Posted tagged ‘John Piper’

John Piper and Jason Meyer Talk About Succession at Bethlehem Baptist Church

May 30, 2012

As you know, I have been praying for and paying close attention to the succession plan/process at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  My interest is really twofold: on the one hand, this succession is between a hero (Piper) and a personal mentor (Meyer). On the other hand, the issue of pastoral succession is, in my opinion, one of the biggest issues facing local churches today. I can’t find the statistic, but somewhere I read that 3/4 of large churches are currently pastored by the leader during its most significant growth. In other words, the church’s identity/personality has been largely influenced and shaped by the personality/values of the lead pastor.  When the pastor leaves, how will it affect the church? Is there any forethought or plan in place for the health and prosperity of the church and its mission for the next generation?

Along those lines, I am thrilled to see how God has unmistakably worked in the succession plan/selection process of the next lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Below is a video interview with John Piper and Jason Meyer, interviewed by Justin Taylor  on the campus of Southern Seminary, in which they discuss for the first time together what God has done over the past year to bring it all about. Watching this, my heart is filled with gratitude on multiple levels, especially for God’s “leaning in” in choosing to make His will known in such a glorious way.

[vimeo 42906650]

Bethlehem All-Church Vote on Jason Meyer

May 21, 2012

Last night, Bethlehem Baptist Church had an all-church congregational meeting to vote on the unanimous recommendation of the elders for the successor of John Piper as Associate Pastor for Preaching & Vision. As many of you know, I have had the privilege of knowing and being mentored by Jason Meyer, so I am particularly interested in the outcome of these events. The result of last night’s vote was an 99% affirmation (784 yes, 8 no), further paving the way to a healthy succession plan under the leadership of the elders (and of course John Piper). Plans are for Jason to begin ministering in this capacity on or before August 1, 2012. Pray for him, BBC, and this process!

John Piper reflected on this vote through a blogpost on BBC’s website. He wrote:

On February 13, 1980, Bethlehem voted to call me as her pastor. The vote was 149 yes, 17 no (89.7%). Thirty-two years later the church is more united than ever behind her leaders. For this I am on my face with tears of thankfulness and joy.

Jesus Christ is the head of this church. And he means to have the glory. Let him have it from your heart and lips. Gather your family and friends and give thanks. Tell him how amazing he is. Exult in the cross of Christ. Without it there could be no such blessings on sinners like us.

Praise God for the unity He has given BBC, wisdom to the elders, and humble dependence upon God to shepherd them through this critical period in the life of their church.

Why Jason Meyer Should Be the Next Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church

March 28, 2012

This post is entirely unplanned. In fact, I just happened to see John Piper’s tweet about the succession plan going forward. And now that the choice has been made, I’d like to share a thought two why I believe Jason Meyer is the right man for Bethlehem Baptist Church as the successor to John Piper.

I met the guy who is replacing John Piper first on a UPS tram at 3:30AM nearly five years ago. He was reading his Greek New Testament, something which I came to find he was actually memorizing. I had to meet this guy. Walking to the parking lot, we connected as I soon to find what a gracious guy Jason Meyer really is.  Jason worked third shift with me, seeking to evangelize the same people I was seeking to reach. He also pastored a small church out in the sticks, faithfully expositing God’s Word in total obscurity. He was completing his Ph.D while teaching NT Greek, and if I remember correctly, holding down a couple of other jobs. What I came to find God enabling Jason to do was nothing short of amazing.  More than that, God afforded me a year of getting to know the kind of man Jason is, which leads me to this post and Piper’s announcement.

While in seminary, I always wanted a godly man to mentor me, to speak into my life and help me love Jesus more. Three years in, I did not think it would happen. But on that cold, autumn morning on a stinky UPS bus, God answered that prayer through Jason.  Over the course of the next year, Jason would become my Greek professor, mentor, and a great personal friend. Every Thursday morning, we would meet at the UPS cafeteria, reading through Scripture and praying fervently for the Lord to work in our life. It was honestly the highlight of my week. We were not just praying. We were communing with God.  The people you’re with when those moments occur are the ones you want to have with you the rest of your life.

I certainly don’t know Jason as well as others do, but I did have the opportunity to see his life up close and personal, how he loves his wife Cara and precious girls (and since then two adopted sons). I been with him in prayer, observed his love and passion for God’s Word. The sincerity and gravitas by which he walks with Jesus permeates every aspect of his life. There is nothing sensational about Jason Meyer, and that is why most of the evangelical world does not know him.  He hasn’t sought a platform when he could have easily had one. He’s not that kind of guy. He’s the guy you meet at 3:30AM in the UPS cafeteria and the young preacher boy giving his life away to a small country church that no one has ever heard of.  That’s the guy I believe God had long ago called to be the man to succeed John Piper.

