The Mystery of Sanctification (Free PDF)

miracleThis book releases at the end of the month, but it’s already available for free as a PDF:

John Piper and David Mathis, eds. Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.

My endorsement:

This book is theologically informed and pastorally wise. It helpfully distinguishes and defines definitive and progressive sanctification, and it shrewdly shows how to approach Christian living without being reductionistic.

My favorites chapters are the ones by Mathis, Piper, and DeYoung.


  1. mark mcculley says

    David Mathis, introduction to Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification, p 18

    “Then have we found out silver bullet? Might union with Christ be the holy grail? Here’s the hitch. Union with Christ ends up being a very nondescript way of talking….It’s a glorious generality, but it doesn’t carry inherently the specificity of its various aspects–regeneration, justification, sanctification, adoption, glorification.”

    mark: Since I tend to go with the many vs the one, I would prefer saying “unions” instead of “aspects of the union”. But I agree with this point, the lack of specific definition. And of course I think there is a good solution to “union confusion”, which is to stop saying “union” and say what the Bible says–either in Christ, or Christ in us.

    Piper: hedonism is the only motive for living the Christian life

    Tullian: being thankful for justification is the only motive for living the Christian life

    DeYoung: The Bible has many different motives.

    Piper: hedonism is not the only motive, but it is always the motive (like union is always the basis of all the rest)

    Tullian: I am not sure what the difference is between “only” and “always”. But unbelief of the gospel of justification is always the reason for sin.

    DeYoung: One of the motives is fear over not enough evidence to convince your church that you are now persevering and making enough effort for final salvation. Most of the threats about hell in the NT are directed to professing Christians.

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