J.I. Packer on the Importance of Reading the Four Biblical Gospels

From the IBC blog, who gathered it from Justin Taylor’s blog:

A great quote hear from J.I. Packer.

J. I. Packer:

[We can] correct woolliness of view as to what Christian commitment involves, by stressing the need for constant meditation on the four gospels, over and above the rest of our Bible reading: for gospel study enables us both to keep our Lord in clear view and to hold before our minds the relational frame of discipleship to him.

The doctrines on which our discipleship rests are clearest in the epistles, but the nature of discipleship itself is most vividly portrayed in the gospels.

Some Christians seem to prefer the epistles as if this were a mark of growing up spiritually; but really this attitude is a very bad sign, suggesting that we are more interested in theological notions than in fellowship with the Lord Jesus in person.

We should think, rather, of the theology of the epistles as preparing us to understand better the disciple relationship with Christ that is set forth in the gospels, and we should never let ourselves forget that the four gospels are, as has often and rightly been said, the most wonderful books on earth.

—J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005), p. 70, 71.

I couldn’t agree more.

“Do You Feel Called to Teach?”

Posted by Jonathan Parnell at the Desiring God website.

In 1977 John Piper organized some advice for a group of college students who were considering a career in teaching biblical and theological studies.

The counsel includes the goal of teaching, the difficultly in teaching, and the personal traits that might make you fit for such a vocation.

Here’s the list of those five personal traits:

  1. You have to be a good explainer.
  2. You have to believe in the value of thinking.
  3. You need to feel an inner drive to solve intellectual problems.
  4. You need to be what the Germans call a “Menschenkenner.”
  5. You need the discipline to sit at a desk and think and write for 10–14 hours a day.

For the whole of the short article, go here.

“What Does Roe v. Wade Actually Say?”

A post by Jonathan Parnell at the Desiring God website.  Quote belongs to John Piper from a sermon preached in 1987.  It is provided below:

January 18, 1987, John Piper preached a sermon to expose the evil of abortion. Since this sermon he has preached against abortion every year on the Sanctity of Life Sunday, which correlates with the dark anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

39 years and 50 million babies killed since this Supreme Court decision, what exactly does it say?

Pastor John:

When the American Medical Association was formed in 1847, abortion was commonly practiced “before quickening.” But through the efforts of the A.M.A. and anti-obscenity crusaders and (ironically) feminists, abortion became illegal every where in the U.S. by 1900. Abortions went underground or out of the country.

The key reversal of this legal situation came on January 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade made the following rulings:

  • that no state may make laws regulating abortion during the first three months of pregnancy except to provide that they be done by licensed physicians;
  • that laws regulating abortion between the third month and the time of viability are constitutional only in so far as they are aimed at safeguarding the health of mothers;
  • that laws relating to the time from viability (6–6 1/2 months) until the end of the pregnancy may not prevent abortion if it is “to preserve the life or health of the mother”;
  • that the “health” of the mother includes “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient.” . . .


In effect, therefore, the law of our land today [in 1987 and 2012] is that any abortion is legal in America until birth if the mother can give reason that the pregnancy or the child will be an excessive burden or stress on her well-being.

We must pray to our God and take all pains in seeing legislated murder, itself, aborted.

“Eight Ways to Approach Scripture”

Posted by Jonathan Parnell at the Desiring God website.  Helpful.  Go here.

And for the fuller explanation of these eight ways, go here.

They Poured Out Innocent Blood

A Sermon on Psalm 106.32-48 by John Piper, pastor of vision and preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  Go here to read and/or listen to this sermon on the Sanctity of Human Life.

Sanctity of Life: Rescue the Perishing

A sermon by our pastor for preaching, Ryan Fullerton, on Sanctity of Life Sunday.  Go here to listen or download.

“8 Ways to Live as Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President”

By John Piper.  Helpful.  Go here.