Thursday, September 22, 2005

Book: John Piper's Let the Nations be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions

This week, I was designated to be the facilitator for one of the group sessions on Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose programme. The session was about evangelism, the last of the six sessions (i.e. my purpose, worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism). After running through the contents of the study workbook and reading the sections on evangelism in the book Purpose-Driven Life (i.e. from chapter 36 onwards), I found the contents rather lacking and thought I should supplement and balance this topic with materials from other sources.

One book that came to mind was "Let the Nations be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions" by John Piper. I went to the Tecman Christian bookstore to purchase it last Friday and have finished reading the book by Monday.

If there is one book on missions you absolutely must read, I promise you this would be the book.

The topics covered are:
  1. The Supremacy of God in Missions through Worship
  2. The Supremacy of God in Missions through Prayer
  3. The Supremacy of God in Missions through Suffering
  4. The Supremacy of Christ as the Conscious Focus of All Saving Faith
  5. The Supremacy of God among "All the Nations"
  6. A Passion for God's Supremacy and Compassion for Man's Soul: Jonathan Edwards on the Unity of Motives for World Missions
  7. The Inner Simplicity and Outer Freedom of Worldwide Worship
A couple of quotes from Piper:
  1. On Worship
    “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man… Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God… But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching… Missions begins and ends in worship.” – p.17
  2. On the Glory of God
    “Missions is not God’s ultimate goal, worship is… The ultimate foundation for our passion to see God glorified is his own passion to be glorified… God is not an idolater. He does not disobey the first and great commandment. With all his heart and soul and strength and mind he delights in the glory of his manifold perfections. The most passionate heart for God in all the universe is God’s heart.” – p.20-21
  3. On Compassion
    “Compassion for the lost is a high and beautiful motive for missionary labor. Without it we lose the sweet humility of sharing a treasure freely received. But we have seen that compassion for people must not be detached from passion for the glory of God.” – p.41
  4. On the Sovereignty of God
    “Jesus brings his sheep into the fold through the preaching of those he sends, just as the Father sent him (John 20:21). So it is just as true today as in that day, ‘My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27)’ It is Christ who calls in the gospel. Christ gathers his sheep in world missions. That is why there is complete assurance that they will come.” – p.42
  5. On the Gospel
    “As the Christian movement spread, Luke repeatedly described its growth of the Word of God. ‘And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem’ (Acts 6:7). ‘The word of God increased and multiplied’ (Acts 12:24). ‘The word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region’ (Acts 13:49). ‘The word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily’ (Acts 19:20).

    This is why I am jealous to say that the proclamation of the gospel is ‘the work of missions.’ It is the weapon that God designed to use in penetrating the kingdom of darkness and gathering the children of light from all the nations (Acts 26:16-18). His whole redemptive plan for the universe hangs on the success of his Word. If the proclamation of the Word aborts, the purposes of God fail.” – p.64-65
  6. On Prayer
    “This is why God has ordained prayer to have such a crucial place in the mission of the church. The purpose of prayer is to make clear to all the participants in missions that the victory belongs to the Lord… Prayer is God’s appointed means of bringing grace to the world and glory to himself.

    Prayer puts God in the place of the all-sufficient Benefactor and puts us in the place of needy beneficiaries. Therefore, when the mission of the church moves forward by prayer, the supremacy of God is manifest and the needs of Christian missionaries are met. In prayer, he is glorified and we are satisfied… The purpose of prayer is the Father’s fame and the saints’ fullness.” – p.232
  7. On Suffering
    “Therefore, God ordains that the mission of his church move forward not only by the fuel of worship and in the power of prayer but also at the price of suffering. ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up the cross and follow me’ (Mark 8:34). ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.’ (John 15:20). ‘If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of this household’ (Matt. 10:25). ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things’ (Mark 8:31). ‘As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you’ (John 20:21). ‘Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves’ (Matt. 10:16). ‘I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name’ (Acts 9:16)” – p.233

8 Comments:

Blogger Catherine said...

I just stumbled across your blog and it's very interesting and organized. I will be back to read more! Keep the faith.

23/9/05 1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i have a question for you about your beliefs...just out of my curiousity...if there is an elite which God has chosen to be saved how is it that that elite would know that they are saved?

18/10/05 10:25 AM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Your question to me is essentially about the assurance of salvation. I did post a comment about this issue over here.

18/10/05 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8/11/05 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

I googled for a Piper quote, I found your site and I think it's great. (So, thanks for helping me indirectly with my paper!) I'll be back to visit.

12/11/05 10:05 AM  
Blogger The Hedonese said...

OMF lists the book as 'must-read' too... I found some copies on board the Doulos

12/1/06 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Way of Life said...

Definitely a great resource and well worth the read. Thank you.

14/3/11 9:08 PM  
Anonymous www.ventaxcatalogo.com said...

Goodness, there is really much useful material here!

11/11/11 12:21 AM  

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