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William Wilberforce

Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce, by John Piper

While visiting family this past weekend, I was introduced to a pile of new books, and one of them was this book about William Wilberforce. It was short, and I had a spare 30 minutes, so I decided to read it. I should have known that a book, which is no longer than a lengthy essay, would not have much content; regardless, I read it. “Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce” introduced me to who William Wilberforce was. He was a politician in the late 1700s who advocated for the abolition of African slave trade. He was raised in a wealthy family, and never worried about money. His financial independence allowed him to enter the political playground. John Piper approaches William Wilberforce’s story from the Christian perspective, and summarizes how Wilberforce’s life changed when the politician found the Lord. Upon his salvation, Wilberforce’s life changed dramatically. Extravagant parties and gambling ceased, and he advocated loudly for the rights of the underprivileged. So what made this man exceptional, aside from his radical conversion to Christianity? He was fun, witty, and a great conversationalist. My big takeaways from this book are: (1) to truly learn about William Wilberforce’s life and religious perspectives, you should read his book, “A Practical View of Christianity,” (2) avoid being a “nominal” Christian, or nominal anything for that matter, and (3) the importance of being continually joyful and playful cannot be undervalued. Given the length of the book, I think it was valuable to be introduced to William Wilberforce, but I think that to gain any amount of knowledge about this man, you need to read Wilberforce’s book, “A Practical View of Christianity.”


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