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Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton (The Swans Are Not Silent) Hardcover – July 7, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is 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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Product Details

  • Series: The Swans Are Not Silent (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; HARDBOUND edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433510464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433510465
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the books in this series have challenged and taught me so much. Each one is unique and an awesome introduction to biography and the benefit of learning from the 'giants of the faith' who have gone before, and the cloud of witnesses whose testimonies the Holy Spirit can use to encourage, refine, and sanctify us.

That said, this book challenged and humbled me more than any other in the series. I have studied Tyndale, and there was nothing new in this book (most of the information is a condensed form of Daniell's biography. His is the ultimate biography of Tyndale, but for something more accessible and equally good, I recommend Moynahan's book, God's Bestseller). Every Christian (and student of English) should know Tyndale's story and the amazing work of God in his life to produce an English Bible and, ultimately, the modern English language.

I knew nothing of Paton or Judson, and what convicting stories! They suffered and endured beyond what most can even imagine, and God used them in world-changing ways. Their lives call us to consider our comfortable, often lazy lives - what are we sacrificing for the Lord? How loosely do we hold the treasures of this world - our families, spouse, home, friends - would we be willing to let it all go for Him?

Finally, Piper's opening chapter on the role of suffering and trials in the Christian life alone is worth the price of the book. Fantastic theology, though faith-stretching as you begin to grasp that suffering is a part of God's plan, and no one suffered more than Christ. Yet, with a sovereign and good God, we have confidence that such trials are working for us a far greater weight of glory.
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Format: Hardcover
John Piper has a series of books titles The Swans are not Silent in which he writes mini-biographies of some of the martyrs of the faith. Piper gives a little background on the lives of those he writes about but he mainly focuses on the ministerial hardships each man faced.

In book five, Filling up the Afflictions of Christ (title taken from Colossians 1:24), Piper writes about three giants of the faith, William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson and John Patton. Each of these men gave their lives to take the Gospel to the nations.

William Tyndale was the first to translate the Bible into English, a task the Catholic Church told him not to partake of. In 1536 the church had him strangled then burned at the stake. Piper writes about the environment that Tyndale lived in and how it led to his death.

John Patton was a Scottish missionary to the New Hebrides in 1824. He lost his wife and children, fought false accusations and had courage to face threats from the natives, all the while never losing sight of the call that God had given to reach those people with the gospel.

Adoniram Judson, at the age of 24, took his young bride to Burma. He lived among those people for 38 years during which time he spent 17 months in prison, lost two wives and several children.

Piper writes about each man in a heart wrenching fashion. Reading of these men gives me courage to stand in the face of any persecution I may face for the sake of the Gospel. We are indebted to these men who gave us the English Bible and had the courage to take the Gospel to the hardest areas of the world. I pray that I will have just a fraction of their dedication. This book will help me gain confidence in the grace of God to do what He has called me to do.
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Format: Hardcover
"Few things inspire me to live radically for Christ more than the story of those who did. I pray that this will be the effect on you as well. The nations are in desperate need. And Christ is a great Savior" (pg. 10).
Filling up the Afflictions of Christ is a book about three men who took seriously the command to take up their cross daily and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). In it, Piper contends that "...suffering is part of God's strategy for making known to the world who Christ is, how he loves, and how much he is worth" (pg. 14). He seeks to explain, through the Scriptures, what it means to fill up the afflictions of Christ and to exemplify his primary thesis, "...that missionary sufferings are a strategic part of God's plan to reach the nations" (pg. 19), through the lives of William Tyndale, John Paton, and Adoniram Judson.

Piper draws heavily from well-written, classic biographies including: WilliamTyndale: A Biography by David Danielle, John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides: An Autobiography Edited by His Brother, and To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson. In doing so, he whets the appetite of his reader to digest these 440 to 530-page tomes. However, for those who are limited by time, Filling up the Afflictions of Christ is a concise, easy-to-read, thought-provoking, and encouraging summary of the lives and ministries of these men.

Piper highlights God's providence and the importance of theology and doctrine. He includes relevant warnings for our day. Furthermore, the reader will be encouraged to count the cost of following Christ and to persevere in the midst of criticism and opposition, regardless of whether fruitfulness is readily apparent.
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