When God Came to the City

Jonathan Parnell
When God Came to the City

Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. He knew his mission.

The evangelist Luke captures Jesus’s relentless journey by telling us that “he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Nothing would deter him.

In their new book, Why Cities Matter, Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard discuss this significance of Jesus coming into the city of Jerusalem. Cities, they explain, play a key role throughout the biblical storyline. The end-time vision of the new world is... Continue Reading

God’s Mercy in Messed Up Families

Jon Bloom
God’s Mercy in Messed Up Families

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find an example of what we would call a “healthy family” in the Bible? It’s a lot easier to find families with a lot of sin and a lot of pain than to find families with a lot of harmony. For example, here’s just a sampling from Genesis:

  • The first recorded husband and wife calamitously disobey God (Genesis 3).
  • Their firstborn commits fratricide (Genesis 4:8).

  • Sarah’s grief over infertility moves her to give her servant, Hagar, to Abraham... Continue Reading

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

David Mathis
We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

It’s a beautiful thing when a single sentence reorients a soul for good. When one proposition proves potent enough to be life-changing for the better. Especially when it’s a short one.

For me, it was the spring of 2000 — perhaps you have your own story about being rocked by this shorty from Lewis. An older student, who was leading a Bible study on my freshman hall, picked Desiring God as our semester focus. I emphatically did not enjoy reading and had made my way through high... Continue Reading

Those Deleted Tweets

Tony Reinke
Those Deleted Tweets

Monday night, in the wake of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, John Piper posted two tweets at 11:00pm (CST). Both tweets quoted the first chapter of Job. He first cited Job 1:19, and then Job 1:20, and they were posted together consecutively:

  • @JohnPiper: “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” Job 1:19
  • @JohnPiper: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.”... Continue Reading

The Bible as One Story

Tony Reinke
The Bible as One Story

How does the Bible hold together into a single, cohesive story?

It’s an important (and intimidating) question reserved for the discipline of biblical theology, an angle of scholarship that focuses on sections of Scripture, sometimes the whole of the Bible, to show how the texts fits together within the unfolding drama of redemption and consummation in Jesus Christ.

Edmund Clowney, the noteworthy theologian and preacher who passed away in 2005, said the lessons most easily transferable... Continue Reading

Legalism or Love? Religious or Radical?

Trillia Newbell
Legalism or Love? Religious or Radical?

If you’re struggling with legalism, don’t fight it by quitting your quiet times. That’s the good advice I remember once hearing from a pastor.

In other words, there’s a temptation to presumably fight legalism by running away from good things, whether Bible reading or acts of love, because we mistake them to be part of the problem.

We women are susceptible to this temptation. We are bombarded with choices. Between schooling options, birthing styles, what we should wear,... Continue Reading

God’s Sovereignty and Personal Compassion in Public Tragedy

Tony Reinke
God’s Sovereignty and Personal Compassion in Public Tragedy

In light of various tragedies in the news, I asked Pastor John a few weeks ago how he personally reconciles what appears to be two conflicting responses when public tragedy occurs: (1) his compassion towards those who suffer and (2) his conviction that Scripture ascribes to God the final control over all calamities and disasters wrought by both nature and man (see Exodus 4:11, Deuteronomy 32:39, 1 Samuel 2:6–7, Ecclesiastes 7:13–14, Isaiah 45:5–7,... Continue Reading

Christian Adoption: Disavowals and Affirmations

John Piper
Christian Adoption: Disavowals and Affirmations

Significant Christian push-back was unleashed in recent months by Kathryn Joyce’s criticism of the abuses in evangelical adoption efforts: The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption.

Melanie Springer Mock documented some of that push-back and gave her appreciative take on Joyce’s book. I have been surprised at some undiscriminating criticism of evangelical adoption.

As I pondered how to respond to the criticisms of adoption, it... Continue Reading

Greater Than Graduation: All Things Are Yours

Marshall Segal
Greater Than Graduation: All Things Are Yours

Few occasions are more anticipated than graduation. We invite our loved ones, wear clothes we never wear anywhere else, and take lots and lots of pictures.

This past Friday evening, John Piper addressed the graduates of Bethlehem College & Seminary with a stunning message from 1 Corinthians 3:21–23: In Christ, all things are yours.

While it may seem like there is plenty to boast about in graduation––good grades, completed papers, accumulated knowledge, years... Continue Reading

Hedonism to the Extreme: Lamborghini and Our Souls

Jonathan Parnell
Hedonism to the Extreme: Lamborghini and Our Souls

“What does a tractor manufacturer know about sports cars?” said Enzo Ferrari to an Italian mechanic from humble roots.1

This mechanic, Ferruccio Lamborghini, did manufacture tractors, and he did well. But he also liked fast automobiles and building things, and in the decade following World War II he decided to try his hand at supercars. Frustrated with the Ferrari’s handling on the road, and Ferrari’s dismissal at some suggested improvements, Ferruccio... Continue Reading