The Loving Meaning of the Leftovers

John Piper

After Jesus had fed both the 5,000 and the 4,000 with only a few loaves and fish, the disciples got in a boat without enough bread for themselves.

When they began to discuss their plight, Jesus said, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand?” (Mark 8:17). What didn’t they understand?

They did not understand the meaning of the leftovers,…

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Goldsworthy on Why the Reformation Was Necessary

John Piper

In March, 2008, Graeme Goldsworthy delivered a lecture at Southern Baptist Theological seminary titled “Biblical Theology and its Pastoral Application.”

In it he gave one of the clearest statements of why the Reformation was needed and what the problem was in the way the Roman Catholic church had conceived of the gospel.

Both Catholicism and allegorical interpretation of Scripture involved the dehistoricizing of the Gospel. The Reformation rehistoricized…

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Hope for Sexual Strugglers

David Mathis

David fell in 2 Samuel 11. He saw that Bathsheba was “very beautiful,” and he followed his lusts down the slope to adultery—and then even to having her husband killed.

But by 1 Kings 1, David is able to be attended to by Abishag the Shunammite, who the text also says was “very beautiful,” and yet “the king knew her not” (verse 4).

Maybe aging was a factor, but my…

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A Tribute to My Father

John Piper

John Piper's dad

My father was the happiest man I have ever known. Not that he never grumbled (he was a golfer who lost a lot of balls). But he was rooted so firmly in the glory of God’s grace that nothing could keep him down for long.

He loved the promises of God. I just heard him say yesterday on an old recording, quoting William Carey, “The future is as bright as…

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America's Debt to John Calvin

John Piper

In this year of John Calvin’s 500th birthday, I don’t know of a better place to read about his impact on America than Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism given at Princeton Seminary in October 1898. Kuyper was a pastor, a journalist, the founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

John Calvin and Martin Luther were the twin pillars of the Protestant Reformation. Why do…

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Discerning Idolatry in Desire

John Piper

Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry. Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness is idolatry.”

“Covetousness” means desiring something other than God in the wrong way. But what does that mean—“in the wrong way”?

The reason this matters is both vertical and horizontal. Idolatry will destroy our relationship with God. And it will destroy…

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Strong in Another’s Strength

David Mathis

Laziness is not the alternative to living in your own strength. Paul talks about being strong in the strength of another.

  • Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
  • Colossians 1:29: “I toil [to present everyone mature in Christ], struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:1: “Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
  • 1…
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Happy Birthday Dorothy (Dogma-loving) Sayers

John Piper

Born today 116 years ago, Dorothy Leigh Sayers was an English scholar, playwright, and writer of detective novels. She studied medieval literature at Oxford, and was one of the first women to graduate (in 1915) from that university.

She may be best known for the detective novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. Her  translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy is considered unmatched in quality and readability.

My wife is the expert…

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Hero Worship and Holy Emulation

John Piper

I have unanswered questions about how to navigate the new world of media-driven celebrity attention to pastors. As Advance09 started in Durham, North Carolina, the News & Observer ran the headline “Celebrity Pastors Visit for Conference.” One might wish they had printed: “Imperfect, Passionate Pastors Come to Serve.” But that’s not news.

When I say media-driven attention, I am not mainly thinking about radio, TV, and newspapers. They are almost…

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