Another Reflection on Piper’s T4G Message

About a week and a half ago, I shared about John Piper’s final message at T4G and about how powerfully the word landed on me. I was not alone in that. It was very clear in Albert Mohler’s closing remarks after the message that the sermon had had a similar effect on Mohler. He was visibly moved.

Mohler shares about his response today in a blog post for Desiring God, and it is really well done. It is short, and I recommend it to you. Also, the video above is an excerpt showing what he, I, and so many others were responding to.

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Jesus or Nothing

Dan Dewitt has a brand new book out titled Jesus or Nothing. It’s a book that talks about the clash between theism and nihilism, and it’s very well done and accessible. I was pleased to write an endorsement of this book, which I will share below along with some others.

Jesus or Nothing is a little book about a big God. If you are a skeptic or a minister to skeptics, you should read this book about the God who is conspicuously there and who aims to reconcile sinners to himself through Christ.”
—Denny Burk, author, What Is the Meaning of Sex?

“To be alive today is to be at the intersection of worldviews. Different worldviews compete for allegiance, but Dan DeWitt clearly demonstrates that there are really only two worldviews in constant conflict: theism versus nihilism. The superiority of the Christian worldview is demonstrated not only by its inherent truth claims, but also by the tragic inadequacy of nihilism. DeWitt sets the issue clearly in his title: it’s Jesus or Nothing. Any thinking person will benefit from reading this important new book.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Dan DeWitt knows his stuff. It is apparent that he’s familiar with everyone from Chesterton to Lewis to Schaeffer, not only in the ideas set forth in this book, but in his gentle, good-humored tone as well. In a culture where it can feel like Christianity is on the defensive, Dan reminds us that the gospel is beautiful beyond reason and completely reasonable.”
—Andrew Peterson, singer/songwriter; author, The Wingfeather Saga series

Buy the book here.

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God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines is a young author who has just released a new book trying to disprove that the Bible condemns homosexuality, God and the Gay Christian. Against a 2,000-year old consensus within the Christian church, Vines contends that key biblical texts do not mean what they appear to mean—that homosexuality is fallen and sinful and completely incompatible with following Christ.

Vines argues that if the Bible were properly understood, everyone would see that there’s nothing inherently sinful about homosexual orientation or behavior. Thus there is no biblical reason to prevent gay “Christians” from entering into the covenant of marriage with a same-sex partner. Gay couples can fulfill the marital norms of Ephesians 5 just like their heterosexual counterparts. Continue Reading →

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First-born from among the dead!

O Jesus, Savior of my life,
My hope, my joy, my sacrifice,
I’ve searched and found no other one
Who loves me more than you have done.

So I denounce my lingering sin
Whose power You have broke within
My ever weak and faithless frame.
Its vigor’s crushed in Jesus name.

For your death did at once proclaim,
The Father’s glory and my shame.
And you did seize my cup of guilt
And drank all that the chalice spilled.

No condemnation now I dread
Because you went for me instead
To bear the Father’s hell-bent rage,
To pay the debt I would have paid.

Yet your work finished not with death,
Nor with your final murdered breath.
For death’s blows could not ever quell
The One whose life is in Himself.

Your passion broke forth full with life,
And foiled the adversary’s wiles.
You broke the chains, destroyed the sting
With which death had afflicted me.

O Savior, who died in my stead,
You firstborn from among the dead,
O Savior, you who saved my life,
Will take me whole to paradise.

So on this resurrection day
I lift my voice with all the saints
And sing with all my ransomed might
Of You, the Savior of my life!

————

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. – Colossians 1:18

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Rise up, O you sleeper, awake! The light of the dawn is upon you!

 ALL THINGS NEW

Come broken and weary
Come battered and bruised
My Jesus makes all things new
All things new

Come lost and abandoned
Come blown by the wind
He’ll bring you back home again
Home again

Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, the light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, he makes all things new

Come frozen with shame
Come burning with guilt
My Jesus, he loves you still
He loves you still

Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, the light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, he makes all things new

The world was good
The world is fallen
The world will be redeemed
O hold on to the promise

The stories are true
That Jesus makes all things new
The dawn is upon you

Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, the light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up, oh you sleeper
Awake, he makes all things new

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Words by Andrew Peterson
Music by Andrew Peterson, Ben Shive, and Andy Gullahorn

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9-year old boy sings gospel music during kidnapping

From NBC News Atlanta:

ATLANTA — A young boy’s love of gospel music may have saved his life.

Earlier this month, police say a man kidnapped then nine-year-old Willie Myrick from his southwest Atlanta driveway. He allegedly drove the boy around for some time before dropping him off unharmed in East Point.

But Willie’s actions during those terrifying three hours are inspiring people around the country. Willie says he sang the gospel song “Every Praise” until the man let him go.

Read the rest here.

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Russell Moore on CBS News’ morning show

Russell Moore did a great job earlier today on CBS News’ morning show. You will note that Danny Akin, Daniel Patterson, Jon Akin and some others make cameos in this one. Watch it above.

I was struck near the end of the interview by something the reporter says. After noting the positive message that Moore brings to the job, she says, “But a different tone only goes so far.” She goes on to say that a new tone doesn’t remove the offense of Christianity’s sexual ethic, and in particular, its stance against gay marriage.

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Michael Bloomberg: “I’ve earned my place in heaven.”

Former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg is an activist for a number of causes. As a result, he believes that he is a shoe-in for heaven. The New York Times reports:

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

These remarks reflect a common misperception of how things are going to shake-out at the judgment. Many people believe that if their good works outweigh their bad works, then they will have eternal life. Likewise, if their bad works outweigh their good works, they will not. The problem with this formulation is that it has absolutely no support in scripture. It misunderstands the Bible’s teaching on sin and grace. Continue Reading →

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When sexual orientation breaks from the norm

On a recent episode of NPR’s “This American Life,” Luke Malone filed a report on people who report having a minority sexual orientation. These people have an enduring pattern of sexual attraction that does not match the norm. Malone argues that such folks must deny themselves the pleasure of acting on their attractions, no matter how strongly they feel them. He says there needs to be a plan to help them abstain:

Imagine being a teenager and being told never to act on your sexual feelings ever for the rest of your life. That’s what we’re asking of these people. At the moment, there is no clear plan for how to do that. But maybe there should be.

What happens when a teenager is asked not to act on his sexual feelings? According to the article, denying such urges can cause depression, self-loathing, and fear. Nevertheless, Malone insists that such persons must abstain from acting on such attractions, and they must refrain for the rest of their lives.

If you read the article, I’m certain that you will agree that such people must not act on their orientation. For them to do so would be immoral, harmful, and evil. Why? Because everyone recognizes that it is not just the behavior that is wrong but also the attraction.

It is common today to say that sexual orientation is a fixed, immutable characteristic. It is cruel and discriminatory, therefore, to require anyone to deny the attractions that they feel they were born with. What this report shows is that you cannot give a moral assessment of sexual behavior merely on the basis of one’s orientation. Some people’s attractions–even if experienced from a very early age–are wrong and should be changed. The moral assessment of both the orientation and the behavior that comes from it must be made on other grounds.

Some of this is difficult to read. But if you want to read a transcript of the report, start about halfway down the webpage at “Act Two: Help Wanted.” You can download the audio here or listen below. Start at 30:15.

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