The Family: God’s Litmus Test of Applied Grace

Tim Kimmel
The Family: God’s Litmus Test of Applied Grace

If you want to know the depth of one’s character, observe how they treat children and the elderly.

Folks on the extreme ends of life’s timeline usually have enormous needs and limited capabilities. These built-ins to their age bracket often place their daily success and ongoing dignity at the mercy of the people around them. Character is an outwardly focused nobility that is consistently offered — often at high personal cost — to people who can’t necessarily... Continue Reading

New “Strict” Abortion Laws — Really?

John Knight
New “Strict” Abortion Laws — Really?

For some children, the new “strict” abortion law in Texas is no protection at all.

Last month Texas Governor Perry signed a bill that banned aborting a child after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The headlines about the law suggested significant changes had happened: “Perry Signs Strict Abortion Regulations into Law;” “Perry Signs Sweeping Abortion Restrictions;” “Texas governor signs sweeping abortion regulations that threaten existence of most clinics

I was happy they made this... Continue Reading

Giving the Gospel Graciously

David Mathis
Giving the Gospel Graciously

I’m terribly sorry I just evangelized all over you.

That’s how we can feel after spewing a full stomach of precious information on an unsuspecting stranger or friend. It can seem like sharing our faith requires shoveling coal into the engine, getting the big gears going, and building up a serious head of steam to push us over the hump. No wonder evangelism is a sensitive subject.

Sex and Evangelism

Mack Stiles is happy to try coming to the rescue — not that he’s any kind of... Continue Reading

Lay Aside the Weight of Fragmented Focus

Jon Bloom
Lay Aside the Weight of Fragmented Focus

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:4)

The Debilitating Weight of Too Much

If we’re going to successfully run the race of faith with endurance (Hebrews 12:1) and finish our course and the ministry we receive from the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:24), we must learn the martial art of doing less.

I call it a “martial art” because of Paul’s military metaphor in 2 Timothy 2:4. By “doing less” I don’t mean... Continue Reading

Hip Hop ft. John Piper

Lewis Guest IV
Hip Hop ft. John Piper

Words carry a ton of meaning and rap music makes room for a ton of words. That means whether right, wrong, or indifferent, rap is unique in its ability to convey a message.

Over the years hip hop has gotten a bad rap (pun absolutely intended) because its lyrics so consistently boast in things like violence, materialism, drug use, and misogyny.

But that’s not the only message hip hop conveys. Artists like Sho Baraka, Swoope, Propaganda and others have powerfully proven this. Hip hop... Continue Reading

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