The Known and the Knower

(Continuing from yesterday)    So God made the universe, He made man to live in that universe, and He gives us the Bible, the verbalized, propositional, factual revelation, to tell us what we need to know.  In the bible He not only tells us about morals, which makes possible real morals instead of merely sociological averages, but He gives us comprehension and conscious ability to correlate our knowledge.  The same reasonable God made both things, — namely the things that can be known and how we can know them, the subject and the object – and he put them together.  So it is not surprising if there is a correlation between these things.   

If modern science could be born on the basis of there being a reasonable God, which makes it possible to find out the order of the universe by reason, should we be taken by surprise that the knower who is to know and the object which is to be known should have a correlation?  It is exactly what we should expect.  Because we have a reasonable God who made them in the first place, there is a reasonable correlation between the subject and the object. 

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – He Is There and He Is Not Silent 

Easiest and Hardest

The ‘easiest’… 

We must realize that Christianity is the easiest religion in the world, because it is the only religion in which God the Father and Christ and the Holy Spirit do everything.  God is the Creator; we have nothing to do with our existence, or the existence of other things.  We can shape other things, but we cannot change the fact of existence.  We do nothing for our salvation because Christ did it all.  We do not have to do anything.  In every other religion we have to do something – everything from burning a joss stick to sacrificing our firstborn child to dropping a coin in the collection plate – the whole spectrum.  But with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all:  He has created us and He has sent His Son; His Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore He bears our total guilt.  We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ.  He does it all.  So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world.  (the ‘hardest’ tomorrow) 

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

A System of Objective Truth

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces — there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions, but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has a form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man — which is my own term for meaning that man is unique.  People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it. In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that — no matter what people say they are, they are what they are; that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena – the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There

Why Do We Want to Go to Heaven? (Part 2)

Continuing from yesterday….we hear this desire on the very lips of Jesus himself: “this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). God does not merely give us eternal life, he is the life, the very source and essence of eternal life (John 11:25–26). 

Substance, Sun, Ocean 

Few have seen the Heaven of heavens as clearly from Scripture as Jonathan Edwards

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows, but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the ocean. 

This does not devalue the shadows, the scattered beams, the streams of this world. Every good gift comes from God (James 1:17). The gift of himself, however, is what gives every other gift its inestimable value in the first place. They only devalue when separated from the Substance, the Sun, the Ocean. 

And every good and perfect gift we receive from God in the age to come, and whatever else he has prepared for us, will be far better than those we’ve received and experienced in this life (1 Corinthians 2:9). But still, they will never compare with the Joy of joys, the Love of loves, the Light of light, the Life of life, the Heaven of heavens. For God will always be, as Lewis says in Till We Have Faces, the one satisfying “place where all the beauty came from.” 

Taken from an article by John Bloom, Staff Writer, 

Daily Light – Oct 12, 2020

Nothing Is for Nothing 

Accepting Loss and Finding Peace 

Article by, Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Author, Writer 

I brace myself as I walk into the house and hold the door frame. It’s a tiny step, if you could even call it that, but I can’t do it without help anymore. I almost lose my balance. My husband steadies me. Last month it wasn’t a problem, but now it is. 

When I get into the house, I plop down into a chair in frustration. I sigh heavily. Losses are constant nowadays, and I scarcely remember doing things that were effortless before my post-polio diagnosis. Painting into the night. Making a new gourmet meal that everyone loved. Going for walks and enjoying the outdoors with friends. None of that is part of my life anymore. 

Some days those things don’t bother me, but others, like today, it’s easier to dwell on what I’ve lost. The ‘can’t do anymores’ keep stacking up, and I wonder how I will get used to this life of continual loss. I know some people do, and sometimes with incredible grace. I want to be one of those people who accept everything easily, never seeming to question what’s given or taken away, grateful for everything they have. 

As I grieved the life I used to have, I silently asked, “Lord, show me what to do with this. I don’t want to let this frustration overwhelm me. I want peace.” Immediately, the familiar words came to mind: “in acceptance lies peace.” 

Ways to Forfeit Peace 

The four words are from a poem by Amy Carmichael entitled “In Acceptance Lieth Peace,” which she wrote after a broken leg left her bedridden, and in great pain, for the rest of her life. In the poem, Carmichael detailed the futile ways we often deal with loss. 

