Review: Risk is Right by John Piper

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
Reading Level: Easy

Don’t let the size of this book fool you. It’s 60 pages but it packs a Mike Tyson sized punch. John Piper isn’t gonna let you off the ropes. He’s gonna keep swinging the gospel until he knocks some sense into you. Until you realize you’re wasting your life. Until you realize risk is right--when you’re risking for Christ.

Risk is Right is discipleship at its core. David Platt sums it up nicely in the Foreword,

To let go of the pursuits, possessions, pleasures, safety, and security of this world in order to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter what it costs, is not sacrificial as much as it is smart. (p. 12)

Risking temporal “luxury” for the eternal weight of glory is smart. It’s right. And it’s what following Jesus is all about. Piper understands this risk-taking discipleship should consume our entire life--from the pulpit to the computer desk to the dirty laundry to all of life--“We live and we die to make much of Christ” (p. 15). This reminded me of The Heidelberg Catechism What is our only hope in life and death? Christ is the answer. . . to everything. He answers all of life’s questions. He swallows the problem of evil. Because like a black hole the cross consumed all the evil that could be mustered by the powers of darkness and the wickedness of man’s heart.

That sacrifice empowers us to risk everything. Everything. Says Piper,

The strength to risk losing face for the sake of Christ is the faith that God’s love will lift up your face in the end and vindicate your cause. The strength to risk losing money for the cause of the gospel is the faith that we have a treasure in the heavens that cannot fail. The strength to risk losing life in this world is faith in the promise that he who loses his life in this world will save it for the age to come. (p. 41)

And for the comfortable American Christian isn’t this one of our greatest fears? Losing face for Christ. We’re afraid of being called a bigot. We’re afraid of what the intelligentsia will think. Will we be respected in the public square? Our Savior died on tree naked. Respectable? The cross is scandalous. It’s foolishness to the Greeks of our day. Are we willing to be vindicated on the last day? Are we willing to risk that?

I can’t urge you strongly enough to read this book. It’s short. So read this book. This is the kind of book you chew like cud. Chew it. Digest it. Regurgitate it. Chew it and digest it again. Repeat until its message sinks deep into your belly. “Risk is most assuredly right” (p. 13)--especially when it’s for Christ. Don’t waste your life.

A free copy of this book was provided by Crossway. If you plan on purchasing Risk is Right, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.