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