“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”
John Piper in A Hunger for God
Genocide. Terrorism. Hate crimes. In a world where racism is far from dead, is unity amidst diversities even remotely possible?
Sharing from his own experiences growing up in the segregated South, pastor John Piper thoughtfully exposes the unremitting problem of racism. Instead of turning finally to organizations, education, famous personalities, or government programs to address racial strife, Piper reveals the definitive source of hope—teaching how the good news about Jesus Christ actively undermines the sins that feed racial strife, and leads to a many-colored and many-cultured kingdom of God.
Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”
You can purchase Bloodlines from Amazon or download a free pdf copy here.
John Piper is Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. He grew up in Greenville, SC, and studied at Wheaton College. He went on to earn degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.) and the University of Munich (D.Theol.). For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 40 books.
He has a terrific book out called Brothers we are not professionals. It is a call to Biblically defined Christian ministry and a plea for ministers to abandon the paradigm of Pastor as CEO and resume the calling of Pastor as Minister and spiritual leader. Ours is a spiritual calling. Our nation needs Pastors who see ministry as a spiritual calling, informed and empowered, not by the spirit of man, but by the Spirit of God.
In his book John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry. He says:
There is an infinite difference between the pastor whose heart is set on being a professional and the pastor whose heart is set on being the aroma of Christ, the fragrance of death to some and eternal life to others (2 Cor. 2:15-16).
We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and the heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God.
Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed. The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of professionalism.