A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named (Second Revised Edition), by John Piper
This vision of, and invitation to, the work of global missions challenges Christians everywhere to cultivate a holy ambition to preach Christ where he has not yet been named.
The apostle Paul had a holy ambition: to preach the gospel to peoples who had never heard. He ached to proclaim Jesus where he had not yet been named. So today, missionaries cross cultures, learn languages, and pour out their lives in word and deed to break through thousands of years of darkness and the reign of Satan over a people who do not know the King of kings and the Savior of the world. Missionaries go to, and minister among, peoples who otherwise have little to no access to the saving news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Jesus’ Great Commission
And since Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations is still in effect—and since there are thousands of peoples today who have never heard of him—every church should pray that God would not only make all of us evangelists among our own people, but also that he would raise up from among us missionaries to take the gospel where it has never gone before.
Note to the Second Revised Edition: This book was first released in 2011. Since then, John Piper has continued to preach and write about missions. So, to prepare this Second Revised Edition, Desiring God added four chapters of new material, removed about a third of the original, and freshly edited and organized the remainder.
John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren. He is the author of numerous books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at desiringGod.org.
Aaron Lee –
The Coronavirus crisis cannot stop Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. In A Holy Ambition, John Piper powerfully calls us to preach where Christ has not been named.
A Second Edition
Published by Cruciform Press with DesiringGod, this book is Piper’s vision of and an invitation to the work of global missions. In less than 200 pages, he makes his case for Christians to be courageous in their proclamation of Christ.
This book is a second edition printing, and four chapters of new material have been added. About a third of the original content has been removed, and they freshly edited and organized the remainder to better reflect the end of Piper’s 33-year pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist Church and mark his full-time work for Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary as well as his work in starting the CROSS missions conference for students.
The Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul is Piper’s kindred spirit, and each chapter reads like a sermon outline or blog entry to explain a prominent passage of Scripture. Romans 15:18-24 is the first, and Piper makes it clear that he hopes to make his readers into frontier missionaries.
Those familiar with Piper’s teachings will find familiar Biblical themes. In Chapter 2, he explains how “doing missions when death is gain is the greatest life in the world.” In chapter 4, he helps us see that divine glory and human gladness are not at odds. Indeed, “when Christ becomes the satisfaction of the nations, and God becomes their delight, then he is honored and they are saved.”
For the Glory of God
Interestingly, Piper makes the connection in Galatians 2:1-10 between spreading the gospel to the nations and giving generously to the poor. I was challenged because this does not just mean to give to the Christian poor. Rather, globally speaking, the most unreached peoples and the poorest peoples are almost the same.
As a worship leader, I was most impacted by Chapter 11: Music and Missions for the Glory of God. Piper examines Psalm 96 and calls us to write new songs with a strong global and missionary flavor because of what God is doing around the world. This book has caused me to open my eyes as well as my heart to what God is doing in global missions. Read this book and join the missionary choir that aims to bring praise to God from all peoples.
I received a media copy of A Holy Ambition, and this is my honest review.