Why God Is Not a Megalomaniac in Demanding to Be Worshiped

Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) Annual Meeting | Providence, Rhode Island

Several years ago, Wayne Grudem said to me, “Piper, you’ve got to come to ETS more often, even though you’re a pastor and you dropped out for a while because you’re surrounded by people who agree with you. If you come here, you’ll get criticized, and that will be good for you because then you’ll be more helped in avoiding error and refining your truth.” I’ve tried to take him up on that. My goal here is for you to get half the time and to ask hard questions and make nasty, or helpful, or whatever comments would help me not make mistakes and refine what I think.

This is the nub: I’m going to talk about 20 minutes. We’re going to be done at 3:35, leave a five-minute break, and then the next one goes. That’s what I was told we could do. I’ll do 20 minutes, and then we’ll open it up. Be thinking what if you wanted to ask about this?

This is the nub of what I’ve been saying for 25 years. I’m not going to say anything new for you. Almost everywhere I go, I try to say something like what I’m about to say here because it is so close to the heart of worship and governs life as worship Romans 12:1–2 and liturgical worship in the church. I believe. I have seven theses, and we’ll argue for one of them and state the others, and then you can just go at it.

Thesis 1: The Foundational Conviction

My all-shaping conviction is that God created the universe in order that he might be worshiped with white-hot intensity by created beings who see his glory manifested in creation, in history, and supremely in the work of Christ. God created the universe in order that he might be worshiped.

Thesis 2: The God-Centeredness Quiz

People need to be confronted with how self-exalting God is in this purpose. Confront them, make them squirm with this, or they won’t feel it. If they don’t feel it, they won’t recognize their inveterate man-centeredness. The way I do it is by giving a quiz, and this is the way the quiz goes. It has about six questions.

Question 1: What is the chief end of God? Answer: The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy displaying and magnifying his glory forever.

Question 2: Who is the most God-centered person in the universe? Answer: God.

Question 3: Who is uppermost in God’s affections? Answer: Not you. God.

Question 4: Is God an idolater? Answer: No. He has no other gods before him.

Question 5: What is God’s chief jealousy? Answer: God’s chief jealousy is to be known, admired, trusted, enjoyed, obeyed above all others.

Question 6: (This is the one that goes to the heart of the matter.) Do you feel most loved by God when he makes much of you or frees you at the cost of his Son’s life to enjoy making much of him forever?

Thesis 3: The Peril of Misplaced Worship

The second one was press on it, push that, confront people with God’s self-exalting purpose. Number three: it is good to press on this because if your people, those you care about, are God-centered simply because consciously or unconsciously they think God is man-centered, they are man-centered. If people are God-centered only because they believe God is man-centered, they are still man-centered and self-centered, in particular. Teaching God’s God-Centeredness forces the issue of whether we treasure God because of his excellency or because he endorses ours. It’s frightening how many people, I think, are in our churches using God to confirm their own inviolable self-love.

Thesis 4: Scriptural Evidence of God’s Unwavering Commitment to his Glory

God’s eternal, radical, ultimate commitment to his own self-exaltation permeates Scripture. His aim to be exalted, glorified, admired, magnified, praised, reverenced is seemed to be the ultimate goal of all creation, all providence, and all saving acts. This is the one I will argue for. I’ll argue by quoting a dozen Scriptures or so. Here we go. What I’m defending is how pervasive God’s God-centeredness is. How pervasive God’s passion to exalt himself is in the Bible. It is pervasive. We’ll go in chronological order. Starting in eternity and going to eternity.

  • “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:5–6). We are predestined, so that people will praise his grace. That’s why he did what he did.
  • God created the natural world to display his glory: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalms 19:1), and it’s true by design. Nobody designed it then God. He designed the world.

I’m realizing now I’m commenting on these. I’ve got to stop commenting on these because I’ll take longer than 20 minutes if I do. Just going to read them, I’ll try not to comment.

