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Let the Nations Be Glad! 2nd Edition
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Since its publication a decade ago, Let the Nations Be Glad! has provided thousands of seminary students, missionaries, and pastors with a sound theological foundation for missions. Piper now offers a revised and expanded edition of this theological and biblical defense of God's supremacy in all things.

Drawing on texts from the Old and New Testaments, Piper demonstrates that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship drives missionary outreach. He describes prayer as the fuel of missions work because of its focus on a relationship with God rather than the needs of the world. He goes on to illustrate that while suffering is the price of missions, God is worthy of any sacrifice. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and discusses the extent of the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means to reaching "all nations."

This revised and expanded edition contains updated references to contemporary literature and debates and new illustrations and quotations. This edition also boasts a new preface and a final section devoted to the practical outworking of compassion and worship. Included in this new section is a chapter encouraging passion for God's supremacy and compassion for man's soul, based on Jonathan Edwards's musings on the unity of motives for world missions. Concluding this section is a chapter containing Piper's reflections on New Testament worship as an inner reality more than an external form.

Let the Nations Be Glad! is essential reading for all those involved in or preparing for missions work and provides inspiring theological reflection for college and seminary students. This book also offers enlightenment for pastors, youth workers, those involved in campus ministries, and all who want to connect their labors to God's global purposes.

Customer Reviews:

  • Best book on missions I ever read!
    This book gave me a renewed zeal and purpose for why I exist and how and why I am to tell others about our ALL GLORIOUS GOD! This gives a solid theology behind missions and takes us beyond "emotionally" motivated (but does not exclude) mission efforts....more info
  • Great delivery!
    I was really impressed by the quick delivery of this product and the great condition of the book. I ordered it on 12/13 for my father for Christmas and wasn't sure if it would arrive in time. The package arrived in time, with days to spare. He has enjoyed the book and is planning on using it as a devotional for a study at church.

    I would recommend the book....more info
  • Life changing. It will change your perspective on missions.
    God used this book, to change my perspective on missions. Missions is not the cheif end of man, The worship and glory of God is the cheif end of man. We live like we're adding people to our list, when really God is using us as his tools, to gather the nations together....more info
  • Functional Missions.
    I definately agree on the excellence of this book. Piper is obviously a man after God's heart, and listens when His father speaks. Piper gives a rather untraditional, yet much needed view of "missions." The idea that missions is for the glory of God, and NOT because the missionary has a love for a certain people or country, makes this view functional. It is a blatant and biblical answer to the high degree of missionary attrition as seen in today's sending organizations. Following this model, and heeding to the other exhortations regarding prayer and suffering set forth in this book will allow worship to resound and God to be glorified. It is a must read!...more info
  • A Good, Theological Looks into Missions
    John Piper's book appears to be a unique find. It is not unique in that it is a book on missions, nor is it unique in being powerful and moving in content. It is unique, primarily, in that it is a book that looks at missions from a God-centered perspective, and is written in an almost purely theological light. One endorser refers to the weaving together of passion, relevance, theology and exegesis in Let the Nations be Glad! That may be a great characterization of the book.

    Piper starts the book off with a paradigmatic statement, which ultimately serves as his central premise. "Missions is the not ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't." The underlying idea is that worship is God-centered, whereas missions is man-centered. It takes the rest of the book to fully understand exactly what he means, and he doesn't fully define "worship" until the last chapter of the book--a new addition for the new edition. Piper goes through great pains to show what he calls the centerpiece of his theology in the first chapter--that the chief end of man, according to the Westminster Catechism, is the chief end of God as well, and ultimately "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Piper argues that the glory of God spread throughout the earth is God's ultimate goal, and is the ultimate goal and fuel of missions. It is hardly difficult to show from the Scriptures the importance of God's glory, but Piper gives verses to excess that develop the point. He then considers it idolatry on God's part for Him to cherish anything above Himself, as He is supremely valuable.

