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Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  857 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
John Piper delivers powerful biblical reassurances to bolster readers' trust in the sovereignty of God and the supremacy of Christ when evil and tragedy come.

If God governs the sinful acts of men, then does the devastation caused by those terrorists, dictators, murderers, cheats, and abusers discredit Jesus' words: "All authority in heaven and earth belongs to me"? When he
Hardcover, 121 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Crossway Books
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Brantley Rutz
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet. Piper does a fantastic job of expounding on the Biblical truth that God's hand is at work in this world and not just in the "good" events. God is sovereign over all; even the evil events. This is shown most perfectly in the death of His Son Jesus; the greatest act of sin ever.

Piper's purpose in writing is to strengthen "wimpy Christians." The truth of the matter is is that this world is full of trials and tragedies and we need a strong sense of God's sovereignty in the midst of
Kara Larson
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read for a Christian Education (CE) class at Redeemer. Mind blowing...

"The apex of evil was the apex of grace."
"You meant, God meant." God doesn't react to what man meant. God is acting in what man is doing.
"He does all things for his glory and names sake."
"God's plan to save as through grace was not a response to human decisions to sin. Saving grace was the plan that made sin necessary."
"The aim of this book has been to show that over and over in the history of the world, the epoch-making sins
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who wants to understand "why?"
Shelves: religious, kindle
This is one of Piper's easier books to read. Adapted from a series of messages, it's also short as well. I read it in less than four hours.

Why does God allow sin? Why does God allow Satan to get away with what he does? Why not destroy sin when it first appeared in Satan and/or man?

These are some of the questions that Piper attempts to answer using "spectacular sins" in the Bible (the fall, tower of Babel, Joseph being sold into slavery, Israel's demand for a king, and the betrayal of Judas Iscar
Michael Schmid
In this short book, John Piper shows God's sovereignty even over the worst of sins that are committed and how ultimately even those sins do not diminish God's glory, but actually contribute to His glory. A difficult subject to handle, but an important one for Christians to understand.
Tony Huy
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book!!!
Jake Weihrauch
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you find yourself asking the question, "Why does God allow wicked sin?" I recommend you pickup this book and read it. Scholars and babes in Christ will benefit from reminders and new truths.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacob O'connor
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was reading Spectacular Sins when the Orlando massacre happened. It was timely, because Piper is taking on this very problem. Where is God when something like this happens? How do we make sense of it, and how should we respond?

A young man acts in cold-blooded violence, remorselessly gunning down dozens of defenseless people. They had done him no wrong. In dismay, our rallying cry was to pray for Orlando, but in the hours to follow we wondered... pray to whom?

There were three "gods" at work o
Jordan Hill
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
If there was any book that's I could recommend to the casual reader it's this. It's theologically solid from beginning to end, but it's not overly wordy. It gave me a whole new perceptive, and I've ended up buying the audiobook and have it on my phone currently. Great book!
Sherly Holmes
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, christian
And Christ "will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." (Heb 9:28). And "on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written"---not king of the Jews, but "King of all kings and Lord of lords." (Rev. 19:16). Amen. Come, King Jesus.

I was paralysed the whole time I was reading this passage from the book. Perhaps, the truth that someday all of the pain we suffer now will become just mere phantoms and justice will come to every one of us, making
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I first saw this  title I couldn't grasp its meaning. When I read through the chapters I was awestruck by the depth of its meaning.
Piper gives profound explanation of how the most spectacular sins ever committed since the beginning of this world serves and exist to glorify Christ through all ages and ages to come.

This book totally has 8 chapters each stating the most spectacular sin ever committed against God by human and angels (lucifer and his army) and how God allowed or permitted such
Hannah Emory
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: light, closefriends
I love when an author is able to take Scripture and tie it all together, revealing what sometimes feels like a vast narrative as a tightly woven story with one coherent aim and message: the revelation and glory of Jesus Christ.

