God Loves Good Wine
God likes using wines and vines in his miracles and parables.
I thought of that a number of years ago when I read the following in an article:
Great wines come from low-yielding vineyards planted in marginal climates on the poorest soils. Though hard on the vines, these tough conditions are good for the wine, because the vines that are stressed must work harder to produce fruit, which leads…
In an article written several decades back, Pastor John explained the value of reading richly descriptive literature to develop a vibrant language of theology. He encourages theology students to sometimes pick up great literature and poets like Wordsworth to catch their descriptive sensibilities. He wrote this in his article "The Poverty of Theological Vocabulary" (1970):
There is an intimate relationship between our power to enjoy a sensuous experience…
A Live-Stream to Help Fight Fire with Fire
John Piper writes in Future Grace,
I have often told young people that they must fight fire with fire. The fire of lust's pleasures must be fought with the fire of God's pleasures. If we try to fight the fire of lust with prohibitions and threats alone — even the terrible warnings of Jesus — we will fail. We must fight it with a massive promise of superior happiness.…
Praising Others is Not Optional
God-centered praise of those who are not God is not optional. A fire not stoked goes out. A refrigerator unplugged rots the eggs. A garden not tended erupts with weeds. Affirmation is the fire-stoking, refrigerator-electrifying, garden-tending side of relationships. Relationships in which commendable things are not commended, but overlooked, take on a flavor. The relationship is marked, and we take on a reputation to those around us.
Barnabas is called…Continue Reading
Piper's Green Preaching at Fuller (1971)
"Today is one of the best days of my seminary life." So wrote John Piper in his journal on Wednesday, March 24, 1971, during his final semester at Fuller Seminary.
On that Monday, March 22, "Dr. Schaper called me and asked me to speak in chapel today," he explained. "I agreed to and went straight to God, and all I did from that phone call until chapel this morning (except go…Continue Reading
Diapers, Nursing, Clinging to Christ
I don’t know about other moms, but something happens to my brain when I am pregnant or breastfeeding. It seems the larger my belly grows, the emptier my head becomes. Or that with each day of nursing, those brain cells are flowing out with the milk. I become forgetful and unable to concentrate.
It seems that now, six years after my last pregnancy, some of the cells are returning, but…Continue Reading
Moving From Fuzzy Platitudes to Concrete Praise
Yesterday we saw wisdom in commending that which is most commendable in people. What is it that makes something commendable?
All beauty is rooted in Jesus Christ, who is the flawless standard of everything good. We should praise that which is praiseworthy, and that which is most praiseworthy is the Father’s beloved pre-eminent son in whom he is well-pleased. All praiseworthy qualities and characteristics originate with him, are derived from…Continue Reading
Be a Real Husband and Dad
It was nearly 8 PM — that means bedtime for the kids. I pushed my books aside and met them in their room, where they were already lying down. The lights were off, and the stage was set for me to swoop in and perform my household priestly duties — a prayer, a blessing, and a goodnight kiss. I knelt beside our four-year-old's bed to begin my typical routine of…Continue Reading
Is It God-Centered to Praise People?
Isn’t the commendation of people idolatrous? If we should make our boast in God alone, how dare we praise mere people? Have we gone off the deep end, away from God-centeredness and into the popular cultural psycho-jargon of self-esteem?
If we aim to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things – including the commendation of people – then we are most definitely not speaking of…Continue Reading