Book Review: Risk is Right

In his recently released book, Risk is Right: Better to Lose Your Life than to Waste It (published by Crossway), pastor John Piper faithfully speaks truth. From the beginning to end, like a skilled craftsman, he weaves a threefold cord of Bible knowledge, personal experience and timely wisdom of others to encourage the 21st century disciple of the Lord Jesus to launch out by faith, endeavoring great things for the Kingdom of God. One small piece of twine in this tightly woven challenge comes from John Stott. Piper writes,

John Stott warns against the treasonous imperialisms of using world missions as a cloak for pursuing honor for our own nation or church or organization, or ourselves. Then he says stunningly: ‘Only one imperialism is Christian, however, and that is concern for His Imperial Majesty Jesus Christ, and for the glory of his empire or kingdom.’

Throughout the book, juxtaposing risk and safety, Piper argues that risk is actually unavoidable due to our ignorance of the future. By calling on such Old Testament saints as Queen Esther, who was ready to perish for the sake of her people, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who dared to trust God even if he didn’t deliver them from the fiery furnace, the book emboldens the reader to take a stand in a time when believers everywhere need to take a stand.

Nothing in the book strikes one as polemic or controversial. It is safe, trustworthy and solidly complimentary to much of what other popular writers have recently churned out, a baby-boomers Radical, if you will.

Additionally, the “Desiring God” pastor wins by detailing the right and wrong reasons to take risks, as well as elaborating on the apostle Paul’s often quoted, “I can do all things through Christ…” from the book of Philippians. Here, Piper posits,

‘All things’ means ‘I can suffer hunger through him who strengthens me. I can be destitute of food and clothing through him who strengthens me.’ That is what Jesus promises.

It is exactly what Jesus promises, and it is exactly one reason why we as Christians should take chances, swim to the deep end and get out of our comfort zone.

Finally, I’d like to thank Crossway Publishers for kindly providing me with an electronic copy of this book in exchange for this review post. Pick up your paperback copy today or the Kindle Edition beginning on Jan. 31, 2013.

 

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