Last Thursday two judges pleaded guilty in Philadelphia to accepting more than $2.6 million from a private youth detention center in return for giving hundreds of youths and teenagers long sentences.
Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan admitted that for three years they took payoffs from two penal childcare institutions.
In this we move not just beyond the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21), and not just beyond the law of Moses (Exodus 23:21), but beyond the law written on the heart before there was any law of Moses.
Before Mount Sinai, when Moses was overwhelmed with having to decide more cases in Israel than he could handle, his father-in-law told him he needed help. W…
A Love Poem of Hope
in Seven Languages
for my wife Noël
Valentines Day, 2009
My love, come listen as I seek
With seven tongues, and hope, on your
Sweet soul to let our Sovereign speak:
Je suis avec vous tous les jours.
He bids us come and learn to rest
Beneath his feather burden. Come feel,
He says, how light, how sweet, how blessed,
Porque me yugo es facil.
And if we fear what yet will be,
He tells us what we yet will see:
’al tiyra’ kiy ‘imkah aniy
temaktiykah biymiyn tsadkiy.
If darkness lingers on, and thus
Delays the precious light of dawn,
Fear not, because we know for us
God works panta eis agathon.
And if barbarians invade
The soul, and take our borderlands,
My favorite love letter (besides the ones I write for Noël and she for me) is from the 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards to the girl he was falling in love with in the summer of 1723. On the front page of his Greek grammar he wrote the only kind of love song his heart was capable of. Take a deep breath.
They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him—that she expects after a while to be received up wher…
This is a word of thanks for Abraham Lincoln in spite and because of his imperfections on his 200th birthday.
Two years before Lincoln became our 16th President he debated Stephen Douglas in pursuit of the Illinois U. S. Senate seat. Lincoln lost. He was too progressive on the issue of slavery for a state that made it a crime to bring into its boundaries “a person having in him one-fourth Negro blood, whether free or slave.”
But the debates did bring out the virtually universal racism of 19th century America including Abraham Lincoln's. For all his greatness—and it is extraordinary—Lincoln was a child of his time on matters of race (as we all are). He became the Republican candidat…
Today, 280 years ago, Solomon Stoddard, Jonathan Edwards’ grandfather, died. He had been pastor of the church in Northampton, MA for 60 years.
Jonathan had been his assistant for two years. Now he was the sole pastor. From this position, and later from Stockbridge, CT would emerge the greatest writing from any pastor America has ever produced.
The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University has fulfilled a dream I did not expect to see. With the 26 volumes of the Yale paper edition of the Works of Edwards selling for over $100 each, I never expected to see every word of Edwards freely available to read, search, and quote on line.
But there it is, like an ocean of hidden treasures …
Jesus wants his followers to be free from worry. In Matthew 6:25-34 he gives at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety.
One of them lists food and drink and clothing, and then says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:32).
Do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (vv. 31-32).
Jesus must mean that God’s knowing is accompanied by his desiring to meet our need. He is emphasizing we have a Father. And this Father is better than an earthly father.
I have five childr…
The Elders at Bethlehem have graciously given me an 8-week writing leave that starts today, Thursday, February 5, 2009. I like to think of it as a “writing assignment.” It is part of my calling as an elder at Bethlehem. I am working—probably harder and longer hours than when I am not on writing leave.
At this point, I am still praying about what projects to make a priority. There are so many things I want to write! Below are the possible projects. Prioritizing requires some extended reflection and prayer that I will do in the first days of the leave...
Read the rest of the article.
Today is Dwight L. Moody’s birthday, the man who (according to Christian History)
- without higher education, founded three schools;
- without theological training, reshaped Victorian Christianity;
- without radio or television reached 100 million people.
In honor of the Christ who saved him and the Spirit who empowered him, here is his testimony of a mighty work of God in his life.
In the summer of 1871, two women of Dwight L. Moody's congregation felt an unusual burden to pray for him "that the Lord would give him the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire." Moody would see them praying in the front row of his church and he was irritated.
But soon he gave in…
Today is Langston Hughes's Birthday (1902-1967). He was one of the 20th century’s most notable African-American poets.
These two poems seem to catch the pilgrimage that has led to the White House. If he could have lived to see what the line would mean: “I too am America”!
Mother to Son
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
John Piper's new book Finally Aliveis scheduled to release next week. We hope to have it available at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors on Monday, February 2.
This is the first of 6 posts introducing this book. This first one is a Q&A with John Piper about why he wrote the book. The last 5 will provide 5 of my favorite quotes from Finally Alive and some endorsements.
Q: Finally Alive is a whole book dedicated to the theme of the new birth. Why take up this doctrine?
A: In December 2006, I finished preaching through Romans with a joyful thankfulness for the great truth of justification that looms so large in that book. It seemed to me that what was needed was to head o…