One thing the Bible isn’t is utopist about life in this world. It gets unfairly criticized for encouraging a pessimism that makes people passive about doing anything to improve things; people who are “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”
Of course, that’s a lot of hogwash. History has shown that those who have a hope of heaven are far more likely than their agnostic or atheist neighbors to willingly make the personal sacrifices necessary to seriously address the horrors and hopelessness in the world.
But the Bible doesn’t gloss over horrors. Reading the whole Bible through, we wince a lot. And it is pretty frank about what we can expect during our sojourn on earth:
So if a p…
"Personal holiness"—what thoughts does this phrase engender?
If I had to guess, I would say your mind went to thinking about spiritual disciplines or moral performance. Or at least that's what mine did. The word "personal" has a way of making our brains forget God's self-attested holiness and focus only on our own, which we typically equate to nothing more than our conceived progress in fulfilling certain do's and don'ts.
Moral code can easily become our attempt to live up to God's holiness. Ontology gives way to function. Being is replaced by doing (and not doing). Welcome to planet frustration. This is the world of many followers of Christ—the disappointing drudgery of the religiou…
We are very excited about the short-term missions team of young people that have come to Bethlehem from the Dominican Republic. Over the next couple weeks they will be teaming up with members from Bethlehem to minister to Hispanics and Native Americans in Minnesota.
The team came to Desiring God yesterday for a visit, and infused our routine with their energy and enthusiasm.
We are thankful to God for the partnership we have with these brothers and sisters. Moreover, we are reminded that the gospel knows no cultural or national boundaries, and those who share in the gospel have brothers and sisters around the world. What a beautiful thing God is doing, uniting a people for himself fro…
Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Piper’s pastoral leadership at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Thirty is a significant milestone in a number of ways. John was just over 30 years old (34) when he assumed the senior pastorate on July 13, 1980, which means John has spent almost half his life pastoring this congregation. Bethlehem was 109 years old in 1980, which means John has been the pastor for almost 30% of its existence.
Through his sophomore year in college becoming a preacher was out of the question. John loved God and he loved the Bible. But he was absolutely terrified of public speaking. As a student at Wheaton College he settled for C’s in classes that required speeches as part …
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:16)
Dear Friends of Desiring God,
Last night at 8:16 p.m., Marlin Bloom, father of our Executive Director Jon Bloom, took his last breath and went to be with his Lord. The days God numbered for him in this life, before anything was created, are concluded.
This was not unexpected; Marlin had not been well for some time. We are all comforted with the evidences of God’s call and grace on his life. As Jon wrote to me last night, “Grateful that he is free and experiencing REAL joy.”
Yet, no matter the circumstance, it is a…
One night a rock sunk slowly. And when he did, Jesus had some profound things to teach us.1
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The day had been another mind-blower for the disciples. As they rowed toward Capernaum it was hard to stop talking about what they had seen. 5,000 men, plus women and children, and Jesus had fed them all! With one boy’s lunch! The power Jesus seemed to command both thrilled and unnerved them.
But it had all ended strangely. They had felt excited when the massive picnic turned into a “Jesus for king” rally. The people were beginning to understand! But Jesus had been visibly disturbed by this enthusiasm and moved quickly to douse it. That was confusing.
And why ha…