Whole Counsel Theology

Sunday, July 30, 2006

John Piper on Gospel Doctrine

I've started reading God is the Gospel by John Piper, and like any other book of his I've read, it is turning out to be a wonderful, God-centered read.

On page 22 of this book, he explains beautifully why doctrine matters and how it relates to the Gospel and how we should respond in the midst of it. I thought it a good follow-up to my post that involved doctrine's importance that I put up a couple of days ago:
Gospel doctrine matters because the good news is so full and rich and wonderful that it must be opened like a treasure chest, and all its treasures brought out for the enjoyment of the world. Doctrine is the description of these treasures. Doctrine describes their true value and why they are so valuable. Doctrine guards the diamonds of the gospel from being discarded as mere crystals. Doctrine protects the treasures of the gospel from the pirates who don't like the diamonds but who make their living trading them for other stones. Doctrine polishes the old gems buried at the bottom of the chest. It puts the jewels of gospel truth in order on the scarlet tapestry of history so each is seen in its most beautiful place.

And all the while, doctrine dos this with its head bowed in wonder that it should be allowed to touch the things of God. It whispers praise and thanks as it deals with the diamonds of the King. Its fingers tremble at the cost of what it handles. Prayers ascend for help, lest any stone be minimized or misplaced. And on its knees, gospel doctrine knows it serves the herald. The gospel is no mainly about being explained. Explanation is necessary, but it is no primary. A love letter must be intelligible, but grammar and logic are no tthe point. Love is the point. The gospel is good news. Doctrine serves that. It serves the one whose feet are bruised (and beautiful!) from waslking to the unreached places with news: "Come, listen to the news of God! Listen to what God has done! Listen! Understand! Bow! Believe!"

Wow. Brother Piper, that was uber-cool.

I do hope you all pick up a copy of this book (and James White's book, The Potter's Freedom, but I'll be talking about that a bit later) and revel in the wonder of God as Dr. Piper leads you through the Scriptures with that as the aim.

David B. Hewitt


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