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Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,589 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
John Piper's newest book will help Christians think about thinking. Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God, we also need to practice careful thinking about God. Piper contends that "thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God." So how are ...more
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Crossway Books (first published 2010)
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Jan 27, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There are two basic errors that Christians tend to fall into. One is the elevate thinking and the life of the mind with regards to theology to a point where it fails to connect with real life and results in theoretical Christians who are lacking in love. The other is to essentially demonize thinking and theology because “it only divides” and focus solely on love, which results in Christians who may love others but who worship a God they don’t really know. John Piper’s new book, Think: The Life o ...more
Alexis Neal
Sep 09, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it liked it
Shelves: 100-books, religion
A decent enough book. It was, perhaps, less revelatory than Piper may have hoped, at least for me, but I already agreed with him about the importance of thinking (love the Lord your God with all your mind, after all) and the danger of intellectual pride and spiritually dead knowledge. I have seen in my own life the emptiness of head knowledge alone, and have also been guilty of intellectual laziness when I avoided thinking about challenging spiritual truths instead of continuing to grapple with ...more
Rick Davis
Apr 21, 2016 Rick Davis rated it really liked it
Great book on the importance of the life of the intellect for Christians.
A couple of my favorite quotes:

"If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God's glory is not scholarship but insurrection."

"God did not give us minds as ends in themselves. The mind provides the kindling for the fires of the heart. Theology serves doxology. Reflection serves affection.
Jonathan Beigle
Nov 25, 2014 Jonathan Beigle rated it really liked it
Think is all about really going deep when reading the Bible and trying to understand, not just get through it. Piper talks a lot about how some people have the "gift" of thinking and some do not. I totally agree. I'm not really much of a thinker, and I need to do a better job trying to better understand the Bible. During the latter third of the book, Piper really focused on battling anti-intellectualism which says that we don't really need to understand everything, but just need to have faith. A ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
John Piper's books are always a refreshing read when scattered throughout other writers with varying styles. I love that he references almost everything; I love that you can be confident he's done his research, and I love that he has a clear passion for the Bible and what it has to say about anything and everything.

That being said, this book was a great Piper read. He tackles alot about the processes of thinking and feeling and their connections to our individual relationships with God. His focu
Feb 28, 2016 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads
My full review review is available at Blogging Theologically:

R. C. Sproul once lamented that, “we live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization.” Strong words, to be sure. But there’s something to them, isn’t there?

Consider, for a moment, how we determine our agreement with ideas and experiences. More often than not, it’s based on what we feel. If it feels good, we do it; and if it feels good, it must obviously be good for us, right?

This comes into
Jun 19, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
I go back and forth about Pastor John/Dr. Piper (which of the two I choose will color the way I listen to him so I try to pick both). Especially when it comes to the (in my opinion) needlessly ubiquitous discussion/debate about gender roles and subjugating women with regard to leadership in the church. And something about the rigid Calvinist bent to which he vocally subscribes just flat rubs me the wrong way. HOWEVER. However...

I've observed and I believe that the majority of "Christian literatu
Apr 27, 2016 Trey rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, it was much different than I thought it was going to be but very thought provoking. It touches on topics like 'How can the act of thinking less to salvation in Christ?' and other... thinky topics... Haha!

It was very matter of fact and clear which in one way was refreshing and made it easy to understand, but I can see how some might think it sounds harsh.

I did really like this book and if you're looking for a book on deeper thinking and a better understanding
Feb 06, 2014 E-reader rated it really liked it
An invigorating and inspiring counterbalance to the overriding anti-intellectualism that permeates today's Evangelicalism.
Ezequiel Soto
Mar 14, 2016 Ezequiel Soto rated it it was amazing
Un escritor hace un tiempo planteo que "Vivimos en la que pudiera ser el período mas Anti-intelectual en la historia de la civilización occidental" y la iglesia también ha sido victima de esa falta de pensamiento.