The first approach is to avoid any reminders of the past, trying to forget the hurt and move on. The second is to stay so busy that there’s no time to think about anything else. The third is denial, putting up a facade and pretending that there never was any pain. The fourth is to grimly resign ourselves to a life of unceasing misery. I wonder which of those four feels most familiar for you. The fifth and final approach is to accept this new way of living, knowing that God will walk us through. 

Though the first four options sound depressing, I confess I have tried them all. While they promised relief from the pain, they left me numb, strangling any hope for healing and joy. Life was reduced to mere existence as I plodded along from day to day, hoping the dull ache would go away. 

Indispensable Hardships 

But acceptance is different. It stops the turmoil, and leads to peace. This peace can only be found in Christ, in surrendering to his will, in trusting that every experience is part of his plan. He keeps us in perfect peace when we trust him and focus our minds on him (Isaiah 26:3). 

Elisabeth Elliot would agree. In a letter to her parents shortly after her husband Jim was murdered in 1956, she wrote, 

I know you are all wondering how I am getting along. I can only say that the peace I have literally passes all possible understanding. . . . “The Lord Jehovah is my strength and song.” I have learned, I believe, the lesson which Amy Carmichael speaks of in her poem — “In acceptance lieth peace.” How true. I accept, gratefully, from the hand of God, this experience. 

Gratefully accepting everything from God’s hand, including losing your husband, makes no sense apart from Christ. But because of her faith in a sovereign God, Elliot was able to experience God’s peace in tragedy. And almost fifty years later, she wrote, 

God included the hardships of my life in his original plan. Nothing takes him by surprise. Nothing is for nothing. His plan is to make me holy, and hardship is indispensable for that as long as I live in this hard old world. All I have to do is accept it. (Be Still My Soul, 32) 

All I have to do is accept it. It sounds simple. And in many ways, it is. But this acceptance is not fatalistic surrender. The kind of acceptance that leads to peace requires faith and trust in God. It involves looking at life through the eyes of faith, faith in an all-powerful, extravagantly loving, and incomprehensibly wise God who is engineering every detail of my life. 

Our powerful, loving, and wise God doesn’t make mistakes. So if he has allowed something into my life, it is the very best thing for me, all things considered. It will maximize my joy and deepen my faith. One day in heaven I will see how everything that God brought into my life was love. 

Dailiness of Loss 

While I am convinced of God’s love and purpose in my pain, I must repeatedly remind myself of these truths. Doubt and discouragement creep in as I struggle with the dailiness of loss and pain, with no apparent reprieve. 

At the beginning of any trial, I often feel buoyed by God’s Spirit, able to face the struggle ahead courageously. But after a while, I grow weary and impatient. I forget that the Lord is in my suffering and will walk with me through it. I must deliberately turn to God and ask him to help me — to accept the situation, to know his presence in it, and to have strength to endure it. In essence, to trust him. 

Only then can I truly find peace — a peace beyond understanding that guards my heart and mind in Christ (Philippians 4:7), that keeps me from fear (John 14:27), that transcends the troubles of the world (John 16:33). That is a lasting peace. 

In All My Circumstances 

Like many others, I have felt weary during this pandemic, wondering how long it will last. I am anxious for it to end and have this all-encompassing cloud lifted, so that I can resume life as it was before. I must constantly remind myself of the beauty and peace in joyful acceptance. These circumstances are not random or out of God’s control, but are all part of a loving Savior’s design. He is in all my circumstances and is using them to change me into the likeness of Christ. 

My husband and I went out to the front porch to talk and watch the sunset. As I walked through the doorway again, I was grateful. Looking around, I asked God to give me eyes of faith. I was reminded of all that God has done through my pain. Although I may always miss what I have lost, I do not long to have that life back. God is in my present life, and it is only here, in today’s circumstances, that I can meet him. 

I am embracing this life God has given me, deeply aware that in acceptance lies peace. In this joyful acceptance I find the Savior himself, who will one day transform my enduring suffering into my eternal joy. 

Vaneetha Rendall Risner is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Desiring God, who blogs at She is married to Joel and has two daughters, Katie and Kristi. She and Joel live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Vaneetha is the author of the book The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

Daily Light – Sept 21, 2020

A God of ‘Hope’ 

2 Part Study by David Niednagel, Pastor and Teacher, Evansville, IN.  (David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning study and devotional time: study, observe, apply, pray). 

