Unconditional Is the Ground of Conditional

John Piper

Some Bible passages make crystal clear what we must not assume when reading other Bible passages. For example, consider Exodus 33:13 where Moses prays to God,

If I have found favor in your sight,
please show me now your ways,
that I may know you,
in order to find favor in your sight.

What this verse prevents us from assuming is that, if God’s favor is conditional, it is therefore not unconditional.

Or to put it another way, the verse prevents us from assuming... Continue Reading

Same Kind of Different As Me

John Piper

book cover

If you want to crawl inside the possible world that opens when a dirt-poor, illiterate, former-share-cropin’, homeless 50-something enters the life of a swank, upscale, southern, Christian art dealer, read Same Kind of Different As Me. These two men tell their increasingly interwoven stories in alternating short chapters that kept me coming back night after night.

Their names are Denver Moore and Ron Hall. There is a woman who binds them together. But if I tell you what... Continue Reading

How I Almost Quit

John Piper
How I Almost Quit

Are you so discouraged you don’t know what to do next? I want to help you get through this. Maybe this will help.

The following quote is from my journal dated November 6, 1986. I had been at Bethlehem 6 years. If you have ever felt like this, remember this is 24 years ago and I am still here.

The point is: Beware of giving up too soon. Our emotions are not reliable guides.

Am I under attack by Satan to abandon my post at Bethlehem? Or is this the stirring of God to cause me to consider... Continue Reading

A Valentine for My Wife in Pictures and Rhyme

John Piper

I loved you by the bending tree
Where N plus J marks you and me.

I loved you outside Williston,
The year before God made us one.

I loved you in a paisley dress,
When everything in me said, Yes.

I loved you when your hair was long,
Like Mary and her sixties song.

I loved you in your wedding gown,
And how we tiptoed out of town.

I loved you on the balcony
Of our small flat in Germany.

I loved you when your heart was buoyed,
And even when you were annoyed.

I loved you... Continue Reading

When God’s Direction Comes Through Correction

Jon Bloom

God faithfully directs the paths of everyone who trusts in him with all their heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). But sometimes, as Moses experienced in Exodus 18, God directs us through a word of correction from someone else.

The reunion of Moses and Jethro was a sweet one. Moses was glad to have his wife and his two boys back with him. And Jethro sat astonished as Moses described the ten plagues, the pillar of God’s presence, the Red Sea deliverance, the provision of... Continue Reading

My 2010 Writing Leave: What? and Why?

John Piper

From February 4 through March 17, I will be on my annual writing leave(with a couple speaking trips thrown in). Thank you for supporting mein these focused times away. They are not vacation. I usually worklonger hours during writing leave than during regular ministry seasons.

So please pray for me that I would love my family well and that I wouldbe very productive for the glory of Christ. Pray that I would devotemore time to prayer, not less; that I would give more time to... Continue Reading

Deliver Us from Morality

David Mathis

I recommend Doug Wilson’s Five Cities that Ruled the World(Thomas Nelson, 2009). The cities he highlights are Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York, each leaving the world a legacy.

Jerusalem has bequeathed to us a legacy of the spirit; Athens, reason and the mind; Rome, law; London, literature; and New York, industry and commerce. (xx)

In developing the literary legacy of London, Wilson unearths this nugget from C. S. Lewis about William Tyndale and the Reformation:

... Continue Reading

Rethinking Perfection

David Mathis

Jesus keeps us off balance. We think we know that perfection is a fastball of justice, and he throws us the curveball of grace.

When I read Matthew 5:48 abstracted from it’s context, I’m thinking mainly in terms of justice.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

“Perfect,” ah yes, surely that’s mainly about being just. But Jesus’ context gives this charge some wicked spin.

Despite what I would guess in extrapolating from verse 48, with my innate definition... Continue Reading

Measure Your Favorite Authors By What the Bible Includes

John Piper

What the Bible teaches keeps us in line with reality. But what the Bible includes keeps us balanced and protects us from ill-advised overstatement.

As he came to Christ C. S. Lewis was learning from J.R.R. Tolkein that Christianity is “true myth.” “It really happened.”

Then he says, “The ‘doctrines’ we get out of the true myth are of course less true: they are translations into our concepts and ideas of that which God has already expressed in language... Continue Reading