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Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
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Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  35,309 ratings  ·  782 reviews
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. Readers will embark on a dramatically different and joyful experience of their faith

The pursuit of pleasure is not
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Paperback, 369 pages
Published April 17th 2003 by Multnomah Books (first published 1986)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Natalie Vellacott
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian-living
"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
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Stephie
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: theology
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
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Sagely
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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David Steele
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 lo
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Ebookwormy1
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...
Alexis Neal
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
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 a
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Adam Nelson
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jaison Abraham
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 th ...more
Douglas Wilson
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Great.
Clifford Luebben
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desiring God has been one of the more influential books among American Evangelicals the past couple decades. I kind of knew it as the book that made my fellow Baptist friends Calvinist in their soteriology (either this book or Mark Driscoll, haha). Convincing people of Calvinism is not actually the point of the book, but that being my main association with the book and having been raised Calvinist by my father, I've never felt much need to read the book. However, a year or so ago I became convic ...more
Krista
Aug 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Hallelujah! It's over! Praise God!

Excuse me a moment while I go purge Piper from my to-read list. There. Done. Never again will I read another one of his books.

This book was disappointing on so many levels. It had a great title! Whose promise was never delivered. It had a couple of good chapters, at the beginning. I started it full of expectations, hope, and innocence, it quickly turned into disbelief, despair, and even a bit of anger.

I did not like this book. It was extremely difficult to finis
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Jacob O'connor
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Didn't I tell ya I'd read this every year?


Notes:

(1) Downpour

(2) Sorrowful yet always rejoicing

(3) Breaking the power of sin: gain a distaste for it by a greater satisfaction in God

(4) The chief end of man is to glorify by BY enjoying Him forever

(5) The law of the human heart is to seek happiness

(6) God is the end of our search for pleasure, not the means to some other pleasure

(7) Christian hedonism is a philosophy of life built on the following 5 presuppositions: (1) The longing to be happy
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Kurt
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Chris Comis
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Bob Argenbright
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great! Showed some good correlation between how God really feels about us, what He expects from us, and how the world has twisted our priorities as Christians.
Dana Schnitzel
Call me a heathen, but I was not very fond of this book. What he says is certainly true, and there are certainly valuable insights, but I honestly struggled to finish it. I suppose I was looking for a book that would minister to my heart, but instead found an academic discourse looking to prove a specific point. I wanted something that would help me "tune my heart to sing His praise," but instead got a detailed analysis on why I should "tune my heart to sing His praise." It felt impersonal and d ...more
Whitney Finn
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While the entire book was filled with biblical truths that reminded me again and again of the heart and character of God and filled my heart with thankfulness to be seen and known by Him, it was the last chapter on suffering that most deeply affected me. I was moved to check my heart and motivations, to pray for stronger convictions and deeper passion for Jesus, to desperately long for more boldness and confidence and trust. I couldn’t make it through the chapter without stopping several times t ...more
Hannah Jayne
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a pretty long and exhaustive explanation, but it is good. Good reminders. Good memories. Good stuff.
David Schultz
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and biblical thesis that is applicable to the entire Christian life. The section on prayer was especially interesting to me.
Rainer Erani
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the most influential books I've read in shaping my worldview.
Robert Parker
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So unbelievably thankful for the wisdom of John Piper. I started this book several times and decided I’d come back to it when it would be properly enjoyed. I love this book and it’s one of my absolute favorites.
Suzannah
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 argum ...more
Tim
Jun 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 affe ...more
Kevin Zhou
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
It's been about 3 years since I first read Desiring God as a young Christian, and a lot has changed in those three years now that I'm a slightly-less-young Christian. I thought it'd be interesting to revisit this book which seems to be quite influential on contemporary Christianity.

What's interesting is that when I first read Desiring God, I was surrounded by people who thought (and probably still think) very highly of John Piper. Now, my community is probably somewhat less aware of and less ent
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Mazzy
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Desiring God was an incredible book. It’s so refreshing and a great motivation to continue seeking after God. It’s revitalizing and exciting and helps you to see your relationship with God in a new light.
Coyle
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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, h
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Brian Eshleman
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Contagious enthusiasm for life's most important purpose jumps off the page, even as his Scriptural research seems impeccable. Piper does a great job at showing how the aspect of impact of our relationship with God impacts every area of our lives.

SECOND READING: This book was particularly encouraging during a phase of my life when I have an enforced opportunity to re-examine my beliefs and their impact on my choices. In other words, this into this book turned out to be the perfect soundtrack for
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Brandon Miller
I feel like this book was really good, but it and I just couldn't communicate. I feel that way about a lot of Piper's stuff. We just don't think the same way? I'll be reading and be thinking "I know this... I know that... I know that too" and then all of the sudden we'll be talking about something I don't understand without any logical bridges or examples to explain.
When I wasn't confused though, he made some really good, convicting points. Except about the money, I don't agree with all of his t
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Joel
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
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."
Travis
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org 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 Bethel Co
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“The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.” 142 likes
“God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we ought to be using to alleviate the misery of unevangelized, uneducated, unmedicated, and unfed millions. The evidence that many professing Christians have been deceived by this doctrine is how little they give and how much they own. God has prospered them. And by an almost irresistible law of consumer culture (baptized by a doctrine of health, wealth, and prosperity) they have bought bigger (and more) houses, newer (and more) cars, fancier (and more) clothes, better (and more) meat, and all manner of trinkets and gadgets and containers and devices and equipment to make life more fun. They will object: Does not the Old Testament promise that God will prosper his people? Indeed! God increases our yield, so that by giving we can prove our yield is not our god. God does not prosper a man's business so that he can move from a Ford to a Cadillac. God prospers a business so that 17,000 unreached people can be reached with the gospel. He prospers the business so that 12 percent of the world's population can move a step back from the precipice of starvation.” 24 likes
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