There’s a lot of similarity between John Piper and Jason Meyer.

(more…)

Christian Hedonist Calvinism

January 4, 2012

I thought this post from John Piper was quite compelling and affection-stirring:

What would the doctrines of grace sound like if every limb in that tree were coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight. (that is, Christian Hedonism)?

Total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to God’s beauty and deadness to the deepest joy.

Unconditional election means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed as the overflow of God’s joy in the fellowship of the Trinity.

Limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the covenant.

Irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights.

Perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God not to let us fall into the final bondage of inferior pleasures, but to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of fullness of joy in his presence and pleasures at his right hand forevermore.

Piper on Blessing Interracial Marriages

December 12, 2011

Really instructive thoughts from Piper on the topic of interracial marriage. Since the news of a church in Kentucky banning an interracial couple, these words are particularly relevant. I might add, also, that interracial marriages is not referring exclusively to black/white races but all races whether Hispanic, Asian, African, or Persian (like myself).

[vimeo 32973970]

Free Audiobook – Think by John Piper

October 2, 2011

For the month of October, ChristianAudio is giving away as a free download John Piper’s audiobook Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. This is a really helpful book, and if you have a regular commute or exercise routine, this audiobook is well worth your time.

Here’s a video trailer for the book.

Bloodlines Documentary with John Piper

September 30, 2011

I recently picked up this book on hard copy as well as on Kindle. Below is an exclusive video documentary featuring John Piper as he walks through his personal story of growing up in the racist South. His personal story boldly champions the transforming power of the gospel and the beauty of racial diversity and harmony in Christ.

Very moving. Check it.

[vimeo 28323716]

Bloodlines by John Piper

September 15, 2011

Last night, I picked up on Kindle John Piper’s latest book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian (foreword by Tim Keller).  I have always enjoyed reading works by Piper, but I’m especially interested in this one because of the topic and how it relates to my life and work.

There are two parts to the book: part one focuses on  “Our World: The Need for the Gospel” and part two transitions to “God’s Word: The Power of the Gospel.” Needless to say, I’m eager to dive in.

A very cool addition to this new release is an 18-minute documentary of Piper and his past growing up in Greenville, South Carolina.  Check out this excerpt from the documentary.

Reaching the Lives of Those Who Have Wasted It

July 1, 2011

Eleven years ago, John Piper boldly proclaimed these words:

I was a college student then, about to embark on my life as someone called to proclaim the gospel Jesus Christ. Never had I imagined then that I would be living in the communities comprised of tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.

I live and minister 15 minutes from the place John Piper speaks (Punta Gorda, FL).  I have never been in an area that is more challenging to advance the gospel.  In a city of 165,000 people, I am told that we have less than 6,000 people who attend church on any given Sunday, meaning that roughly 5% of our city consider themselves a part of any church.

A large percentage of our city is comprised of retired people who have moved down from New England or states like Michigan or Pennsylvania.  They also bring with them their New England religion, or lack thereof.  They are a people whose hearts have been hardened through the years, jaded and disillusioned by nominal Christianity, and fortify their tragic lifestyle with gates, fences, and security systems.  They have everything this life could offer them, as Piper explains, and they will soon stand before God for a life they have wasted.

It is tempting to believe there is no hope for such people.  After all, how many old people are converted to Christ?  If they are “happy” with all that life offers them, why would they need sea shells, boats, golf courses, AND Jesus?  And all the obstacles that must be overcome to simply have access to these people . . . it seems virtually impossible.  YET, we do not have the luxury to think this way when it comes to the gospel.  We cannot live and act as though the power of the gospel is somehow incapable of overcoming the obstinate and rebellious ways of man.  We cannot surrender the Great Commission because we might have to go the extra mile or make a greater sacrifice in order to bring the gospel to those who think they don’t need it.

What a testimony it would be if God did a sovereign work among those who have realized they have wasted their lives?! What a testimony it would be if they came to treasure Jesus more than their retirement, more than their toys, more than their life of comfort and ease?  What if several became missionaries to their own people who lay aside their shell collection and instead spend their time sowing the good seed of the gospel?

Because Christ is risen, I am filled with hope for my city and Southwest Florida. Though I have very little in common with most of these people, I want to reach them with the gospel that they might treasure Jesus. I want their to be a video for Jesus’ fame that shows the lives of those who have wasted it who are now giving it away for the glory of God.  Yes, I want the tragedy of their lives to become a triumph of the gospel.

