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Publication Date: 2011
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Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, its essential.
Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.
Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.
Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonists abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesusnot only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.
Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.
Includes a study guide for individual and small group use.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
John Piper is pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has written over forty books, including Desiring God, A Godward Life, Dont Waste Your Life, and The Pleasures of God. John and his wife, Noel, have five children and an increasing number of grandchildren. Learn more about his ministry at DesiringGod.org.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
I have a special affection for Desiring God. I discovered it a year after my freshman philosophy class at Trinity College (Now Trinity International University). In my freshman philosophy class, I had to write a special research paper on one issue in philosophy. I wrote it on Christianity as Hedonism. When I read Piper's book, I discovered I was not alone in my viewpoint. I felt encouraged by Piper's argument for Christianity as being the most pleasurable way of life for humanity to embrace.
Desiring God is both theologically grounded and uncompromisingly practical. The first few chapters lay out the authors journey toward Christian Hedonism, a rationale for Christian Hedonism in general, and how God is motivated by his own happiness and joy. After laying the foundation for his argument, Piper begins to lay out a case for living a life of joy and fulfillment in several areas of Christian discipleship.
Desiring God is well-researched. Throughout the text, Piper quotes Scripture extensively. He also quotes a number of theologians and Christian leaders throughout history. Included in his theological sources are Augustine, John Calvin, Blaise Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, and C. S. Lewis. Also included is a reference to the first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
The revisions of the book are entirely appropriate. Piper added a new chapter on suffering. He updated some of the text based upon cultural changes. The back of the book has an extensive index of verses referenced, as well as another index. It also includes a study guide for groups or individuals. The updates not only make the text more fun to read, they make the book easier to study in small groups and church congregations. Even with an older copy of this book, I feel thankful for the opportunity to have this new, updated copy. Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"A must read for every Christian and a feast for the spiritually hungry." John MacArthur
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Phronsie HowellAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Pursuit of PleasureJuly 1, 2013Phronsie HowellAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book actually surpassed my expectations. I thought it would be good but I didn't think it was going to be this good. Definitely going to have to re-read it to digest everything.
John Piper presents a solid case for why the Christian pursuit of pleasure (by bringing God glory) is essential. It's what will ultimately bring us the most joy.
Highly recommended read for anyone, honestly. It'd make a really good small group study, or even something the church as a whole could work through.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Heather KingGloucester, VAAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Learning to Delight in GodJune 17, 2013Heather KingGloucester, VAAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Hedonism and Christianity seem an impossible combination and I wasn't sure how they could be reconciled until reading John Piper's book: Desiring God. In it, he argues that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." That is the unexpected twist of Christian hedonism. It's not that we live a life focused on worldly pleasure or our own fickle and selfish desires. It's that we refuse to be satiated by the temporary, unsatisfying, addictive pleasures offered to us by the world that only reach a superficial part of our soul. Instead, we hinge all of our pleasure, all of our delight, all of our joy on God, His glory, fulfilling His purposes, and worshiping Him.
Desiring God is a dense work, filled with theological arguments and careful examinations of Scripture. It is worth reading slowly, considering carefully and meditating on over time. John Piper also addresses various criticisms of his philosophy that have been raised since the first publication of the book and does so with a gentle, but thorough explanation.
Throughout the book, he discusses how Biblical teaching on marriage, worship, finances, missions, suffering and more all point to how we should be delighting in God. To me, the point was never so clear as it was in the chapters on worship, as he walked through the difference between dutiful worship versus spontaneous and overflowing praise. Piper compared giving his wife an anniversary gift or spending time with her because he loved her versus acts of love done simply because "he has to." I would want my husband to want to be with me, to love me enough to want to give to me. Acts of service, gifts, time spent with each other and the like should all flow out of love for one another. If he handed me flowers on our anniversary and said, "Here's my obligatory offering of love," our marriage would be in serious trouble! It's not any different with God.
