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…

Arrow

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
Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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."
Arrow

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…

Arrow

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
Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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
Arrow

"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…

Arrow

"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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow

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…

Arrow