Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

Embracing Weakness Will Change Your Life

Jonathan Parnell

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.…

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This Week’s Sermon: “Life Together at the End of the Age”

Jonathan Parnell

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.

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Lecrae Explains True Manhood

Jonathan Parnell

God, not us, has designed the blueprint for manhood.

In this three-minute video, Lecrae explains what it looks like.


Related videos:

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Behind the Blog: Recent Catch-Ups

Jonathan Parnell

[Subscribe to Behind the Blog on iTunes.]

There’s lots of activity this week at the desiringGod.org offices, even with the single-digit temperatures in Minneapolis. With a team of web designers here to work on a site redesign, the content team sat down to talk about recent articles on the blog, the latest podcast episodes, and a new app under construction, among other things.

Listen to this 20-minute podcast

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The Day Luther Died

Jonathan Parnell

In Germany 467 years ago, in a small, backwater town called Eisleben, the shaking hand of a dying man scribbled this simple line: We are beggars. This is true.

Martin Luther died on February 18, 1546. These last words of weakness echoed the life-changing truth he’d unearthed in the Scriptures: we don’t bring anything to the table of our justification. Jesus truly died for the ungodly.

Luther came to understand…

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What We Need More Than Anything

Jonathan Parnell

Our fundamental problem is that we’re sinners. But our fundamental problem doesn’t mean it is our most severe.

In John 4, Jesus and his disciples traveled through Samaria. They came to a town called Sychar and decided to stop for a break. It was around noon. The disciples went into the market to buy food, leaving Jesus sitting beside the well of a nearby field. Soon after a Samaritan woman…

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The End of Theology

Jonathan Parnell

The Bible is amazing. God has spoken to us in a book — a glorious story about his glory and grace centered on the God-man, Jesus Christ. But the life he saves us to — our life in Christ — plays out in this world beyond the pages of his word. What we learn about him is meant to serve how we live for him.

And Paul Tripp says this…

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When the Light Comes On

Jonathan Parnell

My oldest daughter isn’t sleeping well. It’s the dark. From fear of what might be under her bed, to who might be looking through her window, she has her reasons for preferring the lights on.

In fact, she has started a new nightly routine. After the house is settled and her parents are quiet, presumably asleep, she secretly slips out of her room to flip on the nearby hallway light…

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Audio and Video from the 2013 Conference for Pastors

Jonathan Parnell

Minnesota is not the first place most people would choose to visit in February. But you wouldn’t have guessed it this past Monday to Wednesday in the warm confines of the Minneapolis Convention Center. Gathering for the 26th time, the Desiring God Conference for Pastors took up the theme of the supernatural in pastoral ministry.

We’d like to thank those who joined us onsite and helped make this such a…

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Watch Out or the Devil’s Gonna Get You

Jonathan Parnell

In rural America, off a country road, on the soft soil of a weathered field, stands a sobering message for every passer-by: Go to church or the devil will get you!

The words are neatly strewn across a homemade billboard adorned with flood lights and a painted silhouette of a red figure, apparently Satan, holding a sling-blade. Go to church, the warning hisses, or be his victim.

As hokey…

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Knowledge Doesn’t Mean Maturity

Jonathan Parnell

Our heads learn faster than our hearts, and that means danger.

Just because you can communicate an idea does not mean you have submitted yourself to it. And if we are not careful, we will mistake the communication part as the barometer of our maturity.

Paul Tripp calls it “academizing” the faith — when we define our spiritual growth by our biblical literacy. But as he warns, “You can be…

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Brothers, We Are Not Witchdoctors

Jonathan Parnell

We are not, in ourselves, the vehicle of God’s grace and kingdom-building. Making this mistake will eventually lead us to fatigue, even despair, says Russell Moore.

Commemorating the release of John Piper’s revised edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, we recently asked Dr. Moore for an exhortation to pastors and church leaders under the “Brothers” theme. In short, witchdoctors can’t do Christian ministry, so stop acting like one.…

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Where Is Your Identity?

