The coronavirus has captured everyone’s attention in the last few months. As of today (April 11, 2020), there are 1,699,632 confirmed cases worldwide and 102,734 deaths. Just a few days ago, on April 8, 2020, Crossway Books released a 112-page book by John Piper titled Coronavirus and Christ. The book can be downloaded for free as an ebook, PDF or audiobook at the Desiring God website at this link.
The book is divided into two parts: Part 1: The God Who Reigns over Coronavirus and Part 2: What is God Doing through the Coronavirus?
Hope in God
Recalling his bout with cancer in 2005, Piper wants to instill in people a hope in God rather than a hope in the “odds.” The Bible gives us solid hope in Jesus Christ, our solid Rock. The aim of the book is clear, Piper writes:
The book is my invitation for you to join me on the solid Rock, Jesus Christ. … My aim is to show why God in Christ is the Rock at this moment in history – in this pandemic of coronavirus – and what it is like to stand on his mighty love.1John Piper, Coronavirus and Christ, Kindle location 151
Piper points us to the Bible throughout the book as God’s reliable and authoritative word. The Bible reveals that God is holy, righteous, good, wise, and sovereign. Yes, we are experiencing what Piper calls “a bitter providence.” But the coronavirus is not outside God’s sovereign control. Our hope at this time is found in the confidence of:
knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the same sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.2Kindle location 404
What is God doing through the coronavirus?
In the second part of the book, he presents six things that God is doing through the coronavirus. He presents them with solid biblical support. The focus is on calling all people to repent and put their hope in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again. Rather than list the bullet points here, I want you to read the book (or listen to it) so you have the points together with their biblical foundation.
This book is excellent and just what we need to encourage hope at this time. The gospel is most relevant now. Piper writes:
What God did in sending Jesus to die for sinners has everything to do with the coronavirus.3Kindle Location 371
Response to N.T. Wright
Some may have read the Time article, “Christianity Offers No Answers about the Coronavirus” by N.T. Wright. There is a podcast on the Gospel Coalition website in which Piper talks about his book but also responds to Wright’s article.4the commentary on Wright’s article begins at minute 20
Coronavirus and Christ ends with a closing prayer as a model for praying in these times. The book is a great resource for growing our faith, hope, and love in these difficult times. Listen to it together with your family and/or team. Share it with someone you have been witnessing to and then discuss it with them. The book provides solid biblical truth to build our hope on. I highly recommend it!