    The second chapter is titled "The Supremacy of God in Missions Through Prayer." The title is a misnomer, as it gives half of the argument. The other half of the argument is, more or less, about the faithfulness of God--from election to the fulfillment of His promises. The first part of the chapter is an indictment on modern Christianity's wimpy view of prayer. Piper calls prayer a "war-time walkie-talkie," and says that most Christians use it as a "domestic intercom to call upstairs for more creature comforts in the den." He shows Paul's use of wartime and race analogies as the basis for his argument. The other emphasis given by Piper is that missions is ultimately the work of God. The connection seemed odd, thought neither point is to be taken lightly. At times, it seemed that Piper oscillated between the Christian's work of prayer and God's work in missions without a decent segue.

    Chapter 3 is a heart-wrenching chapter on suffering, missions and the supremacy of God. The thesis behind this chapter is "[l]oss and suffering, joyfully accepted for the kingdom of God, show the supremacy of God's worth more clearly in all the world than worship and prayer." While there seems to be a sort of contradiction between the first chapter and this one, the idea presented here can hardly be understated. Without taking the exact numbers into account, it appears that there are more real-life stories in this chapter than others. Tales of persecution and martyrdom are interspersed with a theology of suffering, which explains the difficult text of Colossians 1:24, on filling what is lacking in Christ's afflictions. This chapter clearly attacks the American way of prosperity, even challenging retired people to use that time for the giving of their lives to the cause of Christ. It would seem, however, that Piper could have tied suffering and worship together, instead of juxtaposing them from the onset of this chapter. Ultimately, he uses the same language for worship and enduring suffering--namely that of valuing God above all else, taking it to the point of death in the chapter on suffering.

    The next chapter begins a new section in the book. In this heavily footnoted chapter, Piper deals with the difficult question of whether conscious faith in the person of Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation. He actually goes further than that, dealing with the ultimate question of what happens when one dies. Piper refutes universalism and conditionalism by simply stating the painfully obvious in Scripture--if Heaven is real and eternal, then Hell must be real and eternal, as they are both described in parallel language. The basic argument for the necessity of conscious faith in the person of Jesus Christ is the necessity of the atonement--if the atonement was necessary, as Jesus pictured it in the Garden of Gethsemane, then it must be necessary for people to actually rely on the atonement. Piper deals with some objections--such as Cornelius--and asserts that, with the coming of Christ, salvation is radically different, now requiring a conscious focus on the person and work of Christ. From there, Piper goes into the necessity of proclaiming the gospel--though the focus here is short. Piper's argument doesn't seem to deal adequately with the change that comes from Christ--in other words, an Old Testament vs. a New Testament salvation. More than once he asserts that Christ wasn't known in the Old Testament. While this seems obvious on the one hand, on the other hand it is not quite so clear. There may be greater clarity with the coming of Jesus, but the Old Testament contains more than a few veiled references to the Messiah, as Piper seems to assert. Messiah is promised from the very opening of the Old Testament, and it would be hard to affirm that Old Testament and New Testament redemption were so different.

    Chapter 5 deals with "The Supremacy of God `Among all the Nations.'" This is a tricky chapter, presenting an argument that seemingly defies logical thinking (an objection given in the opening paragraph of the chapter). However, Piper takes the biblical phrase pa,nta ta, ev,qnh--"all the nations"--and looks at it across the Bible, going more in-depth on ev,qnoj--"nation/Gentiles." Piper's conclusion is a tough pill to swallow: to follow the Great Commission means that the gospel needs to go to groups as small as families or clans--understanding that a biblical family is much larger than an American, nuclear family. There is more evidence given to support this, such as Paul's statement that he needn't do more work in a certain area from Romans 15--this alluded to the fact that a group was reached, though not fully evangelized, and the gospel must move on to more people groups. The implications of this would lead missionaries to a radical calling to go further and further in missions. One cannot simply stop with a respondent group, but must press on to more and more groups, so that God's glory will be manifest even more through the diversity of the nations.

    The last section, more or less, clarifies some of the still murky issues of the first chapter. Chapter 6 gives a look at Jonathan Edwards and the relation between passion for God and compassion for people. In the first chapter, Piper had asserted that love for the lost, alone, would not be enough to sustain missions and missionaries--it would take the biblical desire for God to be glorified among the nations. In this chapter, Piper shows how a passion for God naturally leads to compassion for human beings. The logic behind this is that a passion for God's glory will cause a person to love others enough to want them to experience God's glory. The two go hand in hand.