Pensar, es una de las cosas mas peligrosas que hacemos. Pablo nos advierte que "El conocimiento envanece" (1 Cor 8:1) y nos recomienda "en la manera de pensar sean maduros" (1 Cor 14:20). El uso de nuestras mentes es sumamente necesario para el desarrollo del ser humano, y para la Adora
Senda Salmos
Aug 05, 2015 Senda Salmos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piense, La vida intelectual y el amor de Dios
John Piper

Por medio de este libro el autor busca que entendamos que el conocimiento no es algo distante ni negativo cuando tenemos nuestras creencias firmes Emilio Argelia, por el contrario nos insiste en que busquemos siempre el pensamiento Kia deportivos por medio del cual conoceremos realmente al Dios de la Biblia, es enfático el autor constantemente en la lectura de que el pensamiento y el conocimiento no son ajenos al creyente que por el contrari
May 19, 2014 Courtney rated it really liked it
I studied this book with my small group this past semester, and I found it thought-provoking and insightful. It's hard to strike a balance between being overly intellectual when talking about the act of thinking, and John Piper did an excellent job of unpacking Scripture simply yet profoundly. His main goal with this book was to talk about the interconnection and importance of using your mind to love God ("love the Lord your God with all your mind"). He debunks some interpretations of commonly m ...more
Tom Rogstad
May 28, 2015 Tom Rogstad rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
This book is very good as a call for Bible college or seminary students to be fully engaged in their studies. It is not as good, even on its own terms, as a general call for a pursuit of the life of the mind. Piper has always exhorted readers to be able to articulate an author's position in his own terms before evaluating it. However, the chapter on relativism conflates empirical and moral relativism. It seems that Piper is still responding to the existentialist thinkers who predominated thinkin ...more
Mike Knox
Jan 16, 2014 Mike Knox rated it it was amazing
“This book is a plea to embrace serious thinking as a means of loving God and people. It is a plea to reject either-or thinking when it comes to head and heart, thinking and feeling, reason and faith, theology and doxology, mental labor and the ministry of love."

Purpose of mind “The main reason God has given us minds is that we might seek out and find all the reasons that exist for treasuring him in all things and above all things.” (15)

Definition of loving God with mind: "our thinking should b
Aug 18, 2014 Joy rated it it was amazing
It seems unthinkable to give a Piper book less than five stars. This book doesn't contain much new material but what a great encouragement to think deeply as a way of knowing the Lord and making application of His truth to our lives. Piper teaches that asking questions is the key to understanding. "The diference between the soil that is lifeless and the soil that bears fruit is understanding." I saw an appreciation in this book for creation ("God has two books: the Word and the world.") and craf ...more
Brian Eshleman
Oct 20, 2011 Brian Eshleman rated it liked it
Makes his point that Christians are called to engage emotions and logic and that we too often use faith as an excuse not to concentrate. Does seem repetitive in places, like a bulked-up sermon series.
Catherine Gillespie
Jul 13, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it liked it
Shelves: faith, culture, academia
John Piper’s excellent book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God lays out the biblical justification for thinking deeply, not by taking a handful of verses out of context but by surveying all of scripture. Piper answers common arguments of anti-intellectualism and refutes them soundly (but kindly) with Scripture. Beyond a justification for the life of the mind, Piper also writes about the goals of thinking for the Christian and how we ought to use learning for God’s glory and in servi ...more
Adam Shields
Short Review: a scriptural defense of the life of the mind. As with pretty much all books I read by Piper, I appreciate his scriptural focus, his desire to edify the church while at the same time being frustrated by his lack of ability to understand how others can think differently than he does. I will say I am not really sure who to recommend this book to. Writing a book about the importance of thinking is like writing a book on the importance of reading. It may be a great book, but anyone that ...more
Douglas Wilson
Oct 19, 2010 Douglas Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This was a very fine book. I enjoyed it immensely.
Jacob Aitken
This is Piper's contribution to the growing body of literature on the life of the mind. While I'm glad I read it, I don't think it is the best take on the subject. That would be J. P. Moreland's Love Your God With all Your Mind. Next would be James Sire's *Habits of the Mind.*

*The chapter on relativism was good, and I was pleased that Piper didn't immediately identify relativism with "postmodernism." I am no frirend of postmoderns, to be sure, but the two aren't the same.
*I found his exeget
Shortly before the holidays I had the opportunity to read John Piper's latest title, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. I have yet to read any of Piper's books that haven't affected me deeply, and Think was no exception, though it's quite different in subject matter than any of his others that I've read. Despite being a fairly short, quick read, I found it just as meaty and profound as any of them. It clearly and logically lays out a case for the place of the intellect in faith. Dr ...more
J.S. Park
Sep 05, 2011 J.S. Park rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
It's true: Christians think too much or too little. Dr. John Piper gives serious thought to clear thinking about the most important thing in the universe, namely the Creator of the universe. It is a compelling if occasionally dry work that touches on a much neglected issue.

