Despite Us, God Works

Michael Oh

Spring Break 1990 in Daytona Beach, Florida

I was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. 

If it had been one year earlier I would have been at Daytona Beach to join in the partying. As it was, God had intervened mercifully in my life before going to college, and I was there for a beach evangelism project. Christians sure know how to almost have fun.

A bunch of us…

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At Least Be as Smart as a Bush

John Piper

In the debates over evolution, be sure you do not become less intelligent than the beasts, the birds, the bushes, and the fish. They know something the brilliant godless do not know.

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare

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God’s Moral Will and Sovereign Will

John Piper

I would like to help you distinguish between God’s moral will and his sovereign will. This will help you make sense of the apparent contradiction between these two statements:

1. God does all things according to his will (sovereign will).

“He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand” (Daniel 4:35).

“Our God is in…

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Large Sails and Little Ballast

John Piper

Large spiritual passion with small doctrinal understanding is large sails and tall masts on a tiny boat in high winds. It will dart wildly over the surface for a hundred yards. Then one wave, or one crosswind, will bring it all crashing into the unforgiving sea.

Give as much attention to enlarging the depth of your ballast as you do to the height of your sails.

Of course, if you…

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Summary of the 2011 Conference for Pastors

Jonathan Parnell

Notes and full audio and video from each session are now available.

Joel Beeke — Cultivating Private Prayer as a Pastor

Beeke says, "Prayer is often treated as the appendix to our work rather than the foundation. . . . The problem is not that we don't pray, but rather it is that we seldom pray prayerfully." He explains two parts required for prayerful praying: taking hold of yourself…

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Planting Churches That Last (Part 1) - Study the Past

Dave Harvey

The best car I ever owned was a ’72 Chrysler Valiant. My wife, Kimm, called it the “Wonder V,” as in, “I wonder why you think I want to ride in that.” But it was a tank on tires—so solidly built, I used it as a backstop for pitching practice. A baseball into the side of my present car would total it. It was a sad day when the “Wonder…

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Prayer: “Reversed Thunder”

John Piper

We just finished a conference on prayer. To keep fanning the flames of zeal for a life of prayer, here is the most remarkable poem on prayer I know. It was written by George Herbert.

For me, the phrase “reversed thunder,” as a description of prayer, is worth more than a hundred explanations.

Prayer (I)

Prayer the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The…

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One Third of Americans Affiliate with Evangelical Churches

John Piper

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. In the most recent First Things, he writes The Good News About Evangelicalism, and gives some of the results of The Baylor Religious Survey.

The results contradict recent claims that evangelicalism is shrinking and the younger generation is becoming more secular. I suspect the main value of empirical research like this is to keep other researchers…

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