Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons

By John Piper

Why I Love the Apostle Paul

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Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons

By John Piper

“Besides Jesus, no one has kept me from despair, or taken me deeper into the mysteries of the gospel, than the apostle Paul.” —John Piper

No one has had a greater impact on the world for eternal good than the apostle Paul—except Jesus himself. For John Piper, this impact is very personal. He does not just admire and trust Paul. He loves him. Piper gives us thirty glimpses into why his heart and mind respond this way.

Can a Christian-killer really endure 195 lashes from a heart of love? Can a mystic who thinks he was caught up into heaven be a model of lucid rationality? Can an ethnocentric Jew write the most beautiful call to reconciliation? Can a person who lives with the unceasing anguish of empathy be always rejoicing? Can a man’s description of the horrors of human sin be exceeded by his delight in human splendor? Can a man with a backbone of steel be as tender as a nursing mother?

If we know this man—if we see what Piper sees—we too will love him. Paul’s testimony is a matter of life and death. Piper invites you into his relationship with Paul in the hope that you will know life, forever.


John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org 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.

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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


Category: Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 208
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6504-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6504-5
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 8.12 ounces
Published: January 31, 2019