John Piper – Hallowed Be Your Name

June 16, 2011

This past Monday, John Piper preached a powerful sermon focusing on the first phrase of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be your name.” In the typical expository exultation style of Piper, you can sense the gravitas and the gladness of the text as we are brought face to face with the greatness of God. In my generation, I pray there would be many who would yearn and learn to bring God’s Word to bear upon God’s people with such weightiness.

You can read Piper’s sermon here.

Covenant Marriage

June 7, 2011

John Piper, Tim Keller, and D.A. Carson share their thoughts on the importance of understanding covenant and promise (biblical theology) in marriage.  Good stuff.

[vimeo 24636925]

Tim Challies, Rick Warren, and My Take on the John Piper Interview

June 1, 2011

Last Friday, I took some time to post my thoughts on John Piper’s interview of Rick Warren.  And I was entirely not surprised by the comments my post received. However, I did appreciate the interaction I received offline with my fellow pastors and with other friends through email, Tim Challies included. Tim shared with me that he was going to share his thoughts in greater detail, which he did yesterday. I encourage you to check it out, though I take a little different approach, as you will see here.

In his post, Challies shared with his readers that I “marveled at the theological agreement between the two men” and used my blogpost as typical of what the blogosphere was positively regarding the interview. I guess you could say that my blogpost was an appreciative response to Piper’s appreciative interview. Obviously, Challies and I interacted with the interview with different perspectives and came away with different conclusions. Having said that, I thought I’d elaborate more on my take of the interview.

First, I do not consider myself a careful observer of all things Rick Warren.  I have read a couple of his books, follow him on Twitter, and occasionally here about what he is doing during the year. I don’t read the watchdog blogs that are obsessed with him, nor do I care to try to correct him every time he says something I disagree with. It is not that I am entirely ambivalent about Warren as much as it is that I have far greater concerns about the issues in my own life that demand far greater attention. The scope of the interview with Warren was limited to his book The Purpose Driven Life, and while that may have not felt to be sufficient material for a thoroughgoing critique, I’m glad Piper stuck with a first-hand source that all of us can evaluate on its own merits.

(more…)

John Piper, Rick Warren, and the Purpose Driven Life

May 27, 2011

Let’s just pretend for a moment you did not read the title of this blogpost.  Let’s pretend that there was an anonymous Christian minister who explicitly affirmed the following:

I am passionate about the glory of God above all things.
I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in all things, including sin and tragedy.
I believe in exhaustive, meticulous divine providence.
I believe in the doctrines of grace, including total depravity, unconditional election, and particular redemption.
I affirm the five solas of the reformation and consider myself a monergist both in justification and sanctification of the believer.
I believe in the eternal, conscious torment in a literal hell.
I believe that substitutionary atonement is at the heart of the gospel.
I believe in that the imputed righteousness of Christ is essential to the nature of the gospel.
I believe that God saves us from Himself by sending us His Son as the wrath-bearing propitiation in my place.
I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
I believe that those who die never hearing the name of Christ will not go to heaven.  They need to hear the gospel, and the church must go to them and make Christ known in order for them to be saved.
Everything I do in life and ministry has an overarching missionary focus.

Having considered these personal beliefs and affirmations, what well-known evangelical preacher might we be talking about?  John MacArthur? Sounds a lot like him. Albert Mohler? Possibly. D.A. Carson? Perhaps.

Who is it that made these personal affirmations?

Rick Warren.

If you don’t believe me, watch and listen for yourself.

Like just about every other evangelical leader I respect, I don’t agree with everything Rick Warren says and does, but I found this interview very clarifying and confirming.  I cannot imagine the controversy and criticism both John Piper and Rick Warren will receive from this interview, but I’m grateful they made this agreement, having demonstrated a substantive, constructive, engagement on important issues from two very different perspectives.

I don’t know of two pastors in our country who have more influence on my generation than John Piper and Rick Warren.  They have asked that we pray for them, especially in regards to pursuing humility, fighting pride, and stewarding their influence for generations to come.  God has given these men incredible platforms to display the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Let’s pray for them and their continued usefulness in such enormous proportions for the advancement of the gospel both in breadth and depth for many years to come.

Amen.

If My Words Abide in You . . .

January 7, 2011

John Piper recites numerous passages from Scripture in his sermon “If My Words Abide in You.”  Below is a video of that sermon.  While watching this sermon, I could not help but think, “If I had to quote all the verses of the Bible that I had memorized, how much time would that take?”  That’s a sobering question!

Get the latest on P2R! –> BlogFacebookTwitter

John Piper Sermon Jam on Scripture Memory

January 6, 2011

I’m a big fan of sermon jams. I’m a bigger fan of Scripture memory.  Check it!

Get the latest on P2R! –> BlogFacebookTwitter