Behind the Blog: Sorting Things Out

Jonathan Parnell

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Kicking off the first episode this year, we talk Passion, podcasts, and prayer.

Earlier this month John Piper spoke to over 60,000 college students in Atlanta. He recently talked with Tony about what the experience was like on the newly revitalized podcast, Ask Pastor John (forthcoming on iTunes).

Other podcasts to probe include John Piper Sermons, Theology Refresh, Authors on the Line, and Behind the Blog, all of which we sort out... Continue Reading

Piper on Healing and Exorcism

Jonathan Parnell

What is the gift of healing? And are there “healers” today?

The apostle Paul lists healing among the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, but has anything significant changed between then and now?

What about exorcism?

John Piper answers in the following videos, and recounts the chilling story of an exorcism he participated in early in his pastorate.

What Is the Gift of Healing? (7 minutes)

Have You Exorcized a Demon? (7.5 minutes)

For more on the supernatural, see “Piper on Prophecy... Continue Reading

I Will Not Let You Go Unless You Bless Me

Jon Bloom

Is there a fear staring you in the face right now? Are you finding your faith in God’s promise shaking? If so, you are likely praying desperately for God to be with you. God will answer you. But you might, like Jacob in Genesis 32, be surprised by his answer.

Jacob leaned on his staff, staring at the stars. He was looking for hope. “Number the stars, if you are able to number them. So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:5). Yahweh had promised this to Father... Continue Reading

Piper on Prophecy and Tongues

David Mathis

The Christian ministry is irreducibly supernatural. Even centrally supernatural.

Desiring God’s 2013 Pastors Conference is fast approaching. On February 4–6, we’ll gather in downtown Minneapolis under the banner “Brothers, We Are Still Not Professionals.” Subtitle: “Reclaiming the Centrality of the Supernatural in Ministry.”

So with the supernatural in mind, we sat down with John Piper to ask the hot-button questions. We started with speaking in tongues and with new-covenant... Continue Reading

When Delight Means Doxology

Jonathan Parnell
When Delight Means Doxology

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!"

David's prayer in Psalm 40:16 can absolutely change your life. At first glance it may not stand out. Perhaps, like me, when you've read it before you glossed over the parallelism that makes this verse so special.

Now parallelism is a pretty simple rhetorical device. It is used in poetry of all kinds to connect two different phrases within a single line, always... Continue Reading

Glory in the Mundane

David Mathis

God is big enough to make our most menial of tasks into something meaningful. He’s transcendent enough — and draws near enough to us — to make the mundane in our lives significant for his glory.

As a worship-leader for the Passion conferences, Christy Nockels knows what it’s like to enjoy God in the midst of a massive assembly for Jesus, and as a mother of three, she’s learning what it’s like to enjoy God in the middle of life’s many seemingly menial moments. Her most recent album,... Continue Reading

“Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth” (Video)

John Piper

The poem I’m about to read is called “Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth.” It brings together three things that I am facing and loving: one is poetry, another is work, and another is this transition in my life that some people call retirement, as I step away from being the senior pastor of Bethlehem. So I set myself to ask how I feel about stopping. Am I stopping? Am I going to keep working? What’s the right view of work? Why do I love poetry so much?

All of this came together... Continue Reading

Am I Scared of God’s Goodness?

Jonathan Parnell

It’s kind of a hard question to ask. We know from the Bible that suffering plays an important role in the life of believers. We have even walked close with friends who have experienced intense pain. But we ourselves, well, we’ve not been face to face with affliction yet. We’ve not suffered severe loss. And this starts to make us suspicious, as if we have received too many gifts and before long something terrible is going to happen.

So what do we do? How do we truly enjoy God’s... Continue Reading

The Seedbed of Big-God Preaching

John Piper
The Seedbed of Big-God Preaching

In December, 1744, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon foreshadowing The End for Which God Created the World, which he completed eleven years later, three years before he died. It’s title was “Approaching the End of God’s Grand Design.”

It is the kind of sermon that draws me back again and again to Edwards to rescue me from the spiritual strangle hold of small things. It’s this kind of seeing that makes the seedbed of Big-God Theology and Big-God Preaching. You can read it ... Continue Reading

The Compelling and Costly Grace of God

David Mathis

For all eternity, God’s people will marvel at the splendor of his grace. Ephesians 1 tells us three times, in one long sentence, that God does all he does “to the praise of his glory” (verses 6, 12, and 14) — and that this glory is “the glory of his grace” (verse 6).

Bob Glenn, pastor of Redeemer Bible Church here in the Twin Cities, loves to celebrate God’s compelling and costly grace. When we had Glenn in the studio recently to record an episode of Theology Refresh,... Continue Reading