Blog Posts by Tony Reinke

Faith for Future Calamity

Tony Reinke

Between the ages of 6 and 18, young John Piper attended White Oak Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He and his family made White Oak their church home while John’s father was on the road frequently as a traveling evangelist.

John would preach at the church on a Sunday morning only one time — on New Year’s Eve, 1972. At the time, he was a doctoral student in New…

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Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

We released ten new episodes in the past two weeks, and what follows are brief transcribed excerpts from each (click on the hyperlinked titles to listen).

As a brief programing note, during the month of July we will be releasing four new episodes each week (on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays).

Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Episode 122):

Porn is destructive to a man’s capacities to love a…

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Thanking God with Piper, Chandler, and Storms

Tony Reinke

It’s now been three months since John Piper transitioned from the local-church pastorate to full-time “wider” ministry through Desiring God.

The church gathered on April 14 for an appreciation and recommissioning service for her beloved Pastor John. There Piper gave a few formal words of farewell, and he and the church heard charges from ministry friends Sam Storms and Matt Chandler. A written summary of the evening has been available

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20 Quotes from Finally Free

Tony Reinke

The following quotes were taken from Heath Lambert’s excellent forthcoming book, Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (Zondervan; August 8), now available for pre-order.

“Every instance of treasuring images of sexual immorality in our hearts, every eager glance at pornography, all of our lustful gawking — everything — is paid for by Jesus in his death for sinners.” (21)

“The tide will begin to turn in…

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Laboring in the Hills of Tennessee (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

Much has happened in the past two weeks. The Ask Pastor John podcast recently reached the 1 millionth play milestone. Pastor John and his family moved temporarily from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee (see episodes 111 and 112 for the details). And over the past two weeks, we have released 10 new episodes of the podcast. What follows are transcribed excerpts from these new episodes…

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Dying Well: One Woman’s Extraordinary Story

Tony Reinke

Margaret Magdalen Jasper (1752–1789) doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Google her name and you’ll find almost nothing about her life. What she looked like is a mystery. She wasn’t famous in her day, and she’s still not famous in our day. Her ordinary life was filled with disappointments, the kind of life history tends to forget.

But her story is worth telling.

Margaret lived in England, and there she was…

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One Million Plays Later (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

Since launching the Ask Pastor John podcast in mid-January, we have released 112 episodes. And last weekend the podcast surpassed one million plays, which is a great time to hit pause and thank everyone who has been listening to the daily podcast either via Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, or through the iPhone or Android apps.

Thank you!

The stats are meaningful to us in as much…

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Spurgeon’s First Five Years in Ministry

Tony Reinke

The celebrated preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834–92) was converted at age 15. He preached his first sermon just after his 16th birthday. By age 18, he took his first pastorate in the country. And before turning 20, Spurgeon was pastoring in London.

Spurgeon’s entire life and ministry are fascinating, but those first five years of his Christian life, between 1850–54, are years that especially interest me, and in this episode of …

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Those Deleted Tweets

Tony Reinke

Monday night, in the wake of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, John Piper posted two tweets at 11:00pm (CST). Both tweets quoted the first chapter of Job. He first cited Job 1:19, and then Job 1:20, and they were posted together consecutively:

  • @JohnPiper: “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” Job 1:19
  • @JohnPiper: “Then Job…
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The Bible as One Story

Tony Reinke

How does the Bible hold together into a single, cohesive story?

It’s an important (and intimidating) question reserved for the discipline of biblical theology, an angle of scholarship that focuses on sections of Scripture, sometimes the whole of the Bible, to show how the texts fits together within the unfolding drama of redemption and consummation in Jesus Christ.

