Answering Radio Interviewers on Why Suffering

John Piper

Scott Simon interviewed the Jesuit priest James Martin on NPR Saturday morning, March 6. Martin just published The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life (Harper One, 2010). The last question Simon asked was this: “If there is a God, why do little children suffer?”

Martin answered, “That is the hardest question, and I think the answer is, we don’t know.” To his credit, Martin…

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Theological Reasons for Wordiness

John Piper

Bringing offerings to the tabernacle

I just read Numbers 7 on my annual way through the Bible. I read every word. It is one of the longest, most repetitive chapters in the Bible.

From verse 12 to verse 83 Moses describes the offerings that each of the twelve tribes of Israel brought to the tabernacle when it was first dedicated to the Lord.

But here’s the amazing thing. There are 93 words in the description…

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An Opportunity to Join God's Work in Japan

John Piper

Michael Oh spoke at our 2009 Desiring God Conference for Pastors. I love his vision for Japan. As a Korean this commitment has the Christ-like flavor of reconciliation and risk. I would like for you to know him and, if God leads, support his vision.

He is president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya and a cluster of other ministries under Christ Bible Institute. Here is a short…

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This Politician Was Passionate for Precious Doctrine

John Piper

William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was driven in his political, emancipation efforts by a clear doctrinal understanding of what Christianity was. Pray that those today who care deeply about social justice will be as vigilant to righteous action in right thinking.

He was especially jealous to keep clear the right relationship between good works and justification. Notice especially his third statement below about what Christianity is.

Wilberforce said, "Christianity is:

  • a scheme "for…
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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…

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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…

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How I Almost Quit

John Piper

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…

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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

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