Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thoughts from John Piper

My assignment for this summer is to take four different seminary classes here in Orlando. Though the work is hard and the days are long, I am really enjoying my classes. I am just wrapping up my Hermeneutics (Biblical Interpretation) and Old Testament Survey classes and will begin Homiletics (Biblical Communication) and Systematic Theology next week. For my Biblical Interpretation class, we have been reading John Piper's book, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, as a sort of devotional text each day.

My class meets in a large lecture hall and listens to a 45-50 minute lecture on that day's topic and then we break up into smaller workshop groups where we seek to immediately put into practice the skills we've just learned. It is in this smaller setting that we are covering Piper's book. As important as it is to have proper theology and doctrine and understanding of the Bible, it is most important that we love Jesus deeply. This small book helps us to get our hearts right each morning.

There are a number of Piper's thoughts that have especially struck me, so I've decided to list them here. This is just a selection of some great quotes from the book:
  • "When we see with our spiritual eyes, we see the truth and beauty and value of Jesus Christ for what they really are. Thus a blind person today may see Christ more clearly than many who have eyes."

  • "The deepest longing of the human heart is to know and enjoy the glory of God. We were made for this."

  • "Christ does not exist in order to make much of us. We exist in order to enjoy making more of him."

  • "Jesus himself - and all that God is for us in him - is our great reward, nothing less. Salvation is not mainly the forgiveness of sins, but mainly the fellowship of Jesus. Forgiveness gets everything out of the way so this can happen."

  • "Even if we are impressed with the scholarship of man and the achievements of scientific knowledge, let us not play the fool by trumpeting the wonder of these tiny chirps while ignoring the thunderclap of Christ's omniscience."

  • "Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity."

  • "If Christ obliterated all devils and demons now (which he could do), his sheer power would be seen as glorious, but his superior beauty and worth would not shine as brightly as when humans renounce the promises of Satan and take pleasure in the greater glory of Christ."

  • "Satan is a defeated foe. He is disarmed. Christ has triumphed over him, not by putting him out of existence, but by letting him live and watch millions of saints find forgiveness for their sins and turn their back on Satan because of the greater glory of the grace of Christ."

  • "The glory of Jesus Christ is that he is always out of synch with the world and therefore always relevant for the world. If he fit nicely, he would be of little use. The effort to remake the Jesus of the Bible so that he fits the spirit of one generation makes him feeble in another. Better to let him be what he is, because it is often the offensive side of Jesus that we need most."

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