Tag Archives: John Piper


I love religion. I know it's popular to parrot the "I hate religion" mantra these days, and I understand what those saying it are trying to say - they don't like it when people abuse religion for personal gain, whether that gain is financial, personal, or whether it just to make themselves feel better.

But to say "I hate religion" is an abuse of the word "religion," which is actually a pretty morally neutral word. To assign a neutral word a meaning that it was never intended to carry is an abuse of the word.

We don't want the political gay agenda to change the meaning of the word "marriage" - well, don't change the meaning of the word "religion." When somebody abuses it, reclaim it.

    - the service or worship of God (If you - generic, not specific "you" hate that, I'm not sure what to say)
    - the commitment or devotion to religious faith or devotion - again, I'm not sure why anyone would hate that.
    - a personal set or institutionalized system of religious beliefs, attitudes or practice. Our Christian beliefs that connect us with nearly 2,000 years of people of faith who have gone before us? Yeah...those


I love these things that add up to: religion.

I am committed to, and devoted to, the service and worship of God - that is, my religious faith.

What spurred this post, is the book "Affirming the Apostles' Creed" by J.I.Packer. That institutionalized system of beliefs is best summed up in the "Apostles' Creed"

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN

and can I hear another AMEN?

what part of this would any Christian hate?

Most of us have heard it taught that "Christ and the church" is a metaphor for marriage.  We look at a human marriage and then look to Christ and His bride as an example.

John Piper (although I do not have a direct link) has put it in the opposite:  Marriage was created by God (true) for the benefit of humans (true) in part as a metaphor to illustrate to the world the picture of Christ and His bride (not so clear).

One thing is clear (to me) - the parallel of husband and wife to Christ and the church is written in Scripture often enough for me to believe there is a significant lesson to be learned.

Which way does the metaphor run?  I think perhaps both ways.

I believe that God is eternal and omniscient.  He knew from eternity what man would bring and He knew the metaphor that He would inspire in Scripture.  Do we really think that the "Christ and the church" idea was a sudden revelation to God?  Of course not.  I believe that the parallel between God/Israel and Christ/the church were there from eternity - before creation.

I believe that they are intertwined - a person can learn about marriage by looking at God's relationship with Israel and Christ and the church...and the world should be able to look at a Christian marriage and see it reflect Christ and the church.

We all have one - a heart that is steeped in rebellion. Reformed theology calls is "the total depravity of man".

We see in in children; for many of them "mine" and "no" are among the first words they use.

We see it in teenagers when they learn that they have wings and start to use them - many times in rebellion instead of freedom.

We see it in adults when we observe the "nine you're fine, ten you're mine" rule of speed limits.

I see it in myself. I sleep with a CPAP and I hate it. Most mornings I wake up with the mask laying next to my pillow and a vague recollection of ripping it off my face in the middle of the night. Why? Because I DON'T LIKE IT!

We see it rebellion against parents, against government, against laws, against doctors, against physical limitations.

And it all stems from a rebellion against God.

John Piper writes: When we speak of man's depravity we mean man's natural condition apart from any grace exerted by God to restrain or transform man.

Total depravity does not mean that all people are as bad as they could be - it means that every part of every person is steeped in original sin. Our minds, our will, our emotions, our body - everything. It is all affected by sin.

Scripture tells us of the nature of man.

The heart is deceitful

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

People are slaves to sin

Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

There is nobody who is righteous.

Romans 3: 10-12 "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

We do not accept spiritual things

1 Cor. 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

We are dead in sin

Eph. 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ

and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (v.3)

Why are we all thus?

herefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)


No...that's not my question, but rather the question on ""Parchment and Pen."

"Why is it okay to think that men know so much, have so much insight, are so sensitive to all the nuances of a particular Bible passage that they can teach women in a way that women are able to learn and understand week after week but the insights and sensitivities of women are so inferior that men could/should never learn from them? Or how is this not what is being said?"

Since this is not what is being taught by most complementarians, it might be useful to note that complementarians are not monolithic (just as egalitarians are not).

It might also be useful to note that most complementarians do not teach that women are not insightful, that women are not sensitive to Scripture or that women are inferior.
Most complementarians do not teach that "men could/should never learn from them?"

