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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The Golden Years: Life of Calvin, Part 6

David Mathis

Calvin spent the happiest years of his life outside Geneva. It started in April of 1538 when Calvin and fellow reformer William Farel were expelled from Geneva.

Their eager reforms were moving quicker than the city council was ready for. Tensions escalated. Calvin in his youth and Farel in his zeal wouldn’t back down, and the council eventually expelled them. It wasn’t Calvin’s first or last mistake in ministry, but…

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Liberalism 1 and Liberalism 2

John Piper

If you find yourself in a love-hate relationship with the concept of “liberalism,” part of the reason may be the schizophrenic history of the concept. Lights went on for me in reading Dinesh D’Souza’s distinction between two liberalisms.

It's helpful to distinguish between two types of liberalism. One is the classical liberalism of the American founding. Call this Liberalism 1, which is reflected in such principles as the right to…

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Why There Are No Perfect Pastors

John Piper

On his birthday, let John Newton (author of "Amazing Grace") tell us why there aren't any perfect pastors.

In my imagination, I sometimes fancy I could [create] a perfect minister. I take the eloquence of ______, the knowledge of ______, the zeal of ______, and the pastoral meekness, tenderness, and piety of ______. Then, putting them all together into one man, I say to myself, “This would be a perfect…

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A Night's Stay in Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 5

David Mathis

William Farel was the fiery redhead who cursed John Calvin’s ivory-tower life in Strasbourg and twisted his arm to stay in Geneva. Here’s the story.

Having published his Institutes, which were immediately successful, Calvin left Basel, still a fugitive from France, in the Summer of 1536 to make for Strasbourg where he could pursue a life of study and writing while tucked away under the pastoral care of famed…

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Be Careful Lest the Light in You Be Darkness

John Piper

No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be…

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His Peace Upon Us—A New Blog

John Piper

Muslim-Christian relations are troubled, important, and necessary. The necessary navigation of these important, troubled waters requires a trusted, Gospel-saturated, experienced, courageous follower of Jesus. I only know a few such trusted navigators.

One of them has been blogging for about six weeks now. The blog is called His Peace Upon Us. I have read enough and I know him well enough to recommend him to you. Here is what

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The Bible Frees Us From Being Swayed by Overstatements

John Piper

Being convinced that the Bible as we have it is God’s choice for the world is pervasively decisive in how we think about a thousand things.

I’m not referring only what the Bible teaches on a thousand things, but also what kinds of writing the Bible is made up of, and the fact that it is writing at all.

It makes a huge difference in how you think about reading…

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Institutes: Life of Calvin, Part 4

David Mathis

Calvin wrote as a fugitive. Exiled from France, he eventually settled in Basel where he found enough leisure to put together the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion.

The first edition debuted in March of 1536 and was a relatively short book—nothing close to the 1000-plus pages of the final edition. The first edition was designed to be small enough to fit into a minister’s coat…

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