Preaching What You Don't Feel

John Piper

Can a pastor preach on joy when he is feeling little of it?

Yes. He is preaching what the word says and will say it whether he feels it or not.

Yes. He will be praying that in the very preaching of it, the gift of joy might be given. It does happen.

Yes. He will be honest with his people and over time communicate to them that he has his ups and downs and may have to preach on a text that does not find great fulfillment in his life at the time of preaching.

Yes. But over time the... Continue Reading

“Behold, It Was Very Good.” But Now?

Noel Piper

Our neighbors can attest that we don’t use dandelion poison. Werecycle. One showerhead has a water saver shut-off valve. Beyond that,I don’t give much thought to ecology. I’m scared off by people who tendto treat the earth as god, rather than as God’s handiwork. So I haveavoided considering my responsibility as a steward of God’s property.

I had a one-week crash course last month when Talitha and I were guests of Craig and Tracy Sorley, BBC missionaries with Care of Creation... Continue Reading

Evangelical Humiliation

John Piper

Outside the Bible I have never read anything more devastating to the impenetrable permutations of pride than the section in Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections titled, “Sign #6, Gracious affections are attended with evangelical humiliation.” It ends with one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Few paragraphs fill me with longing like this one:

All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and... Continue Reading

Overcome Contradictory Compassion

John Piper

The inconsistencies of liberal and conservative compassion do not define the nature of good and evil.

That there are liberals who talk compassion for the weak and oppressed, but support the butchery of the weakest persons (the unborn even to the point of birth) does not make abortion less evil.

That there are conservatives who talk compassion for unborn persons, but feel little interest or compassion for their own neighbors, let alone the sorrows of the countless poor,... Continue Reading

6 Reasons Pastors Should Blog

Desiring God Staff

In this article I want to convince as many pastors as possible to sit down and start a blog today. If I can’t convince them, then I want to convince churchgoers to hound their pastor until he does.

OK, all that’s overstatement, perhaps. You can still be a good pastor and not blog.

However, here’s why I think it would be good for you and your congregation if you did.

Pastors should blog…

1. …to write.

If you’re a pastor, you probably already know the value writing has for thinking.... Continue Reading

Christ Is the Staff of Old Age

John Piper

Samuel RutherfordA tiny book has been feeding my soul recently, The Loveliness of Christ: Extracts from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Writers like Paul and Bunyan and Rutherford, who wrote much from the midst of suffering seem to have a clearer view of eternity and reality than those of us who suffer the mists of comfort.

In July 1636 Rutherford was summoned to appear before the High Commission Court to answer of his Nonconformity to the Acts of Episcopacy, and also on account of his... Continue Reading

The Leniency of Excommunication

John Piper

The worst discipline that the church is authorized to render toward its worst offender is excommunication.

And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:17)

This means he is not welcome to be a member of the church, nor to partake of the Lord’s supper. It means that Christians love him, not as a brother, but the way Jesus loved sinners. He lay down his life for them, but welcomed them into his band of... Continue Reading

Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God

John Piper

Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies?

From the time of Moses to the end of history, this has been and will be an issue. Jesus promised that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). These are not little tricks. They are great signs and wonders. Great. But aimed to deceive.

Paul said that “the coming of the... Continue Reading

Beware of Proclaiming Yourself

John Piper

The great challenge of the preacher is to follow Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:5, “What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.”

But there are more ways to preach ourselves than one might think. This word from James Denney has exerted a sobering effect on me since I first read it in 1982. He had these words framed and posted in the vestry of his Scottish church.

No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the... Continue Reading

6 Months Gone at Easter Time

John Piper

I asked my son Abraham if we could include as our Easter blog entry his personal post from yesterday. He was willing.

* * *

Felicity Piper's grave

6 Months Gone at Easter Time

Empty hangers, empty closet, empty clothes.
Empty crib, empty bath.
Empty bottles, empty breasts.
Empty lungs, empty blood, empty heart.
Empty grave.