Contending for Our All
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Contending for Our All (The Swans Are Not Silent #4)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  23 reviews

Biographies of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen. In the life of each, personal holiness was emphasized publicly and privately, despite hardship and suffering. Fourth volume of The Swans Are Not Silent series.

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Published January 20th 2006 by Crossway
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One of the most prolific and most thoughtful current apologists for the Christian faith has taken the lives of three great leaders of Christian thought and presented them in a very readable way. John Piper is an excellent writer and can pull together compelling words that will give us pause. This, the fourth in his series of brief biographies, is one of them. Piper's works are best read slowly and thoughtfully -- prayerfully -- in order to get the most out of them. This one is no exception.

Who w...more
Joseph Louthan
This is my first "The Swans Are Not Silent" book. I picked up this book because of my sincere interest into the life of my favorite theologian, John Owen.

I originally purchased this book back on June 2010 but didn't pick it up to read it until just now.

To my sheer delight and joy, when this book did come up in my queue, I was thrilled to see Athanasius' name next to John Owen. For you see, over Christmas, I just finished Athanasius' On The Incarnation of the Word which made Christmas all the mor...more
Travis Rogers
Really get to know the defenders of the faith.

This is Book 4 in a series titled The Swans Are Not Silent. The series' name stems from when Saint Augustine handed over leadership of the church to his successor. His successor feared Augustine's teaching would fall to the wayside as he declared, "The swan is silent." Yet, here we are all these years later. Augustine, and those with a passion like his, have been anything but silent. This book, along with the others in the series, is dedicated to the...more
John Wiley
One of the areas of Christian thought missing among most evangelicals is knowledge of church history. John Piper, in his “The Swans are Not Silent” book series, overviews the lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen in this fascinating book. While none of the three men were perfect individuals, much application can be drawn from the lives of the world’s past defenders of Christian doctrine.

Theologically, Piper gives a helpful overview of the doctrines the men fought to defend. Athan...more
This is the fourth book of the "Swans Are Not Silent" series by John Piper. For this book, up front I must say that the first chapter on the life of Athanasius is worth the price of admission! Piper, in around 40 pages, showed a true champion of the faith amongst the early church fathers whose stand was critical in securing some of the foundations and fundamentals of the faith in the early church, especially against Arianism. Through his numerous exiles or times of release, Athanasius stood firm...more
Erik Lee
A short compilation of the biographies of historical Christian giants (Athanasius, Owen, and Machen), this book serves to introduce to the modern church the tenacity with which the figures defended the orthodoxy of the Christian faith.

As doctors of church doctrine, the three individuals fought the attacks at orthodoxy and urged those within to hold firmly to the pattern of sound teaching for the sake of the gospel. All these men saw the Church as bigger than themselves and gave to her cause all...more
Loved the chapter on Athanasius, probably because I'm involved in a discussion about the Deity of Christ at present. The chapter on John Owen seemed disjointed, and I haven't gained a clear picture of Owen as a result. His writings are certainly hard work to digest, maybe his life story (especially given the lack of extant biographical information) is similar? The chapter of J. Gresham Machen was enlightening (I first heard of him when I bought this book!), very interesting (the comparisons betw...more
John Piper has written several condensed biographies of historical figures of Christianity. They include quotes and information without personal opinions from the author, as opposed to Warren Wiersbe's book "10 People Every Christian Should Know". The biographies give one an overview of the importance of the lives and works of these individuals and their overwhelming perseverance in the face of opposition. They also whet the reader's appetite to read some of the original works.
Leila Bowers
I love all of these books - like the Lit. major he is (so *that's* why I lke Piper so much), he clearly links together these three men with great clarity. Piper's own voice of how to handle contending for the truth in love balances this book well, and I especially like his discussion of Francis Schaeffer at the end. My favorite in the series is still the first one (can you really beat Augustine, Calvin, and Luther?), but I'm also looking forward to the latest release.
I was glad to find out Piper's opinion of those of us who aren't quite Calvanists. "Calvinism's grasp of the supremacy of God in all of life enabled Machen to see that other forms of evangelicalism were all stages of grasping God that are yet in process of coming to a full and pure appreciation of his total God-centerdness." Hmm...
Absolutely awesome book--made these three Christian leaders of the past really come alive in a way that is extremely relevant for the 21st century. I have not read a book this short (double spacing sure is a relief on the eyes!) yet challenging and thought-provoking in a long time. I took copious notes and will be consulting these quotes for years to come.
Very interesting! Piper looks at each of these lives (all men at different eras) and their impact on the Christian faith. He also applies each of these men's stories to how we should view and act out our faith. He most importantly shows how we should defend for what we believe as Christians, just as these men had.
This book made me want to name our son Athanasius. Couldn't do that and help him survive on the playground, of course, but we (both I and my husband) were very inspired by the seriousness with which all three in this book approached defense of the truth.
The biggest value I found in this book is a glimpse of Christian struggle from three people spread across 1700 years!

I am glad I read this, although it left me wishing there was more heartfelt content revealed from these peoples lives.
A solid and easy to read biography on the lives of Athanasius, John Owen and J. Gresham Machen. Showing their theology and their life struggles how that deeply applies to our lives today.
Book 4 of the series The Swans Are Not Silent. Well written and interesting brief biography of Athanasius, John Owen and J. Gresham Machen and their efforts to uphold the faith.
May 29, 2009 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen (The Swans Are Not Silent, Book 4) by John Piper (2006)
Outstanding read and as always full of highly relevant, God-honoring wisdom. Thank you Lord for the preaching, teaching, and writing of Pastor John Piper.
Matt Pitts
I love these brief biographies of great men from church history. A great place to start if you want to 'test the waters' of church history/biography.
High Pointe Baptist Church
Book 4 in Piper's outstanding biography series: defending truth in the lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen
22 5/9/13 Again, beautiful and inspiring stories. Athanasius, Owen, Machen
Very encouraging mini-biographies of men who stood for the truth.
I enjoyed it. See my note for "The Legacy of Sovereign Joy."
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John Piper is founder and teacher of 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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