Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

Eight Ways to Live as Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

Here is my answer to the question, "How do pro-life Christians honor a pro-choice president?"

1. Humbling ourselves

We will honor you, Mr. President, by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6) and acknowledging that we are ourselves sinners and in need of mercy and forgiveness from God. We are not infallible. We are open to new light on this and every issue. We…

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It’s the Christian's Duty to Speak the Truth

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

Christians — people who bank their hopes on Jesus and spend time with Jesus and obey Jesus — should stand up in public and tell God's truth as they see it without worrying that secular listeners may not even agree with our most basic assumptions.

Isn't it amazing how Peter and John respond to the rulers [Acts 4:13–20]! The rulers tell them to get out and not to…

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What Does Roe v. Wade Actually Say?

Jonathan Parnell

January 18, 1987, John Piper preached a sermon to expose the evil of abortion. Since this sermon he has preached against abortion every year on the Sanctity of Life Sunday, which correlates with the dark anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

39 years and 50 million babies killed since this Supreme Court decision, what exactly does it say?

Pastor John:

When the American Medical Association was formed in 1847, abortion…

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How to Approach the Bible

Jonathan Parnell

The Bible comes from God; God doesn't come from the Bible.

Our knowledge of God is a different story. What we know about God, definitively and redemptively, comes from the Bible. And that is, the Bible that comes from God, who himself comes from nothing.

These are the foundational pieces to understanding the doctrine of revelation, and therefore, the doctrine of Scripture. God, utterly independent and essentially revelatory, has made…

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For Men: What the Life of Augustine Teaches Us

Jonathan Parnell

At the recent Campus Outreach National Conference, speaking to a gathering of men, John Piper tells the story of the life of Augustine — bishop of Hippo in the fifth century.

This talk gives a hope-giving example of how we fight sin by a sovereign joy that masters us and severs the root of all competing, controlling pleasures.

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Darrin Patrick on Biblical Complementarity

Jonathan Parnell

The latest Theology Refresh features a 12-minute dicussion on biblical complementarity with Darrin Patrick, speaker at our upcoming Conference for Pastors.

It's important to remember that there is more than one danger in this issue. We can miss it on the left, becoming egalitarian. And we can miss it on the right, not calling men to sacrificial leadership.

There's a new dynamic in what it means to be a man: …

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Know Your Value of Values

Jonathan Parnell

It was simple. The first bookend of my formal theological training was grounded in an easy-to-the-point-of-jolly ambition: learn as much as I can about Jesus and teach it to others. What fueled my pursuit of pastoral ministry — and all the training involved — was not what I understood about the Bible or hoped to learn, but how glorious I perceived Jesus to be, despite how much my perception of…

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Martin Luther King's "Letters from Birmingham Jail"

Jonathan Parnell

The Introduction to John Piper's Bloodlines is titled :

Martin Luther King Jr.
What Was It Like for Those Who Weren't There?

Piper writes,

Martin Luther King called for freedoms and rights and justice that were long overdue. And he did it with an appeal to historic Christian vision, with amazing rhetorical skill, without condoning violence, and with unprecedented and lasting success. That's why there is a holiday in his…

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Do You Dread a False Deity?

Jonathan Parnell

Samuel Bourn:

All true fear of the Supreme Being can only spring from a right knowledge of him. And it consists, first and fundamentally, in conceiving and believing him to be what he is, most powerful indeed, but at the same time, most wise, just, and benevolent. . . .

The character and title most certainly ascribed by our Savior and his Apostles to the Supreme being is The Father

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A Tool to Help You Live

Jonathan Parnell

"By the work of the Holy Spirit, God defeats temptation by awakening joy through belief in the word of God which is at work in us. And that word is most centrally the good news that Christ died for us so that all the promises of God are Yes in him."

This is how we live.

Pastor John's acronym A.P.T.A.T is a device that may help:

This excerpt starts at…

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Three Exhortations for Pastoral Ministry

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor, there are three things John Piper would say to you about your ministry.

Three things that he has said before, at a conference in Phoenix in 2006. Three things: make God central in your heart, central in your thinking, central in your preaching.

