Few living writers are better able than John Piper to combine deep theological concepts with pastoral insight. Whether he gained this godly talent for practical doctrine from reading Jonathan Edwards or not is immaterial—he has it, and he's used it well for several decades to bring unbelievers to faith and Christians to deeper understanding.
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die appeals to both audiences. Non-Christians will come away with a much clearer picture of the Christian doctrine of the atonement, and Christians will be more prepared for evangelism and more grateful to our God for the salvation He achieved on our behalf.
Each chapter is just two pages long, making this excellent for devotional reading or group discussion. Piper begins with a question, followed by one or two Scripture passages, and an explanation. Chapter headings are all in the form of answers to the question, "Why did Jesus come to die?", and range from the basic (to forgive sins) to the difficult and complex (to end the Old Testament priesthood and initiate a New Covenant priesthood in His own name).
This book isn't about who killed Jesus, the physical nature of His death, or anything else relating to the causes of His death. Instead, it's entirely about the purpose of His death, and what it accomplished both for us sinners, and for God the Father who sent His Son into the world to testify to the truth, to die, and to rise again from the grave.
A prayer at the end of the book indicates Piper's desire in writing and publishing Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die: it is both to remind believers of the depth of God's love for us and of His unfathomable glory, and it is to evangelize those who are blind, dead in their transgressions and sins. We share this prayer, and heartily recommend this book.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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