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Future Grace Paperback – January 5, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980, is the author of numerous books and a senior writer for World magazine. He received his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College, St. Paul, before becoming a pastor. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons and one daughter.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (January 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590521919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590521915
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In what I would consider to be the essential John Piper "trilogy", this one should come third in reading order (with Desiring God and The Pleasures of God preceding), but the message is certainly not inferior to the other two! This God-saturated pastor delivers one of the most helpful and hopeful books on the power of sanctification that I have ever come across. He commends what Chalmers called "the expulsive power of a new affection" as the key to holiness. He shows from Scripture that gratitude is NOT to be the primary motive for the believer's pursuit of God, but rather "faith in future grace" (or "trusting in the promises of God," to use a less original phrase!). This theology is defended from Scripture, illustrated through countless anecdotes and quotes from the likes of C. H. Spurgeon, John Flavel, and Jonathan Edwards, and is applied to various sin struggles (anxiety, bitterness, coveteousness, pride, lust, etc.) - which Piper shows to be rooted in unbelief. The underlying theme of this book is that the faith that justifies also sanctifies. As you might imagine, this book is an aggressive (and needed) attack on the false concept that Jesus can be one's Saviour without also being one's Lord. I commend this book very highly - but I do warn you - it is a thinker. Read it twice. Once for familiarity and then again for saturation and meditation.
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Format: Paperback
This book revolutionized my war against sin. Rather than the "OK - this time I MEAN IT" approach that leads to an exhausted Christian life, Dr. Piper gives practical, biblically-saturated council in how to REALLY live the victory Christ achieved for us.
I'm in no danger of "blowing" the book with a 1,000 word review, so I'll let you in on the premise. (1) No one sins out of duty, but rather because of the promise of pleasure that sin offers. (2) The key to destroying sin's power is by prizing the pleasure of biblical promises regarding obedience above sin. Dr. Piper than offers up some VERY practical examples regarding different sorts of sin.
This book was the expansion I was looking for after reading Dr. Dan Fuller's great book "The Unity Of The Bible."
Warning: the book gives you two options - really change, or invent another excuse for staying like you are.
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Format: Paperback
John Piper will always be remembered as a popular Christian author/theologian who wrote many books to help pastors and lay people understand the Christian faith better and how to truly live a Christian life. In this book, Piper explains what it means to live by faith in future grace. In the first several chapters of the book (1-9), Piper explains why "past grace" is an insufficient motive to live a God-centred and obedient life. He explains that past grace only looks to the past and not to the future. What truly motives a Christian to live a God-centred and obedient life is to look forward to the grace that will be revealed. In fact, if we live looking back to what Christ did for our salvation then we are following the "debtor's ethic" which lessens the motivation and power to live a truly obedient Christian life. What Piper tries to do in this book is to make us realize that the way to overcome sin and disobedience in the Christian life is to look FORWARD to the grace of God (i.e., future grace) and to be truly satisfied for all that God is for us in Jesus Christ.

I really appreciated Piper's emphasis on the eschatological aspect of Christ's redemptive work. Too many evangelical Christians are too past or present oriented rather than future oriented in how they see the Christian life. They do not realize that salvation is not only a past fact and a present reality, but a future gift to those who trust in Jesus Christ. This is something that must be addressed behind the pulpits in many of our churches today. I also liked the fact that Piper always forces us to really look hard on where our affections lie. Does it lie with the present and the world or does it lie with God and the future?
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Format: Paperback
Future Grace by John Piper is one of his most enduring works, and one in which he sets out some of the philosophical and theological underpinnings of his life and ministry. The basic premise of the book is that 'Future Grace' ought to be a major impetus for godly living and dying. Piper's contention throughout is that looking back at the past actions of God (particularly the life and death of Christ) is a hugely benefical exercise for the Christian - but that it is not enough in and of itself. The past goodness of God ought to serve as a spur for placing fresh faith in Him, and trusting Him for what lies ahead.

Future Grace is a long book, stretching to 399 pages, and ranging across 31 chapters. The book is purportedly designed in such a way that the reader can cover one chapter per day, pace him or herself through it, and take time to meditate on it with application and prayer. Whether it actually works in this way will be covered a little later on in this review.

One of the real successes of Future Grace is its potent mingling of theological argument and practical application. There are ten sections in the volume, and eight of them have a chapter at the end entitled 'Applying the Purifying Power' where the theological convictions of previous chapters are brought into confrontation with modern issues for godly living.

Piper begins by discrediting what he describes as 'The Debtor's Ethic', whereby Christians seek to 'pay God back' for what He has done in the past. The author eschews this approach, and instead advocates a view of God which puts faith in Him for the future, falling as much on His mercy for what is to come as we have done in the past.
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