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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,354 ratings  ·  222 reviews
Why do we do missions? We are told, by Jesus, to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. So missions is duty, right? Wrong. If you do missions purely from a sense of duty you will not honor those you are reaching out to, nor will you truly honor God. Duty is the wrong place to look, so where do we find the answer to why we do missions? We turn, according to Jo ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Baker Academic (first published July 31st 1993)
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Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book by a Spirit-empowered man that taught me to understand the purpose of missions. Many important truths regarding missions, such as this fact: "Worship is the goal and fuel of missions."

Perhaps my biggest takeaway from this book was actually some of its more periphereal ideas. Such as the idea that God is not seeking to be glorified by saving "as many people as possible" (speaking quantitatively) but "as many peoples as possible." This actually comes much later in the book, after
Ryan Wolfe
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Lewis DeGoffau
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning! Contains powerful emotional and scriptural truth. If you want your view of missions to remain unaltered, do not read this book.
Ryan Hawkins
Wow. As anyone who knows me knows, I of course love John Piper’s writing, preaching, and ministry. However, I hadn’t read this book since I was in college (I think 7 years ago). I remembered it being great, but it was even better this time than expected.

Piper’s esteem for God among the nations is so unique and contagious. And not only that, his ability to piece together biblical texts and ideas is incredible. I could write a praise for each of the chapters.

But I just want to point out one chapte
Beck Nordstrom
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a book I’ll be referencing and recommending for a long time. Piper is unrelenting and detailed in his arguments and I’ve come away with a healthier and God glorifying view of God. Read this book!
Dwight Davis
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce Garner
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Philip Mcduffie
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missions
"Moreover, there is something about God that is so universally praiseworthy and so profoundly beautiful and so comprehensively worthy and so deeply satisfying that God will find passionate admirers in every diverse people group in the world. His true greatness will be manifest in the breadth of the diversity of those who perceive and cherish His beauty. The more diverse the people groups who forsake their gods to follow the true God, the more visible God's superiority over all His competitors." ...more
Michael Bering Smith
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
John Piper’s volume Let The Nations Be Glad presents a cogent, clear, and commendable case for making world missions a celebrated means, rather than a mere necessary end. Missions books often promote a view that the end goal of missions is to make missionaries, train them, and get them “into the field.” As long as we have gotten them there, we have achieved our goal. Piper does not move so fast. Missions, he says, is not the end. It is the means. “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This modern classic on missions is more of a theological treaty instead of a methodological one. It is imminently quoted due to its strong theological polemic for missions and the writer formidable skills of articulation.

Focusing on a Theo-centric understanding of the mission mandate, Piper demonstrates how God’s glorious revelation is the starting and ending point in the plan of redemption. In this way, the book serves as a welcomed response to the current missiological trends that de-emphasize
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spent the last year reading this book aloud to my 11 (now 12) year-old son, Elijah, as he prepared to go (and has now returned) to/from Africa. Saturated in Scripture and the glory of God. A must read for any disciple serious about the furtherance of the worship of God in their community, to the ends of the earth.
Libby Myers
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Highly recommend. Even though Piper gets repetitive sometimes, he presents a lot of good ideas throughout the book, and I respect that he addresses other points of view as well.
Samuel Bierig
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So! Good! So....good!
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several central concepts in this book have proved foundational to the direction of my life. My wife and I found it a great refresher.
Kelsey brougher
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazingly in depth look at missions, answering many questions I wasn’t even aware I had. Piper laid out the fundamentals using an abundance of scripture and logical language. All in all, a wonderful read.
Mar 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book, in terms of quality of writing, intelligence and completeness of arguments and teaching, and thoroughness in fulfilling its objectives, probably deserves five stars. John Piper, as usual, goes very in-depth with every single facet of his arguments, attacking and then defending them from every angle, with copious amounts of biblical support and corroboration with some of his favorite missionaries, theologians, and researchers. As such, he presents a clear and compelling argument for hi ...more
Brian Whited
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gospel, theology, missions
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
Juan  Mayen
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a book that will shape your heart for missions and the supremacy of God as his name and his mission is being carried through the world. I find it very helpful as Piper also advices the Christian to have a wartime mentality and not let the 21st century Christian become a third soil person as in the parable of the sower in the seeds, where the third soil is the seed that falls in the ground, sprouts but is quickly choked by the cares and desires for riches of this world.

For anyone seeki
Kevin Halloran
This was my second time reading Let the Nations Be Glad! (First was in seminary.) This is classic Piper and gave me a fresh reminder of biblical priorities for missions. So many missions conversations get off target and need to keep the truths of this book (and the NT) in perspective. What a mighty God we serve!
Clayton Hutchins
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: missions
Re-read it for a class. After reading *Things of Earth* by Joe Rigney, I read some of his war time language a bit differently. But it's all still so, so good. May the Lord make all Christians "global Christians"—whether they stay or go.
Brad Flack
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
If you claim to be a Christ follower, you must read this book. It is the quintessential handbook for why we must be mission minded and what is the purpose of our lives. If you don’t own a copy, get one and then read it every couple of years!
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Classic Piper. Very thorough. *The* text for the latest resurgence in foreign mission awareness.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read while in Kosovo during a 1 year mission with a local church...missions exists because worship doesn' to Let the nations be glad in God forever!
Andrea Greening
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I kinda feel like if you’ve read one Piper book you’ve read them all. I agree with his thesis but very hard to get through.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it
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,
Raquel Odea
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Nearly two years ago, God had placed it in my head that “it is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Is. 49:6),” and, “I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages (Rev. 7:9),” and, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Mt. 2 ...more
Caleb Smith
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would probably give this 3.5 stars if I could. I read it for a missiology class, and I wrote a book report on it. It's a good book, but I had some serious disagreements with a few parts, particularly where his specific brand of Calvinism and the excessive side of his Christian Hedonist thought were most prominent. But I'll quote my book report's conclusion:
In the end, however, these flaws do not discredit John Piper’s larger project and thesis in
Let the Nations Be Glad. The main focus, that li
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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 Bethel Co

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Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
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“Humility is the flip side of giving God all the glory. Humility means reveling in his grace, not our goodness.” 10 likes
“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.
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