Edmund Clowney, the noteworthy theologian and preacher who passed away in…

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God’s Sovereignty and Personal Compassion in Public Tragedy

Tony Reinke

In light of various tragedies in the news, I asked Pastor John a few weeks ago how he personally reconciles what appears to be two conflicting responses when public tragedy occurs: (1) his compassion towards those who suffer and (2) his conviction that Scripture ascribes to God the final control over all calamities and disasters wrought by both nature and man (see Exodus 4:11, Deuteronomy 32:39, 1 Samuel 2:6–7, Ecclesiastes…

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Spiritually and Emotionally, How Far Is Too Far Before Marriage? (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

ESPN analyst Chris Broussard on homosexuality. C.S. Lewis on joy. Choosing a seminary. Processing a tragedy. And how far is too far in dating. It’s all in a fortnight of Ask Pastor John episodes.

What follows are excerpts from each episode (click on hyperlinked titles to listen).

How Far Is Too Far Before Marriage, Spiritually and Emotionally? (Episode 84):

A man especially needs to stay awake to what is happening…

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How Introverted Pastors Love

Tony Reinke

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s no secret John Piper is an introvert.

This week 75 pastors and ministry leaders gathered together as a local chapter of TGC Twin Cities to hear Pastor John share about his 33 years of ministry. The discussion was led by R.W. Glenn of Redeemer Bible Church.

One of the first questions was how an introverted pastor, like Piper, has learned to love others through his personal…

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Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters

Tony Reinke

The ascension of Jesus is celebrated 40 days after his resurrection, the date when he departed from earth and returned bodily to heaven (Luke 24:50–53, Acts 1:9–11).

On first glance, Jesus rising up in the clouds may seem like something out of a Monty Python skit. It’s perhaps a little difficult to understand, maybe even a little bizarre to grasp, and even more difficult to apply. And yet the ascension…

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Ian and Larissa: One Year Later

Tony Reinke

Note: Click the CC button to watch this video with captions in 18 different languages.

It’s been one year since we released this video, very simply titled: “The Story of Ian and Larissa.” The response was (and continues to be) stunning — over 1.5 million plays online from viewers around the world. But such impressive numbers only faintly echo the measure of grace in the lives of Ian and Larissa…

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C. S. Lewis, Panhandlers, and Laziness (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

C.S. Lewis, panhandlers, and laziness: these are all themes from this week's lineup of Ask Pastor John podcast episodes. Three episodes focus on C. S. Lewis and the fall DG national conference: "The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis" (September 27–29 in Minneapolis). Details for the conference are forthcoming.

Excerpts follow from each episode (click on the hyperlinked titles to listen).

Why

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Meaning and Metaphor

Tony Reinke

Sometimes spiritual truth is best communicated through the imagination, and I think this explains why the book of Revelation includes war tales of red dragons and multi-headed beasts — those nasty creatures are a great way to embody evil and rebellious nations.

But the non-fiction imagination comes in many different forms, and one form is the metaphor. Jesus, we are told, is “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), a…

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The Tuning Fork of the Soul

Tony Reinke

Successful Christian living is very much about steadiness and consistency, about firm resolve and steadfast endurance. There’s more to the Christian life, but these remain certain marks of God’s Spirit at work. And yet we feel the circumstances of life trying to swing us from despair to delight. When circumstances grow dark and we take our eyes off the Savior, we lose our balance and swing toward despair. When life…

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Marijuana, Caffeine, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Battling Selfishness (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

These were four themes featured in this week’s lineup of Ask Pastor John podcast episodes. What follows are excerpts from each episode (click on the hyperlinked titles to listen).

When Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock at Your Door (Episode 78):

If they come to the door, I say as gently and graciously as I can, “I know Jehovah’s Witness theology well enough to know that we have deep differences. I know that…

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In God We Joy

Tony Reinke

Our joy in God is bound up with our trust in God. The two cannot be separated — not ever. Trust is the backbone of joy. And joy is the outflow of trust in one who is fully Trustworthy.

We see this connection made throughout the Bible.

The Psalmist unites trust and joy:

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. (Psalm 5:11a)

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