If you know anything about the life of William Wilberforce, you may know that he tirelessly worked for the end to slavery in the British Empire. You might think that this singular focus, and uphill battle would make Wilberforce a joyless, serious person. But according to John Piper’s book Amazing Grace In The Life Of William Wilberforce, nothing could be further from the truth.
You might also be familiar with John Piper’s writing about joy-filled Christians (in his classic Desiring God). So it makes sense that Piper would be attracted to the life of a man like Wilberforce. He was one who was described as, “His presence was as fatal to dullness as to immorality. His mirth was as irresistible as the first laughter of childhood.”
John Piper uncovers what made Wilberforce tick. What helped him stay so relentlessly focused on eliminating the slave trade, and remain a joy-filled Christian as well? Piper writes —
He was a radically God-centered Christian who was a politician. And his true affections for God based on the ‘peculiar doctrines’ of Christianity were the roots of his endurance in the cause of justice.
This is a great “starter book” for anyone who doesn’t know much about Wilberforce. It’s a quick and easy read. But there is so much more to learn about this amazing man. If nothing else, John Piper’s biopic on this great politician’s life should serve to whet your appetite to learn more about him. It did that for me!