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Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture Hardcover – April 30, 2017
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“Not many books should be recommended for both beginning Bible readers and mature Bible readers, but this is one of them. Utilizing brief and pointed expositions of often overlooked Bible verses, John Piper helpfully explains why we should be reading the Bible, the work of the Spirit in our Bible reading, and the fundamental skills and habits of faithful Bible reading. I cannot imagine a serious Christian who would not benefit from a thoughtful reading of this book.”
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
“I have been reading the Bible daily for thirty-five years. Reading the Bible Supernaturally challenged my motives, effort, and enjoyment. I doubt I will read the Scriptures the same way again. I look forward to deeper and more wonderful times alone in the Word in the days ahead. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to take Bible study seriously.”
—Francis Chan, New York Times best-selling author, Crazy Love and Forgotten God
“Stunning. Profound. Powerful. Reading the Bible Supernaturally will move you to captivated and awestruck worship at the Divine’s plan for his Word as an instrument to magnify his unrivaled glory. Seeing and savoring the God of the Scriptures is an extraordinarily high calling every believer must pursue, and no man can move us to that place quite like John Piper. This book, accessibly written and weighty in content, is so much more than a manual or study guide to the Scriptures. Rather, it’s an invitation to the experience God intended we have with his Word—an experience that is Spirit dependent, faith building, and worship inciting.”
—Louie Giglio, Pastor, Passion City Church, Atlanta; Founder, Passion Conferences; author, The Comeback
“The seemingly mundane topic of reading the Bible ushers us into a world of supernatural grace for sinners. With constant reference to the Holy Scriptures, John Piper shows us how to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and to read by the light of Christ. Yet Piper commends no passive mysticism, but studious labor over the best of books; he is thorough, practical, and engaging throughout. Take up and read!”
—Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Reading the Bible Supernaturally reminds us why we cannot rest until every person on earth has access to the Bible in their own tongue. Tribes, languages, peoples, and nations are perishing without access to, or opportunity to know, this glorious God through this glorious book. John Piper stokes the urgency of our calling as the church of Jesus Christ to deepen our appreciation for the Word that God uses toward a missional end—his global and eternal glory.”
—Michael Oh, Global Executive Director, The Lausanne Movement
“Reading the Bible Supernaturally is a thorough and compelling wake-up call to lethargic, passive, resistant, mechanical Bible readers (which is all of us at one point or another) to become hungry, eager, inquisitive, aggressively observant miners for the treasure in the text—fully expectant that God will bring us from death to life, from foolishness to wisdom, from damning despair to glorious hope through his Word.”
—Nancy Guthrie, author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series
“If you disconnect the Bible from God’s glory, you lose your grip on both. What terrible things we hear people say about each of them, taken in isolation. John Piper puts them together, and finds himself preaching an astonishingly high doctrine of Scripture, right alongside an intimately experiential doctrine of God’s glory. Reading the Bible Supernaturally is not just one of the helpful activities that make up the Christian life. Kept in proper context, seen in full perspective, and received in wide-awake recognition of the living voice of the triune God, reading the Bible is the central act of Christian existence. This book, a kind of extended Christian hedonist gloss on Psalm 119, is an invitation to the miracle of Bible reading.”
—Fred Sanders, Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University; author, The Deep Things of God
“No book has inspired me to approach Scripture with as much anticipation as Reading the Bible Supernaturally. Read this book at your own risk, for it will ignite your devotional life. You will find yourself actively hunting for treasure in the Bible, looking carefully at each passage, praying and trusting that God himself will open your eyes to see and savor his glory. Don’t let the length of this book fool you; it is clear, accessible, and inspiring. In fact, it is the most practical, passionate, and motivating book on reading the Bible I have ever read. Read it. Apply it. Test it. It will transform your approach to God’s Word.”
—Vaneetha Rendall Risner, author, The Scars That Have Shaped Me
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 thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; This Momentary Marriage; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
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In A Peculiar Glory, Piper asserts that Scripture testifies to its own authority by revealing the glory of God. In this follow-up, Piper sets out to help readers read the Bible so that God's purpose in the Scriptures may be rightly understood and embraced.
Part one defines and defends Piper's thesis that the purpose of the Bible is so that we will see God's glory, savor it, be transformed, and carry it forward to the ends of the earth. Those familiar with Piper won't find a lot of "new ideas" in this section, but it is helpful to see many of Piper's theological hallmarks tied specifically to the reading of the Bible.
In part two, Piper demonstrates that in order for God's purpose to be accomplished, God must work supernaturally in us: awakening our hearts to His word, humbling us, etc.
Part three contains the meat of the book, the practical aspects of reading the Bible according to Piper. Piper's goal here isn't to lay out a hermeneutical process, but to awaken us to be good readers and observers of what is in the text. After grounding the process of reading the Bible in dependence on God and prayer, Piper sets out to help the reader begin to see the connections between words, phrases, propositions, and big ideas in the Bible. He encourages the reader to be "aggressively attentive" to what is there on the page.
Reading the Bible Supernaturally is a great introduction to reading the Scriptures. Perhaps more than other books on the topic of reading and studying the Bible, Piper focuses on the supernatural aspect throughout. There is much more to learn in understanding and interpreting the Scriptures, and Piper himself admits as much. However, this volume can challenge both new Bible readers and seasoned students alike to pursue God in the Bible.
Maybe a more fitting title for the book would be "Supernatural things happen when we read and study the Bible," but the author's point that the main objective when we read the Bible is that we would see God's glory. To that end, Piper does a good job. His acronyms probably won't resonate with a whole lot of readers, simply because they're in most cases just too hard to remember. (APTAT, IOUS)
Chapter 12, WHY THE PHARISEES COULDN'T READ is perhaps the best in the book. Chapter 14, GOD FORBID THAT WE DESPISE HIS NATURAL GIFTS is also excellent. Part 3, the longest, is easily the best section of the book.
The only part I'd disagree with is when Piper makes a bit of a theological stretch, which I think he's been prone to do in the past on occasion. In one section, he writes that... "God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy." He quotes part of a verse from Deuteronomy 28 as proof of that. But that whole chapter of the Bible is talking about blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. I just don't think you can make a case for his point from that one verse.
Other than that, Piper's latest is fairly easy to follow and not too long in length.
Another great resource from Crossway publishing.