Tag Archives: John Piper

mark

Mark’s #35 – Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper (2003)

As this is not the first time I’ve read Don’t Waste Your Life, I wondered if reading this book again would be beneficial in any way.  As it turns out, I underestimated the book and its impact on my life and soul.

Before Crazy Love, before Radical, this book was written to inspire a generation of Christ-followers to radical and joyful risk for the glory of Christ.   As the title suggests, this is Piper’s passionate plea to make our lives count for eternity.

As I finished the book today, and the second-to-last chapter about world missions, I realized how deeply Piper’s teachings and thoughts have penetrated and shaped my own thinking and teaching.  I am grateful for any reminder to live for what matters for all of eternity, as this world and its stuff pulls like gravity to distraction and a wasted life.

If you haven’t done so, make Don’t Waste Your Life a priority on your reading list.

Here’s Lecrae’s rap by the same title to spur you on:

mark

Mark’s #33 – The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin by John Piper

This is book one of John Piper’s ‘The Swans are not Silent’ series, which are brief biographical sketches from Church history.  In this book, as the title shows, Piper focused on Augustine, Luther, and Calvin.  The common theme from their lives was their hope, understanding, and proclaiming of the message of God’s sovereign grace and the joy that follows this great truth of theology.

None of these biographies are in-depth. All of them have a particular Piperesque slant to their story.  As Piper tries to capture the highlights of their lives, he also labors to show how each life uniquely celebrates an aspect of the doctrines of the sovereignty of God, sovereign joy, the majesty of God’s Word, and what that should mean for Christians today.  As such, these would serve anyone well who is trying to get acquainted with their lives and why it matters that we know about them.   Therefore the book seems to be half biography and half application… and since it is Piper pointing us to application, I would say that is a good thing indeed.

In a recent church history series at The Harbor we spoke on each of these men’s lives as well as the lives of Athanasius and Jonathan Edwards.  You can listen to those messages here.

Jim

Jim’s #14: This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a while (ever since Ally and I got married) and I finally got around to it.  I was not disappointed.  As always, John Piper analyzes the scriptures and brings home the most important (and sadly often overlooked in most marriage books) passages to what marriage truly means.

To be honest, the book made me think of Mark’s sermon series and his message during mine and Ally’s wedding.  So much good scripture and the right perspective on what marriage should look like.  Piper’s book is very similar.

I also loved Piper’s section on singles.  He brought to life a passage about Eunuchs and the importance of what it means to be single and the reward awaiting them in heaven.  Really impressive and important section.  If you are single, you should really read those chapters.  It will give you a whole new perspective on the stage of life God has you in.

All in all, it was exactly what I expected from a Piper book on marriage.  Saturated with scripture, and analyzed amazingly throughout. I can’t say I necessarily agreed with Piper’s stance on divorce completely or how he dealt with that section of scripture, but that’s the only critique I could offer for this book.  A great read for all you married types out there (and singles as I already mentioned.

Jim

Jim’s #8: Jesus: The Only Way to God by John Piper

I happened to stumble across this free book on Christian Audio.com and took a listen to it today.  It was a convenient time to find it as our community group was just talking about Universalism yesterday.  I’m sure this book will find great readership due to the swirling debates among “Christendom” regarding universalism, annihalationism (which I did not know that , etc; as well it should.  It’s a really good book.  Then again, it’s John Piper, so this should not come as a surprise.  I have yet to find anyone that digs as deep into the scriptures and then exegetes them so well in a readable format as John Piper. He’s pretty sweet.  Ok, onto the book.

It’s a short read, which was great because I have some catchup to do.  But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in comprehensive scriptural outlook on an ever-important Christian doctrine.  The book goes through three questions rather quickly to focus more on the bigger, more controversial subject (as if the first three aren’t controversial in themselves).  The first three questions in succession are: Is Jesus the only way of salvation?, will anyone experience eternal, conscious, torment under God’s wrath?, and is the work of Jesus necessary for salvation?  Certainly these are not questions to just brush by; I know there are other authors that have given entire books to these subjects, but Piper wanted to focus, rather, on the final question: Is conscious faith in Jesus necessary for salvation?

It’s this topic with which he spends over half of the book.  It is also a topic that I have wrestled with recently–aspects of it at least.  He begins by addressing the “times of ignorance” from Acts 17 and what salvation looked like in the Old Testament.  He then goes to what I thought was the most interesting and compelling view on the subject.  John Piper always manages to take something from scripture and then reveal it in such a way as to make me think, “how did I not see that before?”  He did this very thing here in his discussion of Cornelius from Acts 10.  This has always been my favorite chapter from Acts but apparently I never read it with the detail to be able to understand it on the level that John Piper reveals.  This passage happens to be one of the texts often used to discredit the book’s primary question, but Piper, very systematically, throws that idea on its head through a few proofs from the text that negate that possibility.  After hearing his explanation, I found myself wondering how anyone could contend with that from the other side.

Piper uses his final two chapters to discuss Acts 4:12, “no other name under heaven”, and then bring it all around to the effect that such a thought would have on missionaries as we know it.  He mentions just how devastating that would be to a missionary career to suddenly believe that these people might be better off not being told–that there’s another way toward salvation.  It’s a sobering thought.

Over all, it’s a great book that I would highly recommend, particularly if your community group just went through Chapter 7 of Radical like ours did.  What a help it is in answering this very difficult, yet incredibly important question.

 

Facebook Like Button for Dummies