Sunday, January 11, 2009

Review of The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper

Author: John Piper

Pages: 121

Publisher: Baker

Price: 11.19

Genre: Preaching/Pastoral

Quick Summary:

What is your first thought after hearing your pastor? Pastor, what do people most remember about your sermons? Is it the sermon or the God displayed by the sermon? What Piper calls for is passionate preaching of the supremacy of God. As Piper notes, “It does not matter if surveys turn up a list of perceived needs that does not include the supreme greatness of the sovereign God of grace. That is the deepest need. Our people are starving for God.” This book hopes to inspire pastors to feed the sheep with a vision of the supremacy of God in all things.

If you have read anything by John Piper then you know his passion—the supremacy of God. In this short book Piper writes four chapters in defense of his view of preaching: The goal of preaching, the ground of preaching, the gift of preaching, and the gravity and gladness of preaching. In the final three chapters Piper offers guidance from the ministry of Jonathan Edwards: Keep God Central, Submit to Sweet Sovereignty, and Make God Supreme.

What I Liked:

When I hear John Piper preach I come away with a fresh vision and passion for God. When I read this book I come away with a fresh vision and passion for proclaiming this great God. Piper can write as a lofty theologian. Yet, he can also write as a passionate and loving grandfather. It is the latter that provides the tone for this book. This book is God-centered and practical. I am in wholehearted agreement with Bryan Chapell when he writes of Piper’s book, “The plan is too simple for a fallen world to notice and too powerful for a faithful preacher to ignore.” This book inspires me.

What I Disliked:

The truth is that Bryan Chapell is right; this book is too simple (which says more about my sinfulness than about a criticism of this book). I admire John Piper and would like to learn a great deal from him. I expected to read this book and immediately know how to preach God passionately. I expected a formula that I could easily follow that would transform my preaching. Turns out you will not find that in this book. Instead you learn this: God is most glorified in our preaching when we are most satisfied in him. Simple, yet so powerful you cannot ignore it. Passionate preaching does not come from a how-to manual. It comes from being enthralled with God. So, because I am fallen I wish it were easier.

Should You Buy It?

This book cannot be ignored. It is a must have for preacher and congregant alike.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. The God of Pulpit
    The Passover given to Israel was upgraded and given to all mankind becoming the communion of Christ with His church. His body becoming the unleavened bread and his blood which covers all those who will simply receive his gift which is the new covenant (covering). Exodus 12, Mark 14
    God’s covering is designed to prepare his people for action. The action defined and lived out in daily life is God’s love flowing from lives that listen and look for ways to participate in the divine nature (love). It’s a walk of faith for imperfect people whose hearts are changed and have desire to live their new life from the inside out. Romans: 12 1-2 they having received His covering now submit their lives to the author of life and love. In other words they seek to care about the things that matter most. This is their spiritual worship to care the way Jesus cares and to follow His example and daily leading. They want to care thus having all the dullness of superficial life removed to enjoy true fellowship, love, hope, and great joy. The food and drink provided in the new upgraded covenant is available daily to any who would desire to come and partake.
    So why this blog is is called the “God of Pulpit”? Because preaching like any ministry should be the result of ministers living life from the inside out. It’s the word of god mixed with the life of the preacher.
    If we think sermons will change the world without all of this we deceive ourselves. Pulpits should be a place to let real inner life surface in humility, love, and JOY. Its part of the threads of life God is weaving into our lives and an opportunity to get what is on the inside out to people who need to eat to grow strong and healthy. When people hear and see the message (the preacher) they should line up.
    God of pulpit is a name I gave ego eccentrics who truly think their mission is life is to share their golden tongue. They think that somehow having their hearts set upon the Christ doesn’t matter as much as using their gift of monologue. God of pulpit is another form of worldly lust that seeks to exalt itself over its maker. The fallen golden tongues are all around us but thankfully many have seen the error of their ways and have chosen to take back the joy of their salvation and love people. Many preach again but what a difference in the message!
    So preachers before you approach that pulpit remember to care about what the people need to see in your life more than in your words. Follow love under the covering of the Savior and give the people real meat.



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