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1). And yet he suffered affliction at every turn. He was laid low in misery.

A few years ago Desiring God published a final printing of John Piper's interpretive poem of this Old Testament story, along with new illustrations by artist Christopher Koelle

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Don't Empty Forgiveness of Its Meaning

Jonathan Parnell

God's mercy really is incomprehensible apart from God's wrath. Paul tells us, "Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). And it becomes clear that if we are to know the depths of this deliverance we must know more about this wrath from which we are delivered.

Leon Morris writes,

The use of the concept of propitiation witnesses to two great realities, the one, the reality and…

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Sinclair Ferguson on Union with Christ

Jonathan Parnell

We do not know what the apostle Paul says we know.

So says Sinclair Ferguson on Romans 6:6. Speaking to a gathering of pastors a couple years ago, Ferguson shared his sentiment that most people who sit before the preached word each week do not know what it means to be united to Jesus. And yet this doctrine is so central in how Paul conceives of what it means to…

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How Summertime Helps Us Pray

Jonathan Parnell

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional welcome into summer. Long days, outside reading, baseball, iced tea, sunshine — 'tis the season of unparalleled displays of God's common benevolence.

And it's also full of exciting opportunities for us to grow in the grace of prayer.

God's grace is immeasurable, not seasonal (Ephesians 2:7). There's not more of him now than in January, but summer tends to open our eyes a…

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The Heart of Discipleship

Jonathan Parnell

Discipleship is about values. This could not be clearer in the Gospels. Jesus' call is for a double action: leave and follow. "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," he first said to Peter and Andrew in Matthew 4:19. And "Immediately they left their nets and followed him." Then to James and John. And "Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Whether nets…

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You Can't Say This Enough

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper writes about a conversation with his wife, Noël, when he was preaching a series on marriage a few years ago. After a couple sermons on the foundation and ultimate meaning of marriage he asked for her feedback. "You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church," she replied.

And she is positively right. Marriage as a picture of Jesus and the church…

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Four Reasons Why Marriage Is God's Doing

Jonathan Parnell

The most foundational thing we can say about marriage is that it is God's doing. John Piper explains, "A glimpse into the magnificence of marriage comes from seeing in God's word that God himself is the great doer. Marriage is his doing. It is from him and through him" (24).

In his book This Momentary Marriage, Pastor John gives four reasons why marriage is God's doing:

First, marriage was

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Steps to Overcome Temptation

Jonathan Parnell

Earlier this year David Mathis sat down with Don Carson to discuss sanctification. In this three-minute clip, Carson talks about some simultaneous steps to take for overcoming temptation, including a deepening delight in Jesus.


Sanctification is the theme of this year's National Conference, Act the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification

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How Zephaniah Helps Us Feel the Glad Love of God

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper says it's almost too good to believe. Hear Zephaniah's words:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 is an absolutely magnificent promise that is meant to make us feel God's joy. Like when the father ran to…

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Safe and Uncondemned for the Glory of God

Jonathan Parnell

It was almost nine years ago when Owen Shramek died. His parents, a young couple from Bethlehem Baptist Church, had moved to the Middle East to work as cross-cultural peacemakers. Owen was born at 24 weeks and the medical context reduced his chance of survival to 10 percent. He lived on this earth for only 20 minutes.

After Owen's parents flew back to the States for his burial, John Piper…

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Degree in Hand, More Desperate Than Ever

Jonathan Parnell

Graduation is a high moment. It's like a wedding of sorts. All the many investments — the questions needing answers, the costs needing to be weighed — rise together in a public crescendo of accomplishment. Congratulations, here's your degree.

Tonight I graduate from seminary. The page of official training closes, and the real-world chapter, so it seems, is opened. It will be a high moment, indeed, and it would probably…

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The Book of 1 Corinthians in 40 Tweets

Jonathan Parnell

Crosses were dark in First Century Rome. Crucifixion was a horrific execution method reserved for the lowliest criminals. And yet, Paul writes his letter to the church in Corinth and organizes his theology and entire ministry around this object of shame.

In God's wisdom the cross has become the place, as D. A. Carson explains, where "God has supremely destroyed all human arrogance and pretension." (The Cross and Christian

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The Gospel Is Big Enough to Fight for Itself

Jonathan Parnell

Russell Moore:

Sometimes believers will throw up their hands in frustration with non-Christian people they know. “I have said everything I know to say to her about the gospel,” one might say. “She already knows it all and doesn’t believe.”

Often what we seek is another argument, a hidden angle that our interlocutor hasn’t thought through before. But that’s rarely how the gospel is heard and received. Think about it…

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Mothers for Whom Jesus Died

Jonathan Parnell

As Mother's Day comes to an end, the tides of shame recede for millions of women.

Being a mother (or father) doesn't depend on whether your children are living. And that includes adults behind the nearly 55 million abortions reported in the United States since 1973. The second Sunday of May can be a painful reminder.

Jesus hates abortion. But there's something about him we must understand: he didn't come…

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"My Mama Told Me It Was So"

Jonathan Parnell

Why does John Piper believe the Bible is true? When recently asked this question he responded that it is first because his mother had taught him it was so.

Grateful for his mother's influence, Pastor John gave a message last month at the Bethlehem Women's Conference on the indispensable priority of the Bible. He explained, "Nothing is more crucial for being the woman God made you to be and knowing…

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Who Are the Wicked Jesus Will Slay?

Jonathan Parnell

It's not terrible theology, but it could use some nuance.

My daughter is only four years old, and though she doesn't understand a lot about God, she has a sense for Jesus's power. She knows he's strong and near, like when she recently put her shirt on backwards. Upon realizing her mistake, she tried to fix it by pulling her arms through and twisting the shirt around. In one hectic…

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John Piper Discusses the Pleasures of God (Part 2)

Jonathan Parnell

For the second discussion on The Pleasures of God, Pastor John interacts with questions on chapters 4–6, the pleasure of God in his fame, election, and the crushing of his Son.

Stream or download Part 2 (chapters 4–6). Also, check out Part 1 (chapters 1–3).

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See Sam Storms's recommendation of The Pleasures of God and use a $5 off coupon for a limited time at WTS

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