Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions
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Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions

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4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  2,722 ratings  ·  126 reviews
John Piper's Let the Nations Be Glad! has provided thousands of missionaries, pastors, and church leaders with a biblical basis for missions. Piper now offers a revised and expanded tenth anniversary edition of this sound, readable, and passionate defense of God's supremacy in all things.Drawing on biblical texts, Piper demonstrates that worship is the ultimate goal of the...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Baker Academic (first published July 31st 1993)
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Ryan Wolfe
Probably shouldn't give it just four stars... I don't know. I'm extremely familiar with this book because I had to teach through it. I think my reasoning for not giving it 5 stars is that it seemed to lack unity at certain parts. Some of his key themes and proposals just needed to be stated more times throughout the book.

It seemed, from a redaction perspective, as if he was just piecing together various texts he's already written on Christian hedonism, exclusivism vs inclusivism, universalism, a...more
Paul
Al Mohler says, "'Let the Nations Be Glad!' is the most important book on missions for this generation, and I hope it will be the most influential as well." My thoughts on this book would echo Dr. Mohler's opinion. This book is certainly vintage Piper. Every chapter is God-centered, Scripture-saturated, and Christ-exalting. Unlike most modern books on missions, it is more theological treatise than missiological strategy. Don't let that scare you away, however. While I have had my struggles muddl...more
Brian Whited
The is a book on the supremacy of God in missions. Piper offers three ways in which God is made supreme. First, God is made supreme in missions by worship. Worship is the fuel of missions, which will last into eternity. Piper also states that as more people are converted, so also more people are brought into the worship of God. Second, God is supreme in missions through prayer. When people pray, they are recognizing that only God can ultimately save the heathen. Third, God is made supreme in mis...more
clAViD
So uh, basically... I think almost every Christian should try to read this book. I've written about this book on my blog so I'll just copy and paste a section from it:

I'll do an overview/sample of each chapter and begin each overview by stating a type of audience that will specially benefit from that chapter. There will be no doubt that you will fall into at least one of these categories or know of others that do and hopefully that will pique your interest and cause you to go out and read this b...more
Scott
Classic Piper. Very thorough. *The* text for the latest resurgence in foreign mission awareness.
Bruce Garner
As a missionary's son who'd first encountered theology of missions as a teenanger, I didn't think this book would add much to my Biblical thinking about missions. Boy, was I wrong! It's doctrinally meaty, but thoroughly seasoned with vivid language and stories told with Piper's characteristic "I'll set myself ablaze and let 'em watch me burn" passion. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the work of Jesus in the world, and particularly for those struggling with those asking, "Do you need...more
David
Two theses bind this book together. The first is Piper's foundation of Christian hedonism: God is most satisfied in us when we are most satisfied in him. The second is "mission exists because worship does not." Those familiar with Piper's work will find all the familiar themes here. That's also got a negative aspect; Piper's works always start strong but bog down severely in the middle.

The book starts with worship, not with mission proper. Piper's argument for worship and proclamation of the glo...more
Darla
An amazing reminder of the supremacy of God in missions. Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book: "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever." and "the missionary task...more
David
A good theology of missions. It is typical Piper, for good and ill. The good is that he hits on great pastoral insights based on a concrete thesis. The bad is that he tends to be simplistic and repetitive. I disagree with his thesis that missionaries may only be called so if they are ministering to unreached people groups. Yes, Piper does offer a copious chapter citing every use of "panta ta ethne", but heavy citation does not an argument win. Nevertheless, a fine work on missions and the glory...more
Joel Arnold
This book admirably accomplishes both goals of being informative and devotional at the same time. Part 1 is filled with devotional Scripture and powerful exposition that warms the heart regarding missions. Part 2 deals with two issues: (1) the fate of the unevangelized/conscious eternal torment in hell, and (2) the concern to preach to different people groups and seek diversity in evangelism. The first is an excellent and quite helpful discussion. The second has real weaknesses - Piper fails to...more
Rob
This was a very challenging book about missions. I had always heard great things about this book, and now I know why. I love how Piper builds a case for the purpose of missions being to bring glory to God. I love his explanation of worship and how missions must exist because so many have chosen not to worship God in spirit and in truth. He looks at so many different and challenging angles. Not only was I challenged in how I look at missions, but also my understanding of prayer and suffering. Pip...more
Dwight Davis
It's hard for me to rate this book. On the one hand, it's a great entry level book on missions. I would gladly hand it to someone who had no theological background and tell them to read it and learn about the importance of worship and missions.