  • “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3); “. . . that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory (Jeremiah 13:11).
  • “He saved them [at the Red Sea] for his name’s sake that he might make known his mighty power” (Psalm l06:7–8); “I have raised you up for this very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Romans 9:17).
  • “I acted [in the wilderness] for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out (Ezekiel 20:14).
  • [After asking for a king] “Fear not . . . For the Lord will not cast away his people for his great name’s sake (l Samuel 12:20–22).
  • “Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act [in bringing you back from the exile], but for the sake of my holy name . . . . And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name . . . and the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 36:22–23, 32). “For my own sake, for my own sake, I will act; For how can my name be profaned? And my glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11).
  • “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8–9).
  • “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again” (John 12:27, 28). These things make my spine tingle. If these things don’t form the warp and weft of the heart, which is the ethos of your preaching, I just don’t get it.
  • “He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Collapse that down. Christ died so that we live for Christ. Christ is radically Christ-exalting in his saving designs.
  • “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11). Now, don’t forget how that verse began. God highly exalted him, and it ends to the glory of God. This is God’s design in his Son; God is getting glory for God.
  • “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
  • “Immediately an angel of the Lord smote [Herod] because he did not give glory to God” (Acts 12:23). God sent an angel to kill Herod for not glorifying God.
  • “When he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed (2 Thessalonians 1:9–10). Jesus is coming back to be marveled at. If you ask Jesus, “Why are you coming back?” He says, “I’m coming back to be marveled at.”
  • “Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory, which thou hast given me in Thy love for me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
  • “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the lamb” (Revelation 21:23).

That was number four. It permeates Scripture.

Thesis 5: God’s Self-Exaltation as the Most Loving Act

This is not megalomania, because unlike our self-exaltation, God’s self-exaltation draws attention to what gives the greatest and longest joy, namely himself. When you exalt yourself or we exalt ourselves, we lure people away from the one thing that can satisfy their souls: the infinite beauty of God. When God exalts himself, he manifests the one thing that can satisfy our souls, namely God.

Therefore, God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act and the highest virtue, because the definition of love is all-important here; nobody outside the Bible understands what love is. The Bible dictates what love is, and America doesn’t get it. Love labors and suffers to enthrall us with what is infinitely and eternally satisfying, namely God. That’s what love does.

Therefore, when God exalts God and commands us to join him, he is pursuing our highest, deepest, longest happiness. This is not megalomania; it is the definition of love. Unless you define love in a way that puts you at the center. Love is God’s unremitting pursuit, at great cost to his Son’s life, of what will enthrall you forever, namely himself.

Thesis 6: The Alignment of God’s Glory and Our Joy

God’s pursuit of his glory and our pursuit of our joy turn out to be the same pursuit. This is what Christ died to achieve. “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). To do what? Be bored? No, to see his glory and enjoy him forever. Christ died for this.

Thesis 7: The Transformative Power of Understanding God’s Glory

To see this, believe this, and experience this is radically transforming to worship—whether personal or corporate, whether marketplace or liturgical.

I’m done. In the rest of our time, I would really like you to create problems for me, if you can. If you think this is so obvious that there’s nothing to ask questions about and no application issues, then the next person will get a headstart here. I’m totally wide open to any comments or any questions about any exegetical thing, application thing, implication thing, communication thing, or anything else. Go ahead. Be loud for me.

When you say God, do you mean God the Father? Or are you speaking of God as Trinity?

I move around depending on what text I’m quoting. When I say God in my own talk, I mean the Trinitarian Godhead. Go ahead, follow up.

Shared mutuality? Both-and?

Well, yes. I’m not sure what preeminence means. Let me say what I think, and you tell me if it relates to your question. I’m an Edwardian when it comes to what I’m saying here, and I’ll unpack. In the Trinitarian mutuality fellowship that has existed from all eternity, there’s glory. I left out a thesis.

