Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell
Epic of the Ordinary: Christian Mission for You and Me
The Book of Acts is clearly one of the most action-packed segments in the storyline of Scripture. The title, “The Acts of the Apostles,” cues us in on this clue from the start. As many commentators have suggested, a more accurate title would be something to do with the acts of the Holy Spirit, or perhaps “The Action of the Ascended Christ by His Spirit Through His Church.”
The book…Continue Reading
John Piper and Mark Noll on the Life of the Mind
Jesus is king. He is the ascended, seated, reigning Lord over everything. Now what does this mean for how we think? How does his preeminence affect our intellectual pursuits?
Last fall Mark Noll and John Piper converged to discuss this topic. In an event hosted by Bethlehem College and Seminary and the MacLaurin Institute, Noll and Piper, authors of Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind and Think: The…Continue Reading
Behind the Blog with Barnabas Piper
Barnabas Piper has put some thinking into sports. Actually, he has put a lot of Christian thinking into sports. Writing weekly for WorldMag.com, Barnabas has had a steady voice on what we can learn about God in America’s favorite entertainment.
So when Barnabas was recently in Minneapolis, we were eager to pull up a chair and pick his brain a little more. He starts by explaining that if Christians…Continue Reading
Looking Evil in the Eye
Joseph’s brothers realized something we should never forget.
It comes at the end of the story in Genesis 50. This is a long time after the brothers conspired together against Joseph. A lot had happened since then — since they hated their brother enough to sell him to Midianite traders for twenty shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28). That was the evil that started it all.
They grieved their father, Jacob,…Continue Reading
Meet the New John Piper
“I feel like I’m 22 again,” says the newly transitioned John Piper.
Now that his pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist Church has officially ended, Piper says he feels like a recent college grad who is free to do anything God lays on his heart. “When you have that much freedom, you’re really faced with significant ‘don’t waste your life’ choices.” He plans to seek God in a focused way in the…Continue Reading
Doctrine Matters (Free eBook on Ten Theological Trademarks)
Here is the theological summary of one preacher’s lifetime of investment in a local church: Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching, from John Piper.
Preaching, you could say, is where the rubber begins to meet the road on what a church believes. It is the living statement of faith. And in the case of John Piper, we have this statement captured online in over 1,200…Continue Reading
Living in the Valley—For Now
The Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. It is the testimony of history’s most important event and we can hold it in our hands. It is the testimony of four God-inspired authors whose words we’ve read and celebrated this spring. And then there’s the Book of Psalms.
Like the Gospels, the Psalms give us a fascinating picture of the Savior. Psalm 22 especially stands out.…Continue Reading
Behind the Blog: Great Transitions
From big reminders taped on the wall of a college dorm, to a big book by a 96-year-old theologian, to an interview with two big-league ball players, the latest episode from Behind the Blog pulls back the curtain on the recent happenings at desiringGod.org.
Among other exciting things, we talk about John Piper’s recent transition to the full-time staff and preview the speaker lineup for our conference this fall on…Continue Reading
The God-Centered Cross of Love Inexhaustible
The hands-down, most horrific nightmare possible is that of a God who is angry without due cause. Could we imagine anything worse?
It would be the most terrible thing if the only person who has the power to destroy you forever were ferociously angry with you for no reason. That God would hate you just because. That he would throw his fury around on a whim. What if he were…Continue Reading
Meant to Make All the Difference
Theology makes all the difference in your life.
In John 10, as John Piper explains, the doctrine of Jesus’s deity is presented in terms of its utmost impact on how we live. In short, because Jesus and the Father are one, our souls are incredibly secure (John 10:28–30).
Biblical doctrine is not for the abstract. It’s for where you are right now.
This excerpt is from the sermon, “I…Continue Reading
Dads, Let’s Learn from the Dying Edwards
Today in 1758 Jonathan Edwards died. He was 54 years old.
It was a fever he had contracted from a small-pox inoculation just a month before. After weeks of worsening weakness and the recognition of his immanent death, he spoke his last words to his daughter, Lucy, who attended him. Toward the end he said,
As to my children, you are now to be left fatherless, which I hope will…
Behind the Blog: An Interview with Jerry Bridges
Jerry Bridges’ first book, The Pursuit of Holiness, was published in 1978 and came as the fruit of his own sanctification struggles as a young Christian many years before. It is a fascinating story, which Mr. Bridges recently sat down to tell us in a short interview. We found the interview so rich and helpful that we’ve divided it up into two parts.
In part one, Mr. Bridges tells…Continue Reading
9 Reasons You Can Face Anything
God’s sovereignty is a precious reality.
Now chances are this truth didn’t seem too precious when it first confronted you. The natural, fallen response to hearing we aren’t the ones in control is to white-knuckle our will and refuse to bow. Humans tend to like the idea that we are the captains of our own destinies. Motivational glib like that will pack out self-help seminars. But sooner or later, and…Continue Reading
Dude, Watch Your Jargon
Here we go again.
