Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 9 months ago

John Piper Talks Books


John Piper sits down with Kevin DeYoung to discuss human purpose, pastoral leadership, the advantages of reading slowly. And of course they discuss books, too. So many books. Reading them; writing them; loving them; but most of all desiring God through them. (See the full list below.) And in this conversation you will get a picture of what will perhaps be John Piper’s magnum opus.  

Life and Books and Everything is sponsored by Crossway, publisher of New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, by Paul David Tripp.

New Morning Mercies is great for people looking for a devotional in the new year—featuring 365 gospel-centered devotions. Each reading leads with a compelling, gospel-centered thought, followed by an extended meditation for the day. It equips you with the good news that you need to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory—day in and day out. 

For 30% off this book and all other books and Bibles at Crossway, sign up for a free Crossway+ account at


An Excellent Book for 2021 [1:11 – 2:37] 

What did John Piper do for Christmas during coronavirus? [2:37 – 4:58] 

Why Piper doesn’t like the word ‘retirement’ [4:58 – 12:45] 

Especially Formative Books for John Piper [12:45 – 19:57] 

On the Pros and Cons of Reading Slowly [19:57 – 34:48] 

Books to Kickstart Pastoral Ministry [34:48 – 43:54] 

Favorite Biographies [43:54 – 46:32] 

Books to Return To [46:32 – 51:59] 

The Hardest Book John Piper Had to Write and His Favorite [51:59 – 57:38] 

Providence: John Piper’s Latest Book [57:38 – 1:03:15] 

Enjoying the Process of Writing; Praise for Pastors Who Don’t Write Books
[1:03:15 – 1:09:33] 

More Questions on Providence and Providence [1:09:33 – 1:20:40] 

The Most Important Verse in the Bible [1:20:40 – 1:25:08] 

Books and More Books: 

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, by Paul David Tripp (get 30% off

Thinking God’s Thoughts: The Hermeneutics of Humility, by Daniel P. Fuller 

The Unity of the Bible: Unfolding God's Plan for Humanity, by Daniel P.

Freedom of the Will, by Jonathan Edwards 

The End for Which God Created the World, by Jonathan Edwards 

The Religious Affections, by Jonathan Edwards 

Validity in Interpretation, by E.D. Hirsch 

Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer, by C.S. Lewis 

A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C.S. Lewis

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, by John Owen, introduction by J.I.

Communion with the Triune God, by John Owen  

The Glory of Christ, by John Owen 

How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler 

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, by John Piper 

The Religious Life of Theological Students, by Benjamin B. Warfield 

The Christian Ministry, by Charles Bridges 

The True Excellency of a Minister of the Gospel, by Jonathan Edwards 

Lectures to My Students, by Charles Spurgeon, especially “The Minister’s
Fainting Fits” and “The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear” 

Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 

Walking with the Giants, by Warren Wiersbe 

Listening to the Giants, by Warren Wiersbe 

Giant Steps, by Warren Wiersbe 

Tony Reinke on modern technology 

Reformed Dogmatics by Hermann Bavinck  

Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem 

21 Servants of Sovereign Joy: Faithful, Flawed, and Fruitful, by John

Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, by Peter Brown 

William Tyndale: A Biography, by David Danielle 

Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden 

Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, by Iain Murray 

To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson, by Courtney Anderson 

Portrait of Calvin, by T.H.L. Parker 

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, Roland Bainton 

A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon
to the Mid-Twentieth Century

The poetry of George Herbert 

What Jesus Demands from the World, by John Piper 

Desiring God, by John Piper 

Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, by John Piper 

Providence, by John Piper (Pre-Order at Westminster Books)  

It's far greetings and salutations welcome backto season three of life and books and everything so glad that you'v joined ushere we have a special guest which will get to in just a moment. Colin andJustin are not here, Lord Willing, they will be rejoining me for an upcomingpodcast. Very soon, Colin is perhaps just revelling in the victory of bothof his football teams. Alabama and northwestern and Justin is wanting togive Scott Tros ta Bro Hug. He said to encourage him on for next year, butgood to be with you here and going to be starting Thi season. The plan is to record this season every other week andmaybe they'll be some sooner than that, some less frequent than that, butthat's the plan and we'll move throughout the spring, with ten eleventwelve episode, so glad that you can be with us, and hopefully this will be inedifying conversation, I'm sure it will be today. I do want to think oursponsor again for this season, crossway great to have them sponsoring thepodcast and fitting that we would recommend at thebeginning of this New Year. One of their really outstanding- and I 'm sure,best selling books by Paul David trip new morning, mercies at DailyDevotional, daily Gospel devotional. So I'm sure that many people at thebeginning of this year, thinking about some habits resolutions, maybe wantingto start a daily reading plan or a good book to supplement with the Bible for adevotional and as a pastor. Whenever people ask what can I read, I wantsomething: that's not so long, I'm going to be lost, but I want somethingmeedy. I don't just want a paragraph of a story about somebody's dog. I wantsomething good and rich, there's always two things that I recommend da Carson'svolumes and for the love of God, and then I recommend Paul trips new morning,mercyes so check that out and as always, if you can get a discount on the bookand other books and Bibles at Crossway, if you go up and sign up for a free,crossway account at Crossway, dot, Org lbe for life and books and everything.So thank you to crossway. I'm very excited that we have a good friend and good pastor preacherauthor, someone who will need very little introduction to you, but amhonored to have him on the program in that is John Piper. John. Thank you for takingtime in your schedule, even if someone else had to cancel to get time with youwe're glad to have you here, John Thanks for being with us with me Yejust me. Thank you, yeah anm. We Ke tell me John. What did you do? Whatdoes John Piper do over Christmas an new years in the midst of coronavirus? It was quiet and the setup forChristmas that we usually devote an entire sanirty to to transform thewhole house outside and in was modest, because we knew nobody wascoming to visit us to enjoy our efforts, and so we we fixed the living roomwhere are two chairs face so that it looked like Christmas and the rest ofthe US didn't, except for outside. I make I turn our house into the StarHouse, put a star in every window and Hang Jesus is the reason for the seasonon the door and so tha T it's the first house, peoplesee you when they drive into Phillips neighborhood, which is kind of adepressed neighborhood, and I'm doing everything I can undepress it, and oneone little way is to put light and stars at Christmas time in a housebecause most houses in our neighborood don't look any different in the dead ofwinter. Then they do any other time. So that was the decoration part, and onChristmas Day One of our five kids joined us with aspouse, and we enjoyed that. But hearing what happened to others. Mygodpoor friend, just O, makes me kind of yeah. We didn't we didn't. We didn'thave twenty five people over yeah, so we're going to get to John hasa a new book. Perhaps his magnum opis we're going to ask him about that andwe're going to talk about other books before we get there, but just a fewthings- and I don't think John Needs an introduction, but John Tell tell us alittle bit...

