John Piper's latest book, Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, is a must read! I say this having only read the introduction and chapter one - it's that good.
In this short (it's only 112 pages) book, Dr. Piper seeks to answer four questions:
1- Why does God think it is good for us to know that He is sovereign over sin?
2- Why does God not restrain sin more often (natural disasters, calamaties, personal tragedies, etc.)?
3- How can we have faith and joy during the severity of the last days?
4- How is Christ magnified/glorified in a world of sin like ours?
Here's an inside look at how personal this quest is for him:
"...I preached a series of messages under the title "Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ." It marked the beginning of my twenty-eighth year of preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church. There was death that autumn, just like there had been death in the spring. My father and my granddaughter. The I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed. Darkness overcame the young. And steady-state suffering kept its inexorable pace. I write out of the way I experience the word of God. And what I experience almost every day is someone's pain. Sometimes my own. Always someone else's that, in part, becomes mine."
Dr. Piper will seek to show how the Bible answer these questions as he navigates through various historical accounts throughout the pages of Holy Scripture. His prayer for the reader (that's me and hopefully you!) is
"that as these great historical vistas of God's sovereignty over sin take their place in your mind, they would have a profoundly practical effect in making you strong in the face of breath-stopping sorrows and making you bold for Christ in the face of dangerous opposition - Christ-exalting strength in calamity and Christ-exalting courage in conflict. I pray that the Lord will weave cords of steel and silk into the fabric of your soul."
Cords of steel and silk.....
I love John Piper. Get the book and read it!