"Don't aim to preach only in categories of thought that can be readily understood by this generation. Aim at creating biblical categories of thought that are not present.
…Some of the most crucial and precious truths of the Scripture are counter-intuitive to the fallen human mind. They don’t fit easily into our heads. …But the Bible will not let its message be fit into the categories we bring with our fallen, finite minds. It presses us relentlessly to create new categories of thought to contain the mysteries of the gospel.
…These kinds of mind-boggling, category-shaking truths demand our best thought and our most creative labors. We must aim to speak them in a way that, by the power of God’s word and Spirit, a place for them would be created in the minds of those who hear. We must not preach only in the categories that are already present in our listeners’ fallen minds., or we will betray the gospel and conceal the glory of God.”
NOTES (things that grabbed me):
Christ's joy is in the Father Himself, not simply in the doing; this is the way Christ desires our joy to be (John 17:13).
Christ's joy in the Father is shared with us through understandable propostitions; joy must doctrinally-based if it is to glorify God (you cannot deeply love someone you do not deeply know). Piper shared ten steps in defense of this point, which are summarized below:
- All things depend upon God - nothing is more valuable than He
- God has no deficiency that would prompt Him to create us
- We are created to reflect His glory, to know and enjoy Him
- Christ is the only way this can be accomplished
- Joy in God is the deepest way of reflecting His glory
- Joy is not meant to be hidden, but shared
- True biblical joy is rooted in the knowledge of God
- Right knowledge of God is integral to worshipping Him and loving His people
- Therefore, embrace biblical doctrine
- Thus may the Church be
Pastor John's manuscript for this sermon is already available from DesiringGod.org - read it here.