From "The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:"

"Listen to how John Piper and Wayne Grudem summarized this answer to this question. "When Paul says in I Timothy 2:12, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,' we do not understand him to mean an absolute prohibition of all teaching by women. Paul instructs the older women to teach what is good, then they can train the younger women. And he commends the teaching that Eunice and Lois gave to her son and grandson. Proverbs praises the ideal wife because she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue. Paul endorses women prophesying in a church and says that men learn by such prophesying. And that members should teach and admonish one another with all wisdom as you sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. And then, of course, there is Priscilla at Aquilla's side correcting Apollos. It is arbitrary to think that Paul has in mind every form of teaching in I Timothy 2:12. Teaching and learning are in such broad terms that it is impossible that women not teach men and men not learn from women in some sense. There is a way that nature teaches and a fig tree teaches and suffering teaches and human behavior teaches. If Paul did not have every conceivable form of teaching and learning in mind, what did he mean? Along with the fact that the setting here is the church assembled for prayer and teaching, the best clue is by coupling teaching with having authority over men. We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching in leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore, we think it is God's will that only men bear the responsibility for that office."

Also from CBMW:

Also, I see no need to go be­yond Scripture, which does not prohibit (permits but does not mandate) prayer or testimony by a woman in the con­gregation nor forbid her interaction on biblical truths in a private conversation with a man (as Pricilla and Aquila with Apollos in Acts 18:26).

From another article by Wayne Grudem on CBMW:

Now regarding the question of women in the church, what actions should we put on this scale? On the left side of the scale we can put verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits a woman from teaching or having authority over men. Since I think it is very evident from the context that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation in this passage (see 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:15), and he is giving principles that apply to the entire congregation (see 1 Tim. 3:1-16), I think that the left end of the scale prohibits women from teaching or having governing authority over the whole congregation.

What shall we put on the right end of the scale? Here we would put verses such as Acts 18:26, where, in a less formal setting apart from an assembled congregation, we find that Priscilla and Aquila were talking to Apollos, and "they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately." This situation is similar to a small group Bible study in which both men and women are participating and in that way "teaching" one another. Another verse that we can put on the right end of the scale is Titus 2:4 which tells the older women to "train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."

We see from these writings that an across the board prohibition of women teaching men is not what is being taught. Rather it is the teaching that complementarians believe that Paul is teaching that women should not teach the congregation at large, or have authority in that context.

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John Piper's son, Abraham and his wife, Molly lost their baby, Felicity.

In the hopes that you will pray for us, I’ll give you the news about Abraham’s daughter. Abraham is my son who serves as the Web Content Manager for Desiring God. He and Molly were expecting their second child on Sunday, September 23. Molly was big and healthy. Everyone was happy and excited about Orison’s little sister.

There had been no movement since Thursday. Molly had read this was nothing unusual, but the doctor said she could come for a check-up if she wished. Saturday morning (September 22) they went to Hennepin County Medical Center. No heart beat. Ultrasound confirms: the baby is dead

Please join in prayer for this family.

My friend, Phil asked me to look at the Scripture references that Piper cited and asked (since I also lost a child in this way - but earlier) if he did and said the right thing.

In situations like this, who you are talking to could change how you approach them. I can only assume that since Piper is "dad" to this couple, he knows them well enough to know what it is that they will need at this time. I would comfort a strong believing couple differently than I would new believers and I'd comfort believers differently than unbelievers.

In this case, I believe that believing couples can find comfort in all of these passages,, although there are certainly better passages to use than the 2 Samuel passage - I would most likely NOT have used that (not criticizing - John Piper is a man who is grieving and doing the best that he can).

2 Samuel 12:15-23 - this is the passages that tells us about when David lost his son. He fasted and prayed until the child was dead, and then he got up and ate. The reason that I would not have used this passage is that I believe the message is not that "life will go on", but rather that the child was taken as punishment from God. David had hoped to bring God's mercy by fasting and praying, but when the child died, David took the punishment as righteous.

If a person has done nothing wrong, there is no reason to add guilt; but if they have, this passage gives hope of seeing them again.

John 9:1-3 - This is a good passage - a reminder that we live in a lost and dying world - all of our existence is intended to bring glory to God and that (although sometimes these things can be traced back to our actions) many times there is nothing we could have done (or not done) to change the outcome. The thought that it is "not our fault" can be very comforting.

1 Corinthians 15:58 - Keep on keeping on - our labor is not in vain. I understand this, but...

These are passages that I would use, and have used:

Isaiah 53: 3-4
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

Christ knows what grief is about - and if we put our burdens onto Him, He will help us to bear them.

John 11:35

Jesus wept.

The shortest verse in the Bible - and for me, one of the most meaningful. Lazarus was dead and his sisters were grieving. Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet He wept.

Why? Because His friends were hurting. In the same way, He sees our grief and pain - and weeps along with us.

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Know - KNOW that you have an entire church family who is ready to stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart and weep with you.

Know this. My prayers are with you.