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Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions 3rd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801036415
ISBN-10: 0801036410
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate."--John Piper

Let the Nations Be Glad! has become a modern missions classic. A trusted resource for thousands of missionaries, pastors, church leaders, and laypeople, it provides a biblical basis for missions and worship. This third edition has been expanded to include timely new material on the prosperity gospel.

Praise for the Previous Edition

"If I had to choose only one book on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad! would be it--precisely because it's about so much more than missions. The book's relentless God-centered focus, with its stress on worship as the 'fuel and goal of missions,' provides the crucial biblical counterpoint to the anthropocentric drumbeat of our day."--Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College

"An invaluable resource that keeps worship at the center of the church's purpose and shows both theologically and practically what that means for mission in the modern world. Missionaries, pastors, teachers, and laypeople with a thirst for God's passion for himself and the peoples of the world will be challenged and encouraged. I offer it my highest recommendation."--A. Scott Moreau, editor, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"Let the Nations Be Glad! is the most important book on missions for this generation, and I hope it will be the most influential as well. John Piper places missions where it belongs: at the heart of God's desire to be glorified among the nations."--R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The best biblical study there is on the nature of missions. The best, however, has become better! After building a solid biblical base, Piper confronts some burning issues in missions today in a way that is both spiritually nourishing and inspiringly readable."--Ajith Fernando, national director, Youth for Christ/Sri Lanka

About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor for Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis. For thirty-three years, he was pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He is author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God and Let t
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 3 edition (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801036410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801036415
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This review originally appeared on [...]on 7/26/10.

Special thanks to Caitlin of Baker Books for a review copy of this book.

John Piper's book, Let the Nations Be Glad (hereafter LTNBG) has been a hit since it's first edition came out back in 1993. Our discipleship and missions training school has been using the 2nd edition since it came out in 2003, and for good reason. But not only is there a new edition, which I'm reviewing here, but there's also a DVD with 6 Piper sermons on the topic of missions and a Study Guide. The DVD and Study Guide will be reviewed separately, but for now I'll say that I applaud Piper and Baker for trying out a multi-media approach to this excellent and needed guide to the biblical theology of missions.

To organize my thoughts, I'm breaking this review down into 3 sections: the Good, the Bad and the Piper

The Good

1. Piper openly admits that this book focuses on "biblical reflection rather than methodological application" of missions (p9), a decision I appreciate. It's not the only book you should use in training missionaries, but it gives an excellent theological basis for why we should do missions in the first place.

2. The main difference between the 3rd edition and the previous one is found in the introduction. Piper not only surveys the changing face of global Christianity (with insights from Philip Jenkins and Mark Noll), but extends a plea to preachers of the so-called `prosperity gospel.' At first my thought was `this seems out of place in a missions book,' but Piper argues (and he is largely correct) that the prosperity gospel teaching of some American preachers has infiltrated parts of the "Global South" and is doing damage to the church there, particularly in Africa.

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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read several of John Piper's books over the years. "Let the Nations be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions" may be the best of them all, which is saying a lot, since the others are all very good. The Third Edition represents an expansion of the previous editions in that it includes a third part entitled "The Practical Outworking of Compassion and Worship." The first two parts ("The Purpose, the Power, and the Price" and "The Necessity and Nature of the Task") are found in the earlier editions.

This is not primarily a "how-to" book, although what Piper says certainly has practical applications. Rather, it is a discussion of what must be the foundations of missions--the glorifying of God Himself and the supremacy of Christ as the focus of saving faith. Piper does an excellent job of showing why this is and why, for missions to truly succeed in leading the nations to Christ, we must never take our eyes off this foundation or set some man-centered goal in its place.

In this day and age when so much is written on method and on the relative merits of various models of "doing" missions (e.g, short-cycle missions, etc.) Piper's call to make God's glory primary is a needed breath of fresh air. To close with a quote from near the beginning of the book, one that states the basic thesis admirably: "If the pursuit of God's glory is not ordered above the pursuit of man's good in the affections of the heart and the priorities of the church, man will not be well served and God will not be duly honored."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Summary of Contents of Book
Piper makes the now famous claim that “missions exist because worship doesn’t” (p. 35). This claim underlies the entire message of the book and comes out more positively found in the subtitle, “The Supremacy of God in Missions.” For far too long the primary motivation, guiding principles and practices have been driven by a less then Biblical priority to the Supremacy of God and the promotion of his glory to the ends of the Earth. That God has had a heart for the nations from the beginning and it’s not because they are so lovely but exclusively because God in Christ would get glory as his name is hallowed, heralded and honored by a multitude of diverse people groups. There will not be a tribe/family left out from representation that will not bow in adoration of King Jesus. With that as the ends for God the question becomes what is the end for man? And if that end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever then the fact that that is not happening means the must be precisely the mission of the church provide the only means that will bring about the repentance of lost individuals to be forgiven, reconciled and live a new life with God. That means to that end, the Bible says, is the gospel of Jesus Christ and is appropriated by conscious faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the Nations be Glad has 3 sections that draw largely upon Biblical Revelation but are sprinkled with examples of systematic, historical and pastoral theology throughout which makes for an engaging read.
I should make mention of an additional chapter in the latest edition, thought necessary due to the growing popularity of “the prosperity gospel”, which is really no gospel at all.
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