I have been reading a lot lately. Though I have read books on many subjects, I have been reading most about the gospel. I am trying to study basic, foundational doctrine. I do this like someone examining the foundation of his home. I’m looking for cracks. I’m looking for areas in which my own doctrinal weakness may hinder my teaching and my ministry. This is why one of the first books I read in this journey was Greg Gilbert’s “What is the Gospel” In that book, Gilbert makes the assertion that faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin. Each is a turning. On one side faith turns toward God. On the other, Repentance turns from sin. I was fascinated by this simple idea and desired to understand this turning. When I realized that John Piper, had written a book to explain the concept of being born again, I decided that many answers may be there.

To most Christians, the concept of being born again may not sound like anything that needs explaining. It is a term that is so frequently used that we often take for granted the notion that we understand it. Do we understand it? Do we understand this work by which our hearts are turned to faith in God and in repentance of sin? Do we know how that work is accomplished and by whom? Many evangelicals have distilled the gospel into simple steps or ABC’s but do those explain the inner workings that change a dead heart to a heart that is “finally alive?”

In his book, Piper sets out to explain the concept of the new birth in fine detail. He begins with an explanation of what the new birth is, then he shows why the new birth is necessary, how it occurs, its effects, and finally, how to help others be born again. With his familiar style, Piper uses careful exegesis of the scriptures to explain his points. He builds chapter by chapter to explain the powerful work behind the new birth. Along the way, he includes very helpful teachings such as the “test of life” in 1 John (evidence of the new birth) as well as ten “encouragements” toward sharing the gospel.

I strongly recommend this book. If you are curious about Christianity, or if you are a long-time Christian trying to get back to basics, this book will help. The term “born again” will be deeper than you’ve imagined. With such a sturdy foundation, I pray that God will build a mighty work.