...about the last few years. Just tell when didyou retire and what have you been doing since you're? No longer the the leadpastor at Bethelhem right? We don't like that. Word retired,I'M! I know it's no thing. Dont seem shells are implied right right. In fact,I'm I'm unusually fortunate, and I take that really with with a tremendoussense of mercies from God, unusually fortunate that the last day I was paidby Beth with him Baptist Church, I think it was March thirty, first, two thousand andthirteen the next day I was on full salary at desiring God. Not manypastors. Have that enormous privilege to move out of one ministry and into anotherwhich can last as long as I thinks, trightand have motivation, so that's the time frame. What was that be seven and ahalf years or so that I have not been te lead pasturate Bethlehim, but I haveworked full time at desiring God as a teacher and writer and participat inthe the lead team there. So my job there is making spaster John Makinglook at the book. Writing books like the wwe're going to talk aboutparticipating in the decisions at the leadership level and so an it's a fulltime job and and yet I feel as a seventy four, almostseventy five year old that it's not nearly as pressured as thepastorid and therefore suitable for a man with less energy than he one had,and you seem like you're, just amazingly productive and you're stillrunning on the treadmill. I meant and do you feel like you, don't have asmuch energy when I'm awake, I feel like. I haveplenty of energy, but I got a birthday card. No, I'm giving abirthday card here. It is beside me, I have a good friend WHO's, my age andI'm giving her the birthday Carg heres t the picture is of two old people.Dare O sleep on a bench. They look. Li e one thousad is and inside it sayseight PM already that's true. I go to BA. I had forbedat nine thirty and I get up at six and I feel great right now I could I cul run a mile, but I wili will zalk out tonight. So Imean in my pastoral days. I would work on advent points till two in themorning and preach three times the next morning, year after year, so that'sabsolutely impossible. Now so counch your count, your blessings, while you're inyour es, yeah yeah. Well, I don't yeah. I would be out if I stayed up till two.I don't do that, but I'm thankful for what I what I have that this isn'tanywhere we're going to get to the questions that we talked about. But I'm just curious. What advice do you give? I, I think,there's probably a lot of pastors or ministry leaders that listen to thisJohn and your right to want to say e, I'm not sure about the word retire. Butwhat counsel do you give for pastors because, as you said, not many peoplehave the opportunity that you have or people may not even have you know the same interest to think.Well, I'm I'll put aside fulltime passrol ministry at Seventy or sixtysomething, and then I'm just going to write and and yet it doesn't seem to me that theattitude that says I'll just die in the pulpit one day is always the best forthe health of a church. What counsil do you give to men approaching what wewould think of, as quote unquote retirement age when they're not surewhat to do after passral ministry, but they feel like? I probably need to leta younger man, you know, have the reins here right. There are several questions,an what you just said. The one is dierning when and why one should step back, even though one can keep preaching andthe other is what in the world am. I going to do and how important is itthat I do something and with regard to the first one, perhaps Icould just be autobiographical. I had all the passion and energy n the worldto keep preaching at age, sixty seven, which is when I stepp back, and I had I had colleagues who weresaying done just preach just preach.

That's all we want you to do you don'tneed to step back and I said to them and y. They knew this they'LD just be anice. I said Y. U it doesn't work that way. A pastor cannot lead a flock byjust preaching and disappear for five or six days and then step into thepulpit and trumpet the Vision at the elders ove guest. In his absence. Itjust won't work that way he has to be in the thicket thing. So my rationalefor believing my time was over was that the church had either outgrown my abilities oroutgrown my motivations, I'm not sure which, because of its complexity, wehad a hundred an twenty five employees. Forty elders three campuses and it wasextremely complicated to figure things out. I was finding in stefh meetingsand in elder meetings. You're, not you're, not as creative as you once,where you don't come up with good solutions like you did so that was asign post for me. New leadership well take this churchwhere it needs to go so something like that. I mean there are kinds of reasonswhy, God might say to a man time for a new ministry, not not a non ministerwhich leads us to the second question. Then what what do you? What do youdoing? You're done, and I would say, even if you don't have a ministry tostep into that's paid, live on whatever you provided foryourself and create a ministry. I mean every human being is created by God toMinister until they breathe their last, even if it's just praying in thehospital bed, while you're waiting for your heart to stop. So just don't thinkin terms of play. Don't think in terms of not having anything to do in themorning or wouldn't at be wonderful. Absolutely not! It will not bewonderful. I mean Kevin. I have felt this even the last twenty. Four hoursbecause I've been on vacation for three weeks over these holidays and as the alarm went off at six thismorning, instead of sleeping in, I was so thanks because sitting in thechair on vacation, I just thought what, if my next ten years were likethis, that would be horrible. Just horrible weare just not madepeople. Human beings are not made to be on vacation until they die, then we getvacation and actually, I think, they'll be productive. Work to do in the KINGOM,but vacation will be mingled appropriately AAs a great answer: Well we're going totalk about books and we're going to get to your new book on Providence, but Iwant to ask you some general questions about books, and I know whenever youtalk about favorite this best that it's really hard to do so it's fine it some of your favorites orbest or most influential. Let's start here what have been two or threeespecially formative books for John Piper as a Christian. Well, let mepreface this whole section of our interview with my complaint. I thoughtthat I was trying to forestall that, but youuy go ahead. I mean you and youand mark dever just make me very nervous, because whenever I get in front of you guys aninterview, you asked me about books and- and you know that I don't read fast andtherefore I don't read a lot of books and there and my memory is justterrible. It's always been terrible and now it's worse than ever thereforebecomes dever or de young and saying well a lot of the last three booksyou're ad on such I can't think of a single one N, embarrassing. Okay,that's my that's my preface to I have some. I have some notes because yousent me these questio. That's. Why? Because I knew that complaint would bethere. It would yeah okay. So even now my memory is lousy and I'm going. No,I'm going to hang up from this phone call in an hour and andmas kick myselfbecause I said something was the most important book. I said what I didn'teven mention that yeah, okay, formative, formative books. My whole life was experienced a Copernican revolution. Hiwas twenty two years old in the in the hermanidics class and the unit of theBible class and in seven seminars with Daniel Fuller, who taught me how toread the Bible by arking that is taking every proposition seriously and how itrelates to every other proposition around it. Until you see the author'sargument, inthe compelling and true way, and so his hermonuticsyllabus and his unity o Bible book, both of WIC Ar in print by the way. Nowthe the hermonudic syllabus is called a thinking, God's thoughts at Amazon andyou can actually get it and youned the...

