When Is Indecision Loveless and Sinful? (A Lesson from Bonhoeffer)

John Piper

Have you ever been paralyzed with indecision? I have. It is not a good trait of leadership.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer breathed the air of crisis most of his adult life. This would eventually make the issue of decisiveness a matter of life and death. And even before that moment it was an issue of love.

Everywhere Bonhoeffer looked in the Europe of 1934 he saw Christian indecisiveness. The “deutsche Christen,” the…

Continue Reading

Why the Lamb Was Spotless

Tony Reinke

Gerald Bray:

The lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of the people became sin for them, but it was not covered in blotches representing sins. On the contrary, it had to be completely free of blemish in order to be able to bear the burden of the people’s sins [Exodus 12:5]. If the lamb were less than perfect, someone might say that it was being sacrificed because of its…

Continue Reading

Lent or No Lent, Life Is War

John Piper

Lent or no Lent, not doing some things you feel like doing is the daily pattern for the disciples of Jesus. Yes, daily. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

In the resurrection there will be no self-denial because none of our desires will be sinful or foolish. Till then we have sinful and foolish desires…

Continue Reading

How Safe We Are

Tony Reinke

Matthew 10:30:

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Charles Spurgeon:

You all take care of yourselves to some extent, but which of you ever took so much care of himself as to count the hairs of his head? But God will not only protect our limbs, but even the growth of hair is to be seen after. And how much this excels all the care of…

Continue Reading

The Darling Object of William Wilberforce

Jon Bloom

At 4:00 AM on February 24, 1807, the British Parliament overwhelmingly voted to abolish the slave trade and then “rose almost to a man and turned towards [William] Wilberforce in a burst of Parliamentary cheers…while he sat, head bowed, tears streaming down his face.”1 

This extraordinary moment was the culmination of 20 years of relentless, determined personal and legislative exertion to bring this evil trade to an end.…

Continue Reading

Psalm 111: Delighting in the Works of God

Joe Rigney

Psalm 111:2 reminds us of a fundamental principle: Delight leads to study. A Lover can recall every feature of his Beloved’s face. A mother knows every dimple, hair, and birthmark on her baby’s body. When we recognize something as full of splendor and majesty, careful attention is no chore. When we are fascinated, when we marvel at some wonder, when our hearts rise with delight in some reality, the natural…

Continue Reading

Ages and Ages of Immeasurable Riches

Tony Reinke

Ephesians 2:4–7

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of

Continue Reading

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Wolfhart Pannenberg on Schism

John Piper

Of course, the courage of Bonhoeffer to defy the compromising state church of Germany in the early days of Nazism is inspiring. A church that did not stand with the Jews,  he said, was not the church of Jesus Christ. So at great risk he came out.

Wolfhart Pannenberg, 84, is the retired professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Munich where he served since 1968. He was very…

Continue Reading

Few Things Are More Humbling

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

We do not give God authority over our lives. He has it whether we like it or not. What utter folly it is to act as though we had any rights at all to call God into question! We need to hear now and then blunt words like those of Virginia Stem Owens who said in [the] Reformed Journal,

Let us get this one thing straight. God…

Continue Reading

What's the Deal with Anxiety?

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John explains the nature and effects of anxiety,

Think for a moment how many different sinful actions and attitudes come from anxiety. Anxiety about finances can give rise to coveting and greed and hoarding and stealing. Anxiety about succeeding at some task can make you irritable and abrupt and surly. Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring about other people. Anxiety about how someone will…

Continue Reading