Book Reviews

7 Sep

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ – by John Piper

Short, sweet, and to the point. This brief book highlights the essential characteristics of Jesus. As always, Dr. Piper is faithful to the person of Jesus Christ as revealed and expounded in the Bible. A worthwhile read and reminder for any believing Christian, this would be an excellent book to use for daily meditation times or even for a longer study of a chapter a week. With an easily comprehended style, Dr. Piper paints a clear picture of just why we so love, honor and glory in our Savior. For those who question why Christians get so excited about Jesus, this book provides a clear explanation.

On Christian Liberty – by Martin Luther

This classic treatise from the great reformer is one of the clearest expositions and applications of well-known scriptures that I have ever read. Luther provides some excellent arguments against the Roman Catholic insistence of his day of “penances” and “indulgences” and its practical theology of salvation by works. Contrary to what some claim Luther advocated, he shows clearly his stance that works are not to be negated from the life of Christians, but are rather an outflowing of the changed heart of Christians. I would like to quote Luther here rather extensively as he gives some very lucid exposition on the role and nature of works in the life of both believer and unbeliever. But, suffice to say, you are better off to read it yourself. He addresses the topics of the freedom of Christians in all things and the servanthood of Christians to all men, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and the atonement, faith’s role in making a person (and therefore his works) good or bad, and the abuses of the ignorant laymen by the ministers of the Church (something, which as prevalent as it was in his day, is not entirely dead in ours – his words in much of this treatise are very relevant for our times!), to name just a few! With the absence of sectional dividers such as chapters or headings, it is best to read this treatise in one sitting if possible. Otherwise, you will find yourself (as I did) re-reading significant portions of the book to recapture the flow of thought before moving ahead. However, if a one-sitting forray is impossible, there may be some comfort to know that re-reading is worth your while. In fact, if you are fortunate enough to read this treatise in one sitting, you will probably find yourself WANTING to go back and read it again, several times through!

Desiring God – by John Piper

I read this book a few years back and think it is about time again this fall to pull it out and re-read some sections. In this large volume, which has come to be known as his signature work, Dr. Piper outlines what he calls “Christian hedonism”, the belief that what Jesus and the whole of Scripture calls us to is a life of supreme pleasure and delight and rewards, found in God Himself, rather than one of gloomy negations and dismal servitude. He makes an insightful twist to the old Westminster Catechisms’ reply to the query: “What is man’s chief end?” Dr. Piper responds by changing the “and” to “by” in the response: “To glorify God by enjoying Him forever”. He says one of the most astonishing things we can see in the words of Jesus and overarching teaching of the Bible is that God desires not so much our service but to serve us. As God, He delights in being able to lavish His blessings on those who seek Him with all their heart. He is less interested in “raining on our parade” with a bunch of “Thou shalt nots” than He is in giving us cause to experience supreme delights and rejoice and glory in Him, to the complete satisfaction of our souls. The restrictions Divinity places on humanity are not to rob us of pleasure, but to give us boundaries in which we are safe to experience the greatest delights possible that He has planned and purposed for us. In short, Dr. Piper’s thoughts are not only very refreshing, but completely mind and heart altering on occasion. Using Scripture, he excellently reveals a God who is worthy of our worship and affection, one Whom we rightly regard as our greatest treasure. For anyone who has ever doubted the goodness of God, this is a must-read.

©2010 Reformation Lady and Chandra E. Wellman. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Book Reviews”

  1. Sharon September 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I would recommend add to your list “Radical” by David Platt if you have not read it already….you will be moved by it….

    • reformationlady September 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

      Sharon,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I have heard of this but not read it yet. I’ll try to amend that oversight soon!

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