“A simple and conversational, yet forceful delivery commands both respect and response. Enthusiasm inspires. Logic is convincing, the illogical confusing. As preachers let us have a heart. Let us stop wearying our audiences. Let us make our preaching so absorbingly interesting that even the children would rather listen to us than draw pictures and will thus put to shame their paper-and-pencil-supplying parents. But we may as well make up our minds that an absolute prerequisite of such preaching is the most painstaking preparation.”
You can read his five CAUTIONS concerning expository preaching here.
"When churches abandon the gospel, they don't put out press releases announcing they have done so. They do things to distract us from that glaring reality. In most cases, the banner waved, has been social justice."
Doug Wilson has been digging deeper into Piper’s theology of hedonism lately, and really been bringing forth some good stuff. Here is one excerpt on the misguided nature of dualism and/or asceticism:
It is assumed that where creation is thick -- where the music is glorious, the beer stout, the women beautiful, the lawns rich, the architecture splendid, and so on -- it presents a greater temptation to idolatry than where someone has mixed the paint thinner of ascetic striving into the created order in order to avoid the idolatrous distractions. But this does not work.
He goes on to say:
A man can worship an ornate idol, decked with gold and silver, and he can worship a Euclidian stick figure. The divide is a moral one. The divide has to do with whether God has given the man eyes to see. If God has given eyes to see, it does not hurt him to see a lot. Here is the word of the Lord to Israel:
"Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee . . . Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things(Dt. 28:45, 47).
And in another place:
But God made the world, we trashed it, and then Jesus was born into it in order to redeem the whole thing.
So we need to remember the nature of the Creator/creature divide, and how the sovereignty of God determined to cross that divide by means of Jesus the risen Lord. The divide remains what it always was, and the incarnational bridge remains what it always will be, world without end. Now of course this has ramifications for our worship, but it also has ramifications for absolutely everything else.
By the nature of the case, we cannot present an exhaustive list, but the ramifications would include beer, mowing the lawn, sex with your wife or husband, brown gravy, sitting on the front porch, listening to a good poem, making movies, getting out the guitar, going to church, and getting a foot rub. There are two sacraments, true, but there is only one sacramental. The world is a sacramental, and everything in it. Grace is everywhere, and gets into everything. Faith can dig it out of anything. The grandeur of God can flame out from anything, like shining from shook foil.
If understood, this results in mediated grace for everyone who is responding to God in true faith. God does grants immediate grace in various ways, true. When He converts a soul, when He visits someone with direct blessing, when He receives our worship, the grace can be immediate. But this immediate grace is supposed to be a radiant grace, spreading out through everything else, affecting everything else, causing everything else to become a mirror that reflects the glory of God.
If we don't get this, we will start to think of ourselves as deep sea divers, who have a grace hose running from our helmet up to Heaven, and the only way we can get grace is through that hose. But God is the one in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). We are living in the presence of God where it is actually possible to offer thanks for all things (Eph. 5:20).
John Piper certainly recognizes this element, but we all really need to learn how to push it into the corners.