Home Book Reviews Become besotted with God’s providence

Become besotted with God’s providence


Title: Providence
Author: John Piper
Year of Release: January 12, 2021
Reviewed by: Pauline Akello

The timing of this book prepares us for future trials on the cusp of a new decade.

The 750-page book was released on 12 January, 2021 and is freely available on the Desiring God website.

Purposeful sovereignty
Why the title ‘Providence’ and not ‘Sovereignty’, Dr John Piper says in the book that it is because sovereignty refers to God’s right and power to do whatever He wills to do. Providence denotes God’s “purposeful sovereignty”.

In other words, this book is about not just whether God has the right and the power to do what He wills (because He already does), but about His supreme authority to direct life and the divine reason for it.

The book explains God’s sovereignty in creation, history, redemption, and the consummation of all things. The purpose of God’s sovereign acts and where they are going, amounts to His providence.

Piper fashioned the book to draw away from the tendency to focus on “the big issues” of suffering in the world; wars, pandemics and the like.

What we have here is the fruit of Piper’s decades of long meditation on the theme of providence while serving Christ in the trenches of pastoral ministry.

This, for Piper is what Genesis 50:20 was for Joseph; a confession of the faith that has sustained him through it all.

It does not attempt to be a complete doctrinal treatise on providence. Providence is rather a series of sightings of God’s purposeful sovereignty.

Remarkably, the book has 3,000 Bible citations and here is why. In Piper’s own comments on the book: “because John Piper’s opinion is based on no authority, it’s not worth a penny.

Nobody should care what I think about anything, or what you think, or what anybody else thinks, no matter how many attributes or degrees are behind the names, unless it becomes evident that what you think or they think or I think is warranted by a truthful (trustworthy) source of knowledge; God”.


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