What to Say to the Depressed, Doubting, Skeptical, Confused, Angry

John Piper

If you care about people and risk talking to the depressed, thedoubting, the skeptical, the confused, and the angry, you will soon runinto a person who says to your counsel: I’ve tried that. Whatever yousay, they will minimize it and say it doesn’t work. Do not be surprisedat this response. This is what it means to be depressed, doubting, skeptical, confused, angry. It means that whatever they hear sounds useless.

So I want to offer some... Continue Reading

My Mother's Birthday

John Piper

Today my mother turns 90. She has spent the last 34 years with Jesus in heaven. That’s not a euphemism for “dead.” It’s a solid-steel statement of God in scripture: “...away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Bill and Ruth Piper's grave

I do not know why God took her so early. She was six years younger than I am now when she died. I have often felt a deep need for her counsel in my marriage and parenting. The all-wise God has his reasons. I trust him.

My gratitude for her still grows. She... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards' Birthday

John Piper

Today is Jonathan Edwards’ 305th birthday. Lyman Beecher wrote to his son in 1836,

Next after the Bible, read and study Edwards, whom to understand in theology...will be as high praise in theological science as to understand Newton’s works...of natural philosophy. (Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, 459)

Jonathan EdwardsI suppose, after the Bible, no theologian has a greater ongoing effect on me as Jonathan Edwards. There are few in the world who combine the sharpness of mind, the... Continue Reading

Kathy and Kenny Stokes

John Piper

We are marking Pastor Kenny and Kathy Stokes’s 10 years of ministry at Bethlehem.

Kenny and Kathy met at Bethel College and were married in December1979. He graduated with a double major in Psychology and BiblicalStudies in 1981. During his seminary days at Bethel, Kenny was part ofBethlehem.

Those of us who were here in those days remember him as an unusuallywise and sensitive lover of people. People would turn to Kenny readilyfor a trusted, caring, listening ear. His internship... Continue Reading

Grace Is Resistible... Until It’s Not

John Piper
Grace Is Resistible... Until It’s Not

Learn your doctrine from texts. It stands up better that way, and feeds the soul. For example, learn irresistible grace from texts. In this way you will see it does not mean grace cannot be resisted; it means that when God chooses he can and will overcome that resistance.

In Isaiah 57:17-19, for instance. God chastises his rebellious people by striking them and hiding his face: “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry... Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Clyde Kilby

John Piper

106 years ago today Clyde Kilby was born near Johnson City, Tennessee. He was one of the most formative teachers of my college days at Wheaton. He taught English literature. What made the difference was his extraordinarily awake, God-oriented palate for wonder in poetry and nature.

Dr. Kilby stood in front of us and exulted in beauty and wonder. He did not say: This poem is amazing. He was amazed. He didn’t just say the last chapters of the book of Job are mind-boggling glimpses... Continue Reading

God's Delight in the Son He Strikes

John Piper

Five times in Isaiah 53 we are told that God is the one who brings about the suffering and death of Christ.

We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted ... (v. 4)

But he was wounded for our transgressions ... (v.5)

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all ... (v. 6)

It was the will of the Lord to crush him ... (v. 10)

He has put him to grief ... (v. 10)

In Romans 8:3, Paul says God does what the law can’t do:

By sending his own Son in the... Continue Reading

The Precious Gift of Baby Talk

John Piper

Human language is precious. It sets us off from the animals. It makesour most sophisticated scientific discoveries and our deepest emotionssharable. Above all, God chose to reveal himself to us through humanlanguage in the Bible. At the fullness of time, he spoke to us by a Son(Hebrews 1:1-2).But that Son spoke human language, and he sent his Spirit to lead hisapostles into all truth so that they could tell the story of the Son inhuman language. Without this story in human... Continue Reading

A Word of Thanks for Dick Turnwall

John Piper

I just got word that Dick Turnwall went to be with Jesus yesterday. I want to give public thanks for a life-directing influence he had on me.

Dick was the Executive Minister of the Minnesota Baptist Conference in 1979 when, on October 14, in the wee hours of the morning, God rocked my world. Soon after midnight, there was no turning back. There arose in my soul a deeply settled conviction that God was calling me to leave academia (teaching at Bethel College) and pursue... Continue Reading

Ordinary Life with Gospel Intentionality

David Mathis

Total Church book coverA pair of Brits have a provocative book appearing in the States this month. Tim Chester and Steve Timmis published Total Church in the UK last year, and enough readers here have found it helpful to prompt Crossway Books and Mark Driscoll’s Resurgence ministry to pick up the title in the Re:Lit series. You can watch Tim Chester introduce the book at Crossway's blog.

Chester’s and Timmis’s refrain for what they are advocating in the book is “ordinary life with gospel... Continue Reading