Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

R W Glenn on the Fatherhood of God

Jonathan Parnell

Do you know what it means that God is your Father?

R W Glenn believes that many Christians miss out on experiencing the wonderful reality that we are truly loved. Because of Jesus, God's wrath toward us is turned away. We wake up each day accepted as his sons and daughters. "God has no reservations about us whatsoever and he marshals all of his omnipotence to do us good."

In…

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Be Stressed Out and Do Not Sin

Jonathan Parnell

I love the Book of Psalms. They are authoritative models of prayer and worship and therefore we return to them often for help. "When we don't know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit intercedes for us..." — and read some psalms. And in my experience, it's the easiest book to short-circuit meaning for application. Because the theology is so relevant, we can subtly gloss over what the text…

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Two Big Questions for Good Bible Reading

Jonathan Parnell

Good Bible reading is about meaning and application. We come to the Bible asking two questions: first, what does this text say? And second, what does it mean for me right now?

What It Means

We ask the first question because God is real. The world exists because he created it. He is the originator and everything else the originated. And in this world he has made, meaning has meaning…

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Piper's Encouragement to Those Learning a Second Language

Jonathan Parnell

Risk is right, but it's also hard — or at least it is when it involves learning a second language.

Many Christians who have answered a compelling call to the nations soon find themselves in a perpetual plod of learning how to talk all over again. It is tiresome, even discouraging. And John Piper knows how it feels.

Studying at the University of Munich in the 70's, Piper had…

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Book Special: Finish the Mission (50% off)

Jonathan Parnell

The goal of missions is the worldwide worship of Jesus Christ. And that's what our new book, Finish the Mission, is all about.

Approaching the topic in a refreshing way, this book, edited by John Piper and David Mathis, encourages readers to take up the mantle of the Great Commission and its Spirit-powered completion.

Right now Westminster Bookstore is offering Finish the Mission for $8.50 (50% off the regular…

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Free Live-Stream: Piper Seminar on Fasting and Prayer

Jonathan Parnell

This Friday and Saturday, November 2–3, John Piper will be leading a seminar on the theme of A Hunger for God. The seminar, totaling five hours of teaching, is completely free. Online registration is closed, but there is still space available on a first-come, first-serve basis if you'd like to register onsite.

But if you can't make it in person, no worries. The entire event will be live-streamed at …

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New on YouVersion: Devotional Plans from John Piper

Jonathan Parnell

"Never has God's voice been so easily accessible," writes John Piper, urging Christians to prefer Bible apps over the abounding options out there.

Resolve that today you will press the Bible app three times during the day. No five times. Ten times! Maybe you will lose control and become addicted to Bible! Again and again get a two-minute dose of life-giving Food. Man shall not live by Facebook alone.

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This Week's Sermon: "Missions Exists Because Worship Doesn't: A Bethlehem Legacy, Inherited and Bequeathed"

Jonathan Parnell

"Missions exists because worship doesn't." "Prayer is a war-time walkie-talkie, not a domestic intercom." "Suffering is not just the price many must pay, it is God's strategy for victory."

These are not merely pithy statements from John Piper. They are explosive truths from the Bible that have shaped a generation of missionaries. For the last 30 years, during Bethlehem's annual focus on global outreach, Pastor John has preached a sermon…

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Martin Luther Biography (Free eBook)

Jonathan Parnell

We are beggars. This is true.

Those were the final words Martin Luther scribbled on a piece of paper just before he died on February 18, 1546. His last words echoed the life-changing truths he'd unearthed in the Scriptures — first life-changing, then civilization-altering.

Beggars, indeed, because God justly demands a righteousness sinful humans cannot produce. A righteousness, in fact, that if we could produce would nullify the grace of…

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How the Battle Against Evil Is Transformed

Jonathan Parnell

Joy changes everything, including our battle against evil.

John Piper explains in this two-minute video:

Christian Hedonism changes our combat with evil. Jeremiah 2:13 — the Christian Hedonist definition of evil — "for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water."

What's evil? The suicidal preference of empty wells over…

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The Grunt Work of the Gospel

Jonathan Parnell

"I am concerned," writes David Platt, "about a general vagueness that has existed in contemporary Christianity regarding the next step..."

