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Two Men I Thank God For (by Matthew DelValle)

John Piper & RC Sproul (Ligonier Ministries)

I recently attended the Ligonier National Conference. A unique focus of this year’s conference was to celebrate the faithful ministries of R.C. Sproul and John Piper. These are two men I am eternally grateful to God for raising up to the ministry of the Word.

I first encountered the teachings of these men during my very formative teenage years, and ever since those early encounters with their books and messages, I have eaten up more and more of their writings and sermons. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has wisely counseled:

Read all the titles written by some authors. Choose carefully here, but identify some authors whose books demand your attention. Read all they have written and watch their minds at work and their thought in development. No author can complete his thoughts in one book, no matter how large. (source)

I have taken this to heart. I did a brief review of my library, and I have read close to 30 books from these two men combined. I still have unread books by them on my shelf, waiting for me to devour them.

So it is no surprise to me that much of what I write and teach has echoes of Dr. Sproul and Dr. Piper. A student often imitates his teacher. I can honestly say that, more than anyone else, these two men have shaped my thinking and influenced the direction of my life towards pastoral ministry. Listening to their preaching has put a fire within me to want to go out and do likewise.

So in my following articles I would like to share briefly some things I’ve learned from these two men directly from their teaching, some things I have picked up from them indirectly, and the effect their teaching has had on my own life.

My aim in these posts is twofold: first, it is to give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7). When Epaphroditus risked his life to serve Paul, the apostle wrote to the Philippians, “Honor such men” (Phil. 3:29). It is good and right to express gratitude towards those who have trumpeted the gospel of Jesus Christ and done the work of the ministry in equipping the body of Christ.

Nevertheless, my ultimate aim is not to praise these men, but to praise the God who created them, saved them, equipped them, and preserved them over all these years. That is why the title of this post is “Two Men I Thank God For.” “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).

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