"The question for the church in every generation is: Will we submit gladly to the Scriptures? Will we devote ourselves to understanding them truly, valuing them supremely (under God himself), applying them properly, obeying them wholeheartedly, and speaking them courageously and publicly? In every age, some things in the Bible fit nicely into the spirit of the times and are not controversial. They may even win you some popularity. But in every age, there are other things in the Bible - important things - that do not fit the spirit of the times, and speaking them will be criticized or even persecuted."
- John Piper, Jesus: The Only Way to God, p. 117 -
I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing John Piper's new book. This book deserves four stars because it articulates clear biblical truths all Christians need to know by answering the following three questions:
Will anyone experience eternal, conscious torment under God's wrath?
Is the work of Jesus necessary for salvation?
Is conscious faith in Jesus necessary for salvation?
John Piper divides the book's chapters up with each of the above questions. He uses scripture and various illustrations to answer yes to all three. One thing any reader will appreciate about this book is that it is only 123 pages. However, while short, Piper was not hindered in answering each question.
Personally, I loved the amount of scripture and referencing of other individuals Piper uses to solidify each and every argument. With over 60 footnotes I would say he has done a thorough job. Also, he lets the reader see a common thread of our call to fulfill the Great Commission in this book. He notes that much is at stake if we as the Christian community begin to doubt John 14:6 which says, "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We have to wholeheartedly agree with this passage and in turn go out and fulfill the Great Commission because faith in Jesus is necessary for all people to have salvation.
Considering the nature of books these days, 123 pages of normal sized text is not that long. While I mentioned this on a more positive note for readers, it is also the downside to Piper's book. Jesus: The Only Way to God lacks much personality as a book. Now while some might say Piper's books in general tend to be less personable, I would say after reading this work that even more than usual it seems to come across as some cleaned up sermon notes he decided to publish. That is not to say that publishing solid sermon notes is bad or any less admirable, but it is to say bleak information is what you will get in this book.
Overall, great job John Piper on writing another sound book that clearly answers questions that the church of the now generation need to know where they stand. Might we as the church continue to mold our lives around the Gospel instead of trying to fit ithe Gospel into our lives.