    The last chapter picks up on a theme that was briefly mentioned in Chapter 6--a closer look at worship. This chapter is an addition, and apparently a much needed one. Here, Piper contrasts the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, worship was centralized to a time and a place. In the New Testament, one will find "an utterly stunning degree of indifference to worship as an outward form and an utterly radical intensification of worship as an inward experience of the heart." He looks at the predominant words for worship in the New and Old Testaments, showing that only in the presence of Jesus is the Old Testament idea of locality present when worship is mentioned. Outside of the physical presence of Jesus, worship is about a style of living that is consumed with and manifests the glory of God. This style of living overflows into the gatherings of Christians generally referred to as worship, but those gatherings are only one facet of the overall picture of worship in the New Testament. When taken into account, this greatly clarifies the notion that worship is the ultimate goal of the church.

    In conclusion, it is safe to say that Piper's book would easily change the life of anyone who reads it with an open mind and heart. This is not a book with help on contextualization and language learning, or very many other practical concerns of missions. It is a call to a way of thinking that will guide all Christians. It seems hard to find many negative attributes of this book. Some have been mentioned already. Another complaint is that Piper's writing is awfully repetitive. Whether it is a lack of fine-tuning or an attempt at helping the reader remember, it becomes rather obnoxious at times to read the same phrases over and over. It also seems forced to impose the Westminster Catechism's conclusions on God. There may be a logical reasoning, but the Scriptural evidence seems lacking to say that God's chief end is to glorify Himself and enjoy Himself forever. While the former may have abundant scriptural support, the latter is where the imposition seems to come in. Otherwise, this book would be highly recommended for any Christians. The few technical parts would easily be digested by a layperson, as Piper does a great job in making them readable. The overall impact of this book on the reader will be tremendous.
    ...more info
  • Missions to the Glory of GOD
    This is the best book I've ever read. Unlike so many books on missions, Piper does not try to cajole his readers into the mission field with tear-jerking stories of how third-world nation children are starving, as if God were in need of missionaries. Instead, Piper unfolds God's great plan to glorify himself through missions--that all nations might turn to Christ. Piper is right on when he wrote -- missions exists because worship doesn't. Soli Deo Gloria...more info
  • God centered examination of missions
    "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship does not." With those startling and counter-cultural words pastor and author John Piper takes us on a journey in search of the biblical motivation for missions: that God be glorified by people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. With an obvious passion for God's supremacy in all things Piper let's the bible speak for itself on topics like worship, prayer, suffering, who is saved and why, and what a "nation" is.

    This book is readable but full of sound, deep theology. Piper tackles some pretty sticky issues head on delving into the original languages, but not so deeply that a layman can't follow. He kindly but firmly interacts with common misconceptions and differing points of view from his own. I found myself continually challenged throughout reading the book. This is one of those works that requires thought as it is read, but the rewards for pondering Dr. Piper's words are awesome! All followers of Christ should read this book....more info
  • Best Book Ever Written on Christian Missions, except...
    The Bible, of course! John Piper will stun you with page after page of God-honoring biblical exegesis. His keen mind is only surpassed by his passionate love of God and His Word. The Lord will be worshipped by people from every nation (tongue, tribe, and people group). By the way, the most loving thing I can say about the Bode's review is, "Do you want the opinion of someone who has no idea how wonderful, Holy, and gracious God is, or do you want the truth from a Christian who agrees that our purpose in life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever?" Do you want a book that will reveal God's heart for the nations, directly from Scripture? Buy this book...Chapter One alone is worth it! To God be the Glory!...more info
  • Excellent!
    Piper's book is an excellent treatment of God's vision for the peoples (ethne) of the world. Our precious God has a vision to reach the nations for Himself. And only when we, His Children, are satisfied in Him and realize His passion will we finish the "unfinished task." I am a young missionary about to leave for the Middle East. I hope and pray that my generation will be set ablaze to go into areas like the Middle East and North Africa where the first frontier is the last frontier. I believe that through the leadership of pastors such as Piper and his works that many will be lead to just such a task. Excellent work....more info
  • Piper wants it both ways
    Briefly Piper (and others) want to write books about evangelism and missions. Fine. But in the books they use words like "salvation is at stake" and the "urgency of our mission" (120, 159, 165). This is a bit hypocritical for Calvinists.
    As an absolutist, he is hypocritical to say (p. 62)"God's ultimate goal will come only through prayer....and he will be engaged to do it through prayer."