The thesis was the origin of the universe resides most deeply in the infinite energy expressed between the Son and the Father in their mutual delight in each other’s excellency, mediated by the person of the Holy Spirit, exploding in a Vesuvius of shared joy. Something like that. What I’ve said here could not be if there were no Trinity, if there were no Father and Son infinitely esteeming, admiring, enjoying each other from all eternity. With that being, this is over our heads here, mediated, carried back and forth by the Spirit who in our hearts pours out the love of God. That is the passion that God has for us and his image in us. Then what I’ve said just wouldn’t work here. Radically Trinitarian.

However, I thought maybe you were going to go here. Some have said don’t talk about God’s exalting God; talk about God’s exalting the Son. In other words, keep it in the family, so it doesn’t sound self-centered. See, if the Father exalts the Son, that sounds like the Father is not self-exalting; he’s exalting in the Son and vice versa. I think that is true. They do exalt each other, and they’re committed to. The Holy Spirit is above all committed to exalting them. He’s the humble, quiet, retiring member of the Trinity who’s always putting forward Jesus in the gospel proclamation. I think it’s an escape tactic for how offensive these texts are as they stand. As they stand, they get in people’s faces.

My whole agenda here is I want to breed churches and saints that don’t put on a veneer of Christianity while inside they remain radically me-centered, radically self-centered. I’m just trying to think of strategies to how to get at that and explode that thing again so that when we lift our hands in worship like we do at our church, we’re not just getting buzzes from the music and buzzes from pop psychology that’s coming through whatever song or whatever. We really have been shattered in ourselves by the radical centrality of God in the universe. Go ahead. Keep going.

Yes. What does this look like liturgically? What service brings this forward?

I don’t think it’s limited to any liturgy. I’m not a liturgist. I am a formal, open-ended person. I think the New Testament is as empty of guidelines on the specifics of worship services as it is because it’s a missionary handbook for the nations. Had it gotten specific about specifics, we would’ve tried to export those specifics to Papua New Guinea or Afghanistan. Go ahead. Follow up.

Follow up, does the Old Testament have any relevant information about the order of our services?

Not much. It has a lot of relevance in terms of God’s holiness. I haven’t given you my opinion. I’ve just said, “Not much.” Like, “Who are you, Piper.” You understand that these are opinions of John Piper. Okay, when I say not much, I realize you might have a different opinion and I could be wrong, but my read on this is that I do not get a lot of help whether to do services Sunday morning, whether they should be preaching in the front, or preaching in the back, whether it be preaching at all. Hymn singing, song singing, guitars, organ, no music at all. Pews, shared prophecies, healings. I don’t think there’s much guidance in the New Testament as to form. The reason is, because unlike the Quran and all these others, we can take this book to any place in the world and in flesh it.

How does the word proud fit in here? Can that be interchangeable or does that have a negative connotation?

It definitely has a negative connotation, to me, and therefore, I might use it for shock effect. Proud to me is a sin. Pride is a sin. It’s a sin because it’s not something creatures are supposed to be. So, if I’m going to apply it to God, then I, “Oh, I got to baptize this here.” God can do what creatures are forbidden to do, namely exalt himself. So you’re going to call that pride? Well, better explain it good if you do because it’s attended with people are proud, arrogant because they don’t recognize how big God is. God is proud precisely because he recognizes how big God is. The way you can baptize the word proud with the Greek — oh, help me. “Don’t boast in yourself, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31). What’s that word?

Doesn’t matter. Boasting is another word I don’t like and yet we’re told, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17). I can baptize the word boast; I suppose I could baptize the word pride, but I don’t like the word pride for myself. I don’t even talk about being proud of my children. That’s how sticky I am with the word proud. I say to my sons, “I love what you did. I admire you so much.” I go on and on with alternative words because to me, pride sticks in my craw against the wall.

What do you do, John, with Psalm 116? It says, “I love the Lord, because” — and doesn’t have his attributes — “he has heard me, healed me, he’s brought me out, and all of those kinds of things.” The love is for directed to what God has done.

