Rebuilding Some Basics of Bethlehem: Christian Hedonism

John Piper

One of the marks of our church is the aroma of Christian Hedonism. This is the biblical truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. The basis for this is deep, and the implications are as high as infinity and as long as eternity (both directions).

One place to see the basis is Philippians 1:20-21, where Paul says his “eager expectation and hope [is] that . . . Christ will . . . be honored in my body . . . by death. For to... Continue Reading

How to Read Exodus and Other OT Books

David Mathis

How to Read Exodus coverTremper Longman has produced another beneficial resource for reading and rightly appropriating the Old Testament. This time it’s How to Read Exodus.

Tremper is particularly gifted at engaging with an impressive breadth of Old Testament scholarship. And he does this with an authentic and relentlessly Christ-centered bent, solidly evangelical convictions, and the ability to distill and articulate his findings in such a way that scholars, pastors, and laymen alike get... Continue Reading

I’ve Read the President’s Speech: Amazing

John Piper

This is the speech I expected the President to give to our children—excellent.

Given that he is not directing them to Christ, which would be the best counsel, his advice is a wonderful gift of common grace from God to the students of our land.

If you settle for the news headlines that say the president tells the kids to wash their hands and take care of the environment, you will miss the wisdom and courage in this speech. Within its spiritual limitations it is simply... Continue Reading

I Hope My Daughter Hears the President’s Speech

John Piper

I am stunned at the outcry against the President of the United States speaking to the youth of this nation about the importance of education.

I am embarrassed by the governor of my home state saying that the president’s plan to address them is “disruptive . . . uninvited . . . and number three . . . I don’t think he needs to force it upon the nation’s school children.”

This speech seems, for me, to be an answer to a prayer that I have prayed for the president... Continue Reading

Demas and Mark

Jon Bloom

What happened to Demas?

We don’t know. All we know is that some of the last words the Apostle Paul wrote before his Roman execution expressed a heartbreak: “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10).

Maybe Demas feared being executed with Paul and fled to safety. Or maybe he succumbed to immorality. Or maybe he simply caved in to the relentless temptation of a more comfortable, prosperous life in the large, cosmopolitan, pluralistic,... Continue Reading

How Paul Worked to Overcome Slavery

John Piper

The historic and contemporary reality of slavery is never far away fromhow we think about the Bible. Instead of a frontal attack on theculturally pervasive institution of slavery in his day, Paul tookanother approach, for example, in his letter to Philemon.

Onesimus was a slave. His master Philemon was a Christian. Onesimus had evidently run away from Colossae (Colossians 4:9)to Rome where Paul, in prison, had led him to faith in Jesus. Now hewas sending Onesimus back to... Continue Reading

Why Do We Crave to Be Praised?

John Piper

Here is the answer of the poet Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774), from his poem "The Traveler."

For praise too dearly loved, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
And the weak soul, within itself unblessed,
Leans for all pleasure on another’s breast.

So close and yet, I fear, so far. For Goldsmith means we are unblessed because we do not bless ourselves.

The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws
Nor weighs the solid worth of self applause.

There... Continue Reading

How DG Got Started

Jon Bloom

Pastor Tim Smith of Mars Hill church in Seattle did a brief (7.5 minute) interview with me at a recent conference on how Desiring God got started 15 years ago.

Glorification Now?

John Piper

Have you ever wondered why “sanctification” is missing from this golden chain in Romans 8:29-30?

Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Foreknown, predestined, called, justified, __________, glorified. Shouldn’t “sanctified" fill in that blank... Continue Reading

Esther & Jesus: "The Reverse Occurred"

David Mathis

The Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus in a myriad of ways. One way is narrative patterns, like the one in Esther 9:1:

On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.

And so it happened at the cross. At the very moment when the Enemy of the True Jew hoped to gain the mastery over Jesus, the reverse occurred: Jesus gained mastery over the one who hated him.

God has... Continue Reading