The Fateful Years: Life of Calvin, Part 8

David Mathis

T.H.L. Parker calls 1553–1554 Calvin’s “fateful years.” According to Parker, this was when “two large storms blew from different quarters and raged simultaneously.” One was Calvin’s battle with the libertines; the other was the infamous Servetus affair.

The Genevan air was charged in the Fall of 1553. It was September 3 when the confrontation with the libertines reached its climax, and it was October 26-27 when Michael Servetus was condemned…

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Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a free ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.


In each of these sections one item could be added that I have not…

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Weighty Words on the Meaning of a Husband’s Headship

John Piper

What follows is one of the greatest reasons for a man to get married and stay married: not the rapturous flame of eros, but the refining fires of holiness.

No relationship is more clearly commanded to model the death of Christ. No relationship is more costly—in both senses of that word (painful and precious).

This quote comes from one of C. S. Lewis’s last books, published in 1960, The

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Seeing Our Shame: The Fuel of True Love for God

Jon Bloom

He had the Holy One of Israel in his house, reclining at his table. The Prophet that Moses had foretold was sharing dinner with him. The Lord of glory, the Resurrection and the Life, was speaking with him face to face. The great climactic moment of history he claimed to be living for had arrived. It should have been a deliriously wonderful, breathtaking honor for Simon to host the Messiah. …

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Hell Never Produced a Single Pleasure

John Piper

One of the roots of Christian Hedonism as I have pondered it for the last forty years is C. S. Lewis. Reading Alan Jacobs’ biography, The Narnian has underlined the influence Lewis has had on my thinking.

Here is a striking sentence about Lewis’s lifelong pursuit: “Lewis’s perpetual task both as a defender of Christianity and as an advocate of medieval literature is to call people to delight” (p. 190).

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The Tragic Path of James Baldwin

John Piper

James Baldwin, novelist, essayist, poet, was born August 2, 1924 and died November 30, 1987. From child evangelist in a store-front church in Harlem, to the front of TIME magazine as a dominant prophetic voice of the sixties, to a disillusioned anti-American living and dying in France, Baldwin’s life was another witness to the power of Christian roots and the tragedy that comes when the root is severed.

James Baldwin on the cover of TIMEIn 1963,…

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Return to Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 7

David Mathis

After a golden three-year exile, Calvin returned to the city that expelled him. He didn’t jump at the opportunity but went reluctantly, feeling constrained by God’s will to resume the work.

It was September, 1541 when he stepped back into the pulpit and continued his exposition of the Psalms, picking up at the very place he had left off.

Now that Calvin was back, he would settle in for life…

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I Wrote a Poem to Put My Heart Right

John Piper

On vacation I was meditating on Luke 10:17-20 where Jesus tells us not to be overly excited about our ability to do feats of triumph in defeating the devil. Rather he says, fix the root of your joy in this: Your names are written in heaven. Amazing.

Most of us are moved more by the fireworks of miracles than by the mere assurance of salvation. Something is amiss. So I…

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Resource for Preaching OT Narrative

David Mathis

Ralph Davis’s The Word Became Fresh is an outstanding resource for those eager to preach from the largest chunk of their Bibles—the Old Testament narratives. In a mere 150 pages, Davis walks through all the basics that are so obvious they take brilliance to see. His style is a wonderful blend of humor and seriousness, substance and simplicity (even if a bit too punchy at points).

In this book, Davis…

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Biopsy Blows and the Helmet of Hope

John Piper

The helmets referred to in the Bible are for protection in mortal battle. A blow to the head with a mace or a bludgeon would crush your skull and kill you.

So when Paul says that we should put on “for a helmet the hope of salvation” he means that there are blows that come to our spiritual life that could destroy us, if we were not protected by the…

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