I am struggling with many questions about suffering, sin, and God's sovereignty and this book is a great primer, an invitation to knowing God more through these very difficult, sometimes unanswerable questions instead of walking away in despair because the questions are o
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In this short book, John Piper calls the church to prepare for suffering.

Are you ready?

Scripture tells us that the Christian life involves joy and pain, fellowship and persecution, contentment and suffering. We are to be always joyful and always sorrowful - content in all circumstances.

How? Piper makes the case that sound understanding of the truth - deep understanding and acceptance that God is sovereign and in control - is an anchor holding us secure during the blows of life. God ordains and
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The thing that drew me to this book was primarily its title - Spectacular Sins. That, and the fact that I saw it lying around my parents' house while I was there on vacation. In this book, Piper looks at some of the evils we find in the Bible such as betrayal and murder which culminate in the death of Jesus Christ.

His two impulses in the writing of this book are 1.) Why does God want us to know His sovereignty over sin? And 2.) Why does God not restrain sin more often? I appreciate that in addr
Matthew Richardson
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As I read the chapters of this book I suspected John Piper was laboring for one goal: The reader's perseverance. And it proved true his closing statement was this, "Maintaining the joy of faith in the face of horrific evil does not happen by coasting. It happens by conquering. That is my aim. That you would conquer unbelief and despair in the face of spectacular sin and misery. To that end, I would like to pray for you."

He says this, "Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians
Ben Holloway
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
According to John Piper, spectacular sins "never nullify the decisive, Christ-exalting purposes of God… spectacular sins do not just fail to nullify God’s purpose to glorify Christ, they succeed, by God’s unfathomable providence, in making his gracious purpose come to pass.” (17). Piper shows us how through the stories of Babel, Joseph, David, and Judas.

Piper is sharp, to the point, and pastoral in tone. He tells us that he writes not for the head but for the preparation of the saints for impen
Cody A.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular book. It brings together in a simple read, the major categories of evil that we can think of today. Adam's fall, Satan and demons, the cross, the betrayal of Judas, our personal sin, Joseph's slavery, etc. and expounds upon them in such a way that I will never again think of evil as simply "bad, negative, unfortunate" without seeing it through the window of God's grand purposes and always realizing God is behind all of it, ordained it, not just in a Calvinist theology way, but in a w ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What do you think when somebody intentionally hurts you? An ex ruins your finances? A co-worker spoils your reputation? A company for profit terminates your job leaving your family helpless? A senseless tragedy strikes you to the core? Wimpy theology leads to wimpy Christians.
If you have ever wondered where God is when suffering comes your way, when indescribable evil strikes your core, then this book will give you convictions from theology, courage for your fears, and comfort from the promises
Brandon Bellinghausen
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this a 3.5 rating, but since I don't have this option here, I rounded up.

Piper has such a wonderful, glorious, and joyful grasp of the sovereignty of God in all things. As he walks through the biblical examples of how these 'spectacular sins' serve their broader purpose in God's plan for the world, you cannot help but be in awe of the God who uses even the most egregious sins to serve his glory and the greater good.

It really is amazing how poor eschatology permeates many of th
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“It seems to me that Christians in the West are being coddled. We suffer little in the name of Christ. Therefore, we read the Bible not with a desperate hunger for evidences of God’s triumph in pain, but with a view to improving our private pleasures” (page 12)

