Christian Focus Publications, in partnership with Desiring God Ministries, has made available a free downloadable study guide for Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again? by John Piper. The 12-week guide is designed to enhance group or individual study of Finally Alive.
Since its publication two years ago, Finally Alive has sold more than 57,000 copies. The book has been translated into nine languages and English copies have been exported to most English-speaking countries in the world. In his review of Finally Alive, Tim Challies said “It is an incisive examination of a topic of profound importance. I think it represents Piper at his very best as an author.”
The Study Guide Introduction explains the aim of the project:
It is our hope that, after reading Finally Alive and completing this study guide, you will be stunned at God’s work in causing you to be born again… Our prayer for you is that through a deepened understanding of the new birth from Scripture, Christ will appear more beautiful to you, more wonderful, more desirable, and more worthy of all of your affections. And we pray that the power of sin in your life is broken, your love for God and neighbor is strengthened, and your zeal for the lost is awakened, all to the glory of God.
In Finally Alive, Piper says that the term “born again” has been widely misused and that the incorrect categorization “slanders that precious biblical reality” of new birth. He specifically charges The Barna Group with a “profound mistake” in characterizing the behavior of those they describe as “born again” as he puts forth a biblical perspective of what “born again” truly means. Pointing to the Bible’s assurance of a radically changed life for those born again, he concludes that “the research is not finding that born-again people are permeated with worldliness; the research is finding that the church is permeated by people who are not born again.”
Through Finally Alive, Piper challenges Christians to more fully understand and embrace the reality of the new birth that is “wonderful beyond all human comprehension.” In five parts, the book explores the necessity of new birth, how it happens and its dramatic effects. He concludes by saying that God sends His born-again people to open blinded eyes by “gospel-telling” through lives and words, that those who come “will be truly, invincibly, finally alive.”
Dr. John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.) and the University of Munich (D.theol.). Piper is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at www.desiringGod.org. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.