by Jonathan Parnell
In the fall of 1974 John Piper stepped into a classroom at Bethel College to teach New Testament as a one-year sabbatical replacement. Over the next six years he followed the calling to be a professor: teaching Greek and several New Testament classes, publishing his dissertation in the SNTS Monograph Series, and churning out many scholarly journal articles. In his own words, “these were heady days where I stretched my academic wings” (The Pastor as Scholar, 43).
God soon directed Pastor John down a different course. Pursuing the unshakable desire to preach the Word, he became the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in June of 1980 and has been there ever since.
But he did do a lot of writing in those Bethel days. And we have the stuff he wrote.
Earlier this summer we brushed the dust off that large stack of 1970’s paper and started the process of transcribing them all for the website. This new column — “The Life of the Mind” — will be the banner under which we’ll feature these old-new additions to the Resource Library. They are more academic than usual, but insightfully relevant and I trust (by God’s grace) edifying.
Four Steps in Making Decisions
For starters, check out the paper, “How I Make a Moral Choice” (1976). Pastor John explains the ground and steps he takes in making decisions for the glory of God.
In sum, there are four steps:
- I pray that God will hallow his name in and through me.
- I try to meditate upon the Scriptures day and night, desiring to saturate my thinking with the structure of God’s thinking.
- I consciously pin my hope on the promise of God to work in everything for my good, so that my mind and heart are at rest in his mercy.
- As I confront moral choices during the day, if time and circumstances allow, I try to understand the effects of each choice on people’s lives.
Read the entire paper.