On the other hand, it's far from "the best book on missions I've ever read." I'm actually astonished to see that blurb from Dr. Ortlund on the back of this book. This is very basic stuff. To call this book "dense" is insulting to theologians who really wr...more
Bendick Ong
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesnt. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.”

And so starts john piper’s quite insightful book on missions. He was relaying the message of the puritan jonathan edwards actually and...more
Jonathan
Jul 12, 2009 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all peoples and all persons
Shelves: piper, missions, theology
Let the Nations be Glad! was a terrifically profitable read and a terrifically arduous read.

I think I will always have difficulties with Piper's writing style. I still cannot quite grasp what it is about his writing which makes it so laborious for me to read. Perhaps it is because he stuffs so much truth into so few pages or maybe it is because he makes numerous qualifications to make sure his readers do not misinterpret his meanings or maybe it is because he relies heavily on the Bible and ther...more
Alex
I don't always agree with John Piper, but when I do...

While I learned a lot from this book on missions (much of it not even relating to "missions" at all, per say), I also had problems with a few areas. For one, Piper seems to write the way he speaks, making it hard to follow some trains of thought in this book. It's fine if I heard him speak, but on paper, it is difficult. Two, Piper writes from a very Presbyterian perspective, which often made me uncomfortable. I spent more time separating wha...more
Eric Chappell
Chapter 3: The Supremacy of God in Missions through Suffering

Matt 13:14--'the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure in a field, which a man found and covered up; then IN HIS JOY he goes and sells ALL THAT HE HAS and buys that field.' Piper notes the extent of the sacrifice and the depth of the joy.

'I am crucified with Christ'

Taking up our cross involves a spiritual transaction by which our old nature or the flesh dies with Christ and a 'new creature' comes into being. See Gal 5:24; 2:20; Rom 6:6;...more
Paul
It was through this book that my life was turned upside down. It was through this book that I was catapulted into a passion to see Jesus worshiped where He is not. And it was through this book that the Lord cultivated a theology of suffering in my life.

Needless to say -- read this book!

Piper rightly realigns what contemporary Christianity has muddied and turned into a man-centered, feel-good task. Piper begins this book with the following statement:

"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Chur...more
Jocelyn Figueroa
This book is packed with so much that I recommend reading it slowly and more than once because John writes many points that have truly opened my eyes to what the heart of missions is. Believe me there is more to missions than I thought!
If you are looking to grow in the Word than please choose this book. I know there are a handful of others that are great but this one has surely hit home for me.
This book was great for me because I want to become a better speaker to others when I have the chanc...more
John
John Piper offers a Biblically saturated theology of missions in the third edition of this seminal work. Piper argues that the fundamental purpose of missions isn't to win lost people for Christ, as important as that is. The fundamental purpose is to glorify God. He also argues that missionary work isn't about winning people, it's about winning peoples. Winning individuals is the work of evangelists; missionaries are sent to people groups.
Using the Apostle Paul as his model for missionaries, Pi...more
Stevie
He was insightful and encouraging as usual.

Poignant Quotes:

I would rather lose anything and anyone on earth, than lose Christ.

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship,...more
Sean Higgins
Admitedly, I haven't read a plethora of books on missions, but this is my favorite (so far). I see two special emphasis from Piper that I didn't hear growing up in my fundamentalist, Baptist, you-should-be-a-missionary-in-Africa-with-a-slide-show church.

