Monday, October 12, 2009

John Piper bends my mind, y'all ...

... in a good kind of way.

Today I'm reading in his book Spectacular Sins. I know, great title. (I thought I'd committed a few of those myself so I had to pick up the book and see what he was referring to.)

On page 48 Piper asks what I think is a totally valid question: "Why does God not simply wipe out Satan?"

Satan deserves it. He deserved it thousands, millions or quadrillions of years ago, and he still does today. He's never going to repent. In fact, Revelation 20:10 tells us that God is going to cast Satan into a lake of fire where he will be tormented forever more. So why isn't he there now? Why is he left to roam the earth, causing us such trouble between now and then?

Ever wondered this? Can we know the answer to this question?

Piper cites Colossians 1:16 as the ultimate reason: Because all things were created through Christ and for Christ, the continued existence of Satan somehow glorifies the Son. You see why my mind is bending? I'm looking sideways at the book, hoping the logic of that will come into view ... and I'm getting a crick in my neck.

Piper writes,

"The Son of God, Jesus Christ, will be more highly honored and more deeply appreciated and loved in the end because he defeats Satan not the moment after Satan fell, but through millennia of long-suffering, patience, humility, servanthood, suffering, and decisively through his own death. ... The glory of Christ reaches its highest point in the obedient sacrifice of the cross where Jesus triumphed over the devil. ... We would not know Christ in the fullness of his glory if he had not defeated Satan in the way he did."

I tend to read Piper in small spurts; he gives me so much to think about. Still, I relish these mind-warping bursts of Piper-sight he offers. Off to the treadmill to (slow) jog and ponder.


  1. Don't you just LOVE Piper? Oh my goodness, he makes my mind do calisthenicss, too! I have heard a lot about this one, Spectacular Sins, but I haven't picked it up.

    I am simply amazed at his intellectual (and spiritual) horsepower. The questions he raises...and then seeks to answer are so profound that my mind is left reeling.
    Piper is one of those authors that I have to read slowly...and even then, I have to re-read sentences and paragraphs just to make sure I'm following!

    What a wonder to know that one of these days...when we're face to face with Jesus, we'll see things so clearly! Hallejuah!

  2. Okay, you've just bent my mind with that post! :)

    I really never thought about Satan being around to ultimately glorify Jesus. Hmmmm.

    Prayers and blessings,

  3. Hi Rachel,
    Don't you just love those things that God uses in our lives to make us think/dig deeper in Him.

    Praying you are doing well today.


  4. Thank you for all P31 does to encourage & share His love!

  5. Are you sure he isn't David Blane? Um, seriously- very good thought and idea that I've never thought about. I think that whole free will bit will really get you going sometimes, too.
    I love his wording and theories and they all make me think. Love this explanation and I feel like we know God's love more though realizing we live in a Satan filled world.

  6. Yes, I've wondered that myself. Just wipe him out. All for His glory though.

  7. I too Love Piper.. one my favorit quotes of his..

    " God is most satisfied with me,when I am most satisfied in him."


  8. He is a great writer-but I read a few chapters and then really have to think about it to fully grasp the implications and meaning for me. I am currently reading Future Grace.

  9. Have not read any of John Piper's books. Will have to check into that.
    Definitely a mind bending question.

    Blessings to you, Rachel

  10. Deep stuff to ponder, that is for sure.

  11. Love this. I read Piper in small doses, too, as it is always to meaty and so much to chew on and digest!



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