He presents intriguing arguments about the place of emotion in our relationship with God, ones that I hadn't considered before. It's true that when you read Scripture, it clearly argues for an emotional interaction with God. Our faith isn't just cold, hard facts. It's relational. It involves passion, joy, and love. We've been talking about emotions in the negative for so long, especially as Christians, but surely King David was both strong and sensitive. And as we worship, we worship with both spirit and truth, not all of one and none of the other.
To some, it might seem like an arbitrary question. What difference does it really make whether you're a "Christian hedonist" or not? Why bother with all these weighty arguments? Yet, when you've completed the book, you'll have walked through a foundation for doctrine, looking at what is a saving faith, what should worship look like, how do we relate to God, and what does this look like in the practical and everyday living out of our lives in marriage, finances, missions, and more.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Life Changing!February 26, 2013Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Can we make sense of satisfaction or real joy? It's one life's most common questions. Answers for most people are rather less common. I'm interested in knowing, aren't you? Here's a book to show us the way.
The subtitle of "Meditations of a Christian Hedonist" tells you what a unique writing John Piper presents to us in this revised edition published by Multnomah. It's interesting that he has to answer for his writings 25 years later when life had opportunity to test his theories. I found it a real challenge to my Christian life. He goes against so much conventional wisdom, but really discusses the subject with a Bible ever in his hands.
Don't let the term "Christian Hedonist" turn you off. He certainly isn't suggesting that you throw your life away in a pointless pursuit of worldly pleasures. Quite the opposite, he simply believes that life's greatest joy comes from seeking joy in God. He further proves that this is exactly what the Lord enjoys from us. As he says, "This is a serious book about being happy in God." We all want to be happy and this truly is the only way. This works beautifully in that: "We get the mercy; He gets the glory. We get the happiness in Him; He gets the honor from us."
He tweaks the famous confession to "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever." I think he makes a powerful case that the Bible actually teaches this very thing. His chapter on the "The Happiness of God" is hard to refute. Apparently, in the last 25 years several have tried.
Mr. Piper weaves his premise through many of the most important aspects of the Christianity. Happiness in God is all through the warp and woof of our Christian experience in conversion, worship, love, and prayer. It gets especially interesting and life-altering when he speaks on things like money, missions, and suffering. Our modern-day Christianity comes out of those chapters bloodied but perhaps that is fair as this same modern Christianity has slaughtered our happiness on many occasions!
You simply must read this book. There's not much Calvinism to work around if you are more of a whosoever-will man like I am. I read each chapter so much more slowly than usual. There was so much to think about, so much heart-searching demanded, but I assure you that you will be glad you took the time to read it. I can see myself referring to it again and again in the years ahead.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
nbcb5 Stars Out Of 5September 27, 2012nbcbQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5John Piper is one of the most godly people I know of. His approach to people's situations/problems is Biblically sound. He does not bow to any cultural pressures.
Chris5 Stars Out Of 5June 28, 2012ChrisAlthough pastor John Piper has written more than forty books, Desiring God is the one for which he is most well known. Even people that have never read the book are more than likely familiar with Piper's resource ministry that bears the same name.
The subtitle of the book, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, provide a glimpse into the the theme and subject matter that Piper spends close to 350-pages unpacking. Essentially, Piper asserts that as believer's in Jesus Christ, our chief end and goal should be to find joy and utter delight in Jesus and in so doing, bring Him glory. What makes this so revolutionary for some is that Piper gives the reader permission to seek pleasure, joy, and enjoyment from our relationship with Jesus and to be selfish in our endeavors to derive satisfaction from Him.
I'm sure there are some that may perceive this approach to relationship with God dishonorable and even blasphemous. After all, we should approach our relationship to God with fear, awe and reverence and seek to please Him in all that we do. If this is you, I encourage you to read Desiring God and consider Piper's claims and the scripture that he references, and see if perhaps Piper can't convince you that pursuing maximum joy is essential to bring glory to God.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.
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