Read Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper Grover Gardner Online

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The pursuit of pleasure is not optional: it is essential. Scripture reveals that the great business of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. In this paradigm-shattering classic, newly revised and expanded, John Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn't truly exist: delight is our duty. Join him as he unveils stunning, life-impacting truths yoThe pursuit of pleasure is not optional: it is essential. Scripture reveals that the great business of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. In this paradigm-shattering classic, newly revised and expanded, John Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn't truly exist: delight is our duty. Join him as he unveils stunning, life-impacting truths you saw in the Bible but never dared to believe, and embark on a dramatically different and joyful experience of your faith....

Title : Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
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ISBN : 9780786171903
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 369 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist Reviews

  • Natalie Vellacott
    2018-11-14 22:10

    "We will go far beyond mere happiness in our Christian life, but our true purpose on this earth is obedience and sanctification, not personal gratification." Contrast this statement from Charles Colson's Lies That Go Unchallenged in Popular Culture with Piper's statement that "The pursuit of pleasure is not optional. It is essential."I reject the concept of Christian hedonism which is most likely the reason why I didn't get very far with this book. It represents popular culture's obsession with ourselves and our personal satisfaction and fulfillment. I appreciate that Piper is suggesting that we should seek to find this only in God but I believe it is the wrong focus in the first place.I actually gave up on the book after the first few chapters. I read it because Christians all around me on Logos Hope (a missionary ship) were raving about it and saying how great it was. After a few chapters, I came across a description of a "Christian hedonist." I had never heard the term used before. The author suggests we should all be aiming for this higher state and that unless we reach it we are not fulfilling God's true potential for us. How do we reach it? By aiming to be 100% satisfied personally in our Christian walk. I found this concept difficult...is OUR OWN personal satisfaction something we should really have as our ultimate goal?...That seems a bit selfish. What about when we don't feel satisfied ....does that mean we are not fulfilling God's potential for us? Does it mean we aren't saved? Should we base anything on how we feel on a daily basis? It is surely dangerous to rely on certain feelings in connection with our salvation--our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and our feelings subjective and changeable. What is the evidence that we love/desire God "If you love me, you will OBEY my commands" (John 14 vs 15.) The Bible doesn't give other requirements and I don't believe Christian hedonism is a healthy pursuit. I stopped reading the book as it could lead to the conclusion that if one doesn't have certain experiences they are not saved, which is clearly wrong thinking.I would warn Christian readers to be careful with this book...

  • Stephie
    2018-11-29 03:47

    I love this book. The primary message is this: not only is it our chief end as humans to desire God and enjoy Him forever, but is it God's chief end to glorify himself and enjoy himself forever. This book has been instrumental for me in understanding God's justice & mercy and how they play out perfectly together for his glory...even when it's hard to see or understand. I strongly recommend this book as a foundational read for anyone who struggles with questions like: "why is the universe the way it is?", "what is the purpose of my life?" or "why did God allow (fill in the blank) to happen."

