Certain to find its way to my Best Books list for 2014 is John Piper’s volume, Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching (Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2014), 181 pages. Continue reading . . .
Certain to find its way to my Best Books list for 2014 is John Piper’s volume, Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching (Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2014), 181 pages.
My concern is that this book will not be widely read for two reasons. First, being published in-house by Desiring God, rather than by a well-known and established publisher, such as Crossway, may make it difficult for people to find it and purchase it. But don’t let that deter you. You can order it on www.amazon.com for $8.99.
Second, it’s about doctrine! Sadly, that isn’t the hottest and most appealing issue for many Christians today, but it should be. But this isn’t just about doctrine; it’s about Christ-exalting, life-changing, heart-warming, soul-satisfying doctrine, those truths that have been central to Piper’s ministry these many years. I suspect that many of you who don’t know John personally but have only read his books or heard him at a conference or on the internet may wonder: What makes this guy tick? What accounts for his passion? Why does he preach the way he does? Well, the answer to those questions is found in this book. Here you will hear directly from John what he believes and why such truths have made such a profound impact on his life and ministry.
As for the use of the word “trademarks” in the sub-title, Piper says this:
“When we say ‘trademarks’ we mean truths that are defining and shaping and precious. We don’t mean views that we’ve come up with and that set us off from the rest of the church of Christ. We don’t want to be set off. We want to be arm in arm with millions of faithful followers of God’s word. Truth does divide. But it also unites. And it is the uniting power of truth that we delight in most” (76).
These, then, are the ten doctrines (and there probably could have been twenty more) that Piper believes are the most important in terms of identifying his ministry both in preaching and writing these past 33 plus years. Here they are:
(1) God is
(2) The Glory of God
(3) Christian Hedonism
(4) The Sovereignty of God
(5) The Gospel of God in Christ
(6) The Call to Global Missions
(7) Living the Christian Life
(8) The Perseverance of the Saints
(9) Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
(10) Sorrowful yet Always Rejoicing
Here is what Piper says of them:
“The summary of foundational truths in this book is like a launch rather than land. They lead us to pursue preparation rather than ponder consummation, to lay hold on the greater things to come rather than lingering over the great things of the past. The reason is that these foundational realities, expounded in each chapter, are wildly untamable, and explosively uncontainable, and electrically future-creating. They don’t just sustain the present and explain the past. They are living and active and supernaturally supercharged to take this church [Bethlehem Baptist, but all churches as well] where it has not yet dreamed, in ways we have not yet dreamed” (2).
I plan on devoting an article to each doctrine in the days ahead. In the meantime, get the book and start reading it for yourself.