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The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of… (2000)

de John Piper

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1,109614,625 (4.15)1
Augustine. Luther. Calvin. We read their books, their commentaries, their sermons, and we admire them for their greatness. We think of them as nearly perfect giants of the faith--locked peacefully inside their studies, relentlessly writing, rarely disturbed--who enjoyed a mystical union with God that they alone could know. But John Piper records the truth: Their experience of God's majesty and grace in their weaknesses--and in the face of countless injustices and adversities--made all the difference. It led Augustine to abandon trifling, worldly joys, Luther to study the Word continuously, and Calvin not only to unwearied biblical preaching, but also to proclaim, " I should rather die a hundred times than subject Christ to... foul mockery." And it can have the same effect in your life. If ever you are complacent about sin, if ever you lose the joy of Christ, if ever you are dulled by the world's influence, the lives of these men can help you recapture the wonder of God. And so John Piper takes you to the time of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, inviting you to look at their imperfections, read of their transformations, and behold the reflection of God in their lives so that a greater passion for God's glory may be inspired in your own.… (més)
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All of Piper's biographical sketches are pearl. The conference version is available for streaming or download as MP3 for free at the Desiring God website. ( )
  davegregg | May 3, 2011 |
John Piper’s biographies are written with a pastor’s eye and so are more than just the story of a famous individual. Rather, they focus on how the person ticked, and how they lived for Jesus. This book looks at 3 great men in the history of the Church, and even though each man had serious flaws, Piper points out the evidences of God’s grace and how these men were used so mightily for God.

It would be hard to pick three more trans-formative individuals in church history than the three Piper surveys in this book. He focuses on the pastoral heart and preaching of John Calvin. He looks at Augustine’s dramatic conversion from the bondage of sin. And with Luther, he focuses on his study and work as a scholar. The thread that binds the lives of these men is the power of joy in their lives. Or you could say the presence of sovereign joy in their personal lives and ministries.

This short book offers an excellent introduction to the life and legacy of each of these towering figures from church history. But it offers much more. Piper knows just how to peel back the curtain, as it were, and show us how these men tick. He finds their heart for Christ and aims to encourage us all to follow in their footsteps.

An expanded version of this review is available at CrossFocusedReviews.com, where you can find book excerpts, giveaways, promotional offers, audio reviews and more. ( )
  bobhayton | Aug 16, 2010 |
I wasn't a huge fan of this book. Of course Piper would have to write a whole book over these 3 guys. The thing to remember about Piper is that he is not a historian, he's a pastor. He rips way too much stuff off of these guys and his whole theology comes from them. I found most of the information not useful at all and he basically just used it to backup what he always preaches "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him"...this is what Piper lives by. Just quote a verse Piper, I would rather live by Scripture than a propositional statement. ( )
  lmathews | Jun 3, 2006 |
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Augustine. Luther. Calvin. We read their books, their commentaries, their sermons, and we admire them for their greatness. We think of them as nearly perfect giants of the faith--locked peacefully inside their studies, relentlessly writing, rarely disturbed--who enjoyed a mystical union with God that they alone could know. But John Piper records the truth: Their experience of God's majesty and grace in their weaknesses--and in the face of countless injustices and adversities--made all the difference. It led Augustine to abandon trifling, worldly joys, Luther to study the Word continuously, and Calvin not only to unwearied biblical preaching, but also to proclaim, " I should rather die a hundred times than subject Christ to... foul mockery." And it can have the same effect in your life. If ever you are complacent about sin, if ever you lose the joy of Christ, if ever you are dulled by the world's influence, the lives of these men can help you recapture the wonder of God. And so John Piper takes you to the time of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, inviting you to look at their imperfections, read of their transformations, and behold the reflection of God in their lives so that a greater passion for God's glory may be inspired in your own.

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