The church is often accused of anti-intellectualism while also "scholarizing" the Bible into liberal principles. Both are inherent dangers that Piper pleas against. He defines thinking, dismantles relativism, and concludes on
After the first couple of chapters, I didn't think that this book was anything to write home about. I felt like they were too short and lacking in detail. I kept listening, and it got a bit better. The chapters were still short, but I felt like they were a bit more engaging.

He says it in the beginning (or maybe Mark Noll says it in the foreword), so it's no surprise that this book is heavy on biblical exposition, which I liked, although sometimes it was hard for me to follow when I couldn't see
Dec 27, 2011 Jimmy added it
The topic of this book is the relationship of thinking and the Christian life. As the beginning of the book admits, there have been other Christian works on the topic of the relationship of the intellect and the faith, with each having it's different emphasis (such as the cultural aspect, role of faith and science, etc). This work emphasized more of thinking in terms of reading, and is more driven by biblical exposition and not a defense higher institution learning per se. I enjoyed the fact tha ...more
Christopher Rush
Aug 31, 2012 Christopher Rush rated it did not like it
You know a John Piper book is bad when fans of John Piper don't think it's very good. Such is the case with this book. At the beginning, Piper names a few other books written about how Christians are to love the Lord with their minds. Read those instead. Read JP Moreland's and James Sire's books. This is not a good book. It is written poorly and though he does say things that are true, none of them are significant revelations necessary for the reading of this book. Do every 3 paragraphs need a n ...more
Bendick Ong
Oct 31, 2013 Bendick Ong rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Good book reminding us of the importance of holistic Christian growth - not only experiential walk with the heart but also intellectual growth in the mind. For someone who is often told of "thinking too much", this book is such a comfort to me.

First thinks first, please dun be mistaken. I am not against people who dun think.

Though i do get irritated with people who are against people who think. People who look at you blankly, blink a few times, and self-righteously claim that heart-knowledge is
Oct 25, 2011 Travis rated it really liked it
Do intellectual integrity and Christianity mix? In Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Pipers says they do. Piper writes one of his most interesting recent works as he endeavors to show how a diligent scholarship is very much appropriate for one’s love of God.

Many believers do not see that solid thinking is important in the life of faith. Some argue that too much intellectualism will somehow harden a believer against the things of God’s Spirit. Piper, however, faithfully argu
Sep 06, 2011 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here are the essential principals expressed throughout the book:

"Thinking is one of the important ways that we put the fuel of knowledge on the fires of worship and service to the world."

"The task of all Christian scholarship—not just biblical studies—is to study reality as a manifestation of God’s glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it, and to make it serve the good of man. It is an abdication of scholarship when Christians do academic work with
Apr 17, 2012 Lance rated it really liked it
Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper
I saw John Piper's book, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God , on the book table1 in church last Sunday and was intrigued by it. For why would he write, of all subjects, about thinking? Except for mentally handicapped individuals, all of us pretty much think, to some degree. It's as natural to us as breathing.

But there is a sense in which we do not think rightly. Either we think about the wrong things or we don't think at all. Either we are too caught up in the life of our mind (th
Jul 29, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing
In contrast to other books related to this topic (by Moreland, Noll, or Blamires) it has that characteristic pastoral emphasis one would expect from Piper. Most of the books is focused on biblical exegesis and exhorting spiritual disciplines in support of the life of the Christian mind.
In the context of the two-books view of nature, the following quote from the penultimate chapter, was really powerful for me.
"...the task of Christian scholarship--not just biblical studies--is to study reality a
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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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“Relativism poses as humble by saying: “We are not smart enough to know what the truth is—or if there is any universal truth.” It sounds humble. But look carefully at what is happening. It’s like a servant saying: I am not smart enough to know which person here is my master—or if I even have a master. The result is that I don’t have a master and I can be my own master. That is in reality what happens to relativists: In claiming to be too lowly to know the truth, they exalt themselves as supreme arbiter of what they can think and do. This is not humility. This is the essence of pride.” 18 likes
“What defines us as Christians is not most profoundly that we have come to know him but that he took note of us and made us his own.” 15 likes
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