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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
32 pages
Apr 2009
Crossway Books

Rethinking Retirement

by John Piper

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Let me begin with a perspective comment on John Piper's 32-page treatise Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ. This is an insightful, biblically-sound extended essay that has been packaged as a 4”x6” mini-book. It costs six dollars! When I was in high school in 1966 you could buy a 322-page paperback edition of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice for 50 cents. I point this out not necessarily to be critical of this publication by Piper so much as to underscore one of the points of his book. He says that Americans aged 43 - 61 now control $2.1 trillion of the country's resources, and that these Baby Boomers are primarily concerned with eating at restaurants, indulging their grandkids, working from home as much as possible, and investing in anti-aging products. In effect, folks nearing retirement age are more concerned about enjoying "the good life" than they are about remaining faithful servants to the cause of Christ. That concerns Piper, for he sees no evidence in the Scriptures of the Lord talking about a need for retirement. Furthermore, he points out that retirement never entered the minds of Moses, Paul, Peter, John or any of the great servants of Jehovah.

Piper's main message is that the Lord promises that he will fill the dedicated Christian with the strength to make perseverance in service not only possible but outright guaranteed. One passage he uses to support this is Isaiah 46:3-4, which states, "[You] have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age, I am he, and to grey hairs I will carry you."

Relating short biographies of Charles Simeon, Ralph Winter, Polycarp, and Raymond Lull, Piper demonstrates how people focused on serving the Lord can live very long lives and be fruitful for many decades beyond what is now considered the time of retirement. His essay can be read in about half an hour, and, indeed, it does cause one to start "rethinking" the whole concept of "retirement." – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley,

Book Jacket:

John Piper challenges fellow baby boomers to forego the American dream of retirement and live out their golden years with a far greater purpose in mind.

They say it’s a person’s reward for all those years of labor. “Turn in your time card and trade in your IRAs. Let travel plans and golf-course leisure lead the way.” But is retirement really the ideal? Or is it a series of poor options that ignore a greater purpose—and will kill a person more quickly than old age?

John Piper responds: “Lord, spare me this curse!” And his resounding message is for anyone who believes there’s far more to the golden years than accumulating comforts. It’s for readers who long to finish better than they started, persevere for the right reasons (and without fear), experience true security, value what lies beyond their cravings, and live dangerously for the One who gave his life in his prime. With this brief book, Piper is sure to spur fellow baby boomers in their resolve to invest themselves in the sacrifices of love—and to grow old with godly zeal.