Does Success Start on Sunday?

Jonathan Parnell
Does Success Start on Sunday?

In the outskirts of the city, on a road that’s walked as much as driven, a typical car brakes at a red light.

It is the kind of car so typical that the actual model stays blurry in memory. It is the kind of braking so natural that the driver must know this block. Everything in the scene fits: the worn road, the red light, the common car, but not the bumper sticker. That is a different story, with its weathered corners and sunbaked background accenting a phrase in all-caps Comic... Continue Reading

Smiting the Green-Eyed Monster

David Mathis
Smiting the Green-Eyed Monster

It’s everywhere you turn, yet so easily keeps itself hidden.

It’s pervasive in advertising and steers the course of political debates. It lives in all our hearts, but seems so petty that we’re unwilling to admit its presence.

But in God’s economy, envy is sinful and dangerous. It makes frequent cameos in the New Testament lists of nastiness (Mark 7:22; Romans 1:29; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:3). We hear that “love does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4), that sadly some “preach Christ... Continue Reading

The Church and the World: Homosexuality, Abortion, and Race with John Piper and Douglas Wilson

Tony Reinke

All the hot-button topics were on the table Sunday night in downtown Minneapolis. Bethlehem College and Seminary hosted a dialogue on Christ and culture with John Piper and Douglas Wilson, moderated by Joe Rigney. The video is now available.

Early on, the conversation turned to slavery, racism, and Wilson’s controversial stance which sparked a lengthy online debate with Thabiti Anyabwile just months ago. Piper, who... Continue Reading

God’s Bright Design for Your Bitter Providences

Jon Bloom
God’s Bright Design for Your Bitter Providences

This is the will of God, your sanctification. (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

“God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

God tells us everything we need to know to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3). But sometimes we wonder.

The unexpected, unexplained twists and turns our lives take create all kinds of apparent uncertainties for us. And the profound pain we endure can be so perplexing. There is so much God doesn’t tell us — so much we think we would really like to know.

But as... Continue Reading

A Biblical Theology of Love

Tony Reinke
A Biblical Theology of Love

Love is at the heart of the Bible.

God loved us so much he sent his only be-loved Son to love us by blood, so that we would likewise love and treasure this be-loved Son (John 3:16, Revelation 1:5).

But that doesn’t tell the full story. On the cross, Christ initiated a love to break our love-less sin, to gift us with new hearts, and to make us love-givers (1 John 4:19). The Holy Spirit pours God’s love into us (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22).

Such love has a full-bodied Trinitarian... Continue Reading

It’s Time to Celebrate

Jonathan Parnell
It’s Time to Celebrate

“He heard music and dancing.”

This line introduces the first main action of the “older brother” in Jesus’s parable of the Prodigal Son. The rest of the story culminates with what he doesn’t do.

Once There Was a Party

On his way home from the field, the older brother heard the commotion. “Music and dancing,” we’re told. And we’d expect, if there’s music and dancing, there’s laughter and cheers. This is a party. The father had ordered a celebration: “Let us eat and celebrate” (Luke... Continue Reading

Dieting, Botox, and Honoring Jesus with Your Body

David Mathis
Dieting, Botox, and Honoring Jesus with Your Body

Undistracting attractiveness is John Piper’s term for it.

It’s a vision for the Christian to steer a middle course between idolizing our bodies and neglecting them. It includes giving our bodies enough attention — with sleep, diet, exercise, and upkeep — to avoid being distractingly unattractive, and reining in our impulses to pursue a self-focused attractiveness that distracts.

Deeper Than Dieting, Botox, and Plastic Surgery

Your body is a precious gift from... Continue Reading

Does God (Really) Desire All to Be Saved?

Tony Reinke
Does God (Really) Desire All to Be Saved?

On the extent of who will be saved, the Bible makes two clear points:

  1. God desires that all sinners be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37).
  2. God chose some people from eternity past (the elect), to be saved unconditionally, and only those elect will genuinely respond to the gospel and be saved (Matthew 22:14; John 6:37, 44, 65; 8:47; 10:26–29; Romans 8:29–30; 9:6–23; 11:5–10; 1 Corinthians 1:26–30; Ephesians 1:4–5; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2... Continue Reading

Failure to Live on Mission Is a Worship Problem

Trevin Wax
Failure to Live on Mission Is a Worship Problem

Sometimes we think the way to engage people in mission is to make sure we get the right information to them.

  • If we just preach the Bible, people will evangelize.

  • If we show people the commands in Scripture to care for the poor, people will develop a heart for mercy ministry.

  • If we make people aware of our need for more volunteers, people will sign up.

In other words, we perceive a knowledge problem. People need to know how to apply the Scriptures better, and once... Continue Reading

Does “Mere Christianity” Mean Eliminate Denominations?

John Piper
Does “Mere Christianity” Mean Eliminate Denominations?

For many years my conviction has been that Christian unity and Christian truth are served best not by removing fences, but by loving across them and having welcoming gates. I don’t claim to do it well. I want to do it better.

The point is that minimizing truth, or filing down its clear edges, or blending it all into one indistinguishable mass, or focusing on prayer, service, and mission, rather than truth — none of these produces unity that honors truth,... Continue Reading