Thank You, Pastor John, for 30 Years

Jon Bloom

Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Piper’s pastoral leadership at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Thirty is a significant milestone in a number of ways. John was just over 30 years old (34) when he assumed the senior pastorate on July 13, 1980, which means John has spent almost half his life pastoring this congregation. Bethlehem was 109 years old in 1980, which means John has been the pastor for almost 30% of its existence.

Through his sophomore year in college becoming a... Continue Reading

Marlin Bloom: Free and Experiencing Real Joy

John Knight

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:16)

Dear Friends of Desiring God,

Last night at 8:16 p.m., Marlin Bloom, father of our Executive Director Jon Bloom, took his last breath and went to be with his Lord. The days God numbered for him in this life, before anything was created, are concluded.

This was not unexpected; Marlin had not been well... Continue Reading

Peter: When the Rock Sunk Slowly

Jon Bloom

One night a rock sunk slowly. And when he did, Jesus had some profound things to teach us.1

***

The day had been another mind-blower for the disciples. As they rowed toward Capernaum it was hard to stop talking about what they had seen. 5,000 men, plus women and children, and Jesus had fed them all! With one boy’s lunch! The power Jesus seemed to command both thrilled and unnerved them.

But it had all ended strangely. They had felt excited when the massive picnic turned into a... Continue Reading

Luke's Lesson on Grace and Faith

Tyler Kenney

Though their stories in Luke 1 are strikingly similar, Zechariah and Mary have two significant differences that Luke highlights to teach an amusingly ironic and encouraging lesson about grace and faith.

Here are their similarities:

  • Both are visited by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:19; 1:26-27)
  • Both are promised the miraculous birth of a son (Luke 1:13; 1:31)
  • Both are equally unfit to have a child: Zechariah's wife is barren, and Mary is a virgin (Luke 1:7; Luke 1:27)
  • Both respond... Continue Reading

We Will Miss You, Lukas!

Jon Bloom

Today is Lukas Naugle's last day at DG. And we’re feeling a mixture of sadness, deep gratitude, and excitement about what the Lord has in store.

Lukas joined the DG staff in 2004 as our Customer Service Manager (CSM). He didn't remain in that position very long. Not because he wasn't good at it, but because he was good at many other things too.

I discovered quickly that Lukas is not one to color inside the lines. I have come to love that about him. The fact that his job description... Continue Reading

Are There Two Wills in God? Yes.

Tyler Kenney

If you've never before heard about the existence of two wills in God, I recommend reading John Piper's article, "Are There Two Wills in God?" (which is also an appendix in the book The Pleasures of God).

In essence, what the doctrine states is that there are... well... two wills in God. The first will is his will of command (or as Edwards says below, "law"). This is expressed through God's revealed desires for people, desires such as "Thou shalt not kill," or "You shall love... Continue Reading

The Sin of Sodom

Tyler Kenney

As Bible-believing Christians, we are known for our convictions against sexual immorality. But are we known equally as well for our contempt for religious arrogance?

Scripture clearly states that sexual immorality is sin (Matthew 15:19; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:19, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, etc.). We must also remember, however, that this is only one bad fruit of our rebellion against God, one among a list of many others, including idolatry, theft, greed, drunkenness,... Continue Reading

The Beautiful Simplicity of Biblical Narrative

Tyler Kenney

An excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies #6 (paragraphing added):

There is a strange and unaccountable kind of enchantment, if I may so speak, in Scripture history; which, notwithstanding it is destitute of all rhetorical ornaments, makes it vastly more pleasant, agreeable, easy and natural, than any other history whatever. It shines brighter with the amiable simplicity of truth. There is something in the relation that at the same time very much pleases... Continue Reading

Bob Kauflin's "Song for Those with Disabilities"

John Knight

God is worthy of our highest, purest, and strongest emotions
– Bob Kauflin*

Disability, at least for me, easily draws out the strongest emotions. For a season, my emotions were ugly, bitter, self-righteous and angry—certainly not the "highest and purest" that God is worthy to receive.

But when God opened up my spiritually blind eyes to let me see the beauty of Jesus Christ, he turned those overpowering emotions completely around.

Recently, God encouraged me to... Continue Reading

A Violent Messiah?

Jon Bloom

Psalm 110 is one of the great messianic psalms, and one of the most quoted OT texts in the New Testament. On this side of the cross, we understand that it prophesies of Jesus’ second-coming.

It’s also quite offensive to postmodern cultural sensibilities. Especially the parts like, "He will fill [the nations] with corpses" (Psalm 110:6). Yikes! That’s violent. All this talk about thrones and conquerors and war sounds like Islamic fundamentalism. We much prefer a Prince of peace.

Which is... Continue Reading