And the reason God is central in all these things is because God is central to our joy.

Stream or download all three messages of "Brothers…

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Defending the Faith in the Public Arena

Jonathan Parnell

"Defending the Faith in the Public Arena" — this is the topic of John Piper's message delivered at a 2004 gathering of the National Religious Broadcasters. We recently obtained this audio and commend it to you now. Its relevance hasn't waned.

Piper's approach in two parts:

  1. To illustrate the increasingly public nature of the issue of the supremacy of God and ponder how we should respond for the sake of…
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The Joy of Calvinism

Jonathan Parnell

The foundation to our joy in God is God's own joy in himself. Christian Hedonism only makes sense when we understand God's supremacy in all things. He really is sovereign and he really is good.

And the five points of Calvinism are where we see these truths come together. The doctrines of grace articulate how God saves us in Jesus, for his glory and our joy.

This is why I'm…

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How Manhood and Womanhood Are Different

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper and Darrin Patrick recently discussed the Bible's teaching on biblical manhood and womanhood. In this 15-minute video they get to the heart of our cultural epidemic and chart the way forward for how the church can help:

Time-markers:

00:42 — The absence of men and its implications.

03:01 — Definitions for manhood and womanhood.

07:47 — What can the church do to help this situation?

10: 00 —…

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10 Steps to Stay Alive to the Beauty of God's World

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper read G. K. Chesterton at the advice of Clyde Kilby, one of his professors of English Literature at Wheaton College back in the day. And this book recommendation from Kilby didn't come in a vacuum. Piper writes about how Kilby himself was amazed at the world, and that, with a pastoral heart and a poet's eye, he influenced his students to really believe Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare…

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When Mere Life Is Interesting Enough

Jonathan Parnell

G. K. Chesterton:

When we are very young children we don't need fairy tales: we only need tales. Mere life is interesting enough.

A child of seven is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door and saw a dragon. But a child of three is exicted by being told that Tommy opened a door.

Boys like romantic tales; but babies like realistic tales — because they find them…

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God Is Doing More Than We Can See

Jonathan Parnell

Caiaphas schemed against Jesus (John 11:49–53). It was horrible. It was injustice.

And yet, the whole thing was God's loving set of events he planned for good. God was up to something bigger. It was for the salvation of you and me.

John Piper recently led a short devotional on this theme with the friends and staff of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, NC.

Stream or download the …

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Fear, Risk, and the Church's Mission

Jonathan Parnell

Seth Godin:

Fitzgerald nailed it when he described Jay Gatsby’s attitude: “What would be the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?” It’s easy to fall so in love with the idea of starting that we never actually start. (Poke the Box75)

One of Godin’s goals in this little book is to expose the…

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The Pastor's Role in World Evangelization

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

What then should a pastor do to promote a passion among his people to see God glorified by the in-gathering of his sheep from the thousands of unreached people groups around the world?

My answer: above everything else, be the kind of person and the kind of preacher whose theme and passion is the majesty of God. . . .

The most important thing I think pastors can…

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Russell Moore on the Person of Christ

Jonathan Parnell

The newest episode of Theology Refresh features a discussion with Russell Moore on the person of Christ.

The doctrine of the person of Jesus — fully God, fully man, one person with two natures — has everything to do with how we live.

In this 14-minute audio Moore encourages pastors that Jesus is with us, that he really does shoulder with us everything it means to be human.

Stream or…

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A System for Praying in 2012

Jonathan Parnell

The New Year is a great time to reconfigure the way we do things. And it can be a bit overwhelming.

Diet, exercise, memorization habits, reading lists, time management — all this is good. But perhaps the best place to start — and the foundation to all the rest — is the primary means of grace in the Christian life, the Word and prayer.

For the Word, Justin Taylor has…

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A Comforting Message for the Closing Year

Jonathan Parnell

Charles Spurgeon:

But here is the joy, here is the peace of Christians, that our salvation is a finished one! We have not a farthing to pay to complete the ransom of our souls. We have not a stitch to set to finish the robe of our salvation. We have not an act to perform, a prayer to offer, a tear to weep, a thought to think in order to…

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