By John Piper

There are some people who have what seems like a small view of God.  They see God as a sort of cosmic genie who needs our prayer to respond to things in the world.  They see their salvation as based on their own decision to follow Christ rather than something that is part of God’s grand, providential will.  John Piper is not one of those guys.  For over 50 years, Piper has served the local church and the broader Christian community with a big, beautiful view of God.  His book Providence is the summation of a lifetime of “seeing and savoring” the glories of God and basking in the wonder of God’s Sovereignty.  The sheer size of this book (711 pages before the indexes) provides a hint of the weight of the content as Piper bathes his reflections in Scriptural references.  He is doing more than simply postulating an argument, he is helping us see what Scripture has already revealed.

Providence is divided into three main parts each with their own subsections.  The first part provides a definition of the term and acknowledges the difficulty of tackling this subject of God’s providence.  The second part discusses the ultimate goal of providence in creation, Israel’s history, and in the new covenant.  The third and final part of the book is the largest as Piper helps us to see how God’s providence intersects with our lives and our encounters in the world.  He addresses the tricky topics of evil, Satan and demons, sin, conversion, governments and more.

Piper’s writing style is fairly easy to read and understand, though he does not dumb down topics.  There were times when I found myself thoroughly captivated by the content and could not put it down.

Reading this book is not for the faint of heart, but it is well worth the investment of time.  Piper divides each chapter into multiple sections, making it easy to read and reflect on a part and then set it aside for another time.  I read most of this book as a part of my morning devotional time.  No matter when you read it or how long it takes, I think you’ll be encouraged and enriched through the process.

Reviewed by: Joel Gilbert

Categories: Book Review

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