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God Is the Gospel (A Study Guide to the DVD Featuring John Piper): Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself (John Piper Small Group Series) Paperback – June 11, 2008
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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 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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Well bring up a new tab NOW and type in desiringgod.org and have it on standby. After you finish here you can get a feel for what the man stands for.
Ok to the product.
In the last two years I have purchased about four of Piper's DVD courses for my Wednesday Night Study group ( I will endeavour to write on the others in due time) and have been very pleased with what he has to say.
The DVD is Piper preaching/teaching/exhorting why he believes God is the Gospel. The study is pretty much 23 points on why he believes "God is the Gospel" broken up into 6 sessions.
1. Defining God is the Gospel.
2. God is the Gospel in wonders and prayer.
3. The Love of God when God is the Gospel.
4. Delighting in God delighting in Us.
5. The Gospel event, Accomplishment and Offer.
6. The Gospel: Application and Beyond.
So for those unfamiliar with his studies...Basically Piper in front of a congregation preaching 23 points, broken into 6 episodes. So, its not like a Francis Chan style study (I have done a couple of his as well, very good) with visual illustrations and/or seated in a cafe chatting to the camera.
The sessions are on average 25-30 mins long except the first and last ~35mins.
He states things that are profound and not always easy to comprehend on the spot without contemplation. I have a beautiful brother in the group who had difficultly with Piper's use of words (think Imputed Righteousness and Propitiation as an example), but oh boy when you digest what he says, God's message is powerful!
Therefore, the leader will need to be well prepared for post discussion of DVD. I didn't use his study guide, but I watched each session beforehand and prepared myself to make sure my group understood the message by chatting about some terminology used.
He states from the outset that he does not want to, in no shape or form, diminish the perfect works of Jesus. He is adamant that although this maxim he uses sounds slightly unorthodox, he is very much in line with orthodoxy. I agree. What he attempts to do (successfully IMO) is demonstrate, biblically, how God is the Ultimate end of Christ's redemptive work. His underlying text is 2 Cor 4:4-6
Piper unashamedly holds to the reformed tradition as biblical.
Positives: The content is solid and biblical. Profound and Interesting. Made me want to memorise 2 Cor 4:6 (Which I have), that's a positive, No? Also, made me think more about what I do now, for what purpose? for what ultimate end?
Best question in the DVD; What good is Forgiveness? What's it for?
Negatives: He ran out of time, literally. He rushed through his last 5 points. His last session is the best, but ends in a fizzle. I felt he could have produced an addition to the series by adding home footage, or anything, that expounded the last 5 points a little more.
Also, don't get me wrong here, I love Jonathan Edwards, but even Piper says that when he read Edwards he could only read a page a day because of his profundity. Same expectation should be on his audience. Edwards in small doses to finish. But who am I to critique such a servant of our Lord? Oh Lord, bless Piper and let his works, empowered by Your Spirit, make us to seek and follow hard after You.
I highly recommend the DVD for maturing disciples.