Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pierced by the Word

by John Piper
144 pages / 2003

I know my brother likes at least one "chapter" from this book, since it was included on pages 36-37 of the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Reformed Perspective magazine. As editor, he knew a really good thing when he saw it.

Why is this book really good? Because it so well works out, in bite-size pieces (literally for me - I've been reading one each day while eating breakfast) what it means to live for the glory of God, what it means to be pierced by the Word.

Reformed Christians can have just as much trouble with this as other Christians – trying to be good for the following wrong reasons: to gain God's favor, out of a sense of mere duty, out of habit or social pressure. Good preachers keep reminding us that we love because He loved us first, and that believers delight to do God's law.

John Piper's meditations get the same earnest urgency on paper that preachers do off the pulpit. On topics as varied as "How to Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God" and the gritty but necessary "It Is Never Right to Be Angry with God," Piper shows life in Christ as a great and growing adventure.

A couple cautions: Some of the glimpses into Piper's own personal or family devotional practices are worthy of consideration, but not necessarily of strict imitation. As well, these meditations in particular are not quite what I was expecting when I started the book. Don't assume that these can take the place of  Bible reading in your devotional time with the Lord. (Piper would probably agree!)

Aside from that warning, this is a book worth reading on your own, and worth passing on to anyone who's struggling to get beyond a vague sense that "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." This book will help us see that while we aren't perfect, we should desperately yearn to be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect - to His glory. If you long to be pierced by the Word in that way, you can find it at or

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