Book Review: Desiring God by John Piper

Title:  Desiring God:  Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
Author:  John Piper
Publisher:  Multnomah Books
Publishing Year: 2011
Pages: 368
My Rating:  5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Multnomah Books recently released a 25 year anniversary edition of John Piper’s classic work Desiring God.  It has been slightly revised and updated.  This book is one that ought to be read by every Christian seeking to move past a mere ritual religious commitment and on to deep, meaningful relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

The basic premise of the book is that we ought to find our delight in God.  In other words, the Christian faith is not merely a chore of burdensome duties that must be laboriously carried through in this life in order to hope for a better life one day in heaven.  No, Piper says that we are to enjoy God now.  Enjoy God, not endure God.  Playing off the Westminster, Piper declares “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”

From the preface, “This is a serious book about being happy in God. It’s about happiness because that is what our Creator commands: “Delight yourself in the LORD” (Psalm 37:4). And it is serious because, as Jeremy Taylor said, “God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.”

Using intense Biblical exegesis,  sharp illustrations and even poetry, Pastor John takes us through his personal journey into what he refers to as Christian Hedonism.  The idea is that the pursuit of joy is not a sin in and of itself.  We were meant to seek joy and fulfillment.  The problem is, as C.S. Lewis said it, “We are far too easily pleased.”  Our satisfaction is only found in Christ.  But, is this mere selfishness, using God to fulfill our wants and desires?  No.  The illustration of a loving couple is used to answer this objection.  If a husband came home, handed flowers to his wife and said, “There!  It’s our anniversary so I guess I have to give this to you.”  Is that true love?  Is that wife pleased with the actions of her husband?  However, if that same husband came home and declared, “Honey, I love you.  No one else has ever made me happier that you have.  You are the delight of my eyes.  All of my wants and desires are fulfilled in you.”  What woman wouldn’t love to hear those words!  (Quotations in this paragraph are paraphrased and summarized – not exact quotations).

This book makes the very small list of books that have changed my life and changed my entire perspective of the Christian walk.  I cannot urge you enough to read this book!

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

You can purchase the book here.


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