Bible may be out of priput. I thinkit's still in print, so that's that's foundational and Edward Johnathan,Edwards and Dan Fuller merge in their influence. So if I had to pick out profoundly transforming books apartfrom Dan Fuller's influence with his sillaby, it would be Edward's freedomof the Will Edward's end for which God created the world and Edward'sreligious affections. I mean those those three books are after the Bible, the most importantbooks in forming John Piper's life. Now you ont me o keep going or stop yeahyeah! Don't go! You got more books. I want to hear him. You said two or threeso yeah I've got more so I'll, try to tick them off, really quick, because Ithink they're interesting. As far as understand whered piper come from how dyou get Haby, how did it get to be the way he is eat? The Hersh validityaninterpretation absolutely decisive in persuading me that the way tounderstand meaning is by authorial intention, whether divine or human, inthe Bible, whether the Constitution You'r an originals, are not whether thecontract you formed in selling your house really matters. What the authorintended or not that that book validity and interpretation persuaded me. If yougive up author intention as the quest of interpretation, you give upauthority in the Bible huge huge. I read that if thin one thousand ninehundred and seventy one, I think I read that book fifteen or so years ago, because youmentioned it and it's it's it's a technical book, but it's mostlyreadable and it's not very long. So I would encourage people to lie.requiritive college freshmen and I and I prepared fifty two study, questionsto go with it and they were just blown away by how difficult they found it.And yet I said this this is you got to settle this. What are you one of thesekind of people who say? Oh, you can just make a pont mean anything you wantto me and you can like an SA. MEA anthing, you want to mean, meaning iswhat you fuck in the eye, the beholder Blah Bah blind. I said nobody livesthat way. You don't theat Your Bank statement. That way you don't treatcontracts that way you shouldn't dreat the constitution. That way, and by allmeans you shouldn't treat the Bible that way, because you throw God out thewindow. If you do just put yourself in his place, so e d hearse see US Louis.Take your pick taught me to this day to hate Chritological snobbery the tyrannyof novelty. I mean for a twenty year old to be taught that new is not better.Is Gold Isso, good gold so and romanticrationalist, the mingling of logic and poetry, Lewis incomparable? I meanthere because that's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be razor sharp in mythinking and I wanted to write poems from my wife. I wanted to cry one on acryand laugh Wen order, laugh and soar went or a sor and sink win ort to sinkand Lowis was just there. When I, when I needed ind, I I still listen to lowistoday. This morning I was listening to to letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Proun,my n, my telephone, and the last thing about it. Lewis is that there's there's an anthology, call amind, awake and that's the best way to say it. He wakens my mind. I go back toLouis because he wakes me up to look at Kevin there and see okata'sn aveglasses on. He has two ears on the side of his head: a nose on the front, avery odd prertuberance, for a being, he has books behind him. He Louis Seezsees the world and he seys. It was such concrete touchable reality that he justwakens you up TTo the sleepwalk that you're, usually in and I'll justmentioned, two more JI, packer introduction to the death of death fora young calvinist to read that was like putding steel. In your spine Imean it was just a amassively important little little book to this day. I wouldrecommend to people just go, find you can find it online for for free andJohn O and death of dess got me over that Hump and his communey with God andLories with Christ. Oh, my goodness, you know you ask another place. Whatbooks do you return to? I don't return to many books. I got some little time,but yet, if I want to get ready to die, I'm going to go to the glories ofChrist and Communy with cod, with with John Owen, absolutely Eli'd love to follow up on somemony ofthose books. L, let me let me take this...

...a picky back on something you saidearlier and Youv said in many different places that you read slowly and I think people might assumecome on. This is John Piper. He reads slowly. He probably only reads ahundred buks a year or something, but I think you really mean you read slowly. I had one of my classes atGordon Conwell I had Richard Lovelace, he taught a class on Edwards and youwould have hated it because not what he said and it was Edwards, but heassigned the whole g volume banner sclint, Prince additions, and he justsaid I know you're you're going to have to skim most of this, but just do thebest you can and Plou through it and skim all of it. So you get some sensefor everything that Edwards is doing and I don't know would you have droppedthe class? How has bee slow reader? Because I think you can see? Oh Man,that's a negative, but my my contention is. It's probably alsomade you the most careful reader of text of anyone. I know so how, as beinga slow reader shaped you as a thinker, writer, preacher, pastor. Well, firstof all he comment on teachers who are signed bazilion pages. I think thetraining students in bad habits- I mean students, do not need to be given theskill to Scim. They need to be given the skill to dig we're born with the skill to skim andthat his rake leaves nobody born with the ability to digmines and fine gold, they're GOIN TO BEI hot. How to pause over a sentence.See the logical connection with the next sentence: Ask about an apparentcontradiction and not give up until they found ten pages later, the keythat goes back and unblocks the paradox that takes time and effort nobody'sborn with that. I just hated when teachers train students insuperficiality, okay, so there I am justifying my existence.You S Right, and I understand that and thereforeindianselly will correct me and because he's got all kinds of wonderful fourlevels of reading and he takes them all seriously and his Goy bleography for itsomewhere and his wife by the way bless her heart. One of my favorite humanbeings said to me over dinner with a bunch ofcouples. John, I really think you are dyslexic Huh and, and- and I said well- I don'tI don't- I don't most of the time transposed telephone numbers, but I dosometimes she's. No, no, no, that's that's not it theyre all kinds ofthings that go into that and- and I suspect, she's right. My lemen'sinterpretation of my slowness is simply this. The way my brain works and and I've tried everything under thesun to make it stop working. This way is that I don't comrehend what I don't art audibly say in my throat, so I cannot read faster than I can talk so go. What's it two hundred turn fiftywords a minute: that's concredibly, slow! I mean you can't get anywhere andthe effect is how of my life is. Is Your right, negative and positive? I mean God makesno mistakes right. This is just the way I was born, and I know that because ofhow hard I've tried to break it, Particulan all kinds of bee readingcourses and whatno and God doesn't make a mistake and if wo'rgots good andtherefore it's been good for me, mainly although I feel it as negative a lot it.It is one of the main reasons I left academia. I went as far as I could go in Academia got my degree by the skin of my teeth, I think, and always felt like. I waspulling the Woll over people's eyes, there's a name for that. I can'tremember when you think you're goingto be found out. Okay, never mind, there's somethingyeah yeah people who listen to this, don't know exactly what I'm talkingabout right and I went six years teaching and I requiredone book to be read every quartlike. It probably appreciated it, but then,when you had fifty questions o right, they appreciati us. They had to read itto take a test on it and they didn't like it. So it knocked. I felt like I leftAcademi because I felt like I will never be a significant scholar, meaning a scholar has to be a well read in his discipline and stayup to speed, reading latest things and interacting with them, which...

I just was laughable when I thoughtabout it, so I thought okay. Where can I work where you want to do that answerin the Pastorit? You only have to read one paragraph a week: Yeah, that'sright if you'r Loy Jones, maybe just one word. Of course, if you read the bookpreaching in preachers by Lord Jones, his description of the untellectualaccap work of the preacher is utterly unrealistic. Yeah. You should read lotsof biography and lots of history and lots of exi Jesus and Los Aid. You getdone reading that Chepn, you say: Well, that's not encouraging. No, so yeah vocationally, it has been decisive. I mean I was that's onlypartially a joke that pastors do not need to be expert in a hundred things if they feedtheir flock faithfully and people grow and get saved and are released andempowered in their vocations to do what God wants them to do. Thiy they'regoing to keep coming back to hear you and they dontre, usually ask you howmany books did you read this week? Pasture, they just want to know, tellus something: God said that ill make a difference in our lives so that that'sbeen hats been huge, but I mean theresthere's something deeper, KevinCa. You want me to keep talking about this yeah the impact of a slow readerbecause yeah jump in because and stop me, but I think this is really significant. I think reading slow has been asafeguard against becoming a dilatnt awhat. You mean by that well here, I'll,give an a example to show what I mean just recently. I was rereading anexcerpt from my journal when I was in Germany and I was on a trip with otherPhD candidates. These were English speaking guys and we were in a huddleone night at a at a Goss House and and and they were talking about the books,they read about a particular issue and Iwas sitting. There feeling absolutelytotally intimidated. I Haden't read any of those books and they were allquoting this author and that author and back and forth the bander was goingopinions flying right and left, and I was sitting here thinking. Okay, maybe I she just go back to myroom and then I said, but you know what what you guys are seem to bearguing for, doesn't really fit with an a quoted, a Bible, verse silence, that's it. I said what do you guys dowith that text? Because if I read it right, it means this and and so thatwhat you just said, wouldn't fil what you just SAI wouldn't fit. That was like an Epiphany Kevin. It waslike in Apiphany here is hopelessly poorly red John Piper, stopping themouths of brilliant guys who read ten books on this topic? CA. You go MI withmy Bible, verse right I mean I mean I sat there thinking, okay, I don't never have to be intimidatedagain and that's the way. I feel I feel thatway with you, like you read like crazy I'l, look at the books, you'd you andthese guys tat, TGC payupot. You got to read this summer, Hiy you kidding me,but when we get together, I don't feel like. I guess I better keep my mouthYot with Kevin, because I don't know anything and he knows everything andwhich is true in one sense and yet in my sense of what the world needs andwhat the Church needs, I've generally got some to say you do, and I think most people wouldwould would find it hard to think that you would be intimidated of me or deveror anyone else, and I wanted to talk about that because we do this is lifeand books and everything and right or wrong. I think Justin andColinare guys that read a lot of books and e, but we read themin different ways and when people ask me, how do you read all those books or as apastor do I need to? I mean the first thing I ways want to say to people islook there. Are? There are few things I do well and I love to read, and I reada lot of things and but one of the last things I want is for a pastor to feellike they need to. Have I mean I look atthere's other people, I look at John Wilson or Andrew Wilson and UK and someof these people that have just lists of hundreds of books that they read in ayear and I'm not sure how that happened. So I I don't think everyone has to read inthe same way that you do and I don't think you're saying that, because youread slowly but I would sure rather have a pastor who is going to be mastered by...

