All Resources by Michael Johnson

"Abba, Father" Versus a Wrathful Roar

Michael Johnson
Luther writes about “Abba, Father” in Galatians 4:6: The lips say nothing, but the heart says something like this: ‘Although I am oppressed with anguish and fear on every side and seem to be forsaken and utterly cast away from…
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Thou Art Coming to a King

Michael Johnson
Here’s a hymn from John Newton that is worth reading and praying aloud several times (and returning to often): Come, my soul, thy suit prepare: Jesus loves to answer prayer; He Himself has bid thee pray, Therefore will not say…
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Knowing God Versus Being Known by God

Michael Johnson
John Piper on knowing God versus being known by God: But in [1 Corinthians 8:3] Paul does not simply relate loving God to knowing as we ought to know. He says,  ‘But if anyone loves God, he is known by…
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Lowering Standards for Leadership Roles in the Church

Michael Johnson
Piper on lowering standards to fill church leadership roles: The acceptability of a church lowering its standards in order to fill leadership roles is this: "low" is partly relative, isn't it? If you have a church that's made up mainly…
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Biblical Theology and Church Picnics

Michael Johnson
Early on in Piper’s pastorate, he articulated some theological reasons for having church picnics: If picnics don’t have to do with God we may as well close up shop. Either all we do has to do with God or he…
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The Origin of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity

Michael Johnson
C. S. Lewis on “mere Christianity”: I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or…
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Is God Fair?

Michael Johnson
Romans 9:14-18— What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."…
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The Marvel of Our Adoption

Michael Johnson
Scottish theologian John Murray reflects on the Christian’s spiritual adoption: The great truth of God’s fatherhood and of the sonship which bestows upon men is one that belongs to the application of redemption. It is true in respect of all…
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Alcohol and Church Membership

Michael Johnson
Piper explains his position on alcohol and church membership: When I came to Bethlehem Baptist Church over [three] decades ago, this was one of the first controversies I had to deal with. We survived it and are he better for…
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C.S. Lewis on the Problem of Forgiveness

Michael Johnson
C. S. Lewis writes about the problem of forgiveness: . . . you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart—every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out. The difference…
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Are Evangelicals Doctrinally Weak?

Michael Johnson
In the book God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards, Piper writes about the present state of evangelicalism: I resonate with the lament of Os Guinness and David Wells that evangelicalism today is basking briefly…
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How to Repent as a Christian

Michael Johnson
In a previous post, Tim Chester asserts that we can only change through ongoing daily faith and daily repentance. In other words, repentance is not exclusively for the non-Christian. Rather, together with ongoing faith, repentance should be normative for…
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Loving Enemies of the Cross

Michael Johnson
Piper writes on what it means to love enemies of the cross of Christ: My greatest longing in response to this enmity is that Christians walk in the way of the cross. Yes, militant Islam is big and threatening. It…
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"So, How Was Your Easter?"

Michael Johnson
You’ve likely already been asked (or asked someone else) this question today: “So, how was your Easter?” Around the water cooler or over coffee, we recount our big day: where we went to church, what was on the menu, was…
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"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"

Michael Johnson
A sonnet by Don Carson on Matthew 27:45-46— The darkness fought, compelled the sun to flee, And like a conquering army swiftly trod Across the land, blind fear this despot’s rod. The noon-day dark illumined tyranny. Still worse, abandonment by…
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Augustine on God's Love, Wrath, and the Cross

Michael Johnson
How (and when) does God’s love for us relate to Christ’s death on the cross? Augustine: God’s love is incomprehensible and unchangeable. For it was not after we were reconciled to him through the blood of his Son that he…
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Packer on the Cross and Christ’s Love

Michael Johnson
Luther gazed at Christ’s cross with steady joy and gloried in the fact that whoever trusts Christ can be assured of his love. He once wrote to a troubled friend, “Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing…
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Stott on The Self-Substitution of God

Michael Johnson
We strongly reject, therefore, every explanation of the death of Christ which does not have at its centre the principle of ‘satisfaction through substitution’, indeed divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. The cross was not: a commercial bargain with the devil…
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Luther on True Contemplation of the Cross

Michael Johnson
Let us meditate a moment on the passion of Christ....true contemplation is that in which the heart is crushed and the conscience smitten....You must be overwhelmed by the frightful wrath of God who so hated sin that he spared not…
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Propaganda and the Gospel

Michael Johnson
Here's the gospel in five minutes from Propaganda. More gospel-centered hip-hop at Humble Beast Records.
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Japan, Sovereignty, and Mercy

Michael Johnson
Japan’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake—the biggest one to ever strike Japan—echoes the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. In response, John Piper wrote an article titled “Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy.” The essence of his main points are the same, slightly modified for…
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Tim Keller's King's Cross: A Review

Michael Johnson
My oldest daughter compares Tim Keller to Pixar: when they both release new material, you just know it’s going to be great. Since The Reason for God (2008), Keller and the Redeemer City to City team have produced four…
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Piper on Technological Temptations to Distractedness

Michael Johnson
Following up on John Piper's Facebook article, he earlier spoke about the challenges technology poses to Bible reading and prayer at the 2011 Desiring God Conference for Pastors.
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An Open Letter to Clarence the Angel (from the Film It’s a Wonderful Life

Michael Johnson
Dear Clarence, At the outset, please forgive me if this letter seems a bit disjointed. I’ve never written an angel before, so I’m a bit nervous! What’s the occasion of this, my very first “Angel” letter? I realize it’s a…
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Faithful Presence Amid "Continuous Partial Attention," Part 2

Michael Johnson
In last week's post, we briefly discussed James Davison Hunter's observation (from his book To Change the World) that our increasingly omnipresent "fragmentation of consciousness" poses significant challenges to foster a distinctly Christian faithful presence in our modern…
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