Absolutely. Excellent question. Of course, it’s not an isolated text. There are hundreds of them. We should, whether you use the word love, or thank, or praise, or glorify, or honor, or treasure, his gifts are awesome. Right? We’re breathing, and we’re living, and we’re thinking, and we’re feeling, and we’re going to eat pizza, and drink diet Coke. What should we do with all these things? “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do” (1 Corinthians 10:31). I’m getting to your answer. I have thought so much about this issue of being creatures, being creatures with bodies who eat, have sex, see beautiful things with eyes, hear beautiful things with our ears. In other words, we’re being barraged with idols, potentially. Did God do all that to create a temptation? Are the heavens telling the glory of God, so that people would create sun idols? No.

We were praying the other morning, Tuesday morning, 6:30 prayer meeting. When we were done, we opened our eyes. At this time of year, at seven o’clock with the east-facing window, the sun is coming up under the clouds. That’s how sunrises are created. When the sun shines down on clouds it makes white clouds. When he’s shining from the horizon up under the clouds, it’s spectacular. Why does he do things like that so that we will see that gift and love him because, he’s that kind of giver, that kind of beauty. My short answer is yes, we love him because of his gifts, because the gifts speak of him. He made creatures with bodies. He made creatures with eyes, and ears, and senses and all of that not just to tempt us, but to mediate his glory through created things.

Idolatry is when your affections terminate on the gift instead of the giver. Like C.S. Lewis, remember that? You remember that beam in a barn story. It’s an essay. You walk into a dark barn and there’s the sun out and there’s a little slit in the timber and it creates a beam like a laser. You can see it. You’ve seen it. The dust beams are flying around in the beam and you’re looking at it. That’s of course the glory of God. That’s the sun and it’s a gift. You’re looking at it and you love it. Then you walk into it like this. Your eyes go right up into the sun and it’s blindingly glorious. That’s what gifts are for. Pizza is for that.

What else does “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” mean? It means eat it in a way that calls attention to the infinite value of the glory of the maker of the pizza. People have got to get this, because they do live in bodies. No way do I want to play off love for him through his gifts and love for him for his excellencies. They are not in competition, unless we’re idolaters.

Is there a meaningful way to speak of God’s humility or does that just apply to fallen man?

Absolutely, because of Philippians 2: “He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but [humbled] himself, by taking the form of a servant [and suffered and died]” (Philippians 2:6–7). The beautiful imagery of the God-man becoming model man for us is humility. God’s humility would be his condescension. I’ll let you follow up. His condescension to come down and become one of us, so that he could die for us and bring us up into the enjoyment of his. Go ahead.

Does he model humility prior to being incarnated?

That’s a good question. Let me think, now. I don’t know if I’ve ever asked you. That’s why I’m here. I don’t know that I’ve ever asked that question before. Does he model humility before the incarnation? Well, let’s say before creation. From all eternity, has he been a humble God? Well, I’m just thinking out loud now. Okay. I think on my feet. Surely he is what moved him into Philippians 2. He has always been. That impulse in God to come in Philippians 2 didn’t happen in God it was always there. In that sense, yes. God has always been the God who would look at the Father, in the form of the Son, and make a covenant of redemption, and say, “Son, will you empty yourself and redeem a rebellious people for us who would praise us forever, even praise us for our humility.”

I seldom sing more exuberate than when I sing about the condescension of the Son on my behalf. So, yes. I think the Son at that moment in eternity, even though there aren’t no moments in eternity, said, “Yes, Father, I will do this. I will take on flesh. I will go low. I’ll put aside the outward forms of glory and I will do this.” In that sense, it’s always been there.

I was wondering, you said that God is not a megalomaniac when he exalts himself, because we benefit. He a megalomaniac when he exalts himself and it results in the common condemnation of human content?

I’ll repeat the question since you may not have heard it. That’s an excellent, very difficult, and important question. I argue that he wasn’t a megalomaniac because his self-exaltation is love and he’s pointing out it’s not love to everybody. It’s love to the elect. For those who are not it’s not. Is God a megalomaniac in regard to the reprobate? I’m putting words in your mouth, but that’s it, isn’t it?

That’s exactly it.