  • Sagely
    2018-11-23 06:09

    John Piper exerts tremendous influence over the hearts, minds, careers, and relationships of some of my dearest friends. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, in particular, stands as a turning point in many of their stories of following Jesus.I haven't been a fan of Piper. There was a point in the mid-2000s when I didn't mind hearing one of his sermons now and again, but his fierce rhetoric on gender relations and his assumed ability to name who's in and out of God's family and God's judgment have left me with a foul taste in my mouth. To me, his example and message distort Jesus'. This is led to some long, hard discussions with friends who exult over Piper's way of propounding "biblical truth." No relationships have been shipwrecked over Piper yet, but he makes himself quite the obstacle at times.My dirty secret is that I've read little of what Piper's written (maybe The Supremacy of God in Preaching and parts of Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions for seminary courses). Most of my opinion of him is based on Internet hearsay. The blogosphere really shouldn't constitute the basis of our opinions of anyone, right?So I picked up Desiring God, finally choosing to read it myself.I sincerely hoped, even expected, that Piper might say something in this book that would change my attitude toward him. The saying goes that God draws straight lines with crooked sticks. Some of Piper's statements, actions, and positions are ridiculously wrong-headed--but what if that's just the crookedness of the stick? (After all, I read Augustine, even though he said some noxious things in his life.) Might not God have given Piper some insight, some truth that Jesus' followers need now more than ever? I hoped this would be the case.As I read the Introduction and first chapter, I was hopeful. Piper seemed to be making an appeal for reconsidering the place of the affections in our discipleship. This is a message that I need to hear--too often I suppress my feelings in favor of what I know. I need my heart to burn with fierce longing for God's kingdom; I need to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. An appeal to a spirituality centered on joy seems like it may be just that.But that's not the kind of joy Piper's talking about. Piper let's show a little bit of his own story in comments here and there. He grew up in a joyless branch of Christianity, a Reformed asceticism (the same one that drove the early industrial economy, right?). Joy--as in enjoy>ment was frowned upon as unholy and selfish. I trust that Piper needed a revival of joy in his life. It surely is joyful to follow God at times!But joy, at its heart, is always a communal reality. It's something that we feel with others, with many others, or at least wish we could. Piper pays lip service to this idea with quote from C S Lewis. But joy as Piper presents it is fundamentally a personal reality--personal, as in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.Piper's argument for Christian hedonism is that God commands us to delight in God. He spells this out as meaning we are to take delight in God's increasing glory. Rejoicing as God's becomes evermore glorious (in God's own Trinitarian self-regard) is the human person's greatest joy because this is what we were created for--to be amplifiers or magnifiers of God's joy. It is our greatest joy because the alternative is God's wrathful punishment. There is no third option. Every other source of happiness or delight becomes bitter if our lack of joy in God results in our eternal damnation.The basic question of Christian hedonism is the orientation of the individual soul with respect to God: do we delight in God's glory or hate it? If one delights in God's glory, then one's personal, individual delight will be great, and one will cling to and be sustained by that ultimate delight, regardless of one's situation, experiences, and relationships. If one continues to hate God's glory, then one's eternal punishment will invalidate every accidental happiness. Joy is corollary to personal salvation and tangential to human relationships.This tangential character of the pursuit of joy in God comes through in subsequent chapters where Piper tries to situate Christian hedonism in a variety of spheres: worship, service, money, marriage, missions, suffering. Piper's philosophy remains an abstract arm's length from any of these real, human, interpersonal situations. Each chapter feels more like an exercise in moral calculus than practical theological wisdom for living discipleship.Piper's refrain by the end of the book is that Christian hedonism finds its fountain of joy in God and overflows in love for neighbor. That's how it feels: Rather than jumping into the stream, this stream that might bubble up just about anywhere, Christian hedonism feels like an industrial waterworks, with too many moving parts, gears and levers, to be the overflowing life of God.Besides the conflict caused by my basic conviction that discipleship, as well as joy and glory, are fundamentally communal realities, I also found Desiring God frustrating to read at a literary level. Its subtitle is: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Each chapter felt like just that: a meditation, a detached pensee, rather than an unfolding argument. I want a sustained engagement with Piper's thought; here I found fleeting passes, never enough for me to really sink my teeth into.Perhaps I chose the wrong place to start a serious interaction with Piper. Friends, if there are better books that Piper has written, please let me know. Overall, I found Desiring God disappointing.

  • Ebookwormy1
    2018-12-01 06:07

    I read this book. I enjoyed it. It challenged me. But, i came away feeling like i was missing something on what all the fuss was about... i felt like i failed to get it somehow...

