Let The Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions

By John Piper
Grand Rapids : Baker (1993). 240 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Richard Mayhue
5.1 (Spring 1994) : 109-109

John Piper has served readers well with the reminder that worship, not missions, should be their focus with regard to spiritual priorities.

He writes, Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever (11).

In this thoroughly biblical treatment of missions, John Piper really focuses on the kinds of spiritual priorities that have always marked great redemptive movements of God in history.

This reviewer was particularly impressed by Piper's willingness to saturate the book with Scripture. For instance, he surveys all that the Bible says about God's glory (17-22). Then, he surveys the various biblical appeals in prayer (57-62). Next, without flinching he surveys what the Scripture says about hell and how that relates to the preaching of Christ (120-26). He then surveys the phrase "all the nations" in the NT (177-81). He concludes with a good discussion of the great commission as rendered in Matt 28:18-20 (203-18).

Tom Stellar, who serves as pastor for missions at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, the church pastored by John Piper, provides an excellent Afterword. In this addendum, Stellar addresses the crucial issue of "the supremacy of God in going and in sending." This by itself could be the subject of an entire volume.

The author did not intend to make this an unabridged treatment on missions. He rather chose to focus on the primary issues behind missions, which are glorifying and exalting God. The reviewer highly commends this book to any pastor who desires to raise the level of missions in his church, to any Christian who is considering missions as a ministry vocation, and to every missions executive who wants to refocus the vision of his ministry to make it God-centered.