Not long ago, we learned that Kermit Gosnell had been killing babies in the third trimester and even after they were delivered, for decades. Just this week, we watched as bombs ripped through an unsuspecting crowd in downtown Boston. They’re not the same, but they are horrifying and mouth-stopping evils.
It’s enough to make us cry out to God, “Arise, O Lᴏʀᴅ; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, ‘You will not call to account’?” (Psalm 10:12–13). Why God? Why allow Gosnell to gruesomely murder these innocents? Why allow the explosions to maim so many innocents, and even kill three? You are God, right? You won’t let them get…
Barnabas Piper has put some thinking into sports. Actually, he has put a lot of Christian thinking into sports. Writing weekly for WorldMag.com, Barnabas has had a steady voice on what we can learn about God in America’s favorite entertainment.
So when Barnabas was recently in Minneapolis, we were eager to pull up a chair and pick his brain a little more. He starts by explaining that if Christians engage the culture through the arts, sports shouldn’t be excluded. It is more than “caveman entertainment” and there are precious truths to mine.
Joseph’s brothers realized something we should never forget.
It comes at the end of the story in Genesis 50. This is a long time after the brothers conspired together against Joseph. A lot had happened since then — since they hated their brother enough to sell him to Midianite traders for twenty shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28). That was the evil that started it all.
They grieved their father, Jacob, with a lie about Joseph’s death (Genesis 37:32–35). Joseph eventually was enslaved to Potiphar in Egypt, that is, until Potiphar’s wife slandered him (Genesis 39:11–20), had him thrown into prison (Genesis 39:19–20), and the cupbearer forgot him (Genesis 40:23). Years passed and then the fami…
Word of the Boston bombings hit Twitter before they hit CNN or any other news network. And as the video clips of the bombings began to emerge, my heart responded in shock and horror. Our hearts are wired to respond to atrocities like this, whether we’re near or far from the scene. Humans are complex creatures with a remarkable range of emotions, even at the same time. The Bible helps us understand the right way to react, and in the midst of tragedy, I want to respond appropriately. But I also know a simple response will not do.
Here’s something of a play-by-play of my own heart-response from yesterday afternoon and evening and today, and I’ll post my thoughts not as a model to be followed …
Sunday night, Bethlehem thanked God publicly for 33 years of John Piper’s pastoral ministry. As part of the celebration, Bethlehem partnered with Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary to produce a 19-minute video tribute to Pastor John.
Here the storyline is told through the testimonies of five people — a pastor, a mother, a missionary, a student, and an inner-city worker — all powerfully touched by God through John’s ministry, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. As you watch, thank God with us for his work in and through John, and pray with us for more stories of God’s grace as John continues to write and speak.
More on John Piper’s transition:
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN—There are a few rare cases where the legacy of a faithful preacher is marked by his books. Think of the shelf-filling works of a Martyn Lloyd-Jones or a Charles Spurgeon. Maybe the same will be true of John Piper.
But on Sunday night all three campuses of Bethlehem Baptist Church gathered in one auditorium to witness to the impact of John Piper’s 33-year preaching legacy in the Twin Cities. The evening included testimonials, congregational worship, an orchestra and adult choir, a children’s choir, and one choir comprised of 70 children adopted during Pastor John’s tenure at Bethlehem.
Pastor John has his own growing legacy of books, of course, but for two and a half hour…
For 33 years Bethlehem put bread on our table. They paid our salary. They didn’t muzzle this ox while he was treading out the grain (1 Timothy 5:18). They were the hands of God in meeting our needs. I am profoundly thankful. It was a sweet and powerful farewell last night — and included a special recommissioning from the elders for a final chapter of ministry beyond Bethlehem.
Now I’m treading out the grain at Desiring God. The muzzle is still off. I get my first DG paycheck today. My title in this new role is Founder and Teacher. My job is full time, divided over “Content Creation,” “Fundraising and Donor Relations,” “Board Leadership,” “Staff Leadership,” and “Other.”
For the first…
It was another full week of Ask Pastor John podcasts, covering a range of topics: biblical womanhood, hip hop, how to parent gender development, and advice for unemployed college grads. Here are excerpts from the five new episodes. Click on the hyperlinked titles to listen or download.
A lot of hip hop lyrics are stories. They move with a narrative which gives it an advantage of telling a story about someone’s experience or the movement of the history of redemption. Another factor about it that gives it remarkable clout, I think, is what I call linguistic energy. The hip hop I listen to is phenomenally energetic, …
“I feel like I’m 22 again,” says the newly transitioned John Piper.
Now that his pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist Church has officially ended, Piper says he feels like a recent college grad who is free to do anything God lays on his heart. “When you have that much freedom, you’re really faced with significant ‘don’t waste your life’ choices.” He plans to seek God in a focused way in the next year as to how to invest his next 10 or 15 years, if God would give that many.
This past week Piper sat down with Collin Hansen of The Gospel Coalition to talk about his hopes for the future, including some reflections on his past 33 years as a pastor and how that has shaped him for what’s next.
Have you marked your calendar for Ascension Day on May 9? How many of us have even heard of Ascension Day? Or perhaps just a sermon about Jesus’s ascension into heaven? It is impossible to overstate the importance of Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter Sunday, when he was raised from the dead — but Jesus’s earthly ministry did not stop there.
After the resurrection, Jesus taught his disciples about God’s kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then he was “taken up” to heaven (Acts 1:2, 11). The cross and empty tomb are at the very heart of the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus’s followers throughout history (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). However, for many evangelical Christia…