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Let the nations be glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions Paperback – 20 Jun 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: IVP; Rev. and expanded ed edition (20 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851114091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851114095
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 669,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

The revised edition of a contemporary mission classic that contains two brand new chapters on mission and Christian worship.

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First Sentence
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Lamb on 14 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Drawing on texts from the Old and New Testaments, Piper demonstrates that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship drives missionary outreach. He describes prayer as the fuel of missions work because of its focus on a relationship with God rather than the needs of the world. He goes on to illustrate that while suffering is the price of missions, God is worthy of any sacrifice. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and discusses the extent of the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means to reaching "all nations."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gontroppo on 21 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book, and the sermons from which it was created, has already reinvigorated the faith of many Christians, and has helped lots of people to understand God's purpose in creating and saving and using us.
It is an exciting book which may change your life. It explains what it really means to follow Jesus, and shows where this knowledge has led missionaries throughout the Christian era.
Bethlehem Baptist Church, the author's church, has an inspiring ministry in its own area and throughout the world. Many members of the congregation have heard the call to follow Christ wherever he may lead through hearing these sermons or reading this book.
May God bless you as you read it. Highly recommended.
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By Michael Hendron on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb book, fast delivery. Recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Get Mobilized for Missions through Gladness in God 17 Mar. 2001
By Brian G Hedges - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an awesome book about the awesome task of an awesome God.
Piper relates missions to the supremacy of God by insisting that missions is not the chief end of the church, worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship therefore is the goal of missions. But even more than that, the impetus behind true missionary zeal is a heart that is satisfied in the glory of God above all things. Therefore, worship is also the fuel of missions.
Then Piper shows the key role that prayer plays in missionary effort. Prayer is a wartime walkie-talkie given by our Commander-in-Chief so that we can call Him for air cover when we are on the frontlines of the battle. The problem with most of us is that we have turned this wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom by asking for more worldy comforts instead of help for Kingdom work.
A third chapter (in part one) shows the role that suffering plays in missions by expositing texts like Col. 1:24. This is a powerful and insightful section that will inspire and encourage you - as well as make you count the cost of following Jesus down the hard road of love.
The second part of the book deals with theological issues that are essential to a Biblical understanding of missions, such as the eternality of hell, the necessity of the atonement, and the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation. This book is a Calvinistic call to missions that exceeds anything I have ever read elsewhere! I recommend it heartily!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Landmark Contribution to Mission Literature 19 Jun. 2001
By Ryan - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church, worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't." This is the opening line of this book, and it is the foundational premise on which it is written.
Piper writes about a God who is worth serving, worth going to the nations for, and who is worth suffering for. There is no greater cause in all the world than the glory of God and Piper eloquently describes how Missions is intimately connected to that cause.
Perhaps the most striking point in the book is the idea that God is passionate for his own glory. In fact that God is passionately establishing his glory in the nations. It is not that God is in constant need of affirmation, but that He knows that His glory is the "chief end of man"...and of God.
The chapter on Suffering is incredible. Piper's writing is as convicting as it is motivating. The reader is left asking the question "Do I believe in a God like this? Do I serve a God who is worth suffering for?"
God has honored his church with the privelege of joining Him in his work in the world. Piper is a man who understands this privilege, and who invites us to join Him as well.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Best Book Ever Written on Christian Missions, except... 31 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Bible, of course! John Piper will stun you with page after page of God-honoring biblical exegesis. His keen mind is only surpassed by his passionate love of God and His Word. The Lord will be worshipped by people from every nation (tongue, tribe, and people group). By the way, the most loving thing I can say about the Bode's review is, "Do you want the opinion of someone who has no idea how wonderful, Holy, and gracious God is, or do you want the truth from a Christian who agrees that our purpose in life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever?" Do you want a book that will reveal God's heart for the nations, directly from Scripture? Buy this book...Chapter One alone is worth it! To God be the Glory!
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Life changing. It will change your perspective on missions. 1 Sept. 1999
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
God used this book, to change my perspective on missions. Missions is not the cheif end of man, The worship and glory of God is the cheif end of man. We live like we're adding people to our list, when really God is using us as his tools, to gather the nations together.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Zeal, Yet on a Somewhat Questionable Foundation 30 July 2008
By William Turner - Published on
Format: Paperback
Piper is a very interesting writer and if you are a Reformed Baptist, I'm sure you have enjoyed his writings. More broadly speaking, I'm sure that if you have been even remotely involved in church ministry, you have either heard of him in some capacity, read his books, or both. This book, dealing with missions, was an interesting read for me. I was required to complete a critical analysis paper on the missiological and theological implications in this book, set forth for the fulfillment of Christian missions. This was completed for my World Missions course at Dallas Theological Seminary; this obviously is not the paper, only a few notes.

The Great:

Piper's book, 'Let the Nations Be Glad!' excels in a few areas throughout the book. Its strength is found in his passion for Christ and its love of God. I also found Piper's views on prayer, suffering, and even 'worship as the fuel of missions' very refreshing and encouraging. His treatment of the question of eternal, conscious torment in hell for unbelievers was excellent as he primarily engages with the Annihilationism of Anglican Evangelical John R.W. Stott. I also enjoyed his brief explanation of the 'essence of missions and worship' towards the end of the book. In these areas, Piper is excellent.

Piper, being a "7-pt." Calvinist (as he describes himself to be), truly is an interesting one at that. He is one of the most passionate people you can read and I believe that is why so many people enjoy his writing, even if his writing style is relatively weak at times and his writings reflect the particular views of a Reformed Baptist (though it's been accurately questioned how faithful he truly is to Reformed Theology, and Protestant distinctives at that). I believe his overall passionate approach is thoroughly engaging to the reader which makes for quick read of his work.

The Concerned:

Piper's desire is to pursue missions for the 'entire world', yet His entire world is seen as 'the Elect'. His 7-pt. Reformed theology is devastating at times and truly problematic to many areas of theology (especially Soteriology/Missiology). He has so many assumptions already formulated that his best motivating point on missions (essentially to 'the elect' alone) is that we should be incredibly motivated to bring this message to them, so that those already elect 'will come' (though we never truly know who they are until the end). I honestly find this central principle difficult to be motivating, unless you are coming from a theological system where that is essentially the best motivation.

I find his presuppositions of these motivations to be problematic. I understand that this work is one of missional practicality to some extent, but it must also be rooted in exegesis. On this point you will find little done, only page after page of scripture meant to back his beliefs. Unless you've already concluded your beliefs, this type of proof-texting does little to convince. Some will react and say - 'No, but His greatest motivation is God's glory!' Yes, but it's God's glory by the 'ingathering of the Elect'; so thus, the best motivation seen here is in bringing the message of salvation to 'the elect'. Thus, God's glory is seen strictly within the framework of soteriology.

Concerning God's glory being most revealed in man's redemption: I find this statement much less problematic then the first concerning his understanding of 'the elect', but it still remains an issue because God's glory is more concerned here with 'Man's salvation' than His own personal glory through rulership in the Son. I see the greatest purpose in scripture as 'God revealing His glory' through the Rule of His Son, Jesus Christ, on Earth and Eternity.

This view sees God's Glory as less concerned with the Redemption of Mankind and more concerned about His personal rulership in the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal State. Am I saying that God is not concerned about people's salvation? No, not at all. God is extremely concerned about everyone coming to a saving knowledge of Him, but what seems to be of greater concern in God's glory is the Rulership of His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord, and the faithful redeemed ruling with Him over the New Heavens and New Earth for all of eternity.

Clearly, this is a much smaller disagreement here, but still, I disagree. It's God's glory through the rule of the Son in the outworking of His Universal Kingdom, not essentially God's glory bracketed through the Redemption of man. Both of these are interrelated in many facets, but the promises/covenants are powerfully connected to the rule of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We simply benefit from these in our redemption, which is clearly subservient to the purpose of God's Glory, best understood in the eternal rule of Christ as King over the Kingdom of God. The rule of the Son is certainly primary to the concern and expression of Piper both theologically and missiologically. If asked these specific questions, Piper may respond favorably to some of this, but because of his theological views (seen through his writings), I doubt he would frame it as such. However, even though I disagree here, these are areas of smaller concern within view of the whole.

The Questionable & Very Concerned:

When it comes to telling the elect 'The Gospel' message, Piper sets forth no less than 10 different messages that are apparently 'The Gospel' throughout this book. I find it hard to be motivated to 'bring the message to the elect' when I'm confused on what the message(s) is/are. Piper is so unclear at times I actually question if he understands what the Gospel message/response is. I do not say this pejoratively, I say it very concerned. Throughout his book, if you're looking for a central Gospel message/response, you will not find one. It is very blurry here, to put it kindly.

I do find that Piper deals with the minor tensions in His missiological convictions well ('to all peoples', not just 'nations', he dialogues this in beautiful detail and has an excellent word study on this in the book). However, as stated before, he does not interact with his major theological assumptions, such as Election to Salvation/Reprobation ('in the same manner'), Predestination within the Person of God and His Decree, Hypothetical and Effective Call, Limited Atonement, Perseverance of the Saints, etc. All these assumptions cannot merely be overlooked and passed by as one discusses missions. This is clearly too much to overlook for the undiscerned reader.

In conclusion, if you already know about these issues concerning Piper its a good read because its filled with passion for God, for us to become less, and for Him to be ultimately lifted up in our lives. However, I would not recommend this book for undiscerned readers. I say this because the lack of discussion concerning his theological assumptions are so minimal, one could easily be lead to believe this is the position all evangelicals agree on for theology and its missiological implications, when it certainly is not.

Am I saying that Piper is absolutely wrong? No. What I am saying is that since we serve a missional God, a God always on mission, it should be important to explain what is foundational for our belief in doing them. Piper can hold to his own views, that's fine, but he must explain and exegete the scriptures as well when coming to these types of views. These are very important points which he should clarify, since the majority reading this book will not understand the foundational theological conclusions he's already come to. I would read his deeper theological books, with a bible in hand, before I begin reading his books on missions. I would think this is the best way to approach an accurate evaluation of someone's work (not just Piper) in comparison to the bible.

So, before reading a more practical book like this, I would first read his most theological book on these issues: 'The Justification of God', his exposition of Romans 9. This is a very academic book, so if it's too much, try a few of his others, such as 'The Future of Justification', a bit easier to read. I would then read a few other books such as 'Future Grace', 'Counted Righteous in Christ', and his classic, 'Desiring God'. I think these books paint a clearer picture of where he's coming from. However, while doing this I would read from other works outside his own convictions on these same issues. A couple are 'Chosen But Free' (by Dr. Norman Geisler), 'The Other Side of Calvinism' (by Dr. Laurence Vance), 'The Dark Side of Calvinism' (by George Bryson), 'God's Strategy in Human History' by Roger Forster, 'Election and Predestination' by Samuel Fisk, and 'Beyond Arminianism and Calvinism: An Inductive Mediate Theology of Salvation' (by C. Gordon Olson). The last book has an extensive section on these implications for the area of missions, as Dr. Olson was a professor of missions for over 30 years and worked in Islamic countries for nearly a decade. Let Christ Be Praised.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)
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