  • David Steele
    2018-12-09 06:05

    Desiring God is a book devoted to helping readers find their happiness in God. The theme is that "God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him." Dr. Piper carefully builds his case for this concept and calls it Christian hedonism. The issue for the Christian is one of desire. Will one feast on the pleasures of sin or will he run to the streams that God offers and drink from his delights.Christian hedonism is really a philosophy of life that is driven by five convictions. 1) The longing to be happy is a universal experience, and it is good, not sinful. 2) We should never try to deny or resist our longing to be happy. Rather we should seek to intensify this longing and nourish it with whatever will provide the deepest and most enduring satisfaction. 3) The deepest and most enduring happiness is found in God alone. 4) The happiness we find in God reaches its consummation when it is shared with others in love. 5) To the extent we try to abandon the pursuit of our own pleasure, we fail to honor God and love people. Or, to put it positively: the pursuit of pleasure is a necessary part of all worship and virtue. In other words, the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.Piper develops the concept of Christian hedonism by applying the principles to the subjects of conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions and suffering (Suffering has been added to the tenth anniversary edition of the book).Desiring God is filled to the rim with strengths. The writing is clear and thought-provoking. The content is not abstract and unrelated to life. Rather it hits the reader right between the eyes with the truth of God. Second, the writer comes to the table with a Reformed worldview which pervades the book [I might add that the writer rejects the Reformed emphasis on the Covenant of works]. Third, this book forces the reader to deal with matters of the heart. Forth, this book is radically God-centered. Every subject discussed comes back to the issue of the Lordship of Jesus and whether or not the reader is finding his complete satisfaction in Him.Piper has written a tremendous book. He has the heart of a pastor and the mind of a theologian, a combination difficult to find in twenty-first century pastors. Desiring God is a passionate book. The contents will not only bring the reader to tears, but will engage his thinking in ways beyond the scope of his imagination. Desiring God is a practical book. It challenges readers to re-examine cherished presuppositions and think biblically about crucial life issues. - One of the most important books written in the last 100 years!www.baldreformer.wordpress.com

  • Douglas Wilson
    2018-12-02 23:06

    Great.

  • Adam Nelson
    2018-11-10 23:49

    This one got to me, and I sort of expected it to. I had high expectations, actually, because Piper has developed a strong reputation as sort of a C.S. Lewis in a post-modern society. That's not to say HE'S post-modern--far from it--I'm just using that term to indicate how relevant he is. And there could not be a more accurate title for this book. It really is about what it means and sometimes what it TAKES to desire God. While this is a discussion of Christian Hedonism--a term I think Piper can be given at least partial credit for coining--it never once descends to the more common mentality in Christian writing that we can so easily "forget our troubles, come on, be happy" or, God forbid, "pack up our gloomies in a great big box and sit on the lid and laugh." No, Piper gets into the hard stuff, like is it possible for us to be at the lowest point of our suffering and still enjoy God with a radiant countenance? What is worship all about? Does God even need it, or is it a tool for US to enjoy HIM more? That one REALLY spoke to me because I too often worship with a heavy heart, never realizing how hypocritical that is. Piper cites from Jonathan Edwards a lot and seems to owe his entire ministry to him, and another of the book's marvelous achievements is to destigmatize the author of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by discussing the author's MUCH more numerous works on heaven and enjoying God. Edwards is more relevant today than ever, and I think every human being, if not every Christian, should at least give his discussion of God's will of command and will of decree a glance. This book affected me deeply and I recommend it for every Christian, although it's not an easy read. Piper seeks to engage your mind because that's where the battle is REALLY fought. You have to take your time with this. It's not chocolate and candy all the time. Sometimes it's broccoli and carrots--it doesn't go down easy, but it's really, really good for you.

  • Kurt
    2018-11-20 06:01

    This book is key to understanding John Piper and his perspective on life, God, and anything else. I read the ten-year anniversary edition, which was well done, especially with the new chapter about suffering and the overly cute but effective poem that illustrates Christian Hedonism with Piper's thoughts about his wife on their anniversary.Desiring God boils down to what is kind of a life motto for Piper: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Piper also gets a great deal of mileage out of another key phrase: The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever. The rest of the book is, at its heart, research and padding to explain those two sentences, and Piper does it well. He uses his own translation of the Bible, which is impressive but not very conversational, and I often had trouble interpreting his quotations, so readers should be aware of that potential difficulty with the book. Still, it is well worth reading. It is a thorough analysis of many aspects of life, like love, marriage, money, suffering, missions, etc. Piper persuasively argues that we are commanded to pursue pleasure and to find it in God, and I especially recommend the book to people who have grown up in religious traditions that separate emotions from theology.My main problem with Piper's books are that, while they are theologically solid, Piper tends to write page after page without bringing new points to his arguments. You can read every other page, generally, and understand his main ideas well. The first two chapters of the edition I read addressed this problem beautifully. Every few pages, Piper would give brief summaries of the arguments to come, with essentially a one-sentence distillation of each paragraph. Using that roadmap, I could easily pick out the points Piper wanted to make, and it made his work much more effective. The technique was abandoned by the third chapter, though, and Piper's writing quirks came back (to the point where I skimmed just the subheadings of the epilogue and skipped the appendices entirely, and I don't think I missed anything), which was disappointing, but the careful theology and the earnest heart were still on every page. It is a dense work, requiring time for reflection, so not everyone will enjoy it, but for someone willing to devote some serious time and energy to chewing on some often difficult spiritual principles, this book is terrific.

