Sunday, December 07, 2008

Prayerfully and Slowly Read Finally Alive!

To be released in January 2009, John Piper's newest book, Finally Alive (Christian Focus Publications), is a must read. Nothing could be more important than understanding the new birth, and understanding it, being sure we've come into possession of it. And as a preacher of the gospel, few things could be more important than to preach in such a way as to make the necessity, urgency, and the reality of the new birth a vibrant reality for our people.

Far too many people think they possess Christ but do not possess this new birth. Far too many think of conversion as essentially a person's decision. Too few think of conversion in the radical, life-giving and transformative way Jesus understood it and the NT teaches it.

Bro. Piper has served the church wonderfully well in writing this book, which first took the form of a series of sermons preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church. The sermonic origin makes the pastoral quality all the richer. Read this book; give copies to your family, friends, and neighbors. And pray that by it, men and women would be finally alive!


Available at:
Pre-order from Desiring God for only $5! Details here.
Amazon.com (here)


Endorsements

"For those curious about the Christian faith to those deeply committed to Christ and his ways, come read and behold the glory of any and every sinner’s only hope—the miracle of the new birth that brings forth new life in Christ that will never end.”
- Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Regeneration, or new birth, meaning simply the new you through, with, in, and under Christ, is a largely neglected theme today, but this fine set of sermons, criss-crossing the New Testament data with great precision, goes far to fill the gap. Highly recommended.”
- J .I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada

"Theologically thorough and yet heart-warmingly pastoral and practical, this important book should help God’s people to value the remarkable status and responsibility of being ‘born again.’”
- Richard Cunningham, Director of Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF), United Kingdom

"Nothing could be more eternally important than Christian people knowing what the Bible teaches about the new birth and knowing that they have experienced it. One wonders why it’s taken so long for a book on the new birth to be written! But now it has and I pray every reader rejoices in God for the rich beauties of Christ Jesus so compellingly shared in its pages.”
- Thabiti Anyabwile, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

“Expository and practical, this rich survey of New Testament teaching explores the nature of the new birth and the life which flows from it. Full of refreshment and encouragement, it reveals more deeply the glory of Christ and the gospel and motivates a renewed commitment to live out this good news and share it with others.”
- David Jackman, President of The Proclamation Trust

“When I was a boy my grandmother asked me, ‘Have you been born again?’ Though I didn’t understand what she meant at the time, that question led to my conversion to Christ. In this wonderful book, Pastor John Piper rescues the term ‘born again’ from the abuse and overuse to which it is subject in our culture today. This is a fresh presentation of the evangelical doctrine of the new birth, a work filled with theological insight and pastoral wisdom.”
- Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Many will be thankful that John Piper is here addressing the key need of our times. Every awakening begins with the renewed discovery of Christ's teaching on the new birth. Here is that amazing teaching in lucid yet comprehensive form; with a relevance to readers worldwide.”
- Iain H. Murray

“Have I been born again? is not a question to be answered hastily. In this book, Piper strips away our complacency, arguing that many people falsely believe they are Christians. By examining the Bible’s teaching on the new birth, he shows us how to be certain our faith is genuine. Because no issue could be more critical, I believe this is the most important book Piper has written.”
- Adrian Warnock, blogger

“Classic Piper—crystal clear exposition and a must read.”
- Alistair Begg, Parkside Church

“I cannot too strongly celebrate the publication of this book. Owing in part to several decades of dispute over justification and how a person is set right with God, we have tended to neglect another component of conversion no less important. Conversion under the terms of the new covenant is more than a matter of position and status in Christ, though never less: it includes miraculous Spirit-given transformation, something immeasurably beyond mere human resolution. It is new birth; it makes us new creatures; it demonstrates that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. All the creedal orthodoxy in the world cannot replace it. The reason why “You must be born again” is so important is that you must be born again."
- D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

1 comment:

gary.desterke said...

A Cautionary Note
The soul’s regeneration, or “being born again,” is inextricably linked to predestination. I believe that this doctrine is a two edged sword. I grew up being taught to pray for “a new heart” so that I could believe and be saved. Implied was that regeneration was primary and something felt/ experienced so that one would know that he/ she was elect and could then confidently respond to the gospel offer. I suffered under this depressing delusion for many years and suffered major long-term depression because of it. I would recommend Matt Rogers’ “Losing God” (Intervarsity, 2008) as a similar case, and a study of what can happen.
I am pleading for great care and gentleness in “reviving” this doctrine. Pastors and well-meaning brothers and sisters may well conclude that they or many of their fellow Christians are self-deceived, and this must be treated with the utmost delicacy. The doctrine of predestination, and the fact that we could never have acted faith without God working in us, are what JI Packer has called the family secret. It is also what Spurgeon described as what we learn when we enter the gate of salvation under the banner, “Whosoever will, may come,” only to look back at the gate through which we came and see, “Predestined from before the foundation of the world.”
When one is appreciative of the one thing needful, the enormity of this being cast into doubt can lead to serious clinical depression, causing needless suffering. Many have suffered on this road.