Like an ice glacier, he sees dislike extending all over the world. But John Piper is not without hope. "There is no darkness in the darkness for God to give change."
He who sees him preach will notice the heat that Piper possesses. Wide hand gestures, he regularly raises his voice. Especially when he carries the message he has heard for decades: that God is most glorified when people find joy in Him.
The one-on-one person, the 73-year-old pastor, is another occurrence. Restrained, almost fragile. More than six years ago, he said goodbye to the Bethlehem Congregation in the American city of Minneapolis. Since then, his life has changed, Piper says. "My wife would say: for good. The nights I'm with her now. I was always available at the ministry, people had to be able to call me when needed. This is no longer the case. "
There's still time to write books and speak internationally," the preacher says. "I see this as an advantage. But there are also shadow countries. I'm missing a church ministry. To open Word Word in, a week out with the same people, I found this very valuable. I now speak twice at a conference and then leave again. And you are wondering: Would something happen? Does God work through him? I'm glad to miss this now; on the other hand, I knew it had to happen sometime. We can't always live ̵
John Piper, the theologian of joy
speaks in the Netherlands during the year 400 years are celebrated. The resulting teaching rules in Dordrecht have made a huge impact in his life, says Piper. "Indirectly, not immediately. I grew up as a Baptist without knowing any of the reformed confessions."
That changed to his Year 22 of life. "God invaded my life, knowing me about the beauty of the reformist ex Ved – with His sovereignty in my salvation. The truths about this, expressed in the five points of Calvinism, are the most important in my life. Although I am a Baptist, I want to be reformed in my salvation teaching. "
Now the pastor wants to be "an instrument in the hand of God" to spread this message. "The reality of a wonderfully glorious, sovereign God who saves me from the deadliest form of corruption by irresistibly pulling me to Him and holding me forever as His child. We long for people who know and experience the truth. "
Why does John Piper love the Bible
Today's Netherlands is no longer the same country , which once wrote this reformist confession, sees Piper. "But the Netherlands is not the only country and Europe is not the only continent where the secular part is manifest. America is moving in the wrong direction just as fast. "
The preacher sees the root of the problem in" deviation from God and His glory as our highest treasure. We say no to the glory of God, but accept – as Romans 1 says – images of ourselves or of other things. "
The Theologian was one of the signatories to the Nashville Declaration, a statement that appeared in 2017 with the intention of providing a" Biblical Vision for Gender and Sexuality. " Similar to the Dutch translation, which appeared in early 2019, the original speech has generated a great deal of criticism from the public and from religious circles.
Piper states that "topics such as homosexuality and transgenderism have received strong attention. There are people who fervently argue about sexual practices that are wrong. The first chapter of the letter to the Romans shows that the search for images beyond God can also lead to the transmission of our desires. Sexuality is also a wonderful gift from God that He has given to His honor. Not surprisingly, Satan is focusing on this gift. "
There is hope for the church in a secular environment, emphasizes the preacher. "This is in the sovereignty of God. Just when you think things are worse than ever, God comes in. You see that in the Bible and in church history. There is no darkness too dark and not bad too bad for God to change. "
He often likens end-time to gliding glacier. "It is expanding more and more in America and Europe. I believe the situation will get worse before the Lord returns. Love will cool down, Jesus said. But he did not say that Apeldoorn, Amsterdam or Rotterdam should be the place where this love freezes. Therefore I say, Let us all take the torch of the Word of God and lift it high to hold the fire against the glacier. Who knows, we can melt a hole in it in God's sovereignty so that the bright sun of the Gospel will pierce and shine on our city or country. ”
Spotlight day: the search for eternal joy