Great thoughts by John Piper, divided into nine headings:
- Corporate shaping
HT: Matt Perman
The book of Ecclesiastes presents a realistic, nuanced view of life in a fallen world — a life full of many wonderful pleasures, but one that is often marred with deep frustration. In it we find instruction on how we, as believers, ought to exercise godly enjoyment in our work, family, and the rest of creation–while finding ultimate meaning only in God (not his gifts). We learn that God is sovereign over this messy world, and that the guilty will not always go unpunished.
My latest Boundless article has been titled When Life’s Unfair. It seeks to unpack four aspects of life in a fallen world:
1. Bad stuff happens, and it’s not always caused (directly) by sin.
2. Don’t bother trying to figure it all out, because you can’t.
3. Instead, enjoy what God gives you, because you’ll soon be dead.
4. So fear God, and keep His commands, because a real judgment is really coming.
Here’s the opening:
Mike did everything right at his company, but lost his job and hasn’t been able to find a new one in nine months. His co-worker Tom is deceptive and manipulative, regularly taking credit for the work of others and angling for praise. A good schmoozer, he’s since been promoted. It sure seems that bad things happen to good people. Why do some of the godliest Christians experience the worst hardships imaginable — a surprise lay-off, years of joblessness, a mysterious illness, infertility, financial loss, the death of an infant — while some of the most corrupt people seem to have everything going for them?
Katrina Effert will not even face jail time for killing her newborn infant.
Jonathon Van Maren, communications director for Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform, writes on the outrageously horrific case of Katrina Effert, a 19 year old woman who secretly gave birth to a baby boy in her parents’ home, and then strangled the baby, discarding his body over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. Ms. Effert was originally charged in 2005 with second-degree murder, and a jury in Wetaskiwin found her guilty in the fall of 2006. That verdict was overturned by Alberta’s Court of Appeal in 2007.
In her argument, the judge stated that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”
Read the whole thing.
Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert have just published what looks like an absolutely outstanding book on an increasingly controversial subject in our day. What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission is on a 66-69% discount from WTS books until Saturday, September 10, 4 PM, EDT. A single copy of this 288 page paperback book is going for $5.99 and a case of five is selling for $4.99/each.
The publisher’s description reads:
Social justice and mission are hot topics today: there’s a wonderful resurgence of motivated Christians passionate about spreading the gospel and caring for the needs of others. But in our zeal to get sharing and serving, many are unclear on gospel and mission. Yes, we are called to spend ourselves for the sake of others, but what is the church’s unique priority as it engages the world?
DeYoung and Gilbert write to help Christians “articulate and live out their views on the mission of the church in ways that are theologically faithful, exegetically careful, and personally sustainable.” Looking at the Bible’s teaching on evangelism, social justice, and shalom, they explore the what, why, and how of the church’s mission. From defining “mission”, to examining key passages on social justice and their application, to setting our efforts in the context of God’s rule, DeYoung and Gilbert bring a wise, studied perspective to the missional conversation.