John Piper fears that many who profess to love God don't love him so much as they do his gifts: "Preachers can say dozens of true and wonderful things about the gospel and not lead people to where the gospel is leading."
GOD IS THE GOSPEL:
So how do we miss the gospel? Piper says our culture trains us to understand love in terms of what others do for us. We love God because he saved us from hell, because he gives our lives purpose, because heaven will be glorious.
"The astonishing thing is that people can become religious without being converted," Piper writes. "That is, they join churches and start reading the Bible and doing religious things with no change in the foundation of their happiness: It is still themselves. They are the ground of their joy."
Ever the preacher, Piper soaks his pages with biblical exegesis. He unabashedly relies on Jonathan Edwards's masterpiece, Religious Affections. Reflection questions in Chapter 11 are designed to test your true motivation for loving God. Some readers, however, may lose patience with Piper's occasionally complex prose.
Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
God is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
Also posted today is:
What Makes the Gospel Good News? | Personal salvation is nice, but delighting in God is better.
More information is available Crossway Books and John Piper's Desiring God Ministries.
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