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John Piper: Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce

John Piper, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2006), 76 pages.

John Piper did not attempt to add another biography of William Wilberforce’s life. He has instead probed to find the source of what motivated Wilberforce to spend his life for the abolition of slavery in Britain. Piper documented his source material effectively, demonstrating that he has read both primary and secondary literature and is able to point readers to where they also may find the treasured quotations of Wilberforce. Piper has made a unique contribution to the study of Wilberforce because he has directed the reader how to apply the lesson of this great man’s life and how to incorporate faith with practice. Wilberforce proves the success of faith infused politics.

It is essential to read biographical stories for more than inspiration; we must read with an ear to hear what they are attempting to teach us. Piper focuses the reader’s attention on the powerful motivating force that under-girded the legendary tenacity of Wilberforce, who spent his political career to secure the emancipation of the slaves of Great Britain. Piper leads the reader through repetitive probing to consider how the Christian faith of Wilberforce compelled him to endure failure and yet remain steadfast until he successfully transformed both parliament and the opinion of a nation.

The brevity of the book condenses the life story of William Wilberforce into an easy read of a couple hours. It contains sufficient information of his life and contribution, to enable one to be conversant of this man, without taxing the time of one who is too busy to read extensively. The essential highlights of his Christian witness emphasize the influence of his faith, in the realm of political legislation; this synthesis is central to Piper’s message. To read this book is to grasp quickly the basic story and moral influence that the faith of William Wilberforce had on the social injustice of slavery.

Reviewed by John R. Miller


Author’s page, where you may download eBook versions without cost (as of July 21, 2017):


This review was originally published on the Pneuma Foundation website on August 24, 2007. The Pneuma Foundation is the parent organization of

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Category: Church History, Summer 2017

About the Author: John R. Miller is an ordained minister with Elim Fellowship of Lima, NY and serves as Pastor of Education with Living Word Temple of Restoration, Rochester, NY. He has a degree from Elim Bible Institute, a B.Div. (Trinity Theological Seminary), C.P.E. (University of Rochester), M.Div. (Northeastern Seminary), and Ph.D. (Regent University). He teaches at Regent University and Elim Bible Institute & College.

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