The purpose of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him. We are to approach Him with the wonder of a child and take pleasure in Him. It is human nature to seek happiness and pleasure and this in turn leads to true praise and worship. True worship of God is spontaneous and from the heart not just the mouth.
God delights in the fellowship of the Trinity and His delight flows down to those who thirst after Him. He delights in His creation and shows His love by giving Himself to us; we must do likewise and give ourselves to Him. We should desire to share this gift of fellowship with others; it should be a joy not a duty or an obligation that we feel is forced upon us. True joy comes from bringing joy to others (a spouse, parent, friends, or co-workers) which is accomplished by sharing the gift of salvation.
Willful sinning is an act of contempt against God, a sign of disrespect. Many people today believe in Jesus just as they believe in Buddha or Santa Claus, but they don't KNOW Jesus and they don't delight in Him.
The ultimate goal of the Christian is to pursue the joy of God in everything we do!
This book is perfect for individual study or for a group setting. There is a Study Guide in the back, as well as; a Scripture index, a Person index and a Subject index and a Resource Guide.
This is a book that is very thought provoking and helpful for a deeper personal examination of one's own personal life.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review
"Dictionary.com" says that a hedonist is a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. At first glance this doesn't sound so bad. The United States' "Declaration of Independence" lists the pursuit of happiness as one of our unalienable rights, after all. But hedonists take this concept to a dangerous extreme. If their pursuit of pleasure hurts someone else or requires criminal activity of some kind, well, that's justifiable in their eyes. I read a Garfield cartoon last week that illustrated this perfectly. (That's right. Garfield is a hedonist. I suspect all cats are. But they're cats, not people. We don't expect better behavior from them.)
In the cartoon, Garfield says, Happiness is what I'm all about. Then he smacks Jon upside the back of the head while Jon is drinking coffee, causing Jon to spit the coffee out all over the place. Garfield smiles and says, My happiness (July 6, 2011).
Recently, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of "Desiring God" by John Piper for my honest review. The subtitle reads, "Meditations of a Christian Hedonist." That's what caught my attention. Christian Hedonist is most-definitely an oxymoron. But the book is a classic. My copy is a 25th anniversary revised edition.
To make matters even more interesting, I'm concurrently reading another book that includes several quotes from Piper's "Desiring God." And both books quote Jonathan Edwards and CS Lewis. In fact, they use some of the same quotes! But the other book gets straight to the point: Christians must learn to look to God first in every circumstance of life, good or bad. "Desiring God," on the other hand, required the author to defend and sufficiently explain his use of a controversial term before the reader could grasp and accept the truth he was trying to present: we find pleasure and satisfaction in God alone. God is glorified when we do.
That message is absolutely true. And when we find that pleasure and satisfaction in God alone, we are able to help others do the same. Christian hedonists bless God and others through their pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Christian hedonists are addicted to God.
I found Piper's approach curious, but he really made me think. If you enjoy thinking challenges, I recommend this book!
This book speaks of a happy, loving God who takes pleasure in us and desires that we take pleasure in Him. It requires more than a quick reading to study out the scripture that is used by the author. It looks at a number of basic issues from worship to suffering in which the Christian can find joy. It gives an insightful and thoughtful perspective of the Christian life. I received this book from Multnomah Publishing for this review.
It is rare to find a worldview-shattering book that has the potential of setting your desires more squarely upon God. Finding such a book would not only change what you worship, but also the amount of joy that resides in your heart. For 25 years, Desiring God has been this rare book. In its pages, you will find the biblical call to pursue God through desiring Him. What we have lost through the Stoics, we have regained through the brilliant insights of Piper, which is the call to pursue joy as a valid pursuit and motive of the heart. Here, joy is not pursued for the sake of joy alone. Rather, joy is pursued so that one might have complete joy in Christ. And when one is completely joyous in Christ, he is then able to properly worship God. As Piper says, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Hence, this book is not primarily about us, but is primarily about God and how we should relate to Him.
Desiring God is a defense, explication, and practical application of these biblical concepts. This means that Piper establishes his principles through biblical reasoning, and then highlights how the principles are played out in everyday life. This touches on the topics of money, marriage, prayer, suffering and worship to name a few. Along the way, Piper explores the Christians of the past who have advocated and lived out these principles. Piper finds C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, and Blaise Pascal to be the most helpful promulgators of these truths. The inclusion of block quotes from these three writers is one of the more helpful additions in the book. These writers developed their thoughts in a very deep and explorative fashion. This has the effect of bringing to life these truths. Piper excels at weaving these quotes with biblical exposition to make a solid case for pursuing God through joy.
The reader will benefit from this book to the degree that he embraces these concepts, as he is made into one who desires God above all else. This book is highly recommended, and will serve the reader well in developing a solid theological foundation for worship and living life for the glory of God.
A special thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, who graciously provided a complementary copy of this book for review.