Book Review : 5 Points

Towards a deeper Expression of God’s Grace : John Piper

Review by Tim Challies

Grace is the heart of God to do you good when you deserve it least. But do we really know how deeply we don’t deserve it?  Only God can reveal that to Five Pointsus. He does it through the Bible. And when he does, the wonders of his grace explode with brightness as never before. These Five Points are about how Christians come into being, and how we are kept forever. It reaches back into times past when we were freely chosen. It reaches forward into the future when we will be safe and happy forever. It reaches down into the mysteries of the work of Christ, purchasing the gift of faith for all God’s children. And it reaches into the human soul, glimpsing the mysteries of the Spirit’s work as he conquers all our rebellion and makes us willing captives of King Jesus.

John Piper believes that our experience of grace grows with our grasp of God’s gracious work. He invites us to come with him on this quest.

One of Piper’s great strengths in representing and defending Calvinistic theology has been in not merely defending this doctrine, but in making it lead to wonder and to worship. “My experience is that clear knowledge of God from the Bible is the kindling that sustains the fires of affection for God. And probably the most crucial kind of knowledge is the knowledge of what God is like in salvation.” Of course this is what the five points of Calvinism are about—“not the power and sovereignty of God in general, but his power and sovereignty in the way he saves people,” which is exactly why these doctrines are commonly referred to as the doctrines of grace. He insists that he does not begin here as a Calvinist who sets out to defend a system, but as a Christian who holds the Bible above any system of thought.

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