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 irrelevant. I mean Internet media. Most churches have websites. Sermons…

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How John the Baptist Handled the Attention

David Mathis

God gave him a message, and so he went around delivering it. “The word of God came to John”—we call him John the Baptist—and “he went into all the region around the Jordan [River], proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:2-3).

It seems John became popular pretty fast, but he wasn’t doing seeker-friendly.

He said...to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from…

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Imprecation and Supplication in Psalm 83

John Piper

I have tried to deal faithfully with curses in the Psalms, for example, in a sermon on Psalm 69.

Psalm 83, however, presents a different challenge. At the end there is a strange mixture of supplication and imprecation:

Fill their faces with shame,
that they may seek your name, O Lord.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace, 
that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the…

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It's My Pleasure

Noel Piper

When I came home from running errands yesterday, I found a florist’s delivery on my back porch—rich, red long-stemmed roses. The gift card had no words, only numbers: 6-6-66.

Yesterday, 6-6-09, was the 43rd anniversary of the day I met Johnny Piper in the lounge of Fischer Hall at Wheaton College. God has brought us a long way since then.

When I got the flowers, Johnny was in Raleigh. Remembering the many times he’s told a favorite what-if story, I…

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Why and How I Am Tweeting

John Piper

I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write…

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Exposing the Idol of Self-Glory

Jon Bloom

The love of our own glory is the greatest competitor with God in our hearts. And sometimes we can cloak this idol in a pious disguise. In Matthew 21, Jesus unmasked such an idol with a single question.

It was the final week before Jesus’ day of judgment—the day he would stand before his Father’s bar of justice bearing the sins of all who ever had or would believe in him and in their place be crushed by the Father’s…

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Sitting Where Angels Stand

David Mathis

What’s more impressive than standing in God’s presence? Sitting—and doing so at the right hand.

An angel said to John the Baptist’s father: “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). That’s noteworthy.

But more so is what Hebrews says about Jesus:

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than…

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A Prideful Arrogant Little Prayer

John Piper

Andrew Klavan, 54, is a writer of thrillers. His latest novel, and his first aimed at "young adults" (grades 8-11) is The Last Thing I Remember.

He recently described his move from Judaism to Atheism to Christ. His interview with Marvin Olasky moved me, especially the mercy of God in his conversion. He recounts a “prideful arrogant little prayer.”

In keeping with the way my life has worked, I was reading a novel by the guy I think is…

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More on Not Using Twitter During Worship Services

John Piper

Josh Harris has done us a good service. He explains why many of us think it’s a bad idea to “tweet” while participating in corporate worship. That is, we think you should use Twitter before and after corporate worship to say what you take in and take out. But when you are in corporate worship, Worship! There is a difference between communion with God and commenting on communion with God.

Don’t tweet while having sex. Don’t tweet while praying with…

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