...not just one book, though obviouslythat's most important, but by a few very good things then, to feel like inorder to keep up n and in our hearts yeah there is that huge desire to beable to did you read? I mean you and I have been in conversations with AlMoler, an I'm sant, not saying Hell doing this, but I'm saying I rememberone time in one of our meetings. I I said something now have you read and Ithink mark or somebody or or CJ afterwards said Kevin d? Don't everstarteittohave. You read, of course he's read it don't even go there justas for a page quotation yeah, because he's probably looking at it at thatmoment. So I think it's good for people to hear and for busy pastors and Churchleaders to hear John Piper is a slow reader. Doesn't try to read everythingor most things, but what he does. He reads very deeply and that's what Itell people when they say well. What are these guys like that? You know and-and they think I bet piper knows everything and I say withall kindnessand charity- No, he doesn't but what he knows. He knows better and deeper thananybody else. That's not true either that but recommend you for for thedepth and the care with which you read what you read and that's to becommended. Yeah. We turn we turn vices into virtues. We turn weaknesses intoblessings, which is exactly what God wants us to Doright I mean when hewrites First Corinthians, twelve o fourteen the weaker membershave an absolutely essential place and all kinds of weaknesses figure in tomaking the church strong. Before we leave this. Let me justmention one other thing that that it has hindered because I'm you'reright. I am not encouraging people to be narrow in their reading. We do need tohave cultural perspective, historical perspective. We can't slip into acocoon between us and our Bible me and the Holy Spigaret and my Greek text,and I don't you know to hell with all the historical guys, that's anabsolutely horrible attitude which will not produce good fruit. We need tolisten, and one of the negative efects is that it has very limited my capacityto be a cultural commentator. HMM, here's what I mean and just one example.I have never publicly said anything critical that I can think of. This may be wrong, but in my memoryabout Joel oustine now from people, I trust I suspect thatJoe Austine's ministry is defective in not preaching sin. The way he shouldor other things. The reason I have never gone after him is because I'venever read one single paragraph that Joe Ostin is written, not one, and I don't intend to. Unless somebodycomes after me and says you gotta read this Artic Gon Bogait as well, andthat's how I usually become a cut cultural commentator. I read an articlerits onto it, so that's a real weakness. I wish I could read more widely aboutthe craziness that lots of people are are saying, is out there and I couldread it and then more intelligently respond, but but I can't yeah that's agood insight and I would say I think we have no shortage of culturalcommentators today and we may very well have a shortage ofpeople who want to go as deep as they can into God's word or to Edwards orTorretsin or whomever Owin, and I think it you know what I was going to insertwhen you said. I don't comment on Joe Ostein because I haven't read aparagraph has goi say: Well that doesn't stop a lot of people from doingha, they haveread a paragraph of all sortsof people ut. They got lots of idea. You Know Kevin. I could have mentionedinformative books, books that have formed me, mortamer Adlers, how to reada book and boy. Did he disabuse me of that prost process of criticizingbefore you've understood? I mean that's the one point that stood out of thatbook to me: Is you better be able to reproduce an author's meaning? So thathe approves the way you describe it before you act critically or saycritically anything about him, Ma, yeah, you're right that should not. I meanChristians ought not Tester Espeialy, that's right, so a few more booksbefore we get to the book that you have coming out so h, t whatever you have on your notes here. I would love toknow...

...a key book or two in when you enteredpast for ministry. I'll, tell you when I was starting out. I one of the firstbooks I read my first year pass for ministry was brothers. We are notprofessionals, there were many others, but I remember literally being on myknees at my bedside praying over things. I was reading in that book and it justwas the right book for me at the right time, starting out past for ministry.Thank you. I wonder. Do you have books like that when you were starting out inPastoral Ministry? You know when you mentioned biing on your knees. An Essay came to my mind that I read inthe early days and it isn't on my list. It's a warfield, the the eligion Omotial argicals, now theemotional life of our Lord of the emotional life of theological students,ore, the spiritual life, something like that: Yeah H, Rilo students and heanswers the question. What are you doing? You know telling students to read ten books and Stoln in them,instead of telling them to be an hour on their knees, and he said what, instead of being on your knees for tenhours over your books, Bu Wul O mean its sentences that change my life books. Remember that rig setenceschanged my life, and that was one of them. Oh, my goodness, what a falsealternative right between let's read for ten hours and let's pray for anhour which should it be well no get on your knees and read for ten hours,prarfully, that's right! So anyway, your question books, the beginning ofthe ministry. That was, I don't even remember where that was, I think,there's a did. David Wales collect some Essa Yeah. He I think he did a little alittle forward to the a pamphlet of that we had to read it at GordonConwell, and I remember that very line. What is ten hours in your books, if noton your knees, yeah, that's what it should be Charles Bridge. Is theChristian Ministry really deep marked up for it? My first year in thePasttrit, because I was I didn't know anything you know I'd, never buried. Anybody. I'd never visitedanybody in the hospital. I think I'd done. One wedding, I'd, never baptizedanybody IV, never dedicated a baby. I skipped all the practical horses inseminary. I was as green as you could be as a pastor at age. Thirty, four, soI read Charles Bridges. I read Edwards The Excellency of a GospelMinister. Oh my John T baptist. He was a burning and shining light and Edwardsgoes for what thirty pages on burning and shining hurning and shiding, andwhen I'm done, I'm saying that's all I want to be that's a burning and shiningburning and shining zeal and truth zeal and truth. Oh, my Ed Edwards is just hegets it right just about every time, except on escatology and a couple other things, but mostmoltly. That's true! That's true. We could talk about baptism, but we won't,but I was sinking some other thins, but yeah right. You were spurgeon lecturesto my students, but specifically the minister's fainting fits yes andthe blind eye and the deafeer I mean the book is worth Byig just for thosetwo and t the the second one. I insisted that my wiferead the Blindye in the deaf hear, because it's all about being criticizedas a pastor. You should have one blind eye. Who is that famous see captain who put the telescope tohis blind in and I don't seethe anything yeah right right? I don't, butanyway, that's the idea. You Di. If you know, they're criticizing, you put yourdeath or your o to that side and put your blind out of that side and andwalk into the pubit with courage and humility. So those two essays in that for this young paster was so so good.So was Lord Jones preaching in preachers? Here's one! I bet most popl wouldn'tknow about. Even I don't know if they're INPRINTBET, waren WEIRESB backin the s produced three volumes of little biographies called walking with giants Yes and my restenyes and then listening to the giant and then giant steps I mean they were sopopular here he had to keep producing them. I would I would go to bed atnight. Ha'd read one of those. You know they're only what four five pages longASEBIRAPHY and I get all fired up. Yes, that's the kind of Pastra I want to beso biography is just huge in those days, but you'll notice. What's missing fromthat list, Kevin Know How two books yeah right. Well,what about leadership? What about management? What about getting theright program for Disambliship, at visitation of angelism and and how toon Preaching and frank to Kevin? I should have yeah. I should have readthose May. I would have last longer in the ministry- it's if I had, but theyjust killed me. They just killed me. I...

