(I made Abraham post this.)
Happy birthday, Abraham Piper. Thanks for all your work on the DG web site.
From the looks of it having a little one makes you happier than being a little one.
I suppose that’s what Jesus said: It is more blessed to give (which is what parents do) than to receive (which is what little ones do).
In both cases you have made one dad very glad, namely, me.
I love you.
I took a few days recently to put my sermons on Ruth into a small book that may be called A Sweet and Bitter Providence. One of the spillovers from that effort was a renewed sense of how much we need great stories that embody great truths.
Ruth and Boaz is a great love story. When a story is permeated with God and his vision of life, we get to watch truth happen. The beauty of truth is not explained to us. It is lived before us.
God’s truth concerning manhood and womanhood is beautiful. Most of us are so sinful that we don’t model it well. So we need teaching and we need storytelling. And we need Christ to forgive us and renew us and send us back again and again into this truth...…
The last reference to John the Baptist in our four Gospels is in the final week of Jesus’ life. Jesus mentioned him to explain this astonishing statement to the chief priests and elders:
Truly , I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew 21:31)
How in the world can a prostitute enter heaven before a priest?
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. (Matthew 21:32)
The reason prostitutes are entering heaven before priests is that they believed John.
If you are a prostitute…
Today is the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest English poets, John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674).
His greatest work, the epic poem Paradise Lost, was dictated between 1658 and 1664. He had become totally blind by 1654.
It begins with this prayer (to the Holy Spirit?), and covers the sweep of history from Adam to Christ:
Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse...
But in spite of the magnificent scope of the epic, m…
We are a people of promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made—that he would give a way to draw near to him.
Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25. The first Advent Sunday this year was November 30. For four weeks, it’s as if we’re re-enacting, remembering, the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus.
That’s what the word advent means—coming. Even God’s prophets who foretold the grace that was to come didn’t know “what person or time …
Here is a three-second experience that might encourage you.
I was sitting at my desk slowly reading and praying over Job 29 and 30. The thought came over me that at this moment I am pain-free. In fact, I feel very good. I feel warm and content. Almost cozy. As if in a blanket by a fire on a cold evening with a good book and a friend.
The next thought that came over me—came over is what I mean—was that this pain-free euphoria will not last. My back pain will increase. My joints will stiffen. My eyes will grow dim. My hearing will become more muffled. My memory will weaken. My mind will slow down. My balance will make me stumble. And warm moments like this will decrease to the point w…
I gave a presentation at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, last month titled "Why God Is Not a Megalomaniac in Demanding to Be Worshiped."
It is probably the shortest public presentation I have made in the last 20 years! The reason is that I wanted to leave time for questions and criticism. So more than 25 of the 45 minutes allotted to me was Q&A. If we can get the audio recording, we will post it.
But for now, here are seven theses that summarize what I am on the planet to communicate.
The new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, which is now where every visitor will arrive to see the nation’s Capitol, opened yesterday with 580,000 square feet of displays and $621,000,000 worth of history, but no God.
In what appears to be an intentional misrepresentation of the nation’s religious roots, visitors will enter the center reading a large engraving:
We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.
This reminded me of the celebration of the goddess Reason in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on November 10, 1792. There were some similarities between the American and French Revolutions. But that was not one o…
When Absalom rebelled against his father David, Ziba lied about Mephibosheth and stole his inheritance.
Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son. David, as you remember, loved Jonathan. So he had promised to let Mephibosheth eat at his royal table all his life.
Mephibosheth was lame in both feet and could not escape from Jerusalem by himself when David fled from Absalom. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, told David that Mephibosheth was a traitor.
Without knowing this was a lie, David rewarded Ziba with all of Mephibosheth’s inheritance.
Soon Absalom was dead and the insurrection was quashed. David returned and found Mephibosheth, who had not washed or shaved since David left, because…
The vision in Daniel 8 is appalling. The great beastly enemy of God is allowed to kill huge numbers of saints.
His power shall be great...and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. (Daniel 8:24)
Daniel is made sick by the vision. But in spite of being sick and appalled, he does his work.
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it. (Daniel 8:27)
That is the way it is in ministry. From one day to the next the news changes. Some hits home so c…