Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review - Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ by John Piper

John Piper has a series of books titles The Swans are not Silent in which he writes mini-biographies of some of the martyrs of the faith. Piper gives a little background on the lives of those he writes about but he mainly focuses on the ministerial hardships each man faced.

In book five, Filling up the Afflictions of Christ (title taken from Colossians 1:24), Piper writes about three giants of the faith, William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson and John Patton. Each of these men gave their lives to take the Gospel to the nations.

William Tyndale was the first to translate the Bible into English, a task the Catholic Church told him not to partake of. In 1536 the church had him strangled then burned at the stake. Piper writes about the environment that Tyndale lived in and how it led to his death.

John Patton was a Scottish missionary to the New Hebrides in 1824. He lost his wife and children, fought false accusations and had courage to face threats from the natives, all the while never losing sight of the call that God had given to reach those people with the gospel.

Adoniram Judson, at the age of 24, took his young bride to Burma. He lived among those people for 38 years during which time he spent 17 months in prison, lost two wives and several children.

Piper writes about each man in a heart wrenching fashion. Reading of these men gives me courage to stand in the face of any persecution I may face for the sake of the Gospel. We are indebted to these men who gave us the English Bible and had the courage to take the Gospel to the hardest areas of the world. I pray that I will have just a fraction of their dedication. This book will help me gain confidence in the grace of God to do what He has called me to do.

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