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Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions

By John Piper (Author) & Raymond Todd (Read by)
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Overview
Why do we do missions? We are told, by Jesus, to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. So missions is duty, right? Wrong. If you do missions purely from a sense of duty you will not honor those you are reaching out to, nor will you truly honor God. Duty is the wrong place to look, so where do we find the answer to why we do missions? We turn, according to John Piper, to worship. In our worship of God we encounter God's glory. The overflow from our worship is a desire to share God's glory with others (the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever), and we naturally become missional. When Jesus was asked what the kingdom of God was like, he compared it to a pearl so valuable that one would sell all they owned simply to possess it. Does that seem like duty to you? Instead, Jesus calls us to a new mindset, which flows from the mindset that worship creates in us. Thus, according to Piper, does worship become the goal of missions and the fuel which makes missions possible. Worship as the fuel for missions makes sense to a lot of people, but worship as the goal of missions? Piper reminds us that the true reason we share God with others is to make them worshipers (and sharers) as well. He feels that the true goal of missions is "the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God." If it is true, (as Piper states) that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," then increasing the number of people who are satisfied in God will bring God more glory. And missions is the way we can do that. Missions must be seen as more than simply saving people from sin, though that is a very important aspect. And missions is not just about getting people into heaven, although that is important as well. Instead, through missions we should always seek to make as many people as possible into true worshipers, into those fully satisfied with the greatness of God. With that mindset, missions becomes a joyous experience, as we joyfully share the life-changing presence of God in our lives with those who don't know God. When we have made worship both the fuel and goal of all our missionary endeavors, we realize that "missions is not a recruitment project for God's labor force. It is a liberation project from the heavy burdens and hard yokes of other gods." Missions is never a burden, because it comes out of our overwhelming joy in God's grace and mercy, and we just want to share that joy. So make God the center of your missions

Publishers Description
Why do we do missions? We are told, by Jesus, to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. So missions is duty, right? Wrong. If you do missions purely from a sense of duty you will not honor those you are reaching out to, nor will you truly honor God. Duty is the wrong place to look, so where do we find the answer to why we do missions? We turn, according to John Piper, to worship. // In our worship of God we encounter God's glory. The overflow from our worship is a desire to share God's glory with others (the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever), and we naturally become missional. When Jesus was asked what the kingdom of God was like, he compared it to a pearl so valuable that one would sell all they owned simply to possess it. Does that seem like duty to you? Instead, Jesus calls us to a new mindset, which flows from the mindset that worship creates in us. Thus, according to Piper, does worship become the goal of missions and the fuel which makes missions possible. // Worship as the fuel for missions makes sense to a lot of people, but worship as the goal of missions? Piper reminds us that the true reason we share God with others is to make them worshipers (and sharers) as well. He feels that the true goal of missions is "the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God." If it is true, (as Piper states) that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," then increasing the number of people who are satisfied in God will bring God more glory. And missions is the way we can do that. // Missions must be seen as more than simply saving people from sin, though that is a very important aspect. And missions is not just about getting people into heaven, although that is important as well. Instead, through missions we should always seek to make as many people as possible into true worshipers, into those fully satisfied with the greatness of God. // With that mindset, missions becomes a joyous experience, as we joyfully share the life-changing presence of God in our lives with those who don't know God. When we have made worship both the fuel and goal of all our missionary endeavors, we realize that "missions is not a recruitment project for God's labor force. It is a liberation project from the heavy burdens and hard yokes of other gods." Missions is never a burden, because it comes out of our overwhelming joy in God's grace and mercy, and we just want to share that joy. So make God the center of your missions work, and joyfully share what He has graciously given to you.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper & Raymond Todd has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • CBA Retailers - 10/01/2008 page 27


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 540.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.12" Width: 5.14" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   0.36 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Sep 1, 2008
Publisher   Hovel Audio
Edition  Revised, Expand  
ISBN  1596446145  
ISBN13  9781596446144  


Availability  0 units.


More About John Piper & Raymond Todd


John Piper John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980, is the author of numerous books" "and a senior writer for "World "magazine,"" He received his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College, St. Paul, before becoming a pastor. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons and one daughter.

