Why did God permit slavery? How is it the bible seems to record only about a few thousand years of history while scientist say the world is billions of years old?
Lets be real: there are some real tough questions about real life issues that the bible does not explicitly say anything about. “Thou shall not take anti-depressants if you are a Christian.” Ever seen a verse like that?
There are also questions on some hard, controversial topics – (like what is the bible’s position on homosexuality?) – that need to be answered by a wise, compassionate person without any bigotry or condemnation (even where the answer is not inclusive).
If you are struggling with a list of unanswered questions about God, the bible and how Christianity affects practical issues in your life, then I have a resource that will be worth its weight in gold to you.
What Is It
It is a collection of random questions from random people and rich answers from John Piper, based always on the bible.
The series runs from 1978 – 2010 (mostly in the 2000s though). There are 24 headings and 117 topics on almost everything you can think of. Within those 117 topics there could possibly be up to a thousand or more questions.
You may choose to search by Date, Topic, Scripture or Language. (Check out a list of 20 random questions I have listed at the end of this article).
Who Is John Piper
More important, Piper has been a virtual hero to me, and one of the greatest influences in my Christian thought and life since about 2006-7 when I first checked out his website. He has had an amazing influence on youth across the world, not by try to act young, but primarily by speaking plainly – from the bible – about how the bible should impact every single possible area of our lives.
Piper isn’t all knowing, but he is worth reading, watching and listening to.
[This is great. Check out: John Piper’s Unexpected Career in Hip Hop by Tim Challies.]
Why This Resource Is So Valuable
This resource is worth the time you will spend browsing and reading for a number of reasons:
1. We need direction.
Not having clear cut answers about how to live our lives is a big deal. It is no small or irrelevant issue when your parents or friends die and you wonder why God allowed it. It is no small issue when you wonder what the heck is wrong with having sex before marriage and you cannot get any answer from anyone except “don’t do it.” Piper’s resource helps.
2. John Piper reasons from the bible.
This is a big deal. The world is not short of eager minds chucking up a million “truths to live by”. You will screw up your life if you live on the many varied opinions of everyone you know. That is the cold hard reality. That is why we love, and trust in and cling to the truths of the bible.
3. The answers are short.
You will hardly ever find an answer as long as one of my blog posts :S. Not only are they short though, they are direct, well reasoned and great to read (like my blog posts :D).
4. The format is flexible.
Ask Pastor John comes in video, audio and text.
5. It’s free!
Everything (except books and actual products) on DesiringGod is free. Free: to read, to share online, to download, to print or to burn and share physically (once you don’t alter the contents).
If you have not been using that website you really need to start today!
20 Totally Random Questions from Ask Pastor John
1. What is the unforgivable sin? (John Piper describes what does (and does not) disqualify us from eternal life.)
2. What advice do you have for those pursuing higher education? (John Piper offers encouragement and counsel to those who pursue academia.)
3. What does it mean to have a relationship with God? (John Piper outlines the fundamentals of how we commune with God.)
4. What do you think of pictures of Jesus? (If we have no idea what Jesus looked like, how should he be portrayed?)
5. Why did God permit slavery? (John Piper explains why slavery, even though it was justifiable under the old covenant, should be abolished.)
6. When should we confess sins publicly? (John Piper gives his guideline for when we should confess our sins to others.)
7. How can I believe that God is in control when something bad happens? (Two things convince John Piper to trust God’s sovereignty no matter what.)
8. How should singleness be different for Christians? (John Piper challenges us to exploit the privileges of singleness.)
9. Do you accept “old earth” and evolution? (John Piper sees two viable, biblical interpretations of what happened in Creation.)
10. What made it OK for God to kill women and children in the Old Testament? (John Piper defends God’s right to give and take life whenever and however he pleases.)
11. What happens to infants who die? (John Piper explains why he believes all infants who die go to heaven.)
12. If a person drinks or smokes, does that mean they’re not a Christian? (John Piper says you can’t draw a straight line between drinking and smoking and being a Christian.)
13. What do you think of Christians taking antidepressants? (John Piper says that getting help from physical means doesn’t have to imply a lack of trust in God.)
14. If God wants me to be happy, why do I have so much suffering? (John Piper says God arranges our circumstances to help make us happier in him.)
15. Why should I resist sin if God uses my sin for good? (John Piper says we must take care not to reason unbiblical things from the truths we find in the Bible.)
16. At what point should I share the gospel with my neighbor? (John Piper says that having a loving and discerning heart is the best evangelistic strategy.)
17. Why is homosexuality wrong? (John Piper explains how homosexuality, like other sins, distorts God’s good design for his creatures.)
18. Is God’s plan of salvation a failure since so many people are going to hell? (John Piper says God is accomplishing his plan perfectly, even though we can’t always see how.)
19. What would you say to a young man who is considering sleeping with his girlfriend? (John Piper gives four reasons for why premarital sex isn’t worth it.)
20. Are Christians under the 10 commandments? (John Piper says that the experience of justification should change our approach to personal ethics.)
Do you think this resourcePlease Let Me Know What You Think.