Okay. No, I wouldn’t want to say God is a megalomaniac in any regard. I suppose you have to define megalomaniac. By definition it’s a bad thing. God is holy, and good, and pure, and in him is light, and there’s no darkness at all. My answer to the question of how the non-elect or, if you’re not a Calvinist, junk those words, the lost, because we all have the same problem here. My way of handling it is to say that the lostness of the lost is in fact part of God’s love for the elect. I base this on Romans 9. I’ll just read it to you so I get the wording exactly right. This is the hardest and most ultimate question in the universe, I think. I don’t know of any text that goes closer to why God does what he does than these words.

“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” — then here comes this purpose clause — “in order.” He’s enduring vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, so that’s the reprobate in my categories. He’s enduring them “in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:22–23).

My answer is that even there he ordained that not everybody be saved is part of the means by which he displays the fullness of the glory. Including wrath and power to the vessels of mercy. The mystery here, please don’t feel like I don’t think this is hard, okay? I’m tossing this out like, “Whoa, that’s heavy.” Yes. The fact is we all have mysteries. We draw our mystery lines in different places. I draw mine at the fact that I believe that text can be true, God still be just, and those people still be accountable. Okay? That’s like my trinity. All men are accountable. God’s absolutely sovereign and even ordains that some will not be saved, and what was the third one? I lost it.

Text is true.

Okay, that would be it. The text is true. That may not be an adequate answer. Are you writing these? You should write these down. Those last two questions, because I need to think through to get good answers for these. That’s why I’m here. Keep making it hard for me. Okay? You right, you were. You and then you. Okay.

As we look at Scripture and we see that at one point in time we are saved and then we will be glorified at a later state. Does it seem odd to you that God’s self-exaltation doesn’t happen immediately at our salvation?

Yes. The question was since we are saved, and then later glorified, and there’s this gap does it seem odd to me that God’s, how do you say it, self-exaltation doesn’t happen to fix what you said fully at the moment of salvation? Which means why aren’t I glorified as soon as I’m born again?

Why is it, again, his full glory as you would in the glorification at the moment of our salvation?

Yes. Why wouldn’t God step in, get from my heart and my transformation the full reflection of his glory that he will get when I’m glorified at the end? I don’t know. I have an idea. Okay. I have an idea. This is not for me a theoretical question. I know people, and I would say this about myself, for whom the greatest threat to my perseverance and my ultimate salvation is the slowness of my sanctification. It’s not theoretical issues like did he rise from the dead or the problem of evil. I’ve got answers. Why I sin against my wife the same at age 62 that I did at age 42 causes me sometimes to doubt salvation. Or the power of the Holy Spirit. You get the idea. This question is not theoretical.

Why God doesn’t step in and do what he’s going to do. Free will is absolutely zero help here, because he can and will at the last day in the twinkling of an eye, I will never sin again. Don’t you believe that? In the twinkling of an eye, at the second coming, I will never sin again. He could have done that forty years earlier. Not a problem. See, the way I posed the question is why does he let Satan go around like a roaring lion seeking? He’s going to throw him in the lake of fire eventually without compromising anybody’s free will. He’s going to throw Satan in the lake of fire and he’s going to sanctify me in an instant. “Why God, why not now, please? More now. Wouldn’t you get more glory if Piper were more holy if he didn’t have to apologize so often?” Evidently not.

My answer as to why would be this. If God steps in and with raw power nullifies Satan, throws him this afternoon into the lake of fire, what will be glorified is his power. Leaving him marauding around putting seeds of thought in your mind that sex is better than God, and food is better than God, and success is better than God shows by your triumph in the power of the Holy Spirit over those temptations that God is not only powerful, he’s infinitely precious and valuable. God is evidently more into being showed a treasure in your triumph over the evil one than he is in showing now his awesome power over your sin and Satan’s reality.

That’s my best shot. I don’t know if it will carry or is an adequate answer, but as I’m pushed in my own heart to figure out why God wouldn’t want to exalt himself more in my total sanctification now and Satan’s total removal now my answer is since the Bible portrays it as a process, God must in the big picture get more glory through the process. Now, behind you.

