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

An Invitation from John Piper

John Piper

Dear Friends,

If you have just stopped by the website or come often, I am writing this to tell you why I am excited about the Desiring God National Conference, September 25-27, 2009, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I thought my excitement might rub off on you.

So why do I think ordinary Christians should consider coming to the Desiring God National Conference? I can give my answer in five words: Kim, Wilson, Olasky, Talbot, and Storms. They are the reason I want to be... Continue Reading

John Calvin’s Four Laws and His Christian Hedonism

John Piper

The Gospel of John Calvin in Four Laws:

  1. That since God by his Law prescribes what we ought to do, failure in any one respect subjects us to the dreadful judgment of eternal death.
  2. Because it is not only difficult, but altogether beyond our strength and ability, to fulfill the demands of the Law, if we look only to ourselves and consider what is due to our merits, no ground of hope remains, but we lie forsaken of God under eternal death.
  3. That there is... Continue Reading

Clarifying the Tornado

John Piper

Three years ago God sent the tornado of cancer into my life. It split the steeple of my health and shredded the tents of my sexual life. I wrote an article to myself: Don’t Waste Your Cancer. It could have been titled: Don’t waste your tornado. God’s message to me in my tornado was essentially the same as to the ELCA in theirs. My tornado was

a gentle but firm warning to me and all of us: Turn from every approval of sin in your life. Turn from the justification and promotion of any... Continue Reading

The Tornado, the Lutherans, and Homosexuality

John Piper

I saw the fast-moving, misshapen, unusually-wide funnel over downtown Minneapolis from Seven Corners. I said to Kevin Dau, “That looks serious.”

It was. Serious in more ways than one. A friend who drove down to see the damage wrote,

On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected...a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts—most saying they’ve never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city:Minneapolis.

The tornado happens on a... Continue Reading

What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord?

John Piper

Seeking the Lord means seeking his presence. “Presence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” Literally, we are to seek his “face.” But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before his face is to be in his presence.

But aren't his children always in his presence? Yes and no. Yes in two senses: First, in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. He holds everything in being. His power is ever-present... Continue Reading

Lewis and Edwards on the Layers of Self-Admiration

John Piper

As a new Christian in 1930, C. S. Lewis was learning terrible things about his heart—the unfathomable layers of pride. It is astonishing how similar his description of his own heart was to the description Jonathan Edwards gave of our inscrutable strata of self-admiration.

Here is Lewis writing to his friend Arthur, amazingly within a year after his conversion:

During my afternoon “meditations,”—which I at least attempt quite regularly now—I have found out... Continue Reading

My Happy Confession of Having No Merit

John Piper
My Happy Confession of Having No Merit

This is my confession:

I was born into a believing family through no merit of my own at all.

I was given a mind to think and a heart to feel through no merit of my own at all.

I was brought into the hearing of the gospel through no merit of my own at all.

My rebellion was subdued, my hardness removed, my blindness overcome, and my deadness awakened through no merit of my own at all.

Thus I became a believer in Christ through no merit of my own at all.

And so I am an heir of... Continue Reading

God’s Word, Good Exposition, Great Joy, Much Strength

John Piper

Here’s another reason I am joyfully committed to expository exultation, that is, preaching.

Look at this amazing statement of what biblical exposition is like when it’s done well—in the power of God’s Spirit and riveted on biblical texts.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people.... [T]he Levites helped the people to understand the Law.... They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people... Continue Reading

Jesus Treated Women Differently

David Mathis

Fellow complementarians, try framing the gender debate in three categories instead of two.

Feminists and egalitarians love it when everything to their right is cast as one monolithic "complementarianism." But authentic complementarians need to highlight that there is not only sin to the left, but to the right as well. True biblical complementarity is neither feminism nor misogyny. It’s neither egalitarian nor patriarchal. Jesus plotted another course altogether, a third way... Continue Reading