...couldn't do it. I could not read mosthow to books for the pastor, because they were deadening to my spirit so andstaying alive was my number one job and there's, and some of those booksare good and many of them are not worth reading, but I think we all are gladthat have some other people read some ofthose how to books and if pastors limited time divein. What I also waswas going to point out with almost every book you've mentioned, I mean alot of the e okay they're dead guys, but a lot of them are really dead guysand it's No tre bid yeah right IM, mostly dead, and there is something to be gained. Ithink in particular you know, I know as a pastor what I'mfacing right now and so there's an instinct to want to read people speakto what I know I'm facing, but what I want more often is. I wantpeople who who know what I'm really faike thethings that are the same and have been the same in pastfor ministry orever.Those are the ones that are going to be more helpful that you need some of theother ones. How can you help me navigate corona virus, all of thosethings, but I wantme things you tona righ would be a good example of writingabout modern technology which which I don't read anything about it exceptTony, because he's a friend and I'm glad Tony's doing what he's doingabsolutely we need blacf. I was raising kids right now. I would be looking forsomebody to help me know how to a man screentop. I would want to know how whydo you do when you give a kid a phone and what kind of limits can you put onhim and how, in the world, can you rescue your thirteen year old son fromwhat he can find on the Internet? Remember what I awas like when I wasthirteen and didn't have any pornography available to me at all. Ihad to make it all up. So, Oh, my goodness, I am not opposed to peoplegiven their best biblical effort to understand contemporary challenges.Right, John, do you have a go to systematic theology? Who Do you whenyou think I need to know what I ought to how to think clearly aboutjustification or anthropology? Who Do you go to? No, I don't have a go to or a favorite,although that's not quite true, I don't have a favorite, but I probably have gotosi. For example, I recently wrote a book on saving faith and I went to bavinkbecause somebody said you got to redbavink on saving face. Ive read thatsection. I recommend Grudem all the time becausehe's so accessible and so texturally orieted by my reason, for not dippinginto most Systema theologies to find answers is because I have to work toohard to find them, because I am so textually oriented. I really wantxexplanations for text and I don't want to read ten pages to find out what thisman thinks about. Romans, Thr, twenty, eight on justification. I needsomething more more focused and SYSTEMAC theology doesn't generally dido that for me. So my that that again is a weakness. It's a weakness. It'snot a strength, I'm not recommending it. It's when you have- and I tell my guys,look you're going to be in the ministry- you got Ta preach on Sunday. It's gotfive verses in this text. You can't read fifty pages about this. Generally,you got to find people that help you see. What's really there in this text, do you have a favorite biography, it'shard to stay a favorite? What what are some that have been particularlyedifying to you right? It is hard to put one at the top sort. Let me mentionseveral and I enjoyed thinking about this really did because you know fortwenty seven years we did the Bethlam Conference for Pastors or the desiringconference for Pastors and IDID IT biography every year. People should getthat book crossway as a collection of them and they're. Really that's tothat's a reflection of two things number one. I love reading them, so I'mjust Maximu, I'm just killing two birth with onrigh and and the other is thateand Murray bless his heart. We just exchanged email, the other day, he'sstill still working hard and he so ministered to my soul. In theearly S, with his audio biographies at the banner of Truth Conferences, I justwhen I listen to him talk about spurgeon or the puritans I'd say I wantto do that someday because I get such... from listening to his telling thestory of somebody's life. So anyway, all that to say I love biography. I tryto keep reading bigraphy regularly. There's one sitting, one there'sabography of John Wesley, a rational enthusiast on my table downstairs andI'm slowly working my way through it. So here here my top biographis PeterBrown on Augustine or August David Danielle on William Tindale. That mightbe at the top. My you, you have raved about that book and just make you feelgood. I I haven't read it, but I heard you speak about it often doesn't makeme feel good about you. No I'm sure! Why haven't you read that book and thenno? No, it is oh. I could start. We could pausehere and I could talk why. But let's keep going George Marsdon on eand onEdwards, Ande and Murry on Edward two, very different kinds of biographies andI' Love. Both those guys and both that bose biographies courtny Anderson Whit's, called to a golden shore aboutabout edn arm, Judgson thl Parker, on Kavin Calvin. If you got Ta, you know, I'm sure it's not the very best onCalvin, but it's so accessible. I was. I love that little one in the big one,O Rollin Bayton here I stand luther and and all those little ones by WEIRSPA.So those are some of my favorites. That's great. You mentioned a fewmoments ago. We we'll get to providence. I promise and be mindful of your time,but this is so much fun R. for me to get an ask about books with John Piper,you talked about books, you don't go back to books veryoften, but are there some books that you know I'm? The Lord will speak to methrough this book, and so you go back to it and readit. So I don't have toomany of those either. But preaching in preachers is one Kelvin's institutes isone hidlber catechism is one. There are fewthings that I know maybe precious remedies against Satan's devices. Whatare some that you go to, and you know you're going to be edified again, theBible, you didn't say, leave out the Bible, so okay, Goingto, say the Bibleand it's it is. I mean, oh, my to spend an hour with God talking to me come on. Who would not want to listento God talk an hour a day, theyr going to be insane not to unlisten, to Godtalk an hour day anyway, so that's number one oens glories of God, the Gorge ofChrist and Communiith God, Lewis Anywhere just to dip in and get thesense of life like. I said, I'm listening right now to to letters toMalcolm chief Yo on prayer, but here's here's what I should say because it's this is the closest towhat you asked, namely that you return to for for somethingfor your soul. I have ninety volumes of poetry outside my study, a door here onthe left regularly. I will walk by that shelf.Reach almost randomly pull down. One of those volumes open it and read a pom itwho are these problems by this is an anthology of great poems. No, no. These are ninety differentbooks by diffenall, okay, just the poetry section of your library, exactlyit's like walking up to borns and noble poeter Ye and most ofthem are not Christians, so they're not going to they're not going to edify in that sense, but they wakenthey waken to reality, and you ask questions, and you see things that youdidn't see before so, for example, the the anthology nowthis is an anthology called sacrifice of praise. It's an anthology ofChristian poetry from Kadman, that is from the Middle Ages until the middleof the twentieth century. That book has probably sat on my bedside table moreoften and longer than any other book in the last fifty years. But it's notfifty years old. I forget when it was prose so when I think when I'm not on aregular reading regiment, just trying to push through some book because itneeds to be red, but rather just dipping in to sole awakening literature.More often than not its poetry, like George Herbert, would be my top loverof my top loved poet. You know it's it's made. I hope it's encouraging topeople how...

