Category: Piper, John

Why do we see so few miracles today?

Miracles: the Bible seems full of them, and yet we see so few today.  How do we account for this?

That question was recently put to John Piper, and here’s the substance of his reply.

1. There were fewer miracles in the Bible than we probably think

See Psalm 77:11 ‘I will remember the works of the Lord. Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago!’

Even in OT times God’s people saw miracles as predominating in days past – especially the days of Moses and Elijah. …

Signs and wonders today?

Does God grant signs and wonders in response to the prayers of Christians today?  Some very readily answer, ‘No’, and every scrap of interest or belief in contemporary miracles is dismissed as ‘strange fire’.  Others reply with a simple, ‘Yes!’, regarding any doubt of qualification as a quenching of the Holy Spirit.

I like John Piper‘s candour, when he tells us how much he has struggled over the question of whether we should pray, as the early Christians prayed (Acts 4:29-30), for such miracles today. …

“Your God is my devil”

At about 3pm on 1st August 2007 a interstate bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed.  Workmen had, just a few days previously, been conducting extensive repair work to the 40-year-old bridge.  There were tons of building materials piled up on the bridge at the time of its collapse.

Bethlehem Baptist Church is within sight of that bridge, and John Piper is its Senior Pastor.  Just a few hours after the disaster Piper, not yet knowing the scale of human injury and loss, or whether any of his own friends and colleagues had been directly affected, wrote of his immediate thoughts and feelings about what had just happened.…

Justification according to Tom Wright

I summarise and comment on Tom Wright’s new book, Justification:  God’s plan and Paul’s Vision, which is itself a response to John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright.

Preface

In his preface, Wright begins by setting out some of the main ‘pressure points’ in the debate over justification:-

1.  The nature and scope of salvation.  Wright here repeats his complaint that Christians have for a long time tended to think of ‘salvation’ as meaning ‘going to heaven when I die’. 

Tom Wright’s new book on justification

It didn’t take Bishop Tom Wright very long to get another book out.  But then, if you have a brain the size of a small planet and the ability to write faster than most of us can read, you can produce a book while the other person is still sharpening his pencil.

This one – Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (SPCK) flopped through my letterbox yesterday and first impressons are that it’s going to be an interesting and entertaining read. …

Wright on what the gospel is, and is not

I seem to be doing a lot a blogging about the teaching of N.T. Wright just at the moment.  I suppose it’s because I’m struggling to understand what seem to me to be his revisionist views of many aspects of New Testament teaching and Christian doctrine.

I realise, of course, that he would be regarded by many in the academy as ultra-conservative.  But, as a self-confessed evangelical, ‘revisionist’ is not a huge exaggeration when the doctrines of sin, repentance, justification by faith, and the gospel itself seem to be up for fairly drastic re-interpretation.…

Wright on Piper on Wright

In advance of the publication of his new book, Justification: God’s plan and Paul’s vision, here is an interview with N.T. Wright from Trevin Wax.  I’m afraid I don’t think it advances the discussion very far.

Wright says:-

My anxiety about what has now been seen as the traditional Reformed view (though there are many traditional Reformed views!) is that it focuses all attention on ‘me and my salvation’ rather than on ‘God and God’s purposes’.