SPANISH BIO: John Piper es pastor de Bethlehem Baptist Church, en Mineapolis. Sus muchos libros incluyen: Cuando no deseo a Dios, No desperdicies tu vida, Lo que Jesus exige del mundo.

John Piper currently resides in Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota. John Piper was born in 1946.

John Piper has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Ministeriales
  2. Essential Edwards Collection
  3. Lifechange Books
  4. Swans Are Not Silent


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Missions



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Reviews - What do customers think about Let the Nations Be Glad?

Book Review: Let the Nations Be Glad! by John Piper  May 17, 2008
John Piper has been the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980. He is the author of over 30 books and the founder of Desiring God ministries. The second edition of Let the Nations Be Glad was published in 2003.

Summary of Let the Nations Be Glad

On the back cover of the second edition of Let the Nations Be Glad, Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World says, "This book has glorified God and helped to bring missions from the periphery to the center of the worldview of many Christians, and it is faithful to the Scriptures."

In Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper reminds us that the true reason we share God with others is to magnify the supremacy of Christ in this world in order to make others behold, and savor and glorify God in the gospel. Piper begins the book stating, "Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man . . . worship abides forever" (p. 17). This opening statement lays the foundation for Let the Nations Be Glad. Pastor Piper has in mind Revelation 7:9-10, "a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, `Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" In that sense, worship is the ultimate goal of the gospel and the supremacy of God in missions. Missions will one day end, but the great multitude of believers from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, will cry out before the throne of God above in worship, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb."

What is missions? Piper makes the point that Christian missions is an expression of God's ultimate worth over creation and his loving passion to seek and save the lost for his name's sake (cf. Luke 19:10). Let the Nations Be Glad is divided into three parts and seven chapters with an afterword by Tom Steller.

The three major parts are:

1. Making God Supreme in Missions: The Purpose, the Power, and the Price
2. Making God Supreme in Missions: The Necessity and Nature of the Task
3. Making God Supreme in Missions: The Practical Outworking of Compassion and Worship

Piper's stated goal of missions is, "We simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God's glory" (p. 17). His consistency allows for nothing less than the supremacy of God in missions through the gospel of Jesus Christ, worship, prayer, and the suffering of believers so that all the nations may know and worship him.

The first chapter covers the supremacy of God in missions through worship. Chapters two and three discuss the nature and purpose of prayer and suffering in God's Missio Dei. Pastor Piper supports his point that God is worthy of our worship and praise, worthy of our lives by stating the opening of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever," while adding, and "the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever" (p. 21). For Piper, that is why worship is ultimate. Global evangelism cannot be truly seen for what it is to God unless understand God for who he is.

Chapter two outlines the role and nature of prayer in missions. Piper writes, "Prayer is not a domestic intercom . . . to ask for more comforts in the den" Instead, it is a strategic weapon of choice for pressing back the forces of darkness (pp. 49, 51). Therefore, he makes the point that prayer puts missions under the mercy of God.

Chapter three intends to show how suffering relates to the supremacy of God in missions. Jesus taught, "Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it" (Mark 8:35). To Piper, the Bible clearly teaches that Christians will suffer, especially when proclaiming the gospel to those who will reject it. He suggests that though "Christ died for us so that we would not have to die for sin," that does not mean we will "not have to die for others" (p. 77). To that point, he says that we are often called to suffer for others just as Christ suffered for us, also including that suffering for good is gracious in the eyes of God. Piper's treatment of suffering and the supremacy of God are thoroughly biblical and richly theological.

Chapter four discusses the supremacy of Christ as the "conscious focus of all saving faith" (p. 111). For that reason, this is one of the most important chapters in the book. Piper makes the biblical point that people cannot come to a conscious saving faith in Christ unless the message of Christ is given to them, and the message of Christ will not be given to them unless we go and share the gospel with them. The afterword by Tom Steller elaborates this point.

The fifth chapter of Let the Nations Be Glad addresses the supremacy of God among all the nations. Pastor Piper suggests that the biblical definition of missions is not defined by love in itself; rather it is defined by God (cf. p. 155). He says, certainly God is love, but often the way we define love is different from "the ways of God" and "are not the way we would have done things with our limited views" (p. 155). This is important concerning the nations, because it is understandable that not all people will be saved.

