The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin
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The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (The Swans Are Not Silent #1)

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  474 ratings  ·  38 reviews

We admire these men for their greatness, but the truth isAugustine grappled with sexual passions. Martin Luther struggled tocontrol his tongue. John Calvin fought the battle of faith withworldly weapons.

Yet each man will always be remembered for the messages hedeclared-messages that still resound today. John Piper exploreseach of these men's lives, integrating Augustine's

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Hardcover, 158 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Crossway Books
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David Gregg
All of Piper's biographical sketches are pearl. The conference version is available for streaming or download as MP3 for free at the Desiring God website.
Bob Hayton
John Piper’s biographies are written with a pastor’s eye and so are more than just the story of a famous individual. Rather, they focus on how the person ticked, and how they lived for Jesus. This book looks at 3 great men in the history of the Church, and even though each man had serious flaws, Piper points out the evidences of God’s grace and how these men were used so mightily for God.

It would be hard to pick three more trans-formative individuals in church history than the three Piper survey...more
Daniel
“The Legacy of Sovereign Joy” is the first book by Pastor
John Piper in a series entitled “The Swans are not
Silent”. This series gives a brief glimpse into the lives

of people used by God in the history of the church.
However, the purpose is not primarily biographical,
but to highlight the character of God in the lives of
these notable Christians. As the title suggests, the
focus of this book is finding joy in a sovereign God. The
characters Piper focuses on are St. Augustine, Martin
Luther and John Cal...more
Heath Marion
If church history is not your thing, don't worry this book is not a history book. In fact it reads more like a story and only one chapter is devoted to each of these three men. You have probably heard of the names of these three men whether you know much about their lives or ministries.

In this book you will be introduced to each man by an overview of their life, ministry, struggles, and victories. This book will create a thirst in you for God being supreme in your life. Piper writes to open the...more
brad lucht
This book is great for what it is designed for. If you are looking for a full biography of the lives of these men, this is not the book. If you are looking for a quick synopsis of their lives along with incredible insights and encouragements from their lives, this is a fantastic book. Also, it is slightly geared toward people in vocational ministry.
With all that in mind, I would highly recommend reading this. It is a quick read and extremely motivating for ministry purposes. Piper has an incred...more
Julia
Jan 04, 2009 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pastors; M.Div students
Shelves: history
This is the first John Piper book that I have read and I'm glad that I started with this one because it is very thin, compared to his other books. It's easy to read and to get through. I appreciate John Piper so much after reading this book. He ties the legacy of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin which include both their strengths and weaknesses. The text actually comes from a series of sermons that he preached during a pastor's conference. So, the intended audience is for ministry professionals. Bu...more
Josue Manriquez
This is an excellent book in which Piper briefly reviews the lives of three reformers—-Augustine, Luther, and Calvin. These were flawed men who struggled with sin, health, persecution, and more, yet their commitment to delighting in God, displaying His glory, and declaring His Word has left a lasting legacy that has affected all people (whether they know it or not). Still, there is much to learn by their example and writings. Perhaps you should read this book to whet your appetite for further st...more
Jacob Aitken
As far as a narrative goes, this is decent. Piper cannot escape his enlightenment baptist presuppositions. He attacks all three on points which aren't really their fault:

Augustine: he attacks Augustine's sexual immorality and notes, "the saints aren't perfect." Well, they are not but this was PRE-CONVERSION.

Calvin: he attacks Calvin on the Servetus episode and sort of ends with a passionate plea for justice for Servetus. Except he doesn't realize Calvin did not put Servetus to death.
Brian
This is a great series of small books from a great Pastor. This was the first of the series and one that just added much joy to my life and endeared me to these three great men that the book touches on. Luther, Calvin and Augustine. This simply can't be missed. All three of these giants of the faith encountered the grace of God in ways that enabled them to do tremendous things, I'm in awe of what they did and how much they have impacted the church. Check it out you won't be disapointed.
Bill
Encouraging, bite sized, theological biograpies (of Augustine, Luther and Calvin). The chapter on Augustine made me very keen to read his Confessions. The chapter on Luther was really inspiring, lots of stuff to spur me on in ministry. I also liked the honest examination of their faults. These are not neutral accounts of their lives, they are themed around Piper's own theological passions. I quite enjoy this, because Piper's aim is to encourage, not just to recount history.
Kailey
Excellent writing and very encouraging. All the focus of this book is on God and God alone. It barely mentions man and his needs. Man is only a vessel, and our lives are a means by which to glorify God. God is the central focus.

