Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin — Really?

John Piper
Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin — Really?

People from the time of John Chrysostom (347–407) have tried to limit the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 14:23, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Chrysostom cautions, “Now all these things have been spoken by Paul of the subject in hand, not of everything.”

Leon Morris follows this limitation and says,

Whatever be the truth of actions done before one becomes a believer, Paul is not discussing them here. His concern is with the believer who sometimes... Continue Reading

Untamable Truth Changes Lives

Jonathan Parnell
Untamable Truth Changes Lives

This book is not a memoir.

The truths here, as John Piper describes them, are “wildly untamable, explosively uncontainable, and electrically future-creating.” They represent the proclaimed statement of faith from one pastor of one local church over the course of 33 years.

That is Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching.

Last fall John Piper preached a series of ten sermons devoted to the main theological emphases of Bethlehem Baptist Church. We... Continue Reading

Twelve Gospel Passages to Soak In

David Mathis
Twelve Gospel Passages to Soak In

Mere truth won’t do it. Our souls desperately need the gospel.

“The grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1:6) is the shock that brings a dead soul to life, and the charge that keeps it living. The gospel is the gas that awakens and energizes the human heart, not mere truth — essential as truth is. Two plus two equals four — that’s true. It just doesn’t do much to jumpstart and drive a languishing soul.

It’s all wonderful and good to learn various truths from the Bible — and... Continue Reading

Tim Keller on the Writing Brilliance of C.S. Lewis

Jonathan Parnell

C.S. Lewis was an exemplary communicator of Christian truth. So was the 18th-century theologian Jonathan Edwards.

The use of images was Edwards’s forte, while Lewis excelled in illustrations. Both men understood that abstract, propositional truth touches the heart when it’s taken into the realm of the concrete. And it’s precisely this practice that Tim Keller and John Piper commend to the writers and thinkers within the New Calvinism movement.

In this... Continue Reading

The Failure of Christless Tenderness

John Piper
The Failure of Christless Tenderness

The grotesque is part of what this fallen age is. Seeing it and seeing God with clear, uncompromising eyes of faith keeps us from making gulags or gas chambers.

When sentimentalism separates the grotesque from the sovereign goodness of God, we are on our way to Auschwitz. It is a great irony that in rejecting God, in defense of a less grotesque humanity, we become hideous as we cleanse the world of imperfections.

The tender-hearted souls who cannot bear to look on the... Continue Reading

For Adoption or Against Abortion?

Michael Spielman
For Adoption or Against Abortion?

If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, you’ve almost certainly heard some variant of the following sentiment:

Christians should be known for what they’re for, not for what they’re against.

If you’re like me, you’ve heard this maxim more times than you can count, and while it holds some helpful truth, I wonder if it doesn’t also set up a false dichotomy — giving aid and comfort to some thoroughly unchristlike behavior.

In theory, this simple pronouncement... Continue Reading

You’re Awesome — But Not That Awesome

Jonathan Parnell
You’re Awesome — But Not That Awesome

If you ever wondered what it would be like to read tweets and Facebook updates from a 17th-century genius, check out Pascal’s Pensées.

Born in France in 1623, Blaise Pascal was a brilliant mathematician and physicist, then philosopher, then theologian. Pascal’s Pensées are similar to someone scouring your entire hard drive and all your notebooks, after you have died, for every thought (or pensée) you had scribbled down. Pascal’s family and friends did that after his... Continue Reading

Take Christ As Your Motto

Tony Reinke
Take Christ As Your Motto

Wikipedia can be misleading.

August 4, not July 24, marks the annual birthday of slave trader-turned-pastor John Newton (1725–1807). The date change is due to an 11-day shift in the calendar adopted in 1750 which pushed all previous dates forward.

So for most of his life, August 4 marked Newton’s birthday, a day set aside, not for feasting and parties, but for fasting, solemn prayer, and Godward praise.

An Enduring Legacy

Today, 288 years after his birth, we pause to note Newton’s... Continue Reading

How Do I Know I’m Saved? (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke
How Do I Know I’m Saved? (Ask Pastor John)

In the 4,300 emails you have sent us, one of the most common questions we have received for the Ask Pastor John podcast is about assurance: How can I know I'm saved?

On Monday we released Pastor John’s response (episode 139). In part, he says,

The unmistakable message all through the New Testament is this: we are saved by believing on Jesus. So rivet your attention on Christ in the gospels — John, Matthew, Mark, Luke — and the whole Bible. Rivet your attention on... Continue Reading

How to Endure Common-to-Man Temptations

Jon Bloom
How to Endure Common-to-Man Temptations

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“No temptation.” I love that phrase. It covers them all. But the temptations that Paul is talking about specifically in the preceding verses are sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 10:8) and grumbling (1 Corinthians... Continue Reading