Part 1 

Christians have always been people of hope in dark and difficult times. But what do we mean when we say we have hope? We say God is in control, and that everything will turn out OK. But does that mean that our economy will improve? That people will get back to work and to school? That racial and political tensions will resolve? Is “hope” the same as optimism? 

Is optimism a Biblical quality? Was it for Jeremiah and the prophets? Sometimes, yes. But they had far more words of coming judgment than of blessing. And their words were often linked to the choices of the people of Israel. If they repented of their sin, there were promises of forgiveness and hope. If they persisted in their greed, oppression of the poor and idolatry they were assured of national abandonment by God and defeat at the hands of the surrounding nations. So what does it mean to have hope – whether now or any time in the past, or the future? 

Romans 15:13 says “ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” If we trust in Him we can overflow with hope no matter the circumstances, but only because of the nature of God. He IS a God of hope! But what does that mean? 

The word “hope” is both a noun and a verb. We use the verb to say “I hope it doesn’t rain today”. It is almost a synonym for “wish” but with some degree of optimism. We aren’t sure if the rain will pass us by, but we think maybe it will. The noun is stronger than merely a wish. It expresses a confident expectation that something will happen. It is not identical to faith, but similar.  

Note how it is used in some passages that have nothing to do with spiritual issues: 

1Cor 9:10 “whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.”  When a workman is hired to do a job he/she has a confident expectation that they will be paid.  

1Tim 6:17 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” Wealthy people try to store up enough to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. But economies can crash, thieves can steal, etc, and we cannot have a confident expectation that our money will be our security. However, if God is our Father, and has provided our salvation, we can have confidence that He will supply enough for eternity. 

Note that Paul commanded them the consciously put their hope in God. By an act of their will they could declare that they were no longer going to trust in their wealth, but trust God for their future. And they were to show it by using their wealth to meet the needs of people as God’s agents. 

Lord, I praise You that You are a God of Hope and that I can overflow with hope no matter the circumstances if I consciously decide to trust You when conditions are scary. Help me trust you for my future, and live in a way that shows You are dependable. Amen 

(Part 2 tomorrow)

Daily Light – July 13, 2020

When Every Other Word Fails

Article by David Mathis, Executive Editor,

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! (Revelation 4:8)

What, if anything, might you say when you stand for the first time before the throne of God?

In that moment, you might say, “Woe is me!” as the prophet did when he saw a vision of God on his throne (Isaiah 6:5). It wouldn’t be inappropriate for us to sense our utter unworthiness and inadequacy, to freshly perceive the chasm between us, as creatures, and our Creator — and not just as creatures, but as sinners. We have rebelled against the one who made us, the one to whom we owe all honor and allegiance. We cannot stand before him, on our own two feet, as deserving of anything more than his righteous wrath and judgment.

When Words Fail

Yet, in that moment, before God himself, however much woe we might own, it would not be right to focus much on ourselves. Surely, in the immediate presence of God Almighty, we would lift our eyes beyond our inadequacy and failings, and behold his glory, and declare his praise. And as we open our mouths to speak, to try to ascribe to our Lord the glory due his name, what might we say?

Would not human language fail us? What do you say, in finite human words, when standing before the infinite God? Can any word or statement match such a moment? Will not any language we reach for prove trivial and inadequate? Perhaps we won’t even be able to muster a word, but just stand in awe and silence.

But if, here, in the presence of God, we are able to utter one word of praise, we do have something to say. And say again, and again.

Holy, holy, holy.

Cry Out, Sing Holy

When the prophet Isaiah caught a glimpse of God in heaven, seated on his throne, he saw in God’s presence the six-winged celestial creatures, called seraphim, crying out to one another in praise of God, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). Before the prophet felt the weight and tarnish of his own sin, and declared woe on himself, he first heard, and was caught up into, the angelic praise of heaven — not just holy, but holy, holy, holy.

So also the apostle John, centuries later, when he peeked into heaven, saw “four living creatures, each of them with six wings . . . and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Revelation 4:8).

God has given us a word that is especially fit for declaring his praise when all other language fails us. We often praise him in ways we can understand, borrowed from our finite and limited human experience. We praise his strength, his love, his justice, his mercy. But we also grow to realize, in fits and bursts, that God’s value and worth not only fill up our human categories but far surpass them. He is even more strong than we know. Even more loving. Even more just. Even more merciful.