Jonathan Parnell

Stop looking at yourself in carnival mirrors. This is one plea from Paul Tripp’s new book, Dangerous Calling. Carnival mirrors give us a distortion of who we really are, and they’re everywhere we look.

This is especially true of the pastor or ministry leader who is tempted to stay locked in on the horizontal level. The danger is to mistake our work to be what defines us — to…

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Thanking God for a Courageous Missionary

Jonathan Parnell

John G. Paton believed in doing missions when dying is gain. The 19th century Scottish missionary to the New Hebrides, a chain of islands in the South Pacific, was no stranger to suffering. Soon after he arrived to the islands in 1858, he buried both his wife and newborn child. He had left the ease of Europe for the hardships of the Hebrides, and he would become well acquainted with…

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13 Reasons Christians Don’t Have to Be Afraid

Jonathan Parnell

Fear is like the monster under my kids’ beds — its power is fueled not by what’s really there, but by what might be, what we imagine could be. Fear is a hollow darkness in the future that reaches back through time to rob our joy now by belittling the sovereign goodness of God.

But if we are in Christ, if we cling to him by faith, we…

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It Is Time for a Personal Revolution

Jonathan Parnell

Bible prophecy is the key, John Piper explains in the 1980 sermon, “All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days.” The text is Acts 3:17–26. Peter is preaching his first sermon since Pentecost to a crowd of his Jewish brothers. His charge to them is straightforward: Repent therefore, and turn again, so that your sins may be blotted out, and so that times of refreshing may come.

The timing of…

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Raise Your Hand If You Agree

Jonathan Parnell

I have no good memories of third-grade math.

To be honest, I don’t remember most of my elementary school days, but math in Mrs. Smith’s classroom is strangely familiar. Maybe it is because that’s where a school subject first became hard for me, or because the homework was such a drag. Or, actually, it may be because third-grade math was the first time I realized I was a crock.

It…

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Behind the Blog: Sorting Things Out

Jonathan Parnell

[Subscribe to Behind the Blog on iTunes]

Kicking off the first episode this year, we talk Passion, podcasts, and prayer.

Earlier this month John Piper spoke to over 60,000 college students in Atlanta. He recently talked with Tony about what the experience was like on the newly revitalized podcast, Ask Pastor John (forthcoming on iTunes).

Other podcasts to probe include John Piper Sermons, Theology Refresh, Authors

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Piper on Healing and Exorcism

Jonathan Parnell

What is the gift of healing? And are there “healers” today?

The apostle Paul lists healing among the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, but has anything significant changed between then and now?

What about exorcism?

John Piper answers in the following videos, and recounts the chilling story of an exorcism he participated in early in his pastorate.

What Is the Gift of Healing? (7 minutes)

Have You Exorcized a

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When Delight Means Doxology

Jonathan Parnell

But may all who seek you
     rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!"

David's prayer in Psalm 40:16 can absolutely change your life. At first glance it may not stand out. Perhaps, like me, when you've read it before you glossed over the parallelism that makes this verse so special.

Now parallelism is a pretty simple rhetorical…

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Am I Scared of God’s Goodness?

Jonathan Parnell

It’s kind of a hard question to ask. We know from the Bible that suffering plays an important role in the life of believers. We have even walked close with friends who have experienced intense pain. But we ourselves, well, we’ve not been face to face with affliction yet. We’ve not suffered severe loss. And this starts to make us suspicious, as if we have received too many gifts and…

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Who Is Louie Giglio?

Jonathan Parnell

Leading the charge against human slavery (enditmovement.com), Louie Giglio is the founder of the Passion Movement and serves as pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta. But what's his story?

A couple years ago, leading us to our National Conference on missions, John Piper sat down with Louie Giglio to talk about the history of the Passion Movement and its global cause. Part 1 of the interview details…

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John Piper Interviews Jerry Bridges

Jonathan Parnell

Few people work faithfully for the same organization for almost 60 years. Yet it was 1955 when Jerry Bridges, a Korean War veteran, joined the team at The Navigators where he continues to this day. An author of several books, Mr. Bridges is a leading voice in explaining the significance of the gospel in everyday life, including The Discipline of Grace, The Gospel for Real Life, and The

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