Tag Archives: John Piper

Keep Reading

Avid reader or not, we all have trouble remembering what we read. I know I do. Forgetting what we read can be discouraging, so is there anyone out there that can give us some advice on what to do? C.J. Mahaney provides some encouraging words here that have personally helped me and I hope they help you too.

I have friends who can accurately reference specific footnotes from books they read 20 or more years ago! Those friends not only read a lot, they remember just about everything.

I find this very discouraging.

I recently finished A. Lincoln, a 676-page biography by Ronald C. White, Jr. And yet when I closed the book and communicated to others how much I enjoyed the book, there was really only one sentence I clearly remembered—which is one reason why I dog-ear and mark paragraphs and sentences in my books.

I try to read a lot but unfortunately I forget a lot, too. (Did I mention how discouraging this is?) But over the years I have read many unforgettable sentences and paragraphs that have made a lasting impact on my thinking and on my ministry.

Is reading worth the time investment when so much is forgotten? John Piper says yes. In a message long ago (July 12, 1981) he said this:

What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this: It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%.

Read, but not to remember everything. Read because that 1% that you remember has to potential to change your life.

Although I remember only one sentence from A. Lincoln, that sentence has informed my leadership in a number of ways.

So keep reading.

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If God wants me to be happy, why do I have so much suffering?

Why do I suffer? John Piper does a great job answering this difficult question.

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The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility By John Piper

 

John Piper tackles one of the most asked questions in Christianity in this video. Check out what he had to say:

I HAVE UPDATED MY ABOUT PAGE

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Bad Theology or Division, What’s Worse?

As guest columnist for the Christian Post, John Piper explains which of these two unfortunate situations (bad theology or division) grieves him more. Personally, I have experienced both and must say they are equally grievous. Check out Piper’s answer and leave your thoughts.

Are you more grieved by theology you disagree with or by division within the body of believers?

Here’s the way I answer questions like that (and I ask them to myself all the time): It depends on the degree and nature of the division compared with the degree of seriousness to the theology mistaken.

I’m sad that we’re not all on the same page eschatologically. I wish Sam Storms and I were on the same page. I wish Doug Wilson and I were on the same page. And we’re not, and that’s sad.

It doesn’t cause me too many tears at that level. But when I see somebody I love going to a hurtful view of God, then I can be really grieved, and that hurts.

So that’s the theology side. There are some theological moves that are so destructive and so dishonoring to God and so close to the center that we should be deeply grieved and angered by them.

On the other hand, there are all kinds of divisions. If two of my elders hated each other-I mean, if they were saying ugly things about each other and doing wicked things, that would emotionally probably take me down deeper than most of these theological things.

I love our elder fellowship. I was meeting with the elders last night until 11 o’clock, and I came home just saying, “I love these guys!” Thirty guys sitting around a table, one heart, one mind, pulling together for the good of the church is the joy of my life. It has been for 30 years. If that broke at Bethlehem and the thing became war and anger and hurtful speech, probably emotionally I would be way more undone than by theological issues.

So what can you say? There are some kinds of disunity that are small and don’t move me. Other kinds that are deep, immediate, personal, and heart-wrenching. So in any given case I would have to ask, “What is the theological issue? and What is the kind of division? And then I’ll tell you which bothers or hurts or grieves me more.”

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