...different God makes people, so I I'm not opposed to poetry. I think Ican I benefit from poetry. I do not have ninety volumes of poetry in thesebooks behind me. I don't know if I have nine volumes, but I don't say that again, that's that's, probably aweakness. I could pull off. You Talk About System Athieology, Icould pull off Turriton, which is so dead, but it's so precise and carefuland there's distinctions upon distinctions. I always feel like. Ilearn something and it warms my. I don't think that's how John Piperswired and I'm thing I'Lad Thatwr, no, no you're, not understanding romanticrationalist in CS Lewis. I am totally war that way. I love precision. I love.I know that I os love logic. It does warm my heart, I do somebody. Somebody said that Edwardsbook, the nature of true virtue, was as close as you could get to the beauty ofthe intellect. I knew exactly what they were talkingabout. I read that book, which is one of the hardest bust, complex abstrucebooks of Edward sitting on a swing in the backyard of my wife's parents housein on thousand nine hundred and seventy one staring at the woods in Georgia andwrote a poem about, so I totally get it amen for Turitonand Amen for Kevin, well a and Amen for good poems in what can explode in a good way. The that logic- and this is your ministry-You've taught on this- that that logic and affections work together, they're,not opposed so Amento, good poetry and good. Systematic Theology tell me andthen we'll get to providence. Tell me thinking about your books that you'vewritten. I know it's like maybe talking about your kids, but I could tell yousome books. I've written I h've wrtten, as many as you have were more enjoyablethan other. Some are sort of nearer to my heart that OAS. Do you have a bookthat was hardest to write and do you have a book that your happiest about is first among equals in your mind of yourfavorite John Piper Books? So those two questions hardest and favorite. It's probably not accurate, because the last one alwaysfeels like the hardest. Okay, because the others are fading into a romanticmemory. So I would say: Providence the onewe're going to talk about was the hardest and it was the hardestbecause it was the biggest and the most comprehensive and that's what makes aBookhard for me come gathering and collating andbringing to some coherent order. Thousands of pieces of information is adaunting task, so providence was very difficult nd and took longer than anyother book that I've written to write another one like that, and this book also might be among themost gratifying or satisis what Jesusdemands from the world. I thought you were going to say that, because I wasin Cambridge Onon Te Sabatical back in two thousand and six. I thinkit was- and I had a good three four months to do nothing, but that book and I collected every imperative or impliedimperative in the four gospels, and there wereabout five hundred of them and I stared at them for weeks sayingwhat are going to do with that. I want to write it. An the goal of that bookwas to write a book on Matthew, O Thosend Y, eight, twentyteaching them to observe. All that. I have commanded. You and I've said nowwhere's their book. That does that that helps people do that, all that hecommanded all they commin, not all that he taught that's another book, I'd like to writethe teachings of Jesus, but I probably won't get around there that we'll see,but I can gather everything he commanded. So I gathered hem fivehundred implied comments in the Gospels and I stared at him and stared at himand finally got about fifty two little chapters and and that book was veryhard to write and gratifying to write and it's been disappointing because Idon't, I don't think most people know what that well. First, they don't knowit exists and, and others look at it and they don't have any idea what I'mtrying to do Rightso. That book did not...

...did not do what I hoped it would do and who knows mmaybethe road would rescue it, because I wrote it for missions a roadformissions. The Great Commission is to teach all the nations everything tt todo to observe everything. He commanded- and I don't know of another bookbesides that one which aims to do that. You know it would be worth I'minterruptbut. It would be worth at next cross conference, Lord Willing, there'sa next cross conference. You- and I just came from the one several days ago,that would be worth a panel or a breakout or something because it's it's a very good book and I thinkyou're right most people don't think of it as anything to do with the missionsbook, but it is, and it would be really important to unpack that. Thank you. I appreciate that we'll seedesiring God, you know is, is the book. That, probably is the most gratifyingbecause it's the one that seems to have altered most paradimesand that's very significant. You know chipping inanother idea, alongside other ideas in people's minds is one thing sayingsomething that alters the way they look at. Everything is another thing and ofall the books that ave written thats, the one that people say such thingsabout it. It totally turned their world around when it cameto how joy and the glory of God fit together. I know you were listening tothe cross messages. You may have noticed that at the end of myintroduction and I was playing off of a line in a churchill biography, but Iwas talking about wouldn', it be greater people, lookback at our lives and saw that time and again we were choosing the interest ofthe kingdom over our own best interest, something like that and then I said-and I didn't I said it a little tongue and cheek, but I meant it seriously. Isaid- and this is just to your point of how that book shaped- How I think ofthings and make sure I'm saying things correctly. I added in a side that saidJohn Piper would want me to add here that ultimately, sacrificing for thekingdom is not opposed to our own best interest. I totally heard that andappreciated it pamen and it's it's right, and I don't knowbefore I read that book. How I would have put those together talk about this big book, seven hundredpages Providence Wellwhen. Does it come out. I think the technical release date isFebruary eleven, okay, so I'm sure people can go to crossway's website orother websites, and we encourage, I think there is a there's going to be areally good deal at WTS books with this. That's going to be, I don't know ifit's there yet, but when it releases later this month, it's going to bethere, you can go thiser, witismen, promokes and, and they have absolutelyastonishing. It's a half of Ham Izon the price, so we and they do really good work. Sojust tell me, because you talked about the difficulty: What was the process?How long you been working on this? What is that you just try to write aboutevery passage in the Bible that has something to do with Providence. Giveus the sense of how you put this book together and how long you've beenworking on it. I've been working on it for about seventy four years,yeaalright and along the way you know twenty twoyears into that seventy four year effort. I formed the habits of trying to readmore carefully and think more coherently, which means that I begin toform the habit of spotting tensions in the Bible andworking hard to get to the common rout that relieves the tensions in so far asthat's possible. They're, not all relievable in this life, but most are.I think, because God wants us to understand him. Nuch is worship in defineability, and then maybe twenty years ago can't remember about that. I took apaperback version of an NASB and semilary this through this year with ablue highlighter and a yellow highlighter. The Blue highlighter willunderline everything where it looks like God is in control, and the yellow highlighter will be textthat are problematic. For that...

