- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (August 11, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581348134
- ISBN-13: 978-1581348132
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin Paperback – August 11, 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; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
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These chapters on Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (originally lectures delivered at the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors) are thought-provoking, heart-stirring mini-biographical studies aimed at fanning the flames of God-centeredness in the lives of Christians.
Piper beautifully develops the Augustinian understanding of grace as "sovereign joy" which liberates us from the power of sin, by showing how this dynamic worked to free Augustine himself from the bondage of lust.
From Luther's life, Piper delves into the importance of studying the Word of God even in the midst of suffering. And with Calvin, we are told how devotion to the exposition of Scripture is the means by which the Majesty of God is revealed with life-transforming power.
Piper preserves the careful balance of admiring the virtues of these men without condoning their flaws. He gives insightful and objective reflection on Augustine's sacramentalism, Luther's vulgarity, and Calvin's consent to the barbarity of his violent age. But he doesn't let these sad mistakes obstruct from view the important contributions each of these men have made to the history of the church.
I am glad that these studies are being published (this is the first book of a series of such biographies). They will prove helpful to both the serious student of Christian History, as well as the average curious reader.
I think what I enjoyed most about the book is the concept that the central theme that connected these three men was their love for God's Word - they digested it daily, they wrestled with it, they sought to squeeze out every truth that could be known about God Himself from His divine and inspired Word. Their lives were devoted to the study of Scripture and to the accurate and passionate teaching of God's Word to the people. While each lived in tumultuous times, it was amazing to read about how diligent they were with their time and how much they accomplished without any of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today.
I would highly recommend this book and the entire series to all followers of Christ to gain an even greater appreciation for God and how He has used ordinary men throughout history to accomplish extraordinary things. The books are easy to read and relatively short, but are packed with great encouragement for every believer.
I find these brief biographies to be so wonderful and often whet the appetite for more. One can only be encourage and motivated to do more for the Lord, having bathed the soul in these well-written, tailored sketches.