I loved the stories of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin. They were not portrayed as heroes, but as normal men with flaws whom God used mightily, so that the glory is always God's.
Fantastic stuff.
Lee Gunter
This is not John Piper's best book. But if it had come from any of several dozen authors I can think of and do gladly read, it would be among their best.

The introductory section read a bit dry to me, but the main course of the book - being the discourses on Augustine, Luther and Calvin - ended that.

To anyone interested in the history of the church, the foundations of the reform or the message of sovereign joy I heartily recommend this book.
CJ
The "sovereign joy" of the title refers to a work of saving grace in Augustine's life. Augustine was given a gift of joy that made all his former joys pale in comparison. Martin Luther's grace was for "sacred study" of scripture. John Calvin's grace was to the effect of preaching the "divine majesty of God's Word." All three men give hope to all of us who are flawed in our natural selves but have faith in the grace of God.
Dan
This book is a very readable and quick education in church history. I consider it the best in Piper's biography series. He briefly examines the lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin and gleans from them lessons for us all. These guys are amazing, although flawed. Piper makes a point to cover both the strengths and defects of each.
Wendy Rabe
I began re-reading this because I gave a copy to my friend for Christmas in 2008 and she fell in love with Piper! I read it the first time in April 2008, and now again in March 2009. I was reminded again that these great men did not let their flaws paralyze them, but pressed on and lived lives that shouted the story of God's grace.
Joan
This book was excellent. It encouraged me and inspired me. It always amazes me to read of Christians in the past; I see vivid examples of how God remains the same even though time passes and cultures vary. God works faithfully and constantly today, just as He did centuries ago. I will read this book again and again.
Towens23
I love the whole "Swans Are Not Silent" series in which Piper does a partial biography of three Christians from the past in each book. And each book has a specific theme. This one in particular focuses on the role of Joy in the life of Augustine, Luther and Calvin.
Leila Bowers
This is my favorite book in Piper's The Swans Are Not Silent series. This is a fantastic way to read shortened biography - it will strengthen your faith, convict you, and give you an appreciation for those who have gone before.
Wade
A solid and easy to read biography on the lives of Augustine, Luther and Calvin. Showing their theology and their life struggles how that deeply applies to our lives today.
Melissa
Loved this book...the blend of history and theology was fantastic. Marked it up a bit, and handed it to Ronnie for his office. Definitely recommend.
Kim
16 4/22/13 Utterly fantastic. So humbling and inspiring, encouraging and challenging. Augustine, Luther, Calvin - amazing men who were used powerfully by God.
Anthony Alvarado
probably my favorite of this series - love hearing more about Augustine, Calvin, and Luther. This book has spurred me to read more about each.
Abe Goolsby
A great trifold biographical sketch of Augustine, Luther and Calvin and the doctrine of God's sovereign grace which binds their legacies together.
Kristina
I appreciate this entire series for its appreciation of theology and biography with brevity -- this is one of my two favorites (along with No. 4.)
Chuck
Curious about some of the giants who have gone before us and paved the way for great churches and great theology? This is the place to start.
Jean
Excellent! A layman's read of great historic church leaders. Well documented, easy to read, super, super read for churched Christians.
Kathryn
Learned so much about Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin maintained joy in the midst of trails. Want to read it again.
High Pointe Baptist Church
Book 1 in Piper's outstanding biography series: God's triumphant grace in the lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin
Anna
This gave a great overview of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin's commitment to exalting God and understanding Scripture.
Jo
The "Swans are not silent" series was a wonderful adjustment to my modern day christianity mindset.
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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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