...viewpoint, and when I was done as youcan imagine, it was an extremely Blue Bible, rgwith a sprinkling of YellowBible and and then I don't know, maybe seven or eight years ago. I gave thatto the guysit desire. God and I asked them, would you turn those tects into aword document for me? I don't know how they did it, but theydid a lot of work and they did so. They had me a single space word document andall those text now typed out and it's what seventy or eighty single spacepages and and that's what I began with, namely what am I do now and I wentthrough those and I began to look for categories: Al Right, control over nature, control, overSatan control, over death control, over birth control, over disease control, over wind control,over birds, control over worms, whales, stars and and when I was done, I hadthem tagged now. Given the wonderful searchcapacities of a word document, you can isolate those categories, Bang justlike that. I mean Coor Edwards. How did he do what he did didn't even have enogpaper, no he's using on using bills the back of getry slips so anyway we got noexcuse for not being producted, that's for sure, and so gradually I distialthese into categories. I try to figure out how the categories relate, and I realize at one point and that thewhole process of actual writing took gut two years and I I said I can't just keep thinking. I must just startwriting. That's whay. It works for me all the time, because when I startwriting, then ideas for order come to me, and so I began to write and low andbehold a few days into that writing my whole conception of the book changed. I was going to write a book on thenature and extent of God's providence and I realized every time I try towrite something the question: Why did Yo that? Why did he do that? Why did hedo that? The? Why question I said I can't I can't leave the Wy question foranother book, and so the book is now about probably a third longer than it wouldhave been. I think sixteen of the forty five chapters relate to the wy question,namely the goal of Providence. So there are three three goals: name, even thenature, the extent and the goal of providence and, and God over those twosummers. I think I was eighteen and nineteen put it together. N Go back to something you said aboutthe process here and it's so true, and I find that you often have to sometimesyou just you can see the in from the beginning, and you know where you'regoing and so often, though, you need to start writing and putting thoughts onpaper and then your thoughts get clarified. I I enjoy. Writing is not that it's nothard. It is often, but I know many of our friends and again it's just. I wastalking to Max Styles Mac. I wish I could I mean he is amazing Evangeles.He has amazing stories, it's probably because he's so extroverted he wastalking about the books, he's writing and he just it's. I hate writing and Iheard Barka Devers say I like having written. I get this sense. You love notjust having written, but you love sitting down to right is that true, I've freely tried to understand whatdrives me. It is true and the but the way I've. I presently understand myself. As this I read Dorothy Sayers in college, thethe mind of the maker and bells went off. I am a maker. John Piker is like a carpenter wholikes square edges and he likes rooms. Well finished helikes boards, their clean cut. He likes nails that are flush with the two byfour he likes looking at a cabinet when it's done only. I do it with words.That's why I like poetry, Poetryis, is shorter and it has form- and I loveform- I love a form that works. I love...

...a well articulated sentence. A wellargued paragraph in a well constructed chapter. It is beautiful. It's I don'twant to be too fancy and say it's art, but it's craft, it's at least crawn.It's like a man who makes chairs he weaves chairs and he loves to make goodchairs. Will I weave paragraphs and chapters, and I love to so? Yes, I doI'. I was a lit major and I took writing courses and I did it not tobecome something but because of who I was that's just the way I was wired, soI'm with you, I don't want to Romanticize it and saythat those first stages of staring at fivehundred commands or in the case of Providence, sixty single space pages ofhundreds of categories of controlled paths. Passages is easy. I mean themental work to desteal from five hundred down toto fifty two categories and thencreate words that explain those categories. That's very hard work, but,oh so gratifying to see it come to come together and I preaky Kavit. I just want mything. I am so thankful that most pastors donot write books, because when I'm writing them, I lookout my window and I think I should be on the street. Theyre lost people outthere. There are tent cities, it's twenty two degrees outside it'll beminus seven tonight, people living in Tente five blocks from my house what aYe Doin writin a book or talking to Kevin, that's the kind of thought thatgoes through my mind over and oer again, and I have to preach to myself bothgrace in case I'm making a mistake and the diversity o the body in case I'mright that I should be doing what I'm doing so anyway. If a pastorislistening to this and they've never written a book, never planned to writea book, let them know I'm singing their praiseshere. Here's an illustration of this Tom Steller who worked with me forforty years or thirty three years and need just he's, not a missionary bus,his heart to Cameroon. After thirty three years with me in forty years atBeth Bot, him Tom could easily have gotten a phtes, brilliant exegy and hemoved into one and he moved out and decided for his family's sake and forwhat he's doing in teaching and the Bethlam Institute. He wouldn't do theacademic rout and his student said to him. It's so encouraging to him. Enmy,he said Tom. You are. We are your dissertation. We are yourdissertation, I mean when pastores get to heaven, what they will be rewarded for and whatpeople will sing praises about is not that they've written e book, neitheryou or I are going to get any Kudos for wrighting our books. We are going toget Kudos if any, for being faithful to the truth for preaching and teachingand loving people with the truth yeah I mean I know just what I think. I know just whatyour mean by all that I think of a friend in ministry. Maybe you laveenlisten to this and it's easy for people to think. Oh Kevin. How do you write somuch books, you're, so productive, but I feel that same thing. You do. Jonas,I'm encouraged by your thought there of trusting in God's grace and trustingthat he gives different gifts to the body, but I have a friend ministry. Hehe volunteered to be a ride along chaplain for the police department. Itdoes that early end of the morning late at nights. He rides around with theseguys. He sees lots of stuff. He helps them if they have to go to the knock onsomebody's door and give bad news he's ministers to the officers in the car hetries to share the Gospel. I think the had gote street go. That's amazing and you know part of me think I wish I waswired like that, not making excuses that I couldn't do that, but thatsounds really amazing and not what I'm doing, and so it's very easy for us inany walk of life mom's pastors whatever, but to think look at what that person'sdoing and you're absolutely right. The the measure is faithfulness to thetruth, so that guy riding around with the police officer, is he faithful tothe truth, if you're writing a book, if you're raising your kids, faithful tothe truth? So thank you for that. That's a good word. Let me just. I knowI take a lot of your time John Few, more questions about this book, becauseyou are so careful with definitions that we can't get into many of them.But you distinguish between some key terms like providence andsovereignty. Let's just start there I's there adifference. Sometimes people use them interchangeably right. I was generallyusing the Mitor Changeobly, as I thought about this book for years,because I thought I'm going to write a...

...big red book on Sovereigny some day,like the Big Blue Book on complimentarianism Coul Wrun, a big redbook on on sovereignty and now I've written I what on Providence and theword Providence, isn't even in the Bible. Neither is the word sovereignt. Neither is the word discipleship otherword counselling or right IYEAH. Why? Why did I switch? Because Irealized that sovereignty is God's right and power todo whatever He pleases and our God is in the Heaven He doeswhatever He pleases beautiful statement of sovereignty. Providence is God's,purposeful, sovereign. He is going somewhere he's taking the universe andeverything in it in a direction and everything he does is not only powerful but wise. It is fitting a plan that heformed before the foundation of the world and is going to be perfectlyaccomplished. So that's the difference. Sovereignty is power and authority to do whatever Hepleases. Providence says he does that purposefully, that's good! Why is it? Let me ask a question I'llgive an illustration and let you answer the question. Why do you think so manypeople, maybe Christian leaders, maybe just Christians- can recoil at this idea of providence when it's so writ largeacross the Bible, and it's so meant for our comfort and so here's. Myillustration when I was in my last denomination inthe three forms of unity where our doctrinal standards of the HideubergCatechism, I would ask somewhat somewhat tricky, I admit, but it was afair question. I would ask at the ordination exams I would say: Would youif you're a pastor and you have to go to the hospital and some very difficultsituation of suffering? Would you feel comfortable notcomfortable? Would you speak to that person their moment ofpain and suffering and loss that all things come to us not bychance, but from God's fatherly hand that fruitful yelyear years and leanyears, prosperity and poverty, health and sickness life and death? All thingsin fact come to us from God's fatherly heand, and I was just quoting fromHydober catechism question- answer twenty seven Rightso. They should havesaid with their ordination vows forthcoming.Of course I would but nine out of ten in this denomination anyways thinkcould be better in the PCA future Ordinan said. Well, no, I wouldn't becomfortable putting it that way, and then they were still ordained. Thatwas a problem. Why? Why do even ordinans and ministers, and so manyChristians- they, if you say, Providence, yea Providence, I like thatGod sove yes, Gods in control, those sort of, but when you put real meat onthe bones, some of them want to spit it out, and I'm sure your book, because Ihaven't read all seven under pages- addresses that how do you get to theheart of that? Well, the pastoral timing, question aboutwhat you say in a hospital room is not exactly the same as why people chokethat's true sovereignty of God. They are related, but they're not the same.So let me take them one. At a time, people balk at the total sovereignty ofGod over all things, including human decisions, for bad reasons. Like arrogance and ManCentered Pride, which Paul refers to in First Scorinthian's, one graceishe's going to remove all human boasting by choosing the way he chooses, let himwho both spost in the Lord. So that's a bad reason. People want themselves tobe their own God, and so they hate for God to be God, but cutting people who are Christian alittle more slack. They're, poorly taught and they've beentaught so badly for so long about the nature of free will that they don't seehow it fits with what they think is necessary for human responsibility. Imean if a person has been taught for forty years, that in order for a humanbeing to be responsible, he has to be ultimately self determining. He willnot be able to understand or embrace the Bible for it says, because theBible does not assume that, and so...

