Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?

John Piper

William Blake was born yesterday, 1757.  One of his most famous poems is one of my favorites. It’s a good launch into Advent.

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little…

Continue Reading

Why Say That Marriage Is Like Christ and the Church?

John Piper

When I asked Noël if there was anything she wanted me to say about marriage, she said, “You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church.”

I think she is right and there are at least three reasons:

  1. It lifts marriage out of sordid sitcom images and gives it the magnificent meaning God meant it to have.
  2. It gives marriage a solid basis in…
Continue Reading

How Clear Differences Unite Humanity

John Piper

I have often said that I can go much farther down the road together with a serious, biblically oriented, articulate, firmly-believing Arminian than with a jesting, systems-oriented, unclear, wish-washy, Reformed philosopher. 

G. K. Chesterton helps explain why.

It’s not merely true that a creed unites men. Nay a difference of creed unites men—so long as it is a clear difference . . . So a Tory can walk up to…

Continue Reading

A Chapter Closes in Advent at Bethlehem

John Piper

Some traditions are temporary—like a quarter of a century. This one lasted 27 years. I am referring to the reading of Advent Poems at Bethlehem during Sunday Morning worship. I read the first one in 1982. Then I wrote four each year for about 23 years. Then, for about three years, I wrote three new ones, and read one recycled poem. Then last year, I wrote none, and I read…

Continue Reading

By How Many Doors Must You Enter Paradise?

John Piper

Here’s an unusual wake up call about the wonders of marriage.

To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once. It was incommensurate with the terrible excitement of which one was talking. It showed not an exaggerated sensibility to sex but a curious insensibility to it. A man is a fool who complains that he cannot enter Eden by five…

Continue Reading

C.S. Lewis on Why to Seek an Author's Intention

John Piper

In answering the question why we should care about an author’s intention, C. S. Lewis gives two answers in his book An Experiment in Criticism.

"Why," they ask, "should I turn from a real present experience—what the poem means to me, what happens to me when I read it—to inquire about the poet’s intentions or reconstructions, always uncertain of what it may have meant to his contemporaries?"

There seem…

Continue Reading

As Nice As They Let Me, As Mean As They Make Me

John Piper

One of the growing ministries of Desiring God is the outreach to prisoners. Those of you in the Philippian Fellowship hear about this more often than the rest of our website guests.

On Thursday a team of four of us stopped in at Angola Prison in Angola, Louisiana. Warden Burl Cain was very gracious to take us into his world, even the most painful part of it.

Here is what…

Continue Reading

Art and the Precious Limits of Reality

John Piper

Here is Chesterton on the essence of art.

Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe you must draw him with a long neck. If in your bold creative way you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe. (Orthodoxy, 71)

When I read…

Continue Reading