Have you ever thought that at the beginning of a story you’ve heard several times before? Once the person starts talking you know exactly where they’re going. You’ve heard it before. You get it. Here we go again.
It’s interesting how this sort of thing especially happens in marriage. Husbands and wives do a lot of talking and before long they know each other’s best stuff.…Continue Reading
What Is God’s Will for My Life?
What is God’s will for my life?
We all want to know the answer to that question, right? I mean, could there be a more pressing subject? We’re talking about the sovereign God of all that is, the one who created us, who sustains us, who gave his Son to save us. What does he want us to do with this vapor of a life he’s given?
In his new…Continue Reading
Lecrae on Hope When Life Is Hard
Life isn’t easy, but God gives us truth to stand on.
In this video, Lecrae talks about the biblical promise he turns to the most:
The biblical promise that I turn to most is that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called by him (Romans 8:28). I have to lean on the reality that even if it doesn’t look good to me,…
What Is Bi-Vocational Ministry?
Bi-vocational ministry is a strategic and challenging call. Danny Ovalle, a bi-vocational pastor in New England, recently joined us to talk about the rationale and practice of serving as a pastor while supporting his family with an additional job.
The central passage about compensation for ministers, or lack of compensation, is found in 1 Corinthians 9:1–18. This apostolic precedent, along with particular contexts and practical concerns, forms the foundation for…Continue Reading
New Sermon: “How to Give the Bible Functional Authority in Your Speech and Writing”
Does your speaking and writing have authority?
It does if you are tapping into the authority of the Bible.
John Piper recently addressed the students and apprentices at Bethlehem College and Seminary with a simple and earnest plea: write and teach as reliable spokesmen. He encourages Christian thinkers to scrutinize their thoughts by apostolic authority and to articulate them with precision.
Stream or download the message, “How to Give…Continue Reading
Love Is Not Irritable
Irritability isn’t that big a deal, is it?
Although we’re prone to believe it’s a lesser sin, Phil Ryken explains that irritability is actually a way of hating because it is “a way of non-loving.”
In his book, Loving the Way Jesus Loves, Ryken connects Paul’s teaching that “love is not irritable” with a positive example from Jesus’s life. The portrait of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is perfectly…Continue Reading
How Christians Prepare for Suffering
The apostle Paul suffered. Did he ever.
He was imprisoned. He was beaten, often near death. He took 195 total lashes from his Jewish kinsmen on five occasions. He took three pummels with rods. He was once stoned — and then also shipwrecked three times. Then there are the endless dangers of travel in the first century, plus countless other experiences mentioned and unmentioned in the New Testament (2 Corinthians…Continue Reading
Are You Being Deceived?
Deception works by making you think that there is more joy apart from gospel-shaped community. It makes sin feel more attractive than a righteous commitment to our brothers and sisters in Christ. And one way we war against this, says John Piper, is by being a truly glad people, like in 2 John 1:4.
He explains, “The devil doesn’t have a hook in happy Christians, just miserable Christians who are…Continue Reading
Clash of Faiths: Theory Behind Lecrae’s ‘Gravity’
Lecrae wants you to see reality from a unique perspective. This is his intention in the Grammy Award-winning album, Gravity.
Exhibit A is the song “Mayday,” featuring Big K.R.I.T. and Ashton Jones, which demonstrates the clash of two different worldviews. Initially you hear the general outside world’s perspective on faith followed by Lecrae speaking as a rescued sinner: “when I look at Jesus, he lived the life I couldn’t,…Continue Reading
More Than Body Parts Indeed
A kid in Colorado with male genitals is prohibited from using the girls’ bathroom.
That’s the straightforward backstory on a recent piece from Donna Rose, a transsexual journalist writing her opinion for CNN. A Colorado school district has decided that a six-year-old child with male anatomy should use the boys’ bathroom at school, or a private one, Rose reports. Rose decries the school’s decision as discrimination because the child…Continue Reading
Embracing Weakness Will Change Your Life
Achilles was a vicious warrior with a complicated history. In Homer’s Iliad we see him rise to the top as the preeminent player at the end of the Trojan War. His full backstory is melodramatic enough to make Downton Abbey blush, but suffice it to say that no one was quite like him. Achilles was simultaneously drunk in rage and meticulous in skill as he led the Greeks in battle.…Continue Reading
This Week’s Sermon: “Life Together at the End of the Age”
The antichrist is coming. In fact, many deceivers have already gone out into the world. The moral landscape darkens around us. Christians are increasingly marginalized. How then should we live?
We should love one another.
We should love one another in the face of Satan’s final cataclysmic assault against the church. That’s the call in 2 John, and the main point of John Piper’s most recent message at Bethlehem Baptist.