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Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again?
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Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again?

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,169 ratings  ·  95 reviews
When Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'You must be born again', the devout and learned religious leader was unsure what Jesus meant. It would seem nothing has changed. Today 'born again Christians' fill churches that are seen as ineffectual at best, and even characterised by the 'mosaic' generation as 'unchristian'.

The term 'born again' has been devalued both in society and in the
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 20th 2009 by Christian Focus Publications (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  2,169 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Patrick Lacson
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John Piper writes on the topic of regeneration in a very accessible and winsome way. One of the strengths of Piper is he writes as a pastor and not as a theologian only. I think it was Tom Schreiner who rightly called Piper a "pastor-theologian" because the theology he writes of warms the heart and invigorates the soul. This book does exactly that.

The book presents the doctrine of regeneration as a vital doctrine for the Christian today. It changes our view of ourselves in our total inability a
KC McCauley
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
We know that we have been born again, but what exactly happened? This book gives a thorough answer to that question. Also, there are so many people claiming to be Christians, but in all reality, they are not; they have not been born again. That is one reason why this book was written: to clearly examine the doctrine of regernation (being born again). This is a must read for the false doctrines that are circulating in our culture.

This is the first book where I have seen the expository side of Pi
Vincent Lemieux
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed it.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book dealing with the subject of what it really means to be a "Born Again" Christian. It also shows that while the "Barna Group" says that 45% of Americans say they have been religiously "Born Again," that in reality it is much lower than that. Why? Because "Born Again" has been so loosely thrown around that many who think they are "Born Again," are NOT based on what it Biblically means. Piper will take you through 100's of scripture references in this 200-page book, that will help you ...more
Chase Dougherty
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book started out by talking about Augustine and C.S. Lewis conversions and how one was dramatic and the other was just a bus ride. It drew me in because I thought the book was going to talk about why and how God converts differently.
While the book certainly did talk about the differences in conversions, it carried so much more. The points that stick out to me the most were the difference in the new nature God gives us as opposed to sin nature.
And our responsibility in the gospel. I have re
Joseph Louthan
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A gorgeous call to the Christian to finally and fully understand the blessed doctrine of regeneration--not only the swapping of hearts by God alone but the call to evangelize to proclaim what God has done in us.

The regeneration and faith issue (chicken-egg argument) is settled here. Piper wonderfully exegetes passages such as John 3, 1 John 5, 2 Peter 3 and Ephesians 2 to serve as the basis for the entire book. While the faith-first arguments have passages to ponder but not necessarily concrete
Peter Jones
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good book on understanding the new birth. He spends a lot of time in I John, which makes sense. He does a good job showing why regeneration in necessary, how it occurs, and what are the results of it. He also nicely balances God's work and the necessity of means. God does not believe for us nor does God magically change people's hearts apart from the Word of God. I especially enjoyed his last chapter on how to be more proactive in evangelism. A really good book on this topic and worthwhile rea ...more
Douglas Wilson
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is a wonderful book on the absolute necessity of the new birth. If it true that not every baptized Christian is saved, and it is true, then we need an explanation for the dividing line. What differentiates the saved from the unsaved? What is the difference? Does the Bible give us any direction on the subject? The answer is yes, and Piper does a great job in assembling the relevant biblical material, and explaining it clearly.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"What is my problem?" That's the question I asked as I read through this book, wondering what took me so long to actually get through this book. Finally Alive has sat on my shelves for years and it even found its way to my home where I think I envisioned reading it at a slow pace while the family was out and about. Finally I made a commitment to read it and I am so glad I did. Though certainly not Piper's best book, it was such a joy to read it as Piper unpacked the concept of being "born again. ...more
Elisha Lawrence
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading through some books I've had for a while that I haven't wanted to read. And overall, I didn't really like this book. Piper is great and his exposition of Scripture has some pierce your heart moments. I just wish he would incorporate stories to show the beauty of Scripture. At times, this read more like a commentary on different passages.

That being said, I was reminded why it's important to read widely and to read books that stretch you by this book. The last two chapters, the Spirit reall
Josh Stowers
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
A book about the most experiential truth in the world should not be boring. I felt like it was just that and pretty scattered. I was telling myself, “Finally Alive is finally over”. He defined monergistic theology well but not the heart of it. There is some application ( scattered ) at the end and a tangent about yoga ( a tangent I agree with ) but it seemed like an unfinished product. To borrow his own illustration; light but no heat?
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book looking at rebirth and regeneration. Solid biblically and very practical. A good help for anyone studying the Gospel of John or the letters of John. A needed reminder for those in ministry who far too often rely on technique and human strategies. A return to the simple yet profound Gospel that turned the ancient world upside down and is still changing lives today.
Kevin Thompson
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soteriology, tba
A great look at salvation.
Tim Suffield
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good content, bad writing, hard to read.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is life changing. I would recommend this to everyone.
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: piper
I received a free copy of Finally Alive last month at the Death to Performance Conference in Nashville. Finally Alive is a new book (published in 2009) by John Piper that is all about regeneration. Regeneration is the technical (but still Biblical) term used to describe what the Bible calls “being born again.”

Piper’s aim is to return to a true, biblical understanding about the new birth. In the first chapter he offers a scathing rebuke to those who misuse the term “born again,” as well as two ex
Daniel Duane
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
First, Piper asks his readers this very fundamental question:-

Have you been born again?

