It Was Cold at Calvary

John Piper

One of the things I did on my leave of absence was write poems. Most of these grew out of meditating on God’s word. They are my groping toward affections worthy of Christ. Here’s one that overflowed from John 18:18, which drops the simple fact that the night before Jesus died it was cold.

Cold Calvary

“Now the servants and officers had made
a charcoal fire, because it was cold.”
–John 18:18

Did you know that on the night he…

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Groaning over Grieving the Holy Spirit

John Piper

One of the poems I wrote during my leave of absence grew out of my sorrows over grieving the Holy Spirit. It is bad enough to know that God is dishonored by my sin. But to hear Paul connect my particular sins with grieving the Holy Spirit was even more painful.

This he does in Ephesians 4:30–32. He says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” And then he…

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The Fairy Tale of Universalism

David Mathis

Universalism is the view that in the end all humans—irrespective of whether they reject the gospel in this life—will be saved.

In the book Whatever Happened to Hell?, British evangelical John Blanchard writes these memorable words about universalism:

Universalism originated in the Garden of Eden when Satan brushed aside God’s warning and assured Eve, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). . . .

All the ways to hell are one-way streets. The idea that those who go there…

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Saying What You Believe Is Clearer Than Saying “Calvinist”

John Piper

We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.

In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.

If they say, “Are you a Calvinist?” say, “You decide. Here…

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John Calvin on the Pursuit of Success

Josh Etter

How do we as Christians battle against the sinful pursuit of success, wealth and power that the world pursues?

Therefore, to avoid similar entanglements, the course which Christian men must follow is this: first, they must not long for, or hope for, or think of any kind of prosperity apart from the blessing of God; on it they must cast themselves, and there safely and confidently recline.

How, then, can the Christian rightly pursue success?

Therefore, if we believe that…

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Don’t Equate Historically Early with Theologically Accurate

John Piper

Beware of imputing advantage to antiquity. Seventy years after the death of Jesus the churches had neither the collected New Testament nor a living apostle. It was a precarious and embattled time.

Neither the experiences nor the teachers of the first 300 years of the church are as reliable as the finished New Testament. The church did not rescue the New Testament from neglect and abuse. The New Testament rescued the early church from instability and error.

We are in…

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A Call to Be Truly Missional

Tyler Kenney

Many of you reading this are living alongside us in a post-Christian Western culture. One where the term evangelism is a bit outdated and to be missional is in vogue. Europe and North America have become more and more like a mission field—but a post-Christian, rather than pre-Christian field. We now need a more missions-like engagement even on battleground here on the home front.

There are pros and cons to the missional mindset. Our churches must pursue mission among our…

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Slave-Holding as Character Suicide

John Piper

One of the books I listened to during my leave of absence was the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. I downloaded the audio free from Librivox, a remarkable website of free, non-professionally recorded books.

The book recounts Douglass’ rise from slavery to an oratorical force for abolition in America. He lived from 1818 to 1895. One of the most striking parts of this autobiography was the story of how slavery injures not only the slave, but…

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Ice-Cold at the End of the Age—And White-Hot

John Piper

I am a historic, premillennial, post-tribulational, evangelical Christian who thinks it is possible that, when Jesus appears visibly and bodily on the clouds to establish his earthly kingdom, the Twin Cities could be 95% born-again, Bible-believing Christians, including the mayors, the city council, and the policemen.

“Lawlessness will be increased, [and] the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). But, meanwhile, white-hot martyr-types will take the gospel to every nation (Matthew 24:9, 14).

These indomitable emissaries of Jesus come…

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