Not Heartwarming Christian Fiction

John Piper

Dripping sweat on the paperback's pages, I speed-walked and read for one hour and twenty minutes holding this book in my hand so that I could finish it before my routine was over. That was two weeks ago. Since then I have been trying to figure out how to describe the way it has affected me. It’s mainly because of the Dad, Jeremiah Land.

I am talking about Leif Enger’s first novel, Peace Like a River. Abraham said I should read it. If my sons tell me to read a thing, I do—... Continue Reading

Burping Baby Jesus

Noel Piper

“The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.” Really? Let’s not forget that the Lord Jesus was also the human newborn baby Jesus, as we’re reminded in one of the best Christmas books ever—The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Imogene had the baby doll but she wasn’t carrying it in the way she was supposed to, cradled in her arms. She had it slung up over her shoulder, and before she put it in the manger she thumped it twice on the back.

I heard Alice gasp and she poked me. “I don’t think it... Continue Reading

Joseph's Painful Decision

Jon Bloom

Mary wasn’t herself. Joseph had sensed some urgency in her request that he meet her at “their” tree. She was staring at the ground. She seemed burdened.

“Mary, is something wrong?”

She looked up at him intensely. “Joseph… I’m pregnant.”

A blast of shock and disbelief hit him, blowing away all his coherent thoughts for a moment. His legs quavered. He grabbed at the tree to steady himself. It felt solid, rooted.

He stared at her. He was numb. No words came. Everything seemed surreal.

... Continue Reading

God Isn't Grateful

John Piper

It is good news that we will never be thanked by God.

Not thanking us is a form of love.

We need to adjust our expectations of what it feels like to be loved by God compared to what it feels like to be loved by men.

Happy Birthday, Abraham

John Piper

(I made Abraham post this.)

Happy birthday, Abraham Piper. Thanks for all your work on the DG web site.

From the looks of it having a little one makes you happier than being a little one.

5-year-old AbrahamAbraham, 2008

I suppose that’s what Jesus said: It is more blessed to give (which is what parents do) than to receive (which is what little ones do).

In both cases you have made one dad very glad, namely, me.

I love you.

Pursue Mature Manhood and Womanhood

John Piper

I took a few days recently to put my sermons on Ruth into a small book that may be called A Sweet and Bitter Providence. One of the spillovers from that effort was a renewed sense of how much we need great stories that embody great truths.

Ruth and Boaz is a great love story. When a story is permeated with Godand his vision of life, we get to watch truth happen. The beauty oftruth is not explained to us. It is lived before us.

God’s truth concerning manhood and womanhood... Continue Reading

Prostitutes Go in Before Priests

John Piper

The last reference to John the Baptist in our four Gospels is in the final week of Jesus’ life. Jesus mentioned him to explain this astonishing statement to the chief priests and elders:

Truly , I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew 21:31)

How in the world can a prostitute enter heaven before a priest?

Jesus explains:

For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax... Continue Reading

John Milton's 400th Birthday

John Piper

Today is the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest English poets, John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674).

His greatest work, the epic poem Paradise Lost, was dictated between 1658 and 1664. He had become totally blind by 1654.

It begins with this prayer (to the Holy Spirit?), and covers the sweep of history from Adam to Christ:

Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World, and all... Continue Reading

A Season to Look Back and Ahead

Noel Piper

We are a people of promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made—that he would give a way to draw near to him.

Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25. The first Advent Sunday this year was November 30. For four weeks, it’s as if we’re re-enacting, remembering, the thousands of years God’s people were... Continue Reading

A Glimpse of a Pain-Free Life

John Piper

Here is a three-second experience that might encourage you.

I was sitting at my desk slowly reading and praying over Job 29 and 30. The thought came over me that at this moment I am pain-free. In fact, I feel very good. I feel warm and content. Almost cozy. As if in a blanket by a fire on a cold evening with a good book and a friend.

The next thought that came over me—came over is what I mean—was that this pain-free euphoria will not last. My back pain will increase. My joints... Continue Reading