Here is the voice of my father for 4 minutes on how final salvation is contingent on perseverance, and yet eternal security and assurance are possible. It comes from an exposition of Colossians 1:21-23.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
This is from the overflow of what I have been reading and …
Surveys and statistics are maddeningly fickle. So don’t exult too much in what follows. I only cite it in case you have been discouraged or elated by surveys saying the opposite.
It’s better just to be a good follower of Jesus and not put your finger in the wind.
In the current issue of Books and Culture Jon Shields reviews the book, Who Really Cares, by Arthur C. Brooks which argues that religious conservatives (of all religious stripes) as opposed to liberals are more generous. Here are some quotes from the review.
Drawing on some ten data sets, Brooks finds that religiosity is among the best predictors of charitable giving. Religious Americans are not only much mo…
Monday is Martin Luther King day. I encourage all pastors and Sunday School teachers to make something of it this weekend. It may be too late to preach on racial and ethnic issues, if you have not already planned to. But it is not too late, if you read this on Saturday, to plan to simply take note of the day and speak a word of exhortation to your people concerning their hearts in matters of race and ethnicity. None of us. None of us is without need for help in the purification of our hearts in the way we feel and think about other ethnic groups. Your people need help.
The point of this weekend is not to celebrate all that MLK was. You need not belabor his sins. The point is to lift up…
Crawford Loritts served for nearly 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ. I knew that anybody who has given that long to Campus Crusade must have a real heart for God and for evangelism.
Then I learned that he had become the senior pastor of a church in Roswell, Georgia. I was surprised to learn that it is primarily a white church (and he's not white!). I thought, "That's unusual!"
And on top of that he has written a book on fathering.
That was enough—almost—for me to call him. But then I went to hear him at the Gospel Coalition. In his message he alluded to his dad in a way that was …
Tonight it will be 40 degrees warmer in our kitchen freezer than it is outside here in Minneapolis. The high temperature on the Lord’s day will be five below zero (Fahrenheit). We receive this from the Lord’s hand.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
This is the kind of cold you do not play with. It kills. When I came to Minnesota from South Carolina, I dressed for it. But I did not prepare life-saving support in my car in cas…
Greg Livingstone is one of my heroes. He founded Frontiers, a mission to Muslims. He is not the president anymore, but he grew that mission into hundreds of people going to the hardest places of the world.
He has himself endured a lot, dealing with health issues in his family and serving in very risky places. Through the mission, he has had to deal with people getting thrown in jail and getting killed. And he has had to handle parents who are upset because their child is going to some crazy place like Iraq or Saudi Arabia because of him.
The reason I invited him this year—though I would have…
When to quit your good work—not just scholarly work, but any work:
As the author of the Theologia Germanica says, we may come to love knowledge—our knowing—more than the thing known: to delight not in the exercise of our talents but in the fact that they are ours, or even in the reputation they bring us. Every success in the scholar’s life increases this danger. If it becomes irresistible, he must give up his scholarly work. The time for plucking out the right eye has arrived. (C. S. Lewis, “Learning in War-Time,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, p. 50.)
I'll go out of my way to listen to Don Carson any chance I get. He is a scholar of the first rank, and a pastoral scholar who has a love for the church. He is an evangelist who does what he calls "missions" at universities where he argues for the cause of Christ and leads people out of their unbelief.
He is reformed and loves the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace. He is a family man and—so I've heard—he's also able to build just about anything with his hands.
He is also clear and articulate. He says things and you understand what he means.
So he is something like a renaissance man, and I just admire people like that. There aren't many of them around.
But the d…
My father, Bill Piper, was an incredibly intense preacher of the gospel with a strong evangelistic bent. That's because he was an evangelist. He was not a pastor and never was a pastor. For 50+ years he served as an itinerant evangelist trying all the time to rescue people from perishing.
Because of this he always had the smell of hell singeing his garments and the aroma of heaven beckoning him on. The result was an amazing combination of blazing-eyed intensity as he preached with high levels of joy, praise, and exultation over the hope that he had in Jesus Christ.
Sometimes the best mark of holiness is not griping that sin abounds but groaning and grieving.
Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, 5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music, 6 who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! (Amos 6:4-6)
And the LORD said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” 5 And …