Category Archives: piper

Unpacking Forgiveness

I received an early review copy of Unpacking Forgiveness (Crossway), by Chris Brauns, and have begun to read through it. I’ve got a number of other things going on, so I may not finish it quickly, but that may actually be for the better. This looks to be a very good book to take slowly.

Probably the first author I ever read to turn me on to the glory of God is John Piper. I came across a copy of Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist in Uzbekistan in 2000. There Piper writes, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

In Unpacking Forgiveness, Chris Brauns starts by applying that principle to our understanding of forgiveness. Too many people are afraid to learn about biblical forgiveness thinking it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Not the case, says Brauns:

So why do it? Here is the short answer. You should be motivated to unpack forgiveness so you can know maximum happiness. When your alarm clock screeches at you to get out of bed at some desolate hour so you can get up to study the Bible and pray, you should listen to it because you want to be happy. When you contemplate calling up someone to ask forgiveness or to offer grace, perhaps someone to whom you never wanted to talk again, you should challenge yourself to do so because you want to be happy. When you are deciding whether or not to watch television or to learn prayerfully about forgiveness, tell yourself, I am going to do this because I believe it will maximize my happiness.

I never thought about forgiveness that way!

I look forward to much more to come in this little volume.

The Gospel in a Paragraph

This paragraph came across my desk recently and it blew my mind:

The most terrifying news in the world is that we have fallen under the condemnation of our Creator and that he is bound by his own righteous character to preserve the worth of his glory by pouring out his wrath on the sin of our ingratitude. But there is a fourth great truth that no one can ever learn from nature or from their own consciences, a truth which has to be told to neighbors and preached in churches and carried by missionaries: namely, the good news that God has decreed a way to satisfy the demands of his righteousness without condemning the whole human race. He has taken it upon himself apart from any merit in us to accomplish our salvation. The wisdom of God has ordained a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the righteousness of God. And what is this wisdom?

Blogger Thabiti Anyabwile posted it in May along with “The Gospel in a Sentence.”

But originally it comes from a message John Piper preached in 1983, “Conversion to Christ: The Making of a Christian Hedonist.”

Read the paragraph. And then go read the whole article. Still blows my mind.