In those moments, when we sense we have exhausted the comparisons to our world and experience, we have a word to reach for: holy. When we’re aware of his uniqueness, that he is in a class by himself, utterly set apart from us, higher than us and gloriously other, we cry holy. When we catch but a glimpse of his infinite intrinsic value — and wonder in worship, Who else is like this? — we bow and cry holy, holy, holy.

Who Else? What Other?

No one else wields the authority of our God. No one else commands the hosts of heaven. No one else makes kings — not just some kings, but one day soon all kings — bow down. No one else can make darkness itself tremble with a whisper.

No other glory is like his. No other deserves such praise. No other splendor outshines the sun. No other beauty, no other power, no other name is like his, consuming like fire, raising the dead, unshakably triumphant — and all the more after those brief moments when it has looked to human eyes like defeat.

What more can we possibly say? Holy, holy, holy.

Come and Call Him Father

How, then, in the face of such authority, such glory, such power, do we not cower? How can we hear his summons and come with anything but dread? Why do we not flee, futile as it would be, from such majesty when we, in ourselves, are deserving of no more than woe?

Because the holy God is not only awesome in authority and power, but also in grace and mercy. Who else is like him? Who else is holy? Who else, as the capstone of his glory, rescues sinners like us from our failings? Who demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?

This holy God sent his own Son. He offered him up for our sins. And he raised him from the dead, seated him at his right hand, and now, through faith in him, extends to us all the rights and privileges of divine sonship. Only the holy God.David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for and pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is a husband, father of four, and author of Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines

Daily Light – Feb 26, 2020

Live for Your Greatest Desire


2 Part Article by John Piper

Part 2:

Pursue Real Pleasure

God offers himself to us as the infinitely valuable, infinitely beautiful, all-satisfying treasure of the universe for our full and everlasting enjoyment. That’s what it says in Psalm 16:11.

In your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Full and forever. That cannot be improved on. There is nothing fuller than full, or longer than forever. And if we turn away from that offer — away from the everlasting pleasures in the presence of God as the fulfilment of our lifelong desire, by saying: I must deny myself that full and everlasting enjoyment of God — we are blasphemers and idolaters, and have rejected the word of Jesus. Listen to Jesus again:

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

So, make no mistake about it. There is real self-denial. There is a real cross. Real suffering to endure for Jesus. A real death to die. The old John Piper must be crucified. I must daily count myself dead with Christ. There is real self-denial. Christianity is costly. It will cost many of you your lives — literally.

But! How does Jesus argue in the very next verse to motivate us to live this way — this sacrificial way? Here’s what he says:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)

Do you see how he is arguing for self-denial? Why should we not try to save our lives in the service of Jesus? Because if we do, we will lose our lives — forever. Why should we be willing to lose our lives in the service of Jesus in this world? Because if we do, we save them — forever.

Joy at Any Cost

So, what does the argument assume? It assumes that no true disciple will throw away eternal joy in God for a mere eighty years of comfortable, worldly self-indulgence. Disciples of Jesus are not idiots. Jesus is assuming that a true disciple desires joy in God forever more than we want all that this world can give. That’s the assumption. That’s the basic premise. That’s how the argument works.

If pursuing our desire — eternal joy in God — costs us everything here, then we will deny ourselves everything here. That’s how the argument works! This is how bold Christians are born. This is where risk-taking missionaries come from. This is where your world turns upside down.

No. No. No. We are not making a god out of our desires. Our desires make clear what our god is: this world, or God; our name, or his name; our fame, or his fame. Our desires are not what we worship. They are our worship. And what we desire most is our God. If you belong to Jesus, you say from the heart,

Your name and your renown are the desire of our souls. (Isaiah 26:8)

What Sustains Real Love

But someone else objects: “I can see where this is going. You are leading us from saying that we should desire the name and fame of Jesus above all things to saying that this desire should be the motive, the sustaining force, of all we do. Correct?” Yes. “Which means that every act of love becomes a pathway to the satisfaction of your desire for God. Is that right?” Yes. “And the satisfaction that you are hoping for in God enables you to bear the painful costs of love now. Right?” Right.

“How does that not contaminate love for others by turning it into self-seeking? You are going to get your desires satisfied supposedly in doing good for me. So, you ruin the moral beauty of love, by turning it into self-seeking. It’s all about you and your desires.” 

