Contend Earnestly: John Piper: God is the Gospel

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

John Piper: God is the Gospel

John Piper called this book his most important that he has ever written. With that in mind, I decided to read it. I have a lot of respect for this man in his preaching, his ecclesiology, his missiology and especially his overall orthopraxy. As I started to read the book though, I felt like it was beginning to be a little repetitive and really didn't know how Dr. Piper was going to fill up close to 200 pages on the subject. But, I started to feel like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting when the character played by Robin Williams kept saying, "Will, it's not your fault" and Matt Damon's character, Will, kept saying, "I know." It took Will Hunting a while to get it, but he finally breaks down and understands what Williams character is trying to get across to him.

This is how I felt about this book. Dr. Piper keeps preaching that God is the Gospel until the reader gets it. This is probably why I really liked the latter part of the book, because I think I finally started to understand it in my heart and not just in my head. Because of this, the book is very well done.

The one quote that affected me the most though, came at the beginning, on page 15:

If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

This quote is the thesis by which the entire book is based. The main Scripture that is used over and over in the book is 2 Corinthians 4:4,6

in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Dr. Piper uses these two main verses to show how understanding that God is the Gospel will affect all areas of your Christian walk. It will affect your prayers, the gifts that Christs gives you (both good and bad), evangelism, teaching, confirmation of the Spirit, etc.

This book ends up being extraordinary, when at first I found it to be kind of overemphasizing. What I didn't realize is that it wasn't the book that was overemphasizing, but it was myself who was UNDERemphasizing this great importance. Most of what we think of the gospel and of forgiveness and glorification, almost get us there, and Dr. Piper, based on Scripture, takes you the rest of the way. You will no doubt have to re-read some of the parts in the book to get the full understanding, but it is well worth it.

I highly recommmend this book to everyone. It will show you or at least confirm to you practically, what the Gospel is meant to be and that is that God is the Gospel.

The just died for the unjust so that he could bring us to God.


Anonymous said...

It's a great book!

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