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My review of John Piper’s A Sweet & Bitter Providence can be found on TGC Reviews.
“This book will be a tremendous resource for the church, especially in a small group setting. I agree with the publisher’s call to “Read the book of Ruth in a new way and be inspired to take great risks for a great and sovereign God.” In reading A Sweet & Bitter Providence, the Holy Spirit not only strengthened my faith, convicted me of sin and taught me more about God’s character, it also challenged me to be a more godly father to the two precious daughters God has given me. I pray that God would enable my wife and I to raise them to be bold women like Ruth… God-trusting, strategic-planning, risk-taking, purity-pursuing, Christ-exalting women who love the sovereignty of God over all things.”
Bono, the frontman of U2, wrote an introduction to a book containing a selection of Psalms. It isn’t extraordinarily eye-opening, nor extraordinarily helpful either. However, there is one section that brought me to worship. In speaking of a song U2 wrote called “40″, he says:
“Psalm 40 is interesting in that it suggests a time when… love will replace the very strict law of Moses (i.e. fulfill them). I love that thought. David, who committed some of the most selfish as well as selfless acts, was depending on it. That the Scriptures are brim full of hustlers, murderers, cowards, adulterers and mercenaries used to shock me; now it is a great source of comfort.”
Now, this isn’t the time to begin debating whether Bono is saved or not. Only God, and maybe Bono, know that. We need to hear that last line. We need to see what gets a person to that point. From shock to awestruck wonder. From incredulity to joy. From elder brother to the younger. It comes from a true experience of grace. You know how he can go from shock to comfort if you have come to taste and see God’s grace. I don’t know about you, but I am praising God this morning for Jesus Christ. He fulfilled so that huslters, murderers, cowards, adulterers and mercenaries just like me can be adopted as God’s children rather than bear just and holy wrath as His enemies. I get forgiveness because Christ bore the penalty for my sin in his body. He paid it all, once for all, and I get grace and mercy and love. He is not known to me only as God, the Most High, He is also God, my Father, because of Jesus. Easter 2010 has passed, but the joy and comfort that God has justified sinners in Christ alone, not based on anything they have done or ever will do, is simply amazing. The fact that the Bible is full of filthy sinners is not a shock. That God killed his only Son for their sin instead of them is.
I have begun reviewing books for The Gospel Coalition and their new online publication of helpful appraisals for books and other resources, TGC Reviews. The site launched yesterday evening with a number of book reviews, excerpts, interviews, and recommendations. My review of Josh Harris‘ Dug Down Deep can be found here.