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John Piper's "Poisonous Cup"

What can we learn from Piper's leave of absence from public ministry?

As nearly everyone has now heard, John Piper is taking an 8-month leave of absence from public ministry starting in May. The announcement was made to his congregation during his sermon on March 28. He plans to examine his life and focus on his marriage and family. Piper said:

"You could view this as a kind of fasting from public ministry. One of the goals in this kind of fasting is to discern levels of addiction. Or, as Paul Tripp or Tim Keller might say, levels of idolatry. The reality check is: What will happen in my soul and in my marriage when, to use the phrase of one precious brother on staff, there will be no 'prideful sipping from the poisonous cup of international fame and notoriety'?"

Whether it's international or merely local, pastors who find themselves on a platform week after week are going to face some level of notoriety. But how do we keep it from poisoning our souls? Many have applauded Piper for his honesty and preemptive disconnection from public ministry rather than the ...

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