John Piper: “Turn off the Television”

I have to admit that I have to keep myself in check and have repentented of this in the past when it comes to the time I put in watching television (this including Fox News) as if I couldn’t live without it.  Although watching television in and of itself is not sinful if we are honest with ourselves most of what is coming out of the tube these days I would question may have no lasting benefit to the kingdom of God.  Is what is on TV spuring you on to love Christ more?  Is it helpful in your engagement with culture and other worldviews from an evangelistic standpoint?  Is it replacing your time in Scripture, prayer, and meditation?  All this under the umbrella of glorifying God.  These are just a few questions we might need to ask ourselves.

Below John Piper gives his take on television seeing that he hasn’t ever had one in his house.  The quote below was taken from “Preaching as Worship: Meditations on Expository Exultation” (Trinity Journal 16 [1995]: 29–-45).

John Piper:

It is not necessary for relevance. And it is a deadly place to rest the mind. Its pervasive banality, sexual innuendo, and God-ignoring values have no ennobling effects on the preacher’s soul. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. It destroys spiritual power. It defiles almost everything. I have taught and preached for twenty years now and never owned a television. It is unnecessary for most of you, and it is spiritually deadly for all of you.

(HT: Andy Naselli)

Job

Most know John Piper for his gift of preaching and from reading his books. Little do most know that John Piper is a gifted poet. I once heard John Piper say that one of the reasons he has a love and appreciation for poetry is that it helps him bridge the chasm between the glorious realities of truth in scripture and the affections of his heart. This trailer is for the newly illustrated version of his book Job.

Desiring God will be having their regional conference this year in Austin, TX (Oct. 17-18). The conference is titled Job: When the Righteous Suffer. I am assuming that the audio is available so if are not able to attend the conference you can check back at Desiring God. Suffering is inevitable in the Christian life (Phil 1:29). Although I have not purchased my copy yet I am sure this will be a blessing to you as well as the audio from the conference once it is made available.

(HT: JT)

Desiring God:

Job lost everything: his wealth, his health, and his ten children. All swept away in one satanic storm. Reduced to a heap of flesh, ashes, and tears—rebuked by friends and jeered by strangers—righteous Job wrestled over the purpose and presence of God in the midst of unbearable pain.

With moving illustrations by Christopher Koelle, John Piper unfolds the story of Job in beautiful, compassionate poetry and revels in God’s sovereign and surprisingly joyful purposes in allowing exquisite suffering in the lives of his saints. An uplifting book, especially for those experiencing great suffering and loss.

D.A. Carson in Five Trends on the Church Today

Below are five trends in the church that trouble him which he elaborated on at a luncheon just before this year’s Desiring God National Conference. You can check out the whole post at ACTS 29.

1. It is important to observe contradictory trends.

2. Current evangelical fragments are moving into a new phase — into polarized “clumps.”

3. The most dangerous trends in any age are the trends that most people do not see.

4. There is a trend in our churches to be consumed by social concern.

5. There is a trend in our churches to emphasize discipleship over the gospel.

(HT: Challies)