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

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