Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Review: Desiring God by John Piper

Imagine a world where we glorify God most by seeking the most pleasure out life that we can. Though it sounds contradictory, this is the premise of John Piper’s book *Desiring God*. He summarizes his premise by saying, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever,” and his call to those who follow Christ is to rise about just being believers in name only to become “Christian Hedonists.”

Piper doesn’t call people to seek pleasure for pleasure’s sake, however, but to instead seek pleasure in the One for whom we were created by grasping God as our ultimate treasure. Piper uses a strong biblical foundation to make his case, quoting the many Bible passages that liken God to a treasure hidden in a field, the one our soul pants after like the deer pants after the water, the One whom we are to delight in, and many others. Piper makes it clear that the Bible calls us to enjoy God, and by enjoying God and finding in Him our greatest joy, we glorify him most greatly.

The chapters of the book look at how a Christian Hedonist views the world through things such as prayer, Bible reading, marriage, money, and suffering, and his thoughts on each are insightful and challenging.

*Desiring God* is a serious challenge to passionless pursuit of Christ that often characterizes Christians in the American Church culture. Piper’s call is to more than a casual test drive of biblical Christianity, but a call to pursue the heart of God with everything in us, or as the back cover says, “with the hedonist’s abandon.”

Overall, the book’s message is much needed and inspiring. The one drawback I had with it was the author’s approach to define God’s sovereignty from a clearly Calvinist perspective, not making clear how God could predetermine everything without being the author of evil. However, if a reader can get past this controversial theological point, the book is overall a solid biblical look at God’s desire for his people.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review