Going back to the not opposed to saying, how do you get this idea across someone not in this room?

The question is, you’ve got seven points here. They work nice in this theological room, you’re talking to the guy on the airplane. That’s what I did coming out here, or unbeliever, or is that the idea? How in the world can you get this across to somebody who’s outside this realm of discourse entirely? Okay.

Michael Prowse hates that about God, writing in Financial Times. C.S. Lewis, at age 28, thought the Psalm sounded like an old woman demanding compliments. “Praise me.” That’s all I ever hear God say. C.S. Lewis hated this God. Don Carson, on a tape I listened to the other day, said he used to do missions, and the questions would be 20–30 years ago, “How do you approve the resurrection?” Today, the questions are, and the first one he mentioned was how come God’s such an egotist as to demand worship? We’re not talking about theoretical stuff here in terms of evangelism. Okay.

Here’s my answer. On the plane, I meet this guy. “Hi, where you going?” “I’m going to a theological conference, and I’m going to talk about worship.” I can tell this guy’s shutting down real fast. It’s the first time ever in the history of my life when the person next to me on the plane would not take a book from me. I always give my books away on the plane and try to explain why.

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ is my favorite little evangelistic book. I said, “I wrote this book? I’d love to give it away. Please take this.” He said, “You better give it to somebody that could benefit from it.” Before that, here’s what I did: This is my effort to answer your question. I said, “Can I give you a three-minute synopsis of my talk?” “Well, sure.” “I’m going to try out these seven points in three minutes on him.”

I got out of my briefcase the back of a National Geographic that I photographed Nature Valley granola bars. Now, have you seen this? It’s a picture of a mountain. Ah, I brought it. Kicking myself. No, never mind, it’s in my other case. It’s a picture of a mountain, and at the top of the mountain is a pinnacle. It goes way up maybe 500 feet. At the top, he’s this little speck of a man with his arms out like this and rope hanging down from his arms. The scene is panoramic, a huge deep valley, high mountain pinnacle. He’s out there, and your knees get wobbly watching it. At the top of this granola ad, the words go like this, “Never felt more insignificant. Never felt more alive.”

Can you believe the sermon on the back of National Geographic, which is a pagan magazine to the max? I said, “Does that make sense to you? That God, by exalting himself through the magnificence of nature and making us feel small, would be loving us and making us alive, feel alive? Does that make any sense to you?” He grunted at me. This guy did not want to talk at all, but I’m making an effort to do what you said. The last thing I said to him was one of my favorite things is to notice that in America self-esteem is a really big deal. I’ve never heard anybody say that they went to the Grand Canyon to increase their self-esteem. Why do you think that is? He didn’t want to talk. This is my effort to try to get in the categories.

I believe the written on our hearts is a huge need for and desire for majesty, greatness, glory, and mountains will never do. Yet, we go to mountains. Canyons will never do. Yet, we go to canyons. The next best thing is to put big glossy books on our coffee table or go to movies where everything’s blowing up. These are all substitute glories, so you can find remnants of God awareness. It’s like Romans 1 says, and you can show them that God’s radical exaltation of himself is really for your good. I have seen some people get it out of unbelief, but mainly I’m talking to Christians. Our time is up.

May I? I wanted to say one last thing. I got done listening a few minutes ago to Wallace and Hill, those two guys at the two plenaries, and I simply came away filled with gratitude for this ETS, because as a pastor, I don’t do that anymore. I don’t have time, I don’t have inclination, and I’m losing ability to do what they’re doing. I came away saying, “God, keep it faithful.” That the fact that he said the incarnation demands rigorous, historical, hard, risky investigation. Everything in me is saying, yes, it does not. If you all start doing what I do, it would be terrible. I’m talking to the scholars among you. Know that I come here with a sense of tremendous gratitude for what God has done in strengthening and preserving this ETS. Thank you for those questions. At least two or three of them have pushed me beyond where I have ever gone before.