The fifth volume in Piper’s acclaimed The Swans Are Not Silent series illustrates powerful and enduring lessons through the missional sufferings of Tyndale, Judson, and Paton.Jesus’ words in John 12 are sobering: unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it will bear little fruit. The history of Christianity’s expansion proves that God’s strategy for reaching unreached peoples with the gospel includes the sufferings of his frontline heralds—the missionaries who willingly die a thousand daily deaths to advance God’s kingdom.
Pastor John Piper’s latest addition to The Swans Are Not Silent series focuses on this flesh-and-blood reality in the lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton. The price they paid to translate the Word of God, to pave the way for missionary mobilization around the world, and to lead the hostile to Christ was great. Yet their stories show in triplicate how the gospel advances not only through the faithful proclamation of the truth but through representing the afflictions of Christ in our sufferings. Bible Formed Our Nation comprehensively documents, with joy, America’s deep roots in the Bible of the Christian faith. From our first civil compacts and the New England Primer textbook, to the declaration of every state constitution and the declaration of the United States Supreme Court’s Trinity decision of 1892, America cries out that its traditions have resulted from an abiding faith in the God of the Holy Bible.
Accomplished historian, broadcast producer, and author Dr. Jerry Newcombe demonstrates the unmatched contributions of our Christian heritage to American liberty and prosperity. Likewise, Dr. Newcombe candidly and sensitively treats the very real issues of slavery and treatment of the American Indian. With its extensive documentation, The Book that Made America will soon become the standard bulwark defense of the much maligned but thoroughly true contention that America and its blessings result directly from the centrality of the Bible in our history.
About the Author
John Piper is senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the head of Desiring God. He has written numerous books on topics that include personal holiness, missions and historical figures.
All the books in this series have challenged and taught me so much. Each one is unique and an awesome introduction to biography and the benefit of learning from the 'giants of the faith' who have gone before, and the cloud of witnesses whose testimonies the Holy Spirit can use to encourage, refine, and sanctify us.
That said, this book challenged and humbled me more than any other in the series. I have studied Tyndale, and there was nothing new in this book (most of the information is a condensed form of Daniell's biography. His is the ultimate biography of Tyndale, but for something more accessible and equally good, I recommend Moynahan's book, God's Bestseller). Every Christian (and student of English) should know Tyndale's story and the amazing work of God in his life to produce an English Bible and, ultimately, the modern English language.
I knew nothing of Paton or Judson, and what convicting stories! They suffered and endured beyond what most can even imagine, and God used them in world-changing ways. Their lives call us to consider our comfortable, often lazy lives - what are we sacrificing for the Lord? How loosely do we hold the treasures of this world - our families, spouse, home, friends - would we be willing to let it all go for Him?
Finally, Piper's opening chapter on the role of suffering and trials in the Christian life alone is worth the price of the book. Fantastic theology, though faith-stretching as you begin to grasp that suffering is a part of God's plan, and no one suffered more than Christ. Yet, with a sovereign and good God, we have confidence that such trials are working for us a far greater weight of glory.