A Review of ‘Providence’ by John Piper.

Jun 15, 2021 by

by Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch:

The new tome by John Piper is essential reading: (Crossway Books, 2021.)

The topic of the providence of God is a major biblical theme, and properly understood, it is a hugely reassuring and comforting doctrine of Scripture. It has often been discussed at length over the centuries, certainly by those in Puritan and Reformed circles. This new treatment by Piper is the most recent, and it is one of the most thorough and detailed to yet appear.

Some recent treatments of the topic – of many – include (in order of their appearance):
G .C. Berkouwer, The Providence of God (Eerdmans, 1952, 1974).
Benjamin Wirt Farley, The Providence of God (Baker, 1988).
Paul Helm, The Providence of God (IVP, 1994).
Terrance Tiessen, Providence & Prayer: How Does God Work in the World? (IVP, 2000).
James Spiegel, The Benefits of Providence: A New Look at Divine Sovereignty (Crossway, 2005).

Piper’s volume of 750 pages is certainly very comprehensive indeed, and all aspects of this doctrine are covered in great detail. There are different ways one can approach a topic such as this. One can turn to apologetics, or offer a philosophy of religion sort of approach, dealing with questions, objections, conundrums, and so on.

While Piper does deal with some obvious questions that arise here, his main approach, in 45 chapters, is to simply let the biblical data be heard. And being both a pastor and a theologian, he deals with the biblical texts on this matter in a careful and wise fashion, making it not just theologically rigorous but pastorally practical.

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