Tuesday, April 14, 2020

33. Coronavirus and Christ

Coronavirus and Christ. John Piper. 2020. [April] 112 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Christian nonfiction; Christian living; current events]

First sentence: THE OCCASION: CORONAVIRUS I am writing this little book in the last days of March 2020, on the front end of the global pandemic known as the coronavirus, or technically, “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated COVID-19). The virus affects the lungs, and in the worst cases kills by suffocation.

John Piper's newest book addresses the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the occasion is specific, the book covers a wide range of spiritual topics: fear, anxiety, worry, suffering, sickness, death. How does the hope believers have in Christ work itself out during this unprecedented time?! What is a Christian to make of these strange days?

Hope is front and center in this book. Where is YOUR hope placed? Is your hope in staying informed and being prepared? Is your hope in medical experts? Is your hope in a politician? Or is your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ? (Not that Piper is advocating his readers to tune out science and medicine and fearlessly break all executive orders. Far from it.)

The book is timely and balanced. In some ways it's a foundational, get-back-to-basics refresher course on the gospel. People's faith is being tested and challenged. What are your core beliefs? What do you know about the God you proclaim or profess? There is something very basic and foundational about this one. Which is good.

The first part, as I mentioned, focuses on the basics of who God is and how God is in control.

The second part turns a bit and focuses on what God is doing--or might be doing--through the Coronavirus. Some points readers may say AMEN. Other points might be slightly more controversial.

For example, I don't think many (actual) Christians would disagree with disease, sickness, and death being the result of the fall--Eve et the apple after all. Sin issued into the world MANY MANY things that still plague the human race. They'd be no death if it wasn't for sin--original sin and ongoing sin. They'd be no war either for that matter. No cancer. No heart disease. No strokes. It's hard to imagine a world with no death, no sickness, no disease, etc. But death isn't natural--we were designed to live forever in the presence of a holy God and worship him forever. Christ has conquered death; believers can rest assured in that they too can overcome even this great enemy. But Piper follows this up with the idea that the coronavirus may be judgement for specific sins and specific sinners. That is a bit more tricky theologically. He doesn't name specifics--specific sins that would warrant God's judgment on the world let alone call out sinners by name. But still the implication is there. If you are infected--it may be God's judgment on you.

He gives six possible ways God might indeed be moving during this pandemic. As I mentioned some answers I strongly agree with...others less so.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

I just recently saw that John Piper had written this book and was considering ordering it. Thanks for the review, it will help me decide.