October 27th, 2008
Piper, John. Spectacular Sins. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 121 pp. $15.99. Listen to the Spectacular Sins sermon series at Desiring God.
Have you ever picked up a book thinking it was going to be about one thing and it turns out you were completely wrong? Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ is one of those books. I thought it would be a testimony about how God has glorified His Son through men like Hitler and Stalin. I figured it would be about how God can use the major sins in your life to bring glory to His Son.
I was wrong. Instead, John Piper sounds an alarm to all Christians that a time is coming when it will no longer be safe to be a Christian. He claims that Christians in the West are being “coddled” and therefore we need to prepare ourselves for the trials and tribulations that are sure to come. In calling Christians to a preparedness for these tribulations, Piper seeks to answer the question “Why does God even allow evil?”
Using Colossians 1:16 as a springboard, he gives us his answer. In short it is all for Christ’s glory. Piper showed that God allowed such spectacular sins as the rebellion of Satan, the fall of Adam, the tower of Babel, Joseph, the demand for a king by the Israelites and the betrayal of Judas Iscariot to take place in order that Christ may receive more glory. In essence, if Col. 1:16 is true, then we must live our lives—trials and all—in light of this biblical truth.
I found this book extremely hard to put down. I was enraptured by what Piper had to say. It seemed as though all throughout the book he was building to a crescendo only to see the book just end. It is only then that you realize that the crescendo is your living out the biblical truths presented in Spectacular Sins.
This book is a must read for all Christians. I must agree that there is a time coming when being a Christian will be not only frowned upon but will hazardous to your wellbeing. We need to be reminded that even all the evil and sin that takes place is ultimately for Christ’s glory and we have something far better waiting on the other side of death than what this world has to offer—if you are found in Christ.