Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again? by John Piper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A good book on understanding the new birth. He spends a lot of time in I John, which makes sense. He does a good job showing why regeneration in necessary, how it occurs, and what are the results of it. He also nicely balances God’s work and the necessity of means. God does not believe for us nor does God magically change people’s hearts apart from the Word of God. I especially enjoyed his last chapter on how to be more proactive in evangelism. A really good book on this topic and worthwhile read for anyone working through I John.
What did I not like? Piper is still too revivalistic for my tastes. Too many altar calls in the book. Second, he has a low view of the institutional church and the sacraments. Both of those are almost non-existent in this book. Finally, I do not think he adequately addresses the continued presence of sin in the believer. That was not the point of this book. However, with all the time he spends in I John he should have explained more clearly how a regenerate person can keep on sinning. His view of regeneration is so dramatic that a natural reading leads to perfectionism. But he does not believe Christians are perfect. I did not think this tension was adequately explained.