Piper Poem on Suffering

Josh Etter

What is God’s sovereign grace?

Not grace to bar what is not bliss
Nor flight from all distress but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.

This poem was taken from the sermon by John Piper, “Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever”.

When Preaching Becomes Plagiarism

Tyler Kenney

When has a preacher crossed the line into plagiarism in his sermon?

Matt Perman, senior director of strategy at DG, has posted his response today at The Gospel Coalition Blog. Itfollows in a series on plagiarism that began earlier this week, which also includes posts byDon Carson, Sandy Willson,Tim Keller,Glenn Lucke and Collin Hansen (the last two forthcoming; read Hansen's introductionto the series).

After explaining his answer, Matt gives this encouraging takeaway:

Just be... Continue Reading

We Are Not So Reasonable

Jon Bloom
We Are Not So Reasonable

And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers…[and] went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them. (Judges 2:12)

The ancient Israelites repeatedly turned to the idols of the surrounding nations despite God’s repeated warnings. What in the world was so compelling about Baal, Dagon, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Molech?

Answer: the world around them worshiped them. The nations surrounding Israel had fruitful harvests and won wars. They grew wealthy,... Continue Reading

What Is a Peacemaker?

Dustin S.

Our master, Jesus the Messiah, said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Christians are called to be peacemakers. So how are we doing? Is this what we are known for? Does this describe you?

Imagine you were to tell your family that you wanted to be a peacemaker. Would they first think of the church or the UN? “Peacemaker” ought to be synonymous with Christian, especially in light of the frequent New Testament commands to be at peace with others (i. e.... Continue Reading

A Good Way to Think of the Love of Christ

Tyler Kenney
A Good Way to Think of the Love of Christ

Jonathan Edwards explains how romantic love helps us understand Jesus' feelings towards the church (Miscellanies #189, spacing added):

We see how great love the human nature is capable of, not only to God but fellow creatures. How greatly are we inclined to the other sex! Nor doth an exalted and fervent love to God hinder this, but only refines and purifies it.

God has created the human nature to love fellow creatures, which he wisely has principally turned to the... Continue Reading

Are You More Blessed Than the Virgin Mary?

Jonathan Parnell
Are You More Blessed Than the Virgin Mary?

In the sermon descriptively entitled,

“That Hearing and Keeping the Word of God Renders a Person More Blessed Than Any Other Privilege That Ever God Bestowed on Any of the Children of Men,”

Jonathan Edwards writes:

The hearing and keeping the word of God brings the happiness of a spiritual union and communion with God.

‘Tis a greater blessedness to have spiritual communion with God and to have a saving intercourse with him by the instances of his Spirit and by the... Continue Reading

A Bitter Harvest?

Paul Tripp
A Bitter Harvest?

The Bible is very clear about three things:

  1. God's way is always the best way (Psalm 119:160).
  2. God's way will not always seem the best way to you (Proverb 14:12).
  3. What you plant, you will harvest (Galatians 6:7ff).

In every relationship, every day you harvest what you previously planted and plant what you will someday harvest. When division and acrimony take place in a relationship, we aren't experiencing mysterious difficulty. No, sadly, we're harvesting what we have sown.

In this fallen world,... Continue Reading

When a Rebuke Became a Reward

Jon Bloom
When a Rebuke Became a Reward

Imagine what Zechariah and Elizabeth talked about after their friends left the naming ceremony where Zechariah had miraculously regained his speech. What might he have learned in those silent months?

* * *

“So… are you going to tell me?”

Elizabeth was ready to burst. She had waited nearly a year to hear what had happened in the temple.

Zechariah was looking adoringly at baby John lying on his lap. “Women. They always need the details about everything!” Zechariah looked up... Continue Reading

John Piper's Return Date

Tyler Kenney

Kenny Stokes made the following announcement before his sermon this weekend at Bethlehem:

As many of you know, earlier this year the elders granted Pastor John Piper a leave of absence from Bethlehem from May 1 through December 31. John will be returning to Bethlehem, as planned, the first week of January, but he and Noël will be in Georgia for New Year’s weekend (Jan 1-2) with her family. His first weekend back, God willing, in the Bethlehem pulpit will be January 8 & 9. Join us... Continue Reading

C. S. Lewis on Loving Aslan More Than Jesus

Tyler Kenney
C. S. Lewis on Loving Aslan More Than Jesus

If after watching "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (which released in US theaters this weekend), you find yourself or your kids feeling drawn to Aslan with alarming emotion, don't assume it's just the result of some cinematic spell. Aslan had that effect even back when he was knowable only through words on a page.

A concerned mother once wrote C. S. Lewis on behalf of her son, Laurence, who, having read The Chronicles of Narnia, became concerned that he loved Aslan... Continue Reading