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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…
Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading