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The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  4,513 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews

Isn’t it true—we really don’t know someone until we understand what makes that person happy?  And so it is with God!

What does bring delight to the happiest Being in the universe?  John Piper writes, that it’s only when we know what makes God glad that we’ll know the greatness of His glory.  Therefore, we must comprehend “the pleasures of God
Paperback, Revised, 309 pages
Published 2012 by Multnomah Books (first published 1991)
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May 20, 2012 Coyle rated it liked it
Saying I have a love-hate relationship with John Piper would be too strong a statement. It's more a love-meh relationship. I love his preaching- heck, I'd be willing to say that in my opinion he's easily the best living preacher. But I've regularly found his books to be, well, meh. Not that they're theologically bad, it's just that they're long and dry and only really work if you read them in his voice in your head, and that gets tiring after a while. So I picked up The Pleasures of God (provide ...more
Jun 02, 2010 Kara rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal, life-changing book! It clearly deserves it's place in World Magazine's list of the top 100 books of the twentieth century. This is a rich feast for the soul that requires reading slowly and taking plenty of time to chew on, savor, and digest each chapter. More than one reading will be needed to digest all that's here. An excellent follow-up to "Desiring God" by the same author. I look forward to reading "Future Grace", the final book in the "trilogy".

The premise of "The Pleasures o
Ben Connelly
Jan 06, 2012 Ben Connelly rated it really liked it
Described by the author as "the younger cousin" of his Desiring God, The Pleasures of God is a deep, thoughtful, and rich survey of many of the ways that God finds pleasure in his own works & humanity's as well.

Downsides: Piperishly heavy, focuses in a little TOO much on a few nitty-gritty details of a thought or passage, and carries the same, single overriding theme as most of Piper's works.

Upsides: Pipersihly heavy, focuses on areas & trains of thought that many will not see in a pass
Chad Barnes
May 20, 2010 Chad Barnes rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent! This is a fascinating study of God based on the premise that what someone delights in reveals much about who they are. So, Piper has written a book unlike any other that I've read where he identifies, explores and explains many of the things in which God takes pleasure. D.A. Carson calls The Pleasures of God the most important book Piper has ever written. As a word of warning, the concepts are heavy and the exegesis is thorough, so the book will likely be most enjoyed by hi ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
My mothers favourite book- she wrote this about it in the flyleaf of a copy sent to friends before she died:

"Other than the Scriptures, no book has brought such sheer delight to my soul as this one. It is not to be consumed in one sitting, but read one delicious section at a time; to be chwed on, ruminated upon before going on to the next juicy morsel!
My hope and prayer is that this book will encourage your heart to delight even more, and cherish with greater passion, the God, who in loving ab
Jun 10, 2009 David rated it really liked it
John Piper's books are slow reading for me, not because they are dull but because their subject matter takes time to digest and reflect upon. This book was a spiritually enriching read and an aid to getting to know who God is. And guess what? He is actually quite happy and wants to share his perfections with others so that their happiness will be complete.
Cathy Cramer
I have been loving this book, loving God. I don't always agree with Piper, but a respected friend quotes him frequently and I find his articles thoughtful and well-phrased.

I remember my college campus minister preached a stirring sermon once on Ephesians 5:10, "And find out what pleases the LORD." I had found a couple of verses of things that pleased God, but John Piper has found a whole volume of verses on the topic.

I remember when I first brought my husband (then-boyfriend) home to meet my fam
Casey Holland
Apr 13, 2015 Casey Holland rated it it was amazing
A phrase we now use among contemporary churches, and perhaps a phrase that has been used for years but now resurfaces, is the phrase "God-centered.' Reading through this book revealed in my own life how far from that phrase I had grown accustomed to thinking and living. Piper fleshes out what it looks like when we truly see the gospel and Scripture itself from the lens of a God-centered theology.
Mark Jr.
Aug 31, 2011 Mark Jr. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The foundation of all reality is the eternally rejoicing and self-sufficient triune God. An epochal book—for me, at least. The appendix, "Are There Two Wills in God?," is particularly helpful, a great example of bringing careful exegesis to sound theological conclusions.
David Steele
Feb 04, 2013 David Steele rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books in my life!
Bryan McWhite
Jul 27, 2011 Bryan McWhite rated it it was amazing
Simply put, this is the most important book I have ever read outside of the Bible. It is massively changing, worldview shaping, heart molding, mind forming, eye opening stuff.
Jacob Aitken
Well-written and a strong defense of God's sovereignty. Quite devotional at times, except for the multi-page long footnotes.
Matt Swanton
Sep 24, 2013 Matt Swanton rated it it was amazing
Read just before Desiring God, also by John Piper. Great to read in conjunction with one another. Unpacks the glory of God through His enjoyment of His own self. Amazing stuff.
The subject matter was great. It was just very dry. Hard for me to get through. I've not always felt that way about Piper's books.
Mar 28, 2015 Trisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John MacArthur describes this book perfectly: "A rich feast for the serious believer."
Sep 08, 2007 Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone truly seeking God
Perhaps the most important book I've ever read.
May 19, 2017 JPaul rated it it was amazing
This book is built on the premise that "The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love", and that God is utmost in His own affections. Thus God proves Himself to be most excellent because He loves above all else that which is most excellent- Himself. The author works this out to prove how this reality not only works for God's glory but also for our good- "And grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight ...more
Jul 16, 2017 Johnny rated it really liked it
“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.”
Susanna Grant
May 11, 2017 Susanna Grant rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, made me so happy
Timothy Decker
May 04, 2017 Timothy Decker rated it liked it
First half was good; second half felt like it was more to fill space. Important but not as important as the first half.
Mar 18, 2017 Nate rated it really liked it
Classic Piper.
Nathan Moore
Jan 01, 2012 Nathan Moore rated it really liked it
Considered to be one of Piper's three landmark books, "The Pleasures of God" contains little new information in it if one has had any previous exposure to Piper's work. The premise is taken from a sentence Piper read in Henry Scougal's " The Life of God in the Soul of Man" (which by the way is superb and has a 're-readable' status in my library.) Piper asks 'If one can measure the worth of a soul by what he delights in can the same be true of God?'

The first 6 chapters are 'textbook Piper' and ha
Feb 25, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Spring 2017 - can't believe I've never read this before! Winsome, thoughtful and gospel-saturated, I'm looking forward to revisiting this book for years to come.

Book by Piper
Book of Theology
Heath Marion
Jun 19, 2012 Heath Marion rated it it was amazing
This a great theological book. From the beginning of the book the reader is challenged with this statement, "There never has been an era when too many people thought too deeply about God or knew him too well. It is impossible to know God too well." The pursuit of this book is to understand, "The good news of God’s gladness in being God.”

Each chapter heightens the understanding of what God finds pleasure in. It may take readers by surprise to read that God has joy in "His Creation," "His Fame," a
Feb 18, 2017 Nate rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of Piper's books, but this one is by far my new favorite.
Oh my goodness I've given John Piper 3 stars! *Prepares self for disapproving tuts at church tomorrow...*.

In all seriousness though, I think this book has the potential to really change lives. It presents God not as an angry or unhappy God, but rather one who is completely joyful. Further he is a God whose joy and goodness are sustained because his happiness stems from his awareness of the infinite worth of his glory. Yikes what a mouthful! Expect far more of that from this major work!
Piper clin
Ryan Delfft
Sep 10, 2015 Ryan Delfft rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This masterpiece was certainly a nourishment to my soul and freeing of my self-motivated effort. In Christianity, we wonder constantly how does faith and practice interact with each other. How do we love God and love people or how do we enjoy everything that God created without making idols of things around us? The answer, according to its thesis, is God, simply God. Through every chapter, John Piper accurately depicts some of the most important questions of practice in being a Christian through ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Joseph rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a gem! I never thought I would fly through it in less than a week. Not only does Piper systematically define the joys of God, but leaves such sweet taste in your mouth afterward as well! This book is great if you're looking for something solid on the sovereignty of God, christology, the atonement, and yes.....even election and predestination. Piper is a well known Reformed theologian and pastor, but this is definitely not a stuffy read. As in all of Piper's books, he passionat ...more
Rex Blackburn
Jul 15, 2014 Rex Blackburn rated it it was amazing
wow....when I was reading the first half of the book, I was nodding in agreement with Piper's theological assertions, but I found the book a bit lackluster in its ability to really penetrate my heart and help my joy...I could assent to his truths but didnt really feel them in my gut.

then the second half of the book happened.

Read this book. Whether or not God is a happy God has great ramifications on my daily life. My attitude, my joy, my satisfaction--these are all directly affected by my view
Jul 15, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, audio-books
Typical John Piper -- God-centred, passionate, scrupulously biblical, logical. Something like a select systematic theology, through the lense of what God takes pleasure in. This was the first audio book I have listened to, and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I love the opportunity to read a thick book like this in about 3 weeks using only 'dead' driving time! On the other hand, I have not engaged the book at the depth I would have were I reading it myself. I have been encouraged and influenc ...more
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  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • The Religious Affections
  • Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Holiness
  • The Attributes of God
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe
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“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” 11 likes
“Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.” 10 likes
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