Saturday, June 03, 2006

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

The title has little to do with the post - it is just I think of the Paul Simon song every time I read the title of the book my community group is reading. Community Group is the name for an adult Bible study at my new church - and it is a good name. Small groups within a church are where the real community occurs.

The book is John Piper's Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. Posting the reasons here was inspired by a discussion at Street Prophets that ended up revolving around atonement and the various views of whether it happened (or not) and what it meant (or not). Before that discussion I had thought about posting about the book; and had been mulling over how to do a single post, or a series - and how in-depth I would get. After the discussion, I knew I would - because humans always try to find the main reason - the proper theology - when all of the reasons matter..

The "donut theology" discussion - I think the largest number of comments at Street Prophets yet - highlighted this point linked above:

The death of Jesus is of foremost importance for the world. And the central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning—God’s meaning . . . John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons behind the crucifixion of the Christ. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes—in answer to the most important question facing us in the twenty-first century:
Why did Jesus suffer and die?
A book review/bible study

These are the chapter titles, and the key verses.

1. To absorb the wrath of God: Galatians 3:13; Romans 3:25; 1 John 4:10
2. To please His heavenly Father:
Isaiah 53:10; Ephesians 5:2
3. To learn obedience and be perfected:
Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 2:10
4. To achieve His own resurrection from the dead:
Hebrews 13:20-21
5. To show the wealth of God's love and grace for sinners:
Romans 5:7-8; John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7
6. To show His own love for us:
Galatians 5:2; Ephesians 5:25; Galatians 2:20
7. To cancel the legal demands of the law against us:
Colossians 2:13-14
8. To become a ransom for many:
Mark 10:45
9. For the forgiveness of our sins:
Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 26:28
10. To provide the basis for our justification:
Romans 5:9; Romans 3:24; Romans 3:28
11. To complete the obedience that becomes our righteousness:
Philippians 2:8; Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9
12. To take away our condemnation:
Romans 8:34
13. To abolish circumcision and all rituals as the basis of salvation:
Galatians 5:11; Galatians 6:12
14. To bring us to faith and keep us faithful:
Mark 14:24; Jeremiah 32:40
15. To make us holy, blameless and perfect:
Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 5:7
16. To give us a clear conscience:
Hebrews 9:14
17. To obtain for us all things that are good for us:
Romans 8:32
18. To heal us from moral and physical sickness:
Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17
19. To give eternal life to all who believe on Him:
John 3:16
20. To deliver us from the present evil age:
Galatians 1:4
21. To reconcile us to God:
Romans 5:10
22. To bring us to God:
1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:13
23. So that we might belong to Him:
Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Acts 20:28
24. To give us confident access to the Holiest place:
Hebrews 10:19
25. To become for us the place where we meet God:
John 2:19-21
26. To bring the Old Testament priesthood to an end and become the eternal High Priest:
Hebrews 7:23-27; Hebrews 9:24-26; Hebrews 10:11-12
27. To become a sympathetic and helpful priest:
Hebrews 4:15-16
28. To free us from the futility of our ancestry:
1 Peter 1:18-19
29. To free us from the slavery of sin:
Revelation 1:5-6; Hebrews 13:12
30. That we might die to sin and live to righteousness:
1 Peter 2:24
31. That we would die to the law and bear fruit for God:
Romans 7:4
32. To enable us to live for Christ and not ourselves:
Hebrews 7:23-27; Hebrews 9:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:15
33. To make His cross the ground of all our boasting:
Galatians 6:14
34. To enable us to live by faith in Him:
Galatians 2:20
35. To give marriage its deepest meaning:
Ephesians 5:25
36. To create a people passionate for good works:
Titus 2:14
37. To call us to follow His example of lowliness and costly love:
1 Peter 2:19-21; Hebrews 12:3-4; Philippians 2:5-8
38. To create a band of crucified followers:
Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:38
39. To free us from bondage to the fear of death:
Hebrews 2:14-15
40. So that we would be with Him immediately after death:
1 Thessalonians 5:10; Philippians 1:21,23; 2 Corinthians 5:8
41. To secure our resurrection from the dead:
Romans 6:5; Romans 8:11; 2 Timothy 2:11
42. To disarm the rulers and authorities:
Colossians 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8
43. To unleash the power of God in the gospel:
1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16
44. To destroy the hostility between races:
Ephesians 2:14-16
45. To ransom people from every tribe and language and people and nation:
Revelation 5:9
46. To gather all his sheep from around the world:
John 11:51-52
47. To rescue us from final judgment:
Hebrews 9:28
48. To gain his joy and ours:
Hebrews 12:2
49. So that He would be crowned with glory and honor:
Hebrews 2:9; Philippians 2:7-9; Revelation 5:12
50. To show that the worst evil is meant by God for good:
Acts 4:27-28

Again, these are the chapter titles in the book, and the key verses for each chapter. The book has two pages for each chapter heading; and much more discussion and analysis. Pick up a copy and enjoy.


  1. And the central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning—God’s meaning

    I like this! Boy...I could launch a whole train of thought on how we perhaps get so wrapped up in causes that we forget about meaning (though someone else probably has).

    Anyway, perhaps fodder for a post. Thanks, and thanks for posting Piper's list!

  2. This is great! Rich, rich stuff.


How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly