The timing of 'The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die' couldn't have been better. I thank and praise God for this book.
First of all, I write this review as someone who's seen the film, read the first 15 chapters (there are 50 short chapters in the book) of the book, and most importantly, as a Christian.
Despite what some might say about the film, Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ presents an evangelistic opportunity in that Jesus is now on people's agenda when it woudln't have been otherwise. It is just saddening to think that many are walking out of the theatres having seen the film without the deep conviction that what Jesus achieved on the cross is in every way relevant to them, and that it has everything to do with their eternal life or death.
This book explains the purpose of Jesus' suffering and death on the cross. And it does it very well. John Piper's commanding knowledge on the doctrine of redemption is obvious from chapter one (where he dives straight into the doctrien of propitiation) but he obviously has non-Christians in mind too as he writes in such clear, easy to understand style. If you are a Christian, it would be a great book to buy, read yourself, then to give away to your non-Christian friend who's seen the film. It also has a very helpful list of 'Books on the Historical Reliability of the Bible's Record' at the back if your non-Christian friend (or yourself!) are interested in that.
Over in the States, over 1.37 million copies of this book have been distributed already. I pray that God would save many people through the truths laid out so clearly in this book.