A Peculiar Glory, by John Piper
“The glory of God is the ground of faith. It is solid ground.” – John Piper
A Peculiar Glory by John Piper is an argument for the reliability of Scripture. But it is an argument with unusually compelling and powerful evidence – the testimony of Scripture itself and the revealing power of the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of men so that they can see with an undeniable impact the glory of Jesus Christ by means of the Scripture.
The book begins by discussing the existence of the biblical text itself. What books are legitimate for the Old Testament? What about the New Testament? Are the words that we have now actually what the apostles and prophets wrote? Piper argues that the surest way to answer these questions is not through scholarship (although that is valuable) but through the testimony of Scripture itself.
A following section evaluates what Jesus and the Apostles believed and said about the Bible. Scripture indicates that the apostles and prophets and especially Jesus Himself loved and trusted the same books and words that we have today.
The final two chapters are the meat of Piper’s message in this book. His concern is that we too often think that Scripture is reliable because there is such a preponderance of evidence from outside the Bible when in fact the most compelling and foundational reason that we believe the Bible is that God has done something tremendous in believers. Grounded in 2 Corinthians 4, Piper argues that Christians believe the Bible because God has sovereignly opened once-blinded eyes and exposed the “peculiar glory” of Jesus Christ to our hearts. There is no arguing with or explaining away of such an experience and nothing makes the Word of God more delightful than the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
A Peculiar Glory makes the case for the authority of Scripture in a way that is clearly Biblical but often overlooked by Christians. It does so by looking away from man-centered views that appeal to reason and by looking toward a God-centered view that appeals to His sovereign grace. Every true believer has experientially undergone the blindness removing the power of Scripture, but our sinful minds still want to claim credit for our faith. This book is a valuable asset.
Review by Isaac Stanley