Monday, January 31, 2011

John Piper Tweets

UPDATE: HT to Kevin Sauder for this video:

At our staff meeting this week, we were discussing how to use social media in a Christ-exalting way.  As is often the case, we remembered that John Piper had gone before us on this issue. 

In June 2009, he posted a blog in which he described his take on social media and his decision to tweet.  His original post can be found here:

Below are extensive excerpts from his post:

I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.

The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can....

Now what about Twitter? I find Twitter to be a kind of taunt: “Okay, truth-lover, see what you can do with 140 characters! You say your mission is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things! Well, this is one of those ‘all things.’ Can you magnify Christ with this thimble-full of letters?”

To which I respond:

The sovereign Lord of the earth and sky

Puts camels through a needle’s eye.

And if his wisdom see it mete,

He will put worlds inside a tweet.

So I am not inclined to tweet that at 10AM the cat pulled the curtains down. But it might remind me that the Lion of Judah will roll up the heavens like a garment, and blow out the sun like a candle, because he just turned the light on. That tweet might distract someone from pornography and make them look up.

I’ve been tweeting anonymously for a month mainly to test its spiritual and family effects on me. In spite of all the dangers, it seems like a risk worth taking. “All things were created through Christ and for Christ” (Colossians 1:16). The world does not know it, but that is why Twitter exists and that’s why I Tweet.
Pastor John is correct. It is exactly this ability to see the God-glorifying potential in so many things that encourages me about his minstry.  Our church will do well to emulate Pastor John as we employ the venues available to us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Adoption is the Antithesis of Abortion

Sunday, I argued that adoption is the antithesis of abortion. Everything that adoption is, abortion is not. Abortion destroys a family; adoption creates a family. Abortion squanders life; adoption redeems life. I also contended that it is not enough for one who is “pro-life” to be against abortion. We must also create a competing vision for how the world should be. We must be pro-life and present adoption as an ideal for a society that must sometimes deal with what to do for unwanted children.

In his blog today ( , Al Mohler notes that President Obama’s statement Saturday to mark the observance of Roe v. Wade did little to dispel the notion that he is more radical in his pro-abortion views than his campaign rhetoric suggested. Obama’s final sentence was this:

“And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
This logic, as I mentioned Sunday, is deeply troubling. It ignores the central issue at stake: what are the rights of the baby in the womb. It instead focuses only on the perceived benefits—or potential benefits—to the mother and father.

On Mother Jones’ website, there was an article posted about a pro-life attorney. One comment on the story caught my eye:

“I can tell you right now that if I were to get my girlfriend pregnant (accidentally, of course) I wouldn't even have to think about it. I've still got 3 years of University left, and my current girlfriend is JUST starting her career. There is no way I can support a child, and with the field she's going into, a child will destroy her career at this point in time. If we brought a child into the world it will be a meager minimum wage existence plagued by all the problems that come with low income families.”
Though stated more crudely, this is the same argument that President Obama is making and the same argument Nazi eugenicists made. The destruction of some life protects people’s rights to pursue whatever future they have envisioned for themselves.

The mind-numbingly obvious response, of course, is: what about the future of the aborted child?

Praying for the Protection of Life for the Glory of God,

Pastor Daniel

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year Predictions

Recently, Pat Robertson made his annual predictions for the coming year.  The bottom line: “It’s going to be another good year for CBN [his ministry], but a tough one for the world.” 

Many well-meaning but, frankly, gullible believers have been scared by Robertson’s doom and gloom scenarios in the past and 2011 is no exception.  

There’s nothing wrong with making guesses for what might happen in the coming year.  The problem is that Robertson claims that God is the one who is making these predictions.  For example, he famously claimed God had told him that in 2008 a major U.S. city would be destroyed.  That didn’t take place, unless God was speaking metaphorically about the Giants beating the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.  But New England really refers to a region instead of a city, so I think Robertson missed that one (and many others).

I’ve seen several news articles and blogs rightly take Robertson to task for his wild predictions.   My concern with Robertson is both practical and theological.  How does his “prophetic” word undermine the confidence in Scripture of those who follow him?

In Deuteronomy 18, God commands the people to put to death those who claim to speak a word in God’s name and lie.  How will they know if the prophet is lying?  when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

I don’t know what will happen in 2011.  Neither do you.  And neither does Pat Robertson or any other religious figure who claims to have a word from God.  What I do know is that Scripture offers us the hope that whatever God has in store for us, we can endure it through the grace of God working within us.  May we as believers have that confidence for the coming year!