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Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons (Piper)

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John Piper, a best-selling author and popular pastor who has preached to thousands around the world, claims no person other than Jesus Christ himself has had a greater impact on his life than the apostle Paul. In this book, Piper reflects on the ministry of this famous persecutor-turned-missionary, drawing on the six decades he has spent “getting to know” Paul through the New Testament, which records his conversion, missionary journeys, and 13 letters he penned to churches throughout the ancient world. Offering readers 30 reasons why he loves the apostle Paul, this book of short meditations on the wonder of the gospel, perseverance through suffering, love for unbelievers, and God's work through weakness will encourage readers to imitate Paul’s example of unwavering confidence in God's grace and love toward others.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Liar, Lunatic, or Loved?

Part 1: The Beautiful Transformation

1. From Angry Killer to Apostle of Christ

2. Beyond Rational Persuasion to the Revelation of Glory

3. Steady in His Calling through Incomparable Sufferings

4. Unwavering Love for Those Who Scourged Him

5. Unshakeable Contentment Whether Abased or Abounding

Part 2: Loving the Man Who Shaped My Life

6. Magnifying Christ through a Satisfying Death

7. Love for People as the Overflow of Joy in God

8. From Rabid Ethnic Arrogance to Herald of Deepest Reconciliation

9. My Friend with the Best News during Cancer

10. Learning Late in Life to Know and Kill My Most Besetting Sins

Part 3: A Mind for Logic, a Heart for Love

11. Rigorous in Reasoning, Transparent in Feeling

12. Speaking with Feeling about the Glory of Christ, Not Religious Activity

13. From Logic on Fire to Lyrics of Love

14. Turning High Thoughts to the Help of the Lowly

Part 4: Making the Mysteries Sing

15. More Awed by the Glory Revealed than the Glory Concealed

16. Reveling in God’s Power in and through Ours

17. A Global Grasp of Suffering and a Heart of Personal Empathy

18. The Horror of Human Sin, the Hope of Human Splendor

19. Showing the Truth of Christian Freedom, but Not in a Simplistic Way

Part 5: A Personal Passion for Precious Community

20. Not Lonely at the Top, but Linked with Precious Friends

21. Christ Was All-Sufficient, and Community Was Crucial

22. Backbone, Blunt, and Beautifully Affirming

23. Zeal for Gospel Accuracy, Slow to Take Personal Offense

24. Not a Conforming Chameleon, and Not a Ministering Maverick

Part 6: Counting Others More Significant than Himself

25. Lover of God’s Sovereignty with Tears for the Lost

26. Apostle of the Happy God and the Hard Life of Spreading Joy

27. Admitting Imperfections and Turning Them for Love

28. Unrivaled Success as a Missionary, with No Conceit

29. The Pursuit of Pure Doctrine and Passion for the Poor

Part 7: The Best Gift Paul Could Give

30. The Greatest Chapter in the Bible and the Most Important Promise in My Life

A Final Commendation: Paul’s Christ-Embodying Love for Me General Index Scripture Index Desiring God Note on Resources



John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring GodDon’t Waste Your LifeThis Momentary MarriageA Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.