Archive for January, 2015
On the DSC Blog we regularly link you to helpful articles, books, and resources around the web. Never have we linked to 24 in one click. Today that is about to change.
Click here for 24 Free eBooks from Desiring God.
Jonathan Parnell explains a recent trickle of eBook resources made up largely from the sermons and writing of John Piper.
Over the past two years, the team at desiringGod.org has published a series of ebooks made available to our readers free of charge. The ebooks range from material written by John Piper, individual biographies, and multi-author volumes, with each one downloadable in three electronic formats (PDF, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for iBooks and other readers). Some also include a paperback option as well. With our most recent release of Killjoys, the total number is now 24. Check out the full list below, and enjoy.
All 24 are described and available here, but here are a few examples along with their descriptions:
Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God, John Piper
Disabilities are a reality. They break into our lives in various forms: as the product of genetic misalignments in the womb, as the result of tragic accidents, as the byproducts of infectious disease, and from the degenerative effects of old age. And no church is immune. Every church leader must be prepared to answer very hard questions about the goodness and sovereignty of God.
Take Care How You Listen is an ebook on listening well. It is comprised of five unedited sermon manuscripts from the preaching ministry of John Piper. We pray this resource will serve your personal reflection as you heed Jesus’s command to “take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18).
Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion, John Piper
We are children of the light. Abortion is a work of darkness. The apostle Paul said, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). This short book is a collection of three sermons John Piper preached on abortion, aiming to help us speak out.
Getting to know that special someone includes learning about family and friends and schooling and athletics, favorite pastimes, books, movies, life’s best moments and worst, the brightest places in our background and the darkest. But what about theology? Ever think to ask about that? This short book offers some help.
In October of 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in the home of Andrew Fuller. For the next twenty-one years Fuller served as the leader of this organization, raising funds, writing periodicals, recruiting missionaries, and sending personal letters to those on the frontlines. He longed for unreached peoples to hear the gospel and championed the important (but often overlooked) foundation of doctrinal clarity.
Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper
For this multi-contributor volume, we teamed up with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to produce a fresh articulation of God’s good design in creating men and women. This resource — the collaboration of 14 contributors — seeks to cast a vision for manhood and womanhood that is rooted more in beauty than mere ideology, more in gladness than mere position.
In the course of this sermon we traveled through Ephesians 5:22-24, where Paul gives wives this command:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
What does this mean? What doesn’t this mean? If we want to honor our Lord with obedience then we should want to know. Because this is a commonly misused and misunderstood passage, it will be helpful to linger on it a bit.
About two years ago now, in his sermon, “A Word to the Wives,” Ryan addressed the subject of submission from 1 Peter 3:1-6. In doing so, Ryan referenced six points from a sermon delivered by John Piper indicating “What submission is not,” according to 1 Peter 3:1-6. Here they are:
- Submission does not mean agreeing with everything your husband says. You can see that in verse one: she is a Christian and he is not. He has one set of ideas about ultimate reality. She has another. Peter calls her to be submissive while assuming she will not submit to his view of the most important thing in the world—God. So submission can’t mean submitting to agree with all her husband thinks.
- Submission does not mean leaving your brain or your will at the wedding altar. It is not the inability or the unwillingness to think for yourself. Here is a woman who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. She thought about it. She assessed the truth claims of Jesus. She apprehended in her heart the beauty and worth Christ and his work, and she chose him. Her husband heard it also. Other wise Peter probably wouldn’t say he “disobeyed the word.” He has heard the word and he has thought about it. And he has not chosen Christ. She thought for herself and she acted. And Peter does not tell her to retreat from that commitment.
- Submission does not mean avoiding every effort to change a husband. The whole point of this text is to tell a wife how to “win” her husband. Verse one says, “Be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won.” If you didn’t care about the Biblical context you might say, “Submission has to mean, taking a husband the way he is and not trying to change him.” But if you care about the context, you conclude that submission, paradoxically, is a strategy for changing him. The goal of this text is to help wives bring about the most profound change in their husbands that can be imagined—the transformation from being a spiritually dead unbeliever to a spiritually alive believer. Submission does not say, “I renounce all efforts to change my husband.” What it does say we’ll see in a moment.
