Sunday Shorts (10/18)

Mark Driscoll: No ‘Best Case’ Way to Present God, but Many False Ways

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle joins the Washington Post’s On Faith Panelist blog. The subject of his first post? Jesus.

Q: What makes the best ‘case for God’ to a skeptic or non-believer, an open-minded seeker, and to a person of faith and Why?

Answer
Jesus.

Christianity is not first and foremost about a sacred place to pilgrimage to, a philosophical system to ponder, a moral code to live, a religious tradition to honor, or an impersonal god to experience. Rather, Christianity is about a person who claimed to be the only God and said he would prove his unprecedented claim by living without sin, dying for sinners, and conquering death through resurrection.

So, as Christians, our aim is not to convince people of some god in general, but to introduce them to Jesus in particular. And since he created us with the ability to communicate, think, love, and experience, Christians have always valued using every means by which the truth and love of Jesus can be revealed.

The entire article is well worth reading. The comments section on the other hand…

How God Called John Piper to Become a Pastor

October 14, 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of John Piper’s call to become a pastor. Justin Taylor, associate publisher at Crossway Books, blogger at Between Two Worlds, and longtime colleague of Piper’s, recounts the events leading up to his decision:

But during his sabbatical a new desire was emerging: “to see the word of God applied across a broader range of problems in people’s lives and a broader range of ages.” In other words, he increasing longed “to address a flock week after week and try to draw them in . . . to an experience of God that gives them more joy in him than they have in anything else and thus magnifies Christ.” And he found that in studying the majestic, free, and sovereign God of Romans 9 day after day his “analysis merged into worship.”

The decisive night of wrestling was on Monday, October 14, 1979—30 years ago today. His wife and two young sons were asleep. But Piper was up past midnight, writing in his journal, recording the direction God was irresistibly drawing him to.

The journal entry for that evening begins in this way:

I am closer tonight to actually deciding to resign at Bethel and take a pastorate than I have ever been. . . .

The urge is almost overwhelming. It takes this form: I am enthralled by the reality of God and the power of his Word to create authentic people.

In effect the Lord was saying to him:

I will not simply be analyzed; I will be adored.

I will not simply be pondered; I will be proclaimed.

My sovereignty is not simply to be scrutinized; it is to be heralded.

It is not grist for the mill of controversy; it is gospel for sinners who know that their only hope is the sovereign triumph of God’s grace over their rebellious will.

The calling to preach and pastor had become irresistible.

I, like many others, am grateful to God for how He’s used Piper to powerfully affect many thousands of men and women the world over. Thanks to Justin for this wonderful article.

In case you missed it

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen, a review of Mark Tabb’s book on the question of suffering

D.A. Carson on the Kingdom of God, a video clip in which Carson addresses a biblical view of the Kingdom

Experiencing a Miracle, some thoughts on the miracle of salvation and regeneration

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