We have seen that God blesses us so that his glory might be made known in all nations. But an all-important question remains. How do we make God's glory known in all nations? If God has given us his grace so that we might take his gospel to the ends…

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The Deeper You Walk, the Hungrier You Get

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper:

When you take your stand on the finished work of God in Christ, and begin to drink at the River of Life and eat the Bread of Heaven, and know that you have found the end of all your longings, you only get hungrier for God. The more satisfaction you experience from God, while still in this world, the greater your desire for the next. For, as C.…

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Don't Discount Them Like the Culture Does

Jonathan Parnell

It speaks volumes when a pastor addresses the reality of disability with biblical authority.

In this 3-minute video, John Knight, father of a child with multiple disabilities, explains how "The Works of God" conference is aimed at equipping pastors and leaders to care for the "weaker members."

"The Works of God" conference is Thursday, November 8 at Bethlehem Baptist Church (North Campus) in Minneapolis. Learn more information and register at…

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The Greatest Enemy of Our Hunger for God

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper:

Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of a superior satisfaction in God; it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world.…

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Kevin DeYoung on the Doctrine of Scripture

Jonathan Parnell

[Subscribe to the podcast through iTunes]

"The doctrine of Scripture is rooted in a triune God who wants to be known and knows how to be known," explains Kevin DeYoung in the latest episode of Theology Refresh. This podcast for Christian leaders, led by David Mathis, is aimed at short segments keying on the most vital biblical doctrines.

Today's focus features the "nuts and bolts" of what Scripture is,…

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This Week's Sermon: "God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him"

Jonathan Parnell

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. This idea, called "Christian Hedonism" by some, is a massive and pervasive biblical truth that changes everything.

Perhaps the apostle Paul makes it clearest in Philippians 1:12–26.

So, taking up this text — the same as his January 1980 candidating sermon — John Piper clears the table for the biblical feast of pursuing God's glory and our…

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If Your Church Is Not All You Want It to Be

Jonathan Parnell

Chances are your church gathering isn't all you want it to be. . . This or that should be different, so and so should talk less, he and she should be on time — and why can't we just get some better aesthetics in here?

Actually, though, this mode of critcism says more about our hearts than it does our local church. Perhaps we've forgotten what the church is. Perhaps…

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What Happens When We Pray?

Jonathan Parnell

Do we really know what's going on when we pray? When we bow our heads at the dinner table? When we whisper quietly during our morning commute? Or when, like dragging our feet along a well-worn path, we ask again for God to do what he hasn't yet? Do we know what's happening?

The Bible tells us in Revelation 8:1–5.

Here's the picture: The seventh seal — the last page in…

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Help Us Pick Piper's Best Sermons

Jonathan Parnell

We're working on a new "Sermon of the Day" feature and need your help.

We want you to be able to simply open the Desiring God app and, with a single touch, listen to one of John Piper's best messages while you're on the move. The point is utter simplicity and accessibility to a daily sermon that you don't have to spend time looking for and deciding on.

But not just…

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Behind the Blog: When Storytelling Goes Bad

Jonathan Parnell

"Harmonious complementarian marriage speaks forth the cosmic victory of Christ over evil," says Tony Reinke, speaking about the thesis of his upcoming JBMW article. In this latest episode of Behind the Blog, we discuss biblical complementarity, Trillia Newbell's newly posted review, and some takeaways from the National Conference.

You can also listen here.

Once again, thank you for reading and your partnership in…

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What to Do with a Told Gospel

Jonathan Parnell

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the kind nobody in Minnesota takes for granted. The sun was running strong, the air was happy, the sky had never been more blue. My family and I were finishing up breakfast outside when I opened the Bible for some kid-friendly devotional thoughts.

On this particular morning our four-year-old was digging it. Maybe it was the change of scenery, or maybe the Fruit Loops,…

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Now Available: National Conference Audio and Video

Jonathan Parnell

It was a memorable weekend (view the slideshow) for nearly 3,000 of us last Friday to Sunday, as we gathered for the Desiring God 2012 National Conference. We promised there that we'd aim to have the audio and video ready by today, and in God's kind providence, we're ready to deliver.

Below you'll find the plenary and breakout audio and video for streaming and download.

May God be pleased to…

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David Platt on the Doctrine of Suffering

Jonathan Parnell

No topic is more enduringly relevant. Everyone encounters suffering one way or another and Christian leaders are called to help them understand its meaning.

David Platt, pastor at the Church at Brook Hills and author of Radical, sits down with David Mathis to discuss how he counsels individuals in the midst of affliction. He highlights five essential truths: 1) the sovereignty and goodness of God; 2) a humble view…

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