  • Alexis Neal
    2018-11-09 23:08

    I like Piper's overall point, but I'm not sure this book needed to be quite so long. Granted, I was already in agreement with Piper (after all, as Joey Tribbiani once said, there is no such thing as a truly selfless act--the only reason people do anything is, on some level, because they see it as somehow being in their own self interest) and thus was not a tough sell, but it still seems like Piper could have made his point in fewer than 300 pages (plus another 150 pages of appendices).Still, I appreciate his encouragement to enjoy God. So many Christians obey merely out of duty, and while I think God is still glorified when we choose to obey Him in the absence of an emotional desire to do so, I don't doubt that we should seek to obey with joy. As Piper notes, the relationship between Christ and the church is pictured by human marriage, and no spouse wants to be loved only out of obligation. There will certainly be times when duty is what drives us, but if it is all that drives us, the marriage will hardly be the vibrant picture of sacrificial love that it was intended to be.Piper does his best to address the criticism that have been offered since he first started his platform of Christian Hedonism--that is, that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (a slight tweaking of the Westminster Catechism), and that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. I don't think Piper's wrong in his choice of label, nor do I think the idea itself is theologically questionable. However, I do see the potential for abuse. Piper certainly does not mean to encourage human-centered theology, or to make emotions and pleasure into gods, but I can definitely see how a philosophy of Christian Hedonism could be vulnerable to a general tendency to drift in that direction. In other words, he's not wrong, but Christian Hedonists will need to be very careful to keep God's glory--as opposed to man's pleasure--at the center of their beliefs.All in all, it's a decent enough book, and encouraging for those of us with a tendency to prioritize obedience over emotion.

  • Jaison Abraham
    2018-12-06 02:55

    Before reading this book, I had become a Christian, but I was still working through this terrible thinking I had that the Christian life was supposed to be boring because what's right is always less fun than what's wrong. This is the first place I encountered the thought that the Christian life was about joy, the greatest joy that a person could have. That's a transformational thought, and for anyone who needs to hear it, this book is for you. It is dense and long, but I would say it is worth the read.

  • Tim
    2018-12-03 04:04

    Reading Piper certainly makes me want to read John Owen again to get at a real Puritan sermon. This is a faux Puritan sermon - argumentative without charity, superficial in its use of Scripture and other quotations, and restless in its attempt to be comprehensive, while missing real depth of Scriptural insight. Owen trusted the Word had power, and did not rely on silly, oxymoronic, and attention getting home-made phrases like Christian Hedonism. Owen and Jonathan Edwards understood that the affections were not equal to feelings alone (when Piper makes that point in his notes it is obvious he has not read Edwards' Religious Affections all that carefully), and that the will is involved in our activities, something Piper entirely ignores for a kind of Reformed passivism that disdains human actions (and the human body for that matter). Piper perpetually argues with faux enemies, and it seems he needs an adversary in his writing, someone who is wrong (and sinful for being wrong) and must be attacked. But he never names these people here, so it is difficult to judge the quality of his arguments (or the strength/flimsiness of the straw men he has constructed). Piper follows a scattershot approach with Scripture and other quotations (which pepper every page in large blocks) - use many of them, rarely explain them (either in context or related to your argument), and assume they obviously support your position. Overall, this book takes a meat grinder approach - throw all of the Christian life and thought in with the flavor of one idea, that of Christian Hedonism, sprinkle in some Scripture (exegeted narrowly), attack all who show disagreement, and grind. I prefer a little solid meat to the hamburger of Christian faith that is a result.

  • Coyle
    2018-11-10 06:08

    On re-reading, this book is better than I remembered. My usual thought about Piper books is that they're ~100 pages longer than they need to be, and that he's a vastly better speaker than he is writer. I still maintain that last point, but I'm not sure I still think this book is too long. Of course, I also didn't read the Appendices, so there's that...Overall, this is an excellent book and one that the modern church needs to keep going back to. I suspect that if Piper were to rewrite it today, he would want to emphasize that our affections and our desires need to be properly attuned, and how to go about that proper tuning. We have enough "Christian" writers out there encouraging Christians to do what they enjoy and leaving off Piper's critical first statement "so long as what you enjoy is God." Still, this is excellent and I hope to come back to it again some day.