- Submission does not mean putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. The text clearly teaches that the wife is a follower of Jesus before and above being a follower of her husband. He is going on the path of unbelief. She does not follow him in that, because she has been called to be a disciple of Jesus. Submission to Jesus relativizes submission to husbands—and governments and employers and parents. When Sara calls Abraham “lord” in verse 6, it is lord with a little “l”. It’s like “sir.” And the obedience she renders is secondary obedience, under, and because of, and filtered through obedience to the LORD with a capital “L”.
- Submission does not mean that a wife gets her personal, spiritual strength from her husband. A good husband should indeed strengthen and build up and sustain his wife. He should be a source of strength. There are ways in which a wife is the “weaker vessel” as verse 7 says. But what this text shows is that when a husbands spiritual nurturing and leadership is lacking, a Christian wife is not bereft of strength. Submission does not mean she is dependent on him to supply her strength of faith and virtue and character. The text assumes just the opposite. She is summoned to develop depth and strength and character not from her husband but for her husband. Verse five says that her hope is in God, not the husband.
- Finally submission does not mean that a wife is to act out of fear. Verse 6b says, “You have become [Sarah’s] children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” In other words submission is free, not coerced by fear. The Christian woman is a free woman. When she submits to her husband—whether he is a believer or unbeliever—she does it in freedom, not out of fear.
So, what, then is submission? Piper continues:
It is the disposition to follow a husband’s authority and an inclination to yield to his leadership. It is an attitude that says, “I delight for you to take the initiative in our family. I am glad when you take responsibility for things and lead with love. I don’t flourish when you are passive and I have to make sure the family works.” But the attitude of Christian submission also says, “It grieves me when you venture into sinful acts and want to take me with you. You know I can’t do that. I have no desire to resist you. On the contrary, I flourish most when I can respond creatively and joyfully to your lead; but I can’t follow you into sin, as much as I love to honor your leadership in our marriage. Christ is my King.”
If you’d like to further explore the subject of Christian marriage or biblical manhood and womanhood, the following books should be a great help. Follow the link to the first three for a free PDF version.
- 50 Crucial Questions about Manhood and Woomanhood, John Piper and Wayne Grudem
- What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible, John Piper
- Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
- God’s Good Design, Claire Smith
- What did You Expect? Redeeming The Realities of Marriage, Paul Tripp
- When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage, Dave Harvey
- Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, Carolyn Mahaney
- The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, Richard D. Phillips
All of these titles are available on Amazon or at the Book Nook. Also, check out the messages portion of our site, which includes a number of sermons on the subject of marriage and biblical manhood and womanhood.
Over at the DSC Music Blog, Drew Hodge broke some good news this past week: He and DSC’s musicians are working on a new studio project to record a number of original songs and arrangements that have found a place in the life of our church.
Here’s from his post:
Help us choose the songs for our next recorded studio album. Below is the list of songs to choose from. All of these songs are original DSC compositions and/or arrangements. Pick one to ten of your favorites. Songs that have blessed, challenged or encouraged you.
To pick, email email@example.com with your picks. Subject line: This Is Our Song
I would also love to hear any stories about these songs working in your life.
Be a part of the process!
By the way, if you haven’t subscribed yet to the DSC Music blog, you should consider doing so. Every Monday, Drew Hodge posts a service recap with links to lyrics and audio for the songs we sang that Sunday. Check out the blog and subscribe here.
Also not to miss, Drew is hosting a Saturday Seminar on February 21 called, “Come, Let Us Sing!” Click here to learn more and to register.
There’s a prayer familiar to believers and unbelievers alike that begins this way: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). This is the first line to a prayer given to us by Christ, commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer.”
In his article, “The Most Important Neglected Prayer,” here’s how Drew Hunter begins his reflection on this important line:
This first line of the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most familiar in the Bible. It is one of the most commonly prayed prayers in history. Yet among believers it is often underappreciated and misunderstood.After years of familiarity with this prayer I realized that I wasn’t quite sure what I was saying. I began to wonder if I was doing what Jesus had just warned about: heaping up “empty phrases” in prayer (v. 7). What are we actually praying here? What does Jesus hold so highly as to instruct us to make it our first prayer?
Drew then pursues these three questions:
- Is this a statement of praise, or is it a request?
- But what exactly are we asking God to do?
- What are we requesting be honored?
We can’t go wrong for better understanding anything Jesus said to us, and perhaps that’s especially true for the prayer that he gave to us with which we’re to address our Father. Read the whole article here.