Every blog should have a post dealing with this topic, so here’s mine!
The first four quotes come from Piper’s opening message at the 2003 Desiring God National Conference that celebrated the 300th birthday of Jonathan Edwards. The title of the message is A God-Entranced Vision of All Things: Why We Need Jonathan Edwards 300 Years Later, and you can listen, watch or download it for free at this link. I’ve already referenced this conference several times on this blog, but I can’t help it! God used it to do some serious rearranging in my life that is still being felt.
Over the years since that conference I’ve listened to this message enough times that think I can quote it the way many people quote from The Princess Bride. The difference between the two is staggering. Piper’s opening statement was,
One of the reasons that the church and the world need the God-entranced vision of all things that Jonathan Edwards had is that it is so rare today, and yet so necessary.
(I should mention that you can also read the message at the link above. If you do, you might notice that these quotes vary slightly from the print version. That’s because I’m quoting directly from the audio version.)
This next quote is hands-down my all time favorite. If this doesn’t stir your soul, you need to light a fire in there somehow.
White-hot affections for God, set on fire by clear, compelling Biblical truth was Edwards’ goal in preaching and goal in life for one simple reason. It’s God’s goal in the universe. And this is the heart of Edwards’ God-enthralled vision of all things.
He designs all the afflictions of the godly for the increase of their everlasting joy.
And regarding suffering and the mission of the church, I’ll offer this,
The completion of Christ’s global mission, the great commission, will require tremendous suffering from the church, and it will be sustained by a pursuit of joy in God.
The final quote for this post is from Piper’s message at the 2006 Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. The message is titled Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God and it can be downloaded for free at this link. My perception of preaching was forever altered as I listened to Piper preach this message at the conference, and later listened and relistened to it as a download. I can just begin to imagine the changes (for good) in our local churches across this nation and around the world if pastors would listen to and embrace the content of this message.
The quote comes from a section of the message where Piper is dealing with the lack of seriousness in preaching today as compared to Jesus and the content of his preaching and teaching. Anyway, here’s the quote,
What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of preaching is soaked in the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell.
Oh, the seriousness and magnitude of the importance of preaching. And oh, how rare that is these days.