  • Chris Comis
    2018-11-11 04:46

    This is one of the most gnostic treatments of so-called Christian Hedonism that I have ever read. Throughout the book you will be hard pressed to find much of anything on enjoying God through the physical pleasures He has given us to enjoy. Nothing on enjoying good beer. Good food. Good sex in marriage. You end up at the end of the book trying to turn to your own little heart to find your pleasure in God. Read Doug Jones' article in C/A called Wine, Women, and Sabbath if you want a more biblical approach to hedonism.

  • Travis
    2018-12-08 23:04

    Outside of God's word this is hands down my favorite book and a main stay on my night stand!! Piper is ALWAYS so saturated in God's word and passionate to SEE and SAVOR the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!! I relate so much to Piper and his deepest longing to fight for joy and delight in God forever!! Highly recommend this book to be read regularly but certainly outside of deep study of God's word!! Psalm 34:8

  • Joel
    2018-11-27 22:56

    The place to start if you want to read Piper, almost his mission statement. Piper is a quotable writer and I love his pursuit to emphasize God's glory. "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him" is a good summary statement of the work. As well, he draws attention to the purpose of life by tweaking the Shorter Catechism just a bit, writing "Man's chief end is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever."

  • Allen
    2018-11-22 03:03

    God is supposed to be my most satisfying treasure and a delight to know. John Piper explains the principle and applies it to various aspects of Christian living: worship, loving others, Bible reading, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering. The book is filled with Bible references; Piper bases his argument on Scripture.

  • Jacob Aitken
    2018-11-10 21:46

    While there are quite a few Piperisms in the book, I enjoyed it. It was the first Calvinist book I read. Made quite an impact on me.

  • Matt Swanton
    2018-11-10 05:57

    Changed my whole perception of what it means to have a relationship with God. Mind blowing. Read it.

  • Braden
    2018-11-21 23:06

    There are few books which I can honestly say have changed my life. In fact, outside of the Bible, there are four. This is one of them. I can say that this book truly changed my approach to the Christian life, helping me to see the Christian life as one in which the pursuits of happiness and glory to God are the same pursuit. John Piper taps into the obvious, yet often neglected Biblical truth that God is to be enjoyed. Not only enjoyed, but treasured. He artfully articulates the profound truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, and argues that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. This has helped me to see that the Christian life is not one of duty, but of passion and joy. This is a classic which will help believers for years to come.

  • Amanda
    2018-12-04 00:59

    Overall, I liked this book a lot and see why so many call it life-changing. Having spent a lot of time listening to Piper's sermons online and reading Desiring God, little of this was new to me - it was more reinforcement of what I already had learned and believe than anything else. The chapter on suffering was especially helpful.

  • Bambi Moore
    2018-12-06 01:11

    Outstanding. Third reading of this. It gets better each time, though I’m still not a huge fan of the word hedonist :)

  • Joan
    2018-12-10 05:51

    Judgemental author.

  • Kimberly
    2018-12-08 03:43

    I enjoyed this book. :) There was a lot of good information and was based on the Bible. Hedonism is not a term I would apply to myself, but I would like to pursue pleasure by finding my joy in God.