Then he scrutinizes 1 John and 1 Peter to answer a few other questions that stem out from the most accurate definition of being born again.

What is the new birth?
Why must we be born again?
How does the new birth come about?
What are the effects of the new birth?
How can we help others become born again?

Piper also lists how corrupted we are when we're not born again:

1. We are dead in trespasses and sin.
2. We are by
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this fresh look at what happens when we are born again. These are some of my favorite quotes:
"many professing Christians are indeed ... not radically changed, to the conclusion that they are not born again"
Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true & sound wisdom consists of two parts: the knowledge of God & of ourselves-John Calvin
Why Christmas? the Son of God became human-to take away sin, that is to destroy the works of the devil, namely sin.
“The new birth is the ac
J.S. Park
Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
If you gave John Piper free reign on a topic, this is the book he would write. Like a prolific, over-avid student with no word limit on his final essay, Piper writes an otherwise great work on salvation that is bloated beyond sanity. Had he cut it to half the size or expanded on the application, it may have been a classic.

You know the guy in class who writes a stream of words for an essay hoping to get something right (I was that guy) -- this book reads the same way. No doubt that Piper's Refor
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What does it really mean to be born again? I think John Piper has done a fantastic job of answering that question as biblically, passionately and gracefully as anyone. Piper says, "[The Barna Group] is using the biblical term 'born again' in a way that would make it unrecognizable by Jesus and the biblical writers." I would have to agree with him. When people off of the street taking a survey say that they are born again do they really mean that they were so lost in their sins that they totally ...more
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it

The book begins, "the declaration of Jesus that we must be born again is devastating to the one who would be captain of his soul. Not many biblical realities are better designed by God to reveal our helplessness in sin." It ends, "Jesus is jealous for us believers to know that judgment and death and behind us because our judgment happened when Jesus was judged in our place, and our death happened when Jesus died in our place. And therefore new life is in us, and this life cannot perish and canno
Nov 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Boy do I have some questions for Piper. Why write in the first person? Was it to sound humble. The effect it had me was that were avoiding being scholarly. The other thing that I struggled with was your take on being born again. You wanted to tackle what Jesus meant " by water and the Spirit". You gave good point about why water did not signify baptism. Although, there are many who believe that the water signifies natural birth. We are talking about two births here,right? I noticed that the firs ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
I wasn't able to finish this book, but not because it's not good. I benefited from Piper greatly in the past, but on this particular topic he didn't have anything new to say to me... not because there's not enough to say about the topic, but because I've read so extensively about it in the past. Therefore I found it boring.

However, this is probably exactly the kind of thing that many Christians need to read. And Piper is wonderfully warm, wise, and pastoral.

If you are like me and have already ed
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book about new birth, about regeneration, about what it means to be born again. In it, John Piper moves through the subject by asking five all-important questions: "What is the new birth?" "Why must we be born again?" "How does the new birth come about?" "What are the effects of the new birth?" And concluding with "How can we help others be born again?"

If you care about personal change, change in your marriage, your children, your job, the environment, social / humanitarian in-justice,
Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
I've been a Christian for 6 years now, and I've heard the sermons and people speak about the new birth and rebirth, but never have I heard it the way Piper speaks and writes. I believe the Holy Spirit has given him such great wisdom!

Although this book is small, it is a far from easy read. There were pages that I had to read aloud or read again and again in order to understand. The content is thick as well, so I would recommend this book to someone who has been a believer for a few years and is s
Leigh Ann
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for understanding what it means to be "Born Again." I had a hard time keeping up with Piper though. His writing is always so thorough, which is greatly appreciated, but I can get lost in it. I found the last part of the book extremely helpful, however. Practical application of evangelism and why we do it. I will read and re-read the last part of this book for years to come. Very encouraging!
May 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All believers and non-believers seeking to understand the New Birth
John Piper dissects John 3 and the New Birth. He defines it and talks about how the New Birth is God's work in us. When God "regenerates," faith is immediately brought about just like "heat from a fire." Piper talks about how the New Birth relates to our love of others (1 John), how God uses the Word to bring it about (1 Peter), and how it relates to us in our efforts in evangelism. It is an outstanding book. I found that it was incredibly devotional, when reading it with an open Bible.
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
I thought the book was very thought provoking. At times I had to remind myself who the intended audience was. He seemed to be presenting the gospel to folks that consider themselves Christians, but might not be. It brought up questions for me about the importance of baptism and the church in the life of those that are born again.

I thought his final chapters on the necessity of evangelism were wonderful. The whole book is well worth the read.
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book! This book is vintage Piper. Here you see the fruit of his hours of mulling over Bible texts related to regeneration. Very often he makes pithy statements in this book that ring like a bell, clearing up the fog that often surrounds difficult issues. One example would be "the new birth is not a person's believing the supernatural about Jesus. The new birth is the experiencing the supernatural within." (loose quote)
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was everything I hoped it would be - a thorough, biblical, and hope-giving study on the new birth. Piper deals with theological questions such as the origin of saving faith, the order of regeneration and faith, the practical results of the new birth, etc. I loved it and couldn't put it down.

No one challenges my thinking and presents Scripture so clearly to me than John Piper. I love his ministry, preaching, and writing. Another 5-star book here.
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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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