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Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die Paperback – January 27, 2006
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About the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
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Top Customer Reviews
1. As a "graduate PhD of Christianity" (if there's such a thing) considering this book to be "basic".
2. As continuously-needing-grace person whose soul will benefit from meditating and contemplating the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in the cross.
It is true that as we grow spiritually in Christian life, we ought to read different topics (Theology, Apologetic, etc.), but we must not forget that the Gospel is not the "101" of Christian life, it is the very center of it.
I really enjoy reading this book. The relatively short chapters format allows us to read 1-3 chapters each time we read together and review what we saw in previous chapters.
The goal of this book was to answer the many questions of people who may have seen Gibson's movie and/or have been contemplating the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
"My aim is to let the Bible speak. This is where we hear the Word of God. I hope that these [scripture] pointers will set you on an endless quest to know more and more of God's great design in the death of his Son." (pg. 12)
The violence and enormity of Christ's death will eventually lead one to ask the question, "why did he have to suffer so much?" This is the very question that Piper aims to answer.
However, it must be noted that Piper qualifies this question by saying that instead of answering the <i>cause</i> of why Christ suffered and died, we must see the <i>purpose</i> to His suffering and death. In his own words he says, "when all is said and done, the most crucial question is: Why? Why did Christ suffer and die? Not why in the sense of cause, but why in the sense of purpose. What did Christ achieve by his passion? Why did he have to suffer so much? What great thing was happening on Calvary for the world? " (pg. 17)
The remainder of the book is 50 purposes to why Christ suffered and died. These purposes are masterfully expounded from the Scriptures. He gives the reader a doctrinally sound theological answer to many questions that believers and unbelievers may ask regarding the death and suffering of Jesus Christ.
This book is no mere tract, but a thought provoking defense of the great doctrines of the Christian faith. These doctrines are unfolded as the question of Christ suffering is answered within each chapter. It fulfills its aim to let the Word of God speak to the reader, by basing every argument from the Scriptures.
For example, he tackles common questions like:
<li> How can God be loving and just? (chapter 1)
<li> Who's idea was it for Jesus to die? (chapter 2)
<li> What does it mean for Christ to learn obedience and to be perfected? Wasn't he already obedient and perfect? (chapter 3)
<li> How can we properly understand God's love and grace? (chapter 5)
<li> What is justification? (chapters 7-12)
<li> How is His death unique and how does it compare with the sacrifice of animals? (chapter 24-31)
This book was overall a well written wakeup call to the reality of the suffering of Jesus Christ, which demands an inescapable response.
Read this book and pass it along to a friend.
Each of the fifty reasons covers only 2 or 3 pages. But each of those reasons and their Scripture proofs are guaranteed to make a Christian sweat, apologize, marvel, and pray. You will find familiar and not so familiar reasons herein. Just a few include: To Absorb the Wrath of God; For the Forgiveness of Our Sins; To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful; To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness; To Free Us from Slavery; To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning; To Free Us from the Fear of Death; To Disarm Rulers and Authorities; To Destroy the Hostility Between Races; and To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good.
Closing materials include a valuable bibliography of books about the historical reliability of the Bible. Prolific Christian author, Piper has poured his heart into this book, using his winsome, straightforward style to once again turn a spotlight on his Lord. Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die is a wonderful book for private devotions, but its uses don't stop there. Among other things it is also a good reference for group study, homilies, and sermons; a fine source for family discussions; a wonderful gift; and a witnessing tool. This is a book I'll keep on my reading stand, to go back to, argue with, and allow it lead me into worship and prayer. - Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com