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"John Piper's succinct and superbly perceptive study of William Wilberforce deserves to become an acclaimed bestseller. It not only tells the story of a great man's life-it also tells us how to understand the ultimate source of his greatness and happiness. Moreover, that understanding goes far deeper than the abolitionist achievements for which Wilberforce is honored, astounding though they were. William Wilberforce's secret, as revealed in this book, was that he made the journey from self-centeredness, achievement-centeredness, and
"John Piper's succinct and superbly perceptive study of William Wilberforce deserves to become an acclaimed bestseller. It not only tells the story of a great man's life-it also tells us how to understand the ultimate source of his greatness and happiness. Moreover, that understanding goes far deeper than the abolitionist achievements for which Wilberforce is honored, astounding though they were. William Wilberforce's secret, as revealed in this book, was that he made the journey from self-centeredness, achievement-centeredness, and political-centeredness to God-centeredness. And he made it with Christlike joy."
Against great obstacles William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian and a member of Parliament, fought for the abolition of the African slave trade and against slavery itself until they were both illegal in the British Empire.
Many are aware of Wilberforce's role in bringing an end to slavery in Great Britain, but few have taken the time to examine the beliefs and motivations that spurred him on for decades. In this concise volume, John Piper tells the story of how Wilberforce was transformed from an unbelieving, young politician into a radically God-centered Christian, and how his deep spirituality helped to change the moral outlook of a nation.
As world leaders debate over how to deal with a host of social justice and humanitarian crises, a closer look at Wilberforce's life and faith serves as an encouragement and example to all believers.
Posted September 28, 2013
William Wilberforce (1759 –1833) was an English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. Despite a misspent youth, he began his political career in 1780 and eventually became the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. In 1785, he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. In 1787, he came into contact with a group of anti-slave-trade activists who persuaded him to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for 26 years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. In later years, Wilberforce supported the campaign for the complete abolition of slavery, even after 1826 when he resigned from Parliament because of his failing health. This led to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire. Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Act through Parliament was assured.
Author John Piper gives a succinct and perceptive study of Wilberforce. Some have complained that it is too short. However, the book is intended not to be a complete biography of Wilberforce but to be an explanation of the basis for his perseverance against great obstacles in what looked like a lost cause. It does relay the basic story of this great man's life but focuses primarily how to understand the ultimate source of his greatness and happiness. One may not agree with everything in the book. Piper is a Calvinist and points out that Wilberforce accepted the doctrines of evangelical Calvinism, including the doctrine of justification by faith alone, though he was not parochially minded, saying, “There are no names or party distinctions in heaven.” However, I think that all true Bible believers can agree with Wilberforce’s conclusion, that there is a “perfect harmony between the leading doctrines and the practical precepts of Christianity,” and that it is a “fatal habit to consider Christian morals as distinct from Christian doctrine.” I don’t know if this is true or not, but I have heard that Piper’s original material may have been the impetus behind Amazing Grace, the 2006 American-British biographical drama film directed by Michael Apted, about the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire led by Wilberforce. A similar book about Wilberforce which I have read is entitled Statesman and Saint: The Principled Politics of William Wilberforce (2002) written by my friend David J. Vaughan.
Posted January 3, 2013
Posted May 1, 2012
Posted January 1, 2012
All who are interested in the topic of social justice and reform would do well to glean from the life of Wilberforce. John Piper has given the essential highlights neccessary to understand the weight of what Wilberforce was doing in his life and time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 22, 2008
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Posted June 5, 2010
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