It’s not going to come as any surprise to readers of this blog that I think a John Piper book is a good read. Still, I was especially impressed by this book when I read it for the second time two weekends ago.
As a pastor for young adults I have increasingly been interested in finding books of substance and of simple clarity that I can give to novice readers of theological literature. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ is a book that combines both of these qualities beautifully and compellingly.
The book examines the person of Jesus Christ from 13 different perspectives (e.g. “The Gladness of Jesus Christ”; “The Wisdom of Jesus Christ”; “The Anguish of Jesus Christ”; “The Severity of Jesus Christ”) in short, easily digestible chapter. It crackles with crisp, memorable sentences and, at only 127 pages, can easily be read in a long Sunday afternoon and evening. It is a beautiful meditation on Jesus Christ and is highly recommended for readers at any level. In fact, if you have some spare change and are thinking about doing some outreach around Christmas, Desiring God is currently making boxes of 48 copies of Seeing and Savoring available for $48 a box!
“Jesus will not be domesticated. But people still try. There seems to be something about this man for everyone. So we pick and choose in a way that shows he is on our side. All over the world, having Jesus on your side is a good thing. But not the original, undomesticated, unadjusted Jesus. Just the Jesus that fits our religion or political platform or lifestyle. …It is a strange thing that, among folks who do not follow Jesus as their Lord and God, almost no one wants to say bad things about him. The same thing is true of crosses: They are nice to wear for jewelry, but nobody wants to die on one. The only crosses people want are domesticated ones. It makes sense, then, that a man who calculated his whole life to die on one would be dangerous to believe in” (11-12).
“Christ does not exist in order to make much of us. We exist in order to enjoy making much of him. The assumption of this book is that to know the glories of Christ is an end, not a means. Christ is not glorious so that we get wealthy or healthy. Christ is glorious so that so that rich or poor, sick or sound, we might be satisfied in him” (27).
“Salvation is not mainly the forgiveness of sins, but mainly the fellowship of Jesus…. Forgiveness gets everything out of the way so this can happen” (41).