Much of the blame for the rise of the “new Calvinism” is ours—Arminians. We have failed to provide our young people with our theology. So naturally they think Calvinism is the only biblical, evangelical theology when they encounter it preached and taught by attractive, persuasive, young men like Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Louis Giglio, et al. And when they fall under the spell of John Piper who is simply a magician at persuasion.
John Piper on suffering:
Strange as it may seem, one of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith more unshakable. Faith is like muscle tissue: if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger, not weaker… When your faith is threatened and tested and stretched to the breaking point, the result is greater capacity to endure.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2–3).”
John Piper on pastors who use churches as studios:
Serve your people with your best energy. Serve your people with full affection. Serve your people with focused attention. Feed your flock with the food they need. Don’t give them generic messages for a generic audience. And if God means for you to have a wider impact because of what you are saying to your sheep, let others draw that out. You just be so faithful. Love your people. Serve your people. Feed your people. Beware of the addicting dangers of being widely known. Don’t pursue that. Pursue truth. Pursue edification and worship. Pursue your flock and let the ripples take care of themselves.
John Piper on the cross of Christ:
Even though all scorn the glory of God, and even though God’s righteousness is his unwavering commitment to uphold [His] glory– nevertheless, God designed a way to vindicate the worth of his glory and at the same time give hope to sinners who have scorned that glory– and what he designed was the death of his Son. It took the infinitely costly death of the Son of God to repair the dishonor that my pride has brought upon the glory of God.
John Piper on preaching:
The cross is also the ground of the humility of preaching because the cross is the power of God to crucify the pride of both preacher and congregation. In the New Testament the cross is not only a past place of objective substitution; it is also a present place of subjective execution– the execution of my self-reliance and my love affair with the praise of man. “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).
John Piper on Luke 13:1-5:
Some people came to Jesus and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. Jesus responded in shockingly unsentimental words: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” In other words, Jesus says, “Are you amazed that few Galileans were killed by Pilate? What you ought to be amazed at is that all of you haven’t been killed, and that you will be someday if you don’t repent.”
John Piper on the pastor’s reading life:
The Word of God that saves and sanctifies, from generation to generation, is preserved in a Book. And therefore at the heart of every pastor’s work is book-work. Call it reading, meditation, reflection, cogitation, study, exegesis, or whatever you will — a large and central part of our work is to wrestle God’s meaning from a Book, and proclaim it in the power of the Holy Spirit.