Thursday, August 04, 2005

Piper on Why You Shouldn't Be a "Piperite"

I realize this isn't the authorial intent, but the dispensationalist in me sees a . . . "principle."
If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fiancĂ©, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake-glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come—“things which eye has notseen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Don’t fall in love with the video preview, and find yourself unable to love the coming reality.
Read the full text of yesterday's "Fresh Words" from Desiring God Ministries.

I like to hear positive reviews of my preaching as much as anyone else—probably more than most, to my shame. But the thought that struck me more directly than usual not long ago is that all the preacher does is explain God's truth (duh). I didn't create the truth or even discover it (duh). The sermon does not belong to me (duh). (Well, the bad parts do [big-time duh].) Anything that is true or right or helpful or beautiful is a gift from God to all the hearers—not owned in any fashion by me more than by anyone else.

Piper is a gifted writer and speaker, but more importantly, he is a gifted communicator of God's truth on matters that are at the very heart of the gospel. But the truth does not belong to him. The gospel does not belong to him. The gift of teaching belongs to him only in the sense that the vineyard belongs to the one responsible to care for it and cultivate its fruit. Keep falling in love with Yahweh, not with Piper (or any other minister of the gospel, for that matter). I'm convinced he would be the first to agree.

Soli Deo Gloria.


Tim Terpstra said...

Hey Ben. Good thoughts! Nice to hear things are going well. You will have to drop in by Fargo your next time North (if you are going to Alaska).

Ben said...


Great to hear from you. Hope all is well in the land north of the tundra.

As far as stopping by goes—okeydokey. I'll pop right in. Oh ya, you betcha.