“If you embrace the biblical truth that God ordains spectacular sins for the global glory of his Son, without God in any way becoming unholy or unrighteous or sinful in that act, then you will not shrink back from the cross of Christ as a
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This very thin 100 page book, is packed with meaning. The saying holds true, 'the more the words the less the meaning'. It covers the More Full Understanding of God's Sovereignty and how sin is used in the world to Serve His Purposes. In that regard, we read how how Grace is also more than the girl next door or candy coated goodness. The outside understanding then is to the reader, if you've ever wondered why their is evil in the world, this book might well answer your questions. Bearing in min ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Classic John Piper getting to the heart of the matter. The greatness of our salvation. The aim of his book is to show over the history of the world how God purposes to glorify his Son and save his people from sin. He goes thru the "spectacular" sins of the bible and shows how God's purpose was revealed and the Glory of Christ shown. During times such as what we are living today, this is a great encouragement, it is also a great study of the character of God and great salvation that we have in Je ...more
Pip Snort
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, christian
John Piper's Spectacular Sins is a majestic examination of God's plan that brings everything to point to His glory. Piper's stated purpose is to encourage a strong faith that can withstand storms and sufferings, and I can see that for those for whom these ideas were knew, it may do so. My criticism, if there can be one, is that Piper is a little too gentle. There is a little too much "God allows" and not quite enough "God plans" for this to sit comfortably with my understanding of the Biblical t ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
pretty typical Piper (which is in no way a slam!). Best part for me was the intro/chapter on the sovereignty of God over sin chapter (I think ch2 or 3) when he starts talking about 2Tim 2:9 and how grace was planned before sin was there to need it. In other words, grace made sin necessary...not the other way around. The next few chapters were examples of this happening...good, but a little tedious. Can't wait to finish it, ends with the cross (conquering sin through sin).

I recommend's a
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this short book John Piper explains that God defeats sin by sovereignly using sin to accomplish His ultimate purposes. Piper honestly and clearly tackles one of the most difficult questions that Christians face, namely, why is their evil in the world? With clarity and conviction, Piper points us to the brilliant glory of a God who is sovereign even over sin. As he reminds us, "Wimpy worldviews produce wimpy Christians."

For the 2016 Tim Challies' Reading Challenge, this was the book I read tha
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
How is the God glorified in a world of spectacular sins? In this short but insightful book, John Piper addresses this question through the stories of Adam, the fall of Satan, the Tower of Babel, Joseph, and Jesus. God does not find sin and evil in the world and then make a plan to remedy it. He is not surprised by it. Rather, He had the plan before the ages for Jesus Christ to be glorified in it. Great little book (and free as an ebook), and it won't take you much time to read.
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
John Piper presents sin and satan in a totally different way. You come away with a different view on everything. All things work together for good...even the evil sins that have occured in this world. God is in control and He has the master plan. Ultimately Satan's defeat with be miraculous and even the evil Satan has done will be turned to the Glory of God. As he states in the book, we, in the western churches, have been coddled too much and it's time for the truth to be revealed.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a very short book; however, the length of the book does not determine its edifying affect. Piper does an excellent job of showing how God meant for sin/evil/suffering to occur for His glory alone. How God is most glorified throughout this process. It does a good job of answering the wrong christian question of why do bad things happen to good people. I would strongly suggest this to all.
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have learned that Western Christians are coddled, self included. We are not prepared to live out our faith in a world truly hostile to our faith. Carrying the cross like it is an electric chair or lethal injection - but for bringing glory to the one who died on the Cross for our sins - is the only way to live the Christian life. If we lived like winsome martyrs, the world would take notice. I have been awakened from slumber by reading this book. It can be read in an hour.
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Books like this remind me why Piper is my favorite Christian author.

Pastor Piper has taken a difficult issue -- the existence of evil -- and really done it justice.

I don't know how he manages to be both brief and thorough, but he approaches the subject from a heavenly perspective.

It's a true comfort to any follower of Christ to know that not even evil exists outside of God's sovereignty.

This is a true must-read, and an instant Christian classic.
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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
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“It isn't the size of the window that determines how much you see. It's which way the window is facing, and how close you are, and whether the glass is clear.” 4 likes
“It is only a matter of time till the reality of the rest of the world comes home. And all the while we are called by Christ to go to them, love them, sacrifice for them, bring the gospel to them. The Great Commission is not child’s play. It is costly. Very costly.” 4 likes
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