Tag Archives: Justin Taylor

The Power of Words and the Wonder of God edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor

John Piper and Justin Taylor, general editors.  Purchase at Westminster for $10.55The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2009.  176 pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Westminster books for $10.71.

Introduction

John Piper and Justin Taylor are back as general editors of yet another wonderful treatise that the church needs to hear.  This particular edition deals with the words we use each and every day.  More importantly, this volume deals with the Word of God and how the power of salvation and creation comes from God’s words.

Contributors include Mark Driscoll, Sinclair Ferguson, Bob Kauflin, Piper, Taylor, Daniel Taylor and Paul David Tripp.

Summary

These papers were presented at the 2008 Desiring God National Conference.  Paul Tripp introduces the mere fact that everything we do involves speech.  We need to be seeking to season our speech with the love of the gospel so that when we do speak, it will be effective for God’s glory.  Next, Sinclair Ferguson exposits James 3:1-12 which is truly worth the price of the book.

Piper offers a stirring look at how our speech should be eloquent so that God’s glory may be magnified all the more.  This is a chapter that needs to be read by all pastors and Christian speakers.  Often times, we are unable to move beyond superficial words except to sprinkle “smart sounding” words in so that we sound intelligent.  Thus the saying remains true: “a mile wide and an inch deep” when applied to our vocabulary.

Interestingly enough, Driscoll speaks on Christ, Controversy, and Cutting Words.  I say interestingly enough because it is Driscoll who has come under fire for having used profanity from the pulpit (he has since repented).  Daniel Taylor, a professor of literature and writing at Bethel University, writes regarding how our faith is writing a story and how we should express it as such.

Finally, Bob Kauflin concludes the essays with his take on how our singing brings much glory and honor to God.  The book ultimately concludes with two panel discussions regarding the power of words.

Review/Recommendation

These messages are not for the faint of heart.  There is no letting up in this book.  From the beginning to the end, the reader is challenged to watch what he says.  The theme verse while reading this book is Matthew 12:36.  Amazingly enough, I can never recall a sermon being preached on this text in any church I have ever attended.

Regardless of the difficulty of reading (you can download the sermons and listen to them), these men need to be heard.  If Matthew 12:36 is true, then there are many of us (myself included!) who are going to be in a lot of trouble though we have been covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (at least those who have repented of their sins and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior).  As you read this book, you will find yourself realizing just how easily one sins by opening his mouth. Read this book.

Stand by John Piper and Justin Taylor

Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 157 pp. $14.99. Buy from Westminster Books or download as free PDF from Desiring God

Introduction

We have come to expect quality work whenever Justin Taylor and John Piper team up to bring Christendom a Christ-centered book. Stand is no different. With contributions from John MacArthur, Randy Alcorn, Jerry Bridges and Helen Roseveare, the rally cry for the troops is loud and clear—we must stand and face the daily challenges of life and the Christian walk if we are to adhere to the biblical principles of trials and tribulations. This is counter-cultural today when most flee the dangers and hardships.

Summary

Taylor defines the biblical precepts of endurance and perseverance and why these to doctrines are important for every person who calls on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jerry Bridges offers four essentials for finishing the Christian race well. None of them are completely new, but everyone can use the reminder every now and then.

Piper offers a chapter on getting old to the glory of God. Although many who read Piper “are not there yet,” they will be soon. This is an excellent chapter to begin meditating on even now. John MacArthur offers up several certainties that drive an enduring ministry. Having been at Grace Community Church since 1969, MacArthur can share with the next generation these certainties from his own personal experience.

Randy Alcorn presents a chapter on the importance of one’s daily decision making. He also speaks to having courage for a call (in his case it is the unborn) and standing resolute by your convictions. Finally, Helen Roseveare offers an encouraging word regarding Christ’s walking with His saints through all of trials and tribulations.

Recommendation

One thing I have learned as a seminary student at SBTS is that to be able to drink from the well of experience that our professor’s possess is one of the greatest “perks” of studying on campus. While not everyone can have a mentoring relationship with the contributors to this book, reading and learning from them is the next best thing. Every Christian could use to read this book—we all struggle with endurance and praising God in all things at all times. Pastors will find that this book will become an excellent resource to give away as they seek to minister to the various needs of the congregation God has entrusted to their care.