    Man's prayer engages God? This is not Piper's Calvinism.

    Page 63 has a heading "Prayer releases the power of the Gospel." Woah. No prayer, no power....Piper is putting man in control?

    Still in the context of human prayer, (p.64) he says, "If the proclamation of the word aborts the purposes of God fail." "That purpose wont happen without prayer." (66)
    He makes a hero out of Mueller (69) for praying for 19 years for several people to be saved. What if it is not God's Calvinistic will that those people be saved? You are praying against God's, eternal, deterministic will. How can he laud such a thing (as a Calvinist)?
    He later (93ff) tells many stories of people who preach randomly that "Christ died for you that you might find forgiveness." How can he appreciate such a sermon since the persons preaching don't know (according to Piper) if Christ DID actually die for them

    One last thought. On page 188, Piper quotes Jonah 3:10 saying, "God repented of the evil he said he would do to them, And he did not do it."
    Over 40 times in the OT is says that God changed his mind (the two passages where it says he does not change his mind refer specifically to lying). But Piper cannot have a God who changes his mind. Another inconsistency in the book. I am disappointed

    ...more info
  • Piper honours God
    In August 2006 I noticed a guy who was sitting right behind my wife on an intercontinental flight to Johannesburg, reading a book. Every now and then he was asleep. I thought: "Must be a pretty boring book!" When during that flight both he and I stretched our legs, we introduced ourselves. He is a Baptist minister, flying from the USA via Amsterdam, I am a Reformed one on our way to ou children. He talked enthusiastically about the book and its author (John Piper, Let the nations be glad! (The supremacy of God in missions). He made me read the first line of chapter 1, which hit me right between the eyes: "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is." Wow, I decided to order the book at Amazone and have it airmailed to our address in South Africa - thus paying triple the price of it.

    It was well worth it! The clear way in which Piper writes on God's supremacy, not only in missions, but in everything, should make many theologians and church members reconsider their relationship with the Lord and their obedience to the Word of God. They should become praisers!

    Piper makes it very clear that idividualism plays no role in spreading the Gospel. The main issue is not the regeneration of men, but the glory of God. God does everything because He delights in Himself. And this delight becomes clear in the regeneration and belief of His new people! He wants to delight in Himself with a PEOPLE that He hath chosen and given to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    How many portions of Scripture become crystal clear in this way! Piper has served the Church of Christ with a valuable help, not only in missions. It should be widely studied and applied in Christian living and ministry.

    Is there no criticism? Unevitably! The question arose in my mind whether in Chapter 2, para 5, God's covenant and its impact in the life of the Church, is sufficiently taken into consideration in his argument. But such questions keep one, as reader, fresh!

    The book has neatly been published by Baker Academic.

    I hope that it will find its way to many readers.

    Dr. Marten Kuiper
    Emeritus professor of the Reformed University of Zwolle (The Netherlands)
    and minister of the Free Reformed Church of Twijzel (The Netherlands)
    (E-mail: info
  • Piper gives a fresh, yet thoroughly Biblical, view of why we missions exists.
    This book has challenged my thinking in many ways regarding the work of missions and the motivations behind it. This book would be profitable for any Christian who is serious about their faith, and invaluable for anyone involved or interested in missions or other evangelistic ministry.

    This book is not about specific missionary/evangelism methods. It is about the worldview that motivates missionary activity. I will not go into detail regarding the message of this book, but it has a lot to do with glorifying God. (not a surprise if you have read any of Piper's other books).

    The book in a fascinating read. It begins very well, and I read the first several chapters very quickly. It bogs down in the middle due to some heavy Biblical exegesis of some of the themes (the middle is still excellent content; it is just a bit deep for a casual reader).

    Overall an excellent, Bible-based study of missions....more info