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Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? Paperback – August 1, 2010

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From the Back Cover

Is Jesus still the only way?

If the church was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. In our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus.

In Jesus: The Only Way to God--Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved? John Piper offers a timely plea for the evangelical church to consider what is at stake in surrendering the unique, universal place of Jesus in salvation. If you're concerned about the current state of evangelism--and the church--this book is a must-read.

John Piper (DrTheol, University of Munich) is the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has served since 1980. He is the author of more than forty books (including Desiring God, The Pleasures of God, and Let the Nations Be Glad!), and thirty years of his preaching and teaching is available at www.DesiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.

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: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 7.2.2010 edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801072638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801072635
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Seeking Disciple VINE VOICE on July 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
The subtitle to this book says it all, "Must you hear the gospel to be saved?" In this short book (123 pages) John Piper seeks to answer that question and he seeks to build a defense for the traditional Christian view that one must hear the gospel and believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins or there is no salvation. Piper's main complaints are against those within Christianity who recently have been advocating an inclusive gospel view that, according to D.A. Carson, means "the view that all who are saved are saved on account of the person and work of Jesus Christ, but that conscious faith in Jesus Christ is not absolutely necessary: some may be saved by him who have never heard of him, for they may respond positively to the light they have received."

It with this inclusive view of the gospel that Piper takes his aim and fires. His main concern (as my own) is that missionary activities are diminished when the gospel is seen as unnecessary for eternal life. If personal faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins is not based on belief in the gospel about Jesus then missionary work will greatly decrease. Like Piper, I believe that God's glory is revealed in the gospel of His Son and that it is only in His Son that we are saved and one must hear the gospel of Jesus to be saved (Romans 10:14-17).

I believe that Piper does a good job of presenting a strong biblical and orthodox view of the exclusive nature of the gospel in just 123 pages. He begins by covering the doctrine of eternal torment in an eternal hell. Piper points out that while this teaching on hell has become ignored in our times, the Bible has much to say about hell. And if we are willing, hell must exist due to the nature of sin and the nature of God's infinite holiness.
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*****
In this short but deep and profound book, author John Piper proclaims Jesus as the only way of salvation. He discusses alternative popular beliefs among Christians: (1) Universalism--the belief that everyone will be saved eventually and that hell (if it exists) will lead to repentance and salvation; (2) Annihilationism--the belief that at death, if one is not saved, one just ceases to exist and experiences no torment or punishment instead of an eternity of suffering into hell; (3) Pluralism--the belief that many different religions can lead to God; and (4) Inclusivism--the belief that Jesus died to save everyone, and even those who have never heard of Him will be saved.

This book is written in an understandable, yet definitely theological style. It is not light reading, and although it is short, it took me a while to get through it (far more than the short hour I'd planned). Yet it is definitely worth the work. The writing seemed to me to be clear and brilliant, and the author's arguments--all taken from Scripture--were very convicting. It was powerful, challenging, and made me think.

In the book, John Piper thoroughly answers these three questions: (1) Will anyone experience eternal, conscious torment under God's wrath?, (2) Is the work of Jesus necessary for salvation?, and (3) Is conscious faith in Jesus necessary for salvation. He uses the Bible to defend all of his positions, which are "yes" answers to all three questions.

This an important book for Christians or highly interested non-Christians. I would not see this as an evangelistic text except for someone exceptionally familiar with theology and the Bible. I see it as a mandatory read for anyone concerned about the state of the church, orthodoxy, and evangelism.
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"What is at stake is the eternal salvation of perishing people." ~John Piper

Talk about hell and people think you are hateful. Talk about a belief in Jesus as the only way to God and it gets worse. Recently I've even had people tell me that I'm the one who is taking a risk believing in Jesus. They seem to indicate that I should be researching other religions to make sure I'm believing the right things. And truthfully I have done some research into other religions over the years and have found nothing as powerful as biblical truth, especially truths from The New Testament.

John Piper presents his arguments well although I must say there is a lot of quoting going on throughout the book which sometimes can break up the flow of thought a bit. He backs up all his ideas with scripture and this makes the book powerfully convincing.

So what does John Piper really discuss. Well he basically answers a number of questions based on one question. Is Jesus the only way to God? He also discusses whether people from different religions can get to heaven through just their belief in God. Or do they need to hear the gospel first? Some of the questions John Piper answers include:

Will anyone experience eternal conscious torment in hell?

Is conscious faith in Christ necessary for salvation?

How were people in the Old Testament times saved?

Does hell have real fire and is it eternal fire?

These are important questions although I can see why they might make people
who don't believe a little upset. Still if you are reading this and want to know what
is in this book I'm willing to tell you.

What it really comes down to in the end is that repentance leads to eternal life.
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