What does it mean to reach all peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations? Piper suggests that the "special missionary task will result in the greatest number of people groups reached with the testimony of Christ" and not necessarily the greatest number of individuals. I will discuss this point further in the critical evaluation portion of this review.

The following two chapters outline Piper's purpose for writing the book along with a practical outworking of compassion for others that is a result of a passion for God's supremacy in this world. In chapter six, he mentions the influence of Jonathan Edwards on his theology and on the unity of motives for God's glory and the salvation of sinners in missions. He reminds us that Christ died to redeem a worshiping people for his Father (p. 208), and that we also have a motive for sharing the gospel that is rooted in our passion for God's glory and, therefore, seen in our compassion and love for people. Pastor Piper also reminds by way of Edwards that if we seek to honor God with our lives and seek to rescue people from hell, we must also pursue the lost even as they shy away from the light and rescue them from condemnation through prayer, suffering and by the Good News of salvation in Christ.

Critical Evaluation of Let the Nations Be Glad

I will address the issues of suffering for the supremacy of Christ and the great multitude in heaven (cf. Rev. 7:9-10) in this section of the review. Before getting to that, I want to take this opportunity to urge you to read this book. In my opinion, this is the most important book on missions available today outside of the biblical texts dealing with missions and evangelism. Let the Nations Be Glad is richly theological, and saturated with biblical expositions of related texts. Piper's theological understanding of missions is constant and applicable. Not only that, but he also reminds us that missions is ultimately about the glory of God.

Chapter four, which deals with the role of suffering and the supremacy of Christ in missions is important. To many Christians in Western nations, this idea is difficult to identify with. Piper mentions Paul's words in Col. 1:24 in this chapter: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (see vv. 25-26 for context). His point is we should rejoice in our suffering and afflictions because we endure those things for the supremacy of Christ in the gospel and for the sake of those who hear and believe.

In my opinion, this chapter makes sense of Christians who have willingly suffered for the sake of the gospel, even to the point of death, so that all peoples may hear the gospel preached. Why would Elisabeth Elliot return to those who murdered her husband to tell them the gospel? Why would any Christian die for the sake of the gospel at the hands of those they are trying to reach? They do it for the joy that is set before them, and they want others to be saved and worship him also.

The second thing I want to address in this review is Piper's treatment of the supremacy of God among all the nations in chapter five. To begin, missions is genuinely the work of God through Christ. We are tools in his hands and he is the one who calls his sheep and "brings them into the fold through the preaching of those whom he sends" (p. 55). It is that biblical truth that should give us confidence in prayer, the heart to stand for the gospel and suffering for the sake of church, and the passion to seek to save others from hell.

It is in that context that Piper suggests that the "special missionary task will result in the greatest number of people groups reached with the testimony of Christ." In view of Rev. 7:9-10, our view of missions should be a global idea. Piper makes the point that if we actually plan on reaching the most people, we should probably focus on regions were the church is established (e.g. primarily, the United States, parts of Africa, and China). Do you see the problem there? Piper's point here is important because Rev. 7:9-10 says that the great multitude will include peoples from every tribe, tongue, and nation. To that position, Piper provides a detailed word study of the Greek word used in the New Testament for people, ethnos, explaining the uses and intent of the singular and plural. I highly recommend chapter five be read twice.

Conclusion

Piper's strengths in Let the Nations Be Glad are similar to his strengths in God is the Gospel and Desiring God. He is passionately committed to God's supremacy in all aspects of missions. In Let the Nations Be Glad, he seeks to help us understand God's love and compassion for the nations. But more importantly, he helps us to understand how we should view God's mission. I highly recommend Let the Nations Be Glad for anyone wanting to read a thorough biblical theology of missions.
 
"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is."   Mar 28, 2008
I am thankful to God for allowing me to have read "Let the Nations be Glad" by John Piper. In it, Piper immediately draws the reader in by stating that "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is." Piper affiliates missions to the supremacy of God by insisting that worship is the chief end of the church and not missions. He demonstrates this by stating that worship is ultimate and not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. Piper explains that missions are temporary while worship abides forever and goes on to say that worship is the fuel and goal of missions.

