Piper’s First Published Poem for Money ($5)

John Piper
Piper’s First Published Poem for Money ($5)

Since I preached on this text last Sunday (John 8:57), I decided to dig into my files to find the first poem I ever published for money. Five dollars. It was in the September, 1969 issue of Christian Life (p. 68).

Five dollars may have been just about right for the poem, but the truth is worth billions.

In that land
Were some birds
And some grass
And very much dust
And a number of common folk
With a lot of simplicity
And wisdom;
So it was not unnatural
That they... Continue Reading

People Do Not Drift Toward Holiness

Josh Etter

Hard work is not the opposite of grace, it is the result of experiencing grace.

D. A. Carson explains:

People do not drift toward Holiness.

Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.

We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and... Continue Reading

Has the Gospel Been Preached to the Whole Creation Already?

John Piper
Has the Gospel Been Preached to the Whole Creation Already?

From Rob Bell to Peter O’Brien, Colossians 1:23 proves a challenge. Paul refers to the gospel of his day as “the gospel . . . which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (ESV). Commentators multiply explanations of how the gospel could have already been proclaimed “in all creation” in the first century. The context:

You he has now reconciled . . . if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of... Continue Reading

Pilate: Powerful, Pragmatic Pawn of Providence

Jon Bloom
Pilate: Powerful, Pragmatic Pawn of Providence

Pontius Pilate is picture of worldly power. He is competent and calculating, he is pragmatic and self-preserving. But for all his shrewdness, his life demonstrates that the “Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth.”1

Imagine a conversation over breakfast between Pilate and his wife, Procula, on the Sunday morning following Jesus’ crucifixion, just before they receive word that the tomb is empty.

__________

“You’re quiet again this morning,... Continue Reading

What is Prayer?

Josh Etter

John Piper defines prayer as "intentionally conveying a message to God" —

See the video on YouTube.

The Gospel and the Bikini Barista

Wendy Alsup
The Gospel and the Bikini Barista

In part 1of my journey to gospel-centered womanhood,I recounted how I came to understand Scripture's instructions to women through the lens of the gospel. Apart from the gospel, the law kills. Presenting instructions to women apart from a thorough fleshing out of the gospel sets women up for failure.

The second part of my journey involved understanding the curse of Genesis 3:16 and God's answer to it in the gospel. I had a strong longing that only God could satisfy that I... Continue Reading

Where Would You Turn? (A Gospel Scenario)

Tony Payne
Where Would You Turn? (A Gospel Scenario)

You’re reading your Bible on the train, and you get chatting to the guy next to you. And as you quietly pray that God would give you an opportunity to share the gracious, salty words of the gospel, your new friend says, “You know, I don’t mean to offend, but to be honest I’ve never really understood why people read the Bible and go to church and all that. I’m a Christian, but to me it’s about the life you live, and how you treat people. Respecting others. Being... Continue Reading

When Christians Would Be Utterly Insane

Jonathan Parnell

Extemporaneous moments in corporate worship are sometimes the parts that stick with us the most. One such moment came in John Piper's concluding prayer of a recent sermon on John 8:30-36.

In this video, Piper confesses when Christians would be utterly insane:

Lord, I want to be free. I want my desires so changed into accord with reality so that I can do what I want to do and never regret it. That's what I want. And so I'm going hard after Jesus to change me, because... Continue Reading