John Piper’s Gestures
John Piper’s preaching gestures are quickly becoming legendary. There’s now a whole website dedicated to animated clips of his best preaching gestures. So this week we asked Pastor John two gesture questions.
In episode 49, we asked him about when he started using them in the pulpit.
It is possible to leap and wave and holler and entertain and say nothing and be useless. And I don’t want to do that. Therefore gestures in my mind are not of the essence of the demonstration of the Spirit and power. That is just not what they are, because people can listen to sheer audio of messages and have their lives changed. They can’t see you at all when that is happening. …
Whatever I do in the pulpit just comes naturally and I have never studied gesture. I have never planned gesture. I don't think about gesture while I am preaching. … For me, it is just who I am and what I do and it is part of my language.
Listen to the entire podcast here: What’s with All the Preaching Gestures?
We followed up in episode 50 by asking what he thinks of people enjoying his gestures as entertainment. There he explained why it doesn’t bother him, and why preaching gestures are useful in the pulpit.
Preaching, to me, is expository exultation. Expository means I am explaining things. I want to make them clear. And so my hands are trying to do in the air what I am saying with my mouth. And exultation means I am trying to get hearts up to God. So my hands are going up a lot. They are up and they are out. And that is exactly what I want to say. I want to say, “Go to God, go out. Go to God, go out.” My hands are doing it right now even as I say it.
Listen to episode 50 here: Does It Bother You People Are Entertained by Your Gestures?
After those lighthearted questions at the beginning of the week, we turned to more serious and sobering topics.
By far the most serious, and the most played, podcast of the week was episode 52. A man from New Zealand emailed to ask: How Does It Glorify God to Predestine People to Hell?
Pastor John answered by explaining Romans 9:22–23:
There Paul says God aims to display his wrath and his power. His goal is that the full range of his perfections be known. I think this is the ultimate goal of the universe. God created the universe so that the full range of his perfections — including wrath and power and judgment and justice — would be displayed.
Listen to the entire podcast here.
We finished out the week with two reader questions. In episode 51, a woman writes to ask: My Faith Is Driving My Family Away — What Do I Do? And in episode 53, Ken writes to ask: Can We Reconcile Creation and Evolution?
You can tune in to the new episodes through the new Ask Pastor John iPhone app, which can be donwloaded for free here.
We’re currently hosting all the recordings on SoundCloud, a website that makes it easy to listen to several of the podcasts in one sitting. They’re also archived on the DG website and syndicated on iTunes.
We want to hear from you. To submit a question to Pastor John please include your first name, hometown, and question in an email to AskPastorJohn AT desiringGod DOT org.
We have started to receive requests from broadcasters asking to play these episodes over the airwaves, and we are happy to help make this possible. Please send us an email to the above mentioned address and we’ll get back to you.
Thanks for listening to the podcasts. We appreciate your engagement and interest.
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