  • Dana Rongione
    2018-11-30 23:11

    Desiring God is a book about finding joy and satisfaction in God and God alone. Throughout the pages of the book, author John Piper teaches that the Christian need not choose between delight and duty in the spiritual walk. He offers the opinion that the only true way to glorify God is to find joy in His presence and His person. Using a multitude of Scriptures to back up his point of view, Piper introduces Christian hedonism which states that "delighting in Him [God] is the work of our lives." Piper puts forth the claim that God can only be glorified in our lives when we are satisfied in Him.To be honest, this book was not exactly what I expected it to be, not that that's either good or bad. In fact, I found the book to be very deep and detailed, so much so, that I will need to re-read it several times before I can truly grasp all of what he's trying to say. The book is rather lengthy, and Piper has a tendency to repeat himself a lot. Unfortunately, when he repeats himself, he uses the same language as before instead of restating things in a clearer (or even different) manner.Because the book was so long and so deep, I fear I found the process of getting through it rather tedious. There were insightful passages, but overall, I felt a bit overwhelmed. I want to understand what I'm reading so that I can make a decision on whether or not I agree. To do so with this book will require me to read it several more times, but honestly, I don't know that it's worth the effort. There are too many other books out there that I can read through and grasp fully on the first time.Again, I am not saying that the book is bad. It was just difficult to follow, at least for me. Parts of it did cause me to examine my Christian walk and ask myself, "Am I a joyful Christian?" After all, when others look at me, they should see Christ, the joy of the world. For this insight, as well as some other golden nuggets, I give the book a rating of "Good."I received this book as part of the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program. The opinion stated here is my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

  • Craig
    2018-11-27 00:07

    Over the last few years perhaps no other preacher, teacher or theologian has taught me as much as John Piper. For this reason I feel somewhat strange when I say it has taken me until now to fully read through his magnum opus 'Desiring God'. I'm sure, however, that others will attest to the fact that this book is not one to rip through in an afternoon. The depth of theology and the paradigm shifting presentation of the Christian's pursuit of joy in God as foundational to a Biblical understanding of the gospel requires much thought, contemplation and reflection.Piper presents so clearly in this book the reasons why his catchphrase "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" is true and why both of these things - our satisfaction in God and His glory being made much of - go hand in hand. His arguments from scripture are sure to challenge the presuppositions of many who have assumed that either God is more concerned with our happiness than His glory or that He is concerned only with His glory and our happiness must therefore be irrelevant.In his Paul-like way, after outlining how finding joy in God overflows into all areas of the Christian life, Piper takes care to answer the objections of his critics (or even the first time reader as they wrestle with new understandings). In doing this, the truth of what he presents remains after all is said and done, having been tested and proven through careful reasoning from the scriptures.Piper's rephrasing of the opening question of some the great confessions and catechisms "the chief end of man it to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever" is a fitting summary of the content of this book. I hope that as you read this book you will embrace the great truth that God created us to desire joy and that the deepest joy found in God brings Him far more glory than mere duty without delight.'Desiring God' is a must-read. As the last paragraph of the blurb says "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."

  • Suzannah
    2018-12-11 02:04

    This book has become a modern devotional classic, and it's easy to see why. With this book Piper does his best to show from Scripture that God is most glorified in us when we are most enjoying Him. You may have heard that you must do good disinterestedly, Piper says, but on the contrary Scripture tells us to obey God because it is our desire and our delight; indeed this delight is an excellent, God-glorifying motivation for us. As usual Piper takes nothing for granted, seeking to prove his arguments through Scripture, and support them with quotations ranging from St Augustine to Jonathan Edwards and CS Lewis. Even Christ endured the cross "for the joy that was set before him".There were places where I disagreed with Piper. I found his emphasis on missions a somewhat blinkered view of the Great Commission and the dominion mandate, probably affected by his premillenialism. Of course the Great Commission is not less than frontier missions, but it certainly is more. I also (nitpick alert) found his writing style lacked imagery and vividness next to the quotes from Scripture and the great Christians of the past. It would have been lovely to see how GK Chesterton would have dealt with this theme, for example!A more serious criticism is that this book focuses on ill-defined spiritual pleasures above pleasure in the physical world. It would have been great to see Piper discuss glorifying God "in the body"--enjoying Him through His creation. This is something that should be built onto Piper's book, but as a basic argument for the idea that one should obey God for the sake of the pleasures He gives the book is still sound and joyful, full of encouragement and wisdom, while the Appendices contain real gems--a study of God's purpose in His creation (His own glory); why God allows evil in creation; and "How to Fight for Joy" which was magnificent.