First, the reason for missions is worship. We evangelize so that men might be saved. True. But that is not the end goal. We want men to be saved so that God will be recognized in His glory.

Second, missions "proper" involves preaching Christ amo...more
Amethyst Roth
A heart for the glory of God and a heart for mercy for the nations make a missionary. These must be kept together. If we have no zeal for the glory of God, our mercy becomes superficial, man-centered human improvement with no eternal significance. And if our zeal for the glory of God is not reveling in His mercy, then our so-called zeal, in spite of all its protests, is out of touch with God and hypocritical.
Paul
Martyn Lloyd-Jones would, I think, happily would call this "logic on fire". It's the logic which I find always shines through in Piper's books. This makes them supremely readable and comprehendible. Piper knows how to step through an argument with amazing precision and direction, and to test and defend his conclusions. But this logic is truly "on fire", as the Spirit of God speaks through it to demonstrate the primacy of missions for the supremacy of God. This is a missions book which is truly a...more
Mike E.
"Missions exists because worship doesn't," writes Piper. All believers have a responsibility to fulfill Christ's Great Commission in reaching all people groups on the planet (Mt 28:19-20). Will I go across a culture or ocean with the gospel? Or, will I support others in some way who are taking the gospel to the unreached? Or will I disobey God? This book will stir your heart for reaching the peoples of the world with the gospel, but it will do much more than that. This book will help you underst...more
Alana
I've been interesting in missions for about as long as I can remember, and I've had a desire to be a missionary myself for probably more than 10 years now. This book challenged my thinking about missions probably more than any other book I've ever read on the subject. Probably the majority of books on missions are largely biographical in content, which is fine. This one, though, is more of a theological treatise on why missions exist and what our job here on earth is. Since it is a John Piper bo...more
david shin
Along with Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship," this is another one of those very important books that every Christian should read. These two books have helped formulate "vision" and "purpose" for my Christian life, as I'm sure it will do for others as well.

The book is a thesis on what is "Christian missions," and why believers should get involved with it. Piper explains the urgency of today in reaching the "unreached" and communicates a sense of desperate need for believers to go out to "al...more
Scott Norris
Really profound thought...but very repetitive. I guess Piper believes in the premise of repetition as a powerful means of learning. Still a really good book though.
Thomas Irby
Most of what Piper talks about in Let the Nations Be Glad is really good. However, he repeats himself constantly. I know that this is a normal Piper thing to do, but I really feel like his repetition is even more thorough in this book than in Desiring God. I feel like this book could have been about 100 pages shorter.

Also, just to warn you, this book pretty much just restates the ideas in Desiring God in the context of missions. Here is my one-sentace summary of Let the Nations Be Glad : God is...more
Dalaina May
Reading this book really helped me define what my purpose was in ministry. Why exactly is it important to "make disciples of all nations"? Why does God command it and why does it matter to me? Once in the thick of being a missionary, what I learned from Let the Nations Be Glad sustained me in many a difficult season. I remembered that the point was not for me to have an adventure or to feel useful - those things are not enough to keep a missionary on the field long term. The point of my ministry...more
Matthew Johnson
Best book on missions out there! Piper shows the importance and power of prayer in missions, the importance of doing missions, and the highest goal of missions...the glory of God!
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John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe...more
More about John Piper...
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“The charge of blasphemy is loaded. The point is to pack a wallop behind the charge that in our worship services God simply doesn't come through for who he is. He is unwittingly belittled. For those who are stunned by the indescribable magnitude of what God has made, not to mention the infinite greatness of the One who made it, the steady diet on Sunday morning of practical how-to's and psychological soothing and relational therapy and tactical planning seem dramatically out of touch with Reality - the God of overwhelming greatness.” 5 likes
“Humility is the flip side of giving God all the glory. Humility means reveling in his grace, not our goodness.” 4 likes
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