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

Why Is John Piper on the Planet?

John Piper

I gave a presentation at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS)meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, last month titled "Why God Is Not aMegalomaniac in Demanding to Be Worshiped."

It is probably the shortest public presentation I have made in the last 20years! The reason is that I wanted to leave time for questions andcriticism. So more than 25 of the 45 minutes allotted to me was Q&A. Ifwe can get the audio recording, we will post it.

But for now, here are seventheses... Continue Reading

Writing Religion Out of Our History

John Piper

The new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, which is now where every visitor will arrive to see the nation’s Capitol, opened yesterday with 580,000 square feet of displays and $621,000,000 worth of history, but no God.

In what appears to be an intentional misrepresentation of the nation’s religious roots, visitors will enter the center reading a large engraving:

We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.

This reminded... Continue Reading

How to Avoid Inheritance Disputes

John Piper

When Absalom rebelled against his father David, Ziba lied about Mephibosheth and stole his inheritance.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son. David, as you remember, loved Jonathan. So he had promised to let Mephibosheth eat at his royal table all his life.

Mephibosheth was lame in both feet and could not escape from Jerusalem by himself when David fled from Absalom. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, told David that Mephibosheth was a traitor.

Without knowing this was a lie, David... Continue Reading

Appalled but Productive

John Piper

The vision in Daniel 8 is appalling. The great beastly enemy of God is allowed to kill huge numbers of saints.

His power shall be great...and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. (Daniel 8:24)

Daniel is made sick by the vision. But in spite of being sick and appalled, he does his work.

And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business,... Continue Reading

A Tribute to Gratitude

John Piper

When I wrote Future Grace my aim was to show that, in the Bible, motivation for obedience to Jesus is never said explicitly to be gratitude. This is astonishing since many (most?) Christians list gratitude as the main motive for our obedience to Jesus.

My argument is that in the Bible “faith in future grace” not “gratitude for past grace” is the primary focus in motivating acts of love. (“You had compassion on those in prison...since you knew that you yourselves had a better... Continue Reading

A Failed Attempt at Church Unity

John Piper

In his book Portrait of Calvin, T. H. L. Parker tells this story about how the possibility of unity between the reformed churches was shipwrecked on the rocks of astrology:

Near the end of Calvin’s life Bullinger wrote to Cranmer urging that England should not send a delegate to the Council of Trent.

He replied that the King had never thought of doing so, but added that he had recommended that “His Majesty grant his assistance, that in England, or elsewhere, there might... Continue Reading

Give Time to Your Wife

David Mathis

The apostle Peter writes,

Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

This is strange at first glance. How does caring for your wife connect to having unhindered prayers?

Here’s Wayne Grudem’s challenging commentary:

So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their... Continue Reading