  • Greg
    2018-12-04 03:12

    This is one of those classic books that make a difference to the world, perhaps like “Pilgrims Progress”, or “Mere Christianity”, and anyone who has not read it and applied its teaching is missing out.The main thrust of this book is that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him. That everything we do as Christians needs to be motivated by our desire to seek pleasure in God, and in doing so, we will fulfill the requirements that God has placed on us. Christian living is not about emphasizing our duties as Christians, or for the sake of being obedient, but for the sake of our love for God, out of the joy found in the delighting on Him. Piper explains that we don’t love God and bring sacrifices because that is our duty – husbands would our wives be happy if we brought them flowers because that is what we are supposed to do? No, rather we bring them flowers because we love them and we get joy from serving them and pleasing them.I listened to the Audio book from ChristianAudio at this link: http://christianaudio.com/review/prod.... Grover Gardner does a fine job reading the book, although there are a few errors in pronunciation. The book is not difficult to read or listen to, nor is it difficult to comprehend, and Piper's exposition is especially convincing. However shorter audio file would be more convenient, as there is a lot of information to take in and over a 60 – 90 minutes session, I found my attention wondering.Paperback available online: http://catalyst.ourchurchbookstore.co...FREE PDF download and study guides:http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-l...

  • Christopher
    2018-12-09 03:52

    This is John Piper's Opus Magnum and the heartbeat of almost every other book he has written. Piper begins by quoting the opening question to the Westminster Shorter Catchism and alters it slightly to make a point. What is the whole duty of man? Instead of "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever" its To glorify God by enjoying Him forever.He then elaborates further on this with the motto which is the centerpiece of all of John Piper's ministry, that is, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him".In short, he is saying that our pursuit of pleasure is not antithetical to the worship of God, rather it is fully consistent with it. The problem is, as C.S. Lewis famously noted, "we are far too easily pleased".He then takes this essential principle, which he has somewhat provocatively labeled "Christian Hedonism" and applies it to conversion, worship, love, scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering and then adds five helpful appendices on the purpose of the book and some clarifications on the Reformed and Edwardsian theology which has influenced much of Piper's thinking, after reading this book you will probably want to delve into some of these influences and there are a lot of footnotes and an extensive bibliography to help you do just that.Desiring God is a true contemporary Christian classic which will make you want to love more, read more, sacrifice more, and worship more not out of a sense of obligation, but because of the delightful beatific vision of God which John Piper commends to all of us. This book repays a slow-paced, prayerful, and devotional read. Enjoy!

  • Rachelle
    2018-12-10 05:03

    Although I agreed with the book's overall message, I think it was about twice as long as it needed to be. Almost every chapter repeated the same message and included a lot of unnecessary, repetitive explanations. There was one chapter--the chapter about Love--that I really enjoyed. I think if I had read this one chapter instead of the entire book, I would have gotten more out of it.Mr. Piper writes a lot of statements that seem to be purposefully misleading, and then spends several pages explaining what he really means. The most obvious example is the phrase "Christian Hedonism," which he repeatedly explains isn't like the world's idea of hedonism. Instead of trying to redefine "hedonism" and spending entire chapters explaining this, I would have appreciated it if he just used a different word. Call me stupid, but I frequently found myself confused. I would have benefited more if the book was more straightforward.That's not to say that the book was without merit. The idea of service, obedience, and humility as a source of joy is unthinkable to many people, including Christians. It is a subject that deserves to be delved upon! There were times while reading this book that I had to shout, "Yes!" Mr. Piper writes many things that need to be heard.Unfortunately, Mr. Piper's book might not be the best way to relay this important message. I'm afraid that this book might only further confuse readers. I obviously can't speak for everyone, but it did confuse me.

  • Laverne Ombadykow
    2018-11-22 00:44

    In 1996 I first read Desiring God by John Piper and at that time enjoying God and glorifying Him were new concepts to me. The whole book was a new concept and I worked through it slowly. So, when I got the opportunity to read this new version I really looked forward to it. I wanted to find out what was different about this edition and if I had changed since I first read it. I found that the book was easier for me to read this time through and that many of the concepts had become my own beliefs. It was kind of like a yard stick for measuring how much I had grown in my relationship with God over the years. I was so pleased to find the end notes on each page (which made it much easier to check them out), and I was also pleased to find that the font is a bit larger ~ I guess that, like myself, John Piper is needing larger print as he ages. I was not disappointed and I'm so thankful that I revisited this book. I have underlined many things and folded pages over. I was reminded of the C.S. Lewis statement about us being "far too easily pleased", and especially enjoyed the chapter on prayer (the section on how the great awakening started). I found that in the back of the book there is a group study guide which would be great to work through with some friends.I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review