No Greater Sacrifice

So, again, let’s measure the force of this objection by looking at Jesus. Let’s look at Hebrews 12:1–2.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The writer pictures your life as a marathon. You see that in the first seven words: “Let us run with endurance the race.” You don’t need endurance for a 100-meter dash. You need strength. But for a marathon you need endurance. And the Christian life is a lifelong marathon of costly love. Paul said, “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). Life is one long race of love.

Jesus’s marathon lasted 33 years. And he ran the final hours of the race with a crown of thorns on his head and nails in his hands and his feet. And he finished. And, O God, I could wish that even in a group this large (believers and unbelievers) that we would all agree that there was not, nor ever will be, a greater act of love than the Son of God’s willing sacrifice of himself to save his enemies.

All for Joy

So, the question is: What was the sustaining force that enabled Jesus to keep running in love to the end, even with nails in his feet? The answer of the text is clear. You see it in the middle of the text.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

“For the joy that was set before him” on the other side of suffering and death and resurrection. Which he could taste (see Hebrews 11:1). So, he considered the shame. (Criminals were crucified naked and reviled.) And he despised the shame. What does that mean?

He pictured shame as a kind of tempter. And he said, “Shame, I know what you are trying to do. I know the power you have to turn people away from the path of obedience and love. I know how you create in the human soul an almost irresistible desire not to be embarrassed or shamed. But listen to me, shame. I taste, right now, a joy ten thousand times greater than I would have by fearing you. Shame, I despise what you are trying to do — to create a desire in me stronger than my desire for the joy awaiting me on the path of this obedience. Be gone, shame. This joy, set before me, is too great. And my desire for it is absolutely invincible.”

And with that he endured the cross, and threw shame to the wind, and died for sin, and rose from the dead, and reached the joy that was set before him in the presence of his Father (John 17:524). So, mark this! The greatest act of love that was ever performed was sustained by the desire for joy in the presence of God.

Look to Jesus

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus . . . who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

And when the text says “looking to Jesus,” it does not mean: “Don’t act like Jesus. Don’t be motivated the way Jesus was. Don’t let your love be sustained by the desire for joy in God’s presence.” No. “Looking to Jesus” does not mean: “Watch out! If you’re motivated the way Jesus was, you’re going to turn love into self-seeking. You’re going to ruin the moral beauty of sacrifice by making it the path to satisfaction of your own desire. Don’t be like that. Jesus is not a good model here.” That’s not what “looking to Jesus” means.

It means: Don’t try to be motivated in a more noble, more virtuous way than Jesus was. For the joy set before him he loved at the cost of his life. Trying to be better than Jesus is blasphemy.

True Christian Love

So, if every act of truly Christian love is, in fact, sustained by our desire for the joy of God set before us — the experience of hearing Jesus say, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21); join me in my enjoyment of God, forever — if every act of truly Christian love is sustained by our desire and hope for that joy, then, why doesn’t that ruin every act of love, by turning it into self-seeking?

Or to put it crassly, since Jesus loved this way, why isn’t the cross of Christ mere selfishness? He died to have his own joy!

The answer is this: Selfishness is using or ignoring others to get your own happiness at their expense. But that’s not what is happening at the cross. Nor in any Christian act of love. Jesus is not using or ignoring others to get his own happiness. Jesus is suffering and dying precisely to include others in the very happiness he desires and hopes for — the joy set before him. It’s not called selfishness when you aim to increase your happiness in God by including others in it, especially when it costs you your life. This is not selfishness. It is love.

Desire of Our Souls

So, we circle back to the beginning. The flag waving over Passion 2020 is summoning you to experience a miracle in your life. The miracle of desire. A miracle because you can’t make it happen. It’s a gift. The flag of Isaiah 26:8 is waving. And the very Spirit that makes it wave is the Spirit that wakens your desire. God is calling you to embrace the miracle of saying from your heart,

Your name and renown [O Lord] are the desire of our souls. (Isaiah 26:8)

Nothing is more important in your life than the triumph of this desire over all other desires. If the name and fame of Jesus, the Savior, the Son of God, the King of kings, does not become your greatest desire, you will not only waste your life; you will lose it. But if Jesus becomes your greatest desire — though it may cost you your life — you will finish the race, take many with you, and together you will enter the joy of your master, forever.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons.