Avoiding Smarty-Pants Theology

David Mathis

Bible teachers have their more sophisticated ways of saying, "Nanny nanny boo boo." 

And perhaps we Calvinists are especially susceptible to this temptation to pump our team more than focusing on biblical truths.

We would do well to track with John Frame's observations and maybe adjust our attitudes accordingly.

Frame writes in Evangelical Reunion:

[I]t is not hard to convince people of Calvinistic teachings when you avoid using Calvinistic jargon. . . . [T]here is a slogan among the…

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Can the Unregenerate Heal the Sick?

John Piper

Have you ever wondered how the unregenerate could say to Jesus on the judgment day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” (Matthew 7:22). Could this power have been real, and from God, and yet not be a sign of new birth? I think so.

Consider the way Jonathan Edwards describes how the Holy Spirit works differently in the godly and the ungodly.

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Robert Frost on Fire and Ice

John Piper

Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Robert Frost died on this day in 1963. The one poem of his that I ever memorized was “Fire and Ice.” This is powerful cadence and rhyme. It gets depravity right.

I think some preachers should ponder what they have to say long enough that sometimes they talk like this.

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those…

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The Secret of Invincible Joy

John Piper

Jesus revealed a secret that protects our happiness from the threat of suffering and the threat of success. That secret is this: Great is your reward in heaven. And the sum of that reward is enjoying the fullness of the glory of Jesus Christ (John 17:24).

He protects our happiness from suffering when he says,

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and…

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Pray for Jewish People on this Special Day

John Piper

January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp in 1945. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

May I suggest that we take a few minutes and pray with the apostle Paul: “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [my Jewish kinsmen] is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1).

Robert Murray McCheyne, a young Scottish pastor who died in 1843, loved the…

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Reading the Bible Is an Episode in Salvation History

Jonathan Parnell

John Webster writes:

. . . the Christian interpreter is 'reconciled to God, drawn into the fellowship of the saints and illumined by the Holy Spirit'. . . . the Christian interpreter is one who has been extracted from the darkness of sin by the judgement and mercy of God, and set in the sphere of the church, the chosen race, the royal priesthood, the holy nation which is what it is by virtue of the divine call out of…

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Spiritual Muscle Development

Paul Tripp

So, what happens inside of you when you are asked to wait? Is waiting, for you, a time of stengthening or weakening? Have you ever stopped to consider why God asks you to wait?  Let me point you to one of his purposes.

Waiting Is Giving You Time

When God asks you to wait, what happens to your spiritual muscles? While you wait, do your spiritual muscles grow bigger and stronger or do they grow flaccid and atrophied? Waiting for…

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What Billy Graham Would Do Differently

John Piper

Billy Graham was just interviewed. Here is what he said to the question,

If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?

Yes, of course. I'd spend more time at home with my family, and I'd study more and preach less. I wouldn't have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn't really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I…

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Piper on Living a Life of Significance


Every one of you who confesses Jesus as Lord of the universe signs up for significance beyond anything you ever dreamed. And I mean businessmen and women here, homemakers, students.

To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with him, that he will one day rule entirely.

Your heart was made for this. Your heart was made to embrace the global dimension of missional living.

John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad DVD 

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