Book Reviews,  Christianity

Book Notes: Piper, Quarles, and Stevens

The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, by Barnabas Piper

Barnabas Piper has penned a very personal look at what it’s like to grow up as a Pastor’s kid. I don’t know any better way to describe what’s in this book than to quote from the foreward, which was penned by the author’s father John Piper. He writes,

You will ask, “Was it painful for me to read this book?” The answer is yes. For at least three reasons. First, it exposes sins and weaknesses and imperfections in me. Second, it is not always clear which of its criticisms attach to me and the church I love. Third, this is my son, and he is writing out of his own sorrows (p. 11).


Why God Created the World: A Jonathan Edwards Adaptation, by Ben Stevens

Reading Jonathan Edwards is tough-sledding. No doubt about it. But there is no substitute for doing the hard work of reading the works of the man who is probably the most important theologian in American history. Having said that, Ben Stevens’ new little book might be the next best thing. It is an interpretive paraphrase of Edwards’ classic work The End for Which God Created the World. It is the author’s effort to make Edwards’s thought more accessible to the average reader. For example, Edwards’s “subordinate ends” and “ultimate ends” become “preliminary goals” and “pure goals” (p. 4). As I said, there’s no substitute for reading Edwards himself, but this is an interesting adaptation that many readers may find useful.


Illustrated Life of Paul, by Charles L. Quarles

Chuck Quarles has produced an introduction to the apostle Paul that is unlike any other that I have seen. This book is not merely a primer on the apostle to the gentiles. It has page after page of photos of historical sites and artwork that relate to the life and times of Paul. Doug Moo commends the volume saying, “Illustrated Life of Paul is a well-written, beautifully illustrated, and accurate basic introduction to the apostle Paul.” Likewise, Tom Schreiner writes, “Quarles’s book on Paul is the perfect textbook for today’s readers. It is historically accurate and biblically faithful, and at the same time we are introduced to Paul’s theology.” The book is aimed at students and interested lay persons.

One Comment

  • Luke A

    I am going to have to check out the Pastor’s Kid book. I have served as a youth pastor for many years and I am always concerned about the fall out that my family may face due to that commitment. It looks like a refreshing and candid look at what it was like to grow up as John Piper’s son. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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