John Piper

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(Italian) Contending for Our All


In his fourth book in The Swans Are Not Silent series John Piper explores the lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen—a bishop, a pastor, and the founder of a seminary.

Each of these men stood for the truth of the gospel in the face of intense opposition—all out of a deep love for Jesus and a desire for people to know him in his fullness. They took no joy in controversy for argument’s sake, and they were willing to suffer for the sake of guarding the sanctity of the gospel. Threats of harm, years of exile, the death of loved ones, opposition from friends and authorities, sickness and pain—none of these setbacks could keep these three from maintaining their efforts to further the gospel or quench their zeal for Jesus himself.

Language and Situation

Italy is often associated with the Roman Empire and yet this beautiful country is diverse with people and ethnic groups from all over Europe. This is the nation that gave the world so much in terms of art, culture, science, math, politics, and the Christian faith. Roman Catholicism ceased to be the official state religion in 1984 and all other religions and faiths have equal freedom under the laws of Italy. Many of the immigrants came to Italy to enjoy this freedom of religion. Despite the freedom of religion the Protestant Church has experienced very little growth. Part of this is due to the oppressive hand of the Catholic Church but also the shortage of mature Christian leaders who have not been influenced by corruption, wealth, and attitudes of complacency.

A sign of hope for the church is the birth of an interdenominational missionary movement seeking the training of pastors and saturation church planting in Italy and surrounding nations. Despite Italian’s reluctance to read, most Christian groups indicate that literature will be of great importance in the spread of the Gospel, reaching students, and the proper training of church leaders. The newer, smaller congregations are making a vast impact across the countryside of Italy. (Alliance for SCP, Operation World, pg. 364-68)

Project Details

Italian Demographics*

Population: 55,781,000

94% First Language Italian Speakers

98% Literacy Rate

0.6% Protestant

* Statistics are from Operation World and IWS


Alpha & Omega is a “non-profit” organization that operates in cooperation with pastors of proved witness and experience of Italian and foreign reformed churches, that have helped to start its ministry. A&O’s main purpose is to make available good evangelical literature (old and new) in order to strengthen the faith of Italian believers and to provide theological instruction to pastors and church leaders. This because, as the Puritan Richard Baxter said: “a book is a sermon preached to the eye”! Since 1997 A&O has published titles on topics such as biographies, theological, historical, commentaries, pastoral ministry, counseling, puritans, devotionals, children, family, science and faith.

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists to proclaim the gospel through publishing in order to, by God's grace: Assist individual Christians and the church in growing in knowledge and understanding of the Christian life.