...those are two reasons badly taught andtherefore they have unnecessary and artificial obstacles that I have to getover, even though they're Christian and rebellion in the human heart that hatesGod being God. Now. With regard to the timing issue, I might have flucked yourordination exam, because I would have said Na Kevin you're asked me o what I would actuallysay to a person with tubes in his nose and a heart monitor that peeding thirtytimes a minute and the doctor saying he's got three hours to live so what'tyou're asking me: Do my ask question better than I justdid, but I yes od go ahead. I because you're, making it importanty and and however you ask it- It gives me anopportunity to say what every pastor knowse, namely that there's a time foreverything under heaven when I wrote the book spectacular sins, which is sevenchapters on God's control and sovereignty over sin. I began with anillustration of some truths: Are Warm and tender and precious and feel like a really cozy blanket on the couch that you wrapyourself in with a fire in the firplace and that's good others. Look like tireirons, they're, they're, hard, they're, coldYo, keep them in the trunk. But if you got a car that needs to be lifted offof your loved one, you don't want you blanky right. You want a tire iron, and so mypoint is: There are moments for the blanket and there are moments for the tire ironand if somebody is raw I mean I've walked in. You have two Kevin. I'vewalked into many hospitals with the body on the table and the wife or theSun, Betide the dead body, and what you do at that moment is youtake em in your arms and if you know them at all, you cry on their shoulder.You don't say anything, you just cry on their shoulder and and when you getyour voiceback, you say I'm so sorry a'd. So sorry, that's what you sayfirst right and then and then you gauge where they are right: Ou Gauge wherethey are in handling this, and that will wisely determine what comes out ofyour mouth next. But here's the point sooner or later, a day later, a weeklater, a month later, they need answers, they need biblical answers. Did Godhold sway in my husband's life when he fell over in the draftway at sixty twoor didn't hea hold sway Piper and there you don't pull any punches. You say Godwas in control and then depending on where they are you deal with how youhelp them embrace that with joy, and it is joy, it is wonderful to know. Satanis not in control. Random fatalism is not in control agood, wise, sovereign God is in control, and he will make it plain. Yeah well and you've said this manytimes I've heard you say but were when we preach we're preaching to help.People die well we're preaching to help. People suffer well, yes, and that'swhat you're giving them in that moment and I'll sometimes say whether it'sabout providence or some other thing I'll say in a Sunday right here in therelative comfort and safety of this moment in this place sitting in thesenice piews. Listening to this her, you need, with the Lord's, help to decidethat this is true. That's right and asabtonitely an anchor for you, becausewhen you get to that moment, you're right Yo, I can think of examples, asyou can ofe of a wife crying almost shrieking. How am I going to livewithout him? How am I going to live without him and if you do Romans, ttwsandy, eight, eight D, twenty eight in a clumsy way, it's just a stiff armthat feels like stop crying it'll, be fine, but at some point, hopefullyearlier and then also later. That needs to be a ballast in the boat right. Thatis. That is the flip side of what I was saying, which is just as important,namely if, if I'm a pastor listening to this, the key question is not pastoral timing,about the moment of crisis for handling the providence of God. The key question:is you get ten years before that wife is going to lose her husband in thentythirty one he's going to drop over dead and you're going to be her pastor? Willyou have taught her well, Oh Kevin II...

...cannot tell you how preciously deeply gratifying it hasbeen over the thirty three years at Bethlehem to watch people move fromsuspicion of God's sovereignty to the love of God's sovereignty and then walkthrough hell holding on to God's sovereignty and to tell me with tearsin their eyes. Thank you. Thank you. I don't know how I would not be insaneright now had I not sat under your preaching of the sovereign Yo Gon thatis wonderfully Graffi. Let me give you one last question: youbeen so generous with your time. John. You say in the book Romans. Eightthirty two may be the most important verse in the Bible, big statement forJohn Piper to make. What do you mean by that? How does that fit in with whatyou're hoping to do with this book? He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all. Paused nowget the wording not spare implies. There was some obstacle to be overcome.There was some difficulty for God in doing this, so to speak. We allunderstand, God can do anything he want, but when, when the language of God didnot spare his own son, the implication is oh, how he loved his son and thethought of exposing him to spitting and Beard, pooling and mockery nails in hishands and the sin of the world on his shoulders was innocense abhorrent tothe father. So He who did not spare his own son butgave him up for us all and then the afforsiory reasoning fromthe grater to the lesser. If he did the hardest thing, will he not with himfreely give us all thinks now the reason I say thismay be. The most important verse in the Bible is because it's the firstunderneath Romas, eight twenty eight holding it up e twenty eight ayseverything's going to work together for good for those who love God. Why? Because Christ boughte them and he overcame every obstacle in thefather's affections in order to secure them for us, so that when that word,everything will you not with him? Give us all things. That's really true! All things that we need to glorify God.All things that we need to do gods will all things that we need to make it toheaven all things that we need to be perfectly happy for ever and ever inGod's presence. All of that, owing to the fact that God did not spare his ownson, which means that every single promis in the Bible is rooted in Romans.A thirty two H: All the promises are Yes in Christ: Jesus. They are yes inChrist, Jesus because the logic of Romans, eight, thirty, two holes. Soyou know if I had to go to the Mat right now and pick a verse in the Bible,that's the most important verse. All things considered AE, probably going togo with Romans, eightthirty, two as being the one that warrants all the promises of the of theBible now providence of God relates to that,because that promise cannot come to pass if God does not have the power andauthority and wisdom and grace to bring it to pass and that's his providence. John. Thank you for I'm going to letyou have the last word there. Thank you for being with US spending so much timeto talk about life and books and everything. Once again, the book ispublished by Crossway just called Providence. It's seven hundred pages.It's I have it pdf printed out here and I'mlooking forward to reading it ind more in depth. Thank you, John Encouragereaders to look for it, especially WTS books is going to have a big. Theyalready are having a big discounted sale. You can get it there. It comesout in the next few weeks. John. Thank you so much for spending time with meand let me just say publicly how much I love you and have benefited from youand your teaching and you're preaching, and thank you for being a friend aswell. Thank you blessing on you and calling, and just in I love Ove, yourWorki Ofe, your friendship. It's been an honor and a and a joy, no question wonder Ebot to bewith you thanks until next time, wit's, hopefully, will be very soon. Youlorify, God enjoy him forever and if you're, not a terribly slow reader,read a good book.

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