There are lots of books that you will read in you life that will give you good information. There will be books that cause you to think and ponder great issues. Then there are books that will change your life. The Supremacy of God in Preaching falls into the later category.
With an amazing blend of practical and theological, historical and modern, timely and timeless, John Piper delivers a clarion call to all those who would stand to preach and teach God’s word. The call is back to the bible and to Jesus Christ. With the eloquence and humility of a man who has truly internalized the message he brings, Piper challenges young and old to a higher standard in our preaching.
While I could continue here to give you a more technical review, I would like to focus more appropriately on the impact the book had on me. Namely there were two things that this book did for me. First, it reminded me that above all things, the hearers of my messages need to gaze upon the Glory of God in the face of Christ. Our preaching is not a means by which we are to encourage people to “hang in there” or “6 ways to be happy”… Our preaching is to exalt Jesus Christ who is the only way to hang in there and the 1 and only way to be happy. Anything less than preaching satisfaction and suffiencey in Jesus Christ alone is a disservice to those who listen. As Piper puts it, “the goal of preaching is the glory of God and the grounds for that preaching is the cross of Christ.”
The second great impact of this book on my life was that of encouragement. As one who stands in front of people to glorify God through the teaching and preaching of his word, there is often occasion for discouragement. It is our hope, as preachers, that our hearers will be impacted by the words of Christ and caused to grow in passion for him in life. However, we often can not see the usefulness of our preaching, as we can not watch the outworking of all the lives around us… So, for me, it was of GREAT encouragement, when at the start of his book, Piper says, “that the true usefulness of our preaching will not be know to us until all the fruit, on all the branches, on all the trees that have sprung up from all the seeds we have ever sown have ripened of the sunshine of eternity” (p. 22). For me, this was a healthy reminder that I carry close to me every time I open my mouth.
In conclusion, this book is highly recommended for anyone who plans to, or is currently, in vocational ministry. For those who are not, I think that it is equally important due to the reality that we are all preachers… heralds of the King. For some we stand in pulpits on sundays, others stand behind coffee counters, others in board rooms… Regardless of your case, we must always keep Jesus Christ as supreme.