Spectacular Sins and their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ – Dr John Piper
I must confess to being something of a John Piper fan, if such a thing is permissible and would not earn a righteous rebuke from the man himself!
His writings do often succeed in leaving me feeling like a spiritual lightweight with a feeble grasp of all things theological and his books, though carrying marvellous truths, frequently leave me with a major headache!
Having said that, Spectacular Sins and their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ carries the weight and authority we have come to expect from a John Piper book, yet in a more accessible form. Spectacular Sins and their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, recent winner of ‘Christian Book of the Year’, demonstrates Dr Piper’s ability to tackle controversial issues in an intelligent, sensitive and thought provoking way that lends itself to the more casual reader!
The most noticeable thing about this book is its length. It is a mere 128 pages long with easy to digest chapters and an absence of long words! A book for non-readers most certainly, yet one with a message which is an absolute must for the Church of today.
In this book Dr Piper tackles the questions of why God allows sin and why does He not simply bring an end to pain and suffering. Using Colossians 1:16 as a platform, Dr Piper answers these questions. He then moves onto a succession of biblical examples of how God used spectacular sins for the Glory of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Dr Piper looks at Satan’s rebellion, the fall in the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, the story of Joseph, and Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Christ and shows us how God was at work in each event, bringing maximum glory to Jesus Christ.
In addition to being deeply theological, this book is also immensely practical.
Throughout there is a real sense of urgency as Dr Piper calls the church to prepare for difficult times ahead. He calls the reader to wake up to the harsh reality that this generation’s western culture is totally ignorant of the ‘tribulations’ mentioned in Acts 14:22. Indeed Dr Piper argues that Christians in the West are being ‘coddled’ and warns that we need to prepare ourselves for the day when we will – with no sense of drama – write to one another as ‘Your brother and partner in the tribulation’.
The message is clear, that when, not if, we go though hardship, pain, suffering, illness and even death, God is not absent. He has not ignored our prayers, missed our tears, not heard our cries, but in all things and through all situations, God’s sovereign power is displayed. Thus, in the most painful and difficult of circumstances God is at work magnifying the glory of Christ.
I love the awesome quotes that just leap out of the page, the urgency in which he address the reader, and his scathing criticism of ‘wimpy Christians’. Dr Piper pulls no punches; indeed ‘wimpy’ seems to be his new favourite word as he challenges us to grasp the sovereignty of God in all things.
In the following passage, we see his hope for this book. His goal is to galvanise the Church, to prepare us for what is coming that we might live in a way that reflects the amazing reality that our God reigns,
Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians won’t survive in the days ahead. Rootless emotionalism that treats Christianity like a therapeutic option will be swept away in the last days. Those who will be left standing will be those who have built their houses on the rock of great, objective truth with Jesus Christ as the origin, center, and goal of it all. (p. 57)
This is one of those books you really struggle to put down. Not only do I recommend that you buy this book…buy two copies! Read one, give one away!
This is a book you will want to read, and re-read and it will completely alter the way you think about and read Scripture.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This is a message the Church needs to hear.
Click here to purchase Spectacular Sins.