One of the many blessings about living life in community with one another is sharing about what is helping us grow in our relationships with the Lord in hopes of inspiring others as well. Below is one such example. Read as Karin Kruger writes about a book she has read recently called Filling Up The Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton by John Piper. We hope that her review is helpful to you.
Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ is the fifth book written by John Piper in a series called “The Swans Are Not Silent,” written about the cost of bringing the Gospel to the nations in the lives of William Tyndale (1494-1536), Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), and John Paton (1824-1907).
This enjoyable biography tells the story from the beginning right through the end. In reading it, one is given a sneak peak into a life lived in joy, loss, sin, and the battle for faith. To see God break into a story, redeeming a sinner, purifying and sanctifying a rebel on these pages is both encouraging and edifying. It also shows how God’s timing is often so very different from ours, and how His story and His ways are much higher than the ones we would have written for ourselves. God’s story for us has our eternal best in view though we often live for today. In God’s story, He reconciles sinners to Himself, while we want this world and it’s comforts to satisfy us. This biography is meaningful because God’s sovereign grace and rule are being displayed and His purposes prevails.
Paton felt called to take the Good News to the islanders in the South Sea near Australia. These islanders were cannibals. A certain elder in Paton’s church, Mr. Dickson referenced two young men who were killed by these cannibals and told Paton that this mission will end with Patton being killed and eaten by these savages. Paton’s response was simply, “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.”
The willingness of these men and their wives to go and face dangers of many kinds, as well as uncertainties, sicknesses, persecution, and even death is awe inspiring. Not because they were great men and women, but because they saw our Lord Jesus and knew he is worthy to be followed to the ends of the earth. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” – John 12:25
I am so grateful for this book, these stories, these lives I briefly encountered through Piper’s pen and I look forward to meeting these brothers and sisters one day, when we will all stand before His throne, beholding the Lamb with our own eyes and we will worship Him forever.
If you have a book that you would like to share with others in our church, email a review to Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.