In my opinion this book is completely consistent with the Scriptures. This book is supremely God centered, Biblical, and Christ exalting in nature. It is also very accessible and practical to the average Christian reader like myself while simultaneously possessing scholarly and theological depth. In chapter one, subsequent to providing the Biblical texts which show God's zeal for His own glory, Piper wisely addresses the anticipated question on how self exaltation can be a loving act. I found Piper's answer to be both Biblical and helpful. I also enjoyed Piper's exhortation to evangelism when love for the lost is weak. I agree with Piper and Dawson who say that our primary motive for evangelism should not stem from compassion for the lost but out of a love for God and a passion for His glory. In chapter two I enjoyed the parallels between the Christian life and warfare, with prayer being the wartime walki-talkie for the mission of the church. In chapter three I was moved by the role suffering plays in relation to mission efforts. It is amazing to understand that the suffering missionaries face is not unforeseen by the Lord but rather appointed by Him for specific reasons. Chapter four is theological sound as it shows the necessity for the atoning work of Jesus Christ for the salvation of all men. Chapter five is the culmination of the book which encourages missionary work and demonstrates the supremacy of God among the nations. In it Piper makes a good argument from the Greek language to show that we are to make disciples of all people groups (panta ta ethne) and not just individuals.

Upon reading this book my entire outlook on missions has changed. I now realize that missions are not God's ultimate goal, worship is. As Piper stated, "The deepest reason why our passion for God should fuel missions is that God's passion for God fuels missions." In other words: God's passion for God should be the foundation for our passion for Him. Perhaps the most striking point in this book is the idea that God is passionate for His own Glory. The goal of missions, according to Piper is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. This book has been very informative on my understanding of missions and convicting considering the time I spend on my walki-talkie for missionaries abroad. There is no greater cause in the entire world than the glory of God and Piper eloquently describes how missions are intimately connected to that cause. Piper is correct when he says the doctrine of unconditional election is the missionary's great hope. Missions cannot fail because election cannot fail.
 
Awesome Service  Feb 20, 2008
This was my first time purchasing an item from this site and I was completely satisfied with my purchase. I received the book with-in a few days, including a holiday and weekend for shipping. The book was in great shape and I got it for a good price. I would use this provider again!!
 
A review of a review by D. Noronha given by one who hasn't read...  Feb 2, 2008
I am rating this book a 1 only so that it will be seen with this other 1star review.

I was looking at the reviews for this book prior to purchasing and (as is my custom) I looked at the 1star review first. To my chagrin, D. Noronha's non-review review is what I saw...

I hesitate to do this but feel compelled given your scathing review... this list is not exhaustive but is at least representative of the glaring errors in your "review".
*first and foremost, any review beginning with "I have not finished this book yet" should be summarily dismissed
*"attrocious use with the English language" - atrocious use of the english language...(sort of like yours)
*"scrambling to cohere to a malconstrued outline" - scrambling to adhere to a misconstrued outline (perhaps this is what was meant?)
*"of great theologeans" - of great theologians
*"hardly an exigesis" - i am fairly certain you meant "exegesis" (possibly eisegesis if you were being negative...)
 
Let the Elect of the Nations Be Glad...  Dec 25, 2007
Piper's book reveals God's desire to glorify Himself by reaching all [elect] peoples. In that regard, his book is a good place to start for non-Calvinists, and Calvinists by name only, if they remember that Piper's call is one based on "duty" to God alone and not one of Love for ALL sinners as verses like John 3:16 clearly state. Under the New Covenant the Law of Christ is fulfilled in love and any attempt to evangelize from a sense of duty will be unimpassioned and doomed to failure. Take it from a missionary who has worked for over 10 years in Africa; Piper's catch phrases like "worship is the fuel of missions" won't keep you afloat--during the tough times that is where love for God and ALL sinners will be your heart's motivation.

Unfortunately, for other Calvinists, Piper's book (and JI Packer's) doesn't reveal how a practicing Calvinist can sincerely share the gospel with ALL sinners. As Piper is a self-proclaimed 7-point Calvinist (no typo, it's even on his website), and a defender of reprobation, I can't recommend his other books either. The singular theme of Piper's books boil down to Theologism based on popular Calvinism. For a meatier and more theologically balanced view of missions check out What in the World is God Doing: The Essentials of Global Missions: An Introductory Guide.
 

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